Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happiness is...

Buying 19 books (which scored a minimum of four stars on Amazon) for $8 at an estate sale in Linden Hills. Fun stuff, great house, good company (mom & auntie) and a delicious lunch (Broder's).

Have many, many stories to share about Xmas...not enough time to even begin. Going to go see Dreamgirls with Shel. Don't want to be late.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Fa-la-la-la-ha

Doesn't this look like fun? Ugly Holiday Sweater Party! The picture in the linked blog is the invitation for the trio's annual shindig. They went to Sears for the photo - classic.

I have had a few festive pullovers in my history. Why did I ever take them to Goodwill? Don't worry I have my eye on this number... It is even 3-D!!!

Can't even begin to think about how unbelievable this will look with my WONDERFUL hat!!!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Do you like my hat?

The other day I was invited to a little Holiday gathering with some of the women I have met through tennis. I had the best time. These women are fun - I mean real fun.

During the party there was a gift exchange, where I received this WONDERFUL hat. I love it, just love it. This hat makes me happy.

Everyone in my family hates the hat. DLS shook his head, AE told me I looked ridiculous and you can see by the photo what little man thinks about it. The dog even barks at me when I have it on, but I don't care I still love my hat.

Every Christmas we have a knock down drag out between the little people about who gets to be Santa and give out the gifts. This year's Santa must don the WONDERFUL hat otherwise no gifts for you!

When I say I love my hat it reminds me of Go Dog Go. Remember the little dog wearing the silly hat and she says, "Do you like my hat?" The other dog replies, "No, I do not like your hat." They say goodbye to one another and go on with their day. I am the dog with the ugly hat, who doesn't give a rip what the other dogs think...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Argh

I love that word - argh. Pretty much sums up how I am feeling right about now. Just realized that there are only FOUR days before Christmas Eve. Is it just me or did this sneaky Holiday come out of nowhere?
Just like when poor little Charlie Brown is trying to kick that football and Lucy Van Pelt pulls it away at the last minute. That's me. WHAM! It hits you. You are nowhere near ready for the "most wonderful time of the year". I am positive, whoever wrote that song was not a woman and a mother to boot.

By the way, when I was out searching the correct spelling of argh I found many interesting facts pertaining the word "ARGH" that I can honestly say I never realized. So as my gift to you this holiday - Lord knows I will never get around to purchasing something on this procrastinator's schedule, let alone wrap, mail etc. - here you go:

  • There are 9,080,000 results on Google for the word argh.
  • ARGH is an acronym for Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds. Some geeky oops "techie" thing that middle school kids can participate in.
  • Another techie thing Advanced Research in Graphics Hardware. The conference for members of ARGH must be one rip-roaring time. They must sit around and talk about Reordering for Cache Conscious Photon Mapping whatever that is and yell ARGH RULES.
  • There is an argH Gene Page for Acronym Resolving General Heuristics . Couldn't understand a darn word on the entire page. Must need to be Gregor Mendel to comprehend. They even had a book for $84.48 on Amazon. Would highly recommend as a stocking stuffer.
  • Argh for the most part on other pages are used for the same reason I used it. To express shock, anger, surprise or general exclamation. Sometimes sounds like a scream, yell or shout.

Have now just realized, if I wouldn't spend so much time blogging I would probably have everything done. Argh!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Elf this

We had a good laugh last night at the Schmidt house. If you ever wondered what it would be like to wear red and white striped tights and have a starring role in the movie Elf check this out...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Hanukkah

My husband and AE were riding in the car the other day when father and daughter had the following exchange:

AE: Dad, when did we become Jewish?

DLS: What are you talking about?

AE: You know dad, we're Jewish. When did that happen?

DLS: We're not Jewish, where did you get that idea?

AE: You told me we were Jewish the other day. I told people
at school we were Jewish when we were talking about Hanukkah.

DLS: I told you we were German, not Jewish.

AE: Oh. Well they sound alike.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hannah who?

AE is obsessed with Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel. For those who don't know what Hannah Montana is, it's a show starring singer/actress Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus is Billy RayCyrus' daughter. Remember Achy Breaky Heart? Yeah, that Billy Ray Cyrus.

