Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday for Thanksgiving

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamations are my favorite.  This was published in our paper today - full page - by Scheels - a local sporting goods company.  I was so impressed that they took the ad with NO info about their store - no locations, hours, holiday special deals.  Nice. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

the WeekendEnd

can you BELIEVE it's already the weekend before Thanksgiving??  Ive been thinking alot about Thanksgiving this year.  What it means.  What it is.  How we celebrate.  We were reflecting together in family counseling last night about how life can continue to be good  is so many very imporant ways even as we experience great difficulty and adversity.  And by those things we grow and change and become even more who we are.

I love this time of year.  I am learning more and more about being thankful and saying thank you.

Jamie got her ACT scores for the Fall.  She was very please to earn at 36 (perfect) score on the English section.  Alex received an invitation to take the ACT early - this February or March I believe as part of a talented search.  He's pretty excited to get to compare to his sisters early!   Nate will be randomly checked on his performance on his weekly paper route.  Shouldn't be a problem - he does and awsome job and is the height of efficientcy!  Great mom and son time on Wednesday afternoons.

Looking for a cello instructor for Alex - with the regular 8th grade orchestra and the special Fm Youth Symphony he has more challenging music that usual so we're going to add a little help for him.  He sounds so good and seems to enjoy the groups.

I'm working on generating some holiday sales through Mary Kay - I have some goals I would like to meet before mid-december!  I'm excited to see if I can get there!  And I'm having so much much friends making and meeting new friends!

NEXT WEEK:  the plan is for the kids (Jamie, Nate, Alex) to drive the Regal down to Minneapolis on Wednesday witn Kathryn and Christian nearby in his van.  They'll work together to get everyone where they need to be when.  Jamie , Nate and Alex will be helping out at an Operation Christmas Child processing center Wednesday night.  Thanksgiving Dinner with the Millers Thursday.  Hanging out and maybe shopping Friday.  Home Saturday morning to catch up on homework!   We'll celebrate Alex's 14 birthday dinner on Saturday.  Yay!

I'm so thankful for the good people and friends I have in my life this year.  And thank ful for a weekend to think about it and enjoy them so much.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Nate's Angels

The school sent me a copy of this photo of Nate - which they used in the Moorhead School District Calendar this year.  I believe he's demonstrating a catapult for science class.
 It's the 2nd time they've used a picture of Nate - popular boy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Senior Moment for Jamie

Jamie took her ACT exam for the 2nd time this fall.  Her scores in the Spring were very good but she wanted to try again to see if she could improve - and boy did she!!

Jamie scored a PERFECT 36 on the English section!!  Yay!!  Congrats, Jamie!

English went from a 30, to the Perfect 36.  Reading improved from 30 to 34.  Science went up one from 24 to 25.  Math even came up from 17 to 21!! 

Her composite is a fabulous 29 (up from 25)!! 

She went online this week to get the scores early and she's so excited by the improvement.  She came home from the test and said she thought she aced it - I really thought she just meant she did well - not that she LITERALLY aced it!  Wow.  We'll celebrate as soon as she feels like getting out of bed!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A familiar sight:  the mailbox for the cabin at Pine Haven.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Basketful of Memories

Seriously awesome kids.  I am so honored to have them in my life.

The basket has all kinds of wonderful in it:  an "I Spy" book, drawing paper and markers, puzzle books, candy (of course), chewing gum, snack crackers, juice drinks, dried fruit, trail mix, mixed nuts, playing cards, colored ink pens...I think that about covers it.  Nate found a really nice "Thinking of You" card that they all signed.

A nurse helped them find a place for it in the Family Lounge and was really excited about all the cool stuff they put in. 

We heard the piano playing on the main floor - a beautiful piece that the kids thought was the "player" piano.  Turns out someone was down there playing for us! 

On the way down in the elevator, we met the chaplain who was there with us when Phil was admitted to the hospital.  wow.

Nate had a really good idea - inspired by friends who cared for us when we were in need.  Just trusting now another family will find a little comfort when they need it.

Monday, November 9, 2009


At this time a year ago we were on about the fourth day of gray rain, wind, cold and even a little snow.  The fourth day of watching and waiting and wondering.  It seemed heaven cried with us.

This year it's suddenly unusually warm, pleasant even.  Frost patterned car roofs and painted leaves by morning.  Blue skies and sunshine by day.  Moonlight by night.  Peace.

Nature's relentless, redeeming hope shines through our shadows of heartache and grief.  Laughter and tears together. 

