Friday, March 28, 2008


Lizzie and Audrey have been at it again.

Wednesday night, we finally had the kids all tucked in, and Adam and I were doing the dishes. Out comes Lizzie at 9:30 pm, all flustered.

"Mom! You have to call Audrey's parents!"

"Why? What's wrong?"

"We had a plan to meet at the greenbelt tonight at 12:00. I had my alarm set, but I just turned it off because I'm too tired. I won't be there to meet Audrey, so you have to call her parents!"

Adam and I are scraping our jaws off the floor. Lizzie goes on:

"She is going to bring the muffins, and I'm supposed to bring the flashlights."

Oh, sure. Yes, flashlights will keep you safe from all the evils of the world you might face. And if not, you can bribe people with the muffins. Sneak out and eat muffins in the middle of the night. Great idea. Is she aware that she just turned 8, not 18?

Lizzie goes back to bed. 20 minutes later, she's in the kitchen again.

"Did you call Audrey's parents yet?? If you don't call, she'll be there all alone!"

I did talk to Lisa that night, who said Audrey told her about this "Plan" earlier that afternoon, but said she wasn't actually going to do it. At least one of these girls has some sense in her! I told Lisa she better check her alarm clock, just in case!

"Lizzie, can you think of any other reason why it might not be a good idea to be out in the middle of the night with no adults?"

Lizzie thinks and then says: "Well there aren't any burglars in our neighborhood, are there?"

Oh child. My daughter with the vivid imagination, but still innocent spirit, burglars are the least of the scenarios I can conceive!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ivy's gotten a bad rap on the blog lately, so...

Here's the reasons why she's the BEST:

1. Her super soft skin

2. Her lisp

3. Lately she's discovered "Dora" - we have a tape she watches over and over, and she knows all the words to say, and she totally talks back to the t.v. - it's so cute!

4. She doesn't give anything away. She won't smile at you just to be nice, believe me. I love that. You always know how she feels.

5. She loves dinner, and as soon as she sees me getting it ready, she'll set herself a place at the table and sit down till we're ready.

6. When she colors, she'll use a crayon from the box, and then she'll line each crayon up on the table when she's finished with it. She'll go through the whole box this way!

7. She calls Family Prayer "Funny Prayer."

9. I came around the corner in the library today and saw her sitting on a little kid chair with her legs dangling "reading" board books from a basket and then piling them up on the chair next to her.

10. She has the sweetest singing voice ever.

11. Her bedhead.

12. She totally got Deborah when we were out visiting in UT:

Deborah: Ivy? What's my name? Do you remember my name?

Ivy: Mommy.

Deborah: Noooo...try again, what's my name?

Ivy: Whitney.

Deborah: Nope!

Ivy: Grandma.

Deborah: Try again!

Ivy: Matt.

Deborah: No, silly! What's my name?

Ivy: Uncle Tom.

(Finally at this point Deborah realized she's being punked by a 2 year old)

Deborah: Okay, Ivy, what's my name?

Ivy: Chocolate.

Now Deborah (Chocolate) has a new nickname!

There. That should balance things out!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don't some songs just make you wanna Drive?

Every time this song (the first one) comes on the radio, I feel like driving and driving with the windows down and eventually stopping at an underground night club and joining the band and singing this song all night long.

Especially on a day like today, when I was half-way to Eli's swimming class and Ivy started throwing up. Everywhere. It took Eli's whole class for me to clean up Ivy and the car. And then Ivy had nothing to wear. Luckily, there was a Goodwill right next door, so I went in and bought her an outfit for $3.00. Awesome.

Adam probably wants to drive off too, after tonight. As he was driving to an Eagle Project review with one of his boys, a loosely-capped water bottle overturned and leaked onto the driver's seat. With the one tissue in the Kleenex box left in the car after our earlier incident, he mopped up his seat as best he could at a stop light. But, as luck would have it, at a sharp turn, all the pooled up water in the back of the seat gushed forward and his pants got drenched. I'm sure that wasn't exactly the kind of impression he was going for, but with 14 year-old boys present, you can never tell.

