Lights Camera Action

Hi Everyone,

This past weekend was the Middle School Production of Passionella. The storyline was altered a bit since they didn't have enough boys in the cast to make it the love story it's supposed to be. They changed the lead...um I forget the original name but they made he a she and called her Dawn...and gave the role to Andrea who totally rocked the part. She was awesome. Her song was the best of the night. Joe was cast as the narrator. My pictures didn't come out because the theater was dark and we were sitting too far back. Another Mom took this one of her daughter on the right...in this scene Joe is describing a conversation between Passionella and the movie director where Joe mimes the talking while doing the talking hand gesture for each person. It was really funny.

Um..ok. The blog cuts off the right part of the picture. To the right of Joe is an outraged producer saying, "No." I tried to make it smaller but it didn't work. *sigh*

Nick taped it on our videocamera but I'm not sure that translates to online. There is a director who is teaching some courses at BFIS who taped the show on Saturday night. His wife was in my Spanish class and said that we will hopefully be able to get copies. I guess if everything went right with the taping that is. So, I'm waiting to hear and keeping my fingers crossed. If we get one we'll send it on a video tour from house to house for those who are interested. Several people have gone out of their way to complement the kids on their performances. Drama, it's what we do.


This past Friday after our family returned to the US. The school celebrated Carnivale. Carnivale is the time before Lent starts. I believe it started because people were allowed to wear costumes in public there by avoiding paying debts owed. And somehow became a big festival celebrated in many countries. In Spain, near us the biggest celebration is in Sitges. We haven't made it there yet and I'm not sure we will as I've heard it isn't family friendly. Venice though, has a very popular celebration as well. Maybe next year...
So for this year, we settle for our school celebration. It looked very much like our Halloween celebration minus the big giant spider sprawling across the courtyard. There was cotton candy and a couple bounce houses...food, wine and games.
Here's some pictures of the kids enjoying themselves... Here's Andrea on one of the bounce things which was some sort of resistence pull thing.

Andrea has on the red hat and Joe is in front of her.

Saturday, Jess had some friends come over and the 4 of them choreographed a dance routine to Mamma Mia. It was adorable. And if I ever figure out how to upload a video longer than a few seconds to this blog I'll upload it for you. Andrea had a friend over as well to plan a song for the talent show. Sunday, we just relaxed and made sure the kids were caught up on homework. We played a couple of rounds of capture the flag. The red team was dominant the entire time...but we all had a good time. Even Rascal and Mischief got into the game.
This is the last week of play practice before the performances on Friday and Saturdays. I've got parent teacher conferences tomorrow. I'm not expecting anything bad.
That is basically it for now. We're really excited that Bev and Nicole will be here soon! And Easter is on it's way.
Miss you and love you all


pics from family visit

It takes too long for that to upload. the link won't work so copy and paste the following...sorry for the inconvenience.



A wild and crazy week

We had quite a week with Mom, Thom, Kim and Milo here for the week. It started oddly enough on Friday the 13th. I picked the weary travelers at the airport to find that Thom had forgotten his shoes and had only the slippers on his feet he wore for comfort on the plane. I took the opportunity to show them a little of Sant Cugat...and pick up the 8th chair for our dining room set. (long boring story) When we came home everyone crashed for a few hours, I caught up on email until the phone rang. It was the school. Alexa had eaten a piece of a piece of what she thought was a chocolate chip cookie. In fact it was a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, with peanut butter in the batter. She immediately was sick and went to the office. She had some dizziness and chest pain. Poor Martha, the school secretary scoured the school for a left over epi pen because brilliant mom that I am, I gave Alexa her own epi pen and since she didn't want the shot...never mentioned that she had one. They gave her Benedryl...and she got sick again, which made everyone more nervous that she didn't get the medicine she needed...and they went to the hospital nearby. I had never been there before and called a friend on the way for directions. Thanks to her I found it easy enough...my own anxiety caused me to miss two roads which added to my drive time. I arrived in time for the end of Alexa's breathing treatment and the discharge instructions. She was fine when I saw her but I think she scared everyone. I told her to be prepared for the epipen and a trip to the ER the next time it happens because this was a bit too scary for everyone involved. She maintained she was fine through the whole thing, dispite the chest pain and dizziness. The tragic death of Natasha Richardson this week highlighted what I was trying to tell her though, sometimes when you are the one going through the medical event you are not the best person to decide the best course of action. I think it sunk in. I left everyone mid-nap and returned with two kids and an interesting story for the start of our vacation.
Over the week we toured the Barri Gottic, found the ancient Sinogoge (i think that is how they spell it here), went to the Boqueria and enjoyed a lunch, saw the zoo, found the Chocolate Museum(twice), Toured El Born District, Santa Maria del Mar church, visited the Pedrera, Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, The Joan Miro Museum, took a cable car to the top of Montjuic and enjoyed the views from the Castel, heard the boys choir at Montserrat and touched the hand of the statue of the virgin Mary there.
I'm trying to post a slideshow...keep your fingers crossed.

I dropped them off at the airport this morning wishing we had more time. Back home I went about straightening the house and the phone rang. It was the school...Alexa was hit in the head by a rock some kid threw. I'm not sending her to school next friday. It's not safe.



