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B is for … July 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — gleefulbarbarians @ 6:56 am

Dear Beagly,

I’ve been thinking about B since your crayon post.  I’ve had so many B things going on in recent memory; I’ll try to give you a recap.

B is for Blast-Off.  We’re finally done with schooling for the year.  The last 2-3 weeks have largely been a joke, honestly.   The last thing I felt obligated to do was the final physics lesson – launching model rockets.  We’ve never done them, so I took some advice and bought a kit with 2 rockets, plus the launching platform.   We got the rockets assembled over the weekend and took them to a local park yesterday and today to launch them.  They are VERY cool and they go CRAZY high!  Definitely a successful end to physics.

B is for Bowling.  We’ve been doing a lot of bowling lately.  One of the bowling chains in the area is offering two free games of bowling per day for children for summer vacation.  Adults can get a similar thing for $30 (that price gets you and 3 friends).  We’ve been bowling nearly every other day (sometimes we all go, sometimes Dan takes the kids and I’m home alone).  The boys now have their own balls (B is for “balls”) and shoes.  I have my own from when I was in a league in junior high and high school (for reals).    It’s been fun, and a way to have screen-free fun inside that’s semi-active.

B is for Books.  I’ve been reading all kinds of things lately.  I’ve been making better use of my Goodreads account; using it to keep track of things I want to read as well as things I have read and what I thought about them.  I’m considering letting Thing 2 get an account because he’d like to also keep track of what he’s read and what he thought about those books.  I’ve also joined a sort of blog along book and knitting thing.  It’s introduced me to new books – both for children and adults.
We’ve also recently purchased a Kindle (keyboard).   The city library system has Nooks to lend and the boys and I have enjoyed using it.  Dan did some research on ereaders and decided that the Kindle was the best bet, which is possibly true, but it seems to be easier to get non-Kindle books from the library system.  The library’s Nook goes back tomorrow (all the other library books in the house went back today to a different branch), and we’ve borrowed a friend’s Nook.  DH has been spending time playing word games on the Kindle lately.

B is for Blender.  Which is what I’ll be doing with my pre-vacation cantaloupe tomorrow.  I bought it like 5 days ago and left it on the counter, so tonight it was… well, less than fresh.  I have about half of the melon in the fridge and I’m going to see how it is in the blender with some banana and milk (since we don’t have juice).  I was going to write “C is for Cantaloupe” tomorrow, but let’s not assume I’ll be that industrious.

B is for Boards.  We put 300 square feet of laminate flooring in our living room.  We now own a table saw and mitre saw, and an unfinished living room floor 😉  The floor is basically done except for a small amount of trim that needs to be installed where the floor meets the wall in some places.  While the boys and I are gone, though, we’re getting the interior of the house painted, so we’ll just put the trim in after the walls have been painted.

and finally…

B is for Behind Schedule.  We leave in very few days.  My list is getting longer.  So, tomorrow morning Thing 2 is going to hockey camp, DH is going to work at the office, Thing 1 and I are going to the movies (and then home to do CHORES!  FYI: he passed up hockey camp for this.  He’s nuts).  I haven’t planned the laundry doing very well, so I’m slightly behind on that.  I have packing lists done for the kids and me.  We all have clothes to wear to the wedding we’re attending.  I bought a dress and sweater.  My dad has told me a dress is unnecessary (the wedding is in a park in Speculator – the groomsmen are wearing jeans and western shirts; my dad is wearing a suit.  I can’t quite get a finger on the actual dress code.  The boys are wearing cargo shorts and shirts.)

And with that, I’m off to bed so that I can get a cracking start to the morning.




B is for Burnt Sienna July 2, 2012

Filed under: she's crafty — gleefulbarbarians @ 4:18 am

I don’t think Crayola even makes Burnt Sienna anymore. Did you ever read the book “All I ever need to know I learned in Kindergarten?” Was that required reading for camp counselors? There’s a chapter in the book about how comforting the crayons were because Crayola hadn’t changed anything for like a million years including Burnt Sienna (of course, right after the book was published, Crayola went nuts on the colors, which is why Hello Kitty shines in shades of macaroni & cheese, Inchworm and Razzle Dazzle Rose.)

This year for end-of-year gifts for Ainsley & Brenna’s teachers, I decided to make something we all could do. So we made melted wax art. Have you ever done it? Hot glue gun a whole lotta crayons as straight as possible across the top. Paint some kind of image if you’d like (we added words with stamps), start the hair dryer and sit for a very long time. Each color melts at a different rate, which is interesting. For Ainsley’s teachers, we wrote what she said about them “Lisa has a beautiful voice, Christine is silly and fun.” That was a little two obscure for the 2 year olds, so Brenna’s teacher went with a wild theme.

7 in all. By 4, it started to cause aches and pains. I think I was assembling them in my sleep for days. The teachers thought they were cool, as each was totally unique to them. We had fun giving them and I’m hoping they enjoy them for at least a little while.

Ainsley’s teachers’:

Brenna’s teachers’:

I am still a great fan of crayons. Back to the aforementioned book, here are a few quotes from it, to either enlighten you, or remind you of the fun read:

“What I notice is that every adult or child I give a new set of Crayolas to goes a little funny. The kids smile, get a glazed look on their faces, pour the crayons out, and just look at them for a while….The adults always get the most wonderful kind of sheepish smile on their faces–a mixture of delight and nostalgia and silliness. And they immediately start telling you about all their experiences with Crayolas.”
Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.”
Robert Fulghum

“if you want an interesting party sometime, invite your friends over, serve cocktails and then hand out crayons.”

Speaking of Kindergarten, Ainsley begins school in less than 7 weeks. Of course, school only goes from 8-10:45 in the morning (which I’m thankful about so that I can have fun with her, or she can have fun with our new au pair and Brenna in the afternoons.) She will enjoy school, but I want to give her a lot of time to move her body, to explore and discover in a more non-traditional way. I’m sure I will cry on her first day. What a change it will be.

But we’ve still got some summer, and I’m working to enjoy it. On Friday, I finished a big grant. I treated myself by going to the movies after–Hunger Games, which I am slightly obsessed with. Going to the movies by oneself in the middle of the day is divine summer behavior.

So how are you?