Anna Week: Saturday breakfast

Most weekends, Anna and I are the first ones in the house to wake up. That means we get to have breakfast together. Sometimes we go to the Chick-fil-A so we can have biscuits – this is Chelsea’s influence on the family. In this picture, Anna is engaged in some typical Saturday morning nonsense:


Happy weekend!

Anna Week: Girl Scouts Circle of Award

This past weekend we also had a Girl Scouts award ceremony, during which Anna and her fellow Brownies received several patches they had earned recently. Anna loves Girl Scouts. Nearly all of the girls in her grade are participating, and as I mentioned earlier this week, she clearly has a talent for selling cookies.



It’s fun to see this girl emerge into her own among friends and classmates. Anna has always been a bright, cheerful presence in our lives. She’s been pretty shy around other people until the last year or so. Now, she’s the life of the party.

Anna Week: 1st Communion Class

I realized in looking through my inventory of pictures that we’re going to end up having an Anna Week. So here we go.

Anna is taking First Communion classes this winter in preparation for making the sacrament in May. This past weekend, I was the teacher for the class. So Anna and I were there bright and shiny, giving us enough time for her to run around and make silly faces before the other kids arrived:




She is a goofy kid, that Anna. I like her.

Cookie time!

Anna joined Girl Scouts this year, which means we’ve reached the time of year when we sell cookies. Lots of cookies.



Anna is a born businessperson. She carefully organizes everything, takes detailed notes, counts the cash, and makes phone calls to family and friends. She has also enlisted the help of her siblings, who are diligently selling boxes of cookies to their friends at school. It’s an impressive operation.


Maria’s day in NYC

Our girl Maria received a day trip to NYC as her big Christmas present, and she didn’t waste any time in redeeming the gift – she and Chelsea headed up there on New Year’s Eve. They opted not to stay in town for the ball dropping in Times Square, but they took the train up and back, had brunch in town, and saw a matinee at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Not bad for a day’s work.

Part of the gift was that Maria was able to bring along one of her best girlfriends from ballet. Her mother came along too, so it was a kind of double date for Maria and Chelsea.


Happy weekend!

Stars on trees

We’ve had a nice tradition going for many years where we have the kids put the angel on our Christmas tree. This year we also had a little tree in the foyer, so we had two trees that needed topping. You’ll notice in the second picture that I’m doing the lifting duties. Every year these kids get bigger, and I get weaker.



Tomorrow: Big day in the big city.

Blokus, the game of champions

One of the gifts we gave our kids this year was Blokus, a board game for 2-4 players. You have to place your pieces on the board in such a way that you maximize the amount of the board that you control, while cutting off the expansion options for everyone else. The pieces you use resemble the blocks from the video game Tetris:


The game is an addictive mix of simplicity and complexity – everybody can play it, but it’s not easy even for us adults.


We brought it along to Christmas dinner:


The game now has pride of place in our family library at home. Only one other game gets to live upstairs instead of living in the basement – our family Mancala set. (Hey, both of these games are math-related. That darned Chelsea has tricked us again….)

Wrapping up holiday coverage

We’re still plowing through the last rounds of pictures from Christmas break. Today it’s the House of a Million Christmas Lights. This place is located on Byberry Road in Lower Moreland Township, a few towns over from us. We swung by there Christmas night to take in the scene.


I can’t imagine the electric bill they’re paying:


Tomorrow: Blokus, our new household craze.

Nick’s first movie

Our boy Nick had a school project that required him to create some kind of analysis of the play Antigone by Sophocles. Brilliantly, he decided to create a stop-motion film using Lego figures. Check it out:

Chelsea and I tease each other sometimes about which kids are more like each of us. Chelsea believes that Nick is more hers than mine. While she may be right, I ask you, gentle reader: Who comes to mind first when you say “stop-motion Lego animation”?

That’s right.