Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas with the Crafts

So like most families we have our standard Christmas traditions. We have been doing these things for as long as I can remember. We always got our Christmas tree at Lowe's. The best part of a Lowe's tree is that you get free apple cider while you look. Then, I love how they send the tree through the little shoot that bundles it up. I am sure that they do this at every Christmas tree place, but I always thought it was special. Next, we would decorate the tree as a family. Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and I would choose which ornaments we wanted to hang. Our tree was, and still is, an eclectic mess. We definitely do not have a theme tree, or only pretty ornaments. Our ornaments are all the glitter explosion ones we made in elementary school. We also had some very nice ones that we constructed at McDonalds one year. The coveted ornament was a Rudolph whose mouth could open like a puppet. We would fight over who could hang it. Sometimes even after one of us had hung Rudolph, someone else would come along and move him.

Grandmama Ruth would come a few days before Christmas to celebrate with us. She was a staple in the leather recliner just sitting there crocheting for days. She would also help mom cook. Since I am the youngest child I always had to give up my bed. Aunt Diane would come for Christmas Eve so she would sleep in Sarah Margaret's bed. This meant that all three of us were in Dennis's room. We had a pretty sizeable collection of beanie babies, which are all for sale if you are reading this and are interested. So the three of us would go to bed and wait for Santa to come, which we knew was Dad all along, and we would hold our annual Beanie Baby Club meetings. We even had a theme song. It was to the tune of "We're From the Country and We Like it That Way." Usually we would get all thousand of the beanie babies set up for the meeting and then we would fall asleep before the actual meeting. I really don't know what we would have discussed.

Christmas morning was super exciting! We woke up usually before the sun came up and ran to get Mom and Dad. They would look at the clock and tell us to wait a little longer. Then, when it was time we had to gather at the top of the stairs. Mom would always make sure that we all had socks on. For some reason it was a family rule that we could not open presents unless we had socks on. I'm not sure what the correlation between covered feet and opening presents is. Once we all had socks and we waiting at the top of the stairs Dad would go make sure Santa came. He had already told us Santa is not real (if this is news for you, I am sorry that I ruined Christmas for you). Once Dad got downstairs and turned on Christmas music he would call us to come down. This is when the real excitement started. We would all sit on the stairs and race down on our butts. I never won. Then we would open our stockings and rip into our presents.

For breakfast every year we had waffles, eggs, grits, country ham, and orange danish. It was so delicious every time. The Craft family Christmas traditions are pretty standard, but they are part of who we are. This year all our traditions have been thrown out the window since Sarah Margaret got married. We are going to initiate Jonathan into the Beanie Baby Club next week, but I'm not sure all four of our butts will fit down the stairs at once. I think the race will be interesting.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shout out

This is a shout out for Brigi Varley!! Thanks for being my dedicated reader :)

Trampoline Olympics

One summer after watching the Olympics on TV Sarah Margaret decided that we should start doing Trampoline Olympics. All three of us would compete and at the end a judge would decided who deserved gold, silver, and bronze. So the three of us each went to the "Barney Bag" (our craft closet, yes we do still call it that) and we got paper and marker and laminating sheets to make the medals. We cut out little circles and colored them appropriately then covered them in laminate to make them durable, and because we were in a phase where we laminated everything. Then we went out to the trampoline to commence the ceremonies. Once we started the Trampoline Olympics Dennis and I realized a little problem with our system: Sarah Margaret was both a competitor and the judge. A pattern was starting to form. Sarah Margaret would announce the next event or stunt it would be one that she was good at, then we would all give it our best shot. She would always get gold, Dennis always got silver, and I always got bronze. We did butt bounces, which I am an expert at. I mean I am so good at bouncing up, landing on my butt and landing back on my feet. We did front flip, which I am not so good at. I usually just flop onto the trampoline and tuck at the last minute so I don't break my neck. There were a number of other jumps and stunts that we had to do, but the order and the medals never changed.. At the time I didn't get too upset. I was too ignorant to realize her scheme until later. Then of course later when it hit me what had happened and how I had been taken advantage of by one of my older siblings again.

