Saturday, September 13, 2008

"If you don't vote, you're a moron"

One of the few election videos you really should watch. Those if you with kids nearby, there are a few colorful words, but man, this clip is really, really funny.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't Compliment Hank

Beware of saying anything nice to my son.

Each evening Hank is anxious to show Joe how well his reading skills have improved throughout the day. Hank's face breaks out in a mile-wide grin when Dad says, "Hey, Hank, want to read me a book?" Hank dashes to a basket designated for library books or a near bookshelf and grabs something he's worked on that day, settles into Joe's lap, and reads away.

Last night this scene played out almost exactly as written above and later, when Hank read the final words, closed his book, and leaned back against Joe awaiting his praise, Joe enthusiastically hugged Hank and said, "Wow, Hank, that was such great reading!"

Hank grinned and, without missing a beat, came back with, "Dad, you smell like worms."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Election

You know the one I'm talking about. The election that is consuming news channels, the blogosphere, and much regular discourse in my life both with McCain people and Obama people. One thing everyone seems to agree on is what a crazy, eventful election it is.

I'm engaged now whereas I wasn't before. Was it the Palin pick that woke me up? Probably. Or maybe it's the constant inundation of election talk and wanting to be a part of it. Or maybe it was taking a wrong turn downtown last Friday and seeing McCain's motorcade drive by and then, later, seeing the McCain campaign's airplane. Whatever the reason, I am solidly in the McCain/Palin camp whereas a few weeks ago I vacillating between voting for McCain and abstaining.

Why? Again, I don't really know. Maybe it's because I've really started listening to Obama and every time I hear him talk about the programs he wants to implement a voice inside my head overtakes his and it screams, "Higher taxes, higher taxes, higher taxes!!!" I can't get one of his quotes from one of the Democrat debates out of my head when he was asked about the capital gains tax. Obama acknowledged the truth that lowering capital gains tax rates actually increases revenues but went on to say he was in favor of raising the rates, despite the decreased revenue, because it was "more fair."

I can't decide if I'm happy I'm engaged or not. Between the tabloid media coverage and the vitriolic blog posts on all sides I think I'd almost rather go back to not caring.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

First Soccer Game

I the suburb we live in, soccer is a way of life. Every soccer playing family (which has to be most of our community) has their Saturdays taken up with driving all over the village for various games with their various kids. The thought of giving up a perfectly good Saturday to watch kids play soccer has never appealed to me and, so, I never pressured Madeleine to rethink her decision to not play soccer after she decided she didn't want to. In past years I've patted myself on the back for this decision as I would sit in my living room on Saturday mornings while leisurely sipping my coffee and watching neighbors load their soccer playing kids into their minivans and station wagons and head off to various soccer fields around our town.

Well, Hank isn't Madeleine and Hank wants to play soccer. A lot. What was I supposed to do, say no because relaxing with coffee is more important? So today we loaded up our own minivan with our own various children and headed off to a soccer field in our town for a 9 a.m. game.

Here is Hank before we left. See the mile-wide grin? Hank has been asking since his practice Wednesday evening how many days until his game. The querying has been constant; Saturday morning couldn't come soon enough for the little bugger.

Once there, Hanker couldn't wait to get on the field and start playing. Here he is in action.

In Hank's league of Kindergardeners no score is kept, but Hank was well aware that he scored two goals for his team and he was quite proud of himself.

And the girls? They made a new friend and organized their own soccer game on the sidelines. OK, no. Madeleine's not exactly a sporty girl, so she didn't exactly play, but she did coach the little girls.

And my coffee? Eh, don't worry about me. I have a travel mug.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Elisabeth's Bag

People have often asked me what I do with Elisabeth while the big kids are being taught.  They understand, rightly so, that a loud, active 2.5 year old may not be the most peaceful companion while trying to teach a young boy to read or introducing a slightly older girl to the concept of diagraming a sentence.  

She does lots of things: plays in her room, plays in the living room, looks at books, or plays in the basement.  But most days she does this, right at the dining room table where the big kids are:

Yes, a bag of used workbooks, notebooks, and crayons that only appear during "school" time have proven again, just as it did last year, to keep the young girl happy and occupied for long chunks of time.