Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Mama

Today is my mom's birthday, the end of the week of birthdays in our family. It's a fun time, but rather over-caked, at times. Especially since the Scout Blue and Gold banquet (with requisite cakes) always comes around this time too.

Anyway, my mom and I are going to celebrate our birthdays together next week. Since we're always too full for cake after going out to dinner, I decided an afternoon cake would be good. Actually its going to be an birthday ice cream pie. Yummy, and different from the chocolate cake of M's that we are still working on (not to mention the Blue and Gold cake that we still have a tidbit of).

M and A need to work on presents, either buying or making. I told them that we would each be happy with a nice picture, but (as far as I know) neither is working on that. I guess I'll find out on Tuesday.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

At least it's not lions and tigers and bears

but today was lizard and salamander and bird. Oh, my! There seems to be no end to what the cats (mostly Shadow) will bring in.

This morning I heard an awful ruckus at the cat door. I rushed outside, thinking it was another cat harassing our cats. Nothing out there. Hmmm. I come back inside to find Shadow with a good size bird in his mouth.

The bird got free. Oh crud. I'm envisioning the chase that ensued the last time a bird got loose in the house. At least it isn't freezing outside this time as I open the door.

Shadow made a very acrobatic leap and caught the bird again. It fluttered and he dropped it. It was faintly fluttering, but not moving. He just stared at it.

I got the dustpan and scooped up the bird. Halfway to the door, Shadow attacked the dustpan and retrieved "his" bird, with a look that said, "hey, that's MY bird. If you want a bird, go catch your own bird!"

Then he ignored the bird again, so I scooped it back up and put it, still in the dustpan, on the picnic table. It wasn't there when I checked later, so either it flew away, or, more likely, the cats took it off somewhere.

Later in the day I found both a lizard and a salamander - both still alive. I scooped them up and deposited them outside as well. At least they didn't leave a trail of feathers. Those downy little feathers are hard to sweep up - the air currents from sweeping them up causes the ones already in the dustpan to swirl out.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday M!

M is 11! Wow. I guess he's a tween now. Not that I see much difference between almost 11 and 11 - just one more sign that he's growing up.

We've had to reschedule his party as we tried to have it this Friday, but most of his friends are going out of town for Spring Break, so we'll have it after break. (Now, if the parents will just return my calls.... to let me know if they can come to the new party date.)


pictures from Blue and Gold

A's cake:
The theme was green - as in environmentally friendly. D claims that their cake is a successful Superfund cleanup site - brown dirt, green grass with wildflowers. It won "best tasting" in the cake contest. It was and is yummy. Just goes to show that taste is mostly in the frosting. D and A made cream cheese frosting for it, but used a box cake mix.

They had a nice little ceremony, where one boy from each den (except the Tigers) read a bit about the founding of Scouting. A did the honors for the Wolves:

M did the last bit for the Webelos II.

And here are the first place winners for each den for Pinewood Derby. They each got a certificate and a medal.

M was very disappointed not to get his trophy that night. The trophy shop was closed when they went to pick them up on Sat. He will get it in a den meeting later.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Venting on Scouts

We had our Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet last night. It was nice, good food, pleasant time. I'll post some pictures later (when I have time and the computer the pictures are on is available both occur together).

Right now, though, I'm very frustrated with my Scouts (or more correctly, their parents). I currently have 5 Wolf Scouts, but only 2 of them showed up for our banquet (and one was A). One told me he probably wasn't going to be able to make it, but the other 2 never told me - even after I left messages for them asking them to call me and let me know. I had to plan a skit, not knowing how many kids would be there. I tried to find out whether anyone was getting any more beads for finishing achievements.

Last week it was just A and I until more than half-way through our meeting when 2 boys showed up. Then I had to scramble to get them caught up with what we were doing.

Up until Christmas I had 8 Scouts coming. When 3 who had been regulars stopped coming, I emailed them (and a couple others who came occasionally) to ask them to let me know what's going on. I got exactly one email back (and once bounced email back). Is it so hard to reply with a simple sentence that you're not coming anymore?

It's hard to stay enthused or even caring when I can't get cooperation from the parents. I guess I'll just concentrate on making sure A gets his Wolf badge and if the others do, great, if not, oh well. I don't know what else to do.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 24, 2007

5th grade field trip

Friday was the big 5th grade field trip. M and I were up at the crack of dawn (or before) in order to be at school at 6:30am. They had sausage biscuits for everyone and we finally managed to leave around 7:15. Of course this means we got caught in traffic downtown. We got to Chattanooga around 10. After much waiting around, we finally got into the aquarium by 10:30.

It was great. First thing was the touch tanks of sharks (small, harmless) and rays. Here are M and classmates trying to touch a ray.

