Made it through the day: chapel, run to the Girl Scout store, class for two hours, Girl Scout meeting with Emma's troop. Home. Deep breath.
Made it through the day: chapel, run to the Girl Scout store, class for two hours, Girl Scout meeting with Emma's troop. Home. Deep breath.
Oh my goodness, Monday morning feels like forever ago.
Do you name your cars? We do, though I'm not sure why. We've not named every car we've had (and we've had a lot of cars), but my current car is The Brownie Bus.
The Girl Scouts of Troop 2601
request the pleasure of your company
at a tea party celebrating
Saturday, May 10
My Junior Girl Scouts hosted a Mother's Day Tea at our house today for their end of the year party. Note how the invitation says from 1-3 p.m. Somehow I had 2-4 p.m. in my mind, on my calendar, and had a near heart attack when one of the moms called at one o'clock to say she'd be ten minutes late. Ahhh! I wasn't anywhere near ready at one o'clock!
So I quickly called everyone, apologized, and then greeted them with a smile at 2 p.m! (I think I remembered to tell the girls that it's important to have the right time in your head when you throw a party!)
Anyway, Toben helped me move everything out of the living room and we set up card tables. The girls all came over yesterday after school to set tables, decorate brownie cupcakes, dip strawberries, bake lemon bars, arrange flowers, put together gifts for their mothers, and learn about tea party manners.
Everything turned out great and we had a ball. Kristen came to take pictures of everyone and I'm anxious to see how her pictures turn out.
Each table was set for two moms and two daughters, with its own tea pot, cream and sugar, and flowers for the moms to take home. The girls chose the different tea cups from my collection for their moms and for themselves and learned that you never put a demitasse spoon in your mouth!
I also made up some conversation cards for each table to give the girls and their moms some fun things to talk about--things like which book character you'd like to meet, what animal you'd like to be for a day, something you've always wanted to learn to do, and so on.
Here's the menu:
Tea sandwiches--cucumber, ham, and pimento cheese
Girl Scout cookies
Somehow a two-hour party is an all-day affair. But the few leftovers have been put away, the dishes are done and dried, and the tablecloths are soaking in the washing machine.
It was after 4:30 by the time everyone left--and anytime people stay past the end of the party, I figure it was a success!
Now I'm off to put on my jammies and relax!
Brownies is over for the year!
Don't get me wrong, I love those little girls and generally love all that's involved in being a Girl Scout leader. But we had our end of the year party yesterday and it's over. Doesn't it feel good to cross those finish lines at the end of the school year?
I have lots of pictures from the party, but don't feel quite right about posting pictures of children who aren't mine...
We sang songs, played games, ate cupcakes and ice cream. We had our investiture/rededication ceremony and the girls received their Brownie pins (better late than never!). We handed out goodie bags (filled with pencils and bendy straws and bubbles and stickers and candy necklaces and patches and things for their vests).
But here's the coolest thing.
These girls sold a TON of cookies. And Girl Scouts has a limit to the amount of money a troop is allowed to carry over the summer. As part of our Penny Power try-it, we talked about the three things you can do with money--save it, spend it, donate it.
We are saving the allowed amount for next year. We spent some on their party and on their Webkinz prizes for meeting the troop goal of 100 boxes of cookies per girl. And we donated some--well, a lot.
The girls talked about who they'd like to help with their money--children, families, people who need some money because of illness or unexpected expenses, the church. And our school fits all those categories. So I made a giant check and the girls all signed it and...
...they donated $1,500 to our school's tuition assistance fund!
I'm so proud of them. They were so excited to present the check to our principal. And, yes, I gave him a real check too. We decided the one we made wouldn't fit through the teller window at the bank!
Here are a couple of the games we played this weekend at camp. My video skills are a little (okay, a lot!) lacking, but I think you'll get the idea!
The Rhythm Game
Here are instructions with words to help learn the motions:
Here's a demonstration. After you get the hang of it, go faster and faster and faster...
The Cup Game
Here are instructions with words to help learn the motions:
Here's a demonstration (and I know I appear headless in the video, but I'm really all there!). It's best to play around a round table with as many people as you want. And be sure to you PLASTIC cups!
