Showing posts from June, 2010

Paul is a masochist

For cross country practice, he ran 13 (THIRTEEN!) miles yesterday on a lark.

Then also yesterday he played paintball with OJ and some friends. This is what he got from that:

See the faint welt mark? That was only one of many welts from the paintballs hitting him.

Here are two more on his side. He said he had a fun day.

Running away can be a good thing

Yesterday, Jim suggested that we take a day trip up to Gooseberry Falls. It was nice to get out of town and enjoy some Minnesota scenery.

Would you like to look at a bunch of pictures? I don't feel guilty about posting a wad of pictures because my mother's computer and internet access is up to the task of showing all of them to her.

And the rest of you, you're welcome to look at them too.

A little visitor to our picnic at a rest stop. Matt jumps across the rocks
Kids can't resist climbing around in dangerous areas. I took pictures to calm my nerves.

Jim waves hello from down below.

We liked the exposed tree roots
Gooseberry Falls
Pathway to Lake Superior
At the mouth of the river.
Skipping rocks
Lake Superior is on the other side of those rocks
The North Shore
Proof that I was there tooMatt waded into the lake, but ran out shortly after because the water was FREEZING!

Matt picks rocks out of his toes while Hayley relaxes with her mouth open. Truly an AWESOME picture!
The rocky …

Summertime fun

Now that school is out, the kids are enjoying the summer weather and many, many summer activites!

Activities such as:

sleeping with a fan
sleeping with giant pillows
sleeping in an actual bed
running for cross country practice

This morning by the numbers

Number of times I shrieked out loud today: 4
Number of times I shrieked out loud because of an earwig running around in a laundry basket: 1
Number of times I shrieked out loud because of a huge, gross, dead spider in the sink: 1
Number of times I shrieked out loud because of a large, floundering moth: 1
Number of times I shrieked out loud because an aglet hit my arm while on a walk: 1
Number of times I thought the aglet was a giant, hideous, evil, flying insectoid killing machine: 1
Number of times someone (a passing jogger) heard me shriek out loud and politely ignored it so as to lessen my embarrassment: 1
Number of times a child laughed at me for shrieking out loud: 3

Hayley needs a time out.

And the bugs need to leave me alone.

And aglets need to announce in verbal and written form of their intention to bang on my arm like a deer fly after a blood snack so I don't freak out in public.

PS: The cat ate the moth--right in front of me. Gross! (Servo--now go get the earwig!)

I wanted in on the sticker action

The summer job chart has been a mainstay here in the shoebox castle for probably ten years. It started out as a way to help a certain child retain some of the schooling from the previous school year. The job chart included school subjects like math, writing, and geography but it also included chores.

I included the chores so that I could teach the kids how to clean (in reality, I included them so that I could be driven crazy by kids who are reluctant to do chores, do them badly, or complain about chores, evil mothers, and homework during the summer. And yet, I'm still implementing the system. You would have thought I'd have learned my lesson by now).

This summer, so far only Matt and Hayley have participated in the job system, only because Other Jim and Paul have been gone for nearly a week and half to EFY (last week) and the church history trek (they'll be back tomorrow). I eagerly await their return so that I can get a full rotation of jobs done around the house!

I rea…

From the Stone Age

I've been slowly sorting through all the letters I received from friends and family when I was in college. It's been an ongoing project (and will continue to go on for several months) because I wrote tons of letters back in the days before blogs, emails, and facebook. I think I judged my personal worth on the contents of my mailbox back then. I wrote anybody who would write back to me. I have a letter from people I worked with at my high school job--people I could only vaguely remember.

It saddens me that I don't keep in touch via letters with anybody anymore, except my family. I miss Karen, my roommate from my freshman year; I miss Michelle, my buddy from my honors colloquium college class; I miss Wendy, one of my roommates from my sophomore year. I miss Bobbie from high school too, even though she only lives 40 minutes away from me. Bobbie was a diligent penpal when I was in college and in my early years of marriage.

I miss letter-writing in general. I might write …

Ferocious nature

While driving home from church last night, Hayley, Matt, and I spotted a fox! It was standing in the road. At first we thought it was a really skinny cat, but as we got closer, it was obviously a red fox. We drove past after it trotted into a yard to avoid the car, but it stood in the yard and watched us pass.

When we got home, Jim helped me unload all the stuff from the car (I am now a leader in the Young Women's organization at church and I don't pack light) and as I was standing outside, I heard Matt yell out to us that the fox was now in our yard.

I ran around to the side, but it had already gone to the other side of the yard. I went back to the driveway just in time to see the fox gallop through our front yard and across the street.

I wonder where it lives? My neighbor has mentioned the fox before so it probably lives close by.
And I wonder if it is the reason I haven't seen any bunnies this year (go fox!)?

