Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Holiday Weekend with the Fam

We had a lovely and full Memorial Day weekend... doing our best to honor the fallen and to teach our children what it means to be free, to live in a democracy, to be Americans. Because we are graced with the gift of freedom by those who have fought and lost their lives, we also shared the gift of time with one another, with family by blood and by friendship. God bless America!

While we're at it, I guess, God bless Valleyfair! And God bless my husband who went along as a chaperone on the eighth grade class trip today. Amanda and friends have yet to return home and it's well past 9 p.m.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Prayer for Each Child

I love this idea of asking God for a special prayer for each of my children. Whenever they have questions about their futures or seem to be at a crossroads, I always advise them to pray about it, asking God for guidance... So, I would like to think I could help them along in that regard, too:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Singing in Spring

These jokers had their spring program at school this evening. It's outgoing-eighth-grader Amanda's last concert there, one of many events in a string of "lasts." For anyone who missed it, or needs another listen, here are their songs:

Kindergarten-First "Que Sera, Sera"

Kindergarten-First "Boom, Boom, Ain't It Great to be Crazy"

Second-Third "Best Day"

Second-Third "Wild Thing"

Middle School "Best Day of My Life"

All-School "Fix You"

Middle School "Time of Your Life"

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Laundry Pile

I do laundry every day. How often does she put away her laundry??? Someone is slacking on the chores! (We all are, actually... the price of finally getting nice weather.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Slides, Monkey Bars and Other Damage-Control Locales

Once upon a time, my kids and I and a bunch of our extended family were at a very busy city park. Some were sitting and listening to a concert and some were playing at the playground. My mom (Grandma to the littles) was helping my then-toddler nephew on the play equipment. He wanted to go down the slide. 

There was another boy standing at the bottom of the slide, throwing rocks on it. He was piling pebbles from the playground bed, over and over again. When he would step away-- to scoop more rocks-- my nephew would launch himself down the slide, and cry every time he hit the rock pile. 

I will never understand why kids like to throw rocks on slides. It is dirty and counterproductive. But I have seen this time and time again, so it is some, mysterious, kid-park phenomenon. And, I guess, if you're all alone at the park, who cares? But, this was not the case. In fact, there was a lineup of kids who wanted to use the slide. 

My mom asked the boy to stop throwing rocks on the slide. He kept on. Grandma asked again, and he continued to ignore her. The mother was nearby, engaged in a conversation with another woman. Upon seeing a stranger bend down and speak to her son more than once, she approached and asked about the problem. My mom said, "I have asked your son to stop throwing rocks on the slide. It's dirty, and they end up in my grandson's diaper. Plus, all these kids are waiting to use the slide. Could you please make him stop?" The woman looked at her blankly and said, "But he likes to throw rocks on the slide."

I don't get it. Soooo, this is YES:

p.s. Sorry she uses bad words and can be offensive. If you are offended, don't read it.

p.p.s. If you are not around and I discipline your child and you are offended, I'm really not sorry. I would do it again. It does take a village. You are welcome in my village. You can feel free to kick me out of your village; if your villagers don't help out one another with child rearing, I want no part in that village, anyway.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cancer Prayers

I have semi-decided to stop answering my phone, checking email and looking at text messages, because it is beginning to seem as though every new day brings a new cancer diagnosis to someone I know, someone about whom I care, someone who needs your prayers:

Diane, with breast cancer
Mary, with metastatic breast cancer
Amie, with pancreatic cancer
Dave, with melanoma recurrence
Catie, with breast cancer
Teri, with ovarian cancer recurrence
Taylor, with sarcoma
RJ, with stomach cancer
Nicole, with breast cancer
Laura, with melanoma
Sarah, with melanoma
Don, with basal cell carcinoma
Todd, with basal cell carcinoma

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Murph on our Turf

Todd, Elisabeth and I competed in a team challenge at our CrossFit box today. Murph is a Hero WOD (Workout of the Day) named for Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Murph consists of:

1 mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
1 mile run

There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the event, but we all finished and finished well! Plus, it was an absolutely beautiful day! Thanks to those who came out to cheer us on, and thanks to our athlete-friends for all their support!

