"he touched the but"

I am very behind in updating the blog. We've had so much going on here. I completely missed putting up a blog for Joe's birthday. Girls, can we use this as proof he's not my favorite? The girls all seem to think I favor Joe, which I don't but there is no arguing. Anyway...Happy belated birthday to my little man who is now a teenager!! Three teens in the house. Let the fun begin. The day was not Joe's best day as it started out with him being sent for milk to the cow machine, a story for another blog, to fill our glass bottle with milk. On the way home he dropped one of the bottles in the street. Then he brought the fudge I had made him into school for his friends. I kept it in my glass casserole dish and one of his friends tripped him, joking around. The fudge went flying...the broken glass made the fudge unedible. Poor guy. We eventually took him out to eat to celebrate but it was just us. So, pretty low key. When Andrea turned 13 we took her and several friends to see Mamma Mia in Boston and then to dinner. Alexa had a quick weekend in Milan. So, Joe was given some choices for his big outing. One of which included running with the bulls in Pamplona, part of me thinks he's a bit crazy for passing on and part of me is very releaved. He chose taking a few friends on a boat trip with Nick and our new boat. And that brings me to the title of our blog for today....

Have you seen Finding Nemo? It's one of my favorite Disney movies and not just because it turns out Dorie does know how to speak whale. Anyway, the title of this post...He touched the but...comes from Finding Nemo when the little fishes are on the edge of the reef and they are daring each other to go out into the open water near a boat, which they pronounce but. He touched the but...makes me laugh everytime because of the amazement in the fishes voice that Nemo actually did it. Anyway....I think of that line everytime I tell someone Nick bought a boat. Maybe it's because there is still a part of me in awe that he actually did it. We're still learning the ropes, literally...and all that is entailed in using it safely. Here are some pictures...

The main cabing downstairs... opposite view of the same area....the cooktop is under the cooler
Um, this picture is sideways. If you tilt your head to your left....this is one of the bedrooms. back to the left is another cushioned thing that is supposed to be a bed.
The front room...
Joe at the wheel
Joe hanging out while we're on the water...

Back at dock....

Aqua....all ours.

So Joe has a promise that once we've got this boating thing under control him and a few friends will go up to the Costa Brava for a weekend. Lucky kid!


Andrea IFF

Andrea singing at IFF... She followed one of her friends who sang the song Find me someone to love...and rocked it. So she was doubly nervous. But I think she did ok..


jessica dance 2

Jessica's second dance with only the 4th and 5th graders. Sorry this is a bit out of order.

Jessica dance

Jessica's first dance from the International Food Fair. This is her hiphop class she took afterschool one day a week through out the year.

International Food Fair

IFF is my favorite school event. It is a time when the school's International community really gets a chance to shine. There were tables from Greece, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Thailand , Italy, and more. Of course, Spain had a table as did the US. This year they added an entertainment feature. Jess's hiphop class performed two dance numbers. Alexa did a little jazz number that her class made up. Joe sang with the glee club. And Andrea performed a solo, On my Own. Other kids did traditional Asian dances, and performed games from Gana. But it's all about my kids so...here is Jess after her hip hop performance. Our friends, Nils and Carina with their Thai shirts...Sujaree was manning the Thai table..mmm so yummy.

In front of the US table where we were having a Chili contest... This is Sofia, one of the girls in Joe's grade who was in Godspell with the kids. Jacob, who is a friend of Alexa's...and you know Alexa and me.

here is Jessica Ziegler, you'll remember she had us over for Thanksgiving this past year. It was her concept to do the Chili cookoff...the kids all thought she resembled Jessi from Toy Story 2. I think they have a point...

My friends Kristen and Nancy by the Cosmo's. Another cool thing about Spain...alcohol is a mainstay at every school function.

Videos are being uploaded as I type to Youtube and then I'm putting them here...so. Be warned. This is a family blog to keep you all feeling close and loved...so we're sharing the love.



Where everybody knows your name...


One of the things about Spain I love is that upon entering a store, doctor's office or really any shared space people give a general greeting to those around...Bon Dia (good day in Catalan) or Hola....sometimes Buenas Dias. It's pleasant...and people respond cordially and then we all go back to pretending we're alone. But for a moment it always reminds me of those scenes in Cheers when Norm enters and everyone calls out his name.

We've been to the doctor's a lot lately. I've put it in the "be careful what you wish for." category as the beginning of this year I made it a goal to figure out the medical system here...and get a pediatrician for the kids. Mission Accomplished. Thank you God. It started out with Alexa and this black stuff on her toe...sorry for TMI but there you have it. My friend Marilyn recommended her doctor's office in Sant Cugat because the docs speak English even though the office staff don't. Well, the office staff were incredibly tolerant of my very bad Spanish. Roughly translated to ...my daughter has black things on her ...um foot. And we were in to see a doctor without an appointment within 10 minutes. Score one for Socialist medicine. Our doctor did in fact Not speak English but was more than happy to use google translate to make sure we understood...." please to upload her foot on the chair." Note to self...don't trust google translate.
We walked a block to the farmacia where we got some ointment and oral antibiotic for for under 10 Euros...Score two for Socialist medicine...and we had an appointment to go back in a week.
Within the next two months I had to go to the doctor's for my back three times...(thanks to a weird zombie dream....or bumper cars, depending on which version you like better) saw two different doctor's neither of which spoke English managed to get an xray. Learned that I had to go to the farmacia to buy the anti-inflammatory injection and bring it back so they could give it to me.( weird)...and eventually found an English speaking chiropractor who is fixing me one vertebrate at a time...no small feat.
And I had to go back for a sinus infection..also twice. And the funniest thing about this whole ordeal is that I gave them my ID card when I first went...and it says my name, Brenda Ann Ruotolo...but because of the way they do names here. They continually call me Ann. (grin) It's like they gave me a nickname. I love that. And bonus, my Spanish is so much better than it was two months ago.