Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gramma!

Gramma is spending her birthday in San Antonio, TX, but the kids wanted to send their birthday wishes to her anyway. We hope you have a great birthday! We love you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Zack's First Marriage

The other day, Zack says to me (completely out of the blue), "Mommy, I don't want a new family." I told him that that was OK. He was going to be part of my family forever. He told me that he wanted to live with me forever. Now, we can't have that, so I had to nip those thoughts in the bud right now. So, I told him that one day, he might find someone that he loved and get married. Then, he would live with her and have another family. He would then have 2 families.

He just looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm already married." I asked to whom was we married, and he said, "That girl - what's her name? Remember?" Finally, he added, "At Grandma and Paka's" Then, I knew that he was talking about his pretend wedding with Paige over the summer. It cracked me up. I had to explain to him that not only was that a pretend marriage, but he can't marry his cousin. I think he was actually a little sad that he was not actually married, despite the fact that he couldn't remember her name.

Zack is such a sweet little kid. He loves me and being with me so much. He misses me when I go away for a short time or when he has to go to school. One day he told me he didn't want to go to Heaven. When I asked why not, he said because he didn't want to leave me. That led to a long discussion about Heaven and death. But, it was sweet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Snow bunnies?

Rachel and Alex got on skis for the first time this past Friday. I was pretty nervous. Rachel doesn't know the meaning of the word fear, and Alex can get easily frightened and doesn't try to tackle the fear but backs away from it completely. So, I totally envisioned Rachel heading straight down the mountain at full speed with Alex sitting down and refusing to go at the top of the mountain.

Luckily, I was not completely right. They took a class together and really learned to be comfortable on their skis. I knew it was going to be good when we picked them up and Alex asked to go on the big hill. They had already been on the bunny slope, so we took them on a little bit bigger hill (still green circles). At the top, Alex started going down the hill and just got faster and faster. I started to freak out a little bit because I had no idea if he could stop. Fortunately, he stayed in control for awhile and then fell without too much pain. He fell a few times down the hill, and we took him on it once more.

I took him back to the bunny slope for a little bit. I thought he might be done with the bigger hills, but he came right back for some more runs. He did great! He just got better and better. I was so impressed with him even though he kept saying he was no good. Here's a short video of him skiing down the first time we all went together.

Now, Rachel skied about as I expected her to. She was skiing with Dave a little and then with me. On our first time on a new trail, she just took off straight down the mountain. She was going so fast that I could not keep up with her. My legs were getting tired, and I just couldn't bear heading straight down the mountain. I was sure that she was going to be lying in a heap when I got to where I could see her. The good thing was that I could follow her trail because she left these deep tracks straight down. I told her she needed to get better control if she wanted to go to the Intermediate trails, so she worked on that. Here she is on the next time down when we went back to the trail that was a little less steep.

Rachel ended up tackling a blue square trail with Dave. He said the snow was not great, and she fell quite a lot. But, she wanted to go again. I was not surprised but still impressed.

It was a great day sharing this with our kids! I was so proud of them and glad that they were able to pick it up so easily. We finished it off with a nice meal at IHOP.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Catching a leprechaun

Alex's assignment for school was to build a trap to catch the pesky leprechauns that always come in and mess up the classroom every St. Patty's Day. Rachel had the same assignment two years ago. We kind of threw something together for her, and unfortunately we did not catch him. This year, Dave decided to really put some thought into it, so we could snag him.

All weekend, Dave and Alex planned it out and spent time out in the garage using the saw and the drill press to build a maze with a trap door that catches the leprechaun.
Dave spent a lot of time getting all the details just right - like the aluminum foil.

Rachel decided we needed to make a nice home for the leprechaun so he would be happy and not want to leave the trap. She got all her doll furniture and then decorated the box to attract him. So, this was truly a family affair.

The Finished Product:
The leprechaun enters through the door and follows the maze until he steps on the trap door. The floor goes down like an elevator pulling the ceiling in over top of him, and he is trapped underneath.

A picture with the trap sprung:

Here's a video of Alex sort of explaining what happens. He was not very cooperative, unfortunately!