Showing posts from 2013

Official return is official

It arrived! EJ's official itinerary for his return flight!

Feb 4 at 6:11 p.m. at Terminal 2 (formerly the Lindbergh terminal).

You are invited to join us at baggage claim to welcome EJ (soon to be Other Jim again) back to civilian life. I will hopefully provide a banner that we can all hold. Someone bring a camera. I'll be too busy hugging EJ.

Upcoming phone calls

I get to talk to my out-of-the-country boys this week! Elder Paul on Tuesday, and Elder Jimmy on Wednesday.

We are so excited! Katie and Christian (and possibly Morgan) will be on facetime with us for Paul's call.

If you have any questions for either Paul or Jimmy, post them in the comments and I will copy them down and pose them to my sons. I will probably forget the answers, but if I don't, I can relay them to you or post answers here.

In other Christmas news, I took the photo for this year's picture ornament of my children. The picture is of whoever is home at Christmas time, and we're down to two kids in the picture this year. It's been nearly 20 years since I had only two kids in the picture.

I didn't get happy cooperation from the participants this year, well at least from one. The other one was happy to oblige with picture-taking.
Time to print the picture out and stick it in the photo frame and put it on the tree.

Anniversary plus 11 days

25 years of marriage! (and 11 days)

If I had a time machine, I would go back to November 19, 1988 and attend a mid-morning session in the Oakland temple, just so I could whisper to the bride "It will be work, but it will be good work and fun work. And it will work."

The bride would probably think, "Go away, strange fat person," but I would smile anyway and then come back home to today and eat a doughnut.

25 years! We've lasted longer than several dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, mattresses, TVs, and many many fashion trends. We've upgraded computers and software, but not our spouses. We have not, however, outlasted our children (which is good--I don't think I want to do that).

I could make a list of all the things I love about Jim, but some things I can't put into words. And some things I wouldn't want to publicize. And still the list would be too long. And I don't like mushy sentimentality. Let it suffice to say that I wouldn&#…

Florida Keys

Jim's eyes are much better. Much much better. I can see the whites of his eyes now, and there is only a little faint pink tint to them. He's feeling much better too. He still gets tired at the end of the day, but hopefully with the Thanksgiving break he'll get some rest.

I'm trying to be philosophical about having nearly 48 hours of precious vacation time lost to an illness, but part of me is whiny and wants to go back to make up for lost time. I don't blame Jim at all, mind you. I'm glad his episode was temporary and not, like, Ebola. Next time, though, we will not take a red-eye flight, because Jim literally wound up with red eyes. I'm very grateful that there was help when I needed it, from the EMTs, the hospital staff, and the branch president and his wife from church down in Marathon. I'm glad that Jim was not hurt by the fall (I have myself to thank for that--pat on my own back there for being 2 feet away at the precise moment of the first attack.…

Mattching band and some other things

I don't think I posted pics of Matt actually in his marching band uniform.  At least not on this blog.  I must rectify this.

There. Pictures of Matt, in his marching band uniform, playing his instrument or marching. I'm done here.

Oh wait, not quite. I'm done with Marching Band for this year, but not done with yammering on about my precious charming little children.

I saw a quote on Matt's facebook page--said by Matt himself--that either makes me want to give him a good pounding with a broom, or laugh myself silly. He said "the pro to having twins is that when a guy is trying to steal one baby, you can beat him with the other." Have I said before that he strikes me as kinda weird? Hayley came home from school one afternoon, and the first thing she said to me is: "My friends are telling me things about Matt. Like they are glad he's in Robotics because he's SO funny." (She said this in an accusatory tone)  Oh, the trials and adversity one has…


Family birthday celebrations are getting smaller and smaller. It was weird. Matt had his requested birthday dinner of taco salad, blue and green jello, and strawberries with just Jim and me. Hayley was at work. And the rest of the kids...well, who knows where they were! They all chimed in as much as they could though. Both Elders sent emails wishing little brother a happy birthday, and Mrs. McCall (that is still weird to say!) sent appropriate electronic greetings as well.

