Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Story of Max Schneider's Trip to America by Ms. Bean

Max Schneider was my Great, Great Grandfather.  He was my Mothers Great Grandfather, and my Grandpas Grandfather.  This is the story of when he immigrated to America.
Max was polish and grew up in Russia.  He  was a very giddy child.  His mother said he had "the gift of gab"  .His mother and father sent him out to town one day to sell some things, hoping that his "gift of gab" would work and bring money to their home.  Once Max got to town, he thought to himself, "I am going to keep going, and see what I can see".  So, he met up with some friends, and they travelled together from place to place.  One of his friends suggested Paris, so they went to Paris.  Then one of them suggested America, so off they went and soon arrived in New York City's, Ellis Island.

As soon as Max got to New York, he received a message that he had to join the Russian Army or else they were going to fine his parents.  So Max borrowed some money, bought a round-trip ticket, and started his journey back to Russia.
He stayed in the Russian Army for quite a while, but then decided to leave and start his own life. The Russian Army would never let him just leave, so he had to run away.  In the middle of the night he snuck out, pinning his ticket in his underwear, and headed back to the United States of America. 

This time he came in through Baltimore, because he still owed money to the people in New York, and the Russian Army didn't pay him anything.   He moved to Detroit and wanted to Marry.  So, he met some people who arranged for him to marry a Lithuanian woman named Tilly who was living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

They got married, had three boys (Herman, Leon, and Sam) and lived Happily Ever After.  I don't think Max ever paid back the man in New York.  And, I don't think he ever get in trouble for leaving Russia.  Lucky Max!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lots to be Thankful for ......

Every year, I have the girls write, or draw, what they have to be thankful for. It started because I didn't want them to be stumped/embarrassed when asked during our Thanksgiving
roundtable tradition (my Mom has us all tell what we have to be Thankful for before our meal begins), and I have been keeping them over the years.

This year, Ms. Bean (8 going on 15) is grateful for:
- reading - coloring - bubbles - sparklers - sparkles - glitter - secrets (shhhhh) - twinkles - feathers - earrings - diamonds - and family.

Little Bee, 6, is grateful for her Family and her Pets. In her world, we are all she needs.

I am grateful for two wonderful little girls, who taught me how to love. My parents who taught me patients and appreciation. And to Tom, who is happily on this Journey with me.

And of course for my friends, who I cherish and adore.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Classics

Anyone want to guess Ms. Beans favorite?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Little Bees First grade Portrait

A self Portrait comes home every year, and when they get to 5th grade, I am going to make a collage.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Costumes 2011

I have a friend named Sandra. Her corner of the web can be found here Sandra's Blog.  I read it religiously and consider her a personal hero, though I would never even attempt to try 99.6% of what she blogs about, because my insurance premiums wont cover the fire damage that would surely follow.

Since I met her 8 years ago (and probably for years prior) she has made all of her kids Halloween costumes, which have ALWAYS been completely adorable.  So, about three years ago, when I was sitting in a sea of dress up clothes with the girls and looking in catalogs to determine what we would be purchasing that year, I thought of Sandra, and decided there and then that the Devendorfs would NEVER AGAIN buy a Halloween costume.  And, a new tradition began ....................

The Rules:

1)   We will not purchase costumes, HOWEVER, we can use items already around the house to incorporate into our design.
2) Mom does not make more then three trips to the fabric store.  If you need additional materials after my 3rd trip, you need to beg your grandparents to take you.

3) Original designs need to be completed and turned in by the first week in October.  Contract modifications can be made after that time, but only if mutually agreed upon.

4) The costume materials can not cost more then a mid range costume in the costume catalog (no. I am serious).

Little Bee the Butterfly -

After much discussion, Little Bee decided that she was going to be a butterfly.  A pink butterfly.  And the fabric store allowed for great inspiration as Halloween means it is full of sheer, sparkley wonder.

