Thursday, April 30, 2009

Empowering my 11 Year Old

A few weeks ago, Dominique said, "I'm almost positive that I'm going to be a vegetarian." Dean and I were like, "Okay." Then on Wednesday she said, "I've decided; I'm now a vegetarian." When we asked her what precipitated this choice, she said, "Because eating animals is murder." Oh my goodness. I'm liberal, but I love my meat.

I told her that God made animals for us to eat. To which she said, "We're all animals, so why don't we eat each other." Seriously? I said, "We are mammals, but we're not quite the same as chickens and cows." I was going to explain the whole poseable thumb and upright walking and ability to reason thing, but I stopped there.

I said, "How are you going to get your protein?" This is a big point of contention at our house. You can't just eat carbs for a "Hashbrowns," not a meal. "Mac and Cheese," sounds like two things, but it's really only one...and not a meal (in my mind). "Top Ramen," not only just carbs...but hardly in the food chain.

I said, "What about if we get you organically grown chicken." I explained how the chickens are treated humanely, not plumped up and injected with chemicals just for us to eat them. When she heard that they were "happy chickens" before their little heads were chopped off, she was cool with that., I took her grocery shopping with me. We went to the poultry section and we looked at a package of chicken. It was a few bucks for three chicken breasts...boneless, skinless. Then I told her to support her new status as a "pseudo-vegetarian," we would go to the healthy store (it's like Whole Foods but it has a different name.) I've been in this store exactly once to buy chicken only because I forgot to get it at the other store.

We found a package of frozen, organically grown chicken breasts. We read the label to make sure the chickens were un-injected, farm grown and happy before they were butchered. Cost of about 6 frozen chicken breasts....$25.00!

I'm so not kidding.

I told her that I would support her new cause with ONE bag of chicken breasts a month. The ENTIRE grocery bill at the real store...for meals planned through Sunday dinner was $137.00.

I want to be supportive, but is there a cheaper way I can be supportive. I'm making pot roast on Saturday night. Let's see how long she holds out. I'll be proud of her if she does. I'll be proud of her if she doesn't. I'll be proud of her no matter what. I'm glad that she's making her own choices and making a stance for something she thinks is important!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Play Ball---Elle Davis Rules

There's nothing quite like a game under the lights. Wednesday night was about as perfect as a night as it gets. Here are a few videos of Elle. She's a dang good ball player...but then again, so are all of the girls.

Behind the plate.

Elle batting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter Weekend in Washington

I have not been in a blogging mood lately, but since we've been back from Washington for a week, it seems like it's more than time to post a few pics. The kids' extended family lives up in Washington, so every once in a while we try to head up that way. This time, the added incentive were two new cousins. Tyson is 5 months old, and he is the kids' first cousin once removed (trust me, that is the correct way to represent the relationship...I googled it to confirm what I already knew). The second baby is Ella. She is the kids' first cousin (no once removed stuff here). Have tons of pictures of both of the newbies, but the ones with Dean are really cute....well, and the babies are cute, too.

On the Saturday before Easter, Dean and I took the Ferry from Edmonds to Whidby Island. We rarely go out just exploring, but that is exactly what we did on that day. We stopped when we wanted to, grabbed something to eat when we wanted to, took the road less taken a few times and designed our own adventure. We drove the length of the island, over Deception Pass Bridge, back on to the mainland and make our way to where we needed to be. It was nice to spend the time together doing whatever we wanted!!!

Self portrait at Deception Pass Bridge. It's 20 times more cool looking in real life.

Friday, April 17, 2009

We Honor Jackie Robinson-April 15th

Spider Jorgenson, Pee Wee Reese, Ed Stankey and Jackie Robinson
Brooklyn Dodgers
For those of you who don't know this....our family LOVES baseball. One of the main topics of conversation when Dean and I were becoming acquainted was, you guessed it, baseball. Bradley was in the Little League Organization in Washington state, and had his team advanced to the regional tournament in California, Dean and I would not have gotten married on August 16, 2003. As my luck has it, Bradley's team lost...freeing up Dean's time to come and visit me. We eloped the first weekend we met.

We got sealed in the temple on August 16, 2005 (on our 2nd anniversary). We did it up and all. This is on Bradley's Little League Field in Salt Lake City. We had a blast!

But this isn't about me...this is about Jackie Robinson.
Jackie is Bradley's hero...hands down. His dad is also one of his heroes, but Jackie is his baseball hero. One time when he was 11 or 12, he was in his room reading a biography of Jackie Robinson. I walked into his room, and he was crying. He told me parts of the story and how Jackie's brother died. Crying...I'm telling you....the kid loves Jackie Robinson.

When we re-did Bradley's room last fall, we had our neighbor paint a mural on Bradley's wall, and yep...Jackie Robinson is now permanently painted on his wall with the quote that says: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

This is a shot of Bradley's wall mural. The picture doesn't do it justice.

I'm so inspired by Mr. Robinson and what he did for this country. Through America's pastime, he helped breech the "color barrier." He suffered a lot of persecution, but his talent spoke for itself. I also love that his teammates defended him and supported him. I love that he was a humble man. I love that he is such a great role model for my son and my daughters.
Wednesday, April 15th is known as Jackie Robinson Day. April 15, 1947 was the first day that Jackie took the field as a Brooklyn Dodger. For a few years now, major league baseball players have honored Jackie by wearing his number: 42.
This movement begun in 2004 when Ken Griffey, Jr of the Cincinnati Reds asked permission from the Robinson family to don the number in Jackie's honor. The baseball commissioner approved and a tradition began.

