Showing posts from 2015


Random pictures from the last month or two:

 From Thanksgiving:


My house will be certified organic sometime in early December! No, I'm not removing pesticides. I'm getting an organ!

My mom taught me piano, most of the time not formally. I did go to a piano teacher for a couple years when I was 14-15, but I already knew the basics and was playing songs here and there. Then my mom got called to be the organist for our congregation, even though she had no experience (hello Mormonism). She tried to get me to play the organ and I had NO interest. I rolled my eyes AND threw my head back in exasperation.

Then when I was 36, I was called to be the organist in our congregation even though I have had no experience and never wanted any experience (hello, still Mormonism). But God had other plans. And He knew I would like it once I got over not knowing how to play it. I love playing Christmas hymns especially. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" with the chimes, especially especially.

I did take organ lessons for a year as part of an indepe…

Still crazy after all these years

I don't get poetry or most song lyrics. I try to deconstruct them, but what I infer from each individual line or thought in lyrics doesn't seem to ever coalesce into one theme. (Except for the song "I Wanna Hold your Hand." I think I've got that one figured out)

Take my post title. I was casting about for a good line to use as a header for a post about being married a while, and this line "Still crazy after all these years" popped into my head. (don't judge. Paul Simon was a major contributor to my early teenage years. Hello, "One Trick Pony" and "Slip Sliding Away," which was my first introduction to music other than what my mom had in her record collection and never played--fodder for another post).

So I thought I would look up the lyrics for this song to see if it applied. Hmmm, not so much (look them up yourself). The individual line applies, ya know, still crazy (for each other, in love, googly-eyes, etc) after all these yea…

And the band played on

The second to last high school indoor marching band concert that we will attend as band parents was November 9. Our lone public school attendee, Matt, was decked out in his marching band finest (new uniforms this year!) for the show.

 First, some perspective:Matt got his trombone just six years ago, in 2009.

And now, the pictures from his recent band concert:

One more thing, this was one of those concerts that I knew was coming but wasn't sure of the date. So Monday morning, on the 9th, Matt said, "Oh yeah, I have a band concert tonight." Sigh. I was trying so hard to be on top of band concerts, but I guess we're off to a bad start. At least Jim and I were free that evening.

There is one spider I don't mind

Mom read Charlotte's Web to Jenni and me when we were little. Even though I could read, I enjoyed the nights Jenni and I got to crawl into bed with Mom, and be read to. Mom is a good out-loud reader. She didn't do voices, necessarily, but she did do emotion. It's an experience that I am sad to say I did not carry on. I don't know why. I did try to read to my children--the Harry Potter books--but my kids never really got into it like I thought they should. Or maybe I didn't make it special enough. Or maybe HP was too long. I don't know.

Anyway, I have fond enough memories of Charlotte's Web that when I saw that Prior Lake Players was going to present it for their fall play, I toyed with the idea that I should audition. But then I decided not to because the auditions were going to be held while I was taking Hayley out to Utah.

So one afternoon, I went to pick up Katie and Jackson, and we stopped for a sublime pastry at Edelweiss (drool). As we were leaving, K…

Can babies BE 17?

I really do like my teenagers. I enjoy laughing with them, getting them to do things without them whining about it, not driving them places because they have their licenses to drive, etc. I do however protest that the baby of the family is getting so dang old.

Matt recently turned 17. How can that be? He's the only one left in public education. He's the only one left in seminary. He's the only one who be around full time for a little while longer.

So, his birthday. The last two years, he has requested a Doctor Who cake. This year, he went a for a slightly different alien angle. The X-Files.

 Anyway, happy birthday, Matt. You can vote in the next presidential election.

Lunar trekking

I wanted to record more of the trip to Utah/Idaho on the ol' shoebox castle wall, even though it's been a few weeks since we got back. (college child update: she's enjoying it)

Jim and I decided to drive through Craters of the Moon in Idaho in between seeing his mother and sister, and arriving in Rexburg to see Jimmy (who I found out goes by JAMES at his jobs. Kinda weird, because he's still JIMMY. Or Other Jim, here at the castle).

