Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Report

My wonderful parents graciously took the girls for today so that Ed & I could work on the booklet for the school’s centennial. We needed some uninterrupted time to get a big chunk of that finished and we did. It was great.

On the way home from picking the girls up, we got The Report. We asked the typical questions, like what did you eat for lunch and dinner, and what games did you play, etc. Bethany is always our most forthcoming child with The Report. Tonight was no exception. Here’s what she said:

We played this game where you had to say what sport you would do in the Winter Olympics and in the Summer Olympics and then you had to act it out!

I said, “Cool! That sounds like fun. What sports did you choose?”

The Report was that Sarah did snowboarding (which Grandma disapproved of) and swimming, until she remembered there was track, and then she did track. Bethany did figure skating and gymnastics, as did Becca. Elise said figure skating, but then acted it out by doing a somersault.

Finally I asked what Grandma & Grandpa chose.

Oh, Grandma did figure skating and diving. (Apparently she tried to grab her skate and lift her foot above her head, but she didn’t quite get halfway).

And what did Grandpa choose?

Grandpa said, “I’m a spectator.”

Seriously.

The Report states that the girls would not let him get away with just being a spectator. So he chose Bobsled. Which I believe also involves sitting.

Track star that he is, he then sprinted back to the couch.

Which was probably all of 2 feet.

Oh my. I giggled all the way home. I don’t usually get good fodder on my father for my blog!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The tooth that would not come out

It started out well. The tooth came in at the appointed time, just when the little girl needed it for chewing up pieces of fruit and toast. It was straight. It was shiny. Such a cute little tooth.

Then one day, when the little girl wasn’t so terribly little anymore, she was reading after all, the tooth became loose. This was good news, as baby teeth are supposed to become loose and fall out eventually. It was just a tiny bit loose at first. Days and weeks went by, and the tooth was still just a tiny bit loose.

Months went by and gradually, finally, the tooth became very loose. On a day, not so long ago, the little girls’ mother noticed that the cute, shiny tooth was not shiny or cute anymore. It was dull and gray and dead. The tooth was dead and needed to come out.

For two long days, the little girl wiggled and pulled and cried and bit down on apples and twisted and cried some more. All to no avail. The mother pulled. The father pulled. She flossed and brushed. That tooth would not come out.

On the morning of the third day, the mother was doing laundry when suddenly the happy face of the little girl appeared before her, grinning from ear to ear. “Guess what, Mommy?!?! My tooth came out!” And there it was, in her hand. The mother and the little girl rejoiced and took pictures of that stubborn little tooth and the beautiful new window in the little girl’s mouth.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gratituesday, February 23

I have a little video to share with you. Bethany is in her 4th year playing violin and is in book IV of the Suzuki series. I have always been her accompanist, but when she started book IV we didn’t get the accompaniment part right away, and so I made her teacher play with her because I like to be able to practice before I play in front of other people. I LoVeD listening to Bethany play with her teacher each week! I decided this past week to record Bethany playing with her teacher so that all of you could enjoy it too! Now, this wasn’t Bethany’s best performance, as she was kind of thrown by the fact that I was video-taping, but you get the idea.

And now for the Gratituesday portion of this post:

I am grateful for the music teachers that have influenced my girls. We started with Barb and she was amazing for Sarah in piano. When we moved here, it was so difficult to say good-bye to her. In fact, we didn’t for a year and a half. We drove an hour twice a month for piano lessons! In the meantime, we got Bethany going on violin with Amie, who is amazing. Eventually she had a piano opening for Sarah and also later on for Bethany. Amie is a talented musician and really makes music fun for the girls. I love how she has gotten to know each girl and adapts her teaching to meet their needs.

We also last year added Mr. V.S. as Sarah’s middle school band teacher to our list of musicians who have influenced our girls. She is playing flute and she absolutely loves band. But who wouldn’t? Band was totally one of my favorite classes in middle school and high school. I always shared a stand with my friend, Lara and now Sarah shares with her friend Hannah. Plus there’s also a special aunt and uncle who play instruments who encourage the girls in their music education. So, to anyone who has ever supported my children in their music, clapped for them, come to hear them play, watched their videos, or said, “Good job!'” – I THANK YOU!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vancouver 2010

On Saturday we took a spontaneous little trip up to Vancouver to experience Olympic fever. Us and about 2 million other people. And I am not kidding. We read online that 1.6 million people rode the SkyTrain with us and I’m guessing there were people who took other modes of transportation into the city, so we can safely say there were MILLIONS of people walking around us. And though I normally don’t like crowds, there was something different and special about the Olympic crowd.

