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Friday, December 23, 2011

Lessons from the lunchlady: three piles of vomit, two kinds of chicken and a little white lie

It's time for the holiday break but before we settle down let's review what we learned during what felt like an incredibly long week.

Vomit is not on my Christmas list. Breakfast started like usual when at 8:25 a third grader announced in line that he felt like he was going to vomit. Run! I promptly instructed. Good news = no vomit in the milk cooler. Bad news = vomit in the cafeteria, in the trash and down the hall.

Santa has a skinny beard. I was wearing a shirt similar to this

and all the kiddos kept asking me why my beard was so skinny. After a few grades, I just stopped trying to explain that was my coat not my beard.

Christmas brings out the cheese sandwich in some. This one is a shout out to all the parents that think the holiday break means they don't have to provide any lunch money the month of December. suck!

The good gifts are free. Looking for a last minute gift idea? How about a hand-written note (spelling errors and all) telling them how much they are appreciated. A 2nd grader put one in my lunchroom stocking this week wishing me and the rest of the "caftera" staff a Merry Christmas.

Sometimes a little "lie" isn't so bad. A little kindergartner on her way out of the lunch line couldn't wait to tell me that she saw me at her dance recitial. Her teacher overheard the entire conversation.

"I saw you at my dance," she said, with much excitement "Did you see me there?"

"Oh yes!" I said, without hesitation. "You looked beautiful and did a wonderful job."

She walked away smiling from ear to ear.

Her teacher asked if my girls were in dance and if that is why I was there.

I just shrugged and said, "I have no idea what she is talking about I haven't been to a dance recitial in years."

What did you learn this week?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A flashback: Christmas Past

Mama Kat challenged us to post some past Christmas pics.

I have to admit that I had a lot of fun looking back through some of my old scrapbooks.

This one is Big G and Middle G in 2001. It is Middle G's first Christmas.

Um...i think Santa needs to SUPPORT Little G's neck. I'm sure if he was my first child I would have bull rushed Santa. Since Little G was a third I actually paid for this photo.

What a difference a year makes. 2004 Little G went from helpless blob to smiling toddler.

2005. It looks like we may actually be at the North Pole in this picture.

Girls are happy and Little G looks like he's being kidnapped! Is it just me or does Santa look like an ass?

Awe....this is one of my favorites. 2007. Little G is 4, middle G is 6 and oldest is 8.

Everyone looks cute and I am pretty sure THAT is the real Santa.

Seems like I blinked and we went from the above to this.

I guess we're all still cute. Santa looks a little tired though.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An open letter to my middle daughter

Dear Middle G,

As parents, we take certain things for granted. We expect our kids to wake up every morning even though we know not everyone's kid is waking up.

We expect them to arrive safely at school even though we know that not everyone's child will arrive safely at school.

While we realize that not all days will be great days, we expect to hear about them in great length the next time we see each other.

We always expect to see each other.

While I realize that everyday bad thing happen to unexpecting people, I continue to hope and pray they will not happen to me.

Yesterday you woke up. You made it safely to school and then you choked at lunch on a dorito. No one but your friend L noticed. Thankfully she was able to help you dislodge the chip that was making breathing difficult.

You excitedly told me about the incident and how sore your throat was when you made it safely home.

You made it home safely.

Unlike this little boy who just weeks before choked in the school cafeteria on a meatball.

Our stories aren't that different. Except the ending.

We all expect to out live our children even though we know that not all of us do.

Counting my blessings,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday Tribute: Santa Claus

In keeping with my Christmas theme, I decided to write a tribute post to Santa. The red-suited-white-beared-bringer-of-the-best-presents-guy we all love.

Dear Santa,

I want to take this opportunity to applaud you as our Christmas hero. It seems that you always bring the best gifts. Never the necessities like clothing and toothpaste. Seems you specialize in those hard to find gifts, usually made in China.

Really, Santa? I thought you would be above outsourcing.

But, I digress. Thanks for eating all the cookies. i mean, what is up with that? Don't you get sick of cookies by your seventh stop?

I bet you wouldn't even notice if I didn't leave you

In all seriousness, we are grateful for your generosity. We are thankful for your thoughtfulness and we are amazed by your timeliness, we still have no idea how you travel around the world in a day.

Santa, thank you for reminding us just how much we should be thankful for and for reminding us what the true meaning of Christmas is.

It's not really about you, afterall.

