Monday, October 31, 2011

Julius Caesar Lives

."Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears."  For those of you who don't feel the need to know at least bits and pieces of classic literature, that is the speech Marc Antony gave at Julius Caesar's funeral as William Shakespeare imagined it.

Which I didn't know either, but I have heard the phrase before and I knew Brutus stabbed Caesar in the back (and killed him).

In Lynette's AP English class, students were given the opportunity to memorize 35 lines of Julius Caesar. dress up in a historically correct Roman toga, and present it with suitable acting in front of the class for 250 extra credit points. 

So, she began to memorize, and she can't do it alone.  I listened, I corrected, I followed word for word on her paper.  I marked places she was shaky, I made her read it by herself, I listened again.  AAAAAUGH 

Then we need a toga.  All the white sheets were fitted.  So that was out.  So, I go rummaging in the huge tub of material.....hmmm, a white flannel sheet, do you suppose they wore flannel?  Oh, look here is a table cloth...I've been wondering why I was keeping that. It was too long unfolded, too short folded in half, I had to tack up a big hem for the right length.

Thank goodness for google, which can show you how to wear a toga.  You do however, need to be very careful about what you are looking for in the toga department. 

Now for the dress rehearsal.  I thought it would be a nice thing to get a picture of the toga we worked so hard on with a few gestures of her acting out her speech.   

And this is what we get....

By this time we are laughing so hard, not much is getting done except silly photos.

Here are the ones we started out to get, a Roman citizen in her toga, with her tiger.  

Except, women weren't citizens in Rome, and it was lions instead of tigers.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy 16th Birthday

My daughter has big ideas, and then she wan't me to carry them out. Somehow, I've gotten the reputation that I can do most anything.  Well, I can't really, but I CAN do a lot of things.  The best part is that now, she is willing to help me do a lot of things, especially since she found the idea for these cupcakes somewhere on the internet.  She wanted to take them to her play production class on her birthday.  (It's a little less formal there, having class on the stage in the auditorium does that.)  I made the cupcakes, and colored the frosting and started frosting like mad.  Lynette cut two slits in the top of the cupcake to stick the ends of the candy in.  (We used "extreme airheads" from Target.)  Then it was an easy thing to put "clouds" on with the decorating too.  As she said, "clouds don't all have to be the same"  We knocked these out together in less than and hour.  She got her mead of praise at school, and a whole bunch of practice. 

The next challenge she handed me, also for her birthday, was a rainbow layer cake, which she also found on the internet. It went a lot easier than I thought it would.  I used a cup of colored batter in a 9" round pan, which took less than 1 1/2 boxed mixes.  I think next time I might try 1 1/4 cups.  It will depend on how tall you want the cake to be, and if it will fall over if it gets too tall.   

Of course, not thinking it through, I started with the red layer, which I thought should go on the bottom, but Lynette said red goes on the top, "just look at any rainbow".  (Good Grief, does it really matter.)  Since I only had two pans, I had to find a place for the red layer to sit, while I started on the purple.  She wanted the colors on the darker side, so I used paste colors for the blue, red, orange and yellow.  A couple of good squeezes took care of the purple and green.

One thing I discovered is that it is VERY hard to spread a cup of batter evenly in the pan, so I had a few slightly uneven layers, until I got the hang of it. 

I put the layers together with butter frosting.  (I like good tasting frosting.)
The cake was a little lopsided.  I think I had an uneven number of lopsided layers.

Sealing the layers with a thin layer of frosting, makes the next layer easier. 

We decorated the top with some leftover candy from the cupcakes.  Since no one around here can manage to put things dead center, we went for the charmingly off-center look. 

The first slice.

Let them eat cake!

And then we did all the other cool birthday things, like candles which girls like until they turn 21 or so,

and presents.

and cards, (from her almost three year old nephew), 

and family.

I'm sure glad she's mine. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Measuring Wall

There is a wall in our house that we don't want to paint.  
It is a record of our lives.  
It isn't really a wall, just the edge of one
that is a perfect spot for measuring the kids' growing up.  
We have the adults up there, too, so the kids' can see who
they are catching up to.

