Saturday, December 29, 2007

rico's long lost cousin?

Christmas evening found a sad little shivering friend on my parent's front step. My parents wouldn't let me touch 'im, though he looked so lonely...


Friday, December 28, 2007

it wouldn't be christmas without...

building forts around infants...
morning walk to Safeway to purchase needed feasting items...
continuing the walk to Nina's drive-through coffee shop (the only coffee shop in Junction City)...
fondue!
a Christmas elf to pass out the presents...
guitar picks shaped into a guitar with scotch tape (okay, this isn't a yearly tradition, but I was so proud of my little brother for being so creative that I had to document it)...

swinging to get coffee the next morning...
and Auntie Jo taking ridiculous amounts of pictures...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

nephews galore

Christmas time afforded many opportunities for Auntie Jo bonding time with two of her three nephews. I sort of bonded with Aaron via Skype--but the distance to Singapore was definitely felt.

Jack and I had a little photoshoot a few days before Christmas:







Donny is almost 6 months old & is still learning the art of sitting up by himself:









Grandpa & Grandma Whittaker:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

clara nielson whittaker borovec

October 8, 1915
by Joann Renee


19,343 people crowded
into a stadium to watch the Phillies win
their first and only World Series game before 1980.
Poor Red Sox.

In France the Battle of Loos claimed
nearly 430,000 French, British and German—
teaching us the very costly lesson
to never interfere in a toilet’s business

William E. Vaughan, the American writer who wrote,
Perhaps the crime situation would be improved if we could get more cops
off television and onto the streets

and E. Paul Torrance, the “Creativity Man”,
joined Clara Nielson in making their earthly entrance.

57 years later Clara’s birthday present
was the birth of her first grandchild, Kimberly Joy.

I am sure each one of these 449,347 have a unique story,
but today I’m only interested in the one who shares
a name with the composer and wife of Robert Schumann,
with ETA Hoffmann’s lead character in “The Nutcracker”
and with the greatest silent film actress of all time.

Her name means clear, bright, famous,
but my grandmother lived a relatively quiet life.

Growing up, I would visit her house hidden
behind acres of trees where she would feed me
home-dried fruit and little Danish cookies
(pebernodder or pfeffernuesse, pronounced poo-a-nitta)
that were proportionate to her size.
I don’t think she ever quite cleared 5 feet.

The first thing I did on walking through the door
was to measure myself against her to see if I was taller yet.
Years later she would smile softly and chuckle
as the grandkids lined up, towering over her,
to hug their “little grandma” who made the little cookies
that they loved to toss in the air
or hurl at an unsuspecting uncle.

92 years, 2 months, 6 days,
5 children, 7 grandchildren, and nearly 7 great grandchildren
after that early Autumn day Clara smiled, slept
and joined the 430,000 who left the day she arrived.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

supporter of the British party during the colonial days?

That's what my little brother, Timmy, asked her (Tori) on their first introduction.
I was privileged to take her senior pictures this past Sunday in the 25 degree, slightly blustery weather. Here are my favorites:



















Friday, December 07, 2007

the ultimate volleyball match

This past Tuesday I was able to pull out my trusty volleyball skills and my purple lipstick for a pre-Oneighty volleyball match of Oneighty staff against the Mt. View varsity team. The staff took the opportunity to don wacky outfits (any good youth staff will take any and every opportunity to make fools out of themselves). Volleyball remains to this day the only sport I'm any good at (I can't even bowl well!).

We lost the first two matches & won the last.

Cassie & I with pre-game intensity:


Fabiola, the Paraguayan Bullet, with pre-serve intensity:


The female half of the team getting psyched for the game to begin (the guys refused to be in the picture...lame):


We are so cool. You can see the Christmas tree in the background, which I feel really adds the desired atmosphere to this picture (and to the evening):


Look at the air he's getting on this one! I don't really know if it's proper volleyball technique to jump mid-pass, but it sure looks cool: