Outside my window... spring is arriving. Our neighbor's cherry tree is blooming and looks so lovely!
I am thinking... that I think Addie has a crush on our plumber. Either that, or she wants to be a plumber. She has been jabbering to him all evening while he works on our sink. She introduced me to him, "Mom! That's Joe the plumber! Like Jo Jo, but just one."
I am thankful for... nicer weather.
From the kitchen... new counters! new sink! new faucet! Yea! They just got installed today.
I am creating... a 10th birthday letter to Nina. She turned 10 a month ago, but I'm rarely on time with these letters, so I'm ok with that.
I am going... to play SET with Nina now.
I am reading... Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. So far, I am not loving this book. I will get blasted on Goodreads when I write my review, but I'm just not a fan of his writing. I'm sure his story is amazing, and I bet the movie was good. I absolutely admire and respect SEALs. That said, just because someone is a SEAL, a war hero, or a patriot doesn't mean he is a good writer. All the reviews say things like, "incredibly brave true story!" or "tale of heroism" or "proud of our military". This book is all those things, but there are lots of other great books written by Afghanistan war heroes that are much better written. I haven't finished it yet. Maybe my views will change as I get to the end. So far though, I'm not impressed (with the writing anyway. The story itself is impressive.).
I am hoping... to be DONE with Girl Scout cookie sales very, very soon.
I am hearing... Elise's music playing while she is cleaning her room (or supposed to be cleaning her room).
Around the house... an almost finished kitchen renovation. We just need to pick out tile for the backsplash and get it installed. JC also wants to paint. (That makes it sound like he will be the one painting. That is not the case. I should have said, "JC also wants the paint color changed which would require me to paint, so that may not happen.")
One of my favorite things... the public library.
A few plans for the rest of the week... the usual - jump rope, dentist/orthodontist appointments, work, the regular grind. Then, Nina and I have a mother/daughter camp-out with her Girl Scout troop this weekend.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... the glowing fairy jars we made at Nina's slumber party over the weekend. So fun!
If you have been reading this blog for long, you know that this time of year, I disappear off the face of the Internet. The $*&^# cookies are here, and that is all you need to know. For lack of ANYTHING else to blog about because there is NOTHING else in my brain besides cookies, I thought I would share a few facts, thoughts, and otherwise useless bits of information about Girl Scout cookies.
There are two bakers for Girl Scout cookies, Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers. If your local Girl Scout is trying to sell you Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, and Do-si-dos, then your area of the country is supplied by Little Brownie Bakers. My girls, on the other hand, are selling Caramel Delights, Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbreads, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches because ABC Bakers makes our cookies. People get very angry and oddly possessive over these differences. They feel very strongly that whatever names they remember as a child are the RIGHT names, and the others are the WRONG names. Really. Get a grip, people. It DOES.NOT.MATTER. The girls all know both names. If you ask for Samoas, she will hand you a box of Caramel Delights. If you order Peanut Butter Patties, Tagalongs will arrive at your door step. The girls speak both languages. Just eat your cookies and get over yourself. One cookie name does not a better cookie make. If it really bothers you that much, stick to Thin Mints. They have the same name everywhere.
Have you heard about the new Gluten-Free cookies? Maybe from The Huffington Post, The Today Show, or The L.A. Times? Despite all the hype, they do NOT sell. Not only are they the worst selling cookie by far, they are the biggest pain in the ass of a cookie mom. They are $5 instead of $3.50, so all those spreadsheets I've been using for years that calculate everything for me? Useless. They aren't the same price as every other box of cookies, so all the math that people are in the habit of doing at booths? Worthless. Gluten-free cookies don't count toward the girls' sales totals, so the girls have little incentive to sell them. They don't help the girls move toward a specific patch, prize, or goal. According to all these articles, Americans are begging for gluten-free cookies. I wish some of those Americans would move here. We are feeling successful if we sell even one package at a cookie booth.
My husband says I am becoming an angry, bitter cookie mom. There might be a wee bit of truth to that. Just sayin.
I have been told that crushed Shortbreads (Trefoils for you Little Brownie Baker folks) make an excellent crust for a cheesecake.
If you click on the hashtag #girlscoutcookies in Instagram, at least half of the pictures are of a strain of marijuana named "Girl Scout Cookies". It makes for an odd collection of pictures... cute girls selling cookies at cookie booths along with baggies of drugs.
Someone asked me at a booth on Monday if we were still selling the Mango Cremes because they were her "favorite Girl Scout cookie EVER." Who is this woman? How could the Mango Creme possibly be her favorite cookie ever? It was horrible. It smelled like sunscreen. I'm just baffled that someone actually came looking for them. Maybe I was on candid camera? I was being punked? I'm pretty sure I just laughed in her face.
"There's an app for that." Yes, there is a Girl Scout cookie finder app. Download it here. I'm not even joking.
When Elise was a Daisy Scout, Daisies were not allowed to sell cookies. This policy has changed, and I don't know why. Have you ever tried to work a cookie booth with a bunch of kindergarteners? It is painful. Exhausting. Miserable. I think they need to reverse that policy. At cadette booths, I sit back, drink my coffee, and let the girls do their thing. Occassionally, I run a credit card through my phone. At Daisy booths, I am either trying to keep the overly excited five year old from digging through the money box, or I am corralling the shy six year who has hidden under the table. They make for cute little props, but the moms end up doing all the selling. That's not my job.
So there you go. Maybe you have learned something today. Want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?
I have written previously about elementary school talent shows. I have all the respect in the world for the kids who choose to perform, but that doesn't change the fact that watching group after group lip sync to Taylor Swift gets a little monotonous. Now that Elise has moved on to middle school, I was anxious to see what sort of talent one finds at a middle school talent show. There were certainly a few squeaky, off-key performances, but overall, there was quite a lot of genuine talent. There were a couple of singers who looked ready to hop on stage at American Idol. It was fun to watch how the kids (along with their talent show acts) grow and change from elementary to middle. The hit of the night was a kid who danced to a Michael Jackson medley. He was amazing. He WAS Michael Jackson - the hair, the sparkley glove, the moon walking, the crotch grabbing, the signature dance moves. It blew me away. He was committed and nailed it.
I don't think anybody could upstage the Michael Jackson act, but Elise did a great job in her own right. She even got a bit of a standing ovation at the end. She made this mamma proud!
One of my favorite things... Badge Magic for attaching badges to Girl Scout vests.
A few plans for the rest of the week... jump rope and Girl Scout cookies. Period. That's it. Elise is jumping at halftime of the NCSU/WFU women's basketball game. Those are my two alma maters. I won't know who to cheer for! The girls have a snow make-up day at school on Saturday. I will enjoy a quiet Saturday morning without them.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... 6 year old selfie.
Last night, there was a sleepover at our house involving 6th graders, giggling, whispering, texting, and a poor little six year old desperate to be included. At one point, the giggling and squealing came downstairs to the kitchen. J.C. spoke to them, and one girl giggled to Elise, "Should I tell him?" Elise said, "Sure!" The girl squealed, "I asked a boy to the Valentine's Dance, and he said yes!" We congratulated her on the big date, and the girls went on their way. This morning, we had this conversation:
Me: "So, is the Valentine's Dance like the last dance where it is right after school one afternoon?"
Girls: "We don't know."
Me: "Well, when is it?"
Girls: "We don't know. We've just heard people talking about a Valentine's Dance, and usually when people talk about things like this, they happen. It would make sense. This would be a good time of year to have a dance, and it just makes sense for the occassion that there would be a Valentine's Dance."
Me: "So, you don't know whether or not there is a dance, and if there is one, you don't know when it is, but you have a date for it?"