Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Argh Matey

While stopped at a red light today, a man on a Harley pulled up beside us. He was wearing a leather vest, sunglasses, sported a tattoo on his left arm and had a handkerchief tied on to his head.
Nathan: Mom, there's a pirate. That guy, that motorcycle guy is a pirate!

Everyone else in the car: Stunned silence followed by hysterical laughter.

He still doesn't know what was so funny... I mean how often do you get to see a real pirate?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heaven being Seven

My Li'l Lindsay is seven!? At our home, we do a friend party every other year and this was 'family party' year. It was met with much begging and pleading for friends but she had a great time in spite of her very stubborn mom sticking with the rule. Lindsay wanted to go bowling and have pizza for her birthday. Bowling was very fun (translation, I won. tee hee hee)! When I say pizza, I should clarify, Punch Pizza. Seriously the best part of Minnesota. Punch specializes in traditional Neapolitan pizza baked in a wood-burning brick oven at 800 degrees for 90 seconds and it is divine. Then we went home to have unicorn cake and ice cream :-)

Favorite Color: Purple & Pink
Song: You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
Book: Junie B. Jones Series
TV show: iCarly
Video Game: Wii Just Dance
Height: 45.6 inches
Weight: 48.6 lbs
Hobbies: Writing and Illustrating stories, playing soccer, riding her bike, singing, acting
New News: Haven't lost a tooth yet, but has a tooth growing in behind one :-D Hoping for a Tooth Fairy visit in the near future.



Notice the bowling ball brand... Linds, she was thrilled!





Dad, making the wish possible

Making a wish...
Success!
Lindsay, Katryn, Mackenzie, & Nathan post party ;-)
Mom & Lindsay Bear



Friday, April 22, 2011

Minnesota 'Easter Egg Hunt'

The Friday before Easter, I took the kids to the Lowry Nature Center for their 'hunt'. It was the first time we went and had a blast. I did roll my eyes at their flyer which said "A festive rabbit character will be available for photos". (Let's just say my political correctness gag reflex was in full swing) We were sent on a hunt for colored rocks, since the wildlife may want to eat the eggs. We set off on our hike, looking for markers along the way. Once a marker was found, we knew to look for a small rope within 30ft diameter of the marker, at the end of the rope was a bag with the rocks in them. Each child took one rock then off to find the next. Along the same trail Katryn had a map and clues to find the answers to a secret message. This was the 'challenge' hunt for those who wanted add to the task. Most of the bags were really well hidden in decaying tree stumps and the clues provided quite a challenge! We saw lots of fun trees, rocks, & wildlife on our hike. Upon our return with our treasure, we turned them in for a fun treat. There were lots of fun activities to do as well inside their visitor's center. We took a picture with the aforementioned rabbit character, colored a wooden egg, help bunnies, met a one eyed rehabbed owl, face painted, caught guppies and had an all around great time! This may become a new family tradition. :-)

Easter Bunny ( aka, Festive Rabbit Character) with the Kids

One of the hiding spots

Some of our favorite fungi

An accidental treasure

Guppy fishing



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Darling Decade


Katryn, Mia, Anna, Mary Grace after finishing their karaoke concert


Katryn turned 10. I am still in denial. Where has the time gone? Katryn participated in the Chaska Valley Family Theatre Company's production of Cinderella last month and on her actual birthday had 'tech rehearsal' so we just had her 'party' last week. :-)

Katryn wanted to keep it small and just hang out with her best friends in her class. So Mia, Anna, and Mary Grace joined us for the fun. They painted nails, watched Jumanji, made friendship bracelets, made duct tape wallets, did karaoke, and ate cake & ice cream. (Part of Katryn's present was Dad took the siblings out during the party and came back in time for dessert)


The Fab Four finishing their fancy fingernails

Katryn chose 'Diva' sunglasses for everyone. These are hers.

The spa/craft table is set

Katryn making a bracelet

B F F Bracelets.
They each drew a name out of a bag, then made a bracelet for that person. The beads say B F F.

Switched it up and had cupcake cones.

