Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Day


We attended our very last elementary school May Day ceremony.  Josie even played her guitar in the concert! 

But that was at the end.  First, we listened to a bunch of group songs sung by the entire school and we watched Grades K - 5 dance around the May Pole.


The fifth graders did famous Sword Dance where they march around a circle with yard sticks and then eventually weave them together to make a star.


This is an honor apparently, although I personally prefer the stick dance performed by the third graders.


Here is Josie marching in her circle.


And here is Josie, weaving her yard stick into a star.


Voila!


After the final dance, a girl read a patriotic poem and then the kids sung "America The Beautiful" while Josie played a guitar accompaniment.  


Kids have played guitar along with the songs in years past, so Josie took the initiative and asked the music director if she could play her guitar this year.  I was impressed - both with the guts it took to ask to play and by her performance itself.


She looked pretty nervous while she played, but she said she hadn't been nervous when I asked her how it went at the end.

Good job, Josie!




Thursday, May 26, 2016

Death To Busy-Work!


Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  Listen up, people.  I'm hereby calling for an end to all busy-work!

After 11 years of having children in school, I am finally ready to stand up and declare that I am so sick of long, tedious, pointless assignments that have no other purpose then to fill up afternoons.

It's busy-work.

Case in point:  the other day, Georgia was assigned the task of coloring in pictures of an entire human skeleton.  After she carefully colored in all eight sheets (which took about three hours), she then had to cut out the skeleton - including spaces between all the ribs and fingers/toes - and assemble the bones into a full body.

I'm not kidding when I say that she started the project at 3pm and didn't finish until way after 8pm and that was with both my help and Gordy's.


Now please don't comment on the bottom of this post and angrily lecture me on how all children learn in different ways and that one child's busy-work is another child's best assignment ever, because I understand that.  I have three children and each of them has a unique way of learning.  

But even an artistic child who thrives on coloring and cutting, doesn't need a five hour assignment after a long day at school.   


Henry had a year of busy-work at our local middle school.  He was on a team that assigned many "alternative" projects that took way too much time and required multiple nights of all-hands-on-deck parental assistance.

Georgia hasn't had the same experience.  She's been on two completely different teams and for the most part, she hasn't had many nights of busy-work, but mercy!  She made up for it with this assignment!


The truly annoying thing was that Georgia told us that they had already finished the bone unit in this particular class.  They had taken the test on bones and moved on to muscles.  So she didn't understand why they were then assigned the task of coloring in and assembling a skeleton.


Georgia was not amused. 

And neither was I.

Down with busy-work!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

EnKa Fair & Parade


Last weekend was EnKa fair!  Josie and Eva went together -- without parents!  Yeah!  Yeah for them for finally getting old enough to do things on their own and Yeah for Gordy and me since it meant we didn't have to go to EnKa at all!  Instead of standing in lines and watching our children spin around in dizzying circles, Gordy and I went to a party where we celebrated our new-found freedom with other parents of children old enough for their kids to go to EnKa on their own!

It was a true win-win!


Georgia brought two friends from her soccer team who live in a neighboring town.  They met up with a large group of friends, too.

Friday night is probably the most exciting night for EnKa but it's not the smartest night to go.  Almost the entire town is at EnKa on Friday night and the lines for the rides get long and it takes forever to make it through.  I think that they all got to do about three rides in three hours.

Saturday was another day, luckily.  It started with the EnKa parade which included Georgia's middle school marching band.


And my favorite goat from the local farm.





After the parade, the girls met friends again and this time, the lines were short and easy.  

EnKa is open through Saturday night, but our family didn't make it until the end.  Georgia had lacrosse and Josie had a hockey party to go to.  Henry spent the afternoon with friends from town, but he said they only briefly stopped by the fair and while it went unsaid, I assume that meant that they went to get some junk food.