Now that I am older and I have some perspective I realize that Trampoline Olympics were not completely unfair. Granted, Sarah Margaret probably should not have been allowed to compete and be the judge. On the other hand, if I am honest with myself I know that she probably did deserve gold in every category. She has always been good at doing tricks on the trampoline. Dennis was always second best, so he deserved gold. My pathetic flops definitely deserved the bronze medal. So it should not have bothered me. Also looking back I remember that my favorite part of Trampoline Olympics was cutting out, coloring, and laminating the medals. I also realize that Marg had me make all the bronze ones, Dennis made silver, and she made the gold ones. If I had been smarter I would have known her plan from the start. But overall we had fun playing together that day. I guess Trampoline Olympics was a success after all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Craft Family Dictionary

Like most families we have made up our own words and terms over the years. Here are a few:

1. Volo- this is what we called the symbol on the handicap sign. I think Sarah Margaret started it.
2. Bidawee- the term used for those antennae with the flashing red lights on them. We would always look for them out the car window. I think Dennis also used this term for spiders...
3. Wet- pee, or urine. "Dad, I need to wet." I still think this sounds weird and gross, and Dad still uses it.
4. Badjob- poop; whenever our baby sitter was changing diapers she would say, "This is a bad job" consequently, we thought this was the word for poop and my parents used it to so that just confirmed it. It took me a few years in elementary school to realize that no one else called poop bad job.
5. Spider spittin'- sprinkling rain. A Wanda special
6.Back Back- the trunk of the car. It was always exciting to be able to ride in the back back if we had too many people in the car. because there were no seat belts back there. We liked to live life on the edge.
7. Skin a Rabbit- Mom would say this when she was helping us get dressed. It meant that we needed to put our arms over our heads so she could take off our shirt and put a different one on.
8. Herpentile- Christmas lights that blink and look like they are moving
9. Deesh- a nickname for Dennis
10. Marg, Margwad, Sissen, Smarg, Margalicious, Smaft, Smaggot-all nicknames for Sarah Margaret
11. Sheeshapeesha- to be used instead of "goodness gracious" or "good grief"

These are just some of the things that the Crafts have picked up over the years. Marg and Deesh, feel free to add some, even though you never write on our blog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hi Pretty Boy

So I told my brother that that was going to be my pick up line in the future. All I would have to do is walk up to a boy and say, "Hi pretty boy." Then of course we would fall in love and get married. I don't think it actually works like that. I did have quite a few crushes back then though. Of course most of my crushes happened to be my brother's friends from the neighborhood. They were two years older than me and sooo cool. I mean these boys got to go to the 9:00-midnight skate session, they were practically grown-ups.

My biggest neighborhood crush was Cody. He was was Dennis's best friend and he was at our house a lot. I would always try to play with them even though neither of them wanted me to. I had this big trash bag full of fabric scraps and some sewing stuff. One night some of my friends were over and we were playing in the fabric, just making little things and I had a great idea. I decided that I would make Cody a pair of boxers. It was so scandalous, but I thought it would definitely make him fall in love me. I really liked to pretend that I was dating AJ from backstreet boys, Chris from N'Sync, and Drew from 98 degrees, but I knew that I actually may have a real chance with Cody. So I made him a pair of boxers. Then when Dennis and Cody came home that night Sarah Margaret immediately tells Cody that I made him something. It was at this point that I realized I had made a huge mistake. I could not make boxers for the boy I liked. He would think that I was weird! All I could do was bashfully hand them to him and awkwardly chuckle and say it was a joke. Then I ran to my room and hid for the rest of the night. Cody and I were not soul mates after all.

Another crush I had was one of Dennis's friends, but he was also one of my best friend's brother. His name was Brad. He rode a loogie green Fat Boy trick bike. What could be better? He was always playing pranks on Corie, Sally, and I when we spent the night at Sally's house. One time when I was spending the night it was time to get ready for bed. I was changing clothes in Sally's room when Brad busted in to ask if he could borrow her Chumbawumba CD. I was naked. We were both embarrassed. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. We were not soul mates either. I don't know if I ever told Sally that I had a humungo crush on her brother. Sally, if you are reading this, I used to think I was in love with Brad.
I have yet to use my pick up line. Maybe one day. I still think it could work.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Dangers of Ice Cream

All through elementary school we lived in Chespeake, VA. It was a good place to grow up. My neighborhood was called Foxgate Quarters. I don't know why. There were no foxes or gates. But it was cool because in the summer the ice cream man would come through our neighborhood. It was just like in the movies, he has the fun colorful truck that played "The Entertainer" as he drove through. However, unlike in the movies the ice cream man actually created a very stressful five minutes for me and my friends. Usually we would be playing in someone's backyard or swimming when we would hear the music from the truck. We knew that we had a short window to make it into the house, convice our moms to give us money, then out to the street before the truck drove away. It was a very frantic process, and for me, a dangerous process. I always got hurt when I would try to get ice cream from the ice cream man. It was inevitable.

