July 25, 2009

A Valuable Reminder

I'm on a mailing list called Early Childhood Newslink. Every month or so I get an email with a link to new articles and info. One of the links this time was to a blog written by John Funk, an adjunct EC professor and Manager of Educational Programs. His post, There's Always Ice Cream, really made me pause--he reminded me that although we adults often live through experiences with the end in mind (When Christmas vacation comes, I can..., When she sleeps through the night, then I will...), children don't think this way. They live in the moment. Mr. Funk reflected on how this perspective on life must make a child feel when he is stuck in a classroom with a negative, unwelcoming teacher all.year.long. He suspects it feels like being trapped in a cage every day.

While I have often felt sad for children who have to suffer through an entire school year in that environment, what really got to me--convicted me, perhaps--was wondering how often my children have felt like that in their own home. How many times a day do I say, "In a minute," or "Just a SECOND!"? Why do I so often place a higher priority on loading the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen, or vacuuming when my kids ask me to play or go outside or whatever? I think, for me, it's because I feel very unsettled when there are messes around me or tasks to complete. But you know what? I have to remember that there will always be laundry, and dirty dishes, and crumb-covered counters, and dog hair all over the carpet, and on and on and on. However, my children will not always be 7, 3, and 1. They won't always want to build legos, or play Wii, or play catch, or go to the park with me. Unfortunately, it's much easier to write this than it is to make myself set the tasks aside and live in the moment. Hopefully, blogging about it will make me a little more accountable.

Please take one minute to read Mr. Funk's post. It was a valuable reminder for this busy mom; maybe it will touch you, too.


July 23, 2009


Last Friday night my sister, Bonnie, my mom, and I flew out of Fargo to Las Vegas for a long weekend (came back Monday night). Bonnie's been to Vegas 4 times and loves to travel and arrange trips, so she led the way. Mom, who paid the way (THANK YOU, MOM!),hadn't been there since 1972 (while I was in utero, no less), so I guess you could say that she and I were "Vegas Virgins." Well, I was totally won over. I didn't understand why Bonnie and Thad kept going back every year, but now I get it. It's such a fun, relaxing, busy, exciting place. I am definitely going back, and taking Kris with me next time!

We had a total blast. We stayed at The Wynn. I've been spoiled by the lush digs. I think my favorite part was lounging by the beautiful pool for 3 hours every morning. I actually have a bit of a tan now. A close second was seeing the musical Jersey Boys. Wow. Absolutely outstanding. Wait. I take that back. The best part was spending so much time laughing with Bonnie and Mom. I laughed so hard I actually started crying at one point! Yes, Bonnie can still get ready in record time while I seem to take forever. Bonnie calls me the turtle of the family. I'm pretty sure I embarassed her more than once--like when I started dancing to the music playing outside the Bellagio as we waited for the water fountain show, and I KNOW I ticked her off when I made the fake puke sound after my whopping three glasses of wine. Those of you who know my sister are well aware that she has a total vomit phobia. She kept asking me if I was going to throw up, telling me not to go to bed yet or I'd get "the spins" (huh?), so I finally walked over to her bed and "bleahhch"ed right in her face. Even mom laughed! I know mom had a great time with her girls, too--and we loved spending the weekend with her.

Since I forgot my camera, Bonnie has all the pics. You can see some of them on her blog: http://tbrko.blogspot.com/. Maybe I'll post a few when I get copies.

I love you, girls! Thanks for the amazing trip!

July 13, 2009


Kris made it home safe and sound today at noon. After we had our own reunion, we went to Joyce's to pick up the kids. The boys ran to him and welcomed him home with bear hugs. Ross in particular leaped into Kris's arms and held on tight for several minutes. You can see the emotion in the pictures. Hope was a little nervous at first, but she never cried, and she's been smiling and saying, "Daddy daddy!" ever since. Thank you to Mom and Bonnie for helping me hang on to a few shreds of sanity these last two weeks--they've been the toughest. You took on so much, and I can never thank you enough.

Kris, I love you so much. We are all thrilled to have you home again!

July 1, 2009

They are so angelic when they're sleeping

Even though they fight constantly, Grant and Ross really do love each other. And they ALWAYS sleep together in the same bed. Not because I insist, but because they both feel more safe and secure next to each other.

Plans for the 4th

Even though it's a holiday weekend coming up, I'm a bit at a loss as to what we're going to do. Ever since Bonnie and I were little, we have spent nearly every Independence Day at MSUM's Old Fashioned Fourth of July carnival. It's the best: decorated bike parade for kids; live music for folks who want to sit, relax, and listen; pickles on a stick, hot dogs, ice cream, and other summer treats; bingo; many kiddie games like the Sucker Pull, Haystack Surprise, mini golf, straw races, duck pond, etc; cartoons showing in Weld Hall auditorium; face painting; and more. This event is basically an open invitation party hosted by the university to the tune of around $35,000. Well, for the first time in 30 years or so MSUM has cancelled the afternoon events because of the extreme budget cuts the university is facing. I have to hand it to our new President, Edna Szymanski--cancelling a community tradition was a tough call, but as a university we have faced the prospect of layoffs since January, with all(and I mean ALL) programs, academic and nonacademic, being examined for their productivity, uniquenes, and revenue generation. I admire her for decidng not to spend that kind of money when the university's budget is facing this kind of crisis. Some criticized and disagreed with her decision, but personally, I think it shows wise financial sense and strength of character.

There will still be the evening events: live music and fireworks, and they've added inflatable games for children. Mom, Dad, and I will probably take the kids. My inlaws and Bonnie's clan will all be out of town, so it will just be G and G Ingersoll and my clan.

Hopefully, you have a relaxing weekend to look forward to!