Saturday, February 22, 2014

Elinor's 11th Birthday Party



Elinor chose to do a Minute to Win It party for her 11th birthday.  Of course Abe was our host and he sported a really disturbing fox tail recently re-gifted to him.  I just don't understand why anyone would want to part with it.
She was so excited for her guests to arrive, even if her mother's poor laundry planning caused her to have to wear ever so slightly damp jeans.  Oops.
The party guests were a mix of neighborhood friends, Lego robotics friends, and swim team friends.  It really is unfortunate how unsociable homeschoolers can be.  (Okay, that was snarky of me.  Sorry).
After our host, Bob Foxtail introduced and mini-interviewed all the contestants, the competition began.  They were divided into two teams, but they were really racing the one minute timer each round.  Elinor and Caleb faced off in "Hanky Panky".  They had to pull all the tissues out of the box using one hand in one minute.
McKinley and Enoch were both successful in reassembling a puzzle made from the front of a breakfast cereal box.
Madison and Bekah did "Junk in the Trunk".  They had to shake 6 ping-pong balls out of an empty tissue box strapped onto their backside.
Bethany and Clark were funny to watch in "Cookie Face" where they had to successfully get a cookie from their forehead into their mouth with no hands.
Sariah and Megan played "Suck It Up".  They had to transfer M&Ms from one plate to another using a straw.  
 Asia and Savannah had one of the hardest games catching ping-pong balls in tilting, wobbling, stacked cups.
After the first round of games we took a break for singing "Happy Birthday" and eating doughnuts.  Elinor opted for doughnuts rather than cake and icecream.
And what the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl gets!
Team Maddy (She was team captain).
Team Enoch was ultimately victorious.
But here was a moment of glory when Team Maddy was first in transferring marshmallows to another plate using chopsticks.
Cannon and Maddy trying to transfer cotton balls with a petroleum jelly nose. Cannon didn't win, but he gave it a very valiant effort.
Megan did a good job with "Chocolate Unicorn."
Elinor was successful at "Dice On a Stick."
"Elephant March" was funny to watch.
George had a go at it after the party left. 
Keeping two balloons aloft for a minute proved to be a harder than we anticipated.
Elinor's cousin Gentri arrived late, but Elinor was so happy to see her.  And can I just say, this photo bomb by Caleb is the best I've seen in a long time.
There is much less drama involved with older kids opening presents than with little kids.  I thought Elinor's friends were very gracious, as was she.
A couple friends had already left, but it was fun to get a picture of the group.  They were a very delightful, enjoyable group of young people.  Happy birthday, Elinor!  You are one of a kind and we love you so much!

Tree-Huggin' Mama

This past week was the first in the last 7 that I've felt better.  There were a couple of days this week that I didn't take a "happy nappy" on the couch.  I walked each morning, and  I even managed to complete a couple of trips to the store.  To those who deal with chronic health problems, my hat is off to you.  It's physically and mentally exhausting not to feel well.  It's hard to feel happy, hopeful, and grateful when you don't feel up to doing anything.  I am now into the second trimester and as I am  feeling better I am more easily recognizing the good things I am surrounded with.   
The girls spent many hours this week in the tree.  They played a game, of which I do not understand the rules, called Monster Island.  Whether the danger is real or imagined does not matter.  It has entertained them and they have played together in peace and harmony.
That they got our tons and blankets and pillows from the linen closet, causing extra laundry for me to do, does not matter.  They got their school work done quicker so they could go out and play.
They pooled their Valentine's candy, added a few marshmallows for good measure and stored it in the tree for when they needed sustenance.
The bows and Nerf gun bullets were for defense.
I'm not really a tree-hugger sort of gal, but for this tree in my front yard, I will make an exception.

