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Saturday, January 30, 2016

All About Mommy ...

There is an questionnaire floating around Facebook right now and it is similar to the questionnaire that I ask the kids around their birthdays.  However, it is focused around how they see their parents. So, I thought I would ask my kids the questions about me and record their answers on the blog.

Name:  Madilyn
Age: 5
  1. What is something that Mommy always says to you?  I love you.
  2. What makes Mommy happy?  Being good and not crying.
  3. What makes Mommy angry?  Crying.
  4. How does Mommy make you laugh?  Tickling me..
  5. What was Mommy like as a child?  She was a good girl.
  6. How old is Mommy?  40.
  7. How tall is Mommy?  As tall as the blinds in the house.
  8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?  Work on her computer.
  9. What does Mommy do when Madi is not around?  Go to work.
  10. What is Mommy really good at?  Cooking.
  11. What is Mommy not very good at?  Cleaning the spider’s webs on the ceiling.
  12. What does Mommy do for a job?  Just work.
  13. What is Mommy’s favorite food?  Salad.
  14. What does Madi enjoy doing with Mommy?  Going shopping.

Name:  Aiden
Age: 4
  1. What is something that Mommy always says to you?  To eat.
  2. What makes Mommy happy?  Her house and R2D2.
  3. What makes Mommy angry?  Being not nice.
  4. How does Mommy make you laugh?  Making silly faces.
  5. What was Mommy like as a child?  Dirty.
  6. How old is Mommy?  40.
  7. How tall is Mommy?  6 tall.
  8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?  Work.
  9. What does Mommy do when Aiden is not around?  Play a game.  Watch a show. 
  10. What is Mommy really good at?  Dinner.
  11. What is Mommy not very good at?  Climbing.
  12. What does Mommy do for a job?  Work.
  13. What is Mommy’s favorite food?  Chinese food or tomato soup.
  14. What does Aiden enjoy doing with Mommy?  Watch a show, play and secrets.
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Space Shuttle Challenger

Thirty years ago today, I was sitting in Mrs. Mills' fourth grade classroom.  She was not my homeroom teacher that year (I had Mrs. DeSoto), but all of the fourth graders had gathered together in one classroom to watch the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. We were all excited, especially the teachers.  This was to be an historic event.  This was the first time a teacher would have flown in space.  Sadly, the launch became historic, but not for the reason that was intended.  

I remember sitting on the floor with all of my fellow classmates.  We all participated in the launch countdown.  And then about a minute after takeoff, the shuttle broke apart in mid-air. We all sat there completely shocked, and honestly, confused.  I am not sure we all really understood what had just happened, but our teachers' eyes, some filled with tears, told the whole story.  We had just witness a national tragedy -- my *first* national tragedy.  One I will not forget.

"Sometimes, when we reach for the stars, we fall short. But we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain." -- President Ronald Reagan, January 31st, 1986.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Dance Preview

Madilyn loves ballet.  It is the only activity that she gets excited to participate in weekly.  She loves Ms. Sally and Mr. Step, the pianist.  She loves twirling and jumping and piling.  This past Wednesday, the parents were invited into the classroom to watch the class and preview what the kids have been learning for the past semester.  The kids were so adorable.  Ms. Sally does such an amazing job transforming all of the kids into little ballerinas.  I am already looking forward to watching them at their spring recital.

Dance Preview Jan'16 -- Part I

Dance Preview Jan'16 -- Part II
A Drawing by Madi about Dance

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Itty Bitty Golf

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Last Saturday, January 16th, the Junior Golf Association of Arizona with the sponsorship of The Thunderbirds in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department’s of the City of Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe, Surprise and Goodyear hosted an Itty Bitty Open at the Legend at Arrowhead golf course and we signed our kids up to participate. We figured it is never too early to start teaching the kids the game of golf.  Each kid had to have an adult caddie for the event so Papa Farrell was Aiden's caddy and Josh was Madi's.  When the kids arrived at the event, they each received an Itty Bitty Open set of plastic golf clubs and balls in a plastic golf bag along with an Itty Bitty Open visor.  Then, the kids were then provided with some basic golf instruction given by a PGA golf professional.  After the instruction, the kids and their caddies practiced their new skills on a specially-designed nine-hole course.  Our kids zipped through the event in less than an hour.  They may not have had the most perfect form on the course, but they had fun and that is all that matters.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Shake It Off!

This past holiday season, Josh received a very fun gift from me.  We call her "Alexa", but the actual product name is the Amazon Echo.
She is pretty amazing. Here is how she is described on Amazon:
Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.
She has become a part of our family. We can add items to our shopping list. She plays us our favorite musicians and updates us on the latest news and weather of the day.  She plays games with the kids.  She can even shop for us on Amazon Prime.  And someday soon, she will be able to control the lights in our house.  She is changing our lives.

One of the kids' favorite things to do is to ask Alexa to play their current favorite song:  "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift.  They will ask her to play it over and over again without ever getting tired of hearing the same song.  That being the case, Josh and I have made the kids a deal that if they get dressed, eat their breakfast and get ready for school, then they can ask Alexa to play them a song.  It has become their reward and, so far, they diligently get all of their chores done in the morning just so they can ask, "Alexa, can you play 'Shake It Off'?"

Take a look at the video I took of them one morning as they danced around and around to "Shake It Off". I just wish I had their energy, especially, that early in the morning.

Shake It Off -- Jan '16
Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fiesta Bowl Parade 2016

One of the local events we like to attend at the beginning of a new year is the annual Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix.  One of our friend's parents have a home right near the parade route so it gives us amazing parking, access and a restroom, if needed.  Over the years, we have added more and more families to the group.  It has been so much fun watching the kids grow-up year after year.  In fact, we have an entire blanket section for just the kids and they seem to love watching and participating with the parade more and more every year.  As a parent, I love watching this event through my kids excitement.  It gets more memorable each year. Until the next one ....

Teagan and Maelyn
 Most of the kids
 Daddy and Madi
 Aiden and Madi
 My loves ...
 Plane signaling the beginning of the parade
 Steve and Josh
 The boys
 Watching the parade
 Madi with her flag
 Aiden and his
 Howler visiting the kids
 Jason and Mae
 Miss Mae
 The kids watching the parade
 Daddy and Madi
 Leo cheering on the Ohio State marching band
 Keaton and Aiden
 Simon and Keaton
 The boys
 Paige and Keaton
 Mr. Man
Paige and me
 The Parents
Mommy and Aiden
Mommy and Madi
Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Years 2016

We enjoyed a pretty quiet New Year's eve and day this year.  We rang in the New Year at home snuggled under blankets on the couch watching Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith with the kids after enjoying one of our family's favorite meals -- tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Our heads probably hit our pillows just in time to kiss each other goodnight Eastern Standard Time.

New Year's day included more Star Wars.  Josh and I treated my dad, my Uncle Terry and Aunt Rhonda to the first showing of the day of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  It was the first time my dad had ever seen a movie in 3D.  After the movie, he said he will never want to watch a movie any other way.  After the movie, we joined my mom and the kids for lunch at In and Out Burger.  My aunt and uncle had never visited an In and Out Burger and wanted to know all about the craze.  

After lunch we returned home to show my relatives the progress on our pool and backyard, which is still about three months from completion.  

The rest of our afternoon was spent playing with our new toys and enjoying some much needed family time.

A Ram Rocket fight might have ensued in our home
 An evening walk/ride with the neighbors