"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

It's Spring!! (So why is it snowing?)

Last night Spencer's cub scout den was invited to a Spring carnival put on by the Awanas group at a local church here. It was such a great time. The church was PACKED - I don't think any of us was expecting that many kids and that much activity! Once they got acclimated though, there was no stopping them. They were all given a stack of play money when they went in, that they could use to buy turns on different games ... obstacle course, throwing darts at balloons, beanbag toss, ring toss, basketball, and Paxton's favorite - a variation on the dunking booth, where the kids could throw water soaked sponges at the teenaged volunteers. It was a fun night, and I loved watching the boys having such a good time. They tried almost all of the games, and ended up picking a couple favorites. They both did the darts several times, and got better with each shot. I was really proud that they both did the obstacle course too. While they love to do obstacle courses in the driveway at home, up until last night, neither one of them ever really wanted to do something like that in front of a roomful of people. But they did great! They both spent all their "money" and earned a fistful of tickets that they traded in at the end of the night for prizes like bouncy balls, little plastic games, and cardboard airplanes. It was really neat. We all went home tired and happy, and both boys requested - several times - that we do it again sometime. Today we are home, and it's just as well because it is snowing like crazy. Still, we've had a little taste of spring this week, with several days of warmer weather. The taste was nice, but we're ready for the real thing.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Original poetry

Spencer and Paxton wrote poems today:

Once there was a chicken
His name was Icken
He cut down a tree
He cut down a branch
He didn't know what he was thinkin.

by Spencer

Once there was a cow
His name was Wow
I'm still a cow
And my name is still Wow

by Paxton

An extra dose of Dad

At my request, Mike took a sick day on Monday. We'd spent the weekend whining our way through colds and fevers and misery, and I really needed that extra day to gather my bearings. It helped. The boys got to play Monopoly and Connect 4 and Whack-a-Mole with Daddy, while I both rested and cleaned up to get ready for the week. For some reason, the week still seemed extra slow, so yesterday we took a field trip out to his office to meet him for lunch. We went to a great little local diner that serves breakfast all day. I love taking the boys out to eat. For one thing, I just really enjoy their company & conversation, as I always do. But I also like the chance to watch them shine in public, to see how confidently they handle themselves. Spencer and Paxton place their own orders, and have since they were able to talk. They know they can order anything they want, and they do. Paxton has gotten some strange looks when he orders Diet Coke (actually, I think the strange looks are more for us, his parents, for letting him) but yesterday he chose a root beer, which the waitress found totally normal. Yesterday was also the first time we ordered an actual kids meal for Everett. We got him a grilled cheese and he ate half of it! We didn't get dessert, and instead headed back to Mike's office to raid the candy basket. On the way out, someone commented on how cute and well-behaved the boys were, which made me smile half the way home. Spencer slept for most of the 45 minute ride, so Paxton and I sang along to the radio, talked about what a soundtrack was, and theorized about the strange-looking construction vehicle we passed, that neither of us had seen before. Life is good.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This has not been a very good week. Everyone has colds, everyone's on edge, the kids have been bickering more than usual, and I'm pretty sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we are more than ready for winter to be over. We are really feeling the claustrophobia that sets in this time of year (if not sooner) The boys were supposed to have an art show on Tuesday, but it was cancelled because of an ice storm. There was a scouts meeting last night, but Spencer was too sick to even feel like getting dressed. We've been in the house since Saturday. Yuck. I'm trying to focus on those little moments, those good little moments, because we did have them. Isaac and Anabelle visited on Monday, and everyone had a good time.... The boys got their Ladybug and Spider magazines, and we looked through those together. We did what we always do first, and pulled out the little games. We cut out and played a color bingo game yesterday.... We've had the Brio train track out most of the week, and have played with that nearly every day.... Paxton found a race-car math game that they got for Christmas a couple years ago. We lost the directions, so we had to make them up, but we had fun playing that too.... We read about Ramona's latest antics in Ramona and her Mother.... We pulled out maps of the United States, trying to find one that had the time zones listed on it. We finally found what we were looking for in the phone book, and talked about what time it was from California to New Hampshire. The boys thought there should be a different time zone for Maba and Pop and Aunt Didi since they live so far away. (an hour :).... We drank a lot of orange juice. And if my sore throat and sniffling boy are any indication, we're going to be drinking a lot more.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

"A boy can never have too many projects"

That's what Spencer said to me this morning, as we were untangling a ball of yarn so that he could work on his knitting. I showed him how yesterday, and it was the last thing on his mind when he went to bed, and the first thing on his lips when he woke up. It's a good thing he feels that way too, because our house is fast turning into a haven for partially finished projects. As I type, I can see more than a few, and being the giver that I am, I thought that I would share....

On the chair to my left is a woodworking kit, basically a wooden box filled with pine pieces, nails, and a kid-size hammer (which is sometimes used, and sometimes set aside in order to use the real thing). There's something that looks like an airplane hanging out of it. On the couch is Spencer's bridge-building kit. It included everything to make three bridges, and he's finished 2 and a half of them. He got it out yesterday, but I don't think he did anything with it yet. Between the couch and the piano is MY running project, my dvds and boxes and bubble wrap and envelopes. There's a card table that I just set up in front of the door to the basement, since we were running out of usable flat surfaces. (I get a little nutty when the kitchen table is covered for too long, so the card table - which is easy to move around even when it's overflowing - is perfect) The paint-by-number of a horse, which Spencer started on Sunday, is drying there, as is a ceramic Eeyore. Actually, Eeyore dried quickly, but he's sitting there waiting for his final touches. Also on the table is an archeology kit that is so much fun we've all given it a try. It came as a brick with 3 artifacts buried inside, and you have to dig excavate them. When you're done you can mix it with water, re-bury them, let it dry, and start all over again. It's drying now, and I'm excited for them to do it again, because Mike hid some quarters in there too when the kids weren't looking. Mike's model car kit is on that table too, along with a hammer, some safety glasses, and the zipper pull that fell off my purse. On the end of the kitchen counter is Spencer's derby car kit. It's been sitting there for weeks, waiting for us to get the rest of what we need to make it. Mike picked up a tool kit, templates, decals, etc today, so they can work on it this weekend. The derby is in two weeks, so they're going to have to be pretty intense about it if he wants to race it.

There's more in the other room, but that's what I can see at the moment. In a few more days, it could all have changed.


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