Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Mom-in-Law

Tom's mother just finished her last week as a school teacher. She is retiring after about 26 years of teaching (mostly) first grade. She is a wonderful teacher and mentor, in and out of the classroom. Personally, she has taught me about many things. The following are some of her many talents, apart from teaching kids how to read...

She can rescue a broken rocking chair from the street and transform it into a stunning living room piece; she keeps an immaculate house; she is a master painter--walls, furniture, anything.; she is expert at nurturing house plants; she can mend even the worst clothing rips; she has the ability to make anyone and everyone feel welcomed and special; she lives life to the fullest and makes time for the most important things. I always feel like she has time for me. She's great. I love her, and isn't she cute?

To celebrate her retirement she sponsored a trip to Washington DC for her children and grandchildren last month. We had tons of fun, visiting the monuments, museums, and gardens, and simply hanging out at the hotel--swimming, eating and laughing. My kids sure love their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They didn't mind one bit that they had to miss a week of school for this.

Thanks for the fun, Grandma and Grandpa!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today's Gratitude List

*I am thankful for a parking spot close to the mall.

*I am thankful for a toddler who actually snuggled into her car seat and went to sleep, on command, at my suggestion that she take a little nap.

Notice Eden's "Joe-Joe cookie lipliner" here.

*I am thankful for my bigger kids who sat at the table after school and enthusiastically played "Go Fish" for an hour, while I cooked dinner. Who knew a simple game like that could still entertain so well? These two kids get along great--about 90% of the time.

Tyler wanted to brush Tessa's hair before school in this one. (they are wearing "assembly dress")

*I am thankful that new babies need lots of sleep!

Obviously this is an old photo.

*I am thankful for a husband who works hard to support us. He is putting in lots of mandatory, extra hours at work lately. (he's still not home and it is 11:30pm) I know it's no fun for him. I miss him, too!

I am blessed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Mom

Today is my mom's birthday! I wish I lived closer to her so I could cook her a special birthday dinner, like she always did for me. I don't get to see my mom very often these days, but I did a few weeks ago, and it was a treat. She is wonderful. For starters, she raised eight children. The longer I'm a mom, the more amazing that feat is to me.

The seventh of the eight got married on 05-07-09 (he did that on purpose), and all eight of us kids were together. We had a little too much really infringed on our sleep that weekend, but it was great to laugh and play and talk and just be together. I am so glad we're close, and I think my parents have something to do with that. I feel blessed that they're mine.

Here's the happy couple--I love their excited expressions as they exit the temple. Congratulations, Mitchell and Erin.

Here's the group--my parents, all of us kids, and some of the spouses and grand-children.

I am part of an amazing family. My mom is the lovely lady on the right. Here are some things I love about her. She is unfazed by crying babies (as evidenced in the picture below). She is forever selfless and willing to serve. She is organized and detail-oriented. She has big ideas and then she turns them into realities. She is giggly and fun to be around. She has high standards and encourages me to do the same. She feels things deeply and the tears flow freely to prove it. When I returned from this trip to Salt Lake City, I called her from the airport in NYC to tell her I got home safely. As we talked, she started crying...I guess because she missed me already. :) This is not an uncommon thing for her. She wishes she didn't get so emotional, but I think it's touching. I can always tell how much she cares. I love you, Mom! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Caught it

Ansley's grins are wide and open-mouthed...and hard to catch on camera. I can't get enough of this little one.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Let's Go, Mets"

Tom made sure to get tickets to watch the Mets play in their new stadium (Go, Citi), early in the season. He and Tyler and Tessa looked forward to this big-kid outing for weeks, and they were not disapppointed. Tom is always eager to attend any professional sporting event, but in the last three years as a proud resident of Queens, NY, he has become a loyal Mets fan, so now these games are even more fun. It's hard not to cheer for a team that plays their home games just ten minutes from us.

Of course the facility is incredible as well. Tyler and Tessa liked watching the MLB game, pitched by the best pitcher in the world, but they may have enjoyed even more the mini-field set up for children. They got to bat, and field, and see what it's like to "play ball" at Citi Field.

Tom is so good at experiencing all New York City has to offer. He never shies from an opportunity to haul part (or all) of our family to a museum, parade, ballpark, tourist site, artistic performance, or any other attraction within our reach. He has helped me truly "heart" NY.

Mets vs. Marlins --- April 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I grew something

In my quest to create things that don't get un-done so quickly (like clean dishes and floors do), I wanted to grow something. Since we aren't currently able to have a true garden, I started with something indoors, easy, and almost instantly gratifying--wheatgrass. It sprouts so quickly, a day or two after planting, then shoots up...inches per day.

It's a great thing for impatient kids (or adults) to experiement with, if they are trying to get excited about growing things. Each morning my kids were anxious to see how much the wheatgrass had grown. We joked that it got taller every time we turned our backs.

Here it is on Day 4 after sowing;

...on Day 5,

...on Day 6,

...and on Day 7.

At this point we cut it off and put it in smoothies. Wheatgrass is most commonly juiced and ingested due to its professed health benefits. Aparently it is somewhat of a superfood.

From my internest rsearch I learned this: "Wheatgrass is a complete whole food with enzymes, amino acids, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll working in perfect harmony to help rid the body of toxins and creating overall good health. Doctors are praising its disease-fighting, age-defying properties. Wheatgrass juice has become the ’trendy’ new way to keep illness and old age at bay."

Assuming any of that is true, I decided to try it. Mostly I just liked how it looked as my table centerpiece for a week or more.