Friday, March 23, 2012


I know this title suggests a big deep post about the meaning of life.

But no.

Instead, I was thinking about an interesting thought that came to me this past weekend while we were away on a brief family weekender. We had found a deal at a water pa

rk resort about an hour north

Now, stopping right here I must already say...kudos to the man who wants to go away as a family to a water park for his 40th birthday. I kept asking him over and over was he SURE that this is what he wanted and he said absolutely.
of here and Steve wanted to go as a family for his 40th birthday.

So we got a really good deal and set off.

I will not recommend this place as I was not at all happy with the accommodations, but I am happy to say that we kept those thoughts hidden from the kids and they had the time of their life. As did
their daddy. We spent many hours in the water park over the course of 36 hours we were at the "resort". The slides were fun and the boys each found their favorite activity in which to return over and over again.

At the beginning we were trying to be all protective reminding the boys to tell us each time they went to ride.

But by the end of the weekend, we knew where they would be since they kept gravitating to the same pots and the water park was really not very big after all.

So by the second afternoon, I finally found a lawn chair, set out a blanket, put my feet up, and relaxed. This is when my big epiphany occurred.

Hubby came up to me and asked me why I was sitting here dong "nothing" while we were here at this resort. And my response surprised me, but also really made sense. To a MAN, a vacation is being off, having fun, and being crazy and active. To a WOMAN, who has done all of the planning and preparations for said trip, the lying here doing nothing part of the plan IS her vacation. And to THIS woman, who works TWO jobs outside the house as well as keeping a household fed, neat, and everyone in clean clothes, a time sitting doing nothing is the best break of all.

I am proud to say though that the boys did return to me every ten minutes or so asking me to go on a slide with them. And I am even more proud to say that EACH time, I happily threw the towel aside, grabbed a big heavy tube, and skipped to the top of one of the slides along with my happy sons.

Yes, the weekend away was a nice break. Even though the accommodations were not the best and I would neither recommend this place to others, nor will we return ourselves, a time away with family to have fun together is still a wonderful memory that we are ALL still talking about as the week comes to a close.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Reports?

4th grade has definitely raised the bar for expectations this year. Noah is still keeping his hold on all A's but some of the requirements are taking a wee bit more guidance than in the past.

Every month he has had a different type of "book report" that have been increasing in requirements and elaborate details. I have tried very hard to stay as uninvolved as possible so that his projects are indeed his own. Because the projects are elaborate though, I have helped with time management, having him do small portions each weekend so that it isn't all left until the night before.

For October he had to read a mystery and then create a cereal box with a different part of the story on each panel, and then pick an item to put inside as a "clue" as to what the mystery was.

For November he had to read a biography (he chose Neil Armstrong) and complete a detailed outline about his person.
This was followed up in December by presenting a biographical speech to his class as the person, including dressing up as the person. It was definitely a challenge to come up with a costume, and the preparation of a speech took a LOT of practice runs in our living room. I am kicking myslef that I didn't take a picture of the final costume nor did I record his speech. They were pretty good.

For January, he had to read a Newbery (yes, one R is correct) winner and create a very detailed poster with specific criteria. He picked a book of which he had seen the movie, which prompted me to question him profusely to make sure he was reading the book and not basing his poster on the movie. I was amazed at how different the book of Tale of Despereaux was from the movie. He thought that was pretty cool too and when we watched the movie after his presentation, he spent the time telling us us time the movie
was different from the book. His poster turned out great. I loved the illustrations he created.

This month took the cake. They had to read a legend, myth or fable...and then wr
ite a script based on the fable, create puppets of the characters and finally present the puppet show to the class. I don't think I could have done this in high school, let alone 4th grade! I had Noah write out the script on the computer (so editing was easier) and I found that not only was he learning to write a script with dialogue, but he also was learning a lot more word processing along the way.

So here is his puppet show. It did get a little better and a few more details after this taping but you can get the gist of his play. I love the expression on his sun's face and that he made a puppet of himself to tell the moral :)

His presentations are getting more confident as each one comes and I am proud that he is taking more ownership each time. I do, however, dread the last few projects though. Who knows what else this teacher will cook up? And kind of worried about what FIFTH grade is going to put us through.

Oh, and even 2nd grade had a project this month as well. Come up with 100 items that are small and light enough to glue onto poster board to hang in the hall celebrating the 100th day of school. When did 100's day become a holiday? sometime between when I was in school in the dark ages and now. Aaron picked cards, which end up super heavy and after he did his project and went to bed I ended up having to re-glue and also tape the cards to ensure they didn't fall off. But he was very proud of his idea.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of "school projects that take over our lives"

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Story to Start My Week

So I was really grumpy this weekend. I mean...REALLY grumpy. Nasty as a matter of fact. Ever have a day when you know you're being a complete nut job and you can't seem to stop it? Yup, that was me.

By Sunday afternoon, I had completely lost it and announced to the family, "I'm leaving and I don't know if I'm coming back!!!"

Driving down the street, crying hysterically, I realized I had absolutely nowhere to go and that just made me cry even harder. I ended up wandering a few stores, buying nothing but a stapler for Noah's homemade comic books and new ear buds to replace the ones our mutt chewed up.

Then it was time to drown my sorrows with something naughty and realized that no chocolate (lent) meant it made that much harder to go eat crap. After finally finding some other junk to eat, I decided to do something drastic. All of the cheap hair places were closed and I ended up at a salon in the mall. After hearing the cost of a haircut, I made the appointment but then walked away, nowhere near able to justify spending that much on a haircut. And then of course, started crying AGAIN since I couldn't get my hair cut (Believe it or not, this wasn't even hormonal...just me being p'd off). So after about ten more minutes of wandering, I decided that I was going to do it.

It is definitely a different feeling getting one's hair done at a salon versus the Cheap Cut places. Laying down for a hair shampoo and head massage was very soothing. Then came time for the cut. Rather than the two second, "What are we doing?" she actually took the time to ask questions about how I do my hair, how much time do I have in the morning, etc. and came up with a plan of attack. Then, she proceeded to spend almost an hour carefully cutting. As she was cutting, I could feel myself starting to relax a little more and by the time it was done, I was feeling somewhat normal again.

I knew it was finally time to return to the lion's den. However, in the process I realized my phone was gone and I had to spend another half hour wandering the mall retracing my steps to find it. Typical me, I'm afraid. This search also included slicing my finger on a bathroom fixture (blood everywhere) but since I was able to kind of fluff it off rather than start crying again, I KNEW it was time to go home.

Walking in the door, I found the three of them playing Wii together and Noah ran up to me to apologize (yes, he did do something that set me into my final rage) and then took one look at me...

"Mom, have you ever done that to your hair before?"

"No, Noah, I haven't"

"Wow, you look like Rapunzel in Tangled after she chopped her hair off!"

Thanks, Noah. I guess I might as well return to Cheap Cuts next time.

Have a good Monday.