Andes Mint Chocolate Cinder Cake (Ice Cream Cake)


Monday, April 18, 2011

Can you do sit ups like this?

Mackenzie volunteered to show us all how to do proper sit ups, with your 'sitting parts'... Still smiling.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time Passing

Eight years ago today, on a day very similar to this cold, wet, spring day, I was in a hospital room awaiting the birth of our son, Ian. He was born early at 32 weeks.

We had excitedly gone to my ultrasound in January to find out if we were having a boy (I knew we were) or a girl. We found out almost immediately, we were having a son! Then the ultrasound tech grew uncomfortably quiet. Almost two year old Katryn, somehow knowingly, hopped down from Eric's lap and held my hand. Eric and I just looked at each other. A doctor came in, looked closely at the ultrasound and explained to us that our sweet baby that was happily kicking in my womb, had Holoprosencephaly (HPE). After much explanation, we were told, he likely would not live much longer. To say my world just stopped, would be an understatement.

Over the next few weeks, Eric and I became literal experts on HPE and quite frankly could have given a medical school discourse on the subject. Acquiring the knowledge only reaffirmed what we had been told. Our time was, in all likelihood, short with Ian.

The previous few days in that April of 2003, I had been full of inexplicable anxiety and a strong desire for more family to be with us, so I asked my mom if she could come out to visit. Her work told her if she took her vacation then, she would not be allowed time when our baby was due to be born. We asked my mother-in-law. She was told the same thing. My dad was working and it would be very difficult for him to get someone to cover his shifts. My father-in-law agreed to come the next day (the 15th). I was feeling a bit foolish about my anxiety and strong desire to have someone else out to help, but he was happy to come. Two hours after his arrival, my water broke. We left Katryn with a bewildered Papa and left to the hospital. :-)

My wonderful doctor, Ranjan Dasgupta, had asked a particularly special nurse to assist us, Ruth Micari. Both Eric and I commented how much Ruth reminded us of his mom, both in looks and demeanor. Such a blessing. Unbeknownst to us at the time and we didn't find out until many months later, the previous year, Ruth had been in labor at the same hospital and had birthed and lost a son, Michael. She was a literal Godsend. All the right words.

I went into labor around 5 pm and sweet Ian Bradford was born after a tightly wrapped cord scare, at 5:40pm, 3lbs 5oz, and 17 inches. Eric and I were blessed to spend the next two hours, holding him and singing to him. Two hours. Too short of course but a precious and literal miracle to be sure.

Although eight years have passed, Ian is in my daily thoughts. I am so grateful to God that Eric and I shared those fleeting moments of Ian's life and that because of His Son's sacrifice and resurrection, our family will be together again someday. I'm forever changed.

A couple of months after Ian's birth, while riding the train alone, this poem and many tears literally poured out of me in just a few minutes.





Friday, January 28, 2011

My Weekend Away


For Christmas, my sweet family gave me a weekend away. To say I was surprised and thrilled was an understatement. My husband had even called my best friend, Cristen, in Utah to see when would be a good time. I went January 28-30th. My cousin Lorien picked me up Friday morning at the airport and then we were off to a delicious breakfast together! After breakfast we went to her fabulous home where I happily explored during a meeting she had scheduled. Lorien is one of the most creative people I know and it was such fun to see her home and examples of things that inspire her. Thank you Lorien for the fun morning, I love spending time with you. I also loved finding the hidden army guys. (Somehow I didn't get a photo of Lorien and I, but I did catch the army guys on a recon mission)


Cristen then came to pick my up and we went straight to Brighton ski resort. Skiing was my 'brilliant' idea. I hadn't been skiing for (uh hem) 17 years. Cristen had a wonderful friend watching her kids and so it was just the two of us. My exuberance was replaced by intense fear. I literally prayed for safety and promised not to try anything stupid.... I couldn't even get over a tiny hill (bump on the trail) to get to the lift. Finally, with much encouragement from Cristen, I made it.





