Tuesday, July 23, 2013

World Travelers

My kids are really getting around this summer.  One after another, I have seen them off and welcomed them back from their sometimes exotic locales and wonder how they got to be so lucky!

First to go were Lindsey and Julia, who were fortunate enough to go with their grandmother (Jay's mom) on a twelve day cruise from Venice, Italy through Croatia, Greece, Egypt, Israel and other exotic ports most of us will probably never see.  The trip dovetailed nicely with things they had learned in school, particularly about Egypt and the Holy Land, and our entry hall table is now adorned with a photo of the girls riding a camel.  Fun!

Sam went next, on a road trip with his grandmother (my mom) to Carlsbad, New Mexico. There he visited his great uncle, rode his go-kart around the ranch, canoed in the pond and generally ran around like an 11 year old boy should.  On the way, he visited pueblos, saw the caverns and the painted desert and plenty of cacti.

Following this,  Sam (again!) and Jay were off to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  They had a great time rappelling through the jungle, parasailing, and visiting with Jay's dad and his wife who live just outside of Guadalajara.

Meanwhile, Julia went to a week of gymnastics camp at Woodward West (a foreign land inhabited by extreme sports enthusiasts).  Soon after, both Lindsey and Julia went to Pathfinder leadership camp just outside of Idyllwild/Mountain Center where, unfortunately, their week was cut short by an evacuation due to the massive wildfire burning just a few miles from their camp.  I tell you, the excitement never ends around here.  Nevertheless, they managed to have a wonderful time anyway and are looking forward to going back next year.

Last but certainly not least, Joey is currently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil attending World Youth Day with a group from his school.  By what I can gather from his texts and the Facebook page the group is updating along the way, it is the experience of a lifetime.   I am so happy he can have this chance to be surrounded by at least a million other young people from all over the world who are on fire with their faith and I pray that the fruits of this excursion last a lifetime.

For my part, I am happy to be at home (I've done my share of running around this year as well, as you know!) feeding whoever is here, keeping an eye on swimming children for hours on end, doling out popsicles by the handful, and watching lots and lots of movies with my kids during this blessed time of no homework.

Also staying put with me back at the homestead, Tony is feeling like he is old enough to have a trip of his own as all of the older kids have had.  Having just turned 8 he may be almost ready, but not this year.  Bella and Natalie haven't yet begun asking about when they might have a turn.  They are content for now to have a little time alone with me each week (breakfast out, a trip to the store, etc.) and to have friends over to swim and spend the night as often as possible.

School will begin again in just two weeks for three of the kids, and I am already mourning the passing of this very short summer.  Where did it go?

But, oh, the places they went!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Rest in Peace

Trooper Di Silvestri

August 2006-July 9, 2013

Dear Trooper,

Today you left us and went to another place where good dogs go.  I'm not sure where that is, but I know that, wherever you are, you are feeling much better than when you were here.  The last few days have been rough on us all, but especially on you.  You were miserable, and I am happy that you are no longer suffering.

When you were full of life, I liked to go on and on about how disgusting you were with your viscous drool, snoring and terrible odor, but I really did love you a lot.  You were a wonderful dog and always so careful with my kids and friendly with people who came to visit.  I will always remember how the greatest gift you could bestow on someone arriving at the house was a stuffed animal or shoe.  You always seemed so proud to bring over this offering, although you never voluntarily gave it to whomever you presented it.  I had to wash many, many things that were covered with drool due to this sweet quirk of yours.

Last night, all the kids but Sam got to say goodbye to you, and I am so glad they did.  Sam is in Mexico right now with the person who loved you most on this earth...Jay.  They are so sad that they could not say goodbye, but I am also glad that they did not have to see you suffer as the rest of us did.  We all cried today in sorrow over losing you.

The last few weeks have been pretty humiliating for you, I know.  So, out of respect, I choose only to remember you as the strong, happy dog who accompanied me on walks through the desert, chasing jack rabbits in a spectacular burst of energy only to fall back, exhausted, after a brief engagement.  You always seemed so surprised that you couldn't catch one!

I am honored that I could hold your head while you went to sleep for the last time, and kiss your furry brow as you departed this world.  Thank you for being our dog.  We will never forget you.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Quotes of the Day

I know you love these...

During the 45 minutes I spent getting a massive dreadlock out of the bottom (most sensitive) layer of 6 year old Bella's hair this afternoon, she was inquiring about my progress.  I explained that I had sectioned it to make it easier to get through, but that now we were working on the nasty, snarling beast of all the sections.  So she says...

"You mean the teenager one?"

Priceless.. right?!

As an added bonus,  I have a keen observation from the teenage realm to share as well.  After several friends spent the night this weekend, Lindsey proclaimed, "Things have really changed.  When my friends came over before they used to say, "What do you want to do?" but now the first thing they say is, "What's your Wi-Fi password?""

I love my kids.

Oh, and by the way, I love my husband too.  Happy anniversary, Jay (yesterday)!  18 years and still the best decision I ever dragged you into!