Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And on a Lighter Note, Recent Exploits of the Boys

Kieran and the Seance

A few weeks ago we were hoping to host my friend and coworker, Nancie, for an evening when she came to Portland for a business trip. Kieran had planned to host a seance while Nancie was with us. Alas, she was too booked to get away from work activities to come hang out with us. At first, he decreed that the seance was cancelled...but later decided that the show must go on!

The crystal ball consisted of a grimy old rubber ball on top of a vase...and he located a menorah and some candles for atmosphere. He was the "contactor," as he called it, and the spirit was located under the table (Mike), who shook the table mysteriously and answered the contactor when called upon.

The scene was set...

The contactor at work...

Nicholas wasn't fooled (he kept looking under the table and saying "Daddy!") but Chris was terrified, as you can see from this photo...after I asked him to humor his brother...

Chris Plays Marimba

Chris had the great opportunity to take a 5-1/2-hour marimba workshop hosted by a nearby Lutheran church (where he attended bible school earlier this summer). He was the youngest kid in the class, and the instructors commented that his drumming really helped him pick up the marimba quickly! Although the night before he was moaning about spending 5-1/2 hours in the workshop, he loved it! They learned three songs and performed at both church services on Sunday morning. I was very impressed! He was extremely focused.

(He met a girl who goes to his future middle school, and she told him that the band is planning to go to Disneyland next year. Of course, he is thilled...and very excited about playing in the band. It was a tough decision, because 6th graders only get to have three semester electives--they take PE for 1 semester--and band is a year-long commitment and eats up two of their electives.)

I've always wanted to be in a marimba band!! Marimba runs in the family--my mom was a fantastic marimba player (she played a marimba similar to a wooden xylophone)until her marimba got out of tune and arthritis made it difficult for her to play. As a teenager, I enjoyed playing music with her and my sister (who played the flute). I miss those days of family music!

Chris warming up

More practicing

In action

Kieran's Money Tree and Big Splurge

In other Kieran news, tonight when I got home he was telling me about the money tree he has planted. He has located a spot outside where he plants all the pennies he finds, confident that they will grow into a money tree. He told Mike earlier today that when the money tree bears fruit, I won't have to go to work any more! Hooray!!

Here is Kieran in costume--
can't remember what he was supposed to be on this day!

A few months ago we began giving Kieran a small weekly allowance, and he has diligently saved his $ until he reached $10. The other day Mike took the kids to Target, and Kieran announced that he wanted to buy a Cinderella doll. Mike thought he was being a very enlightened father and said okay. When they were driving home, Chris asked Kieran (in that taunting brother way) why he bought a Cinderella doll for himself, and Kieran told him, "It's not for me! It's for Mara!" (Mara being the former classmate on which he has a crush). He's wrapped it up and it's sitting on the table waiting to be presented. Mike is a bit embarassed about this awkward situation, but I recall my sister saving up her hard-earned money to buy a "Free to Be You and Me" record for our beloved teacher, Mr. Sposito. For a child, nothing can match the feeling of being generous with one's own money. Kieran, while spunky and spirited and often moody, has a very generous heart at times!

Nicholas Growing Up Fast

Nicholas has been experiencing a complete language explosion. Odd for the third child, but he is the most early verbal child we have had. Every day it seems he comes up with several new words. Last Friday night we attended a birthday party of a boy whose birthday was Saturday--when we were singing "Happy Birthday" to him, all the kids threw in "tomorrow" after each line. As soon as the song was over, Nicholas piped up with, very clearly, "TOMORROW!" And he said it over and over and over again, prompted by the kids of course. He looked very pleased with himself.

One of my favorite spontaneous language memories for him was one day in church during the passing of the peace, when he suddenly said to his brother, "Peace, bubba!" He also loves to give his brothers hugs at bedtime and say "Night, night, bubba!"

His favorite things in the whole world are fire trucks, balls, and Teletubbies, but he also likes Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. Today he's been carrying around two Thomas engines and two figurines of Bob and Wendy...and he fell asleep clutching the engines. I ordered him a t-ball set online and it just arrived today, and he and Kieran were delighted to try it out before dinner this evening. I have a feeling we'll be trying t-ball with one or both of them!

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