Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Monday, June 30, 2003

Yesterday we went to first service at Meadow Creek. For the first service, they don't use the 2-yr old room, which is where John usually goes, so he wanted to go in that room "to Sunday School". But, he apparently did fine. And Hanna cried a little, but I guess was ok. Until they brought her back out to us, and she started crying again. You'd think she'd be happy to see us.

While at the church, Larry Anderson asked if I would consider being a deacon. It's a three year term. I think I'd like to, do my part in the church. Not sure if I could still do orchestra, and/or teach sunday school if asked. I don't want to get involved in too many things that would take time away from home.

Then, we went over to the Village shopping area, where they were having 4th of July celebration events. We took the kids to a little petting zoo they had there. Hanna just loved it. She was fascinated by all the animals, just walked around and petted everything. John didn't seem terribly interested. Same thing at the zoo too, Hanna was captivated by the animals, but not John. So, Hanna will be an animal lover, and John is content to play at the park.

My cold roared back over the weekend. I was getting better, but got worse over the weekend. Ugh. Sunday night I took a allergy pill, just to try it, was supposed to help with runny nose, sore throat, etc... Wow, it knocked me out. I could hardly stay awake, and once the kids were in bed, I crashed and was out like a light till I woke up at 4 am. I got up and took some tylenol. My sinuses have been putting pressure on, so I've had a bit of a headache, and even my teeth ached. I feel a little bit better today now, but I still can't taste any food.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Happy Birthday, Rhonda!!! We took the kids to Como Park Zoo this morning. Saw the Sparky the Sea Lion show. John wasn't too interested though, he just wanted to get down and run around. Hanna really seemed to enjoy the animals. Then, we stopped by Bumpy Slide Park to let them run around for a bit. And then, Rhonda wanted to go to Red Lobster, so we all went. That's the first time all four of us have gone to a restaurant. They did pretty good.

I just had a nice long nap. Was rather tired, still fighting a cold. The kids will be up soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Eek, we had some bad weather rumble through the state last night. A whole swath of strong thunderstorms, some spawning tornadoes, came all the way from South Dakota, to the NW and up into Wisconsin. The band of weather almost stretched all the way across the state at times. Buffalo Lake, a small town in central MN, was hit by a large tornado, some buildings were destroyed, but no serious injuries. The worst of it missed Blaine. We got strong winds and rain, and could hear some loud thunder/lightning at times, but thankfully the worst didn't come right over head. The kids seemed to sleep through it, we didn't hear them.

I can't shake this cold. It seems to have settled in my lungs, so I have this raspy rattly cough. We got this new brand of green tea at work that is quite good, so I've been drinking a fair amount of it. (The previous brand was a bit too bitter.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Had the kiddies in the pool again last night. I put hot water in it so it would be warm enough for them. Even Hanna sat in it for awhile.

Rhonda said Hanna got up from her nap first yesterday, and had some nice one on one time with Mommy yesterday. But when Rhonda said she had to go get John up, and he appeared, she wailed, sat on the floor and fell over, etc... She doesn't like sharing attention. John thought her antics were quite funny, and he started to playfully do the same thing, as in sit on the floor and fall over, etc...

history nugget of the day:

Princess Olga, wife of 10th-century Kievan Prince Igor, was a meek, retiring wife until a rival Drevlianian chief murdered her husband. Acting as regent for her young son Sviatoslav, Olga's first priority was to exact revenge. The opportunity unexpectedly presented itself when the Drevlianian chief dispatched 20 envoys to ask Olga to marry him and unite their rival people.

Olga agreed to receive the envoys only if they arrived at the palace by boat. The envoys agreed to this strange request, and upon arriving, they were easily surrounded, thrown into a specially-dug pit, and buried alive. Insisting she now sought peace, Olga convinced the Drevlianians to send 20 more men, "the best governing the land," to discuss the marriage proposal, offering them luxurious baths before greeting her. Once the envoys were inside the bathhouse, her troops nailed the doors shut, set the building ablaze and burned the enemy alive. With the Drevlianians seriously weakened, Olga sent her troops to conquer their main city, slay its most important citizens, and enslave the rest.

