Archive - February 2007

1
Hidden Treasure Awards
2
Daisy Scouts – It’s not supposed to be this hard
3
Cold Enough For You?
4
I Stand Corrected
5
Nominations are open
6
Why “The Mac and Cheese Chronicles”
7
Babies!

Hidden Treasure Awards

This is sticky post now and will stay on top until Saturday.  For newer posts, scroll down.

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Well, who’d a thunk it?

Look, I made the finals!  My post about Lessons From Coconut Syrup was nominated in the Children and Families category.  Very cool.  While I’m off to write my long-winded acceptance speech, please go over to Hidden Treasure Blog Awards Voting and vote for me so I can have a chance to use my speech.  You can vote only once and for only one post in each category. 

But truly, it’s an honor to be nominated.

Daisy Scouts – It’s not supposed to be this hard

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Did I mention that I am the co-leader for Pumpkin Girl’s Daisy Girl Scout Troop? Another mom and I took over when the original leader PCS’d. That’s Army talk for “moved away.” It happens a lot around here. Anyway, my co-leader Tricia and I realized that if we didn’t take over the troop, it would completely fold up. We’re both brand new to Girl Scouts in general and Daisies in particular. I was a Brownie for one year, back in the day, but that’s hardly helpful now. We were apprehensive at first but figured, “hey, they’re Kindergartners, how hard could this be?”

Let me tell you.

The original troop leader seemed at first to be very organized. The three of us sat down before she left and she told us everything she knew about being a Daisy Leader. It took about 2 hours. It seemed pretty straight forward. I took home the Big Bag of Daisy Stuff to peruse. Tricia and I attended the last meeting with the outgoing leader, to get a feel for the meeting. Looks good, looks easy, no problem.

Ha.

Problem the first: Our local Girl Scout Council requires that there be at least 2, count them – 1,2 – official GS adults in the room. No other adults allowed. No non- girl scouts allowed. I don’t know who the 2nd adult was during the first two months of meetings, but I let it go. Apparently our council is involved in an Incident and is cracking down hard and heavy on this rule.

Problem the second: I can’t make the meeting scheduled for the first week of November. Remember Problem 1? Yep, Tricia can’t hold the meeting without me. If we can get one of the other Daisy moms to sign up as a GS, she can be the other person in the room. We actually find a volunteer, but we need to move the meeting down one week in order to give her time to get all the paper work finished.

Problem #3: I go off on vacation, leaving our house to flood. Remember that I have the Big Bag of Daisy Stuff? You know where I left it, don’t you. Yep, in the dining room that got flooded. Thankfully most of the items in the bag were salvageable. The only girl’s record that was ruined was Pumpkin’s. No biggie. But now I was living in a hotel, trying to figure out when and if we’re going to move. We ended up canceling our one and only meeting scheduled in November. Which leaves us in a bit of a crunch to finish up all the Daisy requirements for the year.

Problem #4: Our GS year ends in May because of all the moving that goes on in the military. The height of the moving season starts right after Memorial Day. The previous leader had all the Daisy Petals mapped out for the rest of the year, but now I’ve got to try and rework the schedule to make up for the missed meeting. We only meet twice a month, so there was quite a bit of wrangling to do to make it all fit. I spent hours arranging and rearranging potential crafts, petal requirements, and trying to make things line up with fun patches (more on that later). Then there’s “bridging” requirements to fulfill before the Daisies can “bridge” to being Brownies. Oh the horror!

This is the point where I should have just quit.

Problem #5: 09079p
While the previous leader (let’s just refer to her as PL from now on)did schedule when each petal would be achieved, that’s about all she did. She did not leave any suggestions on appropriate craft projects. She did not leave a list of crafts she did last year as the leader. So as the designated craft lady, I had to come up with age appropriate crafts that are somehow related to the petals were are working on. Things like “courageous and strong”, “friendly and helpful.” It really shouldn’t be that hard, right?

Problem #6: PL set the dues at $3 a month. That leaves us about $2 per fun patch (more on this later) and $1 per craft – per month for each girl. Somebody please show me a craft you can do for 50 cents!!! It can’t be done. I know, I looked. And looked. And looked. In the end, we were able to come up with some crafts that could be done for free, linking right into our “use resources wisely” petal, and got the moms to donate unused scrapbooking supplies. But honestly – 50 cents a craft?

Problem #7: World Thinking Day. I still don’t totally understand this concept. I think (giggle) that on World Thinking Day, the Girl Scouts are supposed to think about the other girl scout-esque programs all over the world. I don’t know why we need to spend a whole day on it, but then again, nobody asked my opinion. PL’s only guidance is that Thinking Day is “very important.” Apparently, there is also a theme for Thinking Day. This year the theme is something about developing your potential. The suggestions for Thinking Day activities were wonderfully vague and unhelpful for the Daisy level. We finally just asked the Brownie leader what they were planning and could we please join them. So that’s our plan. I have no idea what’s in store, I just know that at the appointed date and time, I’m turning my Daisies over to the Brownies. I do know that at some point the Awarding of the Trefoil pin will occur. Which leads to…

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What happened to the Trefoil pins? Our beloved PL gave all us moms this wonderful “Welcome to Girl Scouting” letter that she wrote. In it she listed the recommend items we could buy, but really emphasized that these were optional items. Even in her orientation talk to us it was like, “hey buy these things if you want, but don’t sweat it, they are only Daisies for one year.” Several items on the list were marked “turn in to me, I will award at a later date.” I, of course, bought everything on the list, turned over the petals which need to be earned before being worn, the Daisy membership pin which would be awarded at the official investiture ceremony, the membership star earned at the end of the year and this trefoil pin, to be awarded for Thinking Day.

Apparently, I was the only one. Out of the 7 girls in our troop, 2 have already earned their trefoil pin, Pumpkin’s is in the Big Bag of Daisy Stuff and that’s it. We discovered today that one girl has already been wearing hers. Her mom also ironed on all of the petals on to her tunic, even though they are supposed to be earned. In talking to the other moms, they are all “oh, of course I want to buy the pin!” Uh, so why didn’t you buy it back in September. Oh that’s right, because PL said it was optional. So now we’re in a bit of a bind. The local GS mini store will only be opened on one day between now and Thinking Day. Someone is going to have to make a run to the main GS store in downtown DC. Fun! I think not. Looks like we’ll just order them through the mail.

Are you still with me? If not, I don’t blame you. I know my head’s about to explode!

Problem #9: The fun patches. Holy smokes, Batman! It’s just not supposed to be this hard. I will spare you most of the agonizing details of how Tricia and I finally figured out what a fun patch is and how it is earned. The answer is, “anything you want” and “however you want.” I’m all for letting the troop leaders exercise some creativity, but give us some kind of guidance! PL did actually indicate that certain months would go with certain fun patches. Tricia and I only had to come up with one or two of them. PL designated April as being Earth Day fun patch. Makes sense. Since we are going to be ordering only 3 trefoil pins, I do a little looking around the GS online store to see what else we might want. The one patch we haven’t tried looking for yet is the Earth Day patch. Turns out the GS store doesn’t sell one. Shouldn’t be hard to find, right? I googled Earth Day patch. I googled Earth patch. I searched high and low. The only thing remotely close to being an Earth Day patch has to do with recycling. Well, we’re not focusing on recycling at all. Not even close. I just want a simple patch with a globe, maybe some hearts or hugging arms showing how much we love the earth. I hope something turns up. Because with a budget of $2 a patch and only 7 girls in our troop, there is no way we can afford to have one made up for us.

So this is where we stand. (I didn’t even mention how PL left town without transferring the troop’s bank account over to me. )Tricia and I send each other about 300 emails a day trying to get this all worked out.

Daisy Girl Scouts – It’s not supposed to be this hard!!!

Can you believe we’re both considering being Brownie co-leaders next year?

Cold Enough For You?

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Doesn’t this snowman on my porch say it all? As I write this at 2:30 in the afternoon, our temperature is well below freezing. What a change from the beginning of December, or even around Christmas time when I was griping about how warm it is. I like it cold, but this is a bit much. We don’t even have any snow on the ground to make it look pretty. Just cold. Brrrrr!

Last night on the way home from Pumpkin’s dance class we noticed that the Potomac River had frozen. So today we bundled up the children to take a closer look. Even with scarves, mittens and hoods up we were freezing. Phil stayed in the car with the baby.

This is about 3 blocks from our house. It’s the dock that my dad and Boo went fishing from last summer.

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Here’s looking down the river towards the Washington Monument (center of picture) the Capitol is just out of view on the right.
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Looking straight down from where I was standing.
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Looking over at Reagan National Airport. See the plane landing?
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I Stand Corrected

This just in from Everyday Mommy:

Your response to the Hidden Treasure Blog Awards
has been overwhelming! Nominations are pouring in and I’m trying to
keep up in order to have everything ready for voting. It’s been
wonderful to see so many of you nominate well-written posts around the
blogosphere.

A few of you have even begun campaigning for nominations. While certainly enthusiastic, this isn’t exactly in the spirit of finding hidden treasure. The idea behind the Hidden Treasure Blog Awards is to find those well-written posts which may have otherwise been
overlooked. It is a writing contest, not a popularity contest.

