Friday, February 26, 2010

Last minute save

You know what I love?  When my kids tell me that they have to bring something to school just hours before it's due.  This is what happened last night at dinner. 
Tori is the student of the week in her class, which means she gets to do all sorts of fun things. She made a poster to hang in the classroom and she has brought in various little items each day for ‘show and tell’. On Monday, she came home with an empty jug and told me I had to fill it with “stuff” so the kids could estimate how many items were in it. I bought pencils, cap erasers, and little rubber balls, stuffed the jug, and off to school she went. At dinner last night, we were talking about the estimation jug and I asked what people guessed. She said that she didn’t know because it’s a secret ballot. “And I need a prize for the kid who guesses the closest”, she cautiously said. “What do you mean a prize?” I asked. “Don’t they to take home all the things we put in there?” “Yes, but the winner also gets a different prize,”she said, looking a little uneasy. She correctly concluded that I wouldn’t be pleased about this last minute announcement. I didn’t want to further upset her, so I smiled and said I’d see what we could do.

While she was eating breakfast this morning, I sprang my great idea on her. “How about we go into the games closet, find a few of your animals, and wrap them in a pretty bag?” She was completely horrified by the idea of giving a classmate an old, used, and probably broken toy. “A pack of crackers?” I hesitantly suggested. Her less than thrilled expression gave me my answer. I told her and Devin that I would be back. I tore through the scrapbooking closet, hoping that I would find an unopened pack of stickers. No luck. I saw a pair of scissors that leave behind a very cool pattern of the paper it cuts. Then I remembered that this is Massachusetts in the year 2010. If Tori brought scissors to school, she would more than likely be hauled off to the principal’s office, labeled a danger to society, and be forced to undergo anger management classes. Plus, knowing Tori, she would probably take the scissors out of her backpack on the bus, pretend she was a shark, and begin chomping kids. I can imagine a child going home and telling his or her mother that a girl on the bus pulled a pair of scissors on her. Yeah – definitely no scissors.

Then I saw it -my beading basket. “How about a backpack charm?” I asked. “YES!” she exclaimed. As Tori and Devin ate their Poptarts at the counter, I sat on the kitchen floor frantically looping headpins and snipping wires.  Tori suggested blue, black, and silver beads so that the charm  would appeal to both boys and girls.

I finished the charm and held it up for Tori. Her eyes, which are already quite enormous, popped out of her head. She approved. I wrapped the charm and stuck it in her backpack. I didn’t get to eat breakfast or brush my hair, and I was still wearing my pajama pants when I brought Devin to school, but Tori hopped on the school bus a very happy little girl. That’s what it’s about, right?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Gumdrops: $1.59
Marshmallows: $1.30
Toothpicks: $.79
Unknowingly learning while having fun: PRICELESS

Cabin fever

We got out of the house today for a last minute hike.  It was more of a walk, actually.  The place we went was deserted, so we let the kids run free.  And run free they did.  They also climbed and jumped a little. We weren't gone long, but it was long enough to refresh everyone.  There's nothing like cold, crisp air to lift one's mood and bring a smile back to one's face.  Oh - and photo editing software that softens and almost removes wrinkles helps too. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Super Bowl Tapas

I really dislike football.  I do, however, really like food (especially when I'm not the one making it) and family, so I happily watched the big game with some fine people and fantastic food.  Todd spent hours and hours on Saturday and Sunday shopping for and preparing an amazing tapas meal.  All the girls got involved, except Devin.  While her sisters rolled meatballs, she sat with her arms crossed declaring the whole procedure gross and saying that she would not touch the meat.  Jacey was a huge help - peeling, chopping, mixing - she enjoyed it all.  I think what she liked best was the one on one time with Daddy.