Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Color Purple No More

Will is forever pulling out the play-doh and creating things. He especially likes to make snakes, for no reason other than they are easy to make. He has even taken over some my kitchen utensils, including my rolling pin. He doesn't care what color play-doh he uses as long as it is easily squished and poked. Once it's been around awhile the play-doh gets too hard for him to make anything but crumbs.

We recently discarded all of our old crumbly play-doh, and brought out four new containers. They were beautiful colors, colors probably wasted on a 3-year-old boy. Bright Purple. Cookie Monster Blue. Lime Green. Orange-Yellow. Katherine immediately snapped up the containers of purple and blue and, after playing with them for short time, hid them out of Will's reach. Nice. Will asked for the purple but had to be satisfied with the green and orange. He played with it beautifully and squished the colors together until they became one...a nice pukey green. Lovely.

A day or two later, Katherine made the mistake of playing with the purple and blue and leaving them for me to clean up. Not caring who played with which colors, I put them all away in the play-doh drawer. Yes, we have a play-doh drawer...nothing but play-doh, cookie cutters, and knives. To all of his sisters' dismay, the next day Will took out the beautiful colors and mixed them into a nice big lump with the pukey green that he had already created. No more clean purple play-doh. It was a sad, sad day...for Katherine. Will, on the other hand, now has twice as much play-doh at his disposal!

Will's creativity doesn't end with the play-doh drawer. He loves crayons, and markers, too. This evening just before bed, Will was carefully coloring a picture placemat. He was being so quiet...this is where our radar should have been going crazy. He was coloring in the hallway right outside the computer room, where David and I were talking. I looked out to check on him, only to discover that he had left the crayons for a more exciting instrument of color...a fuschia Mr. Sketch marker. Not only that, he wasn't limiting himself to the paper anymore either...he'd moved on to the carpet! Yes, the used-to-be tan-now-faintly-pink carpet. Looking over the scene, it was clear what had happened. Will had started out using the marker on the paper, and because he left it on the paper too long, the marker seeped through onto the carpet. That must have looked really pretty, or at least very different, because from there he drew swooping lines around the many dots. I should have taken a picture of his creation to save for later - like when he has his own 3-year-old. Instead, I calmly took the marker away and reminded him to color on the paper.

Making art must be very tiring, because Will went right to bed without a fuss while I attempted to save the carpet. Mission impossible.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Big Piano Man, Little Piano Man

David sat down at the piano with Caroline tonight after dinner. She's preparing several pieces for a group lesson on Saturday and needed some help with a duet. It was so sweet to see them playing and having fun together.
Upon seeing his daddy at the piano Will dug out his purple, plastic Little Tykes "payno" and played right along.
Maybe it won't be too much longer before Will and Caroline are playing duets!

Go Ahead - Play With Your Food!

Don't play with your food! How many times have you heard that one?

Tonight we had really good fried chicken, green peas, and creamy mashed potatoes with gravy. The mashed potatoes were so creamy that they cried out for some creativity! The kids couldn't help but use their spoons to build mountains and their forks to carve gullies. The gravy served well as the necessary water, making the masterpieces complete.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Just An Ordinary Weekend - Thank Goodness!

We didn't do much this weekend. Just the usual - running here for this (Lowes for shelves & hardware, and then again for a new dishwasher) and running there for that (Caroline to Ciaccia's to work on the class newspaper & Morgan to Rianna's for a murder mystery birthday party - Morgan's character was the murderer!). We've gotten a lot accomplished around the house which, of course, makes being home even more enjoyable. Katherine took Will's lead and made more chocolate chip cookies for today's luncheon at church, and Will spent part of the afternoon watching Stuart Little - upside down! We've been amused by Will's incredibly accurate recitation of the movie's dialogue. Too funny.
Compared to last weekend, this weekend didn't even register! Last weekend, David went with friends to West Virginia for some incredible whitewater rafting on the Gauley River. Thankfully, he kept us posted throughout the trip so we didn't worry too much. Last weekend, Katherine ended up in the Urgent Care Center for an "entrapped finger". That place was great - we waited only 15 minutes to go back and the nurses were actually treating her before we finished registering.

Last weekend definitely held more excitement, none of which I was sorry to do without. The only events nearing exciting around here this weekend were a highly contested chess match between Caroline & her friend Molly, and a clarinet/piano duet by Morgan & Caroline. Oh, and getting a new dustbuster.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cookie Memories

Cookies! I have fond memories of making Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies with my dad. We made lots of cookies (and pralines too!) during what turned out to be his last Christmas season. I haven't made them since...until today.

Gabe came home with us after preschool today and the boys decided it was "too told" to be outside. Rather than sit them in front of yet another Thomas the Tank Engine movie, I thought they might like to help bake cookies. I've been cleaning out my cupboards and had unearthed 2 packages on chocolate chips which need to be gone from my house. What better way to get rid of them than to enlist the help of the preschoolers. With help like that, things don't seem like quite the chore.

Gabe opted out, and continued to haul play-doh loads around the kitchen (because even play-doh requires truck involvement), as Will and I mixed the flour and sugar and eggs and, of course, the chocolate chips. It was a good day and another good chocolate chip cookie-making memory.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

One Brother

One brother was really enough, I remember thinking. It was Columbus Day 1971, and I was almost eight. I already had one brother, and surely that was all a girl should have to put up with. My mother was expecting and I was so sure it would be a girl. After all, already having a brother, I was due a sister.

