Wednesday, June 25, 2008

LeZoo, Part II

While Dad's away, the kids must play.


We decided to hit the zoo (or LeZoo for those of us who speak French) in the evening this time since I'm allergic to sweating.







I love the Henry's face on this one..."I want you to eat this, but I can't quite unbend my elbow for fear of you biting my hand...how about you just use ultra-sonic suction to get it out of my hand, k?"








and the flora, fauna, and merriweather...






after a fun evening at the zoo, it's fun to go to Dairy Queen. I got a "Double Thank You" out of it...mmmmhmmm...






Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jazz, but not the Blues

Minot hosted its first-ever Jazz festival and we decided to check it out. The stage wasn't much, as you can see by the corrugated-type stuff on the roof of what appears to be half of a trailer. But I'm so glad we went; it was my favorite "Minot experience" thus far. The park was beautiful, the day was perfect and the music was phenomenal.


The Jeni Fleming Trio was the headlining act; very impressive. Check them out on Itunes or Amazon.


Don't be fooled by this face. He was a total booger. At one quiet point he said, "Is it over yet?"







Kate had her tonsils and adenoids out on Monday and this is the first time she's been out, except for quick errands.






The "jazz face."


See, I was there too.

Dave and the Gingerbread House Part II

For my long time readers, you'll remember the first edition of this story. For my newer readers, I'll catch you up...Dave sends me gingerbread house kits every year just because he knows how much I loathe them. You might ask why don't I just throw away the kit? Well, because I have kids that have *selective* memories that are better than elephants and they say things like, "Why haven't we made the gingerbread house yet?" and "It's after Christmas and we still haven't made the gingerbread house." and "Remember the gingerbread house?"...you get the point.
So, Dave sends me the annual gingerbread kit this year around Thanksgiving (something to be thankful for) and I'm thinking...no way. We're moving in, finishing the basement, getting Christmas shopping done...you get the point. It sits in the top of my hall closet until I have this incredibly bright idea...
Dave retired on the 20th of this month from a very illustrious career. He's at least 100 years old, so it couldn't have come at a better time. I'm thinking...what can I get Dave for his retirement? And I have this fantastic idea...get down that kit and make it up and send it to him in a nice, big box. You know, 'cause for guys the best gifts come in *BIG* packages.
So, here's to you, Dave. I hope you enjoy your retirement and try not to drive Bev so crazy that she goes back to work. I'm hoping that this is *MY* retirement from gingerbread house construction.
...and just as an added bonus, I'll give you a sampling of the questions I got while making this gingerbread house. "Is Dave going to eat it?" and "what if he is offended because he sent him back the gift he sent you?" and the most commonly asked one, "why are you sending him a gingerbread house?"

Sunday, June 08, 2008

...and That's Love

One of the benefits of our house is that we live on a slope so we have a nice, bright basement that walks out to our backyard...it's also a nightmare for landscaping. We have no level surface anywhere. We are building three retaining walls in different areas in an attempt to trick the eye and be able to set up our swingset. This is the area in the back yard. Phil worked this whole weekend on the project and I worked about 4 hours. Yes, I'm a bit of a princess.

We have at least two more weekends of work left. Something to look forward to!

This is the whole crew. A guy from Phil's work came over to help. It was a lifesaver for Phil...also allowing me to only work on the project for 4 hours.

the "trench," as we so fondly call it

The bricks. Happily waiting for their new home.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Milkweed

I know there is so much historical fiction about World War II, but I just have to recommend this book.



Today I took the kids to Barnes and Noble and picked this up off the "Summer Reading" table. I started reading it while walking through the mall and came home and summarily finished it in just a couple hours.



The story starts in Warsaw right before the Nazi invasion and is told by a young orphan who has no memory of his parents. He's not a Jew, but ends up in the Ghetto with the other Jews and spends his time there feeding one family and a group of orphans by smuggling food. This is an amazing story of hope...hope in things that have never been seen...oranges, angels, heaven...



The story made me smile through tears so many times as this naive child experienced persecution with a smiling face. This paragraph was particularly moving to me... a Jewish family invited him to participate with their family in Hanukkah and the word "happy" was spoken; the first time he had heard it...



"Tata, what is happy?"

He looked at me and at the ceiling and back to me. "Did you ever taste an orange?" he said.

"No," I said, "but I heard of them. Are they real?"

"Never mind." He stared at me some more. "Did you ever--" He stopped and shook his head.

After more staring, he said, "Were you ever cold, and then you were warm?"

I thought of sleeping with the boys under the braided rug: cold, then warm. "Yes!" I blurted. "Was that happy?"

He smiled. "That was happy."


Milkweed
Jerry Spinelli