Summer Reading

Little Boy made a Summer Reading Journal at school so he can write down the books he wants to read.


He seemed to think it was important to fill in all the blanks inside. 


As you can see, the only place he can gets books is apparently the bookshelves in his room.

So he had to write it down as : “My bookshelf,” “My top shelf,” “My bottom shelf,” and “My middle shelf.”  

Just to cover everything.

School Pictures

I have my kids’ school pictures up on the wall in the entryway. I change them out every year when they get new ones, sometimes twice a year if they get fall and spring pictures done. I save the old pictures in a special album.


I really like doing this.The only problem with this system comes in when the kids get older and start to dislike how their pictures look. Not that there’s anything wrong with their pictures; it’s just that they are teenagers and they are getting picky.

My oldest daughter (ET) complained about her picture every year for about five years, but now that we’ve got her senior picture up this year she can stop.


It’s the last one, and it’s beautiful.

But her sister GG, the next oldest at 15, is still complaining about her high school freshman photo, which has graced our wall for the last several months.

Now she has taken to silent protest.


Yes, that is the face of Russian president Vladimir Putin, taped over her own face.

You’ve got to give her points for creativity.


Late one evening, Boo, my eleven-year-old asked me for some posterboard.

This is something every parent hates.

Posterboard= a school supply that is difficult to store, annoying to carry, easily crushed or ruined, and is never requested until the last minute.

Anyways, I made a special trip to Wal-Mart and bought two sheets.

“Did you get the posterboard?” Boo asked.

Proudly I showed her the two pristine white sheets.

Boo looked at it. “Oh,” she said. “I guess I didn’t mean posterboard.”

“Can you get me some display board?”


The Water Bottle

The twins got off the school bus on Friday full of excitement.


Little Girl said, “Guess what? Some one threw a water bottle out of the bus window and the bus driver yelled, ‘Whose water bottle was that?’ but no one said anything. The bus driver was really mad about it.” She was bursting with pleasure at relaying this bit of gossip.

I have noticed this with all my kids at this age. They LOVE to tell you what the “bad kids” did at school. They’ll say “Tyler went on red because he wouldn’t put away his lunchbox,” or “Sophie had to stay in from recess when she didn’t finish her work.”

It used to really annoy me, and I’d say stuff like, “I don’t care what Tyler or Sophie did. What did YOU do?” But later I realized that it’s pretty normal for young children to be fascinated by bad behavior, whether or not it actually had anything to do with themselves.

To be honest, I don’t think this tendency to relish in the “bad-ness” of others goes away as we age. That’s what we have tabloids for. I mean, I love reading about celebrity scandal as much as the next adult, right? (“Simon got his best friend’s wife pregnant! Ooooh!”)

Anyways, I was unconcerned about the school-bus-water-bottle scandal. I figured the culprit would be easily revealed by the name that someone’s mother had probably written on the missing vessel. Then I noticed that Little Boy’s water bottle was not in its pocket on his backpack.

I said, “Where’s your water bottle?”

Little Boy looked back at the pocket where his water bottle was supposed to be. “Uh oh,” he said.

And what was the name that bus driver was looking for? MY KID.

It’s Graduation Season

We recently reached the last days of May, and that means EVERYONE seems to be graduating from something.

Last week I attended three separate events marking the end of my kids’ school year. None was particularly exciting.

I mean, let’s be honest. Graduation ceremonies are a complete snooze. You sit there listening to the names of what seems like a thousand students, waiting for the five-second window in which they say the name of the ONE child you came to cheer for and take pictures of.

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I spent hours clapping politely for a zillion kids I don’t know, and then ironically NOT clapping for the kid that I DO know, so that I can frantically snap pictures before said kid leaves the stage.

This picture is GG, who just “graduated” from middle school with a class of about 450. (Yeah. 450! And I sat there and listened to ALL those names!)

AND, may I point out, this is the kid whom I just watched graduate from elementary school only two years ago, in an equally boring but slightly less long ceremony.

I found myself wondering: Why am I doing this?

Now I’m not quite the curmudgeon that blogger Matt Walsh is –see his article “Congratulations Graduates, You’ve Done Exactly What You’re Expected and Legally Required to Do!”— but I’ll admit I get a little tired of having to watch kids “graduate” from preschool, kindergarten, fifth grade, sixth grade, eighth grade, et cetera. 

(And that’s only the ceremonies I’ve attended for MY OWN kids.None of whom has even finished high school yet.)

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I’m reminded of the conversation in the movie The Incredibles about this subject. The character Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) didn’t like the idea of attending such an inconsequential ceremony.

(Click HERE to watch the entire scene.)

  • Bob: It’s not a graduation! He’s moving from the fourth grade to the fifth grade!
  • Helen: It’s a ceremony–
  • Bob: It’s psychotic! They keep finding new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional–
  • Helen: This is not about you, Bob!

Aha! And there it is.

It’s not about me.

I do this because it’s important to these children to see me sitting there, clapping (and yawning) and supporting them

That’s all. And that’s enough for me.

Pajama Day

Last week they had pajama day at the elementary school. The twins were beyond excited. 


Boo, however, was less enthused. In fact, she’d actually slept in her clothes the night before and had changed onto her PJ’s for school.

At least she didn’t go through the dramatics of last year, where she worried about being the only kid at school in PJ’s. I figured having her siblings at the same school and dressed in pajamas made her more confident.

Although after she’d gotten out of the car that morning I noticed she had still taken precautions: a set of regular clothes was stashed in her seat.

Boo is always prepared…

How Early is Early?

One morning Boo asked to be awakened early to finish her schoolwork. She left three notes for me around the house about it.

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This caused her father to wake her up at 4 a.m. ( “I didn’t know how early she meant,” he claimed.) She groaned and went back to sleep.

Dude. NOBODY means four in the morning when they say “wake me up early.” Nobody.

Parental Shell-Shock

Last week, after I’d dropped off the kids at school, I came back and took Boo a notebook she’d forgotten in the car.

(This effort did not seem to earn me any points with her, by the way. She barely gave a backwards glance, much less a thank you. But I digress.)

Still, it afforded me an interesting glimpse of all the parents I don’t usually see walking their kids in to school, since I drop mine off from the carpool line.

Here’s what they all looked like:


I’m serious. This was the most shell-shocked looking group I’ve ever seen.

They were dragging kids by the hands with grim determination on their faces, looking like, “It almost killed me to to get you here, kid, but by golly, YOU ARE GOING TO SCHOOL!!”

Folks, I can relate.

How’s the weather in Hawaii?

The short answer: It’s always almost exactly the same. Every day. All year.

In fact, here’s the weather chart from the preschool at church:


As you can see, we have TWO weather choices here: Rainy and Sunny.

I seem to remember from my own preschool/kindergarten days that our weather chart was an entire WHEEL with all four seasons and many choices.

But here in paradise, every day it’s about 75 degrees, sunny with a chance of rain.

It’s awesome for everyone!

… except the weatherman, who is REALLY bored.