Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Highlights for Children

You never know what will float their boat.  Yesterday something so amazing occurred that Scoot and Rollo came home together, peacefully, not fighting tooth and nail for precedence, like usual.  So astounding that I did not even need to ask how their day was, to inquire whether anything interesting had happened at school.  No, they volunteered the information, together.

"Someone threw up on the bus!"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stash to Treasure: Relief!

After nineteen years of faithful service, the little light bulb in my sewing machine blew out.  So I tried to remove it.  And the boys tried to remove it.  And my husband tried to remove it.  And we huffed, and puffed, stayed right there.  Well, the glass broke off, but the end stayed in the socket.  We needed professional help. 

By the way, how much does a routine sewing machine service cost in your neck of the woods?  I thought it might be about time for a good once-over (it's been less than nineteen years), but when they told me the price, I said "No, thank you, just change the light bulb."

And I waited.  Items needing mending piled up at an unusual rate.  Scoot finally received some overdue Cub Scout patches. The Caterpillar didn't get to finish his summer sewing project during the summer.   And I was starting to experience severe sewing withdrawal.

Three and a half weeks later, I welcomed the machine back to its rightful place.  (It was ready sooner, but they didn't call.  Hmph!)  Did I celebrate by diving into the mending pile?

Of course not.  I sewed another drawstring backpack, and finished it just in time for the Caterpillar to carry it to his first soccer game of the season.  I used his old jeans, some red nylon left from making a fireman costume, and flaggy material left from the apron the Caterpillar designed for himself.  I'll get to the mending someday.  But I feel much better already.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Doing the Cancan

The Galop Infernal from Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld has long been a favorite with our beginning pianists.  When the Caterpillar first learned the theme, we made up some words for it, corresponding with his recycling duties:

Can, can, milk jug, milk jug,
Can, can, milk jug, milk jug,
Can, can, milk jug, milk jug,
Paper, paper, paper, paper . . .

The boys all enjoy dancing to the tune, which appears as a whistled motif in "Wild and Free" by Rednex.  And it is an easy tune for me to think of when engaged in the provident work of home canning.  Encouraging music is helpful when spending a Saturday afternoon bottling 20 quarts of peaches and pears. 

Another tune that comes to my mind when I'm canning is "Jammin'" by Bob Marley.  I know he had something else in mind, but some of the lyrics are applicable when I'm making various flavors of jam.

"To think that jammin' was a thing of the past"

Who makes their own jam anymore?  Well, old-fashioned girls like me.  And ministers, and lawyers, and authors, and engineers.  It's hard to resist making jam with all the free blackberries that grow around here.  And where else can you obtain mango-raspberry jam, or blueberry-peach, without paying a lot for shipping?  Home canning takes time and effort, but for me, the results are well worth the investment. 

"And I hope this jam is gonna last"

. . . at least through another school year of daily peanut butter sandwiches!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Help us--I'm four"

Thus prayed D2, a couple of days ago.  It's true, his fourth birthday was on Sunday.  And it was a pretty good day.

D2 has always been fascinated with basketball, so he was excited to receive his own inflatable hoop.  And Scoot, the ball master, was happy to teach him some games.

He tried on all his new clothes at once,

and applied his new standard to cleanliness.  "It's a vacuum cleaner!"  The floor was ready for him.
Happy birthday, D2!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bright (and Early) Beginning

Well, he did it!  On September First Day of School, the Caterpillar, who is not a morning person, heeded his alarm and had finished his shower before I got up to wake him.  So he forgot to set the alarm for the second day--but when he remembers, he'll have time to cross our busy street and hike to the bus stop early every morning.  He's had a good time so far at junior high, which should only improve when he cracks his locker combination.
Scoot, who is a morning person, spent the time after breakfast constructively packing his lunch and doing his housework.  His class hasn't changed much for fifth grade, except for the welcome addition of a church friend.  And since the homework hasn't begun in earnest, he's been pretty happy after school, too.
Rollo was ready for second grade, too.  He was so ready that he had time to set up a race track before rushing out to the bus stop twenty minutes early.  The toys kept D2 busy enough that he didn't mind his brothers' leaving.  But Rollo had a harder time at school.  He only knew two of his classmates, and didn't see any of his old friends at recess.  Then he misplaced his lunch box, and his teacher got food poisoning.  What a week!  Good thing it only lasted three days.  But we know Rollo.  His friendless days will be few. 
Hooray for school!