Thursday, March 24, 2011

T's Birthday visit with Grandpa

We had nice weather for early March and it allowed us to play outside with Grandpa when he came to visit for T's Birthday. The kids enjoyed throwing the football around and climbing all over Grandpa. Sometimes they mistake him for a jungle jim or monkey bars.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Field Trip to Children's Play

A nearby "dinner theatre" performs plays based on children's literature. We've been attending these school field trips for several years now. Since we aren't allowed to take pictures during the performances, I don't think I've ever posted much about them. We try to attend at least two every school year and sometimes more. The kids love to see how a book can come to life on stage. The plays also incorporate a lot of songs and dance numbers. This has been a great way to include the performing arts into our curriculum and have fun, too. The most recent performance was base on the book, Alexander Who is Not (I Mean It, Do You Hear Me?) Going to Move. The play was entitled "Alexander Who is Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, going to Move".

Some of the other books we've seen brought to life include Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Winnie the Pooh ,and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
The kids did very well this time waiting patiently with some of their friends. These pictures were taken before the show started. You can see the theatre in the round behind M.

Monday, March 7, 2011

T's Pinewood Derby

T is in Cub Scouts this year and participated in the Pinewood Derby the Saturday after his birthday party/sleepover. His two friends, who had spent the previous night with us, came along to see T race. This year every car raced four times. T's car won 3 out of 4 of his races. The only time he was beaten was by the car that ultimately won first place. I thought that was pretty good for his first try at racing.

The Derby was between all the boys younger and older than T in his pack. In his age group, Bears, T had the fastest time. He was very proud of that accomplishment. His car didn't win any prizes for looks, but you could definitely tell that he did it himself (unlike some of the other cars). Check out the pictures and see what you think. There were some really elaborate and fancy cars. I wonder how much help they had from their parents!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hello, Dolly!

M has a small part as a chorus member and town's person in the local theatre production of "Hello, Dolly!". She is really becoming quite the little actress. I think this is her 8th play now. M said that her two most favorite places in the world are at the library and at the theatre! I'd say she is enjoying herself.
I surprised M on opening night with a baquet of "roses" that I made. I can't really afford to buy a dozen fresh roses, so I made these out of tissue paper. At least this kind will also last much longer than fresh ones. M was very surprised and extremely happy when I gave them to her after the show! I guess that was a ringing endorsement that she appreciated all the effort that went into making them.

T's Birthday party

I printed out a coloring page off the Internet and cut it out to make this stencil for T's birthday cake. Just like other character cakes, I placed the stencil on the cake and then "traced" the silhouette out with a tooth pick. I colored the stencil just so I could see the frosting colors I needed. This ended up being the most colorful cake I've ever made. By that I mean the largest number and variety of colors. The colors included blue, red, yellow, green, white, black, peach, and brown.
I have to admit that I cheated a little and bought the black frosting. I've never made black before and for as little as I needed, I thought it was safer to just go with the store's brand which I knew would look right. I've never outlined any of my character cakes before in black. After doing this one, I think I will make sure to outline all of my future cakes in black. It really made the character stand out and look more like the real thing.

Since T had such a big party last year, we had a much smaller one this year. I think he still enjoyed himself, but with minimal work on my part. Ma and Pa came over and so did two of T's friends. They all enjoyed the pizza, cake, and ice cream for dinner. I think the highlight of the evening for T was playing Mario and other video games with his friends for about two hours. He is never allowed to play video games for more than 25 minutes per day. I think he also enjoyed having his friends over to spend the night. Happy 9th Birthday, T!

Catholic Family Retreat

We went to the annual Catholic Family Retreat again this year. To our delight, there were more younger children this year, including some friends of ours and their 7 kids. The talks and activities for the children were on the Four Pillars of the Church. The adults listened to Father speak on Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.
Some of the best moments of the weekend were when the kids were able to play outside together. Personally, I loved the all night adoration. It was so nice to wake up at 1 or 5 am, and walk to spend an hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The kids also loved spending the night in the "hotel" room.
I think this has officially become a family tradition. We've been to 4 family retreats now. The kids are already asking when we can go back; some of them even cried when we had to leave. I always love to hear that they enjoyed themselves.
The Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center is such a blessing, and so are the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who are stationed there. God is so good! Ave Maria!