Monday, July 30, 2007

Unanswered prayer

Yesterday, A and R went with me to church. (A had ulterior motives: he wanted R to get to know the nursery attendant so that we can ask her to babysit for us.) R only lasted about 5 minutes before he insisted he had to use the bathroom (he remembered using it on Easter, so he wanted to do it again - he didn't actually have to go), and then he wanted to go to the nursery to play with the toys. He and A came back just after the sermon, though, because there was a boy in the nursery that R wanted to share a toy with, and the boy didn't want to, so R was kind of hurt. Anyway, R was great during the rest of the service. He even went up with me during communion. So, despite the motives and the results, at least my boys were with me at church!

Pastor Goodman's sermon was on unanswered prayer, and it was another powerful one. He talked about how it would be crazy for God to answer everyone's prayer requests - it would result in utter chaos. (He mentioned the movie, "Bruce Almighty," but I kept thinking of a Garth Brooks song that goes, "One of God's greatest gifts is unanswered prayer.") This is something that I've, for some reason, been able to accept. I do pray for specific things to happen sometimes, although mostly for my friends and family (like, for A's eczema to be healed). For myself, I have more vague requests: that I'll raise R to be a good person, for help in my marriage/at work/etc., for comfort when I'm worried/depressed/anxious. I've always had trouble asking for very specific things because I know that God knows what's best for me. And, when my prayers aren't answered immediately, I know that God either has a different timetable or a different plan in mind for me. I worry when people pray for very specific things because what happens when those things don't happen or don't come true? Will they be disappointed in God and lose faith?

Well, one thing that Pastor Goodman talked about was how a lot of times people get angry at God for not answering their prayers. But he said that the best thing to do is tell God that you're angry at him, that you want to know why he ignored you, that you're mad and desperate and feeling very isolated from him. Because in doing that, you're still talking to God - and that just that act of talking/screaming/crying/etc. at him keeps you close to him. Pastor Goodman said that the absolute worst thing would be to become indifferent and just stop talking to God altogether.

I think that's such a wonderful message. Because I think that when people get disappointed in God or mad at him or even doubt that he exists, they tend to just give up and leave their faith behind. (I know I did!) We think it's not okay to get mad at God. But I'm sure that God would prefer that we be honest with him - even if we just want to tell him that he bites the big one. Because even in doing that, we are somehow comforted, healed, made better. I know that one of my most desperate prayers, which was simple ("Please help me") yet uttered when I was doubtful that God was even there, gave me a little bit of peace just in saying it. It reminds me of Annie Lamott's two favorite prayers: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." Because sometimes that's all we can manage. I think that it really doesn't matter what we're saying during prayer; it's just the fact that we're saying something at all.

And, the hymn we sang after the sermon? "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" - My favorite verse:
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's 11:21 pm and R is still awake!

I don't know what is going on, but R is wide awake. We've been trying to get him to fall asleep since 9:00! And here I had been hoping that this would be my one night where I could sleep in my own bed for the entire night. (The last two nights with the new big boy bed have been pretty rough. Last night, I spent hours in R's room either serving as a human bed rail so that he wouldn't fall out or trying to calm him down from night terrors. When I finally crawled into my own bed at 4:30 a.m., A started snoring. I wanted to cry.)

I need a break!

Normally, work is the last place that would help me relax. Today was busy, but productive. I'm so thankful to work with such a great group of people. I really love the department that we've built up during the last few years. So, I decided to buy a slew of gooey, warm cookies at the bakery downstairs from our office to share with our team. And, that was the best thing I could have done. Not only did I get to make people happy, which made me happy, but everyone came by to chat - or I swung by their office to say hi. And that hardly ever happens because we're just so busy all the time. It was the recharge in my spirit that I needed!

Now, we'll see what recharging I need tomorrow...


