Monday, March 31, 2008

Final Four!

Download the Rock Chalk Chant here - I could listen to it all day!

The Jayhawks are in the Final Four! They play against North Carolina on Saturday night who is coached by Roy Williams - previous KU coach. Should be interesting!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Marlboro Cheer

Kylie's competition in Marlboro

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter - Tom's post

I couldn't have said this better myself, so this is directly from Tom's blog:

Easter & New Beginnings
Spring is here - well at least the calendar says it's spring. Still a bit chilly these days but the Red Sox started playing ball for real at 6am this morning and won their first game of the season! It's a new start in more ways than one.
Over the weekend my family and I went to Rhode Island to visit my Dad and his wife Donna for Easter dinner. Last year my Dad and Donna where visiting us in our new home for Easter dinner but we were hit with a bit of scary news that Easter as my Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer in his neck. That Easter he was looking for a Dr. and treatment.

It was a long journey and certainly parts of it where difficult however I'm happy to say he is cancer free today. His battle did leave some complications with eating. Something that most of us take for granted every day. We all thoroughly enjoyed the meal that they prepared yesterday. Dad actually ate everything on his plate!!! It was funny watching him slam down his fork and declare "I did it!!" It was the first time since last spring he has been able to eat something other than soup or something out of a feeding tube.

I couldn't be more proud of him & Donna for their courage to battle through this difficult challenge in their lives. Here is a few photos I took of him after dinner before we headed back home.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bunny Hop

Here is a video of the bunny hop at our Easter Egg Hunt.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU!

KU beat UNLV last night 75-56. On to the Sweet Sixteen Baby!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hop, Hop, Hop

We hosted an Easter Egg Hunt at our house on Friday. We hid over 600 candy filled plastic eggs to be found by our friends. Everyone made bunny masks, did the Bunny Hop, the Chicken Dance, ran in an egg relay and the brave big kids did a real egg toss. I am having trouble getting the video of the Bunny Hop to post to the blog, so here is the link to see it:

Here is a photo of Kylie with her friend Madelyn who is the daughter of our nanny, Amy. Aren't they cute?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I love books. . .

I like to write once in awhile about what I've been reading lately. Maybe for the other book lovers out there, you can get some ideas about something to look for next time you're at the library. . .I'll call it my blog book club.

My mom sent me two books that I was a bit skeptical I would enjoy. Both were written by Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

The Kite Runner is about friendships of two boys from different religious backgrounds growing up in Afghanistan and the turmoil they encounter as Afghanistan goes from an almost idyllic setting to a war zone.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a similar story, but this time a story of two Afghani women from two different generations who are thrown together by circumstances and find a friendship in the midst of strife.

These aren't my typical choice of books I would pick up to enjoy, but I found that I couldn't put them down and I am eager to see The Kite Runner movie that was made last year. After reading those two books, I now take more notice of the articles in the newspaper involving Afghanistan. Although both books are works of fiction, they provided me with a history lesson of the country from the past 50 years.

A few months ago I read The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney and really enjoyed it. Since that time I have checked out three other books she has written.

The Goodbye Summer is about Caddie, a single 30 something piano teacher who lives with her elderly grandmother who is beginning to show signs of dementia. The grandmother falls and breaks a leg and requires more care than Caddie can manage, so she sends her to a rest home (not really a nursing home - more upscale). There they both meet many interesting people and it's about their journeys through some life changing events. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to read. Working with this population in my own profession made the dialogue between Caddie and the other rest home residents poignant and true.

Flight Lessons is about a woman who has to return to her hometown and face a family disagreement head on with her aunt when she becomes manager for her aunt's restaurant. I didn't enjoy this book as much as her other two I had read - the main character being so stubborn and selfish it was frustrating at times, but I guess without that selfishness there wouldn't have been a story there.

Mad Dash is about a woman named Dash who is a portrait photographer (interesting!) who is facing middle age, the loss of her mother and a daughter going off to college all at once. She suddenly finds herself irritated with her OCD husband's every move and ends up leaving him over a silly fight. I enjoyed it, but I probably should have waited 10-12 years (when my girls move out) before I read it to really grasp the truth of it all. . .

I still have one more Patricia Gaffney book to read - Circle of Three. The library has been out of it lately, so I went for a Jodi Picoult book next. Jodi Picoult is a popular author locally. I see moms around town always carrying one of her books and she had a big book signing here last year at the high school that was very heavily attended. Jodi Picout writes about families and relationships. I read one of her books last year (around the time of all the hype) and had a hard time enjoying it. I mean the writing is excellent, don't get me wrong, but the story line of that book The Tenth Circle involved a teenage girl who was date raped, but throughout the story you really don't know whether to believe she's telling the truth or not. And the parents are of course on a rampage to bring this boy to justice and it ends tragically.

