Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mistaken Identity

Jonah, who is three, is already quite the philosopher. I've been to college and can usually hold up my end of a conversation. If I don't know the answeres, I can useally BS my way to a conclusion. BS doesn't work with a three year old. In fact, he asks such intrugiing questions I am left speechless.

He asked me last week, Do you have toes? Does everybody have toes? Why do we have toes?"

My logical answers don't impress him. "We need toes to balance and walk. Without toes we would not be able to walk."

It was not the answer he was looking for.

Last night during our snuggle time he said " Who built me?"
I said" Well, you grew in my tummy, but God built you."

He sat up in bed and looked at me and adamantly shook his head, "NU UH! God doesn't build PEOPLE! He lives at Church and builds TOYS."

"No, honey, God doesn't build toys."

Silence.....'Oh YEAH! Santa builds toys!

Silence.....'so why did God build people? Why did God build me? Why do we have toes?'

I have been searching the internet for classes that teach Preschool Philosophy. I haven't had any luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tourists in Our Own Town

Our guests are almost ready to go home. My 2nd cousin, Moritz (from here on out referred to as MoMo) and his girlfriend, Sarine, have come to America from Germany for a month. They stayed two weeks in the PNW with my parents and flew down to San Diego almost two weeks ago. We have been having such a wonderful time! It is nice to have family and friends visit. It is nice to 'revisit' all the tourist areas and see all the beauty that I have taken for granted while living the last 15 years in San Diego. The awe has always remained in the back of my head, along with old phone numbers, names of childhood friends and memories like that. As with all reminiscing, it is good to re experience the joy of this wonderful area we live in.

Sarine. Her first day at the beach in California. I took them to our favorite little beach in Oceanside, Buccaneer Beach. There is a little 'hole in wall' galley across the street that serves the best 'heart attack in a bun' on the planet. But in our case it was a 'heart attack in a tortilla.' The best breakfast burritos on the planet come from Buccaneer Beach Galley. The coffee isn't bad, either.

Jonah enjoying his half of a breakfast burrito. He is like the squirrels that like to beg for food at the beach. He hordes the food in his cheeks while asking for more! He is a good eater and even likes to dip his burrito in the salsa verde that comes with the meal. Notice you won't see any pictures of Dante eating anything but PLAIN standard kids fare...burgers, nuggets, spaghetti.

Dante enjoying his birthday present from Grandma. I think this boy may end up a California surfer dude. He love to ride the waves! The first day we went to the beach with Sarine and MoMo he was hit in the face with a large wave (probably the same wave that gave Sarine a nasal lavage!) and ended up with a small rock in his orthodontia. (we ended up having to have it removed and replaced during his dental came loose.) A few days later he was again hit in the face with a big wave and ended up puking. He still 'wants to boogie.' Every day if he could. Next year he will be old enough to go to surf camp.

MoMo and Sarine and the kids enjoying the Oceanside Pier. It is the longest wooden pier on the west coast. It is a common sight to see fisherman fishing off the sides. The usual catch is herring, yellow tail and the ocassional leopard shark, sand shark or stingray. We witnessed a man catch a duck one day. Luckily he was able to cut the line, pull the hook and set it free. The boys love to watch the fishermen. Today was not a good fishing day, the only thing caught by a few was small herring for bait. Even the resident pelican wasn't around. He must have been fishing elsewhere. We did witness a regatta in progress. I have never actually observed a sailboat race so it was quite interesting to watch.

We spent one full day in La Jolla. We swam at the cove, near the children's pool. The ongoing controversy with the children's pool seems silly to me. Many years ago the citizens of La Jolla decided to dredge part of the coasline, build an observation deck and make a quiet little shallow cove for the children to play and wade. Well it ended being a perfect shelter for seals to pup in the spring and to take refuge the rest of the year. This infuriates some because the children's pool becomes off limits during pupping season and the rest of the year the area is to be used with cation, as the seals are 'off limits' to the human population. And I would think the water should be off limits too, with all the seals and their poop. I think the fight over the pool-should we 'get rid of' the seals so the human pups can use it-vs. co-exisit with the animals is silly. We messed with nature and are now mad that the natural world has taken advantage of our supposed ingenuity? Seems like we have lots of coastline to take our own pups. Leave the seals alone. They end up shark bait soon enough. We swam within viewind distance of the children's pool, about 1000 feet up the coast in another cove called 'shell beach.' I was amazed at the difference just from our own little beachy area we frequent in Oceanside. Our sand is fine and regular 'run of the mill' sandy quality. The beaches are wide and an occasional shell found is pretty rare. The waves hit the shoreline at regular intervals and the coastline from Encinitas, about 20 miles away, to Oceanside is long and straight. La Jolla is cliff-y with lots of little coves and caves to be explored. It isn't as windy as the coast is protected by the cliffs. The sand is different, too. At Shell Beach, it was like brown sugar. Carmel colored and large fluffy grains. The water was warmer by at least 5 degrees than in Oceanside, and there were shells at the waterline that had been pummeled into fine jewels. The water was so clear and when looking down at yoru feet, it appeared as if the bottom of the sea was carved out of stained glass. The purples and greens and pinks and blues that filtered the light through the waves was beautiful. I also found at least 30 peices of beach glass....old bottles or jars that have somehow ended up in the ocean to be crushes and rolled until the small peices end up on shore and appear to be prizes of amber, diamond or emerald. The swimming was not as good as at home, but the beach combing couldn't have been nicer anywhere!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Jonah came up to me while we were eating breakfast at my parents. He is three, mind you. He says to me "I am feeling kind of EVIL."
Through nervous laughter, (am i raising an axe murderer?) I ask, "why are you feeling evil? "