LA Dodgers players on Jackie Robinson Day 2009

It is an emotional site to see EVERY Dodger wear the number 42. What is even more overwhelming is to see the support for Jackie Robinson Day from the entire major league. 2009 was the FIRST time that EVERY MLB player, every coach and every umpire wore the number. What a great tribute!

On Wednesday, April 15th we all happened to catch the news story on ABC World News Tonight. Trust me, it is VERY rare that we are all home at that time and it is even more rare to have us watching the nightly news. (My friend, Steve Osunsami, had a story run that night...which is why we tuned in.) All of the kids and Dean saw the story, and we were all touched.

Yesterday, Dom and Elle had to choose what number to put on the back of their new softball batting helmet. You guessed it, they chose 42. I'm proud of them! They could have put their own number on there, but one of them suggested to put 42 on their helmet!

The full effect of a pink batting helmet

I hope that if I get to Heaven some day that I can tell Mr. Jackie Robinson thank you for being a good example to my kids. I hope he's loving it there and playing pick up ball with the rest of the guys hanging out in the Field of Dreams!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Root, root, root for the home team...

For years we watched the local professional soccer stadium go up just a few blocks from our house. We talked about it and figured that we should support our local team and the local economy by becoming season ticket holders to Real Salt Lake (which is really in Sandy now...not Salt Lake).
We toured the facility before it was finished last fall, and the place is amazing. So, we purchased four season tickets! The first game was last Thursday, and it was WINDY, a bit chilly, and rain was predicted. I sent Dean to the game with Dom, Elle and the neighbor kid. They had a blast. I can't wait to go when the weather is much more cooperative!

Elle, Domi and Dylan (our adopted 5th kid!)

Our home team whopping Columbus!!!

By the DID rain by the end of the night. I had picked them up from he game by the time it really started coming down.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Prom Night 2009

Friday, March 27th was Bradley's Junior prom. He went with his girlfriend, Toli, and they had a good time. At the last minute, there was a bit of drama around dinner plans, so I (Wendy) stepped in and just took over. We took them to La Caille. For those of you who are not from Utah, this is a fabulous place not far from where we live. The pictures actually do it justice in this case. Here are a few mementos from the night.

I have no idea why he is sticking his tongue out...except sometimes he does that when he laughs. I had to get the mom in the pic helping with the boutineer...classic...the mom usually has to help.

Thankfully, the wrist corsage is much easier to manage.

Don't they look great! It was VERY cold!

At dinner.

Let's just say that prom costs too much, creates unnecessary drama and is an antiquated teenage ritual. But, "you only have one Junior prom, right?" So we keep this tradition alive no matter how much drama and money it costs. One junior prom down...three more to go!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm going to miss "ER"

For 15 years ER has been a part of my life. For those who are counting, the show has been on TV for longer than 3 of 4 of our kiddos have been ALIVE. As I watched the final show with Mariah tonight, I said, "This show is older than you are!"

I'm shamelessly addicted to TV. I don't even care what others might think about the amount of TV I watch. I have an ability to get a tremendous amount done in my life. DVR has helped me take 60 minutes and condense it down to 40. TV on DVD is also one of my favorite inventions, but I digress.

In the past, I have LIVED for ER. I have spent countless hours talking with friends about the plots, the characters and the ER experience.

Be still my heart, George Clooney is still my favorite pediatrician. I decided in 1994 that I would never have children after watching that heart stopping episode where Dr. Greene pushes the baby back into the uterus. Ewee...watching that again tonight made me squeamish. Never liked Carol Hathaway..and still don't. I always knew that Benton had a soft spot in his heart for Carter. John Carter was probably my all time favorite character. I dig Noah.

In later Croatian...Goran, became Luka. I loved listening for his Croatian phrases that he threw in there every once in a while. I really like Maura Tierney, but I was never a big Abby Lockhart fan. I liked Linda Cardellini from the beginning, and John Stamos wasn't hard to look at each week.

Some memorable ER scenes:
1) That whole pushing the baby back in thing...
2) Dr. Ross rescues the boy in the storm drain
3) Lucy and Carter getting stabbed...that one still gives me nightmares
4) George Clooney's cameo when Carol moves to Seattle
5) Mark Greene's last episode...cried like a baby
6) Benton's last episode...cried like a baby
7) Romano's arm getting hacked off
8) Anspaugh's son dying of cancer (this is where I first heard "Time of Your Life" by Green Day)
9) Romano being done in by a helicopter (freaky)
10) Basketball in the ambulance bay (no particular episode)

The finale wasn't particularly memorable, but it was a perfect way to "end" the story. I'm so glad that they didn't shut down County...have a sappy was all about "life goes on." The next generation of doctors will come and go, and the ER will just keep on keeping on. I loved the subtlety of Gaines and Sam getting back together. I liked the fact that I was left wondering what was going on with Carter's wife. I liked the fact that I felt like those folks would never really have another reason to come together again (after the opening of the Carter Center).

It was a perfect ending to a great show.

For 15 years, I've spent my Thursday nights with the folks on ER. I'm not sure a show will have that kind of longevity again any time in the near future.

Thanks for the memories. Now, I need to buy the DVDs one season at a time so I can have my ER fix when I need it.