Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March Wrap-Up

I can't believe it's April already. So, here's March in a nutshell:

Books I've Read 

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham


3/5


Fun, good read. Interesting to hear the story of a struggling actress trying to make it big. I think it might be semi-autobiographical, though I'm not sure. I was pretty excited to read this book, because it's by Lauren Graham and I really like her as an actress and on interviews. She is in two shows that I really enjoy - "Gilmore Girls" and "Parenthood." I hear she's writing a sequel. It's not the greatest thing I've ever read, but I enjoyed it well enough. I love the title and the book is filled with doodles as well as the story itself. The main character, Franny Banks, very much reminds me of Lauren Graham with her personality and quirks and adorable awkwardness. Fun read.


Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene


3/5


I read this with the kids. They enjoyed it well enough and recognized that it's not great literature, but just a fun book. I devoured this series as a kid and loved it. Nancy Drew is always a quick, easy, good read.

I'm just about done with The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler with Max, and Kate and I finished Part 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird. More on those next time . . .


Movies/TV Shows I've Watched


"Freaks and Geeks"

5/5

I've already mentioned this one - it's one of my favorite series, if you can call it that after they cancelled it after one season (idiots). Kate and I have two episodes to go. Such a funny show.



"Little House on the Prairie"

4/5

I've been watching some episodes of this show with the kids as we study the westward expansion of the United States. It's not terribly exciting for them, but the simple stories are good.

Loving Parenthood, Goldbergs, SNL, and Amazing Race. Totally rooting for the Globe Trotters and the Cowboys. I now dislike the father-son team for their dirty play this past week in telling the cab to go the wrong way. I was on pins and needles. So glad Flight Time and Big Easy didn't get eliminated over that.


So, movies.

"The Goonies"

5/5

LOVE 80s movies and "The Goonies" is no exception. I love everything about it - the hair, the clothes, the characters, the goofy acting, the kids. How can you not love Data? And Chunk! I love Chunk! I even love Sloth. "Goonies never say die!" Watching this film was inspired by an episode of The Goldbergs. Love that show for all its 80s wonder!

Really haven't watched much this past month apparently . . .


Games I've played


We didn't play as many games as usual this past month either, but here are some we did play:

Mario Kart - Our general standby that we all enjoy playing together quite a bit
Bugs and Co.
- Got this one for my birthday from Mark and we have been playing it a bunch! It's a quick, frantic game, so it's easy to pull out and play really quick. I love the simple things in life like playing games together, eating good food together, and watching something great together. 
Catch Phrase - Played this at Game Day, too. Always fun.

Other Things I've done, Places I've visited, etc.



So, this is the section that should be chock full since the above ones are not. :P Buckle up!



* Handled the semi-annual administrative stuff related to our homeschool group's organizational overhaul. It's sooooo helpful.

* Bought a new washing machine because the old one's transmission broke.

* Learned that washing machines have transmissions (who knew?).

* Visited our townhouse rental to do some repairs (we've made sure several times this winter that the pipes have not frozen, too).

* Found out that a house we've had our eye on dropped their price 10K

* Watched the Oscars. Meh.

* Turned 40.

*  Had a FANTASTIC 40th birthday

* Had a great birthday lunch out with some of my "older lady" friends - it was me, two women in their 60s, and a woman in her 80s

* Went out for what I thought was dinner with one family and turned out to be a WONDERFUL surprise dinner out with several great friends AND a first-ever surprise visit from my mom and Jim! It's the first time my mom has spent a birthday with me since I turned 19. It was so so great to have her there for my 40th. I cried when I saw her and Jim. It was a GREAT night. So so special. Also, I was genuinely and completely surprised. It was my kind of birthday celebration - a wonderful dinner out with family and friends and love and laughter and good food, like something out of a movie. I felt very loved to be able to celebrate with so many of my very favorite people!

* Enjoyed a nice, but quick visit with my mom and Jim (they were here for one full day) - we ate out, played games, visited the house we've been eyeing, etc. We enjoy visiting with them.

