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Showing posts from July, 2008

Ignoring the laundry

The call of the internet is a siren's song. I can't stay away from my bloggie! I'm at an internet cafe in Durango while Jim is doing laundry. I'm such a bad wife, you say. I'm being a nice wife, I say, because I am letting Jim spend quality time with his two sisters at a laundromat without the pesky annoyance of a fifth wheel of a wife.

Note to Cindy: Jim Sr. seems to be doing just fine. He didn't go with us to Mesa Verde, but spent a pleasant afternoon in the quiet lodge (only four people stayed behind) and napped. The jam is heavenly, by the way!

No pictures for you, but I promise a massive picture dump (or series of them) when I get back to MN.

Josh and Courtney, I'll ask Megan for your number and address and call you re: stopping by for a hello, but I'll have to check with our caravan members to see how much time we can spare. I'm glad to know you live right off the freeway. Megan, we will be expecting you! About 30 mi north of Durango…

Art on the road

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'nother blog entry from on the road.
I’m sitting in the passenger seat, with a beach towel over my head and over the computer, like a tent, so I can see the computer screen. Dang sunshine is too bright for me to see the screen. So I have to hide. I just finished watching a movie on the little DVD player and thought I would blog a little bit. Can’t post til later though.
We met up with Mike and Jen and Annie and Mimi this morning. Annie calls me “Aunt Jenni.” We haven’t seen them since Easter. We stopped for lunch near Kearney at a rest stop. Annie immediately spotted the “playground,” which consisted of some green plastic cylinders with holes in them through which a little child might crawl. She was very excited and ran up to me to say, “Aunt Jenni! If you want, you can take your kids over to the playground!” I had a good laugh. None of my kids have wanted to go to a playground for a few years. I did ask them if anyone wanted to go play, just in case they were interested. But teen…

On the Road with Technology

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Raise your hand if you love technology.
I am writing this post on Katie’s little green Dell in the car on the way to Colorado. We don’t have a wifi connection, but I can type it into the computer, save it on my flash drive, and then when we find a place with free wifi, I can upload this to the shoebox castle. Matt is playing Nintendo DS and listening to a cd on a cd player. Paul is also playing DS and listening to music on his mp3 player. Katie and Jimmy are watching a movie on a portable DVD player together and Jim and I are listening to an Eagles cd. We had hooked my iPod to the car stereo and were listening to that, but then Katie and Jimmy needed the car outlet. OK—new idea for car designers: more outlets in the car. Each of us has probably three devices that need charging in the car and having just ONE outlet is not enough to handle our electrical needs.
The DVD is keeping Katie quiet. She’s been at YW camp for nearly a week, so she had a lot to tell us. She chattered non-stop fro…

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

1. Shoulda been cleaning the house and packing for our trip. But instead I had a great time mending a fence. That fence needed mending for a while now, and now that it is put back together, I must say those that worked on it did a good job. No picture of the fence, though. Proverbial fences don't photograph very well.

2. Coulda eaten ice cream last night for dessert. Ate generic cheerios instead. Let me tell you, generic cheerios are no substitute for ice cream.

3. Woulda posted about trying on shoes at Target just for fun, but computer and phone STILL aren't talking.

So much to do today. I'd better get on it. Posting may not happen again until August 4th. Hang tight until then, my little cyber friends.

I'll be seeing some of you in COLORADO! Safe driving to all of you!

PS. If any of you run across a musical called "Urinetown," it is worth seeing in spite of the title. I saw it last night with a bunch of ladies from church because a friend of ours i…

New Series of posts.....or not

I had a fab post with pictures about shoes all lined up last night but my stupid phone and stupid computer aren't speaking to each other again. They are both being stubborn and no amount of cajoling and explaining will get them to talk. *shakes fist at computer* *shakes fist at cell phone*

So because of that, you all get an explanation of one of the Evans family's favorite stock movie or TV phrases. (This might be a new series of posts). I recognize that explanation tends to remove all traces of humor from the funniest joke, but that's what you get when your phone and computer won't talk to each other.