Did anyone notice I got my nails done? After breaking six in one day last week while cleaning the girls' closets, I decided something needed to be done. So I went on Monday morning and it only took 45 minutes from start to finish. And they just look so pretty, if I do say so myself!
We're home! We had a great weekend at camp and got back in time to have a nice long afternoon at home. The car's unloaded (oh my! you woulda thought I was going for a month as full as the car was with stuff), the laundry's sorted, clothes are set out for the girls for the week.
Here's what the girls made:
It was so fun to see them as they wondered how in the world they would make pajamas from one pattern piece and a huge piece of fabric. They cut out patterns, cut the fabric, and did all the sewing themselves. Then when their pants were done, they appliqued their shirts with butterflies to match the butterfly print on the jammies.
They all wore their new jammies to dinner last night at the dining hall and were so excited to show them off to the other campers.
Here's the back of our cabin:
The cabins have huge living rooms, so we moved the couches and set up a table for each girl with her sewing machine and all her supplies. We left the middle of the room open to spread out fabric and to take breaks to dance around.
There was a group of older girls at camp on Saturday morning, and they taught us some fun games--the cup game and a rhythm game played by slapping the table in different patterns. We played those a bunch, made friendship bracelets, button bracelets, did hair wraps, and watched High School Musical 2. We made cookies, ate cake, and made s'mores.
It was fun, and I'm ready for a shower and bed!
I don't know about you, but I am a list girl. I love lists. I have one for groceries, one for Costco, one for Target or Walmart, one for books to read, one for projects to complete, one for the yard work that needs to be done, one for the garden I want to plant with the girls this summer. And probably a few more.
I spent much of today running errands and crossing things of my list. But my head is still full of lists--lists of things to pack for Girl Scout camp this weekend, lists of project supplies to take along, lists of groceries to pack for dinner tomorrow night, and a list of things I absolutely cannot forget to pack.
Can't remember what I've told you, but Audrey's troop is going camping for the weekend. Only four of my seven girls can make this trip, so it's a small group. Each girl's mom is coming too. And because they're such a small group, and because I can easily get my hands on four sewing machines, we're going to learn to sew.
Instead of planning a busy camp weekend, we have only one goal--to make pajama pants in order to earn a sewing badge--and to relax and have fun. I've packed all my nail polish (how does one woman have 30 bottles of nail polish?!) for pedicures, embroidery floss for friendship bracelets and hair wraps, and even some movies to watch at night (with popcorn, of course!)
I usually come home from camp totally wiped out and not at all prepared for the coming week. I decided that I'd really like to come home rested and relaxed this time. Especially since there's a Brownie meeting on Monday after school and I have a speaking engagement on Tuesday morning.
I'd love for the girls (and their moms!) to come home rested and relaxed too. Audrey usually falls apart after coming home from a weekend away, and other moms have told me that their daughters do the same. School is getting busier with the end drawing near and they've had lots of homework, play practice, and a project or two to anticipate. They could use a break!
So even though it's only Thursday, I'll just go ahead and wish y'all a happy weekend.
Here's what my Junior Girl Scouts made this afternoon. Aren't they cute?
I forgot my camera and took pictures of all the girls' purses with my phone. But now I can't make the phone send pictures to the computer. Ahh. And I promised the girls I'd put their pictures up. I'll have to keep trying.
So this is the one Audrey made. I prepared the birdie shape--cut and backed with Heat and Bond. They ironed them on, chose embroidery floss, and embroidered to embellish. They did a great job--with only about 25 "ouch!"es as fingers were poked with the needles. But they persevered and ran off down the hall to show them to any teachers who were still around to see.
Hey everyone! Girl Scout cookie sales begin today. If you want some, let me know...'cause we're a GS family!
If you don't want cookies for yourself or live far away, consider donating a box or two to our Hometown Heroes--The Women's Crisis and Family Outreach Center here in Denver.
Cookies are $3.25 a box. If you want some, leave a comment and I'll get back to you. Thanks!
