Friday, January 28, 2011

Katie sings Katy

Here is a little of Katie singing and dancing to Katy Perry's song Firework.  Keep an eye out for a little cameo by some little boy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Katie's thoughts

The other night I was at a preschool meeting for Will.  John was in charge of Katie's spelling review.  The next morning, this is what I found on the table.

Here is a translation in case you can't read it:
   "Katie is good at spelling.  Daddy is the Best Daddy ever.  The cat ate a hotdog.  How many hotdogs did she eat? She ate six.  I grabd the hot dogs from her.  I hope she didint get sick!  My mom and me were mad.  My mom squirted her."

The first 2 sentences are very true.  However, the last part is all fiction.  Though if the cat DID eat six hot dogs, I WOULD squirt her. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rehearsal pictures

Here are a couple photos from last Sunday's Wizard of Oz practice.

Katie is down front standing next to "Dorothy" in the green shirt with all the munchkins and Glinda gathered around her.

Here, the Wicked Witch is threatening little Toto.  (Even though Toto is trying hard not to laugh.)
The woman who plays the Wicked Witch has the "cackle" down perfectly!

12 Rehearsals left....and counting.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Another day, another birthday. :) 
Today is my brother-in-law Jim's birthday!  I think he's going to get off pretty easy because I don't have any baby pictures or teenage pictures of him in my computer.  Note to self....scan some in. :)

Anyway, Jim, I hope you get to celebrate your birthday however you wish! 
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our 8th Anniversary

Today marks our 8th anniversary!  In honor of the occasion I thought I'd post some pictures of us over the seem the only time there are pictures of the 2 of us are on vacation....or 20 years ago.

This is from a parade celebration in our hometown.  John is in the middle, my brother on the left and their friend Rick on the right.  I'm "casually" hanging out in the back...never too far away from John.  Obviously he found me hard to resist too.  I mean c'mon, you can barely cut the romantic tension! :)

A trip to northern Minnesota in 2007.  This is taken at Split Rock.  Katie is 2 1/2 and I'm pregnant with Will.  Cold day!


Our trip to Washington in 2006.  Spent this day hiking up Mt. Rainier.

8 months after our wedding in Key West, we returned with some friends.

And since you weren't is the forest "aisle" that I walked down to get to our ceremony spot on the beach. 

Not too much planned - a relaxing day at home and dinner out tonight (without kids).  We haven't been "out" kid-less for our anniversary in about 6 years.  I think that means we deserve to order dessert too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Denise!

Today is my OLDEST sister's birthday....but since I'm not very old, she can't be either, right?

Happy Birthday Denise!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Promised Pictures

Ok, Ok.  I know I promised pictures of Katie at Wizard of Oz rehearsal, BUT you're going to have to keep hoping for those.  Last night's practice was a bit rough and I didn't get a chance to snap any pictures. 

The scene they worked on was when Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion are in the Wizard's Chamber and Toto makes the discovery that the Wizard is just a little old man.  Katie was tired, missed cues and I was busy writing down the scene and what she has to do (because we don't have a script) so that we can continue to practice at home on off nights.  The more we go to rehearsals, the more we are realizing how much Toto actually DOES in the play!

Another rehearsal on Sunday - let me try again.  However, I DID promise pictures, and if you don't have photos of kids, pets are the next best thing.  Here's Molly's new nap spot.

The only reason you're getting pictures in our bathroom is because I actually just cleaned it yesterday. :)  And before you ask, "What would happen if you turned the water on?"  The answer is - nothing.  Molly likes the water.  In fact, she'd probably get more excited - she sure wouldn't jump out of the sink.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just plugging away...

Nothing much new - lots going on, just not all that interesting to write about. :)

Katie didn't have school on Monday so her and Will both went with me to do my "work" for the elderly lady.  I clocked in 2 1/2 hours that day so it was worth it! I was in a meeting all morning today and this afternoon was spent putting away laundry, dry cleaning, and vacuuming - told you, not too interesting.

