Thursday, November 15, 2012

Phony Photos

Just a recap of the last month in pics from my phone...

1. Camping with my cub scouts at the zoo  2. the ballerinas ready for dance class  3. Jack reading to me  4. Bri getting a snuggle on a windy fall day at school  5.still warm enough for flowers  6. Jack has become obsessed with reading  7. And handball  8. squeeze in and say 'cheese'  9. Des and Mama

1. & 2. Logan at the beach  3. & 4. Jack at the beach

1. The girls at our own private beach cove  2. the fisheye shell  3. don't mind us  4. hanging out

1. Jack, the bat  2. Logan, the cheetah  3. And their ballerina sisters head out to trick-or-treat  4. Finally a lazy weekday  5. Logan sleeps and Jack reads  6.  The queen of the castle (AKA Mama) and Des  7. Out to dinner with Jack and Des  8. And Bri and Logan  9. Des and Logan getting their morning exercise with the whole elementary school

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Phony Photos

Life is moving right along.  School, errands, meals out, family time on the weekends...same old, same old...

1. Bri after a 3D movie  2. Des twirling  3. Jack looking pitiful asking for a new toy  4. sunbathing after a swim  5. Logan showing some moves in the water  6. bathing beauties  7. Papa  8. dress-up at preschool  9. Logan and Mama

1. Jack and Logan spray painting the backyard wall  2. silly sisters  3. some of Mama's sewing projects being modeled by the girls  4. out to breakfast  5. and then dinner  6. Logan and his purple freckles from spraypainting  7. Bri and Mama  8. Jack doing his homework  9. Logan and his homework

1. Logan and Bri  2. Jack and some vintage cars  3. out to lunch with Papa, Des and Logan  4. the girls at the train yard  5. Logan working on a sewing project  6. modeling his finished pajamas  7. the boys watching TV  8. Bri on the way to ballet class  9. Des after a long morning

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Just a reminder for the future one day...these are my crazy kids...

Jack, age 7 years, 7 months
  • Likes:  gum, math, going out on the weekends, his stuffed cat (Cinnamon), kicking the ball for Marley
  • Dislikes:  lazy days at home, the long nails on gerbils
  • Current obsessions:  running, reading, trying to find Lloyd (the green ninja) in stores

Logan, age 6 years, 3 months
  • Likes:  staying home on the weekends, having me reading him books and then watching the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Harry Potter, the Lorax), his nine gerbils
  • Dislikes:  competition, cleaning up 
  • Current obsessions:  origami, cub scouts

Des, age 4.5 years old
  • Likes:  bandaids, purple, being nekked, gum, pasta, wearing multiple tutus at once at school
  • Dislikes:  falling asleep for naps in her own bed, putting things away
  • Current obsessions:  ballet, ballerinas, tutus, leotards

Bri, age 4.5 years old
  • Likes:  pink, dolls, coloring pages, being nekked, the Fresh Beat Band, mac and cheese, wearing the mouse costume with high-heels at school
  • Dislikes:  loud noises, being told 'no'
  • Current obsessions:  ballet, ballerinas, tutus, leotards

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Leap of Faith

I watched the video clips of Felix Baumgartner's amazing skydive from space with my heart racing.  It was an awe-inspiring, yet insane, dream turned into a reality.  Several times, the clips show Baumgartner's mom as she watches her son freefall at 1.24 mach back to Earth.  I couldn't help but put myself in her shoes for just a moment.  And I found myself with contradictory emotions...
One part of me thought, "I hope none of my kids ever does anything that stupid."
Another part of me wished that they would.

I hope my kids have the audacity to believe in the impossible, for themselves and for others.  I hope they will have the courage to turn their dreams into reality.  I hope they are bold enough to inspire awe.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Phony Photos

Over the long Labor Day weekend, the boys and I went for a trip to visit my parents.  The girls and Scott had a staycation.  It felt a little weird to split the family but it was nice for Jack and Logan to get more attention than normal.  Then, the girls started back to school and are so happy to be there.  Nearly everyday they tell me they like "Cinfia's school."  We've been keeping very busy trying to figure out our new normal.

