Man About Town

So, you remember that Victoria recently made a new friend–Paco Flaco. It seems he has been busy gadding about with my daughter. That Paco–his social calendar is PACKED!!!

The weekend before Easter, Paco Flaco stowed away in Victoria’s luggage, because he REALLY wanted to go to Bible Bowl. He also got to ride to Marble Falls with all the cute girls.

I know I have posted Easter photos already, but I must have overlooked this one of Paco Flaco with the kids.

Um. . .nobody TOLD me that Paco Flaco was a teen-aged boy. . .what is it with him stalking my daughter and her friends like this???

Now hold on one cotton-pickin’ minute here. THIS was cross-country in the FALL. How long has that Paco been around???

That’s better. Paco Flaco at the Scout Fair–evidently he like reptiles as much as the rest of my family. Those are Victoria’s hands holding the alligator. (Glad I skipped that.) Paco had better mind his manners, or I might have to take the black electrical tape off that gator’s mouth.

He’s hit The Girl Jackpot!!! Paco Flaco crashed the Mother Daughter Luncheon. Cheeky Paco. At least he looks happy to be there!!!

I think my girl TOTALLY deserves an A on her project. Meanwhile, I’m keeping an eye on that dude.

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Spring Luncheon, 2012

(The 2012 Invitation–click to see larger.)

The Spring Luncheon (formerly known as The Mother Daughter Luncheon) was today. This was year ten, and we changed the name to be more all-inclusive. At least, we changed the name on the invitation, but we still called it Motherdaughterluncheon. I have wonderful neighbors who helped with photos and getting ready (thanks Rick and Ruth)–and my own family pitched in magnificently.

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Victoria stayed home to help me yesterday. . .she cleaned and made bean salad and chocolate flowers and when I was giving her directions for something, she said, “Yes, I know how to do a few things.” And she does. . .I forget I’ve been teaching her. She was quite the hostess today as well. She told me that she taught everyone how to play croquet. I said, “They didn’t know about croquet?” She said, “No. . .they were all like, ‘What’s croquet???’ and I told them it was golf for girls.” I guess that’s about as good an explanation as any. I had a photo of her making the chocolates. She was standing like a stork with one of her long, long legs folded up–her foot planted on the inside of her thigh. I accidentally deleted it however, so I told her we would have to re-enact it. She said, “I won’t re-enact making chocolate flowers. So. . .I’ll just have to make MORE chocolate flowers.” She drives a hard bargain, but I think I’ll keep her.

Thad and Tony ran traffic control for me again this year, though we were a smaller group than normal. Thad also vacuumed the game room, breakfast room, kitchen, AND foyer without anyone asking him to. It didn’t hurt that he got to use the shop vac and he loves to vacuum, but what is up with my kids being all dependable and helpful and stuff??? You’d think they were growing up. I really AM very proud of them. . .earlier, though, Thad was wanting to play with his Beyblades. When I gave him the “Um–no sir, we have people coming over and I need help” siren, he walked through the kitchen, slowly, shoulders drooping. As he rounded the bar he said, “I know. I know. Pick those shoulders up.” Then he walked into the pantry and closed the door behind him. He likes to go in there sometimes when he needs to be alone.

He also asked me tonight if I’d “like to see some science in action?” I said, “Sure.” So he showed me about static electricity holding a balloon against the wall. He said, “There is a positive charge and a negative charge, and I like to think of them this way. The positive charge has four hooks, and the negative charge only has two. So the positive charge stays still, while the negative charge is easily swept away.” *Ahem.* I said, as I often do, “Well, boy. Where did you hear that?” And he said, “In my head.”

‘Twas a good day. Hope yours was too.

It’s the Little Things

I am normally the first of our family to waltz through the living room in the morning. I turn on the light as I walk down the hallway to the childrens’ rooms and turn on their lamps and rub their backs (their Daddy has a different method) and ask what they want for breakfast. On my way to the kitchen, the second light I turn on is here in the following photos. This same lamp is normally the last light out at night besides the lamp in my bedroom–unless Tony is gone and the kids and are here alone. Or we have company over. Then it stays on all night long in case someone needs to get up.

If you were to stand in my kitchen at the sink (where I spend a lot of time), and you looked over to the left-ish, this is what you would see.

The lamp was a gift from my mother a few Christmases back. It sat and waited patiently for a spot in our new house. . .and I put it here first thing, and here it has stayed. The chcken is SO COOL. It was a gift from my friend, Carolyn. It is measuring spoons that nest in this chicken holder masquerading as tail feathers. She let me pick the one I wanted–and it was a hard task, but here it sits–making me happy. The black void behind my little vignette is the living room at night–or, at least how it looks when you take a photo at night without a flash.

