Friday, January 30, 2009

F.A.V. Bruce. Again.

Even though there is definitely a slight danger of friday afternoon videos suddenly turning into friday afternoon springsteen, I just can't ignore Bruce this week.

His new album came out Tuesday, he plays the SuperBowl on Sunday, and on Monday, tickets start to go on sale for yet another tour. I'm not sure we'll be able to scoop up any tickets this time around, after all we did see him twice last year, and well, our family does need to eat. One cannot survive on just the E Street Band alone, you know.

I'll admit. I'm trying not to get all depressed about it. In fact, I like to think that because, I choose not to go this time, maybe another person, who perhaps hasn't had the chance to see him live yet might get the chance to go. Or maybe somebody whose seen him 49 times, will finally get to see him for the 50th time. Or I don't know, maybe a ticket will just fall out of the sky and into my lap. I mean, why can't the stimulus package just include one Bruce ticket for everybody? Surely that would really get things rolling again....

You get the idea. Whatever it takes to help me get over it, I'm gonna do.

So happy friday. Cause your papa say he knows that I don't have any money....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Rhyme it Out.

My kids are learning how to rhyme.

Its pretty much all we talk about around here...

"Cool, tool. Hey mom! That rhymes....right?" Yes.

"What about grass, road? Does that rhyme?" Um, no....

Its a back and forth thing. One minute, they totally get it, and the next, not so much.

Rhyming seems like such a natural thing, its hard to remember a time when you didn't know quite what it was.

The boy's teacher tries to get as creative as she can to get the concept across. One day last week she had all the kids change the first letter in their name to the letter B for the entire day, to try and stress the way their 'new' name rhymes with their regular name. So Cash & Hayden became Bash & Bayden.

The boys loved this of course, and it has started a trend in our house. They love to change the first letter of something just to make to sound silly or different.

Like today for instance, we were working on a rhyming worksheet and Hayden was matching up the pictures that rhymed. "Pig, wig, MIG!"

Mig? What's that?

"Another word for pig."

Oh, Really? [Looks like I've still got some 'splaining to do.]

He moved on, cutting and gluing...gluing and cutting, matching up each rhyme.

Cash was hard at work too, "Bat & lion don't rhyme, Mommy."

That's right, Cash, they don't. But cat rhymes with bat doesn't it and that picture looks a lot like a cat to me.

" No," he said, as he looked down at the picture of a 'feline' with NO MANE and a collar, and whiskers. "Its definitely a lion."

Fine. Its a lion, but a lion is a cat. So glue the bat next to it. [I'm good a subtlety, no?]

Hayden was already on the last group of pictures. He loudly called out all the objects and then threw in his make-believe word, just for kicks....

"Corn, Horn, PORN!"

I choked.


Porn. He just said porn.

Ok. What do I do? How do I discourage saying the word "Porn" while still encouraging rhyming? Crap.

This is just like that time I had to dissuade him from spelling out 'fag' on a door hanger during craft time at the library.

I took a deep breath...Um, Hayden, let's not say 'porn'.

"Why not? It's just another word for horn, Mommy."

Well, it really isn't another word for horn, and a lot of people really don't like that word. So, lets not say it, okay?

"Okay, mommy" he said with some matter of disgust in his voice.

Ten minutes later I heard his sweet little sing-songy voice again..."Horn,Corn....PORN!"

Sigh. This road of rhyming...sure is gonna take up a lot of my timing....

Snow Way!

I was so on track this morning. Lunches were made. We weren't out of juice. I was able to convince Cash that his eyes really could remember how to open and our usual wardrobe scuffle was rather minor.

But just as I was starting to feel pretty confident about the way things were going, my phone rang. It was either get everybody's shoes on or answer it, so I missed it. I checked the voicemail only to hear the latter half of a recorded message from the school...."uary 28th" was pretty much all I heard.

I thought for a minute, maybe they cancelled school? But no, it was just raining outside, surely not. I checked the county website. Nothing. I checked the clock. 7:18. Now, we were officially running late. When did that happen? Should I check the news? Or should I get in the car?

Because I delight in the difficult, I decided to get in the car. I mean who wouldn't find it easier to load two cranky 5 year olds in to a chilly car in the freezing rain, while carrying one open drink, two back packs and an overflowing purse instead of oh, i don't know just flipping on the TV and changing the channel? Me. That's who.

So we drove to school. Hayden and I chatted. Cash slept. I saw cars pulling out of the other elementary school parking lot as if they had just dropped off their kids. I felt relaxed that surely, I hadn't missed anything. Sure, we were late, and they were going to be 'tardy'. But hey, we made it. And that was no small feat.

I turned the corner towards their school, and that's when I noticed there was no crossing guard. Hmm. Must have stayed home today, I thought.

And then I pulled into the school parking lot.

Which was empty.

I pulled into a space and walked to the front door. Because surely, somebody was there.

Doors locked. Lights off.

Turns out we weren't late. We were uh, early?

No, I certainly had not missed the fact that school had been cancelled and dragged my kids to school anyway, insisting we were going to be late.

No. That wasn't it at all.

The real truth is that I'm ahead of the game. For Thursday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

F.A.V. Sunday Edition

So maybe I forgot to post a video on Friday. Maybe it was because I got a call at 6 am Friday morning to spend my "Fun Friday" with a bunch of darling 2nd graders. And then maybe, just maybe, I also skipped my morning coffee that day which just might have sent me into a full blown caffeine withdrawal somewhere around 3:15, complete with headaches, nausea and fatigue [or maybe I'm just allergic to second graders? I haven't ruled that one out yet]. Which maybe forced me to cancel my appearance at a baby shower I shouldn't have missed and instead had me sleeping on the couch while my children turned my living room into Lego City Central.

And maybe, when I did feel better, and could have posted something, I didn't because I too busy settling into my weekend Mark Wahlberg Film Festival [compliments of The Shooter and We Own the Night] and was so focused on his exquisite acting skills that I completely forgot all other priorities.

Yeah. Maybe that was it.

One thing I am certain of though, is Paul Westerberg.

WARNING: this video WILL make you all 90's nostalgic. Something that I never thought was possible when it actually was the 90's.

edited to add: my Dyslexic Heart video has been disabled! WAH! So instead, you should go watch Singles. Get on it. Oh and you can listen to it on my blip page here.

Happy Sunday Afternoon.

[And if you don't already have the Open Season soundtrack, which Paul did most of, you should get it, like, now. If you wanna watch the movie too, that's your choice, just don't look at me when you realize you should have just skipped ahead to the soundtrack like I told you to.]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


...was a sick day for one,

a birthday for another [happy birthday mom!],

and a new day for all...

"...We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom..."

"...For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate..."
From Barack Obama's Inaugural Address

I would love nothing more than to pass on to my children and grandchildren the kind of country that thrives on freedom, faith, and respect for all. I am so happy to have a president who inspires me to do just that.

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around ... when yellow will be mellow ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen."
From Rev. Lowery's Inaugural Benediction

Friday, January 16, 2009


I have a long running joke with my husband that the world would be a completely different place if Michael Hutchence had never passed away.

Except I don't really think its funny, I completely stand behind my statement. I'm pretty sure that if he were still around, Katy Perry would have never gotten famous, America's economy would still be in fantastic shape, and I'd be getting paid more for substitute teaching.

Here's my proof:

Case closed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Car Talk

Normally, when driving in the car with my kids, I only hear one thing out of their mouths - "Turn IT UPPP!!!"

Usually when the request is made I'll have just started an important conversation like "What did you learn today?" only to be rudely interrupted by the demand that music be much louder, and my talking non-existent [I am allowed to sing however, well at least for the time being....].

And ironically, after the radio is turned up just loud enough that your ears are starting to think about bleeding, that's when they'll choose to continue the conversation we'd previously been having; which in turn forces me to have to turn the radio back down just to hear what they are saying, and the vicious cycle starts all over again.

But driving home in the car last night, things were different. There were still the usual demands of course, but a few fruitful discussions ensued.

For instance, when "Sweet Child of Mine" came on there were inquiries about instruments and which one makes what sound, just what is a guitar solo and why is that guy singing "Where do we go now?" , why does he want to go somewhere?

And when Peter Frampton came on with "Show Me the Way" [sincere apologies to my husband that I did not change the channel] we had our very first lesson about the talk box. A conversation which I'm sure will prove itself to be influential later in life. Especially the first time we drag them to see Bon Jovi.

But by far my most favorite conversation we had was not necessarily music-related, well, at least not directly. The boys had just come from Awana Cubbies, where they had learned all about the Bible story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus .

Hayden was retelling the story in detail and when I asked him what Jesus had done for Lazarus he said this "He brought him back to life, Mommy! Just like he did for Elvis!"

Of course.

How had I not made that connection? Especially after last week's conversation.


This proclamation from the mouths of babes can only mean one of two things. Either I've succeeded ten-fold at teaching them about Eternal Life, or instead I'm raising a couple of complete Elvis fanatics. Hmmm. Maybe its a little bit of both.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

F.A.V. goes Elvis

Yesterday would have been Elvis' 74th birthday. You know this. You also know its no secret that Elvis is big at our house. My kids were so excited it was his birthday yesterday that they asked me if we could make him some birthdays cards. Sure, I said, but we'll have to send them to heaven, because that's where Elvis is.

Don't ask me why I chose that route. I could have just said, "Sure lets do it!" and pretended to drop them in the mail. But no, I had to be truthful. I just couldn't lie. I've always sucked at lying. Just ask my parents.

So what started out as a innocent conversation turned into a full on discussion on heaven, how many years do we stay in heaven, why do we have to go into a box [this question being left over from a previous death discussion], how do you know when its time to go and lastly if Elvis doesn't live in his house anymore, who does? And can we go there? There was also some discussion over elves, and whether or not we are allowed to laugh at how small they are, though I'm not sure what that had to do with anything.

It was a rather deep conversation for the three of us, but it couldn't have been more appropriate. Discussing death on the birthday of the king of rock n' roll? This is exactly how I wanted parenthood to be.

So in honor of the E-man and my mothering skills, you'll be treated today to some of my favorite Elvis moments. You don't even know how lucky you are.

Tiger Man from the '68 Comeback Special...I never really thought Elvis was attractive...until I saw this. And you can be sure I'll be wearing sequined Elvis sweatshirts when I'm 80 because of it.

If I Can Dream, also from the 68 Special. This is Cash & Hayden's personal favorite. Which is a bit odd, since the usually proclaim "BOOOOOOORING" every time they hear a slow song. I guess they just know true genius when they see it. And you should see them perform it...

And lastly, Suspicious Minds. Because my favorite Elvis is early 70's Elvis. When the jumpsuits had just started and he was all about the dramatic ballads. If you only choose to watch one of these, I'd suggest this one. It's totally worth it for when he sings "Shove it up your nose" and for the all the killer dance moves, most especially the ones at the end.

And you? Do you have a favorite Elvis? Or a favorite somebody else?

Monday, January 5, 2009

It Went A Little Something Like This...

A re-cap. Of sorts. Most people wrote about their Christmas 2 weeks ago, you know, when it actually happened, but whatever. I like to make my own path. So what if it's a tardy one.

Our Christmas started with two glorious nights at Opryland Hotel. A place where everyone still thinks sequined blinking christmas -wreath sweatshirts and furry santa purses are 'appropriately festive'.

Oh, and they have something like 2 million lights all lit-up and stuff. It's real fancy. And real crowded. It was kind of like Disney, but with a lot less mice, and a alot more uh, scooters.

From there, it was on to Huntsville, Alabama - THE Rocket City, where we spent our Christmas.

This guy showed up too. I can't seem to shake him. He followed us everywhere...

[and he totally forced me to write a series of dumb notes and tell a few too many lame elf-themed jokes]

After Huntsville, we stopped in Birmingham, where my children schooled their great grandmother and great-great aunt on the plot developments of Spongebob Squarepants.

The Finer Points of Spongebob from emily hartley on Vimeo.

Next, it was time for the Queen City, Cincinnati. Home to Skyline Chili and some flying pigs. And me. There, we had Christmas. Again.

You'll never guess who tagged along.

He later spilled that powerade ALL OVER one of his notes I'd worked really hard on. Really. This guy was soooo starting to try my patience. I mean, it was after Christmas already, and he was totally starting to overstay his welcome.

Many important firsts happened on this leg of the trip....

1. My grandparents threw a bowling party. Possibly the best Christmas get-together in family history. Ever.

2. After my children expressed much love for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' we gave them their very first taste of Wayne's World. Which kind of just ended up making me feel really, really old. They loved it though, and that was totally worth the personal humiliation.

3. We made some gingerbread trees that could only be referred to as MASTERPIECES and then thought it was a good idea to let the boys actually EAT them. Later, all of their teeth fell out. Oh well. Saves on toothpaste.

4. And most importantly, my little Jedi finally got a couple of Lightsabers.

Wanting to master their skills of lightsaber handling and aunt and grandparent manipulation, the boys elected to stay a few extra days in Cincy, while Aaron and I headed home. Quickly. Before anyone could change their mind.

This plan resulted in many things, a little rest & relaxtion for us, much fun for my family, and my children mastering the lyrics to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" [sung here to the tune of uh, our spaghetti dinner]. I should be um, proud, right?

Pouring Some Sugar from emily hartley on Vimeo.

They got the chance to road trip back home to Nashville with my dad, which is always a treat, and hardly ever dull [Just ask me sometime about the great pepsi-as-winshield-fluid incident of '92].

Saturday night, I put away all the Chrismtas decorations [cuz you know I know how to party!]. I was really kind of proud of myself, as I usually really drag my feet on this part. I gave myself a big pat on the back of congratulations only to find this face staring back at me from the couch:

Our eyes met and only one word came to my mind. And I'm not typing it here. Let's just say the little guy is now on a very long vacation. To the Bermuda Triangle.

I can hardly believe the holidays are already over and we're already slamming right into 2009. I'm not sure I've completely recovered from all the excitement yet, nor have I even begun to catch up. I think this last picture pretty much says it all, so I think I'll just leave it at that....

Friday, January 2, 2009

F.A.V. New Years Edition


Officially the year that never was. I blinked and it was gone.


Story of my life.

[I'm just gonna pretend I wasn't pissed I couldn't embed this video. Talk about bad luck. The man is just trying to keep me down. Like some kind of ball and chain.]

Happy New Year y'all.

Love you, and you, and you, and Mike Ness? Love you too.