So, tragic endings don't sit well with me and that's probably why it's taken me over a year to read something else by this author. The book I read this time - My Sister's Keeper - is being made into a movie, so it must be a good one, right?

My Sister's Keeper is about a girl with a rare form of leukemia who needs an exact blood match to be kept alive, so the parents "create" a sibling that will be an exact match and use that little girl every time the older daughter needs anything - cord blood, bone marrow, transfusions, etc. When the younger daughter is 13, her sister needs a kidney to stay alive, but the 13 year old puts her foot down and brings a lawsuit against her parents. Throughout the book you think how selfish all the characters are being (the mom for not seeing her younger daughter's turmoil, the younger daughter for not seeming to care her sister is going to die and the oldest son who sets arson fires around the town just to get some of his own attention). The side story of the attorney she chooses is the best part of the book - he and the appointed guardian have their own little history that makes the book fun. Again it has an unexpected tragic ending that Ms. Picoult seems to enjoy throwing at you.

I think it will be awhile before I can pick up another Jodi Picoult novel. I have to let the memory of this one go away first. I will hold out for the last Patricia Gaffney book. So far my favorite of hers is still Saving Graces with The Goodbye Summer coming in second.

But once I finish reading her last novel, I will need something else to read. Any suggestions? I enjoyed the movie feedback I got and now I need book feedback. Leave a comment of a favorite book you've read lately.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Day After. . .

The illnesses of the town have finally caught up to us. The facility I work in was quarantined all week and many of Kylie and Melanie's friends have been out of school lately with various ailments. Today the stomach bug landed on Kylie. Poor little thing. . she is miserable.

Jayhawk is also very sore from yesterday's playing. He's not the same puppy he used to be.

Melanie feels great and wants to sing, dance and play games!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kylie's Secrets

I always say I am going to write down some of the cute stuff my kids say to remember it, then I never do in time before I forget it. But Kylie has said some funny things this week that I wanted to share before the thought slipped out of my mind. Here are our conversations:

Me: Kylie, come on you need to get dressed for school.
Kylie: Just a minute.
Me: No, now. We only have 15 minutes and you're not dressed.
Kylie: Just a minute. I'm busy.
Me: What are you doing? (I see her sitting on the bottom step with her hands folded in front of her).
Kylie: I'm praying.
Me: Excuse me, I don't want to interrupt your prayers, but can you pray that we make it to school on time?
Kylie: Please Jesus get us to school on time.


Me: Kylie, who are you talking to?
Kylie: I'm talking to Jesus.
Me: What are you telling him?
Kylie: It's a secret, mommy.

Later Friday:

I share the story with Melanie and Tom about Kylie's secret prayers. Melanie thinks she knows the secret and guesses. . .
Melanie: She praying for mommy to let her take her blankie with her wherever we go.
Kylie: NO! That's not it!
Melanie: What is it then?
Kylie: I'm praying that I will always have Mark in all my classes!
Tom: Who is Mark?
Kylie: My boyfriend, duh!

How did we go from blankies to boyfriends???

Spring Tease

I had the day all planned today. . .I was off from work, we had no committments or obligations, no birthday parties to go to so I was actually going to the get the house completely cleaned and the laundry done. But then I was thrown off by the fact that the sun was shining and the thermometer on our deck said 65 degrees (with the sun directly on it). This comes after cold windy and rainy days that have been going on for weeks.

So, Kylie and I unearthed our chair cushions and headed outside for lunch. This of course got me to see all the leaves and sticks that still need to be cleaned up in the yard, so we took advantage of the weather and got to work.

Four weary hours later, I'm stiff and sore and have barely made a dent in the leaves. The house still needs to be vacuumed and the laundry still needs to be done, but Kylie and I had a great time. While I raked, she built a home out of sticks, berries and wood and played with Jayhawk (who is also very sore right now!). The fresh air and the taste of spring was worth it.

And what is spring without the first Seafood Sam's of the season? They close every winter and just had their March opening last week. Sorry I didn't get a photo of the food. By the time it arrived we just dug in! Now if we can just get Twin Acres ice cream opened we'll be ready for summer!
Too bad the forecast says more rain, cold and wind on the way.

Waiting for the buzz.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Kylie's MRI of the spine was clear! Woo Hoo!

Don't Call Me Junior!

As you see I have redone my blog and given it the new title of When it Rains. The title has many meanings, some will hopefully be revealed to you in time, but for now it will be a secret. . .


Appropriately though, today is a terribly rainy day. . .torential downpours at times. Poor Tom has a wedding today and is sick. . .two horrible combinations for a wedding photographer.

We ventured out for Melanie's last hip hop class, then to the library for their annual teddy bear picnic. It's sad to say my girls are becoming too old for these types of things. Instead of teddy bears, they brought their American Girl Dolls to enjoy the picnic.