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mid-week thoughts & pics

Thank you all for your prayers for Dr. Petit and my co-worker. The sadness (and evil) of these events led me to remember a very powerful sermon that one of my pastors gave a few months ago. I asked him to email it to me, and I wanted to share part of it where he actually related a story told by William Sloan Coffin:

During the years when Rev. Coffin was senior minister of Riverside Church in New York City, his son Alex was killed in a tragic car accident. Alex was driving in a terrible storm; he lost control of his car and careened into the waters of Boston Harbor. The following Sunday, Dr. Coffin preached about his son's death. He thanked all the people for their messages of condolence, for food brought to their home, for an arm around his shoulder when no words would do. But he also raged; he raged about well-meaning folks who had hinted that Alex's death was God's will. "I knew the anger would do me good," he said.

Then he went on: "Do you think it was God's will that Alex never fixed that lousy windshield wiper ... that he was probably driving too fast in such a storm, that he probably had a couple of beers too many? Do you think it was God's will that there are no street lights along that stretch of the road and no guard rail separating the road and Boston Harbor? The one thing that should never be said when someone dies is, 'It is the will of God.' Never do we know enough to say that. My own consolation lies in knowing that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break."

And, this is how I comforted myself on a lighter level:

Last night for dinner, A made his incredibly delicious chicken pesto pizza. I got R all excited about it (we haven't had it since he's been eating solid foods) by telling him we were having "green pizza." He was thrilled by that, and he actually ate quite a bit of it (except for the chicken). So, thank you to A for indulging my craving for it - it was delicious!

When my boys picked me up tonight at the T station, they surprised me with these beautiful roses. R picked them out himself!

Tonight was A's night out, so R and I hung out, made dinner, and then had an impromptu jam session in the living room. R asked me to put on one of his kids' music CDs, and then he demanded to know where his drum sticks and "drums" were.

Later, we listened to Toots and the Maytals. R insisted that I play the drums, while he played a shaker and did some funky dancing. It was great.

Finally, yesterday, we had some "tree guys" come and do a lot of work in our yard: they shaped the overgrown maple trees that were about to take over our house, they ripped out two huge bushes in front of our house, and they shaped and trimmed our crazily overgrown hedges. The woman that owned our house before us never did anything to the yard, so it's been an uphill struggle for us to make it look somewhat respectable.

I'm so excited about the difference! Our house looks so much bigger, and now the sunlight actually makes it through to our front yard. Inside the house, our living room is much brighter because the big window isn't half blocked by a giant bush. I can't wait to start doing some planting...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Please pray

After A and I picked up R from school this afternoon, I quickly checked my email to make sure no emergencies had happened at work. Unfortunately there was an email from my best friend asking for prayers:

A co-worker and friend of ours who was pregnant and due in December just found out that she lost the baby.

My friend's parents' doctor endured a horrible, horrible tragedy: his home was invaded, he was severely beaten, and his wife and two daughters were killed. This man has been incredibly supportive of my friend's dad during his brain cancer battle, even praying for him.

Please keep these people and their families in your prayers. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain they are experiencing, but I know that God is suffering with them and that he is drawing them close to him. All I could think of when I read the email was, "Jesus wept."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Sunday

We headed out early to IKEA this morning. I have a soft spot in my heart for IKEA. I know that a lot of people hate the place and feel that they just sell a lot of cheap junk, but I love it. Part of it is the whole Swedish thing (I love that I can get lingonberries and Bilar and other assorted Swedish foods and snacks!), as part of my heritage is Swedish (the part I associate with the most). Part of it is that IKEA has the best stores for families - there's a family restroom (which we used today - R thought it was great!), the cafe sells jarred baby food and has microwaves for warming up bottles, and there are kids' play areas throughout the store. Plus, they don't seem to mind if certain energetic three-year-olds jump on every bed and sofa in the store. ;-)

Anyway, today we were there to get R a mattress for his new "big boy" bed, which we bought yesterday at a nearby furniture store. The bed is being delivered on Wednesday. (We spent way more than we planned to, but the bed we found was perfect - it has built-in bookshelves and drawers and was solid wood. The picture is almost the model we bought, but it's missing the under-bed drawers.)

