Highs and Lows

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Funerals always bring with them highs and lows. There is the obvious low of saying good-bye to a loved one. For a softie like me, another low is that I tend to cry whenever I see someone else, especially a loved one, cry. It was especially hard for me to see my mom so sad. I’m worried about her being sad and lonely. I’ll be keeping a pretty close eye on her for a long time I think. Hopefully her grand kids and her sisters can help keep her spirits lifted while she works through her grief and finds her way. The funeral service on Friday was very nice. The minister led a very nice service with Levi adding a little comic relief. He is so hard to keep contained and I let him out of the pew so he could play with the stained glass light installation just to my left. And then he got away from me and bolted for the front where he found his way in amongst the flowers high up on pedestals. I could just see the flowers all go tumbling so instead of going in after and chasing, I backed away into the next room and he followed me. *whew* Crisis averted! I apologized to mom right away after the service for the interruption but she didn’t seem to mind. At least Levi is cute, right? After the service we all met at the Legion for lunch. After they were done eating, Annika, James, Ava and Levi proceeded to get their energy out by running around the room. Fortunately, the room was big enough to accommodate rowdy kids. It was pretty cute when they started playing ring-around-the-rosie together. Levi thinks he’s a big kid now and wants to be by and play with Annika and James more and more. Of course his danger barometer is not quite as sophisticated so I had to stick close to him to make sure he didn’t get into anything. I feel bad that I wasn’t able to spend more time with my family but I did scoop up Levi long enough to say hello to my grandmother who had flown in from Arizona. After lunch we drove down to Fort Snelling for the burial service. What I didn’t know (or remember from maybe the only other time I’d been there) is that the service doesn’t take place at the burial site. It takes place at one of five shelters and then they bury the body/urn later that day. It was a very brief service with the gun salute and taps and some nice words and then just as quickly as we’d arrived, it was over. Mom was presented with a flag though and we’ll be on the lookout for a nice case for that. Krystle, Mathias and our families went back to Mom’s (with our vehicles full of flowers and left over food) for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Mathias’ girlfriend Martha made us a delicious queso dip and homemade chicken enchiladas for dinner. Super yummy (and a little on the spicy side which Kris loved!). Kris made margaritas and Martha and Krystle both repeatedly said how good they were. Otherwise we just helped mom put away all the food and she played with the kids and talked with us. The kids had a great time playing together. At one point Annika was hiding the dolls and then exclaimed that the “babies were missing” and all the kids plus Gramme would have to go search and find the babies.

Saturday morning Kris and I cleaned the house. It had been a while (since we’re no longer having showings there is no reason to clean, right??) so the clutter had started to accumulate again. It felt good to be able to see all my countertops again. A nice clean kitchen especially is a mood booster for me. It’s amazing that I have to re-learn that all the time! In the afternoon Mathias and Krystle came over (with their families) and we took them over to see the new house. Things are moving along there! The interior paint first coat is done. The fireplace is in, complete with marble and mantle. The cabinets, trim and interior doors have been delivered and are ready to be installed. It’s getting so exciting! Mathias thinks it’s “weird” to have the laundry room on the second floor. I told him it’s genius – who wants to be schlepping their laundry all over the house!?! He still thinks it’s weird and it’s not typically done that way in El Paso but Martha thought it was great too. She’s totally on my side. Take that Mathias!

After the house tour we all went over to Grandpa and Marcia’s house for dinner. Yummy grilled burgers for everyone! We all kind of settled in the family room after eating but the World Series game on that night was so slow moving that innings were taking forever so instead we all went upstairs to play dominos in the dining room. Now that is some good fun, right there! James was “helping” Grandpa and Annika was “helping” Marcia. Levi was asleep on Grandpa and Marcia’s bedroom floor. Pretty soon it was clear that Annika didn’t need any helping with this game and Marcia let her take over her spot to play on her own. I was so proud of my little munchkin! Being able to sit at the table and hold her own in a game of dominos. And she did pretty well too! Earlier in the evening Marcia was at the kitchen table coloring with Annika, James and Ava. They must have been having some pretty funny conversations because there was a lot of giggling come from their way! I’m not sure how it came up but Annika was grossing Marcia out by telling her she was eating fly pie. Yeah – I have no idea where that came from. It sure cracked Annika up though.