My partner Lora and me post-workout

Eric, Todd's partner 

Libby and her partner, who happens to be my friend Heidi

Our coaches getting over the finish line

My early-morning workout friends 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

You Can Flush That Goodbye

Madeline came off the school bus beaming: "Mom! We had to write in school about three things our mom does for us, and-- my teacher was so proud of me-- I wrote my things all by myself! And I told the truth!"
"That's great, Honey!" I said, while slicing her a generous slice of her favorite treat, freshly baked rhubarb pie. "What did you say I do for you?"
"I said you unclog the toilets!" she exclaimed.
"Ummm, well, yeah, I guess I do that. Thanks for noticing." I asked, "What were the other things you wrote about me?"
She looked at me a bit quizzically, "Well, we have three toilets!"

Monday, May 16, 2016

Focus on the Roast

Like happens with life, when we have lives and we are alive, sometimes there's just a lot of stuff. We, in Krinkeland, have a lot, a lot of stuff right now... And it can seem overwhelming and I can be overwhelmed... But that's not going to be the case because I prefer to let God lead the way. Just waiting to follow...

In the meantime, I am going to celebrate today's little victory: The pot roast came out perfectly.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Birthday and a Moving Day

We mostly got Todd's sister and mom moved into their new home in Buffalo today. Moving is a process, so settling in will all take some time, but, now that their beds are set up, it's definitely happening! The move happened today because that's what worked out best with working schedules, property closing dates, and the like. But today also happens to be Todd's and Lisa's dad's 70th birthday. We miss his presence in our lives, especially on a day like today... When he suffered his final, massive stroke, he and his wife had been making serious plans to move very near to us. Ardy loved real estate. He loved cleaning out and organizing things. He would be pleased with his daughter's fine purchase and would have been on-hand to assist or to offer advice. As our family changes and continues to grow in love, we will always be grateful for these influences.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Minion a Day...

Madeline's teacher sent me this message this morning:

"My day started out pretty gloomy until..."

"I love this girl!!!"

Me, too. Me, too.

Home, Fed, Scrubbed, Put to Bed

Little Big Girl is home from camp! She is exhausted and soggy, but full of tales of her adventures. What an awesome time for my daughter and her classmates-- something they will remember forever, for sure!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Taking Shots at Family

My sister recently posted this photo of the family that attended Rosalind's baptism. I hadn't realized, until I saw the photo, just how many bodies were assembled for Lindy's special day:

Wow, right? But, that's the thing about our family... We show up. 

Today, I had occasion to go through some older photos. The kids need a picture with Mom or Dad or Mom and Dad for an upcoming school presentation. With so many kids, it was easiest just to find a group shot. I also discovered there are many more photos of Dad and a kid than there are of Mom and a kid. I must either hide from the camera or take the photos myself, or a combination of those factors. These are some oldies-but-goodies I found:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Am Praying for This Surgeon-- Join Me

“The absolute best thing in the world that can happen to me is telling a parent that their child’s tumor is benign.  I live for those moments.  And the worst thing that can happen to me is telling a parent that I’ve lost their kid.  It’s only happened to me five times in thirty years.  And I’ve wanted to kill myself every single time.  Those parents trusted me with their child.  It’s a sacred trust and the ultimate responsibility is always mine.  I lose sleep for days.  I second-guess every decision I made.  And every time I lose a child, I tell the parents: ‘I’d rather be dead than her.’  And I mean it.  But I go to church every single day.  And I think that I’m going to see those kids in a better place.  And I’m going to tell them that I’m sorry.  And hopefully they’ll say, ‘Forget it.  Come on in.’”
As we learn these stories, we are trying to raise $1,000,000 to help the team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in their fight against pediatric cancer. Thanks to the 15,000 people who have contributed so far. We're almost 60% of the way there. Please consider donating: http://bit.ly/1TpFcdy

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Campers

Elisabeth and her classmates embarked this morning on a weeklong trip to an environmental camp in northern Minnesota. Just as it was two years ago when Amanda went with her class, this is really the first time Libby has been away from home on her own... She was so jacked up as departure approached-- already wearing her rubber boots and raincoat although it was sunny and warm, jabbering on and on and on, nervously giggling at just about everything. 

