Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greetings From the Funny Farm

When I watch my youngest child dance, I can see glimpses of her inner-most spirit.  This began when she was a tiny, little munchkin carefully following the choreography of her three older sisters as they created routines to entertain their dad and I(and anyone else who would sit long enough to watch).  Angel Daughter Number Four would move her body in the way that a painter uses a paintbrush or a writer uses words, with each movement expressing an emotion.  I sensed then what I am absolutely sure of now.  AD4 was born to dance.  Space is her canvas and she uses it to express her reason for being, the music drawing her out of the confines of her physical body.
Last weekend was AD4's final dance recital for the season.  Her team did very well this year, coming in 12th at the World competition down in Florida.  This was their first time competing at this worldwide event and we were all very proud of the results.   In the routine, the girls portrayed string puppets wearing masks which set them apart from the other teams competing.  AD4 is the "puppet-master" in the center of the group, and although she is small in stature, she makes up for it with stage presence. It is difficult to take your eyes off of her when she dances.
In the photo above, she is hugging her coach and thanking her on behalf of all of the students at the school that she attends.  Her coach relies heavily on her enthusiasm, great work ethic and positive attitude as a motivator for all of her teammates.  Of course being number four out of four daughters has taught her, quite well, on how to be a fantastic cheerleader for the people that she cares about.  Our girls have always been encouraged to support one another in all of their endeavors.
Angel Daughter Number One had to work on the day of AD4's recital, but she has been there for so many of her performances and competitions always cheering and "WHOO-HOO-ing" from the stands.  They love each other so much.
My dad and his wife came out for the recital and afterwards, we went out for dinner.  AD2 and AD3 brought their boyfriends which always makes it even more difficult for me to take a group photograph!  I am constantly having to check for silly faces before I release the shutter on my camera(check out Jacob on the very end of the table), but with my father there, even more trouble ensues.  Observe Angel Daughter Number Four's right hand which is resting in her lap.  Check out the sweet smile she has on her face.  Lovely, yes?  Notice the piece of bread that she is innocently holding in her hand...
I detect trouble...
Suddenly the Italian bread begins to grow wings, mysteriously launching from AD4's fingers into the direction of her beloved grandfather, Pop Pop.

Things I love about this photo:

1. Mark's hand resting on AD4's shoulder.  Wedding ring which connects us for almost 26 years in view.

2. Flying Italian bread.

3. Jacob is still posing at the end of the table.

4. Just another day in the Four Angels Momma familia.  Oy.
Angel Daughter Number Three finally realizes that her boyfriend is adding personality to the "happy family" moment that I am trying to capture.
She pulls his hands away from his face as Angel Daughter Number Two realizes that I am still trying to get everyone to let me take a nice family photo.
I give up when the bread lands in my father's lap.  I swear that it was not me who taught them to treat old people this way.
I will tell you that AD4 will be paid back for this in the very near future.  Pop Pop never forgets...

And because the hostess innocently asked my father if we were celebrating any special events when she was bringing us to our table, Rita received a very unexpected surprise!
A lovely, rambunctious version of Happy Birthday complete with fellow restaurant patrons accompanying.
The thing that made it even more "unexpected" is that Rita's birthday is in December.  Thank goodness, she:

1. is very used to my father's antics.

2.  has a good sense of humor!

We will be heading out to Palm Springs to visit with my dad for Father's Day and to celebrate Angel Daughter Number One's twenty-fourth birthday(Can I possibly have a child who is that old?) this weekend.  We are hoping that all four of our girls will be able to make it out there to visit with their grandparents.  Angel Daughter Number Two scheduled a photo shoot for this weekend but is trying to shuffle things around so that she can meet us.  Angel Daughter Number One is shooting another Groupon commercial on Friday.  She will be playing a "cameo" part in this one, but they called her to ask her to come in for the role.  They said that she was not right for the main part in this one, but that they definitely wanted to include her in the spot.  They also told her that this will lead to more work in the future.  We are so excited for her!  I will definitely post the commercial when it is completed.

In case you might have missed Angel Daughter Number One's first commercial, here it is again:

My internet was sporadic for a few days so I will be catching up with everyone very soon.  I missed you!

Life is mostly good but isn't that what we can really hope for?


Cats, Chancy, Mumsy said...

What a fun and amazing time you all must have had. Such a beautiful family. The pictures are wonderful. I love seeing happiness all over everyone's faces. Hugs

Tracy said...

it was so fun seeing your family 'in action' and I can just tell you are so proud and just love all of them to pieces...I am so happy for you and having that sense of family! What a rarity, it seems.
Thanks for sharing your lovely daughters with us and thanks for sharing your life!
hugs my friend!

Mark said...

I'm jealous. I live for shots like flying Italian Bread and I never get them. You must have your camera strapped to your head.
That was a great family outing. How'd you raise such great kids? C'mon, what's the secret?

Miss A said...

Love your family. Your dad seems amazing (you know me and dads, I'm always surprised by adults having fun and easy relationships with their dads). And his wife, I guess everyone lucked out with her.
So Angel daughter 4 looks like a great dancer and entertainer, and I'm not surprised that people would turn to her. You've done an amazing job with your family and I love how comfortable everyone is, proof being your daughter's boyfriend. Congrats to Angel daughter 4!

LauraX said...

" Space is her canvas and she uses it to express her reason for being, the music drawing her out of the confines of her physical body." Oh, Deb, how I love the way you've phrased this.

Every family photo is just so full of love and life... How can one NOT feel the joy looking at your family sweet friend? My kids call my Dad PopPop too and my Mom is Nana.

Exciting news all the way around for your Angel Daughters...I'm kvelling with you!

Kathleen Botsford said...

What fun! I love being a part of your fabulous family if only through this wonderful internet! xoxo
p.s. will email more later.....still trying to re-coup from the weekend before the next party starts on Friday! We should only have 15 or so staying this weekend. Down from 30 over-nighters this past weekend.

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

so much joy and laughter! i love your funny farm! xox, mickey

Angella Lister said...

What joy! I think the family portrait you got was just perfect! I love how all your daughters so clearly enjoy the family unit and I can just imagine the laughter and play that ensued/ensues in your home. Their commitment to you and each other is beautiful to witness. And yes, I did notice the love and protection and pride in your husband's hand on your girl's shoulder and your dad is clearly delightedly the flying bread! There is so much going on here, all of it wonderful. And congrats to your beautiful talented daughters. They are so full of light and well on their way!

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