Thursday, May 29, 2008

Red Roses

Tomorrow is my 34th Birthday. For 34 years, I have gotten red roses from my sweet dad. It started on my first birthday. I got one red rose. Second birthday, two roses. And so on. Until my thirteenth... Dad decided a dozen was plenty for the rest of my birthdays. So, on my sixteenth, when I received 16 roses from my boyfriend and only a dozen from my dad, I made a teenage comment about my dad being outdone. Dad's response, "Yes, but I'll still be giving you them next year." Love my dad.

This morning I got the knock on the door from the florist. Now he sends them in a bunch or a box, not in a vase. I finally told him a few years ago that I immediately took each bouquet out of the florist's vase and tossed all the baby's breath. Not a fan of baby's breath. So now he eliminates that step for me.

Thanks, Dad, for all 342 roses over the years. They're beautiful.

Much better.

How cute is my pre-birthday card from Hannah?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Field Trip : The White House, Roosevelt Island

Another day, another field trip. Today, we went to the WHITE HOUSE! I haven't been there since 5th grade. The furnishings, rugs, art, candlesticks, clocks... it's all beautiful and each piece has such a big story. I'm not sure the kids really felt the gravity of the place. I found myself repeating to Hannah, "Isn't this neat? We are in the White House." Her response, "It's pretty. I'd like to live here."

Sadly, there are no cameras allowed. Or purses. Nothing. Getting through the high security is an experience in itself. The kids got a kick out of delivery trucks opening their hoods for the dogs. No question about why they were sniffing. Maybe they already know. Born in 2001... what a different childhood.

After the Library, Vermeil Room/Parlor, China Room, East Room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, State Dining Room and all those cross halls that you see in the movies the tour was over. So sad about the camera rule. Truly majestic!

We had a picnic lunch and short hike on Theodore Roosevelt Island before heading back to school. It is a very interesting place, right there in the middle of the Potomac River is a wooded sanctuary. And a giant statue of Teddy Roosevelt.

You can just see the Lincoln Memorial under the Roosevelt Bridge.

City kids.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Field Trip : National Gallery of Art

Hannah pondering a Jackson Pollock painting.

We were introduced to a copyist working on
Monet's, The Japanese Footbridge.

The students loved to see Alexander Calder's larger-than-life mobile moving very slowly through the air.

A review of the elements - line, shape and color.

The Matisse Cutouts. There are limited viewing hours for this exhibit to protect the pigments and paper. The lights are also kept down. I had never been there during viewing times.
Absolutely beautiful.

On our way back to the car, some of the girls found the skylights that look down on the tunnel between the buildings.

It was a fabulous tour. Our docent was a good friend. She knows exactly how to lead kindergartners through a museum.
There was magic at every turn.

Tommorow, I go on another exciting field trip with Hannah...
Here's a hint: it's big and white.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rainy Day

I love a day when I don't have to leave the house. There is time to play with the boys, catch up on laundry, read books, make cookies. I woke up this morning to the sound of steady rain on the roof, remembering we had nothing on the calendar. I knew it would be a good day.

Now Will has a different idea of a perfect day. This kid asks me every night before bed, "Where are we going tomorrow? Who are we going to see?" We are wired so differently. Still, he loves a day at home.

This morning, I cleaned a bathroom with the boys "help" and finally vacuumed the upstairs (napping and early to bed children can really make that a challenge). That sense of accomplishment helped me to put aside other chores and get down on the floor and play. I don't do that enough. Then we made homemade playdough - and spent most of the morning sculpting.
I brought up the play kitchen from the basement. It's been out of rotation for over a year. Like a brand new toy. The boys made me a cake.

Good thing I went to the library yesterday. Lots of time to curl up and read. I picked up a great book... do you know Dogger by Shirley Hughes? Tender story about siblings caring for each other. The middle child - a boy - has a favorite stuffed dog, Dogger. When Dogger is lost at the older sister's school, it somehow ends up for sale at the school fair. Big sister gives up her own new treasure to get Dogger back for a disheartened little brother. I almost cried.

Peter is napping. Will is playing quietly. Still raining. I think it's time to make cookies...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Peter started his day about 2 hours before the rest of us.
So, he decided to treat us all to "panpakes."

Spring Festival at Hannah's school

Peter finds a good spot in a tree trunk.

We spent a lot of tickets on this thing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Please Remember

Some things the kids say and do that I don't want to forget....

Peter calls strawberries "stubbies".

Hannah always wants to come to my Bible Study to "be with the ladies."

Will says to me often "I just love you, Mom!"

The way all three of them lean against me when I read to them.

Washing Peter's little hands for him.

Hannah calls magazines "mazagines" (I never correct her - probably should, but it's so cute!).

Peter "mowing" the front yard in neat rows almost daily saying "Daddy's not mowing the grass today."

Will and Peter yelling, "I love you, Hannah! Peace of Christ!" to her as she leaves for school. Standing at the front door in their pjs.

Hannah won't tuck her shirt in because she says she'll "look like a teenager." (?)

When I tuck Will in at night and he pops out of bed and says "I've gotta hug you, Mom!"