Having avenged her husband's murder, Princess Olga began grooming her son to rule. To set an example of just rule, she abolished the corrupt system of tribute that encouraged exploitation of minority tribes and levied taxes on everyone in the realm.

Olga eventually proved herself to be one of the most skilled of all Kievan rulers, but her greatest legacy came from her conversion to Christianity in AD 957. She campaigned tirelessly to deliver Kievans from paganism, and although Sviatoslav refused to accept his mother's new faith, Olga scored a far greater coup after the murder of Sviatoslav brought her grandson Vladimir to the throne.

As Grand Prince of Kiev, Vladimir I controlled the first Russian state, a powerful federation of five million people, second in area only to the Holy Roman Empire. He pleased his grandmother not only by converting to Christianity but also by proclaiming it the state religion. In her odyssey from avenging wife and regent to Christian missionary, Princess Olga had helped alter the course of Russian history.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Ekk, I can't shake this cold. Over the weekend it seemed to tighten its insidious grip on me. Bit of a sore throat, little cough, little sniffle, just a big annoyance.

Last night the kids were a little antsy after their nap, so we gave them some supper, then stopped by Wendys, and headed over to Bumpy Slide Park and let them run around. We ended up being the only ones there, which was fine with me. John goes all over the place, and Hanna has been getting bolder. She will now go up the stairs and slide down this little slide all by herself. And last night she even started crawling through the tunnels. Well, she doesn't really crawl, she sits down and scoots herself forward.

It's a rainy day here today. Was windy yesterday, but never rained.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Just got the kidlings put down for their Sunday nap. They had a full morning, and a hearty lunch, so they were ready for a sleep. We went to that Oak Park church this morning (just a few blocks from us) just to try it out. I don't think I'd like to leave Meadow Church for this one. It's a great place for John to go to on Wednesday nights, but I prefer Meadow Creek's services. Hanna was a little traumatized about being in the nursery. I think she was held the entire time. John was just fine, and was looking for a cookie when we left. (At his Bible Academy on Wednesday, they usually get a treat). And, they actually did have rice krispie bars on the way out, so John was happy.

Went to Cub Foods then, got some groceries and one of those rotisserie chickens for lunch. As John would say, Yummy Yummy. We had one of those little kiddie grocery carts, built like a car, so they sat in it and steered, etc..

Am currently reading The Fall of Berlin 1945, about the Russian drive on Berlin in 1945. Many terrible things happened, a lot of it because of the terrible things the Germans did in Russia, and so the Russians were getting revenge, but some of it was just plain brutality. There were some interesting anecdotes about how the Russians found these neat, tidy, prosperous German farms in Silesia, Pomerania, Prussia, etc... and the soldiers, knowing how poorly peasant farmers lived in Russia, wondered why Germany ever wanted to invade Russia.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Lately John has been trying out different exclamations. Sometimes he'll say "Wonderful!", or if he eats something good he'll say "Delicious!" Ha. Where does he get these things.

He has a bit of a cold, and so do I. Mine isn't too bad, just a little annoying sore throat and a bit of a sniffle. How in the world did I catch a cold during the nicest weather we've had yet this year? Argh.

I took the kids for a bike ride last night and stopped by Palmer Park. On the way home from there John of course wanted to stop at London Park too. On the way there, I had looked back to check on Hanna a couple times, because she has this aggravating habit of taking off her shoes, and she still had them on, but when I got to the park they were gone. So, I had to retrace my route and they were on the street a ways back. Grrr. Keep your shoes on, girl!

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Rhonda said that yesterday John was getting his diaper changed, and he wanted Scoopy (a little front loader tractor) and John said "And Scoopy said, God, why did you make me so common?" Ha. That's from a little picture book he was about Hermie and Wormie, who are common but one turns into a butterfly.

