Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ok - I'm a bad mom because I haven't taken a picture of my kids in their costume yet.  Most of you would say - that's ok, tonight is Halloween.  True....but they've had their costumes on for parties and other events 4 times already.

They each have their school parties today.  I sent Katie off with her costume, hair in braids, and Halloween pencils to hand out to her class.  Will goes to school in his costume with little dinosaurs to hand out to his class. 

I don't have my extra 2 year old (Pebbles) today so I think Will and I plan on eating lunch with Katie at school.  That will be my reward for heading out for a run while the kids are in school.  It's just so cold!!  BUT I have to do it because I don't get a lot of opportunities to run outside these days and I didn't do it this weekend. 

This weekend John and I watched Paranormal Activity.  It was streaming on Netflix, and we thought we should watch a scary movie since it was Halloween weekend.  So, Saturday night we settled in to watch it.

Here's a summary of the story from
After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.

And here's a clip....I did watch it...and then my computer I'm done now, thanks.  And since John isn't here right now, I'm gonna go watch fluffy bunny cartoons or something.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye

This has been a week of goodbyes....

I had the Disabled American Vets come pick up a donation of clothes and household goods on Wednesday.  John cleaned out his closet, as did I.  I had also been sorting the kid's clothes for a while and donated ones that I didn't think would sell at a garage sale.  Included in this pile was our high chair and their old convertible car seat. 

Honestly, it took me a long time to be ok with letting these two items go.  I knew we weren't going to be getting any use out of them and they have both been collecting dust for a while.  So, I set everything out in the driveway and made peace with letting them go.  I'm sure someone who needed them would find them.

That's why I was so surprised 2 hours later when I returned to find everything picked up, EXCEPT the high chair and car seat.  Suddenly these sentimental items have now become annoying bulky space eaters!!  How quickly things change. :)  I don't know why they didn't get taken....I've donated car seats to them in the past.  So, they'll get posted one last time on Freecycle, then I'll load them up and try Once Upon a Child.  I can't really stomach throwing out the car seat.  It's so ironic....the one item I spent hours researching, testing, to be sure it would keep my loved ones safe - is the one item that might have to be thrown away at the dump.

Also making it's way out of our house is Will's train table and train/track set.  He picked out 2-3 trains that he didn't want to sell, but we posted the rest along with the table on Craigslist yesterday afternoon.  By 5:00 I had 3 people wanting to come ASAP and pick it up.  I notified the first responder and her husband just picked it up this morning.  I bought the table and train/track set almost 2 1/2 years ago off Craigslist for $80.  It was Will's 2 year old birthday present.  We have video of him coming downstairs to find it, and it's just adorable.

So I thought I'd try to sell it for $80 and see if I could get my money back.  Not only is it bittersweet to let it go, it's gut wrenching to know I could have probably gotten $100 for it. :)  That's ok.  Will is past the train stage....on to Superheroes.

Oh, and Will got $10 for selling it - after all, it WAS his table. He's got his eye on a Zurg toy from Toy Story.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

First of the Halloween parties....

Today after school, Katie had a Halloween party at her dance class.  Have I told you that Katie is in a dance class?  Hmmm...maybe not.  Ok - well, once a week for an hour...and they work on Jazz, Tap, and Ballet.  The fall session is wrapping up and we need to decide if we are going to continue into the spring and be part of the recital....oh hell.  I spose we will.  She seems to be liking it more and more now that she is remembering some steps and can show us at home.  If we continue though, I think I'm going to only do one dance type instead of a "combo" class. 

Katie also has auditions coming up for our church's musical in March.  This year, they are doing "Annie".  How FUN will that be?!?!?  So Katie is auditioning for the part of an orphan girl.  She has 2 pages of script to work on and has to sing a song by herself.  She can pick any right now we're trying to think of a good, fun, easy one.  The audition panel suggests "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music....that might work, if Katie can remember the words....but I'm open to suggestions. 

Tomorrow we are trick-or-treating at one of the local grocery stores...the nice carpeted one.  They always have a Halloween party and hand out yummy treats like juice boxes, cartons of milk, little packages of carrots, bunny crackers, decorated cookies, apples, etc.  Then more Halloween parties on Saturday and Monday.  Getting good use out of the costumes, that's for sure. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Something to read....

Thanks to my friend Shelley for sharing this....she oftentimes tells me what I should read. :)

For those of you who like to's the link to a wonderful article from the Star Tribune on the upcoming marriage amendment.  For those of you who don't like to is the article.....

Minnesotans will be voting in the fall of 2012 on whether to ban marriage for same-sex couples in our state Constitution. This issue should not have been thrust upon us. But now that it has been, we have an opportunity to transform a shameful referendum on the lives and legal protections of our fellow citizens into a historic victory for families and respect for human dignity. I will be voting "no" -- against the amendment -- and I urge my friends and all Minnesota voters to do the same.

First of all, I oppose this marriage amendment as a Minnesotan. I have worked most of my 85 years to make this state a place where anyone who works hard and obeys the law can succeed. Individual merit does not depend on a person's race, religion, sex, or the gender of the person he or she loves and raises a family with. We Minnesotans have the chance to pass on a legacy worthy of our history. It is time we declare definitively that gay men and lesbians are a treasured part of our community. We can do that by voting "no" on the marriage amendment.
I am a lifelong Republican; the roots of my political life go back to 1940, when I was in the ninth grade at St. Cloud Junior High School. At a mock convention, I nominated Wendell Willkie for president against FDR. I have been a delegate to Republican conventions, from county conventions to the national convention. I was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1964 against Eugene McCarthy -- and for governor in 1982 against Rudy Perpich. I lost both of those elections, but I've never lost my desire for a strong national defense, a limit to spending, less government regulation, and the promotion of individual liberty.
Personal moral values and religious beliefs are appropriately taught in families and houses of worship. But in a free society we must allow others to live according to the dictates of their own consciences. There is nothing in my Republican value system that supports marriage bans in our Constitution, so I also oppose this amendment as a lifelong Republican.
I oppose the amendment as a businessperson. A key to fostering a strong economic climate is attracting and retaining the best talent. Period. Gay men and lesbians are among the most talented people out there. Needless and hurtful laws like the proposed marriage amendment drive them away. They also drive away innovative people of any sexual orientation who simply want to live in a place that respects and celebrates the diversity of life.
As a married man, I oppose this marriage amendment. My first marriage of almost 40 years ended with my wife's death from lung cancer. I am now married to the former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Kathleen Blatz. Marriage is deeply important to me. I have lived long enough and have been married long enough to know that it is fulfilling, but not easy. Many things can undermine a marriage. But my happiness has never depended on depriving others of their happiness. My marriage has never needed the exclusion of others from marriage. I am not threatened by seeing others find love and celebrate it.
Finally, I have to add that I oppose this marriage amendment as a father and grandfather. One of my sons is gay, as is one of my grandchildren. I love them dearly. I want them to find love and peace in their lives, to have someone they can count on, and to be protected by the law. Far from defending families, this marriage amendment is an attack on my family. It is an attack on thousands of families across this state. I won't sit by and just let it happen.
So I oppose this amendment as a Minnesotan, as a Republican, as a businessperson, as a married man, and as a father and grandfather. The bad news is that we are going to have to spend the next year fighting a useless and hurtful constitutional amendment. The good news is that we have the chance to become the first state in the country to vote down such a proposal.
We need do nothing heroic to defeat the amendment. We need not change our fundamental beliefs or values. We need only be the best version of ourselves -- a people who don't slam the door on others, but instead bring them in from the cold.

Wheelock Whitney is a member of the Steering Committee of Minnesotans United for all Families.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekend visit to IA

We traveled down to IA this weekend to visit family.  First time back in about 2 months.  We were able to give my niece from college a ride home too, so it felt like there was a double purpose.  Since we were going to be back we planned a casual baby shower for my great niece as well....she's 2 months and way too cute for her own good. :)  2 months - 8 months is such a great baby age....they've gotten used to their surroundings, are able to allow themselves to be calmed down by other people, and able to just stay awake long enough to give smiles and interact without crawling or walking away from you.