"Go Packers! Wooo Packers!" (must be said in somewhat of a stupified voice)

The big boys and I say this to each other a lot. Anytime anyone mentions the Green Bay Packers or anything to do with Wisconsin (and being so NEAR to the cheesehead state, we are given many opportunities to hear WI mentioned). Or if anyone is excited about something we say it.

Why d…

Countdown to Durango

We leave in two days. We drive for three days, we play for five days! We drive for two days, then we wish we were still on vacation for several months.

Ten things to pack:
1. The usual stuff: clothing, sleeping bags, medicines, pillows, toiletries
2. My neck pillow for the car ride. I like to sleep in the car (but Jim won't let me drive while I'm sleeping).
3. DVD player. Nothing says "vacation in a rustic lodge in the Colorado Rockies" like watching movies on a small screen.
4. The kids. I'd hate to leave any of them at home.
5. Recipe for the eclair dessert. Don't know if I'll use it, but just in case... And the recipe doesn't take up much room. I'll buy the ingredients when I get there.
6. Games. Should I bring Werewolves of Miller's Hollow? It's a game for a large group of people (especially teenagers).
7. Travel diary. You never know when one of your vacation companions will do or say something really funny and you just HAVE …

Jimmy's camp pictures

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I don't think I posted much about Jimmy going to Scout camp earlier this month. So that's what I will post today--pictures from his trip. The camp he went to offered many activities--sort of mini High Adventures for every day of the week. Jim went with for a few days and said that he'd recommend the camp to other groups.

I don't have much explanation for the pictures (I just wanted to post SOMETHING today and life was boring yesterday so when I saw these pictures on the computer, I thought "I'll post these!") since I wasn't there, but I might add a comment or two.

The campers (Jimmy, Ethan, Dan, and Dan's dad, who came up on Wednesday to relieve Jim, who went for the first three or four days)
Camp breakfast of Champions:
"Why yes, I do miss my wife. But this can of pop will keep me company for now."
Getting ready to go out on a sailboat. He never works this hard at home!
Jumping Rope: He's doing it wrong.
Ropes course. He looks like h…

What's that popping noise?

I looked in the microwave and what did I spy?
Peas a-poppin' right before my eye.
The garden has grown me a handful of green,
And I wrecked them all by cooking them in that machine.
I had picked a handful of sweet green peas,
To eat with my lunch of salad and cheese,
It's not at all fair, cuz now I have no pods,
And my microwave is covered in hard green clods.

(Sung to the tune of "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree")

Reason #1 not to cook freshly picked peas in the microwave: see above.

A little bit of the beach over my shoulder

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I finished my purse! Here's a picture with my hand for perspective. It's a small purse, but I've managed to cram all my junk in it so it'll do.
I love beachiness almost as much as I love shoes (have I mentioned that I love shoes? Cuz I do.) I have a seashell-themed bathroom (cliche, I know, but dangit, I love the color and look of shells. I love the beach. Too bad I live as far inland from the beaches as possible. And lake beaches, much as I like them, DO NOT COMPARE) and I have cross-stitched wall hangings of seashells. I have a lovely shell-and-beach-themed necklace/bracelet/earring set (you can see the bracelet in the picture above), made for me by my seester (who lives quite a bit closer to a beach than I do). The color of the yarn was the blue I used in my beachy bathroom, and while looking for things I could embellish my purse with, I saw the seashell buttons. Hence my beachy purse.
The felting process made the yarn quite sturdy. For the next purse …

A Giant Victory! Also a Cubbie loss, and a blue bag

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Woohoo! (or in cyberspeak, "w00t!)

The Giants--baseball team of Jimmy and Paul--made it to the league championship game! (lest you think that that is a major feat, there are only 5 teams in their league. however, to get to the championship game, they had to defeat the heavy-hitting and fast-pitching Pirates, which they TOTALLY did)

And they won!

