Sunday, November 29, 2009

Alison's 1st Poem

Alison got assigned her 1st poem in school the other day. It might be the proud parent in me, but I have to say that I was quite impressed with the results...

"Where could it be? Where could it be?
If Mom finds out, she'll totally kill me!
Could it be inside, could it be outside?
Well I don't know, why should I even try?
Is it near or far? Is it here or there?
Is it even anywhere?
Oh! There it is on my bed!
I don't want to lose my dog again!"

Not bad! Maybe we have the next Emily Dickinson or Maya Angelou on our hands. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things...

I got home from work yesterday and this very cute handmade turkey was laying on the kitchen table for me to see. Aidan made it in art class. Each feather on the turkey had something that he was thankful for.

(click the pics to make them bigger)

I immediately thought, "Oh what a cute idea!" So, of course, I began to read what he was thankful for...

..."America" and "God". Both wonderful things to be thankful for! "He is so smart!", I thought to myself. So, I kept reading....

..."School"... "Family"... At this point, I'm thinking my son is a genius! What other 6 year old thinks of these things to be thankful for?! I proudly read the last feather.... it says "Bathrooms".

Ah, there he is. There's the boy I know & love! I guess when you gotta go, you really want a bathroom around, right? LOL I should've known he couldn't get through a classroom assignment without being silly. After all, this is the same child who, when asked to introduce himself to his Kindergarten class last year by stating his name & something about him, proudly stands up & says, "Hi. My name is Aidan & I like butts."

He keeps us laughing, that's for sure! :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giving Back

My son, Aidan, joined Cub Scouts this year. So far, he absolutely loves it! We meet every other week for our Den meetings, and we always do fun things: taking nature walks and making "moon men" out of paper & clay. Then, once a month we have our Pack meetings, where the really cool things happen! We've had a presentation from the Wild Bird Sanctuary, a magician, and a homemade rocketship race called the Space Derby. (That was Aidan's favorite so far!)

This month, our Pack focused on giving back to the community. This is such an important message to teach our children; give to the less fortunate, especially in these economic times when so many people are out of work, and families are living paycheck to paycheck, literally counting pennies.

Each year, the Boy Scouts of America has their "Scouting for Food" food drive, and we got to participate. I never realized how much work is involved in a community project of this caliber! Last week, Jeff & Aidan went door to door, hanging those plastic bags on doorknobs, and this week Aidan & I went back through the neighborhood & collected the donations. After everyone's car was literally loaded to the max with food, we had to sort it all out by cans & dry goods. Ten cans to a plastic bag.. we recieved over 460 bags! That's right- over FOUR THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED cans of food! Plus another SIXTY cardboard boxes of various sizes piled high with dry goods: anything from peanut butter to Spam to biscotti! It took us about three hours of collecting, packing, sorting, carrying, loading and finally driving all the food to the food pantry to be donated. Loads of work (literally!), but I'm so glad I got to be involved in this type of project. To know that all your hard work will help a needy family this winter makes all those back aches & leg cramps completely worth it! And to top it off, Aidan never complained once. Oh sure, he would've liked to have been playing on the monkey bars while we were unloading everything at the school, but when I reminded him that we were helping the community (or as he called it, the "poor people"), he dove right in with all the innocent enthusiasm only a child has.

I've attached some pics to show our contribution to this wonderful cause.

(Loading a plastic bag with cans)

(Some of the bags were a bit heavy for him, but he tried!)

(10 cans to a bag, 50 bags in a line, 500 cans per line)

(Here are all the Scouts who participated. Aidan is the 2nd from far right; against the wall.)

(Finishing off the day with the Pledge; I love that the little guy on the right is saluting with the wrong hand!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Do You Remember The Time...?

As far back as I can remember, I've loved Michael Jackson. I was only 5 years old when the album Thriller was released, in 1982. My sister, April, and her friend, Donna, would sit in the room that we shared and play that album over & over & over. I remember playing "house" with them (I always had to be the dog) or "office" (then, I was the obedient secretary) for hours. But no matter the game, the background music was almost always the Thriller album. I remember listening to Human Nature, PYT, Billie Jean & Beat It, memorizing all the lyrics even at that young age & singing into a hairbrush, just like my older sister & her friend. But, when the record would finally roll around to the song Thriller, I was absolutely terrified! That evil laugh at the end was the stuff of nightmares to my pre-school age self! I would run & hide in the other room, most of the time finding Mom or Dad to cower behind until I heard the yell from down the hall that it was safe to return. The game would then carry on with You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' or The Girl Is Mine. I think they often would skip to Thriller just to get me out of the room (or game) when I was being particularly annoying. LOL

As I grew older, my love affair with MJ's music continued. All through the Bad phase: the zippered jackets (my cousin, Matt, actually had one & I was sooo incredibly jealous!), that cute, curly hair and those cool, black loafers. By this time, I was crafty enough to have found a way to climb onto the roof of our house. First: put in the Bad cassette and blast it! Next: step on the water faucet outside, pull myself up to the top of the small laundry room, slide under the highline wires (oh yes, I did!), and voila- the top of the house. This was my stage, and I was Michael Jackson. I moonwalked all over the top of that house... when my parents were at work, that is. I did my best dancing to The Way You Make Me Feel (still one of my favorite MJ songs to this day), Dirty Diana and Smooth Criminal. I was nine yrs old by now and I knew that I was going to be a dancer for Michael Jackson when I grew up. That remained my dream all throughout the rest of elementary school, junior high (the Dangerous album) and high school (the HIStory album). I would watch a video or performance on TV, record it, and study it. I mean, absolutely & wholeheartedly STUDY it. Every nuance, every flick of the wrist, pop of the chin, step of the foot.. I would study it until I could do it. I spent hours upon hours in my room staring at his image, his beats in my head, repeating his every move.

Fast forward to June 25, 2009. I will forever remember this day, not only because it's the day that MJ left us, but because it was Day 1 on mine & Jeff's 10 year anniversary trip to Key West, which we celebrated with friends. I was riding caravan on Highway 1 with 7 other people, just leaving Key Largo. My sister called to tell me the news. I was in total shock. Stunned. Speechless. I kept thinking, "Is this real? Is he really dead? How can that be?" Tears filled my eyes as I told Jeff. From the seat behind me, he leaned up and rubbed my shoulder, then quietly held my hand as I absorbed the news. He had never really been a fan, but he understood that I was. For the rest of the trip to our hotel, all those childhood memories filled my head, one after another. I mourned him, and I mourned that piece of my childhood, now forever gone.

I am no longer scared of a menacing laugh. I no longer climb onto rooftops or sing into hairbrushes. My dream of dancing with Michael never became a reality. But, I can still do all those dances. I still remember all the words. I will share his music, his genius & his legacy with my children, because I will always love Michael Jackson.

Rest In Peace, Michael.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Testing 1 2 3

Just seeing if this thing works.....