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 28, 2004

Happy Birthday, Rhonda!!! She took the day off, so they all are going to go to Como Zoo today.

John had a little eye appt today, his regular yearly checkup after his eye surgery. His eyes are doing fine, doesn't need glasses.

Oh yeah, at the little fair on Saturday, as we were riding the merry-go-round, John said "giddy-up! giddy-up!" Also, as we were walking around he said "I want to go on three rides." When we go to the bacon-and-egg play place, there are some coin operated rides, and I always say we can only go on two rides. So at the fair, he probably thought he was asking for a bit of a treat to go on three rides. Which was fine, as we were planning to go on three or four rides anyway. Expensive though, 75 cents a ticket, and most rides took 3 tickets a person.

Both John and Hanna like reading the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book Grandma got for them. And they both like wearing the sunglasses she got for them too.

Anna Karenina update: I'm on page 107 of 736.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Had some fun today. Today was the last day of the swimming lessons session, so that means we got to down the water slide a few times, and play in the fountain and raintree. The kids liked that.

Then, there's Blaine 4th of July celebration this weekend (don't know why it's a week early) over in Bumpy Slide Park, there's a little carnival and stuff going on. So, we went there after swimming. They have a little petting zoo, and Hanna just squealed with delight when she saw that. She just loves animals. She's going to be a vet or something. Then, we went on some carnival rides. A merry-go-round, a little train, some swings that go around and around, and a little octopus ride. On the swings, Hanna was just giggling, and as John came around once, he said "hi mommy and daddy!" They also had some of those inflatable jumping things, so they went in there, but only a couple minutes for a dollar. We got some cheese curds for our junk food quota. There was a strawberry ride, little cars that looked like strawberries that went around, but they twirled a bit too much for the kids, so we said that was for bigger kids, and John said "I want to be big."

So, everyone was worn, and went off for naps. They're still snoozing. Looks like it might rain tonight.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Took John to bible school again last night. Then, I went over to Borders Books and read for awhile, then stopped at Cub Foods before going back to get John. As with the first night I took him, as soon as I got John he said "I want to go that way!" or "I want to go left!" and he trotted off down the hallway. He wanted another snack! He went right to the window to the kitchen, where apparently the snacks are handed out! He leaned up on his tiptoes and looked in, but alas, they weren't handing out any more snacks. Ha.

Since Sue is going to need some time off now, the kids will go do a different daycare tomorrow, and a few other times. Hopefully they will do well. They haven't been there yet, but they'll go by there today to see the place.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

John had fun again at bible school last night, looks forward to going again. I'll take him tonight.

He does still need to learn to participate in groups better. If he thinks he has a choice, he'll be up wandering around. But, if he knows he has to sit, he does ok. I don't know the best way to help him learn all this. The other day Kyle and his mom came over and at lunch John reached over with a fork and hit a glass hard enough to break it. Who knows why he does that. I'm sure there are some orphanage-related things going on, but I don't know what exactly or how to help him past that. He's such a sweet boy, likes to have fun, smart as a whip, maybe it's related to the sensory deprivation, maybe it's getting unsure about boundaries in new situations, and maybe routine is a comfort, I don't know.

So, since Rhonda took John last night and just stayed there, I had fun with just Hanna. Maya, the little girl next door, was out, so we went over there, and Hanna rode bike and played with her for awhile. Maya's dad and I shot some hoops for awhile. I beat him in two games of horse (coming back from a S to O deficit in the second game to win) and beat him in a game of 21. He won one game of 21 as well. I still got the shot in me! Then, since the skeeters were starting to come out, we went inside and Hanna had a big snack. She must not have had much for supper.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I took John to Vacation Bible School at church last night. I think he enjoyed himself, seemed to anyway. I dropped him off, then stayed on that side of town. I went to Cub to get some groceries, then got some gas, then back to the church and just read some more in Heart of Darkness till 8:30, when they were done.

The childrens director told me there were 33 in the 3,4,5 year old group! That's a lot of kids! Bless all the workers who are helping out. For craft, they made some kind of paper bag puppet, it had a face and coat glued on. John said "the glue is drying."

Rhonda will take him tonight, so I'll have fun with Hanna. Maybe we'll ride her bike up and down the street. She's really enjoyed that lately.

