Friday, February 27, 2009

Out of time!!

I'm thinking of allowing myself some extra "blogging" time, but until then enjoy a poem from Grandma Malmberg's scrapbooks.

P.S. I am ever so ready to move on to a spring poem.

Snow has a soft and quiet sound
As it comes falling to the ground.
For snowmen and snowballing time
It has a packing, smacking rhyme.
I hear it crunch, I hear it glide
When I go to the hill to slide.
But for the squeakiest squeak I know
There's nothing like cold winter's snow.

-- Eleanor Dennis

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Lenten computer experiment

30 minutes is a very short time. I knew I spent a lot of time on the computer, but I am starting to be interested in how much time I really spent. I was surprised how many times I looked at the empty spot where my laptop usually sits.

I gave out a small scream when my timer went off last night. I wasn't done. I hadn't caught up reading blogs . . . or checked the weather . . . or finished an email I was writing . . . I thought, "I really could give myself some more time because these are all legitimate uses of my computer time!"

But I think that would be defeating the purpose. So if my blog entries stop in the middle of a sentence, you'll know why.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The end of the overalls

Our niece Natalie, 4, came over to play the other day in an outfit she'd created herself. It wasn't bad, but clearly she'd taken some time to carefully choose it.

Well, I have boys, and they don't care about picking out their clothes, so I have lots more time to create little outfits for Toddler D, I thought to myself.

The next day, late for ECFE, I got out D's favorite macaroni t-shirt . . . and a pair of overalls. The macaroni shirt went on great, but when I started with the overalls D started screaming, "Pants! Pants!"

Yes, darling, Mother is trying to put on your pants.

"Pants! Pants!" he wailed and made his way over to his pants drawer where he chose a pair of sweatpants and put them on happy as a clam.

Why is it so many moments of motherhood are fill with the excruciating pain of letting go combined with the extreme pride at our child's independence?

And couldn't I have had one more year of little overall outfits?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Computer Tuesday

I'm going to do it. I'm going to work on the computer 20 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at night and put it away the rest of the time.

Oh, yes. Here we go.

So today is Fat Computer Tuesday. I am looking up the answer to ever trivia question I can think of, just in case. I am starting blog entries in case I have writer's block. I am entering contests -- which I actually don't do much of normally. I am shopping on eBay . . . but not bidding because the stress of not know how it was going would kill me.

Oh, yes.

Prairie pioneer girls lived all winter in their sod huts without Internet.

Of course, they went crazy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Piano Contests

For whatever Autism troubles Colin struggles, music is not one of them. The kid takes after his father and then some. He has a beautiful voice. I suspect he has perfect pitch. He is zooming through the piano series. Not that I am biased at all . . .

Barb is Colin's piano teacher and I think I've said before that they are a perfect pair. Colin plays whatever he gives her, and she responds enthusiastically to whatever he plays. Strict? Not hardly. Bent on perfectionism? Ha! But I tell you what, my son will play piano.

Every year Barb's students participate in a music festival. The top winners can go on to compete at high levels, but Barb does not encourage this. She gives out contest pieces in the fall and the contest is now in the late winter. The first year Colin took the whole thing very seriously. He sat down and in his sweet little second grader voice he announced, "It has a lot of louds and softs." The judge said, "It certainly does" and Colin played it to perfection. Five out of five stars! Brilliant!!

Last year Colin had done that whole scene. He learned his piece right away and then got bored. He was in a phase where he liked to have the bench really close to the piano. The judge didn't like that. Four out of five stars. Boo.

This year Colin learned his piece right away and so I put it away and forgot all about it . . . until last week. It was a rocky week of brushing it off. Colin doesn't feel he needs to play dynamics this year. "Other kids don't." Well, no . . .BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU DON'T. LOUDS AND SOFTS! LOUDS AND SOFTS! You were so cute once upon a time.

Daniel fell asleep in the car, so I volunteered to wait out with him. Frankly, I didn't think I would be able to watch.

Brent came floating back to the car 15 minutes later, "He was great! Good dynamics! Five stars!"


Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm thinking of giving up my computer for Lent.

Stop laughing.

Okay, not entirely give it up, but severely cut back on my usage.

A life-long Protestant, the idea of giving up something for Lent is something that has never been a priority. I think I have tried once or twice over the years . . . but I can't think what it was, so I don't imagine I took it very seriously.