Behold, the birthday TARDIC:

So there you go. Matt turned 15.

Today he came home with a smallish box. He said as he opened it to show me what was inside, "This is my assignment for the Halloween dance at school. As a member of the Robotics team, I have to help and they told me I was in charge of these." He opened the box. Tarot cards. (Zombie tarot cards to be exact)


Some older kid is going to show him how to do it, and then he will do Tarot cards at the Halloween dance. I laughed some mor…

Ten things about October 14

1. My mother has complained about me not updating. She is sick of looking at Matt in the tree and all those apples. So here you are, Mother.
2. I hear things while in the shower. Bumps and thumps and noises that I don't hear when I am not showering. I don't know if I'm more paranoid when wet or if we have a poltergeist that gets rowdy only when the house has one occupant who is in the bathroom.
3. Also the cats have taken to following me around constantly. They waited outside the bathroom door while I was showering, and right now, they are sitting in the living room looking at me. It's creeping me out.
4. Happy birthday to Matt.
5. I have a TARDIS cake to finish (TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space and I am thinking of calling this cake a TARDIC--Time and Relative Dimension in Cake. Har)
6. I'm worried about getting the correct color of blue for the TARDIC. Apparently Doctor Who fans are rabid about the correct color of the TARDIS. There is even…

The apples of my eyes

Today was apple-picking day. We have two apple trees in the back yard, one that grows regular sized apples, and one that is some kind of dwarf apple tree that grows smaller sized apples (but they are bigger than crapapples, which, in my estimation, are a total waste of tree. Crabapples are worthless as a fruit because they are too small to do anything with unless you use them to chuck at annoying neighborhood kids to try to get them to leave you alone). 

Both trees are heavily laden this year. The apples have started to drop from the tree, and have become fodder for wasps and lady bugs. The wasps like both kinds of apples, but the lady bugs prefer the dwarf apples. I don't mind sharing a few apples with the insects of southern Minnesota, but just a few. They can have the ones on the ground. I get the ones in the tree, thankyouverymuch. Mine. So I had to pick them before the bugs moved upwards.  (Plus Mike wants my apples and I'm going out to SoDak on Sunday. Gotta have 'em…

I for one welcome our robot overlords

You know how kids have minds of their own? I wanted Katie to play clarinet, and she chose flute. I wanted OJ and Paul to play baseball--and they did for a while and were good at it, but eventually moved on to other things. I wanted Hayley to play clarinet too and try out for drama. She did play clarinet for a bit, but then the weirder bassoon called to her (and now she wants a mandolin or a ukelele or both) and dressing up appeals to her, but not the stage.

I don't mind that the kids ended up doing different things than what I would have chosen for them. I wouldn't have minded if some of them didn't chose to join band (and one of them didn't). I like to see them doing what they enjoy. I learned to like cross country meets and track meets. I enjoyed seeing (and hearing) Katie excel at the flute. I had a good time with Hayley at Meta Con. OJ always has tales to tell of his discing or paintballing adventures.

So Matt. I have encouraged track and field as an option for him…


1. A song sung by Petula Clark
2. which is included in a Reader's Digest songbook which belongs to my mother
3. which I learned to play on the piano
4. I even memorized it and can still play it
5. and it's a place where I ALWAYS get lost.

Always. Even when I have the Tele-Nav app on my phone guiding me.

I had to drive the kids to Meta-Con on the second day we went (on the first day, I convinced Jim that he had to drive us even though he wasn't attending. Jim is remarkably easy to convince to drive me anywhere). I know I tend to get lost downtown so I made sure I had the Tele-Nav on. Jim even pulled up the route on google maps and showed me where to go. When he drove, he went a different route so I couldn't use memory of Saturday's drive to help me (plus, I wasn't paying attention).

I was doing just fine on the drive until I was 500 feet from the parking ramp. I could see it! The problem was I saw it too late and I missed the turn. 

And got lost.

