Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Delicious Christmas Tradition

Last Saturday, while we were in Columbia enjoying Christmas with Grandmary, most of my extended family was on the farm in Illinois having Christmas at Granny's. It is, I am almost sure, the first such Christmas I've missed. I'll make up for it soon by heading to the farm myself and visiting, but I won't get to eat more of Granny's fresh Santa cookies than I should.

In order to rectify this situation, Sophia and I made those Santa cookies today. I talked with my grandma today, and she said, "They're not the easiest cookies to make, are they?" Nope, they certainly aren't. But they're worth it.

First, of course, you need the recipe. I happen to keep my recipe on the counter all through the year.

Once you've made the dough, you have to chill it for a few hours. This is key in order to keep it workable but not sticky. When you're ready to roll it out, don't get stingy and make them thin. Be sure they're thick enough for the cutter details to show up. That's key.

After they cool down a little, they're ready to be iced. This is when the Santa cookies get a little tougher. The first step is actually a little water painted onto the red parts (hat and rosy cheeks) then sprinkled red sugar. The beard and hat ball are next.

To make the Santa cookies that will make Granny proud, he must have a piped on mustache and eyebrows. My frosting bag broke. I tried a couple of secondary baggie options, but those failed miserably. My only other option was to push the icing through - with my fingers. So, yeah. I got dirty.

Like I said, totally worth it. Granny would approve, especially since his beard looks windblown and he's delicious.

Traditions may be my favorite part of Christmas. That's why we're about to head to see The Nutcracker! Again. I asked Sophia if she wanted to try a different Christmas show this year, but nope. The Nutcracker it is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sophia's blog update

Sophia has not forgotten about the possibility of having a blog, but she has become a little overwhelmed by the responsibility that it inevitably brings.

So we'll see what becomes of that. In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Lots of good will and calmness, I hope!

To add to your joy, here's a little cuteness to brighten your day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hi, this is Sophia. I have exiting news. This Friday I might get my own blog! I am not sure what it's name is going to be. This weekend me, mommy and daddy went to a play called Peter And The Star-catcher. It was about Peter Pan before he was Peter Pan. This weekend I am going to my Grandma and Grandpa's house. It will be our Christmas with them. I am so exited!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lovely Girl

We recently had our family pictures taken by a lovely photographer, Jessica. She captured some really great shots of our family, and some that I really love of Sophia.

We needed another good family photo this year, but I probably wouldn't have done it if she hadn't been running a charitable special. Donate to Doctors Without Borders or a similar charity that directly assists refugees and receive a photo shoot and images without paying her directly. I love being able to reward selfless action like that. 

And sometimes it results in something beautiful like this.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's starting to feel like Christmas

This break we put up  our christmas decorations.
 It is always fun, but this year we went shopping while the tree was setting. This year we got an artificial tree. Finally after shopping it was time to decorate. First mommy and daddy put the lights on the tree. Then I helped put the ornaments on the tree. After boxes, and boxes, of ornaments, it was finally time to put the star on the tree. Unfortunately the old star didn't fit on the tree. We had to get a new one and try again.

Somewhere in the middle of all the chaos we put up my own winter wonderland. Finished with a snow globe that plays music, a regular snow globe, a big nutcracker, my nutcracker collection, and finally a white tree that reminds me of my old play room. It is very bittersweet but I'm glad I'm here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Hi this is Sophia. I am super exited. Today is Tuesday, and I don't have school the rest of the week! In two days it will be Thanksgiving. I am thankful for being able to write on this blog. I am thankful for the food I get every day, the toys I have to play with. I am thankful for challenges and fears I have had to face, my family, my friends, the opportunity to live in this amazing world. I wonder what you are thankful for. A while ago I got a awesome new toy. It was a programable robot. I named it Chuck. I thought that was a really cool name. Tonight I just made up a comic book. It is called Arthur and Max. Max is a dog and he can talk. Arthur is Max's owner. Arthur is a little boy. Him and Max have lots of fun together. That is the base story of Arthur and Max. This week end I did a lot of cooking. I made two desserts and didn't use a recipe for ether one. That is what has happened to me in the last week.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Weekend Take 2

Hi, this is Sophia. So I am basically going to respond to myself. So the U.S. did win the soccer game.(6 to 1) Then the next day I went to my cousins house for the night. I slept the whole night perfectly. I had so much fun! I played Xbox and dart guns. We watched my oldest cousin, in that family, play soccer. From what I heard his team did extremely well. They played  3 games and I went  to 2. The dog that they got was amazingly cute, and unbelievably entertaining. He was kida sorta really clumsy. He wanted to play with my dog so bad, but my dog just wasn't wanting to. I am not sure, but I think my cousins dog ate my dogs food. But he was so adorable and energetic, it just amazed me. I never knew that a dog could be energetic, clumsy and adorable all at the same time. But he was.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Weekend

Hi again this is Sophia. Today I went to my friends house. One of the things we play almost every time is magic school. We both like that game. We always switch off being teacher, pretty much every time I am teacher first and she is the student. She also has swings in her backyard. On a totally unrelated note. Just a few days from now I am going to my cousin's house. Just a week ago or so they got a dog. This will be the first time I get to see him!  I haven't seen my cousins in about 3 months. Although my dog doesn't get to come with me. I am so exited, I with these next few days just didn't exist. Except maybe Friday because I am going to the U.S. vs St. Vincent And The Grenadines. It is being played in Busch Stadium. I can almost taste the victory.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hi this is Sophia. Today I met with a club me and my friend made up. It is called the dolphin protection club. We meet Mondays after school. We look at different ways to help save dolphins. Dolphins are amazing animals, they are also very interesting. There was not much else that happend in the last week or so. Except my cousin turned 13 four days ago. Yesterday I went biking even though I fell off last May. It was scary and exiting at the same time. At the end of the ride we went to day of the dead at the history museum. Day of the dead is a Spanish tradition, it is a day to celebrate your loved ones that have passed. That is pretty much my whole week. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Soccer Celebration

Sunday was a beautiful day for Sophia's last soccer game of the year. Third grade soccer is a hoot to watch. All of these girls worked hard throughout the year at practices and games. They showed remarkable sportsmanship and toughness. I am proud of each of them!

Sophia got to play her favorite position in her last game - goalie. She has gotten serious about it when she is trying to keep goals out, and she does a great job. I love to watch her and her friends learning the game and figuring out how to work together!

Now, a few weeks off before basketball picks up again. A lot of these girls will get to stick together. They love being part of a team!

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Hi this is Sophia. I just wanted to tell you what I am being for Halloween. I am going to be a vampire I have three jokes. One is what is Mozart doing now? Decomposing. I made the second one by myself, here it goes. What do ghost do when another ghost breaks it's heart? Eats I scream. The last one is Why did the ghost go into the bar? For the boos. So those are all the jokes I have.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Epic Adventures of Super Grip #2

Still Sophia. I was just going to blog about Super Grip again.
The bright light flashed in the dark, cold night air. This light had a fist in the middle. This was the Super Grip HELP signal. Super Grip bounced across the roof tops of the city towards the light. In 10 seconds flat he had bounced off the whole towns roofs. This was an amazing sight for the townsfolk. They watched in AW as Super Grip lounged  through the window of the house that needed  help it turn out it was a fire. All the towns folk turned around to see the fire truck pull up in the driveway right as Super Grip had put out the fire. The fire man stood open mouthed as Super Grip dropped the hose and turn to see the fire man. " He saved us." said the woman who was in the house. " Oh I was just around when I saw the fire." said Super Grip. Seeing that one of the fire man was the bully from  Carl's school. "That's not true. We all saw you bounce off the houses  to get here." said one of the towns  people. 

Epic Adventures of Super Grip

Hey this is  Sophia . I can't really think of any thing to write about. So I am just going to tell a story. 
                                             Chapter One 
The story of  Super Grip. Super Grip use to be called Carl. Carl use to be a geeky nerd and then he got shocked by a power line, and it was then everything changed...
                                                Chapter two 
Carl's finger tips grew suction cups and his shoes changed so there was a big suction cup on the toe. Now he was Super Grip... 

                            TO BE CONTINUED   

So, the blog

Last night, in order to help Sophia get through a rough spot brought on by its being Monday and all, I showed her a bunch of videos from our Youtube channel. You can see what I was working with by clicking here. She was horrified to learn that one of the videos is titled "Potty Training". That was poor planning on my part, but it's really a great video that has nothing to do with potty training. It's just that she happens to be sitting...on the potty. Sorry, Soph.

The videos were helpful for her and a little bittersweet for me. I know she's growing up. She is not a fan of that, by the way. She says that her ideal age is somewhere around four or five. In her mind, that's when we stopped being able to hold her, and that seems to be the biggest disappointment in growing up. Maybe not the biggest, but it's up there.

Anyway, I'm aware that she's growing up, but I'm usually so busy downplaying it or going through the feelings for her that I forget that it's sad for me too. She's my one and only. And the days of her singing silliness to me and the pets are - nearly - over.

I was so happy a couple of weeks ago when Sophia decided that she needed to build a fairy garden. I had been sure that we had collected our last acorns. I was wrong. She collected all the acorn caps and intact acorns she could carry, and she placed them carefully in the big planter my dad made. Then she looked at me and asked if fairies were real. This one I gave up because the treasure of childhood might not be worth going out to this planter in the wee hours of the morning to make it look lived in...

Apparently this post is going to be stream of consciousness. You're welcome.

The fact remains that she is growing up. And there are fewer things to video. I don't know if that's true. I could have been videoing the soccer game this weekend, but then I might have missed seeing her very first goal with my own eyes. Here she is afterwards.

I think that's the thing. Most of the things that I want to record of 9-year-old Sophia doing are things that I'm living with her. I will try to do a better job of at least writing them down because she is just as precious and adorable now as she ever was!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sophia!

Dear Sophia,

Happy birthday! You deserve a day of all the brightest and happiest moments that a nine-year-old's day can hold.

You do not want to grow up, and I am not ready for that either. Still, it's the greatest privilege of my life to help you grow and learn and, yes, change. You hate change as much as I love it. That's why I'm always so amazed at your willingness to join me and daddy with excitement when we decide it's time for adventure. It's because you're courageous.

Nine years have gone by in the blink of an eye, yet I cannot remember life before you were in it. My ears have never heard anything as beautiful as the sound of your laugh when something catches you off guard - or when you make a bathroom joke. My eyes have never seen anything as beautiful as your face when it's filled with delight at something new or joy when you're on a horse. My heart has never had more use than when it reminds yours what a worthwhile and beautiful person you are.

Daddy and I love you more today than when he first put you in my arms. For no other reason than you are ours. All the other reasons you give us just stack on top and fill our hearts.

I hope this year is full of your laughter and made bright with your imagination. I can't wait to share the happy days with you and I am honored to wipe your tears when they come.

Happy birthday to my bright and beautiful girl!



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tiger Reintroduction

Last weekend, we happened into some tickets to the first football game of the Mizzou season. That hasn't happened to us since we moved in 2010. Erick and I have been over for a couple games, but even that was years ago.

So we were so happy to get to reintroduce Sophia to the culture that is Mizzou football. She also had a guide closer to her age. These two are about the sweetest 8-year-olds I know. I feel lucky to get to hang around them.

Sophia got into it quickly. In spite of the heat and the big score gap (thankfully), we managed to make it through three quarters. If you were still allowed to leave at halftime and come back, we probably could have made the whole thing. That's neither here nor there.

I'm not saying that Sophia's going to go to Mizzou when she grows up. We do sing the Alma Mater at bed every night. All that matters is that we all had a great time, and Sophia knows when to stand and cheer and how to follow up an M - I - Z !!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

School Starts Again

It's been a month since my last post. The reason for that is simple: school started last week. That means that Sophia and I were trying our hardest to pack the last of summer with all the things we didn't get to do on her list. It also means that I was trying to get ready for the new year in PTO - I'm the co-president again this year, and it falls on me this time around.

Sophia was excited to go back to school. Looking ready as can be. A week in, third grade is getting mixed reviews, but I'm hopeful that it will pick up pretty soon.

Just seeing her friends alone was enough to get this response after the first day. She loves school in general, and I am sure this love will carry her through to the other side of any challenges she faces.

These are a few of the faces that she looks forward to seeing every day. She's a lucky girl with some very great friends.

Now that the year has started, I might be able to get some more posts in, but no guarantees! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Staycation - Boating

We used Forest Park several times during our staycation. Why not? There are many, many things I love doing in the park, but the more I think about it, my favorite may very well be hanging out at the Boathouse and then doing paddle boats.

One of the staycation days we had was marvelously overcast. Just a nice little breeze.

We started by waiting for our table. In preparation for our time at the Boathouse, I've been keeping all the heals and crusts of our bread. Sophia loves to feed the ducks. I love to watch them. She used a few pieces here, but saved most for our boat ride.

Hard to say what's so funny. She's eight, so I'm guessing it was not table talk.

She's in another phase of looking just like her daddy, isn't she?

The resemblance is uncanny. And goofy.

Here's why she likes to save bread for the ride. I think she feels like the Pied Piper or some sort of duck whisperer. Regardless, she's always sad when the bread runs out and they glide away.

Forest Park has a surprising amount of wildlife. They're not usually out and about during the day, though, so we were surprised to see this little guy digging around for crawfish.

My favorite spot. Or top five.

Sophia took the camera for a while. I'm lucky she didn't drop it in, but she was pleased with the hundreds of pictures she took. Here's one.

Paddleboating is hard work. My butt hurts just thinking about it. It's worth it, though. It was a lovely day to make memories.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Being Flexible

We stayed for vacation this year. I won't lie. It's not as fun as going. It was still pretty great. Lucky for us, we have a good time no matter where we are.

