Saturday, November 15, 2014

First Ski Day of the Season

We went to Canada Olympic Park on opening weekend. They had delayed the opening by a week because there wasn't enough snow, but then there was a cold snap and snow-making went into high gear. Only one chair was open, and they had set up a little rail park next to the magic carpet that we normally use, so suddenly there were big kids all around.

I showed Katie how to do the slalom course and she spent most of the time cycling through it -- probably 20 times total.

Scott was off with his friend Tarek's family on the big chair, so we could only see him occasionally. It was enough evidence to conclude that he is less of a technical slalom skier and more of a speed freak. Maybe Super G is his event of choice.

Tools For Tooth Extraction

1 Leatherman for pulling
1 Dollar for motivation
1 Brave little boy

Scott's tooth was so loose that it was literally keeping him awake at night. I suggested that we pull it out. He didn't want to use the string-on-the-door method again, so I suggested some pliers. I always think of using pliers because I have a vivid memory from my childhood of my Dad coming after one of my teeth with some needlenose pliers. Scott wasn't excited about that plan because he'd had little success pulling his own tooth out with pliers on a previous tooth. I suggested that it could work better if he would let ME do the pulling, since I will have a good view of the tooth. He could see the logic in it, but he was was reticent until I promised him a dollar if we could do it. He readily agreed and I popped it out in one quick try. There was a little bit of blood, but he said it barely hurt at all.

With the dollar he got from the Tooth Fairy, that was a pretty good payday.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Katie's Costume Collection

Over the course of the last year or two Katie has amassed quite a collection of costumes and accessories. She has a big bin full of every kind of Disney princess dress there is, plus a bin of matching shoes and wands and fairy wings, plus a trunk full of crowns, tiaras and jewelry. She had forgotten about some of these things until we had to move them into the guest room while we worked on something, and then suddenly she wanted to do nothing else until she had put every one of them on, as well as her various dance outfits.

Katie liked this second picture. She said she liked how she had posed her arm, with the elbow sticking out like that.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Hayden's Baptism

Scott's cousin Hayden turned 8 in November, and we all went to see him get baptized. I didn't get any fabulous pictures until the very end, when we were eating snacks.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Katie & Mommy

Katie's drawings are getting very detailed. Note that both of them are wearing earrings, which is artistic license on her part.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Robot Children

On a whim, the day after Halloween we made another set of costumes. Scott was fixated on some game on the tablet and Katie was a bit bored, and then I had the idea to turn a cardboard box into a robot outfit. We punched holes in the top and the sides and then wrapped some tin foil on it and then we had ourselves a robot-girl.

Scott was a little bit jealous that he didn't have one, so we dug another box out of the basement and turned him into robot boy. Unfortunately, we finished the costumes at bedtime, so they only had a minute or two to start adding buttons and other "upgrades". It also meant that they could only wear them for a few minutes. They made the most of it by brushing their teeth in costume and even trying to climb into bed, which I captured on video.

Okay little robots, time to recharge your batteries.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I'm 37. I'm Not Old.

I have finally arrived--

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
King Arthur: Old woman!
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I'm 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I'm 37. I'm not old.
King Arthur: Well I can't just call you "man".
Dennis: Well you could say "Dennis".
King Arthur: I didn't know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn't bother to find out, did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the "old woman", but from behind you looked...
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well, I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.

Book Report - 7 Questions

Grandma W pays $5 per book report. Even with the longer books he has now, he reads a book every day or two, and he understands math well enough to figure out how much money he could make if he wrote a book report for every one of those books. But it is easier said than done. Writing book reports is HARD WORK.

Scott has decent penmanship, so that's not the issue. It's figuring out what to write. Usually, the best results have been when one of us has prompted him with questions about the book, telling him to turn his answer into of the required 7 lines. I decided to take this one step further, and give him a generic set of questions that he could use to write a report about any of his books.

I thought this little list was guaranteed to cost my mom millions, since it was clearly the ultimate formula to create the world's best book reports. Scott immediately went to work, on a report about Bone, a fantasy series which is essentially a comic -- but a long one. When he finished, I realized how literally a child takes all instructions.

Book Report: Bone

I had expected that he would take the questions as a prompt and then answer in paragraph form. Instead, he gave us a numbered list of answers, which seemed like one half of a conversation. We had to ask him to add another phrase to the final sentence, to make it clear that he was describing his favourite part of the book.

Still, it was a wonderful first solo effort, and it was the first time that he wrote a report with smaller script that fit within just one line. He has come a long way in the past year. With the $5 payout he was on his way to buy the much-coveted skateboard, and he still hasn't picked up the pen to write about one of the more intriguing titles that we got from the new Neighbourhood Free Library (he found Bone to be a little scary to read alone in his room at night).

Captain Underpants Series

According to Wikipedia, "the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association reported that Captain Underpants was the most banned book in United States libraries in 2012. Several parents accused the book of having language inappropriate for the book's target audience, children enrolled in elementary schools." However, my English-teacher cousin has lamented that students in her high school English classes have been choosing these books as class material.

I can't wait to see what Scott has to write about this controversial subject.