Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Reading & Symphony

We're getting into summer reading, and our favorite spot (besides the rocker at bedtime) is snuggling up inside our egg swing beneath our giant tree in the backyard.
 Lorelei's also making great progress at violin. She has mastered Lightly Row and is working on Song of the Wind. She leads her own symphony at home with little brother and her preschool friend.
 Lorelei just moved up a violin size to a 1/8, and we rolled the rental fees from last year (thanks Grammy) into the purchase price--she now owns a beautiful violin with a gorgeous sound, especially when she plays it. I told Lorelei that this was a crossroads--buying a violin means she has to stick with it. She agreed.
 Here, Gryffy's playing her old violin before we turned it back in to the shop (don't tell him he's playing the wrong side of the bridge--he looks determined). I love watching them play and enjoy creating music together!
 And Gryffy's really gotten into books. We've checked out several from the library, including this book of animals with lots of pictures.
 The kids are enjoying chapter books now, and a friend at church just handed us the Summer Reading Program brochure from the library. We're checking off boxes to earn our free book! So far we've read George's Marvelous Medicine and are two chapters from the end of Charlotte's Web.
For Memorial Day Eve, we went up to Daddy's work to play at a park and enjoy Celebration at the Station (symphony and fireworks). I feel summer blowing in... we've just sorted through half the kids' toys to give away/sell, I've chopped my hair, and we've been spending large amounts of leisurely time riding bikes, going on walks, pulling the kids in the wagon, and today, swimming at the pool.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


U2. Invesco Mile High Stadium Denver.
What. A. Show.
 So we're looking a little tired. We left our home at 3am to make the 9 hour drive to Denver. It felt great to be back at the Mile High Stadium. It's where my dad took me for my first football game--Broncos vs Raiders (both teams representing places we'd lived, Denver and L.A.)--when I was about nine or ten years old. I got a bit choked up thinking about him, knowing we'd been there together.
 Looking especially pale here. Actually, I just wanted you to see the opening act--The Fray!
 The set was like something from outer space, and I loved reading the statistics ticking across it.
 There he is. Bono.
 Mark took more pictures of Bono than he's taken during our entire marriage--I was teasing him about it. We were blessed to stay with our good friends and old neighbors, Tom & Laura Covert (and Sam, Joe & TJ), who are like family to us. And Grammy was gracious enough to watch the kids all of Saturday and Sunday with Cousin Todd, even taking shelter into the wee hours of the night during TORNADO warnings! Yikes. The kids probably didn't miss us.
 What things began to look like toward the end of the evening (let's just say some people around us had a slightly different definition of Mile High, and that we felt the effects second-hand).
 I love U2, but this is what I had really been anticipating for the past few months: VIP tickets (including a winning raffle number, hence the new hat) and third row center seats to...
 ...not them, but the girl on violin was fabulous. Wait for it...
Yes, it's true. I've been a Grobanite for nearly nine years now. I was in heaven last night, three rows away from my favorite singer of all time. Thanks, Hubs, for another Groban concert and a special date night!

Center Stage

Lorelei's first dance recital was last week. She danced ballet to "Baby Face" and loved being in the spotlight on a big stage.

 Daddy also took ballet--he had been practicing for over a month for the "Daddy Dance" at the recital's end to "Do You Love Me." He was Mr. Energy up on stage and totally stood out with his moves. Lorelei and Gryffin were ecstatic.
 Baby Face, you've got the cutest little Baby Face.
 After the recital, we celebrated Gryffin's birthday again, this time as a family at Red Robin. Call it the cherry on top of our evening.
 Mark makes fun of me because I always made faces feeding the kids when they were babies. Still do.
 And the kids' preschool ended, Lorelei graduating into kindergarten. This was her end of the year closing ceremony. Again, notice how comfortable our girl is on stage. Such a natural!

 Gryffy gives flowers to his big sister. Such love! I can't get over how quickly they grow, but my heart is bubbling over for them at every stage, always excited about what's to come. I love every moment of being their Mommy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kids Say the Funniest Things...

This morning's commentary in the Connelly household:
Gryffin, as he's going potty: "Look, my penis. Oh, so cuuute!"
Lorelei: "Probably because it's so small."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Our Favorite Deputy Turns THREE!!!

