Tuesday, March 26, 2013


One recent Sunday morning, R & B were playing quietly in their room with the door closed as the rest of us got ready for church.  They love to play together, so that was nothing unusual.  The quiet part, however, was quite unusual.  Their games tend to include lots of running and neighing, a fair amount of crawling and meowing, and even some flying and dragon roaring.  I should have known something was amiss.
When I opened their door to get them dressed for church, I was greeted with two extremely guilty faces.  R was running away from me to hide in the corner.  And B crawled out from underneath the rocking chair, child scissors in hand and informed me that she needed a haircut.  I relieved her of the scissors and looked closely at her hair.  When I noticed that she had apparently gone ahead and taken care of that "needed" haircut.  That prompted me to track down R and examine her hair.  R's wasn't too bad.  Just one snip along the side and near the front, not very noticeable.  B's haircut was much more aggressive. 
I took the liberty of marking her snips.  These things should be preserved for posterity, after all.
Normally, in this type of scenario, I would suspect the older sibling of leading the younger sibling astray.  But B is more of a troublemaker than your average younger sibling. 
She has too many ideas and makes too many connections.  She remembers things too well.  Like the one time I took her in for a haircut instead of doing it myself because I was feeling entirely too overwhelmed that week.  I stressed to her how much she "needed" a haircut to help her cooperate with the procedure.  She did great.  And has never forgotten because she occassionally informs me that her hair is getting too long and that she needs another haircut.  She usually wants a pink haircut.  And I usually brush her off.
Maybe that wasn't the best approach.  I'm thinking I may have underestimated her independent, DIY streak.

A few weeks after the incident, I finally got around to giving her an actual haircut that would hopefully hide some of the damage she did.  It still needs a little work, but I figure that nobody looks that closely at her hair.  Good enough for government work.
Lopsided, varying lengths are in style, right?  Can't I just call them layers?
What's the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut anyway?  About two weeks.

It could have been worse.  Given more time, I'm sure she would have done much more damage with those scissors.  She might have ended up looking like S after her kindergarten haircut.
 And then even worse after an attempted fix . . .
And at least B had the sense not to do it three days before school picture day.  But I'm thinking that I better keep close tabs on those scissors . . .

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Boy Scout

My boy joined the good ole' boy scouts of america last fall when he turned 8.  It took me nearly 4 months to get him a shirt.  I'm on the ball like that.  It took the looming pinewood derby to motivate me to finally act.  He still needs patches.  Might be another 4 months before he has those.  Or maybe I'll just wait for one of those banquet thing-a-mabobers.  

As you can tell, I don't know a whole lot about the scouting world.  It was not too long ago that I sat down to actually read the manual.  I'm trying to stay caught up with his home assignments. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.  It all depends on how much nagging is required to get him to complete the activity.

But he loves being in scouts.  He has to work hard not to smile or laugh (heaven forbid!) when those rowdy boys say silly things like how 'responsible' means that you don't smash the tv.  He loves learning about tools and doing little projects.  
He seriously loved the big project of making a pinewood derby car with his dad.  He spent hours designing, sanding and painting it with painstaking detail.
He dubbed it the green machine.  And it became his best bud for a while, getting carried with him all through the house and even outside for an adventure or two.
(He's hiding his car behind his back.  Don't ask me why.)

Isn't this just the sweetest little expression?
Right.  Maybe not.  But he sure seems to enjoy making faces. 

I ditched out on my Young Women duties to go watch him race.  He had fun.  Even won a race or two.  And didn't flip out when he lost.  Good boy.
They had a brand spanking new track this year, with an elaborately designed timer/finish line.  It was quite the nice set up.  All except for that one spot on the right track that made the cars bounce up and slow down.  Ah, well, what fun would church competitions be if there was nothing to complain about? 
He wasn't actually mad, or sad in this picture.  Just making faces.  And protesting me taking his picture in front of other people.
I think Shaggy was just as excited as J about this pinewood derby.  Which is the way all good scout dads are.
J was quite happy about his participation medal.  But again, not happy about his mom taking his picture in public.
I'm not worried in the least about J keeping up with scouts.  I'm worried about me keeping up with scouts.  From what I hear, that eagle scout project paperwork is a *nightmare*.  But since that's a few years down the road, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jack Frost

By C.E. Pike

Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about!|
He’s after our fingers and toes;
And all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.

