Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday, Luci!!

It was a memorable day in our house yesterday for more than one reason! We enjoyed having family over for the usual Thanksgiving feast AND it was also our little Miss Luci's 6th birthday!!! Let me be a usual proud mom and humor me while I extoll some of the many virtues that are our Luci, won't you? ;-) Let's see...besides being an extraordinarily physically beautiful little girl, she is more importantly a very kind, thoughtful child. She never ceases to think of others before herself! Don't get me wrong, she is a typical 6 year old, so she certainly has her days, but truly not often!! She really does think of others more than herself! At her first Parent-Teacher conference this year, we were so proud and happy to hear her teachers tell us that she is a gifted academic! They encouraged us to pursue a Gifted and Talented program for her!! When her report card finally came...we were flabbergasted!! For first grade students, our school district gives a 1 through 4 rating for each area of grading, 1 being well below average and 4 being well above average). Luci's report card was peppered with a large majority of 4's (probably 75% of the entire report card was 4's!) The rest were 3's (at grade level)...although she did have one 2...for "responsible use of art supplies!" Just like a true artist! Ha ha!! She reads and writes well above her age/grade much so that her teachers have encouraged her to bypass the usual first grade books and choose instead chapter books! Chapter books for a child who just yesterday turned 6 years old!! I have a hard time throwing away some her writing assignments as they are just so darned impressive! Yes, to say we are extraordinarily proud is indeed an understatement!! She is sweet, loving, polite, funny and all-around adorable! And we couldn't possibly love her any more than we already do! Okay, enough bragging...thank you for indulging me...on to the birthday celebration!

Papa keeps a tight hold as Drew, Sonja and Max take turns dishing out birthday spanks!
As it turns out, it was also Monty's birthday yesterday, too! He didn't find his birthday spanks as humorous as Luci found hers!!
PRESENTS!!!!!! She was dying to get to this part of the evening! Drew took it upon herself to make and wrap a gift for Luci herself! What a good big sister!
Money from Grandma and Grandpa! Yay!!
Papa's gift was the big hit this year...a whole pack of Zoobles!! (Yeah, I had never heard of them before either!) The look on her face was priceless!
Jumping for joy at the site of all those Zoobles!
The book we got her wasn't as impressive to her...but I think she'll enjoy it once the novelty of the Zoobles wears off a little!
She did like the Barbie and Barbie clothes we got her, though!

And I would have been remiss to NOT get her another Zooble!

Happy birthday Sweet Pea!! We love you so much!!

Today's Quote:

Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne

When I was one, I had just begun.

When I was two, I was nearly new.

When I was three, I was hardly me.

When I was four, I was not much more.

When I was five, I was just alive.

But now I am six, I'm as clever as clever.

So I think I'll be six now and forever.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This and that...

Life has been busy as usual for me! First news of the day...I got another job now that it is the slower season for my photography. I am a teaching assistant for all buildings of our school district. It is on a call-in basis, which suits me just fine! In other news, Drew had yet another piece of artwork chosen for the art gallery located in the high-school. That's 2 years in a row! Looks like we have ourselves a bonafide artiste! Here she is being held aloft by Daddy to show it off. It is a Japanese Koi fish.

In the last couple of weeks, the local girl scouts had their investiture and rededication ceremony. Here's Luci reciting the promise with her partner.

Sonja and Luci are in the same Daisy troop, and their troop leader is an adoptive mom of 6!

Dean keeps Max busy during the ceremony.

Here's Drew's Brownie troop performing a skit.

The girls' dance studio has finally started a boys' hip hop dance class. The video below shows Max trying it out for the first time!

On November 12th, my dad celebrated his birthday! In September, I shot these pictures especially for the occasion! If you couldn't tell, my dad is a die-hard Yankees fan and he has happily gotten the girls to be Yankees fans, too!

Here they are presenting him his presents!

And a yummy cheesecake with candles to blow out!

Here are the finished photos displayed on his shelf! Happy birthday, Daddy/Papa!! We love you so much!!! Hope you enjoy your pictures!!

Just a couple of shots at a family baby shower. (The flash on my point and shoot camera is quite powerful and close shots like this one tend to get washed out.)

And what post would be complete without some shots of that cute new puppy of ours? Monty loves him to pieces now!!

Mr. Darcy is at that age where he's getting into mischief! He had the "rammies" one evening and decided his food needed to be spread out!

No, Darcy, your food dish is NOT a diving pool!

Can't possibly get mad at this adorable little fuzz-ball!!

Well....Baby can easily get mad at him!! She wants nothing to do with him and tells him so any chance she gets!

Sonja holds him for a shot!

Max gives him some loving!

Drew's last remaining bottom tooth wasn't in any hurry to go anywhere on its own, so I took matters in my own hands and yanked it out! Surprisingly, Drew was happy to let me do it and didn't stall and cry and get all nervous and jerky this time! I tied the string and waited for the drama to begin (have I mentioned how much I HATE drama???) Anyway, as soon as it was tied, she closed her eyes and said, "I'm ready!" She took me by surprise! So I yanked after getting over the shock and out it flew! Absolutely no tears!!! So below, she poses with the little pink box left by the Tooth Fairy containing the usual $5.

Now that that little sucker is gone, her adult tooth can finally move forward! (And it has already started!)

