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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Books Read in March

Okay, I'm not doing very well at the "will read more" thing-- despite the fact that I'm making myself post my achievements and failures. I only read one book this month.

Prince Joe - Book One in Suzanne Brockmann's SEAL Team 10 series. I've read it before, years ago, but did not remember any of it. I'm also totally stoked about the fact that I have not read any others in the series, so I have about 10 new Suz books to keep me company over the next several weeks (or months considering how slowly I'm reading).

Now, if I were to include children's books in this list, I could add about a dozen. I'll debate that idea before the next post.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Photo 148 - Belle's Birthday

Today was Short Person's cousin's birthday party. It was a wonderfully pink party, complete with an ice cream cone pinata. Shortie has wanted to try a pinata for years! She was thrilled with the opportunity today, winding up to hit the cone with as much strength as her little muscles could muster.

At one point, about her third try in, she decided that it would be more effective to take the bat and hit the top of the cone, aiming for the small circular opening. Somehow, she must have determined that it was the weak point. She smacked that circular section with a resounding thud, only to be met with the laughter of about 15 adults.

Unfortunately, her feelings were hurt and she walked away from it believing that everyone was laughing at her. It took a little while to explain that they weren't laughing AT her, but at the surprise it caused. I am not sure many people expect a 6-year-old to problem-solve like that. I hope she believed me because she was crushed.

Her tongue was so, so pink after this cupcake.
But as you can tell, she was enjoying every bite.

Short Person takes a swing at the pinata!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photo 147 - Ketchup Creativity

Short Person and I were watching television with LJS, as we often do, when the news came on and there was a segment about Heinz Ketchup and a contest called "Ketchup Creativity". Kids, using templates, color and draw designs that, if they win, will be used on those little foil packets of ketchup you get with your french fries.

I went and got my computer so that Shortie and I could have a few minutes of fun looking at the artwork submitted and vote for our favorite designs. If you are reading this, take a minute to go and view them yourself at Ketchup Creativity.

When we got done voting for our favorites in each grade, Short Person was so inspired that she went and drew her own, as shown below. I think she did a great job for not having the template and simply free-handing. I think she did a fantastic job! Which is why it is my photo of the day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Photo 146 - Creative Art (Flower Art)

I've always known that Short Person was artistically inclined, but nothing drove the point home more than this piece of art. I have no idea if she learned this type of open-minded, mixed-media creation from an outside source or if she conceived it all on her own, but either way I was amazed.

She's obviously drawn a butterfly, but what impressed me was the wings. She used tulip petals to create them.

She's begging for art classes.
I'm thinking she's right to want them.
I forget where I heard it, but there's a quote in my head that goes something like this...

"If you wake up every morning and all you can think about is (insert subject here), then that's what you are meant to do."

Looking at this, and listening to Shortie's pleas, make me think that there's a passion driving her onward.

After searching for several weeks, I finally found a class she can attend. It's a summer camp, and I will have to take a week of vacation to get her there, but in the end I think it will be worth it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Photo 145 - Build-A-Bear Birthday

Lately, there are not many things that Short Person loves more than Build-a-Bear, so it was no surprise that the birthday she really, really wanted was one where her friends could go and share the joy of a new stuffed animal with her. Although we told her that to do so would mean that the guest list would be tiny, she still wanted to do it. So, we did.

Daddy is the King of dressing dolls and stuffed animals. He has a lot more patience than I do, I'm sad to say.

Short Person and her new furry friend, a multi-colored bunny she named Rose Blossom.

The group and their new best friendly animals.

After Build-a-Bear, we went to Red Robin for Ice Cream Sundaes and French Fries, and to open presents. It was chaotic, but it was fun.

All things considered, this was the easiest birthday party I've ever thrown. I had very little to do. I'm considering these types of parties for all future events. Maybe.


Photo 144 - Model Birthday

My birthday gift to Short Person is traditionally the party and the outfit, so today after swimming classes and before her birthday party, we went shopping at Target for new clothes to wear. Shortie chose four different outfits and tried them all on in the dressing room. I'm not sure where the model poses came from, all I know is that I was laughing pretty hard (on the inside) about her "looks".