The girls came home from school this afternoon and got out their packing lists for Girl Scout camp at Tomahawk this weekend. We've assembled sleeping bags, pillows, day packs full of things like whistles and water bottles, boots, hats, and toothbrushes. We can't seem to find flashlights (I know we have some, but they've disappeared!) so Toben said he'd run out and get us new ones tomorrow.
Both of the girls are going. We're taking our first grade Brownie troop and the fourth grade Junior troop. The Juniors are earning their Junior Aide Award by facilitating the entire weekend for the Brownies--Friday through Sunday, three try-its (that equals 12 activities to complete), and a huge campfire on Saturday night. They are so excited to step up into a leadership role with their sister troop. (Both of us who lead these troops have daughters in each one--so becoming sister troops was a no-brainer.)
Audrey and Emma are so excited--bouncing off the walls excited. It's fun to see, but to tell the truth, it makes me kind of tired knowing their energy will be multiplied by 13 girls tomorrow afternoon! If you think about it, I could use some prayer--for patience, for health, for good sleep away from home (which affects the other two!).
A number of moms are going along too and I'm excited to spend time with them while the girls all work together. It's always fun to see moms connect with each other and make new friends.
I'm pretty much packed too--so there's nothing on the calendar for tomorrow beyond washing all the sheets and loading up the car (and finding those flashlights). I have to be at school at 2:50. Before that, I'm taking the day entirely. Think I'll work on a knitting project in front of a movie and rest up for the big weekend ahead.
I'll be back Sunday night...see you then!
Audrey and I got back from camp at Tomahawk Ranch yesterday afternoon--tired and a little cloudy (as Toben's nana would say), but happy. It was a service unit camp--so everything was already organized and prepared and we just shuttled our girls from one activity to the next and helped them with their projects. The theme was "Lost in Space" and we learned a ton.
Glow-in-the-dark constellations, night hikes, water bottle rockets, telescope ins and outs, alien creature crafts... Not to mention campfires, sing-a-longs, mattress surfing, s'mores...
A full, fun weekend. But, wow, was it good to sleep in my own bed last night!
I just got home from taking Terri to the airport; it was hard to say goodbye. But Audrey and I are headed to San Diego next month so I can do a radio show; we'll stay with Terri and her family for a couple of days and see other friends and family too--something fun to look forward to.
So, hmmm...what have we been up to since I blogged last?
I went to pray at school in the morning, came home to clean bathrooms and mop floors, and went to Daisies at school. Toben picked Terri up at the airport and brought her straight to school. All the girls met her and yelled, "Happy Birthday!" Audrey showed her around school while we finished up our Daisy meeting; Emma showed Terri her class while I talked to some Scout moms about bridging on Saturday.
We had a birthday dinner of chicken tacos (thanks, Marla, for passing on the chicken/salsa in the crockpot recipe--it's soooo yummy!) and I gave Terri her present.
A totally Terri tote and zippy purse to match. All the fabric in my stash is more me than her, so I was thrilled to find this fabric that is perfect for her. I was planning to do a basic tote, but then saw these bamboo handles and fell in love with them. I made up the simple pattern based on a Trader Joe's tote my mom brought me from her last trip to CA.
We got up and went on a walk. It was fun to show her the paths I walk almost every day. I'm sure the neighbors were all happy to see me talking to someone they could see, rather than me talking and singing all by myself like usual!
We ate yummy bran muffins for breakfast, got cleaned up, and headed to Vail for lunch. The weather was gorgeous, the food at Sweet Basil awesome as usual, we sat outside and drank coffee, we looked at flowers, and talked and talked and talked.
We got home and had dinner with my whole family (Toben and the girls; Mom and Dad; Wade and Kristen and the kids) at our favorite pizza place.
We got up and went for another walk, stopping to look at playhouses and garden borders and poppies and such. When we got home we baked more muffins and sat outside for a couple of hours, drinking coffee and talking while the girls played.
We wandered through Hobby Lobby (she's hooked--and wants them to go to Southern California too!) and picked up the cake for our Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony. We were kind of disappointed with the bakery's decorating job (they only put on the certificiate--and crooked at that--and the light green frosting), so we came home and embellished it! Terri was full of great ideas to make it better and it turned out so cute.
