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?