Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow Flurries

Unlike the Northeast, we have had nothing in the way of snow this year. (Yes, I realize I probably just jinxed us.) We did have one snow day this week, thanks to the threat of icy conditions which never materialized. Compared to last year, that's nothing. This does not mean the kids haven't wished for snow: They are already eagerly anticipating Christmas in Buffalo next year, despite my dire warnings that they often do not have white Christmases.
Note Frozen Crocs on her feet. She has finally deigned to wear them.
So when I was washing up the lunch dishes yesterday and noticed snow flurries whirling around the air, I called Laura over to come see them. She quickly put on jacket and shoes and scurried outside, trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue and generally running around jubilantly. For about five's not snowy, but it's darn cold!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Tale of Three Valentines III

I suspect this will be the last entry in this particular series of posts. Not that I plan to end Clare's receipt of valentines from us, but I do believe this will be the final year for distributing them to her entire class. Middle school...a lot fewer fun and games! Which explains her basic, dare we say boring entry: packs of M&Ms. I'm not thrilled with resorting to handing out candy, but it's very difficult to find age-appropriate valentines for 11- and 12-year-olds, especially when you have to give them to boys as well as girls. Bags of chocolate? Easy!

Danny was hoping to find Lord of the Rings or Hobbit valentines, but no such luck. Sports-themed valentines with magnets, making them perfect for lockers (which they happen to have in second grade) were an acceptable substitute. Phew.
And in a far-from-shocking turn of events, Laura opted for Frozen valentines. I am delighted to say that we found them at the dollar store - as well as the pack of pencils to go with them. They have been working hard at tracing their letters in her class ever since the Christmas break, so I think the pencils may come in quite handy!

On our end, I made the selection for all three kids' valentine gifts fairly early. After seeing how enamored both Clare and Danny were of Laura's scooter from her birthday, I knew just what to order them - their own scooters. Meanwhile, Laura has been talking about princess Crocs for a while, and has nearly outgrown hers, so a pair of Frozen Crocs seemed just the right choice. Or so I thought. Instead, once she opened them, she burst into tears and declared, "This is the worst present ever!" Um, okay. Tim thought it was pretty obvious, after watching her siblings open toys. In my defense, a) they opened toys that she already has, and b) anything with princesses has typically been a big win. Oh well, chalk this one up to experience.
Clare and Danny did make a very sweet (literally) addition to our holiday: a cake baked from scratch! Yes, they had to ask for assistance from time to time (props to the visiting Aunt Cat for much guidance), but ultimately it was definitely their labor of love. We are lucky to have such sweethearts!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gold Seekers

A big project for the Second Grade at CKS is their "Georgia Museum," in which each student researches an important person, event or landmark for the state and they all present them at an afternoon gathering. Danny chose the topic of the discovery of gold in Dahlonega. Since it's merely an hour away, we decided we needed to make a trip there for authenticity's sake. Plus, it was a great excuse for a Mommy-Danny date (especially since Tim and Clare were off to the 6th grade girls' basketball play-offs - meaning a sitter for Laura).

We had a beautiful, sunny Saturday for our outing. Our first stop was the Consolidated Mining Company, which promised both a tour of a gold mine and the chance to pan for our own gold. They delivered on both counts, much to our delight. Danny was quite pleased with our haul of five pieces (miniscule, might I add) of gold, and even more so with the gemstones we mined afterwards.
Our tour took us down into the no-longer-active mine, where we saw railways and carts, drills, pumps, and even bats. Danny's eager mind absorbed it all enthusiastically.
After the mine, we decided to head to downtown Dahlonega and visit the Gold Museum. Danny won over the employee behind the counter when he informed her we were researching a school project, so we came away with helpful literature and a decent understanding of the gold rush. Which meant we were ready for lunch.
While the downtown area had several charming-looking eateries, we were both set on a spot we passed when heading into town: Danny's Restaurant! It turned out to be, as Danny said, "Quite a Southern place," filled with folks not in a hurry, cammo-wearing men, and down-home food. His bacon burger hit the spot, so he easily awarded it five stars. I was only so-so on the food, but the company was worth it!