Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Trudy Day

The kids and I decided to celebrate "Grandma Trudy's" birthday with a special Trudy day. We woke up and had egg sandwiches followed by some art. The kids wanted to know when my dad's birthday was and I told them that it was in March. They thought we should celebrate their "Grandpa Fred" as well. We put a pop-up of my mom and dad on a star paper because they are hanging out up in the stars. We talked all about what they liked and told stories about them. We watched a Disney movie and ate popcorn with nothing on it (Mom's favorite "diet" food). We played some Connect 4 and looked at pictures of my parents. That was followed by artichokes, frozen peas and hot pockets for lunch. In the afternoon we went outside to get some sun. Mom loved sitting in the front of the house and both of my parents loved being tan. It was sort of an obsession for both of them. We finished the evening with meatloaf, almost burned brussel sprouts and rosemary potatoes with fudgesicles for dessert. I told them that mom sometimes let us eat fudgesicles for dinner and they were dumbfounded. We also laughed about Buttswanna and "Ellow, what's your problem". NO DOGS ALLOWED! We tripled each other and the boys went to sleep. What a great day of remembering and love. I am so glad that Freddy and Annie started this tradition.

Ellis Island Day

Vander's class did an Ellis Island simulation day
in order to really delve into their family history and work on their understanding of empathy. It was really cool. Vander ended up randomly getting first class, so they got sparkling cider and Madeline's. Everyone else got potato water. They played a video on their "ship". When they arrived in America they got examined lice and their hearts and breathing were checked. They got their eyes checked. They headed over to get their immunization shot (I got to administer these shots). They then took their passports to get stamped they got to get a snack of banana and milk and they sat and colored. It was a really neat simulation and the kids were all dressed up.
  After lunch the teacher asked if people would do a booth of their culture. Carrie and Peng came with durian for the kids to try, and a Cambodian dance. I came and set up a booth for Italy. I taught the kids some Italian and talked to them about the culture. I then had them make nutella pizzas. 
  It was a really fun day over all and Vander really enjoyed it. (I did too).

Locked out

    So, it all started with a simple idea to see what needed to be done in the garage. We have been working on getting the garage finished...
    For our current project: I wanted ceiling fans with overhead lighting installed in the boys rooms and the computer room, a fan in the living room, and recessed lighting in the dining room. We hired Danny, who did our work under Gordon (Katie's dad) several years back when our house flooded after getting solar panels. Chris and Danny did a great job, so we hired Danny again. Unfortunately Gordon and Chris are no longer part of the company. Danny was very flakey and we were told by the Patton family to have him finish up because they were going to fire him and take all his tools back. Ok then.
    So, we hired another contractor to do what Justin really wanted: Justin wanted the closets redone (he wants ours redone, but he was willing to settle for both boys closets after seeing the prices. He also wanted the garage finished and painted with an elliptical. We have to get him more active. He hasn't worked out since he had a gym membership and that was a while ago.

So, we figured with a DVD player and a decent sized TV, he might be more enticed to stay at his own house to exercise. So far so good. He has worked out in the garage more in the last 3 weeks than the previous year, so fingers crossed he continues. This contractor's workers are much less skilled than Gordon's group was by far. Their work is sloppy and often shoddy. We are trying very hard to hold them to our standards, but at many points we have said, "we can live with that, we just want them to be done." It's really frustrating. They also remember what Justin said in the quote differently than we do - super frustrating!

  Back to where I started...Justin went out in the garage to look it over and started sweeping. I decided to join him. Soon both boys came out to help. The whole family is out in the garage and I close the door so all the cold air doesn't come in the house - oops! The door to the garage is locked, along with every other door to the house. All the windows are closed. We are locked out. The Paulson's are at Church for the next several hours, and Larry and Theresa are on the way to Mendocino (not to mention we realized we don't have either of their cell phone's memorized). Only two options, call a locksmith from the neighbor's house, or wait for the Paulsons to come home from Church. We decided we were out in the garage to clean it up anyway, so may as well make the best of it. (Really I decided this. Justin was pretty grumpy about the whole situation). It was an unexpected situation, but honestly I kind of enjoyed it.