My online journal.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Our darling neighbors, the Alleys, moved last week and they got the MOST AWESOME TRUCK.
We carved pumpkins 2 weeks early. We ended up with 5 pumpkins out of our garden (#6 got harvested and then I knocked it off the retaining wall with the van -- it exploded upon impact).
We let Lucy draw the faces on the pumpkins with marker, and then Joel and I took some artistic liberties with her vision (with steak knives). If you click on the photo below to enlarge, you can see that the pumpkin on the right has 2 top choppers to represent Ed's missing ones, and the pumpkin on the left has 1 lower tooth, for Lucy's (oh, whoops, upon inspection the Lucy-tooth one is not pictured here -- sorry!). The squirrels have since done some pretty severe damage.
Here are the kids dressed for tumbling this morning:
People ask Ed whether he's a pirate, a warrior, a knight, a soldier... and he always responds "I'm a HERO." And I can't even tell you how many times I had to answer "Mama, where is my Sword of Truth?" this morning. Lots.
Aaaaand... Lucy waiting for the bus.
Joel helped her look up "Flappers" on the internet and everything.

At her school, they let the teachers choose whether or not to celebrate, and I'm surprised how delighted I am that Lucy's class is having a party. I don't really have strong feelings about Halloween (neither for nor against -- though I sure like candy! and dressing up!), but I was a bit appalled when I heard last year that some schools were prohibiting kids from dressing up at all... to the point where they said that kids with any sort of color in their hair would be sent home. I mean, it's a public school and presumably kids would be allowed to have different-colored hair any other day of the school year, but not on Halloween? At some point I feel like that's starting to infringe on civil liberties... but I also think it's a mistake to think that being respectful of diverse cultures means we don't celebrate anything. I mean, how else are we supposed to understand each other and get along in this crazy world, if we don't acknowledge what different cultures get excited about, and why? Plus I usually think more parties is generally a good thing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's a new week, thank goodness

Last week was not a good week for us -- I came down with some dreadful fever/achey thing on Thurs and was pretty much in a tunnel until Sunday. Thank goodness my dad was here to help with the kids and make me tea and buy me Jarlsberg and ginger snaps and caramel-coffee ice cream.
Ed has grown another inch since September. This pic is from their first tumbling class, about a month ago.

Beautiful princesses:

Monday, October 19, 2009


Connor passed away yesterday afternoon -- the update is on the caringbridge site.

No Bad News

"No Bad News" is the title of a song I was choreographing last night, for Hastings HS's women's show choir. It's a fun gospel-y type piece, from The Wiz. You can YouTube it for some entertainment.

Unfortunately, that hasn't been the theme around here lately. We found out last week that one of my aunts is very, very sick.

We also found out that our 4-year-old neighbor boy, Connor, has been in an intentional, medically-induced coma for the last 7 weeks as he awaits a heart transplant. He's had 3 open heart surgeries in his life and his family's health insurance has been completely exhausted. They are a sweet, quiet family who would love to be able to see their little boy open his eyes and smile again.

And I opened up the paper today to find the obit of Josh Moon, a 13-year-old boy who'd been really involved in Ashland in the last few years. If you saw Guys & Dolls, the Ashland teens' 2008 summer camp show, he played Lieutenant Brannigan. That kid worked SO HARD to get that Irish accent right, and we were all so proud of him. He had a brain tumor.

Anyway, so my heart has been torn in two these last few days. Of course I'm so grateful for Lucy and Ed and Joel -- we carved pumpkins yesterday and I will post pics later. But I'm also really thankful for the Bible study I've been going to the last few weeks. It's really easy to get mired down in the WHY and the HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN of bad news, and I know I'm not strong enough to tough it all out on my own. Not only that, but I'm often hit with this feeling that I want to DO something to help, but haven't been able to figure it out. Through the study I've been able to pray and open myself up to God's wishes -- one of our actual prayers last week was simply, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" -- and I'm not joking, He gave me some great ideas. How about the timing on THAT! Awesome!

