YouTube-in

Hi guys!  Some of you may know that Eve started a YouTube channel awhile back.  It’s super (not) exciting, but she loves it!  This week Lex decided to start a channel as well to show off some of his Minecraft creations.  It makes me sad that most of their creative juices are going into the computer these days.   I miss having cool kid work around the house (and also at the same time I don’t miss it at all), but it’s neat to see what they are coming up with digitally.  Eve is still finding her voice online with some videos about DYI stuff, some about video games, and some about Harry Potter.  She’s been “colabbing” with her buddy sometimes too.  Lex has one video posted so far about a Rube Goldberg-style Minecraft device, and he has lots of cool things already built in Minecraft that he’s hoping to record over the next few weeks.

If you’re interested, check them out: Thunderpool and Legoman1342

 

Lex’s birthday adventure

I’m a little late with this post (by a week or so) but we still had fun and I want to share.

Alan got tickets to see Solo (Star Wars) and we spent a fun day playing laser tag, going to the movies, and eating too many breadsticks at the Olive Garden.  Eve didn’t want to see the movie and I didn’t want to play laser tag, but we both endured and even had a little fun. :)  The boys had a blast!

Laser tag makes me squimmish as a parent and teacher, but we played and I survived. The other three LOVE it.

We ate LOTS of popcorn. :)

Eve managed to stay on this moving wall for the entire three minutes. I couldn’t stay on it at all

We got home exhausted and happy.  In fact, both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home!  They haven’t done that in a long time.

The next day Eve tied all the balloons to the cat. Just because.

Lex got some birthday money and was excited to spend it all on Legos!

How many Legos does one teenager need?!

Not birthday related, but last night Lex ROCKED his spring concert!  He had parents and grandparents and kids and everyone coming up to him after the show to comment on his drumming.  He gets so into it.  So enthusiastic.  I love it!

Lex playing the timpinis.

I’m so proud of this guy.  He is kind and caring and fun and funny and a total rockstar!

Happy 13th Lex!

I can hardly believe it, but my baby boy is a teenager today! At what age does it become believable? At what age do you forget their actual birth day, forget what they are like as tiny babies, forget the sweet baby head and tiny fingers? I hope never! I love the growing boy I have now just as much. He’s kind and funny and smart and silly and still loves his momma! Always happy for a hug and still says “I love you” when we part.

He didn’t want much for his birthday this year. Just the usual books and Legos. I offered him a party or a weekend trip, but he said no thanks. He did take me up on my offer of a piano! :) That’s really a present for all of us though. We ordered it several weeks ago and it’s on back order. I hope it comes soon. I’m excited for that one.

I can’t have a birthday without presents on the table (and he sweetly reminded me of the tradition and asked if he would still get little presents even though the piano was expensive), so I got 13 presents, wrapped them all in the same paper, and numbered them. Just for fun.

We also got 13 balloons, wrote sweet notes on them, and left them in the family room for him to see when he woke up this morning. My original plan was to put them in his room, but reconsidered when I realized the fan would blow them around and it would probably be scary.

He said it was wonderful walking into a room full of compliments. :)

We had breakfast and presents, then it was off to school and work — for them! I got to skip work on this beautiful day and take Arlo for a visit to a dog trainer. It was a very nice experience and a lovely place. More on that later. Now, presents!

Back home I decorated the cake and then we headed out to friend’s house for a visit. Eve and her son are both auditioning for Matilda next month and wanted to rehearse together. Really it was an hour of bouncing on their trampoline and five minutes of rehearsing (while still on the trampoline). Lex and her daughter are chess pals and were happy to fit in a few games. He won one and lost one. He said they’ll have a play-off match at school on Tuesday. :)

By this point it was dinner time and if you know this family at all you know that Lex’s preferred place for birthday dinner (and any dinner) is Panera Bread! Alan met us over there and proceeded to be so silly he had both kids in tears. Dads are good at that. :) Then home for cake and more presents!

