Thursday, June 30, 2011

the haircut

About a week ago, I was cutting our youngest's hair.  He was overdue, and I thought a summer buzz would be perfect.  Part way through his haircut, his dad came into the room and said "Cool buzz!" to which MB replied "What?!? A buzz?... I didn't order a buzz!"

Panic rose up in my throat for only a second, and his dad said "But buzz cuts are so great, because you hardly have to comb your hair!" and without skipping a beat, the reply came:

"But Dad.  I only comb my hair once a week anyway!"

P.S. we're ALL happy with the haircut.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

this was hard.

fIrSt BoOk Of SuMmEr
I don't know if I would have picked this up on my own.
My 12-year-old brought Three Little Words home from her school's book fair.
She devoured it, and said I'd like it.
(She also paid for it with her own money, and wondered, if I liked it, would I pay half?)
I think it was easy for me to connect with the author and central figure of this shocking tale, since I grew up in a home that took in more than 50 foster children over the course of about 25 or 30 years.  We were the loving home that attempted to provide stability.
We all tried to make up for sad, damaged backgrounds with fun, friendship and family.
The things that happened in this personal memoir were mostly from the foster homes that were the extreme opposite experience of what I would hope anyone signed up to provide foster care would supply.
It was not an easy read, but without spoiling anything, the happy parts do come.
Sort of an Erin Brockovich meets the Foster Care System.
I liked it.
It made me cry.
 I'm glad it's over.
Today I sprung for some cute summer sandals that my read-racer daughter had her eyes on.
That was my half.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This morning I woke up thinking it felt WAAA-AY too early, disappointed that I could see the sunlight sneaking in from underneath our partly opened window shades.  Our clock was still blinking from the power outage two nights previous, since no one had bothered to reset it (WHAT TIME IS IT?!?...I wondered, hoping desperately that it was still early enough to justify rolling over and going back to sleep) and my bladder was begging me to get my weary bottom out of bed.  The early-bird husband was already awake, and instead of rolling over to tell him my dream (which I am wont to do when it's been a vivid technicolor experience, like it had been this morning) I tried my best to shove it back into the dusty and untended corners of my sleepy brain and hoped it would go away.
Because here it is:  the two main events of my dream (nightmare?) included me, rubbing my PREGNANT belly, and then me, backing up in our new car, with recklessly failing brakes, and smashing into another car in a parking lot at the high school, suddenly adjacent to a pub with jeering witnesses.  I remember trying to nonchalantly explain the pregnant bump away by casually explaining that I was doing the work for my sister, who wanted a baby, but couldn't have one--and then thinking to myself "...then why does she already have six boys and a baby girl? -and- why am I doing this at my age?"  

Also, it's not the first time I've had that back-up smash-up dream. Tonight I'm hoping for my super powers to emerge.  I'd much rather be running tirelessly, jumping and flying with ease, all while never feeling winded or even tired, but instead gratefully happy and sprightly winged...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

That's a Big 10-4

 Guess who joined an adult soccer league?
 It's our new eight week summertime Friday Night Engagement.  Our first game was played in raw, rainy conditions, but it was FUN!
The Dub stood out right away as a key contributor.  Me?  I tend to do a lot of involuntary squealing, but I worked it!
After years of being spectators, it's amusing to report that the roles have been reversed.  We received plenty of constructive criticism from our soccer-playing offspring on the ride home!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dad's Home!

Morning Date

Mister Dub has been on the west coast for the past two weeks.
It was SO good to have him home again!
Friday morning we left the children to fend for themselves [A date!] and went out for breakfast to a little diner.  I've driven by it many times, and noticed a big banner out front that reads "Voted Best Breakfast."  We laughed at the fine print when we got close enough to read it, which names "The Item" as the source empowered to elect this diner the best.  It was filled with mounted and stuffed animals--if I wasn't sure we were in a diner, I might have guessed we were in the dining room of a taxidermist.  Maybe the owner of the establishment likes to hunt.
 On the way to our next stop, we decided to make a pit stop at the Clinton Dam.
It's a beautiful spot with interesting history, and one of those local places that we drive by but never take the time to visit. 
 During Dub's absence I drove home from a soccer tournament on a random Saturday afternoon.  I was meandering through some little towns on back roads and noticed this fantastic spot in Berlin.  Someone had mowed a giant heart into a field on a hill, and planted two Adirondack chairs at the bottom.  I wanted to bring Dub here as soon as I could.  He liked it as much as I did.
 Really, I wanted to bring some books and a picnic and plant ourselves in those chairs for a few hours, but it was drizzly, and technically, the property didn't look like it was exactly public, so Dub volunteered to take the pictures, while I volunteered to be the trespasser.