So, if you're having a day like that, just turn up the music, and imagine yourself in a great outfit singing with a band. yeah. that's better.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Camping at the Lost Dutchman State Park

Happy Easter!

Hope you enjoy our pictures! (These were all taken before the sleepless night - that's why people are still smiling!)

There is picture below which I shall entitle "Underwear aFlambe" and the story is that Lizzie, dear Lizzie, forgot to pack herself a change of undies. As you can see in the pictures, Eli and Lizzie boldly got into the very chilly Canyon Lake and got soaking wet. Wet translates to cold in about 10 minutes after the sun goes down in the desert, and it's hard to get warm with wet clothes on. It took some time, but I finally convinced Lizzie to hand me her underwear, and while she was barracading herself in the tent, we dried them undies as quick as we could - on a hot dog stick over the bbq fire.

I said, "Lizzie, don't worry, I won't blog about this - you'll be too embarrassed" and she said

"Blog about it, I don't care. Blog about my underwear!"

Which of course became our new chant for the night.

Soon enough, we had her in dry and very warm undies, and the world was a much better place!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Letter of Complaint

Dear Miss Ivy,

I'm writing you to inform you that the campsite you stayed in last night received several complaints of a child your age and description "disturbing the peace." By that I mean loud outcries concerning flies, imaginary or otherwise, during all hours of the night. I know these insects are not necessarily hygeninic, but in cases of outdoors situations, flexibility must be observed. I'm sure you have the best interest of our campers in mind, as do we, and we need to remember that the walls are thin. Very thin. In fact, there are no walls. Sound travels far and wide in these parts. Also, please be aware that houseflies cannot sting or bite, so really the best course of action in the case of an encounter would be to shoo them away.

Now, I need to enlighten you on the physics of an air mattress. You see, when your parents so graciously took you into their tent after you expressed your extreme distress over possible houseflies entering your vicinity, they let you sleep on the air mattress with them. But when one moves on an air mattress, the air underneath that area of the mattress is displaced, pushing up somewhere else, usually causing waves underneath where your mother was sleeping, waking her up. This occurred uninterrupted between the hours of 3:00 am to 6:00 am. Your mother was not sleeping, and she was not happy.

Yes, we are very aware that a pack of coyotes was prowling the area last night, and kept the howling going that you started. I know Mrs. Stewart was considering offering you to them as a token of peace, solving two problems at once, so that we could all get some sleep, but thankfully, she reconsidered at the last second, and the pack ran off.

So, I urge you to be grateful, Miss Ivy, that you are still with your family this morning. Please reconsider your camping etiquette before returning to our campground, for your own sake, and for the good of your family.

The Arizona State Parks Noise and Disturbance Committee

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lizzie's Baptism Day

Today, I have finally had a chance to go through all the letters and cards that were given to Lizzie on her baptism day, and I'm so overwhelmed with the sweet words people wrote to her! They are all treasures.

Some people wrote poems to Lizzie to remember her day:

We all love to hear when you sing,
Your voice is so clear that it rings.
Your face shines so bright
With a baptism light.
Don't forget - on your finger's a string!
--Grandma Vickie

You were baptized today, We have seen
how much that moment can mean.
Everyone on that day
has their sins washed away,
but you are three times as clean!
--Fred and Vicki Voros

(Lizzie had to get baptized 3 times since hands and dress kept popping out of the water!)

Beautiful - inside and out
Affectionate - with family and friends
Patient - with yourself and others
Truthful - in all you say and do
Inquisitive - in learning new things
Sympathetic - to those in need
Mindful - of the needs of others
--Anne Wilde

On Saturday, March 15th, Lizzie was baptized by her father. It was so nice to be able to do her baptism in Salt Lake City with so many family able to come. Afterwards, we had a brunch at my parents' house. What a special day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good news!

I have been chosen to sing with a small group (6 women) in an upcoming Phoenix Symphony Concert! It's a concert version of the opera Ainadamar by Golijov, an Argentinian composer. And the exciting part is that we're singing with Dawn Upshaw!

