Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up (3.29.13)

The Game Must Go On
The photo to the right was taken last week during the United States vs. Costa Rica men's soccer World Cup qualifying match in Commerce City, Colorado.  Can you imagine playing soccer (though I'm note sure you should call it "playing soccer" when blizzard-like conditions prohibit you from seeing the ball until .7 seconds before it hits you in the face) in these weather conditions?  I can. Because I HAVE played soccer in these weather conditions.  It's not all that fun, but in the Midwest - where snow is just as much a part of life as 90+ degree heat is here in Texas - you make it work.  The United States won the game, by the way, which isn't at all surprising, given that it doesn't snow in Costa Rica...

Well, by Lisa Kron
"Well is a funny and touching comedy about mothers and daughters, mind over body, social activism, and theater itself.  Lisa, the onstage playwright, attempts a memory play about her force-of-nature mother, Ann, who, though constantly ill, manages to heal a community.  In this show, the playwright asks the provocative question: Are we responsible for our own illness?  But the answers she gets from her mother and the chorus of characters questioning her motives are much more complicated than she bargained for when the play spins out of control into riotously funny and unexpected territory."

Starting next Thursday, my good friend Stacey is starring in the StageCenter Community Theater's production of Well by Lisa Kron.  The show runs April 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20, and tickets (and/or additional information) are available by calling 979.823.4297, visiting, or at the door.  This show is not to be missed!

Photo Shoot
While visiting my family in Illinois over spring break, I spent an afternoon snapping pictures of my two-year-old niece, Lily, and my newborn nephew, Carter.  Lily, who is every bit as spicy as Hallie (they might not look related, but I assure you, they ARE), wanted absolutely nothing to do with modeling until I produced a container of Tic Tacs from my pocket.  Then she really started to work it.
Truth be told, I took pictures of Lily primarily to test out the lighting in preparation for eventually taking pictures of Carter.  I was pleasantly surprised to score a few photos that I think capture Lily's beautiful greenish brown eyes; round, rosy cheeks; and golden blond hair.

Carter was fairly cooperative (though at one point obvious in the fifth photo below, he became a bit disenchanted with the whole photography session business), which made the process considerably easier.  And though I'm no professional, I'm fairly satisfied with the results.
My favorite.
When Tinkerbell Attacks.
I miss my little models, but I'll be alright, because lately Hallie's been dishing out enough spice to cover for both her and Lily and waking up at night as often as Carter.

Epic Golf Fails
If an entire video compilation of epic failures on the golf course isn't your thing, PLEASE, at least watch the first clip, the last clip, and the clip of the little girl at 0:40.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Sheep

Or so says Will. 

While Will's slightly-edited version of this saying about the month of March doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly as the original, it's just as true.  And as the end of March approaches, I find myself enjoying - and almost basking in - the warmth and peace and newness that gracefully arrived when we closed the door on winter and opened the window to spring.

Beautiful flowers - along with gorgeous cactuses and a plethora of 
weeds (Hallie's favorite) - can be found throughout our neighborhood.
Picking weeds.
Our weed bouquets.
Completely passed out and still clutching her weeds.

There have been plenty of trips to the park and a 
couple of (unsuccessful) attempts at roller skating.
You can't quite tell in this photo, but she was
SCREAMING at me for letting go of her hand to
take a picture.  Oh, and she's clutching another weed.

The animals are emerging and the skies are bright.

And last but not least, the temperatures are finally warm enough for Tom to (temporarily) 
move one of our television sets outside to the back porch.  Watching March Madness 
basketball on the patio is a pretty fantastic way to spend a Saturday evening.

I hope that wherever you live, March is on its way out like a sheep.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cowboy Kids

It only took three annual Cowboy Days for me to realize that Cowboy Day always take place in March, when the schools study Texas state history. And that the schools study Texas state history in March because March 2nd is Texas Independence Day. And that Texas has a Texas Independence Day (a celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2nd, 1836). Not sure how I missed all that the time around, or the second time around. Third time's a charm, I guess.

Anyway, back to the cowboys and their days.

In preparation for Cowboy Day I put together adorable outfits of jeans and button-down shirts and belts and bandanas and hats and boots for both kids, but on the morning of Hallie's day, she had an epic meltdown - we're talking 45 minutes of naked screaming and crying and finally heading off to school just barely dressed and with absolutely no breakfast in her teeny, tiny tummy - and would agree to wear only the jean skirt.  As in ONLY the jean skirt.  I had to pin Hallie between my legs and wrestle her into a shirt and shoes because, you know, "no shoes, no shirt, no school".

