Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cute Valentine's and Derek's Cowboy Birthday

Derek's Birthday Party (My sister and her family did such an awesome job!)

"Bear Hugs" Elle got from one of her classmates (teddy grahams & hugs candy)

Elle's Valentines for her class and teachers

Thursday, February 17, 2011

9 years later

{an anniversary present 2009}
Feb.16, 2002 Chris and I went on our first real date and celebrated our first Valentine's Day together. Chris gave me a box of Godiva chocolates and took me to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the IMAX theater and then to dinner. I was pretty spectacular on such a large screen. Feb. 16, 2011 Chris and I celebrated Valentine's Day by going to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical. We did have to ride a bus and go with 130+ students, faculty, parents, and guests, but it was still pretty awesome. No italian dinner, but I did get a box of Godiva chocolates again. I highly recommend going to see this musical if you get a chance. I was really impressed with the scenery and costumes. We had a really fun time out "by ourselves", which we rarely do. My Grandma graciously came over and watched Elle for us. She is such a special person to us! We were surprised how many people asked why we didn't take Elle, but the show was about 2.5 hours long and some parts would have been pretty scary for her. Several times they turned out the lights or had bright flashes, plus lots of loud bangs and roars. The beast could be a bit intimidating for young kids. They also shot confetti into the audience a couple of times, which we thought was great, but could also be startling. They added a few more songs and tweaked the story just a bit so that the characters are turning into the objects, but it explains their still human-like form. They've also added some physical comedy and a few more jokes. Overall, it is a great experience.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

an improvised valentine's day

My love!

Yesterday marked the 9th Valentine's day Chris and I have spent together and Elle's second. We didn't really have our official date because that's tomorrow night (more on that after tomorrow). I do want to say though Elle and I are so blessed to have Chris love us so much. I love him and Elle more and more each day! We weren't totally boring though. We went over to the school building last night to watch TwinProv ( It's a set of twin brothers who graduated from OSSM in 1998. They formed an improv group who also do musical comedy. They're pretty good and we all had a good time. I recommend watching the New Moon Rap!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the P word

It seems like lately everywhere you look the concept of a princess is being thrown at girls. Maybe this is more apparent to Chris and I because we have a girl, but it just seems like it's the thing that little girls are supposed to be into. On a recent trip into the Disney store I noticed half of it is devoted to selling the various princess movie merchandise. Parents magazine recently had two interesting articles devoted to the princess phenomenon. The first is titled the princess diaries and the latest article is an interview with the author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girly-Girl Culture. I haven't read this book, but have it on reserve at the library. Both articles caution parents that the princess obsession may be pushing girls to grow up too fast and teaches them to value being spoiled, the bling, and narcissism.

I'm not saying Elle can't be into princess stuff (although the thought of it makes Chris' hernia hurt), but I want to make sure she understands what that means. I want her to focus on the good messages of the movies or stories, to learn the virtues that are imbedded in the fairy tale. Most of the stories have the underlying message that good triumphs over evil (and kindness to animals : ) ) and each of the characters hold certain virtues. Here's a short list based on the "Disney Princesses":

Belle- wisdom, philomathy, acceptance
Cinderella-hopefulness, kindness, perseverance
Snow White- optimism, cleanliness
Sleeping Beauty/Aurora- obedience, respectfulness
Ariel- curiosity, courage
Jasmine- self-respect
Pocahontas- courage, truthfulness
Mulan- honor, strength, courage
Tiana- determination
Rapunzel- loyalty, creativity (I haven't seen this movie, just going on what I've read)

I think many of the virtues can overlap princesses, but you get my point. I also think it's a good idea to talk about what a real-life princess does. It's not just about tea and pretty things. What good things have real life princesses done with their title? I'm not going to say they're perfect, but most princesses are involved in some charity work and are highly educated. (Did you know Princess Caroline has a degree in philosophy and can speak 5 languages?) The meaning of royal duties might also be a good topic to discuss. I've also seen that there is a christian children's book series called gigi: God's Little Princess, but I don't know anything else about it. This has just been on my mind lately and especially as Elle gets older.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

no snow day for you!

What do OSSM professors do when a blizzard is expected? Spend the night! Several professors and staff spent the night in offices to make sure they could be here. A couple of people probably won't go home until tomorrow. School doesn't stop when everyone lives at school. Classes must go on, which means Chris has had to teach extra classes for those who couldn't make it here. Most of the students have been earning school service hours for shoveling the sidewalks. Elle has been sick so she hasn't been too active, but we broke out the playdough as a special treat. She took a brief trip out in the snow (probably 5 minutes). We're especially grateful for the cafeteria and janitorial staff who have made it here to provide the kids with food and to clean. The last pic is of our living room window with the snow blown up on it (please ignore the dirt that has blown in from construction).