Sunday, February 11, 2018

Birthday Boy


Oh this boy. I don't even know where to start . . .  so, the facts of celebrating Judah will begin the gush.

Festivities started the day after Christmas, thanks to Gma N - we were in Fargo at a fun hotel and it was subzero and so cozy. Swimming, Space Aliens brought in, and a party in their room with lego plates and cupcakes and ice cream and presents and singing. He clearly was feeling the love.


Celebrations continued at home in a unique way, dear Karis got what seemed to be influenza and was on the couch for Judah's birthday. Which in its own way, gave Judah reign of the house and put him in charge of whatever he wanted to do: play with all his new toys! It fit his personality and I'm grateful, his expectations are sweet and small. We did the special plate, Ps. 139, long weird balloons (inappropriate picture not included of how he very innocently put them in his pants and walked around), cinnamon rolls . . . looking at old pictures and telling stories, tried to make a nice dinner and he didn't eat it, because . . . flu hit him the next day. Mercy be, spared on his actual birthday, a gift.

For the first year, Judah's been to some super birthday parties and so for the first time a friend party was gonna happen (I know, 5! Post Christmas baby, what can be said). What he wanted for his party:
- Watch "Mater Tall Tales"
- Eat cookies
- With: Ted, Mitchell, Leif, Josh

Sweet and easy! So we also picked up Wendy's for the crew, which they watched during Mater. Some punch balloons, remote control cars, gifts . . . the time was wild and wonderful.

And then preschool honored his day with a crown, prayer, singing, "lighting" a birthday cake, and having Trevor read a story (Pig in a Wig).

Trev's parents were in town shortly after and kept the party going with donuts and monster truck movies (with encouraging messages, who knew?)

Judah continues to be tender (can also be tough - "I'm okay I'm okay!" he assures us when he gets hurt). He is hilarious and makes us laugh by hiking up his pants and running around. He loves to cuddle and read books. He adores his friends and school, and also needs his alone time (ahem, like his mom). He's wise and reflective, curious and attentive. If he doesn't know people, he hides behind my legs (or puts his hood over his head). He pushes his "SEEster's" (how we say that word around here) buttons (read: for a while was hiding her toys and watching her be miserable trying to find them, before days later confessing). He has a quirky and hilarious sense of humor. Sometimes he puts on ALL his socks at one time, and lately also tried to put on ALL his pants and underwear (partially succeeded). He's content, and I've noticed how happy he is for others in their joys. Salty stories will wait for another day.

I feel less emotional than usual about Judah growing up - savoring the memories and treasuring his growth in so many ways this year. Or, just in denial. He's a delightful buddy and getting to know him is a gift.


Judah's fave things: 
Friends (Poppy, Ted, Mitchell - most talked about)
School ("Do I go to Calvary after this day?)
Monster trucks, hot wheels, mad matter (so fun), markers, paint
Books (esp. Shirley Hughes' Alfie books right now, Yak and Gnu, Snip Snap & Snur, That's Not a Hippopotamus!, Mr. Magee books, Comic Bible)
Still likes to eat lunch in my lap while I read to him
Cheesy peas, biscuits (belvita!), McDonald's ice cream, banana snack cake, hot chocolate, pannekuchen, candy
Sleeping in his tent
Playing "tickle monster" and hide and seek with me during the days
Making forts - everywhere. Even out of luggage in airport terminals
Cuddling
"snuggle forts" (lots of blankets piled up anywhere, esp. behind the couch)
Tractor shirt and Grandma Nancy pants (lays them out at night for the next day)


Judah's birthday jabbers: 

"I'm five years old!"
"Is it my friend party today?"
"My cough is all better for my friend party!"
"My favorite clothes are CLEAN!"
"You and Santa are besties!"
"Did I gulp the words out of your mouth?"
"Mommy when I'm as big as Goliath, I'll like fruit"
"Fat chubby professor!" (no idea where this came from, he hikes up his jammy pants and walks around like Urkel - remember Urkel?)
"Fat chubby books"
"I'm happy for you too!"
"I can help!"
"You are breaking my heart!"
"I don't really know" (the answer to many of my questions)
"Me and Caleb made fire muffins!" (he loves preschool)
"Or you can pull the red cord when you need to be in the arms of your grown up" (said while in the bathroom with Trev at the nursing home . . . big heart melter)
"I'm gonna fill you up with love!" (what we say when we hug)
"Can we go home and you can fill me up with love?"
"Sure I can!"
"Isn't it neat how everyone was five? I didn't know YOU were five Mommy!"

