Friday, January 30, 2009

All the World's a Stage

It's showtime! Two weekends ago, Number One Son, performed in our local children's theatre production of the musical Hansel and Gretel. This was his third production and first one with a lead role. He and Gretel and the Witch each had over 250 lines to memorize. Needless to say, we are very proud of him. The girl who played Gretel is in N1S's fourth grade class and the girl who played the witch shared a first grade class with him. There were around fifty or so kids in the musical from second grade to fifth grade.
Here he is with one of his biggest fans. He met her during last year's play when he was in third grade and she was in fifth. It was nice of her to come back to give an extra whoo-hoo, with her friends, at N1S's curtain call. He ardently insists that she is not his girlfriend but he certainly made sure he got a picture with her.

Here are N1S's real number one fans. When N1S's director came down to visit with us, Sweet Pea informed her that she was going to be in next years play. Which is good since she knew most of N1S's and Gretel's lines from this play. I only had to tell her a few times to stop singing the songs with the cast during the performance.

I'm glad that N1S has found something that he enjoys and finds success in. He has tried, with limited success, sports teams and other groups, but he seems to fit in much easier on the stage. It's one place where his Asperger's quirkiness and a strong memory benefit him. Maybe it's because learning everyday personal interactions for him is like play acting. Peer interaction doesn't come natural to him and many times he has to memorize proper responses to common social events so perhaps some social situations seem like characters in a play to him. Whichever it is, I hope he continues to act and sing and entertain us for as long as he can.

Next year, with Sweet Pea in the cast as well, there may not be enough room on the stage for both of them. At least we know that they will be able to prompt one another, because I'm sure they will know each other's part by heart.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I'm sorry that I have been so absent lately from this blog, but I've had good reason. Two good reasons actually. Firstly, N1S performed in his play Hansel and Gretel and did a great job. Pictures and details will follow in the near future.
Then, right after his play weekend, Lady Di and I went on vacation.

This is the first time Lady Di and I have enjoyed a vacation away from the kids. Last Monday, we left Grandma and Grampa in charge and headed south to the Cayman Islands. We had a wonderful time and got to do a lot of things that we haven't in the past due to the kids' schedules. We also learned that we missed the kids terribly and will bring them with us when we go back. The whole time we were there, we would notice multiple things that would have interested the kids. When we got home we immediately had to wake up the kids to give them some long overdue hugs. It would be too difficult to be away from the kids for so long again.

So, we are still unpacking and downloading pictures so hopefully I will be able to post a few items soon. Your patience is appreciated.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pick Six

It's tagging time. LIAYF tagged me with an easy one this time. All I had to do was to go to My Pictures and find my sixth picture and post about it. LIAYF posted a cute pic of his son and I couldn't wait to see which one of my little angels was in our sixth picture. Our photography consists of 99% kids and 1% accidental shots where I blind myself with the flash.

Since our digital camera is about two years old, I was expecting a trip to the past to see how much our kids have changed in just two short years. And now, without further pomp and circumstance, for your enjoyment, our sixth picture. Drum roll please....brmbrmbrmbrmbrm....Ta Da!

As you can see, we took this picture when Number One Son was enrolled in his Hibachi class for second graders. Actually, October 14th is Lady Di and my anniversary date. We had taken the kids out to eat at our first Hibachi restaurant. I see from the picture that we ordered chicken, steak and vegetables. The onion slices look like they are ready for the chef to turn into a steaming volcano. It was a memorable anniversary because our chef enjoyed performing and making the kids laugh. The climax of the show was when the chef reached for a small wooden doll, that lowered it's pants when it's head was pressed, and sprayed out the flaming onion volcano.

Well, even though our sixth picture didn't have the kids in it, it still reminded me of the fun we had with them that day. I'm sure glad we took a picture of our food. I wonder what the chef thought.

The hardest part of these tags is deciding which people to pass the challenge on to. And since I am too lazy, I will let you decide if you want to do it or not. If you do, let me know and I will certainly visit. Go ahead, find your sixth pic tell us what you had to eat!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Remember That Christmas

I think we finally have finished all of our Christmas celebrating for this year. This may be remembered as the year that Christmas wouldn't end for our family. We started on the weekend before Christmas at Lady Di's parents home in northern Minnesota and ended on the weekend after New Year's at my folks' place in South Dakota. We've done a lot of driving, but thankfully, we hadn't had any blizzards to drive through.

This year will already be remembered by Number One Son as the Christmas of the Wii. Sweet Pea will probably agree, but her Easy Bake Oven is a close second. She is very excited to bake her first treat for her parents. She asked if she could bake something in the van on the drive home.
We definitely cut back on the Christmas presents this year. The kids got less than half of their usually number. But they didn't seem to mind. We didn't hear any complaining. Perhaps the Wii made up for it. Or perhaps, presents aren't what are really remembered from year to year. Family dinners, sledding and snowboarding, going to church and other family oriented activities will be remembered long after the toy batteries die.

I will remember this year for Lady Di running in her first 5k race on Thanksgiving. It was also SP's first year to hold her own lit candle at our church's candlelight service. I'll also remember N1S playing three Christmas piano pieces for his elementary's assembly.

These memories mean more to me and that's probably why they will stay with me for many Christmases to come. I hope to add many more of these kind of activities to our memories. I think de-emphasizing the importance of gifts will help strengthen our holiday spirit.

But I guess I probably will remember this year for Guitar Hero too, for a few months anyway.

Merry Christmas from SP, N1S and the SD Cousins

And here is a Christmas leftover. Every Christmas Eve we read The Night Before Christmas as a family before bedtime. Since Sweet Pea has become such a strong reader, we let her read it this year. Everything was going great until she read the line, 'And laying a finger inside of his nose,'. The rest of us started to snicker which upset SP so she didn't want to finish the story. We finally convinced her that we weren't laughing at her reading and she finished. But I think we have another Christmas memory.

Stuff About Me

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.