First off, about 95% of them were wearing Canadian hockey jerseys and the other 4.99999999% were wearing red. We weren’t, though. Second, everyone was friendly! People talked and asked you where you were from and gave you advice about where to go to find washrooms or what radio station to listen to for border crossing reports on the way home or whatever you needed. And third, everyone was happy! No one standing in the 7 hour ziplining queue was complaining. I only heard a few kids whimpering in their strollers and while I had some whining from my own kids, they kept letting themselves be pulled around the streets and seemed excited when we saw new stuff.

My favorite part of the day was when the sun started to go down. We went inside the hotel attached to Canada Place and looked out on the waterfront. We saw the Olympic Rings, the moon, Mt. Baker, the mountain ski areas, etc. Then we walked down and saw the Olympic Cauldron in the dark and it was beautiful. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so glad we went.

Vancouver 2010 web album

Happy Birthday, Josh!

My sweet little nephew is turning 4 today. He is the sweetest, most joyful little boy you would ever meet. He just exudes joy! Everywhere he goes, he brings joy to the people there. He is funny and kind and so-all-boy! I just love that little guy so much.

I remember when he was born – his daddy called me in the middle of the night to tell me of his arrival. I cried and cried after that phone call. Funny, I cried when I heard of his daddy’s birth (my brother) too, but that was because he wasn’t a girl. I cried when Josh was born out of sheer gratitude for his life and that the life of my sister-in-law was spared, even though she was still very sick after his delivery. I cried thinking about my brother and what he was going through during that night, joy and fear, after an exhausting number of days of waiting. By the grace of God, all was well in the end and Josh now even has a baby brother, to whom he is very sweet. When Josh says his baby brother’s name, Carter, he sounds like he has a southern drawl, “Cawww-deh” So sweet.

That boy can go from jumping like a crazy child on the trampoline and acting like a tiger  to singing a sweet song to his baby brother to talking a mile a minute about what football team is playing and who the quarterback is and what the colors are and what the team member numbers are, all in a matter of minutes. I just love every second I get to have with that kid. I am eternally jealous of the community in which they live, because they have access to Josh’s joy at a moment’s notice. I know my mother feels the same way. But we are also grateful for their community because those people are family to them and take care of them. Josh doesn’t have any grandparents or aunts or uncles living close by, but he has others who love him in our absence and we just have to load on the love when we are close to him.

Happy Birthday, Josh! We love you! (And your gift is on its way…it’ll just be a little late…your cousins have to finish their cards). :)

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Theology, Elise-style

At dinner one night last week, we were having a discussion about the differences between fruits and vegetables. The girls all thought it was extremely weird that pickles, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all fruits, even though we eat them like vegetables. Then it eventually dawns on someone that many of the VEGGIE Tale characters are actually fruits…like Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber and Mr. Nezzar, who is a pickle.

Around this time, Elise piped up, in true know-it-all-preschooler fashion:

“GOD is not a fruit.”

Imagine the silence that overcame the diners at my table as we all tried to process what Elise had just said.

Imagine the giggling the 3 other girls tried unsuccessfully to hide.

But really. When you think about it, it makes sense. Those characters on Veggie Tales Bible Stories are fruits (& vegetables). But God is in Bible Stories and Veggie Tales, too. But He is not a fruit. Therefore, that was a perfectly sane and correct statement to make.

It was just so much the way she said it, as though the rest of us really thought He just might be a fruit. As though she was telling us something we did not know.

Then she ended the conversation with:

“God is a person. And Jesus is my brother. My teacher told me that.”

Beware, for the 3 year old is listening.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gratituesday

Today I am thankful that hair grows back.

Over the weekend, my dear Valentine had a little malfunction on his trimmer while trimming his beard. So. The beard had to go. The skin on his chin hadn’t seen the light of day in over 11 years. The kids have never really seen him without it, except in pictures. As you can imagine, there was much drama as the shave continued.

_MG_8502 Bethany couldn’t watch.

_MG_8504 Becca couldn’t believe her eyes.

_MG_8505 Sarah couldn’t believe the face that was emerging.

_MG_8506 Elise couldn’t believe Daddy got shaving cream on his ears.

_MG_8508 And there it goes.

