Thursday, December 11, 2008


This is how I remember it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lots of fun today ...

It was raining today so I thought I would not have that much fun with Cody. Boy was I wrong. First we went out to lunch. Cody likes to dip his fries in catsup and some of it remains on his face. Maybe for a snack later.

Then there was playing with the trucks.

That kind of playing takes a lot out of a guy so he went down for a nap. That’s when his brother, Tyler came by for a visit. There was crying.

Since this was his worst day every (shots and all) I think that was okay. He sure is a strong little guy. Big too. I think PJ said 13 pounds.

There was practicing of names, too. This one's for you Andrew.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wisdom is proved right by her actions. Matthew 11:18, 19

What really is wise?

Lots of things come to mind that require wisdom. There is always nuance. When we are planning to have children we have a lot of answers. When we have children we have lots of questions. Raising children, because there is no book that addresses your child in his or her specific circumstance. It’s no easy being cheesy, but God does say when we lack wisdom we need only ask Him. (James 1:5) He gives GENEROUSLY and without reproach.

This promise, of course, applies to other areas of our life, too. Like mental health. What a funny thing that we shy away from discussing our needs in the psychological and emotional realm. We seem to be able to grasp our intellectual capacity, performance standards, and productivity results. But emotions ... scary territory.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let her show by her good behavior, her deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James 3: 13

Wisdom is gentle. Hmmm. So can we be sure that when we are harsh, unkind, but truthful, abrasive or any other negative manifestation that we are NOT being wise? When I think about what corrects me, what motivates me it is almost always not the abrupt, stiff rebuke, but rather the firm, controlled, in-my-best-interest corrective comment.

I guess the content of what is being said is also important. Have you noticed that almost everyone knows how to give instruction on the other guy’s job? We seem to know how his/her job should be done and yet not much public comment is made to others about how I should do my own job.

Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17, 18

Peace making seems to be a big deal to God.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It’s funny how we stay connected. Sometimes in person – I like this best with really good friends – that’s when you see, hear nuances that can be missed when there is no visual contact. Other times it is electronically. Now this is truly modern. I think of my grandparents who communicated only by letter writing when they returned to their respective homes during their summer break from Berkley. Long times between words, but you could re-read those words over and over again.

I like email. I like blogs. It’s fun to read about details of others life, to see the images of my loved ones as they eagerly live out their days.

Sometimes connecting is doing something. I do that with Cody on my weekly visits to his house. My Mamaw came to visit once a week and she helped my mom get caught up on household chores and they would go shopping and have lunch out (during the school year I tried to be “sick” on that day so I could stay home and somehow when it was time to shop/eat I was feeling a whole lot better). She also brought chocolate donuts.

Cody likes chocolate donuts.

He’s coming to my house this Friday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big Events

The last couple of weeks have been highlighted with some big events. Beginning of July brought Leah and Noah for a visit from Chicagoland. Andrew drove out from Virginia. Tom and Joanna celebrated their marriage. Tyler was born. I went to Las Vegas in July. And Nathan and LeBechi Hovestol celebrated their marriage. That’s the chronological version. Here are some photo highlights.

Noah and Leah stayed at our house. Noah is the great pretender. He pretends to be sleeping, snoring and all.

Lots of laughter, splashing in water (bath time with Cody).

We spent a couple of days that the rec center. There were some hot days. After swimming we would walk around the grounds, hoping to wear out the boys.

Andrew arrived on Tuesday (I think). Since he was driving I wanted him to text me each time he arrive at a new state. It was a good way not to worry and I'm sure he was pulled over to the side of the road to send the text.

4th of July means parade in Niwot.

Civic minded leaders provide decorations for kids of all ages to decorate their bikes, wagons and other means of transportation.

Now Niwot is a small town with a big parade. The only problem is, there are more people in the parade than watching it!

Uncle Andrew and Jack were among the watchers. Someone took a picture of me -- proves I was there.

After the parade we made our way to the marriage celebration of Tom and Joanna Shattuck. Joanna was a BEAUTIFUL bride.

Lots of pretty girls at the celebration.

Well we were hoping for Tyler to born while Leah and Andrew were here but it was not to be. Tyler made his debut on July 8 just after midnight. He looks just like his brother Cody.

Patricia has her hands full, but she is doing GREAT. Cody is the best big brother!

So I was free to join my BFF in Las Vegas.

