(Susan): The weekends always come to a close too quickly. Sam learned to ride Tessa's old bicycle with training wheels this weekend. So I spent the weekend supervising the driveway. I tried to clean out a window well during the cycle fest, until I came head to head with a spider the size of Sam's hand!!!! We did make a trip to the sporting goods store for new helmets and biking gloves, as well as new tennis shoes. We couldn't put it off any longer and got new school uniforms for Tessa today as well. She will be back in school on Thursday without her brace. Hard to believe.
Breakfast can be hard on your head and hands
Tessa practices some racquetball against the garage
(Susan): It has been a week of Olympic bike riding, scootering, stroller riding and tolerating work! Abbey spent the afternoon and evening so the girls could ride their bikes together up and down the driveway. We watched most of the opening ceremonies but all fell asleep on the floor and missed the lighting of the torch! Rob is on call this weekend, but we may try a family outing for new school shoes later this afternoon.
Grandma Judy and Jerry's house is okay in Cape Coral, Florida. Grandma is actually in Iowa, but Jerry hunkered in and stayed for Hurricane Charley. We will get more details later I'm sure. I'm off for some Olympic quilt back making. . . .
Sam enjoys a ride
Surprise!! (Yuck, I hate these flowers with a passion!)
(Rob:) Tessa Jean got back on her bicycle tonight for the first time since last fall. I missed the whole event because I had to go to a urology meeting tonight, but Tessa said it felt good to ride again. I'm still knocked out by her knee flexion ability. It's one of those things I always took for granted before the operation, but after months of watching her struggle to flex her knee just a little bit it's nice to see it bending nearly normally now. She has done an awesome job on her leg exercises and I'm very proud of her progress.
I'm equally proud of my son, who peed in the toilet today! Regular blog watchers might have thought this was a battle already won weeks ago, but Sam has been remained pretty resistant to the whole concept.
Tonight however, we celebrate his continence!
(Years from now, when he grows bigger than his dad, please don't tell him I was posting this information for the world to see)
• Daily Obscure Song Lyric: (genre: bubblegum pop)
"When I kissed you, girl, I knew how sweet a kiss could be
Like the summer sunshine pour your sweetness over me"
-- Saturday's answer: "Come See About Me" by The Supremes (1964)
(No correct guesses)
• Daily Movie Quote: (genre: HORROR!)
"The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly... The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield."
--- Saturday's answer: "The Green Berets" (1968)
(No correct guesses)
(Susan): With record low temperatures upon us and the post vacation blues setting in, we have no choice but to cozy up. Tonight we all walked around Loose Park and came home to some hopping games of Husker Du. We finished it off with our only current show, The Amazing Race and then all snuggled up under quilts for some good sleeping. Two of my quilts came back from the quilters while we were on vacation and we are breaking them in tonight before mailing them on to their new homes in Colorado (Merry Late Christmas, Zanny!) and Minnesota (Happy Early Birthday, Nathan!). I have finished another to send off for traditional hand quilting via the Amish community in Rochester, Minnesota and guess I better start planning a new one to cheer myself up. A baby quilt is in order for our friends, the Judges in Michigan!
Tessa is doing great!! She did her exercises faithfully (with only minor grousing) on vacation. Her therapists set a goal for her to be at 125 degrees when she returned and the official measurement on Monday was. . . . .129!!!! She flexes her left leg to 150 degrees so we are getting closer everyday. In Florida she swam a bunch and walked for many hours at the amusement parks in sizzling temperatures. She is truly an amazing little girl!!
(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS EXTREME BRONCOS CONTENT. READER DISCRETION ADVISED)
(Rob:) I spent the day in Canton, Ohio with about 20,000 of my closest friends, all together to show our respects to John Elway, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this afternoon. The town seemed like Denver on a home game weekend with all of the #7 jerseys:
The museum is a cool place to visit if you are pro football fan. Despite living for the past 12 years in Kansas City, I spent my NFL formative years in the 70's in Denver and have been a Broncos fan ever since. John Elway is the first Bronco to be inducted into the hall, but there is already a fair amount of Denver memorabilia on exhibit. Here is the jersey Elway wore when he conducted "The Drive" in the 1986 AFC Championship game here in Cleveland:
And here are the famously hideous vertically-striped socks the Broncos wore their first year in the NFL (a rare item since most of them were publicly burned in 1962):
John was the first inductee ever to have his daughter introduce him at the ceremony. Both he and his daughter's speeches were heartfelt and moving and very enthusiastically received by the Bronco faithful. It was great to be able to attend, and I thank Susan for watching the kids while I jetted off on my personal pilgrimage!
(Rob:) The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is awesome! If you like music and have a chance to go there, definitely check it out. I arrived at about 1PM and ended up staying until 8:30 (probably best that I came out here by myself!) They have a ton of instruments and costumes and stuff. Remember the big Mad Hatter hat Tom Petty wore in the "Don't Come Around Here No More" video? It's there. The blue jeans Bruce Springsteen wore on the "Born in the U.S.A." album cover? There.
They have a lot of movies and music and interactive stuff, too. I feel like I know a fair amount about music, but I learned a ton. Did you know Marvin Gaye played drums on "Dancin' in the Streets?" True. I also learned I need to check out soul singers Little Willie John and Ruth Brown and the guitar playing of Les Paul and T-Bone Walker.
They don't allow cameras inside, but I did sneak this picture of Tom Petty's Rickenbacker guitar from the cover of "Damn the Torpedoes":
• Daily Obscure Motown Song Lyric:
"I've been crying (boo hoo)
'Cause I'm lonely (for you)
Smiles have all turned to tears
But tears won't wash away the fears
That you're never ever gonna return
To ease the fire that within me burns"
-- Yesterday's Answer: "What's Goin' On" by Marvin Gaye (1971)
Uncle Tom knows what's goin' on...
