What a fantastic few days! Thursday Aaron got his braces off, and his new smile is beautiful – thank you Dr. Bob! He has this cool retainer that’s attached to the back of his teeth, so there’s nothing to forget to wear or take out and lose. He’s getting away with murder lately just by flashing that smile.
Friday we went to the Madrigal Feaste, a three-hour extravaganza with entertainment from the Ballard High School Madrigal Singers. I had only heard them perform briefly once before, but they were so amazing I knew this would be a special event. All three nights sell out every year, but this year tickets were a sure thing since Aaron’s girlfriend, Catherine, is a Senior in the Madrigals. I had never heard her sing before and it nearly brought me to tears. She is so beautiful and talented, and such a sweet, funny girl. She makes me want to bring back the tradition of arranged marriages.
The meal was served in courses, simple food perfectly prepared, and my children have now developed a taste for wassail and bread pudding. Jack was fascinated with the concept of actually getting to eat off the china and crystal rather than it sitting in the china cabinet looking nice. I guess there are going to be a few more “fancy” dinners at home in our near future.
This morning we went to get a Christmas tree. We found a place last year downtown close to the river that is family-owned. The boy who helped us select and load our tree was about 12 years old and when I paid him for the tree and gave him a tip he was very confused. His uncle came up and slapped him on the shoulder, laughing, and told us this was his first tree sale and they hadn’t told him he would be making tips. That was one excited kid! Of course, we went back to the same place this year, and I think last year’s kid has spread the word, because the boy who helped us this year was even younger, but extremely knowledgeable and helpful, certainly earned his tip! Michael thought it would be a good idea to take Sam with us to pick out the tree. Yeah, a very poorly behaved moose of a dog is exactly what you want with you on this sort of errand. Here she is on the drive there.
Yes, she’s a 100 pound lapdog. Here she is in the midst of the activity.
Note the toddler behind her, who had just run screaming from the scary doggie. Of course, five minutes later she was back, patting Sam’s head and getting doggie kisses. Here’s Jack with the tree he chose – a winner if I’ve ever seen one!
Once we’d dropped the tree off at home and grabbed some lunch it was time to go to Jack’s chorus performance, a fundraiser for his school at a bookstore in a busy shopping center. The chorus director gets a big kick out of Jack because his voice is starting to change so you never know what sort of sound is going to come out of his mouth. I was disappointed that Nina wasn’t there. She’s the girl in his class about whom he recently confided, “She likes me and I finally admitted I like her.” I was enjoying a sweet “my baby’s growing up” moment, but it didn’t last long since his next comment was, “Chicks just dig me.” Really, is there any parental response to that statement that would be productive? I couldn’t think of one, so I just turned up the car radio.
Of course since the purpose of the Barnes & Noble event was raising funds for the Fifth Grade’s trip to Great Wolf Lodge in the Spring (please God don’t make me go and have to wear a bathing suit at an indoor water park in front of all those soccer moms) I bought a Godiva cheesecake (again, please no bathing suit). I wasn’t planning on buying anything else, but Jack scoped out a special boxed set of the “Percy and the Olympians” books he LOVES (they really are good – I enjoy reading them myself) that he BEGGED for. Well, these are BOOKS, my own personal addiction, so I understood how he felt. Also, he’s not as much of a reader as I’d like, so I do try to encourage him when he finds books he likes. One of the many things I will always be grateful to my mother for is that she whole-heartedly supported my love of books when I was a kid. She would take me to the library (quite a drive – we lived in the country) and I would check out as many books as I could carry. And she bought me hardback books of my own on a regular basis when I KNOW that wasn’t in the budget at all. Books were always my favorite presents. As if that wasn’t enough, THIS WAS A FUNDRAISER. So of course I begged Michael to sneak around the other side of the store, grab one of the box sets (only two left by this time), check out, and hide it in the car while I bought the boys hot chocolate at Starbucks. Thankfully, the line at Starbucks was long (fundraiser included stuff bought there) and the barista moved with the speed of an arthritic snail. Mission accomplished. I was pretty pleased with myself until Michael handed me the debit card and receipt in the car. OH MY GOD. I guess I should have hunted for a price tag on those books, huh? EEEK! I could hear Aaron’s deep rumble of laughter behind me as he looked over my should and realized he had just scored some extra Christmas stuff to even things up. Aaron, meet your new MP3. SIGH!