Sunday, November 1, 2009

Presentation is everything!

“Going to school does not make a person educated anymore than walking into a garage makes a person a car”
I love school projects.  My kids love school projects. Our motto is that presentation is everything. I think it helps that their Mom has a craft room filled with stuff they can dig through…and that they have an excuse to use glue (hot or white), sequins…and my scrapbook cutter.
This month Allie had a chemistry project due.  I watched with pride for 2 weeks as she worked on it.  She never asked for help…but I noticed on Tuesday that the due date (Thursday) was approaching and that she had a panicked look on her face…so I asked what I could do to help.
OH MY GOSH! I had no flipping idea what this project actually involved…
Allie had worked no less than 15 hours on this project…and she had a good 10 hours of work left.
Our goal? To recreate the periodic table…on little squares, where she had to list the name, date of discovery, who discovered it, number of protons neutrons and electrons, the atomic number, atomic mass and what the use was in the modern world. She had to write this information in green if it was a solid, red if it was a gas and blue if it was a liquid.
THEN she had to color all metals yellow, the middle square of hydrogen pink, put a black dot on all alkali metals, a blue line on alkali earth metals, a green diagonal line on transition metals, color the small square of metalloids purple, non metals orange, place a brown circle on all halogens, draw a checker board pattern on all noble gases, color all lanthanides red, all actinides green and then draw a black zigzag line to separate all metals from non-metals.  This all had to be cut, mounted on a poster board and then made presentable.
By 10PM on Wednesday I decided that although I work for the school system, my job was not important, I was going to go to school and cram the periodic table up her teachers nose. I quickly changed my mind at the look of pride as Allie held up her finished project for me to see. Nothing like a little glee mixed with exhaustion to humble a woman.
I actually did very little on this, other than to get her organized, find the few she could not online…and type her legend for the corner. We estimate her time spent on this project to be 23 hours.
We were zombies the next day as we drove the chart to school…but we still had the energy to laugh as Allie looked down and realized that I had typed her teachers name, spelled wrong of course…and that she had mounted it to the front. Typical in this family.
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It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Chocolate on Chocolate

When I asked Allie what kind of cake I was cooking this year she said “Chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate”.
I took her at her word and below is what we ended up with.  A chocolate cake, with chocolate icing, covered in a variety of chocolate candies.
Not a fan of chocolate myself, I have to admit I giggled as the tribe ate this cake. Moans, squeals, and children who compared me to the “Cake Boss”. Yup it was a hit! (If only everything was this easy)
We had eaten so much the night of her birthday Allie requested we wait to cut it until the next night.  Hondo was traveling, so we called his cell phone, put him on speaker phone…and serenaded Allie tribe style.
As you can see the “40” candle appeared…this has become the family joke and Maam sent us a text saying she wanted it on her cake this year! I am 100% sure we can make that happen.

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It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Yet another October tribe birthday!

Sheesh you would think that we would be so tired of birthday’s by the 20th of October we would tell Allie to move her birthday to April. A friend of mine actually had a great idea, have all the kids pick a month out of a cup…kinda like drawing names…that way we could space them out.
I am going to remember that next year :)
I am always a little overwhelmed when Allie has a birthday. In my mind she will always be that little pixie who wanted to go roller skating (thanks Hondo for always being that parent to skate with her around the rink). I am just not ready for her to grow up yet…although she seems to be doing it right before my very eyes.
We have celebrated quite a few together as a family, and each one is more special than the next. I am forever grateful to you for allowing me the gift of love with an open heart, trusting me to love you completely and for never acting as if I was anything less to you because I was not there from the beginning.
This year Allie decided to have a few friends over…what I have decided is that I really really like these girls. They are funny and kind and crazy…they fit right into the tribe…not always an easy thing to do.
Movies, hot wings, candy and lots and lots of soda…luckily our “lower level” is pretty sound proof and wash and wear.
I think they all had a pretty good time…or at least they are so well mannered they would never tell me otherwise.
Happy Birthday my pixie dust fairy…you are growing up into such a mature, refined, young lady…you can stop growing up any day now.
It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.
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It would be this...and this I'll say,
"In years to come, I hope you see
To take as yours the smallest bit
of all the joy you've given me."

