February 2014


Everett recently painted a self-portrait at school and starting tonight it is on display at the Barnes & Noble at Mayfair Mall. He wouldn’t tell us anything about it ahead of time, except to say that he designed the shirt he is wearing in the painting. We went to see it and then had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Needless to say we were among many proud parents that evening!

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Chris and Melissa each became aware of quinoa about 20 years ago. Melissa learned about it from a college roommate, and Chris discovered it while researching gluten-free diets. It’s a grain that has been grown for human consumption for several thousand years, though in western diets it has remained in almost complete obscurity until it recently started to become fashionable. On a recent trip to Costco we found five products containing quinoa in a single isle, and when we got home we realized that our tortilla chips contain it as well. The New York Times is now writing about it. Then we saw a Bud Light commercial about quinoa patties. What is happening?!? Is quinoa the new kale? Next thing you know, vegetables like broccoli will be getting extreme makeovers. Of course, our greatest concern about media like the Bud Light commercial is that millions of TV viewers will not get part of the joke and will start pronouncing it queeno. This will be a distressing turn of events for the sticklers among us who are trying to uphold some standards in English (for the record, the correct pronunciation is ˈkÄ“nwä).

We are slowly introducing quinoa at home, though we aren’t too optimistic about it given Everett’s behavior at the dinner table. His first reaction to almost anything we serve is “I don’t like this”, followed by “I’m not hungry”. In addition to chips we also got some quinoa tabouli (tabbouleh) and noted that this might be a good name for a rock band or a future child. We’ll be sure to stock up on these things the next time Uncle Sean comes over!

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Y-Tribe February 2014

This weekend Chris and Everett went to the YMCA Camp MacLean for camping with the Y-Tribe. We arrived for lunch on Saturday and stayed until around lunchtime on Sunday. As with most other Y-Tribe camping trips we were able to pack a lot of activities into 24 hours: sledding; snow snake competition; making survival bracelets; making tie-dye t-shirts; broom ball on the lake.
This was one of the few years when the toboggan run was open and we were able to get in many good runs.
By the time we got home on Sunday Everett was sound asleep in the back seat, so much so that he immediately fell back asleep even after being awakened by Chris.
Success! Nevertheless, he told Melissa and Gabby that we only got to play one game the entire time. Chris overheard the tail end of this story and said “What?!?”, at which point Everett cracked a smile. Later that evening we went to Bavaria for dinner (new restaurant in the village!).
On the way home from dinner Everett told us that we “didn’t hit it hard enough at Y-Tribe.”

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Tonight we met with Everett’s teacher Ms. Tierra for parent-teacher night. She told us nice things about him that confirmed what we already thought, and we told her how happy we are that Everett is in her class. In the course of our conversation Chris mentioned how much Everett likes to roughhouse. Ms. Tierra expressed surprise, and Chris was surprised that she was surprised because roughhousing seems to be part of the natural rhythm of each day at home. One of its many forms is when Chris bounces Everett up and down on the bed while singing a song such as The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers or Mah Na Mah Na. At the end of each song Chris throws Everett down on the bed. Another favorite is when Chris uses a puppet to do the Piggy dance: Piggy runs up and down Everett’s body and then pounces while Chris hums the tune to Tequila. Even though the actual song has only a single word, we made up words to mimic the sounds in the song, and as a result it is not uncommon for Everett to ask questions like “Dada, can we do bananadingdoo? And then can you flomp me?” The verb “to flomp” is something we adapted from the book Dog in Charge; the Urban Dictionary accurately defines it as a cat falling over sideways.

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All three of our children were baptized today. It’s a lot at once, but these days we are trying to be as efficient as possible. Our sponsors are Sean, Kathy, Matt and Katie. There weren’t able to attend the event, but fortunately this was mitigated by two things:

  1. Gabby and Grandaddy were able to attend the event and visit us for the following week.
  2. We used a piece of technology called the Internet to stream the event live to our sponsors and family in other parts of the world. This seems to have worked reasonably well (thank you Tim Berners-Lee). The actual baptism ceremony is at about 45 minutes.

All of the kids did great during the ceremony. Teddy and Gwen were quiet and cooperative, and Everett was very confident up on the stage. We were proud of all of them.

That evening during dinner was the first time that the babies provided an audience for Everett: he was demonstrating how a snail runs to school, something he saw in Monster’s University, which Teddy thought was hilarious. Gwen probably would have enjoyed it as well but she had a cold and was not her normal self this evening.

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