Sunday morning we were low on cereal so instead I made homemade pancakes for us. When I opened the cupboard to get the baking powder out I saw an opened bag of chocolate chips. I grabbed them and threw them into the batter for a little treat for the kids. Chocolate chip pancakes! The kids were so excited and gobbled up the pancakes. While Annika was eating her second pancake she decided they looked like fly pies! Both she and I cracked up at the realization of what we were eating. We tried to call Marcia to tell her we were eating fly pies but she and Grandpa had gone up North for a couple days and she wasn’t answering her cell phone. Either way, the pancakes were a hit.

After breakfast we started carving our pumpkins. Well, Annika didn’t. She didn’t want to cut up her pumpkin so instead I gave her a Sharpie marker and she drew a face on hers instead. She even wrote the name of her pumpkin on it “Sofy.” I hollowed out the rest of them though and carved three of them. I let Annika and James pick out what to put on my, Levi and James’ pumpkins. We ended up with 1 cat, 1 scary face and 1 happy face. Kris did a scary face on his pumpkin too. They all turned out pretty good! I’ll have to snap a pick of them before they turn to mush. And I saved all the seeds from the pumpkins and roasted them up. While I did that Kris made a from-scratch beer cheese soup. Yummy! All of this was in preparation for Gramme, Mathias and Krystle and their families to come over. They came to watch the Vikings/Packers game. And they brought a lot of left over food with them too! We had cake and queso dip and bars and pie, all from Friday. Krystle brought rotel dip which we all munched on too. I brought Gramme over to see the new house. She hadn’t seen it in a few weeks. Then we spent the rest of the evening playing with the kids, watching the game and visiting with each other. Mathias and Martha had dinner reservations at Capitol Grill later that night and they left Ava with us. At 8pm I put James to bed and at 9pm I put Annika to bed and that left only Kris and I to play with Ava until Mathias and Martha got back. And play I did! We filled up our toy cars with gas and then raced them down the Little People garage over and over and over again for a good half hour or more. And we did a puzzle. And we played with other Little People toys. By 10:30pm I told her we were done playing and it was time to sit on the couch and cuddle with me and her blanket while we watched Sprout. She fells asleep about 15 minutes later, just in time for Mathias and Martha to get back. She was an angel the whole time but I was tired!

One quick milestone from Sunday – Annika learned to braid! She braided her Rapunzel Barbie doll’s long hair for the first time. We’ll have to see if she can do that on her hair or mine now. So cool!

Crappy Week with small bits of Sunshine

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As you saw from my last update we lost Papa Merv Saturday morning.  He passed away peacefully in his sleep, exactly the way each of us would like to go I think.  It’s sad that he had to battle cancer and be taken from us but I’m happy he is no longer suffering.  It was still a crappy Saturday morning to get an early phone call from Gramme saying he’d passed.  I jumped in the car and went over there to be with her.  No one should be alone during that time I think.  Gramme made all her phone calls and made as many arrangements as she could and then she left with me to spend the day with Krystle and I.


Saturday morning I had pictures taken of the kids at Target.  They were for Annika’s 7 year pictures and Levi’s 18 month pictures.  Annika’s turned out great.  I only got one good one of Levi.  He’s in a stranger anxiety phase right now and started to cry when the photographer was trying to play with him and get him to smile.  He does the same thing at church when I try to leave him in the nursery except there he falls apart as soon as we walk in the door, complete with crocodile tears, crying and clinging to my neck.  That one picture is OK though, even if he is rather stoic in it.  Then we tried to get some pictures of all three kids.  Levi wasn’t very cooperative though so they didn’t turn out the best.  Maybe when we go back for James’ 5 year and Levi’s 2 year pictures we’ll get some better ones.


