Friday, May 27, 2011

Dance Festival

On the last day of school we went across town to see the dance festival.
This is Sebastian with both of his teachers. His Mandarin teacher says "He's going to be taller than I am by third grade!" They've both been wonderful -- one of my favorite years.
Maddie found two of her best girlfriends from the neighborhood and promptly disappeared.
Sebastian's grade did a Chinese ribbon dance in honor of the Mandarin program.
Thanks for stepping out of formation there so we could get a picture!
And Will looked like he was having a great time boogeying down.
He even had a partner whom he wouldn't talk about much! And afterward we got the boys and celebrated the beginning of summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sebi's Class Play

The day before school let out, Rob, Maddie, Joss and I headed over to see Sebi's class play, "Caps for Sale". It was cool and green behind his classroom and we watched them set up the scenery.

Here he is with his big part, saying his line: "No, thank you!"

It was charming and delightful and everything a first grade class play should be. I'm so sad to see this group of kids break up; I've come in every Wednesday and I've loved to watch them meet and learn and interact. They're such a bright and quirky bunch!
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rob's Choir Reunion

Rob had a 25-year Show and Chamber choir reunion. They all got together and sang and ate and checked each other out to see who has aged twenty five years -- who has gone grey and gone bald and gone splat because that's what reunions are for. Right?
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Maddie's Ballroom Concert

[yes, I'm back dating my posts here. It's going to make me feel better someday and it will help me remember when things actually happened!]
This is just a smidgen of Maddie's samba number. I actually have a nice DVD of the whole concert, but I'm not cool enough to figure that out here (anyone who knows how to post a scene from a DVD can tell me in the comments). The numbers were energetic and fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, but it was the most fun to watch Maddie. She was radiant and poised onstage and was having a ball.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday! Awesome Jossum

It is completely impossible, but Joss just turned three. Three things we love about him right now are:
1. His language. He calls me "mudder" unless he wants a reaction and then he says "Mama? I mean Mudder? I mean Mary Ann?" [grins] "Are you Mary Ann?"
2. He's saucy. We try not to let on how funny he is, but last week Rob set down his breakfast eggs and said "Now what do we say? . . . " Joss said "Waateber. Where is the freakin' keppitch?"
3. He adores the family. All day long I answer questions about where everyone is and when he'll see them next. He calls our Family Home Evenings "Family For Liebling" and every day he wants to make certain that Rob is coming home to play blocks with him. And so Rob does.
He's been asking me for weeks "Howz my burfday doing?" He got to go to the park and to BYU and out for a burger and fries and fizzy for lunch. He got his cake and ice cream after dinner and we all made a fuss over him. I had a camera with a dead battery, but thankfully Uncle Bulk picked up the slack with his iPhone.
This is a bulldog that his siblings got for him. It came with a vet's kit that included band aids, a shot, thermometer, bandage and a "cone of shame". Joss is thrilled with his bulldog and he promptly named it Handy Dandy.
[click to enlarge] Because the van was in the shop yet again on Thursday, Joss and I had a date the day after his birthday and we went to the zoo. It was a madhouse, but Joss was completely charming. He liked the monkeys and the giraffes and the camels and the tigers, but he was most impressed with the animatronic dinosaurs that they have right now. I'm probably a party pooper, but I think that's going to really confuse a lot of young kids ("They're NOT extinct! I saw them at the Hogle Zoo when I was THREE and they moved and roared and one of them even spit water at me!").
Opa had given Joss birthday money and he used it to ride the carousel and the train. I was surprised that he was afraid of it when he got up on the giraffe, but he calmed down once it got going.

No worries about the train. Rob and I just have hardwired train boys. And this one is a CHARMER! Happy Burfday, Joss!
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Tempest

Maddie's English class just put on Shakespeare's Tempest.
She was cast as Caliban, the deformed and drunken son of an evil witch. It wasn't her first choice, but in the end she embraced it right down to the leaves in her matted hair and the blacked out teeth she touched up each time she exited stage left.
Her friend had a difficult part for another reason: she was Miranda, one of the young lovers (here seen with her Ferdinand).
Maddie got lots of compliments on her performance. She certainly had one of the most dramatic parts! Here she is with her drinking buddies, Stefano and Trinculo, trying to look sozzled.

And at least she got to put on slinky, fringy, ruffly, sparkly costumes the next week for her big ballroom performance. It made her feel a little more feminine than wearing a rug.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Weekend

One of my favorite flowers is the tulip and I've always wanted to go to the tulip festival. This year I was determined I wouldn't miss it since we have a membership. Then the wind and the snow and the rain came and there was never a day I could go. They even extended it and I finally decided that Joss and I would see it no matter what.
It was a party to have a new super-zoom lens that Rob got for my birthday
The gardens were gorgeous
the Secret Garden was secret
my date was dashing
we fed the fish and played in the fountains
It was such a success that Joss and I brought the whole family and our Berkeley friends back the next day!
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Friday, May 06, 2011

Heap of America

I attended this patrioticpalooza because Will asked me to. I've lived it vicariously in the past, listening to the songs at the school level and on the practice CD at home, but I've never actually descended into the belly of the whore before.
It was so much worse than I'd imagined.
Will is the star in the middle.
There was a drum line made of green men. There was an MC who looked like a Barnum & Bailey ringmaster. I was afraid it would be a lot of neener-neener-neener patriotism of the chest-beating face-painting sport-spectating variety.
It was all that and more.
At one point they gave the microphone to an athlete ("Why do they do that?" my S-I-L asked? "Why do we think they'll have something intelligent to say?"). So the athlete said "I've worked with people from a hundred different countries and NONE of them love their country as much as we love America."
Ummmmmm, could we get a judge's ruling on that?!
I wish it had been the gong show and a gigantic cane had come out of the Marriott Center doors and yanked him offstage. I wish that thousands of hands had covered the ears of the kids listening to his brainless blather. I wish I'd had a humungous overripe heirloom tomato to lob at his face.
But I didn't, so I stuck my fingers in my ears and read another chapter of my [excellent] novel. I watched the kids don sunglasses and sing and sway. I actually liked the song about the Declaration of Independence and the one about the Bill of Rights. Between those two and the preamble of the Constitution from America Rock you would have some knowledgeable kids (someone needs to write an aria for the Gettysburg Address too).
In fact, the kids themselves were cute and charming and I was glad that I could watch Will singing and flapping and dancing in every number. The entre-acts were another story. These are "Shirley's Golden Girls" but I called them "The Glittering Grannies".
It isn't that I don't love America. Let's be clear. It's that I love America too much to hoot and holler at a bunch of octogenarians shimmying in their sequins and call it patriotism. It's that the feeling there wasn't patriotism at all, but rather arrogance, and as some have said, arrogance is the art of being proud of one's ignorance.
If you believe that the USA is a great country, you should become knowledgeable about it. You should participate and vote and you should also understand how it differs from other countries by seeing them in their own context. If you do I guarantee that you'll find things to praise and adore about other countries and you'll be more gracious about your good fortune to live in the US. You might even understand why other people would sacrifice a homeland they love to come here.
Here is Shirley herself, who is in her mid-nineties now. After the grand finale with flashlights, there was a mass exodus. Pretty soon I was left alone with the souvenirs of a proud and patriotic citizenry: spilled popcorn, cardboard cups, and nacho plates.
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Easter Sunday

We did actually celebrate Easter. I got my gang dressed up in gingham and linen and they looked so sharp that we may need to go out and take some more pictures!

We had a fancy dinner with china and silver and even the grandparents, who happened to fly into town for two funerals and were talked into sticking around to see their grandkids and dye some eggs.

There were lots of eggs hidden

most of them were found
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