The Louise Ames Bates/Gessell Institute developmental books I read every year for both K & J have some wonderful things to say (and I agree to) about 5 (the book title: Your 5 Year Old: Sunny & Serene):
- "'My own best mommy' is what he often calls her" (seriously, he will run up to me and say this and of course it's the best! How do these people know these things?)
- "They like to hear how much their parents love them" (well, who doesn't, right?)
- "They sometimes overestimate her ability to read their minds, often quick and impatient and don't always give the necessary clues as to what they're talking about. Then they get angry if she doesn't pick up on their story at once. It takes a quick wit to be a mother" (well, yeah)
- "And admittedly, if things go wrong, children will sometimes take things out on mother" (sometimes? Try, always)
- "Most fives are very fond of their fathers, proud of them, and love their company . . . it is more likely that the five will take an outburst of temper out against his mother than his father. And in the insecurity of the night, it is mother whom he wants" (of course)





Saturday, January 13, 2018

Let it Happen

Rose Colored Glasses rememberings of December . . . stay tuned for other stuff in January

Pre Advent Indulgences
Literally the day before Advent, we got all our wild out, boys/girls style:
Karis and I went for a haircut and donuts, and that afternoon hit the mall (walked away empty handed, Michaels is more our speed so that was the next stop), Chipotle, home to watch Cinderella and play a game and read.
Whilst the boys . . .
Hit the Monster Truck Jam show (happy early birthday, Judah!).
Just so epic and memorable.

The Advent theme that arose around here was "Let it Happen". Intentionally plan little, seek quiet, be flexible and flowing. Basement work (yay!) and coughs (boo!) started at the same time, and I knew it would be a loud season, so we created quiet in any ways we could.
Flavors of the days:
- Rebel Donut bar with friends, a hot sauce store next door lent Christmas gifts and inspiration (the guy's story, so great)

- Simple Gifts concert for Aunt Debbie's 60th
- Well/sick days. One weekend that helped us put on the breaks
- Making gingerbread cookies
- Annual RiverTree Festival of Lessons and Carols. Watching the children (and yes, my eyes gravitate to Karis) sing with pure joy, contagious. Once in David's Royal City was the song that made me tear up this year
- STAR WARS! Trev reminded me many times, "You know I'm going to Star Wars Saturday night?"
- Life Group party. This group is so chill, snacks and gift exchange (rule: can't buy anything, have to wrap up something from your house that is smaller than a coffee table)

New Traditions
- Lively Hope . . . a dear friend wrote a beautiful, meaningful book for Advent and it colored our weeks

- Dec. 6 St. Nicolas Day (toothpaste in stockings the night before . . . sweet crocheted stockings hanging from their room closet doors)
- Old Fashioned Christmas in Plymouth (reindeer, s'mores, carolers, Santa, snowy/icy playground)

- Dec. 13 St. Lucia Day (pop-the-can cinnamon rolls in the morning, served by garland wearing Karis)

- Letters from Father Christmas (Tolkien!) in bed with daddy

- A stop at Pizza Corner on our way to ND (DO THIS if you can. Call ahead! Kids area! Yummy pizza!)

