Kindergarten Tour, Mr. C, Toy Surprise

DAY 10 -- As I mentioned a few days ago, we’ll finally have all three of our kids in school next year. I had the pleasure of taking Mason for an introductory look at his new school today. I know he’s more than ready for kindergarten … but I’m not sure that kindergarten is ready for him!

. . .

The principal at the elementary school in town -- affectionately known to the kids and the community as Mr. C -- is retiring at the conclusion of this school year. Mr. C is like no other educator I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I’ve often said that it’s impossible to leave a conversation with him -- no matter how short or long -- not feeling as though you are the most important person in the world to him in that moment.

I’d love to know how he does it.

The students -- including Anna -- celebrated their beloved principal today with “Dress Like Mr. C Day.”

. . .

Walking into my office this morning, I was surprised to find that my friend and coworker Neal had keyed in and left me a gift on my table.

Neal is a much more seasoned junk collector than I’ll ever be and he knows my love for these old toys. He’s been cleaning out some of his own stuff and apparently thought this stuff was better in my collection than his own.

I didn’t argue.

. . .

I guess Amy had a pretty busy day at work today. Maybe that explains her lack of appreciation for the picture I texted her from my office this afternoon.

Flip-Flops, Maria Tallchief

DAY 9 -- I'm so ready for summer. I feel like I'm running a race that I'm clearly going to win, the finish line is in sight, but I can't do anything to speed my victory along.

I won't officially win until next Wednesday when I take off my socks for the last time until August. But the end is in sight.

Okay. Full disclosure. I've been wearing shorts and flip-flops to work for the past week.

. . .

I visited Charlotte's class today for their "wax museum" presentations. I got to hear from famous individuals like Usain Bolt, Helen Keller, Julie Andrews, Kris Bryant, and (Charlotte's choice) Maria Tallchief.

. . .

Seven. More. Days.

Field Trip, Poetry, Iron Man

DAY 8 -- Field trip veteran.

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Third grade poet.

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Iron Man

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"Whenever my foot is asleep, I think of unicorns for some reason." -- Anna

. . .

That is all.

Cheesy Enchilada, Earrings, Gravy-Covered Waylon

DAY 7 -- We did some grocery shopping today after church and Mason took a ride on Sandy the horse while we waited in line to check out. I'm pretty sure he knew I was taking his picture.

. . .

While we were shopping, I considered buying an old favorite for the first time in ages.

My pal Derek and I used to put this down like nobody's business. I remember a time when he and I made a pot of this stuff -- two boxes of Cheesy Enchilada Hamburger Helper, at least a pound of ground beef, sour cream, a package of shredded cheese, and a healthy dose of Frank's RedHot. We mixed it all together and ate it on tortillas.

All of it.

In one sitting.

. . .

I had another crazy dream last night. This one took me one step deeper into weirdness beyond my experience drinking with Joe Maddon. A majority of the dream was spent finding my way around a random amusement park, but by the end, the park was starting to close and most people headed for the parking lot. Not me. I was allowed to re-enter and go into a small room packed with about 30 people.

It was dark and hot.

There was a bluegrass jam going on.

Everyone was into the music something crazy.

In the corner, I recognized him. Hair spiked up on the side for some reason and wearing a pair of badly broken sunglasses.

It was 1970s Waylon Jennings.

He, along with everyone else in the room, was covered with creamy country gravy.

End of dream. I swear...absolutely none of that is made up.

. . .

At dinner tonight, the kids started talking about how I used to have my ears pierced. I got them pierced when I was 18 and wore a small silver hoop in both ears for a few years. I'd say it's been close to twenty years since I've worn earrings and the kids wondered if the holes were still there.

Only one way to find out. A trip to Amy's jewelry box answered that question.

Obviously, hilarity ensued.

Milk Puzzle, A55, Lazy Day Camping

DAY 6 -- I woke up early today. A Saturday. The Mister Rogers marathon isn't going to watch itself, you know.

The rain and clouds outside told me that it was going to be a pretty lazy day around our house. In an effort to not be completely unproductive this weekend, I headed to Lowe's to pick up some salt for the water softener. Of course, while I was out I stopped at Goodwill, the library sale, and the video game store, too. Despite the fact that used puzzles are rarely complete, I found one at Goodwill that I couldn't pass up.

Yes. Your eyes are working just fine. That a 350 piece puzzle and every last piece is the same shade of solid brown. Stupid, huh? Why was this so unique aside from the fact that it'd obviously be a giant pain in the butt to put together.

Packaging is everything.

And, yes, the completed puzzle looks like a puddle of spilled milk.

I tried to put it together but quit after five minutes and just counted the pieces instead.

There are three missing.

. . .

I found a few Hardy Boys books...

...and some other books you'd expect to be brought home by a 40-year-old man.

I justify my collections of children's books to Amy by explaining that I love the artwork -- that late 70s / early 80s style. I realize this is a weird equivalent to a guy telling his wife that he reads Playboy for the articles.

And, as I've said before, when CDs are a buck, I lack self control.

I'd forgotten how good Beck is.

. . .

Occasionally I see cars with license plates that starts with A55. They always make me laugh.


. . .

I've talked before about my search for the old yellow cups from Mazzio's Pizza -- a restaurant we went to often when I was a kid. Of course, I'm counting on eBay to come through for me at some point and in my search, I recently came across this guy.

I didn't buy it, but something tells me that if the price had been right and I was still drinking beer, I'd be sipping out of this thing all summer.


What an amazingly stupid idea.

. . .

As expected, this turned into a super lazy day around our house. I think Amy squeezed as many episodes of Gilmore Girls as possible out of the day while Mason is clearly grasping the concept of rainy days on summer break, as well.

Note to self: Put away laundry.

I found the girls under Charlotte's bed. I didn't ask questions. I just took their picture.

. . .

There's a campout going on in Charlotte's room tonight. Girls only.

Except for Mason's buddy, Alex. He was allowed to join the girls' dolls who are sleeping in the tent -- but only as long as he's willing to brave the elements.

. . .

I heard today that May is National Strawberry Month. With that, here's a look at my favorite item I've ever found while junk shopping.

To this day, I regret not buying it.