Sunday, February 28, 2010

And The Winner Is...

We had the Blue and Gold Banquet tonight. We had a good time. We sat with good friends and we found out, pretty early on, that we won the centerpiece contest. Yay for the three-peat! I think we should just retire now...give the other 10 dens a shot! :) Here are photos...

Hannah and Katie
Jacob, Daniel and Michael
Den 6 centerpiece
Den 7 Centerpiece
Jacob's den at their last Blue and Gold together
Daniel won a Cheesecake Factory gift card
Den 7...moving on to Boy Scouts. Every one of these boys earned their Arrow of Light
Den 6 minus 2 boys.
Den 6 with their work.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thinking Day

Every year, our Girl Scout Council holds Thinking Day. This year's theme was Japan and Hannah's troop did a cute karate dance demonstration. They got the biggest cheers out of all of the groups demonstrating. There were also troops that provided food, games and crafts. Unfortunately, our troop leader had to leave after the demonstration so, somehow, I ended up in charge of 9 girls. The other parents were there but were off in a corner talking. If I hadn't stepped up, they would have just been running around. It must have been very nice to just sit and visit for 2 hours while someone else worried about their kid. (Sorry...I'm a little bitter) We came home exhausted but Hannah had a blast.

All of the girls before they went out.
Practicing before
Waiting to perform
Hannah says her lines
Hannah's troop
Hannah and Lisa doing their part of the routine
Hannah and Lisa punch
Hannah and Katie play Japanese marbles
The girls and the flowers they made
A blindfold game
Making wooden dolls
Learning to use chopsticks
Sampling some Japanese food.

It's Done!

I finally finished the quilt. It came out so much better than I'd anticipated. I'm so excited about it. Even if we don't win, I'm really proud of the boys for the time and effort they put into their squares. Here's the finished product... (click the photos to make them bigger)
We also decided to have the boys make blankets to donate. The made the donation drop-off yesterday. The folks at TLC were so appreciative and the boys enjoyed knowing that something they made will help someone else. Here are photos from the drop-off.

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Been A Long Day

Since I last posted, things have gone very well. I've gotten Jacob all registered for baseball (although we haven't landed on a team yet. I'm hoping for a very low level team since his skills aren't quite there and so that he can actually have some fun!), I got the quilt pretty much done (I'll post pictures tomorrow) and the house has stayed remarkably clean. I helped out with first grade workshops all morning Wednesday and then helped out with Chat 'n' Chew for both boys during their lunch hours. One of the secretaries, Mrs. R, asked me if I wanted my own desk since I was there all day.

Thursday started good...I went in to the school to help out with clerical work for Hannah's teacher. I wish I had the parental involvement that her teacher has. Every Thursday, a parent goes in to do her grunt work for the week. Copying, laminating, making folders, sharpening pencils...that sort of thing. It's usually an hour or two worth of work but it's fun because I usually get visitors from various people (other parents, teachers, counselors and paras...occasionally, the principal will stop to chat) so I get to feel the heartbeat of the school. I usually volunteer once a month so I've gotten to know everyone pretty well.

I was in the office, sharpening pencils and off in my own little dreamland when I feel a hand on my back and hear, "how'd you get this crap job?" I jump about 10 feet into the air and turn to see Mrs. R, one of the secretaries. I laugh and say, "well, it's a mindless job. I don't mind it much." She laughs and begins talking to Miss Kim, one of the paras, who is making booklets. I didn't even notice her walk in. Who knows how long she'd been there...I was fantasizing about my trip to Chicago in April while sharpening pencils. Mrs. R and Miss Kim begin talking about Starbucks and how Miss Kim's bringing everyone coffee on Friday. Mrs. R starts to write down her very complex order.

I laugh and say something about her not being very particular and we all start to talk about how Miss Kim got this commercial espresso machine for free and how she's scared to use it because she'll blow up her house when it hits me that I love really being part of this school and that it's really nice that I've gotten to know everyone within the school so well. I finish up my work and head out for home.

I get the dishes from the morning done and dinner into the crock pot. I even get the kitchen swept and mopped when I begin to do more work on the quilt. Wow! I'm feeling productive today!

Back up to the school for Jacob's mock trial. I meet Mike there and laugh when Mrs. R goes to ask Mike if she can help him. I decide to head back home for 40 minutes since I've been at the school for what seems like an eternity for the past two days.

Once I pick up the kids, all hell breaks loose. They can't even get out the door of the school without a fight breaking out. I'm not talking verbal...I'm talking a kicking/pushing kind of fight. That Hannah, she's a little instigator.

