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Entries in celebration (31)

Sunday
Apr192009

Support the Arts: City Dance Ensemble at the BSO (Saturday 4/25)

Times are tough. And when the going gets tough, the tough go see shows.
But instead of losing your cares in another animated movie, why not try real, live artists?City Dance Ensemble in "Jungle Books"
Photo Credit: Paul Gordon Emerson

Next Saturday, April 25th at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore, the City Dance Ensemble will be performing Jungle Books. Live music, live performers, great costumes, and great prices...tickets are just a little more than a movie ticket at $12-$20.

Plus, you'll be supporting the arts and they need it during times like these. They need it more than the movie studios at the very least!

Giving my support,
Janine

Monday
Mar232009

Ringling Brothers Circus is "Over the Top"

Wow.
Wait, WOW!

That's how we felt leaving the Over the Top show of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus last week.

First, we were invited by Mom Central and Feld Entertainment to join them for a meet & greet with performers before the circus.

The girls loved meeting some of the circus stars....

The Twoer with Pepe & Royo

and I loved meeting some of my blogging stars (now friends)!

Blog Idol Jessica (APISS), Me, and L (who was more hungry than impressed)

Then we headed over to the floor of the circus for the All Access Pre-Show event which I highly recommend. It does not cost extra AND you get up close and personal with some of the performers (Mr. swears the stilt walker nearly tripped over him but I'm thinking it's all part of the act), their costumes, and the crowd please...getting to see on of the elephants paint.

Stilt guy had a bone to pick with Mr.

The Main Event itself was incredible! From the motorcycle cage to the lions to the Bounce guys...we left feeling completely WoW'd and wanting more!

Bounce guys...waaaay cool

Did you miss the DC show?
Don't worry, tickets are still available for the Baltimore and Fairfax, VA shows!

Baltimore: 1st Mariner Arena –> March 25th – April 5th
Wednesday March 25th at 7:30 pm

Thursday March 26th at 7:30 pm

Friday March 27th at 10:30 am and 7:30 pm

Saturday March 28th at 11:30 am, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm

Sunday March 29th at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm

Wednesday April 1st at 7:30 pm
Thursday April 2nd at 10:30 am and 7:30 pm

Friday
April 3rd at 7:30 pm
Saturday April 4th at 11:30 am, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm

Sunday April 5th at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm

Fairfax: Patriot Center -> April 8th – 19th
Wednesday April 8th at 7:00 pm

Thursday April 9th at 7:00 pm
Friday April 10th at 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Saturday April 11th at 11:30 am, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm

Sunday April 12th at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm

Thursday April 16th at 7:00 pm

Friday April 17th at 10:30 am and 7:00 pm

Saturday April 18th at 11:30 am, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday April 19th at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm

Use DISCOUNT code: MOM when ordering on www.ticketmaster.com to get 4 tickets for just $44!

Bonus:
Pepe and Royo turned the camera on us and snapped a really cute photo of our family!


Janine

Thursday
Mar052009

Playground Games I Forgot How Much I Enjoyed

Now that my twins are in kindergarten I get to hear about all kinds of games they cram into just 30 minutes of recess. Mostly these consist of games with teams: the girls vs. boys teams, the good vs. bad teams, and jump rope.

One day last week they came home with a piece of yarn leftover from a measuring project and asked me to tie the ends together. Then M wrapped the ends around her two hands and waited for L to do something...except that L had no idea what to do and so the two of them sat there staring at the yard around M's hands.

I have no idea how long this would have gone on without my finally saying, "Are you trying to play Cat's Cradle?"

And that's when I realized that my little babies are soon going to be playing the games I used to LOVE to play with my friends outside at recess. These games are different than your classic board games like Chutes and Ladders and card games like Old Maid and Go Fish, which we often played with our parents.

There are 3 classic "kids-only" games we played simply because most adults at that time could not follow them. It also seems that every child of the 80s grew up learning at least one of these, if not all. And apparently, they are still around. I can't wait to share them with my girls...for as long as they'll let me.

Miss Mary Mack

The earliest of these games in pat-a-cake. But recently I came across a Miss Mary Mack book that had more verses than I had ever heard. Plus, there were intricate hand movements that went like this:
Cross arms, slap thighs, clap together, clap right hands, clap left hands, clap right hands.

And here's how the song (if you call it that) went:
Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back.

