Underwear? Under There!
When I presented Marie her post-bath panties last Saturday night, she widened her eyes and grinned as she looked at the orange and green undergarment and said, “I LOVE these underwear! When I wear them I have good days!”
If you know Marie, though, you know that every day is a good day for her.
Just Two Much
Charlie is two. Charlie is two. No matter how many times I say it I still can’t bring myself to believe it.
In the past year, he has outgrown his ailments with miraculous speed and has become his own little flaxen-haired man.
He doesn’t walk. To get from point A to point B or most likely to non-linear Q, he bounce-steps in a jaunty little dance-step that Eric best describes as a “scamper.” He’s still small for his age, so we call him “Shrimp Scampi.” And while he may be tiny, he makes up for his lack in stature with pure-hearted exhuberance, waving his arms as he attempts to communicate with waterfalls of joyful multi-syllabic phrases of Charlie-speak.
He constantly envelops us in hearty hugs where he wraps his chubby fingers around our necks and squeezes with all of his strength. He bestows his best unsolicited kisses on us with glee. We’ve never had a happier, healthier Charlie.
To say that we are grateful is a major understatement. We can’t even talk about it without a few tears of relief and contentment.
Daddy, Daddy on the Wall
I was minding my own Burgian business as I wandered the hallways of the newest apartment complex in Rexburg. I was looking for the lounge where my friends were having our monthly game night and as I turned a corner this is what greeted me. Look at that handsome, presidential figure!
I had to show off my wall-sized father to my friends and I couldn't resist striking a pose. One of my friends happened to snap this photo. As we tried to find our way to the exit, we weren't sure which way to go, so I turned around and said in my best falsetto, Princess Leia voice, "Father! Help us know which way to turn!"
Only in Rexburg.
Marie’s Preschool Graduation
I’ve attended the preschool graduation ceremonies for five other children, but this is the first time I could hear my child’s voice over all of the other little singers. Finally! Marie was belting out those preschool tunes with such gusto that I could almost see the veins in her neck.
Her incomparably gifted teacher, Mrs Doggett, had instructed the kids to “project” so that even their grandparents could hear them, and Marie projected as if her dessert depended on it (and I’ll bet her grandparents in Utah and Connecticut could almost hear her).
We had a little photo-shoot for Marie and Charlie to celebrate her graduation and his birthday and we only got yelled at once for borrowing a tough-talkin’ Rexburgian’s yellow wall for a back-drop.
Caleb’s acting debut as one of the leads in his school play was scheduled for exactly the same time as his viola recital this year (which incidentally was the same day as Marie's pre-school Graduation and Peter's Kindergarten program). His viola teacher was kind enough to let him play first on the program and even said he could start early. We were relieved until his school teacher called me and threatened to get an understudy if he couldn’t arrive on stage on time.
As we left for the recital I could see my shy Caleb’s nerves painfully playing out as he neared tears and tried to blink them back. I parked in our driveway and reminded him that the music and the acting were supposed to be fun and asked him if he’d like to say a prayer to help him. From the back seat I could hear him gulping down tension as he prayed, “Please help me to have a good time.”
The recital was behind schedule, so I said a few prayers for Caleb myself as the minutes ticked by. By the time he started, we had about 7 minutes to play and then book it over to the play. My fingers may have been at the recital, but my brain was already at the middle school and I actually had to play his introduction twice. Caleb sailed through his staccatos and nailed his runs until about midway through his song, when he stuttered slightly and then stopped altogether.
I played his part to remind him where he was, but he had to hurry over to the piano and take a quick glance at the music. I was so impressed with him as he started again and played a flawless finish.
As we scurried off stage and ran to the car, I noticed a little smirk on his face. He laughed as he said, “I was looking at the floor as I played and all of a sudden I imagined Brett wearing his Ben Franklin wig! That’s what made me lose my place!” We both chuckled as he made a quick costume change in the back of the car and then slid onto the stage with no time to spare.
His portrayal of Thomas Jefferson was just as fun and just as impressive as his viola performance. And we both survived
There was No Way We Could Have Danced All Night
For the Centennial Celebration of Madison County, everyone in town was invited to a good ole’ fashioned dance. I attended several practices where we learned everything from the Chicken Dance to Line Dances to the Texas Trot (okay, I just made that last one up).
Holden, Ethan, Caleb, and Eve were incredibly good sports and learned the dances with less whining than I would have expected from tween and teenagers. The night of the dance, we brought our entire tribe and most of us gladly danced, even Charlie. Eric, however was not as happy to try and wrangle 7 kids with the squawks of a live band keeping time in the background.
Eric's face in this photo says it all. I don’t think I have ever loved a photo more. . . I don't know where he is, but he isn't with us.
Pop Goes the Kitty
We had a few leftover cake-pop supplies so I gave a little Family Home Evening craft lesson about how to make Kitty Pops. As annoying as a puking Hello Kitty Cake Pop might seem, I have to admit that I’m impressed with Eric’s skill. Oh! Hair-ball! (Or perhaps it should be. . . Oh! Cake-ball!)
Oh, Sweet Eve
The highlight of my Mothers’ Day this year was receiving a hand-painted birdhouse from Eve that was filled with little notes. They said things like “Happy Mothers’ Day” and “I love you.” But two of them were my favorites. One said, “This is awkward, but I’m just going to say something natural. Hi.” and the other one said, “I love you dad. Haw! This one’s for dad.”