Friday, June 24, 2011

You Know You Are From A Big Family When...

My family, the herd, migrates north tomorrow for their annual trip to northern Wisconsin.

Can you imagine 50 family members in close proximity... for a one week?  

It's been 8 years since David and I have gone.

But we do enjoy hearing all about it...the good, the bad, and the ugly and the down right hilarious! Every family has their moments.

As a child, I could recall this night before vacation as being  the night-of-all a dead heat with only Christmas Eve.  There wasn't much that could top the night before vacation while I was growing up.

Need a good laugh?  Never heard of the herd's migration north?  I wrote about our big family adventures here....last year.


I was recently sharing this next story with my mom...(she calls me the family historian)....and she encouraged me to write it on the blog.

So here it goes...

You know you are from a big family when your first teaching job is at the Catholic school you attended....and you have to teach your youngest brother...and you both live at home.

Can you imagine?

 He also happened to be my first class clown.

Usually, I could tame his inner beast by threatening to pull out something from my arsenal:  a picture of Mike in his underwear, or  a "Do you want to know who Mike has a crush on?"...which always created total pandemonium and screams of excitement from the class, especially the girls.

One day, Mike was off to a great, sarcastic start...and I was on a short fuse.  

There was Mike, in the back row,  balancing on the back two legs of his chair, with hands and arms gesturing a stretch behind his head....

Mike:  Yo, Patty....I mean, uh, Miss Story (with smart ass grin spreading across his face).

That's when I threw the hammer down.

Me:  Mike, you have earned my first conduct slip!

Class:  Total gasp....I heard someone say, "Miss Story gave her brother a conduct slip"...more gasp and shocked faces.

Step one in a conduct slip.  It was customary to have the conduct slip signed by a parent and turned back in the next day.  Since we both were living at home, I thought I'd play it out like any other student.  I never mentioned it to my folks.  I let him do it.

Or so I thought he did.

Next day...

Me:  Catching Mike as he is walking into my class....Mike, do you have the conduct slip signed by Mom and Dad?

 (Can't believe I was saying that.)

Mike:  You were serious?

Class:  Shocked gasps and some oohs and uh-ohs coming from the class.

Step 2 in a conduct slip procedure...if it isn't signed by a parent, teacher must phone the parent.

Me:  Mike, let's go call Mom.

Do you know how embarrassing it was to knock on Sr. Mary Paul's office door (my boss) and ask her if we could use her phone to call "our mom" about the conduct slip?!

Me:  Dialing the phone....Hi Mom, it's Patty.  Mike is standing here and needs to tell you something.

~ or ~

Can you imagine walking in the house to find your brother and some of his cronies looking very suspicious and up to no a proximity that was too close to your brief case which happened to hold the grade book at that moment?

I gave them a lecture reminding them that I've known them since they were toddlers and even saw their booties in diapers when I use to babysit them....that their parents would be ashamed of them.

I don't think they really had the guts to go through with it...they looked like a bunch of nervous ninnies on a hot tin roof when I caught them "planning".

Priceless (*wink*)


Wishing my family a safe and happy vacation!  Love you guys!

~  Patty  ~


  1. Hehe.. I love it! And our family reunions are pretty big too- about 60 or so of us cram into a little resort in a town called Tightwad! That's coming up in a few weeks!

  2. Great (and funny) story! Hope the herd travels safely:) It's so great that so many of your family still make the trip.

  3. LOL! I can't believe you had to teach your younger brother!!! That must have been quite a year. BTW, we still laugh about the "Instrument of Peace" story. When we went on vacay in May, we got on the road and Bob said "where is the instrument of peace?" Me: "I didn't bring one!" Bob: "Oh, I am so disappointed in you!" Ha :)

  4. priceless indeed. too funny that you were your brother's teacher. great story.

  5. That story is hilarious! :) Have a great trip!

  6. LOVE that story!
    So funny that you talked about the night before a family trip. When I was walking the dogs this morning, I thought about the nights before we left for Tx. when I was little, AND how they compared to Christmas Eve! Great minds think alike!
    Have a safe, happy trip!!!

  7. Patty, this is a great post! I can just picture that s**** grin on your brother's face. A teaching job that you will always remember, I am sure. Hope you are having a fantastic summer.

    PS - I am trying your pineapple recipe very soon.

  8. Hey Patty,
    I didn't read the whole story; my eyes won't let me; I really need to go to bed.
    But I have to ask, did I see you driving on I-55 Saturday?! We left Springfield for Chicago around 11:30sh and somewhere up and beyond I noticed a larger vehcile (dark blue? black?) with Texas plates and I immediately wondered to myself if that was the Hughes Family?!

    Enjoy! And have a safe return!



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