Saturday, February 21, 2009

Signs, signs, and more signs

Since Ryan loves to spell things, he loves to spend countless hours (and I do mean HOURS) making signs to tape around the house. These signs are taped on his door, on the laundry room door, on our sliding glass door, etc. I don't leave them up for long, but just long enough to make him feel proud of his work. He comes up with some funny things to write on the signs, but they are always things that are on his mind. He is really big into listening to music, so it is not uncommon to find signs on his door that are about the music he is listening to. He is really good at remembering song titles and knowing the artists because whenever he likes a song he asks what it is called and who sings it and it is in the memory bank. And onto the sign it goes!

I have some pictures here of some of the signs he makes from time to time, but one of my favorites I don't have a picture of yet. Whenever I am in the kitchen making something (which hasn't been much this week, thus NO picture!), he makes a sign that says Mom Chef. He hums theme music to the show and says in his best announcer voice, "Okay everyone let's welcome Moooommmmmm Chef!" He then continues with what I will be making and then asks that I give a little diaglogue with what I am making for the "viewers at home." You would think that we watch the Food Network all the time, but honestly the boy spends more time watching Disney than anything else. It is really a crack up, and the whole time I am cooking, the Mom Chef sign is proudly displayed on the refrigerator. He ooos and ahhhs over all the things I'm doing and comments how this will be my best food yet. I'm not sure what he is waiting for, but I don't think anything that miraculous is going to come out of this kitchen!

Here are some pictures of some of the other signs he has made. And for the record, this is HIS spelling:

Confused on this one? Well, it says, according to Ryan, "Yes, we have NO smoking here". When asked where it says no smoking, he looks matter a factly at you and says, "There is a circle with a line through it. That always means no!" Alright then...

He loves to watch American Idol with us and it was "too early to vote" so he just made a sign for all the American Idol people.

And just in case you were thinking of taking a shower in his bathtub, you'll find this note posted on the door to the bathroom:

And finally, another favorite of mine. When he gets his own water, sometimes it spills, so we get a wet floor sign.

For those of you not versed in kid spell, this says "Wet floor experience".

I will admit the signs drive me crazy. There are open signs, closed signs, exit only signs, etc. But for now, it is kinda cute to see what is on his mind and hey, at least he is practicing his writing and spelling.

Happy 40th Birthday Tom!!

This post is a couple days late, but with a month full of birthdays and anniversaries for our family and toss in Valentine's Day, a dance competition and some illness, I think only a couple days late is not too bad considering.

Tom usually keeps pretty quiet about his birthdays around his co-workers. The kids and I decided this year to send him a balloon bouquet with some chocolates at work so that people would know it was his special day on Thursday. It worked perfectly as the front desk receptionist called him up to receive his balloons that morning, a few of them gathered around the office and sang Happy Birthday to him.

Later in the day, the kids and I drove to Tigard and met him at McCormick & Schmicks for some yummy seafood dinner, his choice. They print their menus daily, so they even put a special message at the top of the menu that said "Happy 40th Birthday Tom" on it. We thought that was pretty cool. He dined on crab and shrimp stuffed salmon, served with mashed potatoes and veggies. He said it was really good. The waiter brought him a chocolate raspberry truffle cake with a candle too. Of course, we had to help him eat that since we had dessert waiting at home! :) That was some yummy chocolate.

When we returned home, we had arranged for his parents to come over so we could have a miniature celebration. We visited, had Chocolate Cookie Dough Blizzard ice cream cake from DQ, and he got his presents. The kids and I gave him a Blazer limited edition Brandon Roy photo that was framed and matted with Blazer and NBA gold coins. He really loved and it and overall it was a good birthday celebration for him. He topped off the evening with some relaxation and playing on the Wii. Here's to another 40 years and more!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So this is what we're paying for...

As a mom, I NEVER get tired of watching Courtney dance. She has danced for 7 years and I still love all the recitals, shows & competitions. The studio she has been with for the last couple of years has a parent watch night every couple of months so that we parents can "see what we're paying for". I get to see Courtney dance A LOT! She dances around the house, at the store, in her room, marks dances in the car, and I'm sure she has even been caught dancing in the cafeteria or the hallways at school. Parent watch night is a can't miss night for me. I really enjoy seeing her progress as well as the progress of everyone in the class. Her classes on Monday span about 4 hours since she dances in different styles & classes. It is so worth it though to see her in HER element. I can't believe how much her gracefulness has improved in this last couple of years alone. She is now doing ballet en pointe and although she has only been doing that for about 5 months, she looked good. Really, really good. I know I'm her mother and I'm sure the teachers and professionals would have plenty to critique, but there were times it was hard for me to believe that she was doing a pirouette en pointe like she was after just a few months. I mean to move that gracefully with your toes crammed into a wooden block on the floor is amazing. I can't wait to see how much more she has improved after several months of training in this new technique. It was also fun to see her getting reacquainted with some old tap moves and finding her "inner hip hopper". Jazz/contemporary style is definitely her favorite and it was fun to see her and her dance team work through their competition piece that they will take to an event on Saturday. (VERY early Saturday. We have to be in Portland by 7 am. Anyone that knows her and I knows that is VERY, VERY early to us!) I saw a lot of growth in all of the kids on Monday. It was fun watching a few girls and friends that Courtney has brought to the studio grow in their dancing as well. I can't wait to see the next parent watch night in April and the culmination of all of their hard work at the recital in June. Sometimes it is nice for us parents to get to sit back and enjoy what we are paying for.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse

Last night we took Ryan and his friend (and our neighbor) Faith to Playhouse Disney Live at the Rose Garden. It was such a fun show complete with songs from My Friends Tigger & Pooh, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny and of course Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I got seats a while after they had been on sale, so I wasn't really sure how good our seats would be, but they provided a perfect view. To see Ryan's face light up when Mickey came on stage and then a littler later out bounced Pooh & Tigger, it was really worth the whole price of admission. The kids clapped, they sang, they danced. (And truth be told, my little Prince Charming tried to grab Faith's hand a few times during the evening to which she just giggled and replied "Ryyyyan!") Afterwards we stopped at Gem 100 for some ice cream on the way home. It was a really fun Disney sort of night. Now just 2 1/2 months until we get to go see the magic of Disneyland. Can't wait!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tag....I'm it!