After pictures Krystle, the kids, Gramme and I went shopping and found Gramme something nice to wear to the funeral.  Funeral details: visitation Friday morning 9-10 at Johnson’s Funeral Home in Waconia.  Memorial service at 10am at the funeral home.  Luncheon to follow at the American Legion in Waconia and then internment at Fort Snelling at 12:45pm.


After we were done shopping Gramme went to Krystle’s house to spend some time with Ayla while I stayed home with my kids while we had a pre-scheduled play date.  Elyse and Liam came over and the four kids played together so nicely while Levi napped.  I’m so happy the four of them are such good friends.  Hopefully we can continue to foster that relationship!


Sunday was church and football and I packed a whole ton of boxes.  Our garage is starting to fill up with boxes and our closets and cupboards are starting to look bare.  Of course if you walked into my house it would look like there’s a long way to go…and there is.  I’ll keep working on it every day and hopefully come moving day we’ll be packed and ready to go.


Last night Kris didn’t have class (MEA break for colleges too?) so instead we drove to the new house.  The only update there was that they’ve paved the driveway.  I expect they’ll start painting inside soon as the ceilings are done.  After that quick trip we stopped at a couple furniture stores.  We’d like to get a new couch (and chair and maybe some end tables) for the new house.  I’m not sure when we’ll purchase something but it was fun to go shopping and look.  Luckily Kris and I have very similar tastes so deciding on something should be relatively easy.  Annika brought along the iPad and watched a movie while sitting on the couches in the furniture stores.  At the second store we put James and Levi in store-provided strollers that looked like a dinosaur (Levi) and a car (James) to keep them entertained and contained.  It worked well for a while until Levi had had enough of that and demanded to get out.  He is a hard one to contain!  It was bed time though so we ushered everyone back to the truck and went home.


Tomorrow the kids and I are going to Mom’s house to help her with pictures and Thursday night we’re going over there to have dinner with her and Mathias, Martha and Ava.  If nothing else comes out of this crappy week, at least we’ll have some good family time together.

First Grade – First Conference

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Yesterday afternoon Kris and I met with Annika’s teacher for our first parent teacher conference of first grade.  Overall it was a very good conference.  They have certain milestones they want the kids to meet for reading and math and they test them throughout the year to gauge performance.  Annika’s September test results show that she has mastered the skills required for not only the September test but for the January metrics as well.  Kris and I weren’t too surprised.  In kindergarten she did the same thing and by January of kindergarten had mastered all the kindergarten material and had moved on to the first grade sight words and such.  So, she’s picking up right where she left off.  Annika’s teacher said Annika is one of the most advanced students in her class and her work with Annika for this year will be to challenge her.  She said she’s not looking to have Annika skip a grade (move vertically) but to broaden her depth of understanding (move her horizontally).  We told Annika’s teacher that Annika calls her daily math homework “baby homework” because it’s too easy.  So, her teacher is going to find some more challenging homework for Annika to do each day.  Annika scored “high” on every category of the testing they did – both reading and math.  On the flip side, Annika still isn’t vocal during school.  If the teacher calls on her it’s like pulling teeth to get her to answer.  But, the kids love her with all her classmates fighting to have Annika as their teammate for activities and free play time.  I’m happy she’s having a good time making friends with her peers but it’s hard to hear that she still struggles with shyness towards adults.  We keep talking with her through that and hope that she makes some progress on that front.  Anyway, we’re super proud of our baby girl.  It was a glowing conference and she’s a great little girl.


Gramme is having hospice care come to the house today to get Papa Merv set up and evaluate his condition.  Please keep Gramme and Papa Merv in your prayers.  This is a stressful and sad time for Gramme and Papa Merv and we’re doing what we can to help them through it.


James is gone for a visit to Nana and Papa’s house right now.  It’s amazing how quiet the house can be without him.  Isak is up from Iowa visiting and he was asking to see James so yesterday Kris brought James down to them.  Nana skyped with me last night so I could tell James good night and see his happy face.  It sounds like he’s having a great time with Isak and Nana and Papa as expected.  He’s helping with chores, taking a million rides down the slide and watching Cars with his little cousin.  He’ll come home today or tomorrow I’m assuming.


