The Darling Girls

The Darling Girls

Friday, November 8, 2013


Halloween is always a crazy and fun time at our house.

annual Carmel Apple Party 

Jamie came up and brought friends

Who needs Halloween candy with these around??

Pumpkin carving at the neighbor's party

Kelly's kindergarten's Fall Festival on Halloween day

Every year Ron out-does himself with a new and spooky creation.  This year it was a moving dragon head, complete with "smoke" coming from his mouth.  The biggest "kid" in the house always has more fun than anyone else in the neighborhood.

                                    Kelly was Princess Jasmine and Drew was Little Bo Peep

                                                               Ron and his dragon.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Summer Recap

Kelly trying out the spring board at swim lessons

Drew thinking about trying out the spring board at swim lessons

Family hike at the Isthmus on Catalina Island

Two new Aztecs helping Jamie move to San Diego State University

First day of Kindergarten, new luchbox, new snack bag, and newly lost tooth
Well Summer is over, school has begun, and I've finally found some of the pictures that show a few of the highlights of our summer.   
  Kelly and Drew both did lots of swimming, lots.  Kelly is not only pool safe but has some nice style in her strokes.  Drew thinks she's pool safe, but that won't really be till next summer, though she loves the water and is very comfortable, and can get a little way on her own.
  We were able to fit in a great weekend on Catalina, just the 6 of us, on my parents boat.  Beautiful weather, great time and lots of fun.
  Late August we all drove Jamie to her dorm at San Diego State University to drop her off.  This is my second experience leaving a child in a new "home" and driving away.  It hasn't gotten any easier; as a mom it is still really really hard. Really hard.  On a positive note, Jamie seems to be very happy and settling in well, even with a hectic schedule of rowing and school and managing to fit in a social life.  Ahh to be young!
  Then Ron drove Cory back to Cal, for her senior year (did I just type that?!) She had worked hard here this summer and I think was looking forward to seeing her friends and getting back to school.  Same house and roommate as last year, so very little changes for her in that regard.
  Kelly started Kindergarten in Sept.  After much hoopla talking it up, and prepping for the big day, she sat at the breakfast table that morning, calmly eating her breakfast, and mentioned that her tooth was "out".  I corrected her and said, "no honey, your tooth is loose, not "out" yet, but soon."  She promptly handed me her tooth, finished her breakfast and got ready for school. first day of school AND first tooth lost!  Such milestones.  She is handling school very well, enjoying it and comes home chatting about all that went on.  This is great to see, as we had kept her from starting school last year when she was technically supposed to start, but obviously (to us) not ready. Nice to make a call like that and see your instincts were correct!
  So with all those young ladies off and at their schools, it leaves Drew and I to hold down the fort.  Drew does go to preschool 2 1/2 days a week, which is great for her (and me), but the transition of both older girls leaving and Kelly at a new school has been very hard for Drew to deal with.  I often forget that things like that are still difficult for her sometimes.  She has come so far, but between being a 3 yr. old and still learning to control and modulate her emotions there are still long days here at the old homestead.  "This too shall pass" as my mom says...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A "Dolphin Princess"

  I swore I wasn't going to jump into all the typical "kid stuff" early with these younger two....plenty of time to do all that.  But I forgot that I am not in this alone.  
   Jamie and Cory began asking when Kelly would start AYSO soccer last year.  I said "later" and meant a few years later.  They complained and demanded.  I ignored them pretty much, but realized in May that every time I came to pick Kelly up at Preschool, she was not playing dolls with the other girls, or dress up, but more often than not, she was playing soccer with the boys.  Hmmmmm.   So I signed her up for Fall and today was her first practice.  Great location (her soon to be new school), great time, and looks like great coach and girls.  She was pretty unsure of herself for the first few minutes, but by the time she was done, she was hooked.  I know because of the grin at the end and when I asked her how it was she replied: "It was STUPENDOUS Mom!"  Didn't know she knew the word.  The girls decided the team name would be "The Dolphin Princesses".
   It's been a busy, sometimes a little rough, summer.  Her surgery held no surprises, thankfully, but still was a kink in the summer eating and fun.  We go tomorrow for the post-op (8 weeks now) and expect the Dr. to be pleased.  The Speech therapists are, and now the work starts to correct all the compensatory speech issues that Kelly used to self correct her fistula and short soft palate.  They are very hopeful that most all the remaining issues can be worked out.  YEAH!  Kelly will still see the private SLP and will start with SLPs at school again, after being out of the school SLP program for a year (not by choice).  We expect to continue to see improvement in the next year.  She is growing, speaking more and more and is SO ready for Kindergarten, we can't wait to see her take flight this year.  She is an easy going, sometimes shy, sweet kid, who wants to please.  Kelly is also getting a little bit tougher and a little more crafty, thanks to Drew....who is a Tasmanian Devil in the body of an adorable little 3 yr old.  Come on 4th birthday!  So far, the other 3 girls have all made their magic turn-around at about 4yrs. I am ever hopeful for Drew.  Thinking soccer might be happening early for the little gremlin, anything to wear that one out!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Montecito Sequoia Lodge

My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary (yes, 60th!) this June, and very generously took the whole family to a place called Montecito Sequoia Lodge Family Camp for a week.  It is a beautiful lodge in the Sequoia National Forrest that has all kinds of fun activities for people of all ages.  We had a blast, spent time in the redwoods, and most importantly spent time with family.  What a wonderful gift they gave us!

Mom and Dad, toasting their 60th

                                                               The Runner family

                          Kelly dressed for Cowboy Night on the 4th of July, practicing her "wink"s

                                       The beautiful lake was great for all kinds of activities.

Drew loved her counselors and the cool new things she got to try, like horseback riding.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moving on

  It's been a busy few months, and a lot has gone on, but one of the biggest events, or milestones, in our lives lately is that Jamie graduated from high school.  Moving on to bigger and better things!  She finished out the year strong, with great grades, and committed to SDSU (San Diego State University) were she was recruited to row on their women's crew team (NCAA Division I) and the school also has a great program for Speech and Language Pathology.  She starts in August, about the same time as Cory starts, so that is nice.  Can't believe we'll have two in college this fall!
   Congrats Jamie, well done!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kelly's Rite of Passage

So our little 5 year old joined in on the fun and now rides her bike without the training wheels!!  She is very proud of herself, as are we.
The same day she took her chopsticks out of the wrapper, noticed that there there instructions (pictures) on how to use them and promptly taught herself how to use them.  Big day around here!
The roller skates are next, along with the jump rope.
She's already mastered tying her shoes; growing up so fast!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Year Home

Oh the difference a year can make.  
On Drew's Family Day (anniversary of day she officially joined our family) I put her into the clothes she was wearing when she came to us, all three layers.  While there is a change in body size it is not significant, but the change in HER is amazing.         
 Happy One Year home Drew!

Visit to Santa

Yes, I know it's February, almost March, but I'm finally getting around to posting about December.  It was a crazy, wonderful month for us, starting with Drew's birthday, my birthday, Christmas, Drew's Family Day and New Year's.  One tradition we have is to visit the Irvine Regional Park at night to ride the Santa Train and visit with Santa sometime before Christmas.  Cory came home from Cal in time to join and we had a wonderful time as usual.  We were not sure how Drew would enjoy it, as she was still a little fuzzy about what Santa was all about.  As you can see by the photo, she was willing to sit if Kelly was, but she was NOT entirely comfortable with this big hairy dude in the strange suit.