If you were to come into the kitchen through the living room from the hallway where the children’s bedrooms are located, this is what you would see.

Here is the kitchen–not plunged in darkness, because I had the light on. You are familiar with the lamp. The plaque that looks like an upside-down house is from my friend Sandy. I have told its story here. It has this prominent place to remind me of many, many things. . .family, friendship, God’s love in providing both–even in the most unlikely of places. The little Willow Tree figurines were a Mother’s Day gift a few years ago. I picked those out too–and I love them. They are my kids. The small, metal chair is just something I saw and immediately fell in love with. Victoria put her figurine in it a few weeks ago to take a photo of something, and I’ve left her there. I like her there–and I like that Victoria put her there–her own calling card on the collection. The votive holder was given to me by a student before I had Victoria. I can’t recall her name–I know she was blond. I very much like the holder though. It has been in several places.

This small collection of items makes me happy–light, beauty, love and remembrance of friends and family.

Guest Post: Redneck Camper

This is an e-mail that Tony sent to several friends regarding his new boon in the fine art of camping. As I have been privy to this endeavor from the outset (since I share a bed with the man and all), I have wanted to document it. But I can’t say it any better than he did. See below:
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I’ve been wanting to do this for the last couple of years, specifically for camping with Thad. We tried an initial version a couple of years ago with some wooden tent poles. I saw some flaws, which is when I came up with this design. On the day before Thad’s Cub Scout camp-out a couple of weeks ago, I finally decided that I wouldn’t take the tent, and I spent 30 minutes making this. I was living dangerously, because I didn’t fully put the whole thing together until we were at the state park and didn’t bring the tent as a back-up. I had a mosquito net that my mom had given to me, and used strong clips to hold it in place at the “door.” The thing worked great, and I’m looking forward to having some rain, because I’m confident it will do just fine. I’m going to work on some sort of porch for convenience when it rains. The section that you see rolled up is an extra 10 feet of tarp. Thad loved the idea of the adventure, and a couple of other boys were impressed and were expressing that they’d rather sleep in our set-up than the three-room tents that their dads brought.

It took about as long to set up as a large tent because it took time to center the tarp, but disassembling it took just a few minutes.

I’ll admit that I was tempted to drive home without disassembling it. My creation — along with my ah-ooga horn, the rusted front bumper that is bent, and no paint on the hood — could make Jed Clampett feel right at home, though I don’t think he had the sharp-looking white stripes on his tires.
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The first time they did this in 2010, Thad declared, “We are sleeping in the back of our truck, cuz WE’RE NOT SISSIES!!!!” When he saw his Daddy building this much-mulled-over model in the back of the truck the night before the most recent camp-out he said, “Is this a prototype, Dad?” But the REAL prototype was the first attempt. Both times, the boy has been thrilled–and THAT (easy “tent” take-down not withstanding) is the goal.

Evolution of the Truck Tent: a multi-media presentation**

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**”That’s not a multi-media presentation. . .that’s a slide projector and a bed sheet!” Name that “Silly Song with Larry.”

Creativity

Creativity #1 Victoria is taking Spanish I this year. Her teacher borrowed the idea of Flat Stanley and turned it into an end of the year project. How smart is that??? This, however, is Paco Flaco.

Creativity #2 Victoria was to decorate her Paco Flaco and boy did she ever!!!

I must admit that I am impressed. She did the initial coloring today in class on the pattern that was provided by her teacher, but the rest she did at home tonight. I wasn’t even here, so she did ALL of this by herself. She located tie-dyed and denim patterned clip art to print so she could “make” his clothes, then she found a peace sign necklace (like one she has). AND it was her idea to print some John Lennon hippie glasses on vellum so you could see Paco Flaco’s eyes through them. She even chose colored ones so they would look like sunglasses. I will keep you apprised as to Paco’s goings-on and gaddings-about.

Creativity #3 In other news, Thad was able to link his math lesson to Legos. This is not surprising for those of us who live in the same house with The Boy as we are serenaded daily by The Song of the Lego. He can link IN-EE-THING to Legos. In math, they are currently studying geometric and 3-D shapes. He came home with a list of shapes on a paper where he had to write the number of edges and vertices for each shape (I don’t recall this lesson in 4th grade math–not surprising for me), then identify and list those shapes around the house. He found a triangular prism on the nose of his new Ninjago jet. When his math teacher asked him what exactly that was, Thad offered to bring the instruction manual to show the class. So–creativity NOT ONLY in connecting math to the “real world” but EXTREME creativity in (legitimately) finagling his Lego passion into the classroom!