Hi Everyone,
At the end of last week Jess was down with a stomach bug. She recovered after the second day though. Right as rain for the weekend.
Saturday I took Andrea and Alexa on a hunt for costumes for the school play. Joe just wanted a top hat and said we didn't really need to get him anything. We knew the store was on Grand Via because we'd seen it while we were on the bus to the ice skating rink. We didn't know exactly where on Grand Via so we elected not to take the bus and had a nice stroll a couple of blocks down Balmes to Grand Via...and another few blocks on Grand Via until we found it! It's actually a cool little costume shop called Menkes. They have custom costumes and all kinds of things. Costumes are actually more popular this time of year. Carnivale (right before Lent) is a big celebration where everyone dresses up, much like our Halloween. Some of the stores even have the Venetian style masks. Even though it was after the holiday there seemed to be a decent variety of costumes. We were in search of 70's hippy-wear. Most of what we found was a little on the big side but we came across a rather loud jacket that has a 70 feel to it. I'll try to take a picture and post it for you soon. We even found a vest and top hat for Joe, who is the narrator. We passed by a Zara's on the way to the costume shop and Alexa's friend has a birthday this week so we went in to do a little shopping.
Also while we were walking to the costume shop I realized I had been on a particular corner before but coming from another direction. The corner is on the way to my favorite little Tapas restaurant. So after we finished shopping I took the girls for Tapas. Tapas are little spanish dishes, a small plate of fried green peppers, a Spanish tortilla, potatas brava...good stuff.
Then on the way back to the train station we decided to hunt down the English book store that is on the same street. Just a block from the train station we found it. I was a little disappointed. They don't organize their books the way we do so young adult readers books are more mixed in with older books. The kids books are pulled into one section but it's hard to find things. Plus, there isn't the selection I'm used to...no Romance section with all my favorite authors.*sigh* Still, it was nice to be able to read everything in the store for a change. After a woonderful afternoon of shopping with my girls we boarded the train and headed home. It was a good day.
Sunday, Nick took the kids and puppies to Sant Cugat to play in the park. They played around for quite a while then got a bite to eat. It was a nice way to spend the day.
This week we're gearing up for our big visit on Friday. The kids are counting down the days for Aunt Kim, Uncle Thom, Milo and Omi's arrival. We've got lots of plans to keep us busy. So much to do...such a quick visit!
So, we're all good. Everyone's healthy. And, just a technical note. You all had Daylight Savings time, we haven't yet. Not until the last weekend in March. So you are all only 5 hours behind us now. If you're ever in doubt just check the handy dandy clock up on the side there.

Miss you all! Hope everything is going well in your neck of the wood. Drop an email or comment cause I like to get updates too!!


When it rains...

It rained most of today off and on. Nothing torrential, just a steady drizzle. But about 15 minutes ago the sun started peeking out of the bottom of the clouds as it set. Andrea saw the sun, noted the time and shouted, "Rainbow." I pointed her in the opposite direction of the sun, the front yard...and spread before us across the sky was a spectacular rainbow. We ran to get a camera...both low in batteries but we managed to capture these.

It was a full arc across the sky. Simply beautiful!

Roman Ruins

This past weekend we decided to take Alexa up on her offer to show us the Roman Ruins in Barcelona. Now, we'd found the wall before...turns out there is a whole town underground. Alexa went there on a trip with her Catalan Studies class. Another draw for the day was the promise of Chocolate and Churros, which she had on her trip as well.
The day started out with the usual complaining of the children who were convinced this was going to be BO-Ring. Still we persevered. Alexa led us through the Barri Gottic and at one point we were convinced she was going to get us lost when we saw a sign for the museum's entrance.
We paid our entrance fee and picked up our little recorded tour devices. I love these things because they are in English. There were some statues above ground and an explanation of the history but Alexa was anxious to get us down the elevator. We got on the elevator at 2009 and got off at 1 AD. I so love time travel that doesn't muss the hair.
We came out on a small porch overlooking the ruins that sat underneath the building. We walked along the catwalk stopping to examine the laundry rooms, spice rooms and wine making process that seemed to be very like a factory. There were tiled floors in some rooms and they found a few frescoes that were preserved. It was really incredible. Even Joe the loudest of the original protesters walked through muttering, "I can't believe I thought this would be boring." *grin*
We couldn't take pictures so we'll have to plan on stopping there when you all visit.
After we went to the Farggi's at the corner. It's an ice cream chain but this particular cafe had an assortment of goodies including the Churros and chocolates we were looking for.
Spanish hot chocolate is not like what you'd find in the states. It's more of a melted chocolate bar with some milk. It's definitely thicker and more flavorful than American hot chocolate. I've had it before and it's delicious but I'd never found it with the churros when I would have had time to enjoy it. Churros are long strips of fried dough sprinkled with sugar. They are delicious together with the hot chocolate, which you use to dip the churro in before you eat it. Yummy!
Jessica and Joe decided on ice cream instead of the fried treat. And everyone came away satisfied.

In other news, the three oldest are working on their school play. Jessica is much improved in her Spanish class, or so says the teacher when we stopped to chat this week. Only a few more weeks until the play. We're getting ready for our first visitors! (not to take away anything from Flat Stanley) Omi, Uncle Thom, Aunt Kim and Milo are arriving next Friday.
Hopefully next weekend's adventure will provide us with better photo opportunities but it might just end up being cleaning up the house for company.

Love you all!