Wednesday, November 18, 2009

State vs. Peter Pan

Last night Becca was part of a mock trial for her middle school class. They do this every year and it is a chance to introduce the kids to the world of law. The kids learn about real laws and how they apply to the facts of the case. It is very professional with a real defense attorney meeting with both sides to help with their arguments and a real Hennepin county judge (who is the mom of two students from the school) to preside over the trial. This year Becca was a defense attorney for Peter Pan. Peter was charged with trespassing, assault, and kidnapping. Becca and her co-counsel called witnesses (Wendy, John, Tinkerbell, and Peter himself) to the stand to speak on Peter's behalf. The trial started with a motion of the defense to move the trial to a juvenile court instead of trying Peter Pan as an adult. That motion was denied (good thing or it would have made for a very short trial). Becca was very poised and did a great job! I received a lot of comments after about how well she spoke and argued and I said it was her natural talent coming through. It was so nice to see her using her power for good rather than arguing with me about why she didn't want to clean her room and why she shouldn't have to. The great news about the trial is that Becca and her co-counsel were able to get Peter off on his 3 charges. So watch out everyone, Peter is once again free to fly around causing mischief.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Music, Dancing and Fashion

This week has been filled with music and dancing at our house. Last Friday, Harry had a dance at his school. The theme was formal which explains Harry's velvet blazer. It was your typical elementary dance. There was a DJ who played music and the kids danced around (not with each other of course). One of the things that surprised me was how involved the DJ was with the kids. Usually at those dances they just play songs and let the kids go, but this guy played a ton of games with the kids, like relay dancing, hula hoops, and he even had the kids go in a big circle so kids could take turns doing "freestyle" in the middle. Well, for those of you who know Harry well, it will come as no surprise that once he had a turn to "freestyle" in the middle of the group he kept raising his hand to get picked again. Never shy, that one! They also had a limbo contest which you can see in the picture above along with Harry's mad skills! Bella went to the dance too since it was for the entire family and she had lots of fun too. She even made a few friends while there.
Overall, Harry's new school experience continues to go well. It seems like Harry has made quite a few friends at his new school. I met with two of his teachers this week and they said they are amazed at how well he has adjusted. One of the teachers said she wished she had more Harrys in her class. Always a good thing to hear as a parent! About a week ago, Harry ran for student council in his room. He had to write and give a speech on why he wanted to represent the class. He didn't wind up winning, but I was so proud of him for trying!

On Tuesday, Becca and Harry tried out for Scrooge: A Musical. They were in it last year as part of the children's choir. Last year they picked about 50 kids and let them rotate nights of performances. This year they only picked 20 kids and luckily they made the cut! They might get to be in it more this year as towns children in various scenes. They had been rehearsing a song to sing for the auditions, but they picked a song for everyone to sing. It was "Maybe" from Annie. It was a little high for Harry to sing, but he muddled through.

On Wednesday the kids and I had a very special encounter. We started watching "Project Runway" this season for the 1st time and we got hooked! We rooted all season long for Christopher Straub who was a designer from Shakopee which is only minutes away from our town of Chaska. Last week, we were very sad that he was kicked off the show, but on Wednesday he was having a trunk show and we got to meet him. I bought myself a keychain he designed and we told him that we loved watching him on the show this season. It was a fun experience!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Halloween 2009 is in the books! The costumes are put away, the decorations are taken down (for the most part), and the clearance is bought for next year (Harry had his eye on an electronic skeleton dog that he HAD to get). We spent the holiday with friends that we often visit for Halloween and don't get to see very often. As I had previously reported, Harry was a scary ventriloquist dummy (who resembled a scary Pee Wee Herman more than anything else) and Bella was Laura Ingalls before the Wilder. Becca was a helpful 8th grader who helped to pass out candy. Our friends' high school son was dressed as a suicide bomber for a party he was going to, so Harry thought it would be funny to pose in a picture with his "bombs". Enjoy the picture above, I'm sure it is going to result in my blog being bookmarked by some friendly FBI individual and it could pose some problems for Harry if he ever wants to fly anywhere in an airplane in the future. I was off trick or treating duty as Erick headed out with the kids in tow accompanied by his high school friend that we were visiting. Despite the chilly temperature of 38 degrees, the kids went out in search of free candy for 1 1/2 hours. They should be set for candy until Christmas.

The day before Halloween, the kids had the day off from school for conferences. I brought Harry to see the "This is It" Michael Jackson movie. Despite the outcry of needing to buy advance tickets, we saw the 2:40pm matinee showing of the movie with only 5 other individuals. It was a fun movie and it sure looked to me like Michael could still sing and dance, but who knows? It also looked like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz melted after having a bucket of water thrown on her. The power of Hollywood movie magic can never be underestimated!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Face Your Fears...

A tradition in the 5th and 6th youth group at church is to have a version of "Fear Factor" for the kids to participate in the week of Halloween. I'm not really sure how it ties in to church, but the kids love it. For those of you who don't remember the "Fear Factor" show on tv, it had contestants who had to do crazy things (eat bugs, hang from flying helicopters, swim in under underwater mazes) in order to win money. Well for both of Becca's 5th and 6th grade years, she was the champion of church Fear Factor so as Harry had his turn this past week, he had a lot to live up to. First there was an 8 stage food challenge where the kids had to consume (and finish) fig cookies, jalapeno chips, turkey dinner baby food, tofu, spicy cactus, spam, algae juice, and jelly beans. Jelly beans you say? Yes, but these weren't your average Easter Bunny jelly beans. There were various colors blue, peach, yellow, etc and the colors had two flavors. So if you ate a blue one you might be getting blue raspberry or you might be getting toothpaste. For peach you might be getting peach or you might be getting vomit. You get the idea. Harry passed the food challenges with flying colors, but ran into some trouble with the skill portion of the evening. He had to throw hula hoops around pumpkins and he missed. For the final piece of the evening the kids had to hold two dixie cups of water in the palms of their hands with the palms facing up and their arms straight out by their shoulders. Harry lasted into the top 4 but then got out. Overall he was bummed that he hadn't won the whole challenge, but he vowed to come back strong for next year!