L. said that not only was she sad, so was her stuffed lion. Hmmm, they're recruiting more Pirates fans by the minute.
G. is having a heck of a time talking about the trade, well actually the name of the team (the Admirals) the players were traded to. It seems to be a tongue twister for her so it's a good thing we don't have to cheer on that team.
They agreed that they're going to miss yelling, "Bruuuuunnnnooooo" in the stands. And when I asked G. to demonstrate, she jolted Toddy out of his slumber with her enthusiasm.
And the girls couldn't let the moment of reflection pass without also checking in with Toddy (which they did separately and I didn't see until I downloaded the video clips today). He had a few meows of sympathy thanks to G. and let L. talk again about the former number 55.
Yesterday I was chuckling over A Dog's Life blog and Nancy's feelings about her "youngest daughter ... NOT getting the new pooper scooping Barbie."
And as strange as this seems, our doorbell rang right after I read that entry with a package delivery from the girls' uncle in California that included a "Barbie Doll & Tanner Dog" -- a.k.a. "the pooper scooping Barbie!"
So as true YouTube fanatics, the girls had to record how their new favorite toy worked.
And yes Nancy, I agree with you, Tanner is eating his own poop. Even the girls had to admit it was a bit "yucky."
And speaking of animals, Toddy our blind cat is the star of another of the girls' video productions on YouTube dubbed, "Prince Toddy." He's looks like a bored Prince but hey, at least he's a tolerant one.
As much as my kids enjoy YouTube, I never let them surf that site alone. Beware of videos with Barbie in the title ... some are REALLY inappropriate for kids.
My girls and some of their Juliette Girl Scout friends came together last night to do some Christmas caroling in Gorham.
I was in charge of doing a quick review of lyrics in a caroling book I had given to the girls before we went out into the neighborhood. But I got so caught up with the book (thinking it was helpful), that we ended up forgetting to sing some really popular tunes that weren't included there - like Rudolph and Frosty.
Well, there's always next year.
A silly moment when the girls forgot the words to, "Santa Claus is coming to Town." I think it was a bit of stage - I mean sidewalk - fright when some people came to hear them sing. [And yeah, it was dark so this is more audio - than video - clip.]
Or the time one of the girls decided that she couldn't sing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" without having the corresponding page in the caroling book.
I think I'll leave the caroling book home next year...
L. skipped her 4-H club's Christmas craft day to go to a Pirates game last night with me and Grandpa. She simply couldn't miss the chance to go see her favorite team play.
Before the game I roamed the stands taking photos for Seen's Fan of the Night and found a couple of youth hockey teams. It turned out that they were there to play an exhibition game between the first and second periods of the Pirates' game. They were really cute and looked so tiny on the ice.
Youth hockey players on the ice between periods.
The Pirates and Falcons on the ice. It was a good thing the youth league players weren't standing next to Mitch Fritz from the Springfield team. He made even the 6-foot plus Pirates' players look short (he's 6'8").
The Pirates were in the lead through the entire game but in the last second of regulation play -- actually there wasn't even a second on the board it was a couple of tenths of a second -- Springfield knocked the puck into the Pirates goal. I'm pretty sure the clock read 00:03 when that puck went in. L. and I, along with the friends we were sitting with, were shocked. None of us had seen that close a call before.
So the game went into overtime and neither team scored so they started a shootout. If you've never seen a shootout, it's edge-of-your-seat suspense. After the first players for each team made it past the opposing team's goalie, the next few rounds went scoreless. But then during the final round, Konopka made the final shot that won the game for the Pirates and the crowd went wild. L. and her friend were jumping and screaming right along with everyone else.
After L. yelled her fill in celebration, we left the stands to take a silly picture with a geocaching Travel Bug we're currently hosting...
This Travel Bug is from New Jersey and has been traveling for a little over a year but doesn't have any photos in its album. We decided to change that.
We're in full holiday mode at our house now after making gingerbread houses and driving around looking for Christmas lights this week.
We took part in a family workshop at the Baxter Library in Gorham to make gingerbread houses. And although it looked as though our house had been through a snow storm thanks to our less than careful work with the frosting adhesive, we did include a hot rod parked next to the house. The girls were pleased to have built a hot rod "just like Grandpa's" and even included a Hershey Kiss date for him. Typical Almeida family humor...
Then last night I took the girls and a couple of their friends out to look at Christmas lights. It's a family tradition to make hot cocoa and pack a bucket of popcorn and candy for a car ride around town looking for light displays.
G. took photos from a few favorite displays. This one was in Standish.
Another favorite display in Windham
A couple of years back I made a math game out of our Christmas lights car adventure to help G. with her math skills. It was so much fun that we now make a tally sheet every year for our trip.
In the 20 miles we drove through various neighborhoods last night, here's what we found.
The kids and I were driving through Falmouth yesterday and spotted a deer grazing on someone's front yard shrubbery.