He certainly didn't go to the book tent :)



Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lacrosse


Henry decided not to play lacrosse and instead spent the spring playing tennis.  Josie quit lacrosse after only one season - it just didn't interest her.  So that means that Georgia is our family's lone lacrosse player.  She switched clubs this year and her schedule now consists of two back-to-back games every weekend.  I'll be honest, I used to dread going to lacrosse games and that's because for the first few years there was a dreadful three-pass policy that made games long and painful.  And then there were the referees who would stop play constantly to correct and instruct - which was probably a good thing for the players but it was excruciating for the parents.


Luckily things have changed and girls lacrosse has improved vastly.


The games are now faster, the plays more complex and interesting and the referees less vocal.  


And it's now quite fun to watch Georgia playing lacrosse. 


Last night, Georgia's team played their two games.  Sadly, they lost both but the scores were close and I thought her team did well.  


Monday, May 16, 2016

Josephine (the) Baker


Josie loves to bake - everyone knows that.  But what everyone might not know is that there's only so many baked goods our family can eat and the number is much lower than the number of desserts Josie would like to create.  

So Josie has branched out and is now making cakes for friends.

Her first job was to bake an emoji cake for her great friend, Eva.

Eva wanted a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and so that is what Josie made.


Josie is learning how to use fondant and on this, her second fondant attempt, she mastered a few more skills.









We delivered Eva's cake in person and she was very pleased.



Happy Birthday, Eva!



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Georgia, Dog Lover





All the kids are great with Pippa Middleton and will take her out when asked, but Georgia has proven herself a natural dog-owner and a real dog-lover.  

Quietly and without any instructions, Georgia learned Pippa's routine and will feed, walk her and play with her without being told to do so.  The entire winter, while Josie and I were at hockey, Georgia would give Pippa her dinner and take her out before I'd even remember that such tasks needed to be done.  She understands what Pippa needs instinctively and seems to really enjoy the daily care-taking that a dog requires.  Pippa Middleton started out her life with us, rotating between all three children's beds, but now she only sleeps with Georgia (because Georgia is the only one who willingly puts up with the early mornings, the snoring and the occasional late-night barking).

Georgia has been an enormous help and I know that I couldn't do the Pippa-care without her.  And I'm sure that she could happily care for a dog all by herself- if she was an adult and didn't have to go to school every day, I mean.

My sister, Elizabeth, got her first dog when she was very young - 24?  And although some 24 year olds are just too immature for that kind of responsibility, Elizabeth was always a fabulous dog-owner and no dog was more cared-for or loved than Tulip.  

I wouldn't be surprised if Georgia followed in her aunt's footsteps.


Georgia has invented a game she calls "Zoomie Fingers" that never fails to get Pippa Middleton running figure 8s around our family room.  

The two of them played yesterday afternoon while I cooked dinner and Georgia waited for her soccer carpool.  I tried to get photos but Pippa Middleton was too fast!





Gotcha!  A girl and her pug :)








Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bubbles!


I spent five hours yesterday, waiting for Uhaul to install a hitch to my new(ish) car.  FIVE HOURS!  I spent the first three hours, reading my newspaper and catalogs in a nearby Whole Foods.  But the next two hours, were spent inside the Uhaul, pitching fits about why my car still wasn't finished and clapping a loud, rude pace for the mechanics.    

I pulled out the Uhaul driveway twenty minutes before the girls got out of school which means that it was a complete waste of a day.

This, of course, is a very long, complain-y way of telling you that I had to do all my usual Friday errands on Saturday, which meant that I had Josie (and Gordy) with me at the grocery store and it explains why we ended up with a Large Bubble Wand in the cart.


Extra things are always purchased when Josie "Can I get this, plllleeeassse" Elliot is along for the ride.

I tried to get Josie to wait for a sunny, warm day to try the new wand, but with the way things have been this cold, rainy spring, who knows when that would be?


The bubble wand was pretty amazing.


There is something so very beautiful about soap bubbles, isn't there?


We will definitely bring this bubble wand to Block Island the weekend that Owen comes to visit.  


Since it's spring Saturday in New England, Gordy and I will spend a least a few hours, watching lacrosse in the rain.


And tomorrow we will spend more time watching soccer in the rain.


During both events, I will be wearing a parka.







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