We did a family picnic for the ceremony, and it was great to see our Scout families hang out together and have fun. Mom and Dad came to see Audrey and Emma bridge, and so did Wade and Kristen and the kids. The sky got gray and dark, it rained a couple of drops, but we prayed for God to hold off the rain and he did! Hooray!
Got up and made more muffins for breakfast, headed to church, and came home for Sunday dinner (roast and gravy, oven roasted new potatoes, squash and zucchini, Joanne carrots, grilled artichokes, lemon pound cake). Mom and Dad joined us and we ate and ate and talked and talked. Such a great afternoon.
So that's the weekend in a nutshell. Terri said to her husband on the phone that she was here just being part of the family, and that's exactly what it felt like. I'm so glad you came, Terri! Thank you!
Face painting, animal charades, smores in the fireplace, mattress surfing, tee shirt decorating, visiting farm animals, staying up too late, singing and playing games, putting on The Brownie Story as a skit, making fun flip-flops, stamping bandanas...the girls earned three thry-its and had a ball!
I'm totally pooped.
Audrey and I are off tomorrow to go camping with the Brownies...in Colorado...in March. And the forecast calls for snow and rain. Hmm...
I'm actually really looking forward to it. We're "camping" in heated cabins and we only need to be outdoors to walk to the dining hall, to have a campfire, and to go on a short hike. So it's not really as bad as all that!
The girls are all so excited and are looking forward to mattress surfing, staying up a little bit late, and singing around the campfire. They're also going to earn a couple of try-its, so there are some fun craft activities planned.
I'm all set to go (once I pack in the morning!). I went to the doctor this morning and got lots of medicine so I should be feeling MUCH better by the time we leave. Turns out I have a huge sinus infection. Uck. But I've got a bunch of antibiotics in me, some new medicine to unstuff my head, and it's already starting to help.
I'm glad I stayed to get checked out. My appointment was at 9:15 and by 10:15 no one had come in to see me. I'd told myself I'd wait for an hour and that was it, and just as I was getting up to leave the doctor came in.
What is it with doctor's offices? If we're late for an appointment, they get upset and require us to reschedule, so why can they make us wait for an hour past our appointment time to get seen? I'd like to think that waiting this long is an isolated event, but the last time I went to the same office I told myself I'd wait for an hour, and after 55 minutes the doctor came in.
I didn't bring a book or knitting or anything to do today, so it was a long wait. Next time, I think when they tell me the appointment time, I'll just ask if I should show up an hour later since that's been my experience the past two visits...
Camping pictures to come on Sunday when we get back!
Oh it feels good to sit down! Ever have those days where you get to the end and realize that you've not sat down all day?
Daisy and I did get out this morning for a great, long walk--her second since December! It was so much more fun than it's been in the past since I've now joined the rest of the world and have an ipod. It is so cool! Toben has one, the girls have little shuffles, but this is my first. I cranked up the music and bopped through the neighborhood, singing my heart out. What fun! (Of course, I'm sure the neighbors think I'm weird, but oh well!)
Then I cleaned house for HOURS. But I kept plugged in and sang my way through mopping the floors, dusting the furniture, washing windows, and cleaning bathrooms. It was almost fun.
And before I forget to mention it, yesterday FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE DECEMBER I could see ground in my front yard. This is huge progress! It's supposed to be warm again tomorrow so maybe even more snow will melt.
This afternoon was Brownies too. We earned the "Ready, Set, Go Camping" try-it. (We're going camping at the end of the month and they are beside themselves with excitement.) It's one Audrey has earned before and Terri and I did for our girls last year, so we breezed right through it. The girls were hilarious in coming up with ideas of how to use bandanas when you're camping, and they laughed and laughed while rolling up sleeping bags in a relay race. They learned how to tie knots and then made "Smart Soup" to have on hand for camp snacks.
