This week was all about the skating showcase.  It’s yearly celebration-right of passage- ordeal that marks the end of the ice at Laura Sims Skatehouse. This year’s theme was Night at the Movies, and it featured performances to songs from Coco, Moana, The Last Jedi, and Black Panther. Eliza played a small islander in Moana, and Asher was a storm trooper. It was great fun, but at a great cost. I exaggerate- It’s just that we had three rehearsals this week, plus the performance, and we’re all worn out by the end of it.  I’m bummed that skating season is over, because I had a pretty good run playing ice hockey this spring. Playing twice a week really whipped me into shape and cleared my mind pretty thoroughly (for an hour or two afterward- not permanently.) There are places to play during the summer, but not many, and they’re not very local, so I guess I’m just hanging up the skates until they freeze the rink up again in October.

Plunked in the middle of all the skating was Lea Day- which is a field day that takes the piss out of us each June. Proctoring games out on the hot asphalt for a bunch of k-8 kids is hard for real. Molly worked a really long shift and is still recovering. I worked an obstacle course, and I came in during the shift between lower and upper grades. We had to make it more difficult quickly so we decided on a jump-rope obstacle. We needed a longer rope so we tied two together with their handles in the middle- the result was a bundle of plastic in the middle of the rope that punished you severely if you didn’t jump out cleanly. There were very few injuries, none serious, thank goodness.

Tomorrow is Silas’s last day of third grade. This year was pretty good for him, all in all. He stuck with the cello all year, has some great friends, and never protested going to school a single day. Asher protested a few times, but mostly because he’s a deeper sleeper and wakes up cranky. His last day is Thursday, followed by a move-up ceremony. That’ll be something. Eliza has a week or two more school, but only twice a week, and we’re pulling her out the last week anyway. So academically things are winding down.

Winding down- Molly and I are wound down. We had a dozen people over for dinner last night and we’ve stayed up too late a few too many times. Do I say this every week? Probably. Sorry.


Silas joined the ranks of the honored again last week, at least in terms of rolls, and below he is pictured holding his esteemed certificate. He also completed his first year of cello lessons, and we just found out he’s going to join the Musicopia youth orchestra for next year, which is going to be great for him. We promised him a bow and arrow if he stuck with the cello all year, which turned out to be very effective motivation- he got his bow last night. We are as almost always very proud. We were blessed by a visit from some good friends this weekend, with Katie, Bradley, and Darrel, who are on the committee to curate the next Mennonite Hymnal, staying with us and entertaining us mightily. They are some gifted musicians and people-persons, and a joy to have around. They even dug up a copy of a hymn that my great-grandfather wrote the music for, and sang it for us, switching out the lyrics with those from a more well-known hymn, because they were better, and the meter fit. Like I said, pretty gifted. Anyway, loads of fun, and we’re all bloody exhausted, which is not great, because this week…ouch.  Eliza and Asher are gearing up the for the ice skating showcase performance next weekend, and they have two late-evening rehearsals this week, then one Saturday, then the performance Saturday evening. Silas’s school has their field day, in which both Molly and I are heavily involved. Then there is ice hockey, a school advisory council meeting, a photo shoot, a school field trip to shop for (I’m buying fruit at the warehouse) and maybe that’s it but I’m not sure. So I’m dumping some photos here and going to bed, because I’m gonna need it.

