Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Mar Vista Halloween

Mama with girls
 Nothing like a Halloween evening to get the girls in a festive mood.  They paired up quite nicely as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.  They made it to four houses on the evening as that's about all they could manage in our neighborhood.  Maybe next year they'll expand to ten but for now that's perfect.

Mary Jane much preferred to stand on our porch and distribute candy to all the other trick-or-treaters.  One of them (in a Scream mask) actually scared her so she backed up at first and didn't give them a candy.

The Big Bad Wolf with Candy
On a similar note, Betsy had a fit when she first saw Daddy in his Gramma (Wolf) costume.  She kept screaming not knowing it was her own Daddy.  That made him sad but he got over it... ultimately.

Little Red Riding Hood (Betsy) fell asleep as soon as she got back.  Too much stimulation for her.  As for Mary Jane, she did stay up late for her.  All of 7:15 but then she summarily passed out and the rest of the night was quite for the Wolfman and his Wife.

Look, it's Little Red Riding Hood!

Daddy on a Stroll

Monday, October 29, 2012

Paul Getting Ready to Hang Ten

Showing a bit of profile
No one is more serious about their surfing than Paul the Panda.  He was chilling on his board out in Arizona this weekend.  Why Arizona?  Long story.  He's got a love/hate relationship with that state.  (Recall he was exiled there and left stranded in a children's hospital until an ill Mary Jane rescued him on Christmas Day.)

Getting serious with his board
But this weekend, the Panda was ready to go.  While the other members of the family were tooling around with motorcycles, he snuck off and knocked down some waves.  Yes, waves can be found in Arizona.  You just have to go by one of the canals and have some foolish person ride a boat next to you and create a large enough wake to make you hang ten.  Or in Paul's case... who knows.

Mary Jane was not there to see much of this as she is not allowed that close to too much open water.  In the picture to the right, she was looking quite festive.  Maybe in a few years she and the Panda will go surfing together.  But not until Miss Jill and Mister John approve.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be True to Your School

The girls are looking quite collegial this afternoon. Mary Jane and Betsy Jo are sporting their UCLA and Oregon gear, respectively.
Let's get back to the Final Four

Coming to a Theatre Near You!

 Betsy will cast a spell upon thee.

Mary Jane will hyponotize thee with her numerical incantations.  One, two, three...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Humble Pie

 Earlier last week I was tabbed by my principal to be a contestant in the pie eating contest during our Homecoming pep rally.  I happily volunteered as I am always willing to volunteer for such strangeness.  And I've never been one to be too bothered by doing something that may look awkward or embarrassing.  Sure, other teachers might be... good for them.  If they don't want to look like the boys in that picture on the right, that's there own prerogative (Bobby Brown agrees).

During this week, the principal had often mentioned to me, "It's a good thing you have a sense of humor, John."  Didn't think much of it because I tend to have a decent sense of humor.  At least I have the ability to laugh at myself.

This afternoon before the pep rally I changed into a Mary Star "spirit shirt" which esentially is a navy blue t-shirt with a logo on it as opposed to the purple collared shirt I was previously wearing.  Hey, if I'm getting chocolate cake on it, I better change accordingly.  Some of my "contestants" who were seniors called me out and said that they were going to beat me.  I taught most of them as sophomores so they know how incredibly competitive I am by nature.  Yes, my name was the one attached to the teacher's bracket for punt, pass, and kick last week (whee, won again!).

(On a more related note to this website, Heidi just hopped between by feet... nothing like the tickling of whiskers on a hairy leg.)

Today the pep rally looked quite spectacular as the gym (a "temporary" one at that) was tranformed into a larger representation of Alice in Wonderland.  This year's theme dealt with Wonderland and, yes, I did dress as Tweedledee in the rally seven years ago for the same themed rally (hey, new crop of students, I guess they have the right to repeat once in a while).  I stood on the side with a few teachers and parents before the dreaded pie-eating contest.  As we were all called up, I slowly walked up there, high fived the appropriate staff and random students.

The tables were set up with three in a line, parallel to the students in the bleachers.  Two students at the left table, Mr. Erb in the center table, and two students on the right table.  I sat there in the center, waved at the crowd and smiled for the Yearbook camera people.  Then of course the blindfold but not before I saw my luscious chocolate cake.  I was then blindfolded and was told the rules and off we went.

Some music blared in the background and the crowd went wild as our announcer, Fr. Nick, was calling the play-by-play action.  My face dived into the chocolate and swirled around from left to right, just as the Internet site told me to do.  OK, I'm quirky and competitive enough to read the instructions on HOW TO WIN A PIE-EATING CONTEST.  I knew I was doing quite well as I seemingly was swallowing more than I was breathing.

Then after a few minutes of getting pie here, there, and everywhere (including up my nostrils!), the "pie-eating song" ended and Fr. Nick declared a winner.  Internally, I felt a little bummed because I had not reached the crust yet... I still had a little more chocolate and whipped cream to get too.  But then he declared the magic words: "Our winner is Mr. Erb!"

Immediately I raised my hands in triumph.  Score another victory for Mr. Erb!  I took off my blindfold to see that both tables as well as the students were no long there.  Under the guise of the noise and my blindfold, they retreated to leave me all alone in the middle of the gym.  Ah, silly Mr. Erb eating a chocolate pie like a madman!  This all registered in my brain in about half a second.  I could have been mad but I was not.  Instead I looked straight ahead at the cameras and knowing that I had a completely chocolate-covered face, I raised my hands again in triumph, and pointed them forward in a I-da-man pose.  (Hey, when the jokes on you, I'll laugh; when it's on me, I'll laugh more.)

Hopefully the Yearbook kids will send me a copy next week so I can attach it to this not-so-brief blog this evening.  It's 8:30 now, a full six-and-a-half hours after the contest and I can still smell chocolate as it must be half way up my sinuses by now.  Yeah, ew.

And yes, I don't think I'll be eating any chocolate for a few weeks... whethere it's Halloween or not.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Bunnies Jealous

Heidi and Cookie were not happy that Miss Jill and Mister John ate carrots last night.  According to them, all carrots must go to the rabbit contingent.  That's ok, though, they were later given hay and water with ice cubes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mary Jane and Betsy: Playing with the Swing

Mary Jane loves the tree swing.  She loves to ride in it so she can look at all the "crazy" cars, helicopters, and airplanes that go by (do recall we live adjacent to an airport).  But even more than that, she enjoys pushing others in the swing.  Sometimes it is just one of her dolls: either Hope or the one she has named "Baby."  In some instances like here, she pushes Betsy Jo on the swing.  She originally became jealous when she would see her sister on the swing (hey, it's my turn) but eventually she became much more accepting of the situation.

Betsy loves being in the swing and we really just need to remind Mary Jane to watch out so she won't get kicked in the head!  Gotta be tough in this family.

Our Even More Recent Addition!

Hello world, please meet Cookie Sue Bugg.  She has large stand-up ears, loves to hide in baskets, and is very fond of children.  Good for you, Cookie Sue!  Now only if you can bond with Heidi soon.