Did I tell you that on Monday I won an iPad2?  Grandpa bought some raffle tickets from his church fall festival and put my name on some, Krystle name on some and Mathias’ name on others – just like he’s done for over 20 years.  This year they pulled my name and that’s what I won.  We’re pretty excited and Kris went to pick it up right away Monday afternoon.  Kris has already downloaded all the apps that we had on our iPod Touch plus some books he’s been reading.  It’s much easier to read books on the iPad than on the Touch!  I haven’t used it for much yet but I did use it to skype with Nana last night.  I’m sure we’ll use it a bunch to entertain the kids and as a book reader.

Fun weekend!

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We had a great weekend.  Saturday Gramme came over for a couple hours.  The kids were excited to see her.  Levi was tired and in need of a nap so before he went down he sat on Gramme’s lap and cuddled with her for a while.  Annika and James were busy telling Gramme things and trying on their new Halloween costumes (which I said they couldn’t open until Gramme got there) and playing and getting their shoes on.  As soon as Kris got home from work we handed him Levi and the rest of us plus Auntie Krystle got in the truck and drove over to the new house.  Krystle and Gramme hadn’t seen it yet and the kids wanted to see it now that it had sheetrock up.  For some reason the kids are always excited to go down to the basement so as soon as we walked in the front door, that’s where they went.  I showed the rest of the house to Gramme and Krystle and then we too went to the basement and looked around down there too.  I’m glad the kids are so excited about the new house.


When we were done there we dropped the kids off at home and Gramme, Krystle and I made a Target run.  The kids and I had just been at Target that morning to purchase Halloween costumes, a winter coat for James and a some household supplies.  (We are officially an ice princess, a clone trooper and Yoda for Halloween this year).  This time it was a much needed trip for Gramme and Krystle and I had no problems helping her spend her money. Hee!  And of course because she had to buy each of her grandkids a little present there too.  It was fun picking out some unexpected presents for the kids.  Each of my children got a pillow pet which they have been coveting for months and which I was planning to get them for Christmas.  Christmas came early for them this year!  Annika also got a couple cute t-shirts (including a Halloween themed pumpkin one) for her birthday.  When we got back from Target I called the kids up from the basement and Gramme gave them their gifts.  They were a big hit!  They have each slept with their pillow pet every night.  James even brings his downstairs to cuddle with on the couch while he watches cartoons in the morning (he is my early riser and has been up with me at 6:20am the last two mornings so I turn on Disney Junior for him to watch until Kris gets up about an hour later).  Shortly after that it was time for Gramme to get back home to Papa Merv.  Gramme needed the break through from the 24hour care she has to give Papa Merv at this point (his daughter was there with him for the afternoon) and I hope she gets more breaks from here on out.  Of course I was awful and didn’t take a single picture of her with the grandkids.  Bad me!  I will make sure I do that next time.


Sunday after church we hurried home and met up with Andrew and Katie and Isla and Krystle and Pierce and Ayla to go on our annual pilgrimage to the local pumpkin patch.  The kids are excited for this every year.  We were going to wait for the hay ride out to the field but it was such a gorgeous day out that this year we walked out into the field and took our time finding the perfect pumpkins for us.  Before we did that though we took some pictures.

Pumpkin Patch 2011


We didn’t have to go far as it was bumper pumpkin crop this year.  Annika looked far and wide to find her favorite pumpkin (orange, not green, round, smooth, kinda small and with a good stem on it).  Kris and Pierce went to grab a cart and we loaded up the pumpkins in it.  I tried to get a picture of the kids with our pumpkins but well, they are not always cooperative.

Kid Photo Take 1

Kid Photo Take 2


Kid Photo Take 3


Kid Photo Take 4


Kid Photo Take 5


Kid Photo Take 6


Ah well, maybe I can get a better one next year.  From there it was back to the cute little wooden shack to weigh and pay for our pumpkins.


