Saturday, February 25, 2006

Anna Begins her Political Career

Anna started Year 1 (first grade) about 3 weeks ago. They recently voted for student council representatives at her school - a girl and a boy from each class. Anna won the vote for her class! She hadn't mentioned it and we saw it in the school newsletter. We asked her if she realized she had received the most votes and she said matter-of-factly, "Of course. We had to vote for the person that we thought would do the best job, so everyone *had* to vote for me. I even had to vote for me!"

Time for some fun after all that hard work at school!

Relaxing on the garden swing. Life is good!

Meet Stephanie

This is our 3-year-old granddaughter, Stephanie. I know it's hard to believe that I, Ellen, could be a grandmother. I'm so young and vivacious and... well, OK, I *am* old enough to be a grandmother, but enough about me! Stephanie is the daughter of Danny's son, Geoffrey, and his significant other, Gina. (By the way, Gina not only plays bass in her and Geoff's band, she is also pursuing her degree in Computer Science. What more could anyone ask for?)

OK, back to Stephanie. She's not only adorable, but also very clever. It seems she has already made her first purchase on EBAY! Her dad, Geoff, had purchased some knobs for a guitar he was working on. He left the page up (big mistake) and later, Stephanie apparently got on the computer and saw a list of "other things offered by seller". She chose a lovely telecaster body and clicked on "Buy it now"! So there you go, her first ebay purchase - a nice little gift for Dad!

Here she is with Santa, looking less than impressed. Who is this guy?

Who could resist those beautiful eyes?

Anna loves being an aunt and can't wait to see Stephanie again. In fact, last Thanksgiving we went around the table, each saying what we were thankful for. When it was Anna's turn, she just said, "I'm thankful for Stephanie and everything else!"

For those of you who didn't know/see Chad when he was a toddler, this is him at age 2. Why did I stick this in here? Only to point out that Stephanie's curly hair reminds us a lot of Chad's when he was young. (He probably wouldn't like having this picture put on the net, but I doubt he'll ever look at our blog, so I'll probably get away with it. Mmwa-ha-ha-ha!)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Chad's Year 10 Formal

Chad is ready for his big night of dining and dancing - the Year 10 Formal, which marked the end of year 10 (10th grade). He takes a moment here to pose with Dad.

This is the car Dad organized for Chad's big night. It's a Ford Model A, completely restored (obviously). The owner was nice enough to chauffeur Chad and his date, Jennifer, to the dance in this car. All he asked was that we make a donation to the cancer society, which we gladly did.

A professional photo taken at the formal. The boy cleaned up pretty good and Jennifer looked stunning!

Anna's first disco

Anna went to her first disco, a school-sponsored event. We were a bit surprised to learn that the younger kiddos were allowed to go, but they were happy to be included and had a great time! This is Anna with her friend, Nicola. Most of the girls in Anna's class are about Nicola's size. You'll probably notice that Anna is quite a bit taller and more filled-out. Unfortunately, this causes some of the girls to call her "big and fat"... it starts in Kindergarten!

Here she is with her good friend, Luka, who is always entertaining. Anna is quite a bit bigger than he is, and unfortunately, this angle exaggerates that even more!

Jemma is one of Anna's best friends. They go all the way back to preschool!

"Knotty" Boy

Chad let his hair grow last year so he could get dreadlocks. He wanted them for several months, so it wasn't an impulsive thing. He knew about the required maintenance, etc. and still wanted them, so we agreed. (I have no problem with my kids altering their appearance in any way that is not permanent. I was surprised to find out that -in this day and age- friends and coworkers expressed disbelief that I would let my son get dreadlocks! C'mon, it's just a hair style. What's the big deal?)

Anyway, he got the dreds and was really pleased with them. We (his parents) even thought they looked good. Unfortunately, something Chad wasn't prepared for was the scratchy feeling they created. He said it felt like sleeping on a bale of hay. He tried for a few months to get used to it, but never could. So, he cut them off. (He literally cut them off himself and didn't want to bother with having a professional trim. Oh, to be that self-assured.)

Who is Larry and why is he so happy?

Some folks may be confused by the title of our blog, so I guess I should explain it. "Happy as Larry" is a British-Australian catch phrase that simply means "extremely happy" or "very pleased with the way things are going." The rural-American equivalent of "Happy as Larry" would be "happy as a pig in mud." There are a few theories about where/how this phrase originated, which I won't go into here. If you're really interested, you can always google it.

Fortunately, we are all pretty happy and content with our lives here in the Alice, so the title seems to suit us.

Having a go

Um... hello? Is this thing on? Testing, testing... OK, off we go!

Since our web site has been pathetically out of date for most of the 8 years it's been online, we decided to get with the program and try a new approach to keep it more current.

I was discussing the time and effort involved in keeping a web site up-to-date with a good (and smart) friend of mine, Tony. He suggested trying a blog, which is much quicker and easier to maintain... so here we go. (Bonus: other family members can write their own stuff to post!)

Now, I have to admit I initially spent a few hours designing my own blog skin (template, design, look-n-feel, whatever you want to call it). The design was coming along great - themed around the song "Imagine" by John Lennon, colors I really like, etc. But then I stopped and asked myself, "What the heck am I spending time on this for?" I'm not taking advantage of the convenience of using a blog! I should be spending time on the content, not the design. Who really cares that I could make the thing look nicer? (Granted, very few people will care about the content either, but I digress...)