Friday, April 30, 2010

ROK Army Band

last night We took the older three kids to Norfolk, Virginia to see a performance by the Republic of Korea's Army Band. Each Spring, there is a Tattoo held in Virginia and military bands from around the world are invited to attend. The Korean Army attended two (or three) years ago and is attending this year as well. But they also offered a performance, just the Korean Army and no one else, last night. One of the mothers who also adopted a Korean born child through the agency we used is very good about staying abreast of all cultural opportunities. One of her contacts offered us tickets so several families were able to attend. Wow! It was a wonderful, wonderful performance.

As a westerner used to western music some of the notes from the horns took a while to adjust my ears to, however by the end of the concert I was able to enjoy them very much. Visually everything is beautiful. There is so much color and motion. And the drums, wow. The drums were AMAZING. They did a fan dance and then a dance of the "Chrysanthemum" and the honor guard did a gun drill. It was fabulous.

The final number was a traditional Korean song. Much of the audience were Korean American and they all began to sing. It was beautiful to experience this. Afterwards, as we excited, we heard drums again. The performers were making their way outside, doing an improve with the music and the dancers were twirling about. Dragon was a little shy but one of the drummers pulled Tiger into the mix and handed him a drum. The whole thing was so wonderful and celebratory and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have experienced it.

As we left a woman said, "they did a great job." "Yes," I answered. "I am Korean." she said, "And I am very proud of them." She should be proud. It was wonderful.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Q & A with Tim

Question: What changes do you see in yourself since becoming a parent?

Tim's Answer: been loosing my hair, sleep and money

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - dreaming of beach weather

It has been a while since I've joined A Southern Daydreamer for her Outdoor Wednesday fun, but I've got the waterfront on my mind and it seemed perfect. I love the sand in the spring and the fall, the way the light falls and the shadows that are created before the sun gets too hot and direct as it does in the summer.

April 18th we had our Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Watermen's Museum in Yorktown. They rent the Carriage House for receptions and graciously offered the venue to us for our fundraiser. Afterwards there was much running around the waterfront at the York River while the mums cleaned up.
There are some things about living in Virginia that really are fun!

Quick trip to Sarasota Florida

My grandparents have a place in Sarasota, Florida. Actually, it isn't a "place" it is a penthouse apartment on the beach - GORGEOUS!
On Friday I heard that my grandfather was back in the hospital. A few weeks ago he had his leg amputated at the knee due to complications from diabetes. Then he was moved to a facility called "Heartland" that my Aunt describes at "C rated." While there he developed a urinary tract infection and couldn't keep down food. He threw up for 3 days. Being a diabetic, not holding down food is that much more complicated than it is for the rest of us and the rest of us would have been miserable. My grandpa never allows himself to be miserable. Call him the day after open heart surgery, "how are you grandpa?" and he'll say "Never better!" It was a big deal that he was so miserable. So my Aunt fired his doctor, found him a concierge doctor, Dr. Todd.

Dr. Todd immediately moved him out of this Heartland place and back into the hospital to get him stabilized. I talked to him Friday on the phone while he was being admitted back into the hospital. I called my husband up at work and said, "I need to go to Florida." My husband, to his credit, never batted an eyelash. He called me two hours later with flight information.
So Saturday I got to see my Grandpa and my Grandma and my Aunt. Grandma has altheimers, it isn't too advanced yet. She knows who I am, and she knows where her husband is. She has to write everything down and she shouldn't be alone but she is doing okay still.

I haven't been to Sarasota in 10 years. I forgot how lovely it is. Shame I was only down for a day. But I got to walk the beach Sunday morning before we went to Mass. And we had a lovely dinner at the Chart House. And mostly it was just good to see my grandparents and give them hugs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Little League is the BEST entertainment

Dragon decided to play baseball this spring.

Actually, the story is: Tiger decided to play baseball. Then Tiger's friend C's dad was asked to coach soccer. He called my husband and they agreed to coach together. As soon as Tiger heard his dad was coaching he switched sports. In the meantime, I had signed up Tiger and Dragon for baseball so I withdrew Tiger but left Dragon's name in. THEN- My husband got a call. They didn't need him to coach after all. Quite a few tears from Tiger but the season had started already...

