Friday, October 19, 2012

Balloon Animals

Each year our church Awana program hosts a Carnival for the Clubbers and their guests.  There is face painting, carnival games, a bounce house, and balloon animals.

I was asked to help with the balloon animals.  Have you ever worked with balloons?  It is crazy!  There were 100 kids there and 2 of us tying balloons into dogs, giraffes, bunnies, swords, and hats.  It was non-stop for 2 hours.  Kids filled the room about 30-40 at a time.  Face-painting was going on across the room while our fingers flew twisting and tying air-filled plastic tubes.  There was an added bonus of a balloon POPPING right in front of a small child every now and again.  They really enjoyed that! NOT.

About half way thru the activities, a little girl, who had waited patiently in line, stepped up.  I asked her what animal she wanted.

"A Koala." What?

"I would like a koala." This girl about 5 years old.

"Honey," I replied, "I can only make a dog, a giraffe, or a bunny.  I can also make you a hat if you like."

"Oh, okay.  I'll take a bunny." she resigned.

"What color would you like?"

"Red, green, and yellow." She state with total confidence.

"Sweetie, I can only do one color."

"Oh." I was such an amateur. "Red."

The red bunny was made.  As I handed my lowly work of art to this little girl, she looked it over.

"Shouldn't there be a twist right here to separate the ears?"

I see I have lots of work to do before next year!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving Thoughts

Since marrying the love of my life 14+ years ago, we have moved three times.  Each time we moved it was to a new state.  From West Virginia to Ohio; from Ohio to Maryland; from Maryland to Pennsylvania.  Blessedly, for each of these moves Mike's company hired movers to come in and pack up all our belongings, load the truck drive to the new house and unload the truck!  All I had to do was unload the boxes!  It was fabulous.

But now, we are house hunting once again.  This time we are planning on staying in Pennsylvania, the same general vicinity no less.  We would like a little more elbow room to play in the yard and maybe get a pool.  Don't get excited.  We have been casually looking for three years and haven't found THE place yet.  I am starting to look around our house and figure out just how much stuff we have and what it's going to take to pack it all up.

I think a couple of serious garage sales and huge trash bins might be in order.  I found a box from our move from Ohio that has not been unpacked yet! We have furniture we don't use, clothes we have outgrown and toys that are missing so many pieces you can't play with them anymore.  

Now that I think about it, having your own pool is over-rated.  A garden to grow your own vegetables is A LOT of work.  There are bugs and dirt outside, not to mention all of the pollens and dust mites that cause allergies to flair up (not that we have that problem).  

Maybe we should just forget about the whole being able to play baseball or football or have a little fire pit in your own yard thing.  I really do like the house we are in.  

On the other hand, we do want a pool, and a fire pit, and be able to have friends over with out our lawn chairs continually tipping over on the sloping yard.  I am tired of chasing baseballs and basketball two blocks down the hill.

So if anybody has some spare boxes, hang on to them for us, please.  We are going to need them soon, either for moving, for sorting, for the garage sale or for containing the trash.  

I'm off to start sorting out the spare room.  Who knows what I'll find in there, maybe even Narnia!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Last Week

I love teaching my kids at home.  It gave us the freedom to have a crazy busy, wildly fun, fabulous week.

Being the Pittsburgh Pirate fans that we are, we had to go to the last game of the season on Wednesday.  The game was at noon.  So we got up, had breakfast and headed out to the ball field hoping to snag some autographs before the game while the players were warming up.

Mikey's patience was awarded! After standing at the rail for what seemed to be an hour, Garret Jones, the right fielder, signed his glove.  Matt had waited just as long but missed the players' eyes.

Our seats were good, but crowded.  After a few innings we decided to move to a less populated section and found a spot with a few rows all to ourselves.  At one point the guys were up waling around and the Pirate Parrot came close to our seats.  He was signing autographs, something I had never seen him do this season.  I guess it WAS the last game and all.  I texted Mike to send Matt down.  Matt had asked earlier in the game if he could get the Parrots signature.  Matt came down immediately, and with sharpie in hand, very politely asked the Parrot to sign his baseball.  The Parrot happily obliged.
Matt was thrilled!

It was a great day at the ball park.

The next day, Thursday, we met up with Mike's sister and her kids and had a multi-school field trip to Fort Legonier.  Mike was able to take the day off and with guide book in hand, led the group tour.
All students listened intently and we spent about three hours at the fort.  The weather was perfect. We climbed and explored and then returned to my wonderful in-law's house for supper.  A truly fun day, and the guys did learn a thing or two!

Friday morning found the boys and I in the car just after the break of day.  I had bribed given them the incentive of Chick-Fil-A for breakfast if they would be up, dressed, totally packed and in the car by 7:30 AM(!) for the trip to Grandma and Poppy's house.  Never realizing how much the promise of food can make a man (no matter how young) put it in gear, the boys were in the car, drowsy and with a stuffed animal under each arm, but in the car at 7:29.  After grabbing the promised bribe reward, we headed down the road .  The boys would be staying with my parents for 3 nights while Mike and I attended a Marriage Encounter (more on this later).  We arrived shortly before 10.  The boys jumped out of the car, unloaded their bags and I hit the road once again for the return trip.

I made it home by 2 o'clock.  I packed my bags, loaded the car, and took a nap.  I had gotten up at the crack of dawn that morning, after all.  When my wonderful husband got home, he packed and we were rolling down the pavement yet again.  This time to the Antiochian Village for the Alliance Marriage Encounter.

This is the view from our room.

I wish I could tell you all the details about Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone else who may attend.  Let me just say it was an amazing weekend learning about Mike, myself, our marriage, and how to communicate better.  If you ever get the chance to attend one of these weekends, please, please, PLEASE go.  While Mike and I had a good marriage before, we now know how much better our marriage could and will be.

Monday brought another road trip to WV to pick up my young men.  It was a slower turn around this time and Grandma and Great-Grandma were reluctant to see the boys go.  Everyone had a great time.

Last week was a whirlwind.  But that is what life is all about.  Enjoying the events as they come. Strengthening family ties and learning about those you care deeply about.