I still need to write up the design direction behind this, but wanted to get it up first! We are still working out kinks in the website and I have gobs of testimonials to get up…
the web is live at: http://www.rubenrodarte.com
It’s been 8 years and I’ve never gone on a date with Tommy. During the summer we drove past a billboard for Peter Pan a million times on our way home from the beach. I decided we were going, although I wasn’t really sure how we’d pull it off. I managed to land some great tickets at next to nothing and bribe Ruben to take care of the other kids.
I wasn’t sure if he’d really be into it but when I told him to go upstairs, get ready and oh yeah, put on something nice on I was floored with how he returned. To him, nice usually means he’ll put on a shirt with no logos on it and maybe a pair of jeans that he didn’t pull out of the hamper. When he came down in a button down shirt, tie, sweater vest AND he had washed his face, brushed his hair and teeth I knew he was excited.
When we got there it was raining and we had to run (giggling) to the theater so we wouldn’t get drenched because we didn’t bring the right umbrella. We looked at the all the junk they were selling and Tommy of course eyeballed the candy buffet! You can see that he stuffed that little takeout box to the gills with candy. Who knew the kid liked Taffy?! He filled the entire bottom half with salt water taffy. Weird.
The production itself was great, cool use of the tent venue with animated image projection on the big top and some cirque type acrobatics. I loved the gal they chose for Tink, she was not what you’d imagine first off as a good fit, but her character was perfect for the part. The character development was a good fit to that of J. M. Barrie and preferred this exploration much more than the watered down Disney tale.
There were also some very good lessons to be had…
“Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.”
~ J.M. Barrie
People who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.”
~ J.M. Barrie
“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.”
~ J.M. Barrie
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
~ J.M. Barrie
…and my personal favorite
“Build a house?” exclaimed John.
“For the wendy,” said Curly.
“For Wendy?” John said, aghast. “Why, she is only a girl!”
“That,” explained Curly, “is why we are her servants.”
~ J.M. Barrie
Tonight while attending a school fundraiser at Chick-Fil-A, Tommy got to see and meet his first celebrity! Not only was it a celebrity, it was a famous baseball player, pretty awesome.
Here’s Tommy with Adam Kennedy. Adam was the 2002 ALCS MVP when the Angels won the World Series. Not sure who was more star struck . . .Tommy or Ruben.
Ruby is full of personality and VERY opinionated (go figure, right)! Here she is at 16 months in her room. I actually got a picture of her straight on and smiling, that in and of itself is a miracle. She is a total pain in the butt, but there is just something about Ruby.
I asked the boy’s what their favorite something about Ruby was:
Ruben: Her laugh, she has the best laugh.
Tommy: That she’s growing up and not that picky with me anymore.
Lucas: I like that she’s so pretty and I like when she gives me hugs and kisses.
Eli: NO! Don’t talk to me.
Eli’s response was classic because he is a grump in the mornings, I guess I asked him too early.
Ya, I did. All summer long we planned a great family vacation to La Quinta and not more than 10 min into our arrival I was in bed with a very high fever and so much pain in my kidneys that I could not move for 2 days. I think I really scared Ruben, he had never seen me like that before. I was actually unable to physically care for anyone including myself. What started as a simple infection progressed into a horrible kidney infection and he had to watch all the kids, pack up an entire weeks worth of food, clothes, games, toys, bikes and high tail it home to get me to the hospital so that someone could help with the kids while he took care of me. It was kind of a crappy ending to what was an amazing summer.
The reason I’ve taken so long to get this up is because I really can’t describe just how wonderful our summer was. When I first realized that I would have all four kids all day, every day for 3 months I totally freaked out, in fact I really didn’t believe that I’d come out the other end alive or that we’d still have 4 kids! I mean sure we had our days, and on those days I just threatened to sell them on the side of the road, offer them up 4 for the price of 1 or even go back to work (they hate that one particularly!). But we made it out alive, and no worse for the wear. In fact we grew much closer, had amazing laughs, and I truly enjoyed 99% of it.
The theme song for this summer was Hey Soul Sister, by Train. It’s really something when your kids turn you on to a song and it’s not some kid song like “There’s a Party In My Tummy”, but an actual song that fits our days, nights and entire summer perfectly. We played it incessantly.
Like usual we were on the go quite a bit and the sun was very rarely seen, our trips to the beach were freezing (I think only 2 with the sun) as well as cold and rainy trips to Legoland. Legoland was a weekly event that allowed us to become closer with my godson Alex, his sister Melina and my dear friend Martha, but would you believe that while we were all having a blast one day, my Mom watched Ruby and the little brat had the nerve to walk for Grandma first! Whatever! Ruby, I feed you, I am with you 24/7, up all hours of the night and the gratitude I get is you walking for Grandma?! In Addition to walking, Ruby got 3 teeth while Tommy lost his first 2 teeth, FINALLY! He was so stoked ’cause everyone had lost more teeth than him even his 5 year old cousin.
Then there were the early mornings with Daddy. He’d get up as the sun was coming up and the sky was just turning orange and pink, wake the boys and spend some quiet time with them in the pool, letting me rest a bit before our busy day would begin. What a blessing that was! He’d sometimes bookend that with super late night swims after riding bikes in the cul-de-sac with all the neighborhood kids. Oh, Oh! I forgot to mention both Lucas AND Eli started riding 2 wheel bikes this summer. Total studs. Of course the kids stayed up WAY too late. Weather it was movie night outdoors at the Nickersons, late night BBQ dinners after our swims or kicking it on the couch playing video games, there were lots of breaking of the bedtime rules.
What an incredible gift God gave me this summer and I am truly grateful to be closer to my family.