Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lake Powell or BUST! Part I

So we decided to drive (or, I should say, Jared decided to drive; I agreed reluctantly, but that's another story!) to the 2012 Anderson Family Reunion, which was held this year in Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona. I had made a decision to not be grumpy beforehand, which, unbelievably, helped tremendously.  There was some good bickering amongst the children while driving (and some trimming of hair, unbeknownst to us), but no sick children, and so my grump-o-meter was uncharacteristically low (much to Jared's delight!).

We first drove from Hanock to Hudson, WI (and we only left a couple of hours after we'd planned to!), where we stayed with some friends, Aaron and Abby, that we'd known in Ashland. (I do need to interject here that I should've taken a whole lot more pictures than I actually did. 'Nuff said.) We had a good time, and continued on (though our hosts doubted our arrival since we didn't have a GPS or a map (that one was Jared's fault--more on that later). They graciously offered to lend us one of their GPSs, but Jared, (being a male and of course, not feeling the need to have a map or ever ask directions!) refused, though I would've loved to have used it. But I digress. Along the way, we all played with my new iPad, to see just how silly we could make ourselves look.  Here are some of my favorites:

They're not terribly flattering, of course, but oh well.

We then drove to Lincoln, Nebraska, where we stayed with more friends, Mike & Tammy, that we knew from the singles ward in Minneapolis. We were able to help one of their kids celebrate a birthday!
While there, we took a few minutes to tour the Lincoln state capitol, which, as Jared enjoyed pointing out to me, is the only state to have a unicameral legislature in the country!! (Translation: there is only a legislature, not both a House and a Senate).  The capitol building is really quite beautiful.  They had some lovely murals on the ceilings (which I can only imagine took quite some time to make!!)

After that we headed on to Denver, CO, to stay with one of Jared's childhood friends, Rob and Missy Schill. By this time, the kids had watched the movie "Rio" about 5 times, "Sinbad" twice, and they had all fought over use of the two iPads. The "unlucky" one "had" to use the iPhone. Please!  Back in my day, all we had was the alphabet game or the license plate game. And hopefully none of us got carsick! To be continued....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

So I went to a church meeting tonight by my friend Lara. She's so very talented in so many areas, not the least of which is blogging, which was the subject of the informational meeting. (Next month our meeting is on honing our interviewing and writing history skills, oh my! But I am looking forward to it, as that will help with another project I have in mind).... Anyway, Lara did a great job teaching us about blogs, showing us a bunch of different blogs out there (our purpose/interest in writing them, and then a bunch of techy (to me, anyway!) stuff, and other general information). But it really rekindled my desire to be more diligent in keeping a blog (really, Jane? Because wasn't that meeting almost 2 weeks ago now? Why, yes, it was...), ahem, like I was saying, it rekindled my desire because I honestly am so jealous (but in a good way!) of her blog. Jealous because she's captured all these fabulous memories of her life and family, and children--all those sorts of things that you catch yourself thinking that you never want to forget because it was so cute, or memorable, or whatever, and then you do forget it because you don't WRITE IT DOWN!! So I am going to be more diligent in recording events in our little family's history on this blog. That's my main purpose, at least--to try to catch something at least every week. Something memorable, or cute, or even something just plain ordinary. Because that's how life is, and I don't want to forget it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My daughter

Eva will be 8 years old in about two and a half months. EIGHT YEARS OLD!! I can hardly believe it! I very clearly remember the day she was born and the very difficult transition time that I had for a couple of months after that (wow, now I am sounding REALLY old...'I remember the day she was born'.... I guess that when everyone says that the time flies by, they are right. Because she is in 2nd grade and going to be baptized soon, and she doesn't really want me to kiss her anymore, but she does (thank goodness!) still like hugs and cuddling and "Eva and Momma time", and she is just a sweet, sensitive girl who is turning out so lovely! And, apparently, who likes to participate in the same kinds of teasing that all boys and girls do to each other at this age. She showed me what she had written down this evening (in cursive, because it's so COOL!)"Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get stupider!" She did, however, preface it with, "It's not really a kind thing to say, though". But, she does love her family, and especially her brother (well, most of the time) and little sister. Tonight, since Jared is not home, I am letting the kids rotate who sleeps in my bed with me for the night. Tonight is Oliver's turn, and so she offered to sleep with Lucy in her bed. I could hear her reading books to Lucy and then telling her stories (Little red riding hood AND the 3 Little Pigs!), and then, of course, giggles. She is a very nurturing girl, and is very supportive of her brother and sister as they are learning new things. She helps Oliver sound out words as he is learning to read, and she helps Lucy will all things doll-related. And the three of them play SO WELL together! I love this age and time now where they all make little houses out of Legos and play restaurant, and Star Wars (of course, Eva is the one who makes most of the decisions, just in case you were wondering...). She seems to have a love-hate relationship with taking violin lessons. She absolutely loves to learn new songs and to practice them over and over, but dislikes doing scales and note-reading exercises. I love to see her face light up when she learns something that she didn't think she could. I hope she never loses that joy. And I hope I can always help her to find it.

