Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Glimpses: February 2016

So we have these two adorable ginger kittens, Fred and George, who are fast becoming not so adorable---they need to be neutered before they turn into awful tom cats.  Unfortunately, in order to get them neutered, I have to establish them as veterinary patients first—and the vet won’t fix the kitties until they have all their shots, which are done in series—so we began that this month. Note to self---never take on free kittens. If you must have kittens, get them from the humane society---animals can’t leave the shelter until they are altered and vaccinated—Boom, done in one day (and for WAAAAY cheaper than at a vet’s office.) 


My kids had a piano performance this month called Monster Concert—10 or 15 pianos on stage, with two or three kids at each piano—all trying to play the same song in sync with a conductor.  Each concert has a theme, this year’s was “The Roaring Twenties.” Normally, we enjoy the hour-plus concert, but this time, since our kids performed early in the concert, we rounded them up and bailed as soon as they were done.  We’d had an incredibly busy week, with a still busier weekend in the making and snatched ourselves away as soon as we could to enjoy some ALL TOGETHER family time—at our favorite family restaurant, Chik-Fil-A.  This night’s meal was compliments of Christmas gift cards from Grandpa Gordon and Grandma Jen.  They know us well.


Ellen needs to log more driving hours before she can take her driver’s license test, so I let her drive me and the kids to some friends’ house, about thirty minutes away.  She did great, though we had one white knuckle moment when she took a corner a LEETLE too fast!  She cackled at my reaction, which made me think she swerved around the turn on purpose.  I freaked out on her for taking risks to scare me, before I realized she hadn’t intended to take the corner so hard and sharp, and that she had only laughed out of stress and relief that nothing bad happened. I should have known---Ellen is NOT the daredevil in the family. Where she learned silliness in response to stress, I have noooOOOooo idea.


Neenie is learning how to read and write—I LOVE this stage---it’s so awesome to listen to her sound out words and try to spell them.  Also, I love the prolific artwork she produces.  The kids have taken to calling the bean-bodied, stick-limbed portraits “Potato People.”  Here is Potato People MOM. I cannot get over the Bert from Sesame Street eyebrows and disgruntled expression. Clearly, she’s been studying me.


Have you ever heard the story of Beyonce, the five foot metal chicken?  Well, I found Beyonce’s BFF.  I fell in love with this flamingo at the local craft store and now I yearn for it. Someday, my precious, you will be mine. And all your little friends, too.

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My kids are as obsessed with Star Wars as I am with Harry Potter, so---somehow, they got it into their heads that because we have an annual Harry Potter month, we should have a Star Wars month as well.  I’m going to be honest here, Star Wars is not my jam.  But, February is hard for homeschoolers because BURNOUT.  Star Wars seemed the perfect thing to motivate the kids in their academics, so---we’re in the thick Jedi/Darth/Sith shenanigans.  We have painted rocks to look like SW characters, played a “drinking game” while watching Episode IV.  Of course, we substituted candy for shots. (I STILL couldn’t make it through the movie without falling asleep---Skittles and chocolate chips notwithstanding.) We have listened to the Star Wars soundtracks and read a biography about George Lucas.  Also, we are reading Ian Doescher’s “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” and I am LOVING it.  The movie is boring and doesn’t make sense to me, but somehow it’s unbelievably awesome written out in iambic pentameter.  I thought my kids would only find it tolerable, but I was delighted to see they enjoy the absurdity of such a mash-up of language patterns and pop-culture.  I have discovered the intergalactic portal to the love of REAL Shakespeare.  I am over the moons of Tatooine about this.


Finally, the weather has been pretty awesome for February and the kids are spending lots of time outdoors.  Here’s a shot of the kids playing “blob tag” at our regular “game day” with friends—it’s like one big 3 hour recess!