Rain Day

January 7, 2008

Today is a Rain Day. Think a Snow Day on the East Coast, but rain instead. Yes, we’re Arizona wimps, with blood so thin we scramble to find our down jackets when the temperature dips below 60 degrees, but you need to allow us our days off because of weather as well!

This morning we woke up to a light drizzle which continued on till 10:30, canceling our homeschool group’s PE class, and eventually turning into a heavy downpour (by a Arizonian’s standard) and then lightening back into the drizzle over the course of four hours.

To ease my brother’s concerns, my mother promised that they would have a good time during the allotted time for PE…and then after that back to the dungeons. No, just kidding.

For the first part of our ‘PE Alternative’ we had a, er, dance jam. We pushed back the table, moved the chairs, and turned on some music. It was Mom’s turn first. (See, each family member would have a turn to pick what type of dance everyone would do.) She picked the good ol’ White Girl’s Dance. Don’t tell me you don’t know what that is. To summarize, plant the feet (for the most basic version) and bend the knees with the beat, bobbing up and down to the sides, while doing something with the hands (clapping, snapping, etc). Aiden and Ian will have to work on this.

Aiden picked second, and picked the Robot. (Mister Roboto, no more Roboto) So, we were Robot-ing good, to our hearts content, laughing and joking all over the place…and then (I don’t know how this happened) the Robot turned into the Mime, and we were all pulling a rope, going down ‘stairs,’ or trying to get out of our ‘box,’ and totally skipped the ‘silent’ part. Ooooh yeah, we’re a hoot. 😀

I picked a family fav next: the twist. Oh man, I do love to twist. Yeah, yeah, I know. What can I say, it’s a family thing: At the reception, after my Aunt’s wedding (Mom’s sister), everyone was dancing and having a wonderful time…I actually was running up and down hallways with a cousin (he’s not really a cousin, but it makes things more simple to call him ‘cousin’) and I have vague memories of sneaking into some room we weren’t supposed to be in while everyone else was distracted…but I digress. (Oh, I was six, by the way, this was not recent.) So everyone was dancing and eating etc etc and at one point the Twist started to play. Now, my grandfather is The King of the twist. So you can imagine that he got up there and started twisting to his heart’s content. Well, he was a bit more energetic on that certain day, and his twisting was some sort of amazing. He went left, then right, one leg up in the air, then both on the ground, arms going back and forth, circling again and again…and he was so focused on his art, he kinda lost track of where he was on the dance floor (and by this time, as I was told, everyone is just watching him)…and he CRASHED into a window (there was a long window the length of the room) and, by gosh, almost all of the vertical blinds on the window came crashing down on him—but the beautiful thing is, he kept goin’! Not missing a beat, he continued twisting up and back again, to the crowd’s delight. …so I defend my fondness of Twisting.

Let me see, next Ian didn’t want to pick any one dance in particular so we did a White Girl’s Dance/Robot/Mime/Twist (and I think Aiden attempted The Worm) for the fourth song.

By the time this was over, we decided to move onto another game…a classic: Simon Says. And, I am proud to say, I am reigning champ. So there. 😉

Now that we were done with the PE part, we moved onto a craft. Little Marshmallow (fake marshmallows) Snowmen! Sooo cute!

While we were making the Snowmen, certain people *cough*myself*cough* commented on how working with something that looked so much like a marshmallow was making me hungry. Then, right on cue, Ian brought up that he hadn’t had s’mores in a VERY LONG TIME. And Aiden mumbled something about thinking we had marshmallows…yah see where this is going? Yeah, yeah?

So we did end up having hot cocoa, and here is the recipe:

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/3 C dried milk

Combine all ingredients in a mug and cover with boiling/very hot water and mix to combine.

Now, we could have hot cocoa on the condition (per Mom) that we count, by fives, twenty marshmallows into our cups. The three older children acquiesced, but when it was John Paul’s turn…

Mom: John Paul, can you count out some marshmallows for you cup?
John Paul: (Picking up one marshmallow) One. (Grabbing a huge handful) Two.

Hahaha, he’s one of us!

While sipping our hot cocoa (right boys, sipping?), Mom read An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polaco, and I snapped some pics.

An Orange for Frankie, by the way, is a wonderful picture book. The illustrations are, as usual from Patricia Polaco, utterly beautiful and the story is genuine and heartwarming. The story of young Frankie, his family, their service of those in worse situations than theirs, and his mistake that is made right and forgiven, is a true story about Patricia’s great-uncle.

After the book was finished being read, the boys bundled up and played outside in the rain, Mom went to the computer, and I sat down to write this.

This leisurely, yet productive, morning and afternoon is a perfect example of our 2008 family motto. We orderly went from one project or activity to the next, while not losing the spaciousness that a morning and afternoon at home should ensure.

(a side note for this ^ picture: in the background on a sunny day these mountains are visible)

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