Tonight I'm getting caught up on all my paperwork - monthly reports for my non-profit group and creating a new time sheet to log my hours.  What should I spend my first check on? it'll go to pay for Will's preschool registration for next year.  Fun spending, right?
Tomorrow is Oz rehearsal - I WILL have pictures on Thursday.  No costumes yet, but you'll get the idea.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Halfway point

We're halfway done with January already and it seems like we just started.  We're on the end of a slightly busy weekend.  Yesterday we didn't do anything - except shovel and give blood.  John did the "giving" so I did the shoveling.  No big physical exertion after a blood-letting, you know. :)

Today, John went into work while the kids and I did church and play practice all afternoon.  They worked on big scenes today - where Toto gets taken away from Dorothy by Almira Gultch and then escapes back to Dorothy.  Also worked on the very last scene in the play.  Toto also has the last line in the play - of course!!!  Katie did great - was a long rehearsal, but we treated ourselves to milkshakes afterwards. 

14 more rehearsals until the first show. 

Dang it!  I was going to take pictures at rehearsal to show you all....shoot.  I forgot.  Katie said I should write myself a note - we'll see if I remember on Wednesday night. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's me again.

I made a phone call today that really made me feel a whole lot better.  I called the mother's son and told him that I didn't feel comfortable driving his mom to appointments at the U.  There are so many things that make me nervous about doing that I don't know where to begin.  It wasn't in the initial conversation about the job.  He was very understanding and said that he and his mother agreed to use the facility's services for transportation to appointments.

One other thing....since I had met this woman yesterday afternoon, she had called me 4 times before noon today.  Her son also agreed that that was inappropriate and wouldn't happen again.  I mean a phone call now and then is one thing, but c'mon.  John doesn't even call me that much. :)

I am going to see her tomorrow morning before her appointment because I have pills to drop off for her that she needed me to pick up and we'll go from there.  I feel a lot better about this now.  I don't want to NOT do this job - especially since I've already worked the extra $ into my budget.  :)

Maybe it's just been a hard, busy week.  There is a lot of crap going on right now and it all seems to be snowballing this week.  Play practices, school, preschool, girl scouts, yoga, church class, reading groups, other volunteer stuff - all happening this week and next, and John's been working 12-15 hour days for 11 days straight and still has another week ahead of him.  Plus, and probably worst of all, I had a haircut today.  Good, I needed one - BUT the lady pretty much gave me BANGS.  I didn't have bangs, nor did I want them back, but now I seem to have them again since she chopped off inches and inches of my hair that I wasn't ready for.  The magical thing about hair is that it has a way of growing back - so it'll be ok, just not today.

And did I mention it's snowing....again?  There's another crappy 12 inch plow pile that has to be shoveled before we head out to girl scouts tonight.  I think I'm having some winter-blahs.  Maybe it's time to start regularly taking my vitamin D pills again...I think I'm low on sunshine.  Also - it really helps to just complain a bit every now and then. 

I'll end on a good note - we had play practice last night til 9.  They were working on the scene where Dorothy and Toto get carried off by the flying monkeys.  Katie did SOOO great with all her barks and growls and she literally gets CARRIED off by two little female flying monkeys.  I hope to God they don't drop her!  It's just too practice I VOW to take some pictures.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Ok.  I can do this. 

I met with the woman who is looking for some extra help, and her son.  She lives in an assisted living facility in her own apartment.  There was just a lot of information to take down today.  It's a bit overwhelming.  Ok, it's REALLY overwhelming. 

I spoke with her son prior to going to this woman's apartment.  He and his sister are her only 2 children - his sister lives our east so it's just him trying to organize everything to take care of his mom.  They have agencies that they work with for nurses, aides, etc. but they rotate in and out a lot and it's always a new person coming in so it's frustrating to explain to them how to do the things she needs done. 

