Saturday, December 13, 2008

Grace's Thanksgiving Story

One Thanksgiving

By Grace Smith

One day three indians wanted to have the best Thanksgiving ever.

So one indian wanted to have a turkey for Thanksgiving. The next indian wanted to have a chicken for Thanksgiving. The other indian wanted to have a pig for Thanksgiving. The next day was Thanksgiving. So the three indians went out to hunt for what they wanted. The very next day they went out to hunt for what they wanted. The very next day was here so they were sad 'cause they hadn't found a turkey, chicken, or pig for Thanksgiving. So they cooked their food and they were about to start eating but "DeegDong" the doorbell rang. Then they heard a noise and it was "Gobl Gobl Gobl, Bock Bock, Oink Oink. They got the door. One indian yelled, "Yes!" It was the turkey, the chicken, and a pig. The indians said, "Sit down, this is going to be the best feast ever!" Then the turky, chicken, and pig ran. The animals sat at the table and then the indians, turkey, chicken, and pig had a good feast.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fun With the Scanner

I went to dinner at my mom and dad's tonight because Jeff took the girls on a quick, one-night camping trip with some other guy friends and their kids. (Remote, desert tent camping...not my thing.) After dinner, I went up and dug out some photo albums, looking specifically for those homemade costumes I had written about in my previous blogs.
I was able to find pictures of me in four costumes:

The Bride- 1976 or '77

The Gypsi- 1979

The Cat- 1982?

Crest Toothpaste- 1983

Good times!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

About as Martha Stewart as I Get...


Princess Sophie

The Girls' Pumpkins
Kathleen's Dad Jonathan Saved the Day with the Pumpkins!

The Gigantic Pumpkin and its Proud Creators

Emma Toucan


Well...I pulled it off. I sent my daughters out on Halloween dressed appropriately (and creatively.) A little bit of thread, some accessories, some face paint, feathers, and an old brown wash cloth became a Toucan and a Kangaroo costume. The girls were so excited, and they wore their Heelies trick or treating in order to zoooooom to each house- maximum candy efficiency!

We wanted a quiet night with a bit of trick or treating and a simple dinner. Poor Jeffy had to work late, and after a busy, busy week, I couldn't handle a carnival or Halloween party without back up. We did have a couple of monkeys visit- cousin Jonas and baby Kathleen came over in their monkey costumes. Kathleen's dad Jonathan brought over a gigantic pumpkin, which he allowed the girls to draw on and help him carve. They ended up carving three pumpkins, and we saved all of the seeds so that Christine can make her yummy pumpkin seeds. :)

Sophie and Olivia dressed up like a princess and a bee. My dad sat on the porch handing out candy while we hit the neighborhood houses. My mom walked the neighborhood with the girls and me and we reminisced about all of the Halloween costumes through the years. Best of all- Grandma Otti (who has been really sick and on Hospice care) was feeling good enough to come down and try to steal some of the girls' candy- a yearly tradition.
Cousin Jonas the Monkey

Gracie's Pouch

The Pugs Dressed Up- Of Course

Baby Kathleen Came Over to Monkey Around

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Why are so many sexy Halloween costumes being marketed to little girls? I just took the girls to Target to look for costumes, and after 30 minutes, we left empty-handed.

I understand that many adult women like to get glammed up and sexy for Halloween- especially those in their 20's who are out having a good time. I'm fine with that. Whatever. But why does society find it necessary to completely sexualize little girls? My daughters are in SECOND GRADE. So NO- they aren't allowed to be the "Diva" whose costume looked like a female pimp, complete with large purple feathers. Neither will they go out with the Brat's pirate outfit, complete with short, short skirt and fishnet stockings. Some other choices? Gothic cheerleaders or sexy cleopatra. Seriously? Seriously.

This year, Grace wants to be a kangaroo and Emma wants to be a Toucan. I know those are off-the-beaten-path choices, but I'm going to have to get creative enough to make it happen. I am DEFINITELY not the Martha Stewart type. I mean- I scrapbook and decorate my house for Fall. I make Pumpkin pie and spicy cider. However, I do not sew, nor have I used my sewing machine more than twice since I bought it three years ago. My mom, another non-Martha Stewart, used to pull out all of the stops for us at Halloween. I was a yellow bunny when I was five, a gypsi numerous years in a row (all you needed was bangly jewelry and a head-scarf and you were SET.) My moment of glory was my sixth grade Halloween costume. I was a tube of Crest toothpaste and my best friend Heather was a tooth. We won first prize at school that year. That was back when parents could still bring homemade cupcakes to school and classrooms could have thematic parties just for the heck of it- before our schools were so test-driven that these things became enormous wastes of time, or "a waste of instructional minutes." (But that's another tangent.)

