Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kids will say the "darndest" things....

Today, Lucy asked why I had an "M" on my cup. I told her it was for Mommy. Vincent and Sophia went on about my other names that start with "M", Marcie, ma. Being a smarty pants, I chimed in with "MARVELOUS". Lucy jumped in with "that is a fancy word for mommy!" :-)!

Vincent says she is reading too much Fancy Nancy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

O.K., I know these are a little late...but hey, we did not send out Christmas cards until 2009! Anyway, Vincent brought home some great creative writing that I wanted to share. Once we get a scanner, you will be able to appreciate the awesome artwork that accompanied these poesms.

Number 1

Plays soccer, likes to go to grandma's, plays with my toys
Brother of Laura, Sophia and Lucy
Who'd like to see George Washington
Who loves toys, Lucy and the beach
Who dreams of having a million dollars
A student of Mrs. Hagan

Number 2

Merry Christmas

Hope you enjoyed these!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Day at the Races - Cub Scouts style

On Sunday, January 18, Vincent participated in his Cub Scout Pack's Pinewood Derby. For those of you who are not familiar with this event, in a nutshell, the derby is a race. But, it is more than that. The premise behind it is the Cub Scout is suppose to design and build a racecar (spell that word backwards) with the help of a parent. There are parameters the car has to fall into in order to qualify for this event.

Vincent seems to really enjoy this event. For all practical purposes, he completely designs and builds the car. This year, we traced the outline of the block of wood provided in the pinewood derby kit, both the top view and side view. Vincent drew up on the paper how he wanted the car to look. We transferred those drawings onto the wood and I cut out the wood, using a band saw. Last year, Vincent used a regular hand saw to cut the wood. This year, I cranked out the band saw. Other than those cuts, Vincent did everything else, from sanding the wood, to using a hammer and chisel to make a notch in the wood, painting and applying the decals. He wanted a Missouri Tigers theme to the car. Below you can see the final product. Vincent's is the all gold car with the University of Missouri stuff on it, next to AFLAC the duck. I think Vincent's turned out looking pretty good. There are two competitions on race day, one is for design, the other is for the racing. As you can imagine, the Duck won design, Vincent's came in third in design.

On race day, the boys in each rank of the pack (cubs, wolf, tiger, etc) race against the other boys in the same rank. So Vincent, who is a wolf, would race other wolves. There were only 5 boys (wolves) who participated in the derby this year, so the competition was not as stiff as years past. However, Vincent was still excited and had a great time. When all was said and done, Vincent took first place, Wolf rank, in the racing competition. Wasn't even close (that is probably more of Dad's memory than actual truth). I don't know for sure, but he may have been the fastest car of the day. I have one of three races on video below. If you take first place in either design or race, you get to go to the regional races in April. So, we have to look into that and see what's next. Plus try to keep the kids from playing Smash'em Up with his car.

The last races of the day is in the Open Division, where anyone (siblings, friends, parents, etc.)can enter a car to be raced. Laura made four cars for a science project, so we had some extra cars around to enter in this Division. The cars were put through their paces for the science project, so they may have been past their prime. Sophia's car actually lost her wheel on one of her races, and didn't finish on another. Look at the "cars" in the open division. The squirrel was really neat. I thought if we had a car a little faster with a nut on it in the lane next to it, it would have looked like the squirrel was chasing the nut.

The "Wolf" Pack - not quite Dale, Jr, JJ, Carl, Kyle and Tony!

The Wolf's cars - Vincent's was the first in line. All of them were pretty cool!

Still love the Duck though!

Another angle of the cars!

Gentleman, start your engines! Vincent in the first lane, ready to go!

The "cars" in the open race! The squirrel was pretty fast! Lucy's car was the spotted car next to the squirrel and Laura's was the wedge next to that. Laura actually got third place in design!?

Vincent's car is in the middle, tearing up the track!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Being Silly

Sophia, Lucy (without her glasses, for some reason) and Dad being silly one night. Showing our happy, silly and serious/mean looks.

Sophia showing us her beautiful smile!

Lucy and Dad schmoozing for the camera (Sophia photographer)

Sophia showing us how cute "silly" can be!

Lucy looking cute being silly, too! Dad? Not so much!

"You want some of this, Buster?!"

Lucy needing to work on her serious look.

Dad needing to figure out the difference between serious and scary! Beware, the Evil Eye!

Christmas Lights - Around Columbia

We have started a Christmas tradition of going out for dinner some evening during December, and afterward, go around town, looking at the Christmas decorations. Each year, we hit our favorites and try to find new ones. This year, we did both. Here are a couple of houses in Columbia with Christmas lights. There are, of course, many more that could be construed as impressive (or gaudy) depending on your taste and tolerance. After going through Columbia every year, looking at Christmas lights, finding new displays, the children have decided, for this year, these two are the two of their favorites.

This tree is always our favorite, we go see it every year. It is the only decorating this person does, but if he did anything else, it would take away from it. The tree, called the Magic Tree, is even more impressive in person. During the weekends throughout the Christmas season, there is a line of cars going down the street. He has a flyer, explaining how long he takes to put the lights on, how many lights are on it, how much is the electric bill, etc, out by the tree so people can take it. He has installed signs throughout the neighborhood, explaining where to go and not go. It has become a Columbia tradition for many people. It is very impressive.

One of our friends told us about this house. It is located about 1/2 mile from our house, but we never knew it existed, because it is on a street we don't travel. Some of the things the kids like about this house is the angels you see above the rest of the display are hanging in the trees in the front yard and actually go out over the street. It probably has 100 angels throughout the trees. The display, itself, has lots of lights, always a big hit with the kids. But, it isn't a hodge-podge of decorations (Santa, reindeer, snowman, Nativity, Grinch, etc.), it is all about Jesus and His birth. I don't know how many pick up on it, but I did and love how it declares, loudly and, yes, gaudily, "the reason for the season" Again, more impressive/gaudy in person.

We hope everyone had a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and wish you the best for this New Year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Laura "Versace" Elfrink, designer, seamstress

2008 Fashion Show

Laura modeling her Christmas stocking and ornament

Laura modeling her funky shorts

Laura modeling her 2 drawstring bags

Laura and her friend Joyce modeling their skirts. Laura and Joyce arrived for a sewing class with the same fabric and the intention of making a skirt!

More skirts!

Laura began sewing classes this summer after many months of pestering us! She is loving them! They are taught by this wonderful instuctor named Rocci Kendall. She is super talented and super patient with the girls. Laura has taken 3 classes and completed 2 drawstring bags, a pair of shorts and a skirt. In early November she completed a sewing camp where she made a Christmas stocking and an ornament. She also spent a Sunday with her Aunt Paulette sorting through Grandma Elfrink's quilting material. She chose some colors and made a quilt top throw pillow. Laura is always creating and making something for her sisters or a doll. Lack of a pattern has never stopped Laura from designing and sewing clothes for her American Girl doll. Hopefully, the lessons will help her combine her creative eye with some sewing basics!

Lestat, 1992-2008

With heavy heart, we have to share the news that Lestat, our beloved pet, had to be put to sleep in late November. It was a tough decision we hated to make. He was the best dog you could ask for.

I would like to share some moments...

we picked him up from the Humane Society way back in March or April of 1993. They said he was somewhere between 9 months and a year old. His name when we picked him up was Nevada Snow, so we knew we had to improve it, naming him....Lestat!?

Right away, we realized he was a very smart dog, pretty well behaved, and, best of all, potty trained (is that what they call it for pets?) He never grew anymore after we got him. He started with us at 45 pounds and in his heyday, he was up to 51 pounds.

He was fast as lightning and loved to play fetch/catch. He was so smart, that when he played catch and got tired (yes, he actually did get tired) he would lay down AFTER he chased the ball but BEFORE he returned it to me. I would take a ball on the ground and he would stand "ready", down on his front paws and hind quarters in the air, waiting for me to flick the ball with my foot/toes. Which ever way I shot the ball, he would snatch it right away, catching it like a good shortstop. If I flipped it over his head, he would catch it "with his back to the infield"

He was so well behaved, also. For instance, if we were having company over, he was never bothersome after the initial contact. And, if we were having appetizers, put them on the coffee table (just at the right level) and we would leave the room, he would not bother the food. However, if we came back and gave him the food, he would eat it then.

One of his tricks was for him to lay down, with his paws in front of him, and then for him to "stay". I would put a treat on his paws, tell him "NO" and he would not touch the treats. If I held him too long, he would look down at the treats, but still wouldn't touch them, not until I said "Okay".

When we traveled, he knew when we were getting ready. He'd be following us around, keeping an eye on our progress and when he figures it was time, he would climb into the vehicle, lay down in a small area and we would never hear from him. When we would stop to eat, we'd leave him in the car/van (with the windows cracked, of course). While we were in eating, he would sit in the driver seat and watch for us, looking like he was driving the van. Later on, after he was knocked down a notch or two on our list (read: once we started having children), when we traveled, the kids would drop things on the floor, and he still wouldn't move, almost to the point of being covered completely with "stuff".

He had unbelieveable control of his facilities, to the point of us taking advantage of it. There were many times when we would leave him alone all day, for over 12 hours, if not longer, and he would NEVER have an accident. Not until the last 6 months.

He never snapped at anyone, wonderful with the kids, smart enough to just get up and walk away if the kids got too friendly.

Our kids go over to my brother's house, where he has a young dog, around a year or so old. The kids have so much fun with him and his energy. I keep saying it was too bad they missed Lestat in his prime, they would have had a blast with him, too.

We were so lucky with him, we will never find another pet like him.

We'll miss him!