Saturday, May 24, 2014

Road Rally

Every spring Will Gilman, owner of Will's Store (our favorite Creamee spot!) thinks up a scavenger hunt that lasts all day and takes you halfway around the state as a fundraiser for the Little League program.  As a young man, Will was in a terrible motorcycle accident that left him a paraplegic but has never stopped him from being involved in town organizations, collecting the coolest local memorabelia, owning a successful business, being a history buff, card shark, bee liner and all-around amazing person.    

After picking up our first sheet of clues and joining the long line of nearly eighty different vehicles trying their luck, we were let out of the parking lot 2 minutes apart and off on a six hour journey that twisted us up on every back road we'd never seen before!  

The point was to get the least mileage while following the clues and looking for the bonus objects.  At every intersection there would be a clue on our sheet telling us which way to go.  Some were in code, some were limericks, some required knowledge of people, places and things from long ago.  We brought with us: a dictionary, encyclopedia, gazetteer and lots of snacks.

We ended up only making one tiny, two mile mistake and had a terrific day, clocking in a total of 74 miles, which wasn't too shabby.  We met up with friends part-way through and worked together to decipher the instructions.  Every single one of us either spotted a clue or figured out a tricky riddle.  We spent a lot of time standing around at road forks, arguing about Johnny Appleseed's real name or something of that nature.  Teamwork was the necessary component and all the kids LOVED it!  After a wonderful time for a good cause, we're looking forward to making the Road Rally an annual family tradition.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Spring Concert

Ira and Av, resplendent in seersucker suit and salwar kameez, ready to take the stage and sing songs about wacky animals.  I always look forward to these concerts for the laughter we doting parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles try to suppress as we watch our kids perform.  The first grader's numbers had lots of delayed hand motions and off-key shouting and was so adorable you could hardly stand it.  Even though my parents were seated a good distance behind us, I could hear my father choke down a belly laugh.  Ridiculously cute, these little people. 
These guys are such good buds.  Eli, of course, was really annoyed when he saw his best friend was not forced by HIS evil mother to wear a tie.
The rest of my photos aren't sharp because I decided that for once, I wouldn't be that obnoxious mother  crawling around up front, trying to get the perfect shot and driving everyone bonkers, the way I usually do at these things.  No, I actually made myself stay in my chair and take blurry pictures from there, like a normal person.
We are counting down the days until vacation!  Less than a month to go and everybody has a full-blown case of Summeritis already!  The Spring Concert always benchmarks the beginning of the end, a signal that the school years is starting to wrap up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baby Maeve

It's been about a year since we lost our beloved Captain Burdock and the boys have asked for another dog if not daily, weekly.  My friend, Amy, fosters rescue dogs and her family test drives them for issues before they are placed in homes.  I always see the pictures of adult dogs available on her facebook page and lately, we have been considering them, weighing the pros and cons of each dog that comes through the program.  It wasn't until this week though, that the perfect fit for us came through.  Maeve is a Newfie/Great Pyrenees cross and will be big as a house.  (Not sure if THAT is a great idea, but with all her other wonderful attributes, we'll take it!)  She's already, at not even ten weeks old, the most intelligent, beautiful and affectionate dog I've ever seen.  She's full of sassy personality when you want to play and when you're working, she's mellow and resting under your feet.  She's coming when called, fetching, almost totally housebroken, sleeps all night without a peep, and she bonded with the boys immediately.  We are smitten.  Eli is overjoyed and Ira might be a wee bit jealous of the attention she's getting, but loves her anyway.  So, here we go again - another round of puppy adventures.  And then the ducklings arrive next week.    

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Kendra

My best friend is basically the greatest, coolest person on earth.  We've been friends since we were ten or eleven and no matter what, she's there for me, still.  Through nerdy glasses and tricky stuff, through crappy times and good, and giant life changes, she's had the bulk of my cry-baby snot on her shoulders over the years.  We've eaten a lot of cheese and shared a lot of secrets.  Beautiful, talented, brilliant, funny, strong, empathetic, yet actually might kill you with snarkiness if you wake her up too early, here's to many more wonderful years of Kendra!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Even though you've been able to see your breath at most games so far, and all the fans are wrapped in wool blankets, the season is off to a fun start!  Eli is terrific, he really loves it.  John was asked to be assistant coach this year, since he did such a great job with soccer last fall and is a major sports nut, playing soccer and baseball since birth it seems.  His radio is tuned to the Red Sox 24/7.  And of course, the kids love Mike who doesn't play favorites, knows what he's talking about, has a sense of humor when someone runs to the outfield without their glove, and treats the kids like his own.  My cousin Shane's daughter, Taylor, is the only girl on the team, such a sweetie, only eight but fits into my cleats which I loaned her for the season.  I'm pretty happy the schedule is set up a bit differently than last year and I can actually see more of the games.  Last year they often fell on my work nights and I was heartbroken to miss out.  (I've also recently trained up a sub so I can take time off when I need to, which has been the best thing ever!)  Ira HATED playing t-ball last year, I had to force him to go after the first couple of practices...I kept hoping he'd start to like it and I didn't want him get into the habit of quitting things without a fair chance.  Luckily the t-ball season was super short and over quickly because he was miserable.  When I asked him if he wanted to play this year, he said no, and I'm certainly not going to push him.  My boys are very different and Ira has many other gifts.  He loves soccer and riding, but generally, sports are not his "thing" which is most definitely OK by me.  He's my actor/comic/artist/animal nut.  Where Eli is very focused on competitive, structured things, Ira is more of a free form guy.  It was a bit of a relief to know I didn't have to juggle both game/practice schedules this spring.  We're already so busy that it's hard to cram one more thing in as it is!  Anyhow, another week of baseball coming up...late dinners, trying to scrub grass-stains out of pants, relocating lost gear every five minutes and shivering on the bleachers!  Play ball!                    

Sunday, May 4, 2014