Friday, November 29, 2013

Squirrel Syndrome

 Have you seen the movie "Up"?  There's a scene where a talking dog is having a conversation with a little boy and mid-sentence he gets distracted and says, "squirrel!"  Dean has taken to referring to our distractions as "squirrel syndrome".  It's like the book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll probably want a glass of milk...etc, etc. One thing leads to another and the mouse keeps getting more and more distracted.  Well, that was us today.  Our Black Friday plan was to put out Christmas decorations.  In order to put out Christmas decorations one must take down Thanksgiving decorations.  Which included the plethora of pumpkins on the porch.  (one pumpkin is never enough) So, there we were, pumpkins a plenty, and the boys begging for roasted pumpkin seeds.  Silly me, I took ONE pumpkin into the kitchen and started to hollow it out.  Dean, seeing what I was up to said, "If we're going to do this, let's at least make it fun."  Out came the machete's and everyone took a swing.  Definitely more fun dad's way.

    Then,  while cleaning the seeds for roasting, we started dreaming up ideas for our Christmas lights. I started lamenting the GINORMOUS palm bush thingy that was planted directly in front of our front door.  I seriously expected this thing to scream "Feed me Seymour" every time I walked by.  I HATED it and knew even Christmas lights couldn't make it look good.  The next thing I knew I heard more "thwacking".  Dean was putting the machetes to good use again.



      It's not what we set out to do today, but our squirrel syndrome really paid off.  (Except for the moment I ran out to help lift the deceptively HEAVY stump into the wheelbarrow and forgot about the oil heating up on the stove.  Thank goodness for fire alarms and Ben running out the front door screaming "the house is on fire", as he headed, past us, to our designated 'safe zone' across the street.)
True Story, this actually led to us to opening all the windows to air out the house only to realize the screens were up in the crawl space, so, of course, we left the stump where it was and started putting all the screens on.

     In the end, Thanksgiving decorations were boxed up, the pumpkin seeds were tasty, we now have screens on the windows, the palm bush thingy was sent to the curb, and four Christmas totes made it out of the attic. Not bad, not bad at...."SQUIRREL!"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I found Ben's impromptu drawing of The First Thanksgiving today when I went to write something on the calendar for December.  I'm not sure when he put it there, but it made my day.

I can honestly say I took first place at the "Turkey Trot" today.  
It helps that I was the only participant...

Dean rejoicing in the success of his "Turkey Bowl".  
He was bummed he would miss the one back in O Town so he decided to organize his own.  

One little, two little.....

 ...three little indians.  

 From our tribe to yours, 
may your hearts be grateful and your tummies be full.
Love, the Marturello's

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recent Finds

     It's a cookie cutter parade! Did you see the lovely little turkey?  He's the real reason these five little animals made it home with me.  We can't wait to try him out.  And what about Santa?  Not quite his turn, still a few more days to wait, but I know he'll be a hit.  Did I mention he lights up?  

Thanksgiving Break

They only get 5 days but he's determined to make the most of them.  
It's a LEGO turkey, in case you were wondering.  
Gobble, gobble.

Two of a Kind

They're made out of milk glass.
They looked so lonely.
They would look so lovely painted.
Just a few of my justifications about this matched pair.  I'd never seen a milk glass lamp, but I'm glad I saw these.

Showing their independence with a set of mismatched finials

Ready for a little update

     I chose an oil rubbed bronze finish because I had a left over can in the garage. I do like the contrast and anything's better then what was there before.  It needs a bigger shade and perhaps I'll spring for a new can of spray paint, (I was thinking mint green), but for now it fills the space and adds a little charm.  

Thoughts?  Ideas?  C'mon ladies, I know one of you knows how to turn this into a real treasure.  Let me know what you think.

"Fun-Size" Temple Trip

     Last Saturday I went to Birmingham.  The city is lovely, and relatively close, so hopefully we'll get to visit more often.  They have a LEGO store, so yes, we'll be back. The Stake schedules regular temple trips, but they're on Wednesdays and I just don't have a free 12 hr stretch to make the journey on a weekday, but I was able to go help the youth with baptisms and it was wonderful.

     "It's soooooo tiny".  Those were the first words out of my mouth and I think I offended some fellow passengers, but I could not get over this adorable "fun-size" temple.  It serves its purpose and is such a blessing for the members in our area.  I long for the day when we'll hear of one being announced in Tallahassee, and I haven't even lived here that long.

