Betsy's 117th Birthday Party!

We have been so busy with fun stuff that I haven’t had a chance to blog about any of it!  Here’s something fun we did recently, though.  The girls took part in a Reader’s Theater production of “Betsy’s Birthday Party” for the Betsy-Tacy Society in honor of what would be Betsy’s (Maud Hart Lovelace) 117th birthday.  Victoria played Tacy and Annalee played Tib.

They had the most fabulous time!  There was a nice little crowd and they did a fantastic job!

They all had to dress in black and only had a few props to flesh out their characters if items came up in the play.  The play was adapted from the story in one of the Betsy and Tacy books (adapted by Daryl) and it was read by the cast in Betsy’s restored home.

Here’s some pics………

Getting ready ahead of time…


The cast!

 Having birthday cake and fun afterwards…


The girls became fast friends with “Betsy”

They all headed to Tacy’s house afterwards to make May baskets

 They had a great time and had a really magical day.

(Full disclosure, lest this sound too rosy and fabulous…  I had a rather miserable day and was very short-tempered by the end of it!  I was on little boy duty for hours during the rehearsals and developed an awful migraine.  Two different men made me feel bad and I was overwhelmed by the crowds and inability to move whenever I needed to do something.  The kids had a really wonderful time so I soldiered on, but I wasn’t too chipper by the end!  🙂  Afterwards, Daryl dropped me off alone at thrift store with some cash and told me he’d be back in a half hour.  Bless his heart, he knows exactly how to fix me.)

Our schedule this week:

Thursday: Jack’s birthday and party in town

Friday: Victoria’s birthday and May Day party in Mankato

Sunday:  Alex’s birthday in Iowa with Tiffany and gang

Yes, 3 birthdays this week.  Send strength.  🙂

Fourth Babies

You can always tell babies who are not the first or second of the family!

This was Alex the other day at the park.  He’s the speck at the top, hollering for someone to go to the bottom and catch him.

That’s a pretty big slide for a pretty small boy!

Next he’s going to want to borrow the car.  😉

Garden Lapbook Resources

I was perplexed to see that I had nearly 400 hits last week on a day that I didn’t post anything particularly amazing, so I went looking at my site meter to see if I could figure out why.  It turns out someone put up this great little page full of neat stuff to make a garden lapbook, and she listed my post about Victoria’s garden lapbook in her resources.

There’s a ton of neat stuff to use on a garden theme, even if you don’t do lapbooking — flower file folder games, a “how does your garden grow?” graph, a watering can shaped page to write garden poetry and lots more.

This may be just the thing to get us back into lapbooking, and the perfect way to fill a rainy Sunday.  🙂

Today's History

A few things that happened today in history, April 24:

In 1184 BC, the Grreks entered Troy by using the Trojan Horse…

In 1898, the US declared war on Spain…

and in 1800, John Adams approved $5000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of congress.” – the Library of Congress.

So, in honor of the day I say we read a book, visit a library, ride a horse, hide in something or declare war!

No, not that last one.  Perhaps make peace with somebody.  🙂

Or you could refresh your memory of the Trojan horse story here and watch a really cheesy video of it put on by some high school boys.  (Warning, contains lots of equally cheesy violence with fake swords and such!).

Well Then!

Yesterday I wrote on the Magical Childhood blog about Victoria nearing 11 and changing so drastically.  She is growing up so suddenly and changing so much.  It’s more than a bit unnerving!

So I went looking for normal development for 11 year-olds and found this handy dandy chart listing the physical, emotional, social, etc. development of these mysterious creatures, from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

It was all very sensible and helpful with references to muscular development and self consciousness and other changes to anticipate, with how to most effectively help the child with each change.  And then I got to this…

Normal Characteristics Suggested Behaviors for Effective Parenting
Is critical of adults and is obnoxious to live with. Be tolerant.

Well then!  It doesn’t get any clearer than that, does it?  😉

I told Victoria and she gave me one of those looks, but I swear I saw a grin.

More Fun Math Links

Here’s even more math games, links and fun.  My goal is to have the kids try one site or game each day and keep track of the ones they like.  That’s if their computer will EVER work.  Did I mention it only works when you haven’t had to run the furnace for 24 hours?  Good grief.  It’s like we’ve got it hooked up to a hamster wheel.  😉

Math Fun and Games

This site has a billion or so fabulous links to fun ways for kids to learn math, from ways to use food to cuisenaire rods to online games to tons more.  You could visit one a day and never run out of great stuff (well, if you’re flaky like me anyway and forget a lot of days….).  🙂

I can’t wait to explore some of the sites and print out the brownie forest skip counting game but we’re off to HS swimming.  I know where I’ll be wasting time online tonight!

There's a Lesson There Somewhere….

Actually, our [American] fourth-graders compare well on such global tests with, say, Singapore. But our high school kids really lag, which means that “the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers,” said McKinsey.

From this New York Times opinion piece about how American schools measure up internationally.  Thanks April!