Another car had stopped to watch the deer so we pulled over too. Because nothing seemed to spook the deer for the few minutes we were there (other cars pulled over or slowed down to watch too), I decided to take a couple of pictures. The girls, in their best backseat driver-type way, said I needed to get out of the car for a better picture.
(G. she thinks just because she won a blue ribbon for her 4-H photography project, she's free to offer me advice now.)
But as it turned out, I did get a better picture when I got within 20 feet of the animal before she decided to take notice of me and run off.
"Good job Mommy," said L. when I returned to the car.
"Yeah, that's a really cool photo," G. told me after reviewing the digital images I had taken.
I'm so glad the kids were with me yesterday. I didn't realize how little I knew about taking pictures before they came along.
The kids and I were in traffic at an intersection in Windham the other day when we spotted at least 20 seagulls flying around the traffic lights in front of us. And as we pulled up to the light we saw several other gulls on the road weaving and dodging among the moving vehicles.
The reason: a pizza box.
The pink circle is the pizza box and although in this quick shot I took you can only see two seagulls, there were at least six on the road just a few seconds earlier.
Those gulls were really hot on the contents of that stray pizza box and did not appear to be concerned about the possibility of being hit by a car.
As I sat waiting for the light and watching the spectacle, I realized that there were a lot of seagulls in Windham and that surprised me. It really is a good distance away from the ocean.
The light eventually changed and as I made my turn, L. yelled from the backseat.
"Mommy, Mommy the pizza box flew open! And guess what?!?"
"What?" I asked and had to wait almost a minute for her and G. to stop giggling.
"There wasn't even any pizza in there. The box was empty!"
The kids crack me up with their various ice skating outfit choices. For instance, last week G. wore one of her favorite long fleece skirts. She sews them herself and pretty much wears one every day. It's our compromise to going tight-less (she's not a fan of wearing tights for more than her hour-long ballet class or ice skating because she finds them too itchy). I want her to stay warm and she wants to be comfortable so the fleece skirts meet somewhere in the middle.
Playing train and tag are favorites with the girls during open skate.
G. happily reported after her hour on the ice that the long skirt was easy to skate in. I'm skeptical but it's just not that important a thing to argue with her about. And hey, it's motivating her to become a better seamstress, a life skill that will come in handy throughout her life, so I've zipped my lips closed on the subject.
Today, L. showed a little variety in her skating outfit choices at the Portland Ice Arena. She and a couple of her friends shared their holiday spirit by wearing red and white capes at the arena's Christmas party.
It was mighty windy and cold in Bridgton yesterday but the kids had a great time serving as bug detectives.
The girls are Juliette (independent) Girl Scouts this year and attended an outdoor workshop at Camp Pondicherry. We went out on a nature hike to look for insects and found lots of interesting stuff despite the cold temperatures.
One of the items we found in abundance were round, leaf-like balls. The girls couldn't resist cracking open the fragile balls to see what was inside, which was basically nothing. The leader, nor any of the other adults, knew exactly what we had found so if you do, post a comment. We'd really like to know!
The ball felt like a leaf and was paper-thin - L. cracked several by mistake when she squeezed too hard.
The group returned to the indoor classroom after our hike with a bunch of acorns the instructor had asked them to collect as well as a slug, worm and ant found by some of the other girls. The workshop leader asked the group to put their acorns in a glass of water and to discard the ones that sank to the bottom. The ones that floated were then cracked open to see if there was a weevil (insect) inside. Only 1 in the 18 acorns collected actually contained a weevil but the girls thoroughly enjoyed cracking open the nuts.
Neither L. or G. had acorns with a weevil but they vowed to search our rural backyard for acorns in hopes of finding one for themselves.
If you're interested in conducting your own experiment, which both my kids enthusiastically recommend everyone should try, check out these informative, easy-to-follow directions.
The girls have sent of their emails to Santa about what they're hoping for this year. Why email?
"Santa sends us a letter right back when we email him!"
I like emailing Santa too. The girls can only request three items (the email form has only three blocks to write in) and Santa emails them right back about their requests. Sort of an 'order confirmed' note, which I explain to the girls means that they can't change their minds about the gifts they want. Very helpful with kids like L. who can never make up her mind about anything.
After G. finished reading Santa's return letter she noticed a special section just for pets. Apparently Rudolph not only leads Santa's sleigh on stormy nights, he also organizes the elves to make gifts for all the special animals of the world.
G. helped Toddy at the keyboard to type in his requests and he too received a letter right back. Here's a little excerpt of it (of course the letter is hanging on the bulletin board in our kitchen as well).
It's always wonderful to get an email from you, Toddy! Öink baaa meow hiss roar squeãl!! So Toddy, have you been a good boy this year? (Of course, you won't mind if Santa and I do a little checking, will you? woof chirp? baaaa! neiiiiiighhh).
Did you have a hard time typing with your paws? Keyboards weren't really designed for us critters were they?! Tikki-tikki squawk woof!! Of course, don't forget to get your owner to email Santa too so Santa knows what they want for Christmas. Otherwise, you might have to share that kitty treats with them!! ARROOoooooo! ~sproing~ squeãl öink!!