Thursday, May 26, 2011


With the obvious exception of Sunday, Thursday is my favorite day of the week. There are no obligations on Thursday. Unless there's a dire emergency, I don't make appointments on Thursday, or do wash, or madly clean the house, or pack/unpack for weekends, or anything like that. Because we go to Wednesday night Bible study all clean and fresh, the kids don't need baths Thursday morning, and half the time I just let them wear the clothes they only wore for two hours the night before. I don't even chose clothes on Thursday!  Thursday night is spaghetti night, and while I'm not all that crazy over spaghetti, I sure can get behind a day when the most I have to think about supper is getting the sauce out to thaw.  I think Lovely Thursdays started back when Elliott had speech therapists and physical therapists coming a lot, and for some reason, it just was never on Thursday, and that day felt like a respite.  Now, I make a concerted effort to protect my Thursdays.  Through the magic of Thursdays, I lay down with an incipient headache this afternoon, and Elliott actually curled up and NAPPED beside me!  Thursdays aren't entirely magical, though-- neither Lincoln or Marilla saw the sense in napping at that point, so I had to slide out of bed and leave the sleeping Elliott there while I went and dealt with the other two.  I will miss my Elliott when he goes to school next year!

We DID have an appointment this Thursday evening.  We had to go watch Cheyenne be Mama Racoon in the seminal play "Chester Raccoon and the Bully" or some such thing.  It was heavy on Morals and Character, a little short on interesting lines or songs.  However, it was great fun watching the kids!

Cheyenne is at the end of the line.

For some reason, she was really cracking up here.


Ah-ha!  Here's where I remembered to put my camera on the "fluorescent light" setting.  Much better!

Cracking up again!  I wish this wasn't blurry, it is just the cutest, funniest picture of her.

For her costume, Cheyenne was supposed to wear grey and black (raccoon colors) and then bows in her hair or something so people would know she was the mother.  Well, we had a grey shirt, and I unpacked a winter velvet skirt for the black touch, and she wheedled me into letting her wear her grown-up black high heels!  For the "bow" part, the only thing I could think of was the satiny belt for my pregnancy pajamas' robe.  Since it is generously sized for a fat girl's pregnant belly, we are talking a looooong ribbon.  I had to make a bow, and then make some bows in the tails of that bow.  I was kind of impressed with how cute it looked on her, but when I saw the paws hanging over the side of the raccoon mask, I realized there were just a few too many dangly things going on there!  Oh, well, she felt quite pretty.

For the final song, they all donned sunglasses and had toy guitars.  The kids were encouraged to play air guitar at several points in the song (though how you can really rock out to a song that contains the lines "Citizenship counts! Caring counts!  Character counts!" is a little beyond me.)  This is as jiggy as Cheyenne got the whole time.  I don't know if it's that there's been a lack of music videos in her life, or she just felt the whole thing was beneath her dignity, but while the whole class was whaling around like a grunge rock band, Cheyenne looked like she was playing for an acoustic program on NPR.  A sad mountain ballad, maybe.

This boy on the end took the prize for his air guitar moves.  The funny thing was, he's a fairly quiet little guy most of the time, but he spent the whole show bouncing around being the class clown.  It added some much-needed humor to the performance.

The whole class, at the end.  This play was kind of fun, because it was just their class, not all the other first grade classes, too.  So it was a pretty relaxed performance, with only the families of the kids.  It was nice to match some parents with kids, and learn some more of the kids' name.

Tomorrow, we're off to Evan's Aunt Sally's for the weekend.  It started out as an idea for a family reunion, but several people aren't able to make it, so it's just a nice Memorial Day weekend family affair.  We're looking forward to seeing everyone, and eating the mounds of yummy food it sounds like Aunt Sally has made.  So, enjoy your weekend off, remember those the holiday was for, and I'll be back next week!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just Now

Elliott and Marilla have combined blocks, animals and cars to create some sort of fascinating world, and they are actually playing together fairly nicely.  Except for Elliott's strong desire to put Rilla's cars in jail, and Rilla's disinterest in being in jail.  Other than that, sweetness and sunshine between the two of them.

It's the beautiful kind of day where there are just enough clouds in the sky to make it interesting, but not enough to block the sun often.  And the temperature is just right-- you can throw open the windows and the breeze will keep you feeling just the tiniest bit chilly.  Not cold enough to shut the windows, just enough to make you aware of the fact that temperature exists.

Cheyenne was excited to go to school today for the first time in a long time, since they have a field trip to the Beaver Lake Nature Center.  It's kind of sad how long it's been since she has been happy about school.  Even the school play, in which she has a big speaking part, does not excite her.  Reading over the script (full of cliches and oversimplistic lines about Bullying, the crisis du jour), I can see her point.  I'm just hoping she won't show her major disinterest in the performance tomorrow night.

