And They Feasted!

Today is a day Ainzli and her second grade class have been anticipating for quite sometime. They had a grand feast for their Thanksgiving/Indian unit. It was held in the gym, all 186 kids sitting Indian style on the floor, in front of the decorations they made. Food was brought in by the parents, put together and set-up by the parents; with the teachers guidance, of course. The feast consists of the 2nd grade and they are dressed up as the Indians. The 3rd grade are the Pilgrims, dressed in full Puritan garb. 

Ainzli came home and already stated that next year she will be a Pilgrim. "Can we please stay in second grade for as long as possible sis, no more third grade talk!", I say. She smiles her quarky little smile all the while thinking "Wow, my Mom is nuts". She would never say that, but I truly believe she thinks it quite often.

Here is the feast.  Apples, Carrots, Celery, Cornbread, Banana Bread, Summer Sausage and Popcorn.
There was so much food in the beginning, I thought, how will it all get eaten. By the end of the feast it was gone.
186  2nd and 3rd grade kids consume a massive amount of food!

Mrs. Clements set up a teepee in their room, and they have made so many Indian (just so you know I like to call them Native Americans, but at school they call them Indians so that is what I have called them in this entry) crafts over the past couple of weeks. I go in to volunteer on Fridays for "centers", and this past Friday we decorated their Indian vests. These vests were white t-shirts that were either coffee or tea soaked before they were sent in, then the arms were cut off and cut into strips on the bottom.  They had beads, feathers, sequins (very authentic!), and markers to decorate them with.

What a blessing to apart of such an amazing school. We have a principal, teachers, aides, and volunteers that make it a wonderful place for my daughter to apart of. Definitely one on my blessings this Thanksgiving.

 One of my top blessings is obviously seated directly below.

Meet "Mia".
The kids were able to choose their own Indian name and Ainzli chose "Mia". (My-ah) 
I'm not sure that is an Indian name, but she is completely convinced and that is all that matters.

The vest. I tell you what, the hot glue gun could fix the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
The creativity was perpetuated in this craft. The vest really looks fantastic.

This is just one of the amazing experiences my daughter gets to have at school.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Princess of the Piano

We have been working fervently on Lillie's piano lessons. She has her first recital on December 10 and I cannot wait. She will be composing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Wendy the Whale. I am very aware that she is only 5, but she really likes to practice and play. Shannon has taken her to her last two lessons and he is fully engaged in this with Lillie.

A daddy teaching his daughter.....

Ms. Kathy is Lillie's piano teacher and she is wonderful. She is fun, organized, and expects a lot of her students and their parents. I just learned today that Lillie will be bowing when people applaud for her and will be doing a final curtsy at the end of her performance. How much fun is that going to be! I feel like as a parent you are looking for extra curricular activities that will not only build your children's minds, but also their confidence. Piano is filling all of those expectations for us. Go Lillie Go!



I have been thinking about my "everyday's". I know that isn't grammatically correct, but that is what they are. We do school, pre-school, work, home, errands; like most families I know. Our "everyday's". It can become mundane, but overall there is nothing else I would rather be doing. This will be my last year with my little sidekick. That thought literally "kicks me in the side." Lillie Blue will be starting kindergarten, and although that is quite a few months away, I think about it a lot. I enjoy our little talks, not getting out of our pajamas (or not wearing anything but little striped underwear and polka dotted socks, I am talking about Ms. Blue of course, and that is her attire today), reading with her, taking her to the office, doing anything with her; our one-on-one.

Don't get me wrong, I love to load up and head toward the school to go get Ainzli, but the dynamic always drastically changes. My one-on-one time with Lillie was not spent at her infancy, it is now, and it will be drawing to an end in the not so distant future. I am not sad, I embrace each stage of my children's lives, but I have had a little woman home with me for the last 8 1/2 years. Wow, where in the *&%# did 8 1/2 years go?!

Just an "everyday" at the Grismore abode.


Home Sweet Home

Shannon arrived home safe and sound Saturday, after a long day of traveling. The girl's and I waited at Concourse A, watching all the people straggling around the bend, wondering when it would be our loved one coming. Then Lillie gets up and starts running and Ainzli and I are looking at the people coming toward us thinking, "who is she runnning too?" Then Ainzli recognized him and I was last. Of course, all of this happened in a 30 second time frame, but really, I didn't recognize him. He had on his new hat (very dapper), hockey jersey from the Mochengladenbach team (bright and busy does not even begin to describe this thing) and very tired eyes. It was such a sense of calmness, all of us back together. (chaos always insumes not long after, a much loved chaos, for clarification).

Earlier in the day, the girls had made him posters for his welcoming home. Lillie wanted to be stealthy and make him find hers. She had me hang it in the top of his closet, he will see it every time he opens the doors.  I just thought that was genius. Ainzli took hers with us. She wanted him to see it first thing, she is always looking for ways to make people feel special. I love that about her.

So the family is all back and into the flow of regular life. Yeah!

The girl's love to do a project. They both were given money for Halloween instead of candy from grandparents.    (I just love that!) So they compiled their money, stuck to the budget, and bought all they wanted for the "Welcome Home Daddy" posters. 

 For the "spreadout" projects we always turn to the trusty folding table. It has been in the kitchen, garage, four seasons room, even in the backyard, and now we have christened the front room. I know it won't fit in the bathroom, but there is no doubt in my mind Ainzli will try to get it in there. 

Elmer's School Glue:
                                                        The company was originally part of the Borden Company which introduced the first consumer white glue in 1947. Under the trade name "Cascorez Glue, " the glue was packaged in glass bottles with "ice cream pop" type wooden sticks attached with rubber band. Shortly thereafter, the glue was repositioned under the name "Elmer's Glue-All"after Elmer, the spouse of Borden's famed corporate symbol, Elsie the cow.     

 I love kid art. Their pure joy with the finished product, the way they are able to explain every aspect, and the improvision of things they have not yet mastered. (case in point here, daddy's fingers). What an absolutely perfect Saturday morning.


The Over-Reactor

"Mom, Lillie's knocked out!", is the phrase that I hear from down the hall while I am cleaning up the dishes from supper. Instantly, I have a lump in my throat and I am positive my blood pressure has gone up 10 points. I briskly run to the end of the hallway and my look must have said it all. Ainzli instantly apologizes to me and has this look on her face that says, "Please don't be so mad at me your vein pops out in your forehead." I told her that this would never be something that would be funny to me, don't ever do it again, this is once again "crying wolf" and she said ok; all the while stroking a few strands of hair against her face with the "deer in the headlight" look.

I am the Over-Reactor type of Mom. This is not a character trait I am proud of. My mind always goes to the worst and I tell myself this is so that when it isn't bad I was prepared. I just pray daily that I am never faced with "the worst".  It has had me thinking for quite awhile, how do I overcome this ridiculous flaw? I want to be cool, calm, collected all those reactions that should come naturally, but can you gain them like knowledge? I believe you can.

Take the "knockout" situation. I know even a year ago, and definitely two years ago I would have dropped a dish on the floor, been crying by the time I got to them, and been yelling like a crazed lunatic (the look on Ainzli face expected it) when I realized she had been "just joking". I don't honestly know how I have started to resolve this. Getting older, a rock under pressure husband, daily prayer, having situations arise that teach me; I think all of these are reasons I am becoming a better reactive person. I have mastered breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, this is deep breathing, fill your lungs, no kidding, it works. I make the girls do it too, when they get really upset. It is called "whoo-sah" at the Grismore abode.

I don't know what kind of a "reaction" person you are, but if you are my hero type, bless you. For the rest of us, we can work on this, overcome it, and be that person up front leading with grace under pressure. (too much, I think not, we all need positive reinforcement every now and again.)

This is one of the fun pictures from our shoot with Abby. Can you see the craze lunacy in my eyes? Hopefully not. :) 


Emillio Reggio

This is the view out of the 3rd story room in Italy. A Futbol field. I guess I just don't get it!

I suppose to the right person this would be a great view.......... either one of these!

I suppose to the country boy from Farmland these would seem like some of the coolest things! Let me tell you, Ainzli and I both went straight to the really cool carpet in the small triangle space to the left.

The girl's and I got a call last night with just opera music on the other end. Last night was the Brevini 50 year celebration. Shannon said they went and had pizza before hand and that was it. He seemed a little puzzled by the simpleness of that until................ the singing started. Spettacolare! Once again, no words.  Just pure and simple, magic. More to come...........later.


Meet Joe (in) Black

Yesterday was a wonderful day for Shannon, when I talked with him he sounded great. This is Johannes (from here forward know as "Joe"), he and Shannon have become good friends. When Joe was over here we took him out to Acton country and showed him around. Shannon took him a ride in the Camaro, Poppa's Corvette, and they took a four-wheeler ride down by the river. All of these confirm country boy from Farmland! We had a wonderful time that day and Joe is a great guy.
Joe returned the experience in grand proportions! Shannon was able to meet Bittina (wife), Rolf (son) and Joe's Mom. They toured the countryside, Joe's village, and went 165 Kilometers an hour on the Autoban. We will hear all about it when he gets home.

Shannon flew out at 10 am from Dusseldorf, on his way to Italy. He is now just 5 hours ahead of us, their daylight savings was this past Sunday. I have not spoken with him yet, but he was ready to get there. He will be with someone from Brevini most of the time he is in Italy. Shannon likes to be around people, so this trip has been challening on so many levels. Italy will be a completely different experience, he is getting picked up from the airport in a limo! What now, Shannon the Rockstar! I am looking forward to hearing from him today.

Meet Joe. This is his Ford Mondeo. Why can't we get that car here in the states? Very Volvo-esk. 

This is Joe's village. That is really all I know. Shannon didn't give me anymore information, but.........I can only imagine waking up every morning, pouring myself a cup of black coffee and heading out to my front porch (or this time of year, front picture window) and seeing this.  

Rolf: he is Joe's 14 month old son. Joe is a die-hard biker. So he started Rolf out early on the motorcycle! Rolf turned 1 year when Joe was over here. Joe travels for very long periods of time for his job. He was only home for 3 days and was willing to spend one with Shannon. I am forever grateful!

As for the girls and I, we are getting to hang out just the three of us. Last night we laid in Lillie's bed, all three of us, and just chatted. I just love my girls. We definitely miss him, but we look at it with a positive attitude.

Tonight, Ainzli is going to registration for the Royerton basketball league. I think she is a little nervous. I asked her about volleyball and she really has no interest. Soccer, no interest. Basketball, we will see.

Lillie had piano last night, and she got her first Christmas song to practice. She is so close to mastering Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Miss Kathy says she is doing great.