Friday, October 29, 2010

okay, the mummy wrap?

The Mummy Wrap Game gets its own entry.

This game--was made up like 8 or 9 years ago. All it consists of is a race to wrap partners in toilet paper. We don't want no cryin' or screamin', so we pass out rolls of toilet paper, have the grand ONE-TWO-THREE-GO! and then that's the end of it. The one who announce they're done first, we cheer. Others claim they are the winner, we cheer. No losers, no prizes, just a lot of wildness and mess.

These are the pictures:

what on earth have they splattered on the lens of my camera??

This game is so incredibly popular. The first time we did it, I was amazed by the absolute GLEE as they threw themselves into it.

Can you believe this year I forgot the toilet paper? Jay had to rush to the grocery store and get some before we ate.

Okay, after this was all over, like every year, I felt disturbed by the waste of perfectly good toilet paper. I gathered up as much as I could, stuffed it into a number of grocery bags, and put one in the bathroom off my parents' bedroom. The others I set aside in the utility room in the basement.

My parents claim it's difficult to make use of ripped up scraps of toilet paper. It just does not work very well. But still.

Thanks you two for hosting this most magnificent party. love you more than you can imagine, Val

oh a party

Tonight was the Halloween party at my parents.

It was loud, and rowdy, and awesome. At one point my mom said her head was swimming. I teased her, "At least none of them brought their dogs." She hooted.

(Anyway, this marks the one year point of this blog too, by the way. I started it at the end of October a year ago.)

So, pictures from the party:

little jay is in a child's dinosaur costume, and james made that washing machine costume today.

i had her turn around to show off the chipmunk on her back. what the meaning of the chipmunk is, we do not know. that's lydia, btw.


that's Jay--he's a Chilean miner.

these three cuties--my nieces and my sister

rapella rescue heroes in the kitchen

these two, the hosts--i hope they went to bed and are not still cleaning up.

Happy Halloween. love, Val


James is a very laid back person.

He doesn't get excited about much. He doesn't get mad very often, doesn't ever cause trouble or smart off to us.

But this super relaxed aspect of him also sometimes makes me nuts, like when I'm in a hurry, or have my hands full, and there he is, looking like he has no idea what to do.


A couple-a times...

in that situation...

Okay this isn't very nice of me, but I've hollered, "Use your hands! They're attached to your arms!"

I am told the last time I lost it and did this, he muttered to the other kids, "I hate it when she tells me where my hands are."

Yeah. Nice, eh?

Jimmy, pretty much everyone would hate that.

I'm sorry, honey.

It's true, sometimes I'm not very nice, and there are a number of things over this last thirty years I wish very much I could do over. love, Mom

Thursday, October 28, 2010

pretty nice

I like it! (There must have been a ton of guts in there.)

love, Mom

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

a fine party

Tonight we celebrated Kirsten's birthday, and though the wind was howling and rain pounding against the windows, it was lovely, cozy, perfect.

In the clutter and the racket, the grandsons and grand dogs running all over, our own beast Sam pacing around, it was just a darn lotta fun.

Kirsten invited her friend Meghan too, who is a charming girl, and we ate ham and cheesy potatoes, green beans from my parents' garden (with half a stick of butter thrown on top by Jay,) salad, homemade pickles, Leinenkugel beer, and a big, fat chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.

There were stunts in one of the stairways involving yarn and a baby doll strapped in a dolly car seat. It made me think of Sid, that horrible child in Toy Story, but...yeah. Okay.

Little Jay rode home from college with Dannell, and gosh it was good to see him. He hugged me so tight, I think he was glad to see me too. I KNOW these two were happy to see each other.

Anyway, a few pictures from the evening--

b.g. getting a ride in a laundry basket.

dannell's niece m.c. and lydia--i don't know what's up with that smile

Okay, this made me laugh. See Dannell holding b.g. on her lap? And l.c. weeping and interfering? Jealous. When Kirsten was l.c.'s age, she talked in plain English, in full sentences. When I was holding a friend's baby, she climbed up beside me and gave the baby a shove and said, "Go get on your OWN mom." Whoa. I'm sure she spoke for babies everywhere.

dan with julia, john, heidi

Oh, Happy Birthday, You. We could not love you more. love, Mom and Dad

Monday, October 25, 2010

the little sister

That's her.

First we had two boys, a year apart. Then four years later, we had two girls, two years apart. We had the big brothers and the little sisters.

And it was like that for five and a half years until Baby Jay came along and hit the family like some kind of crazy explosion.

kirsten and baby jay

But back to her. When I say little, it's true. She was the youngest, but she was also tiny. Minute. Eight and a half pounds when she was born (an entire pound for just her cheeks, I think) but only 18 pounds by a year and a half.

She walked at nine months, talked by a year. At nine months, she was so little she still wore those newborn drawstring baby gowns as nightgowns. One morning she was digging in a laundry basket full of toys. I was lying on the floor nearby, realized how fast she was growing up and teased her, "Oh, just lie down and be little!" She laughed and ran away, and the string tagging along across the floor reminded me of Sweet Pea from Popeye.

And yet, she wouldn't walk anywhere, made me carry her around while she twirled my hair. Other kids walked and acted like it was no particular hardship. Nope, not her. She'd clutch my legs and howl, "Uppy! Uppy!" Yes, uppy. I saw a National Geographic special on orangutans and thought how cool that would be if I could just toss her up on my back.

The other kids slept at night. Not her. Even as a baby, her bedtime was 1 am. This is when I became a Letterman fan, back when he was on at like midnight. By the time she was a few months old, I just gave up waiting for her to get tired and took her to bed with us at 11. One night as she perched between us, she said, "Mom. Dad. What about David Yetterman?"

"Yeah? What about the man? We are sleeping."

"Ohhh. Right."

She was an agile little elf who could climb the door frames, the appliances, the trees. Later she was an agile athlete, a fierce competitor. I admired it--the scrappiness, the attitude, the boldness of her, the ways she was nothing like me and everything like herself. We've laughed how the smallest little girl ended up with this particular part of her dad so prevalent. That, and the sense of adventure. She gets that from HIM.

throwing coins in the fountain in rome

kirby and her friend, laura

But now she's all grown up, and it's been an awesome ride so far. To the future, Kirby. This family is so perfect with YOU in it. Thanks for being our girl. love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, October 24, 2010

rainy, dark weekend

This taken from the upstairs window. That's our neighbor, Bob, pulling out his dock.

Another angle, sigh.

But we did have a good time, cards, and deep fried cheese curds, movies, the video games, the art projects, and even some running around outside in the rain.

One card poker, and this guy feels he's losing. Of course it's far too early in the game to tell, but he's just mad.

James amusing l.c. with game pieces

We closed up part of the place, took out the boat and dock.

It's all good. All summers must end.

And then we came home to celebrate a little. This girl is turning 24 today, yes she is.

We'll have a party in a couple days, another cake and all that, but today couldn't pass without at least this. Happy Birthday Honey, and may this be the BEST year yet. love, Mom