I convinced her to let me take photos so that at the end we could look through the pictures and decide which one looked the best on her.

This was the first outfit she tried on. We both thought it was cute and Short Person was ready to purchase it and leave, but I convinced her to keep going.

Outfit number two. This is also the one she ultimately chose, which worked for me. I really thought it was adorable. When she looked at the photos, there was no question in her mind that this was THE ONE.

Try-on number three. As you can tell from the photo, she was NOT happy about this one. I almost didn't even take the picture because she was so violently opposed to it. But, it was still fun getting the snapshot.

Oh, it was a hard choice after seeing this last one. I liked the dress, but this one was just SO cute!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo 143 - Picture Time With Sammy

Short Person has really enjoyed looking through the scrapbooks and photo albums lately. One night, not long ago, when she was doing this she came across the pictures of our dog Sam's first Christmas. I scrapbooked the page, highlighting a toy we had gotten him that was a battery-operated bear that walked and growled when turned on, along with a few other things. Shortie really enjoyed this spread and hearing the stories about Sammy's first Christmas.

So much so that this morning before getting ready to go to school, she pulled out the scrapbook and propped it up on the end of the couch so that Sammy could look at his pictures.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Visit to the Principal's Office

My gut told me that nothing good could come from the Principal meeting a parent in the parking lot and asking them to stop by his office before leaving the building "for a brief talk". I figured I was in trouble for being late (yet again), while also lecturing my daughter in the parking lot about how she wouldn't have been cold if she'd put her coat on as suggested, and NO, we were late so she could not stop to do it now. Maybe my tone of voice was off and it was being noted as... something, by the other parents.

Or, maybe I was just paranoid from too many run-ins with authority lately and I didn't want one more thing I'd need to worry about doing. At any rate, dread was creeping in under my skin.

So, after dropping Short Person in her classroom, and circling back at the "Mom! You need to tie my shoe!", I proceeded to the office and reluctantly made my way into Mr. McConaughey's office. I wondered if I needed to shut the door or if I needed to sit down. Since he seemed to be comfortable with me just standing there looking at him, I did neither.

I watched as his weathered hand closed over his coffee cup and heard the squeak of the chair as he leaned back to take a sip, and then put the cup back down on the desk, his hand resting on the handle. "I need to tell you a story about compassion." He said, in his gravely voice. "We had an incident here yesterday, where a few things were said, and someone got pulled into the office and talked too."

"Yeah, I was actually in Meg's classroom yesterday, so I got to see some of it." I responded.

He continued. "Well, that person was made to apologize to your daughter. It wasn't the best of apologies, but it was given. She got it out..."

Before I continue, I should relate the events of the day before, so that the full impact of what he said next can hit you as it did me.

It was Short Person's birthday. She turned six, and she was excited. Mommy was helping in her class, and afterward her mommy and daddy were taking her out for her birthday dinner. She'd had her music class sing "Happy Birthday" to her. She'd gotten a cupcake snack. She was having a good day and was smiling as she left for recess. But, when she came back from recess, she was in tears.

It seems that one of the girls, we'll call her Lynn, had spent a good portion of recess telling her that it wasn't her birthday. This hurt Short Person's feelings. Now, I'm sure you're saying, just as I was, "Well Honey, WE know it's your birthday, so don't let it get to you." But, hear tell it from the teachers, Lynn was being down-right *mean* about it. It gained the notice of not one, not two, but FOUR teachers. When Lynn's attitude had not changed after returning to her class, she was pink-slipped to the Principal's office, given a talking too, and made to come into Short Person's class and apologize.

The whole re-enter class, mommy gets story, mommy calms Shortie down, we re-join class, Lynn enters to apologize, probably took about 10 minutes. I watched Lynn and Mr. McConaughey enter, I watched him tell Lynn to apologize, and turned away to give Meg privacy and let her handle the situation without worrying about her over-protective mommy getting involved. Then a short minute later, Short Person sat back down and re-joined class.

I left to go to work for a bit a short while later, but learned that Meg had attempted to go and sit next to Lynn at lunch-- only to spill her lunch on the ground on her way. But, the attempt was there, and I was proud of her for that.

