Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our Graduate

Last night was the commencement ceremony for Elyria High. Here's The Brother looking very graduated.

This is the only other shot I got. Right after I took this, the batteries died in the camera. Way to plan ahead on my part. Anyway, just image all of these seats filled with girls wearing white caps and gowns and boys wearing red.

It really was the most perfect weather for the ceremony. Not too hot or cold. And not raining. The crowd was huge and crushing. While our family was a pocket of politeness, others brought huge balloon bouquets into the stands and air horns to blow to celebrate their graduate. There was plenty of screaming too. Lots and lots of screaming.

The field was a bit soft from all the recent rain so the girls in their high pointy heels had some trouble walking around, but no one tripped or fell down during the ceremony. It was a bit of a disappointment. (Okay, not really!)

Congratulations to The Brother for a job well done. Now go get a job!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Working Day

Last week was job shadowing day for the kiddos. Sorry, let's get real here, it was actually called "Exploring the World of Work Day". Isn't that just the worst name for something? It gives me the heebie-jeebies!

This is a voluntary thing and totally on the parents to set-up. The only thing the school does is give you permission to be absent. We had to think long and hard. Did we have friends who have cool enough jobs?

Finding someone for The Girl was easy. She spent the day at American Greetings World Headquarters with Jenn. She was bounced around from department to department sucking up information about licensing, character development, sales displays and graphic design. She talked non-stop for entire day and night about everything she learned when she got home. She also got to go shopping at the company store and stocked up for graduation and Father's Day cards. Her final verdict on the day? "It was a lot of fun. And a lot of walking."

The Boy went to NASA. He spent the day with Jerry who is a scientist out there who studies the effects of prolong space missions on the human body. (None of it is good. We are not built to hang around weightless for weeks on end!) Unlike his sister, The Boy was not so forth coming about what he learned. Over the past week we've been getting just random snippets of information, like Did you know that astronauts have chronic back pain while in space? All in all, what did he think of his day at NASA? "It was good."

Thanks so much to Jenn and Jerry for dragging our kids around for the day! We owe you big time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scholastic N

The Scholastic N is the highest honor that a Northwood eighth grader can achieve. It is awarded to students "who have maintained high academic standards and met the criteria for leadership, character, service and school activities".

But enough of that. Check out my baby!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shots of DC

One of the worst ways to start a post, in my opinion, is to apologize for not posting in a timely manner and then give some lame excuse. So, I'm not apologizing or explaining other than to say that not only have I not been writing this blog, but I haven't been reading any of yours either. I've been off the scene completely. Will things change now? Most likely. School's almost over.

Things have been hopping around here and I guess we should catch up. First off, my sweet zombie gig ended on Friday. It was wonderful, I'll admit it. I was really sad to pack up my workspace. Now it looks just like when I first laid eyes on it, right down to the bag of rock salt and the shovel. I don't want to work anywhere else, so I just might not. We'll see how I feel as the week progresses.

The kids went to Washington, D.C. last week. They had a spectacular time despite that hotel rooms had no DVD players, the TVs didn't have the right jacks for Xbox and the breakfast buffet was yucky. My first text from The Girl was "This is NOT a five star hotel". I KNEW I raised her right!

Here's five girls in their shared Not-Five-Star bathroom.

Every year during the month of May, about one million 8th graders visit DC. And they all see...


The Washington Monument
Grand Union Station

The Capitol Building

The Korean War Monument

The Vietnam Memorial


And the White House

complete with a guy on the roof.

They also went to Mount Vernon, ESPN Zone, the Holocaust Museum and the Smithsonian. But Blogger is acting a little funny right now, so if you want to see those pictures, you'll just have to come by the house! It was a whirlwind tour of the city to say the least. The Girl took about 300 pictures. The Boy took around 100. And they both texted home quite often about what they were doing, seeing and eating. The only part they didn't enjoy (except the hotel breakfast) was the eight hour bus trip to get there and who could blame them!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Star Trek geek in the house!

