Saturday, October 31, 2009

Go Ducks!

The game time of 5:00 is pretty much guaranteed to prevent most parents of trick-or-treating aged kids from seeing the game, but ESPN is here in town and the Ducks are playing USC tonight. It's time for a little pre-game Oregon-colored fun, just before getting into the Halloween costume mood!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ratty Kisses

Introducing... Olivia! Mackenzie gave Asa a rat for her birthday and she picked out little Olivia here. She has very big ears and a very sweet personality, and she loves to give ratty kisses as you can see!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Side By Side

Last week the theatre company that Asa has been acting with had a fundraiser, a Depression-era themed event with an auction, food, and they invited everyone from the theatre to be involved in a talent show. Asa and I did a little song and dance (well, she danced to be exact - some excellent tap footwork!) to a song from 1927 called "Side by Side" I haven't been on a theatre stage in many years, but my little sis and I used to perform this at our grandparents Melodrama theatre when we were kids. So it was fun reminiscing, fun being on stage with my own little theatre hound, and fun having her choreograph our little song-and-dance number herself. I'll have to see if the video turned out and maybe I can post that here as well.

"Oh we ain't got a barrel of money
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along, singing our song
Side by Side"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Homeschooling Oblong

So I was standing in my brown belt/black belt karate class this afternoon and our sensei (teacher) asked us to form a circle for a drill. Well let's just say that the circle was not exactly circular in shape. It was more of a oblong with rectangular characteristics here and there. The sensei joked that since almost everyone in the class was a homeschooler, no wonder we couldn't form a circle. We all had to LOL at that one.

I was the only adult in the class, everyone else at that particular hour were homeschoolers. And our senseis homeschool their kids. Now I just have to say that I have never been in the company of so many cool teenagers as when I attend the classes at the dojo. Imagine being in a room with 20 teenagers who are all: polite, respectful, engaging, diligent. Exactly the opposite of what you would think teenagers are like, especially if you watch TV or read the newspapers. Where is the surliness, angst, and attitude? While I'm sure that none of these teens are perfect and that they may roll their eyes at their parents or grumble about taking out the garbage, there is much to be said for the wonderful intersection of homeschooling and karate that can turn out such a group.

Even if they can't make a circle.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two Weeks of Birthday

Looking at my beautiful sparkling now-10 year old girl, the song that always comes to my mind are these lines from Simon and Garfunkle's Bridge Over Troubled Water:

Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

She's definitely a big shining star in our world. And this year to celebrate turning "double digits" as she reminds us, it took us about two weeks. First of all, she had asked for a kayak (like big brother's) for her birthday. Since an October birthday didn't leave a lot of time for hitting the lake, we decided to give it to her in late September. That left us with a glorious fall day to go up to the water and try it out. This will definitely be a big hit next summer when we can camp a lot more and the kids can both use their kayaks.

Then, her two biggest bros Rob and Rick came into town to visit, along with their wives Kristen and Alicia. I think the only thing better in Asa's mind than having one fun big brother is having three! Especially when they're big enough to turn you upside-down.

So that was birthday celebration number two with our whole family together. She had been looking forward to this for weeks, and keeping Rick's and Rob's cell phones buzzing with anticipatory texts.

Of course, what tenth birthday would be complete without a gaggle of giggling girls in pajamas staying up late and making banana splits? Asa had a sleepover with some of her friends to celebrate.

Then finally on her actual birthday we went to the pet store to let her pick out a pet rat (her present from Mackenzie) and ended up coming home with a new puppy! This is the new family dog Sophie. I guess birthdays don't get much better than this one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So I Guess It's A Good Sign...

...when your teenage son says to you "Mom, you should write a parenting book. That way other parents or people thinking about having kids could have all the benefit of your wisdom."

After I got done laughing, I thought about it. Trouble is, I don't know what I'd say. Well maybe I do, but it wouldn't be enough to fill a book. When my son was just a baby I remember thinking about how helpless he was, and trying to put myself in his shoes. What if I was in some terrible accident and my memory was wiped out and I had to relearn everything all over again. What if my best friend was my caregiver throughout all of that. How would I want her to treat me? That's how I've tried to treat my kids. And I know my caregiver might sometimes get frustrated beyond all reason, so I hope that my kids can forgive me when I don't get things just right or when I blow a cork from time to time. I always apologize, after all they're my good friends too.

I guess it all boils down to the golden rule. Not enough to fill a book, but I guess enough so that your teenager still thinks you're doing a decent job of things. High praise indeed.