Thankfully she calmed down once we arrived at the door to her classroom, and to my untrained eye (I often observe Hallie having what appears to be a good time, but when I ask her about it later she claims the experience was actually awful) it seemed as though she enjoyed herself in Cowboyland.
"Warming" her hands over the fake campfire.
Chitchatting while having a cowboy tattoo transferred to her hand.
Playing horseshoes.
Coloring her cowboy bandana.
Concentrating on her work.
I'm concentrating on those rosebud lips.
Finally, a smile.
And an even bigger smile.
Hallie was in such good spirits when we arrived home that she insisted on putting on her entire Cowboy Day ensemble, even though Cowboy Day was over.  She looked ridiculously awesome - or awesomely ridiculous, depending on how you feel about almost-four-year-old cowgirls - when we picked up Will from school that afternoon.
Hallie's cowgirl outfit was very patriotic.
Happy (cow)girl.
Showing off her lassoing skills.
Will's Cowboy Day took place the day after Hallie's. That morning he decided that he didn't want to wear his cowboy boots and swapped them out for his Samba indoor soccer shoes, which according to Will, cowboys would wear if they were playing indoor soccer. He may have had a point, but I still wish he'd have worn his cowboy boots.

I was out of town that day so Tom was in charge of pictures; perhaps you might be able to tell.

Here's a picture of the yard with Will in it.

And a picture of the back of Will doing a "sweet inner form block" 
(he's more than a little obsessed with karate these days).

And just for fun, here's a photo of Will and Hallie on Cowboy Day 2012, when they were both considerably smaller but wore the exact same outfits and Will looked more like a park ranger than a cowboy.

In closing, a few words of wisdom from a true cowboy...never squat with your spurs on.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Madness Recap, Week 1

Casually dominating the sport of basketball.
You guys.  For about 48 hours over the weekend, Hallie's bracket was totally kicking my bracket's behind.  She correctly picked the winners of EVERY game in the East division; scored 50% or better in the Midwest, West, and South divisions; and even predicted the Wichita State over Gonzaga upset.  It was starting to look like Hallie'd been born with some sort of sports prediction super power.  (If you recall, she won our annual Super Bowl pool just over a month ago.)

Unfortunately for Hallie, her bracket took a nose dive on Sunday night when San Diego State - one of her final four teams - lost to Florida Gulf Coast.  I couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief when the buzzer sounded...

Here are the Ferris Family Standings as of Sunday night:

Round 1 (each correct pick = 1 point)
1st: Tom, 2
2nd: Will, 2
3rd: Hallie, 2
4th: Erin, 0

Not a good start.

Round 2 (each correct pick = 1 point)
1st: Tom, 24 (26 total)
2nd: Will, 23 (25 total)
3rd: Hallie, 22 (24 total)
4th: Erin, 22 (22 total)

Falling behind to an almost-four-year-old is embarrassing.

Round 3 (each correct pick = 2 points)
1st: Erin, 22 (44 total)
2nd: Tom, 16 (42 total)
3rd: Will, 16 (41 total)
4th: Hallie, 16 (40 total)

Back in the game!

It's still far too early to predict which of the four Ferri will come out on top on April 6th, but I sure am breathing a lot easier today than I was on Saturday night!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tradition: The Big Event, Round 2

Our family participated the Texas A&M University Big Event - the largest one-day, student-run service project in the country and a way for TAMU students to collectively say "thank you" to the residents and communities of Bryan and College Station for supporting them while they attend the University - for the first time last March.

I considered Big Event 2012 a "win-win-win" for everyone involved, and feel exactly the same about Big Event 2013. Approximately 19,000 students, in keeping with the mission of the Big Event, directly and indirectly said thank you to members of the community and also added participation in a nationally-recognized and respected volunteer event to their resumes. Tom and I received help on a significant yard improvement project that on our own would have taken us two full weekends to complete. And our children - after meeting, engaging with, and witnessing the hard work and generosity of the "big kids" - were prompted to ask questions about teamwork, volunteering, and giving back to and improving our community.

All things considered, Will helped a decent amount by carrying bags of 
mulch,raking leaves, and spreading wood chips.  Hallie didn't help at all, and 
instead just snuck brownies from the spread I'd laid out for our volunteers.

A fourth "win" could be Will's jubilation when all five of our volunteers, after wrapping up the day's work, willingly watched him practice/perform his sweet karate moves - punches and front kicks and side kicks and SO MANY inner form blocks - for 10 straight minutes.

Oh, and a fifth win could be the satisfaction Tom and I feel now that we know the exact quantity of wood chips needed to mulch our entire front, side, and back yards. In the name of inefficiency, various combinations of the four Ferri made seven trips to Lowe's to purchase wood chips (four of which were made on the day of the Big Event), but we finally got the job done and we took careful notes so as to never again have to make seven trips to Lowe's in one week.

Tom and I continue to fully support the Big Event, and plan to participate each year we live in College Station and as long as they'll accept our home as a job site. The benefits to EVERYONE involved are tremendous and long-lasting, and I feel lucky to have been a part of the Big Event 2013.
Thank you!