Thursday, May 16, 2013

How Much Happy Can One Family Fit Into One Morning?

Etiquette Luncheon.

It's the phrase that makes 7th grade boys groan and 7th grade girls get all verklempt.

It is a day of training in proper meal manners, followed by a dance lesson. 

The rules of the Etiquette Luncheon:

1.  Your conduct grade must be a B average for the year in order to participateI know, this sounds counterintuitive.  The kids who can't behave and need some etiquette lessons aren't allowed to go?   This is seen as a privilege, and the kids who have shown they can't conduct themselves in a mannerly way don't get the privilege.  There's always one or a few or a handful.

2.  Each boy will be paired with a girl, usually based on heightThe teachers pay close attention leading up to the luncheon to see which boys are "dating" (going with, for you who grew up in the 80s) which girls.  "Couples" are not put together. (Don't get me started on the whole 13 year olds dating.  That's a rant for another day.)

3.  Girl's attire must be approved prior to the luncheonAnd this is why the girls are all a-twitter.  They actually get to prettify themselves, donning fancy frocks, shiny shoes, and darling 'dos.  However, each girl must bring her dress to school sometime before the day of the luncheon to be approved by the teachers.  They don't want the fun day to be tarnished by a phone call home for new clothes if a girl wears an inappropriate dress.  (Don't get me started on parents not reading and making their children follow the dress code.)

4.  Fried chicken must be served.  I have no idea how or why this got started, but each year the luncheon is catered by the PE teacher (who has a catering business on the side (don't get me started on teachers needing a second job in order to pay bills)), and each year the 7th grade teachers choose to have fried chicken.  The greasiest, messiest food possible. 

So, today was the day for Buttercup.

We got up nice and early in order to do her hair.

Speaking of, I have a new phrase for you: 

Waterfall braid

If you only have sons, you don't really need to know this.  Unless, of course, your sons are old enough to date and you want to sound cool and fashionable.  You could throw out a, "Have you tried a waterfall braid?  I think your hair would look lovely like that." 

I had never heard of it until yesterday, when Buttercup asked me to do it to her hair.  She gave me the instructions, "You get a chunk of hair, split it in two, then French braid it, but when you get the new chunk of hair, just put it through, don't actually braid it."

Oh, sure.  No problem.  (I hope my sarcasm is shining through on this one.)

After a few detailed questions, I tried it out for the first time this morning.

Daughter was happy.

I am well aware that this photo doesn't show the masterpiece that is a waterfall braid.  I forgot to take a picture from the side/back.  Google it.

And because one happy child isn't enough, it is also the day 5th grade goes to CYO camp.  They leave tonight for the adventure of a lifetime school year.  Sure, thanks to his cast, he can't do everything offered, and it's supposed to rain most of the next two days, but Giant is excited nonetheless. 

And because it isn't enough to have only two happy kids, today is also Turken's last day of school.  At 12:01, he will officially be a kindergartener.

But really, no one is more happy about the end of school than this person*:

What?  I don't have to be out of the house with two dressed and fed slow-as-molasses little boys at 8:30 three days a week anymore?  And I don't have to be BACK to pick him up three hours later?  You mean I'll actually have a stretch of hours each day that I don't have to be anywhere? 

It is a day to celebrate, my friends. 

*I really am happy, despite what this photo says.  I was mid-instruction (with a combination smile/talk) on how to use a very expensive digital camera with a five year old who thought he had it DOWN.  So close little man.

On that note, anyone know of a good anti-wrinkle cream?  How about under-eye suitcase remover? Maybe a one-sided jowel slimmer?   

Time to hit the road, Jack.

Have a lovely day!


  1. First of all, the last day of school already???? Thank Gawd, we have almost one more glorious month of school until we have to think about dreaded summer vacation. Here in the bible belt, we send our kids to cotillion once a month for an entire year where they learn manners, and how to dance. LAWD, how my boys hated every minute of that.

    1. For preschool it is. The big kids go until May 30.

  2. Love this etiquette lunch idea! Your daughter's dress is lovely!

  3. Enjoy your break from being taxi-cab driver!

  4. Your daughter looks like an angel. I love the idea of an etiquette lunch. I love the idea of having the dress approved ahead of time. Sad that this has to be, but nowadays, a necessary rule! Funny that fried chicken is the desired lunch! I always loved when school ended and we had the freedom of summer, but by the end of summer I was happy to see the kids go back to school!

