Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're all Kindling

I've been a big fan of Amazon's Kindle since I got one last year.  My husband got one soon after, in a larger size so he could read work documents, and Drama Girl uses the Kindle app on her ipod touch.

My twins have borrowed mine quite a few times and figured out how to use it in less than a minute.  Finally forces conspired to make me take the plunge and buy them their own.

First, their required summer reading book is not to be found in any nearby library.  I'm barely able to walk these days so trudging all over town in search of a book is not my idea of fun.  I kept thinking how easy it is for me to download any book I want to my Kindle in less than a minute.

But what really tipped the scales was the fact that Amazon lowered the price again.  Sold!  The twins have their new Kindles, loaded with not only summer reading but dozens of great books. 

Jungle Boy will have a sturdy carrying case for his before he heads off to Vermont in a few weeks, and Wasabi Girl wants a pretty "skin" for hers to dress it up (my Kindle, with the Agatha Christie screen saver, is the one you see with a skin on it already.)  I promised them both skins and cases before they take them back to school, but one thing at a time as my budget allows.

We're loving our Kindles and sharing books with them.  If you're considering taking the plunge, I've added a tab to the top of the blog with some information and links that might help you out.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Toonlet: Moving Out

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Moving Out

(For those not familiar with it, Animal Crossing is a multi-player virtual life game.  I highly recommend it for parents and kids of reading age.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Finished for Friday: Amelia and Clara

Welcome back to Finished for Friday.  My finishes this week include a book and another ornament.

This was a fun read. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters.  The main character, Amelia Peabody, is a Victorian woman of means who decides to travel through Egypt and indulge her interest in archeology.  She's a spunky heroine who doesn't shy from using her parasol as a weapon to clear a crowd.

The pursuit of antiquities leads to a mystery, some romance, and some excellent descriptions of Egypt.  The mystery wasn't particularly difficult to figure out, but the action kept up at a good pace.  Indiana Jones would have been proud.

In the crafty department, I finished another ornament for next Christmas; Clara from the Nutcracker.  This one will be for Drama Girl.  It's beaded with tiny beads and I had to use a magnifier to do it.  Fun but a lot of work for such a tiny piece.

What have you been up to this week?  Please read the guidelines in the link at the top of the page.  Then link up and show us what you've been up to.  Thanks for joining in!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Way Back When-esday: Ballerina Dreams

Every dancer has to work to earn the true rewards of dancing.  When Drama Girl began, she was a lemon drop at the recital, complete with a wacky giant yellow bow.

Now, a few years later, she has multiple scenes and multiple outfits for the recital, including this beauty, a tutu that barely fits through the door;

And for headgear?  Oh my do I envy her right to wear one of these:

Watching my little dancer grow up is such a thrill.  I'm linking up today to Way Back When-esday at Twinfatuation and Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Makes My Monday: Science Camp

Back when my kids were small, many happy summer mornings were spent at the local middle school at "Science Camp."  They got to do funny crafts like making oobleck (like silly putty) and sing crazy songs.  My kids loved it.

One of their favorite things about science camp was their group leader, a big grown-up high school kid.  They always idolized and loved their leaders.

Time passes, children grow, and tables turn.  Here's what I found eating yogurt at the breakfast table this morning:

Meet the newest science camp leader.  She's so excited.  As a former camp counselor myself, I know she's in for a fun week.  And whenever we help others grow, we grow up a little more ourselves.

Seeing Drama Girl going back to camp makes my Monday.  To see more happy Monday moments, visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finished for Friday: Pointsettia Pillow

I work on Christmas projects all year and this is a needlepoint pillow I've just finished.  This has been one of my "10 minute" projects.  It sits on my sewing table and every time I have a spare moment I sit and work on it a little.  I made a lot of progress while waiting for toast to pop and coffee to brew in the morning while kids got ready for school.

What have you been up to this week?  Please read the guidelines on the tab above.  Join in with a project that you've checked off your list.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Give me some summer reading

Last year I posted a photo of the tall stack of books waiting for my chaise-lounge moments.  I got through almost all of them.

This year?  I have no stack photo to share.  Not for lack of interest - it's because I read everything on my Kindle now, so my "stack" is a virtual one.

This summer is going to include another surgery with a long recovery, during which I will have to stay absolutely still in bed.  I'm thinking of re-reading one or two lengthy favorite books, but I'm really looking for something else.  Some real summer reading.

I'm talking light and fluffy.

Nothing depressing.  No homicides.  No pets that die.  No scary stuff.  I really want a very pleasant way to pass the time.

I could use some quirky heroines, some humorous fantasy, or some mindless drivel.

What do you recommend?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Makes My Monday: Pajamas


School is finished, the ballet recital is over, and finally the kids and I get to sleep in a little and have a leisurely morning.  By popular request, today will be a pajama day.  With lots of this:

Makes My Monday is hosted by Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finished for Friday: 8th Grade

Watch out high school, here comes Drama Girl, all finished with 8th grade.

