Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Barnard Fireman's Parade and Carnival 2011

I know it's Summer when it's time to drag our chairs a few streets over for the annual Barnard Fireman's Parade and Carnival.  Luckily the rain stayed away for our annual fun-filled night.


2 must be the best age to watch a parade because Adalyn was so animated the whole night.  The joy you get from watching your kids be happy is a benefit from parenting that always surprises me.

We brought out new 'neighbors' too!  Shawn(Wayne's youngest brother) and his lovely wife Lesley bought a house one street over from ours.  I think there may be 5 houses between ours.  They have 3 kids too, close to the ages of ours.  It's been another great thing about our evolving neighborhood to have family so close.  Our back yards are nearly kiddie corner and well within walking distance.

The next night we headed down to partake of the carnival pleasures.  Only that night the rain didn't hold off and there was about a 20 min downpour during which we stayed under the beer tent and ate really-bad-for-you carnival food.

Then it was time for rides.  With all the rain keeping people away, the girls had the whole thing practically to themselves.  We learned one important piece of  information:  1 ride on the swings for Willa is fun, 2 rides back to back is very, very bad:(  But I will say she recovered quickly.  Adalyn could only go on a few rides, but she did those in repetitious bliss while the other 2 ran around on the rides they were tall enough for.  Denver and Willa knew more people than we did.  And of course we had to visit the Duck Pond where Adalyn kept trying to get more and more ducks till we had to drag her away from the game all together.  Actually, every game we played seemed to follow that same pattern.  Maybe 2 year olds are not quite so ready for carnival games.  But a great time was had by all and 3 very tired girls were tucked in that night with carousel horses dancing in their dreams.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Springdale Farm

Willa's Kindergarten class had a field trip to Spingdale Farm last week and I happily accompanied them.  What could be more perfect; 72 degrees, sunny, and farm animals as far as the eyes could see and smell.  Well, maybe not that far but animals were seen and touched a plenty!

We also got to watch an automated milking machine at work.  It was remarkable to say the least.  As was the automated manure sweeper.  I wonder if they make such a thing for dog pooh in back yards...

This goat took a liking to Willa and nuzzled her for a while.

The kids all got to listen to the heartbeat of one very patient rabbit.  Then they all got to pet a kid, a chick, a ferret, and a duckling.

There was even a little time left to play in the petting area.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Canine Diversions

It seems life is going faster than I can keep up with.  The next 2 weeks don't seem to be slowing down any either.  But here is one of our current diversions...

Last Tuesday morning, Wayne was opening up work at 4:30am when he heard a clickity clack and turned to see a pitbull running toward him.  After determining it was a nice dog it proceeded to curl up in his lap and fall asleep.  He was rail thin with far too many bones showing.  A coworker took it temporarily, but her dog did not care for that so we took it on Thursday.

I don't want two dogs.  The poop to grass ratio gets a little off kilter and now that he is feeling better, he is starting to reveal his young age with some destructive chewing and eating inappropriate things.(Willa's sock, which he later horked up)  But he is one sweetie-pie of a dog.  Really affectionate and good with the kids and Possum.

Hopefully we will find a forever home for him, but if we can't I have a feeling he may join our household.


Here he is after a long day of partying on Father's Day.  Turn up the volume so you can hear him snore!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oakwood Rd, North 1st Annual Block Party

Consuming much of my active brain space this Spring was the planning for our 1st ever block party.  Wayne and I really wanted to do this last year but time got away from us.   So we started our planning in April, got our permit, barricades, and bounce houses and with a lot of help from our neighbors, we enjoyed the event Saturday.  The rain held off, sprinkling only occasionally and almost everyone who was home came out for the day to mingle, meet, and laugh.  A few area businesses made modest donations(thank you Wegmans for the gift card, Wise Guys Diner for the hot sauce, and Dunkin Donuts for the donut holes).

 We wanted to make a community of our little slice of Greece but people did not know each other.  Nothing to do but to have a big party!  Our local fire station sent over a fire truck and rescue truck and the Monroe County Sheriffs Department sent over 2 horses and officers.  The kids were able to climb in the firetruck and pet the horses.  While adults mingled and BBQed, the kids ran between 2 bounce houses and enjoyed the thrill of riding up and down the middle of the street.

Adalyn played till she just about fell over, enjoying every ounce she could squeeze out of the day.  She found a deep love of orange drink and sported an orange mustache for a good portion of the day.

The difference in the feel of our street is already tangible.  It is hopefully the start of a great tradition.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Ethiopian Update

Since writing this post, time has past and I felt I should update those of you who aren't in my daily circle.  To be fair to myself, I wrote that post intending on going.  Indeed, it was written to sway the reader to agree with me.  And I think it would have been a great experience.  Possibly life changing.  I love the friend that offered me this chance and would have loved to spend the time with her knowing that it was possibly the only time I might do so.   But I didn't go.   A few things happened that made me change my initial inclinations.

First, we were put in contact with someone through Compassion who could answer many more questions than we previously had answered.  Someone who knew a little bit more about the way the system worked  and had done essentially the same thing we were trying to do with his own sponsor child.  Tsegaye would have to sit down with a person from the church and discuss the best ways in which to use the monies we sent, though the decision to continue his schooling would still have to be his.  This seemed right and hard at the same time.  I wanted to MAKE him continue, but knew it would mean more if it was his choosing.

We also received his last letter(through Compassion) that removed any doubt as to what his goals were.  He desperately wanted to finish school and did everything but outright ask us to help him.  This made us feel certain that the money we sent would be used for the purpose we intended.  Thus removing the absolute need for me to go there to set it up.

I would be dishonest if I said the money was not an obstacle as well.  It would cost 4Xs as much for me to go vs. just sending the money.  The whole goal was to get his education funded, not to meet him, however wonderful that would have been, and I could not overlook the burden of the price tag of such a trip.  Yes, I had a tentative plan to fund it, but looking back on how busy we were without the added fundraising, I'm not sure how I would have fit it in and maintained my sanity or my family.

On the positive side, we have gotten several e-mails from Tsegaye.  He must have someone who can translate for him b/c they come in English, however broken.  He has continued his schooling and assures us his family supports him in this as well.  He still always asks us to come.  Perhaps our next sponsor child should be in a location that is easier to visit.

I do feel a bit like I settled for mediocrity when I had something so much more within my grasp.  And that is disappointing.  I am not a great traveler without my kids.  I used to love it, before I had wee ones I had to say goodbye to.  And part of me feels like I let this feeling override the opportunity.  I'm not interested in beating myself up about it.  I think that as my kids get older, it will be easier to leave them or I will be able to take them with me more.  I know I missed out on something really special.  I can only pray that the next time I get such an opportunity, I will not have any qualms about taking it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dance Recital 2011

 Ahh, the 48 hours that is the dress rehearsal and recital... a time full of make-up, sequins, bobby pins, an ungodly amount of hair product, 4 costume changes, 1 hairstyle change, me running like mad to and from the auditorium so I can alternately see 1st girl dance then hurry backstage to change 1st girl into 2nd costume and run back so I can see 2nd girl dance her 1st dance then run backstage to get the 2nd girl ready for her 2nd dance then bolt back into the auditorium so I can see them both dance their 2nd dance. I'm not sure about them, but I was beat afterwards!

Displaying more interest this year than in years past, the last month was filled with requests to play their practice video so they could cement their routines.  Denver danced a tap number to, 'Let's hear It For the Boys.'(See 1st You Tube Video Clip-she is far right, front row)And a Jazz to 'California Girls' by Katy Perry(kids bop version, thank God!)
Willa's tap was to a cute number called, 'Shake Your Blues Away' and her jazz was to a hip hop version of 'Mary Had a Little Lamb.'  I'm working on getting all the dances up so be patient.

 Of course they were so cute and adorable and did great, but I'm glad I won't have to do it for another whole year.