Friday, July 3, 2015

Breaking News!

Evan proved once again this morning that he is our no fuss child. I hadn't even had my coffee yet when there was much excitement because someone had just popped out his first tooth:
We didn't even know it was loose! There was no constant wiggling or daily mom checks. He just popped it out and let us know. He is super excited about the Tooth Fairy's visit, though!

It did occur to me that I should check the rest of his teeth, and he does in fact have another loose one. I told him, and he wiggled it and announced, "That's not really loose." Apparently it's not loose in his world until it comes right out in your hand. Life with this boy is never predictable, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Camo White Belt!

Evan had a very big night last night at the dojo! First, he was surprised with his exceptional attendance patch:
He has been training two days a week every week for over a year now. He takes that so seriously, and we are so proud of his commitment. Brad and I also thought we should get patches or driving the taxi.

The big news, though, was he graduated to his camo white belt:
He is officially half way through his ninja training and out of white belts.

To commemorate the occasion, the best daddy ever designed and had printed a very special shuriken ball:
All of the teachers were a little jealous of that one.

Evan is still loving life at the dojo, and we are still loving being a part of that community.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Farm Fun

The kids and I headed to the farm last night. We enjoyed the Tuesday evening potluck and caught up on all the farm news. Little Guy, the cow, is doing much better after a run of weepy eyes. Crops are coming up well, and the shade garden is completely finished. We also had 15 new chicks delivered to the farm Monday! Unfortunately, 4 were eaten over night even though they were in a kennel in the shed. The only explanation is snake, and so the main project of the evening was to be snake proofing the chicks. We pulled an unused, solid water trough to the shed, and about that point the heavens opened up! We crowded in the shed and started making a new home for the chicks, and the kids were more than happy to hold the babies while we made the move.

And then the rain stopped...and the puddle appeared...and the kids had a blast:

I am so thrilled that we found this community farm. I love that the kids are learning where food comes from, and I love that they have a place where they can also just be kids outside splashing in giant puddles. Life is good.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Sanity

We have settled in to a summer routine nicely around here. The kids wanted a very low key summer. However, I also know we are not a family that does well without some sort of routine and structure. So...we created a system:
I made charts and put them in page protectors on the refrigerator. Each box represents five minutes. The schools suggests 20 minutes of reading, 15 minutes of math, and 10 minutes of writing. They also have to do 30 minutes of a parent project. (This week we are deep cleaning the playroom.) They also have space for an hour of brain games on the computer or tablet and an hour of mush time (tv, extra game time, anything else involving a screen). The bottom lists anything extra we have going each day--dance, dojo, library times, etc.

This little system prevents any arguments about screens, and it helps the kids plan their days. It has given them their easy summer but given us all enough structure to avoid melt downs. I think I'll keep it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Antigone in Flamenco

Saturday, we went to the second of our ADF shows. Daddy had just flown home and was tired, so we took one of Issa's dance friends with us this time. I tried to take a picture of my crew before the show:
 They weren't interested. Evan did have a change of heart, though:
 The show was incredible. It was a Flamenco troupe, and they performed four pieces from Antigone. read that correctly. Before the show, the director came out and explained that we would not be seeing the show that was in our programs. Their light board had been hit by lightning the night before, and they only had time to reset one show. So, he proceeded to explain Antigone, the adult show for the evening, to the kids. After the big picture was painted, the dancers and musicians took the stage and proceeded to do the Greek tragedy in Spanish and Flamenco. They subtitled the most important lines, and one of the bilingual dancers did a monologue half way through to connect some dots. It was quite possibly one of the coolest things I have ever seen, and the kids all loved it. Evan loved the battle between the brothers, and the girls loved watching the footwork. We were very close to the stage so we could really see and hear every step.

After the show, the girls even agreed to be photographed:
As a side note, I love this little friend. AliceAnn is more family than friend, and she never fails to make me laugh. I would take her anywhere.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Brad comes home from a conference today, which means it has been just the kids and I this week. I also started teaching my second summer school class, so life has been a bit crazy. Thankfully, Miss Hannah was able to babysit this week. The kids were so very excited to see her again on Wednesday. When I had asked her to babysit, she had said she was volunteering at her church's VBS, but that the kids were welcome to come along. Issa and Evan thought that sounded fun, so off they went.

When they came home Wednesday evening, they were so excited. They had a great time, and they were begging to go back for the final night last night. How do you say no to that?

VBS starts with a shared meal, and the kids and I walked in to a cozy Fellowship Hall. I was taken aback by how many people called my children by name and how excited the kids were to see new friends again. I lost count of how many adults thanked me for allowing the children to come and invited us back to the program on Sunday morning.

I came home while the kids were in VBS, but I had been invited back to see the closing. I watched Evan actually do the motions joyfully to the songs after he walked in with his arm across the shoulders of a new friend. Issa came in laughing and hugged her new friends goodbye at the end of the night.

I can't say enough about the warmth and hospitality of this little church, and we will certainly be there on Sunday. I am grateful for any place that brings people together this way and with such joy.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Am My Mother

I had a very exciting development at work yesterday: I got a new laptop! The campus is on a regular cycle, which is good considering two hours after I got my form about ordering a new laptop my old one decided to go senile. I never knew what it was going to do.

Yesterday, they delivered my new laptop and got me all set up with a docking station and backup drive. It was blissful. The real bonus: it's a yoga! That means it's a tablet and laptop in one. I played with the touch screen feature yesterday and congratulated myself that I was navigating all the new software seamlessly.

 Then I went to start my work today...and I realized I am indeed turning into my mother. The one I mercilessly mocked about being a Luddite. I will confess here in the spirit of keeping it real: I couldn't figure out how to turn the blasted thing on. I had to get out my personal tablet and consult the Google to figure out where the power switch was. Thank goodness for YouTube. While there, I also discovered I have a pen, which makes the whole tablet feature much easier! I played with the script to text feature with my finger yesterday, but it's so much easier with a pen!

Suffice it to say, I will never mock my mother again.