Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Summer Adventure: Part VI

The Vatican Museum was filled with spectacular art - including Michaelangelo's famed Sistine Chapel ceiling. But you've seen pictures of it before, haven't you? So no need to post them here. Instead, how about a few shots of my favorite statues.

***My sisters and I couldn't help but add captions (so in advance I ask that you pardon my levity).

"I can't talk right now."

" where did I leave those keys?...."

"Sure? Or un-sure?"

"You put your right foot in..."

Greetings from El Donaldo and Co. from California!

Hello everybody!! After days and days of trying to hack into Lisa's blog, I finally was able to break her super tight security code, and do some posting of my own! As you know, whilst Lisa is living it up in Italy with her sister's, I am playing Super Dad and have all three girls with me down here in Sunny Southern California!!

We are having a blast! Over the last several days we have done the following: (In no particular order) Went to Griffith Observatory, ate at the world famous Viva Cantina, found the house Kevin Arnold lived in one of my favorite shows of all time, The Wonder Years, went to Disneyland, went to the beach, visited Traveltown, found The Brady Bunch House, ate at Philippe's, (which is not only the birthplace of the French Dip sandwich, but Lisa's family have been going there for over 70 years), and went to a restaurant from my childhood, none other than Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour!

So far me and the girls have been having a good time. Although it must be said that the girls miss Lisa a bunch. But with that being said, they are little troopers. Other than a few sisterly spats, they are holding up well while they train their Pops in the ways of taking care of three girls. And with those two things being said, I also need to point out that if it wasn't for my dear Mother In Law Holly, I would be in a heap of trouble. From braiding hair to watching Elisabeth for me while I keep Lex and Lor busy, she has been a huge help! I honestly don't know how single parents can do this day in and day out. To those of you out there who don't have help from a spouse, I salute you!

OK, enough of me blabbering on. Here are some pictures of our comings and goings.

This picture is annoying to me and I will tell you why. Since I started coming down here in July of 2000, Lisa has always taken me to San Clemente for our beach days. Last year I wanted to check out some other beaches, but in the end realized that Lisa was right. The main reason she was right was because San Clemente had something other beaches didn't...SAND! Well, for some strange reason that isn't the case anymore. No it is covered in river rock. From the looks of it, the rock didn't just wash up on the beach. It was put there by someone. I don't know why, but it is there now. It kind of ruined our beach day.

Here is a better view of the rocks on the beach. I know somewhere we have a picture from several years ago that shows that this used to be sand. I want my sand back!!

And to finish off the day at the beach, some expensive single scoop beach ice cream cones.

I have one more little item of fun for you. As I mentioned above, we went to Farrell's for dinner tonight. I have not been to a Farrell's in about 25 years. Now that is bothersome for two reasons. #1 That I am old enough to say something like that, and #2 That Farrells had to just about disappear from the Earth before it made a reappearance back in Southern California. Last year when we were down here I tried to go, but the wait was way to long. Now that the excitement had died down for the people of SoCal, we were able to get in no problem. After dinner me and the girls took on the Pig Trough. If you don't know what that is, then go click on the Farrell's link above and look at the menu. It is HUGE! But it was no match for Lex, Lor, and El Donaldo! We ate it all, and this was our reward:

Well, I better get to bed. Tomorrow is another trip to Disneyland. And even though it has been 3 hours since me and my girls knocked out the Pig Trough, my gut is still at the breaking point. Hopefully a good nights rest helps out. Thanks for reading, and look out for future El Donaldo posts from SoCal.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Summer Adventure: Part V

He was so ahead of his time...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Summer Adventure: Part IV

In the morning I ate a piece of fresh coconut while enjoying this view:

In the afternoon I went to the Spanish Steps and invisioned that scene from Roman Holdiay where Audrey Hepburn is eating an ice cream cone (you've seen that movie, haven't you?):

And in the evening I went to an outdoor piano concert here:

I'm trying to soak it all in - every last detail. Sometimes I still can't believe that I am really here. This is amazing. Simply amazing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Summer Adventure: Part III

The First Supper

We arrived in Rome this afternoon. Things are absolutely dreamy here. Especially the pizza.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Summer Adventure: Part II

It's 5:22 in the morning. I just tried waking Jennifer up.