The show tells the story of Hannah Montana, teen superstar by night and normal Miley Stewart by day. No one, but her family and best friend, know she is living this double life. Billy Ray Cyrus plays her father, sans mullet, on the show and there are other country music stars who show up now and then. I can honestly say I never thought I would ever see Dolly Parton on the Disney channel.

Am I the only one who could have never predicted Billy Ray Cyrus would be given another 15 minutes of pseudo-fame? So who wants to take bets as to when Vanilla Ice or Sinead O’Connor will make their comebacks on Nickelodeon?

It is actually a cute clean show for pre-teens - most Disney shows are good - That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody are AE's other favorites.

Also if anyone wants to discuss High School Musical or how "so cute" Troy is please drop me a line.

Move along, move along like I know you do

The Pink Panthers took 4th in the end of season tournament. The girls have been on a bit of emotional roller coaster the past few days and we are glad to finally get off and take a break. AE learned how to be a gracious loser, which is a very, very hard lesson.

We went to the new Dave & Busters to celebrate the end of the basketball and Christmas program season. By the end of dinner a smile had returned to our daughter's face. I love how kids can just move along.

On a side note, Dave & Busters received a glowing review from little man, "This place is way cool. It's my favorite, way better than Chuck E. Cheese's even if they don't have Wack a Mole."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stupid and contagious

I have been reading quite a bit lately, what's new?

I am in the middle of a very funny book. The title - Stupid and Contagious - is a nod to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. The author, Caprice Crane, is the daughter of Ginger (Tina Louise) from "Gilligan's Island". Who would of thunk that? Crane is about the same age so many of the references to life really hit home. It is basically the book that I would want to write, if I could write a book. Very Hornby-ish. It is as if my thoughts about life in general have suddenly appeared in print. Gotta love that.

I just finished Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis. Kiedis is the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was disturbing and sad, however explained a lot of the odd Chili Pepper's lyrics. Kiedis had a tragic childhood, with a completely inappropriate drug dealer father in California during the 70s. The perfect storm needed to create an immature rock star. He in turn became an addict and delinquent by the age of 13 thanks to the stellar role model in his life. I am amazed a person can do so much to repeatedly destroy himself and somehow manages to survive. Someone must really want him to be here. I would only recommend to fans of RHCP.

Next on the docket is The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. The freshman senator from Illinois has been receiving quite a bit of buzz as of late and I want to see what he is all about. I saw him on Oprah a few months ago when the book came out and he intrigued me. He appeared to be a down to earth idealist which is a feat in itself. I can say with 100% certainty the right-wing home office will not be reading this book.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A brief respite

With the Holidays just around the corner, I am ready for a break. Not just a break from the Holidays, but from everything. I am looking forward to no activities for a few weeks. We really wanted to keep the kids busy, but at some point the insanity must stop.

I was talking to my friend, Shelly today about the chaos. She said that she was worried most about all of the homework when her daughter starts school. Homework. What can I say? It goes in ups and downs and right now we are at the apex.

AE has two tests tomorrow, one is for social studies. AE and I briefly went through the study guide this morning and there were some things that I hadn't heard of. Shelly asked for an example.

"Like ford," I told her.

"Oh, fjord. You know what a fjord is," Shelly replied.

"Not fjord like Norway fjord. A FORD, like not a Chevy or a Dodge,"I stated.

"What the heck is a ford?" Shelly asked.

"That's what I was wondering. It says here it is a shallow place in the water where you can cross."

Shelly added, "Really? Ford. Never heard of it. Huh. We even graduated from college and they gave us a diploma and everything."

I wonder, does everyone else know what a ford is except Shelly and me? If so, please keep it to yourself so we don't feel too bad about our vocabulary and geography skills.

Like I said, I am ready for a break.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

We are all out of catfart

We need to have a moment of silence, my little boy is growing up. First he stopped calling his sister, WaaWaa. Now we are calling ketchup - ketchup rather than catfart.