Back to the Halloween costume issue. Don't people think anymore? Let's see- I think I'll get my little girl dressed up in a sexy outfit and have her knock on strangers' doors asking for candy.
These are some examples of costumes being marketed this year to girls. NOT teens...young girls.
Hootchie Pirate (my name for it...)

Gothic "Come Hither" Geisha

"Showing off my Torso and Angry at the World" Cheerleader

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pretending it's Fall

The foothills of Oak Glen.
Pumpkins on a pumpkin
Josie in the praire cabin
Doesn't Emma looked excited?
Yesterday, we imagined it was Fall and went apple picking at Riley's Farms in the nearby foothills. Riley's Farms is owned by the Riley family, and hosts a mercantile, pumpkin fields, apple orchards, a cider press, horses, goats, log cabins, and other items that made us think of "Little House on the Praire." We picked apples in the orchard, picked out the perfect pumpkins growing right off the vine, sipped cider and tested pumpkin butter at the mercantile, and viewed a log cabin that would have made Ma and Pa proud. All the while we wished that it was just a bit cooler...we missed the crisp, Fall air and instead trudged around in 90 degree heat.

Here in Southern California, we pretend it is Fall. We decorate our houses with Fall leaves from Michael's craft store. We bake pumpkin bread and go apple picking...but deep in our hearts we know it's just a farce. We could easily pull out our swimsuits and heat the pool for a little leftover summertime. The seasons melt into each other as we go through the motions, hanging on to traditions so that time doesn't blend together and make one long season of summer.

Praire Emma Hanging the Wash

A Bit of Torture

Sunday, October 12, 2008


No one was coming home...

...but in the spirit of Homecoming, we all put on red and went to school for the football game. The theme was "fairy tales" and each class had a float. Two of my AVID students were on homecoming court, and my favorite custodian was the grand marshall. This year had a more homey feel than any other year because Megan is a freshman on the dance team, and they performed at halftime. (She was absolutely beautiful, but the highlight of her night was not about looking for cute boys, but finding out that a small pig from one of the floats was for was love at first site!)

I'll never forget football games in Bishop--the crisp, Fall air with the smell of cozy fires, wearing three pairs of nylons under my cheer skirt to keep warm, buying hot cider at the snack bar, watching for that certain boy on the football team or in the stands. Well, now instead of being a Bronco, I'm a Nighthawk (and have been for the past six years...longer than I was even IN high school...what a trip! Even worse? I've been teaching for over eleven years...yikes!)

Overall, even though I live in Southern California, I still felt such a small town, cozy, HOME feeling being at that football game (and seeing many former students as well as all the current ones brought the small town out even more!)

The silliest part? I didn't really even watch the game. :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

TomMen, Littlehood, and Waitin' for a Lady

Emma and Grace at their Fourth Birthday "Cowgirl" Party
The Gang

Cowgirls- The closest thing to "TomMen" I can think of.
The Real Deal

I just love the way kids think.

Lately, I've been telling girls "When I Was Little" stories when I put them to bed. I've told them about the girl who wanted to beat me up in 5th grade, about the time I peed my pants at school (sniff sniff), and about accidentally getting on the wrong bus in 2nd grade. The girls are absolutely enthralled with my crazy storeis, and now when it's time for bed, they ask me for "Littlehood Stories!" Tonight I asked where they got the term "Littlehood" and Emma said, "I came up with it. I forgot it was called childhood and started calling it littlehood. Now it's what we call it."

Later, tonight, the gals had a bath, and I noticed that while Emma was toweling off, Grace was still in the tub. I told her to get out of the tub. Grace informed me, "I can't, Mama! I'm waitin' for a lady to come with a towel to dry me off!"

As I was recovering from laughter over Grace's comment, Emma told me that when she and Grace grow up, they are going to be called "TomMen." ??????????? Huh? She explained. "Right now, Grace and I are tomboys. When we grow up, we're going to be TomMen."

