Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Forecast Calls for Rain, Sleet or Snow

I know this is Minnesota and we have crazy weather patterns but I have to laugh at the forecast for this big winter storm that is “supposedly” coming.  So the one weather station wrote the report that said essentially it is going to rain, sleet or snow (not sure which) and we will get anywhere from 1-18 inches of snow.  How vague is that?  It made me think of the poor kid at circle time tomorrow whose gets the calendar job, “So Jimmy what’s it like out today? (The umbrella picture…no the snowman…where’s the sleet picture?…Ahhhh…too much pressure.)

The kids all think they are having a snow day tomorrow.  My sources are a little shaky so we’ll just have to wait and see.


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And the Oscar Goes To…

So I read through the list of all the Oscar nominees and winners.  Then I got depressed.  The only two movies of the whole bunch I’ve seen are “Rango” and “Kung Fu Panda 2”.  How’s that for being cultured.


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Biblical Principles Learned from a Paper Plate

I always get a kick out of the crafts that come home from Sunday School.  Somehow the love of Jesus is conveyed in the coloring, cutting and glueing of a paper plate (and especially in the adhering of googly eyes.)  Of course it is fun and it gives us something to talk about on the way home instead of what they ate for snack (Goldfish…always Goldfish).  Sometimes the craft serves as a prompt for what they were supposed to learn and other times it distracts a bit from the overall teaching.

“Oh honey, you made a big whale!  What story did you learn today?”

“Jonah was a whale and he lived in the ocean.  We saw the dolphin movie.  He lost his tail, but Jonah had a tail.”

This was a melding of what she learned in Sunday School and the movie she watched the night before (“A Dolphin Tail”).

I imagine each Sunday School session builds on the next and over a period of years the principles and values we want them to learn are understood.  Is there complimentary educational value in the use of paper plate crafts in Sunday School?  There’s a thesis waiting for you.


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Fun Photo Friday: The Hills are Alive…

This is our “Sound of Music” photo.  The closest thing we get to being a performing musical family is when we all sing the Barney “Clean Up” song together (and the boys kind of balk at that at this age.)


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It’s Kinda Johnny’s Birthday

I know, “kind of” having a birthday is like “kind of” being pregnant.  But it is “kind of” Johnny’s birthday today.  The story behind that is that when we went to Ukraine to adopt we didn’t know who we were going to adopt.  We were hoping for a little boy, and/or boy and girl if the situation looked right.  As it turned out we were offered two little boys, 16 months old.  They weren’t biological brothers but and grown up in the same orphanage since birth.  Their birthdays were 7 days apart.  The counselor in Ukraine we were working with suggested we change their birth dates so they would be the same.  “Change someone’s birthday, can you do that?”  Apparently you can.  The rational was that it would be easier if they had the same birthday and appeared like twins.  That way every time you registered for T-ball or preschool you wouldn’t get drilled with questions on how could your kids be born 7 days apart.  The reasoning I had was that I wanted the boys to have the option of sharing their adoption story or not.  If they had the same birthday then they wouldn’t have to tell everyone they were adopted if they chose not to.

As it turns out I regret changing their birthdays.  I wish I had just kept them the same and dealt with all the questions.  With a big family that looks a little different we get questions all the time anyway.  We are open about how our family grew and about adoption so the boys are fine (actually I think they are proud of their story)with their beginnings.  This year we are celebrating the birthdays separate.  One this weekend, one next (by their choice).  Maybe someday he will change his birthday back to the original date (if you can do that?) but for today we remember a special day he was born and this summer we will celebrate the special day he joined our family.


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Why Persistence isn’t a Virtue

Me: “Lexi, get dressed, we’re going to Nana and Papa’s.”

Lexi: “I’m going to wear my pajama’s to Nana and Papa’s.”

Me: “No, you can’t wear your jammies, go get changed.”

Lexi:  “Why can’t I wear my jammies?”

Me: don’t feel the need to explain everything, want to say “because I said so” but don’t, hope the ignoring technique will work

Lexi:  “Why can’t I wear my jammies?”