1. Jack playing with my brother's old Legos at my parents house  2. Felt nice to bundle up and snuggle with Logan due to some chilly weather  3. Logan and Nana working on a motorized robot  4. Jack  5. a really funny poem (see below)  6. Logan asleep on my shoulder in the car  7. Great Dona reading stories to the boys  8. At the aquarium  9. More Lego creations by Jack

1. Shopping with Papa to pick new school dresses  2. It's a bear!  (Family joke from the book Going on a Bear Hunt)  3. At the zoo  4. In Papa's new bike trailer

1. Jack in his soft blanket  2. Des is ready for the first day of school  3. Bri getting an afterschool hug from Jack  4. Picnic dinner on the front lawn when the kitchen is too messy  5. A beautiful beach morning  6.  asleep with Mama after a colossal tantrum  7. Headed to the Ethiopian New Year festival  8. Enjoying non-traditional slurpees on a really hot festival afternoon  9. Jack and his future ride

1. Sometimes Mama has to get in character to help Logan do homework  2. Scott's first race and his adoring fans  3. Finally back at school  4. Logan, a very proud Tiger cub

1. Formal wear for a scooter ride around the block  2. While Jack karate chops imaginary ninjas  3. Logan's literal greater-than-sign (the alligator eats the bigger number)  4. Bri's new dress form Nana  5. Playing at the water playground  6. Jack and Mama staying cool in the shade  7. Papa stops by to bring us lunch and pose for photo opps  8. Jack, the avid reader  9. More photo ops with Papa

Funny poem mentioned above:


It's been one whole hour since I ate.
Why is my dinner always late?
While you and Mom procrastinate,
I might become a featherweight.
You know what I'd appreciate?
Cough it up, Dad!  Regurgitate!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phony Photos

This has been a weird transition time for the family.  The boys started school but the girls don't start for an other week.  Des and Bri finished up summer camp and are now spending every waking (and quite a few sleeping) moments with Mama.  The boys seem to be happy to have a regular schedule again and to be able to see their friends at school.  They both like their teachers and haven't started protesting homework just yet so all is relatively good.  Here are some daily life photos from my phone:

 1. Bri and Des at their last days of summer camp  2. Bri, the happy camper  3. Their drawing skills are further examples of how much Bri is like Jack and Des is like Logan  4. Des twirling  5. lazy afternoon on a hot day  6. Mama and Des  7. napping in the stroller to pick up the boys from school  8. the girls with their friend Micah trying to figure out how the ATM works  9. waiting for Mr. Jose to open the gate at school to pick up their brothers

1. Jack  2. Bri  3. Des  4. Logan

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Survived Week 1

The boys are back at school but the girls still have two more weeks before they start.  Des and Bri are chomping at the bit to go back to "Cynthia's school."  Everyday, I am told repeatedly that they want to go.  Well, guess what girls?!?!?!  I'm ready for you to go back too!  This summer was short because our school district was completely changing calendars.  And there were a few camps and extra long weekend vacations to break up the days.  But still, I'm ready to get everyone back to school.

The boys seem to like their teachers and are pretty happy with the friends they are in class with.  Apparently, they seek each other out and sit together everyday for snack and lunch.  (Last year, Logan was in a different part of the school so this wasn't a possibility.)  I find it very sweet that they are excited to be able to spend time together during the school day.

Jack on the first day of 2nd grade

Logan on the first day of 1st grade

Ready to go!

It's a family affair on the first day of school.

Here's hoping for a better year than last...especially for Logan!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Phony Photos

Summer is done...for better or is done.  Here is the last of my summer cell phone photos:

1.  Jack hanging it out in the car  2. Bri, Jordan and Des  3. Logan and one of his gerbil babies  4. feet propped up  5. gerbil babies  6. Do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows what's going on?  7. Silly sisters  8. Doodling with Jack in the park  9. Put your hands in the air!

