Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Last night was our girl's night out to Riverdance! We were a little pinched for time. The earliest ferry we could make left Bainbridge Island at 5:30, getting to Seattle a little after 6:00. We decided to walk (I hate driving in Seattle and finding parking) and it was a little over a mile uphill to the restaurant the girls had chosen--The Cheescake Factory. Abby was so worried about missing dinner or being late for the show that she jogged the whole way!

We had about a 10 minute wait for a table and didn't get our food until 7:00, with the show starting at 7:30. Abby was nervous! The girls scarfed down their pizza (Abby) and pasta putanesca (Madeline--she's always been an adventurous eater. When she was perusing the menu, she said, "Oh, the pasta putanesca has capers and kalamata olives! I'm DEFINITELY getting that!) and we made it to the theater just in time to check our coats, rent binoculars, and get to our seats.

From watching our Riverdance video at home countless times, the girls knew exactly which dances were coming up next just by the first note.
Here they are at intermission at the beautiful Paramount Theater.

These are very sweet girls who are growing up so so fast!
I'm glad we had this fun night together.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Doggie Woes, Crazy hair, Mysterious Animals, and Posessed Potties

Poor Charlie. Poor poor Charlie. A few weeks ago we noticed he wasn't putting any weight on one of his back legs. He's 8 years old, Lyle's faithful running companion, and just an all-around great dog. He's also tough as nails, so when we tried examining his leg and foot, we never even got so much as a wince from him. I thought maybe he had something imbedded in his foot. We took him to the vet and after some x-rays the doctor told us that Charlie had torn his ACL. I had no idea that dogs could tear their ACL. Honestly, I didn't even know dogs HAD an ACL! So, 4 days ago Charlie had major surgery --breaking bones, metal plates, staples, the whole works. True to form, Charlie has done great. The problem is going to be in keeping him quiet for FOUR MONTHS! No stairs, running, jumping, or stopping suddenly. So, he's currently restricted to the laundy room, which he's not too happy about. The kids were horrified that the doctors shaved his backside, rendering our poor pooch naked. In this photo he's still in his morphine-induced haze.

In the midst of nursing our dog back to health, life has stayed busy. On Thursday the girls had "crazy hair day" at school, a much anticipated event. Madeline had a piano lesson before school on Thursday, so I didn't have a chance to take her picture, but I thought Abby looked awfully cute. She said she wanted to look like the lion after his grooming sesssion in the book, "My Father's Dragon". She's holding the book so she could show her teacher the picture that was her inspiration.

Speaking of hair, this little girl can really have some bed head! Notice the "wobe". She's become very attached to it and things can get pretty ugly in the morning if the wobe happens to be in the wash!

A new indoor go-cart facility opened up in our area and last weekend we took all of the kids and one of Adam's friends to give it a try. Abby is a scary driver! She hit numerous barricades and nearly ran over one of the workers. Thankfully she has quite a while until her 16th birthday! Adam and Madeline were going too fast to get a good picture!

The go-cart place has a mascot named "Checkers" that Maya just fell in love with. She followed poor Checkers everywhere and gave other little kids a pretty stern look if they tried to weasle in on her Checkers time. She's obviously his number one fan. We couldn't quite figure out exactly what kind of creature Checkers is supposed to be. I thought he was a type of deer, Madeline thought he was a moose, Adam guessed he was a rabbit, Abby somehow deduced that he was a kangaroo, and Lyle said he was clearly a dog. He's probably right, but don't the ears look a little antler-ish?

Notice the cowboy boots. I've pretty much given up on dressing this girl. She has very stong fashion ideas. She currently loves cowboy boots, hats, and mittens. She'd be totally happy to just wear those items and nothing else. She also appreciates a good hairstyle. The other night we went to a birthday party for Lyle's partner Steve and I combed Maya's hair, thinking she looked very presentable. She sighed and said, "Mom, need a PARTY hairstyle!"

"I Help!" is heard frequently throughout the day at our house. I wish I heard it from my older kids instead of the two-year-old! But what Maya lacks in skill, she makes up for in enthusiasm! Her favorite jobs are putting away the silverware and cups and setting the table.

If anything needs stirring, she's also quick to offer her services. She's a sweet girl. She's also developing quite a sense of humor. The other night at dinner she picked up her mushroom, took it between her thumb and forefinger, moved it like a mouth and said in a gravely voice, "Hi! My name is Bill. What's your name?"

She's been working on potty training which has been interesting. We had gotten rid of our old potty chair and went to Target to buy a new one. I wanted a pretty basic version, but they only had 2 rather deluxe editions. She got "The Royal Potty" which plays one of 4 different regal-sounding fanfares when she's succesful. At first, it seemed to work as designed, but now that thing is seriously posessed! Lyle says that if he just looks at the Royal Potty the music starts. When anyone uses the real potty in the bathroom, (not even touching the royal potty) they are greeted with a loud "Da Da Da DAAAAH!" We all clap and congratulate them on their success. I think we need to disable the royal potty!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

No Shrinking Violets

Cute girls in matching dresses. Both are holding items that they hope to bring with them to church but that will be vetoed. No webkinz and no blankies. Madeline and Abby wore these dresses for a Christmas card photo years ago.

Our first attempt with the hair staightener. I think I could have done a better job if I'd had more time. Madeline has thick hair and 15 minutes (with frequent interruptions) just won't cut it. Still, Madeline loved the result and she did look more grown up. Maybe the "grown-up" look will help her with a current wish she has. There is an all-girls choir that Madeline is really hoping to join later in the year. It's directed by Madeline's voice teacher and her husband and is very highly respected. Madeline and I went to their Christmas concert and were blown-away by how fabulous they sound. There are only 12 girls and most of their songs are done acappella in 4 part harmony. The majority of the girls are in their late teens and the youngest is in 8th grade. Madeline's teacher said there's a chance she may offer her a spot this summer, but that she'd be the youngest she's ever had in the choir. She said she'll definitely be ready when she's in 7th grade, but it's a possibility sooner. It would absolutely be a big stretch for her, but it would be such a great opportunity and I know she'd learn so much. Besides, I'd love to see Madeline in the full-length black velvet dress!

And speaking of looking more grown up...

She got her ears pierced! Madeline was very brave and stayed all-smiles through the whole thing. She'll need to keep the lovely blue flowers in for the next 6 weeks.
Abby said, "The sparkly earrings match your braces."

We had several days of snow over the Christmas break and Maya REALLY loves to go play outside. I gave Madeline the choice of doing several inside chores or building a snowman with Maya. She wisely chose the snowman option.

I think Maya's happy face shows she made the right choice. Maya was so proud of that snowman (her first) and she waved at him through the window several times a day. It was a sad morning when she woke up and saw that it was gone. Bye, bye Frosty.

Getting comfy watching a video. Maya is a girl with an abundance of confidence, personality, curiosity, spunk, and humor. It's a pretty great (and often tiring) combination! The exhaustion that Lyle and I feel is probably due to the fact that all 4 of our children share these same tiring personality traits. Not a single shrinking violet among the lot.