She asked her mother, mother, mother
For 50 cents, cents, cents
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high
They reached the sky, sky, sky
And they didn't come back, back, back
'Til the 4th of July, ly, ly!

Cat's Cradle

This simple little string makes the most complicated toy.
I remember playing by myself on those long car rides to Vermont. I also remember making my older brother play with me when I wanted to do the 2-person version...which later lead to me being forced to play the football 'hand-held' game that was actually more the size of a laptop but that's another post.

The only ones I can remember are Cat's Cradle, Witches Broom and Jacob's Ladder but if you gave me a string I'd be hard pressed to know how to do any of them. And that's where I give a BIG Twofer Thumbs Up to, what else? YouTube! YouTube will keep all of these games alive for generations to come.

Chinese Jump Rope

Remember the chant, "In-out-side-side-on-in-out" as 2 people stretch the rope around their legs while you try to jump to the chant without messing up the order?
We used to spend the entire recess taking turns jumping and judging, and I have the distinct honor of being the one to have Dr. Scholl'sbanned from school after my sandals went flying off my feet nearly clocking a teacher on the head. The jump rope started out low around the ankles and moved up higher as long as you didn't miss.

(Babysitter version was to put the jump rope around your neck and see who could 'jump' it without a) breaking an arm or b) taking out one of the rope holders.)

Do you remember these and can you add to my memory of them? I know I'm missing some of those Cat's Cradle moves especially.

Janine

Friday
Feb202009

Seeing the Circus on a Budget

We have been working really hard this year to reduce our expenses, and increase our income wherever possible. One area we have done well is entertainment like eating out, going to the movies, and seeing shows.

Which is why I was thrilled to learn from Mom Central of a very special code* to use so to get 4 tickets to The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus for just $44.00!

I know!
I am freaking out too!
When are we going??!!?!

The Circus is just one of those annual shows we like to see with the girls. Last year my mom said she had not been to the circus since she was little and so we brought her too. Every year the show changes a little bit. Every year we enjoy it more and more. At $11 a person, I know we can swing it this year!

Below is the Very Special Code and 2 ways to use it.

The very special code: MOM

1) Use it to purchase 4 tickets for $44

  • Go to www.ticketmaster.com
  • Purchase a minimum of 4 tickets
  • Enter the code MOM
  • You pay on $44!
Fine print: Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers. Other Restrictions May Apply.

2) Want Front Row or VIP?

A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for people with the special code "MOM"! Just enter the code "MOM" when purchasing those seats.

Don't forget about ***Baby's First Circus***

OK, so I might have mentioned this last year but I have a few more readers now and some who have had babies or are going to have them soon. If you are one of them, listen up! If you have a baby under 12 months old and you live in the continental US....
Go to www.Ringling.com and sign up for Baby's First Circus to get

  • A free ticket voucher that can be exchanged for a free ticket to any Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance, anytime, anywhere. No expiration date!
  • A very special personalized baby certificate, printable online!


Dates and cities where families can use the national MOM discount code this spring are as follows:


Newark/East Rutherford/Uniondale/NYC
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
March 5 - April 13
Offer not valid on performances from April 10 - 13 at Madison Square Garden

Washington D.C./ Fairfax, VA/ Baltimore, MD
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
March 18-April 19

Philadelphia
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
May 13-May 25

Phoenix
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
June 24-June 28

Houston
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
July 15-July 26

Anaheim/LA/Ontario
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
July 8-August 2

San Francisco
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
August 12-August 23

Dallas/Ft Worth
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
July 29-August 16

Sacramento
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
August 27-August 30

Kansas City
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
September 16-September 20

I can smell the cotton candy from here!
Janine

Tuesday
Jan272009

January Birthdays are better as an adult


Today is/was my birthday. Today was also a snow day - schools were closed. Had I been a child this would have been a bust of a birthday because I would have missed having cupcakes at school with my friends.

As an adult, this day was near perfect. The only thing holding it back from perfect was the little bit of work I had to do, and I didn't get that nap I wanted.
Here's what I did get:

  • tons of birthday wishes from family, friends, and old/new Facebook friends
  • an afternoon of sledding with my entire family
  • grilled cheese and tomato soup (yum!)
  • cheeseburger and fries from 5 Guys (double yum!)
  • ice cream cake for dessert
  • American Idol auditions (this is my favorite part of the new season)
What can I say? I'm a simple person.

Happy Birthday to me!
Janine