Our children create own Olympics in California state capital

Friends and the Olympic games are an inspiration

My husband, Scott, son, Sam and I spent the stormy President's Day weekend visiting friends in the Sacramento area. We made it over the hill last Friday before the snow really started to fall.

We've known Damon and Amy Riley for nearly 20 years. Scott and Damon grew up together and have been friends all their lives. Amy and Damon started dating their sophomore year at Chico State, about a year before Scott and I met at the same university.

The Riley's have a 7-year-old daughter, Brenna, and 20-month-old triplets (yes, triplets) named Alec, Julia and Vivian. Their home is a bustling whirlwind of activity at all times, and this family handles it all with humor and grace.

The rainy weather kept us inside for most of the weekend, though we were able to venture out for several walks and a trip to the Roseville Galleria. We spent time catching up, watching the Olympics and playing with the kids. Actually, with four children under the age of 2 walking and climbing all over the place, it was almost as if we had our own little live Olympics right there in the house.

Sam hasn't started to talk yet and we're interested to see if the interaction with the "trips" will have any influence on him. What a gift to have our children so close together in age.

In addition to enjoying their company, I often get the gift of perspective when I am with them. Little things don't rile Damon and Amy the way they sometimes do with me, as there simply isn't time to dwell on things that really don't matter. Such a valuable lesson.

The 2006 Winter Olympics have flown by, and closing ceremonies will be this Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC. A huge amount of work goes into the planning and execution of the opening and closing ceremonies. According to the 2006 Olympic Web site www.torino2006.org, logistics for the ceremonies included 15,000 days of work, more than 6,000 volunteers, 32 television cameras and more than 62 miles of cable.

The closing ceremony will feature a carnival and circus theme, performances by Italian singer Andrea Bocelli and Canadian Avril Lavigne, and the extinguishing of the Olympic cauldron. Sam Sullivan, the mayor of Vancouver, will be presented with the Olympic flag, in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympic games.

Congratulations to all of the Olympic athletes, and may the Olympic Movement's goal of building a better, more peaceful world through sports continue to inspire us all.

n Amy Roby can be reached by e-mail at RanchosRoundup@hotmail.com


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