James is "helping" Kris with the cart full up pumpkins.


Then we finally took the hayride out through the field.  The kids thought that was fun of course and then we headed home.  Levi got a good nap in, Krystle and I went shopping (Christmas outfits purchased for the kids on sale – gotta love that!) and the other two played together nicely for hours in the basement.  James came up later that night looking like this:


James is so "pretty" sometimes!

He’s really working that skirt I have to say.


Tonight we have Annika’s parent/teacher conference and we’re babysitting Ayla while Krystle and Pierce go see Cavalia!  I would be more excited but the little peanut will probably sleep through most of her visit with us tonight.  Oh well, at least Krystle and Pierce can get a good date night in and enjoy some time together!


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Found: 1 missing camera battery charger.


So, why then was I up at 5:02AM this morning staring at the ceiling, my mind racing a mile a minute and my body tense with anxiety?  Beats me.  Probably 2-5 from yesterday with a new six thrown in the mix.  Kris has been dizzy for a week now and finally went to the doctor yesterday to get it checked out.  He went for a blood test this morning which will hopefully yield some answers.  The answer better not be tumor.  That’s all I got to say.  Although we of course did have a bit of fun yesterday when I asked if it was a tumor and Kris did his best Arnold impersonation and responded with “It’s not a t000-maahhh.”  Heh.


I charged the camera battery last night and then took a couple pics of Annika and James.  None of Levi (boo!) because he was in bed early last night.  The poor baby got a 10 minute afternoon nap yesterday so at 6:30pm last night when I asked him if he wanted to take a bath he was scooting up the stairs before I even had the question out.  Then he mildly protested when I took him out of the bath, dressed him, read him his book, rocked him and put him in his bed.  Usually he’s awake for all of the routine but last night after the book he conked out in my arms and fell asleep while I rocked him.  I may have rocked him a few minutes extra just for the snuggly mommy time.


So, I took pictures of Annika and James instead.  Annika was wearing a super cute outfit consisting of a purple tie-dye t-shirt with a purple poofy skirt and purple leggings.  She accessorized with a choker necklace (new from Papa and she adores it!) and a cute self-done mid-high ponytail.  But she let part of her front hair hang down so she looked totally ’80′s.  It was adorable and then she struck the cutest poses for me too!  I’ll have to get the pictures off the camera and posted for you here.


James of course had to get in the act too so I have a couple pics of him too mugging for the camera.  Those two can be so cute sometimes!

Anxiety and Stress

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I’ve become a big ball of frayed nerves again who is waking up again before her alarm clock and staring at the ceiling.  So, let’s take this time in a blog post for me to talk it all out.  Sound like fun?


Source of Stress #1 – The One that Put Me Over the Edge: the missing camera battery charger.  My camera is low on charge and last night when I went to grab the charger it was missing.  Most likely it has been packed away in a box.  Kris’s mission for today?  FIND IT.  I cannot be without my camera for the next two months. Severity on a scale of 1 to 10?  1.  I know it’s not that big of a deal but it’s stressing me out anyway.  Don’t you get preoccupied when you’ve lost something?


Source of Stress #2 – Merv’s health.  Merv’s lung cancer has spread to his brain and he’s undergoing whole brain radiation to fight it.  I worry about him and his health and quality of life.  I worry about Gramme who has taken on the role of 24/7 caregiver while also working a full time job (from home temporarily) and keeping a house neat and tidy while it’s on the market.  My stress pales in comparison to hers but I worry about her constantly.  I wish I could make things better for her and try to do what I can to help her even if it’s just call her often and answer every call and e-mail from her ASAP.  Please send big prayers and hugs out to her and Merv to help them through this time.


