Thursday, May 31, 2012

cool stuff

alex drew a character from kung fu panda two.

here is the real one:


 and here is her pretty awesome version, that she drew at school, from memory:


not bad!

Friday, May 25, 2012

watermelon ninja fruit kabob

oh what's this?  looks like a rubbermaid storage container with a little piece of fabric in it, an old sock perhaps or maybe a forgotten mitten that got left behind during winter clothing storage....



WRONG!

WRONG!

WRONG!

that my friends is an effing bat!!! aka a real-live vampire, aka a rat with wings, aka a murderous inhabitant of my living room that tried to decapitate me and murder my family and my kittens the night before last.  and i will tell you that although i may have rolled into a ball faster than a 1980s popple when it dive bombed my brain, my hero husband and those killer kittens of mine, were having no part of this burglar bat bastard.

that's right.  he may have swooped in via some currently unidentified location, but my three guys went gangbusters on his butt, trapping him in a plastic jail cell then condemning him to a momentary sentence of snapshots and shrieking.

want a closer look?  of course you do.



now, let's talk about a few things:

1. those creepy feet. i could have gone my entire life without ever needing to know and/or see proof that bats have creepy spider toes.  sick.

2. my cats can jump as high as the top of my windows and over my head if provoked.  impressive.

3. turns out that even though alex has claimed to be a giant fan of bats for a number of years, they are not as "cute" nor "cool" when flying through your house on nighttime suicide missions.  who knew?

4. this bat was given a name and it's watermelon ninja fruit kabob. bam!

that's right bat, you flap into our home with your circus freak feet and your murderous motivations and we'll release the felines on your ass, put you in a plastic flying mammal restraining device, photograph you and let our seven-year-old give you a stupid name.  because that's the way we get down around here.

now be sure to use those creepy finger-like-toes of yours to hand deliver that memo to your friends.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

give to grow


earlier in the year i mentioned that i was going to be taking on some freelance writing projects as well as some special projects that hit really close to home.  well today i am all jazz-hands-a-blazin' to tell you about one of the special projects and share a little bit of it on the blog.

last summer i was asked to collaborate on some marketing materials for alex's school and then to be a part of their capital campaign this spring.  well, the work on both projects is now complete and the official capital campaign kicked off this week with the pieces i helped create arriving in homes just yesterday.

before i show you the pieces, i thought it might be helpful to give you an idea of what the campaign is all about and in total, what her school is all about. now some of you already know, but for those who don't, alex is a part of academie lafayette - a full french immersion, public, charter school in the heart of kcmo.

the following video is one of the most moving and exciting things i have ever been a part of and i just think it's a total masterpiece.  it really helps capture the spirit and essence of the educational experience we chose for our daughter.

up first, the video:

http://youtu.be/oSiTAXTCGOg



and here is the brochure i collaborated on for the campaign: 


evan has also taken on a piece of the campaign lending several of his weekend hours to leading a group of volunteers in the renovation of the new lower campus that alex will be at for second grade in the fall.

here are just a few pics of some of the work he has been involved with there:



and last night we helped to "install" a piece of the campaign at the main campus that will serve as a recognition piece for families.

here i am putting up a bunch of sticky tree branches on a wall and there alex is staying up way past her bedtime...for a good cause i might add.


pretty sure another one of these puppies is getting the amazon prime treatment and then stuck up on a wall somewhere in our house.  i mean, who doesn't need a giant tree on their wall?  it's kind of been the year of the trees for us and we're kind of nutso like that, so yeah.

and just because i didn't get a chance to show it to you last summer, and while we're on the topic, here is the initial marketing piece i collaborated on for general recruitment/info:


i'll be honest and say it wasn't an easy choice when we were moving into the district and trying to decide on school options.  we were incredibly skeptical about what we were getting into and whether or not it would be a good choice for her future - but being a part of this campaign and being a part of the day-to-day experience of having a first grader who is fluent in french and is exposed to teachers from all over the world, has been rewarding on a level i can't really even begin to explain.  we've gotten involved with several different things and have made some friendships that i already know will last a lifetime.

in short: we are over joyed with our decision, extremely proud of our school and super excited to share a few of the pieces from the campaign we helped build.

anyway, in the event that you have any further interest in learning about AL or being a part of the campaign, you can learn more (and donate) at www.givetogrow.net.  and especially if you live in kansas city, mo and are aware of the urgent need for HIGH quality public education, and you're looking for a shining star to invest in, we can't say enough about our school or the need for helping it grow.


now be a good blog follower and go copy/paste/facebook/tweet/google+  that video link all up on the web-sies and help spread the word. merci! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

like mother like daughter

a lot of people seem to think that alex and i look alike.  she's obviously mine, i saw it happen, but i rarely see the similarities.  there are some occasions where i'll catch a profile view of her and i can see a resemblance.  it usually happens when she's sleeping - that is when, to me, we look the most alike.

