Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Monday, September 24, 2012

Theiss and Rice

Annual Theiss Bearkat Bash! Kids loved being in the race...

A bit out of breath at the end...

And a day back at good old Rice University... this year is their 100 year centennial. It was so fun to drive the kids around our old stomping grounds... all the memories came rushing back.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stephen's first job!

I still remember having my first piano student when I was just 12, after I had taken lessons for 7 years. I can't believe now it's Stephen's turn! He did a great job teaching Kenny ~ they had fun and Stephen gave him treats at the end. Plus Stephen's getting paid, so it's a win-win situation! I had to remind Stephen to correct some of Kenny's notes that weren't right...

To pass off his Theatre merit badge, Stephen wrote a play and invited all the cousins over to participate, as part of our monthly all-family FHE.  Very fun!

Stephen, the Director (above), ranking up at the last court of honor (below)

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Uncle Sterling is a Magenius!"

Our annual family sibling trip this year was combined with my dad's 70th birthday! We set up a fun surprise for him by playing (sans children) at La Toretta Resort in the Woodlands.  From the boys' matching swimsuits to the all-out snacking, it was good times.

When we picked up our kids, Kenny had learned the song "Piano Man" from the Sopers. When I told Kenny that Sterling has been singing and playing that song on the piano for years, he was just amazed, and said "Mom, Uncle Sterling is a Magenius!" (His combination of magician and genius... so true of Sterl).

The highlight of the weekend was gifting Dad his big surprise... the 300-year-old piece of wood which came from the Schmutz family barn in Bern, Switzerland.

We loved driving out to Vechigen to get it, bringing it back, and now having it safely framed in the family... time to put these pics and videos on the blog since the surprise is done!


It was pretty tricky trying to explain to these kind people who didn't speak ANY English that we were there to buy that one piece of old wood out of their barn... luckily the man's English-speaking wife had already told him about us since we visited a year earlier with Mom and Dad. So all the hand pointing and money paid off in the end!! They figured out what we wanted and Franz nearly fell out the window trying to pry it off the wall for us!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The things we learn...

about each other after being married for 15 years... we're watching this video of Kas and Stefan fencing and Daron says, "I should show her a few moves ~ I took fencing at BYU."  HELLO -- what??

I'm keeping all these pics and videos for when the cousins are in the 2020 Olympics. They can be on the Wheaties cereal boxes and have their spotlight moments, remembering when Mom used to drive them 3x/wk to go do this fun sport!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Finally, proud gun-owners...

We are now among those special people who own and know how to shoot a gun! Before somebody passes a law saying we can't have one, we decided to go get one and learn how to use it. I was quite startled at how loud a shotgun is! And that was with earplugs and headphone thingies on! The Federal Agent/policeman/private instructor was impressed with our skills. Or amused. Impressed or amused... not sure which one. Well he laughed at me when I screamed at the big bang, so there ya go.

The cousins go fishing for Kristian's birthday!

Kenny and Skye get a little sunbathing time...

Today the kids and I sat down to read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Kas wanted to act it out as I read it. So we get to the part where Sylvester turns into a rock and can't touch the magic red pebble that's right next time. He wants to reach out, but he can't. So Kas covers up with her cape and sits like this, and explains how the rock not being able to touch the pebble is "just like in Michelangelo's painting where God's trying to reach out to touch Man's hand, but man's not trying to reach very hard."  It was a proud moment... that she so quickly related this book to the Sistene chapel's famous artwork that we visited last year.  Almost as proud as when our family took our walk this evening and she donned her full super-hero costume, including ninja mask and cape.  What our poor neighbors must think...