Monday, April 28, 2008

Our dancers

Yesterday was Benjamin and Alexander's dance recital. Grandpa Weinrich took video for us, so here it is for you to enjoy. Alexander was first with ballet. Notice the Seinfeld "puffy shirt" they had Alexander wear.

In the second half, Benjamin first performed a jazz number. He's in the back and is a bit hard to see.

Lastly, Benjamin performed a tap number that I'll download later. I took adult tap for a little while last year, so I was particularly impressed. I found it more difficult than expected. What amazes me is how much improvement I have seen in BOTH of these boys!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alexander's Lucky Day

Today was truly Alexander's day. Here's his story, in his own words.

This morning I went with my grandmother to Hallmark and bought a webkinz there. They had some games there. I played both of them, and for one of them, I got a free mousepad. For the second one, I had to guess how many jellybeans were in a jar. Here is the webkinz I bought.
A few hours later, when I was at my house, the person at the store said on the phone "You won the game!" And I got a free webkinz. And I went with my grandma to get the webkinz. And when I got there, there was the same game, but there were more jelly beans in the jar. So I played it again. Here is me with my two webkinz.
When I got home, a few hours later, she called again. And I had won it again! So I told her I wanted a cow. I gave it to Benjamin because he only had one webkinz. Here are all three webkinz.

Mom's note: I think I should have him buy a lottery ticket tonight!! He is one lucky kid!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Misfortune, Chapter 4

Here is the fourth chapter of Benjamin's story. Only one more chapter to go!!

Copyright 2008

Chapter 4

The man got up and groaned, “Ugh, my head!” He looked around. “Where am I?” he said to himself. Then it all came flooding back. His head cleared of all confusion, he sat up quickly. “I have to find them” he muttered. He then got to his feet and ran toward the wreckage HIS vines had created. The man surveyed the scene and his eyes rested on the unconscious police officers. ”Better to be armed” He said to himself. Then he plucked a gun from the officer’s belt and charged out of the alley

Ben, Kellie, and Sonya rushed to Sonya’s van. Sonya drove, while Ben and Kellie sat in the back. Without even buckling her seatbelt, Sonya stepped on the gas. Ben and Kellie were thrown back in their seats. As they drove onto the main road, the trio saw that the road was crowded with people. The van swerved around, trying to dodge opposing traffic while at the same time trying to find refuge…

Sonya drove the van into a parking lot of an old hotel. She turned to Kellie, “We need to talk.” Sonya went into the hotel and rented a room for one night. They all went up to the room. Sonya asked to hear their story from the beginning. After this they decided to look for clues at the graveyard. They slept the whole night and woke up early. Then they headed to the graveyard.

At the graveyard they searched the whole area. Then Kellie shouted, “I found something!” She pointed to the back of the man’s grave. There it said “To stop the curse lure me here at midnight.” They were all silent for a minute. Sonya then said, “We have to get the pumpkin man here to this exact spot at midnight.”
“How are we going to do that?” asked Ben. Sonya said” We have to find the man and somehow lure him here. One of us will have to act as bait.” Sonya said, “I think that should be me.”

Kellie and Ben were about to protest, but thought better of it. Sonya said “We have to find him and lead him back here by 11:30 PM.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What happens when a bunch of idiots run your state legislature...

The latest news out of Tallahassee is not good, as usual. Our wonderful legislators have cut taxes and now...surprise, surprise...we don't have enough money to run the state. So what do they do??? They cut money for education. I guess they weren't satisfied until Florida became 50th in educational spending. This means that not only will the current hiring freeze remain (no job for me next year) but the budget cuts will effect the classroom. I am very worried that Jonathan will be put in a class of 30 Kindergarteners next year. Click on this link to see how our school board has been forced to deal with these cuts.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Silly kids

The boys asked me to post this video. It's one of their shows, but it's supposed to be a comedy. They keep purposely messing up. They thought it was absolutely hilarious, as you can tell by their constant giggling. It's a bit long...enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Testing, testing, testing!

Thanks to Brian and Barb for sending this great video. A great commentary on the state of education under No Child Left Behind. Enjoy, I think.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Misfortune, Chapter 3

Copyright Benjamin Weinrich 2008

The third chapter in his story...enjoy!

Chapter 3
Sonya Birch

The pumpkin man had been wrong. There had been someone who was watching. Sonya Birch, the owner of Birch’s Grill, had been cleaning up after a successful day when she noticed a strange cloud hanging over the graveyard. Lights flashed. She blinked, and the clouds were still there. Sonya raced to the alarm pull. WHAM! She wrenched it down. Bells rang. Sirens flashed. Everyone panicked. Sonya smashed the door open. She ran toward her black minivan, opened the door jumped inside, and then turned the lights on. There, standing in the road was a HIDEOUS man.

8:11 PM
The man had been slipping into the back alley when an explosion of noise and light flashed around him. When he regained his equilibrium he saw it was just sirens, which were still going off. Then the pumpkin man cringed, looking away from the bright lights that came from the car parked in front of a restaurant.

Sonya jumped out of the van to see two police car, three fire trucks, and two ambulances tearing down the street.

Kellie and Ben sat at their kitchen table, playing Monopoly. They were bored though, and weren’t into it. Ben broke the silence. “Well we’ve been lucky so far so I guess we’re out of danger.” That’s when they heard the alarm. Ben and Kellie had jumped out of their seats. “Oh no!” they said in unison. Saying this, they ran toward the source of the racket.

