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October, 2009:

Did I Seriously Do That?

Princess’ first conference for 1st grade was partially student-led; she sat with us and the teachers and showed us some of her work and read some stuff to us. One thing I love about her teachers is that even in first grade, the kids have to do a LOT of writing, and they are expected to capitalize and punctuate properly and work really hard at spelling. I just love reading their stories that they bring home . . . the English language should be changed so that all words are spelled how a typical 6-8 year old would spell them :-)

Princess starting reading her “What my family likes to do together” paper to us . . . it started out . . .

“I like to spend time with mi family.”

She got to “mi” and threw her hands over her head and said “Did I SERIOUSLY spell my with an ‘i’? I can’t believe I did that!”

HA! I love to see Dude and Princess grow in their academics :-) I think it’s great that at 6 she’s realizing that just because she’s a good reader doesn’t mean she’s a good speller, but she’s getting it and figuring it out. And I’m sure she’ll never spell my with an ‘i’ again :-)

15 Daisies

Where have I been? I’ll tell you where I’ve been . . . I’ve been starting a Daisy Troop at my daughter’s school. If you’re not familiar with Daisy Scouts, it’s Girl Scouts for Kindergarten and 1st Grade girls . . . one step below Brownies. My neighbor, Becky, and I have girls in 1st grade, so we thought we’d volunteer to co-lead the troop when the Girl Scouts came asking.

What the HELL did we get ourselves into?! Oh. My. Gawd! Talk about hearding cats!

We’ve had a lot of fun getting the girls together and planning our calendar for the year. Thank Goodness Becky is as organized as I am . . . meant I only had to do half the work – probably even less! And she uses Excel . . . ahhhhhh, a woman after my own heart 😉 It’s working out great because she does all the communicating with the parents, etc., and I get to come up with most of the activities that we do. I’m loving having someone to share these responsibilities with!

Our first order of business was to go to the Girl Scout shop and check out all the “stuff” they apparently need.

I should never be left alone in that shop. I would by EVERYTHING because it’s all so friggin’ cute!

But, all that cute stuff costs money . . . so we bought the daisies, and other patches, and pins, and troop numbers (btw – who puts two of the same number in a troop number? We had to buy 30 number 2s! No, they did not have that many in stock.), and leader books, and journey books . . . and left with our bags full of Daisy Goodness.

One thing we decided NOT to buy were the Daisy uniform smocks – they were $13!!! Fleece was on sale at JoAnn, so I volunteered to MAKE the smocks for the girls. Actually, I volunteered to have it be our first craft at our 2nd meeting :-) I figured 8-10 smocks – no big deal.

We ended up having 15 girls sign up – FIFTEEN! That’s FIFTEEN K and 1st graders for 90 minutes every Monday after school. YIKES!

It also meant 15 smocks to make! It was easy, though . . . I cut all the smocks here at home, then the girls helped me use steam-a-seam at our 2nd meeting to make the pockets on the front. We cut out head holes, and cut strips out of the remnants and used them as the ties on the sides. The girls had a BLAST making their smocks – heck, they got to use a hot iron without their mother around :-) And it was so cute to see them all in their matching self-made smocks. I didn’t get a good picture of one of them, but they turned out pretty well and only cost $2 each instead of $13!

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was intimidated when I found out we had 15 girls in our troop – we’ve had to turn kids away! 15 is a large number of K and 1st grade girls. I was kind of hoping we could split into 2 troops – one first grade and one kindergarten, but then we decided we wanted to keep them together. It’ll be good for all of them as they learn to help the littler kids who can’t tie shoes or write their names and for the littler kids to look up to the bigger girls and learn about respect and compassion and being helpful to everyone.

I must say that after our first 2 meetings, I’m feeling really good about this. We’ve had a 3rd mom volunteer to be a co-leader with us (yay), which is a huge help. All the girls are so fun and we have such a fun group of personalities (and 3 sets of twins!).

We are going to have a blast earning our daisy petals this year :-) I am sooooo fortunate to have the part-time job that I do so I can be involved with things like this with my little Princess . . . I would hate to miss out on such a fun opportunity!

Procrastinator

I’m not a procrastinator . . . I think that’s evident with my founding of Advanced Planners Anonymous; however, these past 2 weeks have been WEIRD for me as far as procrastinating!