He’ll climb each tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he’ll shake.
To windows he’ll creep
And while we’re asleep
Such wonderful pictures he’ll make.

Across the grass
He’ll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white.
Then home he will go
And laugh ho, ho ho!
What fun I have had in the night.

Jack Frost only visited us one time in Cali.  We see his work much more often around here.

And we love it.  Especially J and R who love to crunch, crunch the leaves under their feet as they wait for the bus.
 And I love how everything is subtly outlined in silver and catches the light just so.
On morning when B slept late, I just couldn't resist wandering the woods to admire Jack's handiwork. 
It seemed that he had a little help from some frozen raindrops.
And together with the morning sun, they created a shimmering, enchanted world.
This spiderweb took my breath away.  It looked so magical.
 Almost like nature had some glittering secret it was trying to share with the world.  Like it was whispering, "Behold the beauty around you.  It's always there, you just have to take the time to look."
I love the way these vines wrap their delicate tendrils around anything that gets near enough.  If I were a fairy, this is how I would build my house.
And then I would invite Jack Frost to help me decorate. 

I've been so caught up in other things for months on end, I didn't realize how much I was missing, how much beauty was slipping quietly by without notice.  I am grateful for the things in nature that have caught my attention lately, encouraging me away from my planning and my concerns.  Filling me with wonder and delight.  And reminding me that there is much more to life than my to-do list.  

I only need to make the time to drink it in.  How lucky I am to glimpse sunsets like this from my back deck!

Happy Dam Birthday

We began a family project of sorts on my birthday.  Building a dam.  And yes, the day was full of dam jokes.  Those near swears just never get old for my husband.  My contribution was mostly just moral support and photo documentation.  All the heavy work was done by Shaggy and J.
We have a little stream that runs through our property.  The amount of water it holds is completely dependent upon the weather.  Sometimes it's nearly dry.  Shaggy decided he wanted a more dependable secondary water source.  And J was dying for a frog pond.  So they set out to design and build a nice, sturdy dam.  It started out with an island in the middle, but the dam thing worked so well that the island was submerged.  (You shouldn't have gasped, that was not a swear word!  Don't you know how to spell?)
These boys seemed to have entirely too much fun getting muddy.
Thank goodness for mud boots.  Now if we only had a mudroom . . .
J was a pretty good worker, as long as he got to use tools.  Though he probably distracted much more than he helped since he simply WOULD.  NOT.  STOP.  TALKING!

At least he took his sawing seriously.

And he was mighty proud of that deliciously smooth cut.
But I think his favorite part was packing down the dam mud and balancing on the dam sticks
These two make a pretty good dam team, I must say.
And R, as the ultimate tag-along kid, helped a little bit, too.  
Fortunately, she was good at both staying out of the way and entertaining herself.
Before the trio was even done working for the day, they had found a froggie trying to stay warm in the leaves near his remodeled home.
And then J was off searching for more.
This girl kept coming to check on the progress and ask questions.
But she couldn't be persuaded to join the dam project.  She liked keeping her distance from all that dam mud.  Sort of reminds me of this day.
But she totally redeemed herself by making me several homemade desserts for my birthday.
 She has some talent in the kitchen, this girl of mine.  

Baby B was preventing any and all photos of the baker and her cake, so we caved and traded a piece of cake for a moment of calm.  And after the kids and I had scarfed a few bites, we decided that maybe we should take at least one picture of the birthday girl herself.  B invited herself along to help me hold the cake board.
All in all, I think I can chalk this one down as a pretty good dam birthday.  And it's quite likely that it's the only dam birthday I'll ever have.  Which is ok by me.  Because I only like near swears half as much as my dam (building) husband.