_MG_8524 He’s still handsome, and reminds me more of his mother without it, but I miss it and am grateful that hair grows back.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My first photo walk

This past Friday, Melissa & I went on our first photo walk. Besides our husbands sharing a car to work every day, we share a love of photography. Melissa’s photos always inspire me and you can see her pictures of our walk here.

Melissa & I have been walking for exercise frequently, but when we had the opportunity to walk sans a stroller, we took our cameras along for a photo walk. The day was dark & gray, but we did OK and got a good walk in as well. Here’s a few of my favorites:

_MG_8444 _MG_8459_MG_8468 _MG_8476 Anybody know what this is? The leaves look like holly, but there are those little yellow pods/berries. Is that what happens to holly berries eventually? Or is it another variety of holly? Or something completely different?

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is one of my favorite holidays, believe it or not. I never used to care much about Valentine’s Day, until I was teaching. It is a seriously fun holiday for kids and adults alike! Valentine’s Day incorporates love, chocolate, hugs, kisses, and NO STRESS like other holidays! And no matter whether you have a “Valentine” or not, you have people in your life you love and showing love, especially with kids, is just FUN! When I was teaching, Valentine’s Day always fell around the 100th day of school, and being that I taught lower elementary, we always celebrated the 100th day of school in a BIG way. My favorite thing to do was to write a 100-word Valentine for my class and use the little conversation hearts as some of the words. The kids LOVED it!

Now that I have my own kids, we have lots of fun on Valentine’s. When they were little, we often had friends over. The kids would all wear red, pink, or white and we’d decorate cookies and the kids would exchange Valentines. It was pretty much a way for all my crafty friends & I to use up some of our creative energies and see who could have the most clever Valentine to hand out. :) But we had fun! Now the girls make their own Valentines and we almost always have chocolate fondue on Valentine’s Day together as a family. I’m not sure if we’re doing that tonight or not…we had fondue night with our small group from church last night, so we’ll have to see how tonight goes. At any rate, it’s a fun holiday and there’s always lots of good chocolate and goodies around, so I’m happy. :)

Here are some pictures of the oldest 3 making their Valentines for their classmates.

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Oh, and did I mention that I have my very own incredible Valentine with whom I am madly in love? Yes, there’s that aspect of Valentine’s Day that is pretty awesome, too. He bought me two reclining lawn chairs for Valentine’s Day this year – or, technically – I bought them as our gift to each other. We can’t wait to sit in them side by side on the patio this summer to just relax together and watch the kids play.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happiness is…

Finally getting my scrapbooking supplies sorted and looking beautiful.

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This whole scene is not yet finished…but it’s getting there. The black shelf was a thrift store find. It had a curvy country edge that I had my dad cut off. It was also plain oak, so I spray-painted it black. The cabinet will eventually be painted a winter white, after the walls get painted some shade of green. I also plan to add some sort of tags to the bins to identify what is inside. And the little vase on the top of the black shelf needs a flower or something… but this will all not happen until probably April, so I figured I better post the pictures now, and maybe again later!

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Happiness Is…

Still using the pencil holder my daddy made me in Kindergarten.

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Happiness Is…

Listening to Becca read Little Bear: What will Little Bear Wear? to her daddy…it was one of my favorites to read when I six.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Documenting Spring

Yesterday was an incredibly gorgeous day. Warm and sunny. I spent a little time outside, documenting the signs of the promise of spring popping up all over my yard, and having a little fun with my camera while I was at it.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gratituesday

Today I am grateful for laughter.

On Sunday, we were watching the Super Bowl, and especially the commercials. My favorite commercial was this one for Dove Man+Care body wash.

It’s especially funny to those women who have seen this:

When I went looking for that video, I found a new video, which made me laugh harder than I have laughed in a while…with the exception of the recent mouse episode and things my girls say. ENJOY!

Have you watched it? Watch it before you keep reading!

The reason it struck me so funny is that Ed actually tries hard to avoid saying “Ask Your Mom”, and yet, when he tells the girls something, more often than not, their response is “Is that OK with Mom?” Poor Ed.

By the way, Dove Man+Care is free after rebate at Rite Aid this week. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mouse Caught

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See the red indicator?

Drama over.

Happy Birthday, Randy!

I’ve been struggling with what to write on this day for weeks now. How do I say Happy Birthday on my blog to my big (OLDER) brother?

