Friday, September 5, 2014

And They're Off! (to school)

     Back to school Day One was full of excitement and conflict and all before 9am.  Harrison and Levi were heavily lectured the night before, "You need to be IN the kitchen by 6:30 am, dressed and ready for breakfast. You need to make your own lunch and be walking out the door at 7!"  This did happen as planned but they walked up and down the stairs about 35 times each.  All the while I whisper-yelled, "Shhhhh!!! Don't let the dog out of the kitchen! Stop stomping/slamming doors/creaking steps!" This was all code for, "DON'T WAKE UP ROYAL!"
     Next up, Royal was given his magic potion around 7:15.  He was in true agro form.  I knew it was due to the anticipation of the first day of school, but I struggle epically with this "special" attitude.  He was let out of his room 30 minutes later and I spent the next 45 minutes feeding, packing, and referee-ing. He got to school in time to meet his new teacher.
     Once back home, Hiyab was clingy, crabby, and demanding to "have (com)puter time," ( is her "school" when needed.  She thinks it's he god-given right!).  Wyatt was obviously glum and also a bit grouchy.  Both of them missed their sidekicks (Royal and Levi).  They didn't know what to do with their emotions.  Wyatt wanted to do school too.  Unfortunately for them, their teacher is still denying the fact that she's their teacher and hadn't even ordered school books yet.  She took care of that later in the day.

     Day Two was about the same but with more drama.  Levi was in the kitchen at 6 am organizing papers, filling out worksheets, making his lunch, and wearing the same shirt he wore to school yesterday. "Levi, you've got to change your shirt." "Why?" "Well, kids who go to school have an unspoken rule about cloths.  You can't wear the same shirt more than once a week." "Why?" "I don't know! That's just the way it works.  Homeschooled kids never learn this because their mom encourages wearing the same thing for days to save on laundry."  "But I wore a sweatshirt yesterday.  No one even saw my shirt."  My theory was blown when Harrison came down in the same shirt he wore the day before. "Harrison! You wore that shirt yesterday." "So, I was wearing a sweatshirt."

     So.... Maybe that's a girl vs. boy thing and has nothing to do with homeschool?  FYI Royal ALSO had yesterday's shirt on when he came down... Bah!

     When Levi came home he told me that he was supposed to hand in a paper that day that he didn't know about (it was assigned at the beginning of the summer).  He was remorseful.  It's now 9:30 pm and he's still doing homework.  He's done more homework today then he's ever done in his life (like more than an entire day of homeschooling).  I told him how proud I am of him for working so hard. "Really? You are?" "Yes Levi.  It will get easier with time.  Stick with it."
     It occurred to me just now that Levi is like Dr. Brown in Back to the Future- quirky, curious, and thinks outside the box.  He's the super genius that nobody sees coming.  I adore him to the core of his being.  Classical Education will be hard on him.
     Tonight Royal also told me his woe's.  He was put in a 2/3 split class.  Suddenly he isn't the oldest/smartest/best in his class.  His ego is suffering.  I assured him that he must have been chosen for the split class because they know he can handle it.  He's smart.  He works hard.  He can do this thing!

I agreed to buy Slurpees on the last day of summer.  Someone was excited.
Levi going to "real" school for the first time. (I love how Bentley is looking at Harrison).

The Royal one.  He's so darn good lookin!!
These three were all out of whack with the other three away.  They suddenly didn't know how to function and wanted to start school.  Teacher said, "Heck no.  Lets go on a walk and eat ice cream!"
And, I noticed that Kyle isn't as tall as he used to be.

And now, lets talk about my hair.  For months I've been ready to cut off my long hair.  I had this mental block that I couldn't do it when I was forty.  I was worried I would suddenly look old - like people would think I'd chosen to cut it off and have the same hair until I die.  I thought about getting it frosted, permed and set each week like my grandma.  I think she was forty when she started...



And, right. 
And there you have it.   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Zootune- The Epitome of Seattlites

Last week Kyle and I and my parents went to see Pink Martini at the Zoo.   Zootunes is the concert series that the Woodland Park Zoo puts on every year.  It attracts... well that is what I'm going to tell you.