Here is Eva at a recent violin recital playing "Go tell Aunt Rhody"

And here are the kids spending quality time for a family movie night. Love it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Little Lucy-Lu

I'm WAY overdue writing about the newest accomplishments (and other cute-isms) of Lucy. I've actually been jotting down cute things she says and does for several months now for the day that I would finally write this. And since then she has gone and grown up! No fair! I think she is exiting the cute toddler stage and is on to the little girl stage. Sigh. Time marches onward, doesn't it?

Last fall, she really starting exploding with her language skills (which of course is always interesting to me), and I was amazed at what she was saying at 2 1/2. Compared with her older sister and brother, she was talking A LOT more than they were at her age. Probably comes from being the third child in the family. She has her word order down now, but for a while, she would ask questions in the wrong order, or with incorrect pronouns: "Where he is?" or "Where's me?" (while playing peek-a-boo). A particularly cute-ism was when she'd hear something particularly loud, she'd say, "That scared my ears!", or when she couldn't pronounce something: "I can't say that." And, living right across from the local Coop, she frequently reminds me that we can just buy something that we're out of: "Maybe you can buy ketchup at the Coop?" She doesn't have all of her sounds yet; she is still missing her /th/, /r/, /y/, and many of her blends, which I find rather adorable: "I want to sit on yours wap (lap)". Interestingly, she makes plural many pronouns that shouldn't be. Her favorite things to do include dressing up, playing kitchen, and brushing and playing with her stuffed cats and dogs. She also LOVES coloring, play-do, and looking at books, which I love. Her favorite TV friends are Dora, Diego, and the SuperWhy clan, but she'll watch just about anything with her brother and sister. I do think she's a TV junkie, and is fairly vicious on Wii's Sword Play game. And, she LOVES chocolate, too, just like her mother. I'm sure that's an inherited gene...

Here she is, still basking in the glow of being kissed by Snow White at Disney World (she wouldn't let us wash that off for quite some time!)

But, her biggest accomplishments lately include weaning herself off her pacifier in December AND getting potty-trained in January over the course of maybe 2-3 days (REALLY! Including bedtime!!!). What a big girl. I was a bit concerned about the pacifier, but after she left behind her last pacifier at the grocery store (in order to eat some Oreos--again, I say she's definitely my daughter!!), she knew that was it! I told her all day long she was going to have to be a BIG GIRL and not have it at bedtime. So instead I told her a story or two (Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood are current favorites, and a must EVERY night), and couldn't believe my ears when I heard that regular heavy breathing next to me! What?? NO CRYING?? No "I want my packy!"? for endless minutes? She fell asleep JUST LIKE THAT?? I was amazed. And it was easier and easier after the first night. And, after we got back from Disney World (some posts to follow), I realized that she was the same age as Eva and Oliver when they were potty trained. All we had to do was talk about what cute panties she could wear if she went on the potty, and did she want to be a BIG girl like her friend Sophia? (who I think she idolizes), and she got the hang of it pretty quickly. And of course praising every potty effort like a cheerleadler (and having brother, sister, and daddy all do the same) helped quite a bit, too.

At this rate, little Lucy-Lu might be riding a bike without training wheels before her brother and sister do (that's another story, of course...)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanks, Junie B!

