Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Why I should listen to that little voice....

...that told me two weeks of camp was too long.

They had a great first week--raving about it every day. The second week was exactly like the first except that they had already done all that stuff plus Katie's "boyfriend" decided not to be her friend for the second week (I think he got tired of being teased). It was also very hot and the leaders got tired of coming up with stuff to do that would be both fun and not in danger of throwing everyone into heat shock.

Oh well. It wasn't terrible, just not worth it. Will find a one-week camp for next year, or just skip the whole thing.

That first week worked out well because I was working and didn't have to worry about what the kids were doing and that was good for all of us.

So, I don't have much to report, since I wasn't with the kids much. They did have the Boy Scout raingutter regatta last week and they made some nice boats to race. Zack won his first race but didn't place in the end. Katie was the only sibling to race, so she was the winner! She won one race too. Everyone got a patch and dinner at the BBQ and it was a nice evening.

This week, I'm working again, so not too many activities. Lot of errands on Tuesday and we also went to the free movie in Kingstown. It was Curious George this week, which we had already seen, so I brought a book with me to read by the light of the film and it worked out well.

Zack and Katie's boats:

And another lego creation from Zack:

Lots on our list to do in the next few weeks, including seeing friends from our Friday group, which has been spotty this summer, Park Day, a lot of overdue playdates, swimming, the ooky exhibit and the American History Museum before it closes in September.

And then it will be fall again. Don't blink!

Monday, July 10, 2006


Everyone I know with a blog or personal Web site puts pictures of their kids on it, so I'm beginning to think that I'm being paranoid for no reason.

You may, or may not, have noticed that I never show the kids' faces on this site. I don't really know why. It just made me feel uneasy somehow.

But it would be an easy way for friends and family to see new snaps of them, and, really, who else is coming here anyway?

So, I'm looking for comments on why or why not to include pictures of Katie and Zack.

I'm told you no longer need to register in order to leave a comment but let me know if you encounter any problems.

Oh yes--I also have a counter on the site now. It will put a dot on the world map to show where you are. So, if you're ever in a far-flung place, check out my site and make the map more interesting ;-)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Long Time No Post

Has it really been almost a month since my last post?

Time is in its usual summer overdrive and I've been incredibly busy, overbooked and stressed out for no good reason. Always dangerous when I'm spending my time thinking about what I need to do in three weeks rather than what I need to do today.

So, June....

Here are some random recent projects:

Katie had her dance recital on 6/10. I worked backstage this time and had a blast helping with the lighting and filling in wherever needed during the show.

Katie was in three numbers this year, with three different costumes. She did very well and looked so grown up.

***caution--religion is about to be discussed--if you cannot deal with views that differ from your own, kindly skip to the next paragraph***
The next day we had a communion party to go to, so I took the opportunity to talk to Katie and Zack about what that ritual means to Catholics. When we started both told me that they believed in Jesus (like you might believe in the tooth fairy) and I had to explain that it wasn't a question of believing that Jesus existed but whether he was the only son of God, etc. I told the Easter story and they decided that the coming back from the dead part sounded kind of silly. I let them know that some people believe one thing, some another and that I thought that Jesus was a very important, spiritual guy but not the ONLY one that God gave special gifts to. In any case, I told them that it was an important day for their friend, so to be respectful of her beliefs and that it probably wouldn't come up anyway. It didn't. We had a nice day and wonderful food.

Next day off to Hanover, PA to see our friends, the Mart's new house. [Where should that apostrophe go anyway....] It's giant! The pool water was only 67 degrees, but that did not stop the kids from diving in. Brrr! Sadly, Pete couldn't come but the kids and I had a nice day.

Wednesday was Kate's last piano lesson until August and Zack's last piano lesson for good. He hasn't been enjoying it for a while now and I don't see any sense in forcing it.

Katie plays every day. She doesn't always do the work assigned but as long as she's playing and doing it on her own, she does fine when lesson time comes around. Zack says he wants to play the tuba, so I have to look into that. Don't they want kids to be older before starting brass instruments?

Somewhere in here, Pete's band, The Jet Age, finished their newest record and they are planning to tour in October.

Off to the NC grandparents for two weeks. Had a fabulous time. Spent a lot of time at the beach, went to Dixie Stampede--there was a special price for Father's Day and Katie and Zack were picked to be in the show!!! They had to chase a chicken across the finish line. They had a very lazy chicken and the other team won, but everyone got a medal anyway.

Zack got very anxious right before they were supposed to go on and he looked like he might cry but then the handler got him excited and he went out and had a lot of fun. Katie was thrilled and didn't have any problem getting out there--ofcourse, no surprise there!

We also went to the Ripley's Aquarium
and touched a stingray and a horseshoe crab. We saw both diving shows and even got to see the Dragon at Dragon's Lair through the window of the restaurant instead of standing in the blazing heat of the sun. They have loved that dragon since they first saw it when they were about 2 years old.

I had a grand plan to stop at the Virginia Science Center in Richmond on the way home, see the spaces that will be used for the VA Homeschoolers Conference [have you registered yet?] and meet the coordinators. Pete booked a train to come meet us in Richmond too. A great plan until I got in my car and it was dead, dead, dead. We finally got the battery to take a jump but obviously I didn't give it long enough to charge--I should have listened to my mother--and it died again just outside my folk's neighborhood. AAA-more jumps-many phonecalls-a lot of advice from passing friends-at last we got the car running and off we went to Richmond an hour and 1/2 later than expected.

Happily the people I was meeting were very flexible and understanding and I now know what the sites look like and the kids, theirs and mine, had a good time exploring the museum together.
In the meantime, Pete's train broke down and he showed up about two hours later than expected, so he didn't get to the museum. We picked him up at the train station and decided to head for Fredericksburg to Sammy T's, a favorite restaurant there. We had a leisurely dinner, browsed in a bookstore and got home late and tired.

July 4th, back to Hanover and the Mart's for a BBQ, swim and good conversation. And, it turned out that they have a terrific view of the local fireworks right from their front yard! Another late night but worth it.

There was a library program on 7/5 and Katie was picked to play the flowers in Little Red Ridinghood.

Yesterday, we helped friends mix clay and apply it to the walls of their strawbale structure. They are using the clay from their own yard, so it needs to be sifted, mixed with sand and mixed with water to make the clay and then it gets mushed into the straw to plaster the walls. Very messy fun work but slow-going and I'm glad that it's not my job to get the whole thing done. It will be a great room when it's done though and it was a blast to be able to help.

This week, we're also going over some math problems so we can take those two sections of the CAT test again. No surprise that they have been getting all of the review questions correct. More proof that it was me being a nut case and not their understanding of addition and subtraction that gave them trouble the last time. We'll probably take the test again over the weekend.

Next year I am going to look into an evaluation rather than testing, which should save my nerves a bit of fraying.

So, we're all caught up.

The kids have camp for two weeks, starting Monday and I have a million things on my list to get done. Hope to get at least one or two actually done.

Hope your summer is going slow and easy. --Liz