One time Corie and I were swimming in my backyard when we heard the truck so we jumped out of the pool and without bothering to dry off or put clothes on we got our money and rain out to the street. The truck had already left our block so we ran down to the next block. On our way we noticed some glass on the sidewalk, and since we had not put shoes on we both made a note to be careful of the glass. In all the excitement of getting a strawberry scooter to snack on I forgot about the glass. So while we were walking back I felt a pain in my foot and then realized I was leaving a trail of blood behind me. Yes, I had stepped on the glass and cut my foot wide open. I still have a scar from that incident. Another time I was in my house when I heard the truck. I ran outside. In the middle of my yard there was a little hole, that I knew about, but once again in all the excitement I forgot. I ran out of the door, into the yard, into the hole, and just fell on my face. I didn't even get to get ice cream that time. Then another time I tripped in the street and skinned my knee. I think all the excitement of hearing "The Entertainer" and knowing that I had a limited time to get a delicious ice cream treat just made my mind fly out the window.

My dad told me that all my injuries must be a sign (that is a typical Donnie thing to say, "O it must be a sign"). I was no longer allowed to get ice cream from the ice cream man. I was very sad, but at the same time my life got much less stressful that summer. Still to this very day I have not had ice cream from an ice cream truck since the summer of 1997. But everytime I hear "The Entertainer" I have to be extra careful not to step in holes, or glass, or to just fall down. Who knew that ice cream could be so dangerous?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Remember the time I was from another planet?

So when I was in elementary school I liked to use my imagination. Probably the most fun and imaginative thing that I thought of was the planet UHHHH. My three best friends and I thought we were from this planet. It kind of became an obsession. We would go to this wonderful place called FunScape on the weekends, and one weekend we put all our prize tickets together to get a colorful battery powered disco ball on a stick. When we had planet meetings, which happened quite frequently, we would turn off the lights and turn on the glowing ball.

Like all good aliens, we had special names too. They changed pretty often though. With the change of the millenium I became ZooGirl2000. Before that we had a fruit theme and I was Lemono. At one point I'm pretty sure I was weirdo. One of our favorite things to do on UHHHH was make home made play dough. However, we renamed it Galactic Goo. Then, we would put the goo in bags and sell it to the other kids in the neighborhood for 50 cents. It was a pretty lucrative business. The thing that we did most often on UHHHH was make up dances to our favorite pop songs. Any Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, Britney Spears, or 98 degrees song you can name, we probably made up a dance for it. We would even perform them for the otehr kids sometimes. I don't know why our parents let us humiliate ourselves that way, but nonetheless it happened.

Being from another planet even won me my first blue ribbon. At Great Bridge Intermediate School there was a young authors competition. I wrote a story about being on UHHHH with my friends. I talked about the bad guys (Goombas) chasing us and how we had to get away. I got first place in the prose category that year. When they gave me my ribbon and asked about my story I told them it was a true poor mother.

Most people would be embarrassed to admit that for a few years they were convinced they were from another planet. Especially one with a name like UHHHH. But I am not. I had so much fun being an alien with my friends. Someday I may even go back to UHHHH and see how the Goombas are doing. AllGirls2000 woo hoo!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Youngest

There are stereotypes for every position in a family. Like Sarah Margaret was the oldest so she got away with more, but is now more responsible. Dennis is the middle child so he is forgotten sometimes, which he can work to his advantage. I am the youngest. It seems that I am also the weirdest, but I think they are related. When we were all in elementary and middle school we fought like most siblings do. Dennis and Sarah Margaret would tend to gang up on me though. A typical scenario: we are all on the trampoline and I am trying to talk. Dennis would say, "Marg, do you hear something?" Sarah Margaret would always reply, "No, I think it is just some moss growing on that tree." Then they would just ignore me. Another example: I had an earlier bed time than they did so one night before I went to bed they told me that vampires lived in the space between my bed and the wall. Naturally, I went to bed terrified and I thought that vampires were going to eat me in the middle of the night. This would be bad enough, but they took it one step further. They hid in said space between my bed and the wall and right when I had fallen asleep they jumped out and screamed! It was one of the scariest moments of my life and they were just laughing. There are numerous other examples of them doing similar things to me.

I think that there actions caused me to be a little weird. I spent a lot of time alone. Whenever I was mad at them I would curl up in the Dogloo with my puppy. Also, there was a great tree in our backyard and I spent a long time just sitting in the tree alone. The weirdest thing I did to be alone was I spent a whole day digging a hole in the backyard so that I could have my own cave. My dad filled it in as soon as he came home. However, it was going to be the best cave ever.

Sarah Margaret says it is not fair to blame my weirdness on her and Dennis, but I stand by my position that it is their fault.

PS I did have friends when I was young...I was not a complete loser, although I realize that it sounds like I was