Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LAUREL READS!

Laurel was home sick from school yesterday. She had a lazy day spent mostly in front of the t.v. so that Mom could get her work done. But there were a few glorious moments. Laurel came into Maren's bedroom about mid-day and sat on the bed. She picked up the scriptures laying there and started pretending to read. Then she said, "Mom, can you help me read this word?" Maren was so excited that Laurel prompted this learning moment and was not forced into it. So the two sat together reading the all caps header at the top of the page. She sounded out the letters one-by-one, had to be told that this time the "O" made an "oh" sound and not an "octopus" sound, but then she was on her own. Certainly, there was more than a bit of luck involved, but she somehow blurted out, "Moses!" Mother and daughter celebrated with a big hug and smiles.

Not more than few minutes later the doorbell rang. The UPS man came delivering another package. Laurel was at the door right next to her mom. She looked at the box and said, "Disney! Yay! Is that for me?" She most likely just recognized the Disney logo, but it was a bitter sweet moment none-the-less! It figures this package would be delivered a day early when Laurel was at home, causing Mom to ramble on about how the package might be for Brant...or maybe it could be from Mimi because she was getting something from Disney. I told her I had to put it away until Christmas and she seemed ok with that...phew! It's wonderful that Laurel's learning to recognize words by using the context and the sounds of a few letters, but it also makes keeping secrets a bit more difficult.

So now Laurel needs one more Christmas gift- Dr. Seuss's Hop on Pop. Do they make that in stocking stuffer size?

When Maren told Brad the story, he quipped, "Maybe she should stay home from school more often!"

MALL PHOTO MAKES MOM HAPPY

Monday, December 15, 2008

SANTA GOES REQUIREMENT GATHERING

Close your eyes and think of the worst place to be on a Saturday during the holiday season; then open your eyes to finish reading this article. The Cupits spent a big chunk of this last Saturday at the mall. Wouldn't it be nice if Santa set up his remote locations in more serene environments? Poor Santa really needs some better help, too, here in North America. Certainly all the high energy, efficient elves are stationed in the North Pole on task to finish making the toys before their fast approaching deadline. Thank goodness for the pagers the mall hands out while the children wait and for the playland to keep little ones occupied. While waiting in the Santa line, the Cupits learned of a deal going on at the mall. Buy a $50 gift card and get $25 free. So off to another line went Brad. Maren, Laurel and Brant headed to Chik-fil-A, and finally the family made it out of the mall.



Laurel and Brant had a great time in their fancy clothes in the playland. Laurel insisted that she be photographed as a damsel in distress.

Here's a few more:







SNOW IN THE SOUTH: 2ND EDITION



Thursday, December 11, 2008

WEATHER CLOSES SCHOOLS

But not Hurricanes this time...SNOW! Maren woke and dressed Laurel for school this morning. On the way out to the kitchen, she looked through the window in the living room. Her first thought was, "It looks really foggy," immediately followed by a scream; "It's SNOWING!" Brant woke up in the commotion and before long the family was outside enjoying this rare occasion. Brant is not thrilled. He still doesn't like snow and isn't quite sure what to do with it. Laurel, on the other hand, LOVES it! Her only frown came when she was told it wouldn't be here tomorrow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

SANTA PLANS ROUTE

Santa came through the Cupits' neighborhood today. He came under the guise of collecting canned goods and unwrapped toys for the needy. But the Chronicle's investigative reporting uncovered the truth. Santa was taking notes and drafting his route for the big night. Laurel and Brant stood in the front lawn watching Santa go bye. Santa now knows exactly where they live, and knows what they look like (in case he wants to bring them some clothes). Most importantly, from his high perch on the firetruck, he had a clear view of the chimney hole and the pitch of the roof. He should have no problem making his logistical preparations.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

COOKIE EXCHANGE ALMOST SMOOTH


The Cupits have a few dozen cookies at the house tonight. Who knows how many will be left by the end of the weekend? A few lady friends came to the Cupits' this morning anticipating a promised yummy brunch and some good company. The company pulled through, and merely by luck the food turned out okay as well. Maren realized a hiccup in the quiche at the last minute and sent her hero out for an emergency rescue. Alas, the rescue really came from the ladies who were good natured enough to try the imperfect main dish. They said they couldn't even taste the eggshell bits. Nothing like good friends to make it alright. Brad brought some muffins and croissants to add to our brunch in case the added crunch was too much to stomach. The girls all came through with some delicious cookies.