While we were at the library we picked up Raiders of the Lost Ark. The fact that there is a new Indiana Jones movie coming up has had me "jonesing" for the old movies. We saw The Last Crusade a couple of weeks ago and the girls enjoyed it so much we tried Raiders. . .it wasn't nearly as rough as I remembered and the girls loved it just as much as the other one.

It got me to thinking about other great trilogies. I love the Indiana Jones movies (but not the second one as much), but other ones are great too. I grew up loving Star Wars (had a cat named Yoda and hamsters named Chewbacca, Naisa and Wicket). Pirates of the Carribean is another of my favorites. I know some people think they are hard to follow, but the deep intervoven plot is the best part about them! Well, ok, second best. Then I see in the TV Guide that Lethal Weapon is on tonight. . .another of my favorites. I think the last of those is the best. . .they just got funnier and funnier as they went on. I love the jokes they crack when they are being shot at, torched, beaten, etc. . .

It's funny, because I'm such a romantic and actaully don't list action adventure movies as my favorites, but when I think of favorite movies those are what come to mind.

So what calmer movies do I list as favorites? What other movies will I drop everything to see time and time again? Anything with a great romance and a happy ending top the charts. . .
Gone with the Wind (of course - imagine the happy ending)
Wizard of Oz (it's a given)
Dirty Dancing (I think a lot of my story ideas came from the basis of this movie)
Sabrina (love the remake with Harrison Ford - haven't seen the original)
Don Juan Demarco (one of my favorite Johnny Depp movies)
Sound of Music (my favorite movie to watch when I'm sick)
Grease - for the music
Hope Floats - Harry Connick, Jr as a cowboy??? It doesn't get any better.
St. Elmo's Fire
Pretty Woman
Footloose (I think I still have this one memorized verbatim. . .I could probably be tested on that)
Casablanca (It doesn't have the happy ending, but I like to think someday Ilsa and Rick meet again. . . "Here's lookin at you, kid.")
Clueless (the fact that it a modern day version of Jane Austen's Emma - one of my favorite books - makes this one a fun one to watch for parallels).

(Sad fact - they are mostly movies from my teen years. . .why aren't there any recent movies on this list???)

Then there are the movies that the clever writing makes them so good -
Forest Gump - weaving his life through all the historical references - love it
A Beautiful Mind
Good Will Hunting

I went through our video cabinet and ruled a few out to being included for various reasons. . .
Harry Potter - I love the books and read them with fervor when they come out but I'm a little uggh about the movies. . .I have a hard time staying awake through them.
Lord of the Rings - again they put me to sleep, but the story line is engaging if I can make it through all the walking, walking, walking. . .
Sleepless in Seattle - I actually really love this movie, but the fact that the main characters don't even meet until the end ruins it for me. I need more face time to make me want to see the movie over and over.
When Harry Met Sally - this time there is too much face time and not enough action! They take WAY too long to get together.
Shakespeare in Love - Shakespeare is just a little "out there" for me
My Best Friend's Wedding - I can't remember how it ends???

And then our video cabinet is filled with tons of Spiderman (just can't get interested in Tobey Maguire), Bourne movies (not enough romance), the Departed (who could really like a movie where EVERYONE dies??) and tons of war movies - TONS (yawn!).

What I also found in our video cabinet is a galore of kids movies that should be mentioned as favorites:
Mary Poppins
Princess Bride ("Mawwwaaage" by the priest and the Mandy Patikin lines make me smile, "My name is Enigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die")
Pete's Dragon ("I'll be your candle on the water," made me want to live near lighthouses)
Enchanted (Hey! A newer movie! Not out yet on DVD, but I hope the Easter Bunny brings it for the girls.)

So those are a few of the favorites. Too bad I can't think of many recent movies to include on the list. I did see Juno and liked it, but wasn't in love with it enough to put on the list. The writing was clever and engaging and REAL, but wasn't one I would rush out to buy as soon as it comes out.

Oh - Melanie wants me to include High School Musical and High School Musical 2! (OK, good music and cute story lines. . .the dialogue gets cheesy though).

Kylie wants to add Sleeping Beauty (I get frustrated with the whole 16 years away from her family story, but Kylie likes the pink dress and dancing with the prince at the end)and Little Mermaid (I don't like the idea of giving up your voice, family and potentially your life just to meet a guy, but Kylie likes pretty seashells and swimming).

If you can think of any good ones I missed, leave a comment! Oh, and which of these movies I listed is the title of today's post from??? Leave a comment if you know.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Uncle Jim

Tom's Uncle Jim paid us a visit today from California. His wife is in Boston at a Biogenetics conference, so Jim headed down to the Cape to see our new house and go out to lunch with us. We took Melanie out of school early so she could spend some time with Beach Grammy's little brother. We all enjoyed the Maui Wowie pizza and the BLT pizza at the BBC along with a couple of Cape Cod Ales (the kids had pasta and milk just to be clear).