Let’s start with Halloween. I’ve known for months that Dude wanted to be a Lego Darth Maul. I’ve known for 3 weeks that he had a birthday/costume party on the 24th . . . yet I didn’t start his costume until Thursday evening the 22nd. I will say that I spent a lot of time brainstorming the best way to do it . . . but still in the end, I chose to go to bed early and read this week instead of making the costume (which has been nice!). Now it’s Saturday morning and the costume is almost complete – we just have to finish putting the head together. Hubby and I know what we’re going to be as well, yet I haven’t started making those costumes yet, either.

We can move on to Daisy Scouts. I’m co-leading Princess’ Daisy Scout troop and volunteered to be the one in charge of getting the stuff ready to help the 15 K and 1st graders make smocks ($2 as opposed to buying them for $13!), be the tracker of all patches/petals/pins for the girls, and open the troop checking account. Um ya . . . I have a boatload of fleece in my hobby room, but still have to cut 13 smocks out of it – our meeting is Monday after school. I had planned to go to the scout shop on Monday to get the pins/petals/patches that we need, but turns out they’re closed on Monday! So yesterday I hightailed it down there after work and made it 2 minutes before closing time – I was THAT person . . . yuck! I got all the stuff, but still – I’ve had an entire week to do it – and 2 of those days I didn’t work! And I knew I had to volunteer in Princess’ classroom on Monday from 9-11:15 and the Daisy meeting is at 3:10. What was I waiting for?

And last, but not least, I was in charge of getting the coaches gift, thank you cards, and party snacks for Princess’ soccer team – their last game is today. Um ya – last night at about 9:30 p.m. I remembered! Their game is at 9:00 a.m. today . . . so I made thank you cards last night (thank Goodness for scrapbooking supplies!), get to leave early for the game today so I can stop at the grocery store on the way and then go to Kohl’s when they open at 9:00 to get the gift cards . . . yes, I’ll miss part of the last game because I’m a dumbass. And THIS stuff I’ve known about all week as well – heck, I was AT Kohl’s on Tuesday and forgot the gift cards! I was AT the grocery store Thursday and forgot the snacks and drinks!

Sheesh . . . I don’t like being a procrastinator . . . it doesn’t fit into my lifestyle very well 😉

Out of Your Comfort Zone

I just love this picture of my little Princess. She’d just hiked 3 miles up a trail to get to 10,089 feet. She had whined a bit on the way up and wondered why we had to go “all the way up to the top.” I told her we didn’t HAVE to do anything . . . but sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone if you want to see and do some amazing things.

I’d say a 6 year old hiking 3 miles at that elevation and getting to see this is an amazing thing.

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Notice the sticks in her butterfly net . . . she found those very early on in the hike and carried them the entire way – she couldn’t bear to leave them on the trail because THOSE were THE sticks that would be the perfect kindling to help us make our campfire that night :-)

She was bummed she didn’t catch a butterfly in her net – she dressed in bright pink colors because butterflies like bright colors – but she did admit more than once that yes, it was so worth it and she was glad she stuck it out and made it to the top. She had every right to be proud of herself.

We can all get stuck in our comfort zone – it’s easy to do, and life is usually easier there. But we want our kids to understand and appreciate the joy, excitement, and satisfaction you can feel when you step out of your comfort zone and do something different.

How do you step out of your comfort zone?

Vikings vs. Packers – Monday Night

Oh ya! We were THERE in the flesh to see my Packers get beat up on :-) My FIL drew the Packers/Vikings Monday Night game when he and his partners drew games this year . . . and he was sooooo kind to offer 2 of the tickets to his Green Bay Packer loving Daughter-In-Law. WOOT WOOT! We were so excited that we flew to MN for the weekend so we could go to the game. The trip worked out extra great because we got to celebrate my MIL’s 49th (wink wink)  birthday that weekend with the family as well.

But on to the game . . . Dude and I were the lucky winners who got to go with Grandpa and Cousin A. Hubby and Princess flew back to COS on Monday so she could miss one less day of school. Dude and I hung out at the Mall of America on Monday, taking in a few rides, tasting some cheese, and shopping endlessly for the perfect Legos :-) After a quick dip in the hot tub, we got all ready to go!

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Yes, we are a family divided . . . I am the lone Packer fan in a sea of purple. We met Grandpa in the hotel lobby and got a ride to the Mall of America with Cousin A and his Mom to grab some dinner before catching the train to the Metrodome. Here’s the line to get on the train in the parking garage of the MOA…

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Ya, I know, crappy picture – but it’s dark in the parking garage :-) The line was like this on BOTH sides. Needless to say, we did NOT make it on the first train that came. So we hung out for a while and made our own entertainment. Not too tough to do with a 9 and 10 year old!

