The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Night of stars

This year, Joseph's class performed The Sneeches by Dr. Seuss and sang a song about Hermie the worm. You might recall that last year Joseph was struck by stage fright and accompanied his performance with a series of Tourettes-like socially inappropriate behaviors. So this morning Joseph and I reviewed last year's video tape and discussed stage etiquette. The play was very cute (and mercifully short) and Joseph's performance was free of nose-picking, armpit and crotch-grapping and chest exposure.

loooong weekend

I could swear that this weekend was about two weeks long. To begin with, we move next Friday. Enough said about that.

The Gamma Phi Circus was giving their annual performances this weekend. We went Friday night and I have to say that it was MUCH better than last year. There were several new comedy and clown bits that I had actually never seen before. And more importantly, the whole show was pared down so that it did not run on and on indefinitely as it did last year. We also had much better seats closer to the ring. Also, clowns dressed as flies came and sat next to Sam and Joseph as part of a skit.

Saturday we had the WORST YARD SALE EVER. Weather predictions for the flyover region tend to be eerily accurate, reporting the timing of most weather events to within the hour and the weather for Saturday was supposed to be completely clear and warm. However, as soon as we hauled all of the crap onto the lawn, the sky opened up and a torrential rain started. We hauled everything back inside and waited. The weather eventually cleared, but we missed the crucial 8-10 am slot when all of the serious yard-salers make their rounds. We moved all of the stuff to the garage and sold a few things Saturday. We decided to extend the yard sale to Sunday, and sold quite a bit of stuff. However, as we had already sold most of our valuable discards on ebay and Craigslist, we only made @ $125.

Saturday morning, the kids had hockey lessons, which they seemed to enjoy. Last week the kids were accidentally put in Learn to Skate/Figure Skate classes, so this was actually their first week of hockey. I guess that I had never seen a kids' hockey class before because I was rather surprised. There seems to be a bimodal distribution of ages/skill levels. On the one end were these tiny little 4-year-old bruisers with full equipment and serious skills and at the other end a bunch of boys around Sam's age who were rather unsteady and had had no hockey experience. My guess is that serious hockey people start their boys young and everyone else waits until their kids are @ 8-10. Joseph, as an anomaly to this distribution was in a class with two teachers for three little kids.

Saturday night we had people over for one last potluck party in our old house (or maybe ever--the new place is rather claustrophobic, so I don't know how much entertaining we can expect to do there). Everyone appeared to have a good time, and there was some great food. Sam and his friend Katana had fun making concoctions in the kitchen and looking for bugs.
In addition to all of this, I had to work both Saturday afternoon (with Joseph as my helper) and Sunday morning. Not at all a restful weekend.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Multiple choice weekend

O.K., so this post will be in the multiple choice format. See if you can match the family members to the deeds:

Two people went to a parent-teacher meeting and found out that one person was doing quite well.
Two people had a hockey lesson.
One person went to yoga.
One person went to the grocery store, Target and the health food store.
Two people have sore throats and stuffy noses.
Zero people went to the TaeKwonDo tournament.
One person went to the hardware store twice.
Two people finally finished all of the unfinished furniture.
One person bought cheese twice.
One person had explosive diarrhea.
Three people thought that Neko Case's Middle Cyclone was awesome.
Four people went to the Normal Children's Museum.
Four people went to the ISU family swim (trick question).
One person sanded the claw marks off of the storm door.
One person packed up the winter clothes.
One person forgot to plant the bush beans.

Here are some clues:

One person doesn't take very good pictures, but can make O.K. videos.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuckus ruckus

Lately Joseph has been writing a couple of books a week. But his latest tome about the tuckus is especially entertaining.

(Joseph always draws a bar code on the back covers of his books, but this one looks like a butt.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

This weekend Danny's parents Joe and Marie came to visit us. Everyone had a lovely time. Joe and Marie stayed at a the Davis Rose Inn B&B near the historic David Davis Mansion. It was very quaint and charming with excellent food (Candlestick phone and mouldering top hat included at no extra cost).

The kids dyed easter eggs. I bought these easter egg dyeing kits on sale for 27 cents, and they were awesome--one was a tie-dye kit that, much to my surprise, actually made they eggs look tie-dyed!

Joseph decided that all of the hologram stickers would look better on his shirt than on the eggs.

Sam just finished reading The BFG by Roald Dahl, and wanted to create his own Revolting Recipe for nightmares and good dreams. Luckily, I had both unflavored gelatin and jello-egg molds (the molds which inadvertantly caused The Vodka-Jello Egg Incident many years ago) and we were able to create these monstrosities.

The weather was very nice for the family easter egg hunt.

Dividing up the loot.

Other trip highlights include many delicious meals, including pub food at Maggie Miley's and the bloody mary bar at the Medici easter brunch. Joe and Marie came to see Sam and Danny at TaeKwonDo, and also had a tour of the David Davis Mansion. But mostly we just hung out around the house.

Here are the good byes:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Passover and orthodontia

Today I took off of work early to get ready for Passover. I think that this is the first time that I have attempted to do the Passover seder mid-week. We usually push it off to the weekend, but as we are having company this weekend, we did it on the actual day.
Sam did a great job setting up the Passover plate.

Everyone got all dressed up. If you look closely, you can see that Sam got his expander put in this morning. He is having trouble speaking clearly and eating, but he will get used to it.

The kids' favorite part of the Passover seder is always the plagues. And thanks to Grammy and Grandpa Joe, we now have plague finger puppets to help reenact the whole thing. (My favorite is lice!)

The kids and I made matzo ball soup, which the kids loved. Somehow, no matter how small I make the dough balls, they are always enormous after cooking.
I made gefilte fish again. This year, the butcher claimed that he no longer filleted fish (OK, if you don't fillet fish, how can you call yourself a butcher?) so I had to make a whole whitefish with eyeballs and fins into something edible. It was very educational.
Surprisingly, Sam really liked the gefilte fish, as well as the haroset this year. Joseph tried everything, but mainly ate matzo balls, matzo, eggs and chicken.


I made haroset cake for dessert (with soy ice cream). It was very good, although a bit crumbly.

Joseph and I made sorbet bombas for the kids to eat for dessert.

The race for the afikomen.

This is a video of Jospeh and the four questions, with help from Sam. Joseph was extremely proud of himself afterwards. The video starts out sideways, and then I remember to turn the camera. Sam is a little hard to understand because he is not used to his new upper jaw expander.