Next stop was the butterfly exhibit. Now, why there are butterflies at the aquarium, I'm not sure. But they are really cool. M claims he got about 10 butterflies to land on him. I saw and managed to photograph 3 encounters. Yes, there is a butterfly on M's finger here - with its wings folded up.

Here's another.
And my favorite is this one.

I had 2 butterflies land on me. One down on my leg that I didn't even notice until someone pointed it out to me. And then this one on my sleeve.

I tried to convince a butterfly to land on my finger, but had no luck. This one was quite happy on my shirt. This kid was quite surprised by the butterfly landing on his nose!

My group of kids are the ones in yellow. Each class got a different color shirt. The green shirted kids wanted to join the picture too, so why not... It was a cool sculpture.

Here's M, inside an exhibit. They had a glass tube going up inside the exhibit, that all the kids took turns climbing into.

All in all, a good trip, but way too long on the bus. We hit traffic on the way home too. We were supposed to be back by 5:30, but didn't make it home til 6:20. I'm glad I wasn't hanging out in the parking lot waiting for the buses for almost an hour.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Spring!

Happy first day of Spring! It certainly feels like spring today - high near 80, low only in the 50's. Beautiful weather. The back door is open and I'm enjoying the day.

Here are some views around the yard:

The Japanese Magnolia is actually just about done blooming, but it is too beautiful to skip.

Here is the blueberry bush. Not intrinsically lovely perhaps, but it bodes well for blueberries this summer - that is if we can get them before the birds and squirrels do.

The cherry tree. This photo really doesn't do it justice. It is magnificent. This is the view off the back deck.

My lovely purple tulips. I've discovered the secret to tulips in the south seems to be to grow them in containers - that way they get chilled enough in the winter. The tulips I planted in the ground aren't blooming any more.

Some hyacinths. I really like the purple ones. My dad bought and planted these with us the first fall we moved in. That was quite interesting - my dad and I trying to plant with the "help" of 9 month old A, 3 year old M, and 2 or 3 neighbor girls, ages 4-6. The tulips we planted stopped coming up years ago, but the hyacinths are going strong.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cute game

I saw a link to this game. It's rather mindless, but cute. So far my best is 8, this after many best scores of 1.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

District Pinewood Derby

Today was the district pinewood derby. M had high hopes of placing in the Webelos II race. After all, he took first in his den and overall first in our pack at our pack pinewood derby. Alas, it was not to be... some of those other cars were really really fast. M finished 2nd or 3rd in 5 of his 6 races (out of 6) and 4th in the other, but there were some blindingly fast cars there.* M ended up 9th out of 16.

A didn't have quite the expectations of M, but was still quite hopeful. Even more so when he took 1st in 4 out of 6 races. However, he wasn't racing against the fastest cars in his den.* A ended up finishing 9th out of 24.

While they didn't win a trophy, they both had a good time and cheered on each other and other kids from our pack.

*They race each car in each of 6 lanes and average the times.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

My mouth still hurts

Somehow I thought that it would be better by now. Especially since it didn't hurt as badly at first as I had expected. But, it really feels about the same on my gum. The roof of my mouth is better - though it still feels odd to feel like you have silly putty stuck to the roof of your mouth (and have to be very careful not to dislodge it).

The pain in the gum has given me a headache all day today too. Even with ibuprofen every 4 hours. Or maybe its partly from hunger. It's a pain to eat, trying to be careful, only chewing on the left side of my mouth, only eating soft foods. So I'm not eating normally, or even as much as normal. Believe me, this is a lousy way to diet!

I thought I had another week til I could eat normally (I go back for a check next Thursday), but the Dr said I would still have to be careful for a while more. Ugh. It's asparagus season and that's my favorite vegetable, but I don't think I can manage it now. And I have a pineapple that smells ripe. I LOVE fresh pineapple... I may have to try to eat it, but not sure whether I'll have to settle for sucking the juice from it.

I'd really like to just sleep for the next week....

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ouch, my mouth

Gum surgery today. Ouch. Actually the thinking about it and anticipating the pain have been worse so far, but I'm still on heavy duty painkillers. The side effects from those aren't so great either - about an hour after I take one I get VERY light-headed. This afternoon I managed to stumble/fall into the wooden edge to the fireplace mantel - luckily from only a foot or so away, so I didn't get hurt. But it convinced me to lie down in the recliner and stay put.

My mouth looks and feels like I've got silly putty stuck in there - very weird feeling. I've got one stitch that goes around the back of a tooth and my tongue doesn't like it.

I'm still trying to figure out what I can eat. So far - yogurt, chocolate pudding, oatmeal, eggs and grits. The kids had been hoping for spaghetti tonight, but the Dr. says I can "work my way up" to spaghetti - maybe by Thursday or Friday. I can't bite into anything - for 2 weeks or so - and I also need to do virtually all (of my minimal) chewing on the left side of my mouth.

