Ice Cream at McDonalds

IMG_2428You remember our Zoo field trip with the choir early in the summer? We had ice cream at Mickey D’s afterwards. IMG_2429

We ordered 13 hot fudge sundaes and a few dip cones and caramel sundaes to boot, and our server thought it was a typo and only brought us 3 of those fudgey wonders. A mistake that was fixed under the scrutiny of 13 accusatory pairs of eyes. IMG_2430 IMG_2431

Look at all those empties! And that’s only one table. – Katie

And now you are 4…

Helen turned four. There was much rejoicing. She was privileged to celebrate with two other lovely ladies who turned slightly more than 4, but only slightly. aj100

It was a glorious party: one of those kind where the kids disappear the moment you get to the house, and only run through occasionally dashing after the dog or holding legos. Also: plenty of adult beverages and ever-more-exuberant conversation.IMG_2939

Helen got presents to thrill the four year old heart. I think there were pink fluffy animals and small squirrels for your dollhouse.  IMG_2937

And cake! Delicious cake that Abbey made herself. It’s handy, having a sister who likes to bake.IMG_2932 IMG_2936 IMG_2922 IMG_2923 IMG_2927

Being four is fantastic. And much appreciated by all the rest of us.  IMG_2929


Side note: check out the hams behind Helen and I. You know it’s a good party when it’s full of cute girls. – Katie

Roof People


When I got home from Saturday meeting (augh! down with those! I shall never attend one again, she said, throwing all her books on the floor) James and the kids were playing on the roof. Is this normal?IMG_3029

Someone had put the ladder beside the front walkway (with the dried-up, summer tired plants) and begun a vigorous round of roof games. There was hiding…IMG_3030

…swinging from the tree beside the roof, rappelling off the roof, and some cautious-but-excited dashing about. IMG_3031

Some are less cautious than others. IMG_3032

Apparently a bag of climbing ropes and cinches had been discovered in the garage, abandoned since Daddy’s teenage years. IMG_3033 IMG_3034

No need to let good rope go to waste, right! Who doesn’t love games that are both dangerous and free? – KatieIMG_3038 IMG_3040

New cat


We have a new cat named Kevin. Technically he belongs to Corrie, one of her many 10-year-birthday presents, but he is widely adored. He has a sweet nature – fortunately – and a wide furry face. IMG_2977

He is learning the ways of cat Zen and the relaxation necessary for the all-important, all-afternoon nap from Mr. Smokius. IMG_2860

He knows who the master is (guy in blue, just in case you were confused), and how to suck up to him. IMG_2978

He is generally tolerant of being squeezed, danced with, sung to, and carried wildly around by Helen.


He does a good catbeard. (It is a family joke to wrap the cat around your neck, spring out at an unsuspecting homework-doer, and shout “Catbeard!”). IMG_2907

Imaginary piano playing is among his many talents.IMG_2982

Sometimes he gets overwhelmed (who doesn’t, really), and hides BEHIND all the rows of books in the bookshelves. Then Amos goes splelunking for him with the duster, feeling behind the books to locate him. IMG_2983

I think he’s fitting in fairly well. All the other animals have accepted and embraced him in various fuzzy ways. Thank goodness for pliant creatures! – KatieIMG_2984

8 hours

Once people feel nourished and refreshed, they cannot help but be kind; just so, the world aches for the generosity of a well-rested people.

-Wayne Muller

How is it, that even knowing the best gift I can give to all the people around me is to get 8 (possibly 9 – gack!) hours of sleep, I still fritter away evening minutes as if tomorrow will never come?

For the thousandth time, I resolve to go to bed early. – Katie