- Mad Libs and fried steaks and oldies and watching Samantha's Christmas on New Year's Eve

Christmas in Bis
Older kids = more chill momma. I felt more present this year than some past (when wrapped up in naps and other silly mom mode things). Watching their wonder, excitement, delight. Light in everyone's eyes, laughs, chats. Some memories that rise to the top right now are watching the Crown with my parents, Lila's 2nd birthday party, GG Warren & Eileen's birthday party, presents (!!! watching the kids especially), watching Santa Clause (Tim Allen) with kids and my parents, nativity pageant, Fargo hilarity (Karis and Judah playing "Watch ya Mouth"), hotel stay with parents/GG Carole/brother's fam (Gma Nancy did a sweet party for Judah, playing with all the cousins. Sweet Karis ended up pretty sick and was such a cuddly trooper)

Christmastide
This is my favorite week of the year, between Christmas and New Year's, the world slows down. Jeans stay in the closet. Toys keep the kids busy. Movies (Samantha's Christmas, Cars 2) and popcorn and hot chocolate and cookies and cuddles are flowing. Playing with all the new toys. This year Karis and Judah got what must've been influenza, fever/chills/aches/cough/congestion. Sweet littles were quite the troopers and with medicine stayed content enough to enjoy being cooped up at home (which we might've been anyway with subzero temps). Karis and I started reading Little Women (joy!), Judah got into a new "comic book Bible". Quality couch time. Broke out eventually to pick out paint, and a carpet guy came to our house, adding just a touch of spice to the days.

Advent readings: Advent for Everyone, A Christmas Carol, The 24 Days Before Christmas, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, The Miracle of Jonathan Toomey . . .  Hidden Figures, Babette's Feast, The Dog Knew Papa and the Angel, God in the Sink, (finished 11/22/63. So. Long.), Adventures in Waffles (with Karis)

From Recent Readings
Hidden Figures: 
"Serendipity happens when a well-trained mind looking for one thing encounters something else: the unexpected. . ."

Memorable convo:
Karis: "I had a dream where Drew Prest was really mad at me but I wasn't able to run away"
Judah: "Next time you just need to run away really fast and get some weapons. Then you hit him in the dirty place. And he will get all dirty. And then you get a hammer and hammer him. But that's just silly. Just pretend"
(should we be concerned?!)

Karis-isms: 
- "I think I made up my mind, I like marvel more than dc"
- "I can tell he's cold, he just doesn't wanna admit it"
- "You should prune your plant, it's dying"
- "Mom, you're my favorite woman in the world. I've realized that I look like my dad, and act like you!"

Judah Jabbers:
- "It's called fake love. Fake is because you can't see it all the time. Except it's real"
- "Did you just fill me up with love?" (after giving him a hug)
- "Well people without enough money can still be happy, right?"
- "Hey, how you doing down there sister?" (when Karis had a fever and was having dinner in the toy room)
- "I'm five years old!"
- "Mommy, will you cuddle with me?"
- "Can we go home and hav you fill me up with love?"
- "I'm so glad we're kids"
- "Please don't ever get me rollerskates again"
- "It's not a puzzle, it's not rollerskates, it's not legos" (guessing what was in a present)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Nubs of November

"You are never going to have a lot of time, but you do have a little time here and a little time there, and those little times all add up to a life"
"That is the way of it. Children are meant to grow up. Maybe you have yet to come face-to-face with what that means. I hope you will take courage and allow your children to walk away with grace"
Cindy Rollins (Mere Motherhood)

I am more "face to face" with growing children, it seems every day. And always grateful and always trying to pause and capture the moments. Here are a few for our own little record, and maybe for your amusement.

Hunting in Bis/Mommy Fun Weekend in Minne-applesauce
Yes, the kids love to call this place "Minne-applesauce". Trev went to Bis-a-marck for a few days to hunt and gather, the rest of us had some fun times here. Per usual I try to be like "no big deal, see you later", and then my body says, "hi, you actually care, do you want to admit that?". My shoulders were so tense all weekend, and even though all went well and was fun . . .well, it's still not my fave to say see-ya to the man-o-the-house. Sweet memories: Punch pizza with Drew's fam, Galleria wanderings with Aunt Kate, watching Boss Baby, ice cream & play at McD's. A fave was seeing how refreshed Trevor was when he got home.

Baptism Birthday
Because, we all need reminders. Oh this precious child of God! Burgers per usual, candle, reading, remembering.

Zumba like it's a job
Eliza invited Karis to join her for a kids' zumba class, oh it was fun and Karis owned it. She was right up front and mastering the moves. While the moms joined in occasionally and mostly sat on the sidelines, where we are meant to be (ha).