Last night was Dragon's first game. They are playing machine pitch and that machine shoots the balls at the boys rather fast to be honest. Quite a few swing slow and strike out. Dragon was up to bat second inning and connected on the first pitch! Hit down the first base line.

Dragon just stood there, not sure what to do. Coach is yelling, "run!" parents are clapping, other parents are hollering "go!" "run!" and what not. On the other end, the first baseman isn't sure if he should keep his foot on first base or run and fetch the ball. The other team's parents are hollering "pick it up!" "pitcher- get the ball" Between the two sides everybody is hooting and hollering. Finally Dragon starts to run the first and at the same time the first baseman runs forward to scoop it up and then dashes back to base. Dragon was out at first and continued to be utterly confused. The other side's coach gently headed him back toward his team while his own coach waved him out the pitcher's mound to give him a high 5. The whole thing was really cute.

Getting it all together for that game was a small miracle in itself. My husband has had a presentation due this week, is working at a client, has had two clients call for proposal's and has a trade show coming up in two weeks. Plus baseball isn't really his sport. On Tuesday the coach told me Dragon's glove was too small. I facebook a high school associate who coaches baseball and texted my brother in Texas - WHAT DO I BUY? HELP! My brother texted back. So I walked into Dick's Sports yesterday with my 5 yr old and 3 yr old girls and my phone. The very, very sweet sales guy asked if I was doing okay and I turned around with eyes as big as saucers and said, "clueless!" And handed him the phone with my brother's message. He smiled, showed me around, helped me pick a good beginner glove and bat and even found us baseball pants and a belt. Excellent. We have to take the bat back, 28 is too short. Like 3 inches too short. Dragon is TALL.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mad Hatter's Tea!

My 6th grader's English class is something else this year. She is in the gifted program, called "Visions" here. Her class has read; The Pigman, Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe, The Jungle Book, Henry the Fifth and is reading Killer Angels. Each 9 weeks they have to choose a book at 7th grade level or above to read and write a report on; she's read Heidi, Ballet Shoes, The Wizard of Oz and something else. In addition they are learning grammar, parts of speech style and vocabulary. They are working HARD! {all this and she is dyslexic. It takes a very long time to read a book!} And she loves the class. LOVES it. So when the teacher asked parents in March if they would be willing to purchase their student "Alice in Wonderland" as the final book for the year at $6.00 a copy I said yes. I even said I'd buy one for a student whose parent either could not or would not purchase the book. Unfortunately not enough parents said yes and K-Bear was SO BUMMED out about it.

So I said, lets think it over.

And I emailed the teacher and asked how many books were needed. 37. Simple math says 6 x 37 = $222.00. That seemed like a reasonable number to me. So I told my daughter we'd make it happen.

I sent out an email and received a response from the wife of the Director of the Watermen's Museum in Yorktown VA. They would offer us the use of the Carriage House, which seats 49 by order of the Fire Marshal. In addition, the director, Dave Niebuhr, is a balladeer at Colonial Williamsburg and had offered to wear his colonial attire and serve as our Mad Hatter. Brilliant. My daughter suggested a student in her class who enjoys acting, we sent her a message and she replied that she would "love!" to be Alice. And then I called a friend and asked if she would be the Queen of Hearts. She replied, "I was born to be Queen!" We figured if we charged 40 attendees $6.00 each then we'd make $240 and be clear. Just in case we offered a 50/50 raffle.

I spent Saturday baking cupcakes, a batch of chocolate iced in butter cream with sprinkles. A batch of banana iced in cream cheese icing to look like monkeys, a batch of mini strawberry, and red velvet covered in cream cheese icing and coconut. YUM! Other families contributed other goodies.

We raised $264.00 and the winner of our raffle donated their winnings back to the cause bringing us to over $300.00. YAY!