I'd never heard of Craters of the Moon park before Jim mentioned it in regards to this trip. It sounded interesting, though.

And I will have to go back someday! It was great! It's a small park, in the middle of nowhere, Idaho. It's mostly hardened LAVA. It is kind of otherworldly. My pictures do not do it justice. But I'm going to post some anyway. If you find yourself in the middle of Idaho for a day and don't know what to do, spend the day at Craters of the Moon park.

Little cougar

We are here in Utah with Hayley, just about ready to start the process of getting her settled into college life. Today's to-do list:
1. Bank account
2. Check in to apartment
3. Get student ID
4. Buy books
5. Die from little child going to college syndrome

We'll see how much of that gets done. We also have to eat.

The trip out was many funs! Devil's Tower, Independence Rock, saddle seats, and general goofiness. Jim's best one liner was "I-80 is my least favorite interstate." Who has a list of favorite interstates? Hayley noticed a sign for a place called "Extra Space Storage." She thought that was redundant, but I suggested maybe it's the place where people store their extra space. (I don't have any extra space, so I'm only guessing)

Anyway, it was a nice trip. I'm not going to upload any photos right now because I am hungry, so I want to go bug Jim and Hayley to get going so I can eat something.

Parading's better

What does the robotics team do during the summer?

They build a parade float for the Lakefront Days parade. I don't think we would have ever heard about the parade without vigorous interrogation of our robotics boy. I don't get why he doesn't share stuff like HE'S GOING TO BE IN A PARADE! When I was a kid, watching the Foley Fun Days parade on my grandparents front lawn, all I dreamed about was being in a parade--either by being some fair princess, or by being in a marching band (and I was later, but we never marched in any parade except the homecoming parade through downtown Excelsior, and that was just a shorty mcshortshort parade with floats made by various school clubs--mostly the football team and the cheerleaders and the dance team), or by riding around on one of the Shriners' go-carts. So I don't understand Budge's lack of excitement for BEING IN A PARADE!

I'm glad I weaseled it out of him so that Jim and I could go. We invited Katie and Christian…

Vanna White in my vehicle, my albino Dodge Caravan.

Since Matt got his license, he has driven Vanna more than I have.

Two kids with driver's licenses and various places to go at different times, and only one car between them.

It won't last long, since the two-kids-one-car situation is only in place for another few weeks, but it's still strange to say, "take the van."

The norm for dinner has also changed. It's rare to have the kids home to eat with us.

The transition to empty nesters is ramping up.

Wildlife on walk report:
This evening's walk was a two-bun affair. The two I saw were quite frisky.

Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping

into the future...

10 things about this summer
1. Paul is working for my brother, much like I work for my brother, but I get to do a lot more sitting than Paul does. Paul is a stable boy, essentially. He's glorified go-fer, but he's doing stuff like fixing a car, assembling a wind machine, cleaning out a chicken coop, splitting wood, babysitting hyper little cousins, among many other things. Every job Mike says he's given to Paul is an experience Jim and I could never give Paul. I hope someday Paul looks back fondly on his time with Uncle Mike.
2. Two kids got their driver's licenses!!! Both had difficult (and very different) paths to achieving their licenses, and much was overcome! That's the last of the licenses to get. No more driving to seminary, and much fewer drives to kids' work.
3. Jim and I are planning the road trip out to Utah to take Hayley to college. We plan to see Devil's Tower, Yellowstone Park (Old Faithful), Jimmy, and Beartooth Pass. Both…

Paul in Minnesota!

I got first hug this time!

We had a traumatizing hour in the afternoon wondering if Paul would make it home because of insufficient funds on his card for luggage, and part of it was that I was not at my phone when he called. We had no way of contacting him but eventually we were able to confirm that he had boarded the plane. Crisis averted!