Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 16 - Best Night Ever

I gave Ted a high five as he hopped into the car.  We sat for a moment admiring our handiwork and then proclaimed in unison, "best night ever!"

Rewind 4 hours...Anna Richie stopped by to drop off a few items for Amber's 4th Grade Spooky SoirĂ©e Halloween Party and to check out the decorations.  I gave her the rundown on how her Zombie Family was going to be responsible for this year's murder mystery.  When the truck and hayrack drove up behind the shed, they were to act out a scene pulling Amber off of the rack and drag her away as their next victim.  I'm a horrible liar, so when Anna bought into my story and headed home to get into costume, I was giddy with retaliation adrenaline.  The guests began to arrive, key parents were given privileged information, and the party began.  Everyone embraced our "mystery game" and enjoyed the party festivities.  It was somewhat of a duplicate of Samantha's party with a few fun additions.  

And then it was time to load the kids onto the hayrack to "hunt down our murderer."  My older zombie niece Calyssa Richie was determined to ride in the back of the truck to scare the party guests along the way, so I had to take some extra time explaining the importance of her role behind the shed.  We got out of the driveway leaving the zombies behind and headed down the road to the farm.  On our first stop at the old town hall, several parents were parked and waiting for us.  I revealed to the kids that the murder mystery was a cover up story and the night was about to get really good.  We were taking them all to seek revenge against the evil Zombie family by teepeeing their yard.  30 fourth graders and some parents enthusiastically piled into cars and drove 2 miles down the road to the Zombie/Richie yard to even up the scorecard.  We sent the hayrack driver on with an empty rack.

Once we pulled into the Richie's 10 acre yard, we parked our cars with headlights facing the entire yard, gathered the kids in for quick instructions, and passed out 60 rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper (always get the good stuff, it flies better).  As I myself ran thru the yard throwing toilet paper high into the sky, I heard several young voices yelling things like, "I've never done this before", "this is the BEST PARTY EVER", "is this legal?", and "Mrs. _______ is really good at this". 

5 minutes was all it took to decorate the Richies yard, thanks to the highly energized 4th grade class. We rounded everyone back into cars and gave them instructions not to talk to the zombies, if they were questioned, just answer that they fell off of the hayrack and the parents had to drive them home.  Excellent actors and actresses we have in the Waverly 4th Grade!  They played their parts with perfection.

As Ted and I were getting back into the car, we found a few untouched rolls of toilet paper on the ground and Ted couldn't resist letting them serve their intended purpose.  Later I learned that one of the kids was observing him and commented to her mother, "Ted sure looks happy."

Back at our house, the Zombies were playing up their part with true Richie acting skills.  They crept up in the cornfield as the hayrack came closer, and closer, and realize there were no kids!  They demanded answers from the driver, who gave them nothing.  By the time our carloads arrived back at the house, they were confused, upset, and in frustration had even stolen the 2 roles of toilet paper from  our house and attempted to teepee our front yard again (the rest of our stock was well hidden, we learned our lesson).  We gave them our "story" about falling off the hayrack and they left disappointed and still confused. 

Wait for it...ding, there's the text.  The Richies are home:).  The score is tied, for now.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Day 14 - Oh My Dog!

These were my exact words this morning when daylight revealed what my dog had been up to while we were gone this weekend.  I found it odd that there was no mail in my mailbox last night.  Somehow my dog, who's shock collar does not reach the mailbox, was able to spread at least 10 pieces of mail across our yard over the weekend.  I'm sorry if you've mailed us something and we never respond.  The dog ate it.  

More disheartening than the mail was the Christmas package that I've been waiting for over the past 2 weeks that was not tracked to arrive until Monday.  Thanks Fed Ex for delivering on Saturday....  Luckily the box was much more entertaining than the present, which is still salvageable.

I couldn't write this blog without dedicating one day to my dog.  She has so much fun I think she was the inspiration for the word.  And now for our top 10 Bella stories....

Bella's Top 10 - All in the Name of Good Fun

#10 - She learned how to jump on top of her dog house like snoopy.  Now every time there is a chance that someone might walk by it, she jumps on top in case that person might like to pet her at eye level as they pass.

#9 - She is highly competitive and will win every tug of war contest.  Usually she drags us across the yard before we give in to her.

#8 - Bella loves to fetch, especially in water.  We took her to Scheels during the weekend of the Dog Jumping contest to test out the waters during free time.  She started a show of her own and enticed a small crowd just to watch her jump.  She was pretty sure she established celebrity status by the end of the day. 

#7 - Bella found Ted's iPhone on the floor of the shop.  Her first and only kind gesture with regards to objects that don't belong to her, she delivered the iPhone to our back doorstep without a scratch.

#6 - She loves the Fed Ex drivers. They give her a bone AND leave her a present.  It's always a race to beat Bella to the box.  She seems to be dominating the playing field these days.  

#5 - Bella's hind legs are solid muscle.  She runs with such enthusiasm she has a hard time stopping herself.  We had several stalks of corn missing this summer from our end rows by the house.  Bella would mow them over chasing cats into the corn.

#4 - Bella's favorite spot in the whole wide world is the backseat of our jeep.  She knows that the jeep will take her fun places and it's very difficult to get her out once she's there.  I've driven into the garage to find her sitting in the backseat by herself, just hanging out.  She sat there for the entire afternoon of the water party not wanting to miss out on a ride back to the pasture.

#3- She stole a farm employee's gloves when he wasn't looking and had him chasing her around the yard for a good 5 minutes before he coaxed them out of her mouth.

#2 - She found a pink highlighter and managed to color her own toenails.

#1 - Bella goes to great lengths to avoid being contained.  As a pup she dug under the sheep pen to escape.  She also dug thru the rock in the machine shed to get out.  We went through 2 insufficient wireless shock collars that didn't slow her down on the highest level.  After Ted called the manufacturer for the third time, they sent the highest powered underground containment system they offered.  Conveniently, Bella was waiting by the door when the Fed Ex man showed up to deliver it.  She managed to chew thru the box and 1/2 of the wire before we got home to find it.  Unfortunately for her, it ultimately made her containment area smaller and did finally do it's job.

They say dogs resemble their owners.  So which one of us does she resemble most?  I know my vote.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 15 - The Prequel to our Best Night Ever

There may be some controversy out there, or even unnecessary sympathy for the Richies.  I just wanted to clear that all up by shedding some light on events leading up to our best night ever.

You see, a few years back we decided to host Samantha's entire grade for a Halloween Party at our house.  After hours of planning and help from friends and family, we were ready to host a memorable night for the 4th graders.  We had Fiona the Fortune Teller, a haunted zombie cemetery, Dr. Guts and the gross body parts, the mystery of the missing combine, apple bobbing and other games, and Ted even built a pumpkin catapult.  During the pumpkin launching, my lovely little niece Eva came up and asked me for some toilet paper.  I thought she might be referring to the toilet paper for the mummy wrap game and didn't think any further about it.  I did have 30 fourth graders in my backyard and was somewhat pre-occupied at that moment.  Little did I know what that five-year-old and her zombie family members were up to.

On went the party.  We had a mystery to solve, so we loaded all of the kids onto a hayrack and headed to the farm to find our combine thief.  As we pulled back into our front yard, I realized we'd been teepeed by the Zombie/Richie Family!...while we were in our backyard!...with our own toilet paper!  Clever.  A job well done, and I commended them for their efforts.

We took our time working out our retaliation strategy.