Friday, December 28, 2012

Hair Raising Day

I've been growing my hair out for Locks of Love. I went to get my unruly mane trimmed today to spur its growth and keep it healthy. When it was brushed out and measured, I had right at the required 10 inches without it being too short, so I went ahead and had it cut. I'm still adjusting. I feel lighter, and free.
Since this was an in the moment thing, I don't have fancy before and afters. I handed Nix my phone and had her make quick shots.
Here is the before. Please keep in mind I thought I was going to have it done. It had just been in a ponytail seconds before and is wilder than what I normally let it be. Okay, here goes

And now for the after. I'm not ready to change my profile picture yet, but I do like it. 

This will probably be the last time I donate. The grays are creeping in, and the time it takes to mess with it all are both major deterrents now. I think I'll leave the hair growing to Nix from now on. I wonder how long it will take for me to stop doing a double take at my own reflection. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Unintentional Traditions

When our daughter was tiny and not to be trusted with things that break, I bought this:

This is the wonderful Fisher Price Little People Manger. Mine looks a little different because it is a much older model, and somehow the white fluffy lamb from the set was swapped out for the black sheep from either the farm or Noah's Ark. Several years ago I handed down our vast Little People collection to a family friend, but the manger stayed with us. This is also why there are less animals with it than in years past.
I really thought that at this point in our lives that we would have a "real" nativity again, but I think the kids would rebel. They still love this set. They can touch them , pick them up, and add their various stuffed animals and littlest pet shops to attend the party. Again, aren't we past this phase? Nope.
I am pretty sure that this will be our nativity scene for the foreseeable future. I'm okay with that. I have decided that it is a great illustration for how accessible Jesus' birth made God to us all. One of my friends' little girl steals borrows the baby Jesus each year from their's and carries him in her purse or pocket, and wants to cuddle him in bed each night. How cute is that?! I love the symbolism of having Jesus with us at all times. It is a simple, kind of silly, example that opens the way to explaining Christ's love for us and how we can carry Him with us always.
In case I don't post again,
Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

We are about to do science(ish)

Tonight was Nix's science fair. Do you remember when science fairs were all baking soda volcanoes and potato clocks? Ah, the good old days. Now you read about kids advancing cancer research and what not. It has gotten a bit out of hand, but what else is new, right?
Nix and her two partners based their project on the theory that a teenage girl's self esteem would be positively affected by seeing retouched pictures of herself in they same vein as what they do to models in magazines. The idea was spawned out of Nix's hatred of school picture day. Since I work with a photographer on photo editing, she knows what a difference it can make. You make a picture of a girl when she is at her most awkward age, skin messed up, and still learning what to do with girl hair, and then you wonder why she has a poor self image.
To sum up the results, the girls who said that they're self image was affected by pictures they see of women in the media had an increase in their self esteem after seeing their own pictures altered. Also, many of the girls were shocked to see themselves significantly altered in the last phase of the experiment. It actually made a few girls sympathetic to models who have their own images manipulated on a regular basis.
The board turned out fantastic. The girls picked a great color theme with lots of sparkle, and chose a peacock mascot named Monty to really draw the eye. It seemed to be getting a lot of attention from students and parents tonight.

Nix learned several non-science lessons.
1. In the end, the flash and show of the project board counts more than the work. The teacher warned them of as much when they started. I've done a tiny bit of research and I'm not sure this philosophy extends beyond our school and might explain why they do not have a good track record at regionals. There is just a touch of irony to all of this since her project is about getting girls to stop looking at the falsely perfect images and feeling bad about themselves.
2. For better or worse, you will know your partners a lot better by the end. Sometimes good friends make for good work partners and sometimes it is a disaster. For the most part, she got the better end of that, but there were certainly moments.
3. Find each member's strength and use it. If someone isn't pulling their weight, work around them and find something that occupies them.
4. Sometimes good work gets overlooked because a person doesn't know how to present it. Other times, mediocre work gets praised because it is in a pretty package. It was their goal to have both the solid work and the shiny package  for this project.
5. If you tell a waitress that you just won a spot in the regional science fair, she will give you free dessert.
That is right, they won! The school gets to pick 10 projects out of the 200+ to go, and their's was one of them. We are proud and a little stressed that it still isn't over for us, but mostly proud.
Last night I was a little on edge with all the last minute putting together and in my late night loopiness I started a poem that I want to edit and little and post here as a reminder of all the fun.

'Twas the night before the science fair, and all through the place,
people were stressing and giving new lines to my face. 
No one was nestled or snug in their beds, 
while visions of data floated through their heads. 
While I in my flannel and her still in tights,
 organize papers and tried not to have fights.
 When up in the office there arose such a clatter,
 I sprang from the couch to see what was a matter.
Away up the staircase I flew in a flash,
Stubbed a toe on the doorframe and gave my knee quite a bash 
The dew on the forehead of the young teenaged girl
 told me immediately trouble soon would unfurl. 
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, 
but a finished display board and nary a tear. 
With a little blue peacock whose feathers were thick,
I knew in a moment that it would just do the trick.

Alright, that is enough for now. If they make it past regionals in February maybe  I'll add 3 stanzas and throw in a song and dance to go with it. No promises though. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

In sickness and in sickness

OR "Why there will be no photo card from us this year"
This has been a terrible Fall for our house health wise. Rocky and I got some of the earliest cases of flu this year. True it was not confirmed flu, but if your entire body hurts from your hair to your toes, you run a fever for a week, and have no energy for two, chances are good that it was the flu. Then, we went to what we have affectionately deemed "The Corn Maze of Death". The entire house was sick from that one. Rocky had one of his worst breathing episodes ever. Most recently we were hit with the plague. Actually, plague is not strong enough a word for this stomach virus. They have a cure for the actual plague now. For the stomach virus you wait for that hour to come where you are pretty sure death doesn't feel as bad, and then when that passes you set fire to everything you touched in the past week praying that you have killed it with fire. Okay, I'm a bit melodramatic, but I'm still in recovery. Unfortunately, Rocky and I broke the vow of in sickness and in health by getting it at the same time (hence the title). We were very lucky that my parents were in town for Nix's dance recital. I shudder to think what would have happened if they had not been here. I'm pretty sure that they were not as happy to be here as we were to have them, and I pray that good deed does go unpunished. How many times can you have a house guest, sleep or hide for most of their visit, and still end up with a frige full of food, clean laundry for everyone, and a house better than they found it?
Anyway, we are all mending once again and hoping that 2013 is a much healthier year. I was ever so slightly tempted to make a family Christmas picture this year anyway, but then I thought about the image of us in our sick clothes on people's mantles and reason prevailed. IF I send out cards I will promise two things. 1. I will wait until the house is totally well. If you think of a Mary when you see my card, I don't want it to be Typhoid Mary (or Mary Magdalene, but let's not go there). 2. It will not be a glitter bomb. I love, love, love getting Christmas cards and enjoy how different each one is from the next, but I have learned that there are certain people, whom I love and adore, whose cards I open over the trash can because I know the excessive glitter is coming. The cards are pretty, and I don't get upset by it. I'm just saying that a little "this contains 3.7 oz of glitter" on the envelope might be nice.
So, to sum up, we are better, and if you don't get a card from me this year it isn't because you didn't make the cut this time around, it is just because I love you too much to send an envelope that has been licked in my house.