Monday, September 27, 2010

Girls, Girls, Girls

I have 7 little girls at my house right now (or at least had 7 little girls over when I first started writing this post). And it's completely quiet. Do you know why? Cause they are watching a movie. And do you know what? I may let them watch another once this one is done.

This week is our county's "fall break." I put that in quotations because, although the official first day of fall was this week, it is anything but here in north GA. I'm not sure what the actual temp is right now, but according to Chesley McNeal, the high is supposed to be somewhere in the low 90's. Another reason for the quotation marks is, school just started and already, we have an entire week off. Actually, we have been in school for about a month an a half, but it still all feels pretty new. The kids are still feeling out new friends, I'm still working out my kid-free schedule, we're all still trying to get used to getting up at dawn and scrambling to get to bed on time.

Since my hus could not take any time off this week, thus making my plans to go camping go to the wayside, I've tried to come up with a few fun activities for the kiddos.

Tuesday, we met some church friends at the zoo. The kids seemed to really enjoy it. My pocket book did not, but the kids did. The zoo ain't cheap. I'm remembering why in the 12+ years we've been in the ATL, we've never paid to go to the zoo.

And then today, we invited over 2 pairs of sisters to watch the new Tinker Bell movie, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. It just so happens that a couple of the girls have not seen the 1st Tink movie, so we may just watch that one too. It would only be fair.

In between movies, I do have some cookies for them to decorate. That should be fun.....right?

I've already got 3 girls, what's 4 more!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rule #12

I've come up with a new rule for our family. Does anyone watch NCIS? If you do, you know how Gibbs has all these rules, going up to 51, I think? They are all these weird, random, yet poignant rules. They all have a number. All Gibbs has to do is say, "rule # such and such" to get his point across to his team. They are things mostly appropriate to the working environment of an investigative service, not necessarily family friendly. No one seems to have a complete list, nevertheless, they know the rules. No one on the show, anyway, has a complete list. I googled "NCIS Rules" and there are evidently several fan sites dedicated to the rules.

Anyway, I think I am going to throw away my old teacher rules about having rules (keep your list to 10 or less and write them in the positive) and be more like Gibbs. (in no particular order) Rule #1 Honor always. Rule #2 No interrupting. Rule #3 Obey your parents. skipping ahead, Rule # 12 When you get to be in second grade, you become responsible for cooking dinner for the family once a month.

That's the rule I had in mind when I began this post. Kristin is in second grade now, so this rule applies to her. She made her first meal the other night; grilled cheese and tomato soup. She did pretty well and was very enthusiastic about it. In fact, Grace and Elliott have been asking when can they make a meal. Maybe the next time we have cereal for dinner.

I do think feeding the whole family, was more work than Kristin thought it was going to be. I stood there and supervised the whole thing and told her what to do. She did it all. Everyone enjoyed her efforts. It was a tasty dinner. We are proud of her.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Sweet" Sixteen

Last weekend, in my other life as a professional photographer, I had an interesting experience.

As a photographer, I get called upon to photograph an occasional event. I usually just do portraits and weddings. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I would like to pursue this avenue of photography more. This past weekend was an event that still has me on the fence about do I like this or not. It was a sweet sixteen party. It was at The World of Coke. Yes, you heard me right, The World of Coke. Not just a room in The World of Coke, but the whole dang place. Can we say, "spoiled?" If you've ever seen the MTV show, "My Sweet Sixteen" which I have not, but from what I understand, this was just like that show. The party was for 2 girls. They both started the night in Cinderella type ball gowns only 1/2 way through to change into a more cocktail type dress. Still pretty fancy. There was one photographer (me), 2 videographers, 2 D.J.s, 2 performing acts (one being a belly dancer and the other being a boy/girl combo dance/rap group) a 10-12 man security team (provided by the hosts of the party, not Coke), of course food, a wedding style birthday cake to be topped off by wedding style decorations all over the place. Now, can we say, "expensive" and "ridiculous" and just plain "ostentatiously extravagant?" (I'm not even sure if ostentatiously is a word, but you get my meaning.) There was a crowning ceremony. The girls were presented with tiaras and scepters. Yes, I said scepters. A court. Uh huh. Each girl had a court of 4 other girls. These girls basically followed them around and participated in the crowning ceremony.

Actually, for me, that was all the fun part. Fun because it was a new experience for me. Oh, ya, I almost forgot, they had a Barbie there. Yes, an actual person, dressed as Barbie. She was there to greet and have her photograph taken with each of the 225 guests (of which only 171 showed). She was a nice girl. Putting herself through college. Pre-med. Easy money, being Barbie.

The not fun part for me and the part that might encourage me to not pursue event photography as a part of my business, was watching these 16 year olds bump and grind to the point of profanity. Is the word "profanity" limited to words or can it be used to describe action. I'm using it to describe action. It was gross. There were boys who were pleasured during this party in ways that should not happen for at least another 5 years and only behind the confines of a closed, married door. and I have the pictures to prove it! Though I also have the ethics and morals to not post them. Actually I erased all of the nasty ones, not that they won't see those images again. Both viedographers took plenty of footage of the sex with your clothes on fest.