I guess I am sad. I mean it was embarrassing to have him scream it in restaurants, but his little Joe-isms are heading right out the door. Before we know it I will be Mrs. Schmidt instead of Mommy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A little gift on a cloudy day

I was rummaging around today and found a Sudoku book from this summer. In the back there was a note. I realized I forgot that I had written down a poem that AE wrote on our garage floor this summer in chalk. It is really sweet.

I like lots of things,
I like friends and ice cream
and the pool and the color blue.
Do you?
I like the sun and the snow,
but I love
my mom
and my dad
and my brother Joe.

You say tomato, I say tomahto

I have recently re-discovered that my husband and I rarely agree on anything. It could be politics, TV shows, how I park my car in the garage, how many duvets do we really need or which way the toilet paper should go on the holder. One item that has been a long time disagreement, but only an annual event, is Christmas lights.

Our neighborhood looks absolutely beautiful this time of year with all of the holiday lights. There are all white, all red, Santas, angels on high and retro muti-color everywhere due to the unseasonably warm weather this past month in Minnesota. There have also been a number of folks who have had professionals come out to adorn their homes and they look amazing.

However, the Schmidt house is dark.

My husband is the biggest Christmas light bah humbugger of all. I don't know if he had a traumatic experience in his childhood - will have to ask his mother - but he will not budge when it comes to lights. I have been tempted to put out a few of those net lights on the bushes because they seem easy, however have decided against due to light retaliation from the home office.

This year he has mentioned he thinks it would be funny to put up ONE string of half-lit lights or ONE light bulb on the crabapple tree in front. The image that keeps popping in my head when he mentions this is of the poor little dog from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with that paltry antler stuck to his head. That would be our house, the puny mutt with the lone horn.

He really does have a sick sense of humor. When I do think about it I do laugh and then remember why we work as a couple. I too have the same sick sense of humor.

This is not over. I still want Christmas lights and will be saving all of the change he leaves in his pockets throughout the year to sponsor Christmas lights on the Schmidt house next year. It will really get him when he realizes he subsidized the whole stinking display - every last laundered nickel and dime of it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Three Amigas

Well the basketball season has almost come to an end. We have the playoffs this week and the Pink Panthers are the #1 seed. They have really improved this year and most of all had fun.

AE has fun because two of her best friends are on the team. KB & AP. They have been playing together since 1st grade and are doing pretty much everything together now. If one signs up for something all three will. They are quite an entertaining trio.

I told them the other day I was going to do another blog about basketball and asked them what I should write about. I suggested calling them the Three Stooges, but they thought the Three Amigas sounded better. They discussed and decided that I shouldn't write anything about basketball, but instead post all of the lyrics for "Fergalicious". Yeah, that's not going to happen.

APB

The crime: Frequent littering.


The suspect: Sneaky, but cute Golden mix who answers to Mia. (Formerly known as the stray Goldilocks.) AKA Mimi. Please contact 1-888-BAD-MIMI if spotted

Friday, December 08, 2006

What life is all about

We Schmidts have had a very busy day filled with friendship, adventures and many laughs. Started the day gingerbreading and ended with blogging. What more can a girl ask for? Thank you to all the wonderful friends in our lives. You make the journey fun and at the end of the day that's what it's all about. Good night.

The better part of one's life consists of his friendships. - Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

All better now

Have decided to stay on the stay-at-home route. Feeling much more calm now. Didn't sleep all that well last night worrying about how to launch a program and clean a refrigerator all in one day...

What have I become? Wait - don't answer that (especially you Nik).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In a bit of a quandary

I am in a bit of a quandary tonight. This morning I was just doing my thing, minding my own business, going to tennis with little man when out of the blue came a call from a business associate from many ages ago. He is looking for someone to do a little project management on a temporary basis and is in need of someone yesterday for two or three projects.

Based upon our conversation he is looking for the person to set their own hours, so I could work 2 hours every day, 3 hours every other day etc. You get the gist. I just have a sinking feeling that 6 hours could turn into 20 and 20 into 30. I like how our days go now, I love being here for the kids and all of their activities.

