Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Photos of the Fam

We recently had family photos taken at my parents' place on the lake, because it had been a couple years since we had done so, and because we adults apparently like torture.  All is well that ends well... no one bled, and nephew Theo did get his M&Ms, after all.  This fam-- it's a big, big love!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pigpen Among Us

I love my son, but he is a hog.

One of biggest battles we face is getting him to have a bit of respect for his home and his possessions, and to follow the rules of Krinkeland accordingly.  Out of all the children, he is the only one who seems unable to keep food in the kitchen, throw away wrappers, and return dirty dishes to the dishwasher.  He's also not real keen on whether his clothes are clean and weather- and situation-appropriate... his face is perpetually dirty... and he howls over fingernail trimming.

With all this as background, I should not have been surprised by what I found while "helping" (translation: doing most of the cleaning and bossing while Benjamin did most of the avoiding and ignoring) Ben clean out his room.  Our day-to-day cleaning involves making the bed, putting dirty clothes in the laundry, and removing and dumping the half-empty sports drink bottles from the bedside table.  And, sometimes, that doesn't get done at all. 

Yet, when I order ACTUAL CLEANING, we review that this means: bedding changed and bed made; everything put away in its proper place; closet and dresser organized; nothing crammed under the bed, behind the chair or onto the bookcase.  I realized this time that the last time I required a clean room I must have been lax in my inspection.  This time, I wandered into Benjamin's walk-in closet and noticed two stacks of boxes, wondering what was inside them.  My wonder turned to horror as I realized: Instead of really cleaning his bedroom a month ago, Ben had gone down to the basement, dragged up a stack of Rubbermaid storage totes and lids, filled them, and piled them in his closet.

There were six, large, lidded, plastic boxes containing all matter of mess.  Clean clothes were wadded up with dirty clothing, snack wrappers, half-used toiletries, batteries, Legos, dirty silverware, birthday cards, fidget spinner bearings, lost baby teeth, and more.  All these treasures were just haphazardly thrown into boxes, covered and left.

I wanted to strangle my son.

After breathing deeply, and counting to 10, and saying a novena begging for intercession from St. Pigpen, I removed each box, took off the lid, and dumped the contents onto Benjamin's freshly made bed.  I told him he could come out when all the items were sorted and put away properly.  It took a number of attempts over a matter of hours, but, the room is again clean-- for now.

We found at least three tape measures in Benjamin's room-- like father, like son.

The next time this boy tells me he needs deodorant, I will be doubtful.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New Computer, New Requests

I have a new computer and this is my first time typing on it.  I guess this is a big deal and something that should thrill me greatly, because it's the newest, latest, greatest and it is supposedly all mine, mine, mine, because the camera in the computer uses facial recognition and so none but this ol' mug can use it.  But I find technology uninteresting, tedious, and challenging.  Eventually, I will love it, but right now the keyboard just feels wrong... and don't get me started on the mouse!

I am going to use the laptop's inaugural post to ask you to pray.  There are lots of requests coming down the Krinkeland pipeline, and PRAYER WORKS.

For Bryce, 21, recently diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia
For Anna Maria, recently diagnosed with
For Mary, with metastatic breast cancer
For Eddie, awaiting his new heart
For Jaxson, with B-cell ALL
For my mom, being treated for cellulitis in her face
For answers for Johnny
For Beth, dealing with complications of diabetes
For Father Meyers and family, upon the death of mother Michele
For H., with ongoing health concerns
For E., S. and all expectant mothers and their precious unborn babies
For the safety and success of Benjamin's inaugural tackle football season, as well as that of Solomon and Oliver
For those struggling to make difficult decisions
For all children preparing for a new school year
For respite foster families to emerge and fill a desperate need
For many private, special intentions
In thanksgiving for Chris, as he celebrates 15 years post-bone marrow transplant to cure his multiple myeloma
In thanksgiving for the birth of Desmond, Chris and Kim's second grandchild and first grandson
In thanksgiving for Madeline's vision improvement
In thanksgiving for Lucia learning to ride a bicycle!

In this time, I pray for our nation, violently divided along racial prejudices.  I do not understand it.  I witness others' pain.  I will not tolerate it.  When the news headlines scream about another police-involved shooting, attack on an innocent, race rally, I pray... and seek answers... and work against injustice.  All the while, this song plays in my head.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Your eyes do not deceive you-- the Krinkeland boy is playing football! This move came after extensive requests and repeated discussions. OK, he begged.

I did not want my boy to play football. Whenever he brought it up, I would say, "Buddy, I just like your brain too much." The past couple years, that would be the end of the discussion. This year, Benjamin would not let it go. He surveyed his parents, his grandparents, his pediatrician, his phy. ed. teacher. He kept circling back to me. 

I asked the other mothers whose kids play football and who do not present as brain-damaged. Finally, I conceded and registered my son for Junior Bison Football. I did it for one reason: so Ben would never claim I limited him. When I told Benjamin he was signed up to play football, he said, "Wow! I did NOT see that coming!"

That decision felt pretty good, for a while. We got him fitted with an excellent helmet and mouth guard. He started talking things up with his buddies. We went to the equipment sign-out and we learned about shoulder pads. I fielded a welcome call from an absolutely wonderful coach and a text from the wife of another amazing man from our church and school who would also be coaching. 

Leading up to today's first practice, last night I did not sleep. I woke in the middle of the night and tossed and turned about the boy getting slaughtered on the field. My perfect, brilliant, handsome, small, flexible, big-headed, heart-conditioned, slow-running, football-loving boy. It dawned on me that we had neglected to pick up that important piece of protection for his niblets. I fretted for two hours before taking my burden to the Lord and leaving it there. I drifted off again just minutes before my alarm went off.

We made a run to the store today for the cup and special shorts. Then, I did what any crafty and terrified mother would do-- I called Grandpa and asked him to bring Benjamin to football practice.

There's our number 15 taking a knee in his first team huddle. Afterward, Ben was wiped out. How was football practice? "Well, I'm not gonna be a wide receiver because I can't block, and I'm not gonna be a quarterback because I can't catch.  And I'm not gonna be a safety because I can't run fast. So, I'm not sure what position I'm gonna play." I asked, "OK, but did you like football?" He said, "Oh, yeah, I love it."

One thing is for sure: Ben is so, so tired. He went to bed early and easily. You don't think he has a concussion, do you?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Singing in the Church

Amanda and Elisabeth sang in their first voice recital this past weekend. If that didn't bring back memories! The girls have a very nice teacher who is instructing them on proper technique... and, as has become custom, I am pretty surreal they had the biggest cheering section, too.

Who Has Seen the Wind-- Elisabeth

The Salley Gardens-- Amanda