Do you know how weird it is to brush half your teeth? Very.

This time I'm hoping to avoid the light-headedness by taking a pain pill right before I go to bed - soon!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

What Flavor Ice Cream are You?

You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Popular. Friendly. Fun.

Sounds good, though I generally prefer mint chocolate chip ice cream


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Done with Speech!

I don't think I remembered to post last week that A has "graduated" from speech. He was down to a 15 minutes "consult" each week. The speech teacher felt that A had gotten everything he was going to from her. He CAN make the "r" and r-blends when he is thinking about it - and sometimes he does. Most people probably don't even notice that he is missing them now. When and if it becomes important to A, he will correct the last bit of the way.

For now, though, he is done with speech and is happy about it. Last year he was still enjoying going to speech - not so much now. I'm glad we got it corrected while he was still mostly happy about going. He has come a LONG way in the last 4 years. Of course, 4 years makes a lot of change in most everything...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Art Show

The kids school put on an art show at the PTA meeting last night - as a fundraiser (of course). They had the kids draw pictures at some point back in the fall, then the company matted and framed the pictures and sold them to the parents.

M did a very nice picture which he titled "Vine Fish".

The picture looks great. For some reason, several people have thought it was an armadillo - maybe because of the patterns on the fish. Anyway, its a cool picture and it will be rotating between living here with us (M wants it hung over his bed) and with my mom (who bought it).

I was pleased, too, that I was able to figure out how to edit out M's name on the photo - I copied a bit of background from another location on the picture and pasted it over M's name - so if you see a bit where the background coloring seems a bit off, it was me, not M.

A didn't get a chance to do a picture because he missed art for that time period (weeks or months) due to Challenge. Maybe he will do a picture for me here at home that we can have framed. Or, if not, the school will probably do it again next year.


Super Buccaneer!

Tonight was our 3rd quarter PTA meeting and A got a medal for being a Super Buccaneer. This is a good citizenship/behavior type award, not an academic award. They recognize 2 kids per class each quarter - usually a boy and a girl. So, theoretically he is the 3rd best behaved boy in the class.

Here's A with his medal and certificate.

A was very happy with his medal - it rotates in a circular frame. Really cool. He was also very happy that this is the 3rd year that he has gotten recognized as a Super Buccaneer.

M is hoping that he too will be a Super Buccaneer next quarter.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fun with Möbius

M was talking about Sonic tonight, who lives on the planet Mobius. That got me to thinking about Möbius strips so I made one for each kid. We traced a line down the middle of each one to see that there is only one edge. Then we cut along the line - surprise, there's only one longer loop, not 2. Then we cut that one again - now there are 2 inter-twined loops.

I remember when my grandfather showed me a Möbius strip. I thought it was really cool. I must have been younger than M, though, because my grandfather died before I was M's age now.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat! The Cat in the Hat is 50 today. You can send him a birthday card and Random House will donate a book.*

On another site** I found this statistic: "On average, children in middle-income neighborhoods have approximately 13 books per individual child. In contrast, for low-income children, there is estimated to be 1 book for every 300 children." And at I found: "61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children."

Wow. According to that average, we should have at least a dozen more kids in our house. We are overflowing with books. We have at least 5 bookcases that are completely or mostly full of books - and yet, I've been thinking that we probably need 2 more bookcases.

Yesterday we went to the library and I had to caution the kids not to get too many books or we would go over my card's limit (of 50 books). Total out on my card currently: 49.

Here's another site where you can click to help give books to kids.

I can't imagine no books in a house. Please help send books to kids.

*For every Cat in the Hat Birthday Card received, Random House Children's Books will donate one book to First Book (up to 1,000,000 books). Birthday Cards must be received by Random House between January 9, 2007 and May 1, 2007 at midnight.

** They said they found the statistic on the Dr. Seuss site, but I couldn't find it there.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pictures added

I finally got pictures up of my quilt from the last post where I tried to post pictures. I ended up having to email pictures to the other computer to add them. I wish I could get Blogger to behave!



A went back to school yesterday. Quite happily, as it was his Challenge day. He was quite annoyed at having missed school on Tuesday. As far as we can remember, it was the first day he's missed since he started Kindergarten! I know he didn't miss any days so far this year or last year.

Thinking back, I'm not sure the louse the nurse found Tuesday was live or not, but it was clearly a louse and not just a nit. So, I really don't know if the mayo treatment worked or whether it was all the nit-picking we did Tue morning and then the oil in the mayo making it easier to comb out the few remaining nits. We're supposed to repeat the conditioner treatment after 7-10 days just in case. And I have to check hair every few days.

I hope I NEVER have to do this again!!! My head gets itchy just thinking about lice, but I had D check and I had the school nurse check me - all seems to be good.