What this picture doesn't show is the rest of what I saw.  All the same parents I've seen since this little girl started kindergarten.  The graduates aren't the only ones finishing part of their journey.  We're all a little older, a little grayer.  Some are a little balder and a little wider.  She gets the diploma but we also feel a sense of achievement.

And that up-do I promised her for graduation?  I think it turned out pretty amazing.  There's a lot of hair that the stylist managed to wind up in there.

I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment this week.  Maybe it's just relief.  Looking forward to a great summer now.

What have you finished up this week?  For guidelines to this party, please click the link at the top of the page.  Thanks for joining in!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Raising an Eggshell

Like many 8th graders, Drama Girl spent a week carrying around an egg "baby" for health education class.  She helped form a babysitting co-op, she made a sturdy carrier to keep it from breaking, and she was able to show her teacher that it was still intact at the end of the week.

I asked her if she felt she had learned anything from the experience.  "Naw, I don't think parenting is much like carrying an egg around.  Half the time I just left it in my locker."

But I think there are more similarities than meet the eye.

This is a big week in her life - "graduation" from 8th grade. When I was a kid, this was a non-event.  You finished 8th grade and went to High School - no big deal.  But times have changed.  Our kids are used to getting trophies for showing up in sports and diplomas for showing up to school, even though attendance is mandated by law. 

I hadn't planned on doing much to mark the occasion until she and I took a trip to the thrift store to drop off some books.  Drama Girl wanted to go in and once inside she gravitated towards a dress on a mannequin.  It's a lovely dress and she bought it herself.  It wasn't until later that I thought to ask her why she wanted it.

"For the grad dance.  I know how you feel about graduation so I didn't want to ask for one."

I was horrified.  I would have been happy to buy her a dress had she asked.  I got that terrible feeling that there had been a communication breakdown.  It dawned on me that there was a lot of anticipation that she was holding back.  Not the usual tactic for my daughter.

Our next stop that day was a haircut for her.  When I stepped up to write the check, I asked the stylist if she does up-dos for grads.  I didn't even ask Drama Girl, but I could see her face light up.  Score one for mom.

So tomorrow, as she prepares to walk with her class, there will be a corsage surprise, and then there will be a small gift surprise that she wants very much, and then there will be a bit of a cake surprise. 

Because when you're a mom, you do everything in your power not to let your little egg break.

Linking up today to Wordful Wednesday, hosted by Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Makes My Monday: Bewildering Praise

Drama Girl received this note on a Civil War journal project that was returned in her history class;  "You have 2 choices.  A) Be a writer B) Be a Political Scientist.  Brilliant!!! 265/260 [points]" 

I absolutely love that the teacher framed her future in such defined terms.  Unfortunately he didn't define in class what a political scientist is, so she came home and asked us.  I believe at this point in her life, she is leaning toward option "A."

I know the power of high praise from respected teachers, and I'm grateful that this teacher framed his thoughts so enthusiastically.  To see more happy thoughts for Monday, visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finished for Friday: Patriotic Doll Quilt

Welcome back to Finished for Friday!  What did you get done this week?  I started this little project during the long Memorial Day weekend.  I keep practicing my hand quilting on these doll quilts.  I think I almost have the nerve to try it on a bigger project now.  It's so hard for me to keep the stitches even.  Practice practice practice I guess.

Join in with a link to a project you've checked off your list this week.  More instructions can be found in the link at the top of the page.  Be sure to visit some of the other participants, there's sure to be something to inspire you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

That Parenting Moment We Hate

It's awards season, concert season, recital season, acknowledgment season.  Every day brings final grades for the kids, projects returned, term papers graded.

While some of these forms of recognition are worth little more than a shrug, some clearly mean more.  Wasabi Girl worked very hard for the state music competition and she received a well-deserved "superior" rating.  It's one of the things she is most proud of this year.

So when the band director took the time at the concert tonight to hand out the certificates one by one to the students who earned them, I was ready with my camera poised to capture her moment...

. . .but then he read all the names except hers.  I felt ill.  The rest of the concert concluded and I saw her go up to ask him the obvious question.  He doesn't know.  He lost it or misplaced it or never got the certificate.  She didn't pretend to be understanding and let him off the hook, but she didn't get mad either.  Nor did she cry.  Instead I read the bitterness on her face.  Her moment and applause was gone.  Even if she receives the certificate later it's not the same as being awarded it alongside her peers.

There are times when there are no words a parent can say to make anything better.  Times when we see a resiliance and a shield go up that we wish didn't have to be there.  I almost wish she had cried or raged or done something to let me in to help her.

But she's too old for that now, and handling things herself.

Meanwhile I cry and rage inside myself.  It was a big deal to her, so it means a lot to me.

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