I have (since I can remember) LOVED to read. I do think most of my family also likes to read, so maybe that's where it came from, but for me, reading can be an escape to a different world that can be visited as often as you like. I remember getting The Chronicles of Narnia in 5th grade and just diving into it. I remember loving Aslan the lion, and shedding tears when he died. I remember reading about the Boxcar children, the Mouse and the Motorcyle, and Judy Blume. And I (for about one semester) was an English major and HAD to read books for homework. And now I don't have quite as much time as I'd like to read, but I try to make time for it. (I really ought to watch less TV and have less computer time!)

And so I was pretty excited when Eva started to learn to read in Kindergarten. And she was more advanced in her class in reading, so she caught on quickly. But then in 1st grade she was not doing as well in comprehending what she was reading as she was in reading fluently. And she was very defensive about it, too. When I'd try to nonchalantly ask her questions about what she was reading (what the reading specialist had suggested), she'd shut down and refuse to discuss it. So this summer we just spent a lot of time reading together out loud--it was great! Both Oliver and Eva loved it! We read several of Roald Dahl's books, and had so much fun. Plus they also worked hard to earn the library's reward for their summer reading program, and listened to a lot of books on tape/cd. And now....she is doing so well with reading! Her teacher says she's doing fine with comprehension, and I can tell a difference because she tells us what she's reading about. The other day we went to the library (which hasn't happened as much since school started), and Eva picked out an "Ivy and Bean" book, and I had mine and we cozied up together on some chairs. Then....she devoured that book! Finished it the next day!! I LOVE when I look in the living room and see her all cozy in a chair reading. So, I really have to thank Junie B. Jones, since she has a whole set of her books and once things clicked for her, she is just breezing through those books. And hopefully she will continue!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mommy-daughter date!

I was lucky enough to get 2 tickets to go to a fundraiser at the Rozsa Center here. April Verch was performing with her band. She is a fiddler AND a stepdancer. The Copper Country Suzuki Association had been given 12 tickets and I was able to snap up two--one for me and one for Eva. Jared and I have been trying harder to have mommy/daughter or daddy/daughter dates to spend time with the kids one on one. So this was perfect! PLUS they had a champagne brunch (I'm sure the champagne was good but I'll never know), and quite a spread: omelets, roasted vegetables, prime rib, seafood, fruit, cheese/crackers, and some to-die-for desserts. The band was great, as well! I have really gained an appreciation for how difficult it is play the violin, not to mention, oh...playing the violin WHILE stepdancing! I can't imagine! But what great exercise! I think Eva really enjoyed it, plus one of her friends (Katie) was there, too, with her dad. Bonus! To be continued with the next mommy/daughter date.....

Eva with her friend Katie

April Verch band

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So we are coming up on Thanksgiving pretty quickly here! And with that comes our annual Thanksgiving trip to Green Bay to have the Turkey dinner with my sister Linda and her family. We've been doing that since the first year that Jared and I were married. My mom and aunties Ruth and Carmen usually come, and sometimes some other sisters (Jeanne, or Annie). This year, though, Jeanne can't come (BOO!), but I think Annie and Helen (BONUS!) will be coming. So we will head down on Wed around lunchtime with a whole sackful of food to last us for the 4 hour trip and arrive around dinnertime (except, of course, we won't be hungry because we've been eating the whole way). I think my sister Linda likes the arrangement because Jared does nearly all the cooking (I make the token cheesy potatoes, some rolls, and maybe a jell-o salad, but that hardly compared to what he does--the turkey, the stuffing (from scratch!--not the Stove Top stuff. My aunt Carmen is always very impressed, and that's saying A LOT!), the squash, the gravy (from scratch, too, and always very good). I think Jared likes the arrangement too because he can order people around (in a loving way, of course!), and he is immediately able to go watch football afterwards with NO dishes to worry about. Since I'm in the kitchen for a fair amount of time as well, I sneak out afterwards, too. But it's great because the kids love being there and playing with their cousins, and it's great family time, too. Isn't that what good family traditions are for? And we always try to remember to take a picture of the spread before we eat, because that's always what Jared's mom insists on whenever there's a large gathering. ;) So I'll try to dig up a picture of a past Thanksgiving to share. And I'll of course take one this year, too! (Sadly I couldn't dig up a picture. They're not very well organized!--but I'll post one later of this Thursday). :)