I was recently tagged by my friend Sarri and asked to come up with 7 interesting things about myself. There really aren't 7 little known things about me, let alone really being all that interesting, but here is my best shot at it:

1) I used to sing in my elementary school talent shows every year. I would sing such hits as "You Light Up My Life", "9-5" and many Captain and Tenille songs. My mom made me a new gunny sax dress every year and I had matching ribbon barrettes in my hair.

2) I am extremely afraid of heights. Once in elementary school, my parents signed me up for gymnastics and I cried the whole time because I had to go on the balance beam. (It was a whopping 1 or 2 feet off the ground!) Needless to say, we knew early on that I was no Mary Lou Retton!

3) Tom & I met while I was babysitting next door to his house. I had to go to his house when I accidentally locked myself out of the house with the kids. Tom answered the door and was happy to help. I may have possibly locked the door other times just so I could see him to get the key. Maybe.

4) Tom & I broke up 8 times while dating all through high school. He was my first real kiss (not counting the time a really cute boy at church camp kissed me quick after a campfire one night.) Our first kiss was when I was babysitting at another neighbor's house. Note to self: Courtney will NOT babysit!

5) I know practically everyone camps, but I have never been camping. Let's just say I'm not an outdoorsy sort of girl and I am not a real fan of bugs and creepy crawlies. My idea of a camping adventure is blowing up the air mattress in the living room and roasting marshmallows over the BBQ and popping popcorn in the microwave. It is the perfect camp IN!

6) When I was 20, I had a Jamaican propose to me while on a travel agent familiarization trip there. He wrote me a long love letter, tried to give me a ring, the whole nine yards. And NO, we weren't dating at all while I was visiting there. He was working at the hotel we stayed at and he just took a liking I guess to my really light blonde hair, green eyed self. Needless to say, I declined.

7) Soon after the trip to Jamaica, I won a trip to the Cook Islands at a travel seminar I attended. It was before Tom and I were married, so I took my brother who wasn't married at the time either. Nightlife was rather slow there, but we went to one of the hotter restaurants/clubs there and then missed the last bus back to the hotel. Since the island wasn't very big and there weren't many cabs either, we decided to walk back to the hotel. On the way, I had to go pee so bad I couldn't hold it anymore. I couldn't bring myself to go in the bushes along the roadside(remember, not into creepy crawlies, not outdoorsy, etc?) so I wet my pants instead. Seriously! Soon after, a cab came by and gave us a ride back to the hotel. All I could think of was that I hoped I didn't smell like pee and that I didn't want to get his seats wet from my current not-so-comfortable situation. My brother has never let me live that moment down.

So there you have it, the not-so-interesting 7 things about me. Most everyone has been tagged already, so I tag whoever reads this and hasn't already had to do it!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stars or Angels?

This past Christmas Ryan was pretty fixated on every Christmas tree having a star at the top of it. Grandma & Grandpa's has an angel on top as that is the same tree topper they have had for years...tradition. Ours at home has a star. Every year Ryan can't wait to put the star up on the tree and that to him makes it complete. In fact, this year the only smile he had while he was so, so sick during "Artic Blast 2008", was when he opened a box that Grandma had sent over. It had a homemade silver star in it just for his little tree in his room. He was soooo excited! In a continuation of his questions about why some people have angels and some have stars, he and Tom were talking about angels on the way home from dinner tonight.

Ry: Daddy, where is heaven?

Daddy: It is up in the sky.

Ry: Do angels live there?

Daddy: Yes, they do.

Ry: Daddy? What do angels look like?

Daddy: They wear long gowns, have wings and have halos on their heads.

Ry: Are there boy angels?

Daddy: Yes, there are boy and girl angels.

Ry: Do the boys wear gowns too? Those are for girls.

Daddy: Yes, they all wear gowns.

Ry: Daddy, when I'm an angel, can I wear jeans instead of a gown?

Realizing he wasn't going to win this battle, Tom replied, "Sure, Ryan, you can wear jeans."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Little Prayer Please...

As you could see by the length of my last post, life has been busy at our house this past few weeks. Sometimes though, when you get caught up in everyday life, you get jolted by someone else's life that has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

Yesterday, we just found out that one of Courtney's good friends has been diagnosed with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. There is still so much we don't know. We know it seemed to happen very fast. Courtney dances with her and she was at dance last week, then she went home sick the next day from school complaining of having a hard time breathing. Because of her symptoms, they took her into the doctor and at first suspected pneumonia. They did some xrays and found instead a large tumor on her chest area. After several tests and a week of waiting, they determined her diagnosis at Doernbecher yesterday. They also found out that there is evidence it has spread to the kidneys as well. She starts chemo today and the rest at this point is unknown. This family is wanting all the prayers they can get. What a rollercoaster ride this past week has been for them. I can't even imagine what they must be feeling right now. She is a great kid with a positive attitude and a love for God, and I'm sure if anyone can get through all of this, she can. Please lift their family up in prayer during this difficult time. Please also pray for the friends surrounding her that their words will be wise, their support network will be large and that they will be able to help comfort their friend through a very difficult time.