Gymnastics
Found a place where they can both take a class in their age range at the same time. Boom. I get to watch through the glass and read. This is the good stuff.


Basement un-do
Trev rocked this project. And the pieces I could tackle with him went well too (after 13 years, we're learning how to embrace our unique gifts about home projects).

B-day Bonanza
Judah was invited to precious Poppy's birthday party. Epic one. Friday night, church gymnasium with bouncy house, pizza & cupcakes, glow-sticks in the dark, scooters. Our fam was welcome to join - Karis and I had planned a Potbelly's/Michael's date, so we did that and then came back for presents and treats. So dear. High bar for b-day parties, this boy has.

Children's Service
Always a highlight, the children leading us through the service with song and verse and prayers and blessing. Grateful (pic below, they picked out their outfits, which is a small miracle since usually they're trying to wear sweat pants to church).


Water Concert
One of the other Andreas in my life is in an orchestra, and as she's our children's pastor . . .several of Karis's friends and moms met in Wayzata for a Sunday concert. The focus was water, beautiful. My favorite was the bass solo of "Old Man River".

Arboretum/Kindred Spirits
Freezing fun, why not? When we got out of our cars, of course the kindred spirits were completely matching. Crazy. Kids built forts and moms froze and we went to the main building to see the huge tree constructed of poinsettias and the memories are already warm.



Pirate Play
The kids made boxes into pirate ships and hours of fun followed (Karis is in the middle of a book series about a girl pirate, love the imagination).
- "And we're not pirates, we're people"
- "Karis do pirates talk in English or Spanish?"

Thanksgiving
Watching our kids make memories in our homeland, so grateful. This year the weather allowed hikes behind the homes of both grandparents. Their wanderings and imaginings continue to unfold as memories go in the bank.



Pay Attention
3 times in one day: blindness (read a story about a blind man, met a blind man, Bible reading at night about a blind man)
2 times in one day in two different references - on two different days (about 2 months apart): Psalm 131
2 books at the same time (A Christmas Carol, 11/22/63): time travel/what if we could change the past & future
1 morning I wrote "pay attention" in my journal and hours later that was the title of the daily devotion of a book in Judah's room. Pay Attention!

Karis-isms
- "The only thing I don't like about being a pirate, I don't like biscuits!"
- "Well, it's not symmetrical, and it's not a-symmetrical" (while giving me a hint about something in her pocket)
- "Oh come on, mom! It's his automatic workout!" (horsey-ride before bedtime) and . . . "Did you see mom's face?" (while watching horsey-ride. It's impressive)
- "Well, that's peculiar" (looking at a hole in my jeans)
- "I set a timer for having 5 minutes a day with my fish. I call it fish & owner time"
- "Okay Judah, make a duke face!"
- "Well to tell you truth, I'm not surprised she stopped by. She's here a lot"
- "Well, I guess he's losing trust" (when discussing how Judah's been hiding her favorite things)

Judah Jabbers
- "Karis, mom and dad are teaching me to be a gentleman!"
- "So mom, let me tell you about my girlfriends"
- "So does the Lord put joy and love in our hearts all the time?"
- "Mom, why are you good at that?" (I reply "because I'm a mommy, I'm good at everything" clearly a lie) and he retorts, "Well you're not good at making costumes. Daddy's good at making costumes"
- "Hey mom, are there volcanos live in our land?"
- "Do volcanos have lava monsters in them?"
- "Mom, where do dinosaurs live?"
- "Mom, do people migrate?"
- "These are the fattest chubby snowpants I've ever seen in my life"
- "I just have one job for you to do, mommy. Brush my teeth"
- "Isn't it peaceful in here?" (holding a noisy fire truck in the car, and then "now it's not peaceful!" (making it noisy)
- "So mom, what does your hair look like when you take off your armor?" (what????)
- "I wish I knew how to do everything"
- "Mom, do monster trucks in our land have eyes?"
- "Mom, do I ask a lot of big questions? Bigger ones than Karis?"
- "I wanna be a monster truck when I grow up!"
- "I don't really know" (when he doesn't feel like answering your question)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Common Book

This one is for me, in process for perhaps months and just a place to . . .  catch-all on reading quotes - and a recounting of a new thing . . . (I think this is what would be put into a "common book"?)

