Monday, August 31, 2015

Our Two Ninjas

Saturday was summer graduation for karate school.  This graduation was a big one, because A. it was Sean's first and B.  Will did his black dragon testing!!

We are so incredibly proud of Will and Sean!  Sean learned so much this summer and he looks like he's having a lot of fun out there.  I'm still a bit surprised how much he learned in eight weeks of camp, but he had it down.

And Will....ridiculously proud.  He's kind of a perfectionist and one of the things that the Dragons had to work on this cycle was accepting criticism.  NOT one of his strong suits.  If you watch the video though, in his second form he started doing the wrong one.  He was corrected and quickly jumped into the correct form, without a fuss.  This is something that he worked really hard on, practicing his forms EVERYWHERE:  our bathroom, in the yard, at Target, at a birthday party.....everywhere.  His dedication is admirable.

Now Will moves up into an older group of kids and has three or four buddies moving up with him.  You've got this, Buddy!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

School Bell's Starting to Ring

School starts in less than two weeks.  Which is strange, because our town is going back almost two weeks later than the others around us, due to construction and restructuring.  Karate camp ends tomorrow....and I'm just as sad this year as I was last summer. It's been a good one and I know that the boys have loved going every day.  

We're hurriedly finishing the summer homework, and the emails and robo-calls have started rolling in with school announcements.  I got Will's back to school supplies the other night to the tune of $85!  Dry erase markers, 48 sharpened pencils, a slew of folders, a bunch of highlighters (chisel tip ONLY).....and that's not even all of it.  He still needs a pair of earbuds and I told the boys that I'd treat them to new lunchboxes this weekend.  I'm thankful that there's no supply list for kindergarten, but am SO LOOKING FORWARD to shopping for supplies for both kids next year.

It's great to have good friends.  Especially friends who offer to take your younger son to Kindergarten Orientation with their son!  I'm stuck working today while Sean's meeting his teacher and taking a ride on the bus.  Ah well, I'll get to meet the teacher next week at open house.

It's a bit of a whirlwind, with some longing and happiness mixed together.  We'll get through it.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Another summer, almost over in the blink of an eye.  School starts three weeks from tomorrow.  Karate camp ends next week, and then it's a week of one parent taking a day with the kids, Nana taking a day with the boys, etc.  I love the fall, but I don't want "carefree summer" to be over!  September brings school and responsibility, and homework etc.  So we'll try to cherish the next three weeks instead of dreading what comes after them.  

Apparently Will has a lot of friends with August birthdays.....yesterday marked the fourth birthday party we've been to in the last two weeks!  That gets expensive....but I'm so happy for friends and being invited places.  

The theme for the last week of camp is "Crazy Hair."  So I'm going to experiment with some hair chalk.  It needed to be something VERY temporary and easy to wash out, since it's so close to school starting.  Had "Crazy hair week" been earlier on, I would've dyed Sean's hair blue like he asked.  Or allowed Will the mohawk that he asked for.  :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Drunken Starfish

This is a very busy knitting time of year.  Birthday gifts, some friends and family are having babies, and of course, the start of the Christmas Box.

I'm working on a gift for a friend.  The pattern is called "Fractal Danger" and it's from one of my favorite designers.  I've made a few of her patterns before and she has a definite style that I like a lot.  I've liked her patterns so much that I've made two of her patterns more than once, one for me and others for gifts.  Usually the patterns go very well, and I love the item that I've made at the end.  So much, actually, that I usually cast one on for myself immediately.

This one isn't working out as planned.

See, it's a skinny, triangular shawl with eyelets.  Here's a photo from the pattern:

Mine is not coming out like that.  At all.  I've followed the instructions to the letter I believe and honestly, I think it more resembles a drunken starfish.

Looking at other people's notes, I'm not seeing anyone else with a drunken starfish so I know that it's not the pattern.  Maybe I've been concentrating too hard on the Netflix lately....the third season of "Once Upon a Time" has been great and I just LOVED the first season of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."  (You should check it out.)

My head tells me to keep going, to trust the pattern and perhaps a (very) aggressive blocking can fix it.  My heart says that despite being halfway done, this is a goner and to frog and save the pretty red yarn.

I'm not sure which direction I'm going to head in.  On one hand, the yarn is gorgeous and tis' a pity to have it become something unwearable.  But then again, nobody's wearing a "drunken starfish." For once in my life, I could be a trendsetter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Doing Battle

A crop of fruit flies has taken residence in our kitchen.  I am not pleased.

They are the hardest damn things to get rid of, minus bedbugs.  And if we ever get bedbugs, I'll be mighty tempted to just set the house on fire and walk away.  (Kidding of course....but I will fantasize about it!)

A couple of friends recommended the vinegar and dish soap treatment, and another friend suggested wine.  I set up small containers of both and it really seemed like we were making progress.  Then I made the mistake of bringing the peaches and bananas back into the house.  I went home at lunchtime and they were having a party in the sink!

They obviously don't know who they're messing with.  This means war!  I will not rest until I can turn on my tap without a swarm in my face.

Monday, August 3, 2015

"The Gaga Pit"

 The karate school that the boys go to is next door to a used car dealership.  The parking lot can be pretty hairy, especially in the winter.  So the school has a little space blocked off with boards shaped into an octogon.  The boys tell me that this is called the Gaga Pit, where they play lots of ball games like Snake in the Garden and  (what else) Gaga.  (Will explained the rules of Gaga to me once and I got lost.)

Poor Seanie.  He's a tough dude, but even tough dudes get hurt sometimes.  He's tripped over this Gaga Pit a couple of times and beat the heck outta those knees.  It's me that picks them up most nights and if Sean comes over with a huge band-aid on his knee and a grin, I always say "Uh-oh....did the Gaga Pit strike again?"  "yeah."  "Well....gotta be careful buddy, use the GATE on one side instead of trying to jump over."  The third and (hopefully) last time he also scratched his arm and got a couple of dings on his chin.  "Mom, I didn't cry the first two times but today I cried."

Will told me that another kid came over to him that last time and said "Your brother tripped over the gaga pit!"  Will's response:  "Typical Sean."  "But Will, he's bleeding!"  "Yeah....that's kind of typical too....I'm coming over now."

So now we have a new phrase in our house:  "Beware the Gaga Pit!" I plan on using it for years to come.  On the way to midterms in high school...."Beware the Gaga Pit!"  Dropping Sean off at college "Beware the Gaga Pit!"  Getting married and having out for that Gaga Pit, Sean!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Treats of Summer

We made a trip to our local frozen yogurt establishment on Friday night while Dad was at volleyball.  Here's what happens when Mom utters the magic words:  "sure, have as much as you want."
Summer's fleeting, surprise 'em once in a while.