• Family,  Kids

    My Kate

    Just got her acceptance letter: transferring into UIUC as a junior, fall, 2010, Psychology.

    No clout required. Thank Vishnu.

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  • Family

    Last Meal and Testament

    Kevin says this is the last meal we’ll have with all six of us, and only all six of us, present. Josh has moved in until he gets an apartment and Kate is moving out this summer as well.

    “What holiday is this?” Corinne asks.

    Military people and freedom.


    Gwyn: “Like Dad?” Oops, no, this is the dead people and freedom one. Veterans’ Day is the like-Dad one.

    Gwyn: “Well, when you die, Dad, we’re gonna celebrate it real good.”

    *      *      *

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  • Family,  Life

    She’s Nine. I Think.

    Yesterday evening I took Gwyneth shopping for jeans for her new “school uniform.” (jeans, khakis, navy pants/skirt/skort/capris and a polo – which Gwyn pronounced “Lame-o”) and I’m in the dressing room with what appears to be a hormonal teenager.

    “I’m NOT a size 12. I’m a 10. A TEN. I won’t wear those. I won’t try them on.” She tries them on. “They make my behind look flappy.”

    Flappy? Child. That is not possible. Your behind is adorable. Your skinny long legs – adorable. These just fit your little girl belly better.

    “No. I’m a 10.” She throws off 12s and we’re back in the 10s.

    Sit on the floor. How do those 10s feel on your tummy?

    “Fine. Just fine.”

    Can you tuck a polo into them?

    “Let me see those other jeans.” She tries the 12s again. She sits. “Okay. I like the 12 slims.”

    This is the condensed version. I hate shopping.

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  • Family,  Life

    Stakes Are High

    “Why do you speed up so quickly?” Gwyn asks as we rip through the parking lot.

    I dunno. It’s a habit, I guess.

    “You should break it. I broke my nails. I mean, don’t bite them anymore.”

    That’s nice. I’m remembering the last time I had a grown-up in the car and he remarked “Probably ought to keep it under sixty in the school zone.” Yeah. I’m sure you’re right. We ride on two wheels around the corner.

    “Mom! Stakes are HIGH that we’re gonna crash or somethin’!”

    Stakes are high? Well then, all right.

    I calmly drive us to the Diet Coke drive-thru. The Blonde One wants a cherry thing and to talk.

    “There was this man and he was a stalker. Stalking us in our neighborhood.”

    Silence. I look over at her.

    “Do you know that word? Stalking? It means watching your life when they don’t have one.”

    (Turns out, probably not a stalker, but I’m on it.)

    Moment prior to Christmas Dinner:

    Kids, I need your help putting food on the table.

    Son: I could work in a coal mine.

    Merry Christmas!

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  • Family,  Photos

    Her Biggest Fan

    My Kate as Laurey in Oklahoma! July 22, 2008 (Illinois).



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  • Family,  Photos


    I’ve always teased that my children do not resemble me whatsoever. However:

    Gwyneth (7) and me (5):

    gwyn xmas

    180 miss la petite









    My friend remarked: “Wow. That is uncanny.”

    It gets better.

    stooge 1

    160 shell bwstooge 2

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  • Family,  Home

    Give Thanks

    tgiving.jpgThanksgiving: When we sit around the table and talk.

    Gwyneth, 8, relates a game at an Idaho neighbor’s birthday party. I ask, “Did you have trouble with this game because you can’t read?”

    Oh no. The dad said, “We know you can’t read; we drew pictures.”

    Sigh. “Do you have to tell everyone you can’t read?”

    Caleb: “Do you have to tell everyone you’re illiterate as a doornail?”

    Corinne: “That’s Caleb’s word of the day: (wait for it) doornail.”

    * * * * *

    Son is creating a turkey roll complete with gravy and mashed potatoes necessitating the squashing of said roll.

    “Son we don’t want to see that.”

    You don’t have to look.

    * * * * *

    ct3.jpgThe tree is up. Used to, that was a Saturday after Thanksgiving tradition but it seems in Japan we began to push that date forward as Kevin was working most holidays and days thereafter. Now, it’s put up the tree after Thanksgiving dinner. Even *I* wasn’t in the mood today, but getting out most of the decor was kind of fun: a family event.

    This is our third Thanksgiving in a row in a different locale. Different continent, different states. It’s getting tiring.

    Now the kids are cleaning up after a late dinner and we’re grabbing dessert and headed to the basement for “Miracle on 34th Street: the remake.” Because I like the remake.

    Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Shopping tomorrow.

  • Family

    Dinner with the Hostages

    9halfweeks2“Your father and I will be gone for two nights. You will behave and clean while we’re gone.”

    Corinne, 12: How do you know?

    * * * * *

    Gwyneth, 8: “Can I have two rolls?”

    Caleb, 14: You can have 5 if you’re fast.

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  • Family


    My eight year old to me:

    I don’t fear my enemies, but sometimes… you really scare me.

    Then tonight, as I descend the stairs, I see a fast-moving flash of black. The hallway bathroom door clicks and locks.

    “I know you’re in there.”

    “Sorry, Mom. It’s reflex. You scare me,” Kate says.

    What do they mean? Well, these bookend daughters mean two different things. Eight year old is referring to mom sounding like jet take-off upon finding that nothing she has requested be accomplished has, in fact, been accomplished.

    Sixteen year old means, “I am afraid you will have a job for me which I will procrastinate until you threaten to take away my 2500 text messages per day or the keys to the car.”

    Scary or abysmally normal? I ask you.