For richness lies within the heart,
As true gifts do upon this earth...
So hold them dear, as I do you -
As if you'd been my own, from birth...

For once this was not my idea.

Like any normal red blooded American male…Noah desperately wanted a car for his 16th birthday.  Now what he failed to take into consideration was he will not be able to drive until January…what we failed to realize was this did not matter a hill of beans…
Noah had figured we could maybe…kinda…sorta… get him a car…park it in the driveway and when he was ready to drive it would be out there ready and waiting.
Knowing all this later makes the following story a little painful…but only a little…I mean come on I have 6 kids…a girl needs a little giggle every now and then.
After dinner we had Noah cover his eyes and walk out of the restaurant.  We allowed the kids to walk with him…as they ohhhed and ahhhed and made sure his eyes were covered “not peaking”…what he did not know was that his sisters had gone outside and placed a Hot Wheels read Ferrari in a parking space.  As Noah made his way outside they uncovered his eyes…he looked around expectantly and then looked down  :(
I can assure you the car he saw was NOT the car of his dreams…I can also assure you he is already planning to get even.
As always he took it in stride… we have talked about it for days…and it will make his first car even more sweet.
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It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

The 40 is back!

Anyway you look at it this candle still has lots of burning left in it!
Plus if you make fun of me in this house I am going to get even!!!!
Thus every member of the tribe will have the “40” candle front and center …in the middle of their cake…maybe for the next 40 years (muwahahahahah).
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It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Noah…happy birthday to you!

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Noah turned the big 16 this year…how is it possible that I now have 2 children that are old enough to drive?  How is it possible that I have yet another child that is so close to leaving the nest and going to college?
I can not blog about Noah’s birthday without telling the story of his birth.
Nick was 5 years old when Noah was born…for 3 of those 5 years I tried desperately to have a child with no luck. I had all but given up when I found out I was pregnant. Everyone in the family went a little insane…baby toys…strollers…onesies…I think we had bought out every baby store in town, and that was before I was 4 weeks pregnant.
Fast forward to the first ultra-sound. “GIRL, GIRL, GIRL” “THINK PINK” you name it my family was chanting it as we headed to the doctor….so it was with great enthusiasm that the news that we were having a girl was met.
I proceeded to create nothing less than a nursery fit for a queen…a little pink tribe queen. Pink ruffles, pink lace, so many dresses that we had to buy a wardrobe because the closets (yes 2 closets, not one) were full…a canopied cradle…I mean we went INSANE!
So 9 long months and it’s show time…everyone is in the delivery room and as “she” enters the world, my mother is jumping up and down screaming, the nurses are crying, I am crying…the baby is crying…everyone is celebrating with the joy I can only imagine would be equivalent to what you would see on the streets of the Vatican when the Pope is being driven down the street in that little clear car. I remember looking over and my father had the calmest look, he was not jumping for joy…he was not crying…as I think back on that day, I believe he was counting…1,2,3,…11?
My father tapped my mother (repeatedly) on the shoulder, trying to get her attention. When he finally did, he pointed to their new granddaughter and I quote said “Nicky, your granddaughter has a penis”…’of course she does” my mother said, “and isn’t she beautiful”…”no” my father says, “not she, HE!”…at which point you could hear a pin drop…
The physician who read the ultrasound had read it wrong, we did not have a queen, we had a “king”.

So no matter that he had nothing to wear home from the hospital that did not have ruffles and no matter that we had to quickly change his name from Noel to Noah…he was perfect, absolutely perfect.
So happy 16th my queen (giggle)…
I have found over the years that when we think we have you figured out, you surprise us.  Never one to be lumped into the group, you make your own way. If I had to think of a “catch phrase” to describe you….it would be Heart warming …I am sure not what a 16 year old boy would want to be called…but that is exactly what you do to those around you…worm your way into their heart and warm them to their soul.
Happy Birthday my dear man child…I love you (even if you are a boy).
It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.