Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Kids Took My Camera

Grace's shots 007 Grace's shots 009 Grace's shots 014 First I have a few shots of Gertie.  Our Pastor’s wife gave Gertie this little ice cream cone full of chocolate smelling bubbles on Sunday.  She’s had so much fun with those.  She is so proud of them.

And then Grace and Ethan took my camera yesterday and got some pretty good shots, I thought.  Unless it’s just because I’m their mother and shamelessly proud of all that they accomplish.  You be the judge.

Grace's shots 018Grace's shots 024

Grace took these.  They are a couple among many.  I loved the way the dandelion shot was focused on the buds instead of the seedlings.  (And I can’t stand the thought she found that in our yard.  She had a few to choose from.)

And then she took many shots of her brother practicing his baseball skills.  Love them all.

 Grace's shots 029Grace's shots 035

Grace's shots 032 Grace's shots 033 

  Grace's shots 040I mean, just look at his form.

Grace's shots 038Really, I know nothing about form.  I just think he’s cute.

 Grace's shots 046 Grace's shots 048


Grace's shots 039Grace's shots 051 

And here is my sweet peaches. 

Grace's shots 053 Grace's shots 052


Grace's shots 056And how cute is this one.  If only she hadn’t cut off the top of her brother’s head.


 Grace's shots 062 Grace's shots 066 Grace's shots 067  And obviously Ethan got a turn to take a few pictures of his pretty sisters.

I wonder what would have happened if they would have given the camera to Gertie?

I’m glad they didn’t. 


Friday, May 15, 2009

Week-End Update

Hello there.

Today I’ve been garage saling—not the kind where you get to shop around; the kind where you sit in a chair behind a cash box and add up quarters and dollars and peel little stickers off old shirts and toys and stick little stickers into a notebook. (We are having a multi-family sale.) It is more of a test of my accounting and secretarial skills than I would have imagined. Now add a toddler that’s been dragging said goods all over the lawn since 7 am and is now sick of it all and ready to go home, but we can’t go home yet because it isn’t over and it looks like rain any minute.

I’m making it sound like a bad day, and it wasn’t; it was a good day. My page is full of stickers in the amounts of .25 and .50, and when all is said and done I may just have $20 or possibly even more! But what really makes me happy is that I am rid of so much of the junk that’s been accumulating around our house. And people are buying lots of things. Things you would think nobody would be interested in. It astonishes me. Except they don’t want any wicker baskets. Of which I have many. Do you want some? They’re going for .25 a piece.

Changing subjects.

Grace is off on yet another year-end field trip. It is for orchestra, and it should be fun. She’s going to the Mall of America, and then off to see a real orchestra in action. She won’t get home until about midnight tonight. It’s been a very busy week for her, and I bet she’ll sleep until 2 pm tomorrow if we let her.

I am so glad the kids get to take some of these fun trips, but I am considering giving her a $100 year-end field trip budget next year and seeing if that even comes close to covering all the fun things they plan for these kids. John and I feel like we’re shelling out ridiculous amounts of money every other day for this trip or that. Maybe it’s because Grace is involved in so many extra-curricular activities. I don’t know. But this is getting expensive.

We went to her choir concert last night (another Mall of America field trip coming up next week. She wants me to chaperone so I can buy her things while we’re there, I’m sure.) It would have been watching that concert if Gertie wasn’t so fidgety during the whole thing. Ethan seems to think he can “help” by tickling her toes and kissing her and making funny faces. It seems to not matter that I ask him to “help” by sitting still and keeping his hands to himself. It matters not. Tickling. Kissing. When I glare at him, he goes, “Why can’t I kiss her? I just want to kiss her.” As if I am the cruel mother that doesn’t want my children loving each other. But Grace is adorable in the red bow tie and cummerbund and her brother’s white dress shirt that so small that she has to roll up the sleeves to make it work.

“I don’t even know if we’re allowed to roll up our sleeves.”

Thankfully, there were probably 13 girls there with their sleeves rolled up. I guess lots of 7th and 8th grade girls have been growing this year. They all have roll up their sleeves, whether they’re allowed to or not.

Changing subjects.