Of course, she wasn't exactly going off on her own. In addition to friends and a beloved teacher, Dad went along as a chaperone! They each packed up enough stuff for 10 camping trips. There was plenty of anxiety to go around, but I know they are having a glorious time. I'm glad it's them and not me, but I cannot wait till they return and tell me all about it!

So Many Events, So Little Time

We are in that time of year when something seems to be scheduled every five minutes. It happens every spring, and still I end up feeling unprepared and frantic. I know our family is not alone... And all our friends and family seem to have lots of different things going on, so it is not as though we are all going the same places. I don't have a solution to the craziness, and no better plan at this point than to hop on and try to enjoy the ride!

On Thursday, the kids had track after school and the usual activities, while my SIL and MIL closed on their new house. They are moving within a couple miles of us!

On Friday, Elisabeth attended her last youth group event of the school year, while Amanda went to a bonfire hosted by a classmate.

Saturday morning, we celebrated Rosalind Laurice's baptism. It was a joy-filled event, for sure! Below is a photo of Lindy and Father Nathan, who baptized her. I just love how he clearly loves the Lord, his life, his vocation and kids!

That evening, we attended a Kentucky Derby party at the home of some friends. My daughter (who is good friends with the daughter of the hosts) informed me one day prior that it was a costume party. I found my straw sun hat and decorated it with lots and lots of frilly ribbons. Libby saw it and said, "Ooh, I want to wear that!" I handed it over and dug out my even simpler sun hat; then I attached a large flower decoration with some colorful bands and ribbons. Amanda saw it and asked, "Can I wear that hat?" I gave up on wearing a fancy hat and figured it would not matter because I don't get anything about horse races, anyway. I did not take any photos at the party because I was too busy talking and drinking mint juleps.

Sunday was Mothers Day, and you already know about that.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Mother of All Days

It was a lovely and love-filled Mothers Day. Everyone was here at our house for the low-key celebration... Only Lisa had to work. We talked and laughed and ate, and, since the sun was shining and oh, hey, it's May, all the crazy kids jumped in the lake! Of course, I didn't manage to get a single photo of my mom-- but I have some from Rosalind's baptism yesterday-- and only one really odd one of my MIL...

The kids were insistent Todd and I stand in profile and kiss, so they could take photos. The only thing that could make that even more weird was Todd's mom standing on the front steps of her new house, watching.

My goddaughter Lucia held her cousin Lindy while Eloise "gently" played beauty shop.

My godson Solomon figured out the best way to kayak-- passively.

Here's my mom holding Lindy at her baptism yesterday. A mother's (and grandmother's) love knows no bounds!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Color Violet

My SIL Kristin and I went last evening to see this local production of "Violet": http://www.yellowtreetheatre.com/shows/season-8-test/violet

"Violet" is one of my favorite musicals, even though I had never heard of it until a couple years ago when the big girls and I stumbled upon the Broadway production starring Sutton Fostet and Joshua Henry. This was not Broadway, but it was good-- good vocals, solid acting, and a really good use of a really odd space. Kristin and I decided it was a good thing to expand out artistic experiences to include musicals performed in strip malls where the audience sits on lawn chairs, and we decided it's a good thing for us to have Date Night!

Monday, May 2, 2016

College Not for All?

I realize this post may not be popular, especially among my extensively educated extended family, but I think there's a lot of truth here. I have been known to say, "College is not for everyone." Even I, who earned a great degree while learning a lot, discovered my path to career success came through on-the-job training, pure and simple. What's more, these days, both of my siblings and I-- all college-educated-- are (by choice) unemployed. 

I don't know what, if anything, this will mean for my children and their futures. Anyway, read and discuss amongst yourselves: