I realized today that all of the pre-k activity books that Ollie is doing, like ones that have him match items, connect the dots, practice letters, etc, have answer pages. Hilarious. In case, I am not sure which item starts with B, or what a traced version of a C looks like, they have it clearly marked in the back of the book. Just in case.
The most simple, yet profound way to save the earth and minimize our impact on the environment. I feel like most Internet advocates of saving the environment get caught up in product review, and though I agree that smart purchases are an integral part of small foot prints, I am underwhelmed by advice about which product is best. I am feeling disgruntled as I know that our family is not doing everything we can to be good stewards of the land, but every energy saving tip that I've heard, we already do. I always get excited when I see a list of things you can do to save the world, and then I realize that there isn't really anything new on them. We will continue to make major changes as our budget allows, like better insulating a couple of windows that aren't new in our house and purchasing a hybrid car or better yet (when I convince the hubby to change) one that runs on pure french fry grease. In essence, I know voting with your dollar is important, but, simply put, buying more in no way helps the environment, even if it is buying smarter.
On that random note, Nader through his hat in the political ring again today. I love his stamina and dedication to his message. I saw him speak once when I was in college, and I've liked him ever since.
So this week, I am sneaking my thermostat even lower. I was proud that we were keeping it at 68, and turning it off or like 50ish when we go out of town. Come to find out, that really isn't low at all! I think that I am going to turn it down by one degree every couple of days until my family senses something's up. So we are at a steady 67 now. Someone is home all day and practically up all night, plus baby can't be covered in blankets yet, so well leave it at that for the time being. We are installing a purple martin house this week, too as we prepare for Spring, yay!
On the flip side, Ollie's new fascination is Monster Trucks. Evan took him to a rally this weekend as part of a birthday celebration. I am sure the trucks weren't running on french fry grease, but they had a great time, non-the less. I am not entirely sure where Ollie heard about them, but, we'll live through this stage, I am sure. No way in H.E. double hockey sticks is the kid driving one of those enormoous things when he is a teenager, so he better get through it soon. He'll be walking. Or maybe we'll spring for a dirt bike if he's good.
Yay! So, I have a little extra time during Sesame Street to catch you up on the best birthday party ever! Friday night, we welcomed Emo, Papaw, Ethan, and Daniel. Saturday was spent in a flurry of excitment preparing for The Pirate Party. I thought last year's crazy hat party was a hit, and it was, but this year was decidingly better. As the weather was warm, the party was outside which allowed the kids to run around like nuts without worried parents telling them "no" a thousand times. We walked the plank, tried to pin the eye patch on the pirate, played in the play house, swang on the tire swing, pulled ribbons off of a new fangled non-violent piñata filled with 5 pounds of candy (your welcome parents), and had a treasure hunt. The pin the eye patch on the pirate wasn't really age appropriate, and most to the kids just stared nervously at me during the whole thing, but the treasure hunt was a success with the help of my 8 year old nephew leading the pack. I crumpled up a torn paper bag, ran it under water, let it dry out, then sketched our back yard marking the treasure with an X of course. The treasure was a bag of goodies for each kid that included an eye patch, earring, and various other pieces of crap probably made in China (again, your welcome parents). I still thought it was fun. Ollie was showered with gifts and everyone had cake and ice-cream while wearing newspaper, spray painted pirate hats.
After the party guests de-parted all the family stayed on to drink from our new keg-o-rator (thanks tax man) which we purchased and rationalized as being infinately better for the environemt and cheaper than beer bottles. Never have I fed 15 adults and several children impromptu, and couldn't have without the help of my family. My mom, step-mom, dad, brother, nephew, nephew's mom, and Evan's people all ate to their hearts content from my kitchen. We had grilled chicken, squash casserole and crowder peas frozen fresh this summer, organic greens for a salad and dinner rolls. It was really a success, and I was happier than I have been in a long time to have a non-stressful, non-planned, unprecidented family gathering in my house. It was delightful.
(If you're still readin, phew, there's more). Sunday led us to Chuck E. Cheese where the kids were inidated with bells, whistles, more cake, and toys. A birthday weekend to the max! Pictures in upcoming episodes. (mom, email some!)
To follow in later episodes, but tonight as I am zonked from having a joyful household this weekend, I'd like to share with you what has brought a smile to my face throughout the day amongst a slew of ungrateful teenagers:
Showing off for grandparents (AKA-Emo and Papaw) we were getting Eli to do some of his tricks, saying "Where are your eyes?" "Where is your hair?" etc...
Ollie burst in with a "Where are your balls?"
Oh man, it was one of the moments where you aren't supposed to laugh, but my word. Thank goodness Eli didn't grab his crotch Andrew Dice Clay style. That would have been too much.
Welcome to 4 O-Ray. For a great tribute, see February from last year.