Now it’s 9pm and the boys are happily Minecrafting. Eve is in bed waiting for me to turn off her light. I am full of cake and love and peace. Tomorrow we will go see the new Star Wars movie (the boys are excited and the girls are along for the ride) and get dinner at the Olive Garden. Sunday we have an invite to a BBQ, but I’m secretly hoping it rains so I have an excuse to stay home and read the paper and drink tea all day. :)

PS. I measured him on the wall this evening.  62 1/4″.  He still has Eve beat by an inch and I still have them both beat!  For now.

HMMS Musical

Lex just wrapped up another season with the middle school musical.  This year was The Music Man and I got exactly zero pictures. (except this one that I just took right now)

He was part of the stage crew and got to move walls and furniture.  Last year there were a lot of crew and he didn’t get to do much, but this year they had a stricter process that required applications and teacher references, so there were fewer people, which resulted in lots more to do.  He was happy.  :)

The show was great.  I helped with ticket sales.  Eve saw it with her class and again with the family.  I love seeing all those kids up there signing and dancing.

Next year I might have both kids involved with the musical!  Crazy!

 

Growing up

There are so many ways I notice the children growing up every day.  Sometimes it’s subtle, other times it’s like a hammer over the head!  Today Lex and I went grocery shopping together.  We decided to swing by the toy store to do a little birthday shopping for Eve along the way.  We got to the Powerhouse Mall, home of the only toy store in the area, walked in, and Lex started wandering ahead.  As we passed the stairs I said, “Aren’t we going up to the toy store?”  He said, “Oh, I forgot where the stairs were.”  WHAT?!  It used to be that he could find that store in his sleep.  The routine was, up the stairs, watch the train for awhile (until mommy is bored to tears), then on to the toy store.  Today he picked out a thoughtful gift for Eve at the store, and some Legos for himself (there’s still a kid in him!).  As we walked down the hall I asked if he wanted his Lego sets now or when we get in the car.  He said, “Well, we can leave them in the back until we get home.  Not much I can do with them in the car anyway.”  Umm…. true.  And very mature.  There were many, many times in the past I had to ask him to please, please not open a bag of Legos in the car, despite his insistence that he could keep them all together and build the model as we drive.  Now, he realizes the silliness of that and has developed the patience to wait.  On the way out, as we passed the train, I asked if he remembered how he used to love pushing the button and watching the train.  He said yeah, paused for a moment, then added, “Really it’s pretty boring.  I mean, it just goes around and around.”  Sigh.  Yes.  It does, and it is, but that’s a grown-up observation.  Gone is the little boy enthusiasm… until we walked outside and saw the Lindt chocolate store across the parking lot…. ;)

Concerts, karate, and mini golf (oh my!)

We are once again in a busy upswing around here. Lex had is “Concert Grande” yesterday. It was only postponed due to snow once, unlike the 6th grade concert that was postponed so many times they ended up just not doing it. We’ve had a lot of snow lately! Concert Grande is 7th-12th all together. It was fun. Lex once again dressed nicely and I, like a dope, took a few pictures in SnapChat but not the camera app and, like even more of a dope, didn’t save them to post here. Oh well. Imagine Lex at the holiday concert, only slightly taller. :)

Today he had a belt test and got his solid purple belt! He’s a powerhouse!

 

 

 

Lex is doing stage crew for the middle school play too and that will pick up in April.

Eve has several roles in the DBS play and rehearsals are in full swing. She is busy rehearsing during recess and many days after school. The play is April 12th! I’m looking forward to it!

I am elbow deep in an PTO mini golf fundraising event we are orchestrating. Each class has built a mini golf hole with a book theme. Tomorrow they will all be setting them up (in the library, which I have been prepping and clearing all week!) and Saturday families will come play 18 holes of mini golf! I’m sure it will be a blast, but right now it’s a ton of work! Being a teacher and VP of the PTO puts me right smack in the middle of all of it. Also, ’cause it’s in my space. I had eager 4th graders today clear out all the tables and chairs from the library, so now it’s a huge open space. They wanted to move bookshelves too, but I had to put a stop to that! Right now it’s 9pm and I’m brain dead from PTO work, so I thought a blog post was in order. :) If you’re local, come by and check it out. It will be awesome! The kids are SOOO excited! If you’re not local, check out pictures on Facebook. :) We might even LiveStream for awhile.

