First Day of Fall!!

Once upon a time (three months ago), a girl (mom) moved into a house that had weeds as tall as herself in the front.  She pulled them out then thought, “Huh. I’ll just put a seed there and see what happens.”

Her bag of seeds was a jumbled mess from a couple years prior but she randomly picked a seed and threw it in and continued to unpack.

Now, the one seed has traveled all along the side of the house and now wrapped around the front!  The girl would be quite embarrassed by her landscaping if she didn’t think growing pumpkins was so cool!

So for the first day of Fall, some planning must occur.  Did you know that a lot of sites offer pumpkin carving templates?!  Fun!

Like this Phineas pumpkin!

If you are planning today, you might want to see our Halloween Pinterest of ideas! Or our stuff we’re doing this fall collection of ideas.

Beware Those with Good People Skills

September is International People Skills Month.  I say beware these people! Why? Because I’ve dealt with these people before, and they are dangerous.  Don’t believe me?  Meet the suspects:

Suspect #1: The Charmer

The Charmer doesn’t whine, doesn’t beg.  You think you would love this?

Imagine you’ve just come home and put away groceries.  Your son even helps. He doesn’t say a word, he just acts so helpful.

He waits until you are sitting at your computer, beginning your work and asks, “Hey, Mom, what’s your fifth favorite candy?”

Surprised that he’s taken an interest in your likes, and admittedly baffled by why he’d want to know your FIFTH favorite, you say, “I don’t know, something with chocolate, I suppose.”

“Huh,” he replies.  Then just sits there beside you.

You turn toward him.  “Why?” you ask.  “What’s yours?”

“Twizzlers,” he answers simply.

“Really?  I just bought Twizzlers.”  And this is when it hits you. You’ve been charmed.

You think you would learn… but you find yourself in the same predicament as you cut out coupons for B1G1 ice skating.  “Hey Mom, where’s your third favorite place to go in town?”

Beware the Charmer!

Suspect #2: The Cuddler

The Cuddler knows when you’re feeling weak. They can sense it. Just when you need a hug the most, they are there. They even learned at a ridiculously young age how to squeeze your shoulders just right to get rid of any knots. You think this must be nice?

The hug, the right look, and then, “Mommy, do you have any chores for me to do?”

You stammer, shocked.  “Um, not right at the moment, sweetie. But thank you!”

“Oh, okay. Just want to make you happy.  I’m practicing being responsible in case anyone wants to get me a pet.” Beware the Cuddler!

Suspect # 3: The Operator

Suspect #3 is perhaps the most dangerous by far.  She knows how to operate both the Charmer and the Cuddler’s skills and knows best when to and which to use.  In addition, she is quick to thank, quick to apologize, and makes you beam with pride at her work ethic.


Well, you should be! I have wonderful children!

See?  See what they’ve done to me!  Beware the Operator, the Charmer, and the Cuddler for they will turn you into:

Suspect#4: The Bragger*

*Suspect asked to wear fake mustache and be filmed in black and white in case she snapped out of her sleep-deprived state and regretted writing this silly post about International People Skills Month.

Cellphones and Kids

So this month is Cellphone Courtesy Month.

During the summer months, during the kids various lessons or day camps that they attend, I do like the idea of leaving them with a cellphone to call me if they need me.  And my teenager has a basic prepaid cell for texting and emergency phone calls, so cellphone courtesy seems like a good thing to celebrate!

Seinfeld does a good job explaining what NOT to do:

Tennis Lesson

In our series of hijacking visiting relatives and making them teach us stuff…

Enter Victim#2: Uncle Heath, Tennis Expert

Katarina and Sam got some great tips!  I probably should have been listening instead of taking pictures, because I’m pretty sure they can now waste me.

After her lesson, Katarina took some pity on me, and will now share some tips…

When you’re serving overhand, you’ve got to have the V between your thumb and pointer finger on the curved portion of the handle. However….

On a forehand swing, you need the V between your thumb and pointer finger to be on the FLAT side of the racket handle, and then let your fingers wrap around the curved portions to the other side.

When you swing, you want to have the racket go on a diagonal from lower to higher so it will create a spin on the ball.

Yep, pretty safe to say next time we play a match together, I’m toast.

Next, let us analyze Sam’s lesson….


Pretty wild swing. Pretty much not hitting anything.

Enter Coach Heath. (cue dramatic reality show music).  He whipped him into shape with some tennis drills and…

Next thing you know…


Okay, now he’s just showing off.  Pretend you have to use some effort to get the ball in the middle of your racket, Sam.

“Hey, Mom!  Let’s play tennis 3 times a week this summer, ‘kay?”

Did I mention I’m going to be toast?

A fitting end to National Tennis Month… and a beginning to Tennis Summer!