Monday, January 19, 2009

I just want to say Thank You MLK...

Just so you know, this will be a reflective post. We are having a great relaxing family day today. And last night, at dinner, I looked around the table at my family and started thinking about the man we were honoring today, and the man we are inaugurating tomorrow. And my eyes welled up with tears that these things are actually my lifetime.

It is not lost on me that my family would have been impossible 20 - 30 years ago. The idea that I, a single unmarried woman, would be able to adopt a child at all was completely out of the question. The idea of adopting Black children, another impossibility. And let's not even go into my baby, a child of both Black and Hispanic descent, again, probably never would have been born at all.

I watch my daughters, and I see that they are true sisters. They don't pay attention to the color of their skin or mine. Oh they see the color, and they love the differences, Katy is a deep dark chocolate brown. (I am a foodie by nature, so you'll have to excuse my use of food to describe my daughters, but this is my post, so get over it!) Madyson is a my latte coffee girl, she is almost as dark as Katy but with a little bit of cream in the mix. Mackenzie is my strawberry vanilla girl, her skin is so pale it is almost blue. Ava Marie is a coffee with cream, maybe a hazelnut? But my girls love this about each other, they love all of the colors, and their teachers love to watch all of the crayon colors they use to create a drawing of our family. How boring it would be to draw a family of 6 and only have to use a couple of crayons!

I am thankful to all who have made this possible. The men and women who had to suffer to make the world and our country in particular look at itself and right the wrongs we have made.

I am no PollyAnny, I know that we are still fighting racism and sexism and intolerance for those that are different in many ways. But like a journey that begins in darkness and ends in the bright sunlight...we are going the right direction.

So I say today...Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you for all you did. Happy Birthday to you. From a house of love and laughter, where beautiful children with brown and white and coffee colored skin live together and call themselves sisters. And they believe that they can do or be anything...anything!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Baby Walked!

Yes, you heard it here first! And I am not talking just a few baby she has been taking 2 or 3 little steps for a couple of weeks now. Today she walked all over the house! On the carpet, the hardwood floor, even out in the yard on the squishy grass, which I do not think she really liked. Now of course I will have to chase her around the house and keep her from getting into everything. Oh how I loved and will miss that little crawling baby!

It was so nice here today that we spent a lot of time outdoors. The kids even had their lunch outside on the patio. My Mother and my Aunt were here for their last afternoon with us, they left for the airport at 4:30pm. We had a nice last afternoon, then had some chili that I had started this morning, then Mom and I and the kids went for a walk around the neighborhood. All of the neighbors were out, some putting away their Christmas lights, lots of people washing cars. And some of the kids on the next block had set up a lemonade stand, very industrious!

Right now the kids are watching the movie Jumanji, Ava Marie is sleeping and the wind is howling outside. I think it has already dropped 20 degrees! I love the cold and the snow for Christmas, but then I just want it to be spring right away. It would be easier if there were another holiday. Not just President's Day, but some sort of present giving, snow covered, twinkling lights holiday in January. Someone should start one...OK, I can do that! How about the Snow Queen's Birthday...on January 31st...and everyone should give each other gifts wrapped in white gift wrap. And the gifts have to be typically white things, like underwear, socks, and sheets!! Okay, most people don't have only white underwear anymore...and I don't think I even own a set of white sheets. But it could be kind of interesting!

Well, I am thinking this is the last Saturday evening I will be sitting around relaxing with a cup of tea and the computer. Tax season starts right away for me. I am sitting here right now, putting off starting to work on W-2's and payroll taxes. It's not that I don't like tax season, I actually do. I find it really invigorating to get a file with lots of documents and information and organize it and use the information to create the tax return. It's just that it is also a lot like an are up on a mountain, enjoying a beautiful day in the snow, and the next thing you know, you are at the bottom of the mountain under a pile of it! That's the part I don't love so much!

Oh pays the bills and keeps me in chocolate! Have a great Saturday evening.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Few More Photos of the New Year's Eve Gala

More dancing!
Mackenzie & Katy being called out by Glinda, "Come out, come out, wherever you are...". They were so cute, they had rehearsed it where all of the children climbed up on their seats and stood up when they heard Glinda start singing. Then they crept toward the dance floor and then broke into song. Very nice.

Randy had to work and didn't arrive until after 8pm, he almost missed dinner, but our waiter brought him a plate as soon as he sat down, really good service!

Mackenzie loves dressing up and doing things she thinks are grown up.

We are so lucky to have friends and family to spend the evening with! Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2009 be filled with love, good health and prosperity for all of us!

We Danced All Night!

Grandma dancing with Ava Marie!

The girls ready to celebrate midnight!

Happy New Year!! Of course, this was actually staged. We were on the dance floor at midnight and then redid this for the camera...what a bunch of hams!

They had a great silent auction and a live auction, and performances by different singers and dancers. Katy and Mackenzie got to reprise their roles as Munchkins and sing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead". How fun!
At about 10:30pm they did a countdown and had a fun balloon drop for everyone. It was supposed to be so that families with young children could then leave and get home a little earlier. But everyone just stayed and danced on the big dancefloor and waited until the official midnight countdown! We stayed until 12:30am, and only left because they finally turned the lights up, I think the staff was ready to leave before any of us were!

New Year's Eve Gala at The Ritz Charles

Our whole family attended the New Year's Eve Gala put on by The Culture House. It was wonderful! The theme was "The Golden Age of Hollywood" which is perfect for all of the talented kids and families there! This is our table setting, and the gold thing on the red napkin is a little chocolate Oscar! So clever!
All of the Werner girls were dressed in the beautiful Chiristmas dresses. Chocolate Brown with Pink Rose skirts. And the girls also wore their new full length capes that my mother Olivia made for them. They looked so cute!

Here is my mother Olivia on the right and my Aunt Marianne on the left. They flew out from California to spend the Holidays with us.

The girls and I in the lobby of the Ritz Charles. You probably can not see it fully, but even the baby has a matching cape...and yes, the American Girl dolls are also wearing matching capes!! My mother went all out this Christmas!

Pictures from Randy's Birthday

Randy asked for a Carrot cake with Cream Cheese frosting. It turned out really well, very moist with fresh carrots and applesauce in the recipe.
He mistakenly thought that he was going to get the whole thing and kept teasing the little girls (and big girls too!) by saying, "This is my piece, where is yours?" To which they would scream and pretend to pout!

Obviously he told them he was going to share the cake, so now all is well and everyone is smiling again. Brothers can sure be annoying! (Not that little sisters can't be that way also!) It was a great birthday for Randy!