Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Big Al searching for all of the tiny little presents we worried would get recycled with the wrapping paper. Big Al got a keyboard (to go with her drums), movies, and DS games.
This felt food addiction led to the idea where each of my girls should receive something homemade. So Cheesie and Blondie were getting felt food, Cheesie also got a knitted doll blanket, and T-Rex got a tote bag and an unfinished blanket (I PROMISE it will be done) and Big Al also got a UFO (unfinished object) afghan.
Big Al decided to make the little girls homemade playdoh (VERY easy) and way better colors, and then Cheesie decided on making her pot holders (although she is two short - I guess we all have projects to finish this week). Blondie tried her hand at painting ornaments, and T-Rex started to make little jewelry boxes for the little girls, but got sidetracked with the scarf she is knitting. So, I guess I'm not only passing on my love of handmade things, but also my inability to meet deadlines (2 unfinished afghans). BUT.... I can continue my addiction to felt food because I know Cheesie likes to imagine her kitchen set and all of the possibilities.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I received this truly awesome email from Cathy Brown. I was born at Ft Myer, VA, just outside of Arlington National Cemetery. I first met Charlie Brown around October 1979, and then met Cathy very shortly thereafter. I had transferred from Korea to Germany, where my Army wife was stationed. I was a Lieutenant and Charlie was the Captain (my boss). He and I became close friends then, and maintained that friendship over all these years. Kristi (sp?), Kelli, and Natalie.... I knew all three of you in Germany. I never had the pleasure to meet Colin, though I always heard about you from Charlie (especially when he and I worked at AK Steel) and your Mom. I am writing this because I want you to know what Charlie meant to me. If you were his friend, he would do anything for you. Just suffice it to say that you did not want to be on his Bad List.... Charlie was funny and happy! He was also serious and no-nonsense! He was my mentor. I learned so much from him.... his leadership style is one of the best examples... he truly cared about his subordinates and took care of them. If you worked for Charlie, you kind of felt there was a protective shield around you, as he would be there to defend you if you were in the right. And he was still beside you if you had slipped up. He never turned his back on you either way. Charlie was a people-person. He knew how to inspire and lead. I know I met some officers during my 20 years in the Army who had some influence on me... but, Charlie was the one who stood out. He was not intimidated. He voiced his opinion if he felt it was the correct one. He could be trusted and he was definitely respected. And he took care of his troops. That is what I learned from Charlie Brown. Cathy already knows all of this. Charlie and I loved each other as only soldiers can. And we told each other that. We were prepared to die on the battlefield together, side by side. That was the respect and love that this soldier and I had for each other. Charlie Brown was a soldier. And a beautiful person. My Mother (deceased) met him in Germany, and she never forgot him and his kindness. My youngest sister still knows his name when I mention it. He lives on. I miss my dear friend. Charlie Brown was probably my very best friend....
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
But tonight is really about great friends. I joined a neighborhood bunko group a few years ago - really just an excuse for me to make time for myself to be Kelly, not mom, or Ms. Dawson. It is a great group of women with diverse interests. Initially the fact that we all had kids (in a range of ages) brought us together, but as the kids have grown we have found other topics of conversation (imagine that). So cheers ladies - I enjoy your company.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
On Saturday I wasn't feeling well, but as you know moms can never feel crummy. The cadet girl scouts had committed to a neighborhood craft show, and had worked on making their own jewelry for a badge they wanted to do. So the other leaders and I got them set up, and I had to duck out to take the junior girl scouts to ice skating across town. The girls (T-Rex included) were excited, but nervous, because here in the south we aren't born with ice skates on our feet. Once they got there they decided it was just like roller skating except harder when you fall, and MUCH colder. One girl asked me why they couldn't just turn on the heat and make it more enjoyable - I pointed out that was called swimming not ice skating. T-Rex had a lot of fun and figured it out eventually. We ate pizza at the rink, and then came home.
After the girl scouts were picked up I took Big Al and her friend Big I, and T-Rex and her friend "S" and we went Christmas shopping. Later, Brian and I started wrapping presents while the girls made cookies. Pretty much a Hallmark kind of day.
Friday, December 5, 2008
While they waited for everyone to show up they hung out outside playing soccer, or raking up my leaves to jump into piles - or bury the boy. Thankfully a few were going to a soccer tournament so we were down to about 12 kids.
After awhile they came in and Brian started grilling hotdogs and hamburgers, and Big Al opened presents. They did a pretty nice job, but I'll be vaccuuming chips out of the carpet for a couple of weeks.
After dinner we went outside and ate smore's and they ran around in the dark. We managed to avoid severe burns, and no one's eye was poked out with a burning pitchfork, so I guess that was successful.
When they came back in they cranked up the music and the evening got louder - now keep in mind that 6th graders as a group don't have a "low volume" they only communicate in shrieks (I know, I've taught them). The radio was booming, and the girls were jumping and "singing" lyrics. So my living room looked
way to small for this many kids. At one point the Christmas tree and the tuner in the cabinet were shaking with all of the vibrations of jumping.
Dancing looked like this:
Then they danced like this
Eventually half sat on the couch and judged a dance contest until parents mercifully picked up their progeny. Bless them.
Whoever made up that rule of inviting as many kids as their age is crazy. The number should ALWAYS be 5..... or 3..... or maybe 1 VERY quiet child - who likes to read books.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sunday night we decorated the tree. We bought an artificial tree a few years ago (I swore I never would - but I had babies and worried about fire) and it is around 9 feet tall. With small children we definitely experience the phenomenon of all the ornaments gathered in one spot on the tree (about waist high and below). I gave up spreading them out last year because Cheesie remembers where EVERYTHING was placed and points out everything she put somewhere that has been moved. So our tree looked like the picture above.
Monday I expected to come home and work on Big Al's costume for her Latin/Greek mythology monologue that all students in her program are required to present. Now, let me admit, that I am the world's biggest procrastinator, and we've known about this project since August, AND they even extended the deadline BUT, Monday night I thought that I had two more nights to finish her costume and planned on tacking leaves on the front, but she announced that she volunteered to go a day early, so now we all had to do it in one night. So T-Rex, Big Al and I tacked on a ton of silk leaves so that Mother Earth would be ready to present. Brian was able to watch her perform. So she has at least one parent to cheer her on. ** Yes mom, I know, red eye. Go ahead fix it.** They had to write their monologues in more modern language to explain a part of their character, and she chose when Mother Earth tricked somebody into eating a rock baby so that Zeus would be the new king.
Tonight, after Blondie's OT, we attended to T-Rex's chorus concert. VERY CUTE! The kids were rocking with "Elfis" and really did an excellent job. I was worried because I helped wrangle kids during the rehearsal, but they pulled it all together, remembered their lines, and stayed quiet in-between songs. All-in-all a very successful program.
Yes, we're busy..... but happy.