Thursday, May 31, 2012

In Like a Lion

[again, I know, a late post!  But I am trying to get caught up!!!]

Me @ the Crab Cracker
Travis, Elizabeth & me
March was one busy month around our house.  Of course there were birthdays to celebrate (Elizabeth turned ONE, Travis turned 28 and I...well let's just say I just celebrated another one).  I'm actually one of those who enjoys a party - pretty much any party - and though I seriously can never remember my age without benefit of a calculator, I still enjoy my birthdays each year.  (I mean really - consider the alternative!)  A couple of years ago a young friend asked me which was my favorite - and I really couldn't pick just one favorite birthday memory.  This year was no different.  As my birthday generally falls during Lent and we typically celebrate on a Friday, it's a great excuse to head out for seafood dinner.  This year we went to the Crab Cracker and it was DEE-LICIOUS!  (Though our waitress didn't seem too impressed with our little guys...and in my completely unbiased opinion, Jackson is pretty darn impressive!")

Michael makes them just right!

Since my birthday falls conveniently near St. Paddy's Day it always give the guys a good excuse (like they actually needed one!) to toast me with an Irish Car Bomb.  (I forego this concoction - I like my teeth too much!)  Michael, our "official" Irish bartender carefully poured the drinks.  What the heck?  I see four there and there are only three guys participating this year.  Not too surprising who claimed the "extra" as you can see that Pete & Gerry were fussing around while Michael was showing them how it was supposed to be done.  (I think Michael is in training for our trip to Ireland next year to celebrate his 70th!)


Showing 'em how it's done...

Slow pokes!  Where's that extra one?

Jax in the truck
Jax on the slide

We also have visits from the grandsons (now that they reside in the same state this is, happily I say, a much more common occurrence) and Jackson got some time outdoors testing all his "vehicles" (and the jungle gym in the backyard) in the snow.  We were the beneficiaries of some great "boy toys" from one of Gerry's co-workers and the two older grandsons have had quite the time trying them all out.  (This not only includes the outdoor toys but also the most extensive Thomas the Train set I've ever seen outside of an actual store!  We're letting Jax take one or two pieces home with him after each visit - relocating the set to Jenny's house.  I hope she & Travis don't catch on until after the entire trainyard goes!!!)

Grandpa Gerry pushing Jax thru the snow
Jax and the "digger"

Jax and Grandpa and Cooper
Finally bedtime means storytime and here grandpa Gerry is reading to Jax from his new books.  These books are from Hallmark and each comes with it's very own stuffed owner - who responds when it "hears" certain phrases.  They are actually kind of fun and I think the adults spent more time trying to coax a response from the critter than the boys did!

 ~later, tw

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Greetings from the Emerald City

Recently we were treated to our nephews' performances in The Wizard of Oz.  I know, you're thinking "a grade school play - really?" but it was amazing!  The boys attend St. Alphonsus Parish School in Seattle and these people REALLY know how to stage a production!  Many (MANY!) alumni return annually, not unlike the swallows to Capistrano, just to assist with the play.  I overheard several of them commenting of their fond memories of being Dorothy or one of the winged monkeys when they attended St. Al's years ago!

Nicholas, here as the Cowardly Lion, had the most incredible makeup and costuming job I've ever seen at this level, and did it up proud!  He has a wonderful voice and is quite a "ham" - channeling Bert Lahr at his best!!  And his rendition of "If I Were King of the Forest" was fabulous!

Philip, as one of the Lollipop Guild and then later as the king of the flying monkees, surprised us all!  He really got into both parts - especially the flying monkey.  Apparently, according to his mom, he'd been practicing "monkee chatter" since he was very little and the director was only too happy to have him incorporate that "language" into the part!

It was truly a fun evening and we're already looking forward to next year's production!!

~later, tw

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Quarter of a Century!

[Trying to catch up on some posting!]

In March, Gerry achieved the 25 year milestone at Microsoft!!!  That's a pretty big deal (second only to our marriage in longevity!) because most of the other 'softees that started 1987 or before were smart enough to get out long ago! :)

Actually  Gerry still enjoys his job (lucky for me as I still enjoy spending his paycheck!).  With a little help from his boss, I was able to sneak in that morning before Gerry got to his office and do a little "rearranging"! 

He was able to share this accomplishment with Jenny & her guys too!  Jenny, who by the way is becoming quite the cake baker/decorator!, made an amazing cake - she free-handed the entire design highlighting the cake with the logos of each of the products Gerry was involved with since 1987!

In addition, I ordered personalized M&Ms to celebrate.  M&Ms have their own history at Microsoft.  Each year, on your anniversary, you are supposed to supply one lb./year.  Gerry likes to offer a variety so we collect the entire year in order for him to have 20+ lbs. of M&Ms.  Just for the record - 25 lbs. is A LOT OF M&MS!!!!

The company commemorates each 5 year anniversary with a piece of crystal (I have absolutely no idea who thought this one up!) and Gerry was presented with a large trunk (they couldn't have provided one with a handle?) housing his 35 lb. piece of crystal!  I would have actually hoped that they could have "tetris-ed" the trunk to house his 20th crystal and 15th crystal as well (as I recall they hadn't come up with this "brilliant" plan for his 5th/10th).  He proudly displays these trophies in his office and if "the big one" occurs while he's at this desk, let's just say, it's won't be good for him!

Happy Anniversary, Gerry!!!

~later, tw