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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Definitely A New Experience

Last night we held a Christian Passover Seder, an activity that Annalisse and her mentor planned for her confirmation project. I must say, it was a very different experience, and a very interesting one. Annalisse and Chris, her mentor who is also our next door neighbor, went shopping for the elements of the meal (an egg, bitter herbs [horseradish], green herbs [parsley], salt water, and Haroseth [a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine - we used Walldorf salad as a substitute]. Chris printed out the speaking parts for the ceremony, and I prepared "the paschal meal." For the meal I cooked a leg of lamb, a rice dish, and spinach. Chris brought a tossed salad and the Walldorf salad (which we used for the Haroseth). In addition to Chris, we invited our Associate Pastor and our neighbors Morey and Ann. There was wine and Matzoh all around, and we all participated in the speaking parts.

Next, Annalisse will create a PowerPoint presentation about the experience, as well as samples of the meal elements described above, to be presented to her confirmation peers at the end of the April. I think it's going to be a great success!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Final Explosion of Snow?

Last night the clouds belched forth what I hope will be the last snowfall of the winter. It's very pretty, and, in my opinion, tolerable, since the calendar tells me that spring has got to come one of these days. There are some visible signs of spring...Mr. & Mrs. Mallard are back and they've been hanging around Morey & Ann's cedar tree in their front yard. Last year they (or another set of mallards) roosted under that tree right next to their front porch, but Mrs. Mallard abandoned her eggs and they never hatched (or she abandoned them because they would never hatch?).

Oh well, we'll put up with it a little longer...do we have a choice?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back on the Market

Annalisse is single again. She's back on the market after Sawyer broke up with her today. According to him, his mother said they had "gone out long enough." That's a new one! She's not too heart broken - she's already got her eye on someone else. I hope this is not what the teenage years will be like for her...it's really okay to NOT have a boyfriend when you're 12! It does make for some funny stories, though!

Monday, March 24, 2008

If it's Spring...

...it must be time for a new template. Enjoy!

Annalisse Explains A Great Mystery of the Bible

According to Annalisse, the reason Jesus was able to walk on water was because of suction cups. Mystery solved!

Easter Weekend Recap

Whew! That weekend went way too fast! Start with a quick overnight trip up north to Massena, throw in all the regular weekend catch-up (laundry, shopping, vacuuming up the VOLUMES of dog hair that plague my house daily), Easter Sunday Church, Easter dinner, a couple of walks, a trip to up the field, and you've got...Monday Morning.

The kids and I had a nice trip up to Massena. Even though it was quick (Mark couldn't go at the last minute because of work), I was able to visit my Aunt whose health has not been great, and my Uncle, whose also had a lot of health challenges in the last couple of years. I spent some time with my mother, took her out to dinner and dropped her off for a few hours at the slots (her favorite activity - I'm merely the ride...). My poor little town...between the recent downtown fire, empty store fronts, rampant unemployment, and aging relatives it bears little resemblance to the great Village I grew up in. Still, there are hints and reminders that flash back to me with every visit. Massena always reminds me of the Simon and Garfunkel song, My Little Town (one of my faves of theirs). I've been really luck to live the majority of my life in two towns. I think the reason we chose Fairport is that I wanted my kids to have the experience of growing up in a village, just like I did.

Oh well, Monday morning and back to the grind!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Welcome Spring

Finally you have returned, old friend!


Happy birthday to Mom Shiao!!

Jasper's Treasures

The scene you are looking at (in case you can't make it out) is Jasper's stick collection by our side door. EVERY SINGLE WALK, he needs to tote at least one stick or piece of bark for the entire time, gently laying it down in his pile before we enter the house (most of the time he doesn't even need to be told to "drop it"). It looks like it's about that time to haul the pile out to the road again.

A Stick, a Stick, my Kingdom for a Stick.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Keep It in Your Pants, Boys (and Girls)

Hot on the heels of the downfall of New York's Governor Spitzer for a nasty high-priced prostitution habit (you'd have to live under a rock to not hear about that one), comes news that the NEW Governor Patterson and his wife have engaged in several extra-marital affairs between them. WHHHAAATTT??? While not quite as elicit as hiring a prostitute, meeting up with another man in a bathroom stall on the interstate, picking up an intern, or hooking up with Marilyn Monroe, it's still makes you wonder what these people are thinking if they have an eye toward a high profile public office.

This, along with all the cheery news about the economy, health care, the credit crisis, and soaring gas prices really makes you want to head to the backwoods of Montana.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mrs. Hauser's Lament

"There's very little that happens in Middle School that the secretary does not know about..." lamented Mrs. Hauser, wrapping up a blockbuster weekend of Johanna Perrin Middle School's original play, "Much Ado About Middle School." Another year of acting has ended for Annalisse and her friends, and both nights were great performances, followed by hanging with the cast - first at Applebees on Friday night, then waiting up for her to get home from the cast party - keeping us up until midnight both nights (which was, of course, about three hours past my bedtime). I have one crabby kid on my hands as she struggles to get ready for church (the junior choir sings at the 8:30am service, and then, to add to her dismay, she has to acolyte at the 11am service). Not happy...I think it will take some kind of bribe to get her out the door this morning. Many thanks to family and friends who joined us for Annalisse's special nights!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Our New Bedroom

Our upstairs renovation is complete, and it looks AWESOME. We spent part of last night putting everything back together (the other part was an hour-and-a-half that I spent going from store to store in search of valances for Cameron's room; it turns out the color we chose is a pinky-tan and a little hard to match.). Here are the results from our bedroom. Pix of Cameron's room will follow once it looks presentable. Very cool!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Annalisse's Super Fantastic Bright and Shiny Week

Annalisse is having a great week. It started on Sunday with a full day of skiing, and will end on Saturday with the last performance of her play, "Much Ado About Middle School." The great in-between includes having two friends over to "hang" on Tuesday afternoon (a feat since she's been trying to get these two girls over for a while, but has had play practice every afternoon since the third week in December), and on Wednesday she found out she won a Principal's Recognition Award (her second one - she was awarded one last year as well). The weekend also promises much pre-teen fun as the cast will hang out at Friendly's after Friday's performance, and on Saturday they'll all groove at the cast party. Sunday...well let's just say everyone will be taking a nap in their newly painted/newly re-decorated bedrooms.

Monday, March 10, 2008

O March, You Cruel, Cruel Month

Everyone I've met today is officially sick of winter. I think this weekend's sleet & snow storm, topped off by frigid, biting winds tipped the scales and we are all definitely ready for Spring. Even though Spring is just 10 days away, it seems out of reach (as if teasing us), and I'm chilled to the bone and can't get warm. All thoughts of glorious future life in Vermont are fading away as I seek the warmth of distant beaches and sunshine. Curse You, O Cruel March.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bachelorette Pad

This weekend we began Phase I of the Great Upstairs Renovation as we emptied our room and Cameron's room, and we set up Annalisse in Cam's old room. She loves the results! With a new bed set and a funky lamp from Target, she's the happiest girl in the world. (And we all know that when Annalisse is happy, everyone is happy.)

Her "new" room is really cozy. It features beautiful stencilling done by the previous owner's mother, so we're determined to leave the room color and stencilling "as is" for as long as we can. The maroon grapes in the design and the maroon rug guided the comforter choice, and it looks really cute. One down, two to go!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Adventures in Sraping

This morning we met the day with a very thick covering of ice on our cars from what was supposed to be a very bad overnight ice storm (the weather people have not really been getting those devastating storms right this season...the precipitation just never adds up. Nonetheless, schools and churches began cancelling evening activities at 3pm yesterday. Not to be deterred by some hyped up weather reports, I went for a nice walk with the pup and was greeted only by a little sleet spitting out of the sky).

It took 20 minutes of scraping, chipping and cursing to make the car drivable (curses to that 12' aluminum boat that's taking up all the room in the garage...and the bikes...and the grill...and the dog crate...). It compels me to ask, what did we ever do before car defrosters? Discuss amongst yourselves...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Does he know it's winter?

In October, after a mild fall, we took Jasper swimming at Spring Lake Park for what we thought would probably be the last time until spring. BUT, we've visited the park at least four times since the new year and when we get to the water, he goes right in. The winter has also been mild, so I guess the rushing waters of the creek have never really frozen this year. I don't even think it registers with him how cold the water is...he just jumps in after the stick we throw, brings it back, and waits for it to be thrown again. An unfortunate side effect: it takes him a whole day to dry off (and that smell...!). We can't wait until it's actually warm(er) out to take him swimming every day!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

In Like a Lamb

Today is the first day of March. Spring is just 20 short days away (on the calendar anyway). March is in like a lamb with really mild temps that will make for a great trip up to the dog hill.

The house is very quiet this weekend. Annalisse is at the church's Winter Weekend (or Jesus Camp, as Cameron likes to call it), so it's just me and the boys. Cameron has a People to People meeting across town, then we're having one of Mark's co-workers over for dinner (spaghetti dinner with MY FAMOUS HOMEMADE SAUCE).

Some amusement for you: Annalisse has a boyfriend (she's been waiting a lllloooonnnnggg time - in kid years, anyway). They've been "going out" for three weeks, and "she just loves him so much." His name is Sawyer and anytime she talks about him she has to point out the fact that he's shorter than she is (actually, a pretty difficult thing to be seeing that she's head and shoulders shorter than her peers). I told her to stop emphasizing his height as it will probably give him a complex.

Off to begin my Saturday...