Sunday, February 17, 2008

MIsty Morning, Ellie Rose, and a cell phone

Woke up to a misty morning yesterday.

Got myself a cup of coffee and thought to myself, "gee, just like Wuthering Heights". Yea: Wuthering Heights in Tigard. That will work.

And I finally got to meet Ellie Rose and she is beautiful and dainty. Folks were to bring books to the shower and Ellie got so many amazing books. I recognized many of them, and some were ones I wish I would have had when my kids were small.

One of the books was, "I'll like you for always, I'll love you forever". Very hokey, but I got to tell ya. When Cari was around 7 she published a book at her school and they threw a tea for all the authors. Several authors and their moms gathered for the tea in the library and the teacher read that book to us. I thought it was hokey, but I have to tell you that I found tears running down my face at the end! I was shocked at myself, but then I looked around the room and almost every other mom was openly crying. Now that my kids are pretty much grown up, I now realize why I cried. I adore my children, but as folks say, if you raise them right you give the wings to fly. Or something like that. And Cari is doing so well, and I'm so very proud of the woman she's become, and I know Steven and Doug will make their way as well.

Back to the shower. One of the gals made a cookie bouquet. How clever! Wish I'd done it...darn...

And then I woke up this morning to find Steven fast asleep on the couch, holding his cell phone. Ah, the days of teddy bears, 'big bigs', and ninja turtles are truly gone. What's a big big? If you don't know, you ain't a Vander Yacht!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day gifts

Happy Valentine's Day all! Today got me thinking about all the gifts we get. And got me thinking about the wonderful grandparents my children have. My mother and father-in-law are amazing. I've often thought that my children get their class and warm, loving ways from my mother-in-law, and their drive and their stick-to-it-ness from my father-in-law.

A love of reading and again, warm loving ways from my mom.

Artistic talent (for Cari...don't even ask about the boy's artistic talent! OUCH!) and love of sports from my dad (good look dad).

My kids adore their grandparents. They've given them many things, but the most special is the gift of themselves. They adore their grandchildren, and that means more to Mark and I than anything else in the world. Happy Valentine's Day all of you. We love you more than we can say, and we think we're lucky to have such a wonderful family.

Valentine's Day Loving Thoughts

My children are so loving. Don't agree? Let me present my case. Above, Steven and Cari are bonding.

And here Doug shows Erik the ways of the Vander Yachts. See, I told you our kids have a kind and "loving" spirit!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Scrapbooking and Basketball: what a mix!

I've been working on a scrapbook for my girlfriend who just adopted a little girl. Her name is Ellie Rose and I've had a blast working on the book (almost as much fun as working on the ones for my mother-in-law and my nieces). As with Rachel's, I didn't put any pictures in, and I'll include the stickies so all she has to do is print up some pictures and throw them in. It was fun doing a baby book and I'm looking forward to doing many more (babies tend to come in droves, as Mary Jo and I can tell you!).

Here is the front page. I didn't have much luck taking pictures (Cari is so much better at that than me. Heck, come to think of it she so much more talented than me. I wanna be her when I grow up!), but I wanted to share at least a bit of what I did. What a show off I am.

And Mark (bless his heart) took the time to put together a team for another tournament this last weekend. He's so good that way, and he really enjoys coaching with Kurt, so it makes it even more fun. They won both their games on Saturday, and lost on Sunday, AND they came in second: that is great!!! And of course, when you get a bunch of young men together, there's always one crazy guy who has to have his shirt off and acting crazy. Of course.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Rinky!

Today is my sister's birthday. Yep, her and Lincoln share the "big day". She lives in Ohio with her husband Glen and son Scott (hey Scott). Heck, we're from Ohio, moved to California when we were small, and here she is right back where we started! I don't have any pictures of her online to show, so I figure Huckleberry Hound can say "Happy Birthday Linda!". Her nick name is Rinkydo (or something like that....I came up with it as a two year old, cause for some strange reason I couldn't say Linda, so you'd THINK I could remember what it is...sigh.....). But Linda just got back from Cuba (how cool is that?), so once she sends me some pictures I'll post them.

I made Mark hold Huckleberry as well (these pictures are a couple years old....hee, hee, they're coming back to haunt Mark). The reason Huckleberry is saying Happy Birthday to Rinky? I got one for my birthday, I must have been five, and we have a great picture of it on a slide. Linda made a copy of the slide and sent it to me.

We haven't been close due to distance, but we're starting to talk more, and email more, and I now have the chance to say I love you Linda. I'm so glad you're my sister, and I'm SO GLAD we talk more and share more and laugh together more. Happy Birthday baby sis. I love you.

Oh yeah. It's one of the "big ones". Gotta find a belated B card to "rub it in"....since I already hit it myself.

And a question: do you remember crash up cars? Do ya?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chinese New Year and Basketball and 15 Happy Years.

Doug and Mark had two games in a basketball tournament at the Hoop yesterday and they won both games! But poor Doug sprained his ankle. He's been putting ice on it, and he's not sure if he'll be able to play in the "play off" game today. He's been putting ice on it, taking some pain killers, and elevating it. We've got our fingers crossed.

Yesterday Cari and I met my Friend Ksenyia and her family at the Chinese New Years Celebration in downtown Portland. We had a great time: the music and entertainment was enjoyable, but really not a whole lot there to see. Cari and I took off and she took me to a place where you make your own soup. Very unusual and very good! Similar to Mongolian Grill, but you get your own little soup bowl that actually cooks your broth and you add whatever you want into it. Part of the fun was the entertaining owner (he was quite a kick, knew everyone who came in, and laughed a lot...I enjoyed watching him as much as making my own soup) and all the folks who came in who knew what they were doing (unlike me..thank goodness Cari knew the drill).

And then we went for a walk through her neighborhood. The weather was amazing, almost up to 60, and we took advantage of it. Cari lives in a great older neighborhood and I would love to be able to not only afford one of the homes, but have the money to fix it up inside and out. Guess it's time to start playing the lottery!

And yesterday Mark and I celebrated 15 happy years.....hey, 15 out of 28 ain't bad!

A joke my father has told for years about their marriage. I couldn't resist.

But we did go out for dinner with Kurt and Dana to Ruby Tuesdays and got us an anniversary sundae. What more can you ask for? Happy Anniversary Mark! Love you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

IKEA and blue sharks and meatballs

We finally got Doug over to IKEA to look at bedroom furniture. But first Mark found a small and compact dinette set. No way Mark. No friggin way. Thank goodness he was only kidding. I think.

Doug found some of the bedding, tried it out, made a friend (a blue shark...the friendship was doomed from the start...Tigard the Tiger would not take to this guy at all!), and then continued his search. The bedding just wasn't to his liking. Go figure. I think it's cause it has something to do with math. Must be it.

This is a set up I like. I want a different bed, but this is basically the look I like.

After much searching for beds Doug needed a lift: Brianna and Mark helped him out. Mark didn't really have much choice in the decision.

Once he escaped, Mark found some time to look at something he wanted to look at.

Doug and Brianna had to try them out, of course.

And once they were rested up we made our way out of the store, stopping only to pick up some cinnamon rolls and meat balls. Doug was done at IKEA. Life goes on.