Franny was lucky enough to be a part of a pilot program offered by a graduate student for music therapy for about eight weeks. The graduate student presented on the group at Truman University here in Kirksville and she invited me to come and listen to it. After it was over one of the other parents in the group asked me if I had heard about the puppet show that was happening that afternoon on campus. I hadn't, so I walked over to check it out and found a lot of families we love to hang out with. I called Bobby (who had just taken the girls to the park) to see if he could bring the girls to the university so we could go. He rushed over, but just so we could sit and wait for another half hour before the puppet show started. It was all worth it though. It was a very cute production and one of the dancers came and hand-picked Franny along with a few other kids to come and dance on stage! She was so thrilled. She couldn't stop talking about it all day and into the night. "Mommy, did I dance with the ballerinas?" The next day she even asked me to do her hair like the ballerinas. Now watching the video, I know what she was talking about. It was such a pleasure to watch. In fact, before she even got to go on stage, I was watching the look on her face as she watched the production. She was really into it! Just taking it all in. I remember taking that same sideways glance in similar situations just a few years ago, and noticing the difference between her gaze and those of the children around her. At that time, she often seemed disconnected and spaced out. There was no question of her connection with this performance however. Which probably had something to do with that cute ballerina coming down and asking her to dance instead of the handful of other kids sitting around her. It's really exciting to observe. It was also exciting to see how much she enjoyed being in the spotlight. We need to get that kid in dance or theater or something. She was born for the stage!
I should mention that while Franny was up there, Sophie was just miserable. She hates feeling left out by Franny. It was so sad. Poor kid. Usually just shoving a pacifier in her mouth does the trick, but this time it didn't work. I rummaged in my purse and found a half eaten chocolate protein bar and by the end of the show it was all over her face and hands. I tried to hurry and take a picture before she spread chocolate all over the place, but this was all I managed to get. It was on her pants and her shirt, too. Crazy kid.
When Wes and Jen were here for Christmas, they plugged in their Wii and we had the best time playing tennis and bowling. Everyone commented that my style of playing tennis was a "wii" bit spazzy, but I promise it's more fun that way. Wes said my tennis-playing reminds him of Elaine's dancing.
This I'm sure doesn't need to be said, but these beautiful pictures were taken by Jen.
Bobby's been collecting metal lunchboxes since I first met him at Rick's college. We paid regular visits to the "Princess D.I" to see if they had any in their bidding case. Just before he left on his mission, I went to visit him in Pittsburg and we sat together and wrapped lunchboxes in newspaper and arranged them in plastic containers so they could be protected and stored in Larry's barn. Our first year in Kirksville, Bobby read in the paper that there was an estate auction for a couple with a large collection of vintage metal lunchboxes. Franny and I dropped him off in Novingier, a nearby town, and left him there all day. He called me to come pick him up when it was over and walked to the car with his bookbag and empty hands. I felt bad that he had wasted a whole day and asked, "Oh no, you didn't get any?" He dropped his bookbag in the car and said, "Uh, no... I'll be right back." He then proceeded to fill any surplus space in our small Saturn with boxes and boxes of metal lunchboxes. I'm pretty sure he doubled our collection that day. I love his collection and we've always tried to think of the perfect way to put them up on display. But since this is our fifth home in seven years of marriage, we don't seem to every stay put long enough to invest the time or money in that endeavor. When we saw this house for the first time together, Bobby designated this hallway leading to the basement as the perfect spot for our lunchbox collection. It makes us so happy to see them up and out of their storage boxes so we can see them and enjoy them!
Wes helped him get the hardware up for attaching the lunchboxes. I would tell you what these were called but I don't have a clue. I bought these magnets online. When they first arrived, I thought, "what a freaking rip-off!" They were so tiny, but those suckers are strong!
Sorting the lunchboxes and trying to decide which ones should get the prime locations.
Ahhh... what a beautiful sight. See that ledge to the bottom left of the lunchboxes? I walked along to the end of that at 10:00 AM before church. My daughters saw me there and asked, "Mom, how did you get there?" They still ask me that. It's one of the dumbest things I've ever done as a Mom. I just know Sophie, who is a little trouble-maker and a great climber, is going to try this and I just hope I'm around to stop her.
maybe it's because we have a hint of crazy, but bobby and i have always thought it was funny to scare people. and since we were the last ones left at home, our target was often mom. it was a common occurrence to run for the nearest hiding spot when we heard the garage door open, or keys jingling in the front door. because we knew we had her. and we knew she would scream and then gasp, with eyes closed, as she clutched her chest. and we would be laughing as we ran away, or snuck in for an apologetic hug. and always she would call our names with a touch of disgust mixed in with her laughter. and we were teenagers, mind you. old hats. so we'd been perfecting our craft for years. and then bobby started to change it up. something about the teen boy makes them want to expose their buttocks every possible chance. and bobby was a patient mooner. he would stand with bum out for as long as it took. it was worth it to him. so, as bobby and i were watching tv we heard mom at the front door. without conversation, we both ran for our hiding spots. i wedged myself between the big screen and speakers while bobby darted for the front closet. i heard mom come in and then open the closet door, so i poked my head around the corner to see her reaction. but what i saw was bobby in the closet with his bare butt sticking out. mom gasped, "robert lee!" he got the reaction he was looking for, so he was laughing as he turned around, fixing his pants and saw mom with her visiting teaching companion! i held my breath so i wouldn't be caught cracking up and ran for my room. but as bobby was fixing his belt he said something like, "hey, sister ______, how's it going?" he's always been cool like that. happy birthday. i love you, wierdo.