Sunday, May 20, 2012


There is something so wonderful about the beach in Maine.  We took a beach walk on Sunday.  It was so lovely.

The kids loved having sandy toes!  They managed to even end up the water.  Crazy!  The rest of us were wearing sweaters. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kid's Art Show

Because of this book:

Phoebe has been begging her grandmother to have an art show.  So Mimi, being the best grandmother in the world, planned an art show for Phoebe.  The incredients were pretty simple:  a clotheline, clothespins, lots of kid's artwork, treats, and guests. 
We put up a big sign and invited eveyone we could think of.  (Jan has four sisters and 3 made it!) So we had a few friends from the neighborhood who stopped by.  Elliot is embellishing the sign with fireworks.  He just learned the technique in art class and loves to make them.  Phoebe had one half of the clothesline and Elliot had the other. 
When I notice that one of Phoebe's dance class friends showed up in two pictures, I texted her mom.   They were free to come on over. So, we even had some little art enthusiasts. (I think the lemonaid and cupcakes might have helped too.)
Below is a picture of Madison in her dance outfit.  Phoebe loved showing her. 

Elliot being the shy guy spent spent more time under the table or running around the house than greeting the people.  Phoebe lapped it up.  I have two totally different kids. 

Thank good we had the perfect weather for an outside art show.  Perfect fun for Mother's Day weekend!  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflection about Screen-Free Week

Well, here's the thing, I had thought that giving up all screens for a week would be the most wonderful thing since sliced bread.  I grew up in a family that said regularly that "TV will rot your brain."  I was convinced that shutting off the TV, computer, and phone would make us all nicer, calmer, and more centered.  It didn't.  There were some huge benefits of turning it all off for the week but there were also some unintended affects as well.

First of all- what we did when we were not watching TV.  The kids rode their bikes A LOT!  Mostly Phoebe and Elliot do endless laps around the house.  However, we also took a little mini-trip as a family to Wolfoboro, NH where they have a FABULOUS bike/run/walking trail that goes from the center of Wolfoboro out by a river and to a nice beach.  It goes even further than the two miles that we biked (4 miles in all) but Phoebe was biking the whole way on training wheels and we hadn't been able to fit Mama's bike on the bike rack so she was walking.  We had a super fantastic day.  I have a wonderful Trek bike that I never ride and it finally got dusted off.  I was so glad that I went.

We also ended up playing board games almost every evening.  We played Battleship, Connect Four, and Sorry.  Elliot is a crafty board game player.  Phoebe doesn't always last but she is just as happy keeping us company with an elaborate art project. Our games had been sitting idle in our game closet for awhile.  They enjoyed the use. 

The best thing about the week is that the kids ASKED to go to bed about an hour before their regualar bed time almost every night.  My kids don't actually know how to tell time but I think not having some sort of distraction made them listen to their bodies more fully and know when they were tired.  Jan and I collapsed in bed early a few times last week as well.  

Another good thing is that I got a whole book read and started another.  I'm a big reader under any circumstance but I got more read and more done than I normally do.   I also realize that I am on the computer almost the whole day at school.  Any computer use that was essential to my job, I still did.  What I realized is that when I am not with students, I am on the computer.  I'm either taking attendance, or creating new lessons, or inputting grades.  I didn't realize just how much time I am on the computer at school.  The problem is that our network is just so slow at school.  It is easily one of the most frustrating parts of my day.  It is such a mental drain to watch that little booting up signal and know that you can't teach class without the computer because you have to take attendance or get your powerpoint or check a grade.  My students begin chatting the minute the computer begins to boot up. 

On the negative side, I really, really missed my Facebook friends and the positive reinfocement I get from Facebook.  I have reconnected with people from various times in my life and I missed the "chat" factor.  I missed finding out what was going on in their lives.  I tell my students that the reason that I like facebook is because I am nosey.  I can get a little peak inside other people's lives.  I enjoy this and missed it over the week. I missed the connection I have with some of the people I don't get to see in person. 

Honestly, I missed playing Words with Friends too.  It's like playing 10 boards of Scrabble all at the same time.   

 Actually, on Wednesday we were ALL grumpy.  Normally, we would have all retreated to our media of choice and ignored each other.  But, we didn't.  We argued just a bit.  And I really, really wanted to whine on Facebook and have someone say that it was ok.  However, I didn't and I got through it.  I talked with some good work friends instead. 

Overall, we all learned that turning off the media is a good idea.  We got more exercise, more sleep, and were generally more connected to each other.  If we can only remember not to take out our grumpies on each other.  If only. We will most definitely do it again next year.  We are already talking about limiting the screen time on a regular basis.  Jan, Elliot, and Phoebe are playing Uno right now. Maybe we changed just a little bit over the week. I think I'll go join them.