    You look fine! Your five year old did a pretty good job! At least you are IN the picture! ;)

    1. Thank you.
      It is a good idea. After seeing what some girls wore to the Christmas program, I completely get the need for approval.
      I'll never understand the fried chicken.
      I love summer and never want it to end. It's why I can't homeschool. I'd never buckle down and get it done.
      Watching him take the photo, I was shocked I was in the center of the frame.

  5. Aw the hair looks great. She looks so happy :) Well done you for making it happen.

    And wow! Kindergarten sounds like a HUGE break for you - enjoy the time. Awesome sauce.

    Maybe that'll be enough to make you happy with your pic (which is totally fine) - if not, wear a facepack to hide everything and claim you were snapped candidly mid-beautify.

  6. I love the idea of an etiquette lunch! I wish they would make an out and out etiquette class!! I've only got a few more weeks til school lets out and I am stuck with ideas for them for the summer!

    1. It is a good idea.
      Let me know if you need any ideas!

  7. Buttercup looked lovely! I remember having to go to something similar when I was her age. I just have a very vague recollection of trying desperately to eat with the right cutlery while a couple of boys tried to start a food fight.

    1. Thanks.
      I think it used to be that way, until they started inviting certain parents to come. One parent per table means the kids behave like little angels.

  8. How infrequent to have so many kids happy at once. You are blessed today! Your girl is darling in her sweet little dress. I will have to google the waterfall braid. Sounds complicated. I can manage a simple french braid on my girl, but beyond that, I'd need more fingers.

    1. And so early in the morning, too! :)
      Thanks. It really wasn't hard. If you can do a French braid, you can handle it.

  9. That is just waaaaaay too much happy for one morning! Where do I begin???

    1) Criteria for Etiquette Luncheon - WTH?!?!?
    2) Fried chicken??? Seriously???
    3) Waterfall braid - no daughters so had to google only because you didn't take that side shot. :)
    4) Buttercup looks absolutely adorable (hope that's not an insult to her) as does her mother!! ;P

    Enjoy your weekend! D

    1. Isn't it, though? No crankiness makes me nervous. :)

      I know. Crazy.

      She won't be insulted. I'll let her know. :)

  10. I LOVE, LOVE the idea of the etiquette luncheon!! Can you give me the lowdown on this?? Seriously!! Please e-mail me. I HAVE to get something like this rolling in our homeschool community. It's a lost art, but a vital part of their upbringing!! I'm so glad you blogged about it!! ;)

  11. BAH! Fine! *hits the road*

    I don't mind the idea of the Etiquette Luncheon, but do think it is a bit counter-intuitive when those needing it the most are excluded. I'd think with adults participating, they wouldn't be so disruptive. Maybe some would pick up on a thing or three even... They would love the fried chicken! :)

    Kudos to doing up Buttercup's hair and maintaining a positive household happiness ratio! I'm sure Giant will have fun, but I hope he doesn't attempt to disregard recommendations and participate in events that could potentially cause issues with his injury.

    I'd say you've a lot to smile about!

    I think your little dude is a professional photographer!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

    PS. You definitely have some sub-rant material to work on ;-)

    1. :)

      I know, it sounds off, but it takes a lot for kids to be banned. They are told well in advance what the requirements to participate are.

      We actually got a call from a chaperone dad at camp for clarification on what he could/could not do. He got too adventurous and started to play a bit of tag.

  12. Don't get me started... i am with you!!!

    btw messiest food EVER is bbq pulled pork, coleslaw, hush puppies and baked beans EVERY year to the middle school spring fling... Why? I don't understand fancy dresses, fancy hair, awkward girls and clumsy boys wearing dad's ties AND bbq sauce.

    we have done the waterfall braid i want to see a back of the head picture.... found a video on pinterest and use that...

    btw again. buttercup IS beautiful!!!

    1. Oh my. BBQ sauce? I'm thinking that is a very bad idea. I know my kids would be covered in it.

      I'll have to do it again and get a photo this time.


  13. I love this post. You have such a beautiful family!

    I am off to Google waterfall braid so I can start practicing.

    1. Thank you so much.

      Once you get the idea, it isn't hard. Have fun!

  14. Love the picture of the beautiful Buttercup. What a sweet smile! My daughter can do a waterfall braid. I'll send her to your house to teach you. She'll be there by Thursday. Don't worry, she doesn't eat much....

    1. Thank you. Please do! I will try my hardest to make sure no bones are broken while she's here. :)


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