We love to look to see when Nathan and Lynette were the same height, 
to see how soon someone is catching up to Mom. 
(Nobody is going to catch up to Dad.)
Even the neighbor girl is on the wall, so she too can see
how much she is growing.  
We've know her for ten years and they don't
do this at her house. 

We had a place to measure when I was growing up, on 
the painted trim in the kitchen.  The walls and trim were yellow then
and we watched our names rise from year to year.  
That spot is gone now, who wants a kitchen to stay sunshine yellow
forever?  I suppose someday we will have to 
paint over this little memory.  
But, the nice thing about memories, is that some day they make good stories.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Driving Away

My baby is 16 years old.  She has a car to drive.  I like not having to drive her everywhere anymore, but I don't like that she is just another step closer to being really grown up.  
She got her driver's license early so she was able to drive to school on her birthday.  
I wanted her to leave early since we haven't practiced her driving to school before.  We had our first frost of the fall so she had to scrape frost before time to go.  All by herself.  She has to learn.

And there she goes.....

This is what the car looks like in the daylight.  As with all the cars in our house, it still belongs to the parents.  She just  gets to drive it. 

We got her roses for her birthday.  
I think the first roses a girl ever gets should be from her father.
 (or her mom if the dad doesn't think about it.)
She's like her dad.  They like yellow roses best.

One of these days this little girl will be driving herself out of our home into a new life of her own. I hope I've taught her enough about what are the most important things of life.  And I know that love will always bring her home again. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hank the Cowdog

I was listening to a Hank the Cowdog CD this morning while I was doing up the morning's work, and I had a pleasant thought while John Erickson was singing the final song. When we discovered Hank when the kids were little we took Hank tapes (they were cassettes then) on every trip we went.  We all loved them and listened to them for about 5 years and several times through until the kids decided they were done.

During this time we had the good fortune of the library invited John Erickson to the library to visit.  It was a big deal.  It was free, but with limited floor space in the activity room, it was a ticket only event.  I got our tickets, about 5 minutes after we heard the news.

It was fantastic!!  We all sat crammed on the floor with a couple hundred other parents and children, (It's a good thing that the fire marshal wasn't invited.), ready to listen.  He sang, he read, and it is really true that all those different voices come from that one old cowboy.  There was Sally Mae, Wallace and Junior, Rip and Snort. and all the other beloved characters that those who love Hank, know well.

That was one of the most fun things we ever did as a family.  (The kids will probably dispute this, citing snowboarding as theirs.  I can do without winter sports anymore)  No matter how old I am, if I get another chance to hear him again.  I will go, and Jim will come with me.  I know he will, he enjoyed it too.

It doesn't take much for us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

My youngest is 16 today.  She was born on a beautiful day just like today.  The only problem was that she jumped the gun and was born 5 weeks early.  Ever since then, she's been dragging her feet on this whole growing up thing.  I think she will get over it, though.  She drove to school all by herself this morning.  She drove a friend to ice cream this afternoon.  She is now driving said friend to the mall to buy a lanyard for herself and then dropping her friend off at youth group.  I like the driving herself to school thing.  I can now rearrange my morning schedule to one that I like.  Not one that is shortened and has to be finished up after noon when I get back home on my busy days.

I am trying hard not to think too much about how time is flying by so quickly and it won't be very long until this very last one is graduating from high school and learning how to live life without me.  Especially since she is the only one who still likes me as a teenager.  We do things together at home or out of it.  And there are days, when nobody likes anybody around here, but we all get over it.  If I think about it I will be really sad, so I'm only touching on it in this post.

I would like to have a photo of Lynette, of her car and her roses.  But, my computer is down.  It wouldn't turn on the other day.   And that is where my photos are.  That is another thing I'm trying not to think about.  If it can't be made to work again....Where will all my 2010 photos be.  Not here, that's what.  I could load a couple onto this little netbook of Lynette's.  But, it isn't able, really.  It was dropped and has been fixed, but it isn't the computer it used to be.  At least I can type.  Another day I will post the photos.  Right now, I will tell you how much I enjoy her, how much I love her, how much I am proud of her--ALOT.