Monday, June 21, 2004

A bit chilly here today, so what else is new. Retief Goosen won the US Open yesterday by two strokes. Mickleson was up a stroke with three to play, then it was tied, but then he double bogeyed the 17th hole. The condition of the course was ridiculous, much too hard.

I'll take John to VBS at church tonight. Hopefully he'll do fine. Not sure if I'll just take him and stay on that side of town, so I don't have to go all the way back home then back to get him.

After supper last night, we went over to the park. The kids rode their bikes, first time John rode his new bike that far, and first time Hanna rode any kind of bike that far. She looked cute pedaling away. John has a little trouble pedaling that big bike uphill, but does pretty good now otherwise.

Had a nice time with Granpda and Grandma over the weekend. They left Sunday morning. The kids like when they visit, they can play fun things like the Bear Game!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I enjoyed hearing Alistair Begg speak last night. The website for his radio ministry is

On our way to Sue's house in the morning, we always go by this little horse farm right near us. Usually the horses aren't out at that time, and I'll say "Where are the horsies? I don't see them." And Hanna usually says "Nap!" Oh, I see. The horsies aren't out because they're taking a nap! Ha.

This morning as I was getting ready John was fooling around with the phone, and he said "I have to call Grandpa so Grandpa can help me." ha.

Sometimes when John is in a sighing mood he'll sigh and say something like "I me I know", or "I mean I know". I still haven't quite figured out what he's saying. But lately, Hanna, the Great Imitator, says that once in awhile too. She can't possibly have any idea what she's saying, she just hears John say it. heh.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Having enjoyed Lord of the Flies, I've started in on Conrad's Heart of Darkness. I had started it before, but didn't finish it. I was enjoying it then, and am enjoying it again.

There's this passage at the beginning, that might apply to our adventures in Iraq today... (the narrator is imagining a Roman soldier coming to Britain, what to him would be a strange, foreign land)

"Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him--all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There's no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, that goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination--you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate."

Took the kids to the park last night. We had fun rescuing Tiger Lily. Several times.

Hanna still likes to come and untie my shoes for me when I come home from work. Don't know where she got that.

Alistair Begg will be in town tonight at a church over in Arden Hills. He has a radio bible teaching ministry that's on a local Christian radio station here. He's a pastor in Cleveland, but he's from Scotland. I enjoy listening to him, and would like to run over there tonight. Have a deacons meeting tomorrow night.

Monday, June 14, 2004

I took the kids to the lake last night, though we didn't swim. It was a pleasant evening.

Before ss, I had to go make some copies for the class, so I took John with me, and I told him I had to make some copies, and he said "copies for Jesus!" Ha.

He seemed a little down yesterday, not sure what it was exactly. When I took him to his class, he went in and knocked over some kid's blocks. Argh. I wish I knew how to cure him of that.

Finished reading Lord of the Flies. Quite the novel. I've heard it to compared to Conrad, and for good reason. The descriptions are very vivid. Am enjoying A Bell for Adano. It's especially relevant given the US presence in Iraq. I've seen comments here and there that the US military is well aware of the book, uses it as an example for civil affairs people. It's about an American major who is in charge of a newly liberated Italian town, about how he gets along with the people, etc... (the town lost a bell, a local landmark, to the Germans who took it to melt it down for bullets or cannons, and the major helps them get a new bell)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Happy Birthday, John!!!!!!!! 4 years old today! Wow, where does the time go. Doesn't seem too long ago I was holding a cute tiny 16-month old. You're getting so big!

The kids are down for their nap. John came with me to dump the grass. We'll probably head for the lake later. It is sunny and warmer today. For once. We've had rain on 28 of the last 35 days. Boooooo.

When John says prayers, sometimes he'll say A-men with a long A, or sometimes he'll pronounce it like Aw-men, then he'll say "A-men and Aw-men make opposites!" Ha.

In the reading dept, after finishing War and Peace I'm on a classics bent, so at home I started reading Lord of the Flies, and at work I'm reading A Bell For Adano, and will start on Anna Karenina.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

More rain today. Sigh. Which always affects traffic. I never understand that, it's almost as bad as rain. One drop and the morning rush hour traffic is backed up to Duluth.

