Friday, March 18, 2016

Happy National Slurpee Day!

You know, just in case you missed it this year.

Today is the day my kids look forward to for months.  7-11 celebrates this significant event by allowing you to bring your own "cup" and carry out as much slurpee as you can for the low, low price of $1.50.

You may be wondering, "What kind of parent would allow their child to load up greedily on a drink of pure sugar?  Especially during Lent!  Who would do that?"

Look no was Jay and me.  I know, I know, but just look at their faces:

These are happy kids.  No matter that it looks like canned dog food (or worse), their expressions say it all:  Mmmm Mmmm GOOD!

In our defense, we knew most would not finish their enormous portions (and they didn't, not even Sam).  Moreover, Sacred Heart School celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph today (even though it is really tomorrow) and we take our feast days seriously around here!

If you missed it today, check the sign behind Tony above.  It seems to be a two-day extravaganza, so there is still time!  Bring in your 5 gallon barrel, your horse trough, whatever you have.  Just remember where the blame really lies if you happen to make yourself sick... :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Joey's Job

The last time I posted about Joey's job he was teaching young snowboarders and skiers how to ride. To everyone's surprise, he didn't go back to that this season.  Instead, he has been working as a bus boy at an amazingly delicious restaurant called Fresco II, which serves Italian and Mediterranean food.

My kid is transformed.  He loves his job (and the money it provides) and takes as many hours as he can get.  It is a two-restaurant outfit, one here in Palmdale and one at the Oxnard Harbor, which is perfect since he is going to school in Ventura in the fall.  He has already requested a transfer when the time comes, and he is such as hard worker that I can't imagine it won't work out. 

As humans, we were made to work and get great satisfaction from a job well done.  This may be the first time Joey has truly experienced this in his life.  I have no doubts now about his work ethic.  He will cheerfully do anything his boss asks of him (including taking dishwasher shifts if needed...I am thrilled with his new skills in this area and so will his roommates be next year!).  He fixes things that need fixing and will stay late after his regular shift to paint, fix walls or work on the roof.  He seems to be well-liked by his co-workers and his customers and comes home each night with a pocket full of cash, which has relieved some of our family's constant outflow.  At least from him we don't hear, "Can I have $20 to go to the movies?"  Now, only six more to go!

Speaking of others, Lindsey has just applied for a seasonal job at the Jethawks Stadium. I can only hope it will go as well for her.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

A Prom Invitation

Lindsey is going to prom!  She is a sophomore and it is a Junior/Senior prom, so it is kind of exciting. I thought I'd post about it here because she was asked in a very creative way.

Her date-to-be is an exchange student from China pictured below in an inflatable suit.  He and his friends won a dance contest in suits like this so they teamed up again for this invitation.

The other thing you need to know is that Lindsey and I went to New York in December with Jay (he was working) and she and I were lucky enough to go see the Broadway show Alexander Hamilton (featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show's genius creator as Alexander Hamilton himself).  Since then, we have really enjoyed (OK, obsessed about) the music, book, anything Alexander Hamilton, hence the reference in the sign.

Apparently, this boy (his name is Nick) recruited the help of two of Lindsey's closest friends.  One of them brought her in and filmed the whole thing and the other was playing the guitar and singing.  Nick and two friends in matching suits did a reprise of their winning dance which ended with the unveiling of the prom invitation.  Naturally, the teacher of the classroom he used was also in on it.

Those of you who know Lindsey personally understand  exactly how much she appreciated the creativity involved with all of this.  She is into performing arts and would "get" this quicker than many.

I think (and yes, of course I am biased) that Lindsey is pretty special.  As such, I am so happy that Nick went to such trouble to fine a unique way to invite her to prom.  

Now, to find a dress... (!)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Innovation Reigns

Tony is a very busy child.  Not one to sit and watch TV all day long (nor, I'm afraid, read a book) he is constantly testing concepts, learning new tricks and ideas, and putting them all together in projects.

Not all of his projects have been a total success.  He ran into some problems with his "real" Iron Man suit.  His recent Galaxy egg project began with a trip to Michaels and ended with a rather large can of paint remover which kept the house smelling, um, sterile for two days (although the egg WAS beautiful.)

This one, however, is great!  And it really works!

Yes, indeed, it is a speaker for a smart phone.  Easy to make with things found around the house, and super satisfactory results.

Go, Tony, perhaps we should look to you for the next "big" thing?!  I'm sure we won't have to wait long...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Bella

Today my daughter Bella turned 9.  She shares her birthday with General George Washington and likes that.

Bella has always been unique in our family.  She feels things very deeply and is quite sensitive to the environment around her.  She is very neat with her belongings and loves to organize and store things.  She takes great care in all she does and is a very special girl.

What a pleasure it was to share this birthday celebration with my dear daughter.  Here are some photos that reflect her pure joy in the occasion.

Birthday Party

Family dinner

At Medranos, where the wait staff sang to her.

Bella, we couldn't love you more and can't wait to see what you do next!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

4 Drivers (!)

For years and years Jay and I were the only two drivers in the family.  About a year and a half ago, Joey got his license and things were...expensive!  But also easier, as he could help us pick up things (or siblings) or drop them off.   Grandma Marilyn gave Joey her 1997 Nissan Pick-Up Truck and that served him especially well as he drove to Mountain High for his job as a ski instructor last winter.  Thank you, grandma!

As you may recall, Joey also has a Jeep Wrangler that he loves, but it is grounded in our garage for the moment.  At some point you will hear about it again once we find the time to get a minor repair done.  It's ironic because I cleaned the garage out in the fall so I could get my car back in there before the weather got cold.  I parked there exactly twice before Joey put his Jeep in my spot the first day it rained. The Jeep doesn't have a waterproof top on it, so it has just stayed where it is since it has been raining so often this winter.  Every morning when I go out to preheat the car (or scrape the ice off the window), shivering, I utter a tiny little Jeep-curse under my breath.

In much bigger news, about two weeks ago, Lindsey got her license too.  Not as expensive this time, but doubly convenient.  She loves to go out any time she has the chance so she has become my go-to girl for milk or bananas, and even better, she drives herself to her friends' houses!  This has been a major time-saver for us.  Grandpa Harry gave her his 2004 Civic and she loves it.  It is very "her" and I love to see her jetting around in it.  Thank you, grandpa!

Yes, the family is growing up.  We only have a few months left with Joey at home and two more years with Lindsey before she goes as well.  I plan to enjoy as many moments as I can with them before that time comes.

Of course, I'll probably have to take the batteries out of their cars in order to "find" those moments!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Julia's Best Meet Ever

It was on Valentine's Day in Long Beach.  The convention center was teeming with gymnasts.  Julia walked in confidently and...kicked butt!

Here is a photo of her in action on the beam (thanks, Susan):

She got her best all around score ever, earning 2nd place.  She placed 1st on bars and medaled on every event.

Yes, it was fun to watch, but she is always fun to watch.  She is a graceful and beautiful gymnast and I love watching her grow and excel in her sport.  When she is rewarded with good scores, it is truly icing on the cake.

In other gym news, Bella was just promoted to team Excel Silver and has added a day to her practice.  She begins competing next January and will go the same meets as Julia, just at different times.  She is very happy about this development and has worked hard to get there.  Finally, Natalie was just moved to level 2 in the pre-team classes, so it is good news "all around".  (Sorry, a little gym humor.)

Go Di Silvestri girls!