Saturday, January 22, 2011

Progress Report

A little update on things around here:

Pool's cool...
Backyard construction is going so fast that this photo is already outdated.  Concrete has now been poured and the waterfall is halfway completed.  Every day I look out my window and smile at the cute guys digging in the dirt...

(cute girls, too!)

Running rocks...

I am just weeks away from the Big Race and I really do love training.  I'll admit to pining for major body changes immediately--shrinking so fast my clothes would just fall off or maybe waking up with naturally curly hair or something equally awesome.  But, of course, I'm still just me.  Only a lot more sore.  This morning I actually ran 8 miles.  And the word of the day is ibuprofen.

Adolescence Happens...

Jake and Em are both showing signs.  Emotional more than physical.  Lots of mood swings and hating clothes I pick out for them.  Each of them got a puberty book for Christmas and they have devoured them.
Just the other night, I went in to kiss Em goodnight.  Brad was reading to her and she had chosen her new "Girls' Book" for a bedtime story. 
Knowing that Brad would rather walk through fire than the CVS feminine aisle, I gave him a raised eyebrow.  "What?" he grinned.  "We're just learning how to improve our body image."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chinese Laundry

Last week, while Brad was out of town, the kids and I painted the laundry room. All by ourselves.  Big accomplishment, people. 

The color is "Haystack" by Martha Stewart and isn't it cheerful?  I love it.  Originally I wanted blue, but I decided doing laundry makes me blue enough.  I need sunshine while I sort.
Anyway, while I painted I listened to this...
Such a fascinating memoir.  Chua is a Chinese-American mom who has chosen to raise her daughters in the Chinese tradition.  As a result they are straight-A students who play concertos at Carnegie Hall.  The author is honest and some of her confessions are shocking. 

Listening, I felt like a really great mom.  Except for the chapters that made me feel like a really lazy American mom.  I think this will be my bookclub pick, a real conversation-starter.

Which reminds me, this month our bookclub read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  Coincidentally, also a novel about a Chinese-American family.  This one is set in Seattle during WWII.  A sweet love story with a happy ending!  I liked it.

And now, back to the laundry room...
(If you look close you'll see Jake's snow clothes.  He and Brad went sledding in the mountains today with the church youth.  Also notice Em's swimsuit.  She and the twins stayed here and swam in the hot tub, then ran around in flip flops.  How fabulous is January in the Valley of the Sun?  Please remind me in July.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big Day

Saturday was a very sad day in the state of Arizona.  
So, it seems slightly inappropriate to post about all the fun we had that day.

And it seems wildly inappropriate that the fun was mostly gun related...

marshmallow gun, that is.

Brad made kits for all the boys and helped them with assembly.

I supplied the ammo.

January is the perfect month for an outdoor party around these parts.

The kids had target practice and played capture-the-flag until the sun went down.

Jake has made so many great new friends here, it was a delight to gather them all together.  They are good, good boys.  Respectful and fun and active and goofy.

We weren't just celebrating Jake's 12th birthday.  It was a day to celebrate the long strides he's made and the buddies who are helping him make them.

I've been so sad learning more about the tragedies in Tucson, but I'm also sad when I hear commentators blaming the state of Arizona and calling it a hate-filled place.

Because we have found it warm and welcoming and full of wonderful people.

Happy wishes to my two birthday boys!  I love you.
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