Jimmy watches a ball go by after it hits the dirt in front of the plate. 2 points if you spot the ball. 1 point if you can spot the dust cloud caused by the ball hitting the dirt.
Paul hits the ball. 3 points if you can spot the ball
Paul at third. See the score? We're the home team. The other team eventually scored one run, but it wasn't enough. The final score was 15 to 1.
Jimmy gets his medal and is pronounced "Pitching Savior " of the team. Coach sort of gave everyone on the team a name like that: Mr. Instinct, Most Improved... etc. Jimmy was the star pitcher of the team. He pitched in nearly every game. He b…

To him the glass is not only half full, but it's THE BEST EVER half-full glass

Last night began baseball tournaments for our three boys. Jimmy and Paul were major players in their teams' success. Both boys pitched and contributed runs and hits. Jim basecoached with such enthusiasm and excitement as he could muster, and I wasn't there to see it.

I was at Matt's game. Dear runty, nonathletic Matt. He's the smallest kid on the team (despite being among the oldest). He has little natural talent. Most of the guys on his team already throw accurately and have the major league batting stances. Regardless of his lack of skill, Matt eagerly anticipates every single game and practice. He chatters away enthusiastically with the coach and anyone else who will even half listen. And he does try hard. He never gets angry at striking out or missing a ball in the field.

So last night, as the game began, Matt ran over to me to say, "Mom, I'm the best bench coach! This is the fourth time I've bench coached this season!" I was a little s…

Ten Things at the Zoo

1. I took fake child and Matt to the MN zoo today. It rained the whole time we were there so we couldn't go to the outside trails, which was the WHOLE REASON I WANTED TO GO. Stupid rain. We visited all the indoor exhibits and then I gave up and we got in the car. Not two minutes later, it stopped raining. *shakes fist at sky*

2. I forgot my camera so I didn't get any good pictures of zoo time.

3. The Komodo dragon at the zoo was walking around. That's the first time I've seen it move in all the times I've been there.

4. We saw one giant turtle biting on the head of a gianter turtle. Little kids around us claimed they were kissing. With that kind of kissing, teenagers would have chunks missing from their faces and necks.

5. I resisted the urge to buy Matt anything.

6. Fake child was well-behaved and Matt had a good time being the "older sibling" (older fake sibling, of course).

7. The color-changing cuttlefish are super cool!

8. The gray wolves …

She's gonna be popular

Katie is in Chicago. She's with two friends from church; they all drove down to Chitown to see Wicked. Kate texted me during intermission and said that the show is even better than she expected. I could tell she was all atwitter and a-flutter with love for the show. She listens to the soundtrack all the time. After the show, she and her two trip mates flung themselves at the actors in loving adoration (at least Katie did. I don't know if Karissa or Joanna did--Joanna is a very sensible and mature person; she is closer to my age than to Katie's) and got autographs.

I don't know how Joanna got roped into going, but I'm glad she did. Like I said, Joanna is sensible and mature, and she probably brought many helpful suggestions to the planning of the trip. And she gets hotel discounts and a free rental car (which they drove to Chicago) because she works in the hospitality industry.

This is Katie's first real adult trip. She's not with a large band doing…

Massive birthday picture dump

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Sit tight, kiddos; it's going to be a long ride. Are you up for it? Warning: viewing the entire contents of this post might cause a stupor, and one serving size contains 1541 calories.

The team sings Happy Birthday to Paul. He's in the middle, wearing the Skullcandy shirt.

The official cake of the 14th annual celebration of Paul's birth:
Paul wanted Reese's Mini cups and M&Ms on his cake. So that's what he got. Here we are, looking through the field of candy, with the forest of striped candles up ahead. I feel like Hansel or Gretel. Mostly Gretel. Watch out for evil witches!
The blaze of light put out by 14 candles.
The official portrait of Paul with his cake.And the official portrait of Paul with his new shoes. The Sauconny Kilkenny racing shoes and the Adidas Supernovas. I want a pair of Supernovas so I can tell people that I'm wearing a pair of major astronomical events on my feet.
Paul shows us the device used to attach the spikes to the Kilkenny rac…

The middle child finally gets some attention

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Paul is 14! Happy birthday, Paul-i-wog!

