Saturday, January 22, 2011

Robin Hood and His Merry Munchkins

It started innocently enough, with a picture book about Robin Hood D1 found in her ever-beloved folk and fairy tales section of the library. It was quite well done, a story and an illustration on each page. We read through it slowly.

By the end, we thought it was time they saw the old Errol Flynn movie, which they all watched and loved. D3 would quiver and giggle with excitement every time a sword fight broke out.

Then some random box movements unearthed an adult-sized costume of Lincoln green. More ideas took hold. A play! With all the cousins! (Script still unwritten, remaining actors still unrecruited, and perhaps most seriously, none of the main actors can bring themselves to utter a word while performing. But these are all trivialities.)

And then more box movements disclosed the old Howard Pyle version of Robin Hood, so now I have to read all the way through that, even though *I* don't know how to pronounce some of the words. (Trysting?) They found a classic N.C. Wyeth illustration in a book of anthologies, so now we'll be getting that one from the library and copying all the pictures.

And now D2 has found himself a mighty long bow (though no arrows yet) and is posing a threat to all and sundry, mostly of being accidentally whacked with it. D1 alternates between being Maid Marian and Will Scarlet, depending on how much action she is craving. D3 either understudies Maid Marian or plays "the horsie." D4 is the dragon. (OK, I haven't heard about the dragon either. But there he is--you can see him.) And they know how to get more members for their band: just pick a fight, lose, and then they'll be begging to join up. Hey, it works in the book!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On a Brighter Note

I've been whining a lot lately, so let's try mentioning three happy things. That save money, no less!

1. Last summer the dentist told me I had two (maybe three) cavities and it would cost at least $750 to get them filled. We thought this was a bit steep and procrastinated. Then a dentist in one of DOB's networking groups suggested I come in and he would give me a bid on them. This week I finally went in and had him look at them. And he said . . . I *don't* have cavities. My teeth aren't the rotting kind. So it's not worth it to fill tiny pits. I never knew there could be a difference of opinion about cavities, but since my teeth don't hurt, I'll take his word for it.

2. We sold the van! Not quite for bluebook, but for a good bit more than we owed on it.

3. The camera has been broken for a month or two. Everything worked except the button that actually took the pictures. I kept hoping I would find someone who could safely take it apart and unjam the button. This week I've been starting to really wish for it again to help with school for D2, who tends to work in three dimensions instead of things easy to put in a notebook. Yesterday morning when I woke up to him building towers inspired by the Eiffel tower and French cathedrals, I thought I'd pull it out one more time and see if I could get it to work. And it worked just fine.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

The new year has not begun with any great resolutions, new programs, or grand undertakings. However, it has begun. We are slowly improving, thanks to time, patience, and the power-of-two-gallons-of-yogurt pills prescribed by the naturopath next door to DOB's office. The kids remain in good health and high spirits.

Wondergirl has been over several times with new plastic totes in suitable sizes and new ideas for organizing things, so we have been making slow but genuine headway against The Mess That Ate The House.

We are having a lot of fun getting back into school. Too much fun. I wonder if I'm overlooking some Horrible Thing I should be doing so my kids will whine about school, but I haven't figured out what it is. (They even like handwriting, in moderation.) We are starting to study France--just starting with a few books and a few questions and seeing where it takes us. D4 has developed an obsession with the Eiffel Tower. D1 and D2 are more interested in the world wars. And knights, of course. Timelines may still be a bit fuzzy--although D1 actually has a pretty strong historical sense, as evidenced by her asking, when she saw Errol Flynn as Robin Hood with his hands chained to a collar, "When did they start using handcuffs behind people's backs?" (I can see it now: Report by D1 on "Historical Methods of Criminal Restraints and Pretty Dresses of Corresponding Periods.")

I have my first project in my new second contract, and I had two meetings this week. I'm hoping balancing it all will work, but the next month or two will probably be a little busy as I learn the new stuff, finish up my prerequisites for getting my license activated, and try to recuperate from the last two months.