The new thing: hand lettering. Novice stage, for sure, but oh so fun and the way it came to be I want to give voice to. The end of summer left me feeling tired and un-inspired. On the way to Tay/Kate's for donuts on Labor Day morning I asked Trev to pray for "a new thing", feeling an itch for a spark of something unknown. We're eating donuts and I see some framed hand-lettered words on their hutch and thought, "I love that. I could do that". And then we're leaving and Tay is talking about an online class he's taking and he was so excited . . . and so it all clicked and the minute we got home I went online to look for hand lettering classes and poof there was one happening in a few weeks. Register. Wait the few weeks. Go to the class - beautiful setting (candles, tunes, wine, materials), a mother/daughter duo adopted me at their table, I felt clumsy and then more confident and then realized I just need to enjoy the process and practice. So practicing I am and it's brought a lightness to the days. Grateful. Oh and -
Backing up, my friend Katy is an artist and master of words and has been encouraging me to "just do it" (write more). She gave me a book The Art of the Handwritten Note. Delightful, and fit this season's puzzle perfectly.


Recent Readings (well, not too recent now, this has been in process since summer) . . .

Twice in one week: writings on process cheese!
From Cork Dork (Bianca Bosker)
". . . I know, I know:  it's made with chemicals, and "cheese" is more a euphemism. But the mouthfeel is fantastic, it's the perfect smidge of saltiness to complement eggs . . . "

From Supper of the Lamb (Father Capon)


From Devotion (Dani Shapiro)
"Of course it's not possible to to take in every minute. It's hard to take in even a single minute"
"This was the way it had always been for me: all or nothing, I realized, invariably led to nothing"

"Even this, my son calling me Mommy - felt bittersweet. When would I be demoted to just plain mom? . . . I knew better, of course. I knew that trying to capture time - to hold on to anything at all - was not only useless, but a terrible waste. This moment was holy precisely because there was no other"

"I think of it as the edge of melancholy - at the same way I am easily cheered - in the best of times, untroubled times are the palace walls that protect our childhoods and allow us to move into our adult lives with confidence. And then we begin to understand how fragile life is. Is there some way I can do this life with my eyes open and my heart open and still love it . . . change is inevitable, change is happening right at this very minute"?

From Cork Dork (Bianca Bosker)
"Attaching a name to an odor makes the aroma more emotionally charged - it nails down the memory"

"Every person has the capacity to find and savor the soul that lives in wine - and in other sensory experiences, if you know to look for it . . . it begins with paying attention."

"Learning to cultivate (taste and smell) engages every part of us that elevates our reactions, endows our lives with meaning, and makes us human"

From The Mothers (Brit Bennett)
"A daughter grows older and draws nearer to her mother, until she gradually overlaps her like a sewing pattern . . ."
"'What does it feel like, being pregnant? . . . . It's strange, your body isn't your's anymore. And sometimes it's scary because I'll never be just me again. And sometimes it's nice because it's more than that' . . .  inside of her was a whole new person which was as miraculous as it was terrifying. Who would you be when you weren't just you anymore?"

Random: last year I read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - in one week in two different books, that book was referenced. Always makes me laugh. Oh reading.

From 11/22/63 (foray into Stephen King)
"Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief . . . but brevity makes sweetness, doesn't it? Yes, I think so. Because when the time is gone, you can never get it back." (this is parenting right now, all the sweet moments!)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Treats and Treats

Thought of the month . . . 
Joy is vulnerable. I read what's here, all the memories in 30 short days, and my heart can feel squeezed and I don't know what the feeling is. Deep joy, for sure. And then, vulnerable (this idea is simmering much as a result of some ideas from Daring Greatly). It's a choice to lean into the joy and feel the vulnerability - that such joy means the opposite is possible. That's being present, right? And of all things, as I write these sentences, I'm listening to a talk on C.S. Lewis, talking about joy - good reminders, the deep joy that can squeeze and feel so overwhelming, the sadness (he says the feeling is having an inconsolable longing that we yearn to experience yet have no control over) knowing joy can't last forever (here) - "the most probably explanation is that I was made for another place . . . these joys are only an echo of a tune we have not heard."