The lines begin to form around 4 pm.  The seating is first come first serve on a grassy field.  Everyone packs in snacks and alcohol (the latter is forbiden).  Don't be fooled by the throngs of balding men and women in flowy clothing, they may look peace loving, but once those gates open the race for a good seat is on- I mean elbows were flying.  A zoo staff member stood center field waving her arms like an orchestra conducter saying in a sing song voice, "slow down, find your seats, slow down, find your seats."  Like that's going to help.

We found our spot quickly, right of center, thirty yards back.  It was a good spot - except for the 98 year old man in the wheelchair and his wife who's chair matched his in height.  She-who-will-not-be-named complained loudly several times that they were breaking the rules, "There's a twenty four inch chair height rule!! Why can't he sit on the side? I can't see!" She huffed as she poured her gin and tonic. When I replied, "Can you stop talking so loud?" she said, "Well I'm only saying what everyone else is thinking!" "Ya- lets take him out!" geeze...

The concert began as we ate our tomato-basil-mozzarella-balls on toothpicks, humus, tabbouleh,  olives,  garlic pork, crackers, and drank a couple more G&Ts.

It wasn't until an hour in that I really began to look around and realize that I was in the middle of an SNL skit about white people in Seattle.  For example, the people in front of us were eating seaweed, kale, and cucumber salad from PCC, SasQRUNCH, and drinking pure coconut water.   The family next to them included a bald dad with a thick goatee and nail polish painted orange toe nails, and four-ish year old son with long hair.  Several groups ahead was an all women bunch who couldn't help but show off their Latin dancing skills every time an ethnic song came on (which is often with Pink Martini). To the left was another group (mostly women) who mostly danced like Elaine on Seinfeld. 

I do love Pink Martini, but I was much more excited about the secret guest stars who came on about 1/3 of the way through.  Are you ready for this? The great grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp! Squeal! I seriously love The Sound of Music.  It wasn't until my adult years that I really thought about what an incredible story it was, that it was true, and scary, and just crazy.  So seeing that the legend continues in this homeschooled sibling set of four from Montana (grandchildren of Kurt)- well, that was pretty exciting. Yes, they did yodel, and yes they did sing a song from the movie, and yes they did sing an Abba song- in Swedish.

Other noteworthy mentionables : China's dress (I need it), and Storm's biceps (she CrossFits for sure). 

In highschool, my friends and I went to several outdoor concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion in MD.  The only difference between those concerts and this one was where the alcohol is consumed (and everything else).  Zootunes is the old people version.  Old people have fun too, just in a more appropriate (weirder) way. 

The thoughtless man and his wife

The Coconut Water drinkers using binoculars for their failing eyes

Storm and her muscles (I know she's hard to see with the man in his too-tall chair)
People in appropriate chairs- Kyle calls them "Diaper Chairs"
THE dress

The von Trapps on either side of CrossFit

A couple of the Latin dancers
The toe nails

Us loving it

The Coconut Drinker on his bike next to my car 5 days later!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Why is there so much pain in the world? 
Why does God let his people suffer? 
If God is all good all the time, why is there so much evil?
Why doesn't He fix it?

What is the meaning of Life?

Warning: I don't have the answers, so if that's what you want you may as well quit reading now.  

      The other morning I was telling Kyle that I've lost my purpose in life, nothing brings me joy.  He asked what I meant.  "I don't feel like doing anything because it all seems meaningless.  I used to get excited to plan out my school year and now I think, what's the point, the test scores are the same no matter what I do.  I used to get satisfaction out of cleaning the house and now I think, what's the point, it's just going to get dirty again anyway.  Nothing I do makes a difference, so why do it?"  

     He said, "It sounds like you're having an Existential Crisis," (And people think philosophy degrees are useless). I said, "A what?" So I looked it up.  And yes, that's exactly what I'm having.  The things that stood out to me in the wiki article where: trauma, life has no meaning, and everything else it said (you should read it).  

     I usually try to work myself out of pits like this by finding a comforting Bible verse or quote, reading a book that gives me a pep talk, or watching Malcolm in the Middle re-runs.  None of those work (okay- Malcolm in the Middle does give me great satisfaction even if it's only temporary).  This time, I'm going to sit in it.  I'm going to be honest with myself and God about what I really think/feel and see what happens.  

     If this alarms you and you're thinking, "Oh my gosh! I wonder what happened?" The answer is nothing. Noooothiiiiiing.  It's aaaaalllllll the ssssaaaaammmmeeee. Everyday.  EEEEvvvvveeeeerrrryyyyday.