Friday, December 14, 2007

Timothy Tyler (a tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

Once Upon a Time, there was a little boy named Tyler. Tyler loved to trick people. He especially loved to play jokes on his Sunday School teachers. He liked to trick them with math questions, stump them on hang man, and play other minor practical jokes. His teachers liked to stop me in the hall to share a giggle over his pranks. Sometimes, I didn’t even run the other way in fear.

Tyler hated it that after a few weeks, his teachers would figure him out, or someone would think to warn them, or I might even give them the heads up and his pranks would no longer work. So, while other kids would mourn teachers leaving, he would rejoice. Someone new to torture.

Once Upon a Time, about 3 months ago, Tyler got a new teacher. She is lovely. And, Tyler was happy with her. Not only was she genuinely soft spoken and kind, she was apparently good for some long term teasing. Is there anyone who can’t see where this story is going? Shall we add a little dialogue?

L: “I’ve been meaning to ask you, which name do you prefer for your son?” (and I’m trying to remember which of the 3 she means and why)
Me: You mean Tyler?
L: Oh, so he normally goes by Tyler? (She has certainly noticed the puzzled look on my face by now. Hasn’t she?)
Me: Well, yeah. He goes by Tyler.
L: So is his name Tyler Timothy, or Timothy Tyler?
Me: Umm, neither. His name is Tyler Scott (more puzzled look, now bordering on concerned)
L: So he’s been telling me to call him Timothy for no reason?

I felt bad for laughing, but at that point a giggle escaped me and it all clicked in place. He has been messing with her brain for three months!

Once Upon a Time, there was a boy named Tyler who got busted. I hope she’s not too nice to pull a fast one on him in return!

And do you know what Timothy pulled tonight? He convinced me to take him to a local pizza place for a going away party for his friend that is moving. Except after playing a few video games, it was pretty obvious the “friend” wasn’t really coming. Tyler was sincerely sorry later. And we did have fun.

Only for Lizzie

Welcome to the 2007 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Egg Nog? Bleck, gag, cough, hurl. GROSS!! Hot Chocolate? maybe if I'm REALLY cold.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Perched next to stockings- which still are not hung
3. Colored or white lights on tree/house?
Definitely Both, I love variety
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Are you kidding me? I already have enough trouble!
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Wait, we're supposed to get that stuff out BEFORE Christmas? Darn it!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)
Umm, if we eat pie for breakfast, does that count as dessert?
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
My Grandpa and Grandma Snyder (who were quite poor) showing up with trinkets for each of us and then playing Monopoly all day. The gifts were so out of character for them, it was a very memorable treat.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What, you mean that he has no sense of direction? Well, I learned all about Rudolph in Kindergarten, so I guess I was 5. . .
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Only if there's a boring one and lots of other gifts under the tree. Don't get your hopes up this year, kids!
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
This year? Pre-lit fake tree with lots of candy canes. Extraordinarily tacky, but very very easy. . .
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Please reference my reaction to Egg Nog. Then multiply exponentially.
12. Can you ice skate?
When I forget I'm old and arthritic, yes. Really? Probably not so much anymore
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
A sapphire ring. I LOVED it, but it was the wrong size and I returned it but never got another one. Mom, why didn't that get replaced, exactly?
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Watching kids' eyes light up when they get just exactly what they wanted
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
I don't believe I've expressed my love for pie. . .
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I'm not very good at repetitive behaviors
17. What tops your tree?
right now, a big dusty bag because the tree isn't even up yet
18. Which do you prefer: Giving or Receiving?
Giving, for sure. Especially gag gifts.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
O Holy Night by Michael Ballam. Michael Crawford also does an awesome version
20. Candy Canes?
Peppermint only, and only one or two.
21. How many Nativities do you own?
A few- not nearly as many as I would own if I had anywhere to display them.

See Elizabeth? I really do love you. That was proof.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And so it Begins

OK, it's been happening for a few months, but officially, boys think Rebi is cute. I'm not fond.

Yesterday, as I was driving some child somewhere, I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed that someone had written in the dirt on my rear window. That is a normal occurrence, so I wasn't worried. At the stop light, I peered more closely and realized it said, "I (heart) Re. . ." and then appeared to be hastily swiped out at the end. My heart skipped a beat. Certainly, none of her siblings took credit. We narrowed it down to a couple of boys who walk past our house after school. One has a "confirmed" crush on her and the other probably wrote it to tease his friend.

But that is not all. If only that were all.

Rebi was officially asked on her first date for a formal dance her high school is planning. Thank goodness she was able to politely decline, complete with giggles. I, on the other hand, was only able to scream in horror.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An excerpt about work

Because I work from home, 99.9% of my friends have no idea that I have a job. They think I am just:
A) diametrically opposed to housework or
B) not strict enough with my kids or
C) a total slob
And really, it's a little of all of those combined with not enough hours in the day.

