Friday, February 27, 2009

A Day at the Park

Once upon a time, there was such a gorgeous day....a Winter day even....that all of Western Washington shielded their eyes and simply HAD to venture out into the sun.

It was a day without coats!

The air smelled like Spring

and everyone ran and played,

and swung and hung,

and chased down speedy toddlers.

It was a day when the sun beat down on Cholita's shiny black hair and made her hot and sleepy
and she slowed down just long enough for me to remember the first time I saw her--when I gasped because she was so beautiful.

It was a perfect day.

The End.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Epiphany

A few months back I was feeling antsy. I wanted to throw myself into a project but wasn't sure what that project should be. I tend to be kind of an all-or-nothing kind of gal, and so in the past I've been obsessively in love with:

*genealogy and family history
*research (into a variety of topics)
*cooking (Lyle liked that short-lived stage)
*horses (they now live elsewhere)
*scrapbooking (currently I'm YEARS behind)
*all things adoption (still love it, but you can only read so many websites)

So when Lyle saw me in my antsy state, he crossed his fingers and made sure cookbooks were easily accessible. I told him I wanted to write. He was relieved---no large purchases of farm animals. And as always, he was unfailingly supportive.

One of my very earliest school memories was the day I realized that not everyone can write. I don't mean forming letters, but putting something readable down on paper. I stink at math. I stink only slightly less at science. To know I was good at something, or at least better than average, made me very happy indeed. When I saw people struggling with writing, my advice always was, "Just kind of 'talk' onto the paper....but with a little more thought." It felt very natural to me and through the years essay tests have saved my bacon in many a class.

So I wanted to do something I'd never really done before---I wanted to TRY to write. I started the blog as kind of a daily warm-up and I worked hard on some pieces and sent them to publishers. To my surprise, I had success. Lyle and the kids were so proud of me. I was proud of me. I knew that if I desired a writer's life, I could have it. But here's the epiphany:

Sometimes knowing you can do something, is as satisfying as actually doing it.

I know writers who can devote a tiny part of their day to writing, but I can't. When I'm writing something, something that I'm really trying to make good, it's on the brain 24/7. I wish I could compartmentalize my life a little bit more but I don't think I'm wired that way. As much as it's satisfying to see my name in print, there are things that are infinitely more satisfying. And as much as I love writing, I love these guys more.

I'll definitely keep the blog, but I might not update as frequently. Cholita needs someone to read her a story. Bruder needs to talk about all the craziness of being a teenager. Lucy needs someone to appreciatively listen to her practice the piano. Rose desperately needs her hair combed. And yes, on occasion Lyle needs a decent meal. It's the one obsession that's stuck--my family.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hail to the Chief

Our family's President's Day dinner included several notables. There was:

John Adams....

...looking remarkably well preserved.

And this character....who is not a crook.

And believe it or not, this is our state's namesake, the father of our country, none other than George Washington. Cholita wanted absolutely no help in the costuming department and she chose this lovely red evening gown, a pearl bracelet, and an interesting crown made from fencing that came with My Pretty Pony.

When the other dinner guests pointed out that she didn't resemble Washington, she snapped, "This is MY Washington!" I take that to mean, "You do Washington your way and I'll do it mine. BACK OFF!"

Rose had an unfortunate incident with a round brush just prior to dinner which resulted in a disposition that didn't lend itself well to photo-taking. The round brush episode happened when she was trying to coif herself into NOT a president, but rather a resident....

....of the White House of course.

George changed out of the crown for dinner so as not to offend the other guests (actually, John Adams thought the crown might be a good idea), but opted instead for a pink bow. Each guest had facts to share. Lyle, also known as Grover Cleveland, only said that he was buried in a piano box, a "fact" which has not been verified and shows zero effort in the research department.

I was a president who I'm sure you all know. "Old Tippecanoe" he was called. Our ninth president, Mr. William Henry Harrison who died after 32 days in office. Not surprisingly, he hadn't been able to get much done in the White House since he was still unpacking boxes and hanging pictures.

All was educational bliss until Rose supplied the fact that a member of the Secret Service accompanies Sasha to school. After that little tidbit we couldn't pull ourselves back to history. Does the Secret Service man volunteer as a reading buddy? Or at least a four square partner? Does he bring a sack lunch or buy? So many questions.

Hail to the Chief!
May he (or she) always live up to the high expectations of their office.

All Love and Gush

Valentine's Day Brunch--A photo essay

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Little Bunnies

Aren't they adorable? Don't you want to take them home? Be aware that looks aren't everything. After a night of stage lights and nervous perspiration, Lyle said to our tiniest rabbit, "Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don't wanna' smell you." Put those arms down Miss Rose.

Despite the odor, (and rabbits are supposed to be stinky, right?) we're so proud of our bunnies. This picture of Lucy and Rose was in the newspaper--taken during their first week of the play Narnia. They travel with Father Christmas, hopping along, helping to usher in Spring. I love that Rose got to do her first play with Lucy. Ninety-percent of her time on stage, she was holding big sister's hand.

Cholita was just giddy seeing her sisters on stage but was afraid of the White Witch. She asked several times, "Oohh, what she gonna' DO?" After the play, Cholita walked up on stage and looked out at the theater like she owned the place. Lucy has expressed concern that poor Cholita will never have quite the look directors are going for. Typecasting stinks for minorities. "BUT WAIT!" she excitedly said,

"Cholita will be PERFECT for The King and I!"

* And no Kelly, not the King of Siam. Please. Her hair's short but not THAT short! And unfortunately she wouldn't work for the part of Anna either, but how adorable would she be as one of the King's children? Or the love-stricken Tuptim? It could work. Unfortunately her scratchy singing voice is currently more Brian Adams than Broadway. As her Uncle Jared has said, "A good throat lozenge could ruin poor Brian's career...."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Art Appreciation

One day Maya couldn't draw, and then the next day she could. Amazing things like that happen when you're three. I can't think of a skill that I would just acquire overnight--without classes, without books or tutorials, just merely with the passage of time--except maybe growing gray hair and wrinkles.

But Maya started a new day, picked up a pen, scribbled, and said, "This is my Dad."Well, yes it is! He's looking a little somber and egg-ish, but handsome. Then she moved onto Mom....

And aren't I adorable? Based on the hair, I think it's a morning-time view, but still pretty cute, don't you think?

And this I believe is Sasquatch. Or maybe it's me if the lone neck hair multiplies. Hard to say. But aren't toddlers amazing? Tonight while she peacefully slumbers, I'm hoping she learns how to clean the shower.

It could happen.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Red Letter Days?

Maya doesn't have them. But she does have red shoe days. Lots of red shoe days. And with the red shoes comes the accompanying red shoe attitude--spunk galore.

Today for the first time she tried her hand at photography. No surprises....

We love our spunky red shoe girl.