23 June 2011

And the celebration continues (in true Kennedy style...)

Because the Kennedys traditionally stretch a birthday over a number of weeks, we re-celebrated Amelia's birthday at a Sunday dinner with a superhero rainbow cake and more presents.  

Somebody got a purple bike and a purple kitty helmet.  Somebody felt it necessary to wear her superhero cape for the inaugural ride.  Somebody was bubbling over with excitement!
Surrounded by patient cousins, Amelia took her first bicycle ride outside.  Of note:  Her very first sharp turn dumped her flat on the pavement.  (No injuries, thank goodness.)  But she stood back up, a little shell shocked, and matter-of-factly said, "I don't think this is working for ME."  And then the tears came.  It didn't take long for her sweet cousins to dust her off, explain that they'd all been there, and get her right back up on that bike.
Oh, and it was Father's Day.  Not to be overshadowed by a kid turning four or anything, we celebrated our dads  and the love we have for them.  David, we love you.  Even more than the crappy tie that I made with leftover linen that ended up too thick to tie properly and a tad too short for your height.  Seriously.  We love you WAY more than that.  :)

21 June 2011

Superheros - Unite and Celebrate!

Every birthday superhero needs a superhero cape.  Find your name/initial and get suited up for action!  Up, up and away!
Stop by the candy recharging station or hot popcorn machine often for a quick bursts of energy.  Pow!
Be sure to eat your share of healthy foods like watermelon ("improves laser vision"), veggies ("enhances agility"), pasta salad ("improves speed"), potato chips ("boosts invisibility"), and grilled hot dogs ("wonder dogs").  Zip!

Be sure to leave room for a few fun treats as well, like Jell-O cups ("increases elasticity") and cake pops ("energy blast").  Zoom!

Oh no!  There are animals in need of rescuing!  Superheros, divide into two teams, grab a basket, and run down to the cone and back, rescuing the animals as a team.  Bam!
Exercise your X-ray vision with a try at pinning the superhero mask on Super Amelia.  no peeking!  Shazam!
Remember to protect your secret identity at all costs by creating a unique superhero mask with glitter, pompoms, stickers, and jewels.  Kazowie!
Exhibit your super strength at the pinata.  Three good whacks per superhero until the goodies spill out!  Smack!
What a great morning Super Amelia had with her superhero friends at her party.  Thank you from me and Captain Klutz (David) to everyone who attended or sent a generous gift or thoughtful birthday wish for the newest four year-old!  Boom!

14th Annual Tiny Tots Track & Field Invitational

Have I publicly mentioned what a superstar Amelia is before?  Well, there you go.  Now I have.  And her performance at the 14th Annual Tiny Tot Track & Field Invitational at East High was no exception.  She ran the 50m sprint, the 100m, and 80m hurdles.  She earned FIRST place in the 50m AND the 80m hurdles!  To see what happened in the 100m, keep reading...
This is what happens when a much older girl from another age category slips into your race and blazes to the finish line, leaving every other legitimate runner in the dust.  Tears.  Big.  Fat.  Tears.
 But she bounced back strong in the hurdles.  What form!

And what every serious athlete needs post-race, frozen yogurt.  We just had a brand new self-serve frozen yogurt shop open within walking distance of our home.  Oh man, this is going to be a great summer!  (That might need its very own blog post later...)

May Day at the Zoo.

Felicity, Gracey, and Beckham flew to Utah for a visit with the Mays and we were lucky enough to spend the day with them!  Lunch at Red Butte Cafe, a visit Hogle Zoo (even the reptile house - ick), and malted chocolate pudding at Ruth's Diner.  What a busy day.

Gracey and Amelia fell right into step, leading us around with their noses buried in maps of the zoo.

 Erin and Eliot flew out, too.  
 Jeanine and Linny  on the carousel.

Tangled (the music, not the dancers).

Tap: "When Will My Life Begin" from the Tangled Soundtrack
Ballet: "I See the Light" from the Tangled Soundtrack
Amelia and Lucy are best dance buddies.  She is so lucky to have a good friend like Lucy.  Neither girl would allow their mommies to cut their hair before the performance because "Rapunzel didn't cut her hair".  Oh, sweet girlies.
Miss Julie, you've done it again.  Another wonderful year of learning and exploring through dance.  We love every minute with you!

