Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sweeping Performance

The hottest show in town last night was "Joseph: From the Pit to the Palace". The half-hour musical was well done. It served as a testimony to the amount of effort and talent put forth that the young cast of elementary-aged children, with a few middle school kids, learned their blocking, speaking roles, and songs in only five days. The kids marched in with egg shakers, drums, sticks trailing ribbons and filled the risers while clapping and stomping to match the rhythm of their processional. A version of "This is Your Life" played out highlighting Joseph's ups and downs from favored son to prisoner, and ending with his rise to power and reunion with his family.
The mister and I can now somewhat authoritatively state that "broom dancers" use brooms to create choreographed sound and movement on stage while chanting or singing in unison and in turn. Our youngest gave a sweeping performance as part of the group performing "The Pits". We also now know that Little Bit will publicly correct the performer to her right who should have been on the left.
Our eldest did not flash anyone in her slightly shorter than expected costume last night. She also managed to remember her lines despite coming in a day late to begin memorizing the role of Jacob. She was thrilled to be given a staff as a prop for the performance. The giant stick was looked upon with awe by the rest of the cast, and Middle Child was pleased to be in possession of it. The awesomeness of her staff helped to make up for the headache from her too-tight head covering.
Ours is a congregation that celebrates the reflection of the Creator by nurturing creativity and the arts from photography to music. Artistry in its many forms from play-dough to writing is welcomed, and yet the focus is consistently on worship through art. While I refer to the children as "performers", the feel last night was less that of attending a play, than of joining in a slightly raucous worship celebration led by our children.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Costume Change

Oops. Middle Child and Little Bit are of a similar clothing size. Except that one stands a head taller. Both girls have participated in our church's musical camp this week. Tonight the day campers will present a stomp musical, "Joseph: From the Pit to the Palace", as a result of their week long efforts. Erin's role is that of a "broom dancer". Reportedly, that means she sweeps or bangs on stuff with a broom. Maybe. (A "stomp" musical apparently involves percussion. It's all clear as mud.) Kate plays Jacob, or, as initially reported, "an old man," because "no one else wanted to do it."
Somehow, the costume mistress became confused as to which daughter needed the Jacob costume. This evening Jacob will be showing a little leg because the costume was mistakenly designed for the smaller daughter. And Jacob will be wearing shorts under "his" robe as a precaution with the audience seated lower than the stage height.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hot Stuff

It's nuclear summer already, and that sort of hideous heat really ought not to hit before July. In my freezer lurks the remains of a carton of ice cream whispering sweet promises of cold, creamy, not-hotness. It is ideal packaging for the indecisive family who cannot come to an agreement on either chocolate or vanilla. (We cannot have Neapolitan because Mommy is the only one who eats strawberry. And vanilla. And chocolate. I'm sure we all see the direction that's headed.) To avoid the siren song of multiple ice cream cartons, we shall stick to The Great Divide with half chocolate and half vanilla.
Yesterday, the ice cream was getting more and more insistent. I could clearly envision myself dancing around the kitchen with that carton snugly nestled under one arm while the other arm wielded a spoon to expertly transfer its contents directly into my mouth. And in this vision I was humming the unlikely tune, "I like big butts..." Mmm-hmm. At this precise moment, I e-mailed an emergency message to a favored walking buddy who thankfully was available later in the evening to trek around the lake a few times. It helped put the ice cream (not to mention the song and dance...) in perspective because three laps around the lake would just barely account for the calories in a serving of that ice cream.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As we pile in the car, the conversation turns to Sesame Street.

Middle Child: Did you know they made Elmo blue?
The Mister: Blue Elmo is called "Grover".
Little Bit: You mean they even changed his name?!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rumor Has It

We have one shower still waiting for a glass enclosure. The other shower suffered a wee mishap over the weekend which left a small daughter apologizing profusely and an opening in the tile. We are currently enjoying showers with plastic and duct tape while waiting for the glass bid and hoping the company who repaired the kids' shower can explain, or better still, repair the hole in the shower tile he installed the first week in April. Still, our household's state of disrepair has nothing on this tale of the woes of military housing.
*Miss Lulu slipped in the shower Saturday morning. On her way down, she took out the soap dish that was supposed to be inset into the tile. The glop (thin set?) that was supposed to be holding both the tile and the soap dish was alarmingly squishy. The soap dish also chipped the bath tub. No fault was found with the daughter. The same cannot be said for the tile work.