This is little bit off topic, but I must share it before I forget.  I am doing my darndest to cultivate a love of all things Jane Austen in my children.  I recently got the movie Austenland and have been watching it while I make dinner or whenever I get a chance.  Well, the kids are here, so they are watching it as well.  It concerns me that my little boys are quoting Austenland like it is the coolest movie around.  Dude, it is really funny, but don't say it around your friends!
But the other day while I was working in the kitchen I put on the A&E Pride and Prejudice.  I want my girls to love it and share it with me.  I cannot even begin to express my joy when I heard Elinor say to Bethany, in reference to the sister relationship between Jane and Elizabeth Bennett, "I kind of think of you as Jane and me like Elizabeth."
Oh, joy of joys!
"Train up a child in the way (s)he should go and when she is old she will not depart from it". Amen.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Friends in Winter

Good friends and family help pass the long winter days.
Bethany and Corrine sewing doll clothes from old, worn-out clothing.
A Valentine's part at Isabelle's house.
Playing "school" in the cold basement.  But not just any school... school in a bomb shelter during WWII.  Why is playing "school" so much fun, but actual school work is to be avoided at all costs?  I have an idea.  Why don't you play school, but actually do your real school work?
Dance party with girlfriends.
Dancing and poetry recitation.
Sword fighting lets off a little steam.   Better a fellow teenage boy that your sisters.
It's somewhat rare to get a picture of Clark these days because he's been gone from home so much.  His FIRST Robotics team will be finishing up a very intense six week build session tomorrow and we're looking forward to having him around a little more.

Sorry, George

I do not know the story of this picture.  It was taken in the little kids' room, but I don't know who took the picture or what caused this look of alarm.  But based on the following recent pictures of George and his daily activities, I'm sure you'll agree that this look is well justified.
George played with Elinor and friends the other day as they played in the dress-ups and old Halloween costumes.  They created "Yoda-ninja-jazz baby".
He was feeling like hot-stuff!
Is he Anakin Skywalker?

But it gets worse.  Much worse.

Are you familiar with Studio C?  It's a super clean comedy sketch show that we love and the children quote constantly.   One of the popular sketches is "Shoulder Angel" and today Faith turned George into her personal Shoulder Angel.  I would like to point out that Clark was out of the house when this occurred.  He would never have let this happen in his presence.
And I suppose just to keep things in balance, we had to have a Shoulder Devil as well.

Note:  This was all happening during school hours.  Hmm.

I wish I could say that was as bad as it got this week.  But it's not.
George, I'm so sorry.  I don't know why I let your sisters do this to you.  At least when you're in therapy as an adult you'll be able to pinpoint where life went wrong.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, the girls wanted to turn George into Cupid.  And while they were ultimately successful, I feel it was very wrong and I should have stopped it.
I think I'll just leave it at that.  Before the authorities are notified.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Done Right

The great thing about the Regency Ball falling on Valentine's weekend is that neither of us have to think of anything new to do.  The only thing Abe has to decide is do we go Friday night or Saturday night.  And the only thing I have to decide is what am I going to wear this year?
This was our fourth year in a row and I absolutely LOVED my gown Barbara made me that I wore last year. 
But because I've grown (see the following post), I couldn't wear it this year.
And I didn't want to return to the white nightgown of the first two years.  So I called Andrea and said, "How do you feel about helping me sew a gown".  Now, knowing what she knows about my skill (or lack there of) and the amount of work it takes to make even a relatively simple pattern, I don't know why she agreed to help me.  But she did and it was very hard for me.  I'm sure it was hard for her to be that patient with me, but she really let me do the cutting and sewing.  If you are a skilled seamstress, please don't look to closely.  There are problems and I think I looked like a giant moonbeam, but it was comfortable and I had a marvelous time nonetheless.
We were in great company.  I know these are "costumes", but seriously,  don't you think people would behave better if they dressed like this more often?
The only downside to the evening was I was pretty tired (see following post) and not up for much energetic dancing.
They do serve dinner later in the evening as part of the ball, but we went out to dinner before hand.  It was fun to walk around City Creek downtown in our Regency attire.
I love this picture of Andrea dancing. 
I think I'll go watch Austenland.