Saturday, June 24, 2006


Today, the last day of the first week of summer camp. I have survived, and even enjoyed myself. Despite teens with attitudes, and first graders with tears.

But Alas! Group Seven has discovered my weakness.

I Cannot Play Spoons And Sing At The Same Time.

I mean, I can play, but I have a hard time watching the cards and getting a spoon and so then I get the points and I lose.

So of course, there sit seven girls, "Ms. Marguerite, what's that song that you and Ms. Bethany sing that's really funny?"

Like I would know that. It describes just about every song we sing.

In any case, I refrained from singing, mostly.

I did end up humming while beating a girl at a card game she'd just showed me how to play.

And I whistled while cleaning up the Lincoln Logs that were dumped all over my floor by eager young men who didn't know such things existed.

And I may have tapped a beat on the counter while taking some young ladies' temperatures. (They were burning up. I wonder if being a mom part time to a hundred kids makes being a mom to a half dozen full time easier.)

I really do like my job, especially on days like today when the kids are happy. When they're good they're not too bad, when they're bad, they're horrid.

That's all Folks!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

It was the grooviest of times, it was the stinkiest of times.

Today, Christine, Marieke, and I got together for a much looked forward to event: The Coconut Conference. Duh Duh.

But allow me to begin at the beginning.

12 AM~ My sister has a friend over and we are watching a movie on my laptop. Yay. I have become fed up with movies, but I always say that when I'm not in the movie store. FINALLY, I go to sleep.

4:30 AM~ I awake shivering because the fan is on and it's freezing cold, but if you turn it off, you can't get back to sleep because it's too quiet. It is very sad when you wake up after four hours of sleep hoping it's 6AM so you can get up.

6 AM~ I get up, and ready to go, including jeans, because as much as following Marieke's instructions appeals to me, I cannot bring myself to go to her house in my pajamas.

7:15 AM~ Leave for the VdV's with my dad, he drops me off on his way to work. I like riding with him, he listens to public radio, which is so interesting, if very liberal. Today's discussions were on pension plans and diversifying, and this guy who started an improv class for kids with cleft lip and palate (is that how it's spelled?). And then classical music until we turn it down to talk. I really enjoy riding with my dad, because it's about the only time we can talk without distractions.

7:58 AM~ Arrive at Marieke's house and rouse her out of bed (the bum!). I love the VdV's, they are one of the most lovely families ever. I arrive as "Bertie" or "Pa," as he is affectionately known, and his son Felix, prepare tea and cookies, and bring them upstairs, where we dine upon the bed and do sudokus and crosswords. We are brilliant. The bed reminds me of Prague.

The Mr. and Mrs. head out for a morning stroll, as Marieke goes to clean her room, and Felix heads off to work on math or some such thing. I am left to my own devices and soon stumble upon a lovely collection of Zits, the comic books. I burry my head in graphic tales of teenages woe until the Mr. and Mrs. return and we sit down to breakfast.

For the most part, the VdVs do not eat cooked food. I know, it sounds so bad, but they were pretty much vegetarians before and I will tell you, they have THE most wonderful food ever. It's quite delicious.

After that, Marieke and I worked on some more delightful crossword puzzles, they were fascinating, really, all full of clues and twists and quite stupifying. Mrs. VdV helped us, so we were able to make a bit of headway.

Then Marieke went to finish her room, Felix and the Mrs went to his game, and I was once again left to my own devices, as Hendrick played Halo in the living room. That was rather amusing. I worked on the crossword puzzle. Example: "Where one journeys in a safari.(4)" Answer: Afar.

IN a sAFARi... Yeah, they're like that. Hard.

Well, I got to see Felix play baseball and he was marvelous. It was the championship game, and he was pitching and did a gnarley job, in spite of an older brother shouting instructions at him.

2:20 PM~ Mrs. VdV takes Marieke and I to meet up with Mrs. M, so that we can go with her and her husband to Christine's dance recital. Christine did a very good job, even if she did kick us out of backstage when we went to tell her to break a leg.

We went back to Christine's so she could freshen up before we left for the main attraction: Dinner.

5:01 PM~ Call the restaurant to tell them we are coming, and leave our name as 'The Coconuts." Christine and I nominate Marieke to announce us upon our arrival. *O Mortification* Then we listen to Christine's "Happy Music" (pretty bad when you have to label one CD that..) until Marieke decides that we have to listen to ABBA (choke). So we drive down the road with the music up very loud.

5:15 PM: We arrive down town and find a parking space by the docks that doesn't require parallel parking. SCORE! Marieke, who has never tried to parallel park, does not fully recognize the value of regular parking spots. We walk a long way to the restaurant, in the process passing: A lady from a commune selling T-shirts that say "Don't [complain] Star a Revolution" she didn't actually say how they were starting a revolution, also, a quartet singing lovely songs, and... A lot of people.

5:30 PM~ Arrive at the restaurant. Marieke walks over to announce our presence, and you should have seen the look we got when we said, "Yes, we're the Coconuts." We ate and had a lovely discussion on a lovely topic, which I am not going to tell you so that your ears do not turn purple.

6:30~ Go back down to the docks, stopping at a toy store and to give a homeless man the rest of our pizza, because Marieke got tired of balancing the box on her head, and because she is very thoughtful like that. At the dock, we listened to a man play the flute, and watching a wedding party stroll by, and listened to a man play the cello.

7:28 PM~ The phone rings, and it is Mrs. VdV, coming to relieve us of her wonderful daughter. Christine and I then head for the metro, where she drops me off, so I can ride it to meet my mom. The first time i ever rode it on my own. No worries, I"m fine.

And now, I am home and exhausted, but wait there's more, we've got to get to the stinkiest of times.

Would you all who read this, and are so inclined, please pray for my grandma and my great uncle? My grandma went to the hospital last weekend and stayed for two days, while they ran tests. Turns out her sodium levels are dangerously low. If you know anything about osmosis, etc. it might make a little bit of sense. Other factors complicate it, but in any case please pray for her. And my uncle as well, as he has taken or been given the responsibility of taking care of this, and it's a lot of stress.
At the same time my Great Uncle, her brother, has cancer and about six months to live, according to the doctors. His wife says probably less though. So, I guess, just pray for all of my family. Thank you.

The End

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Truth

Now, I know how everyone has heard about how smart homeschoolers are. How they're all serious about their school, and their debate, and their speech. Well.... Serious isn't actually the word to use.

For evidence, I bring, That Funny Dance, a video of Michael, Jacob, Luke, and James, at the N.C.F.C.A National Debate and Speech tournament, 2006. Yesterday:

Michael, is on the far left, not on the chairs (thanks Michael for not being a vandalizing teenager, the world needs more young people like you.) Then there are Jacob, Luke, and James, "getting their groove on." I have come to believe that for these young men, tournaments are actually an excuse to dance. And when they can't find a girl to dance with, they dance with themselves.

Some times these "serious" homeschooled students gather in packs, blocking off streets, stopping traffic, because they are undersocialized and do not have school dances.

Not only that, sometimes they are so overwhelmed by the need to "cut a rug," they will grab anyone and beginto "do si do" around the room, or the mall, or the restaurant or whatever public place they happen to grace with their presence at that moment.

Much to the amusement of their victims.