Friday, June 8, 2012

We've been quite a busy 4 lately. Since last post, we watched lots of Little League games, went swimming, and Sarah and I started tennis lessons. Alas, a shoulder injury has S on the shelf, but Desi makes for a good hitting partner. I get my exercise, for sure.

NOTE: This post was started in June, but for some reason I never posted it. Not sure what is up with that. Anyway, it's fall, the boys love their new teachers. Here's the look on Founder's Day, a couple weeks ago:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Break on the beach!

We just got back from Vietnam. I love that place. The boys swam, I ate squid, drank beer and we helped renovate our friend's sand castle after it had a rough night of waves.

Shanghai is warm now, which makes coming home easier. Back to school tomorrow. No comment.

On the train to Mui Ne, some people slept. Not my sons! They saved Hogwarts from...I don't know, trolls or whatever was bothering it, on Lego HP for iPad.

While I've gotcha, here's a recent shot of the whole family in school spirit shirts.

Back to helping Emmett write his 5-book series about yikkits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We need 2 hands now!

Emmett turned six. So we dressed up as superheroes and did art.

Before and during the party, Desi was quite the helpful big brother. We appreciate that.

Someone else had a birthday, too. So we had sushi downtown to celebrate (after seeing a funny talk by Matt Groening, of Simpsons fame).

More pics soon. Just wanted to get off the snide of no blog posts in March!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 reasons to celebrate

First of all, happy birthday Janet. Your love, humor and energy light up our world. Here's to 39 more fabulous years! The boys and I are filming a video for you--check back here within a day to see it.

Second, I am proud to note that 20 years ago this week, Sarah and I laid eyes on each other for the first time. For me, it has been true love ever since.

For her, not so much. Apparently it took time for me to grow on her.

I found an old photo of us (circa March 1992) and scanned it, but now it appears the Great Firewall is hassling me. I'll try again later.

Let love rule!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life is good (enough), can't wait for spring!

Weather here blows. Maybe you will read this and say "Yeah it does." In which case, you are right.

Or maybe you'll read this and feel jealous of Shanghai's temperate winters. In which case, I feel very sorry for you.

On an unrelated note...One staple of every English-native foreigner's blog about China is wacky Engrish signs. On this important subject, I have been remiss lately, so here's my attempt to catch up.

photo credit: Sarah Pearlz

Pick up the poop, I guess?

And please nobody panic and call Child Protective Services, but here is Emmett when he joined Desi for a little slow-motion boxing at the end of D's wu shu class.

video to follow soon.


Speaking of soon, got some birthdays coming up. One of us will be 6. Another will be one year wiser and more beautiful. Emmett wants a superhero party. Sarah has not yet declared her wishes.

Take care, y'all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

R.I.P. Gary Richard Volz, Sr.

For those of you who have not heard, my dad passed away in October. That's why this blog has been quiet for so long. I wanted to write a proper tribute to him, but it felt wrong, until today. So here goes.

What I'll miss most
I miss a lot already, and I wonder what else I will later realize I miss about Dad. He was always game for watching baseball with me. On my second-to-last visit with him in Phoenix, back in June, we sat from about 5 to 11pm watching baseball nonstop. At one point toward the end of the bender, I said "Dad, we're watching a Royals-A's game and the score isn't even close!" He was like, "Yep." It was awesome.

I miss his sense of humor, which was as corny and dumb as mine.

I miss his unexpectedly light moments, when I was a kid and did something bad and thought I was gonna be in for it. And then he'd either say something very brief, or make a show of saying nothing and leave me to think on what I did. So effective! I wish I could remember that next time I am tempted to lecture one of the boys.

I miss our games of ping pong on the back patio while he grilled BBQ chicken or steak or whatever. He beat me for years, until I was about 11 or 12. I won and was so psyched. Then he said "You know, all these years I've been playing right-handed. And I'm a lefty." Once he started playing with his good hand, it took me months to beat him again. Paddles were broken in the process. To his credit, he allowed me my rage, even as he maintained his Zen-like calm. Just yesterday, I beat Desi 21-19, with my bad hand, and he threw the ball 30 feet. I kept my cool. Thanks, Dad.

Dad was a hard working, generous, loyal, smart, mellow (mostly) guy. It's hard for me to even look back on his life right now, because it should still be going on. He turned 65 a few months after getting diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma of the lung. He fought hard and complained very little during his final months. I was with him when he died, as were Erica and Mom. He knows we loved him, and we know he wants us to be happy, not sad. I'm doing my best at that.

Mom deserves special mention here for the months of companionship and appointments and paperwork and stress she endured. Dad needed her and she came through completely. It's remarkable what all she did, and I know Dad got as much peace of mind as he could because of her dedication and love. Thank you a thousand times, Mo.

Well, writing this is taking more out of me than I had thought. I'm going to stop for now, and post some pics from winter break in St. Louis/Phoenix. I'll be back soon with more remembrances and archive shots of Dad. Here's one for now. Check out the world's original modem! Or is that a fax machine?

In St. Louis, we had a family gathering for Dad at Pujols 5 Restaurant. Just a few days after he signed with some other team. At least we're loyal.

We went up in the Arch (that's Busch Stadium down there. Oh yeah, WORLD CHAMPS! Thank you, Dad.)

Not that we don't have leaves in Shanghai, but they usually get swept up before kids can do this (in Grandma's front yard):

We saw the grands (mine and the boys') in St. Lou and again in Phoenix (where we spent Christmas with them and Erica). But every photo of Erica came out blurry! Not that this one is Pulitzer worthy...

but it's still cute enough.

Sarah taught Steve some iPhone tricks:

And we hit the Desert Botanical Garden. Love the Beatles hair!

And no trip to PHX is complete without pizza at Dad's favorite place: Oregano's

Back in Shanghai, here's Emmett's sweet new move:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chinese New Year (aka spring festival)

Just finished a great staycation. Lots of board games and Legos and some Star Wars movies. This morning, our nanny returned from Anhui province and brought gifts for the boys. Matching toy cop cars. Flashing lights, sirens, even does 360s. Then Desi noticed the name of the police dept. "Kickass Police." As I left for work, I hear Emmett walking around the house saying "kickass police!"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maybe I'll resume blogging

Now that I have an iPad, it's much easier. I can't see how to upload photos, so maybe later. For now, we are doing well despite missing my dad. We have mostly good days. Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it is known here, is soon. I will make up for lost time then.