Monday, March 26, 2012
We didn't move.
We did a little decluttering, but mostly attended girls activities, took a few trips, and enjoyed ourselves.
These days I am:
- working two days a week at church,
- volunteering everywhere,
- working on finishing my Master gardener volunteer hours,
- helping to head up the church Food Pantry Garden,
- gearing up for the school garden club to resume in a few weeks,
- Taking Ali Edwards year-long One Little Word Class,
- taking Tim Holtz's two week Creative Chemistry class,
- doing some major deep cleaning purge-type decluttering. For real. The Garage Sale pile in the basement is growing. Yes, the 'little girls' room is clean. Very clean.
That 13 year old in a previous post? Finishing up her Freshman year in High School. Yikes.
I am still taking piano lessons. between the girls and I, we are taking 4 different music lessons and a Kindermusik class. The youngest is about to start violin. Shhh. It's a surprise!
There's quite a bit more, but that's a decent summary, so I'm going to keep it simple and start with Tims Tags for my class.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Natasha turned 13 right before school let out for summer. And on that day, a hormonal switch was flipped. Whoa, take cover!
But that isn't what this post is about and most of the time she isn't much different than when she was 12. No different discounting the following facts: she is taller and catching up to me, now wears the same size shoe as I do and too often MY shoes, and is always attached to her cell phone. If she isn't texting it is buzzing in her pocket - or on the far side of the table when she is doing her homework.
She had been asking for a cell phone for years. We asserted that she didn't need one. I was home, I drove them to and from school due the whole open enrollment thing. On my honor, I would make them walk if we lived any closer and they are forced to hike and bike and walk other places so let's not go there ok? She always had access to phones at school, church and when at friends homes. She never used the phone at home anyway.
That last point? Yeah, that was because most of her friends had cell phones and were busy exercising their thumbs instead of tongues; and despite having an e-mail address she wasn't getting in on all the plans. Bad Mom. Add in the fact it was getting annoying trying to figure out which days which activities let her out of school when, whether she would be waiting at school, walking with friends, or walking several blocks to our usual meeting place. See? I do make her walk.
I wanted her to have a cell phone to make my life easier. If I could avoid sitting in the car waiting for 30 minutes a day, I could be more productive. The people in the school office probably thought the same thing when she stopped coming in daily at 2:30 asking to use the phone.
So what did I tell her the week before her birthday when she asked again? “No, you don’t need one.“ So mean. Then she asked if she could have an iPod Touch. “Yes,” I said. “If you pay for it yourself.” Little did she know I had already checked out text plans and phones and even asked them to make sure they had the phone I thought she would choose in stock. It was very hard NOT to take her straight there after school.
The day of her birthday we went out to breakfast where she opened her token presents: a pile of sketching and drawing tablets and a new set of markers of course, a few sweets that she isn’t supposed to have with braces, and a blindfold. After breakfast we piled in the car, blindfolded her and drove to the cellular store. She had no clue. You can see her surprise in the photos below. Note the bottom photo - she spent half her birthday in her room texting and then during her street dance/sleepover party as well, texting the girls who were right there with her. It's a different world.
Life IS easier now that she has a cell, for both of us, I think. And she did something else that day that showed me she was responsible and thoughtful enough to take care of a phone.
Sarah and Mira both think they need a cell phone too. They each have a long wait.
Small update: since my last post about the nasty caterpillars, the bushes have filled in nicely. Let's not talk about the weeds that need to be pulled again, ok? Thanks.
The girls FINALLY escaped school in mid-June. Through the summer they each took several art classes between the Art Center and the home of the former elementary school Art teacher. We still have the lovely artwork everywhere, and Natasha discovered ceramics. Sarah and Mira took swim lessons. All attended Vacation Bible School as participants or helpers and Sarah attended a second VBS at a friends church. There were math sessions (sorry) and weekly trips to the library. Natasha turned 13 and of all crazy ideas we let her have a cell phone. I now am an expert at texting. More on that tomorrow*.
We swam, planted gardens at church and home, rode bikes, had sleepovers, purchased some cool old office furniture for my new scrap corner. I went out with friends several times, had a friend visit for a few days, and watched lots and lots of rain. Sad fact: with 5 sequential dry days this week, we have just experienced the longest dry spell in our area since April. Hmmm.
