22 December 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

For Alex, 2016 brought an exciting trip through Yankee Doodle canyon in February, during which he at one point found himself under the water, holding his gear above the water, to get through a tight spot in the canyon. He had a very guilty look on his face when he got home, which gave Jenny great concern. He currently spends his spare time in the company of digital dinosaurs.

Jenny spent her early summer in Florida converting away from her previous distaste for all things Disney Park at Disney world. She started a position at a law firm as an assistant in the late spring and suggests that you all put any real property you have in a trust to prevent probate court for your heirs.

For Grace, the fall brought fifth grade. She is in the oldest class in her school. With some friends she has a Harry Potter Book group, which is very magical. She was a Holyhead Harpy for Halloween. Spanish is going great, and she crafts all over every surface of her life imaginable.

For Henry the year has been filled with his developing love for legos, as well as a major man-crush on his third grade teacher. He loves going to school, and his parents love that he loves it. When the word “persistence” came up for vocabulary, he was the only one in his whole class who knew exactly what it meant.

Scott's kindergarten teacher sent him off to first grade because he was reading too well, and now he has to go to school all day as a first grader. He seems to be adjusting to the new rigors well, although he misses some of his kindergarten buddies.

Kaleb's vast stores of energy amaze all who attend him. His favorite servant of choice at this time is his mother, although he is also frequently known to allow his father, his Aunt Sara, and other beloved family members to fill his needs.

We did have to cut down the lovely tall pine trees from our front yard this year after an accident in which one of them tried to attack our house, but failed. We have planted some Sycamores in their place, and we hope they will be better behaved than their predecessors. To fill the hole left in our hearts by the trees, we added on to the inside of our house. From that experience we learned that we never want to add on to house again, and feel compelled to discourage friends and loved ones from the same. Just say no to home improvement.
We hope that you and yours have the ugliest sweaters at your parties and the Merriest of Christmas Seasons. 

PS I would like to apologize to any paper recipients of this letter for the typo, which I discovered after sending half of them. I'm sorry. I love you all.   -Jen

03 October 2016

Juniper Berries and Rat Droppings

Or in other words:
How I spent my weekend.

11 August 2016

What I did with my Summer Vacation

For many, many years, I went without ever going more than about a month without blogging. I also seldom left the house during the summer, and often ended the summer in my counselor's office. And then this summer happened. What was I doing, you ask? Well, here is a photo illustrated list. Before any of this happened, I got a job working three days a week as a legal assistant at Barney, McKenna, & Olmstead. (Buy all our playsets and toys and estate plans and litigations.) Without further ado, I give you: My Summer.

Traveling to Florida with these two of my favorite people ever.
Visiting the NASA Space Thing and seeing all the Things there.
Remembering to do my laundry. Laundry IS always with us.
Taking as many selfies as possible to commemorate our good fun.
Traveling to Outer Space. Where no man or woman has gone before.

Eating the most delicious Morroccan food in the Entire Galaxy. Period. 

Slapping Buzz Lightyear's hand away from my tush. Get a grip Buzz, and not there!

Then I came home from happy la la land in Florida, to the biggest mess our house and marriage has ever endured. 

I felt grateful that the previous owner's cable television cord saved Alex from a broken leg, neck, or even death, when he fell through the sheetrock during this project. 

I experimented with about 50 shades of beige. 

Blackberry season happened. I made mixed berry jam for the County Fair, and then forgot to check what ribbon I got. My quilt did get a blue ribbon. Thank you, that's nice of you to say.

I taught my sons important life skills on the Fourth of July. What does Freedom really mean, if you can't blow bubbles with it?

We attended a family reunion where my 84 year old grandmother was raised 30 feet in the air on this swing. She loved it. So did I.  The picture is me, not her, in case you can't tell.

We attended another family reunion, where all these guys played their beautiful instruments, and we were reunited with long lost family, and it was tender all around.

