Monday, October 29, 2007

Celebrating with crazy hair

The Red Sox swept the World Series, as you probably already know. This was big news around here this morning, as Cooper is a huge Boston fan, dating back to our trip in April 2006. To celebrate, Cooper wore his favorite Red Sox shirt to school this morning.

It's also crazy hair/hat day at school, as part of Red Ribbon Week. Steve relied on his past crazy hair days (no school-sanctioned theme day required) to create this look for Cooper. He needed just some hairspray, a blow dryer and a patient subject.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Big weekend

Steve took a vacation day Friday and spent some time at school. He was one of a few dads to help with Pumpkin Math, a fun hour the first-grade teachers had planned. Steve worked with four kids, including Cooper, to estimate the weight of a pumpkin, estimate its circumference, count seeds, design the pumpkin's face and then carve the pumpkin.

After the 1-mile run Saturday morning

The four of us ran in the Gary Burns Fun Run (well, Katie was in a stroller) on Saturday. The Bledsoe team had at least 200 people, and our school won the spirit award and award for most participation.

Cooper and Steve went to a big Cub Scout event in McKinney, where Cooper created a bird house, shot a BB gun and did other scout sort of things. Their first camping trip is this weekend.

Steve sang a beautiful solo at both services Sunday. Our choir joined another UMC's choir and performed a Schubert Mass.

Before church Sunday

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Q&A with Cooper D

Cooper practices at his first chess tournament two weeks ago. He won 2 out of 5 games!

  • Favorite color: Red
  • Favorite food: Ice cream
  • Favorite song: "Use Your Words" by The Sippy Cups
  • Favorite show: Magic School Bus
  • Favorite movie: Return of the Jedi
  • Favorite book: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire
  • Favorite drink: Apple juice
  • Favorite car: Baylen's monster trucks
  • Favorite friend: Cade
  • Favorite animal: Hippogriff
  • Favorite state: California
  • Favorite baseball team(s): Boston Red Sox and Frisco RoughRiders
  • Favorite comic book: Spiderman
  • Favorite magazine: Lego

Q&A with Katie

As answered this afternoon:

  • Favorite color: Pink
  • Favorite food: Maple syrup (Perhaps because we read If You Give a Pig a Pancake this morning?)
  • Favorite drink: Apple juice
  • Favorite car: Mommy's silver car
  • Favorite show: Super Readers (She means Super Why)
  • Favorite song: ABCs
  • Favorite animal: Pony
  • Favorite friend: Noe
  • Favorite book: Barnyard Dance

Monday, October 15, 2007

More from Mackinac

Arch Rock, a natural limestone formation, on the back side of the island

The beaches are rocky, and the views are beautiful.

Katie would jump right in if we let her. She loves the water.

One of the many colorful gardens on the island

Taking a break from our eight-mile bike ride around the island

Steve & I took a sunset cruise our first night there. The five-mile Mackinac Bridge, which is 50 years old this year, is behind us.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin patch

Katie & I and Reese & Allison met Friday morning at a nearby pumpkin patch. It was Reese's 2nd birthday, with a Hello Kitty party to come.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Four months later ...

Some photos from our fabulous stay on Mackinac Island, Michigan! Steve and I celebrated our 13th anniversary, and the four of us plus Jim, Betty and Jim celebrated Cooper's 6th birthday and the Fourth of July together. Cooper and Katie want to return as soon as possible. I expect we'll go back in a few years -- it was super relaxing, beautiful, perfect weather plus all the ice cream and fudge you can eat.

The island is the "Land of the Great Turtle." This turtle was in our hotel lobby.

The island is in middle of Lake Huron, between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.

For Cooper's birthday, we ate at The Woods, a restaurant run by the Grand Hotel.

The turtle was a popular photo spot.

We spent a few hours on the 4th at Fort Mackinac, where docents were in costume and a huge picnic dinner was served.

I think we all had at least one scoop of ice cream a day. Thankfully, there are lots of opportunities for biking and hiking!

This is one of the lookouts at the fort.

Spirit night

Katie's preschool had spirit night at Chuck E. Cheese yesterday. We sat with families from her class, ate and ran around. Steve had the tough job of keeping Katie off the playscape (or Habitrail, as he calls it), as we're still protecting her injury.

I don't really love Chuck E. Cheese. It's sensory overload for me -- the lights, sounds, smells, the mediocre pizza, all the people, the animatronic mouse with fading, unraveling fur. And a few years ago my wallet was stolen from my purse during a birthday party there. (We were celebrating Jeff's 50th -- he reasoned he'd never had a big deal party when he was little, so he made up for it that year. The thiefs went through a McDonald's drive-thru twice and then tried to buy a big-screen TV with one of my credit cards.)

Cooper and Katie, of course, love it -- especially the lights, sounds, pizza and the animatronic mouse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

An A-J reunion of sorts

I worked at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal for three and a half years. About two weeks before I left, Stacey began in the sports department. I vaguely recall her being there -- mostly because of her curly hair and the relative novelty of a woman in the A-J sports department.

A few years later, after I had been at the Morning News for a while, Stacey and I started working together on the CCI pagination project. We learned we shared a number of friends and loved discussing the legends of the A-J (some of whom are still there, Stacey reports).

Then, she moved on to the Washington Post, where she works with the two Michaels (Taylor and Ramey), also from our CCI project. I last saw her two years ago -- until this weekend. A group of us met for dinner -- all of us Lubbock exes except her friend from junior high. Three of us are NT Daily alums, too. It was great to catch up with everyone. Beth is now a Morning News reporter. John, who I worked with on the Regional desk, has a fancy job with NEC. And John's wife Caren, who I didn't meet until Dallas, is with JCPenney. (Caren is tall and apparently handy to have around, especially during confrontations!)

Stacey, Caren, me, Beth and Matt (John left early for a camping trip)

Monday, October 08, 2007


Cooper was MVP of Saturday's soccer game. It's always a surprise to the chosen player, but the parents know in advance -- we get a schedule at the beginning of the season. Each boy gets a turn. The MVP rotation coincides with the snack rotation, so I'll bet one of those boys will catch on soon.

When they do win, it's as if they've won an Oscar or the Heisman. So much jubilation! Our coach does a wonderful job praising the MVP and selecting specific qualities from the game to highlight. Cooper was singled out for his great defensive action. He is an awesome, scrappy defender, taking it personally each time a goal is scored, though there are no goalies yet (that happens in U09, I think). He doesn't really try to score goals, leaving that to his teammates. He's been that way since he started at age 4.

The game Saturday was messy, as you can see from the boys' white shorts. It rained the first half, and all those cleats beat up the field. As Katie would say, they were a messy mess. (More than one mom has remarked that a dad who doesn't do laundry obviously selected this season's uniform.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Back in the spring I worked almost nonstop (at least it felt that way) for four weeks on a project for Fodor's -- updating their DFW listings on restaurants, hotels, attractions, shopping and nightlife. (I know, I'm no nightlife expert.) The results are online now.

Special thanks to Laura, who sent me the job listing; adventurous diners Julie and Layne; my little family, who followed me on all kinds of field trips; Liz and Betty for the free babysitting services; and all my friends who offered suggestions!

In addition to learning a great deal about my hometown, I learned that I've mispronounced the company's name forever. Fodor's rhymes with voters. (I'm also no pronunciation expert. I'd be a terrible broadcast journalist.)