Sunday, November 28, 2010

thanksgiving trip to CA

we decided to take a QUICK trip to EG over thanksgiving weekend. we weren’t so much going FOR thanksgiving, as we were taking advantage of the long weekend. thanksgiving was just an added bonus. the real reason we were going was to get to meet amy’s new baby finnigan (who BARELY complied, making his arrival just the day before). BUT, we got an extra BONUS baby, too! dave got a text early thanksgiving morning, as we were just driving into california, that anthony and chalane’s baby, abigail, had decided to show up a month early. we appreciated her courtesy! ;)

micah and layla were tired after our all-night drive, and passed out together mid-afternoon, waiting for dinner.048

we brought mario kart with us… so there was much of this:050

the day after thanksgiving, gramma and papa treated us to a ride on ‘the polar express’ (which, I bet you didn’t know, runs out of sacramento)! it was loads of fun. everyone was supposed to wear pajamas, but the only one of our group who complied was micah. oh well. there were loads of cute pajamas there. some were obviously custom-made for familes for the occasion. this time a REAL STEAM ENGINE pulled the train (I was so excited!). the cars were all decorated christmas-like, there were waiters in white coats and hats, the ghost/hobo guy, dancing hot chocolate servers, ACTUAL hot chocolate (which was very thick and rich, and ALMOST tasted like melted chocolate bars), elves, and, of course, santa claus. he came on board (much to layla’s displeasure – she is still TERRIFIED of santa claus) and handed out bells to all the kids on the train.052056055073071079

micah with his godmother amy, and baby finn.081

getting a baby fix with this tiny one, abby.083

we spent quite a bit of time at the hughes house, and micah spent a good share of time watching (and pestering darrel about) the trains!084088

and of course, no trip to california would be complete without a double-double, no tomato, w/ grilled onions.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

first snow of the year!

supposedly, we’re in for a lot of snow and wild weather this winter… well, it’s starting early. following up the snow we had to sit in at the soccer tournament, we got a GOOD snow (followed by a nice freeze) the week before thanksgiving. it was great snow for sledding. not so great for snowman making… but around here, we try not to be picky.054007008016018032035036031

**I’ve been trying to resize the vertical photos, but every time I try to, the program shuts down and takes my post into internet oblivion with it. I’ve tried 3 times so far, and I’m not willing to risk it again. perhaps I’ll edit it later when my computer is in a better mood.**

Sunday, November 21, 2010

district finals!

shane’s (and dave’s) soccer team participated in and WON the district finals of the washington state youth soccer recreation cup tournament in november. it was a COLD, wet, rainy, SNOWY day to watch soccer. BUT, in true dynamite spirit, the stands (read: parents) were LOUD, crazy and intimidating! after the win (2-0) there was a presentation of the second (that was us last year) and first place medals. then they posed for the group shot, which was eventually published in the local newspaper. this win advanced the boys on to the state semi-finals in vancouver,wa a couple of weeks later.038039045048049050051052

go dynamite!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

school stuff… and other stuff

today, dave and I went to the school for layla’s parent-teacher conference. it went well. layla is doing well, her teacher likes having her, all that good stuff.

but, aside from layla doing well in school, having lots of friends, having a teacher who appreciates her creativity and quirkiness, and the secretaries in the front office who, not only knew who my kid was without me telling them, but proceeded to tell me how much they like her and how cute her new haircut is, I was reminded of something really great today. it doesn’t really specifically have anything to do with the school so much, but it’s just another part of what ties it all together.

community.

living here, in our little section of a big little town on the outskirts of the seattle suburbs, I feel community for the first time in my life. I realize that probably sounds kind of strange, at this point in my life. it’s not like I’ve lived, up until now, in the middle of nowhere, or even in some huge, anonymous, bustling metropolis.

I grew up in kirkland. I never moved until I went to college. 18 straight years in one place. part of it might have been that I was a kid and didn’t really care about much beyond the 3 or 4 neighborhood kids that I played with regularly, but although we lived there, I don’t really think my family built any network of friends or acquaintances there. I didn’t go to my neighborhood elementary school until 6th grade. I went to school in bellevue, where we also went to church. by the time I started at that school, I was already deeply involved in skating and ballet, and spent every day travelling back and forth to lynnwood and/or bellevue. I knew a few of the people on my street and that’s about it. anyway, kirkland is a pretty big town.

you would also maybe think that our two years in napoleon might have provided a good sense of community. perhaps, had we stayed longer, I would have been able to embrace it. then, not so much. I was completely weirded out most of the time we were there. this is not to say I didn’t like it. I did. but the fact that people all knew each other or were related to each other (or probably both) for generations upon generations really kinda freaked me out. I didn’t know how to connect when everyone already seemed connected. I knew people from church, and a couple people from shane’s school, but I didn’t go out of my way to become friends with them. in retrospect, I probably wasn’t very friendly.

at any rate, we moved here 3 and a half years ago. one of the first things I did was join the newly formed, local MOMS club. this has proven to be a huge connecting thing for me, and not just because of playgroups and events. I see these people elsewhere as well. I find out that I know people that they know. right after that, we signed shane up for soccer. this is his 4th year on the team and it’s grown to 17 members. this year, layla started playing soccer, AND she started kindergarten at our neighborhood school. all 6 girls on her team go to her school. 5 of them are in the same class.

instant community.

but it goes beyond that. this community of seemingly unrelated connections has been surprising me for awhile. I found it weird that I couldn’t go to safeway without bumping into at least one person I knew. I can’t drive down the road without passing a car I recognize. people I’m facebook friends with are friends with each other, even though I know them from completely different venues, and people I know know other people I know… I’m starting to realize that I actually know a lot of people, and I know them from MORE THAN ONE THING, and that is the thing that has startled me. I’m actually part of a community.

I really realized it today when I was at the school, signing in at the office for our conference. there was another lady in the office at the same time, that I knew from layla’s soccer team. she was telling the secretary to call a certain lady (who I knew because she used to be a member of the MOMS club) because her son (who I knew) had left his lunch in her car. and then we went to layla’s classroom, and on the way, we saw siblings of kids who we knew from soccer in their classrooms…

I realize most people probably understand that this is just a normal part of life… of living in one place for awhile. but it’s new for me. and weird. nice. but still weird.

at any rate, I like it. it’s a phenomenon that I kind of have always known existed for other people, but had never experienced personally. but now that I know that it’s real, maybe at some point it can quit surprising me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

layla's books: installment #2

layla finished these two books after I posted the first installment. I figured there would be more, but she seems to have moved on… so, here are the final two books in the series… this first one is my favorite!

book #7: for joey, “cars” (apparently all the books for boys are entitled “cars” – no generalizations here!)001003005006007008009010

book #8: for connor, “cars” (again)011012013014

Thursday, November 11, 2010

an author’s beginning

we all know that layla likes to draw and write, etc. her latest thing is writing books for her friends at school. I decided I’d better photograph them so, one day, when she’s a famous artist, I can sell these for millions of dollars and finally get rich off of my kids we can look back on how cute her first books were.

and then I figured that other people might find them as hysterical as I do… so here you go.

book #1: for megan, “kindergarten”025026027028

book #2: for ella, “dogs”029030031032

book #3: for lily, “necklaces”033034035036

book #4, for peter, “cars”037038039040041042

book #5, for lois, “princess” (not s.s. prince! LOL.)043044045046047048

book #6: for ben, “cars”049050051052053054055056

second installment coming soon, I’m sure!

what do you do with your day off of school?

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