Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Season for Sizing Up

This boy-- yes, his shoes are too big... yes, he insisted on the stupid face... yes, I told him to get off the doctor's stool-- this boy astounds and confounds me. I knew it was coming. I see it. Other people comment to me. I make his meals. I buy his pants. Benjamin is experiencing a Season of Growth, and his well child visit proves it.

Since his last visit to the doctor in March (to treat his eczema) Ben has gained EIGHT pounds. His stats for age 10 are:
68.2 pounds (39th percentile for weight)
53 inches (24th percentile for height)

Remember how we worried? How we fretted? How we prayed?! The high-calorie drinks, the specialists, the special diets, the mandatory weigh-ins, the rotten teeth from all the sugar, the special charts to plot his small stature... Todd and I used to joke-- because if we weren't laughing, we'd be crying-- Just you wait... All this worrying is probably for nothing... Bet this kid is the one who grows up to be overweight, and then we'll have a new problem on our hands!

Benjamin is not overweight. His body mass index (BMI) is completely normal.
Like, average. AVERAGE. No sweeter word has ever been spoken.  I actually bought Ben size 10 uniform pants for school, and they're not even slims. We did nothing different-- he just grew!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow... I mean, grow!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Spicy and Sweet?

For some reason not recalled, I saved this post and it popped up in my Facebook memories today, exactly when I needed to read it. If I'm honest, I am not ready for school to start. The kids are... But I am not... Because in Krinkeland, we are doing well. All by ourselves, in the bubble, we are wonderful.

Not perfect. Definitely spicy. Crazed, at times. But with so much secret sweetness, casual care and LOVE. Can that be enough? Why can't that be enough?! 

Yes, often the judgement is imagined-- I am the one doing the comparisons and perceiving condescension from others. Rationally, I know this. It's my own weakness on which to work. Yet, sometimes, the observations are calculated, verbalized, shared, with me and with others.

I have had other parents tell me my kids are sassy or disruptive. A mother of one of my girl's friends has called me on the carpet numerous times for my daughter not treating her daughter the way she thinks her daughter should be treated. There have been open and direct accusations that my children got cast in theatrical roles, accepted into special programs, or placed in classes or groups they did not deserve.

I know these claims come out of insecurity and hurt on the other side. I know other mothers worry, too, about whether they're raising their children right. (Translation: How have I screwed them up today?) I also know sometimes my kids are in the wrong, are not model citizens, don't treat others the way Jesus wants us to treat others. They are learning. I am learning. We all are learning.

Where is the mercy? Can I get a little mercy here? Can we stop comparing and competing?

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I had some time alone in the car today-- about the only quiet time I get-- and, in the quiet, my mind was going, going, going... I was thinking of simply AMAZING things the AMAZING people in my life have said to me at times.  I am very attached to words, and I often think of the same words, phrases and statements, applying them to appropriate situations and using them as sage advice. 

My life slogan is: "You are what you do, not what you say you do." --Carl Jung

The verses of my life are from Philippians 4:6-7: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The songs (lyrics) that guide my steps include:
"Just a Closer Walk With Thee"
"You're My Home" by Billy Joel
"We Are In Love" by Harry Connick, Jr.
"For Good" from Wicked

But I am talking about the REGULAR people I know and love who are oh, so quotable.  I know I've mentioned some of these before, but these words shape my thoughts and actions on a daily basis.  I am so blessed to have such brilliant people in my life.  I need this advice:

"I'm not going to tell you what to do.  You know what to do.  But I think you will find that if you make the wrong choice, you personally will feel a distance between you and God." --Father Hennen

"Pain changes people." --Deb

"My personal philosophy is that what makes a good vagina is if it performs the way you want it to." --my doctor

"Oh, I don't believe God does not intend for us to suffer.  Indeed, suffering is necessary to draw us close to Him." --my sister

"Every day's a crapshoot." --my husband

You are so welcome.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Todd and I have had the honor twice in the past week of attending blessed marriage celebrations. We wish Joel and Jilli and Chris and Angel all happiness today, this week, and for their futures. Marriage is not always simple or spectacular... But it is always more amazing than any adventure anyone could have alone!

These are my adorable nephews and niece at the wedding of their aunt (on the other side) Angel.