Maren made a few uncharacteristic attempts at domesticity for the event. These talents only show up a few times a year; maybe they would get better with more practice. All in all, she was pleased with the outcome and needs to offer plenty of thanks to the man that stayed up way past bed time sweeping floors and keeping her company while she ironed the tablecloth.

HOLIDAY BRINGS TOGETHER FAMILY

The Cupits spent Thanksgiving at Granny's house. They enjoyed a delicious meal including some local favorites: fried turkey, rice and gravy (instead of potatoes), and mirliton stuffing. The mirlitons (pronounced in New Orleans as "melatons") are Maren's favorite. She can't quite figure out how to describe the vegatable, but in the casserole with shrimp and celery and a bunch of other stuff, it's delicous. Another staple of a southern Thanksgiving is homemade macaroni and cheese, another thing Maren didn't even know existed until making the transition to the real south. Brant and Laurel were thankful for this dish. The whole family gets along very well.

After dinner, the kids went out to help Granny take all of the ripe tangerines from the tree in her backyard. Although, here in Louisiana, Maren's mostly heard them called Satsumas. They collected bags and bags of them. Brant didn't particularly like to eat them, but enjoyed imitating Jack Horner and sticking his thumb in them.

Featured here are Gigi's sister Joan with her grandson Noah. He's a few months younger than Brant and a very happy boy. Joan is also called Mimi.




Another one of Brad's cousins has a little girl Katelyn. Laurel and Katelyn are almost exactly a year apart and have a great time playing together.

Lastly, Uncle Craig brought his dog, the sweetest, gentlest "Cassie-girl". Laurel and Brant love Cassie and hopefully get their desires of doggie ownership satisfied each time they get to see her.

FITNESS BEGINS WITH FAMILY

Brad's been ever diligent lately in attempting a regular running schedule. His goal is to hang with a relentless church basketball coach at their Thursday night practices. This past week he came home and reported that he didn't get winded all night. The conditioning is paying off! The kids are taking notes, too. Laurel would probably run with Brad if he would let her, but for now they'll start with stretching. Who would have thought it would make such a great family affair?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PIRATES EXPLORE BOUNTY

The HSM Bounty entered the Port of Baton Rouge a few days past. The Cupit and Hutchinson crews made their way to the ship today, taking every opportunity to seek the treasure. The treasure's still there, at least, the two families didn't bring home any loot. They did however manage a few great photos.

The Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator was right on the money. He walked with a stagger and talked like a drunk. It's no wonder the Cupit kids wouldn't touch him!

The visitors walked down the tiny stairs to see below deck. There were places to eat and sleep down below and apparently at one time the animals roamed around down there, too...pew!


Here's a few more photos of the littlest pirates...but don't let their size fool you...they can plunder with the best of 'em.

Friday, November 21, 2008

SWAPPERS HAVE VARRIED APPROACH

The Cupits participate in a date swap with two other families. The co-op has been functioning for a little over a year now. Brad and Maren both commented tonight that the kids are much easier now than a year ago. Tonight the crew had a blast. Our readers might find this photo comparison worth a chuckle. Maren and Brad take two different approaches to watching the kids. Can you tell which one the kids prefer?

DAY IS A TRIP TO THE PARK


If only all days were this lovely. Maren and Brant enjoyed some great company and brisk, sunny weather at the park today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BOY THANKFUL FOR CHICK-FIL-A

Brant proved to us all that he can put away more Chick-fil-A nuggets than you would bet on. At what age do they start food eating contests? Although, Brant would certainly not win if the contest had a speed component. He takes his time when packing it in.

