Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a while, but I'm still here! And today we had dinner with my parents! They're heading back to Maine soon, but we got in one last Saturday together.
Have I mentioned what an angel my mother is? Sweet, thoughtful, and generous, as well as highly decorative! I love you, Mommy!
(and my dad is pretty great too!)

The kids had the... interesting idea of playing "eyes closed" Bananagrams. We let them! Turns out that being able to read the tiles is pretty helpful.

And, since it has been about a month since my last post, a bit of catching up...

Emma does Not like grapefruit. She makes a habit of begging to lick my yogurt dish, but recently I had grapefruit in my bowl instead. She was not amused.

And we went to Chapel Hill again this year for the North Carolina Junior Classical League Convention, on April 17-18. Travis had a great year as Technology Coordinator for the NCJCL, and all the teachers involved in the organization had really nice things to say about the work he did. I'm pretty proud of him!

Katie loves the Chapel Hill campus. It is lovely!

And they gave out extra nice name tags this year! Ed was our chaperon.

Of course we had to visit the bagel shop for a salted bagel!

Travis, on his phone. He blended in with the students there pretty well!

Here he is, onstage, at the opening event, with the other officers.

Here is Katie, competing in her Circe costume. You've never seen so many Circes all in one place!

And then the Impromptu Art...

The hotel was pretty great. It had a heated pool!

Travis made a catapult for the catapult contest, but he neglected to read the fine print, which specified that they must be weighted, not wound. His worked nicely but was disqualified. Disappointing, but a good lesson in Read the Rules.

We did enjoy the chariot races.

 Both kids had some success in the art contests. Katie came in second in Middle School Poetry, plus placing in the cartoon and stuffed animal competitions,

and Travis placed with his drawing, photograph of a vineyard, and his Minecraft Circus Maximus model.

Not part of the convention, but an irresistible brag, Travis also earned another gold medal in the National Latin Exam last month. I was pleased!

The week after the convention, though, April 24, Ed's father passed away. He had been unwell, but his death was unexpected. We miss you, Bill.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

It was a lovely Easter! Perfect weather, a beautiful service, and all eggs are accounted for.

And since March was not a very "bloggy" month, here are a few pictures.

Katie, with hair braided as per the instructions in a book she got for her birthday...

and Emma, doing what she does best. 

Travis took Driver's Education through a local high school during the month of March. (It seemed as if it took up the Entire month -- a spectacular lot of time. But the instructor was patient and Travis is now at least marginally confident. He drove the last leg of the trip home from church today and did just fine!) Here we are, hugging our "baby" before he headed off for the first class.

And here he is, wearing the virtual reality headset that he made out of cardboard. He had me try it on, set up to view a roller coaster ride, and I had to take it off -- it was that terrifying!

And we've finally gotten to Shakespeare!!! We spent a week reading Much Ado About Nothing together, then watching the video (the Tennant/Tate version, since we've seen the Branagh several times), and the kids wrote their own (short) versions. This past week we read Henry V and watched The Hollow Crown (Katie and I had seen it before, but Travis hadn't and was Really impressed, and he is a hard person to impress!) This week I'll be reading King Lear with Travis, and Twelfth Night with Katie (who won't read Lear on account of the thing with Gloucester's eyes). I have the Ian McKellan King Lear on order from Netflix, and we'll watch the Twelfth Night with Imogen Stubbs -- good stuff!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

My Baby is a Teenager

Actually, she is a teenager as of yesterday, but we had such a good time celebrating her birthday that I was too tired to post anything last night. 

She started with the birthday crepe.

 Then presents. She was magnificently spoiled. Books, a stuffed Minecraft sheep, a curling iron, and....

The big, really exciting gift from my parents!

Such a happy girl.

Her favorite dinner, and then an ice cream cake (graham cracker crust with a layer of Nutella, then ice cream, topped with marshmallows, browned under the broiler). Ed and Travis had to work together to light all 13 candles before it all melted into a pool of wax and melted ice cream.

I am told it was The Best Cake Ever.

And then I was a Really Good Mom. We did mud masks and painted our nails and toes, while watching an animated movie -- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. How is that for motherly devotion, eh?

Travis had driver's ed. from 3:30-6:30, but we picked him up at 6:30 and went to the movies to watch the new Sponge Bob movie. Katie says that it was absolutely the Best Birthday Ever! I'm glad, because that is certainly what she deserves. Happy birthday, darling girl!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ed!

Today is Ed's birthday! He's.... well, not as young as he once was! But he celebrated the day in fine style anyway.
We made it up to church for the first time in two weeks, and then home for presents and cake. My parents came over and helped with the rousing Birthday Song (None of us are candidates for Carnegie Hall, but greater numbers help disguise our tunelessness. Unless, maybe, they just magnify it? Anyway, we all sing with feeling!)

None of the rest of this has to do with Ed's birthday. But I finished Alan Jacobs's The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography the other day, and it was really excellent. Perhaps especially for big Prayer Book fans, of course!

And last week we got more snow. While I do object to ice, which keeps me off the walking trail, I think the snow is gorgeous.

Travis, posting snow pictures. Because that is Really why we want snow, after all.

Here are Snow Patrick and Snow Sponge Bob.

And last Sunday the Diocese of Western North Carolina youth group offered a "ski day" at a ski place in Maggie Valley. The kids have never skied before, and they wanted to try, so we went. They had a great time!

I stayed inside (with my book), but I spent a good forty minutes hanging out a window trying to get a picture of them coming down the slope. You'd think I'd have gotten lucky at least once and gotten them coming down, but I didn't.

Here they are, though, heading over to the lift.

And here's where I was sure I had them! All these downed skiers and snow boarders, you'd have been sure Travis and Katie would be among them. But I've checked up close, and these are all fallen strangers. So you'll just have to imagine them, swooping gracefully and swiftly down the slope, and we'll pretend that's the way it was!