Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Eatin'

Katherine and I were in the city this evening.  We went to a little mom and pop El Salvadorean restaurant my sister introduced me to.  It's a bare bones place, where the tables are sticky and the air conditioning only kind of works, and it's deep in the barrio.  But, oh my, is the food ever delicious!
We had fried plantains, the best refried beans in the world, and pupusas, ground pork, cheese, and mild chilis sandwiched between thick homemade corn tortillas and grilled until brown and melty.  Pure Central America comfort food.  It was soooooo good....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tennis Time

We had an impromptu tennis match on the driveway this morning.  Well, some tennis ball whacking, anyway.  Steve pitched and the girls hit.  Kate managed to connect with the ball a few times, but Rae just swung wildly.  It was pretty fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My New Toy

I made enough at my garage sale to buy a new camera.  It's a lot smaller than my old one, but it can actually do more.  I'm having fun just playing around with it, seeing what it can do.  And so far, I'm impressed.  Here's a mini photo shoot in the front yard this morning (eye-popping jungle dresses are Granny's design).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Break a Leg

Katherine made it through 3 performances of School House Rock! Too this weekend.  We all went Saturday night (Rachel sat on Grandpa's lap and never even wiggled she was so transfixed by the show!) and Robie and I went today.  The show was great!  Katherine was SO proud to be in it and we were SO proud of her being up on stage.  It was a good experience for her.

"Lolly, lolly, lolly, get your adverbs here..."
"There are ideas everywhere you look..."

"Conjunction junction, what's your function?..."

All the younger kids were train cars during the song and carried posters with various nouns and conjunctions printed on them.  Kate was a little embarassed to be "but" - it's an important word in the song, but no one really wants to be a but.

There was a cast party after the show - ice cream sundaes in the green room.  Katherine thought that was a great idea.

Katherine is a seasoned actor now.  She knows about scripts, roles, rehearsals, memorizing lyrics, learning dance steps, how to block a scene, what "downstage right" means, how important the stage manager is, and the thrill of a crowd watching and clapping for you.  I had to explain what "break a leg" meant (and agree that it's pretty silly) but she had a great time performing.  And that is the magic of theatre.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

School House Rock

Katherine is in a play this weekend.  It's a community production and a "real" show with scripts, multiple scenes, lights, a set, costumes, and several weeks of rehearsals.  They're doing School House Rock! Too - a cute story involving all of the old TV School House Rock songs of my childhood (Conjunction Junction, what's your function...).  Kate begged to be in the play and I finally relented.  She has had some long, late rehearsals but has never complained.  She's learned a lot from the older kids.  Katherine's part is small - she's one of a group of younger kids who are in just a few scenes.  But she does not care, she's an actor.  She just likes being part of a big production.  If you are in the area, come see the show!  It's at Southwestern College at 7:30 tonight and 2:00 Sunday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Swimming Lessons

Today was the last day of swimming lessons for the girls.  They have LOVED going.  They have tanned nut brown and perpetually smell of chlorine and they're going to miss their daily lesson.

Katherine has always been a little afraid of the water.  She likes to get wet, but doesn't really want to put her face in the water and never quite trusts enough to let go and swim.  But that is rapidly changing.  This summer she has learned to really float, do the back stroke, get somewhere by doing the crawl stroke, jump into the pool, and venture into water deeper than she is.  That is pretty amazing!  She has lost a lot of her fears and gained a lot of confidence and it is so much fun to watch.  She has turned in to a true swimmer.

And Rachel?  Well, Rachel's goal is to spend as much time as possible underwater.  If she could grown gills and just be a fish, she would!  She listens to her teacher and does everything she is asked, she just makes sure to put her head under at every opportunity.  And her favorite thing, of course, if jumping off the side into her teacher's arms. (Or not.)  She is not as scary to watch this year, as she has at least a little more respect for water and self-control.  She just loves to swim!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dance Class

The girls have enjoyed their summer rec dance classes.  There is just practice and social time, no costumes, no performances.  Katherine has taken jazz.  This morning we went to watch the whole class.  It is obvious that Kate loves it.
Rachel's ballet class was next.  I must say, a whole class of 3 year olds is pretty entertaining!  Rae loves being at ballet, but she sometimes prefers to dance to her own drummer.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rock Hunter

We've been working through our extensive craft cupboard, keeping busy doing projects.  One of Katherine's favorites this week was a rock/gem excavation dig kit.  It had a block of some sort of chalky "rock" and came with a wooden mallet and chisel, a brush, and safety goggles.  Kate liked all the accessories.  All she had to do was pound on the "rock".
As she reduced the "rock" to powder, tiny colored rocks appeared.  She loved the surprise of finding them!

Of course, she had to clean off rocks and try to identify them.

Then all of her prize rocks joined her collection of rocks, feathers, and bird eggshells on her treasure shelf.  What a fun project!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sale Day

This is what it looked like at our house this morning...
It is Garage Sale weekend.  I have a garage sale every summer, mostly to get rid of the piles and piles of outgrown clothes and toys that we manage to collect.  I suppose it says something about us that we accumulate so much stuff that we have to sell it off every year.  But, I make a little money and my house looks less cluttered for a month or two.

Here is how Katherine spent the morning.

She decided months ago that she wanted to run a lemonade stand during the garage sale.  For the past two weeks she has talked about it constantly.  We've had discussions over how much she should charge, what table she'd use, where to store the cash, and every other aspect of lemonade selling.  We practiced making change over and over.  She could hardly wait! 

So this morning Kate put on her citrus-themed clothes and opened up her stand.  She was so proud of herself.  She quickly learned that she'd need to put limits on Rachel, or Rae would drink all the lemonade.  Of course, she sold lots of lemonade.  Not many of the grandparents that are the majority of garage sale-ers here could pass up a 25 cent drink from a  year old. When I asked her what she was going to spend her money on, Katherine announced that she was going to give it to Granny and Poppy so they could buy more apps for the i-pad.  Too funny!
Both girls were pleased when their good friends Hannah and Isaac stopped by.  The four of them were fun to watch, sipping lemonade and chatting.

Rachel had to show "Buddy Isaac" how all the toys worked.  She is quite a little saleswoman.  When people stopped to look, Rachel greeted them, showed off the merchandise, and flashed her flirty little grin.  I'm pretty sure she could sell anything. The sale continues tomorrow.  Maybe she'll sell off all the rest of our stuff. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Katherine has been playing summer rec soccer the past couple of weeks.  Most days, I drop her off and go home to shower or run errands.  But this morning Rachel and I went to see her play.  (Well, I went to see her play.  Rachel was busy introducing all the other younger siblings to the joys of rolypoly hunting.)  Katherine's soccer group consists of 2 girls and 20-some boys.  This does not seem to bother her.  They started off by stretching.  Kate, of course, is quite good at this.

Then it was off to run some drills.  Katherine has never played soccer before, so her skills aren't as advanced as the other kids', but she works hard.

And she really seems to enjoy it.

And then it was time to play for a while.  Katherine, by nature, is pretty much a defensive player.  She is not at all aggressive and doesn't care to fight over the ball.

But she never takes her eye off the ball.  And when it comes near, she's ready.  (You can't see the ball here, but she just kicked it hard!)

And she loves playing.


I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way