Brant's party included a big tray of nuggets, fruit salad, cup cakes, and plenty of other deliciousness. Brant had two special guests at this party because Papa K came, too! Papa K pulled off some grandparent magic by first attending Laurel's Thanksgiving Luncheon (for grandparents only) and then trucking across town to Brant's feast!

Check out the photos of Brant doing his "project", eating and with Papa K. It's cute to hear he and his classmates talk about their projects.

RAFTER GETS GOBBLED


Did you know that you call a group of turkeys a "rafter"? This rafter is on it's way to Brant's Thanksgiving Feast at his preschool. If the kids can recognize that these are turkeys, then Maren will consider them a success.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CAMERA IS BLUE

Isn't that what's important? The Chronicle's new camera is great. Here's the first photo from our new equipment. Definitely the first of many. Many thanks to our sponsors in Ogden, Utah without whom our "plain text" entries would have no end in sight.

GENERIC BLOG POST....NO PICTURES

I saw this from on a friend's...don't usually do these, but this one seemed to take very little brain power. I starred the ones I've done. Care to try it yourself?

*1. Started your own blog
*2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
*4. Visited Hawaii
*5. Watched a Meteor Shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
*8. Climbed a Mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
*16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
*20. Slept on an overnight train
*21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a Lamb
*26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
*32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
*34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
*35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
*41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
*44. Visited Africa
*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
*47. Had your portrait painted
*48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
*51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
*52. Kissed in the rain
*53. Played in the mud
*54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
*57. Started a business (does babysitting count??)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
*62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
*64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
*73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
*77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
*82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
*84. Had your picture in the newspaper
*85. Read the entire Bible
*86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
*88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
*91. Met someone famous
*92. Joined a book club
*93. Lost a loved one
*94. Had a baby
*95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
*98. Owned a cell phone
*99. Been stung by a bee

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MOTHER ENTERS SUBMISSION BEFORE THANKSGIVING



We here at the Chronicle acknowledge that Halloween is long since passed, but believe this entry is still valid. Thanksgiving has not yet arrived, so Maren considers herself not too late. Here's some Halloween pictures you've all been salivating for. Keep in mind, amidst the grandparents' trip from Utah, and all the goings on, the Chronicle's main piece of technological equipment was involuntarily surrendered at the state fair. The replacement, courtesy of loving (and photo dependent) grandparents, should arrive at headquarters today.


The three photos above are a rememberence of the fantastic visit with the grandparents. Laurel is modeling the fuzzy sweater that Mimi gave to her. The fashion forward experts marvel at Laurel's idea to pair it with blue flowered biker shorts and pink jellies!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

BOILED CRAWFISH TOO CUTE TO EAT

While our publication may be sued for printing a photo without permission, we've decided to risk it. This adorable baby showed up at the Cupit's door on Halloween night for trick or treating.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MOTHER RISKS FAMILIAL DISOWNERSHIP

Thanks to a generous coworker with excellent taste in Halloween costumes, the Cupits acquired the hand-me-down of all hand-me downs....


This costume is hand-made and in great condition. Perhaps the only thing that would make it even better would be a toddler-sized Tebow jersey.

If the Cupits find a tiger costume for Laurel, the family will be ready for a "House-divided" costume theme for next year's Halloween.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PAIR PLAYS AT PUMPKIN PATCH


Ladies and Gentlemen, Laurel would like to present a photo essay, "A Pumpkin Afternoon."

Here's to a nice afternoon in a pumpkin patch under the oaks. October is a great month for pictures.

This one's a little heavy, but Brant is a strong boy!

Brant didn't really hurt himself on this pumpkin; but this one seemed good for a laugh.


Some other bloggers may have better luck taking photos of their kids together, but Maren won't stop trying.

Laurel asked to take off her glasses for awhile. It seems like a different child sitting there.

Laurel is learning how to master the over-the-shoulder shot.

It took a great deal of coaxing to pry his hands off the wheelbarrow. He really does think he's strong enough to move it.

Pumpkin heads.

Preparing for William Tell?

Leapin' Lizzards!

Queen of the Patch