Thursday, March 5, 2015

Live Museum

Today Big Boy had a Live Museum.  It was a cute idea - each child picked a figure of historical significance off of a list and then dressed up like that person and acted as the person for the museum.  Big Boy picked George Washington Carver.  So did a couple of other boys in his class.

He made a few props and read a couple of books.  Then he memorized some facts.

The museum guests wandered around the museum and asked the participants questions - where where you born, what did you do that was significant, and when did you die?

Big Boy handled his questions well and seemed to enjoy the exercise.

There were so many Amelia Earharts!  There must not have been many females to pick from.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Flat Stanley by Mainstreet Theater Company

Today I took the 2 older boys to see a performance of Flat Stanley by the Mainstreet Theater Company.   Here is a website for the company:, and if you are interested in tickets it looks like there are still some left!

The show was great.  Probably one of the best Mainstreet shows we've seen.  It was a very "boy" oriented show with references that my kids loved to Star Wars, Harry Potter, and other stuff they like.  They were excited to see the 2 boys in the story portrayed so similarly to them.

The music was cute and I enjoyed the jokes for grownups (not adult jokes, but stuff that the kids didn't understand).  They were very clever about making Stanley "flat"!

After the show we met the cast and Little Boy had his Flat Stanley book signed.

I'm glad we subscribed to this season of theatre for youth, and I'm thinking of subscribing next year as well.  I was surprised to see quite a few empty seats in the audience today.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Big Boy is a Published Author!

At the ripe old age of 7, Big Boy has just had his first magazine article published!  It is in the March issue of Buzz magazine, a hyper-local Houston neighbourhood magazine with a circulation of over 58,000 (it is delivered to 58,000 homes and available at local stores and businesses as well).  Here is a link to their website but his article isn't on it:

His article is about Chinese New Year and he worked very hard on it.  He took out a bunch of books from the library (he even learned how to put them on hold by himself), read them, and then condensed the information into an article.  He ran into a bit of frustration when the content of the books varied between books (sometimes the facts didn't match), and he also found it difficult to write to a specific word limit, but he worked through it.  His article is informative and interesting - he talks about the history of the holiday as well as many modern practices.

We are all so proud of him....I requested a bunch of extra copies and I think I will have his framed!  He is also very proud of himself.  He took our (only) copy of the magazine to school to show his teacher today.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flatter:Me Belt

This year I received an amazing birthday gift.  It is a life-changing gift.  I'm not exaggerating.

I'm a pear-shaped lady, meaning my hips are fairly wide (as are my shoulders) and my waist is quite small.  This is an affliction when it comes to buying jeans and trousers.  Modern pants are not usually designed for a pear, they are typically designed for apple- or celery-shaped people.  When it comes to buying jeans and trousers, if they fit in the hips and backside, they usually gap at the waist in the back.   This cannot be corrected with a traditional belt because the belt causes bunching in the back and a belt-buckle lump in the front.

So basically I just buy jeans and trousers that don't fit well.  Then I try to wear a cardigan or something long to cover most of the waist area.  That sucks, because my waist area is one of the best parts of my figure (if I do say so myself!).

I have a  friend with a similar issue and she sent me a Flatter:Me belt for my birthday.  Here's a link to their website (  The belt is unbelievable!  It smooths out my jeans and trousers in the front and closes the gap in the back.  My jeans look great with a t-shirt pulled down over the waist or tucked in.  There is no front bulge beneath my sweaters.    Wearing it makes a big difference in the overall fit of my outfits.  It's a huge confidence-boost.

The belt is attractive (it just looks like a normal belt) and washable.  It's really an amazing product.

One of the things that I love about this belt is that it was invented by someone from my hometown (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)!  It's sold in stores in Edmonton and other Canadian cities and it's available online with really cheap shipping ($3 for Canada and $5 worldwide).

Makes a great gift....

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

HEB Tour

Yesterday I took Baby Boy on a tour of HEB.  HEB is a local grocery store and it's our family favourite.  They have a cute cartoon character that encourages kids to eat healthy foods.  His (I'm assuming it's a boy) name is "H-E-Buddy" and he is an enormous grocery bag with healthy foods peaking of out of the top.  My kids love H-E-Buddy and we have various swag with his picture on it - they all love to wear it.  Today for the tour, Baby Boy wore his H-E-Buddy shirt and toque.

Anyways, the tour was great.  They took us all around the store and told the kids about each department.  They also gave the kids a sample of healthy food (and chocolate milk....) in each department.  Baby Boy loved it....he was pushing to the front of the sample line constantly.

In the seafood department they got to pet a lobster!

At the end of the tour, H-E-Buddy came out and the kids got to meet him.  Baby Boy has recently learned to meet costumed characters by holding their hand....little kids find those characters terrifying but I think that's because everyone expects a hug or photo op.  Holding hands with a character (or even a high-5) is a lot less scary!  He held Buddy's hand for a while and we quickly determined that only one other child in our tour group was interested in meeting Buddy, the rest were too scared.

So Baby Boy went back to hold his hand again.  Then he went and gave Buddy a kiss.  Then a million high-5s.  Then he held Buddy's hand for an awkwardly long amount of time while Buddy was preparing to was kind of cute but I think that's just because I'm his mother.

Overall it was a great tour and Baby Boy really enjoyed it.  I hope he doesn't expect samples when we walk around the store from now on!

Field of Light - Discovery Green

On Sunday night we took the kids out to see the Field of Light art exhibit in Discovery Green (a park in the middle of downtown Houston).  It was the last night of the exhibit and I'm happy we saw it.  It only took about 10 minutes to walk through twice but then we got the kids' blood moving with a game of tag on the lawns.  Then the 2 smaller boys tried to roll down a hill and it was so funny - they bunch up and roll all over like a weeble (if you don't know what a "weeble" is, here:

Here are some pictures.  As you can see it was an exhibit that consisted of 2 fields of tiny lights mounted on stems.  The lights changed colour periodically.  That was about it, but the effect was magical as we walked through.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Trader Joe's

Last week Baby Boy and I went to Trader Joe's for the first time in Houston.  It was such a great experience!

Trader Joe's is a chain of tiny grocery stores that carries some specialty items and a wide selection of "own brand" products.  The prices are very good, particularly considering the quality of the products.  I went to the shop with a short list of things that I needed and a few things I wanted.

I easily found the booze and was happy to see that some of our favourite beers were in stock and about 20% cheaper than the grocery store.  I also bought some "2 buck chuck" to give it a try.

I was confused about coffee and a helpful employee found me and started our great customer service experience.  She arranged for me to sample a few of the coffees I was looking at while Baby Boy was served a large plate of French toast (made from challah) with grade B Canadian maple syrup.  He was in heaven....and coated with syrup.  We were the only customers in the store and the sample sizes were closer to meal sized.  Once I picked a coffee, she ground it for me and recommended that I change the coarseness of my grind - this suggestion was brilliant, my coffee is much smoother without any debris now.

After our snack, the helpful clerk took me to gather the items on my list, but for one that they don't carry (and she had never heard of).  We also managed to find a few other treats along the way.

Here in the U.S.A., Baby Boy always gets freebies at the store.  Usually a balloon, a sticker, or a cookie.  At Trader Joe's (maybe because the store was virtually empty) he was given treats all over the store....and he enthusiastically enjoyed them all!

The store was clean, organized, and the staff helpful.  The prices were good.  The atmosphere was calm and the queue was short.  Can't ask for more from a grocery store!