Post-party foggy brain

Summer is officially here and I'm still cleaning up from the party. My brain is refusing to participate in clean-up. I may have to give it a time-out and/or a severe spanking.

I'm taking a break from cleaning out the catch-all cupboard in the dining room to blog.

But without my brain (which has run off to the park to pout), I cannot blog thoughtfully (have I ever?).

So I'm falling back on my standby of listing ten things.

Ten things after OJ's graduation party:

1. Post-party clean-up takes a LOT longer than pre-party cleanup.
2. Eating cupcakes takes a LOT shorter than making and decorating them.
3. Don't forget about eggs that you've set on the stove to hard-boil. I blame the brain for the burnt eggs smell that permeates the house now (going on day two). Stupid stupid forgetful brain.
4. My kids have developed "anyone but Mom" game strategies while playing Killer Bunnies with me. I fear for the life of my bunnies.
5. OJ and Paul are gone to EFY. It'…

Graduation picturation

It's official: I have only three little children left. Other Jim has made the transition from kid to young adult. He has a high school diploma.

We took a few pictures before the ceremony. Jim wasn't there because Paul had to be at the school early for band and Jim drove him.

OJ and me:
Aunt Jenni is being serious and contemplating matters of the universe. OJ is being "cool."
Aunt Jenni and OJ and Grandma
Paul in the band. He spent most of the time talking to his french horn player neighbor.
The sea of blue
OJ receives his diploma after hearing his (rather long) name read over the loudspeaker.
Third and fourth:
Grandparents Hawley and OJ
Happy family!

Party pictures

I didn't get very many pictures of Other Jim during the party. He was working the crowd, as was I and we seldom crossed paths. But when I did see him, he was being a good party host and smiling and talking to our guests.

Party pics:

Cupcakes. Close to 8 dozen of them. Kate and Other Jim's friend Rissa decorated them all. I must give them a big blog thank you for all their help.

Rissa and Katie got bored writing the same old platitudes on the cupcakes, so they came up with alternative wordage, such as:There was another cupcake with the word "FAIL" on it. I had a good laugh.

One of the display boards was a collage of OJ's school pictures:
Here is another display board:

And yet a third display. Yes, I have taken many pictures of OJ.
The cake had a miniature frisbee golf hole on it that I made myself out of a cupcake liner container, a McD's medium drink lid, a straw, an old silver ring, some silver embroidery floss, and a kabob skewer. Necco wafers served …

Countdown: Lots of dishes

Last day of the countdown: Katie was a big big help with cupcakes; party was a success; tonight is graduation!

I have dishes to do--lots and lots of dishes--so I don't have time to post pictures yet. Maybe this afternoon.

Pray for dry weather for south of the Twin Cities so that we can all go to the graduation ceremony tonight! Praying worked for the party last night, so prayer does work! The rain held off until the wee hours of the night but the party was dry and cool!

Countdown: Too much to do to blog

Katie's here, party tomorrow, graduation in two days.

I have way too much to do. I'd better do it.

See you tomorrow, if you're coming.

Countdown: Piddly tasks

Piddly tasks like cleaning out dresser drawers. I don't know what cleaning out dresser drawers has to do with party prep or graduation, but I made the little kids do it last night anyway. Matt filled three plastic grocery bags with clothing he has no use for anymore, and Hayley filled two. Now I won't have to hear anymore complaints about dressers not being big enough for all the clothes they have to put away.

Plus Other Jim, who has a legitimate complaint about not enough room for his clothes, will get two drawers in Matt's dresser (drawers which were formerly filled with Lego sets and action-figure-type toys) and more space on a bookshelf because of some recent cleaning. OJ has previously used my laundry baskets to store his clothes that won't fit in his admittedly small dresser and therefore I was always scrounging around for laundry baskets. I hope this cleaning and purging makes scrounging unnecessary. (not likely)

Katie arrives late tonight, party in 2 days, …

Countdown: Seminary

Katie arrives tomorrow (late)! 3 days til the party, 4 days til graduation!

Other Jim graduated from seminary yesterday. Four years he has gotten up early to go to seminary before heading off to school. I can't say he was always on time (in fact, this last quarter he had over 20 tardies--the naughty boy!), but he usually went with a smile.

I went to the last day of seminary on May 28th--yes, I got up at 5:30 a.m.--to help out with the breakfast. I took a few pictures too.

It was a large class. Paul is in the picture too. He's just finished his second year of seminary.
Here is the group of seniors who graduate with their two teachers. I like both these ladies very much.
And of course, they have to goof around.
Last night was the actual graduation with seminary seniors from all over the stake. I was so proud of my son when they called his name to receive his diploma. I truly do not know what changed his feelings toward church from elementary into middle school and on to h…