C.S. Lewis defined Joy: ". . . an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction". Hmm.

In re-reading My Antonia this month, this passage stirred the soul and seems to fit here now: "In the course of (many) crowded years one parts with many illusions. I did not wish to lose the early ones. Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again."

We're living the crowded and joyful and vulnerable years right now, watching the early memories unfold . . .

Sister/Cousin/mom connection time
Loved having J/C/E here for a couple of week days, getting to E better and having some for real mom chats, sprinkled with a bit of brother bonding. I think I'm a fan of week day visitors, looking for more, hmmm.


Get Away
Much anticipated by all (parents, grandparents, kids - I don't know who was most excited?). Trev and I have an odd history of planning a night away from home and . . .  having it . . . not happen. This time worked and we're already eager to do this again, i.e. trade houses, i.e. go to the cabin for a couple nights while g & g stay here with kids. Oh the rest. Oh the simple meals. Oh the sweet time by the water with music and pens and paper. A couple games, a quaint coffee shop, a wine expert helping serve us at dinner, Trev finding a sport coat at the thrift store, listening to our tunes. And everyone here had a blast too (oh the laughs and loves, treats and toys, cuddles and memories. They first wanted to go to Barnes and Noble to get toys, ha! They also made it through a forgot-school-shoes-mini-crisis, did the arboretum, Snuffy's with D/M/L/C fam . . .).

Coming home was sweet, AND I was instantly nostalgic for the weekend, Margie Hack nailed it in a passage I "happened" to read that week - From God in the Sink: 



Connection Rejection
It's a thing. Judah ignored me for about 2 days after we got back . . . oh my word. I try to not care, but hello I am who I am and I totally care. It reminds me of when the family dog pooped on my bed after I got married, that helped me to both understand and laugh.

MEA (Samantha's Birthday/Lucy QT/little homemaker)
5 straight days off of school, just enough sniffles and coughs to keep things quiet, lots of home time and imagining. Neighbor granddaughter Lucy was here and also sniffling, perfect! She joined us for the library, lunch, some raking, hair braiding. My fave was that Karis decided it was (doll) Samantha's birthday. We had a little tea party for her with snacks and candle and song. Precious. Oh and Karis sewed a button for me and also repaired Judah's pootsie. Contented sigh, we do always want our children to surpass us, right?



School Updates
Poppy - Judah's bestie (and the feeling is mutual, I met her parents)
"Mom, my school smells like graham crackers"
Pajamas/Pepin - on the same day, Judah got to wear his pj's to school and Karis got to road trip to Pepin, WI (Laura Ingalls!). I discovered when Judah got home that he went to school commando. Laughed.

Judah the Decorator
We went into his room after rest time one Sunday and . . . "I made patterns!" . . . with a TON of stickers from an activity book. Karis was so upset (oh sweet girl!), Trev and I were unfazed (2nd child).


Inaugural Family Bike Ride (aka Mom Knows How to Ride a Bike)
Because mom joins the fun now. Story: one Sunday me and K had some time with the boys went kayaking. I asked what she wanted to do, and she said, "A bike ride! But mom, I think maybe you'll be too wobbly? I mean, I go pretty fast". The girl didn't know I could ride a bike! Oh dear daughter. We biked to a lending library and she was quite impressed by my skill. Ha. So a couple weekends later we all headed out together. Mostly successful, only a few bandaids needed (which weren't along, which meant me biking back and driving to pick up the damaged party).

Inaugural Breakfast in Bed
Because Karis is hilarious and loves to "mommy" her little bro. She also makes Trev's weekend french press coffee now.


Resourceful Little Lady
Because, Karis continues to wow us. In school the teacher breezed over the part where Potiphar's wife seduces Joseph. So she asked Trev about it. And he also breezed over the question. So she went and read the story for herself and happily reported, "Oh dad, it's no big deal. She just asked Joseph to sleep with her!". Oh honey.

