8th grade graduation, diva style

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aStage3Rights of passage are an important part of growing up. Crawling, sitting up, and first steps are celebrated with awe. There’s nothing quite like pre-school graduation, complete with songs and pint-sized graduates attired in caps and gowns.

Fast forward

My middle school graduate is no longer pint-sized, and she has grown into quite a beauty. She’s always had a sense of style, and enjoys all things fashion related. Her vision of what graduation celebration looks like when it’s right included shopping for the perfect dress and matching shoes, swiping through images of hair coifs, mani- and pedi-cure, and of course, the salon appointment on graduation day for the much-discussed hair-do.

Yet there is more to graduating middle school than fashionably attiring oneself. There is the accumulation of late nights and weekends spent doing homework, studying for tests, and navigating relationships with teachers one isn’t necessarily fond. Oh, and let’s not forget learning how to be friends who date other friends, especially when those friends break up and you all manage to remain good friends.

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Yes, there is much to absorb in school that goes beyond reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. There are choices and consequences to contemplate, personalities and character traits to figure out. Oh, and let’s not forget that whole brain under construction thing that goes on during adolescence.

My Fashionista took on all those challenges with the same up front, in-you-face enthusiasim she lives other aspects of her life. To say that she’s an energetic young woman who embraces life on her own terms doesn’t begin to describe her joie de vivre.

I think she’s got awesome opportunities in front of her, challenging enough to build character and interesting enough to acquire all kinds of skills. Can you believe it? My first high school aged student. Wow.

Mowing lawns for yoyos

So, my son and his friend asked what they could do to earn money. They lamented that they were too young to go out and get a “real summer job.” They mowed the back yard, and raked leaves for $5, each. They mowed the front lawn and earned another $5, each. They uncluttered and swept my bedroom and scored another $5, total. I know! I’m cheap.

lawnyoyoHeavy sigh. “How can we earn more money?” My son asked.

“Why don’t you walk around the neighborhood, knock on a few doors, and ask if you can mow lawns.” My son and his friend were galvanized into action. Off they went to seek their fortunes. They returned a couple of hours later excited because they mowed 5 lawns at $10 per lawn. They were stoked not just because they’d scored $50, but because they had made appointments to mow three more lawns the next day. Saturday rolled around and they came back with $40, because one place payed them especially well.

My son is excited because he earned enough to purchase a cool, trick yoyo that he’s had his eye on. His friend is excited because he earned 2/3 toward something he dearly wants. Both boys said that they felt quite grown up, and very proud of themselves.

And there goes my son now… off to his 6:00 lawn mowing appointment.

Electroluminescent therapy

Electroluminescent therapy

My son wanted to trick out his skateboard with blue neon Electroluminescent Ribbon. I mean, who wouldn’t? Sadly, the connector to the power supply disconnected from the ribbon. I hate it when that happens.

While he was studying the contraption to see if or how he could fix it, the wire somehow got away from him and bopped him on his cheek. The electric shock was, well, shocking, to say the least. When one is electrocuted, one’s mind tends to race in the direction of permanent damage to one’s health. My son was no different. After several reassurances, it was time to take a new tactic.

“Is there a red mark or anything on my cheek?” He asks. “It feels weird, like when you go to the dentist and they give you that numbing shot.”

“It’s fine, really. Well, except for that black splotch.” I couldn’t help myself. Really. It just had to be said. Well, he goes off into a just-pushing-the-edge-of-panic state, striding purposefully toward a mirror.

From the hall I hear a disembodied voice, “I really hate you right now, mom.” I’m laughing my tushie off, too dang funny. He laughs with me. “That was mean, mom.”

“Yeah, but you’re not worried anymore, are you.” We laugh about it off and on for another 20 minutes or so.

Introducing the Studio of Awesomeness

I picked up video lighting and backdrop equipment on e-bay for a steal! This mama has big plans for the summer…

I looked into video production, (scripting, filming, and pre- and post-engineer) programs and classes that the kids could take over the summer. To say that they are cost prohibitive isn’t completely accurate. However, for 1/3 of the cost of sending kids to video camps, I could just buy the equipment. So, I did. The kids are searching the web, mostly Youtube videos, for instructions to accomplish the things that they want to learn. Everything from the optimal distance a subject needs to be from the backdrop, to replacing the green screen with a different color or a photo.videostudio

Motivated kids, opportunity, time, and fun… better than any program I can involve them in!

My youngest is writing a play and wants to film it with her best friend. Of course, she’s tagged her brother for doing the engineering side of the project. I’m not sure what my oldest daughter will want to do with it yet, but I’m sure she’ll brainstorm something awesome. I want to record how-to craft and card classes. I think that would be fun! And my son wants to make a “not necessarily the news” broadcast.

I know what you’re thinking, “what about dad?” Well, he loves that he has his own photography studio, something that he always wanted. He is also enjoying being the SME for filming, set up, and lighting.

I can’t wait to see how much we can accomplish over the summer.

I has rawrs!

I has roars!

I saw the dots and circle motif somewhere and decided that I wanted to replicate that look. I’m very please with my results. The paw prints are from a Darice embossing folder, I used the smallest Spellbinder circle die for to cut them out. The adorable lion is Lester, from Inky Antics.

Date night

Date night

Finding ourselves sans children Friday night, we decided to try a neighborhood restaurant. From the hostess’s lively welcome, to the last bite of our desserts, this was a night to remember.

Hubby enjoyed a basil martini while we waited at the bar for our table. It’s like an Italian margarita, the basil is an not only a fragrant, green splash of color, but added an unexpected flavor. I tried the spice Mojito made with vanilla rum, pear puree, and Allspice syrup. Amazing.

We took our time, ordering one item at a time to share, and sipping wine while we waited for our next dish to arrive. We savored our meal and enjoyed each others company. It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to pas de duex, which made our evening all that much more enjoyable.