Sunday, May 31, 2015

Josie's Expert Project

Fourth graders are known experts in many things but at our elementary school, the teachers expect the fourth graders to become an "expert" in some skill they've never tried before.  

When Georgia was in fourth grade, she became an expert at making ice cream without using a churn

Josie thought about becoming an expert in sewing but we couldn't figure out how she could get my sewing machine into school nor could we figure out how she would go about demonstrating her new skill to her classmates in a short period of time.

Instead, Josie decided to master the art of piping icing.

On Saturday, Josie got out her tools and got to work.

We used store-bought icing to make things easier and we didn't use actual cupcakes for this practice round.

Josie tried each different tip and mastered them all.

And she managed to successfully fill the icing bags between each batch (something that we didn't do as a good a job on when Josie had her cupcake decorating birthday party last year.)

She used a custard cup to practice icing a cupcake.

So now Josie is an expert cupcake decorator.  


Friday, May 29, 2015

The Week In Review

Sorry I've been missing in action this week.  I haven't taken many photos - in fact, all the photos in this post were from my iphone.  And while we've been busy, it hasn't been an interesting busy.  

Georgia had a soccer tournament over Memorial Day weekend, so we didn't spend a lot of quality family time over the holiday.  Josie and I celebrate by having chip and dip and cocktails on Monday.

We've been getting by with a whole lot of pug hugs:

And walks:

Gordy's parents were in town to watch a soccer game on Saturday and we all went out to dinner.  The girls dressed up and I took a photo:

Henry is in the middle of studying for his first high school final exams which is just as miserable as it sounds.  He'll finish school in a week.  I've been assembling the supplies he needs for marine biology camp.  He finishes school, has a week off, goes to camp for 12 days, comes back home and still has another WEEK before the girls have their last day of school.

And people think I'm odd for hating snow days so much!

We do have exciting things to look forward to (besides the aforementioned end of finals and summer camp):  Georgia's going to her first summer camp with her friend, Margaret, we're going to spend a lot of time on Block Island this summer, Josie has a cooking camp she's going to, we have visits with friends, plus other end-of-the-year events.  I'll be a better blogger from now on!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May Day 2015

This morning was the annual celebration of "May Day" at Josie's elementary school.  The kids wore their traditional tan shorts and white tops and they did various dances around the May Pole. 

Gordy always thinks I should call this post "Josie Pole Dances" but really, the perverts find my site easily enough already.  I don't need to make their search any simpler.  

It is a funny title, though.

Since Josie is in fourth grade, she got to dance the real May Pole Dance this year and braid the ribbons.

I stood on the hill behind the dancing, so I had a good view of the festivities.

The May Day celebration at our school never, ever deviates from the script.  Every year for five years, I've watched the same dances, listened to the same songs and watched the band play the same instruments.  I have one more year of May Days and I'd really appreciate it if the music director could mix things up.  Add a song, I beg you!

I was joined on my hilly spot by three other mothers who were equally tired of May Day and we had a grand time chatting (between numbers and afterwards) about various pressing issues:  public schools vs private schools, the ridiculously sexist new dress code (FOR GIRLS) at our middle school and what we plan to do about it, teacher changes in the fifth grade and college applications/admissions.  

It was certainly a different discussion than the one I had with a group of mothers our first year at this elementary school.  

That year (five years ago) we had a fifth grader, a second grader and a kindergartner.  It was the only year that we had all three kids in the same school and we were completely engrossed in all things elementary school.  Now our children are high schoolers and middle schoolers as well as elementary schoolers.  I'd say things were easier back then, but they weren't.  The issues and worries are different but they are also the same.  

One more May Day to go.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Hockey Rivalry

As some of you might know, three of us in this family are rabid New York Ranger Fans (Let's Go Rangers).  

The fourth member of the family is a die-hard Tampa Bay Lightening Fan:

And the fifth member couldn't care less about hockey.

Really.  She really wishes that hockey would just end forever and ever.  Amen.

The rest of us have been having a stressful series this year.  When the Rangers are winning things are happy for Gordy, Josie and me.  When Tampa is winning, we have to watch Henry gloat.  

It's all still fun, though.  

(Let's Go Rangers!)

Bonus photo:  

ha, ha!  Henry is now taller than Gordy!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Enka Parade

This was Enka weekend in our town.  Enka is a woman's organization that does charity work - sort of like our town's Junior League - and their big fundraiser of the year is a weekend-long carnival that includes a parade.  Gordy and the kids used to march in the parade with the youth hockey players, but this year, Georgia got to march and play her flute with the rest of the middle school band.

Josie and I got spots along the parade route, so we could properly cheer and take photos.

They aren't a formal marching band, but they did pretty well.  It can't be easy to play music while you walk.

The high school band also marched and played.

It's not the largest parade but there were some amusing marchers.  The Farmer's Market was fun:

And our local farm marched with a goat:

The youth hockey passed us as well, but it was a pretty small showing. 

We had a busy weekend.  Gordy and I went to Block Island on Friday (with Pippa Middleton) to check on the progress of the big construction project) which meant that Josie had to go to the Enka fair with some friends.  Georgia had soccer practice that night, so Gordy brought her to meet friends at Enka after that got out (around 8pm).  Henry had a lacrosse game so we picked him up at school on our way home from the ferry and dropped him off at the fair on our way home.  It was a crazy night but it was one that perfectly timed so that I got avoid the fair completely and for that (and a very good-sported Gordy), I was very thankful.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What We Did This Past Weekend

We had a great weekend and that is because it was super hot and sunny, which made all of us happy and joyful (ok.  maybe just me.  Gordy would tell you that it was way too hot and that he almost burst into flames watching Georgia's soccer game on Sunday).

But back to me and my happy mood.

We went into Boston for dinner on Saturday night with the kids.  We went to Stella in the South End and it was delicious and fun.

And we did a lot of playing with the puppy:

On Sunday, we had that aforementioned soccer game followed by a completely free day.  We relaxed on the porch, read the newspapers and enjoyed the warm sun on our skin.

And then after dinner we stuck a log into the fire pit and made s'mores.

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that Gordy and I successfully set up our fountain on Saturday - the first time we did so all by ourselves, so yeah!  

This weekend was a perfect summer preview - I can't wait until the real thing.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Josie's Soccer Game (Saturday)

Josie is still playing on her town soccer team.  Soccer isn't her favorite activity in the world, but her team is fun (and filled with great girls) and it's nice for her to get outside (read:  out of the stale, ice rink air).

Pippa has been coming with us to soccer games.  She loves greeting everyone and once finished with that, she enjoys sitting on a lap and watching the action.

On this particular Saturday, Josie played goalie for the first half of the game.

She did a great job and didn't allow in a single goal.

Josie's team won 3-0.  It was their first win of the spring.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Kids White House State Dinner

Josie recently entered a contest to attend the Kids' State Dinner at the White House.  The contest required its entrants to create an original recipe using healthy ingredients that include the five major food groups.  The judges pick one winner from each state and those children get to attend a State Dinner where professional chefs cook and serve the winning recipes.

Josie made a homemade guacamole with granny smith apples, whole grain tortilla chips and spicy, black bean & vegetable quesadillas with a low-fat, vegetable sour cream.

She tried out the recipe for our dinner before she submitted it and I can attest that it was all delicious.

The homemade chips and guacamole were wonderful.

and the quesadilla (which were baked in the oven and made with whole grain tortillas) were amazing.

We submitted Josie's recipe on-line and we're hoping that she's the winner from Massachusetts.  But she should be proud of her recipe either way.

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