Thursday, February 21, 2008

All You Need is Love.

February 21, 2008

It's the middle of February and it's still raining. We had a few beautiful sunny days, but they didn't last. The slope is holding strong, but poor Elfie is going stir-crazy. She's established a new poop yard under our dining room table. I'm not too happy about that, but what can you do?

We had a fun Valentine's Day, or should I say Valentine's Week. I love celebrating this holiday. Matt thinks it's a commercial holiday made up by florists. I think it's a great day to express your love. Our week started out with our annual cookie decorating party hosted by our friends, the Warren family. It's a tradition we've faithfully held for 9 years. The kids make a huge mess spreading frosting all over cookies and each other. I think they end up eating several cups of sugar, but it's lots of fun. I made my all time favorite cup-cakes: Red Velvet with cooked butter cream frosting. The recipe requires two whole bottles of red food coloring. Valentine's Day would not be Valentine's Day without them. (They remind me of my grandma.) We delivered a few to friends, but kept most of them for ourselves. I went to Eden's class and made the kids strawberry shortcake. It wasn't much of a party, but since the government made all the rules banning sugar and home made food from the classroom, it was the best we could come up with. It's a little sad. They've banned prayer, art, music, parties, home made treats, what's next; recess? That night we decorated the dining room and had a special dinner complete with love notes. "Cupid" gave us a new video game that has kept us busy every night: American Idol. I am happy to report that I've finally found a video game that I can win. Hallelujah! It's so much fun. We spent three consecutive nights singing our hearts out. Matt and I ended up losing our voices. (Beware. I don't recommend you play on Saturday night if you have to teach a lesson the following morning. It's a little embarrassing trying to explain to a room full of adults why you haven't got a voice). Eden has been practicing every day after school. I'm hoping to post a video of one of his "rehearsals." That's all I will say about it for now. Once you see him perform, you can judge for yourselves.

Last Monday was President's Day. Eden and Matt took a 45 minute ride on the train up to San Juan Capistrano. While they were there, they visited the Mission, ate lunch at a gourmet restaurant, drank "lavender lemonade", and visited a little farm. The farm had a miniature donkey and goat that stood on the roof of the barn. The goat tried to eat Eden's "Abecrombie" jacket (which would have been a major disaster as Eden wears it 24 hours a day). Eden also got to ride a lame old horse -- ye-haw!! Claire went to Sea World with her friend Haley. They had loads of fun running around the park taking pictures. I stayed home to wait for Thomasville to come and pick up our new sofa which broke shortly after we bought it. I really enjoyed having a day at home. I read a book.

Eden has been learning about Colonial times in school. He's been looking forward to this for years. (All the little kids at school envy the 5th graders who get to dress up and pretend they are someone famous from Colonial times). Eden dressed up in Colonial garb and represented an ancestor: Richard Stockton, who signed the Declaration of Independence. The fifth graders spent the day participating in all kinds of fun activities: sewing patchwork pillows; dancing; writing with quill pens; making candles; and making butter and cooking corn fritters (you could smell the grease for miles). I helped kids make pillows, which was great fun. Eden said he liked making candles best, even though it was only the size of a birthday candle. At home, when Eden is not "rehearsing" for American Idol, he's on the computer looking at Iceland; Goteborg, Sweden; or Trubschachen, Switzerland. He's been busy looking up Scandinavian languages, and printing maps. (I'm starting to get a little nervous. I'm not sure if he's planning to run away from home, or is secretly working for the CIA.)

Claire started a new semester at school. This semester she traded home economics for video announcements, which she LOVES. Video kids get to do all the morning announcements at school. After school she has been busy with friends. She spent last Friday night with her Beehive Class at the San Diego temple doing baptisms for the dead. Saturday she played volleyball with the kids in the ward and then went to the mall to "window shop." When Claire is at home she is usually in her room reading, or working on a craft of some sort (as seen by the evidence of paper scraps and tape all over the floor). She has also been learning how to type over 35 words a minute on a regular keyboard, so that she can be ready for high school. The incentive is this: type 35 words per minute in exchange for text messaging on her phone (another one of my negotiations). She also likes to cook once in a while which we all love. She makes a mean lemon bar!

Matt went out of town last week. Nothing exciting this trip -- Fresno, California. He's still busy racing around on his virtual race track and is planning to have one of his friends over this weekend to play. (That's going to cut into my American Idol time. I guess I'll have to think of something else to do, like laundry.)

I've been busy organizing drawers, reading books, walking Elfie, and learning how to crochet around the edge of a baby blanket. I also finished the little heirloom blessing dress for my friend's baby. It turned out really cute in spite of all the mistakes.

Elfie got a bath this week and is very bored sitting inside all day. She also got a new toy for Valentine's Day.

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