Friday, February 14, 2014

Two Generations of Princesses

Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh, boy, do I have a treat for you today. First, let's start with my lovely daughter, all dressed up for last weekend's school formal.

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Sadly, I got very few pictures this year. The poor darling was coming down with a cold and was running late, so I had about five minutes to get some pictures, unlike last year when I took hundreds. Plus, it was very, very cold and snowy outside, so I couldn't do pictures outdoors. I pushed the dining room table out of the room, and decided that would have to be good enough.

Anna is a tough athlete, but she knows how to get her princess on. Just check out her Pinterest board. She had her heart set on this dress for months.

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The price was definitely right: free! That's because the dress once belonged to her mom, yours truly.

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Woo hoo! Another opportunity to get to see my 80's self, big Texas hair and all. I also carried the same handbag (not shown in my old pictures), which actually belonged to my mother. So Anna's ensemble spans three generations. She wasn't wild about the sleeves, so we had a friend convert them into wide straps. We did have to have the dress taken in a little, but the amount was small enough to not damage my pride too much. ; ) Like her, I was a sophomore in high school when I wore the dress. I'm thinking her choice of shoes was a tad better, or maybe it's my cream colored hose that has me cringing. At least it's better than the year I layered black hose over dark green to get a two-toned effect. We won't go there.

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What fun to have your daughter wear your old clothes! I'm emphasizing old, because in case my darling daughter is reading this I'd like her to know that's it's not okay to "borrow" things from her mother's closet and not return them, especially since they are way too big for her! Momma doesn't look like she did in high school anymore. ; )

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Once upon a time . . .

Note: Remember a year ago when my blog design disappeared and in frustration I took a long break from blogging? Well, I actually did write a post about Anna's first formal, but just couldn't bear to hit "publish" when my blog was naked. Well, tonight she is at her formal again, so I decided to resurrect this old post. I haven't had a chance to look at today's pictures yet, but hopefully I'll have some nice ones to share next week.


Once upon a time, there were two little princesses. They lived in castles down the street from each other. They loved to dress up for pretend balls. They went to princess preschool together.

Then they became grown-up princesses.

The End.

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Why do they grow up so fast?! Anna and her best friend since preschool recently attended their school's annual Protocol formal.  It's a no-date affair, so thankfully we haven't had to worry about Prince Charming sweeping her off her feet yet, although Marc was so kind to point out that Anna is only 3 years away from the age when I met and fell in love with him.


Anyhoo, she had a grand time. They actually had to attend a training session a couple of weeks before the event, so they could learn about proper etiquette and manners, such as how to properly greet someone or which utensil to use and when. Good stuff! Maybe I should have her coach me. : )

The actual formal consisted of a ride in a limo, an elegant dinner, and then entertainment by a magician with a Christian message. Before dinner there was a reception that parents could attend, and students were encouraged to practice all those people skills they learned. I didn't get to go to that part because I was sick, but Marc was able to attend.

Throughout the evening, the girls and guys were paired up (usually two girls to a guy because the girls outnumbered the guys this year), so although the school wasn't promoting the whole dating thing, the boys and girls weren't totally segregated either. Definitely different from my high school experience, but I really appreciate the way the school organizes this event. It is fun, but a good preparation for adulthood as well.

I'm having trouble adjusting to all the growing up that's been going on at the Blue House. It's going by waaaayyy too fast. My baby is going to formals, and if she'd ever study for the test she could be getting her driving permit. And then there's Ryne, who recently passed Marc in height and wears a size 12 shoe.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Two of My Favorite Things

This dog. This snow.

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Jasper, at 12 years old, is an old, old dog. He's only been with us for five years; before that he spent his days tied to a tree. The neighbor kids would refill his water dish each day because he would accidentally knock it over with his rope. Those kids were homeschoolers, and their mom talked to the owners and then put out a notice on the local homeschool email list to find Jasper a new home. We already had one black lab, so I figured we were crazy enough to have two. Best crazy decision we ever made. I LOVE this dog. I've had some really great dogs over the years, so it's hard for me to pick a favorite, but Jasper is it. There has never been a sweeter, sillier dog on the planet, and if you try to argue with me I'll dunk your head in the snow.

Speaking of snow, I love that too. Our latest snow storm is reminiscent of the two years we lived in Minnesota. The official totals for the area are in the 8-10 inches range , but we already had a little bit on the ground from a previous storm, so I'm not sure what our actual snowfall was yesterday. (Updated: I've since seen that the two closest towns were 10.5 and 11 inches, so I guess my ruler is right!)

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In my opinion, there are three keys to a perfect snow: 1) Fluffy and powdery, 2) Large amounts of it, 3) Beautiful sunshine the day after so everything sparkles. That's how the majority of snow days played out when we lived in Minneapolis. We experienced plenty of snow when we lived in Chicago, but because of the lake we rarely had that beautiful sun the day after. It makes a huge difference in your mental state, trust me.

An added bonus of the sunshine is icicles! We got some biggies this time!

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This picture, taken from inside, gives you a better idea of the scale of these icicles. That window is 34 inches tall.

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Unfortunately, this snow storm is bringing very frigid temperatures, also reminiscent of Minnesota. I nearly froze taking these pictures, but perhaps that's because I was too lazy to put on warm clothes so I went out there in capri yoga pants, a long tee, and a pair of boots. But I'm not going to complain about how cold my hands were because I just finished reading The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz (the movie version, The Way Back, is available for streaming on Netflix, but I liked the book better). If those dudes can survive Siberia without whining, I can survive ten minutes in my front yard.

Hope you are all staying warm! Please don't comment if you live in Hawaii. ; )