My kiddos.

Smiling Jack

Jack and Jules

Lucy and Julia

Bee, running

Julia and Lucy and Jack

Dave and Jack

Lemme have that camera, mom.

Lounging

Jack and the cat

Jack pushing the wagon

Phoebe pulling Jack in the wagon

I handed her the recipe and surrendered the kitchen. I actually, physically removed myself from the kitchen. I did not stand over her shoulder or lurk and provide “helpful” advice. I left her to it. She rewarded me with delicious sugar cookies.

Julia made sugar cookies!

She was so proud. And all went well. Nothing blew up or got cut off or burn- well, there was that batch she forgot about.

Julia burned sugar cookies.

You burn, you learn. (Another Law of Food.)

*Unless it’s food you don’t like. Or you really like making food and are very good at making food. Or the person who makes you the food isn’t great at it.

(Described in the style of If You Give A Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff.)

If you give a wife a weekend at one of her favorite places…

Our 10th Anniversary at Oglebay

…she’ll want the kids to go along. So, you’ll rent a cottage.

Ash Cottage at Oglebay

When you arrive, the kids will remind you that cottage guests can swim in the pool at the lodge. You’ll go there after you check in.

At the pool

Swimming

Jack and Grandma swim

You’ll feel thankful you asked your mother-in-law to come along and help with the kids. You’ll send her to the spa for a massage and pedicure the next morning. Your wife will want to go with her.

The kids will want to go somewhere special, too. You’ll take them to ride horses.

Ready to ride

Bee's signature pose

Bee and Boomer

Julia and Scotch

Lucy and Prize

Lucy rides

Indoor arena

When the rides are finished, they’ll want to go to the zoo. But it will be very cold and windy. So you’ll visit The Children’s Museum instead.

Bee, the snake charmer

Bee!  Not as tall as the snake.

Turtle

Sand Table

Poetry

Reading nook

Bee, in a mermaid costume, plays with a train

Jack

Sewing

Julia's Quilt

When the museum closes, the kids will be very hungry and tired. You’ll order them pizza and buy the movie Frozen on iTunes so they can watch it with their grandma at the cottage while you, finally, get to take your wife out, just the two of you.

While you’re out, you’ll reminisce about the past ten years. You’ll talk about the kids. Talking about the kids will make your wife miss them. And chances are, she’ll want to go back to the cottage so you can share the rest of your anniversary with them, too.

Happy 10th Anniversary

Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803 – a fact that was celebrated by the fourth grade at Julia’s school, yesterday. The social studies teacher had requested donations for the class parties last week and I happily volunteered to send in the cake (which I made joyfully and lovingly) for Julia’s class. (Twice.)(The party was postponed once.)(And thank goodness. The Cake, Second Edition was much better than the first. [This is why there are no pictures of the first one.])

Ohio Birthday Cake

The cake didn’t end up in Julia’s class, though. The parents who wished to donate cakes all had kids in the same class, so the cakes were randomly assigned instead. Julia informed me that our cake was the only one that was homemade and was THE MOST ENORMOUS. (It weighed 12 pounds.)(I know I’m ridiculous.) After feeding the class, it also fed the staff in the principal’s office and the custodian. I’m not sure if that made her proud or embarrassed or, more than likely, nothing at all because it’s just a cake!

I’m beginning to think I find cake to be more exciting than most people.

The Ribbon Festival was on Saturday. (You remember The Ribbon Festival. We’ve been there one, two, three, four, five times before.) It had been on my calendar for a month. The dresses had been chosen for a week. The day before, I had pulled out the music and numbered the measures, hung out the dresses, and located the shoes – in fact, we’d done a test fitting, just to be sure we were ready. But two hours before performance time, we were not ready. Julia had lost a shoe and Lucy’s shoes, suddenly and inexplicably, did not fit. So, at forty-five minutes to showtime, after a swift foot measurement, I sent the girls down their respective aisles at the shoe store with the task of selecting a black dress shoe in their size. This is how Julia ended up with a pair of heels – low heels, but HEELS – and Lucy, wedges.

This wouldn’t have happened on any other day.

They put them on right there in the store and walked proudly out of the mall like they had those robot legs from Herbie Hancock’s Rockit video.

Amazingly, we were on time for the event.

Lucy battled her stage fright on the bench for 68 agonizing seconds (which I cut from the video) before tentatively, but successfully performing Lightly Row.


Julia played Minuet 2.


They felt pretty good about themselves.

Lucy and Julia with their ribbons

They were almost as pleased with their ribbons as they were with their shoes.


Comments