Anyway, one teeny little thing I can do is post some more info on Connor. If you are a bajillionaire looking for a cause, here you go:

Fundraiser for Connor
Saturday, November 7
Casa Vieja Mexican Grill
2176 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55116
$10 All-You-Can-Eat Taco Bar from 1:00-6:00 PM
Raffle - silent auction - petting zoo - games - music

Donations may be sent to:
Highgrove Community Federal Credit Union
1804 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55116
attn: Love for Connor Benefit

More information:
Local news story, KSTP
Connor's CaringBridge site

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The tooth is out!

Lucy lost her first tooth today. I wish I'd videotaped her phone calls to both sets of grandparents, and three of her aunts.

"My tooth is loose. No, it's gone. It's out. I lost it in dance class. It fell onto my TONGUE! It's sooooo small! I can't even believe how small it is. I want to keep it one more night so I can look at it tomorrow. I love you too, do you want to talk to your sister/brother/daughter/son?"

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday night update

Hey gang, sorry I've been real lazy. Just thought I would check in to say hello... Hello! Things are good.

Real quick:

Lucy is enjoying school (she cannot WAIT to get on that bus every day, and gets off it with a giant smile at 4pm) although every day she comes home and says she has a bad day. This mostly seems to be due to her not being able to use the computer in the room. I have no idea what the deal is with computer use -- when they get to use it and how turns are determined -- but I do know that girl loves computer time.

Ed and I are adjusting to our afternoons alone. I usually try to schedule grocery trips during the afternoons now, and Ed is only sometimes reluctant to be dragged about town. Generally he's a trooper, loving anything he can "help" with. Like holding the Cub Foods ad after I have torn all the good coupons out of it. Ed hasn't been napping since mid-summer, but he passed right out yesterday afternoon at around 3pm. I thought he was just playing in his bed, but next thing you know it's 3:30 and I'm dragging him out of a surprisingly deep slumber. Then tonight after I put him to bed, he was playing with some plastic animals while lying on his back in bed, and dropped one of the animals on his face. It hurt quite a bit (judging from the tears). Silly little man.

Oh! I should also mention, a couple weeks ago I was babysitting for a friend's 2 kids, age 4 and 1, in the afternoon. The baby was napping and Ed and Henry were playing on the main level when Ed knocked his face on a doorknob. His first breath, understandably, was just a wail -- but in his second breath, mid-cry, he whimpered "I woke up the baaaaaabbby!!!" My sweet guy.

Jean and her boyf Cameron ran the Twin Cities Marathon last Sunday and Jean kicked some serious butt, finishing under 4 hours, 15 minutes. Cameron finished too -- quite a feat considering his bum knee. Joel's sister Julie and her fiance Jeff ran the 10-mile and we got to see them, too -- I'm so proud of all 4 of them! We had a really lovely, albeit brief, visit with Joel's parents, Cameron's parents, MY parents, Ellen, and Jean's friends Rhi, Rachel and Carolyn.

Lucy's loose bottom teeth are REALLY loose and I can see one of her permanent teeth poking through already. I also think one of her top front teeth might be loose. The wiggling and subsequent pain is really bugging her, and her whining is really bugging me. Though I completely understand -- I have dreams about loose teeth and it's no fun!

My various activities (ECFE, rollerblading, volleyball, Annie, Bible study, dance classes -- to name a few) are keeping me hoppin' and keeping my house a cluttery mess. I've found some help in -- she advocates not "trying to catch up" with regards to housework, but starting where you are and just cleaning for 10- or 15-minute bursts. It's helped me out a lot; though I keep falling off the wagon, the good news is the wagon is willing to stop and wait for me to get back on.

The other day Ed was talking to himself and I heard him say "Just, ahh, walk around, enjoy the fun!" He has a great future ahead of him on a theme park welcoming committee.

Today I was telling Lucy how Julie was going to drive Lu and Ed up to Monti this weekend to see Joel's parents. Lucy asked me to make sure I packed some snacks for the drive, because "Julie doesn't know that we get cranky when we don't get snacks." I do appreciate her forethought.