• Daily Movie Quote:
"Reporter: Could you answer a question that all of us are asking?
Sergeant Muldoon: We'll try.
Reporter: Why is America raging this ruthless war in Vietnam?
Sergeant Muldoon: Foreign policy decisions are not made by the military. A soldier goes where he is told to go, and fight whom is told to fight."
-- Yesterday's answer-- "Full Metal Jacket" (1987)
(Rob:) We're back in Kansas City after a great trip to visit Gramma Judy in Florida! Yesterday we mostly just hung out at Gramma's house in Cape Coral- after 2 days of theme parks, we just couldn't muster the energy to go out into the world again! It was also another rainy day so we opted not to go to the beach. One of the neighbors was out of town and gave us permission to use their pool, so we did walk across the street so the kids could try out their coooool new goggles:
At the neighbors' pool (thanks neighbors!)
Our journey home today was uneventful- although I had a cool Dad-moment. During our one-hour layover in Atlanta, Sam made an uncharacteristic request to sit with me instead of Susan, his usual airplane seat-mate. Susan asked him why he wanted to sit with Daddy and he replied, "Because I love him!"
We came back home today instead of Sunday because I had previously made plans to go to Canton, Ohio tomorrow. I've been a devout Denver Broncos fan for nearly 30 years, and after they won Super Bowl XXXII I made a personal vow to be there in person when John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which happens on Sunday. I don't expect to meet him face-to-face, but after all of the enjoyment watching him over his 16-year career, I felt like I needed to show my respect. I had planned to go with a friend of mine, but he couldn't make it so I'll be flying solo this trip. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is just up the road in Cleveland and I've wanted to visit it for years.
• Daily Obscure Motown Song Lyric:
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today"
-- Wednesday's answer: "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" (1972) by The Temptations
Partial no-prize to Karen for coming up with the title to this soul classic
• Daily War Movie Quote:
"Marines: [chanting] This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of my enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen."
-- Wednesday's answer: "School of Rock" (2003)
No-prize to Uncle Tom- King of Rawk!
(Rob:) Another full day in Orlando- today we all went over to the Disney-MGM studios park which was very cool and has two of the best rides in the whole WDW (in my humble opinion.) We started the day at the first one: the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!!!
After yesterday's slightly queasy experience with the Space Mountain roller coaster, Tessa Jean wasn't entirely sure she was up for any thrill rides today, but with some reassurance she agreed to go on this one. After some suitable spooky atmosphere-setting business, you are put into an elevator car that goes up 13 stories in the pitch darkness before free-falling down the shaft! Very scary and fun, and no one lost their breakfast, which was great.
We saw a bunch of other interesting things about movie-making (they do produce some films and TV shows here in Orlando.) During a tour of the MGM backlot, the guide announced that plans call for TWO sequels to Tessa's favorite movie; "Pirates of the Caribbean!" Here's her face after hearing that news:
We saw some movie costumes and props; here's the bad pirate's costume from "Pirates":
A bust of Ahnold from his Oscar-winning* role as Mr. Freeze in "Batman and Robin:
(* not actually true.... only Oscar-NOMINATED.)
At the end of the day, Beth and Abbey twisted my arm and forced me to ride the other awesome ride I referred to earlier: "Aerosmith's Rock 'n Roller Coaster", which was extremely freaky! The whole thing is indoors, mostly in the dark with lots of loop-de-loops and scary stuff. When it starts, instead of the slow ascent to the top of a hill like most coasters, this one fires you off like a rocket, 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds! Here are the conquering rock heroes:
We had to say goodbye to Beth and Bill and Abbey, who are continuing on to Sea World tomorrow; Susan and Gramma Judy and the kids and I drove back to Cape Coral tonight in time to watch Bruce Springsteen on "Nightline." We're now feverishly making October vacation plans to try and catch the "Vote for Change" tour. Check this lineup; Bruce, R.E.M. and John Fogerty! See side bar link for more information.
Tomorrow we're hoping for clear weather for another try at Sanibel Island, but here's one more from Disney of me and the Peach:
• Daily Obscure Motown Lyric:
"It was the third of September
That day I'll always remember, yes I will
Cause that was the day, that my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin' but bad things about him
Momma I'm depending on you, to tell me the truth"
-- Yesterday's answer: "Tears of a Clown" (1970) by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
No-prize goes out to Carla!
• Daily Movie Quote: (war movies suspended for tonight)
"Come on man, we're on a mission. One great rock show can change the world."
(Rob:) We're back from a busy day at Walt Disney World- everyone is fast asleep right now but I thought I'd get a couple of pics up on the blog from our day:
Sam and Gramma Judy on the boat to the restaurant for dinner tonight
A fun but exhausting day. Very hot and crowded like usual-- it felt great to come back to the hotel for a little nap this afternoon. Tomorrow we're planning to head over to see Disney/MGM Studios park before heading back to Gramma's house. More later!
• Daily Obscure Motown Song Lyric:
"Now if there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that's quite a different subject"
--- Yesterday's answer- "Dancing in the Streets" (1964) by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Martha and the Vandellas:
No correct guesses, but Uncle Tom came the closest with the lame Jagger-Bowie cover from 1983. Unfortunately this means one of his previous no-prizes will now have to be repossessed.
• Daily Combat Movie Quote:
"Private: Hell, these guys deserve to go home as much as I do. They've fought just as hard.
Captain Miller: Is that what I'm supposed to tell your mother when she gets another folded American flag?
Private: You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left. And that there was no way I was deserting them. I think she'd understand that."
--Yesterday's answer: "Platoon"
(No correct guesses on the Best Picture of 1986)