I was unsure of all the necessary duties - but it seems to be picking up prescriptions, writing down when she takes her meds, making phone calls for her, walking the halls with her, watching her while she swims, changing sheets once in a while, taking out the trash, driving to appointments, and conversation.  On Friday I have to drive her to the University of Minnesota for a blood pressure check.  Her son says they are trying to get her to do this stuff locally, but she says they are smarter at the U. :)  I'm nervous about driving her there - just the drive in general, but I keep telling myself that I HAVE to get used to driving to the U because in 8 short months my niece will be in school there and I'll be invited to all kinds of college parties again. :)

She loves Will, says she's going to have a new toy for him next week.  And I don't doubt it one bit....within 4 minutes of meeting her she had bought me a case of steaks they were advertising on QVC.  They're being shipped to my house as we speak.  I tried to refuse and she snapped saying "don't argue with me" - her son agreed saying if she wants to buy you something....just let her.  Hence, the steaks.

When it came time to discuss payment - I gave my $ amount.....and they topped it.  I couldn't argue with that counter I agreed to the position and will help them out 3 days a week for an hour - and any additional bits here and there if she needs to go to an appointment. 

Really, it's the perfect job for my right now - I can bring my's around my schedule....and it's a few hours a week where I'll make at least a few hundred dollars a month.  Now for the hard parts....

She's 79 and has Parkinson's as well as a type of degenerative brain disorder.  She talks about death a lot - wanting to die, etc.  Obviously she reminds me a lot of my aunt Carol who passed away 1 1/2 years ago.  In fact, I saw on one of her papers that she has a nurse named "Carol Hansen".  If that doesn't give you chills....I don't know what does. 
One of the side effects of the brain disorder is that she snaps at people a lot - her son said that I can't let it bother me - it isn't personal, it's just her disorder.  I think that will be the hardest part because I'm the type of person who hates to make mistakes. 

Well, we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In need of your opinion

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to try to find some part time work this year.  It's not really for the financial need, but more of my way to slooooowly work myself back into "work" life.  I've been a stay at home mom for almost 6 1/2 years.  That's my longest career so far.  The thought of going back to work full time in a couple years gives me the shakes.  Will I be able to compete for a job?  Will I be able to give as much at work as I did before kids?  How do you balance it all?

Ok - that's a few years out....when both kids are in school every day.  For now - I've got a job offer that's as part-time as I want it to be.  A family is in need of someone to help care for and be a companion for their mother who lives in an assisted living facility nearby.  At first they needed someone 3-4 hours a day.  Right now, this won't work for me because I made it clear that Will will be coming along and he could do 2 hours, but not 3.  We decided that we should try it out for an hour, 3-4 times a week. 

Right now the facility sends over a nurse daily, but it's someone different each day and it's getting frustrating for their mother to have to start from square one every time someone comes in their home.  She'd rather have a visit from someone she has a relationship with.  I can do this...I think.  And it will be a trial run to see how it works for everyone.  I'm told the mother is a bit hard to get along with.....that could come from the frustration of not having reliable help.....or not. :)

So, we have set up a meeting to see how we like each other.  We'll see how this goes.  After all, if you don't like my kids - you won't like me either.  He said she is excited to meet me.

So, I guess I'm looking for a word of encouragement.  3-4 hours a week might not seem like much of a change, but it still makes my heart speed up....and another resolution was that I was going to be more accepting of change.  Worst case scenario - it doesn't work out and they find someone else.  Best case - it's an extra $150-$200 a month.

Ugh - I just have so much anxiety about it!  Relax.  It's a small step.  Right??

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why I love our church

Ok - I'll warn you right off....I'm not a deeply religious person.  I don't regularly tithe, I don't preach to others why they should go to church, and I'm open to the concept that maybe all religions are "right" in some way. 

BUT....I still have this urge to tell you why I love the church that we've been going to for the past 2 1/2 years.  I must warn you - it's in part related to my obsession with 16th Century England.

This January they started a new program called "J-Term".  For the month of January our church is offering classes, free of charge, on things from college savings plans, depression, photography, scrapbooking, cooking and many more.  I'm taking 2 classes - yoga and one on Martin Luther.

