Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things I'm thankful for

Ok, so I'm getting way behind again in my goal of writing regularly. This holiday weekend seems like an ideal time to stop making excuses.

We spent Thanksgiving this year with Doc's extended family, many of whom gathered nearby for a mini-reunion. It was definitely an occasion for counting blessings.

My four healthy and beautiful children are blessings I thank God for on a daily basis. Who wouldn't be thankful for smiles like these! And in this case I am also thankful for Doc's ingenious aunt and uncle who came armed with an entire roomful of art projects to occupy the small fry in attendance. The beading, painting, and weaving opportunities actually kept about 20 or so under 10's nearly whine free for hours. That's pretty magical stuff.

Some people have to celebrate holidays alone. We had enough family to fill this room.

And some of them are even goofy enough to appreciate my sense of humor.

Yeah, 'nuff said.

Quite an occasion to appreciate a bounteous table. At this point I should also mention my gratitude that this was not my kitchen. Though with all the hands to help, cleanup really wasn't so terrible...

...especially with a few brave souls willing to help the kids work it off with a rousing game of Duck Duck Goose.

I also have to mention that at this time of year I am happy to be in a place where the leaves change color. I am also thankful that there are not this many of them in my yard.

I think the standout moment of the day for me, though, was this opening act at the traditional (for Doc's very musical family) potluck concert that accompanies any gathering. This was Bookworm's first performance outside our living room. I've enjoyed hearing her practice ever since she started lessons earlier this fall, but what really amazed me was her eagerness to get up and play in front of so many people--family, yes, but many of them were strangers to her at the start of the day. Bookworm's extreme shyness at speaking up, even in front of her classmates, was her teacher's one real point of concern at our recent fall conference, and a point we've been aware of for some time. Evidently this shyness does not extend to musical performance, much to my delight. Enjoy!

(Unfortunately, she started without any warning and it took a moment to get the camera out because of the toddler in my lap, so I missed the first few bars. My mistake, not hers. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This one takes the cake

In the car earlier today, the girls got into a discussion about what it means to be guilty. It all started with Aslan asking why the mayor of Lazytown, in a recent episode of her current favorite TV show, said that Sportacus, the hero of the show, was guilty. (Apparently, Sportacus had been accused of the crime of eating Miss Busybody's birthday cake.) The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Me (a little confused--I didn't actually see this episode): "I'm not sure."

Aslan (knew the answer all along, was just checking to see if we were paying attention): "It means he ate the cake."

Me (trying to clarify): "Well, guilty means you really did whatever they said you did."

Aslan (sticking to her point): "No, it means he ate the cake."

Bookworm (loves to explain big words to the little 'uns): "Guilty means you're not innocent."

Doc (not about to let her get away with simply negating the opposite): "So what does innocent mean?"

Bookworm (cheerfully taking the bait): "It means not guilty."

Me (still trying to help actually produce a usable definition): "So can you explain what it means to someone without using the word innocent?"

Buzz (not about to be left out of the conversation): "You could use sign language!"

Me (still trying...): "And what if they don't know sign language?"

Buzz (could do this all day): "Speak Spanish!"

Aslan (frustrated, but refusing to be sidetracked): "No! It means he ate the cake!"

Actually, Aslan could turn out to have the makings of a first-class debater, if not a defense attorney. After all, anyone who knows anything about Lazytown knows that when it comes to sweets, Sportacus had to have been framed.