1st is: me, K-Bear, Dragon in yellow, Tiger and M-Lyons in front at Keystone.
picture 2: K-Bear on one ski. Yes, one ski. While M-Lyons was getting comfortable with a big mountain instead of the little runs she is used to, K was bored. So her dad challenged her to ski on one leg.
picture 3 is Dragon in the yellow. He likes for me to wear my pink pants so he can find me easily and I like to keep him in bright colors for the same reason.
That is Tiger taking the jump.
and way down there is a photo of me in the back bowl at Vail - LOTS of snow!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Basin

Arapahoe Basin is my favorite ski area. It changes just a little each time I visit which makes me sad - like it is getting more main stream and commercial and of course the owners need to be profitable and all that but what I've always loved about it is its bare bones ness. It is a fabulous mountain with fabulous terrain and no fancy hang outs or shops or anything and it attracts a great crowd.
Most of the gang had begged for a day off from skiing so it was just myself, Tim and K-Bear on the mountain. Sadly they've had so much warm weather that the snow from earlier in the week had melted a bit and then frozen so there was lot of 'chop' and what Tim calls 'crud.' I followed Tim and K-Bear to the East Wall but had a hard time on the crud and yanked my right leg around a bit and sat out the last two runs - but was entertained by a lovely Bernese Mountain dog named Porter and his tipsy owner.
It seems in the spring the locals get into 'retro' gear or some sort of thing - there were skiers in shorts, a LOT in spandex, and lots of very 80's colors.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bitsy skis

I haven't had too many pictures out here because Annice and Myon used to read my blog and after last fall I really haven't wanted to provide them with any more access to info about my kids. Go away Annice. Go away Myon.

Every morning when we gear up and head out to ski Bitsy says "Me too ski! Me too!" So today was our "off day." Since we don't ski as often as we'd like we usually ski two days and rest a day. Because of the new snow we skied three days and then took a day off. On our day off we bundled up Bitsy and took her over to Mountain House at Keystone. The older kids used to ski out of this area when they were on the Keystone Ski Team and there is a nice flat area along the bottom where M-Lyons first learned to 'skate' on her skis. It is also closed down, the lifts are not running this week, so very little traffic to deal with.

Bitsy was so excited she couldn't stand herself. "Grandma! Mommy yes ski!" "Grandma! Daddy yes ski!" But it didn't last too long. We buckled her into those ski boots and she started whining "Too big! Too tight!" Yes Bitsy, we know. Ski boots are supposed to be tight otherwise you'll break your knee. And then into the skis. That is always the challenge. You've got these heavy boots on your feet and then we add insult to injury and strap you into slippy boards. She did a little bit of sliding her feet but pretty much wasn't too into it. Tim took her for a short ride and we took them off. And that was Bitsy's first day on skis.

We ended the day with a drive through Breckenridge. Breck is a cool town that goes back to the gold rush days. It was originally a mining town and there are some neat old buildings there. There is also my new FAVORITE store! Magical Scraps boutique and studio, 310 Main St. Breckenridge, CO. They even have a web site! Fabulous fabrics and independent artisans and the entire vibe is amazing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blue Sky Basin

taken with an iphone so a bit dark - but you get the idea :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

mmm... lots and lots of snow

YAY SNOW! Yes it is April and in the Northern Hemisphere people are looking towards spring, warm weather, daffodils, flowering trees and what not. I hear in my home town it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend. And here I am, taking a plane to get to snow. Oh and how! Here in the Colorado Rockies they've had a record month of April so far.

We skied Keystone Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Today was supposed to be our day off, but a storm came through Tuesday and Vail received 32 inches of snow in the last 48 hours. HEAVEN! So we pushed our legs and skied today as well- Vail's Blue Sky Basin. Gorgeous. K-Bear and Tiger went with myself & Tim, Dragon, M-Lyons and Bitsy stayed with Grandma at the condo. I could feel dad smiling at us. He loved to ski. We skied trees, lots of powdery stuff, steep lines, Tiger's ski style is perfect for powdery conditions and he did fine. K-Bear is a racer and used to flat, icy slopes, this pushed her a bit but she got the hang of it. I felt like I was all over the place, but Tim videoed a bit and I don't look half bad! By 2 PM though my legs were shot and I had to sit out a run. We made it back to the front side of Vail and Tiger wanted to ski the "Magic Forest" even though we'd been skiing trees all day in the Basin.