Ga Rooss! I felt dirty just being there.

To the credit of the birthday girls, they were not involved in the nastiness. In fact out of the 171 guests, only about 7 or 8 were being overtly gross and immoral (that I could see anyway). But still. I have 3 daughters. What if my daughters were at a party like this? Even if they weren't shaking their derriere in some dude's crotch, they would be witness to this kind of behavior. Would they think it looked like fun? Cool? Ridiculous and profane and trashy? I am hoping and praying for the latter.

Those girls knew exactly what they were doing. The guys DEFINITELY knew what they were doing (and having done to them). And there were parents there. And no one said or did anything to stop it! At one point, this older lady, an aunt of one of the girls I think, approached me. Taking one look at what I am assuming was a disgusted look on my face she says, "I know what you are thinking. Are they making out or dancing. I'm concerned too." WHATEVER! First of all, they weren't making out. They were doing worse than making out. Second, if that lady, as a relative, was really concerned, she shoulda turned a hose on those screaming hormones and kicked their buts out, after calling their mommy's to come and pick them up. I'd have been happy to show any parent a picture of how their child was behaving.

I could go on and on about this. I have lots more to say. But, I'm done. I can't think about it anymore.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. The nastiness was really only a small/short part of the evening, it's just one that's burned into my brain. So, it was interesting. And sad. Sad, that a few kids turned something that should have been the event of a lifetime for some, into a display of debauchery and adolescent promiscuity.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's almost here!

I love fall. and I can sense it coming. It's in the change of the light. I first noticed it about a week ago as I was driving the kids to school early one morning. There was just something about the color of the light at that time of morning. Maybe it's that it wasn't quite as bright as it is on summer mornings. Or is it that it was brighter? I forget. Anyway, it was different. Later, I noticed the lighting difference on my living room floor. I am ashamed to admit that twice a year, spring and fall, I am made aware of the upcoming change of seasons when the light begins to hit my living room floor in such a way that the dust is illuminated just so. There, I admitted it. My floors are dusty.

So anyway, it's coming, it's coming! My favorite time of year! I love it for many reasons; I love the colors, the cooler air, the actual crispness you can feel. I love apple picking, fried apple pie, apple butter, apple fritters, apple bread... I love going to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin muffins. I love the change in wardrobe. I love Thanksgiving, time with family, time off. I love that the "holidays" begin with Thanksgiving (in my mind at least). Yes, I LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC! and I start listening to it religiously and almost exclusively on Thanksgiving day. I love the Thanksgiving day parade. I love that we get our Christmas tree the weekend of Thanksgiving. All of this talk to the fall and the holidays (and the mention of all my fav fall eats) makes me think of food and eating and...does anyone know of a good exercise for losing neck and/or chin fat? Ha. Just kidding. (mostly). My nose used to be my most hated part of my body and though it still ranks pretty high on the list, it's been bumped from #1 by my chin/neck area. The older I get (and the more I refuse to diet - a dirty word in my opinion), the more I dislike that part of my body. I know if I just lost 20-30 lbs, that would take care of the problem. I just don't see that happening. Not while I have little kids at home. I blame the kids. Always have.

Anywho...all that has NOTHING to do with why I started this post. Man, can I hop on a rabbit trail or what!?!

So back to my love of fall. It puts me in a good mood. Just the anticipation of it can put me in a good mood. I even like the football season part of fall. (Roll Tide Roll). My husband loves that part of fall. When I was pregnant with our first child, I went in to early labor at 25 weeks and was put on 12 weeks of bed rest, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF FALL! I had to miss it all! I was so depressed!! I was forced to lay on the couch and just look out of the window at the beautiful fall as it happened outside, just out of my reach. The only good part of my bed rest being in fall was that my husband was perfectly happy to lay on the couch with me all weekend long, because of the football.

So before I head down another rabbit trail, I'm gonna leave you with a few pics I took last year when Elliott and I went on a fall colors walk. I'm looking forward to adding to my collection in the coming months.

Excuse me

Grace has been doing better as she is just beginning to adjust to kindergarten. We've had 2 straight days of no tears. Whether or not she likes school has never been the question or the problem. She always comes home at the end of the day telling me how much fun she had and all of the cool, big girl things she is learning.
Today she came home with the same bubbly attitude. She even learned a new phrase; "cut the cheese." Yes, she knows what it means. And thank you to the very courteous little boy in her class who taught her said phrase. *note the sarcasm here.
So all during dinner, we heard, "I just cut the cheese, No, I just cut the cheese." and so on. One unladylike problem with our girls is that when someone does cut the cheese, they all claim it! They will actually argue over who did it, not in trying to lay blame on someone else, but possibly to even take the credit themselves. Where did we go wrong!!??