Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now you see it...

now you don't. Hopefully, you won't either, for a long time. But I won't hold my breath. In the middle of the summer as we move from activity to activity I begin making mental notes of the projects I am going to complete when school is back in session. Colton's room is one of the projects. One of the things I love about Colton is how much he loves his toys. He can spend hours a day in his room... playing. He is very creative and is perfectly happy to play by himself. But you may not mess with his.. well... MESS. Its always "but the guys are playing a game and its intermission... so we can't clean them up." Or we will hear "but they're tied and its going into extra periods." Now "guys" might be his hotwheels cars or it might be marbles or it could be hockey cards. Occasionally, the guys will have names... its usually Matt Cullen and Jordy Christian, or Joe Mauer and Tori Hunter, it varies. Yet somehow I got lucky and one day the "guys" were um... busy? Or on a break? I'm not sure which. But Colton generously decided to not just let me but help me clean his room. Of course I may have ruined him. Now he doesn't want anyone to go in his room because... why? "But mom... what if they make a MESS?"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Simple pleasures

He was timid. Unsure. Hesitant. Typically Colton. And then braver, and braver still. The next thing I knew I was practically left begging him to get down. The last one is my fave because he is nothing short of full of himself and loving it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh shoot.

To myself I would think... why can't I do that? I could use Rick's camera, and mimic the way he would shoot... but never capture the same quality photo that he would. Although I guess I thought I asked him in fifty different ways on a hundred different days how to shoot I finally heard an answer that made sense. He said... stop putting the camera on program. Oh. You have to shoot manually. You have to actually know how the camera works and set it according to what you want the results to be. Oh. Oh no! That is a little intimidating. Considering the first booklet in a series of 5 manuals for the camera is at least a half inch thick. But then I started to factor in the other things that he has said over the years. Just shoot... and shoot and then yeh, shoot some more. I have seen him literally shoot 1000 images to end up with 5-8 that he really loves.

So after some really disappointing football pictures in which I see now the camera was not set for night action shots... I grabbed the camera and spent the afternoon in the backyard. And this is what I got. I am marginally pleased... Dakota our soon to be 12 year old golden retriever was the most willing participant. Colton much less willing as you can see. And just as I was about to get up and leave... a monarch butterfly floated to a tall flower in the garden and perched... for like a second... but I got him... and took it as a sign that maybe football is in my future!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good intentions

As always. I mean well. And I deliver as often as I can. I meticuously grew my hair out to the proper length. It took me almost 3 years. And may I add, long hair on me isn't particularily flattering. I even summoned the courage for the final cut... all 9 inches of it at once. LOOK what I found in the cupboard today while cleaning! My ponytail meant for Pantene's beautiful lengths! Good grief. No wonder my cupboards are feeling a little cluttered... what with all the HAIR I apparently keep in them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad turned 79 today. He was a little grumpy when I called him this morning. My mom forgot to wish him a happy birthday this morning. Then when he went to check the mail box he didn't receive a single card. I'm not sure my call by that time did much to cheer him. But then the unexpected happened. My dad goes faithfully every Friday to the Moorhead Athletic Associaton lunch at the Moorhead Country Club. His two brother-in-laws stop to pick him up and I know he so looks forward to going. My cousin, Rob, emcees the event and local coaches come and give talks about their team. Today, at the end of lunch, Rob told everyone it was dad's birthday. Not only did dad get a rousing round of applause, he got quite a kick out of it. By the time I talked to him tonight he was much more upbeat. The picture is of my dad with his two sisters who came to visit last week. My Aunt Elizabeth is on the left and my Aunt Helen is on the right. I have a feeling dad won't be as disappointed next year. I suspect turning 80 may hold a few surprises for him. But you didn't hear that from me!

The "catchingback"

Its well established that Nolan loves sports... ALL SPORTS... and has been waiting to become old enough to play football. Although its become evident to us that his grasp of the sport is fairly limited. For the longest time we have had questioned Nolan about the "position" he would like to play and he has always responded he just wants to run the ball in for a touchdown. In exasperation with our line of questioning one day he finally responded... "Dad, I just want to be the one in back who cathes the ball... you know the catchingback!" And no matter how many times we've tried to explain the various positions he adamantly refuses to acknowledge that a wide receiver or tight end or quarterback even come close to what he wants to do.

Of course it hasn't really mattered since the kids don't have an opportunity to play football in Moorhead until they are in 4th grade. But then we discovered a secret... there was a place the kids could play and were having a blast doing it... Fargo. Fargo parks and rec. has a flag football program starting at 6 years old. And they put all the Moorhead kids on a team according to their school. So far we've played two games. While technically not keeping score, we "won" the first game 35-0. Last night's game was a real contest however and we squeaked by 7-6.

As for the catching back? It didn't take him long to figure out that if you wanted to have contact with the ball more than just a few times... that the appropriate position would be quarterback. I will reluctantly post a few dark pictures but between figuring out one of Rick's cameras and swattng mosquitos I was a poor picture taker! Lets just say after last night many of us were left with the feeling we had room for improvement.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Look what I got...

in the mail the other day! Passport? Check. Luggage? Check. Travel bug? Check and double check! Location? Now it gets tricky. Money? Time? Trickier still. And yet we have a plan. My friend, K. and I. Rick has long supported a "girls trip." But the universe hasn't really lined up in such a way that has truly propelled me beyond just talking about it. So I am hoping I've set the wheels in motion. K and I have talked of such places as Paradise Island and Cabo San Lucas... and we're talking March. Of course we have a lot to sort of "get through" if you will... things like WINTER and HOCKEY SEASON and for her probably a trial or two... By the time we're on the other side of that we may both just settle for a weekend in a hotel with room service and a spa in Minneapolis!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Search your heart Sunday

I am without pictures today. How about a story instead? My good friend Amy shared this with me and asked me to spread the word about this amazing family and their current plight. Honestly there is very little more I can add to this story which is being so eloquently told here: http://www.caringbridge.com/visit/brynnduncan and here: http://www.brynnduncangifts.com/. So if you are up for both a tragic and yet inspirational story check this one out. Prepare to be devastated. But also be prepared to be inspired.

