Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three to one inches tomorrow....... least that's what our middle kid says after hearing the forecast for Thanksgiving Eve. Yep, 3 to 1, that's how it works up here in Minnesota. Or maybe he's stating the odds, I don't know. 3 to 1 for Thanksgiving and some mumblings at school and on the radio about a bigger one coming late over the weekend.

I say I'm prepared for this stuff, but I'm sure the gear we had back home for "winter play" is not gonna come close to what's needed for every day play here. Remember, the schools back home didn't send you out for recess if it was below 32. Here they don't send you out if it's below zero. So I'm hoping to learn as we go. For now we have the basics.....

...long underwear, decent gloves, and ear covering hats. Thanks to a wonderful place called "Once Upon a Child" I was able to update all of their snowpants to their new size - used and cheap.

She wore those a whole Saturday, the same Saturday the kids and I decided we would talk in English accents the entire weekend. We had a few people at the park and in the grocery store convinced anyway.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dear Annie.....

How are you?
I have moved to Minnesota with the lady and the three kids. I have heard that you have moved in with the Grandma and Pop Pop and you all will be coming too as soon as the house sells.

Any word on the cats? Believe it or not, I miss chasin' their butts all around.

Things are okay I guess, but I miss our backyard. I go on lots of walks with the lady and sometimes the kids go too. Sometimes there are geese and I am frightened of them, so I duck.

I do get lonely here in the daytime when they are all at school; I wish you were here to keep me company.

The food is alright, I miss sharin' a can of Ol'Roy with you. The lady saves the other half in the fridge for the next day, but it's not so good cold. The kids slip me some scraps though when the lady isn't lookin'. They've been takin' real good care of me and I've been watching out for them.

Everyone says it gets real cold up here, but so far it hasn't been too bad. Good thing, or the lady will make me wear this again. She bought you one too but it didn't fit, remember?

Guess what? I get to sleep on the bed. Ya know how we always fought over the couch at night back home? Well now you can have it all to yourself because I'm a people bed sleeper now!

It's kinda slow around here, not much to do. Sometimes the boy throws the tennis ball for me and I really like to fetch sticks in the field. Sometimes I meet other dogs but I let'm know right off I'm not the friendly type. I think the lady likes that though because she feels protected by me.

Don't worry your blind little head Annie, I'm takin' real good care of'em up here. I know they miss you though and those good for nothin' cats so I know they'll be glad when you can finally make it up here. Take care of yourself, because believe it or not I kinda miss you and I'll be happy when we're back together.

Love, Arwyn

PS- I hear the squirrel poop back there's real good, just wait until you try the goose poop.

PPS- I'm sending along a picture of myself, do I look like I've gained weight??

Here is my favorite picture of you, I keep it on the fridge.

Friday, November 13, 2009

See this happy face?

It turns sad and fearful at night

Since we've moved she's been sleepwalking and having some crazy nightmares, I tell ya. The latest one that woke us all in the middle of the night was the giant boot coming to crush her. Because of limited space she sleeps with me every night so you'd think that would help, along with the dog that now has realized she likes to sleep on a real bed. We've said extra bedtime prayers but unfortunately none of that helped and the scary dreams, we decided to take action!
We all decided we needed some little creatures to post outside the bedroom to help chase the scary thoughts away. So we painted some. Even the big brothers pitched in to help in a rare moment that I'd like to call "I love my little sister and I want to help her out".

What I could not photograph (for fear of those pics surfacing later to destroy their future careers) was her big brothers performing some kind of ritualistic dance they planned while wearing moms clothes to scare those spooky nighttime thoughts away. It worked, because now when she wakes in the middle of the night she giggles remembering her brothers disco dancing in moms bra and shoes. Yep, sometimes ya just gotta take action.
Gee, I really wish I could show you those pictures though.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Babysitter

One very brave girl......

Three crazy kids......

Three hours.....

Six rounds of capture the flag.......

and some popcorn and mint chocolate chip ice cream......

All added up to an awesome time.

And she said she'd come back again!







Thursday, November 5, 2009

My First Born............Lately

There's not a whole lot of different stuff goin' on with this boy.

Only one thing consumes his every thought each and every day.

He wishes he lived a few miles from here once again....,

...and he's spent his free time lately drawing his Christmas list that includes a forage cap, sack coat and trousers.

Oh, and a bayonet with scabbard and a gum blanket. All issued or approved by the 1st Minnesota Regiment.

On our quick trip back to MD about a month ago we made sure to head down to Antietam again, knowing it would be quite awhile till we return. While others were excited to run wildly up and down bloody lane; this one's content to take his time and soak it all in.

He's serious about all this I'm tellin' ya. Don't even think about underestimating him.

I mean, this past Tuesday night at our second meeting with the 1st Minnesota I overheard him discussing "The Last Full Measure" with two other members quadruple his age.

Yep, he's serious alright. But at the rate his feet are growin', those $120 wartime contract Jefferson square toed sewn soles Bootees with leather laces are gonna have to wait.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Terrible, Isn't It?

Is such greediness really necessary?Why yes, it certainly is.

You see, in my determination to keep this move from being too much of a disruption to their little lives, I have gone overboard.Back home Halloween was typical, trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, each year going a little bit farther and a little bit longer to try to actually fill the entire bag. We never really got that far with the kids in various stages and ages. One of us always had to escort someone home who was too tired, too cold or in our seconds case...too starved for candy to go one house more. Well, this year, being in an unfamiliar area and not really trusting the particular one we are temporarily renting in- I decided to travel.Yes, I'm one of those parents who trucks their kids into other neighborhoods to beg for candy and I'm not ashamed of it!
One house even had a hot chocolate stand which was a big hit since it was 33 degrees. Yes, I said 33. Can you guess that's something we're not used to on a Halloween night? After the first hour we chickened out and completed the second hour by warmed vehicle. Yes, we did two and a half hours of trick or treating and the loot you saw above was about half of what they got. Excessive I know but they've had to deal with so much transition in the last two months I kinda felt they deserved it.Funny, knocking on doors to say trick-or-treat is something they just couldn't get used to. Back home people sat outside with their bowls. I had to explain that in this kind of cold nobody was actually going to wait outside for you to show. And if you were wondering, the military costume donned by our second at first was traded in last minute for the Willy Wonka get up that we just happened to create at the last second.Have you ever seen such fabulous hair? Lasted only 20 seconds in the moon bounce. Moon bounce you ask? That was at the church Pumpkin Patch Festival. The kids got to play lots of games and win even more candy. The Queen got to make her own pie and everyone enjoyed a chilly pony ride.

Our youth pastor as...........

.......a black-eyed pea, and a lovely young lady who happens to be the kids very first real baby-sitter who wasn't a grandparent. (more about her later in another post)

The horse would've been an accessory to his costume if he could've planned it that way.

And since we're still on the Halloween subject I have to include the outing we had last weekend to ZooBoo at the Como Zoo. Here we are on the bus ride from the parking lot.
There really weren't any animals out, it was more about the costumed characters that were passing out candy. The boys were thinking it was a little too young for their tastes........

...until they stopped to have "tea" at the Mad Hatter's tea party. By the way, you didn't see this picture.Yeah, I gotta admit, these guys aren't exciting anymore to my fellas and things were starting to look a little grim...............until this guy showed up. Then mom was back in their good graces again. Yep, I think I wore them out this season in my efforts to keep things as normal as possible. After all, they never really did all of this any other year now that I think about it