Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Best Part About Being A Grandma...

Cute Recitals!!!

Tonight was the dance recital for Charlie. Her studio does dancing and singing, and each age group did a singing song, as well as a dance number. Then there were a few group numbers. These kids were so cute. And of course, my granddaughter, Charlie, shined.

The parents.

Charlie posing with her mom. Matt and Ashley are strict with Charlie dressing modestly, but this cracked me up. Charlie was miserable and ichy in her dance costume and after two weeks of fighting with her about it, Ashley put a tshirt on with it. That seemed to do the trick, no itching, scratching or complaining from our little dancer tonight. Modest is the Hottest.

Charlie's first number, Rockin Around the Christmas Tree

A star is born.

Our angel in the manger

Jenn & Carson came to watch the show. Drew kept entertained with a few cars in his pocket.

Singing with the group.

Parker and his big blue eyes just hanging out with the family.

No dancer anorexia here, a plate of cookies for a job well done.

Congratulations, Charlie. Your recital was lovely.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Carson's Busy Night

How do you enjoy your daddy's graduation?

Find a seat with your mother. "Hey everybody, my eyes are the same color as my mom's."

Cheer and dance to the brass band and loud music.

Jump over into my grandpa's lap.

Fall asleep listening to the brass band.

Cheer and Shout.

Walk the hallways with my other grandpa. (did you notice my mom put me in a Rebel red and grey sweater - I'm so stylin)

Then I decided to walk along the backs of the chairs.

My mom stopped all the fun to hold me up and start yelling.

That's my daddy!



The Happy Graduate, The Happy Wife, The Happy Baby
Jordan Richard Shields
College of Urban Affairs, Bachelor in Communications


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear Ashley Noel:

I know you are anxiously awaiting the engagement post, and it's coming, along with Drew's birthday, my new harp, property progress, Texas trip. So much to blog about. So far behind.

Since you are away this semester and missing the day-by-day details of Scotty's design classes, this blog's for you.

This week's project assignment started out in the loft.

Then he moved to the dining room table.

It spilled over into the livingroom floor.

When he ran out of room there he used the couch in the family room

And finished up on the kitchen table.

As a mom, the dining room picture is my favorite. That table is not my actual dining room table - that table is in storage. The table I have sitting in the dining room now is technically my kitchen table. I have had that table for 23 years. I look at all of the stains and nicks with fondness remembering all of the school projects over the years that have taken place on that table. I love it. To see it used as project-central again warms my heart. It makes me smile even more to realize I did n.o.t.h.i.n.g to help with this project, unlike projects in the past. Nothing like figuring out science fair projects the night before they're due.

But I digress.

These pictures are just to offer you a glimpse into your future for the next few years. I am going to assume that your newlywed pad will not have the space that these five rooms offered; therefore, the mess will cover every inch of available surface in your small apartment making it 10 times worse to live through.

For your patience in this process, I thank you now.

Secondly, the cost of these design projects will undoubtedly take up money that you had previously budgeted for . . .food/gas/power? When you stop and realize that you just worked four days so he could complete this assignment, your first reaction just might be to cry or be mad or maybe even scared (whatever will we eat next week?).

For your patience, faith, and budgeting skills, I thank you now.

I don't know if the next six years will have him always building models. I imagine it will switch to computer face-time using CADD at which time you will see the back of his head for hours on end. You'll want to be talking, he'll politely nod and not hear a thing because he's trying to get another project done.

You guys are going to have so much fun!!!! When he walks across the graduation stage, I will also thank you then.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Hallie loves reading about and dressing up like Fancy Nancy. She has a lot of her books. Hallie decided in celebration of her three years of life, a soiree (that's french and fancy for party) was in order.

Her mother made her a brand new tutu for this day and she got her very own birthday tiara (that's fancy for Crown that the Princess wears)

As the hostess (that's fancy for girl that's having the party) she welcolmed all of her guests.
Hallie's friends all adored their accessories (that's fancy for extra stuff). They were even allowed to keep them as a souvenir (that's fancy for something that reminds you of a special place).