1. Fairies in the forest  2. More gerbil babies!?!?!  3. Switching their clothes to trip us up  4. Jack's amazing pole climbing technique   5. Jack at lunch  6. Bri and Logan on the Metro  7. Bri's tutu vs. the subway vent  8. the girls at lunch  9. swinging princesses

1. Bri's first Barbie  2. a day at the beach  3. Bri and Scott  4. Des' first Barbie

1. Scott and the girls  2. Jack and his beach sculpture  3. & 4. the second set of pups

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Almost Typical Thursday

Recently, I took all four kids on the Metro just because they have been asking me all summer to ride it.  The ride out was uneventful.  But waiting on the platform to get back on the train and then on the return ride, we were literally surrounded by people asking questions and commenting on me and my family.  People were so curious they were asking questions over each other.  I don't get nervous easily but by the time we got off the train, I was a bit rattled.  Here is a portion of what I remember from the return Metro ride:

" Are you a missionary?
When did you get them?
You wouldn't think a white family would want black kids.
Are they yours?
You should get some dead sea soap.  It will clear that right up.
They must look like your husband.
Which one is older?  I mean, which one came out first?
Where did they come from?
Are you a vegetarian or health food person?  You seem like you would be.
Did you do their hair?
Are your sons adopted?
Don't let people touch their hair.  85% of Mexico has a parasite that they bring here and I don't want things crawling in my hair.
Awww...look, she really loves you.
Are they adopted?
What are their names?
How old are they?
You can buy dead sea soap in bulk.  You should get some.
Is their hair real?
How do they get along with your own kids?  "

For the record, none of my kids are deaf.  They can all hear everything being said about us.  And also for the record, none of my kids are mute.  They can choose to answer simple questions like their names and ages if they are only treated like humans and asked them.

Typing this up has been rather therapeutic.  Reading it over now I can't help but chuckle at how ridiculous people can be.  But in the thick of it, it didn't feel quite so benign.  And I can't help but think how these questions and comments are affecting all four of my children.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Camp

Two summers ago, Jack and Logan participated in a 3-day-a-week  summer camp  that gave me a bit of free-time to get things ready for my trip to Ethiopia to pick up the girls.  Well, this summer, Des and Bri were old enough to have their turn at the same camp.  They loved their teacher and enjoyed signing and drawing especially.  Today was their end-of-summer performance and they finally got to be the ones on stage (as they are always so jealous of their brothers' various performances).

Their favorite songs were "Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool" and "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive."

They also worked on "This is me" books with their teacher.  Here are some of their ridiculous answers:

My address is white house.
My school is lunch.
I have green eyes and orange hair.
My favorite food is apple.
I like to dance.
When I grow up, I want to be a dancer.

My address is pink house.
I have orange eyes and green hair.
My birthday is pink.
My favorite food is pizza.
I like to play with Mommy.
When I grow up I want to me a don't know.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Who's Who?

Which little monkey:
  • Loves to draw geometric designs?
  • Has found a love of all things competitive including sports and games and has a unique talent for turning uncompetitive things into a competition?
  • Can shimmy up a 15' pole with no hand or foot holds?

Which little lovebug:
  • Hand-fed wild squirrels at the playground before I found out and freaked out?
  • Likes to pack for a trip several days in advance (which is completely different than the rest of the family that packs minutes before we are supposed to leave)?
  • When told that I would not be accompaning him to college so he needed to learn to tie his shoes, said, "That's okay...I'll just get a wife!"

Which little peanut:
  • Who had hiccups but forgot what they were called, said "I'm making a noise!"
  • Asks to have her hair done so she can look at pictures on my phone and watch videos on the ipad?
  • Is obsessed with ballerinas which just means anyone wearing light pink leotards and flowy tutus?

