Saturday, March 26, 2011

You'll Be Glad To Know That Mrs. Mudge Has Bought Herself A New Set Of Teeth For The Occasion

My Precious. Wasn't it yesterday that he was The Cutest Baby In The World? On Friday we took a tour of Parkview Christian School where he will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. I'm so grateful for this school - it's a part of our church which is a mile away, only half-day and 4-days-a-week, and it's educational philosophy follows the idea of Charlotte Mason (and all you need to know about that is that it's pretty much the cutest little Laura Ingalls Wilder sort of set-up your could ever hope for). The principal walked us through all the classrooms and he got to meet his soon-to-be teacher, Mrs. Funk. (I ask you, is there a better name for a Kindergarten teacher in all the world?) He's still obsessed with the inter workings of machines, though he isn't determined to watch each and every wash cycle these days. He spent yesterday afternoon with his beloved Eunice Chantilly* and her mom (Gillian) was working on a sewing project. Apparently he became fixated with her sewing machine and had to figure out how all the parts worked. I have a sewing machine set in a piece of furniture that was Phil's grandmother's and I have never even plugged it in. This morning Andrew was checking it out and trying to tell me about a part of it I would have to do something with to let out the lead? I have no idea, but it's scary that he could probably set it up and sew something now after his lesson with Aunt Gill. Oh, and this morning I had the milk carton out on the table and he says, "Mom, this says 'keep refrigerated." What the hay?

We've had a week of simply glorious weather and spent some time at the zoo, where I took the photo above. Getting the picture of them together was hilarious, Andrew trying to put his arm around her and lovingly putting a choke hold around her neck, Elsbeth the ever moving target hopping around in circles and jumping off the curb and wandering over to see the birds. Elsbeth was mesmerized by the flamingos, standing silently watching them for a while, then saying definitively, "Chicken." We also got a little lesson about how silly flamingos are when they play, giving each other odd-looking piggy back rides. "Mommy, what are they doing?!" Aye yie yie. The Fiery One continues to chatter up a storm which I think has brightened up her little world. Being able to communicate many of her strongly-felt thoughts and desires has lead to much less screaming and lots of giant smiles and sweet hugs and kisses. Joy of joys! I make make it after all!

On a completely unrelated note, I just went on a women's retreat. Yes, moi. If you know my thoughts on women's retreats in general (I spelled them out in a blog post years ago - it's my first confession), this may be surprising. Shocking, in fact. When they began to promote this retreat at church, Phil leaned over to tell me (in all seriousness) that I was welcome to go. I burned holes through his face with my glare. He went on to say how he wouldn't mind at all taking care of the kids on his own and could even take some time off work if need be. I answered something to the effect of, "I'd rather have my limbs severed with a spork." Then Mischa e-mailed me. She invited me to go and share a room. She's a young mom in the church, wife of the music/youth director, and she's just the most friendly and kind person and she looks like a Pantene model. We get together occasionally to let our kids play together and I have really enjoyed getting to know her as much as is possible with little ones whizzing around our knees. Clearly going on the retreat would afford us the opportunity to have entire conversations, and I really have wanted to get to know her and the other women of my new church a lot better. So I said yes.

And then I broke out in hives. This was me as I headed out the door, full of joy and anticipation of the next 24 hours. You know what, I survived. Three women from the church (including Mischa) shared about their lives with the rest of the group and did a lovely job. I got to hang out and chat with a bunch of other women on topics ranging from Triskets to thyroids and not once did anyone suggest an outlet mall. Mischa, Dina (my other fabulous roomie pictured below) and I were all terrified of the giant Jesus door we had to walk through for every event. Were you supposed to hold his hand to open the door? Should you smile and say "Hi"? It was unsettling. And the best moment of all was when Dina opened the envelope she won as a door prize.
Yes. Yes they did. That alone was worth the whole trip. And now, and a note even further removed from anything previously discussed, I'll share that I've recently been on a new recipe kick and have found myself profoundly impressed with the Pioneer Woman's food blog where she not only posts wonderful recipes but also takes zillions of the most beautiful pictures of the food all through the cooking process. The Pioneer Woman is cool. I kind of want to be the Pioneer Woman. Thus, I took a picture of the celery I was about to use in a stew. Celery isn't supposed to do that, is it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon-Face

One down ... four to go.

P.S. It was so vile. I even spent extra to get the cigarettes in pretty colors, but they didn't taste anything like fruit or candy or coolness. Why is this? We made ourselves finish them, just so I could check it off my list for real, but heaven help me, it was awful. I only inhaled once (for the reason above) and for hours I felt like I'd been licking the inside of a fireplace. I think Gillian, bless her, felt sick for the rest of the day. And I'm pretty sure we corrupted some young boys who were playing in the park near us. They're probably on the streets now, selling their puppies and skateboards for a smoke.

P.P.S. I have a mostly full box of really awesome, brightly colored cigarettes for sale that taste like strawberry delight and will make you instantly cool! Only $6.95! Tell your friends!