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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter week

Last year in Moldova it felt like Easter stretched on for a long time, since there were two different official Easter Sundays, and another egg hunt on a third weekend.  This year we're only doing all the Easter stuff once, but we're making the most out of the week!

The homeschool group we belong to had an egg hunt in our neighborhood a couple days ago, so that was a fun event to go to, even though it was chilly.  After a picnic lunch, the kids set out to find their treasures.  I loved that even the older kids (up through age 15) wanted to participate!  The fact that there were "golden tickets" to be found was likely the motivating factor.






Fun time!
 We've also done our traditional dyeing of eggs at home.... but I tried an untraditional method this time.  I had read that you can use shaving cream and food dye to make marble-y eggs.


 Let's just say, that is mostly true.....  But I will never do it again.  It's way too messy!



 ..... especially when the youngest is just out to "shave."

So some of our traditions have been done, but we are looking forward to a few more tonight and tomorrow as the Boyer's join us....  Tomorrow we celebrate the Resurrection that gave us all Hope and Life!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Boys in dresses

I have to keep the boys-wearing-dresses picture recorded here for future embarrassment purposes, of course.  The other night, after I thought everyone was in bed, Rayna, Colsen and Miles suddenly materialized like this:

They announced they were the "dress club," and the boys liked the dresses because it felt like they had wings and could fly.

Pete was out of town and could not control this mayhem.

I could find this alarming, but have to remind myself that they are not the first ones in the extended family to do such a thing.  Over the weekend I dug out this treasure:
The future Marine

I know there is another old photograph somewhere deep in Mom's archives that has both of my brothers dressed up in dresses as well.  They turned out fine, mostly.... although I can't say I'll be happy if my boys end up carrying this propensity into adulthood as one of their uncles did:


I'm assuming this is not all just my genetic material in the boys.... Pete may have dressed up like this as a boy, but since there are only about 7 photos of him from his youth (he was a 4th-born after all), and they are all sports pictures of him wearing uniforms, I guess we'll never know.

I guess the argument could be made that Jesus wore dresses -- I wonder if He felt like it gave him wings so he could fly, too? -- so I guess my boys are in good company.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Forming wings?

A few nights ago I fast-forwarded my life a couple of decades and attended our neighborhood garden club meeting with the rest of the LOL's (little old ladies).  After a few preliminary club agenda items, they announced that the speaker for the evening had a slide presentation that would last "approximately 45 minutes" -- and when the speaker herself began her talk, she confessed that she often became long-winded and often went over the allotted time.  I began to really regret picking a seat all the way across the room from the door so I couldn't easily sneak out.  I mean, who has time to sit around and look at slides for most likely a lot longer than 45 minutes?

But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the (55 minute) talk.  It was all about butterflies (I wished I had brought Colsen -- he was pretty upset when he heard he missed it).  The speaker has photographed and observed caterpillars and butterflies in her backyard for 25 years and she had a lot of information to impart, most of which I had never heard before.

But the one thing that is really sticking with me has to do with the transformation of the monarch caterpillar to butterfly.  As she showed in her pictures, the caterpillar hangs upside-down for about 12 hours (with his feet hooked into a little mess of webbing that he's generated ahead of time), and then his skin will split and pull upwards, revealing the beginning of the chrysalis underneath.  And here's the part I found fascinating:  you can already see the outline of wings at this point.  Before he's even spent time in the chrysalis, while's he's still a caterpillar, the wings are already forming under his skin.

See the outline of the wings on the far right?

I wonder if there are any parallels with us.  I usually think of death as being the ultimate transformer;  at that point I will shed this body and receive a new one.  But could it be that underneath the raggedy sweatshirt and frizzy hair I'm sporting today, there are actually elements* of my new life/body being formed?  I can only hope!



*I kinda wish it was actual wings that were being formed.  So do my kids -- they've been trying to "fly" off the furniture all day today.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today's adventure

This was the scene in my kitchen this morning.... Never has the microwave been so captivating!


Aunt Katie has been coming to do "preschool" here every couple of weeks this year, bringing Titus and Hannah to round out the student body.  She always has some fun activities planned and today was no exception!