Lately he'll "tickle" me, to be playful. He'll kinda wiggle his fingers on my arm or something and say "tickle!" So I laugh!

John went to Bible Academy last night, and had a good time. It was just Hanna and me at home, so we had fun. I took her for a little bike ride, and then played outside for a bit. It was a gorgeous evening, I sat in the lawn chair, and she puttered around. Brought me rocks. Once she saw an ant crawling so she went over to pick it up, and by the time she stopped walking, and bent over to pick it up, the ant had moved out of reach, so she'd walk ahead a little bit, bend down, and the ant again had moved out of reach, etc... so she got tired of that and just stepped on the ant, squishing it. Then she picked it up. Ha. She also saw a fly, and when she went over to pick it up, the fly would of course fly away, and she'd look around like "where did it go?" I put her in the tub as well last night. Then, when Mom and John came back we had some popcorn.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

A beautiful day yesterday, nice and warm and sunny. I had a good time golfing yesterday. For only having gone a couple times in the last couple years, I did pretty good. I only hit a couple bad shots, the rest were fairly straight. Could've putted a bit better.

Because it was so warm, we got out the pool last night and put it out on the front lawn. John, the little fish that he is, had a great time splashing around. Hanna didn't get in very much at all. She stubbed her toe once walking around on the cement. She's had a tough time walking the last couple days! Several scrapes and bruised.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Had a nice day yesterday. A perfect day, nice and warm with little breeze. Ahhh. It was a fun weekend with Mom and Dad visiting. John and Hanna enjoyed being spoiled by Grandpa and Grandma.

John had a very enjoyable birthday. He got a number of Thomas the Tank Engine toys, including some tracks and new train pieces. So, that is set up on the table in the living room and he likes driving his trains around the track.

My little group at work here is going golfing this afternoon. Supposed to be rather warm though.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO TA-DA-BUM-BUMP-DA-DUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 years old today!

Rhonda got him a Thomas cake, and as I mentioned they'll be going to the park today at lunch for a little gettogether, so I'll be heading up there on my lunch hour.

Oh yeah, was going to mention that on Sunday a For Sale sign appeared in our next door neigbor's lawn (the one just to our west.) The oldest boy is graduating from high school, and might be going off to school, leaving the dad and a girl, so the house might be getting big for them. Too bad to see them go, they are very nice, although I don't talk to them much. They aren't out and about a whole lot.

There have been people looking at already. One couple has been by twice. Last night, their second trip, they brough what looked to be Grandpa and Grandma, so they must be really thinking about it. They looked like they had a daughter about Hanna's age, so it would be nice to have another playmate in the neighborhood, and one right next door. That would make three houses in a row with kids all roughly the same age, as two doors down, on the other side of the house for sale, are a nice family with a girl about John's age and a boy just over a year old.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

This morning as I was ready to leave for work, John asked for some milk (which is what he usually does when he's hungry). I went over to the fridge and opened the door, and he saw his sippy cup and said "Aha! I found the milk!" ha, where does he get these things?

Hanna woke up around midnight and fussed and cried a little bit. I went in there and held her, but she was squirming to lay down again. I patted her a bit, and she was clearly tired and was trying to go back to sleep, but would look at me once in awhile. When I left she stayed quiet and went back to sleep. I wonder if she is starting to have some grieving. John did a month or two after he had been home, so I've been looking for signs from her. She has been more fussy lately, and acting more like a two yr old. (She'll do the lay on the floor and cry and kick thing). But, hard to tell if that is just normal toddler behavior, or if this is all her way of adjusting to her new home and realizing she won't be going back to the orphanage.

I got John a Gordon engine and coal car for his birthday, to add to his collection of Thomas trains. John likes saying "Gordon, number 4!" Rhonda is going to have a little party for him in a Blaine park on Thursday, with a couple of her friends and their kids (just a couple or so). So, I'll go up there on my lunchhour so I can participate!

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Took both the kidlings to Sue's house today. Hanna looked longingly at me as I left, she wasn't totally thrilled at being left. It rained all night though, so don't know how much they would get outside today.