We are studying Esther in my small group Bible study and some of the ladies tried to fast for three days as the Jews did for Esther when she was faced with the problem of getting an audience with the king. I was gone and missed the whole thing, but it started me thinking. Giving up food would be difficult with the medication I take, but what could I give up. It needs to be something I would miss.

The computer.

I don't really need to be on it, but I have my laptop propped up on the kitchen counter and I spend countless hours every day . . . doing what? Browsing eBay? Updating my Facebook status? Googling old friends?

What would I get done if I spent -- say -- half an hour on it in the morning and then put it away. I mean shut it down and put it in the case.

Would I play more down on the floor with Toddler D? Would I read something? Would I cook something?

Would I finish that needlepoint eyeglass case?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pity Party

It happens every time. Every time. EVERY time. Every time I try to throw myself a big tragic pity party to show how spoiled I am . . .

I just got home from a big cruise with my handsome husband where I had massages and a mud bath and sunshiiiiiiiiiiiine.

Now I'm hooooooooooome.

And it's cooooooooooold.

And I have to do laundrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry.

And empty the diiiiiiiishwaaaaaaaaaaaaasher.

And now I have NOTHING to look forward to.

And we spent aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the money.

Poor meeeeeeeeeeee!!

. . . I get a letter from one of the children we sponsor through Compassion International.

Dear loving aunt,

I have received your birthday gift ($20). I used it to buy kitchen utensils. I pray that God will bless you more and more, and I always pray for you and your family.

With much love

Pray for my soul, kid. Pray for my soul.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back to Work Blues

I want so much to tell you that everything is in its proper order and all's right with the world. It's not. There are piles of laundry everywhere. I keep tripping over suitcases. I can't find my contacts. I'm cold. Colin and I have been on the outs since he got home from school. He is not properly prepared for Awana and he needs to practice his contest piece for Saturday better, but I am tired of fighting.

There was a moment on the trip when Brent said, "I don't want to go back to work," and I said, "Niether do I."

I have the most rewarding career here as stay-at-home mom, but that doesn't mean I don't get the back to work blues.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cruising and Crafting

So we were on a Princess cruise because, I don't know about you, but I'm spending my anniversary on the Love Boat. (They have a TV channel dedicated to Love Boat reruns. Fabulous!) Every morning Brent and I ate a little continental breakfast in our room while enjoying the morning show starring our overenthusiastic cruise director Dan from Australia and his Welsh assistant Sammy. It takes a very specific personality to be a cruise director and there is no way I would have qualified. They are all in their late twenties and abounding in energy from 6 a.m. walk around the deck (not that I was ever there) to 10 am trivia to 4 pm bingo to 11 pm beach party.

Bless their hearts they may well be on drugs. I don't know how anyone could be that fresh and perky all of the time.

Anyway, one day I managed to get my answer to the morning show trivia question down to the box in time and won this:

That's right. It's a needlepoint eyeglass case. Do you remember when I tried to sew the apron? Well, needle work is really my downfall. I love those little kits. I just never ever finish them and a while ago I quit trying.

Well, I was tired of my autobiography "Here's the Story" by Maureen McCormick. She makes out with Barry/Greg; she gets hooked on cocaine and can't get work; blah, blah, blah. (A big shout out to her though. She's a Minnesotan by marriage, and she likes to hang out on Lake Vermilion. Not particularly Hollywood of her.) So I started the project and . . . drum roll . . . am over half finished. Over half finished with that hard part in the middle.

I have hope for this one. Keep pestering me about it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Home again, Home again!

We're back and we had a fabulous time! Did I tell you we were on a cruise? We were on a cruise. We started from San Juan and went to St. Thomas, Grenada (the Spice Island), Dominica to watch whales (we didn't even see a fish jump), Bonaire and Aruba. You may send me back to Aruba any day you like. Tomorrow, in fact, would be good.
We spent a lot of time just resting and felt really great . . . until the 6+ hour trip home and a two hour time change. We are a little groggy today, but happy to be home and happy to see the boys.
There's no place like home . . . but I would certainly like to try having my home in Aruba.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be back soon

Well, if all has gone according to plan, we are off on the Big Anniversary/Birthday/Birthday Trip (BABBT). We are very blessed to be able to take such a beautiful vacation. I want to thank our BABBT prayer warriors -- particularly Sue for praying in my own words and Bobbie for praying even though she didn't know why. I love my home and my family, but I am really excited about spending time alone with Big Daddy away from the laundry and dishes and homework and, and, and . . .