but every now and again even i can't argue that there are some similarities between us.

about two months a go i gathered with a group of people on world kidney day and posed for a photo op.  yep, that's me, front & center because, well,  that's the kind of crap i like to do.


then yesterday, the girls were posing for an end-of-year photo op at girl scouts and you won't believe who waited until the last second to take her spot down front...


even i couldn't deny the irony.

i guess we're alike in more ways than one and she likes to do that kind of crap too.  its kind of funny when you're a parent.  you wonder and worry about the things your kids will learn from you and carry with them.  i was having a conversation with some girlfriends today about whether or not our daughters would do the crazy things we did in our youth.  thinking about it inspired this post.

and also scared me half to death.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

oh yeah...

my lil' brother graduated from college last weekend.

and in related news, my dad made what would have been a really nice pic of his kids, an even better pic of his kids complete with a photobomb.


we only managed to take about 4 1/2 pictures on this day and this is basically what we ended up with:


pretty lackluster but congrats anyway baby bro.  we failed you on the photo documenting, but you've done us proud on the growing into a smart, handsome and amazingly awesome dude.  we're super proud of you and love you tons.  i'd like to think all those years of sticking peanut butter on the roof of your mouth and aiding and abetting your massive fear of butterflies, really helped shape you into the man you have become today.

p.s. you can stop getting taller any day now.  we get it, you're all grown up.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cinco de Meatball & Andre

this is a really good story i assure you.

last year, somewhere around the 5th of may, alex asked when meatball's birthday was.  we honestly had no clue, but figured since we got him around the first week of june, and he appeared to be all of about 4 weeks old, it had to be somewhere around the first week of may.  mathematicians we are.

evan did another quick round of mathematics and surmised that andre had to be born at relatively the same time of year, several years prior, and thus "cinco de meatball & andre" was born.

its a lovely tradition where we treat ourselves and our only other friends who adore these animals as much as we do, to a mexican feast. don't think margaritas aren't a major part of this equation.  after dinner, we come home to indulge the cats in all kinds of shenanigans like...

dressing in drag:



enjoying a decadent birthday feast of canned tuna, glace ice cream and three dog bakery treats:


friends are strongly encouraged to take part in fun:


and a good time is had by all:


some party-goers however just can't seem to get enough:


its a festive tradition for our feline family members and an easy way to have a few laughs at their expense.


happy birthday meatball & andre.  another year older and you still look damn good in a bikini.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

food porn

this is some food we chopped up.  then we ate it.  it was delicious. the end.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

instagram of the day: cazelle

alex is obsessed with animals.  we've covered this topic before.  she informed me that she has a new favorite:  the "cazelle".   she drew me a picture of it the other night before bed.  a gazelle obviously, but can we please talk about how, whatever it is, she can illustrate it like nobody's business?  seriously - this cazelle is ca-razy!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

tree huggin'

earlier in the day on saturday, before we got all gussied up in 1920s gear, we did a little lovin' on mother nature.

it started a couple of months back when evan attended a homes association meeting in our neighborhood.  at the meeting he agreed to take the lead on a pilot program sponsored by the kansas city parks & rec department and a group called the heartland tree alliance.  the project?  help plant 500 trees in 4 different neighborhood in an effort to keep the tree-lined streets of kansas city's urban area alive and thriving for years to come.  if the project was successful it would be implemented in dozens of other neighborhoods with 1,000's of trees.

the cause was a total no brainer.  all the mature trees in our 'hood are one of the reasons people love this part of town so much.  add the fact that mature trees can increase property values by 15% - 20% and cut down on energy costs in the hotter-than-hell summer months and well there really are no downsides to the idea.

since all the trees were being donated by the sponsoring groups, we really just needed to collect names of interested homeowners and secure a front yard to host the ceremonial kickoff.  taking a 21st century approach to helping our early 20th century neighborhood, evan built a website for our neighbors to submit their addresses and requests.  it was a simple website but really simplified the process.

my hubs, so dreamy and techie.

on our particular weekend, with the help of some other awesome neighbors and some partnering volunteers, we secured just over 100 trees for interested homeowners and hosted the demo at club 26E.  we had the the perfect spring morning for the occasion, Roasterie coffee & Lamar's donuts to get everyone going. once complete, we celebrated with a generous donation from one of our favorite neighborhood spots, Pizza 51...and we may have also offered up some boulevard boss tom's golden bock that we had just put on tap.  hey - it's the weekend and we're being green and all.

"beer at noon is required" says mother earth and well, mother knows best.




i love the idea of this program and i of course love our two new charlie brown trees, but i think my favorite part is knowing that 50 years from now, alex can come back to our trees and know she was here when they were "born".  i'm sure it will be a cool thing to remember when she gets older and it will be a distinct part of the neighborhood that we helped create as someone did for us over 100 years ago too.
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