We are in the midst of an overhaul of the house. Usually, the goal is to clean out all the clutter catchers, donate anything no longer needed, and start off the Summer with a clean, well-organized home. The whole process repeats around mid-Summer while the kids are out visiting grandparents, and again in the Fall when they return to school. Come to think of it, there is usually an additional round pre- and post-Holiday Season as well. Ugh. This series of removal and recycling keeps our clutter to a manageable level, and means we can clean the house fairly quickly without excess stuff scattered about.
Except that the pre-Summer clean-out has been skipped entirely. Not too concerned about the missed opportunity, the mister and I planned to send our discards to our church's Garage Giveaway last week. (Think of a church wide garage sale, but everything is given away. A variety of services including everything from medical screenings and haircuts to a hot dog lunch and bounce houses make the day a community event.) While Don played bass as part of a rotation of entertainers, the rest of us passed out balloons, photographed the happenings at the event, sorted donations beforehand, and completely failed to get our own donations delivered. Well, not completely. A stair stepper that we gave away a while back was threatening to return to us, and it was instead delivered to the church to find a new (and surely more appreciative) owner. Now, I just need to find a recipient for the variety of items that had been previously mentally ear-marked as Garage Giveaway goodies, but which cannot remain here until next year's event.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trophy Wives

With Father's Day a blink away, I somehow ended up on a blog with Mother's Day gift suggestions. What should my slightly bored, wandering eye spy? Amongst the suggestions was a brief rave about Victoria Beckham's lingerie ads and the acknowledgment that "most moms don't look like her," along with the statement that, "Dad can still let her know she's sexy with the gift of lingerie!" Really?
While, entirely a fan of supportive undergarments, and certainly cognizant of the transforming power of a good bra, my undergarments are just not the way to express appreciation for my parenting. The three people who qualified me to receive the annual greeting card and floral industry bounty for Moms in May every year, did not leave me in any shape to be exploring daring undergarments.
The mental image that forms is one of the ill-fated initial attempt to put on my old blue jeans after our first child reached the ripe old age of one month. In my mind's eye, the vision of a struggling mommy trying to wriggle into a pair of many-sizes-too-small jeans is replaced with the even more horrifying possibility suggested by the Mom's Day tipster. (Neither lotion nor cooking oil was particularly helpful in that ill-fated endeavor...) The denim held up fairly well despite the abuse, but one cannot really expect the sort of flimsy bits o' nothing that pass for lingerie to do so under such circumstances.
Another issue with the gifting of garments, I successfully worked to prevent the mister from knowing my "real" clothing size throughout the children's pre-k days. Years ago, my sweet spouse gave me a thick, soft bathrobe that was a size large, and which "looked about right" to him. I loved him for both the statement and his blindness because that was the year I entered the plus-size category. The robe was a tear-jerker because it was short a good six plus inches from meeting in the front, but it was also a trophy representing what my mister saw when he looked at me.
In addition to the sometime lack of cooperation by a post-baby body (or even post post-baby), there is another issue with the idea of my spouse gifting me with lingerie. In the days when our children were small, the last thing on earth that classified as a gift would be something that was going to result in someone else touching me. Seriously. After a full day's cuddling, pawing, grabbing, tugging, hugging, etc. by assorted small children, an item that might lead to more touchy-feely was hardly a gift for me. My mister likely knew this instinctively, but I also told him just to be sure.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Our family is in a transitional time. There are some moments not for the blogosphere, and we are enduring one of them. Please keep us all in your prayers, because even if you do not know the specifics of our needs, God is well aware of them. Posts may become a bit spotty, or they could be more prolific. There's just no way to predict the available words in the days to come.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Each summer our local market offers a game to encourage customer loyalty. We shop, and the market rewards us with little slips of paper to collect toward fabulous prizes. Each slip features photographs of "participating products" and corresponds to a spot on a booklet or game board. If all the slips that make up a category or group are collected, a prize is awarded. According to the children, we have "almost" won Free Fuel for One Year, a Dallas Shopping Spree, an Air Travel Package, a Family Getaway Trip, an Apple Macbook, $500 in Roadtrip Money, an iPod Nano, a $50 Grocery Gift Card, and several small cash denominations. In other words, we now have all the standard tokens. I know because I double checked. We have two game booklets. If there is only one missing tab in each prize category, and it is the same, then we can reasonably extrapolate that the missing token is "rare".
Having determined the missing tabs, we continue to open each game piece with bated breath. It's become the latest household reward for the child who gets to tear away the perforated edges to expose the potentially winning game stamp. In an effort to get the children moving, I can have them walk or bike to the store with me to pick up something or other for the household. We cover a roundtrip distance of four miles, and do not turn into lumps. And maybe we will discover one of the final missing pieces that will turn our glossy game booklets into groceries, gasoline, or some such other desirable thing. If not, we will at least have enjoyed good company and a bit of daydreaming as we take turns imagining which prize we might win with the purchase of our store brand waffles.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


