We had a tiny snow storm. Tiny. There was maybe 1/2" of snow in our area covered by a thin layer of ice. Mercer's school was cancelled for about 1 1/2 days because of it. Mine and Isabella's school was not. There was barely anything to play in. Todd took the kids out the first day for a little while. I took them out the next to search for icicles. We did have to get out in it to take Hip-Hop fro his walks. He actually seemed to like it!
I don't think that we posted on the blog about the election back in November. But - there was a pretty historic election where a woman was a presidential nominee. Most recently, there was a highly-contested inauguration that took place this month & it should be recorded here. We did not vote for the candidate that took office and - so far - we are not happy about the actions of the new president. Neither are millions of people around the world. There were protests in major cities in America the day after the inauguration -- but also in cities abroad. The protests were because of hate, racism, discrimination based on religion, and the like. There have been more recent protests at airports in support of immigrants.
When Obama was elected and put into office 8 years ago & again 4 years ago, we did have hope that our children would be able to have a fair shake in this world and not be judged because of the color of their skin. It's only been a week since the new president took office.... and, we are feeling a little hopeless in this area. I fear that we as a country are taking some steps backwards and not progressing. If we just hold onto this as a country, we hope that things will be OK in this new administration: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
On a more positive note: Mercer wrapped up his basketball season this month. The coach said this was his best team that he's worked with. The coach is not a dad of one of the boys - he either works for the city (or is retired city employee) and he's coached for a number of years. Last year, my connection at the city Parks & Rec department told me about him and how he wants to "give back" to the kids.
The coach bought each team member a Christmas gift mid-way through the season and he also threw a pizza party for the boys at the close of the season. He was a very sweet man and helped lead the boys to victory for much of the season. The Crusaders ended up winning all but two games.
Mercer definitely improved as a player as a Center and as a Forward; he found his stride catching rebounds. He made a good number of shots as well many of the games. (He's #3 in these photos.) He actually sank a 3-pointer in the last game! What a way to finish the season.
Coach sent a nice message after the season was over: "It was my pleasure to have coached your son this year and I was really proud of his attitude and the way he played. You are raising a fine young man and I know you and Todd are rightfully proud of him. I hope Mercer continues to play both baseball and basketball because he does have the right team attitude to be successful and have fun."
We love hearing that positive feedback!
I was ordained as a Deacon at our church this month. I went through training late last year and wrapped up with an officer retreat a couple of weekends ago. I have been wanting to get more plugged in at our church. This will certainly prompt me to do so! One thing that was really touching -- a friend of mine from a different church (someone who helped me decided to accept the nomination / someone who I've been looking up to for part of my spiritual journey) surprised me and came to the Ordination. It meant a lot to have her there!! xoxo
As a part of the requirements, I have to help out with a certain number of church services each quarter. Also, I have to serve on a separate committee... I chose building / facilities of course.
This is a 3-year commitment (class of 2019). Each year 1/3 of the Deacons rotate off, then a new group comes on, but there will always be 2/3 consistent crew.
Our church has a lot of different programs. One is a class on discipline (following book Easy to Love, Hard to Discipline). Another is in Sunday School - we're following a book called the Gospel According to Star Wars (and Todd's going with me to this one). Another program they host is the Scout Troop for Mercer's school.
So - between new Deacon duties, classes and Cub Scout meetings and events, we are there a lot! Most recently, we all participated in the Pinewood Derby. '
This year, Isabella "helped" make a pink Spiderman car for the "Outlaw" competition. She picked out the templates for the shape of the car, she sanded a little bit, and she did a coat of paint. (Todd did all of the detail work, of course.) Mercer did the same - but was definitely more involved in the painting and detail work than she was.
Mercer's is the red one on the right with the blue stripe down the center in the top photo. Isabella is the pink one - also on the right - with a spider web on it. She also "represented" her car well by wearing the SpiderGirl cape!
Neither placed in the top 3 for their groups, but it was still a cool thing for them to do with Todd and a fun day spent watching the races!!
There are a few photos that she took at the event (the last 3). There are not many pictures of Mercer because he was not hanging out with us at this event. He was mostly at one end of the track while we were stationed in our seats. He likes that independence and freedom!
We had soup night this year again. I had made suggestions of "neighbor" nights and "architecture / friend" nights to try to get some specific groups of people together - but it didn't work out too well. It may have been too limiting, the attendance wasn't as good as expected. But - we did enjoy those that we were able to catch up with (some are only on an annual basis). And - we are eating a ton of soup in these cold months as we have had quite a bit of left-over to freeze. mmmm.
Isabella has been talking about a few things in the car that are cute "leg sleeve" LOVE that is what she calls this when getting dressed!
Mercer was caught telling Hip Hop that he's his best buddy and - he still loves him. Both kids perceive Hip Hop as a sibling -- Todd and I are his mom and dad.
Isabella has been asking a lot of questions about being in a woman's belly. Last month, she was talking about death. Whew - this curious mind is trying to figure a lot of things out!!
One final highlight: Isabella has FINALLY figured out how to rhyme. For MONTHS she has been saying random words and shouting out afterwords with such glee that they rhyme. "Car Bat... that rhymes!" um, no baby. But -- it seems that she's finally caught on and she is soooo excited!!
Hiss. Piss. (Yep - that's one of hers that she knows now, but thankfully she doesn't know that this is not such a nice word.)
We'll end with a cute photo of the kids.... we had a professional photographer snap their photos in the square before the holidays. He captured some of their expressions perfectly!!