Anna becomes a teen

Anna officially left the tween status behind.  She is now 13 and can call herself a teen.  To celebrate, she invited 10 of her best friends to a Japanese Steak House for a fabulous lunch.

We watched as the chef gave a fantastic show with fire and knife-work.  Chicken, shrimp, and steak all smelled great!

Anna made the cake for her party – and decorated it, too.  Seems kind of weird, but that was what she wanted.  She did a great job on it, too.  Simply stated, “Happy 13th”.

All of her friends brought presents wrapped in pink.  They sure know her well.

However, the biggest present of all was the gift she received the day before (as mentioned in yesterdays post):

Over 1000 texts in one weekend – how can someone do that?

Happy Birthday, Anna.  We love you very much!

The Big FOUR-OH

Last week found me landing solidly in middle-age.  I turned 40 years of age.  However, I feel great.  I eat better.  I exercise.  I’m spiritually fulfilled.  And I’ve got a great family.

My parents came to visit – which is always nice.  Dad and I spend most of our visits talking tech and taking trips to MicroCenter.  Mom is always a loving person and has the grandmother soul – a good thing.

I was post night-shift, so it was very possible I’d spend the whole day walking around like a zombie.  But I was awake and felt great.  For starters, upon arriving home from work, I found this sign hanging above the kitchen entry:

For my birthday, I took Linda and Anna to the AT&T store to get Anna a new phone – her birthday present.  Then we got Linda a new phone also – an iPhone 4.  She hates it, but I’m planning on it growing on her (just like the Blackberry did).

My parents took us all out to dinner for the birthdays.  Our choice was Texas Roadhouse – a steak joint where you can eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor.  Plus, one can get prime rib at a decent price.

Of course, Mom had to tell the waitress that we were celebrating birthdays.  Dinner was completed with a saddle attached to a sawhorse and a request for us to sit on it while swinging a napkin over our head like a lasso.  Anna absolutely wouldn’t do it, so I jumped on and yelled Yeehaw in the best Kansas voice I could.

Angelfood cake with 40 black candles greeted us upon returning home.  The picture at the top gives testament that it was quite a glow of fire.  We had to open windows and turn the ceiling fan on to disperse all the smoke.

I had a wonderful 40th birthday.  Can’t wait to celebrate someone else’s 40th in the next 6 weeks…

Watch Day at Dance

Once each semester, the parents are allowed to enter the dance studio to watch what the girls have been learning.  That day had arrived – and we were treated to a delight as the girls showed off their latest choreography.  They’ve been taking from Miss Nina for 7 years and it is really beginning to show.

We love our Madeline

Madeline is a true childhood friend – one of the earliest friends the girls had.  I’ve known her Dad since 5th grade back in Manhattan; her Mom I’ve known since high school when they were dating.  They were the first people we contacted when we moved to Kansas City – because they were about the only people we knew.

Madeline is just a few months younger than Anna – and they’ve played together for the past 12 years or so.  At least a couple times per year, Madeline spends the night at our house or the girls go to her house (she now lives about 20 miles away).

After spending the night and the whole next day together, we finished it off with a trip to Cheeseburgers in Paradise – where the girls got to enjoy virgin strawberry daiquiris.

Yes, we love our Madeline…

Haunted House at the school

Each year the elementary school puts on a Haunted House and carnival in October as a fundraiser for the 6th grade.  The funds pay for the big field trip taken in the Spring.  Each 6th grader and their parents are required to participate and in the event.

Emily was a character in the haunted house (themed as a haunted school) – part of the haunted school crossing.  Linda was the coordinator of all volunteers (a HUGE job).  I was officially a fill-in, designed to take the place of anyone that didn’t show up.  Of course I like to get into the fun, too…

Oh, I ended up running the Revenge of the Pirates ride.  The kids really loved it.

Sunflower Showdown (or Beatdown)

This past Thursday was awesome if you’re a K-State fan – a 59-7 trouncing of the KU Jayhawks.  This game went a long way to help overcome the bad feelings about the previous week against Nebraska.

Carson Coffman did so much better in this game – accounting for 5 touchdowns. We just looked better all around – on both sides of the ball.

Of course, there’s usually the “wait until basketball season starts” comments.  However, this year, KSU is picked preseason as the #1 team in the Big 12.  Hee-hee.

Concert Mistress

Last night was the first Strings Concert of the year for the Middle School.  Anna was 1st chair violin, thus the Concert Mistress.  Not only is this a position of honor, but she also was responsible for establishing the correct tuning for the whole ensemble.

I will soon try to post video clips of portions of the concert.

Congratulations, Anna.  All those hours of lessons and practice are paying off!

Mans Best Friend

I recently cleaned up the man cave in the garage (termed the Doctor’s Lounge).  This is a great place for watching TV, playing darts, and enjoying the finer things of life.  The back door to the garage was open and in walked Sally.  Seems like she just wanted to hang out.

Sure do love this dog…

KSU vs Nebraska

I’ve been really busy with work the last few days, but it’s taken those few days to get over the horrible loss that the Wildcats suffered against Nebraska on national television.

The wonderful part of the experience was hearing the roar of the crowd at the beginning of the game.  The KSU fans brought their A-game.  It was so loud I couldn’t hear the announcer over the big speakers.

Nebraska was just too much for us to handle – either on offense or defense.

Half-time brought us entertainment from the NU Marching Band (which wasn’t well-received by a grumpy crowd) and the KSU Marching Band (which was very well received by a crowd that loved anything that wasn’t NU).

The girls stayed behind on this trip because it was such a late game on a school night.  So, our very good friends Trey and Jennifer came with us.  We had a wonderful tailgate with grilled burgers made from ground prime rib.  Sides included beans and cheesy corn from Jack Stack BBQ.  Complemented with good beer – the tailgate meal was awesome.  Too bad we lose every game that we invite them to!

Well – here’s hoping that we can win against KU this next Thursday.  We’ll be playing in Lawrence, so we won’t be going to the game.  However, we WILL be watching as it’s on TV.  K-S-U WILDCATS!