Karate

Lex had a belt test this week.  He’s now a brown belt!  That’s just one level below black belt!  (However, they way they do it there’s actually a variety of brown/black combinations to get through before you get to the true black belt.)  Sensei is sick so Shidoin Paul ran the test.  He said the nicest things about Lex at the end.  Then he went home and told his wife (whom I work with) how proud he is of Lex.  <3

And because I’m feeling nostalgic these days, check out Lex’s first time in a karate gi and his first belt test.  Eve too, of course.  Oh how I wish she would rejoin!

FLL 2018 – Our final competition

This is Lex’s final year in FIRST Lego League.  The program runs through 8th grade, then they are able to move on to FIRST Robotics (no Legos, lots of machining and Java programming).

I coached again this year and we again had three teams, with 27 kids total.  We went to the state competition on Sunday.  It was the usual big, crazy, busy, 12hr day.  We had a blast.  This year the teams brought home two trophies too!  Green team earned one for their research and Red team (the team Lex was on) won one for their innovate robot design. Lex was pretty instrumental in that.  I was happy for him to have that accomplishment on his final year.

The robot design presentation where they show their robot, their code, and their favorite missions.

Project presentation. Red team chose to figure out an innovative way to feed people in space.

A very happy Red team (with two equally happy tag-along little brothers).

I’m happy with how well the season went, how organized we were at the tech center, how many kids had a great time, how well Lex connected with another kid on the team, and overall how we’ve grown the FLL team in Hartford.  I’ll miss it next year… but not enough to coach again! LOL!

Now, if you want an awwwww moment, check out little Lex at his first FLL competition.  <3 <3

Oh, Christmas Tree

We got our tree this weekend and it’s PERFECT.  It was a great field.  Lots of perfect trees, so it took us just moments to find our perfect one.

An almost perfect family photo. The photographer had no interest in being in the picture. :(

This handsome boy loves being in pictures with me. Or at least he humors me and smiles for the camera. :)

Eve finally agreed to take a selfie with me. Um… thanks?

Alan and Lex took care of cutting and wrapping.

These tall kiddos want to put up all the high ornaments. I guess I’m in charge of the lower part of the tree these days!

In the evening Alan and I went to my DBS holiday party.  I was apprehensive, because I’m lame like that, but it was nice and we only stayed for an hour anyway because we had tickets to see Matilda!  We left the party, picked up the kids, and headed to the theater.  Like the fancy family we are! LOL!

I love this crazy bunch.

 

Hi

Hi all! It’s December!  I’m sitting at drum lessons, listening to Lex practice his Jazz Band piece.  It’s pretty cool.  On Monday he auditioned for a District Band program, which is basically just a weekend of middle school kids jamming together.  It’s pretty selective, but he’s good and he auditioned on three different instruments (timpani, snare drum, and bells), so he’s feeling pretty good about things.  We’re hoping to hear the results soon.  Not that we really need more things to fill our days.

We are wrapping up the final week of Lego League, and (hopefully) our final year with it.  Lex ages out of it next year and I’ve already made the announcement that I won’t be coaching if he’s not participating.  I’ve basically taken over the program though (I have a bad habit of doing that!), so I’m hoping I can slip out without too much disruption.

The usual holiday parties have set in, plus field trips, concerts, and plays (that we’ll be in the audience for), but whenever I start to feel too stressed, I just remind myself of last fall and feel grateful for all I’m NOT doing this year!

I put up the advent boxes again, but this year the cat is taking them down for me every night.  Not helpful!  Eve has been putting them all back up each morning.

My favorite reindeer.

The advent boxes are looking a little worn. Number one is even missing a top. This might be their last appearance… though when I mentioned that to Lex, he got sad.

Eve is helpful.  She’s growing right up, but still a very silly, Harry Potter series obsessed child.  She has a crush on Draco Malfoy and wants to own all of the Harry Potter merchandise that exists in this world.  She might be a little materialistic.  :)

A friend asked the other day if we are hosting a cookie party again this year.  I said, “uhh…., honestly, it hasn’t even crossed my mind.”  :/  It would be fun, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I haven’t even made any cookies yet!  We put up some decorations last weekend, and we’ll get a tree this weekend. Maybe that will kick start the holiday spirit. :)  In the meantime, I’m enjoying my own little drummer boy right here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another wonderful Thanksgiving is on the books.  It’s a cold, snowy week.  We took the new Leaf to Franklin, which was an interesting experiment that turned a 4.5hr trip into a about 7.5hrs.  We all decided not to try that again!  It all worked out ok though and we made it to the homestead safe and sound.

Photos all courtesy of Rosy.

Beautiful falls that great us and let us know we are home.