Boy McCarran has really changed over the years. I remember running to catch a flight in the 70s and it was more of municipal airport then. Liz picked me up in the convertible.

This is the view from our hotel room.

It was HOT, 108 degrees a couple of days. Vegas is different when you are there working with Recovery ministry. Liz won't let me eat, just like Leah. So I'm still trying to figure out how I gained 2 lbs. (lost again already)

Today we celebrated with the Hovestol family. Nathan and LeBechi were married on July 5 in Atlanta, GA, honeymooned in Mexico and then briefly stopped in Longmont so we all could congratulate them.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Busy week. I worked on Monday, ten joined friends for SATC at the after 8 pm. showing. Pretty impressive in my opinion since that means I was not home until after 11; stayed awake for the whole movie, too.

Tuesday I was the delivery person for GAW. Now delivery as a job is not what I would call hard; not intellectually taxing nor physically taxing since I was delivering micro greens not pianos. But stressful it is. There are a LOT of people out there delivering product so we can consume them and there are “rules of the road.” Rules I did not always know (flip flops do not meet safety standards at Shamrock Foods) or follow (oops, forgot to put the money IN the meter—no ticket however).

Wednesday I took the day off and don’t really remember what I did, but I did have sushi for dinner. Did I mention Mark was in Grayslake for the week?

Thursday I took an Excel class. Very good instructor; he was funny, he taught off the book and he answered questions directly. I learned that I’m a beginning intermediate and I will be hoping to achieve intermediate status before the end of the year. It’s hard to know if this is achievable since I really don’t use Excel on a daily basis, but it’s worth a try.

Friday Mark came home and Patricia had a doctor’s appointment. I went with her since Cody had one too.

Before I hooked up with them I had a hair appointment with Mary who was leaving for San Diego as soon I was finished. Even though I’m sure she was anxious to get going she did a great job on my hair.

Well Patricia’s appointment went well. Dr. LaVigne is the perfect doctor for PJ.

She is not drama driven, but wisely cautious and as such she wanted another ultrasound of baby Craig. We went to lunch at Panera (yes, again their salads are GOOD). We arrived promptly for the 1:30 pm. ultrasound appointment and still had not been seen by 2:30 pm. So I said maybe she should re-schedule as I was going to the opera that evening.

Well they got her in in less than 10 minutes so I got to see baby in utero. Amazing.

The opera, Nixon in China, was terrible. We had a light dinner before at Tamayo a new Mexican cuisine restaurant on Larimer with a balcony setting – lovely. Since my companions Gil, Helen and Helen’s neighbor Carolyn thought 10:15 pm. was too late for dessert we did not stick around to discuss the pluses (few) and minuses (numerous) of the opera.

Saturday was hot so I joined Liz for lunch at Jill’s (St. Julien’s restaurant).

With the floor to ceiling windows open we looked out onto Pearl St. and we could have been thousands of miles away. The food was good, inexpensive and the afternoon was delightful.

Sunday was a baby shower at the Craig residence, small but very fun. Guests were from Jason’s work

and they are a hoot. We played the obligatory games, ate good food and watched Cody play.

After the guests left PJ and I took Cody for a haircut.

He is one doll baby. And he kisses me, too. One cool dude.

All in all a good week off of work – it seems like forever since I sat at my desk.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

No Camera

Well, my camera isn't working. I think my posts are more interesting if there are photos, too. But here goes another musing without the photographic proof.

Last week I looked after Cody while his mom had a doctor's appointment. We walked over to a school playground where he had a great time. He slid down the slide -- holding a basketball! -- it was fun to watch, that first expression of confidence and then a moment of terror and finally a successful finish.

He sat on my lap at lunch and nuzzled in. I love him.

Gil came over for dinner to practice his Piaget presentation. It was interesting, emotions and the developing pattern for children. He has a much better title, but I did learn something and I hope he has a great time in Quebec.

The bathroom remodel progresses. The sink is out (I hope the marriage can survive sharing a sink--it's been several years). The serious plumbing re-configuring happens in a couple of weeks and it is a huge improvement over the 80's footprint. Larger, more open, private, and it will be beautiful. Lots of fun surprises in store. You will have to come over to go potty in a couple of months!

My bedroom closet is updated, too. There is so much more room. I have more room for clothes and shoes. So pay day is next week and I will do my part to fill it up.

Saturday is anniversary day. I found an old card/book from my children celebrating 25 years. It's hard to believe it's 33. Whew! This might work out after all.

