Monday, June 30, 2008

Surprise Birthday Party

Today we had a surprise birthday party for my grandma, my dad's mom. She turned 88 years young on Friday. My uncle Greg put together a tribute/family history video, all the family members had contributed video for the project. Then they rented out the movie theatre and everyone went there to watch the video. My grandma knew nothing of what was going on, they had to trick her to get her to go the the movie. When she came in, it was dark so she couldn't see all the family and friends that had come before her. I don't think she even realized while the video was playing that the theatre was filled with people she knew. They told her at the end then the lights came on, and everyone sang happy birthday to her. We each got a copy of the video. That, no doubt, will be a treasured keepsake. My kids had been looking forward to seeing the video on the big screen, because three of them starred in a segment of it. (If I am able to crop it out of the movie, I will add it here.) They consider themselves movie stars now, and already had to sign autographs. Nothing like making their heads swell. Anyway, many antics of all my dad's siblings were aired. Wow, I thought my kids were bad. Nope, my kids are a walk in the park compared to my aunts and uncles. Maybe I should just be quiet now because my kids are still young. I just hope I'm able to keep laughing at the crazy things my kids will no doubt end up doing.

So, we had a wonderful day visiting with relatives. It was a very rare occurrence to have every one of my grandma's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all in one place at the same time.

I will get a couple family pictures up when I get them loaded into the computer.



This past Wednesday we journeyed to St. Paul to go to the Science Museum of Minnesota to see the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit. We did our part to stimulate the economy going there. It was $24 per child (Emma and Anna were free) and $27 per adult (Alex was an "adult" at 13) That includes getting into the museum, the Star Wars exhibit, the Omnitheater show Special Effects, and the $3 per person service fee for buying the tickets on line.  This is the reason we don't get out much and do things. Unless it's free or near free.

The kids did enjoy the museum though. They would love to go back and see more of it, since they only got a glimpse of the other exhibits that were there. Not enough hours in the day. We first saw the Special Effects movie in the Omnitheater. That was really interesting, they showed how they do many of the special effects in different movies. IMG_4165Anna was a trooper and lasted most of the movie, but about the last 5 minutes or so she started yelling so Brent took her out. Then, the kids quickly went through the human body exhibit. That interested them, they said they would like to go back to see more of that.IMG_4163





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Then, the rest of the time was spent in the Star Wars exhibit. It was mostly a display of costumes and props.

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One little "science" IMG_4203 center in there that had all the kids intrigued was  on electro-magnetic vehicles. They had to build magnetic "train IMG_4208 cars" out of Legos, then they learned what makes them float above the track and how they move.  After all that then of course they had to get the souvenir photos. Those turned out really cute. (Wouldn't want to get myself into trouble by posting them here, so I'll show them by other means)

Oh, then there was another extra deal for $3 a person you could go into a replica of the Millennium Falcon and "experience the jump to light speed" while they talk about our solar system. Emma wanted to go in, but when she went in she heard they were going to go for a ride far away in space. She had enough right then and Grandpa (Yes, Grandma and Grandpa came with to the museum for the Star Wars experience too!) had to leave the ship with her. (No refunds for that non-ride... bummer)

It was an expensive day, but the kids really enjoyed it, and have all said they would like to go back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

North to Canada

Over the weekend we went up to visit our good friends Maria and Jake. It was only about a mile from the Canadian border. Well, maybe it was more like 200 miles. That's some beautiful country up there. We went up there with the four-wheelers to ride on the trails around their house. We got up there about noon on Saturday, ate a lunch and headed out to the trails. Jake and Maria were leading, the kids were following, then I was riding with Brent and we were in the back. We rode for a little bit then we needed to head back to their house to get cleaned up for church. IMG_4149Since we were in the back, Alex said "Eat my dust", and we sure did. For some reason everyone was laughing at me IMG_4148 during and after that ride. I guess nobody has ever seen me covered in dirt from head to toe. 


The cool little man sitting with me for the picture is Michael, Maria and Jake's son. Our 2 littlest didn't go with us, they stayed with Grandma Judy. Anna didn't have a choice, she had to go to Grandmas, because I still refuse to ride for more than 30 minutes in the car with her. Emma, she's not really a fan of off-roading so she decided she would have more fun visiting Grandma.

So anyway, we were able to get somewhat cleaned up and off to confessions and Mass on time. When we got there Maria decided to help her friend out with the music, so she went up in back and played the piano, and sang. She did a beautiful job. Strange thing though, she stopped playing right in the middle of the Lamb of God. Then moments later we hear a scream back there. There was a bat flying around church and got a little too close for comfort for Maria and her friend up in the choir loft. Then the bat flew up into the Sanctuary, made a couple circles, then flew out a side door. The priest quickly darted over to shut the door behind the winged visitor. Then all was well.

Back at Maria's some IMG_4152 rain and lightning threatened us, but went around and left us alone instead.

