A local park in our town was recently renovated, and I have to say that version 2.0 is pretty cool. After our first time visiting since the rebuild, I asked my kids what they thought and was confused about how unenthusiastic they were.
Then I remembered: these are the same children who, when we got new couches to replace our 1980s brown floral monstrosities (just kidding Mom and Dad, thanks for the hand-me-downs) would go down into the basement on a regular basis just to sit on them quietly because they weren't ready to embrace the new ones yet.
In time, I'm sure they'll accept the new park. Maybe.
My daughter's science class is starting dissection. Specifically, chicken wings. I thought it was hilarious how the email from the school was so emphatic about not having to touch them if you don't want to.
When I was her age, my science class had to dissect rats. And not cute rats, they were like bloated mutant sewer rats the size of housecats.
I don't remember much from that unit other than a kid named John getting sent to the principal's office for scalping his, putting the ears on his head, and singing the Mickey Mouse theme song. So she's in for a wild time.
My son came to me after finishing his homework one night saying "Mom, I can add any two numbers in the hundreds. Wanna see?"
"Okay," I said, "228 plus 167."
And then he wrote down this sorcery:
What. The. What.
He got the right answer but I had no idea how he did it.
I had to have him explain it to me twice, do a second problem while I watched, and then explain it to me one more time. Later I tried to teach it to Phillip but got confused again.
It was devilry. Witchcraft. But I liked it.
It was (and is) hard to wrap my 34-year-old brain around a new way of adding, but once I got it I could see that it helped him conceptualize place value and what he's actually doing, as opposed to my signature "guess and check" method of just moving digits around like I did when I learned to carry numbers in elementary school.
Having kids keeps your brain young.
For movie night, we watched We Bought a Zoo starring either Matt Damon or Ben Affleck (years ago they did a couple of movies together and now in my mind they're the same person.)
I thought it was pretty good, but Phillip was sensitive to the age gap in the romantic interest. I said that I guessed it was because there are no old women in Hollywood, and even if there are, they aren't allowed to look like it.
That turned to a conversation on aging in general and Phillip kissed me and said, "I'm glad you don't look like you're 20. I like a seasoned woman."
I guess that means we're getting older, because one of my favorite things about his appearance is the laugh lines that appear around his eyes when he smiles. Every time I see them, it makes me think of what a good life we've had. We built those laugh lines together.
When I told him so, he smiled (purposely exploiting my weakness for the laugh lines) and said "So you like a weathered old beast like me, too?"
My aunt and uncle stopped by on their way through New England on a 3-week tour of the U.S. in their camper (sounds rough, right?)
|My 4-year-old set up a folding chair in the driveway to watch them unload.|
They stayed with us for a few days and parked in our driveway, which basically turned it into Disneyworld for my kids. Had I known, I would've bought a camper years ago and saved myself the trouble of ever purchasing toys.
The whole 48 hours they were here, my kids were obsessed. They woke up at 6 AM begging to go out to the camper. The older kids got to sleep in it, which was probably the actualization of all their childhood hopes and dreams.
All they did in there was color or read, and I think there may have been popcorn involved, but the novelty of doing it in a camper (kind of a glorified tree fort, I'm thinking) made it the funnest activity in the world.
And then after they left, I found my kids playing with this:
Like I said, they're obsessed.
Nifty purchase of the week:
I'm excited about the zero waste factor of tubeless TP, but to be honest, I'm extremely concerned about what this is going to mean for the future of preschool crafts.
In the last decade I've seen toilet paper tube pilgrims, owls, pencil holders, mermaids, octopi, and, I kid you not, Martin Luther King, Jr. What in the world are they going to do when toilet paper goes tubeless??
And then I came across this Etsy link selling bulk lots of toilet paper tubes for crafts.
It seems like 12.5¢ a tube is pretty pricey considering that they're literally selling garbage, but then again, these are going to be hot commodities someday.
I think I'm going to start saving mine now and once I sell out at age 75 I'll have a fantastic retirement cushion. Who needs a 401k?
If you're Mormon, and especially if you're Mormon in New England, you know that a new temple was recently built in Connecticut. There are only 150-ish of them in the entire world, and temples are a really important part of our religious worship, so it's kind of a big deal.
When they build a new temple they have an open house so that any members of the public, including children, can see the inside. After the open house it's only open to adult Mormons who've met certain religious standards, so my kids were really excited to go see it.
A few days before we went, our Family Home Evening (kind of like a family devotional) was about temples. We watched this video:
We had a little Q&A session about the temple and what it's for, and then challenged the kids to have a temple drawing contest. But they had to do it with their eyes closed.
Winner of the 'Biggest Temple' award:
'Most Angelic' (the angel on top was nicely drawn):
'Most Concentric Temple':
And lastly, 'Loudest Temple' (get a load of that huge trumpet the angel on top is holding:)
The award, of course, was strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream and brown sugar sprinkled on top. Phillip came up with the presentation.
(I wish I'd gotten a picture of the finished product, because they were almost too pretty to eat. I say 'almost' because we devoured them immediately and without regret.)
I plan to post about our trip to the temple open house next week, in case you're wondering how it went. Spoiler alert: I'm thinking about the title "How NOT to Take Your Family on a Spiritual Pilgrimage" and it involves an epic diaper blowout.