"It's the big day! Time to get up! I'm bright-eyed and bushy tailed already!"

To which a sleepy (and still in Bali time) Jennifer replied,

"My tail isn't bushy yet," and went back to sleep.

I have one question for you:

Who could sleep on a day like this?? I'm going to Italy, people!

So, I'll do my best to post a time or two while I'm there. But, there are no guarantees when it comes to hotels and internet connections, this I know first hand. Like the night before last when we were in Sacramento and I tried to get online to post only to discover that the internet connection would go kaput after about 30 seconds. Ugghh.

Donald will stay here in the states with the children while I'm away - and they have a whole load of fun on their itinerary. So I've asked Donald (A.K.A el donaldo) to post about their SoCal adventures. That way, while I am in Europe I can keep tabs on all my little ducklings back at home (and put my heart at ease).

Okay, no more time to chat. I've got a plane to catch! (and a sister to wake up!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Summer Adventure: Part I

The Shoe Tree

Yesterday afternoon we locked the doors on the house, set the alarm, and set off on one of our grandest adventures yet.

We made it as far as Bend, OR. But guess what we found along the way???:

Now, if you don't remember the story of this shoe tree, I recommend you click here to read the full history.

Donald and I were tickled pink that this new tree is 'growing strong!'

Long Live the Shoe Tree!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Birthday Message

Dear Mom,

May your day be full of laughter and good times!

Happy Birthday!!!

(See you in 2 days!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

"The force runs strong in my family"

I need to keep yesterday safely tucked away in my memory - there's just not a detail I want to forget.

Of course, it was Father's Day, and the girls had fun showering Donald with love and gifts. My favorite present they gave him was a picture frame to put on his desk at work. It had a quote from Luke Skywalker on it - "The force runs strong in my family" - and we inserted a family portrait. It totally had me cracking up.

And then we had quiche for lunch. It was divine (as quiche always is).

Oh, and guess what yesterday also brought?? An offer on our house! Woohoo and yippee!! Finally something! We have since counter-offered, so we'll see where we end up :)

In the evening we went to my in-laws and had the most delightful time. Donald's mother, Susan, just reconnected on Facebook with her high school BFF, Sally (after 30+ years). She had come into town for a few days and it was so fun getting to know her. The best part of the night was when they pulled out their old high school yearbooks and Sally read aloud what she had once written to Susan back in the mid-70's. It was classic.

Okay, now for my most favorite part of yesterday (It really was a fabulous day I tell you!):

Elisabeth had a little seizure during primary (a.k.a. Sunday School) and as I went to help her, all of the other children in her Sunbeams class circled around her on the floor and gently patted her on the back - trying to comfort her. It was the most heart warming thing I have ever seen.

I am so grateful for Elisabeth's peers; these sweet children who will grow up by her side and be a friend to her. They are in no way afraid her differences, or even fearful of her handicaps/seizures; but they love her and accept her and they are there for her.

Made my day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

We love you!!

~Alexandra, Lorelai and Elisabeth

Friday, June 17, 2011


Early next week we are heading out of town on a Sorenson Adventure; a 20-day Sorenson adventure to be exact. And let me tell you, those aren't the kinds of adventures where you throw a few things into a duffel bag the night before and call it good. This requires organization and preparation - especially with Elisabeth. You know, there are things to think about: feeding tubes, medications, and even 60+ cans of pediasure.

So I've begun the process. Yesterday my bed had neat little piles of clothes all over it. Matching outfits, of course. (Because I realize that I will only get away with dressing them like triplets for a short while longer...). And in addition to creating neat little piles of matching clothes I may have typed up a list of what outfits they will wear on what days. You see, I'll be gone in the midst of the 20-day Sorenson Adventure on an 8 day adventure of my own and I thought Donald might want a little guidance each morning when he's getting them ready (sans a mother).

