Monday, February 13, 2017

Grand children

Jim and I had Jackson and Emma for the weekend. It was good to be up close and personal grandparents for three full days. Boy, they were full days. Jim and I did nothing else but tend to them. Even sleeping was weird because we went to sleep knowing the baby would get up in the middle of the night at some point but we weren't sure when. It's weird to always be on the lookout. It's been a long time since we've had a baby wake us up. And it's been a long time since we've had to focus so much attention on children. It was a reminder of what it was like to be a young parent, only we had old people bodies to use instead of young people bodies. Not complaining, though. I'm glad we said we would babysit.

It was almost tough to hand Jackson and Emma over to the other grandparents for the next three days, because I was pretty close to deciding to adopt them because they are just so darn cute. I enjoyed hearing Jackson say "Hi Gramma" at random times. I always answered with "Hi Jackson" and that satisfied him for a few minutes. And we got to watch Emma pull herself up to stand for the first time, the little imp!

Some pictures:
everything goes into her mouth

He fell asleep to Truck Tunes

grasping a banana puff

Her eyes. She usually had her eyes on whoever was nearest. 

at the zoo, watching the penguins

at the zoo with his "penny" which he swiped from his mother's coin holder in her van, which we were using. (His penny was a quarter)

After the zoo

sink time

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Matt doing things

Matt has been busy with school and robotics. For not seeing a lot of him, I was able to take lots of pictures.
Here Matt is working on a project for "A Tale of  Two Cities" for English class. It's a guillotine made of yarn. A most ineffective guillotine, if you ask me.

The finished guillotine. He says there is symbolism in the use of yarn and the colors of the yarn. It looks like a dream catcher. He got 28 out of 30 on his presentation, and apparently the teacher said he's good at BSing. I asked him why the teacher said that and he explained that his project broke during the presentation and he found a way to incorporate the breakage into his symbolism explanation. 

Matt poses for the camera before his band concert

the pre-band concert grimace

You can never get a good picture of a short trombonist. You can only see half his head. 

The Wind Ensemble plays "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas." This is either the third or fourth time I've heard this played at t a PLHS band concert. Usually they have a kid dress up as Elvis and I was hoping Matt would be such an Elvis, what with his ability to form an Elvis pompadour with his hair, but they did a Power Point instead.  

Matt and a friend did offer a celebratory toast during the song (Matt borrowed stemmed glassware from our house for this)

And now we move on to Robotics. Matt's natural habitat, the Cave.

He is wearing his safety glasses this time (the one time he didn't wear safety glasses, he had to go to Urgent Care for the removal of a small piece of metal debris from his eyeball. It happened last week)

Working on the competition bot. Notice that it is painted red. He pointed that out. 
He's graduating from high school at the end of the school year, and I'm both excited for him and sad for myself.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Como conservatory

First big crossing off of something on my celebrating 50th year list: going to the Como Park Conservatory. It's a gloomy, foggy, misty Saturday in Minnesota, but the conservatory was a day brightener. The tropics room was nice and warm too.

Before we went to the conservatory, Jim picked out a cafe for breakfast (which turned out to be more of a brunch because we got there at around 11), Key's Cafe. Jim had a Mexican omelet and I had Eggs Benedict with a side of avocado. The place was packed. While we waited, the staff put out samples to keep us happy. I had a delicious bite of cinnamon roll, and Jim tried the gingersnap cookie bite that was offered. The food was good, but they forgot my avocado and we had to remind them. But it was still good.

Then we had only a mile or so from the cafe to the park. I had gone on field trips in elementary school to the Como conservatory, so the place has changed. Lots more has been added. But the part I remember is smaller that it was last time I was there (or I'm bigger). Anyway, the plants are gorgeous as expected. It was nice to walk around and see so much green during a gloomy winter day.

turtles in the tropical room

There was a sloth up in one of the tropical room trees! No cage. I think he was being watched over by some park employees. But really, he was very close to us.

little yellow bird

this looks like leaves on leaves

these paperwhites filled up the sunken garden with their aroma

I love the cyclamen! The leaves have such interesting patterns on them.

I have no idea what this is, but it was eye-catchingly bright orange

Lady's slipper orchid

And that was only a small sampling of the vegetation we saw. Our trip wasn't too long, but it was worth it, at least for me. If I don't cross things off a list, I don't do anything. I have a hard time doing anything spontaneously because I'd rather just stay home. My 50th year celebration list is getting me out of the house. Besides, I saw some of the women's march protesters waiting for buses to take them to St Paul for the Trump protest. I wanted to wave to them all and go march with them, but we had this trip planned already. Anyway, my heart was lifted to see the pink hats out in force! Maybe I should add attend a protest or a rally to my 50th year list.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January picture dump

It's quiet again after the college kiddies left. Big news, Hayley is engaged! She has grown up quite a bit capability-wise since she left for college, but it's still weird to have many years of memories of a little girl coalesce into an adult that is independent and different that what you might have thought she was going to be. Anyway, we like Austin a lot and they seem to be happy together. (We also knew it was coming)

Hayley is bleaching Katie's hair in prep for Katie eventually dying some of her hair purple. I like seeing my children do things together.