A musical weekend

We had a fun-filled musical weekend. Friday and Saturday, anyway. Sunday was spent paying the price. :O

Lex got a special delivery on Friday afternoon. It took him all afternoon to set it up and only near the very end did he discover the instructions. He didn’t need them anyway!

Drummer boy!

He spent a good deal of Saturday hanging out with a new friend, playing Magic the Gathering, jumping on their trampoline, and playing the drums.

Meanwhile, Eve and a few friends got silly.

Saturday night we went out to dinner at Three Tomatoes and then saw Footloose at Northern Stage. It was a North Country Community Teen (NCCT) production, directed by a DBS 4th grade teacher. It was a great show and the kids were surprised by how many songs they recognized. We sat right in the front row, with an amazing view of the stage AND the orchestra!

Drums, front and center.

It was nearly 11pm by the time we got home and well after by the time everyone made it to bed. Needless to say Sunday was a tired day. I had a PTO planning meeting, lots of home work (which I finished), and lesson planning (which I started), and grocery shopping (which will have to wait). Eve had a Girl Scout event that she didn’t want to attend, resulting in an emotionally exhausting day dealing with her and ended with her quitting Girl Scouts. That will have to be another post though!

Off to fold the laundry mountain now!

Glad the rest of the set came quickly!

Lex and his music [corrected]

I love Lex and his music.  It makes me happy.

He recently found an app called My Singing Monsters where you can create music by placing a variety of different monsters.  It’s weird, but cool.  Check out the song he made. It’s catchy!

And yes, I did record a from one phone to another, and yes, it is a lousy recording. But focus on the music!

I signed him up for drum set lessons too. He starts Monday. I can’t wait!

CORRECTION: I showed this video to Alan last night, bragging about how awesome Lex is and eager to show his work. Alan said, “Cool. That’s Ride, by Twenty One Pilots.” I said no, Lex wrote it, and Alan said, nope! Turns out Alan was right! I asked Lex about it this morning and he said yes, of course, it’s Ride. He said he played it in band awhile ago. I never even heard him listening it here. I feel like a total dope for not realizing. So anyway, I’m still proud of him and I still think it’s a cool video and song, but apparently everyone but me knew it was a “monster” version of Ride, by Twenty One Pilots. Gotta give credit where credit’s due!

Growing up, and the holiday concert that was

Lex had his winter concert tonight. Their concert dress code is black bottoms, white tops, dressy. Last year he wore black sweats and one of Alan’s white Hanes t-shirts, and I thought things were fine. Last night when I was putting him to bed he said to me, “Mom, I think I should get some nicer clothes for the concert tomorrow.” Turns out he felt awkward in his sweats last year and although no one commented, he said he got a few funny looks. Imagine my surprise when he suggested a Polo shirt! After school today he came to DBS to help me set up some robotics kits, then we tried to work out shopping, karate, Girl Scouts, and the concert. I kept waiting for him to bail on the shopping, but nope, he suggested skipping karate so we could go shopping!! We ended up dropping Eve at home (to walk Arlo) and then Lex and I headed to JC Penney. I wish we had better clothing stores around. Penney’s and Khols both have very small kids sections. Plenty of adult clothes and baby/toddler clothes, but my kids are now at that age where they can’t quite wear grownup clothes, but have outgrown the kids section. It’s tricky. He tried on almost a dozen different pants and four shirts before settling on a pair of black jeans and a white collar shirt. He was happy for the entire time! He was a little worried that the jeans were a bit big around the waist, so I suggested a belt. Guess what?! He said OK! Ack! Who is this child?!

We inhaled some pizza, got Eve out the door to Girl Scouts (cookie time is right around the corner!), then rushed off to the concert. Lex was a few minutes later, but we agreed that at least he’d look slick walking in. :) He was happy and the concert was awesome!