One Year of Preschool Down!

It's amazing to me that Amelia's teachers have survived a whole year with her.  Oops!  I mean, it's amazing to me that Amelia has completed an entire year of preschool.  She's growing up so fast.  She has loved Miss Becky and Miss Lynn at Wasatch Presbyterian Preschool and all of her new friends there.  We are definitely proud parents.  Now, what to do with her all summer long???  Blerg.

Natquaida, Idaho.

I have the privilege of working with the Young Single Adults at church.  They are such a fun group of young whipper-snappers.  (I can say that because I am OLD.)  We tagged along on their weekend retreat to Idaho and had a ball.
Spent the day in Jackson Hole, WY where, as fate would have it, it was Antler Fest or something like it.  Antlers on sale as far as the eye could see.  A little strange to say the least, seeing all of those antlers in one place like that.
Stopped into the candy shop and discovered that everywhere David goes, he's a celebrity.  Alison grabbed a package of Flicks candies and asked if anyone had ever had them before because she had such fond memories of them.  With all eyes on the candy, it was time to divulge that David had actually designed the packaging on Flicks!  Everyone was in awe and we just had to buy a package.  See?  A celebrity.  And I married him.  (Before he designed for Flicks, by the way.  You could say that I saw in him star potential.)
Amelia literally spent hours tailing Coco and Tori and trying to do everything that they did.  And they were so good to her.
It was hard to pack up and leave Natquaida.  Look at the view!  And don't bother Googling "Natquaida".  You won't find anything.  The Wrights made up the name for their home in Idaho - that's natquaida cabin, natquaida ranch.  (Get it?  "not-quite-a"?  Very clever.)

Easter Egg Hunting in PJs.

When did a visit from the Easter Bunny turn into a visit from Santa Claus who comes like a ghost in the night?  I only have memories of Easter egg hunts fully dressed in my Easter dress and shiny clickadees (that's what I called patent leather dress shoes that clicked when you walked on pavement).  At any rate, the Easter Bunnies were good to Amelia this year.  (I say "bunnies" because there are many in this fortunate little girl's life that play to the holidays.)
After the pajama egg hunt, Amelia donned her beautiful Easter dress and paraded her way up to church and back, telling everyone along the way that her Grandma Lorla made it for her.

The only speed bump in the day came at Sunday dinner with the Kennedy family.  Traditionally, an egg cracking contest is held complete with brackets and a champion.  Amelia's egg was actually doing quite well in the tournament until the very end, when a small fracture turned into a complete meltdown.  (Insert lesson on "It's not about winning, it's about how you play the game" here.)

Getting Grandma to Play the Piano.

My grandmother Rheta is amazing.  She is kind and thoughtful, polite and proper, beautiful and sunny, and musically talented beyond measure.  She has spent her life playing in symphonies and orchestras and teaching violin and piano to eager students but as of late has stopped playing.  "...Too old... too tired... can't find my glasses..."  But recently, she started playing the piano for some of her friends again.  What a treat to be visiting California and convince her to play a little for us.  (Amelia even got a quick lesson while seated next to the master on the bench.)  And, of course, she played beautifully and without a hiccup!
A lot of the trip I had the opportunity to sit at my grandmother's knee with my laptop and record her memories.  She is a hoot!  I'm organizing my notes and will publish them for the family soon.  Here is one of my favorite stories and one that highlights my grandma's sense of humor (in her words):
The Sorensens and we were traveling in Europe - I don't remember what country.  We stayed in a place with lots of rooms.  There were a lot of tourists there.  We had to share a bathroom with another room; it was between the two rooms.  You had to remember to lock the door on the other side.  There was this one day, I went into the bathroom and there, just in front of me, was a naked man.  He'd forgotten to lock the door.  Both of us were in total shock.  We both turned and left.  I saw his back end, too.  The next morning at breakfast, France said, "Who's the guy from last night?"  I said, "How do you expect me to recognize him with his clothes on?"
I couldn't close this post about our trip to California without a mention of Amelia's "nest building".  For whatever reason, Amelia spent every afternoon of our visit collecting the fallen branches of the willow trees in the courtyard and placing them tenderly in a pile to make a nest.  The gardeners even left it alone because they recognized just how dedicated she was to the cause.  What an imagination!