Tuckered out

We’re pooped. No all-consuming events this week, just lots of liveliness- a few dinners, a few birthday parties, keeping kids busy and healthy. We celebrated our friend Roger’s birthday on Tuesday and capped off this week today with one of Eliza’s classmates birthdays. They had a slick balloon-artist who did a great t-rex, octopus, and particularly penguin. I’m not posting many pictures because they’re full of other kids, which is not cool on the internet. Eliza had a routine doctor’s appointment with a new nurse practioner- she was cool, and she gave Eliza a clean bill of health. Eliza even donated a drop of blood for testing with nary a whimper.  We spent a few hours at Smith Playhouse together since the weather was so nice mid-week; before it got stinking hot, and then got sopping wet. I played hockey twice this week, and felt good about it, incurring no injuries and not feeling too bad the day after, though I definitely feel it the next morning. We only have two weeks left before the thaw the ice for the summer and turn it into a roller rink. In two weeks our two little kids will perform in the ice showcase: the culmination of their ice skating lesson session. Eliza will be skating to some Moana-song, and Asher will be skating to Star Wars. Molly’s been taking the kids to practice, so I haven’t seen any of it yet. I can’t wait.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and we don’t have anything on the schedule actually, after so many days of overbooking ourselves. We’re going to try our best to take care of ourselves (I’m not 100% sure what that means- we’re bad at it.) I do know we have to move some furniture- dang, like I said, we’re bad at it.


The past week was dominated by Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory. Silas’s school put on its first ever school play, and it was all-consuming. They had three dress rehearsals during the week, and two performances this weekend. I wore several hats, and all of them were heavy. Silas wore a shirt covered with chocolate, mustard, and ketchup stains, and caught quite a lot of flack for it. He played Augustus Gloop, and played it wonderfully, despite being vastly too thin for the role. There were snafu’s aplenty, but we all enjoyed it (in hindsight) and they plan to do another play next year. I shot a hundred or two photos from the play, but they’re full of little kids who didn’t give photo permission, so I’m not going to include much of anything. But I am linking to a video of Augustus falling into the chocolate river: it’s too good to pass up.

On the same evening as the play opened, Asher attended his pre-school “Prom,” coincidentally themed “Candyland.” Molly and Eliza accompanied him. Some kids pulled out all the stops- a pair of twins wore matching white gowns and full white tuxedos. These were five year olds, remember.  Our kids left the party a bit early, we’re wondering if they didn’t miss some line-dancing- that would be a shame.

Rain threatened, and occasionally fell, almost all week, so we hunkered inside too much.  Molly and I snuck out Sunday morning to the Produce Warehouse and came back with a pretty good haul of fruit and veg. The peaches are coming in from California, and the beets were beautiful.

Happy Mother’s Day!

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there… I do all these holidays poorly, but just because I view them skeptically doesn’t mean I appreciate Molly, Mimi, and Babbee any less- I just resent having to say it. For Mother’s Day this year, Molly gets to stand in the rain and hand out diplomas at Penn’s graduation. But it’s raining like crazy, which means they might stuff everybody in the Palestra, allowing each graduate only one or two guests, which means a lot of angry relatives sitting in the Marriott, stewing. But that’s not our problem, thankfully. Getting Molly down there and keeping her dry is our problem.

Of course, Graduation means a slight dip in Molly’s workload, since her class ended two weeks ago, and she turned in her grades last week. It feels like we deserve a break.

Last night we attended a Musicopia concert; Musicopia is a youth orchestra, and although Silas isn’t a member yet he was allowed to play with the “Twinklers.” The Twinklers are especially young kids who’ve just started playing in the last year or two, and they wrote a really fun arrangement of twinkle twinkle little star in which all levels of the orchestra play different parts according to their abilities. Silas did pretty well, while he was playing. After he finished he decided to play the “annoy dad” game, whereby he did annoying things so I would let him leave the church. It worked, but he didn’t realize the price of winning would be the loss of a week of screen time and my rage. I am not taking the kids into a church again for another five years.  At one point Asher was laying down under a pew and Eliza had stacked one of the kneeling cushions up on the pew so she could stand on it to take cell phone pictures over the crowd.  After the concert we walked through Rittenhouse Square and Eliza spied a statue of a lion holding a snake in its mouth; Eliza ran toward it yelling “Oh Asher, what a magnificent statue!” Speaking of Eliza and art, she has taking to making amazing drawings of… people… I guess. I would add a photo but I think Molly threw them all out a few hours ago while cleaning our disaster of a kitchen. If I find one I’ll update the post.