Should I tease him relentlessly about any number of things that he can be teased about, such as still not knowing what he wants to be when he grows up?

Should I make him feel badly for all the times he mistreated me growing up, like when he used to hit me and say it was an accident or when he acted like the perfect child so that I paled in comparison?

Should I write about all the wonderful things he has accomplished, like getting his Masters and a PhD and landing a great job as a biology prof at our alma mater?

Should I compliment him on  his choice of wife, who is kind, fun, smart, and beautiful, or on his newly-found parenting skills such as teaching his son how to properly use the Little People car ramp or walk around with clothes on his head?

Maybe I should just mention all those things, since all those things encompass just a few of the things that make my brother who he is today.

Happy Birthday, Ran! Thanks for being a thoughtful brother, an encouraging uncle, and for all you teach us in your example as a son, husband, father, teacher, and intellectual Christian.

IMG_4398Finding a picture of my brother that reminds me of my nephew wasn’t easy. This one does just a tad…Elias just looks like his mommy more. Sorry, Randy. But this was a sweet picture, too. I’m wearing my baptism dress and I still have it. All our girls wore it. Do you still have those pants, Randy?

Friday, February 5, 2010

I am a City Girl, Part II

If you have not read "Part I", scroll down and read that first. This will make no sense if you don't.

So I go to buy a mouse trap at the local hardware store. There are quite a few options out there for a girl like me. I start eliminating...no, I don't want the traditional trap that might cut off part of my finger or part of a child's finger. No, I don't want any trap where I might see any blood or guts. No, I don't want to poison the mouse so it goes off somewhere else inside my house and dies. No, I don't want to be humane and do the "catch and release" thing. I want a quick, easy, non-messy kill. But I don't want to pay $23 to electrocute the mouse either.

I choose a $6 trap that kills the mouse inside the thing, so you just have to throw the whole thing away. Sounds good. I set it. But I don't dare open the fireplace to put it inside. So, it's sitting next to the fireplace. Nothing yet.

When I was at the hardware store I found out that my husband could have made millions. Believe it or not, but there are mouse traps that are sticky pieces of paper that you lay on the ground. Like his duct-tape-trap! Apparently his only oversight was not making his duct tape smell like peanut butter.

I went to the counter and bought my mouse trap. That was the only thing I bought. As I left, the clerk says to me, ever so cheerfully, "Have a good day!"

Uh, lady, I just bought a mouse trap. By definition, that is not a good day.

Hopefully there will be only one more installment in this blog series and it will include a picture of a mouse trap that indicates "mouse caught".

I am a City Girl, part I

Warning: even though this is just part I, this is a long post.

I do not try to hide the fact that I am a city girl, through and through. It’s no secret that I would hate living on a farm or that I want to move to town. Recently, on our girls’ trip to Ikea, I panicked just a little bit about having a tarp from a horse barn in my van…fearing that when we came back to the van after shopping in Ikea my van would stink like, well, like a horse barn. Then I got teased even further for accusing Lea of a frog being stuck inside her tarp after hearing a frog croaking over and over. It seemed strange that it was sort of rhythmic, but who would have guessed that Dee chose a croaking frog for a ring tone on her cell phone? Okay, so I should have guessed it was *Dee’s* phone, but it really sounded real. And I know what frog croaking sounds like because I LIVE IN THE COUNTRY!

Now I love my neighbors, but I am tired of living out here. There are many reasons. I would gain so much time every day if I weren’t driving back and forth to town. We could walk and ride bike to places like church, the library, grandma & grandpa’s house, friends’ houses, etc. Plus, things don’t happen in town like what happened here yEsTeRdAy. (I know this, because I have lived in town for all but about 5 years of my life and it has never happened to me before. Except when camping. But that’s a whole ‘nother post). Yesterday…

It was a gorgeous day. The girls were playing outside. Like the whole day. It was awesome. I had windows open in the house. Suddenly, I hear this “Eeww, eeww, eeww! Mom, you GOTTA see this.” Okay, I’m pretty sure I *don’t* have to see whatever it is that is “Eeww”, but some child came in and drug me outside to show me

A dead mouse.

On my lawn.

Next to a big pile of dog poop.

Can I just say? Tie up your dogs, people!

Back to the dead mouse. Interesting for him just to die there on my lawn. I’ve seen plenty of partial mice carcasses, thanks to the many cats that also roam my neighborhood. (Can I just say? Cats should be indoor animals). We also once had a mouse in our garbage can during a tremendous Nor’easter storm. We blamed that on the cold, brought the garbage can to the street, and said good-bye. But now why was this dumb mouse on my lawn, dead?