Rosy and Mema put together a great menu for our Greek Thanksgiving. We had a Greek cheese platter for lunch, and Greek Pastisio, Classic Spanakopita, and Lemon Roasted Potatoes for dinner.  So good!

Only the fanciest for this party!

Rosys first Spanakopita. I helped with the phyllo layering!  It was delicious!

As usual, we got a little silly with the camera.

We need more peeps from this generation at our parties!

The next generation is catching up quick!

Our best attempt at a family photo. :p

The obligatory Thanksgiving meal photo.

The standard photo for our family.

With the leftover phyllo dough I made tasty cinnamon honey rolls with toasted walnuts.

The best part, of course, was (is!) being with family and enjoying our time together.

Razzamatazz

The middle school held their first ever talent show this month.  Jazz band played the opening number, with Lex on bongos.  It was fun watching the jazz band and realizing I know about half the kids in it.

The evening continued with music, dance, and even a few magic tricks. It was everything you would expect from a middle school talent show.  I was amazed with the bravery these kids had.  Kids were up there, alone on stage, singing their hearts out.  It was awesome.

I only took pictures of my own kid though. :)

 

All about me

I had a nice visit with the allergist today.  Bright and early.  Well, not bright because thanks to day light savings time and winter, it’s damn dark these days!  And rainy. Anyway, where was I?  Right, at the allergist.  Getting poked and prodded.

They tested me for 38 different things and I only got two reactions!  Cats and dust.  Exactly what I was expecting.  Seems I’ve outgrown the tree allergy though, which is good.  She said both are very common and the size of my reactions means it’s highly unlikely that allergies are the cause of my breathing issues.  (Holy moly, I was just looking for a post about my last surgery and came across this one about allergy testing two years ago. I’d completely forgotten about it!  I guess I wasn’t allergic to trees two years ago either. Totally forgot! Also, glad they did it on my arms this time!)

Yesterday I went back to visit the ENT surgeon who did my throat surgery two years ago. He did the same yucky scope again and said that there is definitely blockage.  Again!  In fact, he showed me the hole at the top of my trachea and said it should actually be 3-4 times larger than it is!  I said, “would that explain..” and he said, “Yes! The wheezing and the breathing and everything.”  The real question though is “why?”  Why does this keep happening?  After further discussion, the going theory is acid reflux.  I did a little research and it all does fit together.  So the next step is to make a plan for reflux meds and schedule surgery — again.

Halloween – party edition

Many weeks ago Eve asked if we could have a Halloween party. After glossing over Halloween altogether last year (a fact she likes to remind me of ), I thought a Halloween party sounded like a great idea. Of course, I didn’t think to look at the calendar when I agreed to this crazy idea! Turns out it’s book fair week, parent conference week, Halloween and a Halloween party, “that time of the month” (TMI, sorry), AND I had to stop taking all allergy medications so I can go next week for testing. Whee! It’s a little crazy around these parts, but we’re having fun!

We had a great Halloween party tonight. Both kids dressed up and we had seven friends over, plus a few parents. I ordered pizza and helped Lex finish his costume between book fair sales this afternoon. We got home in time to move piles of stuff from the living room to the tucked away office and throw a table cloth on the table. Alan got home with pizza just as company was arriving.

Rita Skeeter, Luna Lovegood, a fairy witch, and an inch worm (not in costume), cracking open some butterbeer.

Eve reigns supreme!

Our first trick-or-treater was a little kid from down the street. All the big kids in my house rushed to open the door and hand out candy. :)

Our local OR nurse brought a brain for dinner. Yummy! Brain surgery is her specialty.

There are nine of them there. One is hiding in the back.

I forgot to get a picture of my two alone. I didn’t even get a good picture of either of their costumes.  Eve was Luna Lovegood, from Harry Potter, and Lex was a Minecraft phantom.  He put a lot of work into it, including light up eyes on the head.  It was cool!

Lex’s costume plan

This.

Back at home the candy trading floor opened for business!

We had a lot of candy!

We were home from trick-or-treating around 7:30 and everyone left before 8:30.  Now we are all exhausted!  We had a momentary scare when we couldn’t find the cat anywhere, but she eventually turned up hidden in a pile of Eve’s stuffies.  Jasmine is the best hider ever!

Off to bed now.  Tomorrow is another early morning and late evening for book fair!

 

What’s that sound?

While laying in bed with Eve tonight I heard an odd sound. “What’s that sound?” I asked. “Bananagrams!” she replied. I laughed. She said, “Don’t judge! Sometimes I like to play Bananagrams with my stuffies.” I laughed harder. A bit later I heard another odd sound. “What’s that sound?” I asked. “Chickens!” she said. Chickens?! I laughed, then laughed even harder when I realized it was chickens! Minecraft chickens, coming from the family room where Alan was playing Minecraft. It’s good to end the evening on a laugh. 😂