The cat has officially broken with reality. It may have had to do with the recent renovation of her personal space. She had happily adopted the use of the master bathroom tub and shower area. The shower was out of commission for the entirety of her life with us, and the bath has been ignored except for occasional dusting. How could she have known? Imagine the surprise when water spouted from the wall of her new digs to rain down on her furry feline head. Hee.
Now she's sleeping in the dog crate and hissing at pot holders. Poor Bella.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wild Life

Well, sort of anyway. This week, the goal of walking fifty miles was set before rational thought could intrude. Since it was set, it will be pursued. Toward that end (29.5 miles so far), the mister and I set off with our daughters in tow (The Boy was gone for a sleepover.) to walk to the nearest McDonald's for an end-of-school ice cream treat. The 3.25 mile trek would bolster Mommy's mileage while giving us all plenty of time to chat.
All went entirely according to plan on the way to the nutritional blight restaurant; however, the trip home was not ordinary. As we crossed the entrance drive to Starbucks, we waved to friends enjoying an evening on the coffee shop's patio, pleased to see them unexpectedly. We next passed the Beach and Tennis Club (The Beach is a landscaped swimming area complete with sand.) where there was a wholly unexpected sighting. A wholly unexpected, and less pleasing, sight than that of familiar faces.
A brown blob shifted in my peripheral vision, and a sideays glance yielded the view of a tarantula creeping along. Heh?! We all stopped to stare. A discussion of whether this was "really cool" or "way gross" followed. A herd of walking women paused to see what we were looking at, and then went on their way a little startled by the object of our fascination. The determination was made that the critter was likely a pet that some enterprising Mom or sibling had freed into the wilds of the suburban landscape rather than a sign of any burgeoning local population. Still, the girls and I jumped every time a blade of tall grass brushed our bare calves or the slight breeze carressed a bare arm with the memory of large fuzzy legs so fresh in our minds' eyes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Countdown

