Thursday, March 31, 2011


(Thanks to Reece's Grandpa for some of these great blue shots!)

friendly letter

This is a letter Jack wrote for Mrs. Smith, who is a volunteer reader at our school.
She reads to Jack's class once a week.

I adore reading his writing...
and Mrs. Smith told me she does, too!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

USS Midway

This weekend, we put the kids in their place.

Just kidding!
We rode the train to San Diego, and after a yummy lunch in Little Italy,
we explored the USS Midway Museum.

I love our family days!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

special delivery

Jack really likes to get mail.
This week, he got something VERY special.
It was from my cousin, Jared.
Jack has been pretty emotional about Papa Red,
and Jared wanted to share some perspective.

This is where I kick myself for not having a picture of Jack with Jared!
So, here are the cousins...
and a super old one of me and my "baby" cousin!
Thanks, Jared, for being a wonderful role model for my son.

Friday, March 18, 2011

zoo...but, no animals

We spent the day with our friends at the Santa Ana Zoo today.
(Thanks to a district furlough day!)
I was so busy taking pictures of our kids,
I hardly noticed any animals!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

even number

Yesterday, Jack was an ODD number.
And now, he's an EVEN number.
That's what he told me when I visited his class to drop
off a small birthday treat.
His class and teacher made him a sweet little card.
While I was there, the kids got to ask me some questions
about Jack when he was a little boy.
Then, the teacher asked the class to share some
of the things that they liked about Jack.
My heart was exploding to hear their sweet words.
I wasn't surprised, but it's always nice to hear!

Jack got to pick the agenda for the evening.
So, we ended up at the new LEGO store in South Coast Plaza.
Followed by dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe.
He picked a new set and used some birthday money to buy it.
(Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Cooper!)
As he ate his birthday sundae, he declared it,
"the best birthday ever!"
Now, this last picture...
Could be a wordless Wednesday,
but I don't want to even wait until tomorrow.
For all my friends with preschoolers.
Enjoy this time with your little ones.
It goes by SO fast.
And even though that may make you a little sad....
Don't be.
Because before you know it, your kid will hand you a note.
And it will make your heart swell with love.

Monday, March 14, 2011

8...(big sigh)....8!

Dear Jack,
Tonight is the last night I can say I have a 7 year old.
I saw the "8" candle at Nana's yesterday, and I got teary.
8 years.
Tonight, as we left the bookstore, you said, "Here is your birthday present, Mom".
And gave me a hug.
"My birthday present?" I asked you.
"Yes, because you've been a mom for 8 years".

(I still had 2 months to go when I took these pregnancy pictures!)

(for those of you that didn't know, Jack was just under 10 pounds at birth...look at those cheeks!
This is me, being wheeled out from the hospital, bringing home baby Jack Austin!)

(Proud Papa Red...Jack and Papa share the same middle name)

(first trip to Vegas, for Uncle Joe's tournament)

(Jack and Daddy...)

(Jack and some friends)

(first birthday lunch)

(cousins at Jacob's soccer game)

(Jack in Santa Barbara)

(train phase)

(celebrating your 8th Birthday at Nana's)

8 years.
We are proud of the big kid you have become.
You are sweet, smart, silly, loving, dramatic, creative, sensitive, funny, enthusiastic...
and I cannot wait to see what the next 8 years will bring.

Happy Birthday, bud!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Night Under the Stars

Jack and I had our third Mom & Son Dance Date last night.
(Kindergarten Dance here. First grade here.)
They did such a great job decorating the MPR at our school.
We walked the red carpet, and were greeted by the paparazzi.
Jack found his star!
...and he found his dancing moves!

After the dance, we went to Yogurtland with the Liconas!

As Jack's 8th birthday is quickly approaching, I caught myself wondering..
"How much longer do I have for moments like these?"
Surely, in a few years, the Mommy & Son dance may not be on the top
of his list of fun things to do.
For now, I will take as many of these moments as I can!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Papa Red

We said goodbye to Papa Red this weekend.
It was completely expected, and yet, still so hard.
It broke my heart, to tell Jack, who cried with me for a few minutes.
I told him that we would always have wonderful memories of him.
Jack said he would always remember that "Papa was in the Navy".

How blessed my kids were to have had a GREAT grandpa.
How blessed was I to have a grandpa so great.

(Papa's senior picture, 1943)

(U.S. Navy, 1944)

(World War II)

(Papa Red, my Dad, uncle, and Grandma Pearl)

celebrating a birthday

Family Shot, December 2010

We went through a bunch of old photos today at my parents' house.
Some were funny, lots of good memories...
Like, this one.

The day after telling Jack, he came to me, and said,
"You know. I still miss Papa Red. I am still sad".
"Me, too", I replied, " me, too".
and then, in his almost-8-year-old wisdom said,
"...(sigh)...if only life had a re-set button".