Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A young author

Last Friday, Tom and I were thrilled to celebrate with Candace as she received the Young Authors Award for her class. We are big readers and writers around here, and we try to encourage our children to love the written word as well. There is one student selected from each of the elementary classrooms. It makes us especially proud that Candace's story was chosen since she has only been speaking English for two and a half years.

Daddy and young author Candace

Candace displaying her certificate.

The Young Authors of 2012

And now... drum roll, please...
the award winning writing of Miss Candace Spears:
Short and sweet!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Moms' weekend

I had a lovely time Friday night and Saturday with our beautiful oldest daughter Emily. It was Moms' Weekend at her sorority. I have never been able to come before because I couldn't take the time away from the twins. This year, the neediness level has decreased and the timing was right.

On Friday night, we went out to a Mexican place for dinner and then back to my hotel, where we relaxed in the hot tub for awhile before going upstairs to watch TV. It was nice to just have time to chat with my sweet girl.

On Saturday, AOII moms and daughters gathered for lunch at a nice restaurant.

Isn't Emily pretty?

After lunch we headed to the sorority house for a gift basket auction fundraiser. Moms donated gift baskets with various themes and then they were auctioned off with the proceeds going to the house. There were lots of creative baskets and a live auctioneer!

My contribution was an Ethiopian coffee themed basket.

After dessert, I took Emily shopping and then headed home in time to tell the kids good night. It was a very nice little trip for me.

In other "mom" news, I am getting very excited to meet my BEMM sponsor mom, Saba, when I travel to Ethiopia next month. I ordered these necklaces from Funky Fish Designs, one for each of us. I hope they will help us to feel connected when I return home after our trip.

Matching necklaces for moms who live a world apart.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Normal stuff

I've been having trouble coming up with an interesting topic for a post... and guess what? I still don't have one! I think it may be because things are actually... NORMAL around here. Normal, as in very little drama beyond what most *average* families experience. Wow. I won't jinx it by pretending it will last.

Thomas has been learning to play by himself. He loves Legos and he also likes to play make believe games involving lots of weird noises that imitate gunfire. He really likes to play anything with his big brother Kenneth.

Thomas driving his Lego plane through the
fast food lane of the restaurant he made.

Thomas and Kenneth engage in an action packed
card game of war.

In other developments, Miss Sylvia Kittywhiskens has made it unscathed to a teen kitty. She is still mighty darn cute. Candace is very nurturing with her, which warms my heart. She also shows great patience with her, which is a miracle by most standards.

Sarah and Candace snuggling with a semi-cooperative Sylvia.

Finally, I have recently discovered at least one very strange thing going on at our house. Apparently, Lucy the cat is moonlighting as a ninja.

Lucy appears to be sleeping in the dog bed,
but she is ever vigilant with her weapon at the ready.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Toothless but artistic

Thomas has had a couple of permanent bottom incisors growing behind his baby teeth for a few weeks now. He was finally persuaded this weekend to yank out the stubborn baby teeth so the big ones could move into their rightful positions. I do not like to pull teeth, but luckily Candace was only too eager to help with this operation. Thomas really was thrilled, although it doesn't appear so below. His natural smile hides his lower teeth and I kept saying "I can't see your teeth!"

Thomas displaying his new smile, or in this case, grimace.
New teeth are already visible on the bottom!

In contrast, I offer up this adorable self-portrait that Thomas brought home today. The lips are a sticker... but I found them particularly suitable, as Thomas does have very lush lips.

A self portrait by the artist Thomas.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Comfort object

This is my dad's shirt. It is currently on my body. I have worn this shirt at least part of every single day since my dad's funeral on December 20. (No need for concern; I have washed it frequently.) I sleep with it at night... I can't wear it, because as a woman of a certain age, I just find it's too hot. I like having it it to hold. My dad went to college at General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan. It became just plain old GMI when General Motors divested itself of the educational business in 1982. Then sometime in the 90's it lost that name as well and became Kettering University. But to me, it is GMI and is forever associated with General Motors and my daddy.

This is my new favorite shirt. It's also a lovey or what is more scientifically called a comfort object. I guess that's okay. I like thinking that my dad's arms were in these same sleeves. There is some yellow paint on one of the sleeves where either he or my mom must have worn it while painting their house. I like that too.

I have been dreaming about my dad a lot. Usually they are comforting dreams that feature the daddy of my childhood. Sometimes they are sad. I like having a physical thing of my dad's to hold onto when I'm sad. I love my dad and I miss him so much. I'm glad I have his shirt.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A not so tough guy

Sometimes even tough guys like Indy need
to get in touch with their nurturing side.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter makes an appearance

We have had a very mild, mostly sunny winter here; highly unusual. But last night, winter finally made an appearance with our first heavy snow of the season. The littles got themselves suited up and outside well before lunch.

Candace surveys the scene.

The intrepid adventurers

Posing with their completed snowman and snowbaby.

The start of the "biggest snowman ever".

Warming up with hot tea and cocoa.