Go Gators! myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics 2007 National Champs x 2

Saturday, May 19, 2007

No Time To Do Much of Anything....

Between baby showers (2 of them), dances (2 of them), birthdays (I forgot the number), trips to theme parks, pool parties, putt putt golf hole construction, volleyball tournaments, awards desserts, last minute school projects, mountains of dirty laundry and dishes and most important, planning and packing for my trip to finally welcome Heidi home.....I have not had much time for blogging. Look at this, hopefully laugh, and I promise loads of pictures and amusing anecdotes when I get back.

Much love.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Prom 2007, Part Two

Jerad lines up and does the limbo.

Mack and Julie. There seemed to be a shortage of chairs all night.

Marsh adds his spin on the limbo routine.

More of me stalking Brett and Laura.

The party danced to the macarena, YMCA and some sort of chicken dance.

Becca and her beautiful dress.

Some took their shoes off, some kept them on....

And still the beat went on......

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Walk on the Red Carpet, the Junior-Senior Prom, 2007

Marsh and Ashley agree to pose for pictures behind her lovely home on the lake.

Brett and Laura had a fabulous time and, from the looks of things, I think they prefer each others company to anyone's. Both thought I was stalking them until it was revealed I promised Brett's mom, Jodi, I would take pictures.

I am not sure who the girl in black is, but the one in red is Christa, one of my favorite people and a good friend of Marsh's. You have seen Christa before. She played 'The Matchmaker', Mrs. Dolly Levi last fall.

Stevie and Lynn enjoy a night out. They were the only couple I saw doing the tango. Marsh and Daron agreed, this color blue is perfect for Lynn.

Every good dance demands everyone does the limbo. Thank goodness I was too busy to join in.

More later. I am too busy packing.

Monday, May 14, 2007

On Being Mom
by Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author

If not for the photographs, I might have a hard time believing they ever existed. The pensive infant with the swipe of dark bangs and the black button eyes of a Raggedy Andy doll. The placid baby with the yellow ringlets and the high piping voice. The sturdy toddler with the lower lip that curled into an apostrophe above her chin.

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.

There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it
done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity.

That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were....

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cinco de Putt Putt

This past Friday, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo at TMA. Though it was officially Quattro de Mayo, hotter than cayenne pepper, and before we could all get away safely an ambulance was called, we still had a tremendously good time.

Cinco de Mayo (translated as "The Fifth of May" in Spanish) is the date observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. A common misunderstanding in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day. It’s not. Mexico's Independence Day is September 16 (Dieciséis de septiembre), and is celebrated with food, music and fireworks like we celebrate the 4th of July in the United States.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations include food, drink, music and dancing. We played mini-golf or ‘putt putt’ and had a soccer match. I couldn't find any documentation of Cinco de Mayo celebrations being celebrated with miniature golf and soccer, but what do I know?

Remarkably, after much research, I found more information about mini-golf than Cinco de Mayo!

This year on May 12, 2007, National Miniature Golf Day will have its inaugural celebration. Yes, from now on, every second Saturday of May will be National Miniature Golf Day. It is officially recognized and will be published in 2008's edition of Chase's Calendar of Events. Who says we aren’t on the cutting edge and ahead of our time?

Miss Matz, you knew this all along, right?

Minigolf was developed from golf during the 19th century. The best candidate as the "first minigolf course in the world" is the Ladies' Putting Club of St. Andrews in Scotland, which was founded in 1867, and is still operating and open to the public. This 18-hole course of putting greens, called "the Himalayas", was founded by some members of the notorious Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews. Women had become interested in the game of golf, but conservative social norms of the era deemed it 'unacceptable' for women to publicly perform the violent movements that swinging a golf club requires. Therefore, an 18-hole course of short putting greens was constructed for women – apparently the first "miniature golf course" in the world.

In the early years, minigolf was extremely fashionable among movie stars and celebrities. During the 1930's, there were approximately 30,000 mini-golf courses throughout the country with over 150 rooftop courses in New York City alone!

Americans were hooked on miniature golf because here was a sport that any gender, any age could excel without being a well-conditioned athlete and an estimated four million Americans played miniature golf.

After the stock market crash of 1929, regulation minigolf links became too expensive for most people to afford. In spite of this, the desire to play this most popular game continued to flourish. The ingenuity of the players during this depressed period of American History spawned what became known as "Rinkiedink" golf. Undaunted by convention, enthusiastic players would use any space available to set up these unique and crazy courses. Due to the need for lights at night, many of these courses were built under a brilliantly illuminated billboard sign with the playing surface made of a clay or hard sand surface. There was even a green dye called "Grassit" which was used to color the ground to look like grass.

The first trade name mini course was developed and called ‘Tom Thumb Golf’. This course became the miniature golf most people know today as minigolf with an obstacle course and play-through hazards. Outdoor courses were landscaped with trees, flowers, shrubs, rookeries and fountains with umbrellas, easy chairs and snack bars to round off the ambiance. Look here for some really great old mini golf courses.

Indoor courses required imitation as well as miniaturization and came with their own set of design imperatives: ceilings were painted blue, supporting columns disguised as oaks or palms, and walls covered with canvas murals depicting open countryside or famous fairways. Balconies were transformed into clubhouses or verandas, offering drinks, snacks and rooms to gamble or play bridge. Some courses even provided caddies.

Public courses were open to anyone with a quarter or fifty cents. Miniature golf was one of the first outdoor sports that could be played at night – along with baseball and football. People could play an after-dinner round, purchase a combination movie and golf ticket or prolong a night at the theater by stopping on the way home to play in evening dress until the wee hours of the morning. Wanamaker's, the giant department store chain, featured Tom Thumb Fashions ~ "When you're Lilli-putting on the Miniature Golf Course ... remember your Clothes Technique!" Tom Thumb jackets with berets were $19.50.

Jump forward to the mid-1990's, and you find miniature golf ‘country club-designed courses’ holding the interest of players. Today's modern course features miniature replicas of regulation golf's "Famous Holes" complete with undulations, contours, moguls, water, sand & vegetation traps on the greens. Thus miniature golf now offers the player many of the challenges of real golf!

Though minigolf courses can be found in all parts of the world (the American Putt-Putt company had exported their minigolf courses to South Africa, Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil and the Eastern Block by the 1950s) their popularity is by far highest in the United States, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and central Europe. In addition, there are pro mini golf tournaments held both nationally and internationally and a Pro Mini Golf Hall of Fame.

Muchos gracias to Janet for the fabulous pictures and to the US Pro Mini Golf Association for the info.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My Dearest Heidi:

7,788 miles from home.

After all these months ~ way over a year ~ you will soon, finally, be back on American soil. Back where we can hug you and kiss you and never let you go again. I am counting the minutes, my bag is packed. I can't believe you are finally coming home. I will be there when your plane lands.

We are so proud of you, Sergeant. Proud of what you set out to do with your life, proud of how far you have come. Proud of what you will continue to do, where you will go, the lives you will touch. Lives you'll touch like you have touched my life, all of these 26 years.

Welcome home, Heidi, we have been waiting for you.