 IMG_4157 Elizabeth and Michael on the swing set. On Sunday as we were packing up to go home, Elizabeth came to me and said, "I think Michael is the first boy that I was able to get along and play nice with." She's so cute.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful weekend. We had a wonderful time visiting and exploring the land. Well worth the drive up there! Thanks Maria and Jake for having us!

Tomorrow.... STAR WARS at the science museum!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Aching Heart

This post is intended for my kids, not to be pity post.

(I am going to be putting my whole blog into a book for my kids using Blurb. Pretty neat site to make your own books at. I tried it out by making a Jeep Book for Brent. Turned out really neat.) Anyway...

Last night in the middle of the night we had a little situation. Emma woke up vomiting! I woke up Brent to get her and help her. Sorry Brent, that's just our life situation. Emma was crying, "I want my Mommy!" over and over.

Off and on I get stressed and frustrated about my condition. I realize there is nothing that can be done about it, and I need to work on accepting it in all situations, but still, it stresses me out. There is so much that I can't do physically, or I have great difficulty with. You guys pretty much know those things I can't do because you need to be big kids and help me out all the time with them. And there are things Daddy has to help me with, or Grandma or C. (my home health aid). The absolute worst and hardest for me to accept is not being able to help you guys in the middle up the night when you are sick, or just need a hug and a bottle to get back to sleep. In the day time when I'm in my chair and you get hurt, at least someone can bring you to me. Or if you're sick I can somewhat help you get cleaned up and comfort you. Sure, at night if I was able to do it all myself, I would be gagging just like Daddy. I can't stand puke almost as much as Daddy can't. As it is, it would be a lot more work for Daddy to get me up, and he'd still have to help out with you. It just breaks my heart to have to lay in bed helpless listening to you crying and Daddy crabbing about having to deal with it all. I'm sure, just because it's in a mother's nature to be the comforter, I will never be able to accept that I can't be there for you in the night. Sure, you will grow out of the need for help in the night, but I think I will always carry that horrible feeling that I have of not being able to help you in the night with me to my grave.

Now, I need to list some of the things that I am thankful for that I can do with you, so that this is not a pity post. I am very thankful that I have the brains to be able to teach you and help you with you homework. I love enjoying the outdoors with you, like going around the block, watching you guys have fun on the four-wheelers, riding bike and all the other crazy things you do outside. I'm thankful that we can play board games and sometimes the Wii together. I'm most thankful for, and the best part of being you mom is being able to just talk and laugh and pray together.

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Picture of us all when Anna was born in Feb, '07. We really need to get an updated family picture.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Unsolved Mystery

Over the looooooong winter some one, or some creature was desperate for some gasoline. Both the push mower and the riding lawn mower suffered the wrath of something trying to get at the gas in them.



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What in the world does this to gas caps?!?

Schools Out

School has been out for almost 2 weeks now. The kids' last day was June 2. That was a happy and sad day for Joseph. IMG_4101 Every kid is happy for that last day of school, but this was Joseph's last day at St. Philip's. He is still unsure if he wants to go to the public middle school over IMG_4105 there or be home schooled. Something to pray about I guess.


A great bunch of kids that just finished 5th grade!


IMG_4107IMG_4118Joseph with the principal, Mrs. McCarney, and his fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Buschette.


The Three Stooges!

Joe, Dan and Sam



I was keeping the kids busy with getting ready for the garage sale, and we did start to pack up stuff around the house. Now that the sale is done, I'm going to have to come up with ways to keep the kids busy to keep the fighting down to a minimum. I guess I could threaten them with more packing if they start to get too unruly.

Oh, a couple weeks ago I called Brent to ask him to pick up some boxes on his way home from work. This is what he came home with... 



After about four or five trips into the house carrying boxes, he tells me he had drove the Willys to work that day. He had fit all those boxes into this........




The kids have a couple friends over from school today, and they were all jumping on the trampoline. I just happened to look out the back door when I saw Emma fall head over heels down the steps that go to the trampoline. As my eyes were bugging out of my head, I hear her yell, "Guys! Did you see that?!? I did a force flip down the steps!!"   

We've got STAR WARS on the brain!

Living Simply

Garage sale is done and over with. We did quite nicely with the sale. We now have enough money to take the kids to see the Star Wars Exhibit at the Minnesota Science Museum. (We are going next Wednesday, the 25th. Count down has begun!) Everyone is very excited about going. Emma does NOT want to see Darth Vader though.

Anyway, we got rid of a ton of possessions that were starting to possess us. It really is a good feeling to not be crowded out by stuff! Seems to be a lot easier to keep the house picked up too. Bonus!  

Garage sales attract all kinds of people. Some are frugal, some are greedy ("you have $5 on this, will you take 50 cents?"), some people that come I think are just lonely and like to have a chance to talk to other people, (or maybe I have a sign on my head that says "Need someone to talk to? I'm here for ya!"), some just simply enjoy life! One lady found a piece of bubble wrap in the freebie box, (I have no idea where it came from) and asked if she could have it. "Sure," I said. Then she tells us that she just loves to sit at home and pop all those little bubbles. I want to be able to find that much joy in the simple things of life!