Funny Cide didn't win on Saturday. Rats.

Have been busy in my new job, trying to learn the new ropes. But enjoyable so far, potential to learn a lot.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Here is Joe Programmer at his new post. Looks like I'll be spending the bulk of my time in another room, away from my cubicle. So, I've had my phone number forwarded to where I am, so you can still call my regular work number.

Had nursery duty last night, so headed over there. (Turns out we didn't get any customers so we left early.) John hadn't been there for a little while so he was excited to go into the church. He went over to his favorite water fountain. He said several times "sunday school, sunday school", cuz that's where he had his little sunday school. They had fun having the run of the joint. John watched the Thomas video they have in there, and was distressed when it ended.

Hanna spit up her jel-yogurt on the way over to the church though, so was sticky and yucky. It was a white top, but Rhonda soaked it and sprayed it, and it all came out clean. Hanna likes that Almanzo/on the farm book that Mom got. I point to the animals and make the various animal sounds. Sometimes in the background if John is playing and he hears he'll do the sound. (I'll ask Hanna what sound does a cow make, and in the background John will say mmmoooooo). She's learning too, she'll point to an animal's eye and say "eye!" It's amazing how fast she is learning!

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Sunday afternoon, just got the kids put down for their nap. Hanna was tired, I held her and rocked her and she fell asleep while I was holding her. She doesn't often do that.

It just will not warm up around here. The sun is out today, and but only 70 degrees or so, so a bit cool in the shade. Yesterday it was cloudy all day and I barely got the lawn mowed and it rained for a couple hours.

John is saying so many things now, I wonder where he gets them all. When I say he can go pick out a book, he'll say "hmmm.." Or if he doesn't want something he'll say nnnooooo in a cute way. He sometimes reminds me of the way Lisanne will say no, in her tone of voice. Like if you ask her if her name is Henry, she'll say nnooooo, John kinda sounds that way.

Sometimes he'll do something that can get annoying. We try to give him choices, and sometimes he'll pick one, you'll give it, and then he'll say no, he wants the other, you give him that, and he says no, he wants the first thing, etc... One day I asked him if he wanted Thomas music or Winnie the Pooh. He said Pooh, so I played that Cd. And all flustered, he said no, he wanted Thomas. So I put in Thomas. Nooo, all teary he wanted Pooh. He did this two or three more times. I was trying to judge, ok, what is more annoying, to listen to him complain that he wanted the other cd and just leave the first one in, or keep changing them. Ha.

Hanna is understanding more and more too. Yesterday I was sitting in the living room, she was there and I asked if she wanted some milk. And all by herself she immediately trotted off to the fridge. John and Hanna play nice together a lot too. When Sesame Street ends, and there is that dancing part, John likes to dance, and Hanna will just giggle and giggle and turn herself around, etc...

Friday, June 06, 2003

Rhonda heard John apparently counting his toes (1..2.. etc..all the way to 10.) so she went to peek on him and he was counting them all on one foot. Ha.

John's hands are getting bigger as he is growing. He no longer has the little baby hands.

Seems like Hanna says (or is trying to say) "Are we done?" for just about everything. She hears John say it, and must think, hey, he says it and something happens (he gets down from the table) so I'll say it for everything and maybe what I want will happen to! Like, she'll bring me a book to read and she'll say "are we done?" Ha.

Last night Rhonda was getting Hanna to say "Mama" very clearly. She said it several times. Then, later when we were in the kitchen, Hanna came in, and Rhonda said "Say Mama!" And, without any prompting, Hanna said "Da-Da!" Yay! That's my girl! I cheered when she said that, and then Hanna put her arms in the air and shrieked and giggled.

This is my last day in the group I've been in, in one form or another, since coming to Qwest. Am looking forward to the change though. It will be a nice group to work with.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

John went to the little bible-school thing last night, and by all accounts had a great time. Rhonda said he watched all the video segments well. At the beginning, they went upstairs to sing, and John wanted some water, so they got some downstairs, and John then started saying "Mommy, go sing!" And he watched intently all that they were doing.

