Monday, February 10, 2014

Five Great Things

24 hours before a tea party!

Designing a mask for Winter Formal.

Maybe not five good things. Maybe a lot more. We had a very full weekend. Rather than revisit my moments of distress, feeling utterly nuts for loading so many activities and events over three days, I will breath a sigh of relief, and acknowledge that it really was worthwhile, and brimming with goodness. I hosted a dinner evening with friends, then Geoff took the children to see the late premiere of The Lego Movie. Geoff made it into the office at some point, then home to do all kinds of favors for me. There was Winter Formal, corsage and mask making for Alex, on top of a lot of homework. Max had homework, too. And I committed everyone, especially William and Geoff, to volunteering at the school farm Sunday morning, followed by a tea party back home. Alright, written down it doesn't sound so bad, but believe me, we were overbooked, and looking a bit frayed. There were (long, pained) moments when I questioned my sanity, and felt like a big loser, and I only mention this to emphasize how well things really turned out, in the end, with an extra push, generous friends, thoughtful family, and my willingness to surrender to the twists and turns that make life a wild ride! How about some more pictures, already?

Bambi asked Alex to Winter Formal, a masquerade.

Last weekend they were plastering each others faces and making their masks. Alex built an infinity mirror into a mouth piece of his mask. He added LEDs, which changed color, and Geoff was able to program them to move. Net effect: Cool, creepy, amazing! He also made a special corsage for Bambi, who loves bats. She's something of a Chiropterologist, actually. And yes, the vial is lit, with another LED.

(I can't think what to say here, because I'm emotionally overcome. These two are a joy. A sweet, sweet joy.)

All lined up, so we can flash them with our cameras, and gush over them.

Bambi and Alex, perfectly suited for a masked ball!

All that mask making and Calculus homework, and Geoff in crunch-mode at work, and us planning to spend Sunday working on re-tuning a chicken coop at the school farm? Perfect time to add a tea party and try my hand at pressing linens, right? I am laughing at myself, now.

Naturally, there was no better place, in the whole house, for Foo to curl up than the on top of the tablecloth I finished ironing. And remember, the table is covered in paints, tools, and parts… but by the time we came back from dropping off Alex and Bambi at the meet-up spot, we came home to a clean table! William and Alex stepped right in to help their brother, and me. And for their good deed, I rewarded them with an early wake-up call to go work at the farm!

This coop still hasn't seen a chicken, but it will soon. It needs upgrades, and security measures, so that everyone can enjoy peace of mind about chickens living next to an open canyon. Hardware cloth, and new doors, a new roof, and other finishing touches are in the works. We are so happy to have had this chance to pitch-in where our friends Mim, and Camille, have been working so hard to bring green education to our schools and community. I like to think Lady Betty Orpington would approve of this effort.

Shy, quiet, and a very good worker. I feel bad, because I know I put Max in challenging situations, but it makes me proud to see him rise to the occasion, and he's well skilled, in so many areas.

William has really taken to carpentry. Ever since he and Geoff built the barn, he has been eager and plenty willing to take on more construction projects. I see a few more weekends with this chicken coop. And while they measure and cut, I will be happy pulling weeds.

Wholly guacamole, this a long post! No successful, self-respecting blogger would ever write about domestic perils, anxiety, formal dances, mask making, Chiropterology, chicken coops, tea parties, infinity mirrors, and curry chicken salad in one post, or even in the same blog. Time for tea!

Out of our denims and work boots, and into velvet and china cups!

When Beckie, Liz, and Kai arrived early, I hope I didn't disappoint them with my panicked reaction, because they are the perfect ones to come early… they dismissed all my embarrassment and apologies, and put themselves straight to work. And honestly, everything was lovelier and cleaner, and better prepared thanks to them.

These are the much appreciated baked puffs Beckie brought, and she filled them with curry chicken. Liz brought gorgeous scones, and all through the party I was hearing the love and appreciation for these two dishes.

Scones with raspberry preserves. Scones with cream. And Michael, with his warm and beautiful smile.

I asked everyone to bring tea… especially their favorite tea. Ulterior motives? Yes, I really want to find a tea to fall in love with. My clever plan was highly successful!

Have you noticed? Someone, let's call him Michal, got hold of my camera and kindly thought to include me in some pictures.

William got to share his flintlock pistol. I will never be able to do it justice, describing how amazing this creation of his is… he's teaching himself such remarkable skills, and has persevered, through hoops, over hurdles, to make this reproduction. It's a beautiful piece of art.

Alex spent about 90% of his day writing essays and completing endless math equations. He had a lot on his plate. (He just called me from school, and his test went well, and his hard work is paying off. It was so nice to hear a bit of relief in his voice.) When he poked his head in for a moment, I begged him to share his mask.

I love that Aunt Liz tried it on. Alex kept a controller in his pocket, and he could change the colors and motions with a flip of the switch.

Beckie, and Me, Maria, Liz and Kai~

One more, because it's a funny capture of our wild ride!

Good Things? That's easy…

1. Family

2. Friends

3. God's work. Our hands. Working together to make the good things happen.

4. Making.

5. Not giving up. Not surrendering.

Please, I love for you to share your good things.


Anna Banana said...

1. The unknown truth that makes the unexpected happen (surprise!).
2. Growing things.
3. Circle of life.
4. Circle of like.
5. The pause between the in breath and the out breath.

Kim said...

This week they were…
-Refreshing rainstorms
-Visits from Grandma
-Fun at the carnival
-A date night with Joe
-Delicious local Mochi Ice-cream

P.S. I love your very real, full & full of variety, life. I'm so glad that you share it with us!

judy in ky said...

You have the greatest kids! I'll bet that tablecloth you had just ironed was warm. I see so many more than five great things in this post.