27 August 2007

The Great Minnesota Get-together

After last year's trip to the fair, I watched the weather channel with a careful eye, and we decided not to rush off to Saint Paul until later in the day. For once, the decision panned out, and we got to the fair just as the rain stopped and enjoyed a relatively dry evening. Thing 4 performed and had a blast. Uncle Don and Aunt Vicky even made it to the fair to watch. It seemed a bit odd not to spend all day roaming the fairgrounds, but we were all a bit less irritable than normal. Alex was too tired and sore from volleyball practice to really enjoy the fair. At home she plays volleyball for a couple hours once a week. Here, she dove into 4 hours of practice 5 days a week. Ow.

I can think of nothing worthwhile to blog about. Sad.

18 August 2007

Our new little bundle of joy...

I love exchange students. They come already potty trained and with their own spending money. We fetched Alex from the airport Wednesday nite, and headed for a day at Maul of America and the Park formerly known as Camp Snoopy. For your info, the past couple times we have laid down hard-earned money to go to the park, we have done a birthday package. The price is better, and the 5 hour time limit on the wristband is plenty if you plan for a good day. Middle of the week meant short lines. You also get some free game tokens and a cupcake. They were pronounced good, although apparently loaded with food coloring.

Hey! Scroll Wayyyyyy down and sign my guestbook. I saw that widget at Holtieshouse and had to go get my own!

14 August 2007

More shameless kid promotion

Things 2, 3 and I performed at our home fair talent show Monday, all placing in the money, but only Thing 3 winning a trip to state (again) Hard to lose when you're the only kid in your category, but I think she did better this year than last, so go figure. I found myself with a camera but no batteries, so I stole some from g'ma, then had no media card, so couldn't take video. Bummer.
Not to be outdone, Thing 1 joined us the tonite for the Karoake contest (less pressure?) and won. Thing 2 also performed and did an awesome job, but I forgot the camera in the car. I placed in the money, so we have a little spending jingly for the trip to the Maul ofAmerica (named coined by Daynoter John, all credit where it's due) I retrieved the camera in time for Thing 1 to sing, so I got her loaded on youtube. I tried for better quality, but the file was too big. Oh well...

12 August 2007

So a week has come and gone again. I've been on a purge. We've taken bags to the thrift store, cleaned closets and drawers, and I haven't wanted to stop for fear I'll bog down!

Thursday we hit a nearby talent show. For once I will play the irate stage mommy and assert that my kids were robbed. The sound man was hopeless, as was his system. The CDs we'd played in the car on the ride over would not work in his machine. Later they got a different player, but not until both my kids had to sing different sons or arrangements that threw them off. Thing 2 chose to go with the same song, but the other CD had background vocals, which are a DQ for state fair competitions. Thing 3 did a song from last year, so she missed some words. Oh well, they sang for grandma and had a blast. By the time they got through my bracket, the system was squeaking and humming something fierce. It kicked out one guy's cd halfway through his song and stopped dead on another gal's. My CD worked fine, just hit the middle o' the pack, I guess.
So finally, I got video. These were taken on the still cam, and seemed OK when I put them into iMovie, but the compression seems to have taken it's toll. The still cam couldn't seem to do some of the songs in one clip, so they're pieced together. Ya get what ya get. If I wanted to take the time and effort to pull out iPastor's big dog video software, I'd get better quality, but spend a lot more time. So, here ya go...

04 August 2007

Counting blessings...

I drove home from Watertown on Wednesday with a vanload of sleepy, worn-out kids. We had another dental appointment over there, so we decided to bring a couple friends and check out their newly remodeled municipal pool, which now has a waterpark nearly as large and just as nice as any we have been to previously, with the added bonus of costing far less than any of the others. We met my brother and his wife at McD's (fine dining is irrelevant with that many kids along) then headed to the pool. It was awesome. Plenty of options for all ages and thrill-seeking levels, and lots of lounge chairs. You could get as wet as you wanted (or didn't want) and relax next to the pool or sand pit in comfort. Wednesday was one of the first overcast days in a while, and it was midweek, so it's quite possible uncomfortably packed at other times, but our trip was an overall success, despite the loss of my favorite sunglasses.
After swimming, Uncle Don, who had a good night at the casino previously, wanted to treat for a movie, so we saw the Simpsons. Pretty much a 90 minute episode, but fun. The kids were all blissfully (for me!) quiet and tuckered out as I drove home, disturbed only by freakishly large flocks of turkeys, then pheasants, alongside the road. It was odd enough I wondered if someone was shooting a wildlife tourism commercial in the area. I actually had composed some thoughts about what I deemed blogworthy, when the radio station broke in with a news report of the 35W bridge collapse.
Perspective is a humbling thing. No-one gives a rat's patootie about my happy little mommy day when it is unknown how many mommies are trapped in the rubble or underwater. We now know of three dead mommies and at least one missing, along with her daughter, not to mention the daddies, brothers, sons, sisters. Patric Reusse of the Star Tribune had a similar perspective he shared in Thursday's edition. All our loved ones have checked in safely, their routes taking them elsewhere or elsewhen. Timing is, indeed, everything.
I slept poorly last night; iPastor came to bed a little later than me, which is not unusual, but for some reason it threw off my sleep pattern. I finally gave up at 5:20, planning to walk the dogs. iPastor had closed the window (despite the recent heat it has been cooling off beautifully at night!) so it wasn't until I got into the bathroom that I heard rain. Rain!!! Very badly needed rain. No storms, hail, or wind (yet?) but a nice, gentle soaking rain. So the dogs got a quickie trip out the door to take care o' business, and I get teatime on the net. I have to work soon, but I managed to steal an hour for myself. I've already encountered two of our foreign kids online, so its been a treat.
This song comes to mind with events, both literal and figurative, so I'll leave you with the words of Bart Millard and Mercy Me:

Bring The Rain

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You
With all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of
the clouds that may loom above
because you are much greater than my pain
you who made a way for me
suffering your destiny
so tell me,
what's a little rain?

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty
I'm forever singing
Holy holy holy
you are holy
you are holy