The boys had a Memorial Day Sing-a-Long at school today. It was very well done. The kids sang several songs, a few grown-ups spoke about military service and what Memorial Day means and a few children spoke too. Now for the bragging...of all the kids, only about 10 spoke at each performance...10 from all of K and 2nd grade and Max was one of them. And, I think he was the best! I probably think so because I'm his mom, but still! (I don't know why the video looks so dark. It wasn't that bad on my computer but it looks worse on youtube. oh well.)
Nolen's grade also performed the sing-a-long at a separate time. He sang and looked adorabl. Again, because he is my kid.
For Nolen's birthday party, I convinced him to have a "Water Party". This is the poor man's "Pool Party". It was a little chilly but the kids didn't care and it turned out great! I asked the kids to bring squirt guns with them, we set up the slip n slide and I filled up a bunch of water balloons. The kids had a great time running around for about the first hour. That was easy. And I'm happy to report, there was no crying, whining or fighting in that time! I was half expecting at least one squirt gun injury or at least some hurt feelings.
We had about 8 kids from the neighborhood and 4 boys from Nolen's class. Nolen and Luke are attacking from atop a hill. There's probably some cool military term for that but I don't know what it is.
I decided to make Nolen's cake again. For the past few years I've made his cakes and at the end of each one, I swear that I am just getting a grocery store cake next time. But I think this years might be the best yet. And it was easy! No swearing involoved! Yay! It had two layers of yellow cake with chocolate frosting between them. I found this cute idea online. Its made of blue sugar and brown sugar (the actual brown sugar you bake with, not just colored brown sugar.) and they little people are Teddy Grahams. The life preservers are Gummy Life Savers, I used some Swedish Fish and the towel is an Air-Head. We tried to do the cake outside but it wasn't meant to be. ....I didn't want 12 wet kids running around my downstairs, or trying to sneak down into the basement. It was a very windy day, so first the candles wouldn't light, not even one. Then as I was telling Nolen that we would have to do candles later (maybe after dinner with dessert), a very large branch blew out of the tree and landed on Edward. That was when I decided to move the party inside! Of course, then I had a hissy fit trying to keep the kids from crowding Nolen and the cake. It bugs me that its hard to get good cake pictures with this table/cake arrangement because all of the kids are crowded around Nolen. Anyway...Nolen was still thrilled!
I was able to get a cute group shot of the boys. Somehow, all of the neighborhood girls managed to hide from the picture. I also noticed that the inflatable palm trees I had placed in the picture were stolen (by one of those not in the picture) while I was trying to round up the boys. But trying to get 7 boys to sit still for any length of time is an incredible feat so I just snapped it.
Because of the wind, I made an executive to open presents after all the kids left. It was WAY too windy to do it outside, and again, I didn't want the kids inside. I recently read in a magazine that its not rude to do so and its much easier than trying to keep 12 kids from jumping on top of Nolen while he's trying to enjoy opening his gifts. He got lots of great Lego kits and some video game stuff. He was a very happy 7 year old! Max is playing with the Legos more than Nolen right now. In fact, he has already put together 3 of the sets. Ha!
By the end of the day he was pooped. He still managed to play his new Wii game and veg for a bit before heading off to another party at our neighbor's house that evening. I think he had a great day and I hope everyone who came had a good time too!
We had a great family day Saturday. Edward and I got a lot done around the house/yard and in the end, I cleaned up the old slip and slide and set it up for the boys! I love the warm weather!
We were finally ready to knock down the old shed. The new garage was built last year but we had some major organizing to do before we could clean out shed and knock it down. Ed did a great job taking it apart and finally knocking it down. He took a bunch of it to the dump and still has a pretty good pile to haul off still. Yuck! Such a big job!
I can't believe my boy is 7!! Since he had to go to school on his birthday, he didn't get to open his regular presents, but I did let Max give him his gift before school. Max had picked out a Webkinz dog and a Mario trinket filled with candy for his brother. He was so excited to give his brother his present!
Thanks his little brother with a hug.
Seems like every night is filled with another activity for us and Nolen's birthday was no different. It was Family Fitness and Reading night at the boys' school. I had volunteered to teach some Junior Jazzercise during the event. I felt bad leaving Nolen on his birthday night but all the boys stayed home and played video games so they loved it. Two of the ball players from our local minor league team the Blue Crabs came and so did their mascot pinch. Why isn't their mascot a crab? Oh well, Pinch is cute too. The event went really well.
On Sunday we took the boys to Red Robin for Nolen's birthday lunch. They love Red Robin, as you can see! I think he was excited. Either that, or he thinks he is at the doctor. "Say Aaaahhh."
While we were eating, someone else had the whole birthday treatment. Nolen asked how they knew it was that person's birthday and I played dumb as if the waiter's had some secret way of knowing. Ed and I gave each other the look. His look said, "Don't do it." But after a few minutes I could tell Nolen wondered why no one was singing to him. So of course I told them it was his birthday. When they came to sing, his eyes got real big like he was scared at first, then he enjoyed it. He said it scared him because it was too loud.
Max wore more ice cream than he ate. He really enjoys his food!
Later that day I pulled into the driveway and found two bunnies eating the weeds, I mean, clover in our yard. They were so cute. They stayed right there while I took their picture. We have quite a few bunnies running around the neighborhood this time of year. So cute - but stay out of my garden!
Every night we either read with the boys and send them to bed or snuggle up and watch a cartoon together in my bed. Sometimes I leave them in my bed with a cartoon on because if I lay down with them I will fall asleep. Well, the other night I was pooped so I read with them on the couch and sent them up to their beds. They share a room so sometimes they have a hard time calming down for the night. A few hours later when Edward and I went up to bed, I heard a noise coming from the boys' room. It sounded like a TV only they don't have a TV in their room. I walked in and Nolen was playing his DSi in his bed while Max watched. WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? He looked up at me and slowly closed his DSi, clearly hoping I hadn't seen it. I'm no dummy!