On the Eve front, she was going to bed last night, climbing up her bunk bed ladder. She stopped, looked seriously at me, and said, “Mom, puberty is doing weird things to my body.” She then raised her foot up behind her and I looked, expecting to see bumps and blisters, but instead I saw a big googly eye! Stuck to the bottom of her toe! I cracked up! She started giggling and crawled into her bed. Not too grown up yet! <3

My life, in bullet points

  • We are closing on our new house next Friday (Friday the 13th, to be precise!)

We have a lot of mirrors in the master bath vanity!

  • Everything is coming along swimmingly!

We were here for awhile, making faces in the mirrors.  :)

  • We hope to get all the moving done in one weekend. Alan says one day, but I can’t even imagine that. :)

I”m sure she’ll be super helpful!

  • Lego League is going a bit better.  We have divided up into three teams, so the chaos is more manageable.  I have a bad habit of finding myself in charge of things, so I’m pretty much in charge of the Upper Valley First Lego League team.
  • School is good.  No, school is great!  I don’t always love going (so much to do at home!), but I always love being there.
  • I’m in the middle of two grad courses.  One boring and the other super boring!  I posted a minor vent on a closed Facebook group for librarians about my cataloging course and got over 100 replies, most all of them completely emphasize, but a handful who admit to absolutely loving cataloging. It takes all sorts, I suppose.  Glad someone likes doing that stuff and I’m double glad I won’t have to do much of it after completing the program!  :)
  • The kids have both had growth spurts and now have a whole lot of ankle showing.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.  Probably should do some cold weather shopping soon, before the cold weather really hits!
  • I started a Battle of the Books program at school.  It’s for 4th and 5th graders and will take us through the end of February.  The kids were luke warm at first and I was getting nervous, but last week they got to pick their books and we officially kicked off the project and they were SO EXCITED!  I loved it!  It made me feel 100% more confident about the idea and I know it’s going to be fun!

The brackets are up!

  • I finished making the growth chart I’ve been thinking about for 10 years.  It came out really great.  I’m happy with it and now we can officially move.

Growth chart ruler

  • I am running my first book fair at school in three weeks.  I feel wholly unprepared for it!  The kids at school are very excited and definitely missed it last year.
  • PTO is organizing a Color-A-Thon again this year.  It’s supposed to be bigger and better than last year.  I’m the VP of the PTO and should be helping with this effort.  I’m not.  I do plan to show up for the event.  I hope that’s sufficient for this year.
  • We got flu shots last weekend.  Did you see the photo?  Lex was worried, of course, but didn’t protest too much.  He held my hands and cried a little, but he got himself there, talked himself through the whole thing, and didn’t end up no the floor even once.  Eve smiled for a photo at the end!  I think my babies are growing up!!

Alan says, “Flu shots for a happy family and healthy community.”

  • Eve is playing field hockey this fall and loving it!  She has practices three times a week and one or two games each week (sometimes a game replaces a practice).
  • Lex is belt testing next week for his purple belt.  He’s had the green one so long that the threads are coming out!  He said it’s time to retire the green belt.  We missed a few tests over the summer, so he hasn’t tested in many months.
  • Monday is in-service for me and no school for the kids.  I decided to sign them up for a rec sponsored trip to Jay Peak, a super cool (or so I’ve heard) indoor water park that’s two hours away!  We have talked about going for years, but never made it.  The kids are thrilled that I’m letting them go.  I’m nervous about the distance, but I had a nice email exchange with the parks department director and the details he provided greatly reassured me.  I still don’t love them being that far away without me (am I weird?) but I know they’ll have a great time and ya know, Alan and I have to work, so it’s a pretty good deal.
  • Alan is super busy at work, with town stuff, and, of course, taking care of all the important yet boring parts of this house process, like researching lights and keeping the finances moving forward.  He has been the detail man on this project and has done a wonderful job keeping it all on track.  I just show up with cookies and a camera when the mood strikes!