I am scared because this isn't something that I was looking for right now. What if I am rusty and I have lost my pain in the butt charm when it comes to details and timelines? The only big thing I've managed lately was that Turkey thing at the school and the target audience was primarily ten and under.

The other worry is the whole compensation thing. I am completely lost, what do you ask for? What is fair? I must admit I am interested in supplementing my tennis habit for the rest of the season...sigh. Plus we could pay off the Spring Break trip to Mexico before we hit the beach.

I have a call with the associate in the a.m. to go over their pitch. Kick the tires a bit. So, I need to get some sleep before my mush brain must be used for something other than answering, "Where are my shoes?" and "Why did God make mushrooms? They are icky."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Amy!

It's my sister's birthday today, she is 34. I know that she won't mind if I tell everyone how old she is because she is still younger than me. My mom called to remind me to call her, isn't it funny how your parents still look out for you?

Better call and remind Auntie Shirley so she won't call Amy on December 15th. My birthday is October 15th and Shirley usually calls me on October 4th.

Happy Birthday to you cha-cha-cha!

Snowmen can stay on display all winter, right?

After all of my complaining and bah humbuging about the Holidays I thought I would put in few photos of the finished product. To all the girlfriends from college - you will more than likely be able to see in person at the next girls weekend in the spring if we are in Mpls, because it will probably still be up.

Today it snowed, just a little bit, so I am feeling more festive. So I am going to put on a little Holiday music and embarrass my children in front of the neighbor's kids. As Harry Connick Jr. sings, "Happy Ho-Ho-Ho to you!"

The family room, if you look real close little man insisted that his stuffed turtle Speedy be in the photo. Actually had a fleeting thought that I should purchase more Snow Village houses to create a real village. The urge has passed after I realized this would require more planning and decorating for next year, luckily I lost out on my bids on E-bay.

Snowmen. I never realized how many snowmen things I have accumulated. I was going to take the little tree down and decorate it with only snowmen ornaments, but decided that everything looked peaceful and I shouldn't disturb. Will have to add that to the list for next year after I get my head checked as to why I have the need to decorate tree with only snowman ornaments.

Don't know how I am going to get the large snowmen window down from twenty feet up. If anyone has suggestions let me know. I know that DLS has a few ideas... however this would potentially eliminate snowmen window from Holiday decorating FOREVER.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I have realized that I own too much Christmas crap. I always knew that I had quite a bit, but I don't know when it became a lot. Every year I go through the routine and put everything into the festive green & red tubs, label them nice and neat by room (e.g. Living Room, Family Room) and put them away until next year. I think that I am going to need to buy more tubs this year.

I have been decorating for two days, that's right TWO DAYS** and I don't even have the stinkin' tree up yet. That's tomorrow night's activity for the Schmidts.

My goal was to have everything done by the 1st of December and by God we are going to get it done. I have actually started a list of helpful hints for next year's decorating (I am not going to let it take up two days of my life next year if it kills me). Here's the list so far:

  1. Unpack one tub at a time. DO NOT unpack everything at once. That is how we ended up with two wise men instead of three.
  2. If the garland is tangled into one large ball, DO NOT try to untangle after two glasses of wine. Step away and try it again in the morning.
  3. DO NOT purchase any more holiday towels, we have enough to last until we retire in 2025. Don't use tissue paper to wrap items in tubs, use one of the many towels.
  4. If a 4 year old tells you the garland is even, get a second opinion. The fact he said, "Even what?" should have been a clue.
  5. Try not to laugh out loud when children believe the 12" decorative tree is our "real tree". I believe the phrase, "Man this stinks" was uttered by little man.
  6. DO NOT ask the home office's opinion of how things look unless you want an honest answer.