For work, I sell online advertising to companies like Intel, Adobe, MTV, Rockstar Games, Electronic Arts, LucasArts, etc. I mostly like it, although it would be nice if that was the only thing my job required. However, this post is not about how over worked and underpaid I am. I will save that for another day.

When running ads for large companies, such as Intel and Adobe, I often deal with "middle men", known as media buyers. After nearly 5 years of dealing with them, it is pretty clear that there is one quality required to become a media buyer, and that is stupidity. Honestly. In 4+ years, there has been one buyer who always knows what she needs, when she needs it, and how to get that from us. ONE. Let's just say I am totally confident that if our homeschooling efforts are a disaster, my children are employable in the Media Buyers marketplace.

So, currently I am engaged in negotiations for a $20,000 contract. We would love to get that, but in reality, we will probably see $2-3,ooo from them and the time I have put into this will make me want to gnash my teeth. I just wanted to share some highlights of this particular experience.

Email from Monday: Hi Melissa- Our client wants to spend $20,000 in one month in February. We need all quotes tomorrow.

Email from Tuesday: I can't accept this quote. It has to be on our special form (which was not attached, even to this email)

Email from Tuesday evening: Can you please get this form back to me? (still not attached even though I asked for it twice)

Email from Wednesday: I don't understand the numbers you have on this form. Can I call you?

This is funny because I entered numbers in the way SHE asked for them on the form. I didn't make up my own form. I finally got their little piece of paper and filled it out exactly how they wanted it. I even asked Rebi to look at it and tell me if it was confusing, and no. She was able to figure it out with no prior knowledge of the campaign.

So, now I am mired on a phone call which will not end and she is repeating the same things back to me. She can probably hear me typing in the back ground even. "mmm hmmm. yep. That is correct. mm hmm. yes, that's what it says in column 3. Yes, right there under cost to your client. yes. exactly how the form is set up. by you. yep."

It's looking more and more like one of those days. Do you think she will notice if I start cleaning my kitchen?!

P.S. She has just asked me to redo the entire quote to represent a U.S. only campaign. Let the gnashing of teeth begin.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer

Being the Christmas season, I thought I’d share a little story. It happened a few years ago, to a person who shall remain nameless to protect her privacy. From here on, I’ll just refer to her as Grandma.

It was a warm summer day and Grandma was minding her own business, on a visit to a friend. She might have been taking cookies to the wolf. . .wait, that’s a different story.

This friend lived on a farm and raised goats and other livestock. No one told this friend that domesticating a deer was a bad idea. In addition, no one told Grandma that a deer masquerading as a dog would become viscous and violent with no provocation. You see, Grandma had met this pet and this pet had been nice to her. Who would have guessed Bambi could go bad?

Grandma got out of her car, quite possibly even whistling. Now, you should know that Grandma is spry. She exercises, she skies, and she still has the tough farm girl muscles she developed in her youth. However, she was a bit surprised when she saw the deer rushing towards her. Some of us might run. Some of us might scream. Not Grandma. She stood her ground and put her best negotiating tactics into play. She talked to the deer soothingly, she made no sudden movements, she breathed evenly. Maybe it understood her and maybe it didn’t, but that killer deer didn’t break its stride. Suddenly, it skidded to a stop directly in front of her, raised up on its hind legs, and clip-clopped Grandma right on the head- a couple of sharp raps.

Grandma, having raised 4 teenagers, was no stranger to aggressive animals. Dizzy but undaunted, she popped her arm forward and punched that deer right up side the head. Don’t think she didn’t. Of course, that just made the deer angrier. It reared again and clip-clopped her on the side of the face and arm. What did Grandma do? In true pioneer fashion, she gave it a clear, “On no you di-in’t” and snaked out another solid punch to the side of its head. The deer snorted, backed off a little and wheeled around for another go. Grandma took a breath, squared up, and ran like hell for the car. She made it, but with just hairs to spare.

The moral of the story? Never mess with wild animals, and never ever underestimate your Grandma.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Nate's first full story

More than 3 sentences! YAY!

The zoo

By Nate

Hi. mi name is Dave .it is mi ferst time at the zoo. I git to see the liins and tigrs and bares .oh mi ! ther are lots of play sets by the sitze. I like the one by the monkes . it’s abowt tarzan . I see a flimingo on one leg. It‘s toll penk and fethry . I thenk the zoo is osam .

I know it's silly of me to be so excited, but writing is a HUGE challenge for him. Even with all of the spelling mistakes, we have a beginning, middle, and end. And hukd on fonikz werkd for him. . .