Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Favorite Things

Well, Gertie is taking a nap. I've accomplished nothing today except playing with her. I did have a long chat with my mother-in-law on the phone, and a short chat with my own mom today, but other than that...nothing.
Gertie cries every time we lay her down for a sleep. She doesn't cry a long time, but she cries. Today we tried bringing in a cd player and letting that go after we left. It didn't help, but we'll keep trying.
John made a delicious corn chowder today. I think we'll have it for dinner. I can't wait. We laid Gertie down for a nap and I watched an episode of The Office on the web, and then John and I took a hot tub together. We got to talk about all the things we like to talk about but don't have time to much of the day. I like that.
Grace got contacts and put them in for the first time yesterday before we went to church. She said most people didn't notice. She was so excited. She really is growing up so fast.
Ethan started wrestling and came home all beat up last night. He cringed when I gave him a hug. Wrestling is on Monday and Wednesday nights. I hate that because church is on Wednesday nights. I don't want to see him give up church, but John doesn't want to see him give up wrestling. He kind of goes back and forth, but it seems ever undecided. So here we go again...

Monday, November 26, 2007


Oh, it's been way too long since I've blogged this time.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We hosted for the first time ever. I was excited and it was fun. John made the turkey, I made a cassarole and a jello salad, neither of which were perfect, but both edible, and Julie made pies. Delicious.

Heather and Ryan and kids came from St. Louis. It was fun to have visitors in the house for a few days. We ventured out to the SPAM Museum. (What else would we do?) It was lots of fun.

I love this picture of Sawyer and Gertie looking at the train.

I took Grace and headed down to Iowa City with my sisters and my mom. My Grandfather's funeral service was on Saturday. My mom has a good friend from high school that offered to put us all up. It worked out so well. We had an emotional weekend, but it was shared with so much family. I absolutely love seeing my family. I love them all, and it was a treat because some cousins that I don't get to see often were there, and their kids. It's fun to catch up.

We arrived back in Austin with about a half an hour to spare before we headed off to Grace's baptism. It was so rushed (and I knew it would be) that I wondered if it was really the right time to do it. I did talk to Grace about it, and felt that God would honor whatever circumstance she presented herself to Him in. It was a great experience for her in her walk with her Lord.

And look at the picture I captured:

This is ridiculous. That is our pastor's head as he bends over dunking Grace. I think I had it on delay for red eye, which is totally unneccessary for a shot like this. It is a once-in-a- lifetime shot, and I get this. Very upsetting.

John fixed it by taking this:

So, we've covered Thanksgiving, funeral, baptism.

My other highlight is that while I was away, Ryan cut Ethan's hair. I absolutely love it. Every time that boy comes home from a haircut, I seem to feel disappointed in the job they do. Not so with Ryan's handiwork. I would drive down to St. Louis for another one of these. My son is so cute now. I love it. Thanks, Ryan.

This was too brief for all I wanted to say, but I missed my husband this weekend, and I want to spend some time with him. It's almost time for bed. I am so grateful for my family--the one I married into, the one I created with my husband, the ones that created me, and all the families of their families. They bring me much joy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Ethan cut his bangs with his pocket knife Grace gave him for his birthday. I survived 11 years of never having this occur in my family. I recall Grace confessing to me one day that she cut one of her Barbie's hair, but never did either of them cut their own hair until now. HE'S NINE! Aren't kids 3 or 4 when they do this? He had even said to me, "These little scissors are just like barber scissors." It never occurred to me. Well, he was precious when he confessed it, Grace by his side. He offered to give up his pocket knife for two weeks. (Oh, please, don't throw me in that briar patch!) I love that lopsided looking boy of mine.

Gertie swallowed a penny yesterday. John and I go round and round because he really fights with Gertie about what she puts in her mouth, and I'm more likely to just let it go. Well, not anymore. I thought she was going to choke to death. It was horrible. He's been telling her "Only food in your mouth." She was telling Ethan that the other day when he put something in his mouth. Now she says to people, "Choke penny. Mommy scared." She's got that right. I'm joining in the montra now. (And looking for a missing penny)

We are going to watch Grace in her Seussical musical tonight. I am excited. She has told me she doesn't think they're ready, but I'm sure they'll do great. Then the other thing I'm excited about is that she'll be done with one more activity. Now she'll be down to gymnastics, and the Christmas orchestra for church, both things she is very excited about.

Gertie just woke up, so I need to sign off. I had so much more to say...

Monday, November 12, 2007


This is my 9-year-old. We had a great time bowling. We fought and fought with Ethan to put the bumpers up for our games, and I'm glad he finally gave in. He thought they were something else (I'm not sure what), but he was glad for them when we got there.

I loved watching the kids wrestle with this heavy ball as they tried to aim it down the alley. It was comical. (Of course, I couldn't see myself as I waddled up to the line. I'm sure it wasn't much better.)

They gave us a tour of the back where the big machine picks up the fallen pins and reloads them. It was very interesting. They also gave Ethan a bowling pin. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When we were done we all loaded up into two cars and left. Without paying. I did realize this, so I went back, but my purse was in the other car. I love these gracious small town businesses. They didn't make me polish bowling shoes or anything, they just told me to come back later. I did.