Today our precious Gryffin John celebrated his THIRD birthday, appropriately themed Toy Story Three (he's been talking non-stop, months on end, about this big day)! His big present from Mommy and Daddy was a twisty tube slide for the Connelly Clubhouse.
 We turned our home into Sunnyside Daycare, and stumbled upon some of Andy's boxes near our entry.

 Mommy used the kids' own artwork to create Butterfly and Caterpillar rooms, just like in the movie. The brilliant green butterfly on the wall is Gryffin's own creation.
 We had some very special guests join us, including Mrs. and Mr. Potato Head...
... and Mr. Tortilla Face propped against Mommy's newest article about Freezer Meal Swaps, in which he plays a major role as an ingredient--look out, Tortilla Face ...
 ... the evil monkey ...
 And a few aliens were eternally grateful to attend...
 ... until we ate them.
We even got into costume.
 Green army man Mark.
 Miss Wendy, Sunnyside Director, with libations.
 Buzz Lore-Lightyear.
 And guess who decided to be Woody instead of Buzz THE MORNING OF THE PARTY??! Mommy went to seven stores in an hour and a half to piece together this costume--a white and orange plaid shirt she had to dye yellow before the vest was ironed on. But anything for our birthday buddy. His potty training failed when he got to the sand box, but at least he didn't leave us any Lincoln logs...
 Family and friends attended, including Aunt Jennie, who got Gryffin his favorite present of all--Spiderman ...
 ... Grammy, looking like she's just had several birthdays erased ...
... Great Grammy Marilyn ...
 ... Cousin Lindsy, Great Grammy, Cousin Todd ...
 Mommy's tying a hankie on her favorite deputy.
Daddy's tucking into the fajitas with Lorelei.
 HaPpY bIrThDaY tO yOu ...
Make a wish ...
 The aliens saw The Claw coming after them!
 The aliens were abducted and eaten alive!
 Our family.
 Friends in attendance were: Katherine and Jack Kanary, Nolan and JP Bell, Rohan Schieltz, Dylan Orsund, and William Childs.
Gryffy got a fire engine as one of his presents, but then a real one showed up...
My aunt took this picture while I was busy flipping out! One of our friends passed out, but everything turned out to be okay. Still, it was so scary to see him being whisked away with his family to the hospital. Thankfully, all is well.
Gryffy was in the backyard playing, completely oblivious to the ambulance and fire truck.

 Lorelei, however, was scared out of her wits. She and Katherine are hiding beneath the table. 
 These two love to play. Lorelei knows Katherine from church.
 J.P., proficient reader since the age of 3, is reading a book to Gryffin, who sat mesmerized for a decent ten minutes.
Soon all the kids had piled on!
 Gryffy was much better at ripping paper this year, but still hasn't figured out the purpose of birthday cards. Skip straight to the present, is his philosophy.
 Lorelei herself picked out this Spiderman umbrella for Gryffy on a shopping trip with Grammy. She's been wanting to get him his own umbrella for some time now, and she knows how Spiderman-obsessed he is. She's the most thoughtful big sister ever.
 Gryffy clearly loves Lorelei's present.
 By the end of the party, Buddy was exhausted!
Happy Birthday, Deputy Gryffy. When I think of you at this stage, I'm reminded:
How funny you are--you'll do anything for a laugh.
Your great big, beaming smile.
How you enthusiastically say, "Oh, toe coot!" (Oh, so cute!)
How you always give yourself away at hide and seek breathing loudly and talking
How you never refuse to kiss me even though I ask for smooches all day
That you and Lorelei share a room because you love each other so much
The way you always ask "Where's Daddy/Lorelei?" when our family's not all together
The way you pronounce "R's" like "E's" (Watee, pweese!)
Your love of Toy Story, superheroes, dinosaurs and Flynn Rider (Tangled)
Your wondrous imagination and love of play, especially with action figures
How you strut into your classroom and pass up the play-do and puzzle table with all the other kids to opt for the toys and your imaginative world
Your love of reading, and how you snuggle up to Mommy for books
How you sing along so boldly from your car seat and know all the words
How much joy you bring me each day with your giggles and I love yous
The way you mimic your favorite characters ("There's a snake in my boot!")
How stinkin' ridiculously adorable and precious you are!
That we love each other to infinite and beyond!