About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Balanced Approach

Ever heard of a slackline?  I hadn't, until our friend, MrMom, brought one over and shared with us. 

It's a four inch wide piece of heavy duty webbing, which is latched around two trees and pulled fairly tight. Then you (attempt) to balance not fall off. It has some give and tends to shake when you are on it. 

But it is fun!!

MrMom has two boys, Enviro and Fearless. Fearless is just a toddler, so sometimes MrMom has to balance Fearless with helping out a kid or two on the slackline. 

On the last day of school MrMom brought Enviro and Fearless to the park along with his slackline. And we made a giant "V" shape amongst the trees. 

PrincessE and MrMom with Fearless. 

You can also sit and bounce on the slackline if there's no adult to help you stand and balance. Here are Enviro and Lu-Lu and Noodle doing the bounce. 

Of course, the tree can help with balance too!  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Nope, not Christmas.  Or Chanukah, for that matter.  Not a holiday or a season or a special occasion.  Simply, it's the end of the school year.  Yay.

The volunteering in all four classrooms, plus keeping up with Hebrew school, plus getting involved with the PTA (towards the end of the year) has worn me out.  I don't know about the kids, but I'm whipped.  The school year here has so many fewer breaks built in that I'm totally ready for a three month vacation from School.

This end of year celebration brought PrincessE's promotion to sixth grade.  She'll be starting middle school in the fall and so they have a ceremony, where they get awards and have a special day.  We discovered at the ceremony that there were three academic levels to the awards.  Some children got just standard promotion certificates, having passed fifth grade.  Then there were silver awards.  This was for outstanding academic achievement in one area.  Lastly, they had a gold award.  This award was for outstanding academic achievement across the board.

We were so proud when PrincessE received a gold award.  Wow.  What a kid!  She was beaming when she got her certificate.

Then there was another surprise.  The principal gives out a Good Character award.  One kid per classroom, which means there were three winners for the fifth grade.  PrincessE was chosen as the award recipient for her classroom.  This one I was less surprised about.  She regularly volunteered in the kindergarten classroom, she had been selected to participate in a reading mentor program, the Special Ed support teachers all knew her and she was asked to help out a great deal around the school.  It was so nice to see her recognized for all her volunteer work and helping.  We are so proud of her.

In addition to all this great news about our rising middle-schooler, our younger three came home with stellar end of year report cards.  Everyone got fives (the highest grade you can get and it means you are performing above grade level!)  for at least two or three subjects.  Dadam and I were particularly proud of Lu-lu's fives in math, science and reading!  It was a fantastic end to our first school year here.  I think the kids have definitely settled in and gotten the hang of this brave new world.

Next year is going to be another shift in our adventure.  PrincessE will be in middle school and The Boy-child will be the big man on campus.  I'm going to be the PTA President for our Elementary school, which will be an adventure all to itself.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Skirting The Issue

At three-thirty this afternoon, I was reminded by my lovely husband that the two eldest have an Advanced Ensemble concert this evening. I asked PrincessE to go and try and find some black pants/skirt. The dress code is black bottoms with white shirt. She came back wearing her brother's trousers that are a size 8. She currently wears a size 12.

Not gonna cut it. 

So, I went to my massive fabric stash, located some black fabric, googled a fantastic tutorial for an adorable skirt AND 30 mins later had a perfect black skirt. 

Shew.  I rescued myself once again. 

The tutorial is here:  http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-the-circle-skirt.html

Ya know, if you need to whip up a skirt in 30 minutes because you've not been paying attention to the schedule.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sixth Year of Noodle

Dearest Noodle,

You continue to be incredibly precocious. Most adults who meet you are drawn in to your orbit by your adorable wide smile and open friendliness. You say hello to everyone on campus, as you run by on your way to kindergarten. Many people stop me to comment on how adorable you are. And you are. And you know it.

Dadam and I are constantly amazed/frustrated by your confidence which brims to the top and overflows. You know you can do anything, even if Mumma asks you to stop more than once. You are sure of what you know, but when you don't know out come the "why?" questions until you understand.