I took the kids inside and made Ed clean up both the mouse and the pile when he got home. All is well.

Or so I thought.

Ed and I were calmly watching TV and eating a snack. Out of the corner of my eye I spy movement. Yep. You guessed it. A little mouse running across the carpet of my family room, in front of the fireplace. I screamed just a little bit. Ed thought I must have seen the largest spider in the world the way I screamed. So, the mouse kept darting back and forth and Ed saw it and then it kind of disappeared behind a basket next to the fireplace. I instructed Ed to go get the wire strainer with a handle to try to catch the mouse. Doesn’t that seem like a good idea? I thought so.

So Ed goes over to the basket. No mouse. He’s gone. It seems he snuck into the gas fireplace. Well, great, I think. Just turn on the fireplace and he’s toast. But NOoooooo. Ed’s got to turn OFF the pilot light. He gets a flashlight and looks in there. No mouse. But there are two little holes, leading from the fireplace to…who knows where? Is this how the mouse got in? No idea, but that’s where he is.

Now what? We don’t have a trap. It’s 10:00 at night. So, my genius husband decides to duct tape the holes so the mouse can’t get back in the house. Great. We go to bed.

I finally fall asleep. Then I start dreaming. And I’m dreaming about one of my kids knocking at the door. Over and over and over. And then they’re not knocking. They’re scratching. Scritch, scratch, scritch. Over and over. Then I wake up and realize…it’s not my kids…it’s the mouse. In the wall. Trying to scratch or chew his way out. I nudge Ed. It’s the mouse, I say. He says, I know.

WHAT? I KNOW??? And you’re just lying there?

We lay there listening to the stupid mouse in our wall for about 45 minutes. Ed finally gets up. I do not know what his plan is. I hear him looking in the fireplace. Then I hear R-r-i-i-p! Twice. He ripped off the duct tape. At that moment, the mouse stopped scratching and making noise. Just silence. So. I go to the family room. I ask Ed what his plan is. He doesn’t know. He’s just sitting there. Waiting for the mouse. He has nothing with which to catch the mouse if it does come out. He’s just waiting.

So I get on the computer and read some blogs. What else would a supportive wife do while her husband is waiting for a mouse to come out of a fireplace? I say, “Do you want me to google ‘how to get a mouse out of a fireplace and catch him without a trap?’ Ed doesn’t think that’s funny. I think it’s hysterical. All I can think is, this is gonna be a great blog post.

I suggest to Ed that he tape the holes back up and we sleep in the office so that we don’t hear the mouse. He has a better idea. Oh yes. This is genius. He tapes the holes back up, except for one of them he leaves just a tiny bit open, in case the mouse wants to come out that way. So that the mouse will stop scratching and eating the inside of our walls. THEN, he takes a bunch of pieces of duct tape and puts them sticky-side-up just on this side of the hole. Yep. He’s gonna catch that mouse on duct tape. I was seriously giggling. Oh my word. If only that had worked.

So we went to bed. We didn’t hear the mouse again. I fell asleep formulating my blog post in my mind and consequently had some pretty bizarre dreams about catching mice. Trust me, you don’t want to know. But Ed claims to have woken me up from one of my dreams because I sounded scared. It’s true. I was screaming in my dream. Ed said I didn’t scream out loud, though. Whew.

So this morning, we go check the duct-tape-trap. Nothing. No evidence of a mouse anywhere else in the house. So. Either he got out without getting stuck on the duct tape and is in my house somewhere, or he’s dead inside my wall, or he found another way out to the outside and is happily back with his family. Unless that was his dead mother on my lawn. Then he’s probably sad.

Today I must go buy a trap and try to set it. When I told the girls about the whole episode this morning, Elise said, “Mom, you woke me up when you screamed.” That is true. Bethany said, “Why would you scream over a little mouse?” Who gave birth to THAT child, anyway? and Becca said, “When you catch him in the trap, what are you going to do with him?” And of course she’s assuming that mouse is going to be ALIVE in the trap. Please do me a favor. Don’t tell her otherwise.

