Friday, February 15, 2008

A day of history and culture with the kids

The kids and I had a great day of history and culture! I needed to accompany a group to the Historic Arkansas Museum and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park, and the kids were out of school, so along they came with me!

We saw Adella the Storyteller at the museum, saw lots of neat things at the presidential center, and finished the day up with a ride on the trolley.

Adella told an African tale about the drongo bird in Madagascar, related the tale of Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch, and finished up with a story about a buzzard tricking a squirrel and a rabbit into becoming a meal for him but he couldn't trick a monkey. (My six-year-old daughter has been doing a fabulous buzzard imitation since then!)

My son got to walk around through the crowd with Adella, and that was okay until she pulled out a tambourine and started playing!

The girls thought it was great fun to go through security at the presidential center, and they thought sitting around the Cabinet Room table was pretty cool too. They wanted to sit in the President's chair, which is two inches higher than the other chairs.

The highlight of the presidential center for them was seeing the White House in miniature, on display there temporarily. It was pretty much a huge dollhouse to them but my eight-year-old daughter said she feels like she's been to the real White House now.

A trolley ride was a great way to end the day. We rode past the museum and the presidential center, which was pretty interesting to them, but a handclap game was much more to their liking!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A reward for good grades

The kids' honor roll/good grades party last night was a blast! They had a wonderful time, my sister-in-law did a fabulous job with the menu and decorations, and my husband brought home a beautiful and delicious cake.

The only disappointing thing (and it really wasn't a big deal at all) was that most of the people the kids invited didn't get to come. Their only guest was a lively nine-year-old, and with her and our four girls — my two daughters who are 8 and 6, and my two nieces, who are 9 and 5 — there was plenty of little girls to have an exciting party!

My eight-year-old daughter made all A's and the two nine-year-olds made mostly all A's. The six-year-old in kindergarten and the five-year-old in preschool don't get letter grades, but they got lots of checkmarks on their report cards. Everyone was well deserving of a big "good grades" party, that's for sure.

The theme of the party was balloons, so we had balloons everywhere. One of the games they played and loved was one in which you kick ballons into a box. It sounds easier than it really is, because you cannot touch the balloons with your hands, and of course they are so light they go all over the place and you can't get them in the box. We played several different versions of the game with all the balloons that my five-year-old niece and I aired up with a bicycle pump, which was great fun in itself!

The girls also played musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey (with Donkey from Shrek on a huge printout my husband came up with somehow) and danced their hearts out, mostly to "Soulja Boy" and "Wall to Wall" by Chris Brown. They choreographed some good moves to "Wall to Wall."

The party food was barbecued smokies, baked beans, chicken wings, and chips and dip, all made by my sister-in-law, and that delicious cake made by a woman who works with my husband. It has a great big "A" on it because my older daughter made all A's and her name starts with an A.

The kids had such a good time that we left the decorations up so they could have another party today. This one was much briefer but they still had a good time. We are still eating on all that great party food and the cake.

The girls even got gifts! My sister mailed packages for all four of the girls, and a friend of ours gave them a gift bag this morning.

We told them that we won't give them a party every single time they make all A's or get on the honor roll, but we will always try to reward them. We'll definitely do another party, and we think they'll remember this one and work hard to have another one.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good grades party

We are having an honor roll/good grades party for our girls tomorrow!

Our eight-year-old third grader made all A's, our nine-year-old fourth grader made all A's and two B's, and our kindergartner and preschooler got very good marks! The fourth grader and the preschooler are actually our nieces.

A few weeks back my husband promised our third grader that he'd throw her a party if she made all A's, like she normally does. She did make all A's, and her cousin in the fourth grade also got on the honor roll as usual, so the party was on! My husband got his sister (our nieces' mother) involved in the party and it really began taking shape then. She has already bought all the party decorations, plates, cups, goodie bag items, and even invitations, and today she's getting some food. I'm going to do a little food shopping for the party myself today, and my husband will be bringing home a freshly-made cake tomorrow after work.

I've called several of our friends and invited them, and most of them can come. We have the invitations to give to some more of them tonight. We're expecting about 20 kids (give or take a few) tomorrow evening. We're going to keep it very simple with a few games and a little food and hope they have a great time!