Back to the next day in the Principal's office.

"Well, that person was made to apologize to your daughter. It wasn't the best of apologies, but it was given. She got it out. And that's when your daughter leaned forward, gave Lynn a hug and said, 'That's okay. I still love you.'"

I heard this and felt like I'd been punched in the gut. My daughter did what? Of her own accord? Wow.

Mr. McConaughey kept talking. "I tell you, I almost lost it." I looked at him and believed him. He had tears in his eyes just telling me the story. "We have some truly wonderful kids in this school. They are just little blessings."

"I don't know how I got so lucky to be blessed by her." I responded. And it's true. I have no idea how or why God trusted me with Megan. I pray at least once a week that I won't fail at being her parent. That I won't screw it up.

We chatted for a minute more. I thanked him for telling me the rest of the story, and I left to call LJS and repeat it. Praying again my weekly prayer of thanks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Photo 142 - Short Person's 6th Birthday

One of the traditions we seem to have started is to take Short Person out for dinner on the night of her birthday to the restaurant of her choosing. For some reason, he choice is always Red Robin. I say strange because on off days, we don't eat there very often. I like the restaurant, it just isn't on our frequent list. Nevertheless, it is the restaurant she has gone too for each birthday for the last three years.

Including this birthday.

After dinner, and a rousing birthday song, we went to LJS's parent's house for cupcakes and gift opening. Short Person got Barbie clothes from her Grandma and Grandpa.

Short Person Turns 6

For no other reason than I was feeling nostalgic, I put together a slideshow retrospective of Short Person's last six years. I even added a cheesy song!

I can't believe she's six... where did all that time go?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Photo 141 - Last Photo As A 5-Year-Old

I think the title of this post says it all. Her Daddy was saying goodnight to her and commented that it was the last time that we'd get to see her as a five-year-old. Her last night as a five-year-old. I just couldn't let the moment pass without documenting it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Photo 140 - Catch of the Day

Finally, we got another break in the bleak cold of winter. We decided to use it to go up to the lake and fish. Fish that were not biting even after a long winter of no bugs to eat. Short Person was getting really, really frustrated that she wasn't catching anything, declaring that she was ready to leave over and over. When, suddenly, there it was. The whir of the line as it spun off the reel and she was in heaven.

By the time we left for the day, she had caught at least three and had lost a big one that broke the line and sped away.

Writing this post reminds me of the very first time we took her fishing. She had just turned two and couldn't wait for the opportunity to go out with her dad. So on "Free Fishing Day" we joined a crowd of people that took their kids up to a nearby trout lake to fish. She loved trying to cast, and loved reeling, but it was a long morning and we weren't catching anything. We decided to move to a different location and go fish off the dock.

We'd been on the dock for about 10 minutes when the bobber went down and a fish took off on the line. She reeled it up, her dad pulled the fish out of the water and held it there for her to look at. She peered in close and then without warning, the fish started bouncing on the line, jumping furiously for its life.

Short Person let out a blood-curdling scream, like she'd just seen the walking dead, and took off full speed ahead down the length of the dock, not to get near that fishing pole for the rest of the afternoon. We couldn't even get her back on the dock.

Luckily, she recovered from the incident. Now, she's not afraid of the fish-- or the worm.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Photo 139 - Boyfriend's Birthday

Today, we had a birthday party to go to for one of Short Person's classmates. It just happened that this classmate the the little boy that she has developed her first crush on. Seriously. If you ask her about all other boys, she will respond with a "Gross! I don't like boys", but with this little boy, we have had the marriage, children, and living situation comments flying around like crazy.

Her father is ready to lock her in the closet.

The crazy thing is that, she's apparently not the only one talking. He is too. All of his relatives knew Short Person as "his girlfriend". When it came time for him to open his gift from her there were comments of "Oh, is this the present from his girlfriend?" And, when he reacted as though he noticeably liked it, they all congratulated her on a job well done. His mom and I often joke or comment that given the school size, it is a strong likelihood that if they both stay in the same school until the teen years they might actually, conceivably, date.