Nate proposed a really good plan for tomorrow.  No school for kids.  No work for mom.  Sleep in.  Quiet morning.  Lunch out together.  Shop for basket & stuff to fill it.  Visit Innovis critical care unit and leave the basket for someone there who needs it.  He has Good memories of the hospital - being surrounded by love and care and concern - being provided for in so many ways. 

Amazing Grace. 

Friday, November 6, 2009


Fall has finally arrived - the kind I like anyway.  We've had several days in a row of sunshine and temps above 50!  w00t.   The sunshine has been a welcome relief from the endless days of gray and drizzle we had in October.

Kathryn came home from Denver last week - leaving more than a foot of snow behind there!  We celebrated her birthday on Sunday.  Don't know how she can be 20 so soon - she was just 2 not long ago.  She's off again already - to Minneapolis this weekend with Christian to celebrate his sister's house warming.  She's job hunting this month and getting used to being back in Moorhead.

Jamie's last first concert of the year was last night.  The "masquerade" theme was alot of fun.  She received notification of her first scholarship today!  The Presidential Scholarship at Northwestern College in recognition of her academic achievements.  More than $5000!   She took the ACT last month - just waiting for the new scores.  We still need to visit MSUM here in town. 

Nate is still working on gaining weight (oh, how I wish I were so afflicted!!).  We all participated in a weigh-in last Saturday.  He's up at least 5 pounds - but Alex is keeping up with him!  We'll weigh again on the 15th.  With the time change, his Wednesday afternoon paper route has become a race with the sun.  He finished in very long shadows this week.  I'm pretty sure he has that route down to the most efficient possible plan. 

Alex is still enjoying Youth Symphony on Sunday afternoons.  It's a good thing I set an alarm on my phone - we don't seem to be able to remember it otherwise!  His next Knowledge Bowl Meet is Monday in Fergus Falls.  His team won 1st place at the Moorhead Meet.  The last meet is November 16.  He is almost never without his graphing calculator.  He "needed" it for algebra 2 (how did we get along without these??  yes.  I'm Old.)  He's not figured out how to play games on this thing, but how to program his own AND make the thing play music.  Not sure how much Algebra is getting done, but he's having fun with the "tool."

Jeff started training with Minnesota Relay this week (2 weeks, 5 evenings each).  They provide telephone assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing.  Still hoping things come together to start school at least part time in January.  We're pulling our plans together for a January 2 wedding with all our kids.  I have my hair appointment.  :-)  We have a nice place reserved for dinner.  We have a line on a judge to officiate.  Just need the location for the actual ceremony!! 

It's hard to believe it's November already.  Time seems to pass faster and faster.  Soon the year will be over and another beginning.  Until then, we give thanks for all we have and people to love us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Masquerade! Jamie's Last First Concert

The Annual Cookie Concert at the high school is so fun!  The 9th grade orchestra, the Concert orchestra, the Symphony orchestra (jamie's!), the Chamber orchestra and the Apollo Strings all play - which is apparently why they have cookies to sustain us through the hour and 15 minutes!

This year's theme was "Masquerade."  Jamie made her own mask - isn't it cool??  Each orchestra played 3 pieces and then they ALL played "Orpheus" together at the end.  That's something close to 200 string players all at once. 

Kathryn & Christian came for supper (they're easy to lure in with free food!) before and then to the concert.  Nate stayed home sick and Jeff had to work.  We ended up with three extra tickets - I tried to get Christian and Alex to load up on cookies at the end since I felt we were really entitled to a dozen cookies but they are polite boys and only took 3. 

Mr Larson gets pretty attached to his students - I was pleased to hear him announce that the seniors are just not going to graduate this year.  We're not ready for Jamie to be done yet!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"Keys"  by Alex, Jan 2009
I like Alex's unique perspective through the lens.

Monday, November 2, 2009

kathryn's birthday

She was so tiny.  And so sweet.  And such a joy I never new I was missing! 

Kathryn Lynn came to us in the very early morning November 2, 1989.  She was so little - just 5 1/2 pounds but so healthy and alert! I didn't believe in love at first sight until I saw Kathryn...

We missed all of Halloween waiting for Kathryn to come.  We learned all about hospitals and doctors and early labor decision-making waiting for Kathryn to come.  (enough to get us through 3 more pregnancies and births!) 

In the end she kept her waiting parent up all night for her arrival.  (a sign of things to come!)  And when she came, with the morning light - we saw the first new snow of the season on the rooftops.  Watching Kathryn has often reminded me of that first feeling of new light, a new day, so full of wonder and hope.