Yes, I'm a control freak. And obsessive compulsive. And when you take someone who's a control freak + obsessive compulsive this is what you get:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Old School

It's a rare park these days that has the old-school tall metal slides. Seems like they've all been taken out and replaced with [in my opinion] inferior playground equipment.

Glad to know a few still exist; two dinosaurs surviving in modern times.

By the way, I keep waiting for summer to make it's appearance. I know it's still technically Spring and all, but my girls are just itching to go swimming and the weather is resisting. I keep telling myself, be patient, it will be hot soon enough - and then I'll be longing for cooler weather!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An International Potluck

I knew before I ever had children that I wanted them to be multi-lingual. Partly because I only speak one language and think it would be beneficial to know one or two more. And also because I thought it would be so adorable to hear my own children rambling on in a foreign tongue. So, to make my dream a reality, we enrolled our children in the Spanish dual language program at the public school (See last Friday's post). And - to throw a third language into the mix - Alexandra started studying French at The World Language House this past January.

Last night, The Language House hosted an international potluck. All the students from all the different classes came and brought food from another country.

All I can say is....yum.

And since we are being culturally aware here at The Far Side of Complexity today, how about another segment of....

Around the World with Jennifer

She is guest posting again today from the island of Bali:

Yesterday, Carole, my roommate said, "Jenn, let's go to the supermarket..." so we set off, not knowing how we were to get there or in what direction it was... I decided to stop at this food stand / home of a Balinese family and ask to borrow their motorbike/scooter. Well, nobody spoke English but finally a man came out that could discern that I wanted to rent his motorbike for one hour. He smiled, gave me the keys, the registration card, two helmets, and showed me how to work the lights and turn it on (because it was obvious I didn't know what I was doing). I asked, "how much?" and he replied "whatever you think." and away we went to the supermarket asking for directions along the way.

Families and individuals on motorbikes would drive up alongside us and yell, "where you going?!" and then point us in the right direction. The Balinese are so friendly and trusting and there is a general lack of the concept of ownership... Everything is on loan from the earth/god. He wasn't using his bike so he had no problem handing it over. Can you imagine handing over your car to some random foreigner who doesn't speak your language or know how to drive?! Ah, only in Bali :) when we got back we paid him the equivalent of half a days rental in the city. Then he insisted on giving us a ride back to our house on the beach.... Amazing. Probably the most fun I've ever had.

Jennifer arrives home to California next week. I am so excited to hear more about her adventures in Bali! And then next Friday....we're off to Italy!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Little Miss Muffet

The dangers of an outdoor ballet recital:

Along came a spider...

...who sat down beside her!

Never fear, Donald came to the rescue shortly thereafter and the rest of the evening looked something like this:


Monday, June 13, 2011

Images of the Last Day

When Lorelai walked out of school on Friday I could tell something was amiss. Her head was hung low and she was lacking that school's-out-for-the-summer sparkle that I was expecting. In fact, she looked much like she did on the first day of school last Fall - the day after she broke her arm (boy, oh boy was she out of sorts!).

But this time her sorrow was because she didn't want school to end.

"Summer's too long," she said.

Luckily, Alexandra was there to wrap her arms around her and offer some sisterly advice - how's she's been there before and how it will be okay, and how exciting it was that she was a 1st grader now-

- but the tears came anyway.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Last Day of School!

At precisely 11:22 this morning my girls will be on summer holiday.

Let the fun begin!!

It's been a successful year for both of them. Alexandra has continued to become increasingly fluent in Spanish, and Lorelai - who didn't know any Spanish 9 months ago - can now read beginning books! Donald and I are incredibly proud of our daughters.

Lorelai Leigh - Kindergarten

Alexandra Louise - 2nd Grade

Thursday, June 9, 2011


They go in for the kiss...



"Whoa...what just happened?..."

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