Oh. Scrambled eggs all over my face. Nominate me if you like my writing. Don’t nominate me if you feel I think a bit too much of myself. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Nominations are open

The nominations are now open for the Hidden Treasure Blog Contest.  Here’s the details:

PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Submit your nominations to EverydayMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

1.  Your nomination(s) MUST INCLUDE a working link to the individual post(s) you are nominating.

2.  Your nominated post(s) MUST INCLUDE the category in which you are nominating them.

You need not nominate in every category.  Nominations are officially open as of February 1, 2007.  The three posts with the most nominations will advance to voting. 

Nominations will close on February 7, 2007.  Voting will open on February 8, 2007.  .

Eligible Categories

Children & Family         

Faith 

Marriage         

Motherhood

Homemaking         

Humor

Current Events         

Life

Please note that you do not have to have a blog of your own to nominate someone else. 

To find a working link to the individual post you want to nominate, look for something like "permalink" or "permanent link" at the bottom of the post in question.  Go ahead and scroll down on this post to see what I mean.  Do you it there under the gray dotted line?  If you click it, it’ll send you to page that has only that post on it.  Look up at your toolbar, do you see the web address up there?  It’ll now have a longer address, one that will direct someone right to that post.  Highlight it with your mouse, right click it, click copy, then go compose an email.  Indicate the category you want to nominate the post in, then right click in the body of your email, click "paste."  The link to the post is now there and ready to be sent.  This is important because you cannot just send a link the blog in general.  You must give a link to the individual post.  If you are still at a loss, but really, really want to nominate me, please leave me a comment and I will help you.  Aren’t I nice?

And speaking of nice –

"The more nominations, the more likely your post will move to final voting. Encourage your readers to nominate you."

-feel free to nominate me!  Some of my more memorable posts are over there on my sidebar –> 

You might like others I’ve written, feel free to delve into my archives.  Look for one about Rebecca in September and one about a Woman on the Edge in June.  And PLEASE! nominate your favorite posts from other’s as well.  It would be a bit embarressing to win in every category!
            

Why “The Mac and Cheese Chronicles”

It starts off in in Korea, like so many of our stories do.

We had been living there about 6 weeks, I was pregnant with Becca, I had a 2 year old and a 4 year old to keep busy and it was monsoon season. Monsoon is an Asian word meaning “start gathering animals two by two and build yourself and ark.” Philip was gone of course, off at some Very Important Exercise of Great Global Importance. The North Koreans called it an aggressive, provocative act by the West and their puppets in South Korea, threatening the freedom loving people of the North. You and I would call it a computer simulated war game.

2003.jpg So there I am, far away from home, alone with my 2 children, large belly and a houseful of boxes to unpack. Not only was it monsoon season, but we were getting whipped around by a typhoon. Typhoon is an Asian word meaning, “You thought that was a lot of rain? How about some high winds, too!” Well, our lovely cement quarters started leaking. I discovered the leak after the children were asleep and I was heading off to bed myself. There was a puddle forming in our upstairs hallway. I waddled back downstairs and grabbed a pot. A metal pot. I placed the metal pot under the drip. PING! PING! PING! Hmm. That won’t do. Back down the stairs I went, this time retrieving a plastic bucket. The dripping water still made a dull thud, but I was able to sleep through it.

The next morning we woke to an almost full bucket and several leaks up and down the hallway ceiling. We had quite a lovely little lake forming on our linoleum floor. I rounded up every plastic bin I could find and lined them up to catch all the water.

yip-yip-martians-phone.pngMeanwhile, something crazy was going on with our phone. The phone would ring constantly, all day and night. Nobody was every there on the other end. I started just letting the answering machine pick up all the time, but then message alert beep would start annoying me. I finally just unplugged the phone at night so I wouldn’t have to go downstairs and stop the beeping.

And to top it all off, our downstairs toilet was plugged.

It was only a matter of time before our car stopped working.

During this time, I sent Philip daily (or more) emails about our disasters. I usually found the time to do this while I waited for the water for our mac and cheese to boil, so I titled the emails “The Mac and Cheese Chronicles.” Just an account of our life as it happened, much like this blog.

Epilogue: I managed to convince the maintenance men that the leaking ceiling was an emergency and it was fixed right away. So was the toilet. The phone took a little more effort and we eventually just got a new phone number. The typhoon passed, but not before destroying a good portion of the base library. The car never did break down.

Babies!

Our family loves babies! If we could, we’d always have a baby in the house. Boo, the oldest, has even said, “I’ll take as many siblings as God will give me.” So our house was in a bit of an uproar this afternoon upon the arrival of these little cuties:

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Bip was so enamored of his baby, he could hardly wait for him to come out of the box. He kissed his baby and fed him a bottle and helped change his diaper.

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Boo, a veteran of many a baby, supervised the feedings.

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Pumpkin quickly wrapped her baby in a blanket and fed her baby, too. She very sweetly used the toy ketchup bottle for her baby so Nicholas could use the baby bottle. She named her baby Star.

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