Monday, March 22, 2010

One of THOSE weekends.

Hello Monday morning. Everyone woke up tired, the gray and drippy weather doesn't help. Katherine was off to school at 6:45 to play in the 8th grade flute ensemble for breakfast with the "Schools to Watch" observational group. Rebecca will have lunch with the same group as part of the nominated student panel to field questions about a number of school issues. It's all a lot to ask of a Monday.

It seemed we didn't stop this weekend, though I know we did. I clearly remember scrapbooking with my mom on Friday afternoon as well as spending a few hours reading on the front porch in the blissful summery warmth while the boys tried to maim themselves on brand new roller blades. I had gratefully and blindly accepted that winter and the accompanying chill were gone, so today's typical March weather is doubly unwelcome.
We took full advantage of the amazing sunshine and t-shirt time. Bright and early Saturday I drove Katherine over to Osbourne Park HS for Les Folies Francaise. From 8-3 hundreds of kids celebrated French culture: food, music and art from France it its former colonies. While she was gone, my mom picked up Rebecca for a day out and a sleepover. Becca had quite a surprise when they arrived at the Capital Area Cake Show in Fairfax. She is a big cake decorating fan which so far amounted to watching all the cake shows on TV (Cake Boss, Ultimate Cake-Off...). She recognized some of the TV personalities at the show. There were demonstrations and classes and samples and competitions and stuff to buy. She was in cake heaven and discovered fondant tastes pretty good.
Not surprisingly she's very excited about starting her Level 1 Wilton cake decorating class at our local JoAnns next month. I'm excited because this is a portable and useful hobby for her. When we go back overseas who's to say she couldn't make a small business out of this, birthday cakes for Embassy/Consulate kids perhaps? Just the possibility is exciting.
While Mom was picking up Rebecca, I took Jonathon to church for his First Penance. This is the first we've done in the States. There was a short service then 6 priests ready to hear confessions. Compared to last year's class of three (my middle two and a friend) this is like a business process. I'm sure the First Communion Mass/ceremony will be nice, but it definitely won't have the flavor of the Philippines or India. Remember this from 2008?
First Communion celebrants
For all the anxiety of pulling that day together, it ended up being beautiful and very special.
Jonathon and I came home and we all ate a quick lunch before we ambled over to Montclair ES for the spring carnival. Along with the games (1 ticket each) and the pony ride ($2 each) and the food (multiple tickets each) and the tables of stuff to buy (cash only), there were performances on stage ranging from Judo to magic shows to "All That and Jazz" dance. Oh quick aside, when All That and Jazz was coming up we were manning our game booths (Ian had Plinko, I had a toddler version of SkeeBall). A girl came by to get her friend, shouting "All That and Jazz is coming up, let's go watch, they have really inappropriate dance moves!" She wasn't kidding. There was a recent conversation on a parenting board about choosing dance programs that recognized the ages of the kids and taught dance minus the sexual innuendo. All That and Jazz is not one of those groups. The make-up is heavy, the costumes are skimpy, the moves are suggestive - all this from girls 12 and under. And you have to pay for it??
The games were fine, the boys liked the Cupcake Walk and Beat the Dealer. But by far the favorite part was the Silent Auction. Each class in the school gathered donations for theme baskets and the library was covered. From a "go green" basket to "coffee lover," "Redskins football," and "movie night" there was something for everyone. There were also bunches of other auctions. A basket filled with $1 scratch lottery tickets, a number of movie dates with teachers, lunch with a fireman at our local station, hot air balloon rides, a year of doggie nail-clipping, I figured it was our duty to bid on something - and hope to get outbid - so the boys settled on an outdoor play basket with roller blades. Well, $52 later we won the basket. Nicholas said near the end of the auction he stood by it to ward people off. I'm not sure that's in the true spirit of a fund-raising auction, but since I was manning a game and missing the live auction anyway....
Roller blades that switch from sizes 1 to 4 fit both the boys. A remote control car that really works. An electronic football/monkey in the middle game. Kites, hula hoop, loads of bubble and sidewalk chalk, bounce balls, jump ropes, frisbees, beach towels, a big plastic hamper, and an assortment of little kid games that will go in the next donation drive. It was a good choice and I'm glad we won. Funny, it was Jonathon's class basket. We'd even donated some of the items, but didn't know it until we carried the basket out and the class mom said so. At home the roller blades came out first. The neighbor girl across the street took pity on the boys and lent them padding. Helmets are next on the list.
After picking up Katherine and hearing how she'd won 3rd place in the art contest, we spent the rest of the afternoon outdoors soaking up Vitamin D. Katherine had her boyfriend over, they hung out on our backyard play equipment after taking a walk together. He seems like a nice kid, lives right around the corner near the ES.
Sunday was another gorgeous day. The boys packed off to Sunday school, my mom dropped off Rebecca at church and I caught up a bit on their day together. The surprise cake show was very well-received, they went shopping, ate out, bought and watched "New Moon." I think my mom had a good time too. She couldn't stay since my dad was flying out later that day, but she'll be back on Friday to see the girls' final show. After church we descended on Target and Best Buy, then Panera for lunch. Another fabulous afternoon soaking up some sun before taking Katherine to school for a flute ensemble practice at 4 p.m., followed by youth group choir practice at church at 5:30 p.m.
Then of course this morning up at 6 a.m. to get her up so Ian could take her to school by 7 a.m. *yawn*
I'm looking at the next two weeks as a "must get through" time, but that's not really fair. There's a lot of good stuff going on. I'm still plodding along with my school work. History is fun, Geography less so, but time is winding down and it all has to get finished.
This week is the girls' show. They'll perform for each of the grades during school along with two night performances for parents. I'll be going both nights, because, why not? With two performers for each lead role the performances are split. Katherine is playing Ms. Darbis on Wednesday night and for the 7th grade performance, Rebecca is in all the shows, and my parents are coming for the Friday night performance. I won't want to see anything HSM related for a long time, but the girls put a lot of effort into this and I know how much it means to have someone in the audience.
Friday is career day at Saunders MS and Ian is manning a table on the Foreign Service. Which reminds me, I need to pull some stuff together so it's not just him and a table. What say you... a poster or a tri-fold? I hope he remembers to pick up some materials to hand out.
Saturday my mom is taking the boys for an afternoon to see "Up" at her office, along with crafts and snacks.
Next week is Holy Week and Spring Break. Ian is taking the week off and I plan to take the family downtown one day (oh, he'll love that on a day off, won't he?). We'll see the cherry blossoms later, so I'm thinking the zoo while the weather is so great.
We're tired but it's a generally happy tired, not completely associated with the rain pouring down or the fact it's Monday. I'll be glad to welcome the sun back anytime though. Anytime, sun, anytime.

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