Me: continue to clean up the kitchen, sticking with the ignoring technique

Lexi:  “Why can’t I wear my jammies?”

Me:  clean the kitchen table, continue ignoring technique

Lexi:  “Why can’t I wear my jammies?” (repeat x8…I counted)

Me:  finally can’t stand it and leave the room to get ready myself

Me: return 15 minutes later (and I kid you not) the second I step in the room she says…

Lexi:  “Why can’t I wear my jammies?”

Me:  who thought of the stupid ignoring technique, clearly they have never met my daughter



P.S.  She did not go to Nana and Papa’s in her jammies.  “The van’s leaving in 10 minutes!” did the trick…this time.



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Real Interview Questions

Friday night we went swimming at the community center and Lexi dove down to the bottom of the 10ft pool and touched the bottom for the first time.  She was very excited and proud.  So was the other kid  there who proudly announced with a toothless grin, “I touched the bottom, too!” 

Now those are accomplishments.  But these seem to get lost as we get older.  What if our resumes were full of stuff like that?  What if interview questions were a little more along those lines?

“So, Mr. Johnson, looks like you graduate at the top of your class, have an MBA  and you’ve been a senior manager for 8 years but can you ride down the street on a bike no-handed?…What about holding your breath for 30 seconds?…Have you ever drank a school-sized milk carton in one chug?…Ever stayed up past midnight before the age of 10?…Have you ever ridden EVERY ride at the amusement park?”

That’s where the heart of the interview should be.  That’s where you find out the true character of people.  Maybe political debates could follow the same format. 

I’ll let you know if this becomes the new standard practice.


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Fun Photo Friday: I See the Resembelance

Proud, proud moments when your daughter can impersonate a conniving lizard cartoon.


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Should I Euthanize the Goldfish?

Swim to the light, Finn!

On Saturday Joey came to me and said his fish wasn’t looking so good.  I asked, “Is he floating at the top of the tank?”

“No” he replied.
“Then he’s fine.”
Joey was not satisfied with this answer so I went to take a look.  Sure enough he did not look so good.  I wasn’t sure what to do about that.  I didn’t grow up having pets (except the summer we had a hamster) and the only other pets our kids have had is a guinea pig.  Guinea (I know what a creative name) was Joey’s guinea pig and lived for almost two years and when it was his time to go we just woke up one morning and he was gone.  It was actually really sad considering the scope of things but there was no dying period.
The kids all got their own fish a couple of summers ago.  The kids were getting antsy and it was only the end of July so I told them if they could do their checklist (clean room, read, stop running around outside in their socks) all month they could win a fish.  With some wiggle room they all earned their fish. 
Josh’s fish was the first to go, found him floating at the top of the tank, but the other three have survived going on 18 months (I don’t know what that is in people years.)
So my first thought, when I saw this fish, is that we have to put him out of his misery.  He had lost some of his coloring and his fins looked shriveled.  I briefly thought maybe there was some kind of medicine at the pet store that would help, or maybe a change in diet?  If I did decide to put him out of his misery how would one do that?  Just flush him alive and hope for the best?  But then he is just suffering in a different, less inviting environment.  I think he would much prefer a hospice type arrangement. 
My thoughts flashed to the future with Joey laying on the therapist’s couch, “And then she just flushed him…he was still alive and she flushed him…oh Finn!”  So I decided the best thing was to wait and see.
The next day Finn was gone.  Joey thought maybe he should keep Finn in a little treasure box on his desk but I thought the aroma may make that unpleasant.  Then I thought, what if we cremated him?  I started to think about how one would go about cremating a fish and what exactly would be left after the process and then I said,  “I think we should flush him and create a memorial instead.”
So we had a bowl-side memorial (although Joey wasn’t that interested, “It was a fish, Mom” I did it because that’s what “good” moms do.)  Then we put a small wood cross in his fish tank in remembrance of all the good times we had together.
What am I going to do when I cave to the “When can we get a puppy?” plea?
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The Valentines Stash

See, I wasn’t exaggerating about the number of Valentines!


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