And if you want to see the photos--come back.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Big Brother/Little Brother

Anytime a baby is born, there is a change of status.  New parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles are made.  This time Zane is a big brother and all the rest of us are now parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles of two darling little boys.  As usual.  I can't decided which I like better, the black and white or the color of the above photo.  I like the classic look of the black and white, but also the true to life color of my boys.

Here's the little brother at two weeks.

Now we have two boys to give attention and hugs to, it is a juggling act for sure. One of the things Zane loves to do at Gramma Maury and Papa's is build train tracks.  This one is a fairly simple one done by me. These battery powered Thomas the Tank Engine trains really make playing trains fun.  Of course, my creativity gene loves to see what I can make out of anything, even train tracks. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Baby in a Basket

Once upon a time there was a mom who was going to get another baby.  (Not have, since number two was coming the same say number one came, but adoption.) She had friends that did cool things like pass a basket around for the many children born in that family to sleep their first few months in right next to Mommy and Daddy's bed.  

So, I had to have a basket, too.  And my second, a son, slept in the basket by day in the living room and in the crib in my bedroom at night. A basket, is a very nice thing to have.  It keeps the baby safe and visible, it's cute, and it's very easy to carry around.  So, now it is being used when grandkids come to visit.  Another heirloom in this picture is this little rocking chair that belonged to Jim's family, when they were little ones.  Zane loves to carry it around to sit in it. 





Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nothing Says Family Like a New Baby

It's all in the family, we're all in this together, at the hospital anyway.  We won't always be there when the baby goes home.  These photos are from Barry's days at the hospital.

Everyone is crowding around.

Auntie Lynette


Gramma Maury


Lorene's boys

Auntie Hope

Daddy and Mommy

Uncle Nathan

Gramma and Grampa

Aunt Inez

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011

It is windy outside.  Not that it isn't sometimes pretty windy in here, too. But it isn't at the moment.  Jim is quietly figuring out his smart phone, (Wow, can you believe it!!) Lynette is typing a research paper and I am using this little net book of Lynette's to see if it is workable or not.  I'm having so much fun, that the dishes aren't done for tonight.  (Not that it isn't pretty easy to find excuses for not doing the dishes, especially when we have no dishwasher except me)

Back to the wind.  It has been blowing 30-35 mph all day with gusts up to 60.  It is the kind of day I like to stay in.  It is too windy to dry clothes on the line.  Not unless you want them filled with dirt and corn shucks from the neighboring corn field before they are blown into the next county.  We have corn shucks everywhere.  All over our little subdivision, there are little piles where they are caught by fences, bushes, culverts, or whatever. I just don't like wind.  It makes me jumpy and nervous, it makes me tired and dirty, so I stay in.

As I said before, Lynette is typing her research paper.  It is about the Greek muses and a painting depicting them.  She has to have it finished by next Tuesday.  It was supposed to be Monday, but the teacher is giving them all an extra day since they aren't able to have as much class time to work on it.  She has a teacher who is so strict she is sometimes unreasonable.  But, she is slogging through and making it all right.  She already spends several hours a night on homework, but we were gone three days for a special convention time for us and then she was gone another day for a drama workshop.  So, she has been working from 4 to midnight every night since to get caught up.  I think by Tuesday everything will be back to normal.  Lynette needs a big high five for being able to keep working this hard and keeping her temper while she is doing it.

As I also said before, Jim got a smart phone, a droid commander thingy.  I don't want one (not yet anyway) but he is hoping it will help him with scheduling since it clips onto his belt and paper and pencil don't do that so well.  Not only that he can access weather, which when you work outside in the dirt all the time is a good thing to know.

I also made fudge sauce today. And brownies. And ate them with ice cream and it was good.  We had sweet and sour chicken for supper with peppers from the garden.  Still.  Oh, no!! I was going to clean them and put them in the freezer tonight.  I doubt that I will anymore.  I still have the dishes to do.  We got three big zucchinis from a late planting, tomorrow I will try to make relish, since I have the peppers, too.  We still haven't had frost.  It has been a beautiful fall so far.

I want to write a little about our Wisconsin trip, but I'd like my fall color photos available before I do it.  Lynette is using the computer where my photos are.  Check back someday. I'm having more fun finishing a crocheting project that blogging right now.