Finally. Today is the last day of school for the students of Pleasant Suburb. In general, the day will be a wasted one. Middle Child has one end-of-semester (EOS) exam remaining in an academic subject, and The Boy has to finish up his Social Skills Exam. Little Bit has a school day that will consist of parties all day with a pizza lunch. Still, it is the last day the mister and I will have until late August when all three children will be away without us, so I am trying to appreciate the final day of their required absence. The mister and I will fit in our early-morning walks, and possibly slip out for breakfast dates without the lovies on occasion so it's not as if we will be without our precious couple time.
The kids tend to sleep in progressively later as the summer wears on, and I expect we will have early mornings largely to ourselves, or at least be of no interestto those awake, by mid-June. Maybe. Middle Child has created a schedule for herself. It involves a 6:00 a.m. start to the busy day she foresees. (Mmm-hmmm. This is the same daughter who we tear away from her mattress in the mornings at 6:30 for school.) The Boy is our chronic early-riser. (His infant through elementary years reset my nightowl tendencies thanks to his internal alarm that awakened him between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. no matter what time he went to bed.) He'll emerge from his covers to inhale breakfast before settling in to avoid anything resembling activity until we go swimming each day. Our youngest is less predictable than her siblings, and she could do absolutely anything. (There's just no telling.) Except for Wednesdays. When she hopes to continue her morning coffeecino meetings with Mom.
Just six more hours until Summer begins for real around here...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Miss Erin has a late birthday. Thanks to the lack of planning which produced a November baby, our youngest child was ineligible to start kindergarten the year she turned five. Instead she entered the elementary halls three months short of her sixth birthday. The friends of her pre-K years left her behind for the formal classroom setting in 2005, and we turned to children from the next round of babies born in the Spring and Summer after our girl for playmates. This summer we will pursue the possibility of catching back up to the grade level of her older friends in the fourth grade rather than entering third grade this Fall.
Erin has expressed trepidation at leaving her friends behind should she pass the series of exams with scores above 90% enabling her to "skip" a grade. This year's teacher says to absolutely test the child for gifted and talented enrichment programming, and she observes the maturity and social ability to fit in with older peers. Erin's reading, writing, and vocabulary skills produce no great concern for her ability to do well on the reading test. Her math skills are potentially on level with much of what a teacher friend describes in the fourth graders after the brain drain of summer vacation. The primary potential for "uh-oh" is that Science and Social Studies are presented as formal subjects beginning in the third grade once the foundational 3 R's have been cemented.
In our current weekly trips to Panera for "coffeecino", we have moved from studying Mark to following Abraham in Genesis. Last week's entry took us to the maps at the back of the Bible where Erin showed proficiency in map skills from comprehension of scale, utilization of the legend ("... also called a key, Mommy."), and finding fixed points with coordinates while talking about the journey undertaken in faith. This week's talk of Lot's selfishness brought about discussion of the food chain and competition because there were just too many flocks ("... also called herds, Mommy.") for the land to support. There is reassurance that the opportunity to take the exams is reasonable because this child already has more knowledge than I realized that has yet to be presented to her in a classroom setting. Which is the whole point of considering acceleration.
She is uncertain as to whether or not she wants to go to fourth grade and miss out on third grade's group projects. It's a big year for cooperative learning in groups as huge quantities of information are conveyed by having the groups research, and then present their individual findings on everything from biomes to continents and the developmment of a hypothesis. Part of our chat this morning was in regard to her feelings on such a big step. Little Bit has made up her mind. She wishes to take the exams to see if she qualifies. The actual decision about which grade to enter is not relevant if she does not pass with flying colors. Should she prove to possess the knowledge imparted in the third grade, then we will address the benefits of either reinforcing the knowledge possesed or moving along to the next level.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Down We Go Together Then

Ha! This morning my scale showed a rapid and alarming weight loss. Stuck in the same five pounds range where I have lurked for the past couple of weeks, I stood peering at the numbers on the dial between my feet. The mister chose that moment to help me out. He grasped under my arms, and proceeded to lift. That scale registered a loss that dropped like a stone. The mister said he was helping me. I stopped squawking long enough to point out that I was dead because organ function would have ceased with that kind of drop. But the scale did say I was outrageously thin for a moment today. And we laughed. Real laughter for a woman who has been on a scale (not the bitter or mocking sort) is a precious gift.
Anywho. Despite the support (and manhandling) of my precious mister, there is something to be said for going down this route en mass. The mister and I have taunted cheered one another on through a large weight loss, and generally maintained that loss together. In addition to my mister, there seem to be a fair number of women who want to get their weight down now (rather than at some unforeseeable time in the future) and others who simply wish to be a bit more fit. And together we are stronger than alone.
Last week, I fell a bit short of my stated 25-35 mile per week walking goal. Late Friday night a text arrived asking for anyone interested in walking around a local lake the following morning. And the necessary miles to meet the goal passed by in the midst of conversation with a friend rather than in the relentless loop of concrete and manicured lawns set to my iTunes (which was unlikely to have happened). The walking buddies now number three regular appointments plus the mister. I can do this, just not on my own.