I've had a day. Well, a week. Being a mom hasn't been all that fun. This has been a good exercise for me. : )

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Being Left-handed

Pretty early on Will favored his left hand. And for about two years, he has went back and forth between left and right when "writing", coloring, or eating. This was beyond frustrating for him (and me). And because he was always shifting hands, he never got anywhere with writing/coloring. Only recently has he really settled on being left-handed.

Teaching him to write has been interesting. Writing came so easily to Hannah. Poor Will... I am comparing him to a right-handed girl who loves to sit and draw and write. I really do feel for this kid. It's hard to push instead of pull your letters along. I completely understand why some left-handed people "hook" their arm to write. Zaner-Bloser's site has a helpful article about being left-handed.

As we work through his Alphabet Book, I have been trying to get him comfortable with letter formation. We've used play-dough, cheerios, ribbon, popcorn... anything but a pencil. Today it was dot paint. This is his new favorite activity. He can really produce some good-looking letters this way... which encourages him (and me).

Yesterday, I ordered some Handwriting Without Tears products for Will. I'm hopeful that program will be a good fit for him. Who knew Handwriting could be so complicated!?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wedding Weekend

My dear friend Michele is married!
A bunch of us travelled from DC to her hometown of Grosse Pointe, Michigan this past weekend for the big event.

My husband didn't go (one of the many sad things about not having grandparents nearby - weekend sitters!). SO... I flew on a plane by myself! Took only a book, my purse, and a carry-on. I cannot remember the last time I flew without kids. It was air travel bliss. Stayed in a hotel room by myself! ...though I was rarely in my room.
It really was so nice to have some alone time.

David (good friend and Episcopal priest who married them)
and Todd (the groom)

Funny... a friend officiated, another was the photographer, another was the DJ, and Michele did the flowers herself (she's very talented!). We're a good bunch to have around for weddings. : )

Bridesmaids. Jennifer, Mary Elizabeth, Tatiana

The Rehearsal

Michele...faithful friend of 12 years and social coordinator extraordinaire for our big group of 30+ friends. Always hosting and planning our next big party or weekend getaway. She has cheered all of us on through courtships and weddings, pregnancies and babyhood. Now it was her turn! We couldn't be more thrilled to make the trek to Michigan to celebrate!

Grosse Pointe is beautiful! The weather was brilliant! Perfect Day!

The Grosse Pointe War Memorial. Gorgeous place to get married!

Brad and Stacy

I wish I got a better picture of the dress...beautiful!

David and Amanda

The favors...
Her mom and his mom made all the betlawa and buckeyes!
So good!

Back to DC with friends.

So, so happy for Michele and Todd!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Life of Faith

Encouraging my heart this morning....

Heidelberg Catechism, Question 26.

What believest thou when thou sayest,
"I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"?

That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) is for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father; on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me, in this valley of tears turn out to my advantage; for he is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Soaking Up Spring

Every spring is the only spring
- a perpetual astonishment.
~Ellis Peters

Today was spectacular!

Will took a spill on the scooter.
He'll do anything for Bactine and Nascar bandaids.

Peter can always be found hiding in a bush,
digging in the dirt.

Considering Meal Planning

In a few short weeks, my three kids will be with me morning, noon and night. That means I need to get seriously organized. First on my list - Meal Planning.

I go to three grocery stores almost weekly and Costco about every six weeks. This is not working for me. Now all the stores are relatively close to home (except for Costco - the gas to get there makes it hardly worth it), but I spend soooooo much time grocery shopping.

There are a few things I like to get at Whole Foods... I won't buy yogurt anywhere else. And Trader Joe's is the only place to get pizza dough. Giant is the mainstream grocery store where I buy most packaged goods, but milk is more there...and eggs.... Sigh. I have to be willing to compromise OR get super organized. Which makes me think I need to have the whole month of meals planned. I could buy all the meat at once and freeze it (but it's so much better fresh!), freeze bread and pizza dough, then keep up produce and perishables weekly. I know people do this successfully. But we live in a city and the store is *right there*. Also, I am a "I feel like Mexican tonight... hmm... got tortillas, black beans, cilantro...great" type. I will need to stick to the plan and not go with my dinner mood.

When I sit down and try to think of meals, I come up with a handful that all of us will eat. I don't want to fill a calendar with five meals. It's really discouraging... I need new, easy, budget-friendly, kid-approved meal ideas. Gone are the days of trying new recipes nightly from cooking magazines that I used to get. Maybe once a month I should have a "new recipe night" - that may work. Should I go with a school cafeteria model? Monday is pasta night. Tuesday is fish. Wednesday is salad....

I need to race and get the girl. Please share helpful hints/meals if you have them....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dear Uniform,

How do I begin to say thank you? For nine months, you have out-performed all other clothes. You hid your stains. You dried quickly. You never wrinkled. And the school year doesn't show, old friend. You've aged well. And our mornings... oh, how you saved our mornings! Seeing the struggle it was to get out the door, you provided battle-free dressing. My six year-old princess dressed without question, finding you hanging neatly on the closet door morning after morning. During recess, you made it easy for my little girl to do cartwheels and monkey bars. When she played in the creek or painted in art, you still looked good. You're downright adorable on her!

In a few weeks, Hannah will trade you for swimsuits and sundresses. I'll miss seeing you every day. And next year, when we are at home for school, we won't be needing you. Or will we? Anyway, thanks again for your faithful service.

With much gratitude,
Hannah's Mom


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