We met for the first time last Thursday.  From 7-8 I sat with about 20 other ELCA Lutherans and listened to our interim Pastor speak about Martin Luther - his 95 theses, changes he wanted to see made in the Catholic Church, and the reformation that took place.   Anyway - I could go on and on about the Protestant Reformation- (and if you'd like me to - I will, in another post).  The point is, I liked being able to have a discussion on why the ELCA Lutheran church has the modern and welcoming views it does.  The pastor even said "Do you REALLY think God created the WHOLE world in 7 days?
From 8-9 I did yoga.  It was a lot of fun - and very different poses from what I've done in yoga before.  It's always entertaining to see people out of their Sunday best and trying to balance on one foot. :)

Another reason I love our church?  They are allowing a great forum for my daughter to take a step outside herself and open up.  Remember I said she got the part of "Toto" in their production of Wizard of Oz?  Tonight was our first rehearsal and they are so excited to have her on stage for the ENTIRE show and suggesting things for her to try in order to "steal the scene".  She's still not sure she's gonna go up to an audience member and pretend to "pee" on them, but hey, it's only the first week.  We've got some late night rehearsals ahead of's hoping she can handle it. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Jeff!!

A shout-out today to my brother-in-law, Jeff!!  Happy 49th birthday!!!  (I put the number's in there, cuz my sister blabbed how old he was....)  :)  Unfortunately - I hear he may be sick today....hope you feel better before you go tie one on!

I had to post this one just because of the awesome "stash"!!

Get a good look.  This is the most recent family picture of me, my parents and siblings.
It's only, what, 20-some years old.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We're off to see the Wizard

My Katie is Toto!!!

A little background -
Every year, our church does a musical to help raise money for their summer mission trips.  Usually there is a trip to El Salvador, and a handful in the states.  This year, they are doing The Wizard of Oz.  I figured Katie was old enough to participate this year and I'd had a few people at church urge me to let her do it.  Believe me, she was gung ho. 

Given the parts, I figured they'd cast her as a munchkin or flying monkey.  I found out at the sing-through on tonight that she is Toto!  They have a cute little puppy costume for her and everything.  She is pretty excited and eager to be a big part of the show - and not have to memorize any lines.....well, besides "Arf, arf" and maybe an occasional growl.  Plus she should still get to sing, which is what she really wanted to do.

Rehearsals start on Sunday, a couple times a week - and the shows are at the end of February. 

Can I be honest for a minute?  I"M SO DARN PROUD OF HER!  And I am SOOO excited to see the show progress and rehearse and everything!  I'm tying to be calm, cool, and collected around Katie, but I am BEAMING!!!!  I mean, the munchkins and little parts here and there are in a few scenes, and Katie would have been happy with anything....but the fact that they believe she can be such a responsible kid with such a big part in the show, and not even split it between kids - I'm SOOOOO happy.  It's the closest thing I'll ever be to a "stage mom".  I'll try to reign myself in a bit, but to you all I'm gonna let it ALLL out!!  I'm so excited for her to get to experience the rush of really "putting on a show".  The lights, the make-up, costumes, sets, the applause....ugh.  It's gonna be so good for her self esteem and confidence.  And she'll get to know so many other people at church too.  I can't wait!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011.  New year, odd number.  I read something interesting earlier today.  Today is 1/1/ 10 days it will be 1/11/ 10 months it will be 11/1/11....and 10 days from that 11/11/11.  Lots of 1's....many opportunities for wishes this year.

Gotta go put the meatloaf in the oven.

Ok, done.  On my way over to the oven I noticed I only got halfway through emptying the dishwasher - so this will have to be a short post.

John took off all this week and we've been having fun doing things together with the kids.  Since Katie's off too - we've been able to spend lots of time together.  Let's see....Wednesday we all went to Pump It Up - an inflatable play place inside a warehouse.  Thursday we spent the afternoon swimming at the rec center.  Friday we all went and had lunch at Culver's.  Today is Saturday - sure doesn't feel like a Saturday.  John and I did stay up til midnight last night - we mainly watched CNN - Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin hosted the ball drop.  Geez, it was funny - and I usually don't like Kathy Griffin.  It was hilarious - she was trying to get Cooper to swear, telling all these inappropriate stories, yelling at the crowd, etc.  Maybe it was only funny cuz I was 3 beers in.....

With everyone home this week the house is in disarray, but it'll get picked up sooner or later.  The kitchen floor should be washed too...I bet I'd feel darn good if I got that done yet today.  I could treat myself to....something....not sure what yet.