One of our big plans involved camping. Erick and I used to camp before Sophia, but she has not spent one night in a tent in her whole life. I don't know whether I should be proud or embarrassed of that fact. Neither, really. It just hasn't happened. Anyway, this was the time we were going to change all of that. The weather early last week was cool and overcast - perfect for camping. Sadly, we weren't going to camp until Wednesday or Thursday, when the heaven decided to empty all that moisture. We decided to forgo the pleasure of leaky and gross. We did, however, get to enjoy the best part of camping. We got a very hot fire going in our fire pit, so even the rain couldn't put it out. The rain was on and off. We were damp, but the trees kept us from being soaked.


 And we cooked hot dogs and s'mores and huddled around the fire and pretended we were in the northwest. Sophia loves to climb our redbud. She spent a lot of time in the tree and some time painting in the basement.

The three of us didn't mind the rain so much, but Leo is not okay with it. He hates being wet and will often try to stop and do his business under the overhang on the porch to avoid getting wet. Sophia kept calling him a city dog, but he didn't seem to take offense.

All in all, it was a fun time and a good memory to be made on our staycation. Probably not as good a story as camping in the rain, but there are limits to what I'll do for a good story.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Summer has been full so far. Sophia and I have spent a lot of time at the pool, particularly given the persistent rain we've gotten in Missouri.

We've been watching a lot of soccer. Most of it on TV, but some in person as displayed here by our soccer fan.

Like I said, lots of rain. Some Creaches are more excited about this than others. Leo would be the less excited one in this picture...

We've had visits with family. I didn't take any pictures when my dad, Erick, Sophia and I were soaked on the bumper boats in Branson. I also didn't take a picture of Sophia and the St. Louis cousins playing video games. Some family moments slip by without being recorded forever. I did, however, capture a nice picture with these boys.

We've also had lots of time with friends over the summer. It's fun to sneak in some unexpected friend time at the pool. That does occasionally happen. That makes for a very happy summer.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Lucky Thirteen

I don't remember being this tired on our wedding day, but apparently, it was exhausting.

Wake up, you two! They're waiting to cut the cake!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day

Like each mom I know, I feel grateful just to be along for the ride with my child. 

Sometimes that's more literal than others.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Practically Summer

This last weekend got off to a great start with a visit from my parents. It was perfect weather for a visit to St. Louis. Mid-70's, not yet humid. Lots of sunshine and blue skies. In my opinion, the blue skies we get here are never more beautiful than over Art Hill in Forest Park.

We took a trip through the George Caleb Bingham Exhibit while they were here. And had our picture taken with a statue that made Mom uncomfortable.

If you're curious, Trader Joe's has really great sweet corn. And eating on the patio is a perfect way to kick off a lovely late spring weekend.

Fancy nails and fancy drinks help that feeling too. Anyway, it was a lovely visit and the best time of year to live in our neighborhood. Except for all the pollen. That's a different, whinier post.

Friday, April 17, 2015

St. Louis Soccer

Last weekend was the home opening match of the St. Louis Football Club. The stadium is way out in Fenton, which is about 30 minutes away (25 minutes farther than we drive for entertainment typically). It was not the last time we'll be making the drive.

Before the match started, there were lots of fun things for kids to do. Hoops contest, kicking contest, the Bubble Bus!! And, of course, the Team Store...

The match was sold out, which meant 5,500 or so? That's not a ton of people really, but the atmosphere was so much fun! Lots of energy and excitement.

Sophia got into it much more than I thought she would. In case you were wondering, she's the kind of kid who yells out "RED CARD!" any time one of our players is fouled by the other team. She's also the kind of kid who goes crazy when the team scores.

As she learned from her time at Quakes matches with our family in California, Sophia will not leave a soccer match without obtaining signatures and pictures. Here she is getting a signature from the goal scorer, St. Louis native and former Quake, Brandon Barklage.

Like I said, that was not our last time out there, and hopefully in the years to come we can get season tickets if it's going to result in this response...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Giving us a workout

Since Sophia has learned to ride a bike, it's pretty much all she wants to do. We have spent pretty much any afternoon that is decent enough on the trails with her bike. Erick and I have both been without bikes for years because while Sophia didn't know how to ride it wasn't something we could do very often. 

All that is going to have to change. Even though she's a beginner, she is fast. Erick and I are both completely worn out from following her around Forest Park on foot. The picture below was taken at the end of a couple of hours of riding for Sophia and walking for us. Erick actually won this race because Sophia was so exhausted from all the peddling, and the little grade in this hill was enough to do her in.

So, if you have a bike you love, let us know what kind it is. If you have a bike you never ride, let us know how much you want for it.