She selected two lovely fabrics, and we worked together to come up with a concept which included glitter, an old leotard, lots of golden thread, a hot glue gun, and a dad who was willing to make a head peice.
The "L" Pattern
Grandma sewed up a skirt

Ta Da!  This is a Happy Little Butterfly!  A Happy, "Itchy" Butterfly.  Let us keep our fingers crossed we do not require another visit to the Fabric Store.

Ms. Bean the Fortune Teller:

It all started when Ms. Bean found her Magic 8 Ball on an old toy shelf.  The idea was born, and we needed to get started, quickly.  I began to flip through photos of Fortune Tellers and Gypsies, and we finalized our concept when Little Bee brought home a copy of Strega Nona  (the school has a rule that you have to dress like a book character, no matter how loose a fit).

All we needed was a long skirt, white blouse, and lots of gold.  Ms. Bean went to work. 

After she raided the Mardi-Gras beads and box of acquired gift-bag loot, we set off to get the fabric for a skirt.  And we didn't have to look far, because the local thrift store had the perfect skirt which I picked up for $6.00.  Probably a violation of the rules, but when I took into account how much time I didn't have to spend sewing sequins, I went with it.  All it needed was a hem and a little elastic in the waste!  Woo Hoo!

The blouse needed to be ruffly, a little over the top, and sheer.  Not unlike the prairie look from the early 80's.  And, guess who had one in her closet, dating back to 1982? 
Actually, it is the ONLY thing I have from that period, and I have never been able to part with it.  My Grandmother, Gertrude, who was an amazing seamstress,  made it for me when I was a pre-teen.  I LOVED it. And, despite the coffee strains, and a little yellowing, it has hung in a dry cleaning bag for 30 years.  So, around the 2nd week of October, I took it out of the bag, got out the Woolite, crossed my fingers, and turned on the gentle cycle.  Success!

Happy Halloween! 

Love - BEAN and BEE!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mom missed that lesson .....................

Last Wednesday while tucking Little Bee (now 6 ) into bed;

Little Bee - Mom, you and I ever get to spend time together anymore (she was refering to an improptu over-nighter that Ms. Bean and I took last weekend with some friends to the beach).

Me -- You're right.  Sarah has a birthday party Friday night.  How about if we go out to dinner and have some Mommy/Leah time?

Little Bee - I would LOVE that!  Can I bring a friend? (Hmmmmm.  What happened to Mommy/Leah time?)

Me - Sure.  Who do you want to bring?  Bella?  Tori?  Ella?  Ohhhhh!!!!! I KNOW!  How about Liam (the adorable boy in her first grade glass, who she insisted I get a picture of last week when I was in for lunch).

Little Bee - (looking alarmed and rather discusted) - MOOOOMMMM!  Have you ever heard of playing hard-to-get?  Geeeeessshhhhh!

Nope.  I guess I need to go back to Elementry School and learn a thing or two.

I really need to start writing these things down ........

Clearly, technology has replaced technology. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (which I have but NEVER use), and the thing they put into the office that is supposed to be for work, but is really used to make fun of the guy running the conference call, I NEVER seem to blog anymore.
And it is possible, that only my mother misses me.
However, I really hate for my blog to become completely dormant, because I started it for my kids, and they don't read my posts, or my tweets, or my cutting comments about the guy running the conference call. But one day, they might want to read about the randomness of my life, if nothing else to provide their therapists with documentation about why they are the way they are.
So, I have decided to use this as a place to jot down those things "I really need to write down". They might be snippets of my day, and they may or not make sense, but since this is my little corner of the web, it is what is is.
Feel free to follow along, and comment when you can. I still treasure my readers, as you know, because you are all "Friends" in an alternate universe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Fable - By Ms. Bean (7)

Once upon a time in a swamp in Africa, there was an alligator and a bird. They were best friends since they were born. Two days later, Alligator had a horrible toothache and there were no doctors available. Birds father is a doctor so bird crawled inside alligators mouth and cleaned his mouth. Alligator fells better and bird feels better too. Happily ever after.
Lesson: A little person can make a big difference.
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