I need to have a restraining order placed on me to prevent me from entering the doors of a library for a few months.  Every time I go, I find 10 more books I want to read.  Now that Cheyenne is reading books in the junior section, I go through the shelves there and find lots of books I want to read, plus checking out the YA shelves for my ongoing obsession with those books, plus those fascinating New Book shelves I have to walk right past...  Anyway, I will never be able to read all the books I have checked out.  Or maybe I will, and that will be even scarier yet, as my house and children dissolve into chaos!  One of the ones I'm most excited to read right now is the new Jackson Brody book by Kate Atkinson, Started Early, Took My Dog.  And I just read a very interesting YA book about werewolves.  And I'm not the kind of person that usually uses the words "interesting" and "werewolves" in the same sentence.

Lincoln is having a morning nap, which means I really should be sweeping the floor of cut-up paper, grass clippings, cheerios and various other trash.  Must gird up my loins and fire up the old ambition!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Kids Keep Life Interesting

After an hour of going-to-bed maneuvers, we heard Elliott at the top of the stairs.  Again.  "What do you want NOW, Elliott?"  "Um, sharks can bite you, but good sharks can be nice."  I'm glad he stayed awake long enough to impart that little nugget of wisdom.

I found a page from Cheyenne's diary laying on the floor.  (I'm not the kind of mother that sneaks around actually opening a kid's diary and reading it.  Mostly because Cheyenne falls in love with the idea of a diary about twice a week and starts it in a different notebook, which she then leaves lying around the house.  So there's not a lot of sneakiness needed to read her diary.)  This if from last Sunday morning.


"Woke up was damp looking on the porth [porch] got reddy and to eat brakfast and polde out my toth. (that was bfor brakefast)"

Before you know it, she'll be writing her own blog.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lemonade, Schlemonade!

Yeah, the cool kids in Central Square are way too pretentious to sell lemonade.  They sell Pure New York Maple Syrup.

 Or, they *try* to sell syrup.  They did sell two quarts, one to the mom of Cheyenne's friend Tess (pictured here in the pink shirt).  There isn't a lot of drive-by demand for maple syrup.

Elliott holds The Magic Wand.  It's a present Grandma Jill bought him several years ago, newly exciting since it had languished on the top of a bookcase for the last year after one too many hitting incidents.  It's a shame the magic wand couldn't work some magic to keep Elliott's jeans up.

Evan, the man in charge, supervising the maple syrup stand from his comfy chair on the porch.

Lincoln has discovered the wonders of Elliott's Cozy Coupe.

It's a shame the kid doesn't know how to smile.

I was trying to take a picture of the weird animal in our garden...

But when I got close, I realized it wasn't a vole or a woodchuck, but a bird!

It hadn't looked like a bird, since it wasn't hopping and flitting like a bird does, and it didn't fly away when I got near.  The consensus among the experts I've consulted (Dana and Marilyn, Dave and Eleanor) is that it was acting differently because it's a juvenile bird.  No one's sure what kind of bird, though.  Any bird geniuses lurking out there?

I'm not sure what this bush is, but it's got pretty pink flowers the bees love.

A close-up.  I love pictures that are blurry in the background. 

The lilacs are going by.  They still smell sweet, though.  Lisa and Angela showed me some pictures tonight of the Lilac Festival in Rochester.  It was beautiful, we'll have to put it on our calendar for next year.

The kids spent half of yesterday picking pine needles of the tree out front for their "restaurant".

Rilla was in the doll stroller, requesting a "McDouble to go".  I guess our evening out this week made an impression.
 Showing me her food.

 I love this squinchy-eyed girl.
Lincoln, with a cup full of rocks, crouched in the car seat that is sitting on our porch.  And yes, he isn't wearing any pants.  This picture just screams "classy parenting."

His hair has lightened up considerably in the last couple months.  I would classify it as a strawberry blond now; Cheyenne is desperately hoping he morphs into a full-fledged redhead.

Our nice dwarf something-or-another tree in the evening light.

This picture of Lincoln playing with an old water bottle and rocks reminds me of the trailer for the movie Babies.  I forget where I first saw a link to that trailer, but my kids thought it was the most hilarious thing they'd ever seen.  They watched the 2.5 minute trailer several times, keeping them quiet while I cooked supper one night.

Here's my other third-world child, playing in the dust on the driveway.

Cheyenne, like most seven year-olds, doesn't know how to smile naturally when a camera comes out.

She does, however, know how to smile like a total doofus.

And then some!

Grandma Marilyn bought the girls matching dresses at a sale last week, so the girls were testing the dresses' twirlability.

Matching sisters!  These two are just far enough apart that it is hard to find matching dresses that fit them both.

Evan matched his handsome little boys this morning.

My goodness, I live with incredibly good-lucking males.

