Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Moment You (But Mostly Cuckoo) Have All Been Waiting For and Other Stuff This Week, TToT #36

1. I am thankful for this song.

Our van might as well just have a disco ball in it we do so much dancing while driving around town.

2.  I am thankful for newspaper.  Not that I read the newspaper, but it is a very handy thing to have on hand when one lets her children celebrate warm weather by wearing their school shoes to play in puddles and climb melting snow mountains.  Do you know this trick??  Stuff your wet shoes with newspaper, and in the morning your shoes will be bone dry.

3.  I am thankful for silly dinner conversations.  One night, out of the blue, Phoenix said, "Did you know that one out of seven people in the world are Chinese.  That means one of us is Chinese.  Who is it?"

Star, without missing a beat, yelled, "Nose goes!" and touched his nose.  (Is this a local thing or a universal thing?  Whenever a general "will someone..." or something similar is asked, the last person to touch his nose is the one who has to do it.  It's a big thing around here.)  The other kids instinctively touched their noses.

And then Phoenix continued it with, "I don't know how to speak Chinese!  I don't even like Chinese food!  It can't be me!"

The dinner conversation only went into a downward spiral of silly after that.

4.  I am thankful for my children's low expectations.  In case you haven't heard, we had an unprecedented 4 and a half birthday party for Cuckoo, seeing as he won a party in a raffle.  There was no way he could wait until August to have this party, so we did a half birthday party.  I made a cake for it, but since it wasn't his real birthday, I didn't go all out.  I let him pick the color he wanted the cake part to be (yellow and blue), then made it look

Wow, this photo says so much...Christmas pjs suggest this is December, and the spots on the cheeks suggest his mom didn't clean him up after his peanut butter bagel breakfast.  Only one is true.


And yet.

Cuckoo wrote this note (after asking someone to spell everything but "Mommy" for him) to me

It reads "Mommy, you make the best cake"
and thanked me profusely several times.

5.  I am thankful for a husband who knows me well.  I forget just about everything unless it is written down.  COW knows this.  Instead of getting frustrated with me, he speaks to me and reminds me in the most useful ways.  I had started a list of things to make sure I packed in the car before leaving for the party.  We were going to be gone all day, with many things to do while out, so I had quite a few things to remember.  At one point, I went to add some things to my list and found this:

Under my note to remember play clothes, he added, "socks with no holes".  I laughed when I saw it, because hole-free socks is one of the things I was going to add.

Did you know, the hardest part about hosting a four and a half birthday party at a bouncy house place is finding socks without holes?  It's especially hard when one has a 5 year old who will actually poke a hole in his sock, then mess with it until the hole is big enough for all of his toes fit through the hole at the same time.  And he does this to every pair of socks he wears.

6.  I am thankful for a stunningly gorgeous morning.  Thanks to activities of the big kids, I have been basking in the sun half the morning.  I went for a walk.  I sat on a window sill, with the sun making it quite the perfect cozy spot to read.  So I read.

7.  I am thankful for academic competitions and teachers who encourage kids to participate in them.  Every year, the Catholic high school has a competition for all the feeder middle schools.  (10 of them) One day each week (for months) our teachers stay after school, bring snacks, plan fun games, and coach the students who decide to give the competition a whirl.  Out of 130 kids in our middle school, 80 or so participate.

8.  I am thankful for our chickens.  They are super-star layers.  Most chickens give up the laying over the winter.  Our chickens, once they finally started, have not only not stopped, but have been very generous in their egg production.  Each day, out of 24 chickens, we are getting between 18 and 22 eggs.  Remarkable, I tell you!

9.  I am thankful for Monkey Joe's for supporting Boy Scouts and donating a party pack.  They could not have been nicer while we were there.  They did all of the serving and the cleaning, they gave Cuckoo a gift, including a t-shirt he has yet to take off.  They also gave all the kids kites and frisbees to take home.  The only thing I had to pay for was the ice cream.

10.  I am thankful we were able to invite our friends and have a wonderful time.  The kids had an absolute blast.  (I'm only putting photos of the kids who I know see the blog.)