Hanna was so funny when they left. She went and got her shoes and held them up in the air and let it be known she wanted to go too. She's so funny, never wants to be left out of anything. We had a nice time by ourselves, read books and played with toys.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Cub Foods this week has had blueberries on sale at dirt cheap prices, $1.88 for a pint. Yummy. We've been buying them by the bushel. The kids just love them and gobble them up. (makes diaper messes a ghastly color though...)

John and Hanna eat them like candy, one after the other. But then, so do I...
Spent a few minutes with the kidlings this morning. I didn't get to see John yesterday as I had to leave early for the dentist. He notices when he doesn't get to see me, so he wanted to call me later that morning. I said on the phone "I give you a big hug" and he said "thank you". This morning, I read the Splish Splash book to Hanna, several times. It's a little book with words and pictures that Kris got John for Christmas. Hanna loves it, and so does John for that matter. A girl is getting ready for a bath, and one picture has rubber duckies so I make quacking sounds and kinda nip at Hanna, and she just giggles and giggles.

A very pleasant evening last night. Not exceedingly hot, but at least no cool breeze. I took the kids for a little bike ride (John knows which direction the park is!) and then sat on the driveway on the lawn chairs and watched John and Hanna tool around on their bikes and various vehicles.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

was going to say I would probably quit the qpb club, but through it as a member I have access to the online Oxford English Dictionary, which is a very cool perk. It was a good search engine, so very useful for looking up strange words, or finding words if you sort of know the meaning...

I went to the dentist this morning for a filling. They didn't give me a shot or anything, just gassed me, but that was enough. Had me feeling rather loopy for a bit. And then, sent me back out on the road to hurtle a ton of steel down the highway at 60 mph...
So I join this quality paperback book club. It was a way to get several books real cheap, and I only had to buy one more. Well, when I joined they charged my card twice, so I had a $19.95 credit. I just got another book, the one I had to buy to fulfill my membership, along with another book I wanted for only $7, and the total order came to $31.49. On the invoice then it said shipment total $31.49, previous credit $19.95, total due... $0. huh? must be the new math. oh well, if they don't think I owe them anything..

Just finished up Baudolino by Umberto Eco. I very much enjoyed the parts that were more historical in nature, particularly those involving Frederick Barbarossa, and the doings in Constantinople. The weakest sections for me were the more fantastical stories, when Baudolino is looking for Prester John and meets all manner of strange creatures. (If you haven't heard of Prester John, it's an interesting chapter in medieval history...)

Now, am starting in on The October Horse, by Colleen McCullough. I've been reading the series since the first book, The First Man in Rome, came out in 1990. I have them all in hardcover. This is the last in the series, and so almost seems like one last time with an old friend. I think the strength of the series is the characters, and how they seem real.

Am almost done with the first book in the Wheel of Time series. It's now up to 10 books. Many fans are getting antsy that the author doesn't seem to be able to wrap this thing up. I had started the series before and stopped at Book 4, but I am determined to get through it this time.

Monday, June 02, 2003

A pleasant day yesterday. A bit too cool in the shade with the breeze, but very nice in the sun.

Yesterday was the outdoor service at Meadow Creek, so I stayed home with Hanna, and Rhonda and John went to that church again just a few blocks from us. No sense in going to the outdoor service and chasing the kids around the field. Starting Wednesday at that baptist church is a kids program (somewhat bible school like) of something based on a Veggie Tales program. Actually, I think it is based on the penguin stuff that BigIdeas also puts out. Anyway, I think we'll take John to it. Hopefully it will be something he can enjoy.

A couple times over the weekend John was talking about going in the elevator with Grandpa. He still remembered our little visit in the airport!

When he's done eating, John will often say "Are we done?", and lately it sounds like Hanna is picking up on that. When she is ready to get down from the table, it sounds like she is trying to say the same thing! It's cute.