Thursday, May 28, 2009

Silliness at the school

Tonight was a red letter day. Our youngest daughter graduated from kindergarten and our oldest passed to 10th grade. Their school had an open house tonight, complete with the standard programming: kids graduating, demonstrations from music students, a few karate students kickin' and punchin' each other in demonstrations for all the parents who have been wondering what their kids have been doing at that school, anyway.

Now we know, and Glory and I are very proud.

Our younger ones even were attentive at tonight's festivities. They sat on our laps and stared in admiration at their sisters as they were recognized for their achievements.

But they really got into those karate kids. Our three-year-old was making the motions as he watched the students perform. I don't think he really took it all that seriously, though.

"Do you like that?" I asked him.

"Yeah," he said, while watching, transfixed. "They're silly."

Even our young graduate commented similarly:

"What are those silly things they're wearing, Daddy?" she asked me.

But, our three-year-old wasn't going to let his sister get away with her own form of comic relief. As he started at her mortar board, I asked him what he thought of her "hat."

After a long pause, he replied: "She looks like Peter Pan."

With that, she flew up in the air and did battle with the karate students and vanquished them all, as her little brothers watched in awe.

They can't wait until they get to go to school, too.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting ready for the mountains!

In a week we'll be on the road to the other side of our fair state to visit friends and to go camping! We're pretty excited. We managed to reserve a spot at a state park campground that has awesome privacy.

Going there fulfills the desires of nearly all the family: Our oldest gets to ride a horse. Our second-oldest gets to go fishing. Our third child gets to go see the mountains. Our youngest just gets to have some fun. Glory has been a tough one to convince that she has desires on this too, but she only needed to think but a few seconds and realize her inner micro-manager will be quite satisfied as she puts together the camping list and orders everyone about. I get to get out in the outdoors and have some fun with the family.

We bought a new family tent that is the size of a small hotel. The girls broke it in the other night in the back yard. This portable cabin will be great for us as we attempt to rough it in the great outdoors. We also bought a screened-in canopy, to keep the bugs away when we eat or visit. Just these two things alone, plus fishing licenses and other things, cost a small fortune, but we will have them for many years to come, and they will pay for themselves. As a cost comparison, we've already paid for a two-night stay at a nice hotel. Only now we have open-ended accomodations.

Next on the shopping list: bug repellent, camp food, another fishing pole or two and perhaps a lantern and tabletop grill. I would be satisfied with what we already have in the lighting and cooking department, but if I ever expect Glory to agree to go camping again, I have to mortgage the house and buy all this new, cr--, er stuff to make us all happy while we commune with nature.

Note to self (as Glory glares from across the room): don't forget the shower tent.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Big Buckths!

Losing teeth is a BIG deal at our house. So much so that we don't bother with the tooth fairy, quarters for bicuspids or 50 cents for molars. In our case, we give the kids Eisenhower dollars for their pulled baby teeth. Our six-year-old calls them, "Big Bucks."

They are big. Too bad we don't have huge coins in circulation anymore. I remember as a kid wanting to get the giant coins in change. That was until 1979 when the quarter-sized Susan B. Anthony dollars replaced the Eisenhowers. It was unfair.

Over the past year we have gone to the local coin dealer and have exchanged current currency for the older dollar coins and have put them in the safe so we can give them to the kids as gifts on special occasions. When Murron started losing her teeth last year, I told her she'd get big bucks for them.

Now Murron must think she's on to something for today she lost teeth number three and four: her two front teeth, both at the same time.

Murron and her little brother can be quite daring during playtime. They try to best each other in performing stunts. Their ideas of play sometimes end up being a parent's craziest nightmare.

We don't know if Ulie was leading Murron around like a dog, or how the pink cloth tie ended up in her mouth. All we know is that Murron gasped sharply several times before Glory heard her exclaim, "Ulie!" At point, she was on the verge of tears when Glory found her packing a wad of toilet paper in her mouth. Then she gave a muffled indication of what had happened.

"My teef!" she said.

Glory asked Murron where they were. Murron didn't know but pointed to where the mystery incident took place, and there were her teeth, on the floor. Through this whole time, Ulie kept hugging his now toothless sister and kept telling her how sorry he was.

It's not like this was a complete surprise. Murron had been working on the teeth for at least a week. They were getting quite loose.

After the shock wore off, Murron explained that Ulie had yanked on the tie, thus dislodging her teeth from her head.

Within 15 minutes, Murron told Glory that she now would get her big bucks for the teeth, which she repeated when I got home from work.

I immediately went to the safe and produced two coins. Murron excitedly grabbed them, studied them for a bit and then put them in her ceramic chicken, where she had two other big dollars.

She then showed me her new trick: letting her tongue poke through the toothless gap. It was pretty cute.