Friday, September 30, 2011

Crafts for the AGD girls

Meggar made these "Smartie Pants" for the AGD girls living in her dorm and hung them on doors the first week of class.  So cute!  I forgot to post them in August.  But I'm looking forward to visiting her on campus this afternoon.
And I'm feeling crafty.  I made key fobs for her and her suitemate in Red, Yellow, and Green!  With a little help from Damon and Captain's dremmel tool, they fit together nicely and easily.  And I think they will work great for her room key and piano practice key and car key--all of which I've seen hanging by loose pony-tail holders!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life Purpose and Class Ring

Dorito has gone back and forth all day between writing his "Life Purpose" paper for the Eagle Scout application and designing a class ring.  Think hard, dream a little -- think hard, dream a little...  He had a few too many run-on sentences at first. But his writing has improved over the years.  June birthstone is purple and he is still considering a future at K-State so that works out.  Is he already a Junior?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stress at Work

Captain is under a heavy load at work. Maybe he needs to work the "Boundaries" book instead of me?!?!  He flies his equal share, but he also tackles all the management and supervision and communication necessary for the seven employees in his department.  I think he will have to fire someone by the end of the week, which is difficult for a man whose been unemployed before and has a heart for families. But there is also a missing link called work ethic. It's already so lacking in our American culture that some people feel they are excused for never developing that habit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Hockey Game per Year

The NHL only comes to Kansas City once a year for a pre-season hockey game. My boys are psyched!  Captain has tickets in the Sprint Center/Herzog suite, where there's plenty of good food, drinks, and desserts.  (Polar Bear and Winger with friends Josh and Austin cheered for Malkin.)  The night was made even better when the Penguins won after the overtime period and a shootout! Captain said the most significant e part was watching post-game match-up of the KU v. MU hockey clubs (who are good, but looked SLOW by comparison to the professional players).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Twin Brother Saints

Legend has it these brothers were twins and charitable physicians.

As we celebrate their Feast Day today, we are mindful of the blessings that come our way by having twins in the family. Captain was picking up pucks from under the trash bins and remarking how often they play hockey together in the garage. I try to keep their arguments to a minimum lest they bicker like an old married couple: "Oh, twin?!" --- "What, honey?" (giggle) How appropriate that the Gospel reading today (from Luke 9:46-50) is about the disciples arguing who is the greatest amongst themselves. :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Classic Cars Never Go Out of Style

Dorito spotted this classy Suburban today. "Better than yours, Dad!"

Music in the Great Outdoors

The boys had a chance to play one fiddle tune each at a student recital today. Their new teacher (Nick Jarrett) arranged for an afternoon of outdoor music at the Red Barn Farm in Weston. Wonderful weather made the scenery and music even more beautiful!  Captain and I smiled together on the quilt while "The Fiddlers Three" played this final encore.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hanging Out with Meggar

Road-trip for Dorito and I to Columbia. We wanted to see Meggar, who needed a get-away. Fun times laughing and shopping and eating together. Good to stay grounded with family. We even wrote a new AGD song for the Homecoming serenades next week (Meggar is the AGD song leader and wanted something fun).  We adapted "Summer Loving" from the movie Grease to go like this...
Sig Tau loving, had me a blast--
Sig Tau loving, happened so fast!
I met a guy, crazy for me.
Met an AGD, cute as can be.
Homecoming fun, the Games have begun...
but uh-oh those Homecoming nights!
uh, well-a well-a well-a Huh!
Tell me more, tell me more --
Are they good at Lip Sync?
Tell me more, tell me more --
No, what do you think?!
(snap) shoo bop-bop, shoo bop-bop, shoo bop-bop, Yea...

Beautiful Weather for Yard Work

Our whole family took advantage of the nice weather yesterday to do an outdoor project. We planted three trees and three bushes outside. Plus we laid paper, edging bricks, and river rock to create a balanced landscaping on the right side of the front door to match the left side.  We also have grass in the entire front yard instead of mud. This feels like progress!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Computer Artwork from the Summer

Over the summer, I helped design a logo for a friend opening his own practice. And I created a business card and letterhead, too.  Since his office opened last week, I have pictures of the entrance signs to show off!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Illuminated Initials

Here are the finished projects of Winger (D) and nearly finished (B) by Polar Bear. Dorito hasn't finished his (R) yet. And I've misplaced mine (C) somewhere in the house.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Catholic Artwork at Co-op

The Catholic homeschoolers have started meeting once a month in St. Joe. 
I volunteered to do an art project for the older ones in grades 4-11. I had 7 students for this first class. Using a pencil, Sharpie, and colored pencils, we created "Illuminated initials." I showed them examples from the internet of Bible pages where the first letter of each chapter was a large decorative initial added by the medieval monks who were copying the manuscripts. Then, we each made an initial with our Christian name and added a border, plus Biblical characters and symbols around it.  Plus we added gold paint for gilding! Great results (more pictures coming soon). Here is a link to print your own Illuminated Initials at home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's a Boy's Life

Learning about cars...  Dorito managed to get his oil changed, and buy new windshield wipers, and install them himself. He let the twins ride along and that made their day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Three Good Things

Not bad for a Monday.
1. We finished "Iron Thunder" --our read aloud was an exciting story of the Civil War battle between the Merrimac and the Monitor.
2. Akemi sent tea towels from Tokyo (we did a high school exchange) that have pretty pink cherry blossoms on them for my birthday.
3. I noticed Elizabeth Foss wears the SAME sunglasses as I do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taking A Break

We went to St. James for mass today--first time in a month. And I didn't play the organ. A few people were brave enough to ask, and I simply said, "I am taking a break." (Just so you know, we still went to mass the intervening weeks.) I had played the organ for every Friday school mass and feast day plus more than half of the 8:00 Sunday services all this year. That's a lot, for a volunteer. My family wanted me to sit in the pews instead and sing with them, and hold their hands, and pray side by side.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Please Don't Throw the Water Bottles

I know my boys aren't perfect angels in the locker room. But every year, I get fed up and write an email to the parents. It always gets better after I speak up.
Dear Russell Stovers '97 team --
Because we all practice together occasionally, I have two friendly suggestions:
1. Don't break any more water bottles or your son will need to replace them. 
Schmids are happy to wash, bring, and fill a dozen Gatorade bottles every week to practice, but we are down to 6 because of "carelessness," so please ask your son to stop goofing off and throwing them, etc.
2. Buy YOUR OWN hockey tape.  
We buy in bulk from Howie's Hockey Tape. Only costs $2.50 per roll. There are 30 rolls in a box and you can select a mixture of tapes. Click on this link to order--otherwise you can buy direct from the Schmids in the locker room for $3 per roll, which is the same price you pay at the counter.
Happy Hockey!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Twin Fiddles That are Full Size

We tried to make them wait for 8th grade graduation (same as we did for Dorito) since it is such an inve$tment. But the twins had REALLY outgrown their 3/4 size violins. So, we shopped a little bit in Minneapolis, and we looked at a few on CraigsList.  Then yesterday Captain had the afternoon off work, so we went to KC Strings Violin Shoppe and browsed their 50-some instruments. Eventually we picked out the only two "antique" ones they had on the shelf! We like the richer sound and the interesting history of an older violin. We even talked to the head lutier (violin maker) who invited us back for a tour. Winger chose right away--a light-oak violin from Germany made by the Anton Schroetter company from Mittenwald, which has been famous for the manufacture of violins since 1930s. PolarBear took longer and finally picked a darker-wood violin from the turn of the century, also German-made. Both boys decided on black cases with burgundy velvet interior, plus new pernambuco wood bows, and new gold-label rosin. We're all set for a new teacher next week! Note: Ben wanted to hold his new violin/friend during read-aloud time after lunch :-)  ALSO: I was very pleased when the salesman took $800 off our buying-in-bulk upgrade.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Royals For Fundraiser

The weather was chilly, but the Royals were winning. Captain got the Herzog seats for us to enjoy a bit of the game. Afterward we passed out the "Ink" newspaper as a fundraiser for the twins' hockey team. Anything we can do as a family seems less like "work." And I am noticing that family time builds up all of us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Peek Inside Recruitment

Meggar is still tired from last week/weekend's rush activities for her sorority. Here's a peek --

Jean skirts and flip flops (open party)...

Red sweaters with black pencil skirts (invite party)...

Little Sister Ellen is new AGD pledge. (Nice Catholic girl, also a sophomore.) Meggar supposedly did a fine job as song leader and piano accompanist at all 12 AGD parties.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scout Meeting and Awards

Yesterday was the quarterly Scout pot-luck supper and Court of Honor.  Dorito was in charge of the Mic-o-Say dancers and participated in the "Dance of the Eagle." I've included this side shot and...

...a back photo so you can see all the work Dorito has done on his tribal costume. He made both bustles by himself: all those feathers, hackles, beads, ribbons, and duct tape. Except I sewed his leather leggings with the gold and black fringe (last summer). He is proud of his costume, and rightly so!
PolarBear and Winger were also proud--advancing to First Class Scouts! They have many new badges from summer camp, and I have three Mother's Necklaces full of shiny pins.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Birthday Girl

For my birthday, I was spoiled with: perfume, wallet, scarf, and a Vera Bradley blank book, plus a poster from Aunt Lois, a garden flag, Victoria magazine, photo album, and a gourmet German Chocolate Cake from the caterer.
But best present of all -- an answer to my prayer: Meggar got a Catholic little sister in AGD!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Twins Start Hockey Season Early

It seems too early for hockey games. But at least the Dallas Stars met us in Wichita this weekend (halfway between both teams). The twins were more than a bit nervous, because Dallas was ranked #7 last year and we were only ranked #17. But our Russell Stovers team has several new players (good) who haven't practiced together much yet (bad). They took the ice like a storm--wow! Fast-paced games. Polar Bear  #9 scored the first goal of the first game in the first 8 seconds. And the excitement never let up. We won one game, lost one game, and tied the final game today. Great job by Winger #12, who won almost all his face offs! Polar Bear was leading scorer with 3 of 11 goals. All our relatives came to watch on Saturday, so that made the twins feel even better! I took a few photos of the middle game, because I like their red jerseys better than the white ones.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

State Fair

Dorito went to the State Fair today for the B.E.S.T. Robotics workshop (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology).  They didn't take a yellow school bus (!) but he got to know his instructor and teammates better during the 2-hour drive in Hillyard School vans.  The state-wide workshop presented the rules for this year's robot competitions, and supply packets were  given out to each school.  Maybe I'll learn more from Mr. Sharp at the Open House next month... My sons only said a few things, such as how good the lunch buffet was that they included.

Friday, September 9, 2011

She's a (Radio) Pro

We are gathered around the computer at home this afternoon listening to Meggar's first radio broadcast!  Every Friday at 4:00 pm, she hosts "Undiscovered Harmonies" on the Truman State University station -- 88.7 FM.  Because we live 3 hour's away, it is only accessible through live streaming off The TRU Edge website (by clicking on the red button on upper right side). P.S. Here's a look at the professional in the studio!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Virgin Mary's Birthday

Perhaps cupcakes with blue frosting today?! That's what Meggar used to make with the nuns. Today is also the birthday of Fr. Ed, who married us. Both reasons make me grateful to God and happy inside.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hardest Class of All

Dorito said all the other boys at Hillyard agree that Electronics is the hardest course. He will take the safety exam tomorrow for the third time. (His teacher requires the entire class to score 100% before they can move on.) Tough! but worth it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the Library

Don't you love it when you need a resource and walk right up to your library and find it?  I did just that!  In my basement library, I mean. It's not terribly clever or large as the public library. Not a beautiful room of mahogany shelves like Victorian mansions have. Plain wooden shelves. Mosly overstuffed. And "chronological" is a loose term. But I like the system I have--for example: all the art books are on one shelf. When I reached for the Winslow Homer book, it was there. And it had the large print of "Snap the Whip" from 1872 tucked inside (as it should, but you never know). So I grabbed it to take to the Questors meeting tomorrow. I am giving a powerpoint in hopes of gaining their financial support for the PX One-room Schoolhouse.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor of Love for Crafty Mother

It started over the summer. Meggar looked online at Greek gift stores to find sorority-themed presents, but they seemed so expensive. We decided to use their ideas and make some ourselves. This week begins Recruitment, and Meggar will adopt a Little Sister on bid day. She won't even know the girl until Sept. 12, but she already has made: dorm-door poster with scrapbookish touches, an AGD songbook, AGD scrapbook, acorn necklace, wooden door plaque, personalized flip flops, picture frame, water bottle and red earrings. She also bought several cute items in red, yellow, and green.  Best of all is this black headband--made with iron-on letters cut from pink polka-dot fabric.  They were so easy! So Meggar asked permission to sell them for $5 each to all the girls in AGD as a fundraiser for their Homecoming Philanthropy.  She took nearly 40 orders in the first two days since she put it on Facebook! We spent Labor Day laboring over the ironing board.

Golf Balls

The bad news is that Dorito has to work on Labor Day.  The good news is he always brings home 2-3 Titleist Pro-V 1 golf balls from the far edges of the driving range.

P.S.  He also squeezed in nine holes of golf with his Dad to take advantage of the free cart and beautiful weather! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fly In

Captain flew over to Kirksville to bring Meggar home for the long weekend! What a joy having her at home! She is asking for her friends to get a ride around the pattern on their return flight tomorrow :-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jazz Trio

A saxophone player, pianist, and bass player performed jazz favorites to a packed audience. On the first Thursday of the month, we like to attend the Downtown Noon Concert. They said this is their 13th season, and I suppose we have been going all 13 years--since Meggar was in 2nd grade. We don't go every single time, but always enjoy ourselves when we do. Live music for donations only + take along lunch = perfect.

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Day of School

Although we started homeschooling two weeks ago, I am just now taking the first day of school pictures.  (Last year, I didn't take any at all!)  My kids are holding up fingers to show what grade they are in.

Polar Bear is an 8th grader (green pencils)

Winger is also an 8th grader (doesn't like his orange pencils engraved with his name -- for some reason)
And Dorito is an 11th grader.
They also made their own name tags this week, which are helpful since we switch seating assignments every year.  I supplied the ideas and the scrapbooking stickers...  which works out well since I don't scrapbook.
Polar Bear collects all things "Ben Franklin" as you can see on his desk.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Maddening Increase

Can we blame NetFlix for wanting to make more money?  I was shocked about their proposal to double the monthly cost of my subscription (unlimited streaming plus 1 DVD at a time all month).  So we had to choose, and we are sticking with internet streaming.  Most of the movies we want eventually show up as "Watch Instantly" choices.  I prefer the non-new releases, classics, and indy films anyway.  Plus, I figure we can go to Red Box seven times per month if we need a quick movie fix and still pay less than the new higher rates for NetFlix.