We attended another family reunion. Yes, that is three, and we realize in retrospect that maybe we should choose moderation sometime. At the third one this little one went fishing for the first time. We did not catch any fish, but the lake was very, very beautiful. As was the baby boy.
At the last reunion (still only the third - whew) we enjoyed the company of all of these hoodlums, and wished those who couldn't make it had been there.

Other things that happened this summer:
* I bought some Cutco knives. I made a cheese and tomato sandwich immediately after opening them, and it was a very, very good choice.
* Alex and his brother impersonated the Everly Brothers with a guy who does Roy Orbison in Reno and some other far away place.
* Alex and I went to Havasupai. It was the best.
*A bunch of other stuff that it is now too late for me to recall.

The takeaway for me this summer is this: Never travel and go to family reunions and remodel your house in the summer again. Focus on the important things, like posting on your blog, and not leaving the house. Your therapist loves and supports you, and she probably misses you this year.  

11 May 2016

On the Subject of Children Growing Up

My daughter turned 10 recently. I don't really know how that happened. I have been a mom for a decade.

For Grace's birthday, she wanted to get her ears pierced, and some of her close cousins came along and got their ears pierced as well. She said it was so much better with them there, and with them doing it, too.

Her aunt came in at the beginning, and I started chatting with her about the earrings. The savvy beautician caught Grace by surprise, and before I had a chance to turn and watch, I missed the actual piercing.

Sometimes I worry that this sort of thing, the thing where I blink and miss a life changing milestone, is the story of my motherhood.

Let's hope not, because seriously, look at this girl. 

02 March 2016


I decided late last year to work on one of society's problems. The problem is that we undervalue unpaid caregivers, leaving them neglected, depressed, and at times dead before the person they care for, such as in many Alzheimer's cases.

So I am working on this new website to Honor Caregivers in my small corner of the internet. Since I started this project, the following things have happened at home:

We have had to cut down, chop up, and haul away 9 large pine trees from our front yard, because one of them fell over.

Every person in my family has been very sick, including several strep throats and a nasty virus. At one point all six of us were on antibiotics at the same time.

My daughter has had lice, which I personally have never experienced. That was a grand treatment and laundry adventure, ending yesterday in the suggested second treatment just to be safe.

Donald Trump is on the road to getting the Republican nomination, which basically means the end of freedom in America. Ugh. I hate him, and I don't hate anyone*.

I personally have been sick three times. I have been the sickest this last time, and have been flat on my back on the couch or in bed for four of the last seven days.

In the meantime I have interviewed 6 women, and each interview has lifted my heart and spirit in a way I cannot describe. My take away from all of this is something my husband always repeats to me when I feel like giving up.

"Never mistake opposition for divine disapproval."

I am just going to repeat that to myself until I can say it all the way through without coughing afterward. Never give up! Never surrender!

The following pictures are two of my consolations in this terrible time:

Curbside recycling, baby. The dawn of civilization, right here in my small town.

My Doritos addiction. They have got me through some rough times. Thanks Doritos.

* really I almost don't. And also, a sidenote, if he loses to a woman, basically my whole life will be worth living again, and freedom shall ring in the ironic justice of it all. 

08 January 2016

Conversation with my Daughter

Me:"Next week I want to start setting goals as a family, and meeting once a week to talk about how we are doing on them. I think keeping the top of your dresser more tidy should be one of yours."

Daughter: "Awwwwwwwww"

Me: "But you can choose the rest of your goals! Well, most of them. You still have to do homework, piano, etc."

 Daughter: "I would choose goals like: Make a batch of cupcakes every week."

Me: "That's not very healthy."

Daughter: "Well, maybe half a batch."

22 December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

This is a jpg of our family Christmas card for the year. If you click on it enough times, it will be a readable size. I hope. I clicked once on the computer, and had to twice on my phone when viewing. Another fun fact, if you click the "christmas card" label below, you can read all of our old ones, too!