Somehow, we make it home and I get the kids a snack. They're getting along fairly well when I announce it's homework time. Daniel can't do his homework without talking to himself and that causes Jacob to punch Daniel in the arm. WTF? Of course, the punch in the arm does not go unanswered so Daniel tries to push Jacob out of his chair. At some point, they stop pounding on each other and begin teasing Hannah. Okay. Everyone to a different room.

Daniel finishes and Hannah finishes but Jacob's left a ton of work for himself for tonight so he's frustrated and mad that he's still working. He begins arguing with me about vocabulary. Seriously? I have a freaking English degree. I know what I'm talking about. My writing may not be grammatically correct all of the time but I know that the word modest can be used to show that someone thought their raise was too little. That argument caused a 20 minute stop in work. Mostly because I told him that I wasn't going to do it for him nor was I going to even help him ("but mooooooooom! None of these words make sense!" Yes they do but you don't believe me) so he was totally on his own. Amazingly, once he realized I was done, he got the work done in record time.

Unfortunately, it was now 5:45 and time to go to TKD. he was mad that he'd been doing homework from 4-5:45. Well, that's what happens when you pout and whine about not wanting to do the work instead of actually doing the work. He would have been done an hour earlier if he hadn't been complaining about the amount of work he had to do for about an hour.

Any two of my kids, on their own, are fine. Add all three and you've got a fight. They fought all the way to TKD and didn't even get out the door to go home when the fighting started again. That landed both Hannah and Daniel in their rooms for quite some time once we got back.

It doesn't seem as bad when I write it out but, believe me, it was horrible this afternoon. If I could have started drinking at about 4:15, my life would have been much easier. 53 days until I leave for my Girls' Week with Emily in Chicago. I might get a tattoo.

Monday, February 22, 2010


It's been a seriously insane weekend.

Since Daniel's birthday was last week, we decided to throw together a little sleepover for him. It started out as four boys (Matt, John, Jett and Quinn). Little did we know that Daniel had invited several other boys to spend the night as well. I began getting phone calls on Thursday night from the moms of these other boys. I couldn't say, "no. You're kids are not invited," so, they were invited as well. Friday at 5 pm (1 hour before party time), Melissa calls me and says that her son, Michael, is talking about Daniel's party. Was he really on the list or was it something Daniel decided on? I told her that it was fine if Michael wanted to come, so the guest list grew from 4 to 7.

The boys were great until it was actually time for sleep. I threatened, Mike sleep. I guess they fell asleep around 4:30am. Yep. 4:30am.

It was with so much glee that I went downstairs at 7:30am to wake them up.

I threw the lights on and said, "good morning party people!" They began stretching and Mike says, "well, this is what 3 hours of sleep feels like." No kidding, they looked at us, bounced out of their sleeping bags and asked when pancakes would be ready. Figures.

The last of the boys left at 9:30 and we began focusing on getting ready for Daniel's last basketball game at 11:30. This season has flown by...mostly because there was no complaining about going to games or practices. Daniel's even asked to play again next year. Next up is Hannah's soccer season which starts in a couple of weeks. Then, Jacob has asked to play baseball again this summer, so, we'll be doing that after soccer ends. Oh, and did I mention that Daniel joined the school's Running Club? I'm so tired already.

We got a bunch of ice on Saturday night. We woke up Sunday morning not sure whether or not we'd actually have Sunday School. We called, looked at the website, checked Facebook...nothing told us they were closed. After seeing the radar, we decided it wasn't worth trying to get there. Snow doesn't bother me. Ice scares the living heck out of me. I posted on my FB status that we weren't going and got a couple of responses, one from the educational director and one from the rabbi, telling me that they'd cancelled classes. The rabbi even told me that she felt better about cancelling classes knowing that someone with our excellent attendance wasn't risking it. Of course, when I checked my e-mail later in the day, the e-mail from another educational leader said that Sunday School was cancelled. Figures. That was the one place we didn't check this morning.

Next week is the Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts. The boys will get their new ranks (except for Jacob who will be moving on to Boy Scouts. He's finally picked a troop, too!) and there's a big dinner thing. They also have a centerpiece contest within the dens. Daniel's den has won for the past two years. Mostly because we think outside of the box and don't go for the obvious. The first year was Chinese New Year and we did a papier mache "pack rat" (it was the year of the rat) and dressed him up in Cub Scout gear. It was way cute. Last year was Presidents and we made macaroni art presidents (a la the Three Wise Guys). This year is Happy Birthday Scouting (it's Boy Scout's 100th Anniversary). Almost every den is doing a cake or presents. Of course we're not! We're making a quilt. Yep. A quilt.

