Monday, September 30, 2013

Rock On Dear Lily.

I came across  this gem of a photo today.
It was taken when the kids were in preschool and Turkey was not long out of puppyhood, and it accurately captures Lily as the agreeable kid that she was then and remains to be. 
Seventh grade can be tough.
But so is Lily. 
It takes a lot of self control and discipline to be reasonable at the age of twelve and a be a sensible member of a big rowdy family with lots of personalities and opinions.  
But somehow, Lily has done just that. 
She has also risen to the social and academic challenges of middle school with grace and good humor.  
So dear Lily, I toast you.
I see you and appreciate that you are working hard to be both a good student and a good big sister.
I know that this is almost never easy but you are doing an outstanding job.
Rock on, straight through middle school girlfriend...
I am very proud of you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sister Anna.

This family had a great weekend, highlighted by a visit from Anna and Nate.
(Nate is her nice, smart and handsome, sweetheart)
We were all thrilled to have them home for a visit, but Rosie was especially vocal about making sure everyone in her world knew that "Sister Anna" was coming home!
Which made he sound like she joined a religious order while at college... which I really don't think happened.

However, she and Nate did look a lot like glamorous young celebrities, when they visited the home team sidelines before the Bengal game. 
(I'm not clear at all how they were able to get on the sideline... maybe it's a benefit of the sisterhood)
And then again, looking a bit more subdued, but equally stylish, Sister Anna and Nate happily posed with OSU Marching band drum major David Pettit and her biggest fan in the world, Rosie G.
Thank you for the visit Sister Anna and Nate...can't wait to see you both again soon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bike Rodeo at Ethel Taylor School

Check out these proud and happy young smartypants.
They are proud because they passed their grade level proficiency tests.
They are happy because they are the new proud owners of very cool brand new bikes for doing so.
And this is the Molly Luken, who connected those brand new bikes to those kids who worked hard and studied harder in spite of numerous challenges. 
Although she insists that she benefited from the support of many, she was the driving force that motivated these students and their new bikes.
Molly works for Ethel Taylor School in Millvale.
She is wonderfully dedicated to the students there... she frets and fusses over them and comes up with really great ideas that might motivate them to do well on their testing. 
Like a bike rodeo.
So on a rainy Thursday afternoon about 100 boys and girls were awarded new bikes for having passed their proficiency tests. 
And those kids who haven't passed quite yet got to see that Molly, and their teachers, and all of the other grown ups involved, were good for their new bike promise.
These kids can be certain that those adults will be cheering them on, helping them study and be successful every single step of the way. 
And my guess is that there will be 200 new bikes at next years rodeo.
A little postscript  shout out for Target and CCHMC.
Seeing this event first hand gave me two more reasons to love (even more) two places in Cincinnati....Target and Children's Hospital. 
First, Target...
Target donated their services to build the bikes. 
They had their employees take big boxes full of thousands of little parts and pieces and built them into complete bikes for boys and girls that they could ride home from school that day.
Thank you Target.
Next, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital donated a helmet for each student, and personally fit those helmets to each new bike rider. 
And then brought coolers full of fresh fruit to give to the kids as an after school snack.
Helmets and snacks... thank you, Children's Hospital.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mary Moves into COLLEGE!

This is Mary happy and grinning in her new to her dorm room.
 And I am very happy that she is there and excited about taking off into this new chapter of life.
However, I must admit.... Saturday, was a difficult day for me. 
It was move in day for Mary... she got to move into her new cool dorm in the heart of very likely the coolest city in this whole country... a fabulous fresh beginning.
But with every move in day, there is a move out day.
With every new beginning, there is an ending.
And this is exactly the place where I will end these maudlin (and far too sentimental to be good for anyone) thoughts on college move in day. 
Here we are taking a break from lugging full tupperware bins to hugging outside her dorm building. 
It's a very nice newish dorm, on a lovely leafy street across the street from the new theater building where my girl will have most of her classes.
And still, I was getting a little manic with the hugging already.
And here we are upstairs- I don't remember exactly, but I think I made her take another hug break...
she said something like,
"...try not to look crazy and don't hug my head like a pony," as Karl took the photo.
So here I am doing my best to both not look crazy and/or hug my daughter in a pony face embrace.
It was challenging for me, but as you can see, Mary is quite happy.
Because she is a very good sport, Mary humored me by pointing and posing with the cheesy bumper sticker on my obnoxious + kinda gross maxi van.
Is it obvious that I really want her to remember her Buckeye roots?
Most definitely, but don't much care. 
 I am so very proud of my girl, who she has become, and I absolutely can't wait to see what she will do next.
ps/ We had an interesting morning at our hotel waiting for Mary's move in time slot.
Transformers 4 was being filmed outside of our room and we got to get up close and personal to the movie magic.
This is the helicopter camera flying at eye level to our eighth floor.
 We also got to see a robot arm pretend falling on a car and either Shia LaBeouf or Mark Wahlberg leaping out in a very action adventure-y and handsome, sort of way. 
It was a great and very distracting way to spend the morning.
Chicago is really fabulous city.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Very First Football Game

While the NFL kicks off the season next week, Henry's team of nine and ten year old boys, kicked off their season opener on Sunday.
This was our first foray into football for kids, so while I have been a big fan all of my life, I have never watched my own kid play.
And now I know that it's much easier to watch other mother's sons whomp and be whomped on, than it is to watch your own son. 
Although Karl felt differently... he thought that it was all very natural and that Henry seemed very comfortable with all of the hitting and tackling.
Which was true, Henry had a great seems that a lifetime of being a little brother has been great training for my little defensive lineman.
I thought that Henry had the cutest 3 point stance in the whole game, so plainly evidenced in this photo. 
Also please note that Henry is on the team with the blue jerseys and silver helmets, playing hard and tough against the other team... with the blue jerseys and silver helmets. 
It was a whole hot mess of blue and silver guys out there so it took every ounce of my own personal concentration to keep my eye on that one particularly cute 3 point stance.
This is what Henry looked like after the and smiley. 
He loved being a part of both the game and the guess is that this was the first of many football Sundays for this guy.