If you consider Brynn is the youngest of 5 girls you could probably tell a story just about that alone. Add in the fact that both her parents are deaf and that gives another whole dimension to this story. On so many levels this story does not disappoint. The grace and spirituality of this family. And as the story unfolds, the response of this community.

I was struck by the fact that in almost a month's time this little girl's blog has received over 30,000 visits. Amy's daughter, Caleigh who is the president of their k kids club at school helped her classmates raise 4,000 dollars! So I challenge you... read the story and then search your heart. Offer a prayer, think good thoughts, make a donation or whatever is in your heart.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tiny treasure.

Guess what we found? In our driveway. Alone. And he wasn't SLOW! Yep, a turtle. He was moving at a decent clip for a turtle, but thank goodness, dad was faster. He managed to scoop him up in a tupperware tub and we all jumped in the car and drove him down to the river. Along the way we managed to deflect a few questions about keeping him/her and assured both boys he was not in fact a snapping turtle... cuz, well... we just know... (although some extra care was taken not to get too close to his head.) We carefully walked down to the river's edge and in a few quick moves across the mud he entered the water and swam away. It was a beautiful night, cool enough for long sleeves, warm enough for no jackets, and turns out it was a perfect night for turtle rescues!

In other news:
******* Its Gunnar's birthday today!*******

Happy 11th birthday Gunnar! We can't wait to come and bring you a present and hang out with you! Have fun on your special day today! XOXOXO

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sowing seeds

One of the most memorable nightmares Nolan ever had... was about Sunday school. He woke up screaming early one Saturday morning demanding to know which day it was. He was only 3 years old. I tried to tell him it was Saturday but he was not phased by that. After much reassurance from us he said "Its not Sunday?" We said "no." He said "oh good. I had the worst dream ever, I dreamed it was Sunday and you made me go back to Sunday School... I'm not ever going back ever again..." So began our attempt to introduce the boys to going to our church back in 2003. (okay... stay with me... apparently this is going to take awhile.)

One of the things I longed for when we moved back to Minnesota was resuming the attendance of church. We tried several churchs in Twin Falls and could not find one that felt right to us. Since a large part of the population was Mormon, we didn't have a lot to choose from either and becoming LDS was just NOT an option for us. We were content to visit Moorhead and attend the only church we had ever known.

When we moved back to Minnesota we were thrilled to send Nolan to Sunday School in a church that felt like home. But everything was not how it had once been when Rick and I had attended. Nolan was the only 3 year old in a handful of school age children. The number of young families had declined while we were gone. And so Nolan ended up clinging in fear to Rick the entire hour of school. And if you know Nolan at all you know Nolan has a very LONG memory... no amount of punishment, grounding, bribery or rewards were going to convince him... and those are all the wrong reasons to get him to go anyway. I finally began taking Colton to church with Grandpa once in awhile and other than a handful of times a year we were sorely lacking in attendance.

And then the unexpected happened. Its funny how life has a way of giving us what we need if we are just open to the opportunity. Nolan got asked to play roller-blade hockey this summer... and it was in the parking lot of the recently built Good Sheperd Church. As luck would have it one day Nolan fell and needed to have his knee cleaned up (I know... who would think a bloody knee was lucky?) As we hurried into the church looking for the restroom, we were both stopped short. The sunlight was streaming in through the wall of stained glass windows in the sanctuary... and it was breathtaking. The beauty of it was not lost on Nolan as he grabbed my hand and led me in through the doors and directly over to the pews. "Mommy, this is beautiful... its like a rainbow!" We sat several minutes quietly soaking it in. All thoughts of his bloody knee were gone. "Mom, this isn't like the other church." And the tiniest of seeds had been planted.

Just last week the postcard came. Today is rally Sunday and good Shepard church was inviting all of its neighbors. It still took some convincing, but as we were walking through the door Colton spotted him. Jaxson, Nolan's best friend from class last year. It turns out they were new to the church as well and sat in the pew behind us. We all had an enjoyable time. The hotdog picnic at the end of the service helped too. And the fact that one of the pastor's is a cobber and came over especially to greet us was a bonus. And the gym, the foosball tables and the guitar hero in the youth lounge? More seeds sown. I'm hopeful today. The nightmare from long ago may only be a distant memory for us all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not just another day.

No. Nothing ordinary about it. Because, its the first day. Of school. And it went well. Despite the storm that raged all night and dumped oodles of much needed rain and brought a midnight call from our renters needing help... something about water and smoke... not a good combination. Oh, and the small hand... that shook me awake at about 3 am and then 4 am saying "mommy, the thunder woke me, and now I can't sleep... can I get up?" I must have spoken actual words out loud that made sense because in the morning I found a rumpled heap of blankets with pillows mixed in and a boy snoring softly in the midst of it. This same boy who minutes later got soap in his eye while showering and sobbed most of the morning... perhaps because his eye hurt or maybe due to the handful of hours of sleep from the night before. But we made it. Tonight we will hear how the rest of the day went. Hopefully with fewer tears. Tomorrow we will start all over again... another first day... of Kindergarten... probably a little more tears... but if we're lucky... only a few of mine.

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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