Friday, October 31, 2008
She's a good teacher, too. In the course of telling a good story, she's explained many Jewish traditions and practices; we recognized most of our Seder meal in her description of Passover. I highly recommend this audio, although you may want to make a cheat sheet early on to keep the children straight. I just looked at the back of the box and found out I had daughters #2 and #3 mixed up.
A special meal in the story set off my memory. As the family celebrates the weekly Sabbath, they all drink some of "the sweet, dark, red wine that Papa made himself."
Instantly I was at a sunny park in California, toasting my brother's marriage with a sip of sweet, dark, red wine (the best I ever tasted) that our Opa had made himself.
That was a happy day, but now I am missing Opa. He was a wonderful grandfather.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Starting at Trinity in 8th grade (rather than 7th) could have been tough for Daniel. Fortunately, there are several new boys in his small class. Another thing that has really aided the transition is the soccer team.
Trinity offers one sport per gender per season, so most of his classmates are playing with him. He's spending good time with his classmates and some great men who are his teachers AND coaches.
Biggest help for the first days of school: Soccer practice for a whole week BEFORE school started.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Of course she spent time socializing with friends, but Lauren's homework load meant that she also stayed home for many hours each day. It was such a treat to wander by her room and chat a bit. Talking to her now is like getting to know her all over again; her life has changed so much.
She ventured forth again this morning, and it was a bit like an initial send off. The loading of the car (plenty of homemade food from Grammy and Costco food from Mommy). The multiple hugs and kisses. The waving from the driveway. Joseph ("I don't miss you!"), who was camping, WAS disappointed ("Darn!") to come home to find he had missed her departure.
Ah, but she'll be back.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
First, some "before" pictures:
Not hideous, but not inspiring.Hideous.Blah. The light fixture, mirror, and medicine cabinet were all removed. The toilet was in the bathtub.Len cut two holes to add reinforcements behind the drywall, then built a long, sturdy towel bar out of a pipe. It reaches from the door to the shower.Ta da! The paint is a bright (rather than soft) yellow. Lauren said, "If you're not a morning person, it will make you one."The accent color is "mango" spray paint. Notice the towel bar.No longer blah.
Len bought a sheet of vinyl flooring, but when he pulled up the old floor and one layer of water damaged subfloor, it became apparent that it would be a lot of work to install that inexpensive floor. He decided to use the laminate tile we have in the kitchen, which hides dirt well, looks good with the paint, and has held up very well in the four years we've had it.
Friday, October 17, 2008
The first is more inspirational, the others scarier. There is very little being said on the national scene about Barack Obama's plans to eliminate abortion restrictions, or about his record so far. And when it came up in the last debate, he smiled and lied.
Women must be helped and valued before abortion will end. Hearts must change before abortion will end. In the meantime, laws can save lives.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We've never had butterflies emerge so late in the season. After the four chrysalises formed, I kept the jar on the school table for a few days. Then Marianna noticed that one was getting darker. Not the change from green to brown that they sometimes make, but the darkening that in the past has foretold the rotting of a "dud".
That was my signal to put the jar in the fridge to prevent any others from going bad. A few days later I had to take the jar out again to make room for groceries, but I left it in the basement, which is at least cooler than the main level.
After a few more days--eek!--I saw a butterfly in there as I passed by! It had emerged from the first (darkened) chrysalis, I think 14-15 days after forming.
I put the jar outside in the shade to let nature decide what to do with these guys. We've had some cool nights, but also some really warm days, so there may be some confusion about overwintering vs. emerging NOW.
Another butterfly has emerged since then, and a third chrysalis is darkening. The jar is staying outside for now. If we have any chrysalises left when winter truly arrives, I'll need to decide about leaving them out vs. putting them in the fridge. Butterfly #2 waiting to be released. Can you see the empty chrysalises on the stick and the wall?
Joe coaxed it onto a flower in Marianna's cutting garden. We also have a butterfly bush nearby.
This second EBS was released on October 13 (caterpillar day 33). I'm not too optimistic about its survival and reproductive chances, but I suppose this is what would have happened if it had always lived outside, too.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
You see where this is going, don't you?
1:40 p.m.: The phone rings. "Barb?"
Aaaargh! Joe was supposed to be at church TEN MINUTES AGO! I managed to COMPLETELY forget!
It turned out fine. Joe changed, we hopped in the car and zipped down the highway, arriving at the Kennedy Center just a few minutes after the rest of his group. He didn't even miss the instrument petting zoo before the performance.
It was almost pleasant driving into DC without traffic--zoom, zoom. It would have been nice to not have to drive so far, but the worst part was really that feeling of totally losing my mind.
Friday, October 10, 2008
My marvelous husband is redoing the upstairs hall bathroom. This 15 year old room has never been painted. The yard sale shower curtain is maroon and dark green. The floor (it's the kids' bathroom, after all) is dinged and water damaged.
On the project list:
- new shower curtain (done)
- soft yellow paint
- a hefty new towel bar
- a cabinet over the toilet
- a new floor
- probably something else
I'm hoping to post before and after photos. (But right now I'm teaching school. Right!)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Yesterday the girls and I walked to the yarn store during tae kwon do. I needed to check the stock of double pointed needles, and the girls wanted to see the pretty yarn. Soon Marianna was asking to buy something beautiful. I reminded her that she's working on a project right now and doesn't even know what she'll make next.
Her response? No problem: "I'll buy it now and think of what to make with it later."
This must be why I keep reading about knitters swamped by their stashes. =)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Proof that out of sight is NOT out of mind: On last week's nature walk, Joseph took the picture below and immediately said, "That was a Lauren picture. It took skills."
Side note: As I was going through the massive file of photos last night, I actually deleted this one because it's not perfectly in focus. (Joe and I both need to practice using the manual focus.) Later I remembered that I hadn't even shown it to Lauren. Waaaah! But this morning Len taught me about the recycle bin, and lo and behold, the picture is restored!
Monday, October 6, 2008
I brought ours on last week's walk, and EVERYONE was looking for and taking interesting photos, from vistas
to close ups.
Lots of close ups.It even got a little tiresome stopping for photo after photo (and sharing the camera), but we were all enjoying the discovering. It was one of several cool, damp days, so we saw many kinds of mushrooms.Sharing the camera meant even the less skilled photographers got their turns.Rebecca took this picture of a daddy longlegs.We took close to 100 photos! Here are a few more for now--I took just one or two of the following.