We get the music next week, and I think the idea is that we're Spanish singers in the tradition of "I Want to Be in America" from West Side Story.

Should be lots of fun!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Top 10 Things we did in NYC but didn't have a picture of:

1. We saw Glenn Close! I know I already told you that, but I think this celebrity sighting warrants an extra spot on my blog.

2. We were there for the duration of the Eliot Spitzer scandall. The whole city was a-buzz with the jaw-dropping news. We thought about going in person to watch the jerk resign, but decided not to waste our time. You should have seen all the cameras outside his apartment!! The guys walked past it near the Met Museum.

3. When we went to the play, Cat on a H.T.R., with an all-black cast, the audience was about 85% black. Our audience took on a character of its own, with all the shouting out and "talking back to the screen" as they call it. Anyway, at one point in the play, when Maggie is trying to get her husband in bed with her, she calls out "Brii-iick" and a fellow from the back yelled out "Yeah?"

4. Churrascaria: A Brazilian Restaurant, famed in our family from the last time we were there, May 2004. John Morley had just finished 3 weeks of finals at Yale, and had forgotten to eat most of that time. When presented with an opportunity of an inexhaustible amout of food at Churrascaria, he went ape-wild and ate and ate and ATE!! We had all finished long before him, and he was still getting more and more meat and food, and none of us have ever seen the likes of it before or since. It was legendary, and we figured that it's probably taken the restaurant these four years to recover their financial losses from the last time John Morley ate there. We tried to recreate the moment when we went there again on Thursday, but without starving ourselves for 3 weeks prior, we paled in comparison to the first time. The legend lives on...

5. Mom and I got to sit in on Erin's voice lesson at her teacher's amazing apartment (previously owned by Michael J. Fox) overlooking the lake at Central Park. As in, a 20 ft. long wall of windows in which to look over the lake. It was gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Amazing. Loved it.

6. On Day 3, we walked around SoHo before going to Chinatown, famous for its unique boutiques, supermodels, and wannabe supermodels. Erin and I started counting, and within 20 minutes we'd spotted 13 such species. They are easily recognizable when you look for these traits: Firstly, by the sound of their heels clicking on the sidewalk, long before you see them. 2nd, by their blue steel stare straight ahead. 3rd, the kitchy clothes. 4th, you can't see them if they turn sideways. And finally, 5th, the best giveaway, is by their treatment of a walk down the street as an opportunity to practice their runway strut.

7. Adam and I were hungry at 2 am one night, so we went around the corner to Ray's Pizza, which luckily was open till 3 and got some pizza. And we weren't the only ones there. And Ray's Pizza wasn't our only option.

8. We prepared all the food for the party in E & J's apartment (a feat in and of itself), and then put it all in bags, and carried it all to J & D's apartment. We were each carrying 2 grocery bags full of plates with the food wrapped up on it - crazy! Manhattan sure does make it difficult to do the most simple things!

9. President Bush was coming to NYC the morning we were leaving for the airport, which made it difficult to get a cab, since they'd closed off the street in front of our hotel.

10. As we were waiting for said cab, whom should I see crossing the street, but my friend from the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, of course! It was so bizarro!! She was there on a business trip, and we happened to be on the same street corner in Manhattan at the same time. And I just saw her at choir again in Phoenix tonight. Wow.

Bonus: Did I mention that Erin was Awesome in Peter Grimes? Well, she was. I was so proud of her making this huge dream a reality after so many years of hard work. She sounded incredible, and her acting was stellar. It was so cool to be able to see it in person, and I'm so glad I was there.

Watch out, opera world, this girl's comin' on the scene and she's about to steal the show!

Day 3 on NY Trip: Chinatown, Debut Party at Janet & David's

Day 2 on NY Trip: MoMA, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Dizzy's Jazz Club

Day 1 on NY Trip: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Opera

We're Back!!

We rolled into the garage about midnight last night, and now, Lizzie and Eli are at school, Adam's at work and Ivy's happily rediscovering her toys.

What shall I do?! Loads and loads of laundry? Learn the music for my audition tonight? Unpack?

How about blog about our trip. Yeah. I think I'll do that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Celebrity Sighting!!

