Thursday, July 31, 2008

Little shopper

There's a grocery store that Beth likes to use, when possible, because they have little miniature shopping carts for kids to push around.  I think it's a great idea.  Anna insists on having her cart, and only her cart, loaded up with the groceries.

And completely unrelated to that, the other night Anna found my noise-cancelling headphones and tried them on.  She was very pleased that they could make it so she couldn't hear the thunder, and said, "I love your ear muscles, daddy!"

The Money Store

A friend asked Beth the other day if we were going to sign Anna up for soccer.  Anna had said something about dancing before, so Beth asked her if she wanted to be a soccer player or if she wanted to dance.  Anna replied, "I want to be a dancing ballerina in my tutu!"  She loves this tutu - everything with the tutu these days.  Beth said that we'll have to ask daddy because dancing costs a lot of money.

Apparently Anna had been thinking about it the rest of the day, because that night at bedtime, she asked Beth again if she could dance, and was very distressed when Beth said, "We'll see, we have to ask daddy" again.  Anna then made the suggestion, "But daddy could just buy some money to have for the dancing!"  Hmm, that would be nice depending on their prices, but a money tree would be better.  Maybe it's time for a little lesson on money and an allowance…

Monday, July 14, 2008

Anna's new bling

We got a package from Lelo and Abuela Menendez today, for Anna's birthday.  She was very excited about the crown and the jewelry and couldn't wait to put it on.  When we asked if she wanted to draw a thank-you card, she said, "Yes, but I want the crown first!"  So she put on her crown, the necklace, the earrings, the jewelry… the only thing missing was the princess dress, but she didn't want to try it on, "because I'm already wearing my crab shirt."  She'll try it on later, she says.

The next big hit was the fishing game.  Anna, Cara, and I pretty much played it until it was time for bed.  We'll pull out the sticker books, the leapfrog pad (which I hope Anna likes so she can start learning to read!), etc., later on when they're not thinking of fishing.  The girls say, "Thank you!"


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Israel Tour 2008 - Part 7

Church of the Annunciation
This is Part 7 of my account of our tour to Israel with The National Christian Choir.  This entry begins with our visit to the Church of the Annunciation, then to Beit Shean, Jericho, and finally arriving in Jerusalem with a stopover in Bethlehem.  To start at the beginning, click here.  All my Israel pictures and videos are in the photo gallery under Vacations and Trips, then 2008 Israel.

Day 5 - Church of the Annunciation

We started out the day by visiting the Church of the Annunciation, which is the traditional site where the angel appeared to Mary and announced that she would give birth to Jesus.  I have to say that I was impressed with the churches that they built on many of the traditional sites.  I thought they were beautiful, and they were also great places for our group of 300 to sing in. Since this was where Jesus' name was announced, we sang Holy is His Name by John Michael Talbot - a very nice choral arrangement that sounded fantastic in this church.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Visit to the "real" aquarium

Today I took the day off, and we took the girls to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  We got a membership that pays for itself in 2 visits, but gives you year-round admission and lets you enter right away instead of getting a timed ticket.  We thought it'd be good since the girls loved SeaWorld, and each time we go to Walmart, they go crazy looking at the fish, calling it the "aquarium."

They really had a good time.  Anna was so excited about seeing seahorses, that's all she could talk about.  Then when we saw an alligator, she was so excited telling mommy about it that she made herself cough and couldn't finish.  Cara liked laying down on the ledges and watching the fish lying on the ground next to the glass.  While it was neat seeing dolphins, the show at SeaWorld is much more entertaining.

Anyway, I imagine we'll being going back a few more times during our membership year.  Anna was crying when we were walking back to the car - she didn't want to go home but wanted to stay at the aquarium, or at least walk around the Inner Harbor more.  It is a neat section of Baltimore, right on the harbor.  We'll be back.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Burned on the 4th of July

Tonight, Anna and I went to our old friends the Morris's annual 4th of July party. Beth and Cara couldn't go this time.  We love the Morris's and always look forward to their get-togethers.  This could have been the last one, though, since sadly they're planning to retire and move away to Ohio.  Life goes on.
Anyway, this year I bought a few tame fireworks to share at the party.  And the Morris's had some old hand-held sparklers lying around.  Anna really liked the little firework that I bought - just a tiny thing you set on the ground, and it shoots sparks and colors, relatively quietly, into the air for maybe 15-20 seconds.  After some "dinner" (2 bananas, but that's better than nothing) and some cake, she was ready to go see the fireworks.

We lit the sparklers first. Anna didn't want to hold one initially; just enjoyed watching.  But then she saw another 2 1/2 year old hold one, so she got the courage to hold one.  I helped her hold it, showing her to hold it away from her and watch it, and she really liked it.  When it burned out, I turned to get the disposal can, then I turned back around just in time to see her reach with her other hand to grab the portion of the sparkler that was burned out but still very hot, too late to stop her.

I feel really bad. I had talked her into holding one, she went out on a limb, and because I didn't think to warn her not to touch it anywhere else, in 2 short seconds she got burned.  Fortunately it was just a little blister on her finger, and holding a cold washcloth helped.  Surprisingly, she even agreed to help pass out sparklers to everybody - she just didn't want to hold another burning one.  I'm sad that her first sparkler experience ended like that, but maybe by next year she'll be willing to try again.

She did thoroughly enjoy the other fireworks I brought.  I also had two bigger ones that popped kind of loudly. John Morris held Anna as those went off.  The first one, she covered her ears and was half crying, half laughing.  Then for the 2nd one, she covered her ears, but was clearly laughing and enjoying it.  Then on the way home she excitedly pointed out fireworks in the sky - maybe next year she'll be ready to see some "real" ones at the park.

Am I really that old?

Do I look like this?
Tonight at the Morris's 4th of July party, I was chatting with Fran Morris, catching up. In the course of the conversation, she cautiously asked me, "So Dave, how is your health these days?"

"Huh," I thought, "this is a new one." It was such a general question, I was trying to comprehend what would have sparked it. Do I look sickly? I didn't think that was it. Do I look older than I should at 32?  No, I didn't think that was it, either.  Is there an unspoken age that I've now reached where people just know they better ask about your health?  If so, is 32 that magic age? Seems young to me.

"Uhhm," I replied, "my health?  It's uh, fine, really.  Nothing exciting - I don't even think I've been to the doctor since high school!"  That seemed to surprise her, so now I really wondered what was wrong with me.

Hoping she wasn't opening a can of worms, Fran cautiously told me why she asked. Apparently, Tony, the hispanic pastor of our old church, leads their Bible study.  Two years ago or so, he apparently got the impression from somewhere that I had multiple sclerosis, so I've been on their prayer list for two years!  I was certainly touched that they prayed for me, but it's pretty funny - except for the real person with MS who's been missing out on all the prayer.

Now I have to wonder who told Pastor Tony that I had MS. I'm willing to bet it's the same person that told us that the Morrises had already moved out of Ohio and made us miss their parties last year.  Whoever it is - they must be stopped.