The buffett (that's fancy for table with all of the food on it) was all kids finger foods. Her mother even made peanut butter & jelly sandwiches fancy by putting pretty toothpicks on them. Bagel Bites, grapes, cheetos, all the food that boys and girls enjoy.

For the story about Fancy Nancy and Butterflies, Hallie decided to dress-down (that's fancy for dressing more comfortably).
Hallie's mother even made a fun game. It was called "Pin the Cherry on the Sundae" Hallie was thrilled her mother called the game this because pin the cherry on the sundae sounds so much fancier than pin the cherry on the bowl ice cream.
"Ohh-la-la" (that's french for Look, how wonderful). The mom's of all of Hallie's friends had fun at the party, too.

Hallie's friends were so creative and fancy making their butterflies.

Thank You for inviting me to your soiree, Hallie.
Happy Birthday, you are gorgeous (which is fancy for more beautiful than beautiful).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Glee
Or Not To Glee

I'm going out on a limb.

I started reading/hearing about Glee last year. It seemed to be mentioned on blog posts, facebook status'. There were groups gathering to watch it together. "Here's a picture of so-and-so and all of her friends that were over last night to watch Glee." Overhear conversations with people talking about it around me.

What in the world were they talking about and why hadn't I seen it? I finally figured out that it was on Tuesday night. Hello people - Tuesday night is NCIS. I had to turn to trusty ' ol Hulu to figure out what Glee was. I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon getting caught up on all things Glee. Well, not all things, but a few episodes.

Are you kidding me people? All I can say is Thank You that I don't have pre-teen and teenagers right now. I have spent a couple of months now thinking about this show. And what was the hit show that had to get turned on in my house or else they'd (the kids) socially die? Simpsons. Can I tell you how much I hated that show and it didn't get very much play time. Next up: One Tree Hill. It came complete with an opening credits dance on the couch, and lead to this poster being prominantly displayed on a bedroom door in the hallway:
Which is o.k. because I had this prominantly display in the hallway across from it:

So I've been racking my brain to think about the story line of One Tree Hill. From what I can remember it was one of the kids was from a divorced family, a few of the parents were dating. Kids feeling inadequate like they didn't fit in. The sports crowd, the cheerleaders, the geeks. who likes who. Then the later episodes got really fuzzy and I think one couple got married.

So that lead to my next thought: If I can't really remember the plot line after 5 years, did it really effect the kids that much? But then I had to think: Yes. what you bring into your house really affects the kids that much. And it affects your home that much. So Yes, it matters.

Which leads me back to Glee. Take away the toe-tapping song and dance and what do you have? The characters and story lines are unbelievable. Why would a mother who doesn't allow her kids to watch rated R movies, or or is selective about the music lyrics they listen to, or guards the computer against pornography intrusions, all of a sudden allow Glee into their home every week?

I really didn't want to go into detail on the storyline, but it can be found here.

I'm not setting myself up as the poster child for correct media choices. But I am just wondering out loud why so many are praising this show and why no one has spoken up to say that what it represents is flat out wrong.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

You Can Travel The World,
But Nothing Comes Close to the Golden Coast

On July 21st, Ron and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. We wanted to get away. Somewhat close. Definately cooler. This was mid-July - it was hot here and I wanted c.o.o.l. I had never been to Yosemite National Park, so we decided to take a little 2-day trip to drive over the border and go to Yosemite.

We stayed the first night in Bishop. It had this great little movie theater. I called the theater number from our hotel room and received a nice recording on the movie of the week, what time it would be playing, and the brief description of Invictus starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. I was kind of excited because I wanted to see that movie when it was in the theaters, but hadn't, so here we were in this little town, with the cute old fashion recording of the movies playing that week. We headed off to the theater. F.Y.I, 2 tickets, popcorn, drinks, all under $20. That doesn't happen in Vegas. I didn't notice the marquee as we walked in, but the previews started, and then it rolled right into Leonardo DeCaprio's latest movie, and it kept going, and kept going...and I kept thinking "man this is a long preview, it's almost like the start of the movie. Where is the rugby movie???"