He answers brightly with his little boy lisp "Oh! Cuz we're playing Star Wars and I am Darth Vader...and I am EEEVIL."

Whew! Society is safe!

We all know what happens to Darth Vader in the end. He repents, becomes good again and is saved. Kind of like all humanity, don't you think? Since I have become a Catholic over a decade ago, I am always so amazed and pleased at how our culture is infused into the secular world. Star Wars espeically has so many Catholic inferences. Whenever I hear "May the Force Be With You" I want to respond with arms wide open "And also with you." George Lucas is Catholic, isn't he? Anyway- I love how secular culture can be intertwined with our faith, and vice versa. The boys ask me frequently, 'what is the Force?" Our answer, "It is like God." And my boys get that.

Happy 7th Birthday, Dante

Off With Your Head!

Dante celebrated his birthday both yesterday and today-yesterday at my sister in law's Independence Day BBQ and today by spending a few hours at the beach with his new boogie board from Grandma and Bobo. I guess age 7 is too big to allow for a 'birthday cake request.' He really has a lot of faith in me. He wanted a 'Lego Star Wars, Indiana Jones cake." Oh exactly do I pull that off? I was pretty impressed with Jonah's firetruck cake last year, but this? What to do, what to do? I decided to make a sheet cake and three loaf pans, plus muffins and mini muffins. I sprayed the pans AS INSTRUCTED and even used non-stick pans...but of course, they have to stick for me. (and yes, I let them cool. I even put them in the fridge overnight.) Dang it!!! Well, I do have toothpicks and spackal like frosting... I cut the tops off of the muffins and placed them on the cake to look like the round raised bumps on the legos. I used two loaves next to each other at the other end and frosted the same color to look like lego peices attached to the big lego. I used mini muffins with the tops cut off for those bumps. Then I used one last loaf and mini muffin for the top lego in a different color. TaDa! But how do i intergrate the Star Wars and Indiana Jones theme? Just ask the birthday boy! The legos are his final touch. I don't find it my best work, but I guess it is all in the eyes of the beholder. Dante said "this is the best cake, ever!' It is good to be Mommy.

Next week we 'finish up' the celebrations when MoMo and his girlfriend Sarine arrive-2nd cousins from Germany who arrived in Portland, OR at my parents the evening we left for home. It will be so fun to play tour guide again, and the kids were spoiled rotten by their....3rd cousins? (Is this where the term cousins twice removed comes from?) No matter! Family is family and we will be sure to have lots of fun and lots of pictures to share!

High School Musical....Nat Nat

Well-Natalie (the only girl offspring on our side of the family. She covets that title.) did it! She graduated with honors from CAM high school in Vancouver, WA. She has a lovely group of friends and a great head on her shoulders. She got through the years unscathed...Smokin' maybe, but definitely not singed! :) As always her family, my sister Bettina and her family, put together a lovely feast and of cours, the band. Oh, yes, the band. Both Bettina and Tino have their masters degree's in music (well, I think Bettina' BA is in Music, Masters in Education, but still....) and have always taught music or performed in one thing or another. The whole family is quite talented...Natalie sings along with my sister, Tino sings and plays the keyboard, and the boys, Nick and Alex play drums. Nick is also quite the rock star on guitar. Which is why we just HAD to do what we did. Don't look at me. Kaylene was my partner in crime, but is too much of a DIVA to admit it. And Mom/Grandma? Well, even with out being liquored up, she definitely got into the groupy mentality. And everyone wonders exactly HOW I got backstage to so many concerts? I can't wait to tell all the sordid details to my grandkids...
I guess they say pictures speak louder than i will just shut my mouth and let you have a look....