* We met with a representative in a new home development in our town to sit down and go through, feature by feature, designing a new home using an existing floor plan. We like the location of the new development and we also like that it doesn't have a big HOA (we hate those). We did it to compare the prices there to the price of the house we've been eying (a former model home).


* Had the Johnsons over to watch "The Goonies" and eat pizza.


* Attended an open house to help visualize the floor plan we'd been discussing. Didn't love it, though Max is a big fan of the upstairs rec room (so not kidding).


* Attended the Sting/Paul Simon concert as a family - it was INCREDIBLE! Such legends!


* Had lunch out with Christie to help cheer her up after her surgery. We got sushi.

* Enjoyed a day with Jack and Sherri that involved food, fun, talking, playing and book club!

* Hosted "20 Things" Club (monthly, fun research club at our house for tweens/teens).

* Celebrated Pi Day with over 50 people in our homeschool group - nerdy fun. Hung out with good friends and enjoyed good conversation.

* Attended Brennan's fun "My Little Pony" birthday party with good friends. Had dinner out altogether - us, Johnsons, and Sherri's clan. Watched Amazing Race with Sherri, Ron, and Jack afterward.

* Max dealt with a cold for a few days, so we took it easy. Kate went ice skating with friends.

* I surprised Mark with a Redbox copy of "American Hustle" and movie snacks - we really needed a movie night. Things have been a bit stressful for a while. Lots going on. Good flick. Jennifer Lawrence is a gem. Bradley Cooper is awesome, too.

* Found out my brother has kidney cancer, due to his high blood pressure and medications for his high blood pressure.

* Mark took the kids to a fantastic class on blood typing at a local college (huge hit with both of them, especially Max) and then a class on eagles at our friend's house. Kate babysat two little ones for an entire evening by herself, cooking them dinner and getting them to bed.

* Had Kirsten over (weekly) and Mark took the girls to an earlier-than-midnight (thank goodness!) showing of Divergent. Much excitement. Many funny stories afterward about the other people at the theater (e.g., stupid, annoying girl who hadn't read the book first and proceeded to be exaggeratedly shocked by every surprise and who also fawned loudly over every shirtless scene with Four). Max and I hung out together after his Yu-Gi-Oh Club.

* Another Eagles class and a VERY stressful day of trying desperately to get lending approval after a series of issues (totally unrelated to our finances or credit!) kept stopping lenders from getting back to us. It was ridiculous. Major meltdown for me. Major. Like of the I'm-embarrassed-now proportion. It was good to have dinner out with Sherri, Ron, and Jack that night and also to get a call back from a lender who helped us move forward. Victory!

* Took Thing 1 to a job fair for the Ren Faire, where she applied for her first job, filled out her first job application, had her first interview, and got hired (on the spot!) for her first job! She is SO excited! What a great place to work for a first job - she gets to be in costume and character as part of it! You can read about it on her blog. I'm so proud of her!

* The boys were super cute to get a celebratory gift and note for her new job as Soda Pourer (the front gate greeter jobs were already taken and those are the only two jobs for 14-year-olds). We also all went out for frozen yogurt to celebrate!


* Saw the beautiful, new business space to which we're moving our business.

* Put an offer in on a house. Received a counter offer. Countered again.

* Hosted our book club (monthly).

* Fridge started breaking. Lovely.


* Surprised Mark after a stressful morning of work for him. Had a rendezvous lunch with him. It was soooo nice.

* Violin, taekwondo, clubs, activities, volunteering, art class, events, etc.

* Attended an interfaith dialogue at the local college- representatives of 6 different religions discussing America's attitude toward death and dying and the idea of an afterlife. Fascinating!

* Found out our offer was accepted. We're getting a new, beautiful house! Celebrated at a new restaurant (get it?) that was ridiculously delicious. Every. Single. Thing. was scrumptious. Drove by the house at night and felt over-the-moon excited about how beautiful and modern it is.