Sleeping Emma

Sleeping Jackson

Sleeping Granddaddy, sleeping Emma, and sleeping Jackson

The work-in-progress stage of my Tom Servo ornament. I have since finished cross-stitching it, but I guess I didn't take a picture.


Mittens I finished knitting

Grandchildren in the kitchen

Sleepy Emma

Magic is trying to tell me to give him more food.

He looks like he's pouting.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I never take very many pictures on Christmas

But I have to post something. All 5 kids are in Minnesota, the last college kid arrived from Korea on Friday. The house seems smaller, even smaller than it did when all of them were kids and lived here permanently. But that's ok. We still manage to eat, sleep, talk, watch movies, do laundry, laugh, and hang out so house size isn't that big of a deal. 

all 5 babies home. We are playing games on the TV. JackboxTV thing that Jimmy has. I like the drawing one the best. 

I put out a plate of cheese and crackers after church on Christmas day, and the kids make short work of it. 

Matt and his robotic arm. 

Hayley brought home a face mask for me to try. It effected great beauty on my face, but I didn't really get the hang of plastering it to my face with minimal wrinklage. I think my face is too short. Hayley fared much better. 
Christmas day was less relaxing than I like, mostly because it fell on a Sunday and I am the ward music director, and I had a lot of musical fingers in the pie during the one meeting we had. Katie had even more than I did so I'm sure she was way more stressed. Anyway, I played prelude, the opening hymn, sang a solo (with Katie playing the flute), directed the choir, and accompanied the RS choir. I would prefer to do less on Christmas day, but at least Christmas on a Sunday doesn't happen very often. And maybe next time I won't be ward music director. Also, the bishop mixed up the musical numbers so we went out of order from the program, but that was a small thing. I do like a lot of music for Christmas based sacrament meetings, so of course it was all beautiful. The congregation sang heavenly and loudly for all the hymns. Of course we all know and love Christmas hymns, but I just get a special tingle up my arms hearing all of us singing joyfully together. The other bothersome thing about Christmas on a Sunday was that it was right in the middle of the day (1 p.m.) and that made me anxious about getting a holiday dinner ready. In the end it all worked out. We had a good time with all the kids and grandkids and kid-in-law. Jackson LOVED Hayley's lava lamp.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Back from gone to Korea

Hayley's home! 

When we got to the airport, we asked which door she would be at, and she said 3. So as I got to baggage claim, I watched as door 1 went by, then 2, then 4.... No 3! I parked the car by door 5 and sent Paul and Jimmy in. She had mistaken baggage carousels for doors and was down by door 6 (which was by carousel #3). But all is well, we've had breakfast at IHOP (she missed breakfast foods while in Korea) and we are home now, and she is using a normal shower for the first time in 4 months.

There she is!

The boys were a big help with the luggage

Happy to be in the USA


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Seven squared

I didn't take many pictures on my birthday. Not of my cake, not of my husband making the cake, or of the two children of mine who were around. Instead, I took selfies with the cutest lil' munchkin I know: my granddaughter. That's what was important on my birthday.

I took a video of my grandson playing with my nativities, which was adorable, and I would post it, but this template and the saved videos on my phone don't get along.

Since this next year of my life is my 50th year, I decided to make a list of things to do to celebrate being on this earth that long.

My list:
1. Visit my sister who now lives in Memphis. We will go to Graceland. I'm not an Elvis fan, but if you go to Memphis to visit, you go to Graceland. You can't go to Memphis and NOT go to Graceland.

2. Go on a hike, possibly along the Mississippi River. I have a book that lists 60 hikes within 2 hours of the Twin Cities, which I will use to choose where I go.

3. Tour the James J Hill House. Maybe even during the holidays next year when it's done up in holiday decorations?

4. Go to a Saints game in their new stadium. (This was Jim's suggestion, can you tell? Given that I'm going to do a lot of these things with him, it makes sense to make one or two of them something he would enjoy)

5. Visit the Walker Art Museum.

6. Go to a show at First Avenue (this list is not necessary a list of things I have never done, like this one--I have seen exactly one show at First Avenue. They Might Be Giants. It's more a list of things that if I have done them before, I haven't done them enough, or when I did them, they were so enjoyable, I wanted to do them again)

7. Tour the Bachman Idea House

8. Go to Devil's Kettle Falls/Upper Falls in Judge Magney state park. The waterfall where half the water goes down a hole and no one knows where it leads.

9. Possibly on the same trip as #8, get my passport stamped in Canada.

10. Go to Como Park Conservatory. It's been too long. Possibly since elementary school.

11. Cross-stitch a little Christmas ornament every month (this one will be tough not because it's cross stitch, but because I'm having myself do it monthly. Tough to start new projects and get them done in one month)

12. create 2 pages of quiet book activities for Jackson and Emma.

13. Read scriptures at dinner no matter if any children are home.

14. Do one thing (create something, read something, visit something, cook something) from a different Pinterest board every month. I've even made a list. January will be adding to my car survival kit from a site I pinned to my Prepper Wannabe board.

That's my list. I love making lists. We'll see how many of these I can cross off. Trip to Memphis might be in the latter part of April, The Judge Magney state park thing will be a summer trip. Not on this list are things I know I will be doing, like graduating a senior, and then taking him out to college, and things that are not in my control, like perhaps a wedding, both of which will use up vast quantities of my energy and time.

Bring it on, 50th year!