Photo dump starting in three...



Fight me...fight me now!

The moment he'd been waiting for...sitting in the blow-up throne announced to all that he alone was in charge.

"Mom, stop taking my picture."

"I wasn't afraid because it was just a person dressed like a monkey."
You can come back now.  The photos are done.

Your turn!  What got your toes tappin' this week?

Have a lovely day!

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts


  1. Replies
    1. I have to go to the computer to play the song....never heard the nose the dinner conversation! And what a cute bunch of kids...I bet you do make agreat cake!

    2. BWAHAA! Two minutes in it and BOOM!

    3. woh, woh, wooooh. Zoe, I hate it when that happens.

      Thank you!

  2. Ohhh man I LOVE that song. It's one of my go-to 'happy feels' songs now. Never seen the movie, but the SONG!

    I do the newspaper trick. Known that one forever.

    LOVE Phoenix's sense of humour. That. Is. BRILLIANT! And I'm going to borrow it next time I'm at a gathering of 7+ people.

    I'm glad you found a sunshiney windowsill and cosied up and read, but WHAT did you read? That's the importanter thing to know... (for me, anyways)

    The pic of Cuckoo is adorable, peanut-butter spots and PJs and all. I like his slightly-less-fluffy haircut, and would dearly love to know what tricks there are to make a small boy who does NOT like the electric shaver just SITSTILLANDHAVEITCUT. Cos short of hog-tying Neff and making it happen, I'm running out of ideas, and the boy looks increasingly fluffy...

    STILL adore your handwriting. And want to learn, but suspect I haven't the willpower.

    Looks like the half-birthday party was a huge hit :)

    1. Me, too! I've seen the movie, but the SONG!

      That Phoenix does come up with some good ones sometimes.

      I was reading Yvonne's book, "Drawings in the Sand".

      All my kids have always sat still for haircuts. I don't know if it's out of fear or what, but it's never been a problem. Do they have those haircut places just for kids in England? We have some places where the kids get to sit in a race car or something and watch a movie while they get their hair cuts. Perhaps distraction would work? Or let him "play" with some clippers so he knows they won't hurt him?

      Ha! That was just scribbling for a note. I don't remember your handwriting to be all that messy.

      A HUGE hit!

    2. The song I ADORE! I love Pharrell anyway, but this is like bees and sunshine and honey and all things summerygoodness.

      Phoenix can have a medal for being awesome. From me. An invisible one (made in China).

      Is it good? I'm afraid I've been shamefully lax about getting ahold of the books my bloggy set have published. I should make more effort, perhaps.

      You have magical places of KID HAIRCUT?!?! That's so cool! Nope, nothing like that here. Distraction doesn't work. And in the end we left it. I shall continue to think of ways.

      Ack! Mine's scribbly and loopy and not at all beautiful. Would that I could scribble that well!

  3. What an awesome party, Christine, and mostly free can't be beat! I totally feel you with the holes in socks. Our girls love to poke holes in theirs, preferrably early in the morning in kindergarten, and then wear holes in their socks all day, making me look like the most negligent mom in the world! The schools your kids go to sound awesome. Unfortunately, too many public schools are feel-good fun institutes nowadays, not places of learning. Glad that your kids have it better! The thank-you note is adorable by the way! Have a great new week, Christine!

    1. It was loads of fun, and the price was better than perfect. :)
      I sometimes wish my kids could walk around with signs around their necks explaining the things that really aren't my fault.
      My kids attend fantastic schools. We are so blessed to have them.
      Thank you!

  4. Thanks for sharing the song, w/the minion video it's SUPER cute!
    I did NOT know that about newspaper, and that would be MUCH better than stuffing towels into my son's stinky shoes and then having to wash said towels 10 times before I use them as towels again :)
    Your chickens sound like champions! Do you give them special food, or play music for them? That's okay if you don't want to divulge your secrets, or save them for a "Chicken Secrets" book!
    That party, and cake, look like a total blast! I wonder if my little ones are old enough for the bouncy house places yet. I'll have to look into that. Also, thanks for the reminder about no-hole socks! I haven't thought about that in awhile, my son is 18 now, but a few years ago we had that sock dilemma. Trying to find MATCHING socks, and socks without holes, used to be quite a feat. My little ones aren't at that stage yet, but it's coming!

