Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pink Afghan Strides into Male-Dominated Battle

A fluttery pink afghan sweater floated at the top of Morgan's grey-green camouflage pants as she ducked and swirled around in battle. Fourteen Star Wars light sabre-wielding guys yelled and battled around her. Two sides fought across our damp green lawn yesterday, as the light snow flurries fell. It was John's 13th birthday, and the snow at the beginning of the morning took us by surprise. Slightly panicked at the idea of 12 male teens and pre-teens coming over and not being able to play outside for those three hours, we hurried to come up with some indoor activities and tournaments. Snow kept coming down. Later, the sun peeked out of the clouds; it warmed up slightly; and by the time the indoor tournaments had wound down, the guys were able to race outside with their light sabres. They battled for an hour! My daughter joined them, swirling and dying dramatically in her pink fluffy shawl.

I sipped decaf coffee indoors much of that last battle time, seeing the tiny flurries of snow fall, and grinning at the dramatic war cries from outside, talking with my mom and dad and sister.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cheeses and Avocados

What a beautiful sunny day. We have finished our day of schooling and the kids are now racing outside to play. John's got his rollerblades on, Morgan is finishing up some projects in her room while listening to Adventures in Odyssey radio theatre. I love having the windows and decks open for a fresh smelling cross-breeze, wind-chimes dangling on the deck.

Yesterday was my birthday and my family shook their heads at my oddness...
Earlier in the week they had asked me for gift ideas. Knowing that my house was already plenty full of items, I instead suggested special treat foods, like strong European cheeses (Gruyere), or those great Odwalla or Bolthouse healthy juices, or avocados! My kids and my husband were appalled at my suggestions. "Those aren't presents! They won't last." But I laughed and insisted that really those sounded great. "I often walk past the avocados or the special cheeses and juices, thinking, 'Oooh, can I get one of these as a special treat this time?!' --and I do!--or other times, I think 'Well, I'll save that treat for another day.' It's that frugal part of me, or the missionary kid part of me that chooses her treats carefully and then savors them for a long time. (You should have seen how long we could make a European chocolate bar last in Africa, since they were rare!) My family shook their heads at me with smiles and went shopping.

Yesterday though as I got up for breakfast, my family was all waiting for me. They sang Happy Birthday to me as I walked into the kitchen, and Morgan gleefully pointed to the presents on the kitchen table for me. "Look, Mom!" she squealed. Unwrapping each present, I laughed along with them. There was a Brie cheese from France, a Gouda cheese from Holland, a Gruyere!! from Switzerland, and a Feta cheese of Greek descent. Plus, hidden in tiny round bags, was an avocado and a mango. They had also thought of chocolate bars (Almond Joys and Three Musketeers). Mmmmmm. Morgan had written me a very sweet card, saying she loved me and other tender things. It was very nice.

So, this pregnant woman, who is already taking longer to find outfits that fit and look nice, is now adding European cheeses and candy bars to that mix! Uh, oh. :)

How are you guys? What are you enjoying doing this sunny week?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Having a science museum membership is nice as a homeschooling family, but sometimes we are gluttons for our own punishment. This week was the last week of the special 6-movie Imax film festival. Having missed them so far this month, we decided to try to see several of them in a few days. So, cramming short trips down to the museum in between Phonics, History, Math, French, and Latin, we raced to see three films. One of them was about Mount Everest in the Tibet area. Another film was on the Alps in Europe, and the last film was on a lion pride in Botswana. They were great! However, we are tired from all the extra driving these last eight or nine days.

My son had his swim team banquet Friday night. He was one of 30 or so teens on the team. Each kid walked up proudly to the front of the room to get their trophy, a heavy m
arble-like block with a spinning gold metal thing on top. They look cool, and he and his friend Noah blew on their trophies to make them spin around in the bases.

Our family watched the movie about Mr. Bean's Vacation last night. It was funny hearing him say "Gracias" each time he was supposed to be speaking French. Rowan Atkinson is so strange but so funny.

How was your weekend?

Edit: This is a cool tree that I have growing on my kitchen table. It is the burl from a Redwood tree in California. The green sprouting tree-lings are growing out from a chunk of a redwood tree trunk. Cool, huh? Thanks to Cindy and her mom for getting me one!