What We Did This Weekend – Save the City Edition

28 06 2009

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 I’m not sure if it is even possible to get tired of pictures like the one above.  I don’t think I’m ever happier than when I’m following the girls through a sun-dappled Northwest trail.  It’s good for the soul.

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We camped at Dash Point State Park.  One of our favorites and only about 15-20 minutes from our house.  We have visited often during the day, but this time we convinced the neighbors (Natalie, Mistah and Grace) to camp overnight with us.

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This crazy trail down to the beach dropped some serious elevation and charmingly, there were a series of amazing outdoor staircases.






  And we found a tree slide!   That’s good.  No slivers were suffered.  That’s even better.

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When we arrived at the beach we were pleasantly surprised to find a skim boarding contest going on.  The creek running out to Puget Sound gushes across a pristinely-flat stretch of sand where the skim boarders throw their boards down the creek, run like crazy, jump on the board and then hit a series of ramps, steps, etc.  Very much like skateboarding tricks, but it is harder to find a strip mall on the beach.  They have to bring their own.

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Each and every time we come to this beach we play the same game.  Save the City.  You must first find a high spot.  This beach is famous for being flat, flat, flat and the tide going out FOREVER, so finding a high spot takes skill.  Next you build an elaborate sand castle city.  You need moats and rivers and drainage ditches.  You must use your engineering skills to get it just right.  You must also use your persuasive skills to encourage other people to help.  If you don’t, it is no fun at all.  We got two pre-teenage boys and an entire non-English speaking Japanese family.  Pretty awesome considering the language barrier.

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Then, as the timde starts coming in it fills your river, then your moat, then eventually if things go well it drains out the other side in the drainage ditch.  This weekend’s city was the best ever.  It was large, well fortified…and the river/moat/drainage system worked the best it has ever worked.  Experience is a great teacher. 

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But an even better teacher is the inevitability of the tide.

So then you give up and go find cool stuff like shrimp.

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At the campfire later that evening Natalies hot dog bun waited in its artistic splendor for it’s sausage.

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And breakfast the next day was just as indulgent.  Eggs, bacon, fruit, pancakes.  We really roughed it.

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We roughed it so much that Natalie modeled the typical Northwest city camper with her glass french press and Starbucks coffee.  Ridiculous, I know.  But the coffee was amazing.

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What did YOU do this weekend?


One…Singular Sensation…Every Little Step She Takes

23 06 2009

Since the beginning of the year the girls have not had a nanny.  They walk the short distance to their school and use their cell phones to call me when they leave and when the arrive.  Remember when I was so horrified that their Dad bought them cell phones?  Well, it seems like a good idea now.  They are not ridiculous phone users and often get grumbled at by their Dad that they don’t answer their phone when he calls. 

That isn’t what I wanted to blog about.  What I wanted to blog about is the fact that Sophie apparently was bored before school because Maya had to go in a bit early because she is a crossing guard as part of the school’s “Safety Patrol”.  Of course she is part of the Safety Patrol.

Sophie began to see a pattern in which friends of hers came earlier than most and they began to meet under the rain shelter for impromptu musical theater dance numbers – choreographed by Sophia of course.    Apparently these get togethers became so popular that the music teacher heard about them and approached Sophie with an idea.  The teacher (bless her heart) would come 20 minutes early to school once a week and meet the musical theater gang in the music room.  She would help to choreograph a song and dance routine that they could perform at the end-of-school orchestra and band concert.

Here is the result…..please note the presence of her very serious violin-playing sister in the background.  The body language speaks volumes.

That is not where the musical thing stops!  All year she took an acting/theater class after school on Wednesdays.  In January the class of kindergarten through sixth graders decided they wanted to put on a Musical for the end of the year.  They picked “School House Rocks”.  Do you remember School House Rock?  It really is the only reason I know anything about grammar or the Bill of Rights.

The following video is them performing the “Nouns” song.  Not only does Sophie know her part, where she is to stand and all the dance moves – but she apparently knows everyone else’s part and where they are to stand and their dance moves as well.  I suppose it is also her directorial debut.  You’ll see what I mean, just be patient with the “raw” video and know that she really pulls out all the stops at the end.

Maya’s Musical Interlude

17 06 2009

I’m trying to keep up.  Really I am. 

About a month ago Maya had her Honor’s Orchestra concert.  The 22 schools in the district were represented by a few kids from every school orchestra.  They played a song alone in front of thier peers and the orchestra teacher and were chosen depending on their performance.  Maya was chosen and even got a first violin spot.  She practiced every day and went after school to practices once a week since February.

They played 5 songs and did a great job.  Here is part of one of the songs.  I was WAAAYYY up in the bleacher and not paying attention to my videoing duties…but you can get an idea of what they did.

I find it pretty amazing that a bunch of elementary school kids can play that well after only two years.

She also had a more recent orchestra concert at her school with their much smaller group and another school.  Maya’s school are the ones in the black and white – more on this later.   The following is her friend and her playing the first violin part in “Joust”.  It’s a bit hard to hear them over the cellos and bass.

 Maya has determined that she is not going to play piano anymore.  I’m fine with it.  She has given it quite a few years and has obviously built a strong musical background….but I can’t help but be sad.  She played piano really beautifully.  It looks like violin is her love, though, so I’m going with it.  She has that “I’m a serious person playing the violin” face.  I suppose it’s kismet.

She is also the kid in her class that organized a uniform revolt.  Not in the way I would have at her age.  This year in orchestra they dropped the requirement to wear black and white.  In years before it was always a requirement.  Due to the economy (or something) they just asked them to wear “their nicest”.  

This was not good enough for Maya.

After class she got them all together and made them make a solemn pledge to wear black and white “like  a real orchestra”.  Otherwise she was worried they would just look like a bunch of kids playing violins and cellos.

A pro-uniform revolt.  Who knew it could happen?  Especially led by MY daughter.

Blog Posts Building Up to Point of Pain

11 06 2009

There is so much to blog about, but in the last weeks of school I have little or no time.  I can tell youthat I will be blogging about (in no particular order):

  • My crazy birthday party extravaganza
  • Our trip to the water park and a certain slide dubbed the “Howling Tornado”
  • Honor’s orchestra performances
  • Regular orchestra performances
  • Sophie starting an underground gang of musical theater loving 4th graders (unbeknownst to me)
  • Sophie talking her teacher into being part of said gang and the secret meetings that ensued
  • A late night incident involving my fence, the back shed and a K-9 police dog
  • A School House Rock live theater performance
  • Maya’s sixth grade camp experience
  • And much, much more!

Stay tuned!