Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Nordstrom Experience

This morning, I decided it was time to take my kids to have "The Nordstrom Experience."  I was not raised going to Nordstrom but my husband's family did and my mother-in-law loved the store.  I still do most of my shopping on-line but every once and awhile, I like to take my kids to actual stores and let them experience real shopping.  Nordstrom, because of their excellent in-store customer service, is the perfect place to go.

Toothsome #2 needed new shoes, Toothsome #3 wanted to own a tie and Toothsome #4 loves "new" anything, so I decided it was time to take them.  

Honestly, from the moment I walked in the store, the air feels nicer.  The employees are always incredibly nice and very tolerate of a mother with three kids in tow.  (Toothsome #1 is at golf camp and he had "The Nordstrom Experience" about a week ago, when I took him to buy a white shirt and tie in preparation for him passing the sacrament at our church.)  

After making our purchases, with each child having their own Nordstrom bag to carry their own purchased items in, we headed upstairs to the Nordstrom Cafe.  The Cafe is wonderful.  It has a bistro feel but is very child friendly.  As we sat down, I said to the kids, "You can't have the complete Nordstrom Experience without eating at their Cafe."  Our food was ordered, jazz music was playing in the background, drinks delivered and we were sitting happily when Toothsome #3 spilled his Sprite all over our table.  I then thought, "You can't have a Nordstrom Experience with children in tow without having a mothering experience as well."  

Again, the staff was wonderful and were very polite about the whole mess.  Toothsome #2 was a little upset that her younger brother messed up the whole "feel" of the experience but I reminded her that life would be very sad without family.  "The Nordstrom Experience" would be no fun alone.  

We enjoyed the lunch and then left to come home.  I have a feeling, I am going to need another "Nordstrom Experience" soon.  

 Toothsome #3 with his Nordstrom shirt and ties laid out on display.  (He also brought down his dress pants and shoes just for fun.) 
 Toothsome #4 having a tea party in her just purchased Nordstrom dress.
Toothsome #3 in his full outfit.  He LOVES dressing up.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The book Vanity Fair is Killing Me

I think most people are aware of the BBC Book list.  It is said that most people have only read 6 out of the 100 books.  I am not so sure about that because most people I know have read way more than that but maybe I just associate with well-read people.

One of the books on the list is "Vanity Fair" by William Thackeray.  Well, at least I think that is how I got it on my "to read" list but looking over the BBC list today, I can't see it there.  Anyway, it is on my "to-read" list and I decided to tackle it about a month ago.  It was free on my Kindle.  I like my Kindle.  I don't love it but there are a few things about it that make it better than a "paper" book and I have come to appreciate my Kindle.  One of the things I don't like about it is that I can't really feel how far I have read into a book.  On a Kindle,  it is all about percentages and do I like that but there is something about feeling the heft of a book change in my hands that is very satisfying when I read it.

So, for the last month or so, I have been reading Vanity Fair.  It was written serially, like many of Dickens' great works.  I have decided that Dickens is a much better serial writer than Thackeray.  (I have read most of Dickens' works but not all.  Maybe, I'll finish him this summer.)  Honestly, there have been times when I have said out loud, "Enough already.  I don't need all of this extra information and description."  I get they were often paid better by making a story be drawn out and I value capitalism but honestly, in Vanity Fair it is just too much.

Normally, I read a book in about a week.  I am coming up on one month with this book and I am at 61 percent.  It is killing me.  I have come to hate the characters, and rejoice when someone dies so I can be rid of them and maybe the story will take a different turn.  The moral objective of this work has been very obvious from almost the first page, so I am not feeling like I am gaining any great moral understanding or advantage by pressing on.  But I am 61 percent through the blasted thing, so I will finish it.  After this, I need something easy and less wordy.  I won't be tackling War and Peace anytime soon.  It is on the BBC list, but I'll save that for next summer, when Vanity Fair is an old memory.

(If you are wondering, I've read 32 books on the BBC list.  I highly recommend, I Capture the Castle.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

End of the School and Ode to Lands End

My kids had a fantastic school year.  I can honestly say I can chalk it up to being the best so far but I will admit, by the end of May, I was exhausted and eager to let summer happen.  In past summers, I had,  about a month before school got out, summer planned out--daily chores, workbooks, trips planned, swimming and tennis lessons scheduled, etc.  This year, not so.  Instead, I declared to my kids, "For the next week and 1/2 we are doing NOTHING.  I don't even expect you go to bed on time."  For posterity, just a few pictures to show what May was like.  This represents just a few things that filled our time:

Young American Award ceremony--during the school year, my son memorized the Gettysburg Address, 100 American history facts, all of the states and capitals and where they are located on a map, the American Presidents in order, the preamble to the Constitution, the pledge of allegiance, and the Bill of Rights.  This was an optional thing but at the end of the school year, if they did it, there was this assembly where he was presented with a medal, a gift card and certificate.  All of the kids sang patriotic songs and any family members who served in the military were invited.  BEST school assembly I have ever attended.

5th grade float parade.  As part of 5th grade, each child had to do a very involved state report and then created a float representing their state.  My son did North Carolina and with my husband created a replica of the Wright Brother's airplane that the connected to the back of his bike.  (It took them close to 3 hours to make it.  I am NEVER throwing this airplane away.) 

Spring Dance recital.  Toothsome #2 in her very "Las Vegasy" jazz dance costume and Toothsome #4 in her mouse (the ballet was Cinderella) costume.  

A better costume, Irish dancer in Cinderella.

3rd grade play (Toothsome #2 was a pirate)

I just liked this picture.  The kids filled in one whole square of our driveway with chalk and then rolled around in it.  It was fun afternoon.

First grade, end of the year, assembly.  They always end it with the kids singing, "Ordinary Miracle" and a slide show of the whole year.  I cry every time.  

Anyway, onto my "Ode to Lands End" part of this post.  During this week, of "We are doing NOTHING", we were invited to my friend's swimming pool for the afternoon.  We all put on our swim suits and I discovered that they all needed new swim suits.  After hours spent at our local pool last summer, plus a glorious week at the Outer Banks their swim suits were thrashed.  (And even though I make very short children, three of them actually did grow since last summer and needed new sizes.)  So, I went on-line and purchased new Lands End swim suits and rash guards for everyone.  Lands End makes the best swimsuits and rash guards around.  I've tried various brands and learned, if you want a quality swim suit and the best fitting rash guards around, go with Lands End.  

After placing the order, I was checking my e-mail and discovered one from Lands End, that gave me 25% percent off and free shipping.  I had literally just spent over $200 at Land End five minutes before discovering this email.  

So, I called their 1-800 number, explained the situation to the nice man and he gave me the 25% off and free shipping on my order.   Best customer service ever!  Honestly, I LOVE Land End and I need to make a trip to Wisconsin and personally thank them.  I love them that much.  

Anyway, I try to continue my "week and 1/2  of doing NOTHING" but this coming weekend, I have a three day scout camp with the 11 year old scouts, I need to help my son finish memorizing the 13 Article of Faith for his Faith In God award at church, I also need to take him shopping for a white shirt and tie in preparations for him becoming a Deacon, I do need to figure out swim and tennis lessons for the summer, and when we are taking our kids to St. George to see a show at the Tuachacan theatre, and in July, I have added Toothsome #3 into the piano lesson mix.  Doing a "week and 1/2 of doing NOTHING" is actually very hard.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First and Lasts Days of School 2010-2011

5th, 1st and 3rd
Onto "Practice Kindergarten" or last year of preschool.

Onto 6th, 2nd and 4th grade.  

It has been a wonderful year.  
Now, onto summer!