Another big shout out of thanks to Grandma and Grandpa here at home for wrangling the boys and Cyberspace Sarah for many pep talks. You're my favorite red headed sister.

Until next week then, please enjoy this photo of whence it all began:

February 12, 1994 - New Brighton, Minn.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Reverend Toddler D

Colin misplaced his Bible for a couple of weeks. We looked high and low, but it was nowhere to be found. Finally, I ordered a new Bible cover. Two days later Colin's Bible turned up.

When the new Bible cover came, I took it out of the box and decided it should be sent back because we didn't really need it any more.

Toddler D grabbed it from me shouting, "MY amen!!"

I didn't send it back.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Legal Tender

I was picking up a few toys today when I came across this coin :

It says "not legal tender" on it. If you can read and understand what "legal tender" is, do you think you would mistake this large grey plastic disk for a coin of some kind?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

BABBT Update: The final countdown

In case you're not keeping track, it is now four days to the Big Anniversary Birthday Birthday Trip (BABBT). I had all these great plan as near as a week ago about being super organized and having everything in Baggies and writing out instructions to the minute and all sorts of things.

At this point I am thinking of throwing my swimsuit and my sunscreen in a backpack and leaving Grandma to fly by her wits.

Of course, I cannot do this. My sunscreen is in a larger than 3 oz container and will have to go in a checked bag of some sort lest I upset the TSA.

And you know I am a first born and I cannot leave Grandma to fly by her wits. She will probably do that anyway, no matter what kind of instructions I leave behind, but I just can't leave that way.

So I press on. I am tired and I'm getting a little brain fog, but I am going on a beautiful vacation and taking along a guy with whom I just like hanging out, so I can't really see that I have any real reason to get whiny.

Of course, this has never stopped me before.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Poem for Tuesday

My grandmother taught in a two-room schoolhouse back in the day when she had to keep her teaching aides in scrapbooks. If she'd had a laptop these poems would probably be long gone.

Snow in the Night
William Arnette Wofford
Silently as a ghost the deep snow fell
Throughout the long and lonesome night,
Until the barren meadows, hills and glades
Donned robes of ermine, blinding white.
It touched the poorest blade of glass and filled
Deep gullies, miles and miles around;
It gaily danced and swirled with phantom tread,
Shedding a radiance on the ground.
It softly spread its magic fingers on
The old house crumbling on the hill;
With eager feet it climbed the porch and crept
Through empty rooms, long cold and still.
No prying eyes saw its approach; no stars
Shone where it sped upon its way;
Yet everyone exclaimed in wonder at
The beauty greeting them by day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Are you ready for some football??

There are women out there who love, love, love football. I am not one of them, but I think it would be un-American of me if I did not understand the basics of the game. Contrary to what my brother-in-law Brennan "Captain America" might think, I do, but I'm just not crazy about it. I don't live for it.

Well, Colin felt the need for a Super Bowl party and how could we refuse. We watch the Super Bowl. Who doesn't? We invited Grandma and Grandpa and Cyberspace Sarah and Uncle Brennan.

It is my life's goal, friends and loved ones, to have a conversation about sports with Brennan without getting embarrassed and feeling like a stupid girl. Hasn't happened in the nearly 11 years my sister has been married to him, but I have high, high hopes. Brennan's one of those guys who knows every statistic of every sport. Want to know the highest percentage stolen base record holder in baseball. Sure, ask Brennan. It's Tim Raines. Played for Montreal. Need to know who played the most seasons in the NHL. Yeah, Brenann's got it right up here. It's Gordie Howe. Football's most seasons leading rushing team record. Who doesn't know that one? It's the Chicago Bears.

I know figure skating statistics, but Brennan doesn't think that's a sport. Who was the 1982 U.S. National Junior Ladies Bronze medalist? Kathy Rissmiller Carlson, of course. Ask me something hard.

When we invited them to the party, I made sure that I first looked up who was playing. I knew he would ask. I knew it.

And he did. I knew Pittsburgh, but I could not remember Arizona. It was all right he said. "They're a new team." Whew!

So yesterday, I got a little gutsy . . . a little bit brave. Brennan said he thought Pittsburgh would win by some amount of points I immediately forgot and I said, "I'm going to cheer for Atlanta. I like to root for the new guy."

"That's great, " he said. "They're not playing today."


Well, I look at it this way. At least I have a team now. Go Falcons.