Safe travels, my friend.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Let's talk about Christmas, shall we

If you stopped over looking for a OUAT review, then you're likely disappointed.  OUAT is on hiatus until January 8th.  My witty reviews of that show will return once the reruns stop. 

In the meantime, since you're hear, let's talk about Christmas.

Do you have a nativity and if you do is baby Jesus on display?  Um...I never really thought about concealing baby Jesus until Christmas Day, but apparently this is a tradition that many people hold dear.  So I'm dying to know, is there a Jesus in your stable right now?

How many gifts does Santa bring to your house?  Santa brings three gifts to each of our children.  Baby Jesus got three gifts from the wise men and that is what Santa brings here.  The rest of the stuff, odds and ends, is from mom and dad.

Does your elf on the shelf move every day?  As I blogged about before my kids think our elf is dead and I am wondering if your elf forgets to move.  If you have one of those over-achieving elves that bakes cookies and reads books, please refrain from commenting.

Do you send out holiday cards?  Seems that each year I get less and less Christmas cards and for some reason it sort of feels like a Facebook unfriend.  Are you still sending or have you stopped long ago?

Do you include a "brag letter" in your cards?  I have been mocked by my family for many years for including what they call a "Jan Letter".  Let me explain.  When we were all much younger my mom's cousin Jan used to include an update of sorts in her card.  Her letter would read "My 14 year old just received her doctorate and has been asked to perform ballet in Australia."  Whether or not that was true, I couldn't say.  My update on the other hand says things like, "Oldest G is almost 13 and plays the clarinet when we force her to."  Totally different.

What is your least favorite Christmas songWhat is your favorite?  Okay I have a lot of Christmas songs that I DO NOT LIKE.  Gasp!  The one I hate the most is The Christmas Shoes.  Seriously?  You need to buy shoes for your dying mother.  As if the song wasn't bad enough they made it into a Lifetime movie.  I also dislike anything sung by Michael Bolton....oh and Ave Maria.

One of my favorite song.  Is The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey by Ed Ames as it reminds me of happy times in my childhood when my mom and dad were still together.  Also, I love any song sung by the muppets as long as they aren't singing with Michael Bolton.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady: oh stuffing balls, oh stuffing's Christmas dinner in the kitchen

This week was full of stuffing balls, turkey hats and lots of laughter.

Sometimes I have so much fun at work that it ought to be illegal and other days I think what they pay me to show up there oughta be illegal.

Here's what I learned...

Kids dont't eat stuffing balls and corn. Actually, I didn't learn this. I already knew it. It is painful watching all the food we disgard going down the garbage disposal.

It hard to look this good. I know. I look like a royal dork, but I had a lot of fun asking co-workers if they wanted to touch my bird and poking people with my drumsticks. Next year I think I may have to add red ribbons. This turkey needs some dressing.

What's up with those lights? My co-worker and I are convinced that they're a little "cheeky". Does it look like someone's mooning you?

Slow Christmas songs make me sleepy. My boss has been playing holiday music since the week before Thanksgiving. I am covinced that the DJs are sick of the holiday song loop and are playing things in a row just to be annoying. Like Ave Maria, Blue Christmas, oh Holy Night and anything by Michael Bolton.

Cheesy broccoli and alfredo noodles. This combination all over the trays makes one long for...dare I say it...stuffing balls. Turns out there are lots of meals that are worse cleanup than the holiday meals.

Five more days until Christmas break. One of them is PJ day, which might be my all time favorite day of the year.

What did you learn this week?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hump Day Craft Post: Tighten your belt, Santa!

I used to make my Christmas Cards every year. Then I started to rotate with a picture card one year and a homemade card the following year.

Surprisingly, people actually noticed when I didn't make a card. My sister often mocks them and I have threaten to send her one of those free Holiday cards you get in the mail from Easter Seals.

The handmade card is back this year by popular demand. I have all 80 of them cut but I need to assemble them and the task seems a little overwhelming but I am determined to mail them come Monday....ok...maybe Tuesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Once Upon A Time: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

This week's episode left my head spinning and me begging for more. Unfortunately OUAT isnt't storming back until January 8th. This allows all of you not yet watching ample time to catch up.

This week's episode finally confirmed that our hot sheriff is, indeed, the Huntsman from the Snow White saga.

In Storybrooke, Graham wrestles with the fact that while he feels nothing for Regina he keeps sleeping with her. I was trying to feel bad for him but, alas, I could not. He's drunk, he's running a fever and he decides to kiss Emma.