After driving a…

Meta Con

Meta Con. I neglected to write about it. Hayley and two of her friends wanted to go. Meta Con is a convention held in Minneapolis for people who are fanatics of anime, sci-fi, gaming, and who knows what else. The cool thing to do when going to a convention of this kind (and there are many around the US) is dress up. Hayley and her friends decided on "Steampunk" as their theme. There aren't really any characters associated with steampunk; it's more of a style of dress and a literary genre (think sci fi of the Victorian era).

Hayley made her vest and her bloomers (I helped with both, but she did most of the sewing). She and her friends painted nerf guns to look more metallic and wood like (Hayley's "piece" is tiny and in a holster on her left leg).

I went along to chaperone. Not that I didn't trust the kids, but it helps to have an adult around to corral and make suggestions. And to drive.

The kids were pleasant to be around and they didn't balk…

Bell face

I have to show you pictures of the marching band from tonight's high school football game. The band wore shorts and navy/gold t-shirts (most of them). Had they worn their marching band uniforms, giant flat bed trucks would have been needed to haul them in, and recordings would need to be played instead of live music, as they all would have fainted from the heat. (and actually, it's getting cooler. Sort of)

And thus begins the first of several episodes in a new blog series, "Trying to take pictures of Matt in marching band."

I teased Matt (very gently) because when I asked him if he had an appropriate shirt to wear for marching, he said, "Yeah, I'm going to wear my middle school band shirt." I laughed because if I were him, I would have been afraid to wear it for the potential teasing it would bring. Wearing a MIDDLE SCHOOL shirt at a HIGH SCHOOL function? I thought that was just asking to be beat up (except...marching band kids are not known for beating…

I did not get lost

at the MN State Fair.

In fact I was so NOT lost. I was the opposite of lost. A less lost person you could not find at the fair today. I say this because there are people out there who equate me at the state fair with getting lost. I shall not deny that once upon a time, I did get separated, unintentionally, from the people I came to the fair with, which caused consternation and concern, especially on my part. Several times.  BUT no more! I can navigate up and down Dan Patch Ave, through the horticulture/agriculture building, and in and out of the creative arts building.  I can tell the arena from the cattle building and the sheep building, I can pick out the two end points of the sky ride. I know where several of the less disgusting bathrooms are, and I can steer through the crowds in the food building without becoming panicky, and I know which end to exit to get to certain roads.

Jim did his annual stint volunteering at the Little Farm Hands booth with his company, and Matt and I to…

Matt in spats and a hat

But no picture of him in those until football season gets underway.

Some notes on school schedules:

Our high school seems to be having trouble putting together viable schedules for Hayley and Matt this year.

Hayley has overlapping classes--First quarter Concert band goes from like 11-12 and AP Comp goes from 11:30 to 12:30. And she has an open period (unasked for) at the end of the day. Really, high school?

Also, during quarter 2 and 4, Matt has concurrent classes. We really like quarter 4--Spanish and Science for first hour. We were thinking perhaps they are going to teach Science in the Spanish language.

Also also, Matt has been put in the marching band for first quarter, hence the spats and a hat title. As long as I have had kids in this school district, freshmen aren't in marching band unless they are also in Wind Ensemble (like Paul). Matt is not in Wind Ensemble. So I thought, OK fine, they must need trombone players in marching band and then he'll be in the freshman ban…

Flowers and shoes

This morning I went for a walk with Hayley. It was surprisingly easy to get her to come with me. All I had to do was yell down the stairs, "Who wants to go on a walk with me?"

It wasn't a very vigorous walk since both of us had our electronic devices with us. I took flower pictures and Hayley looked up geeky meme funnies.

She didn't complain once or whine in any way. The only disturbing thing she said on the whole walk was "Mom you have a bug on your back." She didn't even laugh as I flailed and shuddered while trying to remove it. Aside from the bug, it was a nice walk.

Here are some of my flower pictures.

And a shoe picture. You'll have to guess whose shoes are whose.