Makes me think it would be fun to have another one....but then I realized I can go home and am pretty confident in saying that I'll be able to sleep through the night without having to wake up.....and that seems too good to give up.

I'm not posting pictures today because I don't have time - I have to get a shower in and then trot off to a meeting this morning.  It's a week of meetings.  I have another one tomorrow for the technology referendum they are trying to get passed for the school.  I hope it goes through - it's very much needed and will benefit many students...including mine. :)  Lots of stuff getting voted on this November...there's also that MN marriage amendment they are trying to push through.  There are some wonderful editorials being written about that.....I will post 1 or 2 this week as well.

Oh, and stay tuned for pictures of some pumpkins we are making.....they are pretty darn cute.  John is carving the big one this weekend....whether he knows it or not. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Funny

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Getting caught up

It's been such a busy fall!  As each week begins I think to myself - ok, this week shouldn't be as busy as last week....but somehow it always ends up being crazy!  There's always so much to do!  And it isn't like we haven't been getting things done, new stuff keeps popping up too!

Maybe it'll make me feel better to make a list of all the things we have gotten done over the last 2-3 weeks:
-mowed lawn
-cleaned out garage
-cleaned out 1/4 of the basement
-sorted out my "counter 'o papers"
-kept up on laundry
-made it to school on time
-got Halloween decorations up

....ok those last 3 were just to make myself feel better

Things I want to get done:
-clean out Katie and Will's dressers, making room for cold weather clothing
-sort through toys in Katie's room
-sort through toys in Will's room
-clean out the other 3/4 of the basement
-paint the master bedroom
-make dentist appointments for the kids
-get Katie in for a blood draw
-make an appointment for insurance appraiser to take a look at our windows
-schedule a goodwill pickup
-get toys ready for the kids' garage sale October 21 at the rec center
-make cupcakes/salad for baby shower next weekend
-get new battery put in truck

I choose not to add all the daily crap to that list like sweeping, folding clothes, washing dishes....because that would just depress me.  The list was long enough.  I will try to cross of 2-3 things this weekend, but c'mon....that bedroom isn't getting painted just yet.

Ok...on to better things.  Last weekend, instead of tackling anything on my to-do list, we all went to a local apple orchard and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Here are some great pictures from our outing.

Will's bag was by far, the heaviest.

"Daddy, can I PLEASE have an apple?"
It's so nice when they beg for things they can actually have!

Will wasn't going to let anyone carry his bag of apples.

Friday, October 7, 2011

2 posts today...can't forget a Friday Funny

Thank you!

Thanks for all your kind words about my race results!  It was interesting to look at them afterwards.  For the run times, I was in the top third....for the biking, I was in the bottom half.  I guess you can tell which I had done more of.  And would I do it again?  Sure!  It was a fun event and perfect weather.  I'm trying to get my head around doing the YWCA triathlon that some friends of mine did this past August.  I declined due to my lack of swimming skills, but I think I could do it....we'll see next spring.  I like these "women only" events.  I doubt I would ever do a co-ed multi-sport event. 

So that's the end of this year I'd like to do:
- 10k in the spring.....there's on in Chaska that I might do.
- triathlon - in August
- 10 miler?
A couple weeks ago while John was out of town on his company golfing trip, my niece Sarah and I took the kids to Como Zoo and Como Town.  I had purchased Groupons for Como Town getting us unlimited ride bracelets and a couple water balloon games.  I was trying to upload a movie of Sarah and Katie on a ride, but it isn't working.  They went on this ride that went pretty high, pretty fast and I was surprised Katie wanted to go on it.  Sure enough, 20 seconds into it, she was asking to get off, so they stopped the ride and let them off.  The attendant thought that was a new record. :)

Here are some pictures from that day......