18 posts categorized "Michael"

November 28, 2010

A White Thanksgiving... {updated}

So much to be grateful for this year!  A beautiful white Thanksgiving holiday at my brother's house in Northern Idaho.  We bundled up the girls in snow pants, fluffy jackets and insulated boots and gloves and they spent hours outside playing in the snow, sledding and building a snowman with their big brother, Michael.

Second passIMG_4480gwen lean in idaho

Gwen quickly ducked outside (into the falling snow) so I could snap a quick photo of her without all of the overstuffed snow attire. 

Second passIMG_4515maddy handsup idaho

Maddy loved the way the soft snowflakes felt on her upturned hands!  A few minutes later, we all pulled on our snow pants and fluffy coats and gloves and built a sled run!  Then we played on that for the rest of the day!

Second passIMG_4531michael snowman idaho

Michael built this cool snowman.  More about that later.

Family pic on stairs idaho IMG_4533

David and Barbara have this beautiful mural painted on the wall  near the stairs to the master bedroom loft.  A perfect backdrop for our handsome family!  From the left:  Barbara, Michael, Andrew, Gwenny, David and Madeline.

Maddy barbara gwen idaho-4556

This is Maddy and Gwen with their Aunt Barbara.  My brother had the good sense to marry this very special woman almost 23 years ago (he knew her his entire life).  I never had a sister so it's incredibly cool to have a Sister-in-Law that is so easy to love! 

When we weren't outside playing in the snow (or eating!), we were watching the Harry Potter series or playing "Angry Birds" on our iphones/ipod.  We're big fans of H. Potter and A. Birds!

Second passIMG_4526snowman 3 idaho

Here's a fun artsy "Hallmark Card" version of Michael's snowman creation.   Uncle David tried to find some coal for his eyes but the coal sack was buried under several feet of snow so he offered up some big buttons to use as eyes instead.  And what to use for buttons on his body?  Well, Dibs ice-cream bites of course!  In the 18 degree weather, they'll probably last until spring (if the deer don't decide to eat them first).    The carrot nose froze quickly and was so heavy that it hardly stayed attached to the face!  Who knew making a snowman was so challenging!?  ;)

Gwen zorra maddy idaho-4544

This is Gwen and Maddy with sweet playful Zorra.  She's a hunny of a dog and a solid member of the family.  My brother thinks she's a Rottweiler/Border Collie mix but I think she might  be a Rottweiler/Labrador mix.  What do you think?

I hope everyone had many blessings to count this Thanksgiving holiday!

June 04, 2010

Happy Birthday, Michael!


michael bw

It's hard to believe it's been 22 years since I first saw your sweet face.  Heck, it's sometimes hard to believe it's the same sweet face (so please forgive me if you catch me staring at you and smiling like an idiot). 

I love being your mom and I'm so proud of the man you've grown into.  You know we love you with all of our heart but did you also know that we like you?   Well we do.  And Gwen and Maddy are pretty enthusiastic about their big brother too!

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!  I know you've not been a boy for many years but you'll always be "mine". 

Noodles and Noodles, Baby!  Noodles and noodles!

February 20, 2010

Jumping the Puppy

Michael came over to visit to today and brought his skateboard.  The girls were really excited to watch him jump this puppy and the puppy seemed somewhat excited about it too.  Of course, I can't post the photos of the times he missed. 

Michael jumps the puppy

Okay okay OKAY!!!!  He didn't really jump the puppy.  He actually jumped a ten pound sack of Iams cat food (but that's pretty boring).  We think it's much more interesting to remember his remarkable feat this way and, thanks to the miracle of photoshop, we get our wish without harming any puppies in the making of this spectacular photo.

Even though the puppy is fake, the jump is real.  Afterward, he and his sisters posed for a quick victory photo.   I know I'm biased but I sure do think I have the most incredibly beautiful kids!

Michael and sisters

Gwen wants Michael to teach her how to skateboard.  He's been doing it for more than half of his life so he's the perfect teacher.  I think Gwen will be the perfect student too.   She might have to put down her sword for a few minutes though. 

January 06, 2010

A weekend of fun and firsts (fitting for the first weekend of the year)

After a long holiday at home surrounded by lots of family, we decided to spend a nice quiet weekend in San Francisco with just our kids.  So up we went!  

We started our day at the Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink near the Ferry Building.  They have 90 minute skating sessions starting every even numbered hour. 

90 minutes is plenty of time!  It was Michael's first time on the ice EVER.  I'm not sure how it happened that my two 5 year old girls have done this at least a dozen times but my 21 year old son never did it.  He was always incredibly good on roller blades so I had no doubt that he'd be just fine on ice skates but it was nice to see him in action.  But even more sweet to see him with his girl, Kelsey.

20100102kelsey and michael first ice skating together0973

The ice was super slick and slippery and pools of water were everywhere.  It was harder than usual to keep my feet under me!  I'm usually afraid of falling but this time I was even more nervous because it would mean that I'd be embarrassed and I'd be sopping wet.  Luckily, I maintained my perfect record of remaining upright.  Phew!  Can't say the same about Gwen though.  She's fearless and seems to enjoy falling so she was soaked and freezing when we got back to the car.  Anticipating this, I brought an extra change of clothes for both kids.  Maddy didn't need it but I had to strip Gwen down and change her in the back seat.   The rest of us were dry though!