Monday, May 19, 2008


This was a weekend to shop for and celebrate some of the graduations of friends of mine. I like to give jewelry. There’s always the possibility I can borrow it at some time.

Kristin completed her Masters Degree. She is a therapist now – officially. There are few occupations that you want your friends to have, car mechanic, massage therapist, hair dresser and I would add to the list therapist. Think of the money I will save.

Anyway, Kristin celebrated with a party on Saturday. Her mother made fajitas that were delicious. I’m so glad I’m on a new diet plan – see how much one person can eat before they explode. So far I have come close, but there’s still room for more. Her parents, David and Ginger are DELIGHTFUL. No wonder Kristin is great – she comes from a good family.

Kacey graduated from UNC on Saturday the 9th. So exciting to finish the work and move on. Although the ensuing week was a little rough for her – a possible bunion in her future – she (and I) are ready to work out as soon as we get medical permission.

One more HS graduation to go. Maybe I’ll have pictures of that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grayslake is NOT Chicago

I went for a visit to see Noah last weekend. When I tell people I’m going out of town I usually say “Chicago.” Interestingly those from Chicago do NOT consider Grayslake, Chicago. When I asked a news seller at the airport if he was voting for Obama and he did not commit I said, “But he’s from Chicago!” I was firmly told he was NOT from Chicago, maybe Springfield, but not Chicago. It’s funny to me but then I’m not from Chicago.

Noah was a blast. There’s the spontaneous break out into Tomorrow in a Broadway-style performance, the horsey-man you tube requests and Curious George IN the toilet that surprise and delight. He really is growing up – potty training, definitive tastes (vinegar water is not in the top ten) and activities like the riber (the lake outlet) where we throw rocks and sticks.

Mimi went to Boogie Baby Dance Class at the Community Center. I’m still pretty good, but Noah is really doing it. Jeenie combed his hair – the faux hawk is totally stylin’.

Dancing with the worm (ribbon) was a highlight of the class.
The worm travels your body, sails through the sky and even hides behind your back. Miss Judy is VERY patient.
We made the mandatory stop at Starbucks (note product placement). Noah however was tired, unusually tired. But when he woke up we finished our snack and then headed over to the nursery where we came in contact with the gray cat. Apparently Noah is scared of cats -- he wanted to be held. My back is still recovering.

Sunday was Mother’s day so Noah had some great presents for his mom. Jennie helped him get some tulips. Mimi helped Noah serve his mommy coffee in bed, along with a very pretty card.

The train ride to Golf Road had its own issues. I probably will NOT be traveling to Europe alone, but just remember I did what was necessary to get the job done.

All in all worth the $138 round trip air fare.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another week

Well this last week had it's ups and downs. Mark and I went to Jill's at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa for a drink on Wednesday night. It was a BEAUTIFUL day, a bit windy so we sat inside and shared some nachos. We decided to splurge and share the banana split for two.

Well I think it's inappropriately named. It should be banana split for 4. Although our waiter said he can eat the whole thing by himself (after a ride up Boulder Canyon).

Then on Thursday when my weekend begins, I stopped by Contempo NAILS and had a pedicure.

It was my first time in this shop in the Gunbarrel shopping center so I did not know they ddo NOT accept tips on credit/debit cards. Well, I told Thu that I would come back with a tip the next day, which I'm sure she thought this was probably not going to happen. So when I stopped in on Friday she was all smiles. I hope this becomes a good business relationship.

Friday night our small group from Flatirons met at Yvette and James' home in Longmont. They are selling this house and moving to Erie to facilitate family life and work. James has a new job that will have him travelling out of town. Yvette teaches at Erie Middle and her two children still at home, Reed and Whitney both attend Erie schools.

Well it turns out it was celebration of Dan and Yvette's birthdays as well. Dan is older; Yvette would want you to know.

The other couple is Lisa and Chad (his real name is Chester and he's a Boulder native). They are VERY fun and Chad is FUNNY is a big way. He had me laughing all night. Lisa is a flight attendant and she is a CA native so I like her at the get go. She brought a fun drink for the evening (pomegranate juice--one of the "super" foods, vodka--arguably SUPER, with soda, a yummy concoction that left my face numb so I tried to keep my mouth shut just in case my brain was equally numb). It was a good night sharing joys -- Dan and Cheri are celebrating their 25 anniversary on a Caribbean cruise next month -- and sharing what we are learning -- how God is working in our lives to do His good will -- kids, jobs, relationships, etc.