My heart is yours, Dub.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First and LAST

Days of school.
Yes, it really was our last day today.
A full day AFTER the official first day of summer.
Happy Summer Solstice!
Living in New England has SO many perks.
Maybe our school calendar and snow days aren't at the top of the list for many of us.  Still.  Summer has ARRIVED.
 My cute little Freshman!  She was READY for High School.
She became the contact lens-wearing beautiful emerging sophomore.
She conquered Freshman Year and gave it the boot.
Her first year at the middle school, 
and now she's a seasoned veteran.
Farewell, Sixth Grade.
She's ALL OVER Seventh Grade.
Take No Prisoners, Roons.
 This one here, makes me VERY happy.
She gets the "changed the least award."
(at least on the outside)
Fourth grade was AWESOME.
Despite the fact that 5th Grade is looming in her future,
my wish is that she would stay 10 forever.
It's a very sweet age on you, Leeli.
 And then there was our favorite little guy 
who took kindergarten by storm.
 The First Grade has something
 wonderful coming their way!
GOOD-BYE School Year!!
No more homework!
No more tests!
We're rolling out the red carpet for SUMMER!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here's a story:

Once upon a time 
there was a soccer team of 11 and 12-year-old girls.
They played together for several consecutive seasons.
The coach never talked about winning.  
She emphasized passing, and working together as a team.
Two seasons ago their record was 0-8.
After that, their coach bumped them up to a higher division "to challenge them."  I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only parent wondering quietly if she was crazy?!?... 
Again, the following season their practices were not focused on making goals.  They were training to help each other 
and to hone their skills.
The subsequent season their record was 0-8 again.
That coach had a contagious positive attitude.  Despite consecutive losing seasons, the focus was NOT on wins or losses.  They liked playing soccer as a team, they recognized improvements and working together was fun.
Then that crazy coach bumped them back down a division and continued to focus on teamwork.
THIS season, their record was 8-0.
There were no single superstars.
On Saturday they competed 
in a lively tournament.
Speaking of 8's, they play 8 v 8 in their matches all season, and there are only 9 girls on the team.  On a good day, this meant ONE sub.  When injuries occurred, often this meant playing NO subs, or even playing one girl short of a full team on the field.
They worked HARD!
They won their first three games, 
and qualified for the championship match.
 Any guesses as to who clinched the title?
 It was an amazing 
(and lengthy) 
road to travel with these girls.
to the 
Nashoba Cup U12 Girls Champions!!
 And to a coaching staff with vision.

 I happen to be a fan with a favorite player.
CONGRATS Rooney!!!
 In my book, you're a SUPERstar.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Today my dad was in Cambridge.
My excellent friend was there taking pictures for the Church News.
(Aren't they cute?)
At my church this morning, one of the Father's Day speakers did not show.
To fill some time, our bishop called a couple of people out of the congregation 
to talk about the influence of their fathers.  
My kids told me after the meeting that they were wishing the bishop had called me to talk about Grampy.
As much as I'm not fond of impromptu public speaking, I was kind of hoping I would get called too.  
I have so much good to say about the positive influence that my dad is in my life!
I feel lucky blessed.
Let me give you a recent example.
Tonight I called my dad.
He told me about his day.
He had so many positive things to say about the building dedication in Cambridge this morning.
It was a spiritual highlight that he was eager to share.
Then, when I confessed that I was calling to see if someone might be willing to meet me at the half-way point (we live 25 miles apart) to deliver sneakers gone missing in their yard from yesterday's BBQ, he didn't hesitate even one second before offering to drive, when really, he was ready to climb into bed.
He loves me that much.
He would drive the sneakers to Oklahoma if I asked; I'm sure of it.
He likes to help.
He's the best.
The end.

Shopping [with children!]

Recently I had occasion to take two VERY fun 12-year-old gals
Salvation Army was the setting,
 and HOO! boy these characters had some GREAT outfits to try on.
 My favorite is that they were unabashed about sporting their dragon hats 
while they tried on more mature selections, such as gowns.
 12 is a great age.
Being a kid is still okay.
I love their flower child approach with a heavy emphasis on CHILD.
 THIS is what we purchased: 
They were PERFECT decrepit old ladies in their school play.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

teacher gifts

hiding under those freshly baked mini loaves of honey-whole wheat bread
are little jars of fresh homemade strawberry jam!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Checking off the end--of-the-year list:

Piano Recital!
We played for the residents of a lovely Nursing Home.
Only two of my students couldn't make it--
one was playing in a championship softball game,
and the other was studying for final exams.