Smart Soup (mix in a huge stock pot and have each girl add an ingredient and give it a stir)
box of Cheerios
M & Ms
peanuts (unless you go to a peanut free school like us!)
chow mein noodles
--and whatever else you can think of (dates, dried apricot chunks, fruit loops, and so on)
The girls love it and it's a great snack for hiking. (And you can tie it up in your bandana along with your water bottle, loop it to your belt and keep your hands free for climbing up rocks!)
We also learned some great camp songs--Waddelacha, Dum Dum, Baby Duck, and The Milk Song. Even though it makes me a little tired to think about it, we're going to have fun!
Sorry to have been absent for such a stretch; I've really been trying to rest more and blogging is the thing that got cut out over the weekend. I did put up spring/Easter decorations on Friday while I babysat Ava. She ran all over the house looking for bunnies. I figured that if I can't make it be spring outside, I can at least create spring inside!
P.S. Happy (late) Birthday, Heidi! I can't wait to see you in April... (and the postman took your package today so it should be there in a few days!)
P.P.S. Happy Birthday, Janna! I'm so glad we're friends!
When I was in the fifth grade in Montgomery, Alabama, friendship pins were all the rage. I remember sitting for hours putting little beads on safety pins and then attaching them onto my shoelaces and such. We also strung little tiny beads on thread to make necklaces--rainbows were the favorite pattern of the time. (In fact, I'm sure my mom still has some of the necklaces we made--and I think there's a beaded safety pin still on a pair of her sandals!)
It's my turn to lead Brownies today. We're doing the Friends Are Fun try-it and making friendship pins as part of earning the badge. The book suggested friendship bracelets, but the ones they described were kind of lame, and I think the kind made from embroidery floss by tying knots would be a little too hard for the girls. I don't think they'd be able to finish them in the time we have...maybe next year for Juniors.
We're also making secret codes with a great Girl Scout code wheel that Terri told me about. I found it at this website and printed them out on cardstock. The girls are going to cut them out, color them, and then decode one of the other girls' names. Then they'll learn something new about that girl and share it with the troop. This code wheel is fun because the code can be different each time--making it impossible for little siblings to figure out!
Toben's parents came for Sunday dinner yesterday afternoon--pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans with carmelized onions, "Joanne" carrots (braised with garlic, sugar, and parsley), and chocolate mousse. Yum. We celebrated Christmas with them and it was such fun to hang out for the afternoon.
I'm off to Monument tonight to meet my friends Emily and Michelle for dinner. I haven't seen either of them since we were all up in the mountains together for a girls weekend. It's really not that far to drive--about 35 miles--don't know why I haven't gotten down there sooner. So we'll celebrate Christmas together tonight--and Emily's birthday!
I suppose this all means that Christmas is finally over and I should take down the Christmas tree and Christmas decorations. It always makes me kind of sad. But I'm starting a new Beth Moore Bible study (Living Beyond Yourself) tomorrow at church! I don't know anyone there, but it's time to get involved. So I guess I'm off the hook for taking down the tree until Wednesday. (Although Ava is spending the day with me on Wednesday, so maybe I'd better wait until Thursday!)
Meet Juliette Lowe, the founder of Girl Scouts.
I found her on ebay and she now has a new home with our Brownie troop. I made her this little Brownie beanie tonight; she'll fit right in at our next meeting. I think she'll become our troop mascot, hiding in all the pictures we take, much like Goldbug in Richard Scarry's books. I always loved to find Goldbug!
Audrey thinks she needs a Brownie vest too, but I don't have enough brown felt on hand. I may have to go get some and see what happens. She'll also need a party hat for when we have troop parties. She's come unglued (don't we all sometimes?!) so I need to glue her back down and then come up with a plaque. I think I may just make something up on the computer so that it can change from time to time--depending on what we're doing.
I'm so excited about her...I hope the girls all think she's as neat as I do!
This came in the mail today, which is fitting since it was a Brownie day. We recite the Girl Scout Promise at the beginning of each meeting ("On my honor I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law"), but I love that this one tacks on "especially those at home" at the end of it. I think I'll have to bring this to our meeting next week for show and tell. I took a bunch of the Girl Scout and Brownie books I've recently begun collecting to show the girls today. They loved seeing books about scouting that are 80 years old.