Wow...I was surprised she didn't deck him. I mean nothing says romance like whiskey and the flu. Since we all know that in fairytale land kisses are powerful enough to bring back the dead it comes as no surprise to us that when Graham kisses Emma he has a flashback.

There's a wolf with a black eye and a red eye. He is hunting and crying and looking cuter than ever. Needless to say, this freaks him out a little so he decides to go home, take some meds and go to bed go bang Regina.

And they say woman are hard to figure out. Spare me.

Even with Regina, Graham continues to remember. He sees Snow. He sees a knife. He wonders if he has ever hurt her. He becomes increasingly upset and leaves Regina's bed, but not before telling her that he is having flashes of wolves and deer and knives.

He follows the wolf to the woods again but is abruptly interupted but Rumple who is apparently "gardening" in the forest with a shovel. Um...that sounds like an episode of Desperate Housewives.

Having lost the wolf he heads to the school where Mary Margaret, pure as the white snow, is still trying to figure out what happened with Dr. Whale. So glad we didn't have to witness that one-night-stand as I think those two have as much on-screen chemistry as Bette Midler and Denzel Washington.

Graham asks how they met. She does not recall. He asks if he has ever hurt her. She says of course not. He has a fever. She suggests bed. He asks her if she believes in other lives (LOST shoutout). She accuses him of sounding like Henry. He goes to see Master Mills.

Henry tells Graham that he is remembering his life as the Huntsman. He tells Graham that while he spared Snow White, the Evil Queen was not as kind to him. She ripped out his heart and locked it in a bank vault???

We flash to fairytale land, where the Huntsman who loves the animals is being preyed upon by the evil queen. She has just killed Snows father. She wants Snow to follow. She wants the Huntsman to kill her. "My prey is beloved by all the kingdom" she says.

Graham agrees but only under the condition that all hunting of wolves will cease and since we know that people who hire others to cut the hearts out of their step-daughters are trustworthy, he agrees.

Snow fights back. She spots his deception. She flees. She takes time to compose a manefesto. He is moved by what she writes. He lets her live and returns to the queen with the heart of a stag.

The queen is not impressed. She is not fooled. She makes the huntsman read Snows letter aloud. We learn that Snow knows that the queen has killed her father and Snow is willing to die for the cause too. Snow writes, “I understand you will never have love in your life because of me" We are not sure what this means.

The Evil Queen tells the man in the mirror that other people “don’t know the wretchedness inside” Snow White. But Snow herself has alluded in a previous episode that she has wronged the queen.

At one point the Queen tells the huntsman, "I shared a secret with her, and she couldn’t keep it. That betrayal cost me dearly." Shortly after telling him that, she rips his dog toy like heart out from his chest and puts it in her creepy bank vault. She tells the huntsman he will now be her pet and orders the guards to take him to her bed chambers.

Meanwhile back in Storybrooke...

Graham is more and more convinced that he is like the tin man and must find his heart. Emma conveniently appears and they find the mausolium of Henry Mills Sr. He is convinced his heart is inside, but he finds his heart outside when he tells Regina to bite it. She decks Emma who fires back. Fan.tas.tic! Loved the fight scene.

They walk off into the sunset and live happily ever after head back to the sheriff's office. Regina heads to the "bank" vault which is conveniently located under her father's grave.

Emma and Graham share another kiss and he remembers even more! He goes to kiss her again. Flash to Regina...she holds Grahams heart in her hand. Flash to Graham..."I remember." Flash to Regina as she crushes Graham's heart to dust. Flash to Graham as he collaspes to the floor.



Friday, December 9, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady: Are you giving me the bird?

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat...please put a penny in the old man.s hat!  Um...there is something in the air and I'm blaming it on the fat guy in the red suit.  He has a habit of winding kids up.

Here's what I learned:

Not all pears are created equal.  Dear Harvest of Eden Pear Provider...your pears suck. I wouldn't feed them to elementary kids even if they were the only pears left on the planet.  They are canned far to early.  They are not ripe.  They have brown bumps all over them.  What are those brown bumps.  If there really is an Eden at your company, can you have her call me.  We need to talk pears.

Hot or Cold Veggies.  I have lamented numerous times about offering veggie choices.  It is time consuming and wasteful.  This week corn was kicking salad's arse.  I made it through most of kindergarten before I realized that they thought I was saying POPcorn instead of HOT corn.

Do you hear what I hear?  I got my co-worker an elf hat with a bell on the end.  It entertained her the entire day and her constant jingling made me laugh.  Of course, it was even better when she would inadvertently hit herself in the face with the bell.  Now. that. is. funny.

Stuffing balls. Next week is our dreaded Holiday Meal.  A big mess that goes down the garbage disposal.  In fact, I may videotape some of that waste.  In order to make the day a little more fun I bought myself a new hat. Can you guess what we are having?  My hat is kind of like giving everyone the bird. LOL
Holiday parties.  We had our annual Child Nutrition Department Staff Holiday Party this week.  It was so much easier when I could call that the Lunch lady Christmas Party and then we had to hire some lunch men.  Some how the party went from a sit down chicken dinner to a pizza party at the middle school.  The menu was a little lame, but I laughed a lot.  Don't tell anyone, but I can have fun pretty much anywhere.

What did you learn this week?
Thursday, December 8, 2011

An open letter to a bloggy buddy that I miss

Dear Alokoli,

I miss you.

I miss your poems. I miss your pictures. I miss your comments. Where are you, my friend? Are you still out there reading my words? Are you still out there lurking?

I don't know why you stopped blogging. I don't know why you closed your blogs. I don't know why you didn't say good bye. I want you to know that the presence of your absence lingers. I want you to know that the silence of your words is deafening.

I want you to know that I am praying all is well with you. I want you to know that I miss you. I want you to know that I am not the only one.

If you are still reading my thoughts, please drop me an email. Please let me know you are okay.

Happy Christmas, my friend.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hump day craft post: sneek peek

I have a bunch of projects all running together right now. Here's a little peak at one of them.

What are you working on? Have any teacher crafts or holiday projects you're working on? Share them with me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Open Letter to T-Mobile

Dear T-Mobile,

What were you thinking?

"Walking in a 4G wonderland?"

Do you have any idea what 4G sounds like when it is sung?  Do you have any idea the amount of panic that ran through my body when I thought my kids were watching inappropriate?

Walking in a what?  Did you do this on purpose?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Once Upon A Time: The Shepherd

This week we learn that our poor Prince Charming has yet another name. 


In Fairytale Land

It appears that our dashing prince is unstopable.  He galantly defeats an evil ugly brute and is rewarded by King Midas.  His father (Charles Widmore from LOST) is beaming with pride when Midas turns Charming's sword to gold and promises even more once he defeats the dragon.

Thankfully Midas back at the castle by the time the evil-ugly brute, whose death has been greatly exaggerated, RUNS CHARMING THROUGH WITH AN EVIL-UGLY SPEAR.

I did not see that coming.

Enter Rumple.

Dude...this guy is everywhere and Robert Carlyle continues to impress me with his acting skills.

He tells King "Widmore" that dead is dead ( a great LOST reference).  Then he reveals that James has a twin brother.  Turns out Rumple's fetish for fetching babies isn't just reserved for maid servants named Cinderella.  He works for royalty, too.

This is when we flash to our sweet Shepard boy (his name is not revealed, but one can hope that it is David)

Turns out ma and paw were trying to save the farm.  Ever notice how expensive it is to run a farm?  Apparently, it is sooo expensive that Ma is willing to give up one of her baby boys to keep the farm a float for a short while.  Um...seems a little far fetched.  I mean, if you're gonna give up one of the twins at least get enough money to be set for life.

But alas, Ma didn't think that far ahead and now Paw is dead and she is trying to marry Charming off to some chick with a big set of .... dowries.

Until Rumple entices him with a proposition.  You slay the dragon.  Your family lives comfortably.  Personally, I'd get that in writing.  It didn't work out very well last time.

Charming agrees.  First mistake.  Then the cute farm boy actually succeeds in slaying the worst CG dragon I have ever seen.  Made me miss the black smoke from LOST.

Midas is overjoyed with his new mantle piece and King "Widmore" is anxious to be reward.  Of course there is always a catch.

This one has a name.  Abigail.

Abigal announces that "He'll do" and I begin to wonder why she is so dislikable in fairytale land while I don't mind her much in Storybrook.

Charming shares a Lifetime moment with his ma (who he is apparently harboring no resentment at all towards...curious) and then heads off into the sunset with his new bitch bride.  Off to meet Snow.

I thought it was a nice touch that in this episode, Charming had no scar on his chin.

Meanwhile back in Storybrook.

Mary Margaret is mopping about  Charming.  Turns out David is home and Kathryn is tired of him giving her googly eyes.