We also did a fair amount of traveling:
- a week in Chicago with Oma and Grandpa, with a stop at Witty Kitties (remember Eddie/Alastor?), and a visit to Brookfield Zoo.
- a week and a half in Georgia visiting my sister Missy and her family.
- a long weekend in Northern Illinois with my cousin Karen and the rest of her immediate family. We were celebrating a milestone birthday that will occur later this year. Wait - aren't they all milestones?
- as always, my holiday weekend camping in Wisconsin with my parents. Technically Labor day weekend, also known as Michelle/Mom's yearly birthday campout. Yes, I got lucky with my birthday, and I usually chose to spend it in a tent.
It has been a wonderful 5 months, and I don't regret a minute of it.
* Did I say Tomorrow? This time I'm making plans, not promises. Plans for me, to satisfy my reasons for blogging, so we'll just see how it goes. In the meantime, the chauffeur had better go to sleep. She has lunches to make in a few hours.
Monday, May 17, 2010
We did the normal weekend things:
- slept in
- coffee and omelets in the sunroom while reading the paper and listening to the wrens singing - and watching the cats stare out the window, dreaming of wren for breakfast.
- cleaned and tuned bikes although the girls have been riding theirs for awhile. Mine is new (that's another post) but the Burley trailer was nasty mildewy and Rich's bike stored hung in the rafters for the winter had apparently been used as a birds perch. Yuck. He's riding to work for Bike to Work week and added upright handlebars so he doesn't have to lean over so much. Being 6'7" isn't always an advantage!
- a bike ride to the store & around the neighborhood. I'm hoping next weekend we will start riding bikes to church.
- Mira helped me move my basil from the herb garden next to the house to the vegetable garden. The herb garden used to be a sunny place, but the oak that was teeny tiny when we moved in 15 years ago now shades the yard between the house & garage - and the Lilacs, and the Azaleas and the herb garden. Mira also helped me clean up the veg garden border and plant the Marigolds and white Verbena she helped me pick out a few weeks ago.
- Took photos of the just blooming Peonies (hey, the peeling garage gives the back yard a rustic cottage look, doesn't it?) and pine bushes in the side yard being eating from the top down by scores of squirmy creepy dark green caterpillars. Blech. They make a nasty clicking noise and every so often they all twitch at once. The bushes are beautifully green too - halfway up. Rich took care of the caterpillars yesterday...
- Grilled homemade pizzas for dinner - oh yummy.
- attended the school carnival. Fun fun fun - especially Mira who can not wait to start Kindergarten. Sarah ran around with her friends getting her hair and face painted, eating junk and playing games. If you look closely at the peonies photo above you can see Sarah's still-orange hair on Saturday morning. Natasha caught up with old friends who attend different middle schools. And I won the 'Lunch with a Teacher' basket for Sarah & her WONDERFUL Teacher Mrs. B - the three of us get to go to lunch at Flarah's before school gets out - during the school day! How cool is that?
- Took Natasha to a friends Birthday party - for hair and make-up Oh my. It's too bad we weren't planning to go someplace special, so I settled for a photo shoot instead. Just one here for now. Ok, two. Not the best light for either, but I love the photos anyway. Beautiful.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Weeding and planting makes Michelle happy.
Now I itch. I tried to ignore it.
Even though it tickles NONSTOP.
Even though I knew I'd uncovered a funny three leafed plant on a red stem while pulling leaves out of tangle of Wisteria vines. (Oh I make sure to shower off the instant I finish gardening. I NEVER touch my face while gardening, and I always toss my gardening clothes right into the washer. Because I get Poison Ivy EVERY year, even if I never see the stuff.
But not this year.
Oh no not me.
That sloooow, tickly feeling on my calves, ankles, wrist, elbow? I must have disturbed a few sleeping mosquitos while digging up those runaway decorative grass sprouts trying to take over the lawn, right? Right?
At least it's mild. Goes well with the sniffly nose from all the dust I stirred up over the past two weeks while pulling old stuff from closets (and sorting and washing) to take to the church garage sale. 3 carloads, 1 FULL Jeep load and one more to transport an old bedframe. Dust galore.
Oh well. My garden looks lovely, my house is so much less cluttered and I am happy.
I think I'll mow tomorrow.