Connect Four, Anyone?


A windy, rainy day made for some sister bonding in front of the fire.

Three Little Monkeys


March Madness: its not all about basketball


March 22nd. For most of you just another day on the calendar, but for those of you connected to the Boggess clan, you know it as Ronnie, Beth, Mary-Michal, and Sophie's birthdays....Crazy but true. This year Sophie and I's birthday found itself squeezed into a unique place on the calendar. I'm told that this won't happen again until somewhere around 2160 a.d., when I hope to no longer be celebrating birthdays, but this year March 22nd landed between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. As if this weren't enough, the major holiday in our part of the world, Novruz (a celebration of the new year as marked by the advent of Spring), lands on the 19th-21st.

In other words, holiday insanity.

We celebrated Novruz "officially" on the 20th with some great local friends. This consisted of stuffing ourselves beyond comfort, pressing on linguistically to communicate at a decent level, stuffing ourselves again beyond reason this time, and finally toddling home having been pressed by our hosts to just stay just a bit longer...our car couldn't have carried us home if we'd eaten one more piece of paxlava...but if we'd had one more cup of tea, perhaps we could have just floated home!

Good Friday found us coloring eggs, working through the Resurrection Eggs and talking about all that this day means to us. This was Annie's first year to really begin to grasp some of what the holiday is about. It was beautiful to have the girls interact about the Resurrection Eggs and to see the click of understanding glimmer in their eyes as they began to get an idea of what was done for us on the cross.

The big day came. John and I awoke to the patter of little footsteps in the living room, accompanied by the rustle of papers. We emerged from our bedroom, crusty-eyed, wild-haired, and still a bit muddle-headed (it was 7AM after all) to find Sophie dressed and signs placed strategically through out the room...where to put the presents and where to put ourselves. She had it all worked out. I love 7.

Ben in his assigned seat, eating a banana.

The birthday girl with her presents sent from 'round the world. (Note: "Precents" sign...again, I love 7).

Annie not quite clear on the fact that this day isn't all about her. (OK, so I love 4, too)

Sophie with her beloved "Kit" doll. Thanks, Georgia! (One more reason to love 7, the skinned elbows)

Realizing that the box held doll clothes hand-me-downs from Allie (thanks, Al, for giving me a reason to love 13). Thrilled would be an understatement.

Since it was my birthday, too, and since I had already baked and decorated a cake the week previous, John and the girls agreed to decorate the cake, if I would bake it and make the icing. I think Annie got more icing in her mouth than on the cake, but this picture is worth it.

We saved our cake for Easter Sunday lunch, when we had guests in after church. Note the icing on the cake...I ended up doing it after all, when Sophie exploded over her own "imperfect" attempt. Was I ever as hard on myself? Certainly not until I hit adulthood!

Sophie cracking us up, as usual.

The Cook family minus a sleeping Ben.

Sure, we may get to sleep in more when she hits junior high, but for now we are treasuring 7, even at 7 AM!

Tea Party


Our sweet Sophie turned seven this March and we celebrated by having a birthday tea party (March 15th, a week before her birthday)...with REAL tea, of course! The girls were asked to come dressed as their favorite character from a book. Sophie dressed as "Kit" and Annie "Samantha" from the American Girl books. We had a Maid Marion, Mulan, Two Mollys, and various other memorable impersonations. Here are some memories of the day...


The birthday girl and her adoring sister.

The theory goes that with each birthday year, you invite the number of guests that corresponds with the number of years! Yeah, right. In our close-knit community, the theme is "the more, the merrier" and us moms just hang on for the ride! For Sophie's party, 10 girls came her age, and one of Annie's friends joined us, as well.

Sister Love. By personality, Sophie is our more cautious, logical, and determined child, while Annie is more of our free-spirit, emotional, live-life-to-the-fullest child. I think Annie anticipated the party even more than Sophie, and relished every moment. Sophie, after the last guest had left, could only dwell on the fact that it was over for another year (while her mom, secretly rejoiced over this same fact!).

Ah Spring, Its Beginning to Smell A Lot Like Bonfires...


Fire is a pretty big deal around here. We actually live in the place where it is believed that fire worship began. So it should be no surprise that the biggest holiday of the year here, the coming of Spring, would have fire elements involved.

The big holiday, March 20th, is preceded by several Tuesday evenings of bonfires...each one seemingly bringing the fire a bit closer to our house!

Last night, the last Tuesday, bonfires were bonfire real estate being the middle of city streets (see below).

It turns out to be quite the social event, with most of the neighborhood coming out to join in the fun and toss in some of their rubbish. I don't think anyone here has read or even heard of An Inconvenient Truth, at least by the looks of things thrown on the fire. Another blow to the ozone...somehow seems a bit incongruent seeing as its a celebration of spring and all.

Once the blaze dies down a bit (and my heartrate returns to normal since no more sparks are flying into the trees and onto our balcony), the "fun" begins. The idea is that if you jump over the fire, it will cleanse you from any "sins" or evil spirits...a fresh start for a fresh year and all that.
And so the fire jumping begins. Oddly enough, it is mostly done by children. I would think the adults would have much more to burn off than the kids, but hey, it isn't my custom.

Boys Will Be Boys


It's me again, Benjamin.

My mom and dad thought they were pretty good at this parenting gig...until I came along. They were forewarned "boys are different" and now they are finding out!

At first, things seemed little different. If anything, my mom worried that I would be too influenced by my big sisters and turn out to be a girly boy...given the toybox contents of barbies, babies, and all in 15 different shades of pink, she had reason to be concerned.

She should have saved her worrying.

The first thing I did when I saw a babydoll was to body slam it and sit on it....Much to her dismay, I tend to try to do this to real babies as well (most of which among my aquaintance also happen to be girls...oops).

Another thing I have a real passion for that neither of my sisters did (I'm told) is climbing. I love to scale the mountains of my home. The problem is, I don't quite know how to de-scale them, so to speak. Below is a prime example....

Scaling Mount Barbie Dream House

OK, I'm here, now what?!
This happened the same night that I threw several of Sophie and Annie's American Girl books into the fireplace -- while the fire was blazing! See, all that worrying for nothing, Mom! After all, boys will be boys!