Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm a Baby-Head

That's e's newest occasional name for me, or anyone she's mad at. It's usually preceded by "you're mean!" Well, what can I say. The REALLY bad people are "stupid-heads" and "shut-up heads." Fortunately, I don't ever get those titles. I just have to laugh.
E and e on a foot bridge during our hike

Finally getting a chance to post about our Mother's Day weekend. Last year, we tried a family camp located about three hours or so from here. We loved it so much, we decided to make it an annual tradition. The camp does a special weekend for Mother's Day every year. It's really a wonderful place. It's actually kind of the Wisteria Lane of camps, I have to say. Everyone is happy and smiling, the children all play well together....everyone obviously drank the punch on the way in.
e and E on the "kissing bridge"

There are non-stop things for us to do during the weekend. Arts and crafts, bonfires, tea-time and massages for the moms, hiking, boating (when weather permits), horseback riding, a zip line, archery, educational hikes, lots of other activities for the kids, you name it. Everyone stays in cabins and the camp does all the cooking. We eat with the same people every day so we get to know each other fairly well. There's lots of music and dancing around the tables when it's time to clean up the dishes (which we do ourselves), and lots of crazy activities/games to bond kids and parents. We had a blast. Sunday morning (Mother's Day), at breakfast, all the kids are asked to go to the kitchen. They then all come pouring out at once carrying flowers for their moms. I usually have a hard time holding back the tears at that one!
E climbed up the bank a lot faster than his mom!

Even though it's a long drive there, it's so much fun. This year, though, we froze! Friday night when we got there, we hardly needed a jacket. During the night, we had a great thunderstorm which, of course, brought the cold weather and made it VERY windy Saturday. I think it was in the 40s all day on Saturday, then into the low 30s Saturday night. While the cabins have heat, they are not insulated very well! So, the kids were fine, but I was freezing! It even SNOWED Sunday morning! After breakfast I took the kids on a long (cold!) hike around the lake - hoping that the cold air and long walk would put them straight out for the long drive home. No such luck! e slept for less than an hour and E merely rested his eyes for about 20 minutes. Oh well. The intent was good!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Busy Weekend

Wow, did we have a busy weekend! The weekend before finals, each semester, my university has a big party for all the students. This party includes lots of inflatable things to jump on, a band, lots to eat, and other stuff to keep everyone busy. It turned out to be a perfect day, so I took the kids over. They had a blast jumping, running, and doing everything they could to burn off energy. That evening, my Dean had an end of the year picnic at her house. The kids were absolutely exhausted by the time they got home that night!

E at one of the inflatables at the party
e about to go through the obstacle course inflatable at the party

Yesterday was the last day of Sunday school for the year. There is always a big potluck lunch on the last day and other ways to celebrate the day. After the usual morning service, the kids got to paint one of the ceiling tiles for each classroom, then we had a talent show and the potluck. E did a magic trick which was actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, I had to help him with it...I felt bad for being the only parent having to help with their kid, but he had to ask an audience member to cut a string. If that audience member accidentally pulled on the string, it could have ruined the trick, so I told him to just call on me as his assistant. He was really excited about the whole trick. e didn't want to do anything this year...maybe next year.
E doing his magic trick

After Sunday school, the kids got a great opportunity to meet a concentration camp survivor. This woman was in a camp that did a lot of plays and operas. She played the cat in 55 performances of an opera called Brundibar. So, my university put on the opera with her as a guest. Fortunately, it's a lighter opera and is more kid oriented. It's about an organ grinder who has monopolized a city corner by bullying everyone away. A couple of kids need to get some money to buy milk for their mother and they want to sing on the same corner but keep getting bullied away. Finally the animals (cat, dog and bird) rally the help of other children to help them and overpower the bully - who runs home crying. They are finally able to get milk for their sick mother. It's a cute play, but of course, I was thinking about the origins of it and of this woman playing the same role 55 times in a concentration camp...all I did was cry through the whole performance! Out of 62 children in her camp, only four survived. Such a sad story. But, it gave me a great opportunity to talk to the kids about the Holocaust and how terrible it was and how few survivors are still around.
e and E with the Holocaust survivor they met...she wrote a book which she signed -- a copy for each of them.

All in all, a really fun weekend!