Each boy was responsible for two squares. One for an era from the last 100 years and one personal one (what I love about Scouting). They all came in today and I pulled out my dusty sewing machine and got to work. I couldn't believe how fast I got the top put together. I was really expecting it to take me a couple of days. Literally an hour after I started, the top was all ready. I decided to add a thick border around the outside so it should be all ready to go for quilting tomorrow. Fortunately, I didn't expect to start quilting until at least Thursday, so I'll be able to go a little more elaborate on the actual quilting part (I'm a purist and have to do that by hand). Even if we don't win, I'm really proud of the work the boys did and will post pictures after it's done.

Of course, pulling out the sewing mahine makes me want to start sewing again. I'm going to have to head over to the local quilt store when I'm all done.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Productive Sunday

As usual, we headed up to CBT for Sunday School and Family Service. The morning was a little crazier than normal as we had to remember Jacob's Jewish Hero Report and model and Hannah's nectarines for her class fruit feast. We also woke up a little later than normal, which didn't help matters any. But, we made it to the synagogue on time and went into Family Services.

As the Family Service was concluding, Rabbi Vered suddenly appears behind me (that woman is FAST!) to point out a neurologist that she had been telling me about last time. Ironically, we'd been eating our bagels at the same table that morning (they have a bagel breakfast set up each week). I thanked her and told her that once we got the kids off to their classes, I'd try to catch up with him.

Mike sees Jacob to his classroom while I walk Hannah to her class. Daniel had disappeared, so I could only assume he went to his class. I drop Hannah off and as I turn to make sure Daniel made it into his classroom, Rabbi Vered is behind me, once again, smiling and doing a little happy dance. "We made it again!" she tells me. (One of her daughters is in Hannah's class). "Yes we did." I tell her with a smile as I head to Daniel's classroom. I'm definitely thinking that this woman has way more on her plate than I do (running the Family Service, getting two daughters into their classrooms, taking care of a 6 month old...).

Once I see that Daniel is, indeed, where he is supposed to be, I head to the ulam (foyer/commons area of the synagogue) for coffee and conversation with some of the other parents. I run into Mike, who was also checking on the kids. He turns and walks with me, when, who do I run into again? Yep. Rabbi Vered. This time, she's standing with Dr. Z, the neuro she had been telling me about. She introduces us and walks away.

After talking with Dr. Z, we exchange info and begin to go about our morning. I see Rabbi Vered walk by with another family and I mouth, "thank you!" and she mouths, "you're welcome," and gives me a wink. I love that woman.

I sit with Rachel and Beth, two ladies I've befriended. Beth has two boys (2nd and 4th grade) and is a music teacher. Rachel has a ton of kids, most of which are older (out of college), but the youngest is in 3rd grade. Both are crazy crafty. Rachel usually makes jewelry while Beth knits. They inform me that, starting next week, they're having a knitting/crochet circle during Sunday School. Bring a skein of yarn and they'll provide the hooks and needles. "But I'm not good at this!" I tell them. "No problem," Rachel tells me. "I'll teach you." Sweet.

At 11, we head to Jacob's classroom to watch Jacob give his report. He was nervous but he did well. At noon, we go to pick up the other two.

I leave to take the kids home while Mike stays behind to attend the lottery drawing to set up the date for Jacob's Bar Mitzvah (July 21, 2012 if anyone's planning). Yeah, it seems like a good deal out but there are a lot of kids and they like to have everything planned about 30 months out for their own planning since they can't have any other activities on a Bar/Bat Mitzvah weekend.

We then headed out to Daniel's basketball game. Most of the kids on Daniel's team are first year players but are getting better. They're also having a blast, which is a good thing. They are not, however, winning. Most games, they have to reset the score because the other team goes up by 20. That's okay, though. All of the kids are actually getting play time and I haven't heard Daniel complain about going to a game or a practice once this season. The team we played today was, by far, the best team we've played this season. Daniel made a couple of good plays (and almost got fouled) and the kids were in good spirits at the end.

Unfortunately, it's started snowing again. The weatherman that I trust is off on the weekends and the weekend guy is new. I also don't like him since he's way too general and still doesn't know the area so he says things like, "north of the city," or "east of downtown," a lot. "North of the city" could be anywhere from Leavenworth to St. Joe and the weather could be completely different in each of the cities. He also said that it hadn't started snowing south of Kansas City and, I assure you, it was snowing at my house at the time, and had been snowing for a while. I also don't understand how it can snow (heavily at times) all night tonight and day tomorrow, yet he only called for 1 inch. So, I have no idea how bad it'll be. I hate that. I'll have to go check out the weather blog.