You are never, ever, never quiet. You talk non stop, narrating every single thing we see and do and asking questions the whole way. The other day we took a hike and you hung back with Dadam and I and just talked. Forever. About dogs and bugs and straw and cars and the sun and geocaching and what had happened at that spot when we were on our way down the hill. "Right, mom? Don't you think?" It's adorable and maddening all rolled up. Come to think of it, that's you too.

You are mind numbingly slow to eat. It's not because you are talking, there are too many voices at the table for that. No, it's because you are savoring every tiny bite and staring at the ceiling and having long involved conversations with yourself about what song you should sing next.

Sometimes your fussy-ness is nearly too much to bear.  There are certain outfits that you want to wear over and over and over again.  You lean towards dresses and froo-froo outfits and you really dislike getting dirty or wearing clothes that are stained.  It's actually a bit of a problem because you aren't the neatest eater!

You are a voracious reader. This spring you turned the corner and became a self reader. You'll now sit down and read chapter books to yourself. More than once we've had to empty the book stash under your pillow; you like to have them handy for reading when you wake up in the morning.  Of course, you still love to be read to and we are slowly making our way through The Little House on the Prairie series.  I am sure you will be thrilled to discover that we can read every night during summer vacation.

And hiding amongst all this outgoing, sure of yourselfness, is an amazingly giving and caring little girl. We saw a young lady at the Lowe's who was missing her arms and you turned to me, with tears in your eyes and said how sad you were for her. We talked about how her life was rich, even though she looks different, but I think your heart was still heavy. You often help some of the Down's syndrome students in the class with their sign language or to complete tasks. And you are so proud to help.

You are thrilled beyond belief to finally be heading to First Grade in the fall.  I recently overheard you tell PrincessE that you had been in Kindergarten for four years.  I'd bet it feels like that to you!

I can hardly believe that our "baby" is six years old.  Just yesterday you began to walk and talk, just yesterday you were a Baby.  But now you are six.  Six; two hands and more than several handfuls.  I love your laugh, I love your questions, I love your learning and your innocence and You.

Happy Birthday, Noodle.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gender (Un)Balance

Noodle:  "I don't understand why we can't just take off our shirts when we get hot.  It's just a part of our body that is sticking out.  There's nothing *wrong* with them."

Lu-lu:  "Yeah.  And some girls are wearing a bra anyway!  It's really soup-head. (code for stupid, which we don't say in our house)"

Girls, welcome to the mystifying ways of gender in our culture.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Guerrilla Swing

We are incredibly, absolutely, amazingly lucky to live with our backyard bordering a beautiful public park.  We are the last house that backs on to it, so it is quiet and very few people come down to our little end corner.  Our house also has a gate in the fence, so it is convenient to send the kids not only to the back yard, but to the climbing trees and grassy area in the park beyond.

(Looking out from our yard to the park.)

Around the end of the deck, to our gate out.  

For a long time now, the trees in the park have been calling out to me that they need a tree swing.  They would be perfect.  But I know that it is public property.  I know how cities have become paranoid about people putting up "dangerous" things.  

So I decided we needed a Guerrilla Swing, something the kids could easily put up and take down by themselves, something low cost.  Dadam and I got to work and we came up with a double-d-ring rope system, with a board for a seat.  Easy to put up, easy to take down.  And it works beautifully!  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chag Purim

This year the theme for Purim at the synagogue was "The Wizard of Oz." As usual, we waited until the last minute to get our costumes ready.  The girls came up with costume ideas very easily, as I had made a witch costume for Halloween and there are always lots of workable dress-up-dresses hanging around.  In short order they were the Wicked Witch (PrincessE), Dorothy (Lu-Lu), the Good Witch (Noodle).  This left The Boy-Child to be costumed.  There was a lot of back and forth.  And possibly a little frustration on the part of some un-named parental units.  But in the end, we decided the Cowardly Lion was doable and acceptable.

PrincessE as The Wicked Witch

Lu-Lu as Dorothy

The Boy-Child as the Cowardly Lion

(We made the "mane" and shirt.  I'm going to post a tutorial for it, as it was not too difficult and turned out *so cute*!)

Noodle as The Good Witch

I think they make some pretty darn adorable characters!