Saturday, October 31, 2015

What a Day!

Big day today, huge.

First, this happened:

...which is impossible because she's hardly walking and isn't even potty-trained, right? I mean, my baby cannot be a first grader and start losing her teeth!

Also today, all the kids and grandparents had a successful Grandparents Day at school. Amanda played Johnny Carson in their Tonight Show-themed variety show. I poured lemonade and coffee for two hours straight.

Finally, Todd and I attended the annual gala for Bethany Christian Services, with some relatives and some new friends. There is much good being done in the world. In a gathering like that, you feel it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Love and Grace

I simply love this. As I read it, I am thinking the mission really gets its power by me, first, showing more LOVE and especially GRACE to my own children. Beyond that, I know it takes a village... May I continue to grow in support of my siblings and my friends in the loving, graceful rearing of their children:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Week

We have one Peter Pan's Shadow... And one male ballerina... (Yes, go alert the masses-- I should win some kind of award for my stellar parenting, like all those other cool, open-minded parents who embrace their children's gender-bender antics, because who the heck cares.) But, as for the other two, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over WHAT, OH, WHAT TO BE FOR HALLOWEEN!

My patience and my budget are already depleted, so... Good luck digging through those three tote boxes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Madeline and the Halloween Party

Madeline was invited to a Halloween party, because, apparently, that's how six-year-olds roll these days. She decided to go as a Swamp Monster Minion because why be typical? (See previous post.)

That's right-- the cowboy, the chef, the kitty, the princess and the Swamp Monster Minion.

I had another engagement this evening, so Daddy picked up Maddy from the party and I have not yet gotten the report on how things went. Maddy was very excited to attend her friend's party,
mostly because he lives on a hobby farm, and he had told Madeline one of the mommy barn cats had killed and eaten her baby.

Kids rock.

Back It Up

I tell you, I don't think my body went to pot at age 40-- my mind, maybe-- but all these aches and pains didn't kick in until this year. So, 41 must be the real problem... Or maybe it is CrossFit's fault, after all... Such a bummer to finally make a conscious, dedicated decision to get fit and to just end up wounded. My lower back is acting up for the second time in as many months. I guess this means I am finally an adult, because:

I kinda wonder why my back hurts, but I kinda don't... Because it was never really the same after I hurt it, rested it, stretched it, iced it, repeat back in August... But it did get mostly better, and I did get back to working out, just really carefully and not lifting as much weight. And, then, handstands.

I should know by now that if there is a skill I never mastered in childhood (and there are many) it is definitely a bad idea to decide to revisit that skill in middle age. Yet, on Thursday morning, I finally mastered the handstand, and, while arching my back against the wall, I noticed the now familiar start of the ache. 

I haven't done any handstands since, but my backache has continued to grow. Not wanting to become completely incapacitated as I was in the previous incident, I pulled way back on the weight today and modified sit-ups to crunches. Then, I stretched some more and even more. I iced my back. I made an appointment with the chiropractor, because that's what happens when you get to be 41 and you all of a sudden get backaches and you can't be sure but CrossFit might be the cause.

Then, my coaches showed up at my house with a delivery: an inversion table. They set it up in the den and told me to stretch and use the foam roller on my back, then lay inverted for a while, then ice my lower back. "How long should I hang upside-down?" I asked. "Well, let's get you situated now and then we'll be back to check on you at sunset," the Mean One said. (It was noon.)

Once the kids got settled for the night, I got settled, too. This is my view:

Of course, if I turned the table around, I would, at least in theory, be able to look out the window at the lake. But I didn't think of that when I was right-side-up. Plus, it's dark. I see that doorway and wonder what a Krinkeland passerby would see...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Where There's a Will

"Mom, this book is so good, I don't want to put it down!"
"That's great, but it's time to go to school."
"But, Mom, I can't wait to find out what happens next!"
"OK, well, take the book to school with you."
"No, Mom, I mean, I can't even read on the bus in the morning."
"Why? Is it too bumpy? Too loud?"
"No, it's too dark."
"Oh, we can fix that! Just go and grab one of those headlamps hanging by the back door."
(Gets it and puts it on.)
"No, Mom, I can't wear this... All the other kids will think I'm weird."
"That is correct."