* Attended a second interfaith dialogue at a different college the very next night after the first one. Some of the panelists were the same. Some were different. This one was very broad in scope (no particular topic or theme), but this one also had representation from the non-believer's community, which the first panel was missing. Fascinating again! I love learning!

* Kids made awesome birdhouses at a Nature Club (Go, Sherri!) and played with friends.

* Dealt with a VERY loud fridge for over two weeks (repairman came today, but part will take a day or two - the guy helpfully said, "Wow. If I had to live with a noise like that, I'd kill myself!"). Gee. Thanks.

* Had a full weekend of friends and fun. Max had play dates both days (he's insatiable and social and loves to play with friends). The first day turned into a full day for not only him and his friend Kristina, but also our family and hers. They came over to tell us they're moving. We told them we are, too. They're not going too far (30 minutes) and we're not moving too far at all (2 minutes) - we are committed to being in touch and getting together.

* Spent an entire day with Sherri, talking and laughing and sharing stories. Jack played with our kids all day and had a GREAT time. We celebrated Sherri's birthday (again - this time with our homeschool group) with Indian food and it was delicious!! I craved it again that night.

* Busy with lots of the nitty gritty related to the house. Things are happening! Very exciting!



Pictures from the Month

Playdates
Matt and Max playing games
Kate and Kirsten, BFFs (Scout LOVES Kirsten) watching Friends

My 40th birthday
Breakfast in bed for the birthday girl - homemade scones, thick blueberry drink, green tea
A naughty puppy on my birthday morning

We went out for sushi - here is Thing 1 eating raw octopi

We played Laser Tag!

We played Mario Kart!

Mark made us taquitos - so yummy!

I'll share, but you have to be good.

Birthday "cake" - toasted chocolate chip muffins with butter (Max is laughing about something - a frequent occurrence)

Me with my birthday loot - sweet gifts from my hubby and kids and friends and family

My birthday lunch out with my friends/the ladies the next day :)

Around the house
Thing 1 watching Dr. Who; Scout asking for popcorn

Thing 2 playing Minecraft

Scout insists on being on my lap when I try to write - it's a trick!
 My surprise birthday party

Me and the kids

Linda, Mom, Me, Jim, Dick

Friends!

Me and Mark (and please note my first time wearing a tiara)

Wonderful birthday celebration!

Lindsay, Matt, and baby Avery joined us for frozen yogurt

So did the Geckers

Thing 2 shares his games with Vavó

The ever popular "How Tall Is She?!?" game (5'6 so far)

Playing Family Trivial Pursuit with Jim and Vavó

Playing Thing 2's really cool comic game (Thing 2 gets really chapped lips in the winter/cold/wind)

A dog in  need of a haircut
Sting/Paul Simon Concert




Nosebleed seats - my new favorites since that's where the fun people are who DANCE!

Sting is DAMN sexy. It's insane.

Paul Simon!

Speaking of damn sexy . . .
Of course we took the kids - Sting and Paul Simon are LEGENDS.
 
Sting and Paul Simon

STING AND PAUL SIMON!
 Crazy story: after buying our tickets, we found out that our good friends the Geckers also bought tickets to the concert. We looked up our seats and they were only one section away. We could totally see each other easily through the whole concert. So we went out to dinner and car pooled, too.
Car pooling with the Geckers
 Around the house

Scout cuddling with Thing 2

One of Thing 1's daily lists

Scout loves to cuddle on our clothes

Hey, she got a haircut! And a bow! And a bandana!
My Little Pony party - proudly crushing gender stereotypes!
Sherri got this cute picture of our family
Ice skating with friends (Max wasn't feeling well and couldn't go)


Off to her first job interview!

The boys' surprise for her when we got home to them
Interfaith Panel

Around the house and yet more playdates

Scout LOVES our laundry!

Playing Wii with good friends (Sorry, Kristina, I caught her right as she played with her retainer) :P

How was your March?