Moon Watcher
Because Judah is a night owl, one night he called me into his room (sweetest voice, "Oh Mommy! Oh Mommy!") and then led me to his window, "Look, I can see the moon!". Heart melt.

Bob Dylan/Not-bob-dylan
Trev went to Bob Dylan (yay!), couldn't find a sitter so I bailed (boo!). Worked out in the end, I went to a fancy PULSE gala at the Vikings Stadium and got to see Mac Powell (love!). The night of the Dylan concert, I read the below - crazy. And good and needed.


Away with Fam/Waterpark Weekend
Arrowood, 3rd time with this group at this place so it was super comfy and familiar and fun. Eats and treats and laughs and chats and shops and waterpark. Oh, and Billy Big Mouth Bass made an appearance to wake up anyone who was sleeping later than the majority (I gave him as a gift to Trev while dating, Bob turned into a torture tool and so it eventually found the trash . . . Bob was recently inspired to re-order and re-institute the tradition. A hoot - for those already awake).


Inaugural Family Halloween/Everyone-got-a-treat
Because, again, mom joins the fun now. In the past it's been a cousin-come-over holiday, and now everyone is all grown up (kind of) and into their own 'hoods. Anyway, One neighbor commented, "Oh you don't usually go with them on Halloween!" (reply: right, I'm usually staying warm and enjoying an adult beverage with other moms inside!) That morning I felt like momma-needs-a-treat-too, so Judah and I swung by the local hole in the wall best donut shop on the way to preschool. Score for a new tradition, delicious donut, free coffee, everyone there dressed up. Judah's costume dream came true by our resident daddy artist: Tow Truck Mater (p.s. Karis was quite concerned that it was being made out of beer boxes. Mom and Dad - zero concerned). Oh my, he was so proud. Wore it all day, everywhere, and at every door he donned, "I'm Tow Truck Mater! I have a Tow!". There was a sweet little preschool costume parade, oh the deliciousness. After school the kids and I cuddled and watched "Mater's Tall Tales", had chili with dad when he got home, geared up, headed out. Home for a little Sofia and candy sorting. Trev was wiped and went to bed the same time as the kids (read: 7:30!). The next morning he told me about his treat: he woke up at 10pm, finished watching Stranger Things till 1, was sleeping by 2. Oh my. Oh, and Karis thinks she saw "Peek-a-Boo" (stray cat in our yard) at one of the houses! Wild.

Other adventures
Silverwood Park, Arboretum, Depot Coffee Shop, Panera with cousins, losing teeth, Wednesday play date trades, making outdoor play food beautifully, meadow runs . . . sweet season


Media of the Month
Anam Cara, Daring Greatly, It's Won't Be Easy, My Antonia, 11/22/63
He is Given (and Bifrost Arts in general)
This is Us (as good as everyone said it is)

Karis-isms:
- "I wish I had a robot. Well, mom, I guess you're kind of like my robot!"
- "Now Judah, FEEL the music"
- "Well, I've never really seen them quarrel . . . " (talking about friends at school)
- "Oh Judah, you're just too cute"
- "Mom look! Judah can write a real 'J'!"
- "Mom that wasn't funny, why did you chuckle?"
- "I'm Tow Truck Mater!"
- "Hey mom, what do 'almond jollys'" taste like?" (oh too cute to correct her to "almond joy")

Judah Jabbers:
- "Mom do ladybugs make diseases? My sister said"
- "Hey mom, does it take a long time to make friends?"
- "I want daddy" (calling me into his room in the middle of the night) - when I said he's not there . . . "I don't need anything"
- "I always do not miss you at school"
- "Mommy, oh mommy!" (calling me into his room after being tucked in) "I can see the moon!"
- "Will my eyes still be blue in the morning?"
- "I had a dream about big strawberries, they were chasing me and Mitchell" (indeed, after reading an Elsa Beskow book that featured big strawberry characters)
- "Which things are supposed to be red? Lava monsters?"
- "Dad, what do pranksters do?"
- "WHO is putting me to bed?"
- "Is tomorrow after this day?"
- "Is two minutes long?"
- "Real?" (asking if I'm serious or joking)
- "Karis, mom and dad are teaching me to be a gentleman!"