Tuesday, April 21, 2015

And now we're famous...


If You Give a Boy A Hammer

If you give a Boy a hammer...

...he's going to notice water dripping onto the front room carpet, and rip out the leaky ceiling before the place grows mold.

Gazing into the ancient ceiling will remind him of some necessary electrical work...

...and cause wires to start sprouting like Medusa hair all over the house.  Eli immediately saw the bright side: "It's actually a good idea that you should do this because then I can see how buildings are made."

Since those wires lead to the attic, it's only logical that he should unload the entire storage space into the girls' bedroom and pull up the floor to get a better look...

...removing the insulation while he's at it.

Treading on those narrow beams can be rather tricky, so his wife might accidentally step through the lath and plaster, collapsing through the ceiling into the nursery below.

It will make a mess.  A big mess.

Dusting off the board books will remind the mother to check on the toddler, who was fortunately safe in her construction glasses.  Wearing the glasses will make the baby feel fashionable...

...so she will paint her toenails.  All by herself.

At this point, the Boy and his wife will call Grandma and Grandpa and beg them to whisk said baby and her siblings away for the rest of the weekend so that the boy can fix the holes in the ceiling, both downstairs...

...and up.  (Of course, not without accidentally ripping up a piece of the wall too.  Sigh!)

The newly repaired ceiling will remind the Boy that he needs to redo the subfloor in the upstairs bathroom so that water won't seep through again.

Removing the vanity will expose some drawings on the wall, reminding the Boy of his own little boy...

...and the unusual decor in his room.

Yanking out the tile will require yanking out the cupboard, which will reveal an entirely hidden and unknown finished space behind the tiled tub wall. 

Surprise!  Our future linen closet.

Speaking of surprises, the microwave will mysteriously decide to quit working in the midst of this chaos, requiring replacement.  The Boy will celebrate his renewed ability to reheat leftovers with an epic Peep battle.

The dueling Peep toothpicks will remind the Boy of nails, and chances are that if you give a Boy a nail, he's going to want a hammer to go with it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Making the Most of Our Mileage

So um, yeah.  Run Swim Bike Cook 2015?  Fizzle, fizzle, plop.

Sorry.  I hope that it went well for the rest of you.  Ben, your triathlon your training is inspiring; Susie, you outwalk us all; Michelle, I love your swim lessons, and Christy, carry on!

In all honesty, I tried.  Definitely knocked off the run, probably made it a third of the way through the bike, cooked some borscht, but never even got in the pool.  Life simply got so crazy that I couldn't find the time.

So what kept me so busy?  Ironically, in large part I was occupied with tracking miles--just not my own.  You see, at the end of February Brooklyn decided to start a Mileage Club at her elementary school for her Girl Scout bronze award.  When she initially brought up the idea, I tried to dissuade her, knowing full well how much work her project would entail.  In spite of (or perhaps because of) my protests, Brooklyn persisted.  I'm sure glad she did.  Her vision was greater than mine.

Yes, Mileage Club has been a huge amount of work for the entire family.  Yes, we spend our evenings sorting charms and laminating punch cards.  Yes, Annika and Eli get dragged to the school every day so I can track laps, and yes, that totally messes up naptime.


I have witnessed such growth.  I have seen Brooklyn show tremendous courage in approaching her school and local businesses for support of her project.  Initially terrified, she has developed confidence and demonstrated commitment.  I have watched the entire school community come together through this Mileage Club, with the principal standing right beside the U.N. student council as they punch cards and award charms.  I've stood in awe gazing at a running track packed full of motivated students, but mostly I dole out punches and high-fives in a furious frenzy to keep up with these amazing kids.  In the words of one adorable (and sweaty) third grader finishing a lap, "That was totally worth it!"

And then there's Talia.  That girl has grit!  She amazes me.  Every recess she comes out and runs the entire time, sticking with it even while her friends break to play.  Today, she and another little second-grade boy were the first two students to "Run the Rainbow"--completing 96 laps around the track.  I did a few calculations and figured out that Talia has run an average of 11.5 laps every recess since Mileage Club began--that's 2.6 miles per day.  Wow.

Talia with her entire rainbow of punch cards.  The students have been blasting through the cards so quickly that we've had to add new colors!
So, um, yeah.  My personal Run Swim Bike Cook 2015 may have fizzled, but the collective mileage for Crestridge is totally inspiring.  I get warm fuzzies thinking about the positive impact on students' physical and emotional health, both now and in the future.  It doesn't seem like that long ago when I was punching Mileage Club cards at Dixie Sun elementary when Brooklyn was a kindergartner and Talia was just a tag-a-long.  At the time, it seemed like a pretty mundane task, but look how it's grown.  Who knows?  Maybe some day another motivated young student will latch onto the idea and continue to spread the joy of physical activity.

Preparing Mileage Club cards at home--a family affair.

Our very own Mileage Club visionary, Brooklyn McCall.

Our school principal, Ms. Schmid, has been tremendously supportive.  I love Crestridge's commitment to their students' entire well-being, physical as well as intellectual.
Brooklyn's classmate Ellis is off and running!
Mrs. Keith, a first-grade para, is our school running guru.  Do you like the work aprons?  Many thanks to NomiAnn.
Our friend Elena rounds the track.
Talia, chock full of commitment.
Meanwhile, some of our Brownie Girl Scout friends (West, Luna, and Nadia) take great care of Annie.  She's quite popular as the Mileage Club mascot.

Talia with her teacher Ms. Muhlecke and some other students.
Totally worth it.