Source of Stress #3 – The Move.  I know this one would have anybody stressed out but because I am the champion of worry, I’m finding extra things to worry about I think.  I’m worried something is going to happen and the sale of our current house will fall through.  Most likely if that did happen we’d probably try to just keep it on the market and hope for a new buyer in the spring and make two house payments for a while.  We’ve been approved for two house payments so we wouldn’t lose the new house over this but really, who wants two house payments?  That’s crazy!  We would also look at renting it out too but probably with assistance from a management company because Kris and I have very little interest in being landlords.  So, there’s that.  Then, I also worry that maybe we’re making the wrong decision.  While we love the new house and its location, I worry about Annika and the move the most.  She has it perfect right now.  She has a best little friend in Erin right in our backyard.  James has it perfect with Ryan and Charlie right there too.  But in the new house we’ll have two little boys right next door that he and Levi can play with to their hearts content and we’ve already made friends with the parents.  So far, there are no little girls that we know of in the neighborhood for Annika to play with.  We’ve heard there are two girls in a house across the street that are there every other weekend to visit their dad so we’re hoping Annika can make friends with them but as for day to day little girl playmates?  We’re not sure if there are any within walking distance.  We are moving close to her friend Elyse but it’s still a 3-4 block walk to their house and across a “busy” road and we’re not willing yet to let Annika or Elyse make that walk on their own.  Maybe in 2-3 years we will be and I’m hopeful that we can make it work until that time.  I just worry about Annika and it’s probably worse because of the guilt I feel for not giving her the sister I dreamed of her having but that’s a whole other blog post!  (Kris is rolling his eyes at me right now!)  And then there’s the moving away from Krystle.  I have absolutely LOVED having her and Pierce and Ayla just around the corner from us.  I’m already mourning the loss of that closeness.  I know moving three miles away is not that big of a deal but no longer will we run into them at the park or while they’re out for a walk.  I will miss that.


Source of Stress #4 – Levi’s Not Talking Yet.  OK, so I know he’s the third child and a boy so minimal talking at 17 months old is probably 100% normal (he says mama, dada and uh-oh occasionally) but by this point Annika was saying 2 word phrases and had dozens and dozens of words under her belt.  Not helping my stress on this one is when I go back to see what James was saying at this point and find a blog post from when James was 18 months old and find he was saying “aypane” for airplane and that he was “talking up a storm”.   Levi’s 18 month check up is coming up at the end of this month and I will “casually” mention his lack of words to the pediatrician to get her take on it.  Over-reacting?  Or the first signs of a speech delay?  I’d just like to know.


Source of Stress #5 – Money and our soon to be lack thereof.  Kris and I have done very well over the last several years to save up a nice cushion of savings in our emergency fund and tuition fund and various other targeted savings accounts.  All of that money is now called “move money” and we’ll be using up most of it to make this move.  While I think my job is pretty secure (in this economy though is any job THAT secure?) I’m still stressed about depleting our savings so much.  Yes, we’ll get our “gazelle intensity” out again and rebuild our savings as quickly as possible but what if something happens before we’ve got that money tucked away again?  And what about all those new house expenses that we already have lined up (window coverings, playset for backyard, landscaping, etc.)?  Where is all the money going to come from and how do we prioritize it?  Money is such a source of stress for a lot of people and we’ve been fortunate to not have it be a major source of stress for us.  Hopefully our good savings and budgeting habits can help us rebuild that nest egg quickly so this source of stress can be minimized again.


Other than everything I’ve listed above, life is great.  My kids are awesome.  Annika’s reading ability continues to amaze me.  She’s reading chapter books now with minimal help from me on the bigger words.  James is enjoying preschool although I wish his handwriting would get a bit better.  I’m sure he’ll make big strides with that this year.  And Levi is such a happy, mischievous child who snuggles up with me every chance he gets.  And Kris is the most awesome husband who takes such good care of all of us.  I really couldn’t ask for much more.  Oh, except for stresses 1-5 to just go away.  Other than that though, ya know, life is good!