**Disclaimer - With regard to the two day thing I have a couple of things to share just to make sure that you don't think I completely challenged. #1 - I have been sick, finally went to Urgent Care today, feeling better after antibiotic. #2 - The little elf helping me is 4 - enough said. He is a pretty cute little elf though, however takes frequent breaks to dress the dog up in holiday garb and make phone calls to people we don't know.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

We survived without incident

Well the Schmidts survived Thanksgiving. We spent the day with my family at my aunt's house in Eden Prairie. We've never had Thanksgiving at my aunt's house. She moved to San Francisco 26 years ago and before that we were always out of state, so it was a first. She was a gracious hostess.

The kids all managed to stay on good terms with one another. No major scuffles, which was also a first. The only "blow out" of the day was an air mattress. Evidently the four stooges thought that skiing down an air mattress incline from a metal dog kennel was a good idea. We still do not know who's brainchild that was.

The crab of the day award goes to my aunt's dog Rudy. He is still adjusting to the kids and having all these people/dogs invade his home. He only bit one person, my sister. Oh and he gave my nephew a nip on the behind. He then spent the rest of the day in the gulag.

My grandmother also joined us. She is 93 and is in an assisted living apartment here in the Cities. I am so thankful we were able to share the day with her. I now have the memory of Gigi drinking mimosas at 10 a.m. and wanting another.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A year ago this week.

A year ago this week I was summoned for jury duty. Upon arrival on the first day, prospective jurors were told there were 60+ cases in the queue for the week. Two of the 60 were murder.

I planned to have a few days to catch up on reading while waiting for a case. Of course, things didn't work out as I had planned. My name was called with 50 others within the first hour for one of the two murder cases.

The whole jury selection process is fascinating. It began in the courtroom with the potential jurors receiving an explanation of the charges and process, while the defendant sat before us. First degree murder, second degree sale of illegal substance. It was surreal to be sitting a few feet away from a man accused of taking another's life. We were asked to complete pages of questions; do you believe this, do you believe in that. The questions made you think and state your beliefs about things which had never crossed my mind.

I returned the next day hopeful I would go back to the prospective juror pool and sit on a case about someone's property line dispute, however I left as Juror #9 in the case of the State of MN versus the defendant for the murder of a man from New Mexico during a drug deal gone very bad.

When the trial began I realized during opening statements I had actually watched this case on TV the day it happened and here I was now sitting on the jury. The trial did go quickly and I learned a great deal about our legal process and ultimately realized that the system does work.

I was shocked by the case which was presented by the State of MN and how many holes there were from witnesses to evidence. The jury, according to the prosecution, was supposed to find the defendant guilty because they told us he did it. All in all, it appeared that the man being tried for the murder was the easiest target to charge.

The police and prosecutors made up their mind that they had their man and stopped pursuing other suspects which became evident during defense cross-examination. Based upon the information presented at trial, the defendant appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wasn't a good man, he was a drug dealer, however I believed he did not kill anyone.

In the end, the defendant was acquitted of all charges and he walked out of the courtroom a free man after eight months behind bars awaiting his trial. About six months ago, a man at the scene of the shooting actually pleaded guilty of second degree murder and is now serving three years.

It has been a year, but I can honestly say that I think about this experience every day. I wonder what became of the suspect, has he changed his life around? Did he understand that he was given a second chance? It is a daunting task to know that you and your peers have the power to send a young man away for the rest of his life. It truly affected me. It bothers me that I really do not know beyond a reasonable doubt what really happened that hot summer day in north Minneapolis, how many lives were affected and will never be the same.

Each night when I watch the news and hear that there has been a shooting or an arrest, I pray that the name I hear is not that of the man we believed was not guilty.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Guardian (wasn't that a movie?)

I took a personality test and I am a Guardian (ESTJ). It is a little more warm and fuzzy than what I used to always be The Executive (ENTJ). This stay-at-home gig must be making me soft.

The Guardian - You're a natural leader and quick, logical decision maker. Goals are important in your life, and you take many steps to acheive them. You enjoy interacting with others, mostly through work related activities. Your high energy level means you are great at getting things done! You would make a great teacher, judge, or police detective.

So, I ask you, if I have all this energy and are great at getting stuff done, why does my house look like a bomb hit it???

