past posts

July 29, 2014

Chapter 3: Devil's Den



I grew up going to Devil's Den on the weekends for swimming and hiking. It's fantastic state park about about 45 minutes from Fayetteville, my home town. I took the boys during spring break and then we all went on this recent trip. The above photos is of a tired Lewis and his momma atop the gorgeous Yellow Rock trail. And here's a gorgeous spider we found:



Here are Jess and the boys exploring the dry river bed



Arthur and Jessica were especially fascianted with all the old crumbling structures along the back roads in Arkanasas. So we stopped and explored one. There was actually a little stack of papers nearby with a poem someone had written that was inspired by this little house. I wish I had saved it and shared it here, it was great.





It was a hot, tiring day, as evidenced by the passed out nature of everyone in the car on the way back.

July 28, 2014

"I got stitches!" -Art [UPDATED]



[UPDATED with notes from Jessica at the bottom]

That what he said on the phone just now from the Children's Hospital as he sits there with Jessica. "And I didn't die," he added. "But I got close to dying when they put the stitches on." Fair enough.

Earlier tonight we were having dinner in the backyard and Arthur got mad about something and as he walked to the back door he shoved two separate window panes of glass real yard and both hands broke their respective window pain. What strength! He had a series of cuts all a number of spots on his arms and fingers, though nothing real big. Phew! I say this only cause we all agree (doctor, too, apparently) that it could've been much worse with deeper cuts. He ended up with some glue to hold together a deepish cut on his pinky and some stitches in his upper right arm. (after the jump I included a sorta graphic-ish out-of-focus pic of his finger cut)

Initially Jessica first whisked him to Urgent Care around 7pm (it's Monday night). There was no question who would take Art--Jessica is spectacular in a crisis. She'd be an amazing emergency room doctor, cool as a cucumber at all times. Anyway, shortly after Jessica left I swept up the remaining kids to come visit Art and his mom (we even brought some ice cream sandwiches!). When all the kids got there to support their big brother (and give him pictures they drew) Jessica said it was the first time he smiled since arriving. He was really disturbed and hyperventilating in the beginning. "I'm going to die!" he yelled.

The doctors there suggested he head to Children's Hospital for better care so we all went across town in two cars. Then Art and Jessica continued on as we all came back for bedtime.  And then I just got that wonderful phone call from a proud, happy, pain free Art. "I got stitches!" he said with a great deal of pride.

Jessica: Art did great. Really. He was a total wreck on the way to the clinic - panicking about having a bad cut, getting stitches and it hurting. He was practically hyperventilating but he let me help him breathe slowly which would help until he started thinking about stitches again. He was still pretty worked up at Urgent Care so they suggested that we go to Children's Hospital where they could address the cuts and give him something to calm down if he needed it.

But he didn't need it. Despite panicked crying when the nurses were out of the room he breathed deeply and slowly whenever the nurses or doctor worked on his cuts and he held perfectly still while they injected the anesthetic in several separate spots for the stitches. He just did great. And Ben, Lewis and the girls arriving at Urgent Care was awesome. It was the first smile Art made since his arms went through that glass. I'm so proud of Art. He did great.

July 26, 2014

Joining Papa on an assignment

The boys joined me today on a couple fun assignments, kayakers on the St. Croix River and berry picking. Here's a photo of them playing in the beautiful river and then couple shots from my actual assignments. There you go.







Song Netta just Sam at the piano.

Can you come to our house?
No you can't cuz you're in a caaave!
A big, big, big, big, big caaaaaave!

Jessica

July 24, 2014

Chapter 2: Home of the master tickler

We made it Nanna's house in a couple days and spent a solid four days bumming around my home town of Fayetteville, Arkansas, riding scooters and getting back tickles.



And sitting in the hot tub:



And cooking






Josh even made it to town, a highlight for our whole family. Here he is with ma and the girls at the farmer's market.



Mama's good friends and neighbors Kelly and Donna gave the kids another tour of the spectacular ball museum in their home (see it here). They're amazing musicians and just came out with a new CD called Once a River that's getting all sorta good press. Here's Donna giving the kids a tiny concert on her big harp-like instrument:



And on Nanna's front porch:



and lastly, what the hell is this?

Bailey is a helper and a really high, brave climber.



Sharing these cause they're so fun






July 23, 2014

Chapter 1: Mosquito onslaught and a phallic sculpture

This is the first of few posts detailing our recent vacation. We started our road trip heading south towards Iowa.



Jessica was determined to stop at some fun stuff along the way--we even downloaded a couple apps that alerted us to odd attractions nearby. Our first exciting stop was at some mosquito breeding State Park in southern Minnesota. We planned to make a lovely picnic lunch but I swear, the moment we stopped and opened the door dozens of mosquitos went after all that tender young flesh. It was brutal and scary for everyone. Jessica loaded people up with ungodly amounts of bug spray but they kept coming. So we raced through sandwich prep and I took the van and zipped around the parking lot with the windows down to get the mosquitos out. Then rolled up all windows and loaded up kids for speedy evacuation. Then a couple hours later we had much more fun at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines. Here are a couple photos from that.




Epic vacation

We just returned from an epic 2-week vacation through the south and midwest. Had many wonderful times together as family and spent time with just about everyone who is important in our familial lives. I'm tempted to just post a gazillion photos here and be done with it. But, our kids look at the blog sometimes. They like to remember things. And so do I. So I'm gonna try and make a series of posts this week and next that capture different parts of our trip starting with the beginning.
Here's a random photo I love of Lewis and Bailey at the cottage in Wisconsin.


July 22, 2014

A soccer star has Tourette's Syndrome

So this is a wonderful thing. The other day, as I posted on this blog, Art and I watched the World Cup US match at the Riverview Theater. We lost but Art (and the entire country) was in awe of Tim Howard, the US goalkeeper. He stopped a record number of shots and was just amazing. And recently we learned he as Tourette's Syndrome like Art! (here's a post explaining his TS from a while ago)



This coincides with Arthur being more aware of his TS. When we all made wishes going around the dinner table one night he said, "I wish I don't have Tourette's Syndrome.' His tics come and go but have lately been more severe with head turning and eye rolling.

So it was with great joy and a tears in my eye when I read him a story about Tim Howard and his Tourette's Syndrome. The story called it his 'secret weapon.' When Arthur realized what it means---how he, too, has a love of soccer and has TS, and then seeing this guy idolized and successful and open about his condition--Art melted in a puddle of happiness, too. "Papa!?" he said trying to hide his smile. "How does he play so good with Tourette's Syndrome, how is that possible?" I just gave him a big fat hug.

Tasty cold plate dinner

July 17, 2014

July 10, 2014

"If I had one if these I'd never drive a car again!"

We r on our epic summer vacation in Arkansas and had a fun double scooter date night last night in Fayetteville, my home. My ma has temporary access to two fun scooters and we made use if them. Jessica loves riding a scooter!

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