On Friday I received an award for being a swell Vice-President of our school’s Home and School Association. I think it was largely a participation award, but it gave a few of us an excuse to go downtown and grab a drink afterward without the kids. That morning Molly attended a Muffins with Mom event at Asher’s school, which was very sweet. Asher was super excited about it. We have a Donuts with Dad event coming up in a few weeks.

As I was driving Silas to soccer yesterday he read a book in the back seat, and he suddently yelled out  “Ooooh, he said a curse word!” Which curse word, I asked? The D-word he said. D-i-c-k-e-n-s.

Alright…  I need to call my own mom rather than scribbling away at this blog. Enjoy the rain everyone, and that it’s finally washing away all this cursed pollen. Yay!


All sorts of running

Today I ran the Broad Street Run, a Philadelphia Institution which I had never ever considered participating in. It’s a ten mile race that starts 6 miles north of City Hall and continues all the way down to the athletic complex. It is flat and dead straight, and about 40,000 people run it at the same time. It is madness. I was super nervous last night and barely slept, but it turns out the race is really well organized and they make it easy. The rain held off, so the weather couldn’t have been better. Overcast and 60- no complaints. I am excruciatingly tired now, so this is going to be quick. My friend Dave drove a car-full of us to the race start this morning which took out a lot of the stress. And while I didn’t run with anybody I knew, I bumped into a few friends at the gear bag bus on the way out and we shared the Septa ride home (with thousands of other people.) Molly managed to get the kids to City Hall before I got there, and I managed to see them, so we had a sweet little tickle-high-five-session at mile 6. Pictures below.

Yesterday I was at a school district conference all day, and made some good connections, and kept my mind off the race.

The entire rest of the week was running the book fair at Silas’s school. Hanging with the kids and meeting some parents and working more closely with staff is always rewarding, but it is a long week. We hosted Molly’s class for dinner in the middle of it (thankfully we ordered in food instead of making everything like in previous years.)  A few of our favorite people were in the group, so that was awesome.

Oh, and one morning I brought Asher to the book fair with me, since we decided to keep him home from his school’s 90+ degree field trip to the zoo.  A friend suggested that we pawn him off on one of the kindergarten teachers (who is known to look after an extra kid here and there.) She took him in and  he happily worked on the caterpillar life cycle, went to lunch, and then had recess with the rest of the kindergartners. That evening he said, “Dad, can I go to kindergarten again tomorrow?!” It was adorable. We managed to get him registered for kindergarten the next day (unrelated) and he’s going to have so much fun this fall. He gets chocolate milk every day!!!



Everything is fine. Nothing happened. Our past few days have just been so full that I blink and the kids have gone to sleep and I haven’t taken any pictures. Then I fall asleep. I’ll see what kind of photos I have kicking around.

Ok- our garden is growing. Note: the peas and asparagus are not from my garden, but made a nice salad.  This afternoon we attended a rally at the apartment building right next to Silas’s school. The scumbag owner tried to evict everybody with three weeks notice so he can sell it off into the current gentrification boom. It is not even remotely legal what they’re trying to get away with. Probably a dozen of the kids at our school currently live there.  Get your head around that… a dozen of your kids schoolmates, who live 30 feet from the school, get evicted on three weeks notice.  So I guess my week was mostly about rage and organizing. And the Scholastic book fair. And ice hockey. And a ten mile run getting ready for the Broad Street race next weekend. I don’t even know what my family did this weekend, but they sure seemed busy too 🙂  Oh yeah, the school spring concert that Molly organized and ran on Friday! That was insane! How are we even alive.  I added a photo of Molly and her student workers- class students. I have loads more photos but shouldn’t show them because I have zero photo release permissions. Silas played his cello in the orchestra and did great. He only screwed around when he was off the stage, which is at least something.

I need to go bake cookies for the book fair tomorrow. Molly is down baking dessert for tomorrow night, when we’re hosting all her students for dinner. It never stops!