      I was able to be with Sis Pulliam, pictured above.  She has been a member since June and this was her first temple excursion.  She had 5 family names ready for baptism.  A real role model.  She just got called to work in the family history center.  I know she will bless so many with this new responsibility.

   Birmingham reminded me size really doesn't matter, and it really is what's inside that counts. 

Confessions of a "Room Mom"

     This was my counter at 6:30 this morning when I got up to get ready for the day.  The rest of the house didn't look much better, if we're being honest, and that's what I wanted to do, be honest.  I have a love hate relationship with all things related to the PTA/PTO in elementary school.

     After a month of Ben being in school I realized I wasn't receiving the notices that other parents had been receiving.  When I asked about it I was told the announcements were being passed on to the parents via the "Room Parent".  When I asked the teacher who the room parent was she said she didn't have one.   That's when things got interesting.  I want to stay informed and if my job as room mom consisted only of forwarding school info I would volunteer every year.  Alas, it also means planning and carrying out class parties, field trips, and, worst of all, your name becomes known among the ladies of the Parent Teacher Organization...aka The Mother Ship.  Once they abduct you it's hard to escape.  The current president at our school has been on the PTO board for 5, yes 5 consecutive years.  (She claims there's no one willing to fill the position, but Dean and I wonder how much she secretly loves it.)

     It's not that I mind volunteering or even sacrificing my day for a party or two.  I just didn't realize that a "Box Tops Party" that's supposed to have six pizzas and bottled water was really just a ploy for what was turned into a Thanksgiving Holiday Extravaganza!
     My co-room mom is awesome and apparently an avid "Pinner" because these second graders were treated to a creative display of crafts and treats.  Maybe it's the lack of a Halloween party that caused the exaggeration. I'll just blame it on the Baptists.  Whatever it was,  we were able to start Thanksgiving break off with a party.

     Have any of you seen the trending article about all the "Epic Fails" on Pinterest, where they show the Pinterest version and then how it really turned out?  Well, I'm pleased to say our fruity gobbler turned out pretty well.  

 I made the muffins and when I arrived I found out they were being turned into turkeys, yeah!

What second graders are grateful for. In no particular order....
Good Teacher

An impromptu math lesson...

Half of the class had never had a roasted pumpkin seed.

     We left the pumpkin carcass for the class so they could watch it decompose...Another idea the co-room mom gleaned from pinterest.  It was hilarious watching the teacher's reluctant enthusiasm while the project was being explained to her.

And last, but not least, how second graders think a pumpkin pie is made.  

     I know my days as part of the PTO are just beginning and I have a long road ahead.  I guess I just prefer a "less is more" approach, which could work to my advantage.  (They won't ask me to volunteer for the crafty time consuming stuff if I consistently underwhelm them with my ideas) Right now, however, in these elementary school years, I'll give where and when I can as long as it benefits my kiddos in the end and not my ego.  I'm fortunate to be able to have time to be a room mom.  I know there are parents who would plan parties every day if they could but they are providing for their families. I get that and I respect it and my awesome hubby for making it possible for me to be home.  There might be some grumbling, and a good bit of eye-rolling after a particularly long (and fruitless) meeting, but  I'll willingly share the load, at least until it's fundraiser time... 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Burgers and Sauce

Is it a rite of passage, the art of grilling a good burger?  Whatever it is, learning to add just the right amount of garlic and worcestershire and the exact ratio of ketchup to mayo is a much needed life skill.

Dean capitalized on the 75* weather and put the propane tank to good use.

The inevitable taste test

Now that's a burger!

They always eat better when they participate in the making.  
It's something we've tried to capitalize on, and it works consistently.  

Every Sunday we sit down and each person has to say one nice thing about everyone else.  Tonight Ben said, "I'm grateful to Dad who teaches me hard and scary things, even though I think I might die.  I always trust him, though, and I never die." He never let on he was scared of the grill while they were cooking.  I guess a grill and flames can be intimidating when you're 7, but trust is a good lesson to learn and so is burger making.

Hot Mess


This photo doesn't really do the goopyness justice, but the food, and boogers, were EVERYWHERE, ears, nose, feet , hair... She loves food and eating, and hates her bib.  She's mastered the "all done" sign.  Now,  if we could just teach her how to use a napkin.