Thursday, May 29, 2008


Annabel's 4th grade chorus and orchestra performed the National Anthem at a Redwing's game on Tuesday. It was fun to see her interact with her class members. Fourth grade girls can be pretty silly and shrill.


An Artist Among Us

Noah had a piece of his artwork displayed this month at our local library. When I asked him about it he couldn't remember the assignment, as it was done at the beginning of the school year. He also didn't even recognize his own work. So, obviously, it was quite a proud moment for him. I took a picture anyway.


Happy Birthday, Annabel

Annabel turned 10 on the 24th. She told me it was like her sweet 16, but early, because she was in the double digits now.

We had a quiet little afternoon with cake and presents.

The day before, Joanna took lots of pictures of Annabel and as soon as she has them ready (hint, hint), I will share them here.

We recently discussed some of the things we all like about Annabel. Here are a 10 in no particular order.

  1. Annabel is smart and talented.
  2. She is strong-willed.
  3. Annabel loves little children and animals.
  4. She is beautiful.
  5. She is strong and able-bodied.
  6. She is fearless.
  7. Everyone knows Annabel.
  8. Annabel is good with money and she always has some.
  9. Annabel is great at sharing-anything and everything.
  10. She has a lovely voice and is not afraid to use it.


First one in the pool is COLD!

Annabel jumped into water that was less than 60 degress, last Friday. She couldn't get out of it quickly enough.

If she had waited till Memorial Day it would have been much warmer.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Flower Pots

Darren and I spent yesterday buying flowers in 50 degree weather. I ended up in a sweater and a winter coat. I just couldn't get warm. It is 50 degrees warmer in Arizona than it is in Rochester.

Anyway, we are going for warm, hot colors in our pots on the front porch. Darren has used blues and purples in the past, but was willing to try a new color scheme to appease me this year.


Bird Nest

For the second year, we have had birds build a nest in the vent that comes from our stop top. Somehow, the birds fall out of their nest and slide down deeper into the vent. We can hear them scratching at the walls trying to get out, to no avail.

It is rather disturbing on several levels to hear the death cries of the babies.

Yesterday morning before school, Darren took off the vent, but couldn't reach anything.

Annabel and Bea were able to reach in and touch the birds.
Annabel eventually got hold of the mother bird and was able to get it out. We then spent a few minutes chasing it out the back door (unfortunately, no pictures of said bird, as I was trying to keep Winnie from eating it).

I think the mother bird came back to the babies, but we haven't heard any frantic clawing from them today.

We are hoping that the babies will soon outgrow the nest and leave home. We will then put up some type of mesh to prevent this happening again.

Unfortunately, we are having a difficult time putting the vent back on due to it's poorly placed screws. We may have to do some creative carpentry. UGH!!! So I'm without a stovetop for the time being.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Annabel's Ordinary Miracle

Annabel sings at the beginning and again at the end of the song. I was sobbing through the entire song and couldn't hold my camera still. You might hear my sob at the end. We were so proud of her. Darren said she sang right on pitch (I wouldn't know). Unfortunately, they were backlit and it is hard to see the girls.

Turn off the playlist to listen without interference.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Noah's Belated 12th

We were in DC for Noah's 12th birthday and didn't get cake, so I made him a lemon cake, his favorite, on Monday and we had a mini-celebration to mark this big event in his life.

On Saturday, as we were touring, we made a list of 12 things we like about Noah. Each of us came up with 3 things.
In no particular order-

  1. Noah is very organized and knows when all his school work is due.
  2. Noah is developing a style (maybe his mom's style) and is becoming aware of his appearance.
  3. He is funny.
  4. He is willing to help and do as he is asked.
  5. Noah is a smart kid.
  6. Noah is responsible.
  7. He is a good cook.
  8. He shares.
  9. He is a good-looking guy.
  10. He is not afraid to show love to his family.
  11. He is a good friend.
  12. Noah is awesome on Xbox.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Washington DC

Darren went to the ACP convention in DC and we tagged along and played tourists. This was the first trip to DC that the kids could remember and we crammed in as much as possible in our 4 days there.

It was a lot of fun to see recognizable sites with the kids.

We visited the National Cathedral. The girls stopped to pray at every altar and kneepad. Who knew I had latent Catholics.(though the Cathedral is an Episcopal church, I believe)

Bea's class had just talked about the Natural History Museum the day we left, so she was looking for the jumbo elephant.

Darren joined us at the Library of Congress, after meetings. We then walked behind the Capitol to Union Station.

Everyone wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial.

Trying to do photo tricks with the Washington Monument.

We visited the Supreme Court Building after hours when no one else was around.--I thought it was great to get pictures without lots of strangers milling about.

The kids thought it was great fun to ride the subway. We also did the double-decker bus. Annabel was a little disappointed that she didn't get to ride in a taxi.

The highlight of Darren's trip was seeing this stealth bomber.

Noah and Annabel bought handcuffs at the International Spy Museum (big hit) and spent the rest of the trip playing with handcuffs. I just wish I could have really locked them. It could have solved many of my problems.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Boy and His Bike

Noah turns 12 on Saturday and was in need of a new bike. As we are going to DC for an extended weekend and he has a scout bike trip on Tuesday, he got his bike a week early. Can we say excited? He requested gears, a tall frame and a water bottle holder. I think we managed to meet all those requirements. He was very appreciative and also, very excited. He has ridden his bike to school for the last two days and is looking forward to tonight's ride with the Scouts.


Spring blossoms

I've been wanting to get pictures of the girls with all of the blooming trees and almost waited too long. We were driving home and I had Darren drop us off a couple of blocks from home, so we get finally get some pics.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


Darren surprised us all with tickets to a Redwings minor league baseball game. An even bigger surprise was that we had box seats and a suite all to ourselves.
The suite was stocked with drinks, chicken fingers and fries, and pepperoni pizza. What more could 3 kids ask for?

The kids thought it was the coolest thing.
We were right behind home plate.
The only that could have been better was if the Redwings had won the game.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Special Guest Day

Bea had Special Guest Day at her school on Friday and she invited me as her special guest. We made tissue flowers together and put together a little scrapbook about our lives in 1st grade.
We all met outside and sang patriotic songs before the guests left.

Bea and I were discussing this upcoming event a few days ago and she told me that only a couple of her classmates had grandparents coming. I commented that they must live in town or close by and she told me no, that they lived in Utah. I told her that I was pretty sure that was not the case. Oh, no, she said "Grandparents usually live in Utah." I told her that it just so happens that nearly everyone of her friends had grandparents in Utah, but only because they were all her friends from church.