Thursday, November 25, 2010


Anna is home for the holiday- yay! We are so happy to have her in the house with her younger sibs. It's wonderful to have everyone home and "breathing the same air," as my pal Jane puts it.

I am the most thankful for the health and well being of these six rugrats.
Everything else is icing on the cake.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

turkey by Henry~ 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jamie's Hoglet

Meet Dobby the Hedgehog.

Jamie's beloved guinea pig, Sam, moved on to piggie heaven which gave him room to start lobbying for a new pet. He thought that he really needed a reptile... some kind of lizard or maybe a turtle. I wasn't so thrilled about those kinds of creatures and we settled on a baby hedgehog... a hoglet. Jamie named him Dobby after the house elf in the Harry Potter books, and is now the proud parent of Dobby J. Hedgehog. Dobby has learned to recognize the "oduer de Jamie" and turns on his little hedgie charm when Jamie goes to pick him up. When anyone else tries to get him he curls up and sticks his spikes out... like a dangerous looking softball. And if Jamie is holding him and he develops concerns... he pulls his forehead down and squints his eyes and looks really ticked off in a completely adorable way. Jamie has a similar expression when he is grumpy so the two of them are a lot alike.
I learned that once you decide to add a hedgehog to your family... it takes some perseverance in order to locate a spiky little guy. We found a very nice woman in Montpelier Ohio (Gail Dick- www.critterconnection) who breeds them and will also give you a a lesson on their care. So Jamie, Henry and I went on an adventure to northern Ohio...about a three hours north. We left after school, spent the night in Defiance (I love saying that) had our hedgehog lesson in the morning and drove home. While we were there, we also learned that Gail and her husband are adoptive parents with two Ethiopian born daughters.
It was really a fun and interesting sort of multi culti experience there in farmland of Montpelier Ohio, with our Ethiopian and Guatemalan born kiddos being well represented.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ben and Nick

Ben Folds

Karl and I put the little guys to bed early and sneaked out to go see Ben Folds... on a school night. Mary was also at home... maybe or maybe not doing homework, so we weren't completely irresponsible abandoning our darlings- but we still felt like we had to sneak out before some sort of kid calamity prevented us from going.

Ben Folds and Nick Hornby

We needed to go...Ben was in town, and we absolutely couldn't miss him. He is one of my all time favorite musicians who just happened to team up with one of my favorite writers Nick Hornby, (High Fidelity, About a Boy, Juliet- Naked) and together they made and album called Lonely Avenue which is really very awesome. Nick wrote the lyrics, Ben wrote the music and to add even more to the collaboration of our favorite artists, photographer Michael Wilson contributed to the albums photography.
Lonely Avenue plays exactly like it should. Lyrics that yearn for the goodness of humanity and hope tempered with the reality of life itself. Hornby's lends both poignancy and wit in his lyrics... who else could write so sympathetically of Bristol Palin's ex as he does in "Levi Johnston's Blues." Poor Levi...
Nick also wrote a song for his wife called "Practical Amanda" which is more than lovely. As Ben was singing it, I mentioned to Karl that for Christmas I was hoping for my own song. Judging by his eye roll... I probably shouldn't hold my breath waiting for that Christmas song from my dear husband.

Ben directing the concert choir from atop his piano

Ben loves both his music and his audience which made for fun and energetic concert. He took requests, told jokes, bantered with his fans and proved that he is a very quick and funny dude. He also swore a lot which I appreciated within the context of the evening... I really enjoyed every f-bomb.
For his encore he climbed onto his piano and directed the house in a final piece. There must have been a lot of music majors from nearby CCM in attendance. Everyone sounded great and stayed on key in our impromptu Ben Folds choir directed of course by, Ben himself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Words Words Words

Mary's school put on a production of David Ives, "All in the Timing" a play in 6 acts. Mary played the part of Kafka the monkey in the second act titled "Words, Words, Words."
In the weeks of practice up to the show, Mary tried to explain the premise to me but I had a hard time grasping the concept, until I saw the play... then it all made sense in an obscure kind of way.
In the production, a never seen researcher named Dr. Rosenbaum offers a theory that "Three monkeys hitting keys at random on typewriters for an infinite amount of time will almost surely produce Hamlet." He tries to prove this theory through experiment with three monkeys named, Swift (as in Jonathan) Kafka (Franz) and Milton (John). The three monkeys do some typing and spent time discussing their captivity, their captor (Dr. Rosenbaum) and their monkey futures. I thought it was hysterically funny and touching too. My little theater companions Lily, Jamie, Henry and a couple of their buddies, laughed so hard that they were almost rolling in the aisle. They missed most of the comedic references, but the fact that their big sister was a typing monkey made up for it.
The whole production was great... all 6 acts were very well done. I am amazed that the kids can learn such a detailed and complicated script and play their parts so convincingly. Each young actor did an excellent job in proving that life is almost always a comedy or a tragedy of timing. I do believe that David Ives would be proud if he dropped in on this performance.

(That's my official mom review ~grin~)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good idea? oh yeah.

Ok, so I did it... I got a wild hair and bought tickets for my boys to go the symphony. Then I had some 'splaining to do... Why?!?? I was asked again and again...Why do it? How could it possibly be a good idea to

take this boy,

and this boy,

to the symphony on purpose.

I don't know really, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And guess what? I was right! I am neverever right when it comes to guessing if my boys will be well behaved. I generally assume that they will always "make poor choices" when faced with challenges that include listening ears and staying quiet and respectful in a room full of adults.
But I was wrong and I loved it. The boys had an awesome time. It was the Halloween show, full of spooky music. Lily's violin teacher found us in the audience and offered the boys a discreet wave from the stage. Cool.
They wore their costumes... and some other concert goers did too-thank goodness.
But the point is, they were good.
That's the exciting part. They were so good that the seasoned symphony couple who sat behind us complimented me on their good behavior.
Not once or twice... but three times.

They enjoyed themselves so much that when I asked if they wanted to go home at intermission, they both said "NO!"
Jamie said that he wanted to "see how it ends."
So we stayed for the whole symphony.
And they said it shouldn't be done, couldn't be done.

It was done.. here is Jamie after the show.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Passport to Forever 2010

The International Adoption Center hosted their benefit fundraiser on Saturday night and my younger kids were fortunate to participate. The highlight of the evening is a fashion show featuring adopted kids born in countries all over the strutting their stuff.
Here is Rosie during the finale with her Ethiopian flag Her partner on the runway was her buddy Ryan who is next to her with her his own Guatemala flag. Mary and Jordan... their teenage sisters/handlers, are behind them for support.

My boys, Jamie and Henry, working the runway... I think they look dashing in their cool hats and jackets. Jamie wore his reading glasses because he thought they suited his outfit- he was right... looking sharp!

Rosie working the runway... she loved being the center of attention and waved and grinned the entire time she was on stage. No surprise there... our girl is a true ham.

Flag finale... many children, each carrying a poky, pointy flags ... no incidents or accidents. Success!

The three guys from Guatemala, kickin' back together, post show.

Karl and I volunteered to put together the slide show that they show at the beginning of the program. We spoke to a wonderful family who recently adopted their 10 yr old son, Herwens from Haiti. Herwens is one of the most adorable and strongest little guys I have ever met... completely inspiring. The show also featured many photos of beautiful adopted children and their families and we put it to the music of Michael Franti and Spearhead. Michael Franti is an amazing singer and songwriter who was adopted as a child and now is a committed advocate for adoption. He also happens to be an extremely cool dude.