Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Labor of Love

Abigail is doing a little job for me here.  Painting countdown boards for our school bond election.  This campaign has been a pretty all-consuming project for me since late January.  The election is next Tuesday, June 5th.

We're going to put these boards up to count down the final days.  So after all this work, people don't FORGET that next Tuesday is election day.  Because in light of the presidential primaries, there is not a lot of excitement at the polls.  Poor California.

I sure hope this bond passes.  After the last bond failed, they had to close my beloved Sierra Elementary.  Now, in light of California's shortfalls, they'll have to cut more people, classes and programs.  Seeing that writing on the wall is what keeps me going. 

And Abigail doesn't know it, but she is more help and motivation than she could really understand.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Country livin'

Once in a while, I'm struck by the distinctive atmosphere of rural life.  Last week, as I'm driving the carpool to school, we passed a dead skunk, which launched a rousing chorus of "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road".  After the initial round, the girls picked other topics to sing about, including "Cow Pies on the Side of the Road".  And I thought...you don't get that in suburbia!

That very same day, I'm in the school office, listening to the secretary, Val, tell a parent that she had to pull a tick off their child's head.  And I told her...you don't hear that in suburbia!

That very same evening, I'm telling Mark about these two events, and Abigail chimes in, telling how the boy she sits next to in class had two ticks in his hair and one in his EAR!

And I thought...maybe I'll move back to suburbia.

Just kidding!  About moving, not about the ticks. 

I'll take cowpies and ticks over traffic and crowds any day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

Last weekend, Mark and I attended a fundraiser for our local schools.  The event was a "Cinco de Mayo" party, hosted at a board member's home.  The home is beautiful, the food is always yummy, and there is dancing after dinner.  In preparation for this event, I sought advice from my sister, Gail, on what to wear.  Gail is prepared for every eventuality, from Crazy Hat Day to Octomom Day to Night of the Living Dead Day.  Cinco de Mayo is easy stuff for her.

This dress is what she pulled out of her closet for me.  True--it's more Hawaiian than Mexican, but there is something extra cool about it.  Our mom made it, to wear on her own trip to Hawaii, probably 35 years ago.  She made my father a matching shirt, but the shirt apparently got more wear than the dress, and is long gone.

Now isn't that fun?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Eight Years Old!

Yes, eight years ago, on May 6th, our lives completely and utterly changed. The landscape completely shifted. Day became night, and night became day, and there was no sleep to be found in either of them.

If I'm sounding a little "epic", mayhaps it's because this was a shift of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS.

Yeah. I mean really, REALLY big.

So, in memory of this event, we held our annual celebration. The girls love to plan their own party. They plan it in, to me, excruciating detail. This year, as with the past two birthdays, the girls wanted to have a party here, at home. But this time, they wanted to invite the entire class.

Now, I don't know if you remember this, but last year's party was not very fun for me. It was fun for the kids, I think. But that's only because they don't know how close they were to having someone go psycho and completely snap at their party.

So it was with trepidation that I said: "Okay, we can invite the class, but it has to be a VERY SIMPLE PARTY."  Abigail and Mae seemed fine with that, so the invites went out. By "invites", I mean a sheet of paper that the girls wrote up, copied off on my inkjet printer, and passed out at class.

A classic Schlaefer move, I must say.

Response was pretty good...from the girls. For whatever reason, the girls all accepted, and the boys at best gave lukewarm "maybes". They could see the writing on the wall, I guess. 

And they were right.  It was three hours of shrill squeals, screams, and squacks, plus a lot of giggles. Fortunately no drama or tears, or even bee stings! Here's how it went:

First we hung out and played as everyone trickled in. That took about 45 minutes. Then, we all went to the tree house. The girls went up for a photo op and goody bag. 

We had 10 girls actually make it to the party, plus our two, for an even dozen (not all shown here).

The girls came down from the treehouse for the pinata.  That ended up being a lot of fun!

Then we went back to the house for games.  This year, I put Mark, the master game-player, in charge of games.  He came up with some great ones!  Here is the watermelon seed spitting contest.  Mark is coaching.  

We also played ball toss, where partners flick a tennis ball by trampolining it out of a towel, and "thread the needle", where a chain of kids passed a hula hoop without releasing each others hands. Old school at its finest!

Next, it was time for cake.  My mom saved my sanity--and quite possibly Mark's life-- by making these cakes.  Here is Mae's custom cake, decorated with her beloved rainbow unicorn theme (remember Halloween???)

And Abigail's custom mer-people.  My dad even helped with the mer-man (my mom was a little uncomfortable free-handing the design ;-) )

Next, it was time for the singing!

Candles were blown out.

And then it was time for the "slip and slide".

Here's Mae--airborne!

Yes, I do think the kids enjoyed the party.

And this year, so did I!  I guess it does take a village.  Even for a VERY SIMPLE party.

Thank you, family!