For now, we'll just stick to birthday parties and writing things on cards like what is below this commentary. I handed her the card and a pen and asked her to sign it. She wrote the entire message herself.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Merging of 365 and Short Person

If you subscribe to both my blogs (Short Persons and Melody 365), I feel as though I should warn you that a bombardment of posts may be occurring over the next few days. I started out with the idea of taking a photo a day and letting it stand alone with very short explanation. Instead, what I am finding is that I journal a lot with my photos. I'm also noticing that many, many, many of the photos involve Shortie.

So, I have decided to merge the two blogs. I may keep 365 for awhile, but I like the idea of having everything in one place. Simplify seems to be the word of the year and having more than one blog is definitely not simple.

Anyway, even though I backdate the posts they seem to show up as though being posted in real time in the feed. Therefore, I beg your forgiveness. Bear with me, it will be over soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Photo 138 - Tooth #2

Excitement was in the air. Another tooth terrifically loose. Spinning around and flapping back and forth, it could only be a matter of time. Now that we're taller, we've learned that there are ways of getting close enough to see minute detail in the mirror. Although, I am honestly not sure why she chooses the bathroom when there is a full-length wall of mirrors in her room. But, as you can tell from the photos, I did not complain. She was too excited.

A few minutes later, it came, the bubbly "MOM! I was just sitting there. And. It FELL out! It just... fell out."

Another tooth lost, another milestone crossed. Time slow down...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Photo 137 - Changing Tires with Daddy

Thank goodness for cell phone cameras, because I don't think I would have ever found my Kodak in time for these shots.

Nothing makes my heart smile more than seeing scenes like this unfold...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Photo 136 - Hoop-a-Thon

Every school has fund-raisers for different causes. The Hoop-a-Thon is one of the fund-raisers they do for Short Person's school. It helps raise money for scholarships to the school. We were presented with a pledge sheet to track donations that could be made on a per hoop basis, or by flat fee.

Now, Mommy is willing to ask co-workers and some friends to donate, but for the most part if Short Person wanted people to pledge, she was going to have to ask them herself. So, after having the form for a couple weeks and ignoring it, I decided that we needed to get busy.

There was a chicken and dumpling dinner being hosted at the Masonic Hall by some friends of our, so paper in hand we went out to eat. There, I talked Short Person though the little speech she needed to give each person she asked. Initially, she was really nervous about doing it. But after getting anywhere from three to five signatures on her form, she was willing to ask anyone to donate money!

By the time she turned in her form, she had raised three times the hoped for minimum, earning her a t-shirt. Almost everyone pledged flat amounts, which is a great thing because by the end of the day, Short Person had made 49 baskets.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Photo 135 - Crazy Hair and Clothes Day

This week, the school is celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday by doing special things. Today, was crazy hair and crazy clothes week. This was Short Person's choice.

Unfortunately, her hair doesn't show very well in the photo, but I'm not sure it was all that crazy anyway. I actually made her hair pretty insane looking, but once it was finished and sticking out in 500 different directions, she told me that she had "wanted crazy, not poofey". So, I had to tame it a little.

As you can see, Franklin also came to visit with us once again. As soon as I remember, I'll grab his journal entry and type it in here. For now...

Update 5-15-10
I got Franklin's journal back, so here is his entry for the day.

Dear Class,

Last night, I went home with Megan because I think someone forgot me. That's okay though because I got to do some fun new things. When we went to Jennifer's house so Megan's mommy could get her hair cut, we got to pet the biggest bunny I have ever seen. He lives inside the house! Jennifer also has a spider-monkey, but Megan was afraid of him, so we were always on the lookout.

When we got home, Meg and her mom and dad started talking about crazy hair and clothes day. Megan's mom suggested that I borrow one of Bella's colorful dresses to wear because that would be crazy clothes for me. I started to get real nervous, but luckily Megan said "No way was she dressing Franklin in a dress!" Whew! Was I relieved.

After a pizza dinner, where Meg and I ate lots of breadsticks, we danced and played. Then, Megan and her daddy cleaned up her room and we went to bed.

Love, Franklin