Thursday, October 22, 2015


For Toni, age 42, and her family, upon her death from cancer

For Ann and all those recovering from surgery

For all the babies soon to be born

For Lisa's house to sell and for Connie's and Lisa's household transition

For Madeline's eye to grow stronger, and for Mom to remember to treat it 

For Benjamin's eczema to stay under control

For all the STFX teachers and staff

For Elisabeth to stay infection-free 

For all those working on fitness programs and healthier eating

For foster children to find homes and forever families, and that God will continue to bless Rachel's work

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Making of a Gymnast

During gymnastics class, the coach demonstrated the next skill for practice. My sparkly urchin piped up, "Hey! That's the same thing we did last time." The coach replied, "Good memory. Yes, we are going to keep practicing this every time until we get it perfectly." Sweet Baby Gymnast shrugged her shoulders the way she does, lept into the air, and fell face-first-crotch-second onto the beam. 

More practice needed.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

From Behind the Locked Bathroom Door

"No one is in here."
"You cannot come in."
"Go ask Dad."
"Mom is not here."
"What do you need?"
"No, you cannot come in."
"Go away!"

After being trapped in a car with them on a seven-hour road trip, I don't even feel guilty.

Space is a blessing. So is my own bathtub.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


The 13-year-old cozied up to me at bedtime and said, "Mom, I just want to thank you for always making good choices." "Why, what happened?" I accused. "Nothing. Nothing happened," she said. "I just want to honor that you chose a good man to be your husband, and you chose a good dog for our family, and you chose a good lifestyle, and you make good choices to model for us every day."

Let's just sit with that for a while.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Girls and Boys and Little Brothers

Amanda had some classmates over this afternoon to work on a science project. All on the up-and-up, but it's still a little awkward for Mommy to witness the interaction between my eighth grade girl and eighth grade boys. Just. Not. Ready. I was listening, observing, just taking it all in. Before, during and after rock collection, they were discussing girls and boys, romances, test scores, hairstyles, classroom shenanigans, and who was SnapChatting who at 1:00 in the morning. (Definitely not my kid, who is not allowed SnapChat or social media of any kind, and, who currently is not even in possession of her phone, thanks to her role in above mentioned classroom shenanigans.) I was having difficulty taking it all in.

Thankfully, Benjamin came to the rescue:
"Hey, Logan, how many times a day do you poop?" 

 Thank heaven for little brothers.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jones versus the Pumpkin

Some dogs are really cute and some dogs are really smart:

Isn't he adorable?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Remembering a Birthday

Today would have been my father-in-law's 62nd birthday. He did not live to see it. We lost him in June to metastatic esophageal cancer. 61 feels so young, so  unfair-- especially to this 41-year-old.

We did our best to honor Grandpa R. today, as I think we try to every day. We had fun...

...walking with our school family for the annual Marathon for Non-Public Education...

...visiting the apple orchard to choose apples and pumpkins, pet all the farm
animals, and play a mean tether ball tournament...

...and playing at the park.

We went to mass and prayed in his memory. I had a conversation with a friend who was also marking a birthday of someone she dearly loves who is gone. We all shared supper with Grandma R. and the meal was prepared by a friend who also wanted to honor Harlan and his family.

It was a good day. It was not the birthday I would have wished to share with him, but we made it a very good day, and I believe he had a hand in that.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's a Weird, Weird Life

It was a good day. The sun shone. I ticked off a bunch of items on the ol' to-do list... And then I chucked the list to spend a little time with a friend who needed an ear... And we're wrapping up the evening with the boys working on science experiments while I help the girls with their homework and picture-day prep. (I drew Ben the Science Boy yesterday, so this may be the biggest blessing of all!) Still, some really weird junk happened today, too:

I was waiting at a restaurant for Todd so we could have lunch. He was late, as he always is. I was completely unconcerned, but I must have been making the server uncomfortable, because he walked over and handed me a glass of iced tea and said, "Well, you might as well have a drink while you're waiting to see if he shows up."

After school, I took the kids to the clinic for Benjamin's doctor appointment (relax, it's eczema.) Gloriously, the clinic got a big, new bead box activity center-- that will surely become as germ-infested as the last one-- to occupy toddlers while they wait. Naturally, my six- and nine-year-olds were on it like white on rice. A woman approached me and said, "Look how nicely they are playing together! You should take a picture to remember this moment." I smiled. She kept standing there and made the suggestion twice more. Finally, I picked up my phone to take a photo and hopefully get rid of her... And she ran over and photobombed the shot!

That was odd.

On the way home, Ben told me, "Mom, I finally decided what I'm going to be for Halloween." Thank heavens. And with only 30 days to spare! 

"Mom, do we have lots and lots of toilet paper?"
"And do we have a set of stilts?"
"What about dollar bills? I'm gonna need a LOT of dollar bills."