For the second weekend in a row, The Man and I have given up our date day to take the kiddos to the movies. Last week it was Wolverine. Today it was Star Trek. I liked Star Trek more than Wolverine and the crowd was a lot bigger today than last week.

In the lobby of the theater were two table set up chuck full of Star Trek stuff manned by guys dressed in Star Fleet uniforms. Before our movie started, two of these guys stood in front of the room and introduced themselves. They were members of the International Federation of Trekkers, an organization started by Gene Roddenberry himself which upholds the aims and ideals of Star Trek. Everyone in the audience was polite except The Boy who was snorting behind his popcorn. The Trekkers than announced they had a trivia question and the winner would get a Star Trek comic book.

The question was what does T. stand for in Captain James T. Kirk?

Tiberius, baby!

Lots of geeks and nerds knew the answer and were shouting it out, but I politely raised my hand and smiled. And the Trekkers picked me!

Now a picture of Chris Pine, just because.

*double sigh*

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Annie Pics

As promised, pictures from the reception after the show tonight. Tonight's show was hands down the best of the three.

Here's that spiffy jacket I mentioned. The little housemaid is pretty cute too.

And with Haylie...

And with Liv...

Annie Jr.

Tonight is the big night for the kids. It's opening (and closing!) night for the school's production of Annie, Jr. (The junior part being that it's a shortened version of the musical just for junior high age kids.) The Girl will be dancing across the stage as one of the maids in Daddy Warbucks mansion. The Boy plays duel roles. First as the dog catcher chasing Sandy (and there's a real dog in the show) and then as Bert Healy, the radio show host. We found The Boy a terribly spiffy jacket for the Bert part at a costume rental place. It is something else! I'll try to get some good pictures tonight.

I've already seen the show twice, in bits and pieces. They did two shows yesterday morning, once for the seventh grade and then again for the eighth. I volunteered to be the girls dressing room monitor. I fixed hair, repaired buttons, found shoes, approved make-up and said "Shhhhh!" about a thousand times. When I wasn't desperately needed there, I would sneak into the back of the gym to catch a part of the show.

Tonight's show is the last one they'll do. It's strange set-up with one show on a Thursday night, but that's how it goes.

As for me, I was back at my happy gig today in probably the cleanest school you've ever seen. Starting Monday, school is starting an hour earlier everyday to make up for the seven missed days. They are also extending the year by one extra day into the summer. While the extra hour in the morning will be a drag, it's got to be better going an extra week! The past week and a half I've been put in a slew of ugly places with yucky zombies. It was a relief to home again!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Too Much China

Just a quick complaint here this morning. The Amazing Race has spent way too much time in China this season to the great advantage of Victor and Tammy who are winning with a huge margin right now because they both speak Mandarin. Last night's challenge was to go to a restaurant, take the orders of five customers, repeat the orders perfectly back to the cooks and then serve the customers. It took Tammy and Victor no time at all to get this done. Poor Lakisha and Jen struggled and suffered with this task, like you are supposed to on this show. But they succeeded and that was really something. And they didn't lose because of a potty break. They lost because they got U-Turned.

Victor and Tammy have been yukking it up with people on the street, shop owners and taxi drivers while in China sometimes to the detriment of the other teams. I know this is a game and if you have an advantage you should use it, but to have two back to back episodes in a Mandarin speaking country tips the scales too far.

And since it's Amazing Race that we're discussing here, let's just put up a picture of Phil, just because.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring Yard

I covered the yard pretty thoroughly last year, but here's a few shots from this spring.

We've always had red tulips.

We've always has yellow tulips.

But this year we also got orange tulips!

A weird but lovely surprise.

Now, can you spot which yard is ours?

We have the slightest inkling of a suspicion that our neighbors hate us. But I think it's beautiful to have a purple yard, even if it's just for a couple of weeks.