Everyone said I'd be disappointed. Everyone said I'd have a fit if the baby turned out to be a boy. So the news came and sure enough, it was a boy, and I threw a fit. Expectations fulfilled.

My disappointment didn't last long though. Probably not even beyond the fit itself. How could I not want that little bundle in my life? Wasn't he cute?! You can tell from the picture that I just adored him!

He was so cute, and then he got bigger. He was still pretty cute, even as a teenager. I remember being the chauffeur for his first homecoming dance, cheering his track meets in high school, and finally, watching him get married almost 4 years ago. That not-so-tiny baby grew into a man. Someday, maybe he'll have his own little one to hold, and love, and protect.

Happy 35th baby brother.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Will's First Field Trip

Today Will and his preschool class went on their first field trip. They traveled up Carter Mountain to pick apples and ride in a hay wagon, and then pick out a pumpkin! The kids (7 boys & 2 girls) ate lunch on the back deck and then got to be the worm in the apple!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Like Father, Like Son

Grandparents have it pretty good, I think. They get to look at their grandchildren and see their own children all over again. As parents, we have only pictures to compare our children to ourselves as young ones.

It's hard sometimes to accept the reality that our children will grow up, that they'll develop their own ideas, and that they'll eventually leave us for a better life. I look at my children and want to freeze them at this moment: Will wanting his back rubbed until he's fully awake in the morning or Katherine gently caressing her baby, Kate... and that moment: Caroline reading in an almost upside down position or Morgan lovingly painting her sister's toenails.

I can't imagine them not being children any longer. But look at Morgan, she's already on her way to becoming her own person. She's making thoughtful decisions and has a pretty good idea of what's right and wrong. Before we know it she'll be moving on: going to college, getting married, and bringing little Morgans to visit! While I relish the thought of being a grandmother I am in no hurry to become one. I do however look forward to the days when I will again see my own children as little ones in the faces of my grandchildren.

*That's David riding the trike. In the basket is one of those pull-along wooden dog toys. Will played with that same toy just the other evening!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

WFU Homecoming

This past weekend David and I took the kids down to Winston-Salem to celebrate David's 20-year college reunion. We were able to see many of David's fraternity brothers and their families. Sadly, we didn't get to spend as much time with them as we had hoped as traveling with a 3-year-old does have its complications.

The kids had fun wherever we went. On Saturday, we went to the Quad where there were tables of activities and games for the kids. As we arrived they were each given balloons and pom-poms! It only got better after that! There were drinks and krispy-kreme donuts dipped in black and gold jimmies! The kids played on a giant inflated slide, participated in sack races, ate cotton candy and got decals on their faces.

We went to the Deacon Shop and bought WFU wear for everyone since everything we already had was at least 12 years old! The highlight for Katherine was getting to pick out a cheerleader uniform complete with matching bow! She cheered for everything from that moment on! Caroline's choice was a black and gold boa - totally Caroline! Morgan picked out a traditional t-shirt that makes her look like she's ready to enroll next year! Will, totally clueless, loved his t-shirt, but mostly enjoyed swinging his pom-poms around!
After taking advantage of all the reunion activities on the Quad we headed over to the tailgate where there were even more inflated activities. The kids went on the moon bounce and yet another gigantic slide before we all headed over to find the food. The food of course was everything good: BBQ, slaw, beans and apple pie!

After eating we went in for the game against Liberty University. The game was a good one - we won 34-14! The win, being cause for celebration, was followed by dinner at The Olive Garden (because there is no Olive Garden in Cville!).

After an IHop breakfast on Sunday we went back to the campus and gave the kids a tour of our old haunts. Mostly we said things like: "This used to be the law school," or "This is where Daddy lived when he was a freshman," or "This is where Daddy first stalked Mommy."

After touring the campus, we wandered down the path to Reynolda Gardens where David and I used to do quite a bit of running, first separately and later, together. That area hasn't changed too much since we were there. As we were walking we happened upon the community day celebration at Reynolda House where, of course, we had to spend some time. The kids wrote poems and hung them on the poetry tree. They made animal prints, fingerprint portraits, and bracelets out of junk. Will enjoyed the music and the juggler.

Later, we toured the town. We traveled to Forsyth Memorial Gardens to remember relatives. On the way we passed the house that David lived in during law school. It looked pretty much the same, except for the absence of the fence that used to keep our puppy Wilson in. We drove by Grandmother Wagoner's house and then headed to Hanes Mall. The girls had read on the back of the football tickets that there was another Deacon Shop at the mall and Caroline had it in her head that we needed to go there. So we did. The kids were completely and utterly astounded by the size of the mall. If you've ever been to our mall here in Cville you'll understand their reaction immediately. Luckily we got there about 30 minutes before closing time. Otherwise it would have been a much longer day!

The weekend was a complete success. Other than missing friends who didn't come and not getting enough time in with the ones who did, we wouldn't change anything about the entire weekend.

Caroline's comment said it all: "We have to do this more often." I don't think she was just talking about the mall.