Thursday, December 30, 2010

Landon's Lunar Landing

I know that most of you have already read Cara's blog about Landon's birth, but I thought you might enjoy a proud Opa's insights from some of the behind the scenes of last week's "Birthday."

Here he is: I took this picture last Tuesday morning when he was only about 30 minutes old! Check out that hair! All 9 pounds 6 oz. and 21.5 inches of Landon Bruce Syers, born at 2:20 am on Tuesday Dec. 21. Wow, God is indeed good.

Barb and I got a text from Cara and Wes at about 10:30 on Monday night saying that she would probably be delivering fairly soon, so we jumped in the car and headed to the hospital. It was an amazingly clear and cold night and as we got into the car, I remembered that it was supposed to be a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice that night.... a very rare event indeed.

We ran upstairs and found Cara and Wes monitoring progress. Once again I was reminded why God has moms deliver babies and not dads. Way to go, Cara... you were amazing!
Abby arrived just a few minutes after we did and promptly showed Barb and me how much you really can hear through a door.

At 2:20 am we heard cries and knew that Landon had arrived. He had a lusty cry from the first sound. Here's the proud Mama and Papa!

"Auntie Abby" stayed the whole time to help welcome Landon to the family. Now that's a happy smile! And Barb, sorry you were the photographer and we didn't get any pictures of you on our camera. I'll have to ask Cara and Abby to forward some.

And how wonderful is it to have a namesake. With the names Gerard and Bruce, I really didn't think there was a chance. But I think Landon Bruce sounds pretty good!

Later that night we took some more pictures of the moon. The nurses kept running to the windows to watch the progress of the eclipse. When it went full, it actually turned red, but we couldn't get a good picture of it. Maybe the red is a harbinger of Landon's hair color. But one thing is clear: There will not be another full lunar eclipse for another 80 years. So Landon, here's a first prayer for a long and healthy life so you can see it when you are 80. Now that would be something!
So congrats Cara , Wes, Payton and Brady. And welcome to the world little Landon!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

At times Barb reminds me that I have to learn how to say no... and last week was probably one of them. Last week, the German Club at my high school decided to organize a fund raiser for Alzheimers. Using the German theme, they decided on an evening event where they served German pastries and taught waltzing lessons.

That led to the idea of a "Dancing with the Stars" contest using several Performing arts students as the dance experts and staff members as the "Stars." And, you guessed it... I was asked to be one of the stars.

My student expert was Katie, a junior, who had just played a lead roll in our recent school musical performance of Beauty and the Beast. Very talented and ambitious young lady.

She had good ideas. She suggested a "Father/Daughter waltz using the John Mayer tune: "Daughters." She thought it would be cute to act out a daughter showing her dad her engagement ring which led to a father/daughter waltz. Good idea!

Her next idea was not so good and way too ambitious. She said: "Mr. J. You are a good singer. We should do "Bop to the Top" from High School Musical. Ryan and Sharpay do a real cute number and we should try to sing and dance it! Right. Google Bop to the Top to see what we were trying to emulate!

Anyway, we decide to try it. We practiced hard almost daily after school. Six other couples also practiced for the big event last Thursday night. One other couple, a counselor and a male student who will some day be a professional dancer were our main competition. That night, they danced both a waltz and a salsa that included several lifts and spins. They were good!

We also had judges who played the roles of the actual Dancing With the Stars judges. They gave us feedback and with their votes, Katie and I came in second after judging. The final votes came in after attendees placed money in baskets to select their favorite contestants. Katie's parents stuffed the ballot baskets and we won!

And I just know you are dying to see the main event! Here it is:

The Father/Daughter Waltz to John Mayer's "Daughters":

And we rounded out the evening with a rousing rendition of "Bop to the Top" from High School Musical: