Thanks to Kate from The Small Things Blog and Lauren, who writes From My Grey Desk, I've decided to accentuate the positive today. . .because the gray skies near Charlotte, NC, have not made it the most happy week. A transplanted Texan is used to this kind of cloudy day:
(Photo courtesy: http://www.scenicreflections.com/ithumbs/Lake_waco_Wallpaper_wwpqx.JPG)
We are NOT used to this:
Lake Wylie, SC - I think I'll call it Lake WillIeverseesun? Today's high: 79 with isolated storms tonight (PTA Carnival Night with outdoor movie)
Photo courtesy: http://www.dustinkryanphotography.com/
Right now, however, the sun is shining and all is right in the world - as long as I don't watch the news, read the paper - or talk to my in-laws. (I kid, I kid.)
In the spirit of being positive and putting my Pollyanna on, here's my version of the "glad game" this week:
1. I'm glad Kidlet did extraordinarily well on the MAP test administered at her school this week and extremely proud to be her mom. I think MAP is an acronym for "Measure of Academic Progress" - but I'm not going to dwell on it because standardized tests are like designer clothing lines - changing and occasionally more absurd with every season.
Kidlet is eerily book smart, wise and intuitive. . .and we still tell her to look "on her other right" when she can't find something in the fridge, cabinet or closet. I LOVE HER. Seriously. She scored above her grade level in both Reading and Math, but her father and I are arguing over who will have to teach her how to drive:
Photo courtesy: www.zazzle.com
Did I mention she and I are both blonde?
2. I was invited to a breakfast to thank school volunteers. Since we moved here in October, well into the school year, it was a challenge for all of us. Kidlet was used to my working at a school, but I became a SAHM again (with her school hours from 7:30 - 2:15). I couldn't substitute teach - with 5 years' experience as a school office employee and classroom aide - until I attended a 3-hour workshop. While I was waiting for the life-changing training session, I offered to help in any way I could, which meant quality time with a cordless glue gun in the school hallways. That was fun. No. Really. I got to know teachers and students, which is what all moms with only one child like to do. Snoop. . .with permission.
3. I discovered how to make cake mix cookies. BEST. HOMEBAKER FAKE. EVER. Kidlet and husband prefer them to cookies I make from scratch, because I like crunchy cookies (and since I'm the one making them, they tended to be, well, crunchy.) Nom, nom, nom. Anyway, I discovered that by adding eggs and oil - or eggs, oil and water, you have happy people in a fraction of the time and your house doesn't smell like the garbage hubby forgot to take out. Again.
Making these made me so happy! I had no idea! Some people get really creative by adding nuts, chocolate or candies to the mix, but they're just fine without them. Seriously. It's cake mix. It's all there, including all those preservatives and additives that coat our insides. Bon appetit!
You can learn more here (I flatten the cookies with a glass dipped in sugar rather than flour, btw):
Read the comments from other pastry chefs, er, home cooks, about how they make the batter better:
Even if you don't add anything extra, they do taste pretty darn good and you only mess up one bowl. Yay!
4. I'm not scheduled for a colonoscopy, nor being nagged by medical personnel to get one. . .nor by anyone else, actually. Anyone who can say that should be happy, don't you think?
5. What always makes me smile: my favorite tee shirt, inspired by my favorite sitcom:
"All hail, Sam Kass."
So here's the shirt, which I wore on vacation to visit my parents, who might have appreciated the shirt more - or stared quizzically at me less - if they had seen the above-referenced clip of "The Big Bang Theory." As it is, they finally broke down the second time I wore it (after laundry, naturally) and asked, "What does that mean?" - pointing to my chest. (I love my dad.)
I realize now that a depiction of hand gestures on a your daughter's upper body could be cause for concern:
Actual age: 42. Age when in the company of my parents: 12 (tall and big-boned, I think is what they call it.)
So, there you have it. I've laundered, loitered and listed - and it's not even noon yet! Hope you find or ferret out some favorite things this Friday - and we'll see if I can blog a bit better. . .later.