Here's why the microwave was so exciting.  First they cut up an Ivory bar of soap into quarters and put them on plates.
 Then she put the plates in the microwave.... and within seconds, this is what started happening.


The soap was transformed from this to this:

 Then they took it all outside to play with the new texture.
 Miles decided it was like shaving cream so he could be like Daddy:

 Titus got really into it!
 Even the bigger kids joined in the fun.

 It started to look like it was snowing....
 .... so Colsen insisted on getting out some "ski's" to go through it.

'Thanks, Aunt Katie!  Once again, "preschool" is a highlight of the week!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cole the Composer

Colsen recently decided he wanted to start writing down the music for songs he makes up on the piano.  He went over to his desk and then presented me with this:

To the untrained eye (mine), it didn't look like much.  So I asked for some explanation, and this is what he said:

I was pretty impressed with his system for writing chords!  And I thought the arrow to tell us to read it right-to-left was very helpful.  :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

At Children's Church today...

I got a kick out of watching Pete try to teach the young kids (ages 4-6) in children's church today.  Here's how the lesson started out:       (One or more of these boys may be related to us)


Pete:  Does anyone know what a “covenant” is?

Boy # 1: Yes!  It means your blood.

Pete:  Well, no, not really.

Boy # 2:  I know!  It’s a restaurant.

Pete:  No, it’s not that either.  Actually, it means a promise.

Boy # 2:  No, that’s what I meant!  I was saying it’s a promise to go to a restaurant.

Boy # 3:  And I promise to go to the grocery store!

Other kids start chiming in about where they want to go…. and Pete slowly realizes he may never actually gain control of the class….     


                                         

Friday, March 8, 2013

Some things I wish I didn't have to say:

"No getting in the washing machine!

"Stop sledding down the stairs and put that lid back on the toy box!"  (They had used power tools to take it off.)

and

"Please don't ride the vacuum cleaner -- and put your pants on."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring break

4 Frank men, minus half of a head
Our spring break has begun with a visit from Bud and Jane as they travel back from Florida to Ohio, and a guys' trip to the mountains to do some skiing.  This was Colsen's first time, and he looooved it!



 This video cracks me up:


Strider also had a terrific time.  It turned out that one of his friends was there with his family, too, so the two boys were able to go off and and do all the "black diamonds" together.

In the long lift rides they had interesting talks-- including a discussion about the book, "Unbroken" which they've both recently read!

So it sounds like it was a fun day all the way around.

Meanwhile, back on the flat land, Jane, Rayna, Miles and I entertained ourselves by running some errands;  the highlights were getting to ride the escalator at the mall (especially for Miles), and introducing Jane to her first Chick Fil-A meal.

The kids enjoyed getting to play with their grandparents this weekend!


 Spring break is off to a good start.  Tonight we're having a couple of Wingate international students over, and we're getting together with several different friends over the next few days.... Gotta pack in all of the stuff we don't normally have time for!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Quizzical

Pete just told me this:

One day last week he had two classes in a row and he was pretty sure he had told one of the groups that they would have a quiz that day, but he couldn't remember which one. He had no quizzes prepared. He went to the first class and asked them if they were expecting a quiz. "Oh, no, definitely not," they assured him. (Is there any other answer to this question??)

So he taught that class, with no quiz, and then during the 10-minute break between classes, he ran back to his office. Standing outside his door was a student who proceeded to tell him that he couldn't stay for his whole class coming up, and then asked if he could take the quiz early before he left. (Aha!)

"Sure," Pete told him, very matter-of-factly. He told the student to go on down to the classroom and he would meet him there in a minute. Then Pete ran into his office and furiously hammered out a quiz, made up on the spot.

Good grief- this man loves to procrastinate until the last possible minute!

I'm a little more alarmed by this than usual, I think, because Pete recently asked him if I would help him write a paper he's been asked to do.  My cobweb-filled brain jolted awake at the mere possibility of doing something academic, and I agreed to help him.

Now, though, I'm beginning to realize that my over-eager, get-it-done-early, and definitely-must-get-an-A+ approach to writing might not exactly work well with my more, ahem, laid-back husband's style.  In fact this could be a major test of our marriage.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the topic of the paper we are supposed to write is.... marriage.

Could be interesting!