Sweet Solomon took a selfie with the Godmother.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Crayfish Hunters

We are spending a few days at Izaty's Resort on Lake Mille Lacs at the invitation of my MIL and SIL. After a nice dinner in a really beautiful evening, the crazy kids of Krinkeland went crayfish hunting-- with their hands!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Two-Wheel Triumphs and Troubles

Plus: Benjamin truly clipped playing cards to his wheel spokes, "so it will sound like a motorcycle, Mom!" What year is this?! Time warp!
Minus: Biking after dinner means we able to pedal really fast to try to outrun the mosquitoes.
Plus: I am young enough to hop on a bike and speed past the kiddos.
Minus: I'm old enough that I pinched my saggy neck skin in the helmet strap.
Plus: Madeline declared, "Wow, Mom, I didn't know you could ride standing up-- how fancy!"
Minus: Ben had a major wipeout at the point furthest from home, and had to make it all the way back with a raspberry-ed elbow.
Plus: Just as we neared home, a police officer pulled us over and gave us all Dairy Queen certificates for wearing our helmets!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Entertainment for All

It's been a busy, fun day. Grandma R., the kids and I had a full day at Bunker Beach water park... And then Todd and I spent the evening taking in "South Pacific" at the Guthrie Theater. So awesome! So exhausting!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Musical Maddy

Madeline had a friend over to play today.  After they'd exhausted themselves, I offered to drive the girl home, and both girls asked whether I would turn on music in the car.  I couldn't immediately find the "Frozen" soundtrack-- their first request, so I suggested "Seussical."  Then, I tried to not split a gut as Maddy tried to explain the plot of the musical to her friend, who had never experienced it:

"Oh, this musical is so fun!  You know, it's like all the Cat in the Hat stories rolled into one!  There's the Cat in the Hat (singing)!  And there are these tiny, little people, called Whos.  You know the Whos?  They are so little, you can't even see them... But they live on this speck of dust and only the elephant knows.  Everyone thinks he's crazy, but he's the only one who really knows.  Well, he and Mrs. P. (the kindergarten teacher who played the part of Gertrude in our recent community theater production) are the only ones who really know the Whos. (singing) 'We're Whos here, we are Whos here..' Oh, that's the General! Do you know the General? My dad is the General! (friend: 'Your dad is the General? What's a general?') You know, a general-- it's a teacher.  He teaches kids about WAR!"  (friend: "Wow.")

After we returned the friend home, Madeline commented, "Mom, can you believe she's never seen 'Seussical?' 'Course, I think seeing it about two times would have been the right amount.  I saw it too much."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Answers, Please

My kids are exhausting, confounding, amazing... I guess that's true for everyone and their kids, huh? I'm having one of those days, no-- weeks... Months? Years? when I really wish someone would just tell me how to do it. What is the right way? I need some direction-- the right way to be a mother, the right way to be a wife, the right way to be a friend... 42 years roaming the planet and I feel I have absorbed exactly zero tips. Objectively, I realize no one has all the answers, but, sometimes, it sure feels as though they (think they) do.

Friday, August 12, 2016

I Lost My Son at Open Swim

I took the kids this afternoon to open swim at a nearby school.  Weird, I know, since it's prime-summertime and we live on a lake, but the weather has been iffy this week, and they wanted to practice their newly acquired swimming lessons skills.  We entered the building together, and the kids went through their respective locker rooms to get to the pool, while I took a different route to the viewing area.  I stood for a time, surveying the scene.  I found the girls, but I could not find my boy.  I looked for a really long time... and the pool was not very full... I could not find that boy.

There was a bit of panic-- Was there some problem and he was wandering then school, looking for me?  Was he being held hostage in the locker room?  Had he been kidnapped?  WAS HE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL?  I scanned and scanned and scanned, in full lifeguard mode.  I was weighing my options, whether I should call down to the girls or walk all the way around to the pool deck.  I adjusted my glasses and went down that diving board lineup one more time.

Benjamin was there. 

I had seen him a bunch of times, but he didn't register, because, truly, I didn't recognize him.  I didn't remember which swim trunks he was wearing.  Ben has obviously spent the summer growing, getting taller and filling out.  He is 10 years old.  He swaggers off the diving board and lazily crawls to the pool wall. 

I found him.

Monday, August 8, 2016

This Kid

This kid has been cracking me up all day!

"Mom, at the bookstore, I saw a magnet that says 'Yay, boobies!' and one that says 'Yay, balls!'" 
(Falls on the floor, clutching her midsection and rolling in laughter.) 
I'm so glad she can read... And has older siblings to teach her the fun terms!

"Mom, we sure have a lot of aww-too parts stores in this town. I guess people have lots of projects they 'ought to' get done!"
They were auto parts stores.

She also told me after her swimming lesson, "Today we learned the-- what's it called-- primary school backstroke?"

Isn't she the best?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Mom: "Hey, where are you going with that stack of towels?"
Madeline: "Well, I needed one, so I came in to get a clean towel off the laundry pile and I thought to myself, 'I might as well put away all these clean towels where they go,' and so I am putting them away."

It took fourteen years of parenting four children, but my work here is done.