Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dominic nixes sand

It turns out Dominic really doesn’t like the feel of sand. There were several very humorous attempts to get him to put his feet in the sand. Each time he’d lift them so high that his bottom would touch before any part of his legs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Playing in the sand

One of the kids’ favorite pastimes was playing on the beach. Our rental faced the ocean and this year’s beach was less rocky than last year’s.

Here’s Eliana playing with first base during a baseball game.

And here’s a photo of Sarah and Eliana proudly displaying their sand castle.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The kids at the beach

Here’s a photo of all the kiddies we had under one roof at the beach. This photo was taken, like the ones in the previous post, on Father’s Day at the San Juan Capistrano Mission.

Included in the photo are the Coglianese five, one of their cousins, Kate, and the Codella two. There was also a baby, Jane, who came with her mom, Megan, for a couple of days. But they weren’t with us on Father’s Day.

Perhaps now you can better imagine the mayhem that occurred each day, especially around mealtimes.

But this year was a good year: there was no sickness and no injuries except a couple little slivers.

Thank goodness we had nana and Grandpa big dog (Kim and Diane Grover; Amber’s mom and step-dad) because Nana was a great sliver remover.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Our trip to the beach

Our family enjoyed a relaxing beach vacation at Capistrano Beach last week. I’ll post a few photos and stories over the next few days to give a brief overview of how things went.

These photos were taken early last week. Dominic has developed quite a little personality lately. He’s mischievous and loves to look for a reaction before he does something he knows he shouldn’t.

Here Eliana was posing at the San Juan Capistrano Catholic Mission. We took quite a few photos of the beautiful gardens as we enjoyed a leisurely tour of the grounds last Sunday.

I had a great Father’s Day last week as I was surrounded by my great family and enjoyed the first full day at the beach. Vickey surprised me with an iPod for my Father’s Day gift. I had fun exploring its functions and listening to music on my rollerblade trips around Dana Point and Capistrano Beach last week.

Dominic and I are squinting in this family photo because of the sunlight in our eyes.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Photo sampler

Here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks.

Tonight in her prayers Eliana prayed: “And we love Angie, and help her when her baby comes out, and help her to find a name for him.” Isn’t that sweet?

So what is the name, Ang & Vin? Just a few weeks and counting.

Dominic has cut another tooth and now sports seven teeth with three weeks to go before he turns one. And he’s a quick little cuss. We had to install the gate on the stairs to prevent him from scaling them at every opportunity. Hopefully now we’ll avoid any accidents on the stairs and the tile landing on the main floor.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The smarshmallow cup

Vickey’s friend Jana suggested a couple months ago that we institute a reward system to praise Eliana for good things instead of giving her punitive attention for bad things.

At least since early last month we have given Eliana a marshmallow — she calls them ‘smarshmallows’ — for her good deeds.

Typically she’ll do something good, like actually go to the bathroom without prodding from her parents, then afterwards say, “That deserves a smarshmallow!” Sometimes we agree, and she gets one.

You can see by the photo that her cup doesn’t exactly runneth over.

She received one reward just before our cruise for filling her cup — a recorder. That was her favorite toy for 10 or 15 minutes. Speaking of toys, it seems to me that if we packed up half of her hundreds of toys and then brought them out again next year she’d be thrilled to death to have all the ‘new’ toys to play with. I think I’ll like it when the toys are traded in for more mature items.

The marshmallow cup is a good reward system. It’s just difficult to pull 5 marshmallows out every morning because Ellie wakes us up each night. Then she has to work all day to earn the marshmallows back. Thus, her cup since the first time it was filled has remained relatively steady at about 1/3 full.

Maybe one of these years she’ll opt for 8 hours of sleep like I so enjoy. Something to look forward to for all of us, I suppose.

How’s the weather?

When I reviewed the weather report on my Google home page today I couldn’t help but smile.

Why, you ask?

Because I live in Las Vegas.

You see, my family members live in these other cities and when you look at the weather forecast, there’s a clear, always sunny winner … Las Vegas!

I guess that’s why so many people move here each month. And I guess that’s why it’s becoming so expensive to live here.

But for those of you northeasterners, and mountain west dwellers, my hat’s off to you for being hearty enough to endure cold temperatures and frequent moisture.

But before you think I’m gloating too much, consider how I felt after running my three mile loop with Tank last week in 110 degree weather. I think it took me 15 minutes to feel normal again once I got home. I was close to throwing up.

Still, you gotta love the clear skies in Las Vegas!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Eliana’s dance recital

Last night Vickey and Eliana had a photo shoot before we left for Ellie’s annual dance recital at the Henderson Pavilion. We took some photos at the dance concert, but they all turned out very dark.

Also, never fear grandmas and grandpas, we video taped Eliana’s two performance numbers.

We left for the concert around 7 p.m. and after stopping at Dairy Queen on the way home for a treat, got home at 10:30 p.m.

Yesterday’s temperature was above 100 degrees, but I suspect it was closer to 85 or 90 last night (how refreshing, right?). It was warm enough to make you feel hot and sweaty in the outdoor pavilion but not hot enough to make the experience miserable.

This year’s concert featured more modern music than last year’s. Our friend, Lori Day, is Eliana’s (and about 250 other’s) dance instructor. She teaches through the Henderson Parks and Recreation Department and does a great job with all the students, two and three year-olds all the way up to silver-haired grandmas. She’s also a member of our stake and was the choreographer for the Into the Light production we did in March. Lori’s an outstanding lady.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Elder Nelson speaks in Washington, D.C. about legal marriage

From the LDS Newsroom
June 5, 2006

Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — the second-highest governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — joined other religious leaders today in Washington, D.C., to speak in support of a constitutional amendment protecting marriage.

At an Alliance for Marriage press conference at the U.S. Capitol building, he said:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pleased to be represented in this significant cause. While those of us here today represent a broad spectrum of religious diversity, we are firmly united in our declaration that marriage of a man and a woman is ordained of God. The sanctity of marriage and family constitutes the spiritual undergirding of lasting and successful societies.

“Together we share a duty to preserve marriage and family as established by God. The time has now come when a constitutional amendment is needed in this country to protect our divine inheritance. Such action does not reduce our regard for individuals who choose to live by other standards. But it confirms our conviction that marriage is the foundry for social order, the fountain of virtue and the foundation for eternal exaltation.

“In 1995, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a proclamation to the world on the family. From it I quote:

“ ‘We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.’

“Thus we unite with other religious leaders who also are committed to preserve and promote that same objective.”
Read what reports about the proposed constitutional amendment: Senate set to reject gay marriage ban.

And from the CNN article: Nevada’s own senator, Harry Reid (a member of the LDS Church)...
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said that "the reason the Senate Republicans are pushing this marriage amendment is because they don't want to address the real issues of this country."

"This is an effort by the president and the majority in the House and the Senate to distort, to misdirect what the real issues are," he told reporters Tuesday.
Personally, I can’t think of too many more important issues facing our country. I’m definitely disappointed in Senator Reid. At least I never voted for him.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Don’t feed the dog

Dominic and Tank have an unwritten, unspoken but often utilized agreement. Whenever possible, whether he likes the food or not, Dominic feeds Tank food from the table.

It really doesn’t matter how many times we tell him not to feed the dog, or how many times we tell the dog to lie down and not beg from the table. I think it’s just a baby/dog thing. Eliana used to do it as well.

Dominic sure gets a mischievous smile when he’s warned not to feed the dog. I think he enjoys stirring the pot. He certainly enjoys exploring and finding out how things work and teasing his sister. Even with four years between them I sometimes think he knows just which buttons to push. Can you imagine the fun and games in another 10-15 years?

Eliana, Dominic and I spent a fun night together while Vickey did a Pampered Chef show. We had dinner at home, returned some things at Sam’s Club then spent more than we received from the return (doesn’t it always happen that way), then came home to watch Nanny McPhee. I think that’s Eliana’s new favorite movie, or new brand favorite movie as she’d say (instead of brand new).

I just tidied up the house, cleaned the floors and have a few loads of laundry to fold. I also have a priesthood lesson to prepare for tomorrow, but that’s pretty much done with the exception of a few visual aids I plan to organize.

Ellie and I took an hour out of our afternoon to go swimming at the Coglianese pool. It was sure a hot one today. And this morning was the elders quorum family breakfast in the park, followed by a move for one of the neighbors. While I helped move Vickey took the kiddies to Eliana’s dance rehearsal for the big recital on Thursday.

Vickey and I were talking about a few things we wanted to accomplish around the house and were saddened by the lack of Saturday’s available to do what we’d like. We just go from a handful of activities each day to the same thing the next.

Oh, and I managed to switch out 3 bad under-the-cabinet light fixtures so now all the kitchen cabinet lighting is working again. Another fine job by PJC2.

At any rate, it was a good Saturday. Lots to do and a good sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Eliana’s preschool graduation

A true sign of the times — even preschoolers have graduation ceremonies and parties.

I think the only partying going on when I ‘graduated’ from preschool was a sad acknowledgement that my parents would have to now put me in daycare.

Kids get everything these days.

Ellie received her preschool diploma tonight at her teacher’s home. Ms. Tammy, as Eliana affectionately calls her, had a graduation party for the kids and families.

Tammy filmed interviews with each of the children and played the video tonight. She asked what they liked most about their year in preschool. Eliana was the last to be interviewed, her answer: “the snacks!” That got a big laugh.

Although Ellie meets the age requirement for kindergarten, we’re still mulling over half-day afternoon kindergarten at Cox Elementary (it’s just around the corner) or a year of preschool at the Challenger School, an LDS themed curriculum school.

A major reason we’d opt for Challenger would be that she’d most likely receive a better education and after this next school year could then enter first grade at Cox. We remain undecided however. So, sometime in the next few months we’ll decide where to send Eliana for school next year.

In the meantime, we’ll look forward to enjoying summer outings and our upcoming trip back to Capistrano Beach with the Coglianese family.