Which little chickpea:
  • After I get her dressed in the morning, promptly undresses herself and puts on a costume when I'm busy with the other kids?
  • Has an insanely infectious giggle?
  • Can dribble a basketball for quite sometime?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary Girls!

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the girls coming home.  They have grown and changed so much in that time.  It's not always easy having so many young kids so close in age but we, as a family, have grown and changed too in the past years.  Des and Bri have brought so much to our family.

Their first night home, they fell asleep in Scott's happy to have finally found a safe and comfortable place to rest.  And he's been snuggling them ever since...




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Favorite Spots

I have several spots that I would consider my 'happy places'.

First off is my bed.  I have had a long standing relationship with my bed.  Happy, sad, exhausted...whatever I am feeling my bed is there for me.  It holds me up...literally.  I read books and magazines, watch TV, nap, get lost on the web.  I could stay there all day...if only my family would let me.

Another happy place is my parent's house because it's the closest thing Scott and I get to a vacation.  My parents help watching the kids and my mom cooks delicious meals and my dad does the dishes.  It doesn't hurt that they have a nice house and an amazing view and a town with plenty of family friendly stuff to do.

It's almost embarrassing to say but Target is a favorite spot of mine but only if I am alone.  I can get a little of this and a little of that.  I can find a nice treat or surprise for my kids.  I can find a nice treat for myself.  I think about all the things the kids need for whatever activity they have coming school year, soccer camp, friend's birthday parties, etc.

Scott and I were married on a Southern California beach and we are very lucky to live close to a few great beaches still. It is a free activity that makes the whole family happy.  Since our family started on a beach and we only ever go there with all six of us, the beach represents family to me.  It's definitely a happy place as there are rarely tantrums at the beach.

Last but certainly not least, there is a park that is very special to the kids and me.  It is a public space but our co-op preschool is located there.  All four of my kids have learned to climb and swing and imagine themselves as pirates or princess on the jungle gym.  And every afternoon when school is done they play and let me have my daily grown-up conversation with moms with like-minded parenting ideas.  Even in summer, like today, several of us meet and let our kids play while we talk.  I was reminded today that I likely only have one more year being at this playground daily.  I will miss it when the girls move on to kindergarten.

And that is my list of my happy places!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Phony Photos

More pictures of daily life from my cell phone:

1.  Long days with good friends at the pool  2. me  3. Logan can sleep anywhere, anytime  4. Logan's note to our house-sitter...the first instruction is to count the gerbils to make sure none escaped  5. popsicles with Nana  6. mountain lake  7. Mama and Bri on a chairlift  8. cooling off in the lake  9. laying under a tree while the kids play

1. It's not summertime without popsicles  2. or ice cream  3. Papa  4. the girls love bandaids

1. laundry, laundry and laundry  2.  surprise!  One of our 'male' gerbils, Lightening Bolt, had babies  3. my little monkeys can climb  4. soccer camp  5. Logan handed me his binoculars so I wouldn't lose site of him and Jack while they scootered down the block  6. asleep again  7. Storm  8. from Logan's drawing class, Corn and Gerbil  9. another day, another park 

1. how Logan treats a hangnail  2. life is a great balancing act  3. another day, another park  4. Scott & I

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Fun

As I mentioned before, I'm too lazy to carry my good camera with me anymore and have resorted to cell phone photos as my only means to record our family activities.  Thank goodness for my friend Kim, AKA my personal family photographer, who is managing to capture beautiful pics of my kids every time we hang out which is thankfully a lot.

Here are some of her wonderful photos from a few of our recent activities:

At the berry-picking farm, Logan and Bri

Too bad Jack won't actually eat boysenberries


Des' perfect strawberry

Getting strawberry stains on our butts

Des and her own personal cheek fireworks 

Waiting and more waiting for the fireworks to start

Long days in the pool with friends

Kids reggae concert with lots of friends
Des' game face on the field
Logan practicing some serious soccer skills
Thank you Kim for acting as my personal photographer over the kids will thank you years from now too!