To be continued…

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gratituesday - a bit late

So, apparently I cannot keep track of the days of the week. I forgot that yesterday was Tuesday and I needed to write my weekly post about what I am grateful for. That however, is a good thing…because…

…today the weather was nice again…

…and I had time to go outside…

…and turn this…

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…into this…

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I think one of my favorite things to do in the yard is to cut off dead stuff so that the new stuff can grow. And since hydrangeas are my favorite shrubs and flowers, I {heart} cutting back the dead hydrangea flower heads once the green little buds appear. I actually forgot to take a “before” picture of the one I did manage to get cut back, so the “before” picture is of another shrub that has yet to be cut back. It will hopefully be nice again another day this week so I can get the other two hydrangeas done.

I also managed to get to my hellebores…I thought I had a few of those, but now there is only one on that side of the house. I may have to invest in a few more. Not sure when I lost them, but it’s pretty wet over on that side of the house, so maybe that’s not so good for them. However, I was very pleased with the one that was there – it has more blooms than it has ever had before!

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I am grateful to have a yard to work in and in which to grow flowers and I am grateful for the promise of Spring and the spiritual lessons I learn when I prune or dig in the dirt or watch the seasons change.

And I am grateful for a warm winter, especially since our friends are leaving this week for a Mexican cruise and they’re going to miss a lovely “warm” week in February in Washington. I’m really just trying to console myself since they’ll be sunning themselves, learning to dance the salsa, drinking margaritas, and snorkeling. I also {heart} snorkeling. So. I’m terribly envious. But I must find things to be grateful for. Like that our friends are not going to miss a week of cold, windy, rainy weather while on their luxury dream vacation of a lifetime. :)

You are wrong,

Mr. Punxsutawney Phil. Spring is just around the corner.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

BEAR week

Last week at school was BEAR Week (Be Excited About Reading). Basically, it’s a week of focusing on literature and books and reading and all sorts of fun and exciting things at school, so that the children come home completely exhausted and incapable of anything other than vegging out AND THEN also requiring no TV or movies or computer for that week! It’s pretty much torture for the parents.

In reality, it wasn’t too bad for Bethany, who doesn’t usually watch anything during the school week anyway. But for Becca, it was a completely different story. She has special times when she is allowed to watch movies or TV, since she doesn’t go to school every day. For example, Monday night was GEMS, which means Ed was home with the two little girls. They almost always get to watch a movie, but this week they couldn’t. I think Ed gave them a two-hour bath that night. Then there was Tuesday, my scrapbooking day, when Becca & Elise usually spend the entire afternoon watching movies. Thank goodness it was a nice day and they could play outside! Then there was Wednesday, when my mom takes care of the little girls while I take the older girls to lessons…usually they get to watch a half hour or so of TV so that my mom can clean up her preschool. So, now it also became torture week for grandparents! Thursday was pretty tough, as well, as the little girls usually watch TV for a little bit in the morning so that I can get things done. Sigh. What a week. Thankfully, we survived, and next year will be easier because Becca will be in school every day.

The last day of the week is pretty fun, though. It’s Storybook Character Dress-Up day! Everyone, including teachers, principals, and even high school teachers’ aides, dresses up as a character from a book! In the morning there’s a big parade at school where everyone gets to see how everyone else is dressed. This is our 5th year doing this and I never knew parents went to the parade before, but I happened to find out from Becca’s teacher that parents do come to watch, so since I was bringing them to school that morning anyway, I thought I would stay. Elise & I had a great time seeing all the kids in their creative outfits. I love the original costumes, where it’s obvious that the kids worked on it with their parents and didn’t just buy a costume and then try to find a book to go with it.

This year, Bethany decided to be Pippi Longstocking. There were a few of them at school that morning, but she was by far the cutest.

_MG_8072 She knew that Pippi had a blue dress with orange squares on the cover of the book, so she cut out orange squares and taped them to her blue dress! So original! I put pipe cleaners in her hair and eye-shadow freckles on her cheeks.

Becca was first going to be her American Girl Doll, Samantha, but the wardrobe wasn’t working out, so she decided to be Fancy Nancy, which is a perfect fit for Becca.

_MG_8085 She pretty much went through the dress-up box and came up with an assortment of fancy things to wear. She even cut ribbon and taped it to her baton by herself to make the Fancy Nancy wand for the parade. I braided her hair the night before, then took it out in the morning and put it up in a fancy up-do.

_MG_8093 Cuties.

_MG_8096 At the parade…

_MG_8100BEAR week is a good week, even if we have to turn off the TV.