I can't believe this baby is almost a year old!

Lincoln is doing "tickle, tickle" motions with his hand in this picture!  Elliott wasn't smiling naturally, so I told Evan, "Tickle him!"  Lincoln picked up on that right away and started saying his version of "tickle, tickle" and wiggling his fingers.  He's so brilliant.

And, a posed picture of the Matching Girls, after I did their hair.  We went out to Panera Bread for lunch, and they (Cheyenne especially) basked in the "oohs" and "aahs" from everyone they saw.

I'm extremely annoyed, I can't get the pictures on this post to behave, even when I center them they keep heading over to the left.  Plus it keeps throwing in extra spaces.  I guess it won't affect my job security if it's not perfect, though!  :-)  I've been fighting a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes all week, I probably should go to bed and get ready for our busy week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sluggish Blog Posting

I have not been very bloggy lately. We've had lots of company, so some evenings I've been sociable and played games, and some evenings I have just buried myself in a book!  Either way, I haven't been on the computer.  Or if I have, I have been trolling through Facebook or other people's blogs, slack-jawed and half asleep!

This boy NEVER sleeps.  He can sure scrunch up his eyes, though.

Working up to a whistle.

A real whistle!  He's learned to whistle this past month, and he whistles constantly.  Sometimes I wonder if he would asphyxiate if he couldn't whistle.  He whistles as he runs up and down stairs, he whistles while he plays with cars, he whistles while he reads books.  I think he'll be impersonating birds before long.

While Grandma Marilyn was here, Cheyenne decided to make her a salad.  

She chopped all the vegetables herself.  Then she decided to cut up lemons to make lemonade for Daddy and Grandpa.  THAT did not go so well.  She sliced her left middle finger-- but at least she didn't sever two tendons and an artery like Aunt Lindsey just did to her left middle finger!

Marilyn and Dana left Friday after supper, and Mom, Olivia and Tori came a few hours later!  It didn't take long for Olivia to take my camera out to photograph our crabapple tree.

These photos are amazing when you enlarge them.  Quite the photographer!

Raindrops on blossoms...

Because raindrops are ALWAYS here!  

I love the rain dripping off last year's crabapple.

I usually try to take a family picture in front of the tree every year, but it poured steadily from the time the blossoms opened until they were gone.

But at least Olivia came...

And took Bokeh-Beautiful pictures!

Rilla doesn't mind the rain at all!  She trots out her raincoat and rubber boots and goes out in all weather.

Our little lilac is growing up!

Despite the fact that it poured the whole time they were here, it was awesome having some Vaughan females here. We went to JoAnn Fabrics Saturday morning, and I made four skirts that afternoon and evening.  I made ones for Rilla and Lily, and also some for Olivia and Tori.  They weren't a howling success-- you really do need a pattern once you get past the kid stage, but I had fun sewing.  It's gotten me all ambitious in the sewing department, we'll see how long that lasts!  For now, I'm stashing my sewing machine under the arm of the sofa, so it isn't inaccessible in Lincoln's closet while he's napping.  Maybe I'll actually get a couple things made!  If nothing else, I need to take in a bunch of Marilla's skirts, since she's a little hipless wonder like her sister.

Yesterday, I made a month's supply of spaghetti sauce.  Around noon, I noticed it wasn't as hot as it should be, so I cranked it up to high for a few hours.  Then I turned it back to low...  and continued about my day.  I did notice the clean metal pot that was sitting beside the Crock-Pot wasn't that hot when I went to put it away... but I still continued in blissful ignorance of the fact that I had been too dumb to plug the Crock-Pot in!  It wasn't until 5:00 in the afternoon that I finally realized it!

So, when I came down to breakfast this morning, Evan had helpfully left a little diagram to help me figure out supper tonight!  The end of the world everyone is twittering about might actually happen if Evan doesn't get his weekly spaghetti meal!

Right around the time I realized that my planned supper was a no-go, Evan called to say he wouldn't be home until seven.  Except for Wednesday nights, he hasn't been home before seven for two weeks now.  I looked around at my four hungry, fussy children-- and decided to wimp out.  I bundled them all in the van, and we drove to the Golden Arches for supper.  Not being a masochist, I didn't take them in.  We got our chicken nuggets in the drive-thru, then I pulled over and climbed in the back seat with the kids.  It works pretty nicely when they're all strapped in.  I may start bringing their carseats in for supper.  Then, we drove an extra four miles to the BIG (in comparison) library, and hung out there for close to an hour.  After checking out 44 books (for once, I'm not exaggerating!), we came home to a house with zero supper dishes-- and Daddy!

And now, I think it's time to get a novel and curl up on the couch.  Maybe I can even convince Evan to move himself out of the La-Z-Boy chair over to the sofa to sit beside me.  See what a hard life we lead?