We ended up watching Inception, not Invictus.

The next day we drove over to Yosemite and drove through the park. It did not disappoint

There was water, trees, babbling brooks, big rocks.
Really big rocks.

El Capitan.

Half Dome.

Cool and refreshing waterfalls. Because the west coast had a longer-than-usual spring, the snow melt-off was delayed. When we first considered going I checked out the internet descriptions and they all said peak waterfalls were in May, by end of July they would be dried up. So then we decided to wait until next spring to go - then CBS news did a story on how remarkable it was that the waterfalls were still going strong, so our trip was back on! The waterfalls did not disappoint.

This classic shot has all three landmarks in one view - El Capitan, Half Dome, and at the very right, Yosemite Falls.

This is how we look after 30 years together, standing in front of the landmarks.

I loved just riding through the park and looking at all the trees.
We had stopped at the grocery store in Bishop and bought some deli sandwiches and snacks for lunch. We ate lunch in the park and had a great day.
The really fun part was at about 3:30. We had finished seeing the things we wanted to, so Ron mentioned we had time if I wanted to keep heading west and go to San Simeon. this is the great part about the whole 'empty nester' situation (I don't hate many things, but that title I hate-- I just can't think of any other descriptive word for Yippee, the kids are grown, self sufficient, on their own, and we can do whatever we want.). There was no reason why we couldn't spend another day, find a hotel on the way, and go to Hearst Castle.
West Coast Represent,
Now Put Your Hands Up

After a night in a below-average hotel, we continued on until we ran out of land. Then we followed Highway One south. The beaches to the north were definately different than the sandy beaches to the south. Most of Hwy 1 was a winding road with a cliff drop-off. I'm scared of heights and it was quite an unnerving drive. There were several pull-offs to stop and view, but I was too scared to get out of the car. But this is what I couldn't believe - here on this little pull-out, with a 500 foot drop, would be a family standing there for a photo - are you kidding me? Talk about child endangerment. There would have been no way I would have ever pulled over with all the kids in the car, then let them pose on the edge just to get the Pacific in the background. One brotherly love push or "you're standing too close to me..." and someone would have gone down. I was just amazed people put their children out there for pictures. Absolutely crazy.

These were some sea lions lounging out in the sunshine.

Our destination - Hearst Castle. I was soooo excited. I've always wanted to go here. I didn't know this but there are actually four different tours, plus you can walk around some of the gardens on your own. There's a huge visitor's center with films, etc. We were lucky enough to grab two last-minute available tickets, and it was the tour that included the kitchen. Score!

I loved the industrial lights
Being a Kitchen Aid fan, this hobart mixer is divine.

Heavy duty ovens. when Mr. Hearst was at the residence, there would be meals fixed for at least 100 people. There would be a great mixing of guests too, from the paperboy who sold the most subscriptions to the famous movie stars of the day.
I LOVED this spice cabinet, and I think I'm going to copy it. No more digging around for that container of cinnamon, the cabinet is very narrow, so everything is right where you can see it.

This is an indoor swimming pool. The pictures don't do it justice. It's just beautiful. And on the roof of the pool building were the tennis courts. I have pictures, but since I took 100s of pictures through this house, I won't upload them all here.

Just a random hallway we were walking through. How cool are these columns!

I liked this bedroom that had a mini loft for the play toys.

Gorgeous views from all windows.

This was Mr. Hearst's office. My vocabulary just doesn't have enough adjuctives to describe everything we saw.

Cathedral windows.

And of course, the famous pool. The guide told us that once a year there is a BBQ for all the tour guides and grounds keepers and they are allowed to swim in this pool.
This was an unexpected part of our anniversary weekend, but by far it was my favorite part. I definately want to go back and take the other tours that they offer. Not sure of who William Randolf Hearst was or what this house is all about? Further reading.
Thanks, Ron, it was a great anniversary get away.