Thanks to Bobbi for sharing this. Here is the link for others: What's your personality type?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Turkey for me, turkey for you

Turkey. Whenever I hear the word turkey I am reminded of a little tune Adam Sandler performed on SNL years ago. My friend Sue and I used to sing it at work and it made us happy.

Up until yesterday turkey was a happy place. I now have a new connotation for turkey... TURKEY BINGO.

Turkey Bingo is an annual event at AE's school. In the past our family packed into the gym with hundreds of other people and played bingo for three hours while a teacher sat on the stage wearing a styrofoam corncob on her head calling numbers. B-9, we have B-9.

This year I stepped from a spectator to an official in the game we call Turkey Bingo.

I've wanted to get more involved at school and last night I put in a lifetime of involvement in three hours. Somehow I ended up coordinating food for 600 and organizing all voluteers (40+).

I only wanted to be physically ill once (ok, maybe twice) throughout the evening. The worst was when I called the pizza place to check on our late order of 70 pizzas and was told by some kid, "Oh no, we forgot to make your order." We also went through 9,000 bingo sheets in the first 45 minutes completely depleting our supply. Other than that all went well.

I did have a good time and have had time to reflect today. I met some really nice people and was helped out by my wonderful neighbors.

As my neighbor and good friend Lori says, "It takes a village" to do many things like raise children, decorate a house and now put on Turkey Bingo. Lori usually adds the caveat, "Let's just hope we're not a village of idiots."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hi, my name is Susan and I have a problem...

We are now in the second month of the new TV season and I am finally admitting that I have a problem. I am addicted to my DVR.

I realized that I am watching/recording ten, yes ten shows on a weekly basis, plus Oprah daily. It would be eleven, however my DVR got too full and wiped out all of the Grey's Anatomy for this year, so I am out of the loop. I will just borrow Shelly's copy of Season 3 when it comes out because I know that she will buy it because she is hooked on McDreamy or it is McSteamy? (I can't keep them straight)

In the past I never got this involved because I would completely forget to watch the show get over it in a matter of minutes, however this is different. So many of the shows that I am watching are ones that if you miss a week you are completely lost, e.g. Heroes, Jericho.

My favorite comedy continues to be The Office. There is not a better show on TV. I thought that after Arrested Development was canceled I wouldn't laugh so hard that I cried, but Steve Carrell and Rainn Wilson proved me wrong. For those that haven't seen it and work in any type of prairie dog town office setting you must watch.

I am becoming disenchanted with Lost (my favorite drama for the past couple years after they killed Alias), it is moving so slow. They are still on the island with no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, they still don't know who the Others really are and the polar bears and black cloud thing just showed up again. Go figure.

Now Lost is on hiatus until next February or something. Last year I would have been lost (no pun intended), this year I have nine other friends & Oprah to keep me company.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The customer is always right

Today was a lazy day. Little man didn't feel well, he told me it was because I fed him bad waffles this morning for breakfast.

It was gorgeous outside and we were inside laying on the couch. JG took a little nap and I caught up on the show "Heroes". I really like it. I always get hooked into those long drawn out shows and then I suck my friend Shelly in with me.

While watching one of the episodes, JG asked for a glass of water. I said, "Wouldn't you like some orange juice?" (thinking Vitamin C)

He turns to me, "Mom, I would like water with three ice cubes please. You know the customer is always right."

When did I become the wait staff and the little people in my home the customers?

Monday, November 06, 2006

So many books, so little time

I like to read, a lot. I think that on average I go through at least a book if not two or three a week when I am really in the zone.

I have always loved reading, in fact my dream as a child was to be locked in the Rapid City Public Library overnight. They used to have this really cool Alice in Wonderland theme and I was always in awe. How sick is that?

AE has recently embraced reading, which I could not be happier about. She has had a book in her hand every spare minute the past month.

Last night we were reading her latest book, "The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls" by Elsie Primavera. It is really cute, a little Lemony Snicket, a little Frank L. Baum. Imagine that the Gumm is from Francis Gumm (aka Judy Garland).

While we took a little break I told AE how happy I was that she loved to read.

"I don't like reading. At all," she said.

I was surprised, "What? Why have you had your nose in a book every day?"

"I only like it because dad is paying me if I finish seven books this month."

I should have known. Our daughter is shrewd. I know she likes to strike a deal before she willingly does anything. She is going to be quite the force to be reckoned with. I feel bad for corporate America (if that is the path she chooses) and her future husband.

Her true nature came to light this summer at my sister's house. My sister wanted to borrow AE's favorite CD, which she wasn't too happy about.

"You can borrow it if you pay me $10." AE said.

"What?" my sister replied. "I am not going to pay you $10 to borrow a CD."

"Fine." AE countered. "$12 then."

My sister borrowed the CD free of charge and AE learned that you cannot dicker with family when it comes to music purchased by your parents.

Gotta go, I have a tennis match in the a.m. and need to get some sleep. Plus, I want to get started on my new book, "Vince and Joy" by Lisa Jewell.

POKER UPDATE
On a side note, the Schmidts did very well at the Poker tourney the other night. The home office finished third and I took ninth. We had some good laughs and saw quite a few of our friends.

The worst part was we didn't get home until 3:00 a.m. We are getting too old for that more than once a year. Thank goodness my mom and aunt were kind enough to have a sleepover at my aunt's with the kids and dog so we were able to recover. Thanks guys!


Friday, November 03, 2006

Does a straight beat a flush?*

The home office signed us up for the annual Muellencamp Family Poker tournament. The tournament is about 50 of our friends and acquaintances crammed together in a basement for three plus hours trying to bluff one another out of $40 each.

This is my second tournament, however I feel that it is the first time I am truly playing. Last year, I thought that it would be fun to see what all the hubbub was about so I went and didn't really have a clue as to what was going on. I made it to the second table completely based on luck, nothing else. DLS on the other hand is actually quite good at this poker thing. It must be that mathematical mind of his.

This year I have been "practicing" so to speak. I really just needed to figure out the whole betting part of the game. I went online and have been playing with a bunch of folks that I can even tell don't have a clue. So I ask you, is it good practice to be the winner of the losers? It does build one's confidence a bit to have won $650 in fake internet money from a guy who goes by the name of Captain America.

We will have to see how the Schmidts fare tomorrow night. Hopefully we will be $500 richer when we head back to Maple Grove. One thing that I can pretty much guarantee is that I will not be joining the World Series of Poker tour Monday.

*For those of you who think that I am really in trouble, I do know that a flush beats a straight.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hoop Dreams

AE has been playing basketball for three years. She began with the local basketball association in first grade, which seems like a lifetime ago.

Let me just tell you, first grade girls basketball is painful. There isn't any other way to describe it. We were lucky to score three baskets between both teams in entire game. They also don't call any fouls or other infractions unless completely blatant, e.g. small child runs the entire length of the court with the ball without dribbling once.

Second grade was a little better. Things really start to come together by the end of the season and more importantly the girls begin to have fun. Which is the reason we are all there, right?

So now that we are in third grade, AE and her friends are really starting to "get it". She's had a good year so far. It does not hurt that AE is a good six inches taller than the other girls.

Her team the Pink Panthers (much better name than last year's moniker thePurple Dolphins) have even scored 38 points in one game, AE managed to get 14 points. As AE's point contribution increases so does her self-esteem. Which leads me to the reason for this little rant.

The other night after their most recent game, my husband and AE had a talk.

"You guys did a good job today, " DLS said, while tucking AE into bed

"Yeah. It was fun," AE responded.

"You're getting to be a pretty good basketball player."

AE looked up at DLS, "Yeah, I know. But, you know dad there are people who are better than me."

"Really, who?"

"KG (Kevin Garnett)," AE said completely serious. "Night, dad."

Note to self. Need to work with AE on a few things:
1. Self-perception
2. Humility

Friday, October 27, 2006

Doris is my hero

As many of you know, I have become obsessed with tennis this past year after a sixteen year hiatus. Playing a minimum of four times a week may indicate obsession.