Soon we were off and enjoying the view from the lift. The green run was both terrifying and exhilarating. We both survived. Run 2 we tried a different lift, beautiful view and again went well. We were enjoying ourselves so much, we neglected to notice we took a slightly wrong path and ended at a different lift minus any green runs.... Good news, we noticed right before we got off the lift.... Bad news, only one way down :-P Notice our looks of terror.

My prayers intensified. Cristen did great and I only took one good tumble :-) We took a couple more runs on a more appropriate level and had a fantastic time, no broken bones!


The rest of the weekend included late night chats, good food, shopping, a BYU gymnastics meet and playing with the kids. I had such a fantastic weekend. Thank you Cristen!

It was such a wonderful gift. As fun as it was, I was thrilled to see my family at the airport, full of hugs and kisses! Missed them tremendously. Love you Eric, thank you for the gift of time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Four!


When we moved here to Minnesota, I was pregnant with Mackenzie and so I am quite confused at the fact that she turned four today... didn't we just get here?

I think she had a wonderful day. It actually started last night when I took her grocery shopping alone with me to buy her preschool birthday snacks. (I wish it were still legal to bring homemade goodies to school but that it another post entirely) She picked cinnamon donut holes, rainbow goldfish crackers and juice boxes. A very "I'm Four" combination. Our favorite grocery checker, Ms. Nancy, wished her a happy birthday and she thought that was wonderful. On our way home Mack gasped and told me her birthday outfit was dirty. Birthday outfit? "Yes, the one I got last year for my birthday! I don't have any birthday clothes to wear to preschool!" I told her I was sure we could find something cute for her to wear knowing she had a 'birthday outfit' waiting to be wrapped at home. I told her she could open a present in the morning. She was still a bit distressed but calmed down at the prospect of a gift in the morning.

In the morning we gave her the present to open. Wide eyed and smiley she quickly uncovered....wait for it.... A BIRTHDay outfit... That was her exact reaction. Excitement until she saw it was just clothes. Then she asked if she could open a 'present' like I had promised. I explained to her that it was the present and asked if she liked it. Finally grasping the truth, she turned back to the outfit and agreed that it was very cute and that she would like to wear it to preschool.

She looked adorable. The kids loved her menu choices and her teacher made her a birthday crown that she barely took off all day!

For her special dinner menu she requested macaroni 'n cheese with hotdogs and orange Gatorade. The orange Gatorade was for her and she asked if we could get everyone's favorite flavor for each to enjoy. We also enjoyed ice cream sundaes at her request. Keeping in mind that she likes vanilla ice cream. Period. No chocolate sauce, sprinkles, toppings, etc. She agreed to try some banana in hers this time, but it was a failure. Gross. Just plain vanilla please.
Presents were a success. How could they not be when you are four? Unless of course it is clothes when you are expecting, you know, presents.

She received more Squinkies (Google them, too hard to explain), new princess sheets, an orange letter 'M' for her room and a huge box of crafts. Happy girl. :-) Mack really wanted to celebrate her birthday with her family and a friend at Chuck E Cheese, but we don't have an open night for that until next Tuesday. So she is continuing the celebration next week. So tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel for part 2.

Happy Birthday Mack-a-doodle! We love you!






Mackenzie
Age 4
Favorite Colors: Orange, Pink, & all of them
Favorite Food: Mac 'n' cheese
Height: 3' 5"
Weight: 36 lbs
Eye Color: Gray with a brown outline around the pupil (try fitting that on your driver's license)
Hair Color: Dark blonde
Favorite Song: 10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Favorite Book: Any Dora the Explorer book
Activities: Playing in the snow, crafting, singing, writing her name, drawing, Zhu Zhu pets,

Yet another Nate-ism

The other afternoon, Nate wasn't feeling well and was having a difficult time getting comfortable on the couch to watch his show. I fixed his pillow and snugged him up with a blanket and piled his 'guys' all around him (Curious George and Dinosaur), then asked if he were comfortable. His response: Yes, Mama. I comf....I comfa-hamburger (the look on his face showed he knew that wasn't right so he tried again) Yes, Mama. I comfa-cheeseburger. (Very frustrated he just growled and gave me the look that I knew what he was trying to say and he was done trying).