David leaves his own welcome home party to chase after Mary and remind her that he feels so much more for her than he does Kathryn.

He pulls out the all time worst married guy line of all time saying that she doesn't mean anything to him and that he is drawn to her.  "She needs someone to feel about her the way I feel about you."  Seriously?

As much as I want him to choose already I'm having a little trouble feeling bad for him.  He has all the cards.

Mary wrestles with her feelings and talks to Emma about it who pours her a drink and says, "If you think something you want to do is wrong, it usually is."

Seems like there is a lot of random drinking and newspaper reading in this episode. Go it again.  You know you wanna.

David decides to leave Kathryn and we all cheer.  He asks Snow to meet him at the Toll Bridge.  To which, Emma encourages her to go.  She throws caution to the wind and goes.

Like the village idiot, David asks for directions from Regina.  Okay...this is too much.  Does he really think that she is going to tell him how to get to the bridge.

Regina leads him to Rumple.  Why?  No one knows.

David walks into Gold's shop and fiddles with the glass mobile that used to grace Emma's crib.  He hollers out to see if anyone is there.  He walks past those creepy dolls from last weeks episode.  "Charming," Gold says.  Clever.

David does not get the reference.  Gold give him directions to the bridge but as David turns to leave he is entranced by a windmill.  We think he remembers his life with Snow.  His farm.  His Ma.  But no.  He has remembered his fake life with Kathryn.

He goes to the bridge but not to confess his dying love, but to tell Mary that he is returning to Kathryn.  Wrong choice.

Mary is upset and alone.  A bad combination.

Enter Dr. Whale.

Um...this dude is almost as creepy as Rumple.

He tells her he avoids feelings of rejection by doing the unexpected.  And she lets him buy her a drink...or two. 

That can't be good. 

Whale's fairytale counterpart has not yet been revealed, but I believe that he is either the wolf from Red Riding hood, the whale from Pinocchio or Doc the dwarf.  Either way, there is something off about him.

Other revelations..Emma finds out that Graham is sleeping with Regina.

Next week:  Graham's story.  Is he really the huntsman?  And does he remember?

all photos credits of seriable.. Check it out.
Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lessons from the lunchlady: careful how ya phrase that

This week we served lunch four out of five days. This is PA people--the first day of buck is a National Holiday

Here's what I learned this week.

Corndogs are not Pigs in a Blanket. We were supposed to have corndogs but our order has been a little off lately. Instead we got one case of corndogs and two identical cases labeled pigs in a blanket. Really? Turns out my grandma's been making those wrong...they are really mini sausages wrapped in pancake. We served the "corndogs" with syrup. No one really noticed.

Playboy makes childrens clothing.. I know...I was a little surprised too until a kindergartener came in sporting a black jacket with the words PLAYBOY across the chest and pink playboy bunnies inside the hood.

Elementary language is contagious. It's true. A kindergartener referred to the cafeteria as the "bacteria" and our beloved custodian asked me to draw a chimley for his Cristmas display. Sadly, I am not immune. I asked if I should cut up some vegibles for the salads. it's a good thing we can laugh at ourselves.

There's no fruit! A third grade boy loudly declared that we were completely out of fruit. We stopped serving to fetch more only to find out that there were numerous cups of peaches. His response..."oh I thought those were carrots."

Santa breakfast is worth the work. We had tons of fun serving pancakes and sausages to the kiddos today. Santa took time out of his busy schedule to visit with us. There were tons of smiling faces.

What did you learn this week?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writer's workshop: five things

This week I chose Prompt 2: Five Things. List 5 things we don’t know about you, 5 things you’re knowledgeable about, 5 things you know nothing about, and 5 things you believe. (inspired by LouLou’s Views)

5 things you don't know about me

I hate soup. ALL soup.
When I was young, my parents kept my hair very short and I was often mistaken for a boy.
I played catcher on an all boys baseball team for 4 years.
I currently own only three pair of shoes and a random set of flip flops.
Even though I have a dog, I like cats better (but NOT as much as her)

5 things I'm knowledgable about (other than my family)

football and baseball
Crafting with the cricut
Opening wine bottles
Preparing comercially manufactured food

5 things I know nothing about

Changing a car tire
5th grade math

5 things I believe

That Heaven and Hell are real
That if you need a friend it is good to be a friend.
That laughing everyday is important to your overall health.
That a glass of wine is good for the soul.
That all things happen for a reason and often that reason is not revealed.

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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