Sunday, January 25, 2009


Last Wednesday I took the kids to Verticle Endeavors in the cities. It was a wonderful experience for the kids and I really enjoyed watching them climbing walls while hooked up to safety harness and pulleys that slowly lowers them to the ground if they slip. My mom asked me a couple weeks later if I allowed them to climb the outsides of buildings. ummmm?? In case the need even remotely exisits, I would like to clarify and confirm that no, they do not climb the outsides of buildings. Kyle is petrified of heights, but knowing he was safe helped him and even he hooked up to climb.

I of course, took many, many pictures. Collin was thrilled to start climbing during their safety lesson. It was wonderful to watch his excitement. It was nice for him to burn some of his energy off in a such a positive way. Alex hesitated going up, but climbed up pretty far on the "easy" (her words, *not* mine) wall. I snapped a picture when she was climbing. I was glad I did, because she hadn't realized how far she went up.

I think it made them--and me more comfortable knowing that they were safe. They even have an area upstairs where the kids can try climbing without a harness. I knew Collin was safe because of the thick matting at the base if they did fall. It allowed them to try boost their confidence in themselves. When Collin went up the wall at the Renaissance festival, the other two wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. I love watching them--scrapbooking the pictures will be fun too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration of President Obama...a new beginning

I was so incredibly moved by Obama's inauguration and speech. It was wonderful--for the past eight year's we have listened to divisive rhetoric. It has been disheartening to hear people talk about "rights" only to have it obvious that those same people are referring to rights of people that happen to agree with them. "When only some of us have rights, none of us have rights."

I was happy to see my children watch with understanding what this day means. That we can all work for the things that make us happy. I got a call from my dear friend Valerie shortly after the conclusion of the ceremony; it is so nice to be able to things with her. Her family struggled so much during the civil rights marches. It is interesting to discuss things with her. As happy I am that we, as a nation, are turning the pages in this war, this economy and in race relations-I can never be as happy as she is. I am so, so happy for her and our country.

My husband and I have discussed people who are not happy because of the ancient views that they hold, but I am thrilled in the belief that most of our nation has managed to move past that. As Obama stated today, we look forward with hope, not fear.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Honoring Martin Luther King

I enjoy Martin Luther King Jr day. It isn't so much a day that we do anything special, but reflecting on how we can strive to change things. So often society and people themselves get sucked into the past and find themselves unable to move on. An entire generation was able to say no more to the impositions placed on them. What is more impressive is that they managed to not resort to violence, no matter how nasty others were to them. I am amazed and love thinking about how we can emulate their behavior in our own lives.

My children and I discussed all of this today. We are also looking forward to watching the inauguration tomorrow! I would like to bring the kids to Washington to see some of the things that we have been discussing, but I'm not sure when we will be able to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Physics Force production at Northrup

Last week we drove to the University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities. We went to Northrup Auditorium to watch a performance by the Physics Force. The show was an incredible and entertaining way to introduce physics concepts to the kids. The show even made me regret not taking physics in college or high school as we all watched a girl's hair fly and fog get blown in rings from the beating of a "drum." We watched how beach balls get arched as they are tossed and how they land consistently. It was fun way to learn that the to get maximum distance when aiming things was to do it at a 45 degree arch. Very useful information for water fights in the summer! We heard about how people can blow on the top of paper to make it lift. In this picture they are blowing the top of the toilet paper out towards the audience. We also learned the it curls back onto itself.

My daughter beat me to joining their fan group on Facebook, but it is okay--she is excited--it is the excitement I have prayed that all my children will have about learning. I hope they never lose their curiosity. The department performs public shows early each January at Northrup. If you are unavailable to come, don't despair! You can order a DVD directly from the Department!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Traces: documenting the WWII POW experiences in Minnesota

Traces museum, which had been located at the Landmark center closed last November. A truly sad day, not just Minnesota lost with this institution's doors closing. Dedicated to several lesser known parts of World War Two, the museum worked to inform people both about what American men suffered in German POW camps, and how, through compassionate treatment, German POW's in the United States had to address the differences between what Germans had learned to expect because of propaganda at home and the realities of the treatments they received here while removed from their homeland.

It is unfortunate that I waited to visit the museum. Upon looking for the hours tonight for a planned visit tomorrow. I was sad to discover it was too late--reminding me once more to try to make efforts to seize the moment because moments may not be there the next day. I learned of this museum two years ago when visiting a function at the Landmark and I had always intended to go back, too busy to make the time tight then. I am sad and it truly is a loss--not just for the Twin Cities, the region, or the United States. This organization really had significant impact.

I hope beyond any measurable intensity, that the mission of Traces survives. People may still visit them online. I wish them all the best.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Happy New Year!

My family had a great time ringing in 2009 with a family friend and her family. We had a great time playing board games and Wii and eating. Mary, John and Kathryn were absolutely wonderful. I really care about their family. Mary and John's one son--Dan is getting married. Because Dan works with my husband, we were doubly excited. I really want to do something special for his and Chelsea's wedding.

I made sure I called my mom to say Happy New Years and was happy that she was going to the party in her building. Mom came back down for a week at Christmas time. We didn't do a lot with her, but I am glad she got to spend the week and had some fun with us.

It has been hard since dad passed away. Holidays are a struggle. I miss him every day. People I know made very harsh comments about my grief less than 12 hours after I learned of his death. I was pretty much numb. Since then, I have struggled with how those people could be so angry, nasty and hurtful about my devastation. However hard the past two years, this year is going to be a great.

Immediately before my dad passed away, we had discussed a research project. I have been working on it for two years and finished the ground work this past fall. I am strengthening my resolve to complete this project for him. I truly believe that he has been helping me from the other side. Too many times since he has gone, I have found the perfect person to get obscure information. I know many people would find that silly or just a coincidence; but I do not have to convince others to have faith.

So this year is about finishing projects. It is also about moving on and trying to remember and honor my father. Not a perfect man, he allowed me to work through some stuff and gave me peace. Our relationship was special because we were both blessed with forgiveness and love. I look forward to finishing this book and starting my next.