EJ has a field trip this week to the Twins game in Minneapolis. We gave him $10 spending money and he said he could afford no souvenirs . What is this world coming to? I said, “Not even a baseball?” He said, “Fifteen dollars.” I said, “How about a big hand that says ‘Number 1’?” He said, “Eleven dollars.” I said, “Did you get a hot dog or something then?” He said, “Yeah. And a pop, but they said I couldn’t have the lid.” Well, I didn’t quite understand the significance of that, but that conversation had worn out its welcome. Maybe it meant he couldn’t take it on the bus home if he hadn’t finished it. Or maybe he just wanted to save the lid as a souvenir. I just don’t know.

He received his poetry award also this week. Now he wants a new PS2 game.

Oh, and Grace was in the paper.

Isn’t she cute? That’s my girl. She was scared for the person being tazed.

Talk to you later. I better go feed my family…

Monday, May 11, 2009

Okay. One More.

Okay. Just one more. I can't believe I neglected to throw this one in before. I was having a hard time toward the end of my post last night.

But this is my mother's childhood friend Becky and her husband Bob who hosted our whole crew for the couple days we were in Iowa City. She is a hoot. We all love her and she makes us all feel so comfortable.

She and my mom were in the hospital together when they were born, and they've been able to get reacquainted over the last several years. Very fun hosts.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

(sheepishly) Just One More. Am I Overdoing It?

I just loved this picture and wanted to include it. My last post just absolutely refused to take it. I'll show them...or it...or you. Whatever. Just enjoy the picture.

Good night.

Iowa City 2009

It has been a flurry, but I wouldn’t give it up—no way. 


Beth has been visiting since Friday, May 1.  You saw the last post.  Too busy to write, but I wanted to get the pictures up, especially for Mike, because he was missing his baby, I am sure.

Now I’ve had time to reflect.  And I have many more pictures to post.

Beth and Verena’s visit to our home was fun.  I feel for Beth because I know it has been an exhausting trip for her.  But she sees the end now.  That new fresh tile floor awaits her.  It’s calling her name. 

Beth…Beth…Come home now.  I miss those baby toes crawling all over my cool surface…Come home.

Anyway, I digress.  We had so much fun having them around.  Verena is so cute you could eat her up.  But she wants her Mama most of the time.  She’s largely off the menu. 

Gertie likes Verena much of the time.  And sometimes she likes her toys more than Verena.  Well, maybe that’s not true.  Maybe she just knows that her toys like her more than they like Verena.  Anyway, she protected them with valor, only releasing them to Verena’s clutches on threat of punishment.  Much of the time, Verena didn’t seem to notice, really, so all was well.




Iowa City 2009 001 Julie and my Mother came on Thursday morning and Beth and Verena and Gertie and I hopped into Julie’s van to drive down to Iowa City.  We had lots of fun listening to the ipod and fighting over the temperature in the car, and we made it safely to Iowa City in time to enjoy dinner with our cousins Christy and Nicki.  I’ll be tempted to say it time and again during this post, but I just love this family of mine, and getting reacquainted with them is all joy.

The only thing squishing the joy was that Verena arrived in Iowa City with puke down her front and a fever of over 102 degrees.  But we chatted over pizza, and I visited with these cousins that make me smile.  I got to meet Christy’s daughter Heidi again.  She is a young lady now.  We were laughing and eating, and then Beth felt she needed to have Verena looked at by a doctor.  So our party split up, and things got a little crazy.  Some were driving to the Urgent Care, some were staying for pizza and visiting—no, wait—some were coming back to take the chatters to the EMERGENCY room to join the ailing one, and the rest were going home—no, wait—some were turning in for the night while the rest braved the ER—no, wait—nobody wanted to brave the ER after all, and we all went home and tucked ourselves into bed.  Whew.  It was crazy for certain.

And my Gertie, whom Christy had been trying to win over during dinner with seemingly little success, suddenly became desperate to be with Christy.  She needed her.  She needed to see her again.  To know where she was.  To touch her.  To say goodbye.  That’s just like her.

Iowa City 2009 006 All told for that reunion, I got this picture.  We are waiting out in the rain for our ride (Nicki) to arrive and deliver us to the emergency room.  No picture of Nicki.

Then we met the next afternoon with my cousin Becca and her husband Ian and their adorable little Annabelle at the local children’s museum.  Annabelle was born just a month before Gertie, and they were fun to watch.Iowa City 2009 009And this was a fun sort of place. 

 Iowa City 2009 011 There was grocery shopping, complete with shopping carts and way too many vegetables and fruits and danishes and money. 