Oh, I'm tired! Two hours at the gym (BOSU and then a ballet class), followed by a trip to Costco (so much for only getting the five things on the list!), an errand to the Girl Scout store (they were out of what I needed), and then off to church to get set up for Brownies. I'm always amazed that a 90-minute Brownie meeting somehow takes most of the day. But these girls are definitely worth it.
Today the big thing at Brownies was tasting castor oil. We sing the "Lollipop" song a lot in our troop, and the second verse is all about castor oil. The girls have made a big deal about wanting to try it, so Terri ordered some from the pharmacy and we gave all the girls a little spoon and a taste--quickly followed by a Tootsie Pop and a rousing round of the song. Such fun!
We laugh so much and roll our eyes and shake our heads and just love these girls. And now I have to go collapse in a pile on my wonderfully comfortable bed!
Our mailbox was stuffed today with these two things I ordered on eBay. The first is a book called The Girl Scouts on the Ranch by Edith Lavell. I'm up to chapter 4 and am just as excited as the Girl Scouts that they're going to spend two months on a ranch in Wyoming after graduating from Miss Allen's Boarding School. I love old books like this, and since I'm a Brownie troop leader it was a no-brainer purchase!
There's no title page or copyright date, so I don't really know how old the book is, but the book plate inside the front cover says: Property of Camp Cho Ridge. Hmm...sounds like a Google search is in order.
At the back of the book there are a bunch of ads for other book series for girls--so I'll also be off to amazon and eBay to see if I can find them too.
I also got the English Vocabulary Cards in the mail today--"A convenient method for developing, quickly and easily, your knowledge of those choice English words vital for advancement in your career." I have no idea what I'll do with them, but I had to have them. I've been seeing some amazing collage as I've blog-hopped (how's that for a word?); maybe these will inspire me to try one. The cards are fun, and have the word used in a sentence like this one for gregarious: "Sheep are, in general, gregarious animals." The definition is on the back of the card (so sheep, we now know, live in groups and like to be with others).
Maybe I'll have to learn (or use, since I already know a lot of them) a new word each day. There are 1,000 cards so it'll take a while!
Today was a Brownie day and the spirit of Easter permeated (passed through, spread itself, pervaded) our meeting. We walk from the school to our meeting room at the church down the street and practice orienteering each week--finding our way there using different things as a guide. We've used compasses, looked for clues to our meeting, and other things like that. Today the girls hunted for Easter eggs along the way with little Easter tree ornaments hidden inside. They loved it! Terri and I hid 15 eggs along the way, but only found 14 with the girls. I hope whoever found the one we lost found happiness in it! (The good thing was we only had 14 Brownies today, so it worked out perfectly.)
The girls made this little bunny door hanger as their craft today. We cut open carrot seed packets (sending the seeds home with the girls to plant) and stuffed them with Spanish moss and a little chenille bunny rabbit. They tied the string through holes punched in the packet to hang it. So cute!
We have 15 girls in our troop--all in the second grade. They are a great bunch of little girls and are able to do so much more than they could at the beginning of the year. We run a pretty tight meeting--the structure is the same each time, so the girls know the drill and what to expect. We love to sing with them; today our song leader chose "Whaddeleacha" (or however you spell it!) and it's hilarious to watch the girls crossing their arms to touch their ear and nose as fast as they can!
We also worked on the Penny Power try it today; we brainstormed ideas for how to spend our cookie money. A day at Disneyland, a sleepover, or a pool party seemed to be the top choices. We talked about how much things cost too--they thought a new car costs $2000, a house costs anywhere from $100 to $5000, and groceries for a week cost $30. Not quite. The one thing they all knew was that an American Girl Doll costs about $100 (if you get the book and accessories too).
Toben took us to Cold Stone for ice cream after dinner; I ate all of my Peanut Butter Cup Delight (or whatever it's called) despite planning to save half for tomorrow. Oh well, life is short and chocolate and peanut butter are sooooo good together.
I'm off to feed the cat and to remind him that tomorrow is Saturday--NO getting up at 5:09 tomorrow morning.