Snow, Snow, and More Snow

Here are a couple of shots from this past weeks two blizzards.

The first image is from Feb 6, 2010 where Elkridge, MD got 38″ of snow. We measured 31.5″ before our measuring stick got lost in the snow. If you click on the image it will take to a panorama where you can view our neighborhood.

Panorama of the Feb 6, 2010 Blizzard

This image is from Feb 11, 2010 after the second blizzard to hit us. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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Science Fair – First Place

Guess who took home 1st Place for her grade level. Ellie did! She did a great job and worked really hard putting it all together. Ellie and Fern have been working on it for the last two months, usually a couple of nights each week. Ellie thought up the experiment (making gas with wet and dry ingredients), from something that she had done with one of her Grandmothers. She made a work book, draw pictures, wrote descriptions of what happened. She made a graph showing the results, helped put together the display board.

Last night at the awards ceremony, she was the first one called up and hard the biggest smile on her face. Every kid who did a project (it was not required) got a medal and the first place winner in each grade got a trophy. We were so proud!

First Time Running

On Wednesday, Ellie had her first experience running. I’ve been running for a while now, and Ellie has always seemed interested in what I was doing. So I recently offered the chance to go with me. On Wednesday night she took the challenge. We had a great time, we started off with some stretching, then out we went. She did great! We started off slowly and went basically one and half times around the block. Towards the end she started to hold her side a little bit, but she kept going. I was really proud of her. After we were done, she told me that she wants to go again.

Here is the graph of her run. She went 6/10 of a mile in a little over 11 minutes. I look forward to running with her again.

How to Get Your Kids to Read

While reading the online mussing of one of my favorite authors, Orson Scott Card, he mentions a great way to get your kids to read a book that he recommends,

Or you can slip it to a twelve-year-old or ten-year-old, after you’ve read it yourself, and say, “I think you’re old enough to read this now.” (Those are the magic words, you know, to make a book intriguing. The only words more powerful are, “I think you’re almost old enough to read this. But maybe not. I think we’ll wait a while.” And then you “forget” and leave it out where they can see it.)

Something that I’ll have to remember (and use) for when my kids are a little older.

The Tooth Fairy Finally Comes

Well the Tooth Fairy finally made a visit to our house last night. After a month of waiting for that loose tooth to finally fall out, I gave it a yank last night and it came out.

Fern was at a meeting and I was getting the girls ready for bed. Like we do every night I was helping the girls brush their teeth. Ellie’s tooth has been really loose for the last couple of days and Fern and Ellie have both tried to pull it out, but it wasn’t coming. This time while flossing her teeth, the tooth was turning all around and was just disgusting. So while Sarah was distracting us, I grabbed a tissue (for a better grip) and gave a yank. This tooth came out with too much force. Needless to say Ellie was surprised. There was some blood, but we rinsed with cold water, then had an ice pop. Ellie re-bushed her teeth and then off to bed. She was a really trooper. And yes the Tooth Fairy came. She left some money and a certificate, and she told Ellie that she could keep her first tooth too. What a cool Tooth Fairy.

Another week, another bag of trash

It’s Monday! Time to pick up the trash. Walked our child to school today and was amazed at how much trash had accumulated. Thankfully I had a few bags stashed in the storage area of our younger child’s stroller, and on the way home I pulled one out and started filling it up. While we were still close to the school, a mom behind me mentioned that she needed to start bringing a bag to pick up trash. I asked if she would like one, that I had a few with me. She was very happy, took the bag, and was picking up trash immediately. We were at a corner where our paths parted, so between the two of us our neighborhood is a lot cleaner today.

The thing about it is that I felt a little funny picking up trash in front of other families walking back from school. But then I realized that if the trash just disappears, then they won’t think about it. But, if I picked up the trash in front of them, then they might keep an eye out for litter and people littering, they might remind their kids to put trash in the trash cans (and there are some along the way), and they might be more careful themselves. That was my thought, but the surprise and blessing, was having another parent volunteer themselves to help pick up what does get carelessly or intentionally dropped on the sidewalk and street. Whoever you are, dear person, thank you!

The Tooth Fairy

We knew the time would eventually come for the Tooth Fairy to visit our house. If all goes well she will be visiting our house in the very near future (maybe even tonight). Yes, Ellie has her first loose tooth. In fact she has two of them, and they are her bottom two middle teeth. Back in my day I think I got a dime or maybe a quarter for each tooth. From what I hear today, the going rate is $5 for your first tooth and $1 for each one after that. I know it’s been 30+ plus years, but boy talk about inflation. Rest assured that we’ll post some pictures once the tooth/teeth finally fall out.

First Day of School

On a cool and rainy Friday, Ellie had her first day of Kindergarten. Because it was raining, Fern drove Ellie to school. Just before pulling into the parking lot Ellie said, “Mauma (her grandmother) said that if I’m afraid, to take 3 deep breaths.” At which point Ellie took 3 or 4 deep breaths.

The following conversation took place as Ellie was walking across the parking lot to go into the school building.

Fern: I love you!
Ellie: I love you too.
Ellie: See you tonight.
Ellie: Tell Daddy I, uh … If Daddy calls, tell him I love him.
Ellie: Bye …. (as she walks into the building)

It’s hard to believe that she is going to school. They grow up so fast. Last night she finally said that she was excited about going. Quite and emotional day for everyone.

Kindergarten Room

Kindergarten RoomLast Thursday Ellie’s school had an open house and we stopped in to take a look at her Kindergarten room (her teacher was not there). Tomorrow morning we/she has an orientation, which we are all attending, and where we’ll meet her teacher for the first time. Her first full day of Kindergarten is on Friday. To see more pictures of her school room just click on the image above, and I’m sure that we’ll be posting pictures from her first day so stay tuned for the next installment in the off to school drama.

Growing Up and Minor Flooding

Tonight was a busy night. The first big adventure was converting Sarah’s crib into a toddler bed. If we had our way, I’m sure we would have waited, but Sarah forced our hand. Last night I woke up to some terrible screaming. It seems that Sarah had tried to climb out of her crib, but got stuck halfway as was straddling the railing. She was holding on for dear life and very scared and upset. So that meant that off came the railing and wheels, and on went the short side railing with the easy access opening. It means that she will be waking up and getting out of her bed. But that is better then her falling on her head.

As for the flooding, I just came in from a massive downpour. It has been raining off and on all day long, and extremely hard at sometimes. So much so that our gutters just couldn’t keep up (they probably need to be cleaned again). In any case the water was streaming off the roof in to the front bushes. Where it was pooling up. So with Fern holding a flashlight and me in my swimming trunks and old rain jacket (not waterproof any more). I’m crawling under the bushes digging trenches with a hand shovel. It definitely helped. Now do I think water would have gotten into the house, unlikely. It would have needed to rise about 6 more inches before that happened. It was already starting to stream out of the flowerbed and away from the house. I just helped it along.