Tina called me up one day and told me about this benefit show happening on the Akwesasne reservation. There is a young child who benefitted, though I neglected to find out what he was suffering from. Anyway, it was a drag show! So 3 of the 4 coven members decided to get together and go! Dean happily volunteered to fill-in for our absentee member, Heather! I was shocked, but glad to have him along!

Bette Midler

Uhhhh...don't know who she's trying to be! Ha ha!

Not all men can pull off a convincing woman...example #1. This queen sat right next to Julie at our table, so I requested a quick picture! Unfortunately, I only had my little point and shoot with me, and I was too close to get a decent picture, the flash is just too strong!

Other men, however, make not only a convincing woman, but also a beautiful one at that! This is Naomi Diamond. She was gorgeous and a phenomenal performer as well!

Tina Turner

Dean deposits some, somewhere on this queen!
Don't miss the video below!! It's a good one, though very dark! (Yes, that is Dean with some more money!)

Last week, Dean lost his last remaining grandmother (his father's mom). Over the weekend, there were 3 wakes and a funeral on Monday. Dean's cousin, Kirk, made the trip home from London, England to attend. He stayed with us for a night. This past summer, he stayed with us for a weekend as well, so the girls already knew him. They just love him and didn't want him to leave! Here's Kirk and the girls.

Kirk is movinghome to Canada in 2 years and has invited us to stay in his London home for a vacation before that. Needless to say, I've been checking on the cost of flights to London! :-D

Let's see...other news...well, anyone who knows me won't be surprised to hear that my Xmas decorations including outdoor lights, have been put up (and have been up for over a week!) We finally got around to "finishing" up our livingroom. The ceilings have been mudded, sanded and painted. The crown molding is up and painted. The walls are painted and my floor...the bane of my livingroom is "sort of" finished! Dean spackled all the cracks between the planks and then sanded the entire floor. We chose a color and painted it. I say it's sort of finished because eventually, when the money becomes available, we'll be putting down a hardwood floor. In the meantime, I always hated the subfloor due to the cracks. Everytime I swept, the dirt would just deposit itself into the cracks and you could never get the floor clean unless you took a vacuum to every single crack! Now that the cracks are no longer there, sweeping is a breeze! (Actually, sweeping is only a breeze when Mr. Darcy is sleeping since he thinks the broom is an oversized chew toy that I'm moving around specifically for him to chase!! It's pretty funny to watch, but when you're trying to sweep it can be a real pain in the butt!!) I have a beautiful new light installed in the larger livingroom and Dean has promised me to install the other one before tomorrow when we host Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the family. On to other news...I am now the happy owner of a gym membership. I have been going for the last 2 months and am happy to report that I have lost 12 pounds since my first workout on October 1st! Add that 12 pounds to the 20 I dropped last year after a painfully stressful summer/fall and I am now down 32 pounds from last year!! I am delighted with my results so far, and I must say, I am surprised at my motivation to keep going! I have had gym memberships in the past, treadmills, diets, fad tv ad gimmicks...I've tried them all! But the one thing they all had in common was that I never continued to use them! I was a little nervous to plunk money down on something that could have ended the same way, but this time I found a work-out buddy, my friend, Sue! Together, we keep each other motivated and I find that I go to the gym even when we don't make arrangements to meet up! I think my stressful year last year changed something inside me...I even quit chewing my nails after 38 years!! They say stress isn't good for your health...but I have a sneaking suspicion that certain kinds of stress are VERY good for your inner strength! I have said it before and I'll say it again...nothing bad can happen that something good doesn't come from it! I am a FIRM believer in this sentiment! Anyway, I will most likely be posting again sooner rather than later with pictures of the Xmas decor in my new livingroom! I just love it!! Until then....

Today's Quote:

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!!

Our Indian Summer lasted all of 3 days, this year...:-( But we took advantage of what little of it there was by getting outdoors! Dean made a huge leaf pile for the girls and I dug out the camera for the occasion.

Even the dogs were loving life on this afternoon! Monty has officially declared that he likes the new puppy, Mr. Darcy! His nose was out of joint for a few days, but he called a halt to his pity party when he realized how much fun it was to have a new playmate.

Luci likes Darcy well enough, but Drew is absolutely in LOVE with him!!

Last night was Halloween...and it was SOOO COLD!!! I went out with my long down-filled winter coat and still froze!! The kids, on the other hand, didn't seem to notice just how freezing it was! They had a blast as usual! Here are all the kiddies in their costumes. L to R: Sonja as Spider-Woman, Drew as a blue M&M, Max as Spiderman, Luci as a unicorn and Ana as a Fairy.
Trick or Treat!!!
After both sides of about 3 blocks, we steered them back to the cars as I could no longer feel my toes and Ana's mom started with an ear-ache. We hit Grandma and Grandpa's for a half hour or so and then we went home...short and sweet! Between the parties at school, Meema's goodies and trick-or-treating, they managed to score quite a haul of candy! Now that Halloween is over...bring on Xmas!!! In a couple of weeks, my house ought to look like the "Santa Hurricane" came and hit it! Can't wait!

Today's Quotes:

Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night. ~Steve Almond

When witches go riding,and black cats are seen,the moon laughs and whispers,‘tis near Halloween.~Author Unknown