Hanna was feeling a little sick yesterday. So, last night I took John to the bacon and egg place (oh, Hanna wanted to go too, she went and got her sandals!), then we went to Dairy Queen and had some ice cream. That was fun. When I had got home from work, first thing Hanna said to me was "Daddy, sick... medicine!"

So, she stayed home today, and I took John to Sue's house. I'll pick him up today as well.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Drum roll, please. ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-dum-dum. I've done it! I've finished reading War and Peace! A novel that deserves to be called a classic. Not sure what I'll do next for my classical reading. I will be getting to Anna Karenina and the Brothers Karamazov eventually. Gotta keep up on my Russian reading! I also need to go back to Don Quixote. I had started that at one point, but didn't finish. That was a great book too, quite funny in spots.

Was rather hot and humid here yesterday. Was a little cooler and overcast this morning. Was supposed to be in the 80s still throughout the week.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Yikes, it is windy here. Gusts maybe up to 30 or 40. And hot and humid. Could get into the 90s, dewpoint around 70. But I'll take it! Better than 50 and rainy.

The dumb car is acting up, the dashboard light indicates a misfiring condition, and the car isn't running right. There's a noticeable decrease in power, for instance when stepping on the gas. At low speeds the car kinda shakes and shutters a bit. So, will probably have to get that to the shop. What a pain older cars are. But at least we have it.

Took the kids to the lake last night. Was a very nice evening for that. They swam in the water for a bit. There were some older boys playing around in the water, and John joined right in, had a ball. He was so delighted. He just loves that kind of interaction with other kids. They weren't playing directly with him so much, but he was having so much just splashing around them. What a sweetie.

The school district gave us the results of their evaluation on him. They said bottom line there isn't anything that would qualify him for any kind of special attention. Yeah, there may be some orphanage related things, but see how he develops here, etc... When he gets into a group setting, we'll see how he does, etc...

The endocrinologist said there wasn't anything obviously wrong. Tests looked ok. He is small for his age, but his recent growth is encouraging. He is close to where he might qualify for growth hormone treatment, but we'll see how he does. We'll go back in six months and the doc will look at him again.

Detroit beat LA last night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. LA had been off for an entire week, and it showed.

Game 7 of the Stanley Cup is tonight. Might be the last hockey game for some time, with the labor battle and possible lockout looming.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

A beautiful day today, should get near 80. Will probably take the kids to the lake after their nap.

Today was the outdoor service at church, I helped serve communion.

As I was getting John ready for his nap, he was talking about Cinderella, and he said something about Cinderella going to the ballgame. Ha! He meant going to the *ball*.

Hanna is getting very talkative. Speaks clearly, you can understand her, she really expresses thoughts well.

Ronald Reagan passed away yesterday at the age of 93. Farewell to a great President.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Just got the kids down for a nap. They were tired. We had swimming lessons this morning, and then stopped by Target. That took awhile, and we were all hungry, didn't get home till 1:30 or so.

I have my writing group tonight.

Tomorrow is the outdoor service at church, I'll help with communion.

We went to the lake last night. We didn't bring swimsuits as we thought it would still be too cold, but John still wanted to go in, so he got his clothes all wet. John calls it Siren Park, because we were there on Mothers Day when some nasty storms came through, and the sirens went off.

Just about done with War and Peace. Probably a couple hundred pages left, maybe less. Most of that is a couple of appendices that Tolsoy had at the end, more of his musings on history, etc... I'm just about done with the story itself.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Had a pleasant weekend. I got to Omaha Saturday night, after a decent bus trip. As we got to Omaha, there were some nasty storms, lots of lightning. The next couple days then, it was sunny, but windy. I guess the weather up here in MN was lousy. On Tuesday it was cool and rainy (10th rainiest May on record they say) but sunny and warmer today.

The kids did well as ringbearer/flower girl. They were quite cute. Will get some pics up eventually.

John has an appt with an endocrinologist in a couple hours. Just to make sure there's nothing amiss there. I'll go over to the clinic and meet them.

I had a dentist appt this morning, no cavities but a chipped tooth the dentist wants to fill in.

Lately, all by herself Hanna likes to do the Clap Your Hands (and Roll Your Hands) as slowly/quickly as you can...