Where did these people come from?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Second Grade and The Death of the Toothfairy

Second grade is upon us. My girls seem so big...and toothless. :) (Teeth are falling out at a rapid rate. Grace lost one yesterday, and the week before, the dogs were wrestling and bumped Emma's bottom tooth right out.) Overall, I think the Smith girls have lost 7 teeth in the past four or five months. That's a lot of teeth! I've forgotten to leave dollar bills beneath their pillows so many times that I finally had to come out and tell the girls that the toothfairy wasn't dead, the toothfairy wasn't a, the toothfairy was just forgetful, tired Mama who owed them each money. They were excited to solve the toothfairy mystery, and I'm off the hook for now.

Other news- Jeff took the girls to get hair cuts before the first day, and brought Grace back with a surprise BOB...10 inches of her hair gone. I was about to get frustrated at Jeff for allowing our daughter to cut off her precious hair without my knowledge when he told me the haircut was FREE because the 10 inches were donated to Locks of Love to make wigs for cancer patients. Oh, dear. How do you get upset with such a lovely, sweet act? Then, when I saw Grace's adorable little haircut with her pixie ears sticking out of the sides and her toothless little grin, my heart melted. Now, Grace wants to grow her hair out again and I am diggin' the short hair. Oh well...she can always donate more. Now my Gracie hippy child is rockin' the retro, flapper 'do combined with a little new wave/girly girl clip-to-the side-action. She's thrown in some dangly Owl earrings to fancy it up a bit. Emma, on the other hand, wakes up every morning and opts for one of three hairdos: low pony tail in the back, modest pig tails, or one of those two hair dos combined with a bandana or headband. She never wavers.

I'm just glad God gave me a tomboy AND a girly girl so I get a bit of both.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gypsi's New Friends and "Green" Backpacks

Pony Gypsi moved up to La Cresta to be closer to my mom and Megan's horse, Tex. She moved to my student's ranch (which I wrote about in a previous blog) and it has been absolutely heavenly! I could probably leave the girls there for a week, and they would never know I was gone.

The girls roam all over the ranch- they feed the swans and fish, feed carrots to the guini pigs, collect the chicken and turkey eggs, visit the cockatoos, and pet the "old folks" (an old donkey named Ears and his ancient companion.) They pick peaches off the trees, feed (and brush???) the turtles, and basically run carefree until we FORCE them to get in the truck to go home.

Pony Gypsi's new roommates are HILARIOUS. She is in a huge pasture with a tiny donkey named Dirty Harry (he looks like the donkey from Shrek), a buck-toothed llama name Llami, a goat, and a mare named Darla. Gypsi has never been happier, and she fits right in with the menagerie with her fancy, multi-colored eighties mane and the batman sign on her fat bottom. The arena at the new ranch is the perfect size for the girls (mostly Emma) to ride in. I'm so happy just being there.

I'm so glad the girls have this beautiful place to roam. Coming from Bishop, I have an extreme love of the outdoors, and I remember running home when it got dark to eat dinner. Until then, my sister and I were roaming the neighborhood with all of the other kids, climbing in the hay barn, building forts in the field, wading in streams, visiting the neighbor's sheep, and picking wild roses. Kids need to be outside!

On a final note, I took the girls school shopping, and we made our last stop in the backpack section, which is always a big deal. The backpacks were tempting this year! There were Camp Rock backpacks, High School Musical backpacks, Hannah Montana backpacks, and backpacks with those new-wave colors and skulls all over them (which I told the girls they couldn't have...I think skulls are a bit morose for second grade, but then again I'm all about happy things...)

Grace picked out a pink backpack with a monkey on it, but it was Emma who surprised and impressed me. She found a backpack with all kinds of earth-friendly messages on it- statements about recycling, planting trees, and lessening waste. (Pretty big concepts for a second grader, I thought, but I realized that our family's cloth shopping bags, recycle bin, and "green/organic" lifestyle is starting to rub off!) The coolest thing about Emma's backpack is that is is made out of recycled water bottles! I told Emma that her backpack didn't have wheels on it like Grace's, and she replied, "I don't mind, Mama. I like to be earth friendly." I was so proud of her!