"Are you kidding me? No video games tomorrow." I took the DSi from him and walked out. I couldn't believe it. They continued to talk and once when I went in to check on them, Nolen was crying. He said he was sad because I yelled at him. I told him that I love him but he knows better. A few minutes later, Max came in my room and asked if he could play video games tomorrow since he wasn't playing the DSi, he was just watching. "Are you kidding me? Next time, you need to tell Nolen to stop, get in your bed and fall asleep or come tell Dad and me. But you were sitting there watching him. In my book that is guilty."
Now, I am not a mean momma. I hate punishing my kids. Mostly because I hate sticking to it when they are so cute and sweet. Its much easier to stick to your guns when you're dealing with a mouthy, whining, irritating kid. But I was strong.
The next morning it was the same story. Nolen was whimpering. "What's wrong Nolen?"
"I'm crying because you yelled at me."
"Well, do you think its ok to play video games in bed?"
"Are you going to do it again?"
"I love you but the only way to learn that you can't do something is to take the consequences. You knew it was wrong to play video games in bed."
I was afraid that I would have two whiny little monsters on my hands all morning. But I didn't. Instead I had two ANGELS! First, Nolen made breakfast for himself and for his brother. They both got dressed and ready for school the FIRST time I asked them and when it was time to leave I started looking around for Nolen, but he was already in the van ready to go! Usually I have to tell them five times to put their shoes on because they can't stop playing with each other long enough to find their shoes!
I must say I was feeling pretty proud of myself that day. I stuck to my guns and I think my kids respected me for it. Now if only I could get them to eat their vegetables!
This Park Ranger was packing up his stuff but he stopped what he was doing to give the boys a demo. It was so nice of him. First he showed them how firefighters use these backpacks filled with water to fight forest fires. It works kind of like a super soaker and the boys had fun knocking down the pretend fire.
Sunday we walked down to the square for the Earth Day Celebration. We had some errands earlier in the day, so it was winding down by the time we got there. It was still a nice walk. We took some kettle corn down to the wharf and the boys fed the crumbs to the seagulls.
You'd never know that Max has a cracked molar and 6 stitches in his chin. He ran and ran and ran. He even wiped out while he was racing Nolen on the boardwalk. I panicked for a second as I imagined us back in the ER but it wasn't that bad. He did get a little cut under his nose but he was ok. This kid is starting to make me nervous!
Max had his first trip to the ER last night. Honestly, from what Edward tells me about his childhood, I consider myself lucky that we went this long without one. The boys were swimming after their lesson at the pool last night and Max attempted a backwards cannon ball. Clearly this was not a good idea. I've told him before that he is too close to the edge and he needs to jump OUT not just up. I guess he had to learn the hard way. Luckily it didn't bleed very much considering, but it was gaping open. He cried hard for about 5 minutes, then he told me he wanted candy out of the vending machine at the pool. The kid is smart even when he's hurt. He knew I would have given him anything at that point. We drove home, had the ER nurse nextdoor look at it (I love living nextdoor to nurses!), left Nolen with her and headed to the ER. We got there around 7:30. Edward got home from work and took over ER duties at 8:30. And he and Max were back home around 10:30. Ed said Max did great. He cried when they gave him the shot of novacaine but other than that he was fine...and flirting with all the nurses!
I think Nolen was excited to be going on his field trip! I also think that school buses haven't changed in 25 years. I found myself worrying about the kids that were leaning out into the aisle while the bus was moving. School buses look way more dangerous as a parent than they did as a kid!
I was pretty impressed with the program at Elms Beach. It was divided into two sections. In the morning the kids read a book about animals, then talked about classifying animals into Classes (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects...). After she passed around some critters, including the gecko that is crawling on Nolen, the kids went outside to dig up whatever they could find. We didn't find much...bugs, worms and the like. At the end of our walk, one of the boys found a big (7inches across) turtle in a tide pool just a few yards from the beach! The beach, by the way, is the Chesapeake Bay.
After lunch they talked about the life cycle of a frog. Did you know that some frogs take 18 months to go from egg to frog? We observed some frogs, tadpoles and frog eggs, then we talked about temperature. We used thermometers to record the temperatures of 3 containers of water, and the air temperature at several points around the area. Pretty cool for first grade.
This is a vernal pool. It is where salamanders and frogs might lay their eggs in these clumps of jelly egg sacs. Gross! If the vernal pools dry up the eggs will die.
The boys' school hosted a Science and Technology Night. It was originally scheduled for February but was canceled during the snowstorms and rescheduled for March. It was a gorgeous day and a lot of spring activities have started up so they didn't have quite the turnout they were hoping for. I took the kids on a whim thinking that we would just walk through and say hi to some friends and leave but we were there for at least an hour. There wasn't too much to see but what WAS there was very engaging. Mad Science was there and the boys each made a "polymer" which is just fancy talk for a super bouncy ball.
After that they dug for shark's teeth and identified which shark they came from. By the way, the little girl in the red shirt is Rachel. That is Max's girlfriend from last year. They aren't in the same class this year so he has other girlfriends now. Max is a charmer!
The boys also got to play "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader". All of the questions were about the Chesapeake Bay. It was really cute and Nolen was excited because he said he got every question right. I'm not sure if that's true but he still had fun!
On May 3rd the school is hosting a Family Fun and Fitness Night at school. The focus is to stress the importance of making time for fitness and reading which doesn't seem to be related except that the Maryland Blue Crab Minor Leauge Baseball Team is running a "Pinch Into Reading " program. I'll be there that night doing a Junior Jazzercise demo! Woohoo!