Then Saturday Cody came over to go garage sale-ing with his mom and me. We went to this Twin Club sale and PJ got a change table for Alyssa's room and sling for carrying her. I bought a cute little purple onesy. Next location yielded a shelving unit for the Craig laundry room and a Hot Wheel-type bike.

By now we were starving so we stopped in Louisville Abo's for sustenance. Cody loves pizza, but mostly he like walking around the place. Although he was willing to pose for this photo.

Note the scrapped elbow. He notices the "pain" when he stumbles, but he keeps on going.
We wandered over to Hobby Lobby (after mistakenly going into Big Lots) to buy more denim for the big boy room rug. I think I bought other things, but I can't remember. The sales clerk gave me a 40% discount on the fabric since there was a coupon -- true kindness.

Here it is Sunday another beautiful, sunny, warm, but not hot day. A good conclusion to a restful, pleasant weekend.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

High School and Other Fast Times

Lately I’ve been having some good times with girlfriends, talking about clothes, participating in activities, phone calls for help and advice, quick dining after work to name a few. It caused me think about female friendships and what they mean to me now and what they have meant to me.

High School was the time for hours and hours of my week devoted to time/conversation. Kathy was my best friend in High School. We went to class every day, saw each other between classes since we shared a locker and then called each other after to school to talk about our day or whatever. I’m still amazed we had that much to talk about. It must have been dreams and schemes, at least half of which never materialized.

College was an adjustment. No parents around to monitor activities or selection of friends, but I didn’t get to see my closest friends as often as I would have liked. There was school work, which frankly wasn’t hard until the senior year, but you did have to do it. Times with girlfriends like Melene or Paulette became more event oriented, we went to concerts in the park, movies in Westwood, dinner at the home of grandparents and of course, shopping. There was THE pair of jeans that we all wore which seems weird since we were all shaped differently, some long and lean, some curvy. But those jeans made us all look GOOD.

Dates really entered the picture during college times. Guys change the dynamic. You want to go out, be desired, but who was ready to get into something serious? Apparently most of my friends as they were married and some divorced before I was married at 23 years old. Whew! The advantage of girlfriends when dating is obvious, someone to help you dress for the date, either advice or shared clothes. And then following the date the debrief. There’s nothing like the positive re-enforcement from a friend before you head out with your ego on the line.

Then marriage and family. No husband wants to be girlfriend, besides they don’t remember what everyone was wearing, what was said and what was meant by what was said. But they probably do remember the food. Friends have to be able to pick up where we left off, peppered with lots of grace for forgotten birthdays and other significant events or the relationship falls by the wayside. But those enduring friendships are the meaningful, precious, joyful rewards of living a people focused life. Doing work together from MOPS to PTA to HOA boards, from family camping, picnics at Lake Loveland, or coffee at Starbucks, girlfriends add the conversation, fashion and relationship to any activity.

Aging doesn’t change the need for those comfortable, casual encounters. When a friend says, “relaxing in my bedroom, stretched out on the bed talking about our day in the mountains and planning the next time together reminded me of high school,” or when loaning scarves for a trip to Paris to other friend who says, “Oh, just like a best-friend.”

That’s when you know what James Taylor means when he says “you’ve got a friend.”

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Some things you never learn ...

Well, today I went skate skiing. After running into friends, Libby and Falk, yesterday I was prepared. I had information about the terrain, after the first hill it was "easy." I had ski pants (thanks Mary--I was dry the entire time!)

And I was with 2 GREAT friends on a most beautiful, Colorado day. Kacey invited Liz and I to join her at Eldora ski area, just above Nederland.

None of us were sure what skate skiing was but we were willing to enjoy an hour lesson and find out. Boots on, we were ready.

While I never really did it, being in the mountains trying was very fun. I fell a few times, no pain, good information to know you can fall and get back up. Kacey did GREAT or maybe Peter the instructor just like talking with her :-)

This fall happened just after a great run that I got on film, but for some reason I am unable to upload. Really.

Liz is strong. She just took to the skating technique right away--maybe she really already knew what she was doing.

Did I mention it was a gorgeous day? It was too warm for hats and when you were moving the jackets came off, too.

Then we returned to the "lodge", turned in our skiis, took a couple of pictures

and then headed out for lunch. The Nederland Cafe was our second choice (the pizza place was stinky). We had fun "de-briefing." Good times.