Thursday, January 31, 2013

Peter and the Wolf

This afternoon Finn participated in one of the most highly anticipated events of his kindergarten year, his kindergarten play, Peter and the Wolf. Over the last month he has eaten, breathed, and slept (Quite literally! He has fallen asleep listening to the audio story nearly every night.) Peter and the Wolf in preparation for this adventure.  The arts coordinator wrote a beautiful piece in the school's newsletter explaining the process: 
Modern dancers from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts whirled and leapt with people half their size last week. The college dancers join ABS teachers to lead kindergarteners in explorations of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf this month. Kindergarten teachers begin the project by sharing the story (as re-told by Russian composer Serge Prokofiev,) using recordings and picture books. Music teacher Mr. Wilbur introduces students to the voices and families of the instruments portraying each of the characters. Meanwhile, students compare the stereotypical wolves represented in children's literature (Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, The Boy Who Cried Wolf...) to the shy, endangered creatures as they occur in reality. Students compare Peter’s family to their own. They explore the language and elements of the story in class, change the ending, act it out, and draw each section.   Dance teacher Ms. Adams works with the UNCSA dancers and the children to re-tell the story through movement. The UNCSA dancers' challenge is to discover the range of abilities of 5 to 6-year olds, and to choreograph the dance within that range. The unit culminates with kindergarteners performing together with the UNCSA dancers, a wind quintet of UNCSA musicians, and narration by Peter Perret, Conductor Emeritus of the Winston-Salem Symphony.
{the many Peters}

{the group portraying the bird}

{the group portraying the duck}

{the group portraying the cat}

{the group portraying the grandparents}

{the wolves on the prowl}

{Finn, as a hunter}

{the hunters catch the wolf}

{the entire cast}

{cast party with his class back in his classroom}

This experience was such a delightful one for Finn, everything from learning the story and music, to learning about wolves, to meeting and following his "big dancer". I'm so happy for him that his first experience in a play was a positive, encouraging adventure rather than a scary, tense, nervous event.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yarn Along

For this week's Yarn Along, I'm working on a new project, a project I had in mind when I visited Purl Soho little more than a week ago. I picked out this Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Artic Shadow.  The turtleneck portion is finished, and I'm ready to start the body.  Unfortunately, I've been hit with a bout of sickness this week, which has made for very little knitting, and even less reading, but I'm starting to feel a bit better so hopefully I can make some progress on my sweater this weekend.

Finn and I have been reading through Moominland Midwinter since I brought it back from NYC for him.  The other kids have listened to bits and pieces of it.  All 3 boys are a bit Moomin obsessed and particularly enjoy the Moomin comic books.

I did manage, before I got sick, to finish Elizabeth's socks for her birthday.  I misjudged her tiny feet just a bit and made the foot part a bit short for her.  I'll probably rip out the toes on both socks and add an extra 1/2-3/4 of an inch to give her a bit more room. Overall she likes them though, especially the colors.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


{1 week}

{16 months, at the park}

{18 months}

{2.5 years}

{with her brothers, age 5}

{preschool graduation, age 5}

{competing in a school poetry slam, age 8}

{at the beach, age 9}

{starting 6th grade, age 11}

She's 12 now, this girl of mine.  It happened yesterday with all of the pomp and splendor we could manage on a school day with a mom sporting a fever and feeling generally yucky.  I did take some time, as I always do, on this day to reflect on my mothering journey.  There's something about Elizabeth's birthday in particular, even though she's not the oldest child in our blended family, that makes me ponder. Ponder parenthood, ponder my own adulthood, ponder the journey our lives have taken.  She's been with me for more of my adulthood than anyone, or anything, else in my life.  Longer than my husband, longer than our house, longer than any job. These pictures, these stages represent not only her milestones but mine as well. I couldn't ask for anyone better to join me in this journey.

She's an amazing kid, and I can't wait to see what the next 12 years of her life holds.

Monday, January 28, 2013

happy birthday to her

This weekend we spent a bit of time celebrating Elizabeth.  Even though her main birthday present this year was a trip to NYC, she really wanted a birthday party with her friends.  (Those middle schoolers, they are all about the time with friends!) We planned a low-key party in a local park, a park that happens to have one large shelter with a fire pit, an enormously popular park near the center of town.  Oh, and they don't let you reserve shelters in the wintertime.  Yes, that was a bit stressful for me. (I was convinced we weren't going to be able to get the shelter, which was kind of necessary since it's January and we wanted to roast marshmallows...and stay warm.)  And then, the afternoon before her party, an ice storm hit.  An inch of ice over all the roads, schools closed. Ugh. January birthdays are enough to stress a mama out!  We decided that since the temperature was supposed to get to 45 that we would cross our fingers, continue with the party, and hope that other people would show up.  

Fortunately, about 2 hours before the party, the roads mostly melted, and she had a good showing at the party. The kids had a fabulous time despite the cold, and best of all, not many others ventured to the park so we didn't have to worry about the shelter being taken!  The kids played capture the flag for over an hour then warmed by the fire, roasting marshmallows (and their feet and hands).  A great time was had by all. I highly recommend this type of party, by the way.  Low maintenance, inexpensive, and full of outdoorsy fun!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

a winter afternoon

3:20 pm - reading Finn's book, Mountain Creatures, from his school library

3:45 pm - searching for state quarters and happily finding a wheat penny and a Canadian penny

4:00 pm - Finn's little hand-knit sock feet as he kneels at the couch playing with his cars

4:30 pm - Elizabeth's making pipe cleaner art from this book

5:00 pm - Finn and I start reading Moominland Midwinter

5:30 pm - baked sweet potato dinner (the kids have theirs with butter, cinnamon, and a touch of brown sugar; mine has butter, cumin, salt, and a slight pinch of cayenne pepper)

6:15 pm - an after-dinner game of Trouble by candlelight