Friday, September 19, 2008

Quite the week, Caroline

Our Caroline is a girl of contradictions . . . terrified and freaked out by ladybugs (really, she screams and runs for cover if one gets near her - we've even seen her in tears if she finds a ladybug crawling on her shirt), but is fascinated by those huge, furry bumblebees and even tries to "pet" them. That's just one example that hopefully won't embarrass her, another example is the family blog . . . she doesn't want anything about her in full public view, but then complains that Liza is getting all the attention on the blog - go figure.

So, in celebration of Caroline we'll highlight her great week. First, she began pointe in ballet. For those of you not familiar with little girls and ballet class, getting your first pair of toe shoes is HUGE - so exciting. Caroline isn't one to talk about herself, but she couldn't help but tell grandparents, aunts, and good friends she was starting pointe. She was fitted with her first pair and began working in class at the barre with her new shoes . . . "ouch" is all I can say! Mom finally figured out how to sew in the ribbons and we're getting them broken in, so hopefully Caroline will stop coming home from ballet with the revelation that "pointe shoes hurt." Um, ya, could have told you that :-).

The same week she was taking care of ballet business, she entered her first girls' 12 tennis tourney. She competed in the 10s earlier this year, but has been a little wary of competing against the older girls since she aged up. After a discouraging loss in the semi-finals, she came back to play a great match and win the consolation finals - YEAH Caroline! She was grinning from ear to ear and now has the confidence to continue competing. We're so proud of our sweet daughter.

This picture about sums it up - pointe shoe fitting after a tennis match . . . the ballet store was on the way home from the tourney. The funny part was that her friend from dance class showed up for her fitting in her soccer uniform. Gotta love the girls!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Chris!

43 TODAY - wow, who would guess?!? Really, not many can look this great in their forties. I hope you don't mind the hot pic I chose for the blog :-). We love you and are missing you while you're away. We know how much you don't like the spotlight or attention in any form whatsoever, so that's precisely why we're doing this :-). Everyone out there needs to know how wonderful we think you are, so here goes . . .

Birthday wishes from the peanut gallery:

"I love my daddy because he gives me good treats and reads me stories. Oh, and he sings the funny potty song too." - Liza

"I love him because he takes me swimming, reads REALLY funny stories and makes up silly songs." - Sophie

"He's fun because he lets me do his hair all crazy on sundays, introduced me to 'cute overload,' and he makes me laugh." - Caroline

"He's cool." - Ryan

"He never fails to tell me how beautiful he thinks I am, even on those days when I KNOW for a fact I'm not looking that great! I couldn't live without you - happy birthday love." - Julia

The following is in celebration of our dad - who is in fact part Jerry Seinfeld, part Ray Romano, and part Adam Sandler. . . a clip of one of our favorite Seinfeld episodes. Chris has many "golden boys" hiding in our closet that are a step away from the trash bin, but the minute I mention their demise, I get the "golden boy" routine, and because it's so dang funny, I let Chris keep his favorite shirts despite the wear and tear. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The latest from our Liza

"If you're a boy and you play tennis you HAVE to wear one of those bands right here around your head (as she points to her forehead) - it's the rule."

"Ohhhh, gross, did you see the hairy guy in that car? So freaky!"

"Sophie was way nicer when she was six."

Liza's response when I told her last night to come inside for a bath: "Why don't we just rinse off with the hose tonight." (a sign that we spent too much time at the lake this year :-).

The conversation the other day in the car that about made me crash because I was laughing so hard. . .

Liza: I am missing my cousin.
Me: Oh, I know, I miss Becca too, hopefully we'll see her soon.
Liza: Oh, no, not that cousin.
Me: Really? Who? Rachel, Spencer, Avery. Miriam??
Liza: No Mom . . . Bernie, I miss Bernie. When does he get to come stay at our house again??

Now, for those of you waiting for the punchline, that was it - BERNIE - because Bernie isn't technically a cousin (i.e. a human who is the child of one of your siblings). Bernie is my single brother's DOG, a cute boston terrier that the kids absolutely adore and who stays with us every few weeks or so while Travis is out of town, but a DOG nonetheless. Liza has come to the conclusion that since Travis has no children and treats Bearnie like a kid, that makes him her cousin. Welcome to the family, Bernie.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Twiddlebugs!

Flashback . . . Liza and I were watching classic Sesame Street videos this morning on youtube (I'll put some others on another time), but for today here's a favorite - the twiddlebugs. I was laughing so hard I was in tears because I forgot how much these funny creatures were part of my daily comedy routine during high school. When one of my friends was having a bad day, I would lean over in class and whisper, "how do we get to the zoo?" in my very best twiddlebug voice . . . it was too much to resist and before long we would cause quite a disturbance inacting the entire "Let's take the family car" episode.

Makes me smile just thinking about it and reminds me to be a twiddlebug a little more often on dreary days! So, this is for Wendy and Jamie, the biggest fans of "let's go to the zoooo . . . "

You know it's been a bad day when . . .

you are so wiped out by the end of it that you don't realize you've put sunscreen on your toothbrush instead of toothpaste . . . BLEAH! At least it makes for a good laugh before bed :-).

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's pre-school time

It was Elizabeth's first day of pre-school this week . . . finally. She figured it was about time she got a turn to go to school after watching the big kids head off last week.

Walking to Mrs. Carol's house in her new "Hello Kitty" shoes she picked out herself, just for the occasion.

With her little friend Clara . . . gotta love the look of anticipation on Liza's face - too much!
Her favorite part of the first day of pre-school: music time with the instruments - she got to play the sticks :-).

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Have you seen them? All the clusters of bright, cheery sunflowers in full bloom lining the sides of the road - everywhere! Each morning and afternoon an array of happy flowers greet me as I make my way back and forth into the SL valley. Who can resist a smile as the sun lights up these radiant spots of color. Such a fun reminder that fall is just around the corner, with the blue skies becoming brighter each day and the colors on the mountains beginning to change.

With the cooler weather we're having and the quiet days with the kids at school, I'm officially over my "let summer stay longer" phase . . . I LOVE autumn, everything about it and all the sunflowers have only increased my anticipation. It is such a simple thing, these flowers, they don't do anything but smile at us when we drive by, and if we're not so caught up in a conversation on our cell phones or worried about getting to our destination on time, all they ask is a delightful smile back to spread the cheer. They remind me that it truly is the small and simple things in life that bring us the most happiness.

"How necessary it is to cultivate a spirit of joy. It is a psychological truth that the physical acts of reverence and devotion make one feel devout. The courteous gesture increases one's respect for others. To act lovingly is to begin to feel loving, and certainly to act joyfully brings joy to others which in turn makes one feel joyful. I believe we are called to the duty of delight." - Dorothy Day

Monday, September 1, 2008

Love this quote . . .

"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the deciding element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, a person humanized or dehumanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

This is the message of a powerful book - The Book Thief - a narrative that makes us step back and take a look at ourselves and what we are ultimately capable.