I'm not the most consistent player, but am getting there. My goal is to be 4.0+ by the time I hit the big 4-0. I honestly believe that I didn't really know how to play tennis before. I mean I played in high school, but how much can you really learn from the Industrial Arts teacher with a bad comb over who picked up a book at the library a week before the season started?

My dad and I were talking the other day and he said, "Kiddo, did you ever think that you are getting too old to play? You are 36 now."

I was shocked. I'm not old. There are mornings I do feel older when I get out of bed and creak after playing singles for two hours the day before, but that's about it. I went on to tell him that we had a party for a woman who plays in our Wednesday mixer a few weeks ago. Doris turned 80 and is going tennis strong. She is an amazing player.

I want to be Doris in 2050, playing in Palm Springs, looking fabulous and shoving the ball down the 65 year old youngster's throats.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm a good shopper...

JG has been attending Joyful Noise Christian Preschool for the past two years. It is a great school and we love it. Each day I ask little man what he learned, usually he talks about his friends and what they had for snack. Sometimes we talk about letters, very rarely do we get to the religious learning of the day.

The other day was no different, I picked him up and asked him what he learned, he said, "Nothing, but we had milk and Goldfish."

So, we went to Target to pick up a few things. While standing in line at the pharmacy JG turned to me and said, "I a good shopper, mom. I know my sheep." I turned and asked him to clarify what he said. He said, "That is what I learned today. I a good shopper, I know my sheep." Trying not to laugh I asked, "Isn't it, I am a good shepherd, I know my sheep?" He looked at me and said, "Oh yeah, that right, shepherd." The woman next to us had to turn around and laugh, not to offend, my son, the good shepherd.

He almost got it right. There is hope for him to become a good shopper as well. If he accomplishes that he will make someone a good husband some day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I thought we were going to the apple orchard

This morning I woke up ready for a beautiful, fall day in Minnesota. I was also ready to take a trip with JG's pre-school class to the apple orchard. I had been looking forward to this because I had big plans for making apple crisp tonight from the apples that I picked up on our visit. I could already taste and smell the finished product.

We all loaded onto the bus at 9:00 a.m., there were 47 4 and 5 year olds all packed in and ready to roll. The bus left the school parking lot and took a left rather than the expected right.

I turned to the mother seated by me and asked, "What apple orchard are we going to in this direction?"

She looked at me puzzled and said, "We're not going to an apple orchard."

"Where are we going then?" I asked.

"The farm." she replied to which JG yelled, "But, mom you said we were going to the apple orchard, I don't want to go to the farm."

Guess I need to pay more attention to the little flyers that come home. My apple crisp dreams were dashed.

Needless to say, we had fun at the farm. JG got to pet a cow, pig and sheep. I thanked God that I do not have to get water out of a pump or shuck corn.

Here is little man and the pigs.




Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Blogging is supposed to be cathartic, right?

Well here it goes.

I have wanted to do this blogging thing for quite some time now. Some of my good friends started blogs recently and it looks like big fun. Plus it is a great way to document the day to day goings on at the Schmidt's house, because I really cannot remember what happened the day before. This way I can prove that my kids were young once and yes, the home office did seriously do that.

I went out to dinner with my friends tonight and had a great time. I was late (as usual), due to the last minute changes with the home office...this one tops them all.

I thought that I was fairly organized, however was proven wrong. I planned on having my beloved (DLS) and the kids (AE & JG) fix dinner together. They were going to make pigs-in-the-blankets (JG's choice), however as I was walking out the door I was informed that my husband would not be able to make dinner because he "could not stand that long" to make pigs-in-the-blanket, due to a weekend softball injury. I knew that the kids would not be able to make dinner because AE & JG cannot do a project together without either of them, the dog or the carpet being injured.

So, I made dinner while DLS watched Sports Center and read the paper. I feel bad that my kids had to eat some shoddy made pigs-in-the-blankets, while I had a great dinner. However, if there is ever a contest for how many pigs can be blanketed in Pillsbury crescent rolls in 60 seconds or less, I've got it made. I would make the kids proud. Any hey, maybe DLS might be able to stand long enough to applaud while I get my award...