It’s all about the squint

We’ve spent the afternoon watching Clint Eastwood westerns, which means my oldest son has discovered the secret to acting success: squint.  Clint only had one emotion, one expression, that said it all, from, “I’ve saved your life” to “I have to kill you now” to “I think I’ll smoke and then use the cigar to light some dynamite.”  He never even got in a hurry about it. 

Cameron’s practicing.  He stares at me with a grim face, raises a finger slowly and dramatically, squints, and “I want hot chocolate.”  Another squint, “I’m going to play my GameBoy.”  Another slow squint with a pointed finger, “Let’s change the channel.”

Maybe that’s enough squinting for now.

The Seussification of Midsummer Night’s Dream

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1soV1UFVguw

An amazing play…and I’m not just saying that because my son and daughter performed it and my oldest son wrote the script.  Okay, that probably is why I’m saying it. 🙂

The kids performed with a group of homeschoolers in a student competition at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, and their Seussy scene from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and they took first place.  Even better than that – they had fun and are totally hooked on Shakespeare now.  My daughter said, “Shakespeare was a genius.”  Can’t ask for a learning project better than that.

My life in randomville…

As I walked past my 13 yo daughter, calmy eating her snack and working on her math, she grinned and stuck out her tongue.  She’d painted stripes on her tongue with vanilla yogurt.  Some dribbled onto the table when she started giggling at my surprised expression.  I reached the computer desk, not quite recovered, and noticed that my 15 yo son – theoretically focused on writing his soon-to-be-blockbuster novel – was staring angelically at the screen with his fingers on the keyboard.  Next to him on the desk stood an unlikely creation.  It was a towering stack of objects from the desk, precisely balanced in an unlikely configuration worthy of the Cat in the Hat with a spinning plastic dish on top (probably the lid to a case of CD ROMS).  He noticed my befuddled stare, glanced sideways at the tower, and matter of factly gave it another spin and went back to typing.

Life is random.  Kids are creative.  I’m just going to close my eyes and try not to wonder what child #3 is doing…

Outdoing himself

My son outdid himself.  Literally.  It was a most unusual competition.

All my kid thrive on stage, so when we discovered a drama competition at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival, it seemed a natural fit.  They’ve never done Shakespeare, which seems a serious blight on both their literary and dramatic careers.

I put together a group of high school kids in our homeschool group to create a cast for Cameron, my oldest, to perform and compete with.  We found a director, and the community theatre graciously offered us costumes.  An insane friend of put together a group of elementary/middle school kids for the same competition, so my younger two joined.  My insane friend wanted to make Shakespeare more accessible to the children (as young as 8), so her brilliant idea was to re-write the script of Midsummer Night’s Dream as a Dr. Seuss story.  She tapped Cameron to write the play.  He’s not just an aspiring actor, but an aspiring playwright as well. 

He wrote the script.  Then he competed against it.  He won first place at the festival.  He also won third.  His friends have accused him of aiding and abetting the enemy.  If this were a Shakespearian tragedy instead of a comedy, he might’ve found his drink poisoned and a bloody knife at his throat.  As it was, they good-naturedly threatened to beat him up (guy talk for hey, you did a great job writing), and then went off to play jousting games.  I’m never quite sure what to expect from him. 

I’ll just have to wait for him to outdo himself again.

(PS If you have a group of youngster who’d like to perform a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, Seussified…I know of an award-winning script and a kid who’ll sell you the rights to perform it very reasonably. 🙂 )

Thank you, Marty

He was just tagging along on a trip for his big sister, but today Sean is walking with a little extra swagger.  That’s because he can now do something his mom and sister can’t: change a tire.

We left on our trip uncharecteristically early (my husband says I nurse a curious relationship with time, but that’s another post) and I thought we’d get Jordi to her meeting 45 minutes early, plenty of time to stop for cheeseburgers and stretching before turning around for the 2 1/4 hour drive home.  When a tire blew out unexpectedly and left us stranded by the highway, I saw my relaxed schedule go up in shredded rubber.

We’d only been stranded for a few minutes when Marty stopped to rescue us.  After discovering that I don’t know how to change a flat (yes, I was there that day in driver’s ed, but I stood in the back of the crowd chatting with friends…my own fault). 

Marty didn’t just change the tire, he taught my 11 yos how to change it, adding in little tricks about using the tool as a lever to help lift a heavy tire, and entertained him with stories about how fun it is to fix and drive tanks.

We made our destination safely and not too terribly late.  And now if we get stranded again, I know I’m in good hands, even if Marty’s not around.