Dagur is Home

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While our house was on the market, Dagur went to stay with Nana and Papa on the farm.  It’s hard enough to keep the house clean with three small children running around.  Kris and I didn’t want to add a big dog to the mix too.  Plus, we weren’t sure what we’d do with him during showings.  Not to worry though.  Dagur was very happy down at the farm.  Every day he got to run outside and ride in the golf cart and “help” with the horse chores.  He came back yesterday one fit and trim dog!  He went down there, well, let’s just say a bit rotund.  It’s on Kris and I now to keep him this way.  I guess that means we’ll have to go running with him or something to keep him fit.  Motivation?  I guess we’ll see! I think the kids are happy to have him back.  Levi had to repeatedly go lay on the dog last night.  At one point while coming down the stairs I heard Kris tell him to stop sitting on the dogs head.  I looked down over the railing and remarked back that he wasn’t sitting on his head, just right next to it between the dogs head and his front legs while the dog just laid there and Levi played.  And James had to crawl on Dagur last night for a bit too.  He’s, of course, bigger than Levi so I told him to stop crawling around on the poor dog!  And during the night Annika ended up sleeping on our bedroom floor right next to the dog.  She can’t sleep in the same room as James because James is too noisy for her but she’ll sleep next to the snoring dog!  Well, I guess that’s OK.  Dagur is loved by us and we’re all happy he’s home.  (He did try to push Papa out of the way so he could jump out of the truck to greet me yesterday when they got here too.  I think he’ll be OK being back home with us.)


Papa was at our house yesterday to watch the kids for us so that Kris and I could help with our church‘s annual servant day.  There were hundreds of members of our church, all wearing matching t-shirts, doing various servant projects at the church and around the neighboring community.  Some were picking track from our designated adopt-a-highway section.  Some were making “adult bibs” for a local nursing home (they wanted 1000!).  Some were making quilts to give away or bagging groceries at a local grocery store.  Some were making sandwiches for the 363 Days project.  Kris and I were at Alimagnet Park collecting seeds from various native grasses.  Those seeds will then be dispersed at other prairie restoration projects.  It was easy work – walk around a prairie stripping seeds from plants and put the seeds in a brown grocery bag.  But it was also a beautiful day to be outside!  I hope the other projects were as successful as ours.  We could have gone back to the church afterwards for a congregational meal which would have been fun.  I’m sure there were many stories shared about the day.  But Kris and I chose to go home instead to relieve Papa from his duties and get some house chores done.  Papa had his big truck with him so he and Kris went to our storage facility and loaded up the truck with as much as it would carry.  One more truckload and we should have the storage facility empty.  We only had it for one month but maybe, just maybe, it is what helped us sell our house.  The first showing we had after emptying the basement and closets is the one that made an offer.  Coincidence?  Maybe.


Anyway, we also had a nice drop-in visit from Grandpa and Marcia who were out enjoying the day with a motorcycle ride.  The kids were excited to see them and Annika, who had previously said she was going with Kris and Papa and James to show the new house to Papa, decided to stay home with me and Levi so she could see Grandpa and Marcia some more.  We’d just been out to the new house twice on Saturday so there wasn’t much new for her to see there.  Annika showed off her scooter skills to Grandpa and Marcia and Levi showed off his running away skills.  That kid would just keep walking for days if we let him I think.  He walks to the end of the block, hangs a left on the sidewalk and then just keeps walking some more.  Who knows where he would end up.  And he gets this crazy little devil grin on his face while he’s doing it too.  He knows he’s not supposed to keep walking away from me and yet he does it anyway.  Levi is showing the first signs of stranger anxiety though.  He’s always been my outgoing, happy baby and he still is.  However, if you try to put him in the nursery at church he just cries.  It’s classic 1.5 year behavior, a stage he’ll grow out of, but it’s also heartbreaking!  I don’t want my baby to be sad when I leave him with nice mommies and toys!  So, instead yesterday I just picked him back up and he charmed all the ladies around us during the adult education lecture at church.  I guess it wasn’t so bad after all.  The actual church service is another thing though.  Man, does he get squirrelly during that!


It’s supposed to be a gorgeous week here with temps in the 70′s and 80′s.  I’m sure we’ll have lots of outdoor play time for the kids this week.  We don’t have much else planned so I’m looking forward to it.