Sunday, December 28, 2008

Strange weather we're having, ain't it?

In the past week or so we have had blizzards, rain, extreme cold (down to 0 degrees F), very warm weather (in the 60s yesterday), and now a huge windstorm.

Sometime in the night a huge Silver Maple in our backyard got blown over. As you can see here, it wrecked the fence that separates our yard from the Country Club parking lot as well as taking out a few smaller trees.

It extends quite a ways beyond the fence into the parking lot.

The tree service guy was just here. He says that our insurance will cover the removal since it damaged a structure. I think the fence actually belongs to the Country Club, so their insurance will probably take care of repairing it. We're also going to take out the tree next to the one that fell. Ironically, that was the one we knew was dead and were more concerned about.

It's one of those things we've known we had to deal with for a while but kept hoping we could put off the expense another year. I guess we're just lucky it didn't fall toward the house.

Merry Christmas

Christmas was a little off this year. With the floors being refinished upstairs, the house is in chaos and we have been sleeping in the living room. We're on the fold-out couch, and Genevieve camps out on the loveseat. That means that we actually sleep right in front of the Christmas tree--something John says he always wanted to do when he was a kid.

Genevieve didn't get up any earlier than usual on Christmas morning, but that still meant 6:45 am, which is earlier than John would have liked. She discovered that her stocking had been filled overnight, and even Prince and Doodles got treats in theirs.

This is all the loot from Genevieve's stocking.

I gave Genevieve my iPod for Christmas since I now have an iPhone. In the picture below she is staring at me in disbelief--she was amazed that I let her have it. Her favorite gift, though, was the iDog I gave her to go with it.
After presents at home we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Fortunately they have a chess set. She beat me at it. John's much better, thoough, which is good because he teaches her a lot. Here is the American Girl doll that Grandma gave Genevieve for Christmas.

Overall it was a good day. Genevieve got to see her cousins for a while, and afterward we went to Lights on the Lake for the first time. We all really liked it. On the way home she fell asleep in the car so we never did our Hannukah thing that night. Not a problem, we made up for it the next night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sorry, no cards this year

If you are someone who usually gets a holiday card from me, please don't think I'm snubbing you. I never got around to sending cards this year. I'll send birth announcements in 6 weeks or so instead!
Here are some pictures of my cutie in the meantime.

Happy Hanukkah!

Our version of Hanukkah has menorahs in front of the Christmas tree....
Here Genevieve has received a gift of dress-up shoes and tiaras from Meme and Saba. I think she coerced them into giving it to her after she found it in their basement (it was intended for someone else). In the next photo she is posing in one of the sets.

The first gift she opened from us wasn't quite as exciting. A new Princess hamper to replace the old Winnie-the-Pooh one. Genevieve's reaction to everything she opens is "I knew it!"...even when she actually has no idea what it is. In this case she decided the hamper makes a great bee-keeper costume.
The second night she was much more excited about her gift from Mom and Dad. One of my friends told me about BellaSara, which is kind of like Webkinz except with horses. I think this is going to be the next big thing for her. She wanted to stay up late brushing her virtual horse, and the first thing she did in the morning was to go online to see her again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Girl Scouts

Since I was a kid, Girl Scouts have added another level for younger kids below Brownies, so Genevieve is a Daisy this year. She could have done it last year, but no one wanted to help me lead the troop, and I wasn't dumb enough to do it alone. This year another woman stepped up to the leadership position, and I am "helping." At their first meeting they made Daisy smocks to use as their "uniforms" and learned all that GS stuff like the GS Promise and the Friendship Squeeze.

(This is Genevieve's friend Lauren making her shirt. Genevieve and Lauren were the only ones who got size small.)

(Here is the Friendship Squeeze in action. Genevieve is the one in the dark pink shirt on the far side.)

I am a little peeved that the GSP is still "On my honor I will try to do my best to serve God and my country ..." GSA goes overboard with showing girls of different races/ethnicities at every opportunity, yet they still stick to the old religious underpinnings that come entirely from Christian doctrine. (I haven't heard much about their stance on homosexuality, but I assume it's similar to the Boy Scouts, who are known for being intolerant.) It makes me feel like their message of inclusivity is a load of crap. The current leader is completely oblivious of course, and I think all the other girls in the troop are white and Christian (except for one part-Hispanic girl who was adopted into a white family). I'll be less grumpy about it once they stop doing Christmas activities.

On Saturday we sold GS cookies at a booth outside a local dairy owned by one of the girls' family. This is so much better than the door-to-door method! After my horrible experience with that, I'm not sure if I'll ever let her go door-to-door anyway.
(These are two of the other girls who were selling cookies with us. They used the bells to try to drum up business with the Christmas tree shoppers.)

After that Genevieve went to a birthday party at Sweet and Sassy, a salon for young girls started by a marketing genius. They all got updos, nail polish, blush, sparkle spray, and put on costumes to dance under a disco ball.

(This is after she got home from the party. She's playing her favorite game, chess. She is constantly asking us to play chess with her lately, or she plays it on the computer.)