Crazy fun day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Just call me Grace

You ever feel like your life could beat any reality t.v. show out there? I was trying so hard not to laugh this morning because we could've been in a movie or something.
We are on a ski vacation. Woo-Hoo! We weren't meant to have one this year but the husband's company sold some serious hardware in January and he gives himself the AmEx points to make up for his reduced salary. Sooo... his travel points plus his AmEx points and here we are. For example, our rental car for 13 days, after AmEx points, costs $70.00. The plane tickets and the lift tickets are all on points. We are paying for our accomodations but heck, you can't have everything!
Anyway - Tim and I usually begin our day at 5 AM. That would be 3 AM in this time zone. So he was up by 5 AM here. He was awake and throwing ingredients for "Ed's Chili" in the crock pot and then making lunches and packing them (each kid wears their own camel pack while skiing) and then Bitsy was up because she was hungry so I made pancakes and by 7 AM every one was awake. Goodness! And then gearing up and finding everything and Tim so anxious to get out there and ski that he is fussing at everybody.
And once we had our passes and were in line for the gondola, no one could keep their skis together. So my expert skier kids are in line with their skis sliding into xs and they are dropping their poles and we generally look like a bunch of idiots. A bunch of idiots with racing skis and racing bindings and Lange racing boots with so many buckles it looks like braces for your feet. I kept thinking of that baseball movie from when I was a kid, something bears? Bad news something? That is what we looked like!
But finally, finally we made it to the top and we had several glorious runs. It snowed all day and the fresh layer felt wonderful.
And then in for lunch, I needed to be on video! Tim told me that my sandwich had no dressing, no mayo, or mustard or anything and to go to the ketchup bar and fix it up. (We were inside one of the lodges, which are very bag lunch friendly) so I opened up my sandwich and went to pump a bit of mustard onto it. A stream of bright yellow most likely French's mustard shot out, arched right over my sand which and splattered on my white, yes WHITE ski pants. I'm talking a yellow streak from just below my waist band to mid thigh on my left leg. I looked like I'd just had a run in with a very excited St. Bernard. Oh dear! So I wiped it off as best I could and I'm still waiting to see how it comes out in the wash! I may have to splatter paint the entire pants with mustard and try to make it look like it was done on purpose if I can't get it to wash out.
I still can't quite believe it.

Tomorrow is Easter. I wish you all a very happy Easter filled with light, love and blessings.

Friday, April 2, 2010

airplanes and small people

I grew up traveling and while I am sure I wasn't in an airplane more than twice a year it feels like I was. I am an airplane pro... so it struck me funny yesterday that the kids were so excited. But I'd forgotten, I haven't taken my kids on an airplane in 4 years! Bitsy flew from Korea to Japan, to California to Virginia, in 2007 and hasn't been on a plane since. M-Lyons was last on a plane... ummm... I can't remember when!
They were hysterical in the airport. Hyped, way, way up and all over the place. Look mom! at the escalator. Look mom! at the elevator with glass. Look mom! at the the vendors. LOOK MOM! at the candy! Look mom! at the airplanes outside. Next time your preschooler is bored, I highly suggest a trip to the airport.
And then we boarded. 7 of us. If only people had to pay to stare, we could go on another vacation immediately. And then it was 15 minutes of pulling all the magazines and cards and things out of the seat pocket in front of us. And Bitsy kept asking "all done?" and finally we were boarded and pushing back. They did fabulous. I was worried that the one who doesn't like noises would find take-off and landing to be too much but she did just great. Gum was a wonderful distraction. And the ipod. I love my ipod. Bitsy has a stash of self videos and she keeps herself entertained for nearly an hour just looking at them. The kids thought it was so amazing that we got drinks for free - woohoo - and it was still light out so they could see the ground below falling away during take off and growing closer during the approach.
Our second flight came in over a bit of turbulence. It was interesting. At one point you could hear a bit of whining, almost like a whale, as we dipped and bumped, and I could literally feel the pilot controlling the plane. I've never been in turbulence quite like that and I've been in plenty of planes and had plenty of bumpy rides. Funny, the kids were asleep and nobody woke up. We took the shuttle to the hotel and (yay me, I had all the pjs packed into one small bag) got into bed quickly and went right back to sleep. Hopefully the rest of the week goes as well!