We came home to blow out candles and eat cake and ice cream. Ethan had a great time with Kory and it was a successful celebration.

Yesterday I napped. It was beautiful outside and we've got yard work that needed to be done, but I napped. So did Gertie. She slept about 4 hours and woke up in her all time best mood. She was giggling until we tucked her in.

This morning John and I are off to run errands. Our door man is here and he thinks he'll be done today!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Celebrations of Life and Death

This morning I woke up early to do some Bible study before the rest of my family awoke. I am still studying Revelation, which is fascinating and rich, but I didn't get too far. My birthday boy said that Gertie woke him up. That was about 6:20 a.m. We sang Happy Birthday, Gertie and I, and now he's watching what he wants on tv this morning.

Yesterday was a full day. I finished up a 3-day jury trial in Rochester. It was a very interesting case about a girl that had filed a complaint against a boyfriend for terroristic threats (I'll kill you) and assault by strangulation. She gave the police a statement on that night, but when it finally came to trial (a year and a half later) she was very hostile to the state and "didn't remember" anything. She would say that she told the truth when she gave the statement, but reading the statement did NOT refresh her memory. There was a neighbor witness to an assault, but she couldn't identify who the people involved were because it was dark out. And the defendant had an alibi witness (his step mom) saying that he was at her house. Anyway, the jury deliberated about seven hours before finding him guilty. I didn't leave there until 5:45, having a 45 minute drive home ahead of me.

The exciting part of the day is that we had 20 junior highers coming to our home after a bowling party. The house was in chaos after a long day at home with the kids for John. (He did make a delicious beef strogonoff that I scarfed down the second I walked in the door.) We worked like a skilled team of busy bees as we flew around picking up this and that and getting the snack table ready in record time. The bathrooms didn't make the list, but thankfully no one needed to use one! Gertie made it to bed minutes before they arrived and slept through the raucous perfectly. They had a great time playing a few games and chatting together. I know it had been a long day, but I thoroughly enjoyed the commotion.

But after that I was definitely ready to veg. Which I did.

Today is Ethan's day. He had a small birthday party planned at the bowling alley (weren't we just there?) and then back home for cake and ice cream. He had only wanted to invite three boys, two of which were coming, and one was a maybe (but I think that means probably not). Last night we got a call that another of the buddies was going to be going out of town. That leaves one. Not the conventional idea of a birthday party. We offered to postpone, but Ethan wants to go ahead. We'll have a good time as a family plus one.

I am excited for this next week of no work at all. John has graciously given me Gertie duty for the full week. He wants to really focus on his work projects. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to win her back.

The guy working on our doors is almost done. That has been a frustrating adventure (when I wasn't looking for an adventure) but I'm excited to finally have it done. I worry as I write this that I may be speaking too soon.

My saddest bit of news is that my Grandpa died yesterday. He was my last living grandparent, and a great grandpa. I miss him already. I am blessed to have the memories he took the time to make with me. He was patient, as I remember it. He didn't like whining much (I'm sure I didn't do any of that). He was a man of few words, but I knew he loved me. He loved all his grandkids very much, I could tell in the way he talked about them all. We took this picture this summer. We were out at his old house after a hike. Grandpa didn't get out of the car, but we wanted to get a picture. I like this one, actually, even though it's a bit unconventional. I think it shows that he was a hard man, not affectionate, but that his family loved and respected him and surrounded him. I'm not sure I'm saying that right, and I'm feeling sentimental, but I loved this man very much, and I'm grateful he was chosen to be in my life. I've had great grandparents.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nacho Average Blog

We had our Halloween, which was a good time even though it wasn't the usual for us. We had almost no trick-or-treaters, so now we have more chocolate than I'd like to have on the premises. We trick-or-treated a few homes then headed off to church for our party. I think the kids had a great time with their friends. Gertie was allowed two pieces of candy, which she smeared all over her fingers and face, but thoroughly enjoyed. Not any great pictures, but I'll share anyway. My few pics of the kids out and about turned out blurry. It is ridiculous to me that I don't know how to use my camera any better than I do. In case any of you don't recognize an alien when you see one, that is the green-faced creature that resembles my son. The elderly woman in the center of the photo is actually Grace, and her friend Karyn is next to her. Gertie went as Piglet (costume donated by Cousin Becca).

We have a quiet weekend planned. I am doing load after load of laundry. It is scary to me how quickly it piles up. And yet, the socks continue to disappear. Very fishy.

Gertie was up at 5:13 a.m. this morning calling out, "Daddy, song. Mommy, song." Do any of you sing at 5:13 in the morning? I certainly don't. Needless to say, she took an early nap.

We have a man here working on fixing our doors, so our home is cold, except for the fire in the fireplace. I love that. And I can't tell you how much joy and satisfaction it brings me to have projects around the home finished off after I've been living with them for a year. It makes me smile continuously.

John even installed a new garbage disposal this week. Now if I could just remember that I can actually throw food waste into it, instead of into the garbage, we'll be set.

We watched Nacho Libre last night. I should say the kids watched; I slept. They loved it, and I was laughing it up a few times before I dropped off.

I'm going to take the boards out of our dock and see if I can help John get it out of the water. I don't think we should delay much further. I'm not expecting that project to go smoothly, but we'll see. Then I think I'll warm up in the hot tub. Aaahh.