Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hi, Sarah!

Here's some of what's happening!  (I got a Christmas card mentioning the blog, so I thought I should put up something new.)

  • The leaves have finally started coming down hard, but the temperatures have been oddly high off and on.  I haven't had to wear socks much yet.
  • I forget if I blogged this previously, but C had her class play.  It was a short version of Shakespeare, she had a minor role, and it went fine.  It was a big relief to be done, as the drama teacher had been having the kids do an average of two hours of outside-school practice every single day, including the day of the play when they also had an in-school performance and an after-school performance.    
  • C has been practicing Christmas carols on her ukulele and she and D have tried singing and playing.
  • Very excitingly, it looks like there's an instrumental music class at school next year for the class C will be in then.  The ensemble plays in chapel and C says they are very good.  That will be both a nice music and social experience for C if she gets to play with them.  
  • D continues to enjoy the big college climbing wall.  He's also interested in visiting other climbing walls and a local trampoline park.  It looks like the trampoline park may be offering morning toddler hours, so very excited! 
  • I have some big Christmas plans for day trips/excursions, which may or may not happen:  a climbing wall, a field trip to a big city music store so C can try out ukuleles, the trampoline park and ice skating.  It may be possible to combine some of those.  
  • One more week of school, with a varying number of half-days for the kids (C has several exam days).
  • In a frenzy of Christmas spirit, I ordered a blue large-print hibiscus Hawaiian shirt for C, a red one for C, and then a matching red hibiscus print dress for Baby T.  (I just asked D if he wants one too--NOPE!)  
  • We recently got a recumbent bike (mainly for me) because I had been enjoying using the recumbent bike at the college gym and watching HGTV on my Kindle Fire.  (Yay, capitalism!)  Having had a number of not-so-great conventional stationary bike experiences, I've really been enjoying the recumbent bike--the posture is better, the seat is more comfortable, it's an all-round fantastic product.  We wanted to get the bike for me so I'd be able to exercise over Christmas.  One of the ironies of life just off a college campus is that when you really NEED exercise (Thanksgiving break or 2+ weeks of Christmas break) the gym is closed.  Fortunately, we have a big enough house that exercise equipment doesn't crowd us out.  Both big kids have enjoyed trying out the bike.    
  • With regard to Christmas stuff, I think we have bought just about all the gifts we should buy (which is not to say we won't buy more).  Somehow, between the three of them, our kids have five Christmas parties (two school, one preschool, two (?) CCD).  We're supposed to send something for just about every one, which looks like it may delay our family Christmas preparations quite a lot.  One down, four to go.
  • Baby T's preschool teacher sent home a paper stocking for us to decorate for her.  I subcontracted that out to C.  She didn't do a conventional red and white stocking, but she did ADORABLE Sharpie animals (including penguins and what looks like a winged dragon in a Santa cap) and then Baby T colored it all orange.
  • I haven't seen C draw animals other than dragons and horses for a long time, so it was nice to see her artistic range.    
  • It looks like the big kids will try fencing again in January.  


Sarah said...

You are too funny!! Yes - I truly do check your blog updates every day and report any interesting news to the children! Prudence is super impressed with C's ukulele playing!! Unfortunately, there is no band at Prudence's middle school so she hasn't been practicing her clarinet as much as she should. She did have a clarinet solo at the school's orientation meeting for prospective new parents this fall, but that's it. I can't believe all of the parties you must attend and buy presents for!! Just to let you know... I don't even answer the emails for parties, let alone go to them! :-) I'm quite sure I'm known at the kids' schools as being a mysterious (possibly mean) mother by the other parents...! Enjoy your last week before winter break!

xantippe said...

That's very nice about P being able to do clarinet.

Although they were pretty serious about music theory and recorder in upper elementary school (the kids would get a little colored yarn tassel for every song they mastered), we don't have any instrumental music group in middle school. The instrumental group starts in 9th grade--or I believe so (I have to rely on C for most of my information these days). So there's an instrumental music gap for about two years. There should be some better opportunities for P in high school, too.

One thing they do in middle school that is really nice is have coffee houses--the kids get a chance to perform in a low pressure environment for classmates and there are yummy treats. Between that and the arts nights (at least two a year), there are a lot of performance opportunities just at school. I didn't really appreciate that until I had a kid doing music, but now I do. (We also have opportunities now and then at Guitar Center--they do jam sessions now and then and have other special events.)

C would also like to start a ukulele club when she starts high school, but it's possible that she's going to be so busy with the instrumental music class and her own lessons that it won't be feasible. But I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to make the effort for college admissions.

The parties are just in-school things and CCD things held during the normal class times and don't require parent attendance, but they practically all involve bringing something (and sometimes multiple somethings)--but not necessarily a gift. Baby T's parents' day out (!) party involves: send in decorated paper stocking (I had C do that for me), send child in pjs, send $5 for party food, bring wrapped book for gift exchange. That's the most demanding list. Ironically, I think it's going to burn nearly the equivalent of an entire PDO day just to put that all together. Hmmmm. But, they don't do this every month and it will be fun for the kids.

My calendar for this week is scribbled over so much that it's going to be very taxing to figure out exactly what's going on. The next week, though, will be practically empty.