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Here are the two Dudes waiting for the train. You’d never know from their sizes that they’re only a year apart in age! One other thing Dude and I did at the MOA during the day was shop for magic tricks. Here he is testing one out on Cousin A.

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Yes, it’s the time-tested classic snapping piece of gum. Obviously Dude thought it was hilarious after it snapped Cousin A!

Here are the Dudes with the guy who made it all possible . . . my FIL :-) How awesome that they got to go to one of the hugest games with Grandpa (and I got to tag along – woo hoo!!!).

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We finally got packed onto the train – we were some of the lucky few who got to sit in actual seats. The train was PACKED! All those people further down the line were totally bummed when the doors would open at a stop and they couldn’t possibly get on. So they’d stand there under their umbrellas all dejected and wait for the next train. The ride took a little while, so the boys entertained themselves some more 😉

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Grandpa Mike was awesome enough to bring each of them a pair of binoculars, too! So of course those got taken out on the train so they could see how far away they could make me look sitting right in front of them.

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We finally made it to the Dome . . . it’s been a few years since I’ve been here, and it was so exciting!!! The entire train was bouncing from the loud music that was playing outside.

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I wish it would have been nicer out so we could have experienced all that was going on, but it was cold and rainy and the boys wanted to head inside to see what it was like. Our trek into the Dome was fun anyway with all the fans around! Grandpa Mike and Cousin A lead the way through the crowd.

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I had to giggle at a couple of the jerseys that I saw. It’s tough to be a Packer Fan in Vikings Land!

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We finally made it inside and to our seats . . . Dude was AMAZED at all the people! I told him he was one lucky person out of 64,898 :-) I seriously couldn’t believe how loud it was in there . . . it was so much fun! We had wonderful seats . . . on the aisle, 12 rows up, in the corner of the end zone.

About 5 minutes after sat in our seats, the guy behind us spilled his entire beer on Dude . . . I had to giggle – he’d been annointed! The guy was really nice – he and his buddy (one a Vikings fan and one a Packer fan) had flewn in from LA for the game! For the rest of the game, every time a vendor walked up the aisle, he would tap Dude on the shoulder and ask him if he wanted whatever it was the vendor was selling :-) Turns out, Dude and Cousin A are cheap dates! The entire game I only bought them each a bag of Cracker Jacks, a Sprite, and 1 bag of Twizzlers to share between them. I couldn’t believe it! I had planned on losing a good 5 pounds running up and down the stadium stairs to the concession stand!

Dude thought pregame was pretty cool and took some fun pictures. He especially thought the real live Viking was very lucky to get to ride that Harley indoors! The drumline was pretty cool, too.

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Fire is always cool, especially indoors. And I have to ask – whatever did we as a society do before the age of giant blow up thingies? Seriously – would it kill them to run through a big piece of paper with cheerleaders around instead of having to have fire and fireworks and a monster Viking ship?

I only took one picture during the game . . .

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Tthe rest of the time I was too busy scaring the crap out of Dude when I was yelling and cheering like a maniac the few times my Packers did score or too busy wondering how the hell the Packers would ever have a chance if they gave Favre all friggin’ day to throw the ball – 7 seconds standing in the pocket – 7 SECONDS – really? No wonder he got to throw the ball exactly where he wanted to! Yay to him for being the only quarterback to beat every other NFL team . . . even if he did totally stab the very people/city/state that gave him a home for the past gazillion years in the back.  But I’m not bitter 😉

We ended up standing almost the entire game because apparently that’s what everyone else wanted to do. It was a BLAST and a great experience. Here is one of the few chances the guys had to sit during the game.

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Thanks for taking us to the game, Grandpa!

After the game, we got smart and took the train north to the Target Center to get picked up by Cousin A’s Dad. Everyone else on the planet was going south back to the MOA and it would have taken us FOREVER to get on the train. It worked out great – Dude and I were back in the hotel by midnight, ready to get a few hours of sleep before getting up to head home on Tuesday.

I absolutely loved the game. I’m not so sure Dude thought it was the greatest thing on the planet – even though he had a good time and enjoyed it, I do think he was quite overwhelmed. But we had a great time together and will remember it for a loooonngggg time!

Lost Some of Its Punch

Princess’s message to Dude lost some of its punch when she misspelled “mean” :-)

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All I Want For Chrithmuth

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