Ohmygosh!! We just walked past Glenn Close!!

We saw her walking her dogs on 81st and Central Park West, and Dad was the first to notice! She looks great in person, she was just wearing jeans and had her cute blonde hair cut short.

Other excitements of the day:

We rode in a taxi in traffic. The driver was getting honked at by the van behind us, and our driver was weaving around all kinds of obstacles like a pro. None of this is unusual. But then, we got hit by the van behind us. Yes, we got in a crash in Midtown Manhattan in a taxi. It wasn't too serious. We got out and started walking to find another taxi. And we didn't pay for that ride!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Whitney sang in the talent show at her middle school this morning! What a girl! She sang Taylor Swift's "Our Song" and it was awesome. Look what a cutie she is.

Then we hopped on a flight, and now we're in Manhattan! Here's the view from our hotel window:

And now I lay me down to sleep...

Sunday, March 9, 2008


We're on a trip!

Yesterday's part included 10 1/2 hours of driving through Arizona and Utah:

Today, we celebrated Lizzie and her Grandma Vickie's twin birthday (both March 10th!):

Tomorrow Adam and I leave for NYC! Can't wait!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Simple Machines give you Power!

As I looked at what I was scheduled to teach our co-op preschool this week, I think I started to hyperventilate: Simple Machines. I knew our group of kids would really enjoy it, but I couldn't help thinking back to Junior High and the class where I received the lowest grade I've ever received. I'm too ashamed to tell you what that grade was, but, it's the same letter that starts the word I thought to myself after I saw it. Anyway, the class was Woodworking, and it involved understanding not only simple machines, but hydraulics and other such complexities. It wasn't happening for me, and I haven't recovered in the physics area since.

But, simple machines must be taught.

Well, I might not be good at physics, but I am good at delegating to talented people, so I got the job done through my much-more physics-minded husband! Adam was on the job, and took the kids through levers, wedges, screws, pulleys, wheels and axles, and gears. They were completely entranced. We used the Super-Hero capes to teach that "machines give you Power that makes work easier" and we had them try to lift the bucket of bricks by themselves, and then put the cape on and try again with a simple machine such as a pulley or a lever. They loved it, and I think they understood the concept! Maybe this will prevent them from having the same experience I had in 7th grade!

At the end, I gave them all a quiz by printing a page of these pictures, and they had to label what simple machine was shown. See how you do on our quiz! :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

So, the other night I was lying in bed...

...admiring our new bedspread that I bought last month. I love the colors, and the checkerboard pattern...And suddenly, it dawned on me: I've seen this pattern before! Wait - it's more than that...I created this pattern! And I instantly remembered...this! (Look carefully at the checkerboard pattern...)
This is one of the "Enrichment-At-A-Glance" posters I made last January 2006 when I was the Enrichment leader. The idea was that we would have these hanging in different areas at church, and the women could just "glance" at it and see what was happening that month. We had been getting complaints that the women never knew what was going on. These posters stopped all complaints. "You don't even have to read!" we told them.

I suppose that a therapist might tell me that my subconscious misses being the enrichment leader (I was released last November) and that's why I picked this bedspread out last month.

Or maybe my subconscious saw that Enrichment calander pattern and instantly felt an inexplicable exhaustion and a desire to get some more sleep.

Either way, I can't go to bed now without thinking that maybe I should go to Book Club or Scrapbooking this week!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tsk, tsk, Miss L!

We love Lizzie's 2nd grade teacher this year, Miss L. She is fun, energetic and a great teacher.

But we're a little concerned about her teaching the second graders grammar...

Look carefully at the last entry. Notice my penciled in note, and her penned correction (I)! I mean, it's one thing to write with poor grammar, but to correct a parent's note incorrectly!

Oh my.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Those Crazy Stewarts!

Adam started cleaning out the pool. As soon as the kids caught wind of it, they high-tailed it for their suits and jumped in!

By all accounts, the water was COLD. For heaven's sake! It's an unheated pool, and it's still technically winter!

Ivy and I are the only sane ones in this bunch!! :)