One of the police pulled up right beside the man, and sprang out pointing out guns. “Freeze!” they yelled. Suddenly huge vines smashed out of the pavement. Sonya screamed. The vines tripped the officers, broke the windshields of the police car, flipped a fire truck, and crushed the ambulance. The orange man grinned horribly. Sonya grabbed a gun from one of the officer’s belts. She pointed it at where the man…had been. Sonya swiveled on the spot and saw the man sprinting down the alley. There was a crack and a bullet whizzed down the alley. But when it got close to the man it smashed into the ground.

Kellie and Ben raced toward an alleyway. Suddenly they heard the sound of squealing tires. They stopped and listened. “Freeze!” said a man’s voice.

Suddenly…CRUNCH! SMASH! WHAM! THUD! The two kids exchanged glances. They heard footsteps. The pair were about to enter the alley when they heard a gunshot. There was a small crunch and something barreled out of the alley. The two children collapsed into a heap. Ben was able to identify a gruesome man. There was a sound of foot steps, and another figure jumped out of the alley. The figure pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man. Kellie could see that is was a girl. As the girl distinguished Ben and Kellie she lowered her gun. Ben heard a groan and the man sat up. In a daze he looked around and moaned again in a flash the girl zipped over to the man and punched him in the face. The man slumped over, unconscious again. The girl spoke: “I have forgotten to introduce myself” She said “My name is Sonya Birch. I have no idea how I got myself into this mess but I am not your enemy” She gestured to the man lying on the ground “On the other hand this guy is your enemy” Then Kellie found her voice: “My name is Kellie.” She pointed to Ben. “This is Ben. We need to get moving before the man wakes up!” Sonya announced. “Follow me” she said. With that she walked out of the alley. Ben and Kellie looked at each other and followed Sonya.

Monday, April 14, 2008

3 Trillion Dollars

That's the price of the Iraq War. That's TRILLION. Go to this website and see how else we could have spent this money. I never even made it to one trillion dollars. How depressing.

Silly String in the front yard

Here are two silly string videos. The boys got it from birthday parties. We chose an exceptionally windy day to use it, which made it all the more fun. As you can see, Jonathan especially enjoyed it, giggling endlessly. I did not video the clean up, which took less time than I expected.

A long week

It's been awhile since I've posted, mainly because we haven't done anything particularly noteworthy this past week. As we began school again after spring break, Alexander has slipped back into his old "worry" habits. Some of you may remember him two years ago, crying whenever he left me, worrying he's going to be sick (his biggest hangup) and just generally throwing fits without any apparent reason. Just this morning, I had to put him on the bus crying, "I don't want to go on a field trip!" Now, what child doesn't want to go on a field trip? He's actually worried that he'll be hungry (their lunch has been moved back by 2 hours) and that he'll miss me and that he might be sick on the bus. Once he arrives at school, he's fine. It's just the thinking about it that gets him in a frenzy.

On a more positive note, we got the boys' portraits done over spring break. To take a look at them, go to, and type in my name. They turned out surprisingly well, except for the one where Benjamin looks a bit possessed. He had a good laugh over that picture.

Oh, and all of you northerners who have been complaining about the cold/snow??? Thanks for the blast of artic air that has been sent our way. Our highs for four days straight are going to be 70 degrees, with lows in the 40's. I know, it's nothing like snow, but we were planning to go to Daytona Lagoon on Wednesday, when the kids get out of school at the rediculous time of 12:15, and now we'll have to find some other way to occupy restless kids for 4 hours in the afternoon. Yuck

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Misfortune at Sweetwater's Graveyard, chapter 2

Here is the next installment of Benjamin's story.

Chapter 2
The Graveyard

The curse was working. Slowly the ground covering the body turned into mush then it slid away revealing dust. Then the dust lit up and floated into the air. The ground slid back in place and hardened. Then a strange metamorphosis took place. The clouds in the sky shot towards the grave stone. In the sky the moon turned red. Meanwhile the clouds obscured all vision of the colored dust. The moon slid in and out of focus. From inside the clouds red light flashed with a bang. Suddenly, waves giving off intense heat shot from the vapor. Had a human being in a 20 foot range of the rays they would have died instantly. Luckily, the only living creatures were a few ants, some crickets, and an unfortunate rabbit. None of these lived. Another side affect was the iron fence now had metal stalactites on it.

Then suddenly as they came, the clouds zipped back to their original positions. The moon changed into its normal color. The only strange thing was a man standing in front of the grave. Except… he wasn’t really a man. He had orange skin. Its pupils were triangles. His teeth looked suspiciously like…seeds.

Luckily no one witnessed the metamorphosis. Had anyone seen they would have panicked and raised the towns’ alarm. The moment the pumpkin man could see he looked around while preparing to duck. “Whew” He thought. “I thought someone would have seen me.” With that he strolled out of the graveyard.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Jonathan's writing

Encouraged by his preschool, Jonathan has begun to write. Here he is, holding his new dry erase board (from school). He has written: cat (backwards), mat (with the a colored in) and cat sitting on a mat (sitting spelled "siding"). I told him how to spelling the "ing" in sitting. It is so much fun watching him learn to read and write. Way to go, Jonathan!

We Didn't Start the Fire

Billy Joel is one of my favorite performers, and I just received this link in an email. It's a photographic version of We Didn't Start the Fire. With as many times as I've heard this song, I was still surprised by some of the lyrics. Enjoy.