Thursday, March 27, 2014

Silly Boy

The last several nights, Josh has to place all of his stuffed animals on his bed.  This morning he brought some out and requested that I take his photo with them.  He refers to them as his brothers and sisters but please don't ask me to identify which are the brothers and which are the sisters.

Reading to Josh

Love that Emma reads to Josh and that he loves for her to read to him!


Last week, I traveled to Dallas for a conference.  The conference was held at the convention center and downtown hotels.  I have to say that Dallas is the weirdest downtown.  In other big cities, there are constantly people on the streets throughout the day and night.  In Dallas, other than tourists and chemists, seems like everybody drives in, stays in their building, then goes home.  Just odd!  Anyhow, late Tuesday afternoon, I walked over to Dealey Plaza.  The 6th floor of the book depository has been turned into a museum.  I decided to go check the hours thinking they would be closed but as luck would have it, they were open until six so I had plenty of time.  The museum offers a guided audio tour, which was worth the price of admission.  While you can't take photos on the 6th floor, you can go up to the 7th floor and get the approximate positioning of Lee Harvey Oswald.   I texted Brad a photo from the window, which made him jealous and then he asked, would the shot have been possible.  I have to say yes to that but the conspiracy theories will always abound. 

The following day I had a couple of hours to kill before my airport shuttle after checking out from the airport so I headed over to the Dallas Museum of Art.  The first exhibits were contemporary art, which I just do not get.  One was a canvas draped with a sheet and a rake pushing up against the sheet.  Another was a still photo of fruit in a bowl.  The photo was in a white frame and on the glass had been placed some black polka dots.  I guess the other thing I don't get is how people were talking seriously about these things but to each their own.  Fortunately there was much more art to enjoy.  It was definitely good to be home though.


The Senior class at Grace has a new class pet and his name is Rover.  Now that Rover has spent some time getting to know all his friends, he gets to spend the weekend with one friend at a time.  Along with Rover comes a journal that we can record all the things he did over the weekend and post photos.  Josh was the first one to get to take Rover home and we hope we showed him a good time.  Friday night, he went to dinner with us at Buffalo Grill where he saw a buffalo head on the wall.

Saturday morning, Rover partook of a little soccer and may have ended up with a bit of green fur from the green hairspray.  Oops!

 Saturday afternoon, we went to the library and Josh read Rover a couple of Lego books.

Sunday morning, Rover came to church and Josh tried to blame him for being too loud although I think we can all guess who it was that was really too loud.  We rounded out the weekend with a trip to the Children's Theater to see "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".  We loved having Rover with us even with the accompanying journal.  

Little Rock Marathon

Brad and I both ran the half marathon for the first time since 2006 (pre-kids).  Starting the week before the marathon, the weather forecasts were crazy and changed every day; they included everything from rain to snow to sub-30 degree weather to start.  I didn't pay too much attention until closer to race weekend at which point, it looked strongly like rain with around 50 degrees to start.  The kicker was that the temperature was forecast to drop throughout the race with sleet and snow moving in later in the day.  Well, they called it.  Around 6:30 Sunday morning, the temperature was in the 60's.  By the time we got downtown, it was easily in the 50's and the first drops of rain were falling.  I decided just to go ahead and grab the poncho and ran with it the entire way.  Fortunately the rain didn't really start in earnest until we were on our way home but the temperature definitely dropped the entire time and the course was a bit windy.  Given all that, we both had great races.  I finally got the monkey off my back and broke 2 hours with minutes to spare.  Brad walked away with a PR, which was awesome especially considering the fact that his calf tried to give him issues several weeks earlier.  Brad was definitely ready to get out of there when I finished though.  Between the wave start and the fact that he ran about 7 minutes faster than me, he had time to cool down and his teeth were chattering.  It was good to get in the car and warm up and even better to make a pit stop for hot drinks at Starbucks on the way home.

The kids met Spiderman and Batman at the race expo the day before the race.  Josh was so excited to meet the "real" superheroes even though Emma tried to tell him they weren't real.

Sure enough, they were right about the rain and right about the sleet.  Above was the scene from the front door the next morning.  Unfortunately it was ice so no fun to play in and much more time to thaw.  Schools were closed Monday and Tuesday.  We are very happy to hopefully have seen the last of winter.

Monday, March 3, 2014

First Spring Soccer Game

Emma's first soccer game was on Saturday.  Since Coach Bailey was out of town last week, the girls didn't get to practice but even so, you wouldn't know that they hadn't played in four months.  They were ready to go.  Emma scored three goals and just missed having another two.  She got several compliments from the coach including him telling her "That's good soccer Emma!"  She really did a great job of controlling the ball and getting it to where she wanted to go.  Emma's good friend Heidi also had multiple goals and Allison and Madison each scored too.  Great start to the season!

Goodbye Training Wheels

The weekend before last, we had beautiful seventy degree weather on Saturday so we loaded up and headed to Jefferson Elementary to play with friends.  We also took bikes along and Emma got some lessons on riding without her training wheels.  After the first couple of attempts, she was ready to quit but she hung in there and was doing great by the end.  Now we just need to get her some more practice so she can master starting and stopping by herself as well.  She was so proud of her accomplishment and she had a proud Mom and Dad as well!

Zoo Visit

On President's Day, the weather was beautiful so we met up with our friends, the Neesvigs and the Martins, for a visit to the zoo.  When we got there, the orangutan was up in a nest instead of under a blanket asleep.  I think that was a first.  The animals were all loving the nice weather as much as the people so it was a fun visit.  At some point between MLK Day and President's Day, the zoo acquired two more elephants as well.  After the zoo, we headed off for burgers with Meredith and Juliana before heading home to rest.

February Snow

The first week of February Brad had a trip to Seattle.  He left Tuesday morning, which started off with some freezing rain.  Thankfully he was able to get to the airport before it really got going and had no problem with his flights.  The kids and I had a "snow day" but fortunately by afternoon, the freezing rain switched over to just rain and the roads were good to go.  We even got to have Ross and Avery come play for a couple of hours.  Since Brad was gone, leaving behind the less confident winter weather driver, Mother Nature wasn't done with us.  Snow was predicted for Friday starting early evening.  About 1 pm, the public schools all started closing early although now one flake had fallen from the sky.  Emma's school decided to complete the school day and just close Wildcat Club at 4 instead.  After I picked up the kids, we headed to the library and when we left there shortly before 5 o'clock, the flurries had started.  About an hour later, the roads were covered with snow, which wasn't ideal since Bo and Gram were flying in and due to arrive at ~9:30.  The snow kept piling up but their plan landed on schedule and after a 45 minute drive, they made it safely to our house; they managed to miss all the numerous accidents and abandoned vehicles on the side streets. 

Emma and Josh were so excited Saturday morning to get out and play although they lasted maybe 20 minutes.  After nap/rest time, everybody headed out except Josh.  Emma took some rides down the hill on the sled that our neighbor, Judi, had brought down.  I finally convinced (bribed with hot chocolate) Josh to come out and join the fun.  He was glad he did since he enjoyed the sled.  Bo and Gram were helpful in clearing the driveway by sweeping away the snow.  The nice thing was that the roads pretty well cleared up by late afternoon so Brad had no trouble getting home that night.  As much as I'm over winter, it was good that the kids got at least one snow this year since everything else has pretty much been icy and not good for playing.

Sunday afternoon, we all headed down to the Museum of Discovery.  The adults as well as the kids had fun with all the exhibits.  On Monday, Josh got to stay home with Bo and Gram while Emma had to go to school.  She did get to have three visitors for lunch though, which she really enjoyed.  In spite of the weather, it was a good visit all around.