First we must attend to the birthday retrospective montage. Here is Paul with his classic "What??" look. He was only two months old and he had already developed it masterfully.

Paul likes to sleep--always has and still does. Sadly, the bucket does not fit his head anymore. For several months, Paul wore the bucket around. We called him "Bucket Head."
Now, a facial comparison. Here is Paul at age 2.
Paul at age 14.
And the reason this post is so late (can't believe it's already 2 p.m.)--this morning we had to go to St. Paul to get these:
We haven't had shoes on the shoebox castle lately, so I had to put up a picture of Paul's birthday present--his cross-country racing shoes. The spikes aren't in because, even though our carpet is old and yucky, I would feel very sorry for it if Paul tore it up with his spikes. These shoes are incredibly light. He also got another pair of running shoes, which are stri…

New online toy

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Found Wordle.net on someone's blog. Put my own bloggie into the cybermachine and changed color and font and, voila (or as I like to say it, vee-ol-a, or Vi-o-la, if I'm thinking about former Twins pitcher, Frank Viola. I do think of him so often. And Jack Morris), this image pops on screen. It's addicting...

Bad poetry, birthdays, and The Glenwood apartments

Monday, Monday,
Start-of-the-week day
When we work from dawn to dusk.

By the time that
Monday's over,
All that's left of me's a burned-out husk.

(Sung to the tune of Sunday, Monday)

Not really. I spend too much time blogging to be a burnt out husk at the end of the day. My quadriceps are the only part of me that is burning at the moment. I went on a bike ride this morning and since I got back, my quads have done nothing but complain. Whiners. But I must get into bike-riding shape so I can ditch the van on grocery trips to Aldi's. (like that will happen. I'd have to buy some sort of wagon that would attach to the back of the bike so I could haul the groceries home. And by the time I reached Aldi's, I'd probably be too tired to shop, much less bike back home with groceries for a large family)

Heads up: Paul's 14th birthday is tomorrow! He wants cross country running shoes for his birthday so we will go to St. Paul to the running shoes store and get him …

Putting money where my mouth is (or my hands, or my brain)

I signed up for another college class. This time, I will be torturing myself with Creative Writing (insert foreboding organ music with lots of 32' stop sound here. Or even the Phantom of the Opera organ music. That's foreboding, but COOL). I'll have to show proficiency in the arts of poetry, personal essay, and short story.

I like to pretend that I'm a writer, as you can probably tell from my copious posts here at the shoebox castle (the only castle wall that allows writing on it). But this class scares me. Just pretending to be a writer doesn't count in college.

So far, during this stint "in college" (independent study), I have taken PE (I love telling people that I took a homestudy PE class!), Organ, Geography, Humanities--Ancient to the Renaissance, Modern English Usage (academese for Grammar), Persuasive Writing, and Old Testament (I go to Brigham Young University where 14 hours of religious classes are required. This finished that requiremen…

Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.

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Jim called me from work this evening and told me to look at the clouds outside; the sky had the cool mammatus clouds going on and I went out to have a look. Looking at cloud formations has always been somewhat of a nerdy hobby of ours.
So having looked at the cloudery, I toddled off to the back yard because I saw something a little odd at a level more closely associated with ground. Paul had set up this contraption--that thing in the middle with the flowery pattern on it is a former dining chair seat cushion. The large beam on the ground is from the old swingset. The wooden x in the back is, I believe, from the compost bin.

Guess what Paul was doing with it?

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...

Go ahead, guess!

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He was doing this:
which resulted in this:
If you click on this picture, you can see an arrow in flight. It's the red blur on the left side of the picture. We had a seriously cool storm rumble through this evening. The gigantic anvil cloud overshadowed the whole area, looking much like the invadin…