Iowa City 2009 014And this big red fellow is supposed to be Elmo.  Gertie was convinced.  Gertie liked him, but still a bit skittish about getting too close.

 Iowa City 2009 015 Iowa City 2009 016 Iowa City 2009 017And then there was the baby nursery.  Gertie’s all-time favorite past-time:  babies.  This was the area she didn’t want to leave, the one she begged to go back to.  The one she left only by being picked up and carried out of kicking and screaming.

 Iowa City 2009 020 Iowa City 2009 019

But that didn’t last long, because then we found this room.  This is Gertie and Annabelle on the slide.  Aren’t they just the sweetest.

 Iowa City 2009 023And Verena didn’t forget what the slide was all about.  She’s a pro by now.

 Iowa City 2009 025They had golf balls everywhere in this area.  It was a very cool room.  Lots of room to run around.

 Iowa City 2009 026But Verena didn’t forget about those slides.  (Did I say that already?)

 Iowa City 2009 028Annabelle.

 Iowa City 2009 033 This was the closest I could get these girls for a picture.  And that is even blurry because they were on the go.  I love these girls.

We followed this adventure up with some much needed rest before we went to Aunt Ann and Uncle Bill’s for a family dinner.  She made a delicious taco salad.  I love taco salad.  Aunt Jean and Uncle John were there.  I took no pictures, but had the biggest smile on my face the whole time. 

John and Julie talked high finance.  Beth started in with politics and everyone joined in.  Gertie and Annabelle had the very best time being chased around and giggling and hiding and giggling until I drug Gertie home and she collapsed into bed.  I just love this family and listening and watching and learning.  They are simply dear to me.  Watching our girls run rampant reminded me of our old times playing with the cousins during those happy reunions.  These times are so precious.

And the last leg was the grave tour.  Maybe only interesting to a few, but a sweet melancholy for me.  It’s good to be reminded of where you came from.Iowa City 2009 035The first stop was in Iowa City to my Great Grandmother Verena’s grave.

 Iowa City 2009 042This is Baby V at her cherished Great Great Grandmother’s grave.  Needs a frame if I do say so myself.


You know, we left there and Beth and I and our little girls headed out to Grandpa and Grandma’s old place.  We had the best hike around their place.  The weather was beautiful.  We were able to keep a slow but steady pace, disappointing no one because it was just us.  We hiked our old trail out to the picnic table and down to our swimming pond.  It was quiet and peaceful and brought back so many memories. We headed up to the old spring shack and back around to the house.  It didn’t take too long, and really it was the perfect distance.  The kids survived it pretty well.  It is heaven to me.  I am so glad that the new owners are agreeable to letting us visit, and I look forward to doing that until I’m gray.  I love that place and the memories it holds.  I loved doing that hike with my sister and our girls.  It was perfect.  Julie would have joined us as well, but she woke that morning not feeling so well.

We were determined to see it all, so we headed over to Tipton to visit the family gravesites there.  Another melancholy spot, but it means so much to be able to do it.

 Iowa City 2009 045

Iowa City 2009 047  Iowa City 2009 050 Iowa City 2009 051Grandpa and Grandma Furnish.

Iowa City 2009 049Great Aunt Betty.Iowa City 2009 052 And is your last little baby ever so cute you just can’t stand it?  You want to freeze time because you know it won’t last forever?  You would eat her up if you could?  This was one of those days.  I love her up.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Let the Pictures Tell the Story

Zeebs May 2009 visit 001 My Sister Julie, the beautiful drink maker.Zeebs May 2009 visit 002My sister Beth and her Baby V. Zeebs May 2009 visit 004 Tate, Gertie and Verena before the baseball game.

Zeebs May 2009 visit 008My Gertie at the park.

 Zeebs May 2009 visit 009

Zeebs May 2009 visit 010Verena slipping on the slide for the first time.  All smiles.

 Zeebs May 2009 visit 014Gertie trying head first.

 Zeebs May 2009 visit 013

Zeebs May 2009 visit 018 Zeebs May 2009 visit 019 Verena gets some action at the game.

Zeebs May 2009 visit 020 Zeebs May 2009 visit 022 Tate at bat.

Zeebs May 2009 visit 024 Zeebs May 2009 visit 026

My personal favorites every time.  The line-up the cousins and snap some pictures.  Guaranteed good ones.  Just missing Grace.