    1. Do they have fun places like Monkey Joe's for adults? I imagine there's a weight or height limit of some kind. It looks like great for laughs and exercise! I think I want a half birthday...oh wait, I missed it...January 13 :( !

      Sounds as though Phoenix has inherited your sense of humor! "Nose goes" is still popular when my big kids are around!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. You are welcome. Gotta spread the happy wherever I can! :)
      MUCH better than using towels!
      We do nothing of the kind for our chickens. Well, I do make oatmeal for them on occasion, but plenty of chicken farmers do that.
      Bouncy houses are for almost any age. There is usually a special section for ages 3 and under. Most certainly look into it.
      I don't care if socks match or not. Just so they are intact is all I want.
      Good luck!

  5. I love love love "Happy". It instantly puts me in a good mood. Monkey Joes looks like it was a lot of fun. Kids these days have way more cool indoor playgrounds than I could ever imagine. i never knew the newspaper trick so thanks for sharing :)

    1. How can you not start tapping your toes and smiling when that song is played?
      There really are lots of things to do with kids indoors. Which, I think, is why so many kids are wimps when it comes to playing outside in the cold. (Some of mine would fall into that wimp category.)
      The newspaper trick has been beyond helpful. Glad to pass it on.

  6. You are a fantastic photographer and I love everything about this funny and sweet post. I wondered why you call your husband Cow and I conjecture that he is a very nurturing person. xox jean

    your son's cake letter is beautiful. and I love everything, as I said!

    1. Aw, thank you, Jean.
      I used to call my husband "Hubby" but I don't like that name. I told him to pick a new name out of the chicken catalog like the kids did, and he replied, "Just call me cock of the walk". That was too long, so I shortened it to COW.

      The thank you note melted my heart. Almost made me want to make a new cake for him, all decked out. Almost. :)

  7. Aww, that half birthday party for Cuckoo looked adorable and perfect. So not letting my kids see this though, because they will want a half birthday party, too then. But seriously, glad it went so well and loved getting to see all your pictures here. :)

    1. It was perfect.
      Cuckoo has never had a birthday party before, so I was happy to let him have this. Not one of our kids has ever had a birthday party anywhere besides our house before, so this was an extra big treat. I'm afraid Turken will be a bit disappointed when his birthday rolls around in March and we have a party at our house like the other kids always get.

  8. that's not fair… (those bouncy restaurants, whatever they are) I wonder if they would permit adult parties. no, seriously it is clearly a superior way to have a party as a child and probably no one had to eat soap carved into the shape of fruit!

    (except the giant purple mutant thing, that would not be a part of any party that I might arrange….thought it would be best to say that up front, so that no one is disappointed.)

    nice work with the camera.

    1. You are correct, no fancy soap eating here. :) And yes, there are bouncy houses for adults. Perhaps there's one near you!


  9. Oh how I loved the dinner conversation one! So great. We have quite a bit of fun at our table with Kidzilla, but there are days I can't help but wonder what it would be like with more than one at the table...
    Cuckoo is too cute - and I just love that note. It made me all teary. Of course, so did the Olympics commercial where all the athletes say "thank you Mom." Apparently, I'm having a teary day.
    Academic competitions are fabulous. I think things like that make it cool to be interested in learning and that is something I wholeheartedly support - yay for your school! Our school does that with our feeder schools, too, and it really is such a good thing.
    I am also thankful for your chickens because chickens make for great stories. And if I lived near you, I would probably try to bribe you for some of their eggs. I was also glad to know that they are great layers...and that they gave up laying for winter...because I laughed out loud so hard I nearly peed. Is it wrong that I thought that was hysterical? Oh my.
    Have a great week!

    1. I love dinner conversations, period. Usually it's dinner noise with no rhyme or reason.
      Oh, I tear up at the drop of a hat. I must be having a teary adulthood.
      What I love about these academic competitions is the fact even the "cool" kids participate. There isn't the stigma of only the smart, nerdy kids doing it. It's fun for everyone.
      There would be no need to bribe me for eggs. I'd gladly sell them to you. :)
      I don't care if you laugh, even if no one else does. I appreciate it, even. :)

  10. 1. I love that song! It makes me, er, happy!
    3. Sounds very much like something my son would say. And "nose goes" is practiced at our house, too. My kids learned it at church camp. My husband doesn't get it.
    4. I like that Cuckoo is not a slave to fashion. Christmas jammies. Halloween shirt. All in February.
    5. Isn't Cuckoo also the one who never wears socks that match?
    6. Spring is coming, spring is coming, spring is coming....
    8. If I had access to that many eggs, I would make many angel food cakes and not feel guilty about not using all those yolks.
    10. Obviously, an awesomely awesome half birthday party!

    1. Can we trade egg-stras? I use yolks for Hollandaise and end up with so many whites. But Angel there's a good idea!

    2. 1. Me, too!
      3. I have no idea where my kids picked it up. Glad to hear it's universal and my kids aren't just odd.
      4. He has his own style. And I am fine with him flaunting it.
      5. Yes, yes he is. But then, most of my kids are OK with wearing mismatched socks.
      6. It most certainly is. Although, it may be a while. We're back down to wind chills of 5 degrees.
      8. Ha! We just made a boatload of royal icing for Giant's school project, and I thought the same thing as I dropped 6 egg yolks in the trash.
      10. Indeed.

    3. Lisa, Christine can mail you the eggs. You separate them and send me the whites (they whip better when they are at room temperature anyway....) TOTAL WIN-WIN!

  11. #3 made me literally LOL - "that means one of us is Chinese!" Hilarious!!
    #8 yay for producing hens! I am still hoping to get chickens. Sometime. Soon.
    The party looks great, and now I want cake!

    1. I was rolling myself when he said it.
      Get them! Get them!
      The party was loads of fun. Sorry I can't send you some cake.

  12. Beautiful pictures and I have to sit in your van and have a ride with your family! Sounds so fun!

    1. It can be lots of fun in the van. However, it can sometimes be torture. Choose wisely the day you join us. :)

  13. I'm going to assume that my invitation to the soiree must have gotten lost in the mail?...Because I know you would not have intentionally kept me from such festivities.

    And you didn't say...which one of you is Chinese? I'm on the edge of my seat!

    1. It did! Absolutely!

      We never did get a definitive answer. :)

  14. Well, personally I loved the photo dump. Nothing better than seeing a load of happy, carefree kids having a great time! The dinner conversation about being Chinese is classic! We have those crazy moments here too sometimes, it's fun. I did not know about the newspaper trick but it sure will come in handy during rainy thank you!

    1. I'm glad!
      It is fun to be silly sometimes. Sure beats the general noise they make with no point whatsoever. :)
      The newspaper trick is one of the best things I ever learned. Use it!

  15. I'm really having issues with replying to your post this time around! I replied to Joy instead of to you :(. Then I tried to delete my comment bc there was a "delete" option...but it was a no go! Sorry.

    1. You are having trouble with the comment today. Thank you for sticking it out and commenting anyway. :)

      Funny you should ask about the adult version of bounce houses. I asked the same thing while we were there. On the north side of Indy, there is one! They have a bar and bounce things. We went to a bounce place in Michigan while on vacation with friends. The place was empty except for us, so we adults were able to play on everything, too. It was so much fun.
      Your kids do nose goes, too!? Awesome. I have no idea where my kids picked it up, because COW and I never heard of it before the kids started doing it.

  16. I couldn't hear the song, but I loved your photo dump and the fact that you let your kid have a half birthday party which apparently was a hit....and full of adorable smiles. Great list.

    1. The song is "Happy" from Despicable Me 2.
      Thanks! The half birthday was a one-time only deal. Now, I just need to get him to forget all about it before 5 and a half comes around. :)
      It was a hit, indeed.

  17. What a wonderful list of things to be thankful for Mome. That made me laugh out loud.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

  18. super layers = awesome!

    As often as my boys come home with soaked shoes, I'm TOTALLY trying the newspaper trick!!!

    YAY to sweet notes from kids, and funny add-ons from hubbies.

    Wow - stellar partay!!

    1. Yes, it does.

      You will be amazed at how well the newspaper works.


      It was a blast!

  19. Life with your family sounds like so much fun! I adore your silly dinner conversation and cannot wait to have silly conversations of my own with my kids. I feel like they might excel in that. I also love that you did a birthday raffle. That's so awesome it briefly made me contemplate having another kid... :-) Finally, kudos to your superstar chickens. RESPECT. :-D

    1. It is exciting, I'll say that. Fun much of the time.
      Dinner is an experience, to say the least. I always liked dinner with the kids when they were little. It drug on forever, and we'd sing songs and do all sorts of fun stuff. We had all the time in the world. These days, relaxing dinners aren't as frequent, since the kids are older and involved in activities. But, having kids who are old enough to actually TALK with each other is fun, too.
      I always encourage people to have more kids. :)

      They are superstars. Shocking, really, that they belong to us. :)

  20. My kids wouldn't yell "Nose goes!" but they did do the touching the nose thing to show "not it!" Where do these things come from, anyway?

    (So, was Phoenix too slow on the nose-touch?)

    1. We did the not it when I was a kid. I have no idea who starts them. The not it at least makes sense. Touching your nose? Not so much.

      Yes, yes he was.

  21. In face, I did NOT know that trick! But then, we don't get the paper.
    You know, my uncle is famous for once having that same conversation with his family. But I'm thinking it was one in three then. Is that possible nearly 70 years ago? Or, am I crazy?
    I have an absolute horror of planning birthday parties. Glad this one went so well.

    1. We don't get the paper, either. We do get all those annoying adds in the mail, though, and those work just as well.
      I have no idea what the proportion of Chinese to the rest of the world was 70 years ago. It is funny that your grandpa did the same thing as my 15 year old.
      We have never had a party anywhere but our house before. It was awesome. I'm going to be a bit sad when the next birthday rolls around and everyone descends on my house.

  22. You have a lot to be thankful for! I love MOnkey Joe's... when I babysat, it was one of my favorite places to take the kids. Because I had one under three years old, I was allowed to go on the stuff and play with the kids! Never heard of "nose goes," but around here kids say "Not it" a lot. The last person to say it is the one who gets stuck doing the undesirable task. It also works for games, to figure out who is, literally, "It" in a game of tag or hide-and-seek.

    1. I certainly do!
      We had never been to Monkey Joe's before. It was a great place. We had been to a non-chain place before, and the adults had as much fun as the kids did.
      Not it is certainly more familiar to me. That's what we did as a kid. I have no idea where the nose goes came from.

  23. Looks like a grand old time at the birthday party! All those jumping kids!
    It is a blessing to have dry shoes, silly supper conversations and a spouse who reads your mind.

    1. It was lots and lots of fun!

      I have blessings on top of blessings, for sure.

  24. Holy cow! When I said I was thankful for bounce-house places, the one we went to yesterday WAS MONKEY JOE's. Why am I so excited about that? Huh. Maybe because it's almost like we went there together! And I've never heard of the newspaper trick. I need to tell my husband. He ends up deciding to wash Tucker's shoes and dry them and then in the morning, I'm running around trying to find his shoes. Gah. HAHA to one of you being Chinese. I want to come to your house for dinner please and am not above inviting myself.

    1. YOU WERE AT MONKEY JOE'S, TOO!!! What are the odds? Oh, you will both be astounded by the newspaper trick. I've done it a hundred times, and I'm still amazed every time.
      You are welcome any time!

  25. I'm so glad you are thankful for your chickens unlike Mrs. Tweedy in "Chicken Run."
    I think maybe I've seen that movie a few too many times.

  26. The silly dinner conversation still has me giggling. Happy birthday to your little one. And yes, thank God for wonderful husbands!

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