After lunch, we headed to Fort Point near the Golden Gate bridge and the Presidio.  Even though I lived on the Presidio back in the early 80's, I'd never been to Fort Point so I didn't know it existed.   I finally figured out how everyone got those great pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge!  The walk and the view was magnificent!  Seagulls were everywhere and they weren't nervous if I approached them so I exploited this advantage and got some great pictures.  I'm pretty happy with this photo in particular because it was taken with my point and shoot (Canon S90) and not my SLR. With my SLR, this would have been easy!

20100102seagull and golden gate bridge0990

Here's Michael and Kelsey and the girls.  When I look at this, I can't help but see them as parents.  For every reason (from exhilaration to trepidation), it makes my heart pound!

20100102kelsey and michael and the girls at gg bridge0980

We visited the old fortress at the base of the Golden Gate then headed back to our hotel.  On the way back, Gwen found a bunch of mud to dive into and covered the right half of her body in muck.  Then she decided she was too tired to walk so we had to strip to her underwear and wrap her up in other people's coats and piggy-back ride her back to the van.   Not fun but better than listening to a mud covered 5 year old cry for 25 minutes.

When we got back to the hotel, we changed clothes and ordered room service and called housekeeping (to wash Gwen's clothes because she had nothing to wear the next day).   Then we headed out to a fancy dinner -- just Mommy and Daddy!  It was really nice having a special date night with my husband knowing that the girls were in good hands with Michael and Kelsey back at the hotel. 

The next day, we picked up Michael (Kelsey had to work) and went to breakfast at the Marriott.  They still had their Christmas decorations up and they were really spectacular.  Andrew estimated about a half million lights hanging from the ceiling!  Here's Maddy posing with some of them:

20100102Maddy at Hyatt San Francisco1038

After that, we took the cable car to the cable car museum.  We did this on our honeymoon and remembered that is was pretty fun and interesting  How weird that we returned 9 years later with two extra kids!  It was Michael's first time on a cable car.  Yes, he LIVES in San Francisco but he's never been on a cable car until today!  Here's the photographic evidence:

20100103 michael andrew gwen maddy cable car1052

Earlier in the day, we visited the Ferry Building and took a few photos.  Then I saw a picture of the same place after the 1906 earthquake so I took a picture of that photo and Michael blended them together. 

Pretty amazing, huh!

Ferry Building San Francisco 1906 and 2010

After that, we visited the Sutro Bath ruins west of the Golden Gate Bridge and burned off all the breakfast buffet calories going up and down those stairs!

Gwen and Maddy San Francisco

Gwen at the Sutro Bath ruins

20100103Gwen San Francisco1061

I spotted a large hole in one of the rock formations that looked just like a heart and snapped this picture.  No photo trickery here.... just an lucky angle.

heart in rock (Sutro Bath Ruins San Francisco)

The kids were absolutely wiped out by the end of the day.  They slept all the way back to the house (about an hour drive from San Francisco).

20100103Gwen and Maddy sleeping in van1073

A fun and memorable weekend!

November 15, 2009

A peek back 3000 years

I'm slightly astounded that the Egyptian government would allow a tomb of one of their Kings to be unearthed and put on display all over the world but, ironically, I'm also grateful that they did allow it.

The items buried with  King Tutankhamen date back more than 3000 years and they're so beautifully preserved that it would really be a shame if the world couldn't see them and appreciate them - in a respectful setting, of course.   Especially if the alternative is that they stay buried and slowly rot away to nothing over time. 

King tut

This weekend, our friends Chris and Phyllis met us in San Francisco where we hooked up with Michael (pictured above with his sisters) and we all traveled over to the De Young Museum where we visited the King Tut exhibit.  Gwen and Maddy were quite curious about the "Boy King" and wanted to be carried from room to room so they could more easily see inside all of the artifacts and exhibits.   Throughout all of it, I kept marveling that everything was really over 3000 years old.  Especially astonishing was the ancient furniture!  It's mind boggling to think that wood could survive that long and equally amazing to think about how the intricate and precise pieces were constructed without the benefit of power tools and were of such quality to stand a true test of time.  Gilded items notwithstanding  (especially those with scarabs), most of the pieces looked like they could easily be something from my own living room! 

There were two very small coffins on display that contained stillborn baby girls (perhaps tiny princesses?).   I couldn't help but think about how much they must have been loved and wanted and missed and how devastating the miscarriage was to her royal parents.  Even though life was obviously much different back then, some things apparently never change.

After seeing the small sarcophagus with its x-rayed contents, Gwen regarded every other small container as though it also might contain a dead baby.  She was pretty concerned about it and was eager to point out (to everyone's relief) when she'd look inside something and it didn't contain the remains of a mummified fetus. 

The tour ended with a lifesized photographic display of King Tutankhamen's coffin and it's contents in various stages of reveal.  At first, it was a bit disappointing (that a King Tut exhibit didn't actually contain King Tut) but I quickly came to appreciate that the photo exhibit showed more detail than we'd ever be able to see otherwise.  Especially the items entombed with him.  Simply amazing!!  Really, words can't describe it.  It was an expensive tour but a really fascinating and memorable one and something I'm glad to have seen.  I really think was worth every penny.  

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