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Entries in school (19)

Tuesday
Sep012009

Back to school wisdom comes from the bottom of a mimosa

It's a tradition in my neighborhood to have a mimosa brunch the first day of school. For many this is just what they need after the somewhat anticlimactic drop off or bus pick-up when they are left saying, "Now what?". We have the answer, and it's in a little plastic cup with orange juice and champagne.

Pitchers of Mimosas

This is a casual event where if you have something, bring it, if you don't, don't worry about it. I offered to host with the disclaimer that if I do, I have the right to blog about it.

We ate:

Muffins, bagels, brownies, oh my!

I showed off my Frigidaire affinity washer and dryer from Mom Central:

Laundry in half the time making more Me Time!

Click here for more on my experience being a Frigidaire Test Drive Mom.

And we oven-tested these really cool biodegradable, compostable plates from Verterra:

Use instead of paper plates and toss them in the compost bin!Click here for my complete review of Verterra plates and how they fared in the oven and microwave!

But more than that, I learned why this back-to-school brunch has and will remain a tradition for my neighborhood.

It's a place to get a hug when you've teared up watching your 'baby' enter the big world of kindergarten. It's a party to celebrate surviving 3 months of the kids home with us for summer. And it's a chance to pick up snippets of wisdom in between sips.

Some words of wisdom I overheard are,

"The sassy teenage years are there because it's God's way of preparing us for when they leave. By then, we're happy to see them go!"

And,

"Sometimes kids thrive in a room with a teacher who has a much different approach to things than the parents."

Thank you to everyone who came, and help keep the tradition going. For the full-time working parents we'll have to pull together something too.

What back-to-school traditions do you and your friends or neighbors have?

Janine

Friday
Apr032009

Around the world in one night

Last night was International Night at the Twofer's school and I was completely wowed. Families chose to represent a different country from around the world and set up tables with photos, books, artifacts, and even food from that country.

Flags Of The World

Photo via Flickr 365

Many families chose countries they had ties to, and even included short dance routines like Irish Step Dancing. Some families just chose a country and used it as a way to explore another culture with their kids. One family chose to represent the country where they adopted their children.

Each table was unique and you could see the families that chose to participate had the most fun as they stamped each child's paper passport.

And I learned a lesson - sometimes it is better to give of your time, than to receive.

Jambo! Next year, I think we'll do the Kenya table.

Janine

Monday
Mar092009

Someone get me a Stop-Growing pill quick!

L and M 2003

I'm a slow learner. When people told me time would fly when I had kids I thought they were just trying to make me feel better because they knew I'd be up all night with newborn twins. During those early days time stood completely still.

Even as the girls entered preschool I didn't think time had passed any faster than normal. They were still little, still had funny ways of saying things, and still fit comfortably on my lap.

It has taken me five, almost six years to finally learn what people are talking about when they say time flies once you have kids. They are talking, of course, about those angry little men that come out in the wee hours and fast forward all the clocks in my house.

Those little men have made it impossible for M to fit comfortably on my lap, her skinny legs crunched up or dangling off, and my legs going numb from the weight.
My innocent little girls now come home from school talking about boys, and which 5th graders are getting boobs throwing me into a tailspin of neurotic 'what-if' thinking.

L and M 2009

I will not let this go on without a fight!
I will develop a Stop-Growing pill that will not only keep my little girls 5 forever, it will keep my rear-end from expanding.
I will make millions, I will have a sort-of-ok ass, and I will have all the time in the world to enjoy it!

Janine

Monday
Jan192009

Pencil to pen to pencil again

It just took me 10 minutes to locate a pen.Then I realized, things have come full-circle from when I was a child, because the writing instrument of choice these days is a pencil.

In elementary school I only used pencils (well,crayonstoo). I don’t think I ever wrote with pen because I was always having to erase. Sure, they came out with the 'eraseable pen' but it always left a mark on the paper.

I remember in High School when I really ditched pencils and used pens exclusively. I also remember having to buy highlighterswhich made me feel so mature. Not only was I going to be writing permanent things, I was going to mark things in very bright colors!

Since I never actually learned to type in typing class (sorry Mr.s Van D.A.) I used to have my dad’s secretary (ie: my mom) type anything that was longer than 2 pages. Yes, I was that kid. But then I got to college and I remember thinking how adult was of me to be typing up my own papers using (and this will date me) a word processor!

Enter the working years, and two very key things: a computer, and a Staples catalog. Oh the Joy! I would spend hours pouring through the pages of that catalog making a list of all pens I wanted to experiment with: Uniball, thin point, thick point, refillable, Sharpie, dry-erase – pens of all different colors, shapes and sizes. Pencils were the farthest things from my mind.

Then I had children.


These children learned to write. These children also started collecting pencils. I am now swimming in pencils. We have pencils from birthday parties, schools, pencils given out at fairs, the bank, the shoe store, the firehouse. We have pencils with hearts, with stripes, with jack-o-lanterns, with Christmas trees and snowmen, pencils with bouncy things at the top, mechanical pencils, really thick pencils, and colored pencils.

I did not realize until now that I appreciate the flexibility you get with pencils. The fairy you drew for your kid isn’t up to par? Erase it! There isn’t enough room on the calendar to fit the Girls Night Out you’ve scheduled? Erase everything on that date and fit it in!

Plus, pencils often offer a darker, thicker line than many pens. Pencils are usually free. And, unlike their tainted counterparts, pencils never run out of ink.

Janine

Thursday
Dec112008

Twincident #145 - differences

This twincident isn't the destructive kind, it's the constructive kind.

It's also a good example of how we have learned to embrace the Twofer's differences.

Each month they bring home a 'family project' from school.
This month the project was to decorate a very large gingerbread man that was cut out of brown paper, then write a
few sentences about it.

L, never one for coloring in the lines, quickly decided she wanted to write about a gingerbread dog. The gingerbread man was clearly the shape of a man..not a dog.
But we added ears, a tail, paws, and a leash and
by George when we were done, it looked like a dog!

Here is her gingerbread dog and accompanying story:

I asked Mommy to bake a gingerbread dog. We gave him lollipop ears, a marshmallow tail, and chocolate nose. He was so nice that I did not eat him. His name is Bruno

M, always quick to feminize things (I say go for it! Girl Power!) turned hers into a gingerbread girl. And when I say girl, I mean girly girl (oh just wait for her story). With my help, M gave the gingerbread girl a dress, shoes, necklace, earrings, nail polish (not on at the time of photo), and red licorice hair.

Once there was a gingerbread girl. She went to the mall. She saw her favorite dress and her favorite shoes and a pair of earrings and a jewelry store. She saw a place where she could get her nails done. Her name was Alyssa.

By the way, I can count on one hand the number of times I've taken the girls to mall in the last 3 years. I also do not spend loads of time on my wardrobe, or makeup. So I have to say that this girly thing of hers is just part of who she is, and for once, not entirely my fault.

I will take full credit for the shoes.

Sometimes I wonder - have we encouraged them to be different or have we encouraged them to be themselves and they are simply that...two very different people?

In the end, I'm happy if they are happy with themselves.

Peace, love, and differences,
Janine