I also wanted to pick up this bookshelf/cabinet combo at IKEA. We have a wine rack in our living room that doesn't quite work for us anymore - by that I mean that we don't use it to store wine or wine glasses anymore because of a certain little boy. We need something with more storage and room for our books (which are STILL in boxes in our basement after 4.5 years in our house!) and a place to display photographs and such. A and I both really like this shelf thing (and it's made of pine, not particle board), but the box was too big for our car. Actually, the box will fit as long as we don't have R with us. So we'll have to go back another day to pick it up. Argh. I don't mind at all having to go back to IKEA, but I know that I'll want to linger and browse and eat at the cafe, and A will want to get in and get out. Oh well!

(Goodness - it's embarrassing how much I can write about a silly shopping trip...)

The rest of the day was spent taking naps (heavenly!), watering the plants and grass, and being together as a family. Although, I did have almost TWO HOURS TO MYSELF! A took R down to the lake near our house to meet some of R's friends from school. One of the families just bought a kayak and let everyone try it out. A and R loved it!

I spent my time alone doing such thrilling things as changing the sheets on my bed, folding laundry, Swiffering the floors, mulching one of my flower beds, and watching an old (and not very good) version of Jane Eyre that my friend had lent me on DVD. But it was great! I feel like I accomplished something for once! And, after all that, I sat for awhile on our patio and watched the birds fluttering around happily in the spray from our sprinkler. One little sparrow came right up next to me to take a bath in a puddle. So sweet! And I just thanked God for all the simple beauty and happiness that surrounds me.

Hope your Sunday was peaceful and wonderful, too!

P.S. Today, R shared with me his thoughts about heaven: The little bird that we found dead in our yard is there. And so are many trains (including a diesel engine) and ice cream trucks. I think in R's mind God is an ice cream truck driver. :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Quotes and cuteness from R

On Thursday while I was at work, I called home to talk to A. After a few minutes, R wanted to get on the phone. He proceeded to fill me in on his day - how he and A had gone to the Museum of Science, to Costco (but his friend Patty wasn't there), and that he was now playing in the living room. Then he said, "How is your day going over there?" He topped it off by informing me, "Daddy is not okay. He's tired."

R had a little mosquito bite that was itching him. He told A, "I don't understand why God made mosquitoes!" (Now to be fair, R and I had previously been talking about this subject, and I had said this exact same thing to him. But I think it's so cool - and a bit daunting - how much of what I say he remembers word for word.)

R and I were having a bit of a power struggle one night during dinner when it was just him and me (A was out with his friends). He used his napkin, scrunched it up, and threw it on the floor. I told him that he needed to pick it up and put it in the trash. He defiantly told me he was not going to do it and that I should do it. I calmly told him that he would pick it up or we would go right to bed right after dinner. R then came up with his own solution: "Daddy will pick it up when he gets home!" After I told him again that he needed to pick up the napkin himself, R said, "I was just kidding!"

Tonight, as he was just about to drift off to sleep, R rolled over, put his hands on either side of my face very sweetly, and said, "We had a fun day today!" Then he gave me a little kiss. (And, this was after a day of R mostly being dragged around to furniture stores! Of course we also read stories, went to the playground, played with Play-doh, invented a new game with our sprinkler during which R got completely soaked, had ice cream, and watched "Liquid Fireworks.")

My favorite thing that R says now is, "But you never know!" He says that whenever he wants something to happen that we explain is unlikely. He says it with so much expression in his voice, and with very adult-like hand gestures. It's hard not to laugh when he says it because he's just so funny and cute.

I wish I could remember more of R's expressions. It makes me sad to not capture all the sweet, funny, crazy things he does. But recording a few here and there is better than none at all! :-)

Books and miracles

I love Barbara Brown Taylor. In one of her sermons from this collection, she explains the Holy Spirit. I finally get it! For the first time ever, it makes sense to me! I read the sermon this week while I was on the subway and got so excited. Once it was a little easier to understand, my heart was instantly more open to experiencing the Holy Spirit and recognizing it. More on that in a bit. In the meantime, thank you Barbara!

I picked up this novel yesterday during a book-buying extravaganza. It's about what Jesus would be like if he were with us in person today. I'm halfway through it already, and I'm finding it very inspiring. The writing isn't the best (the dialogue is very unrealistic - everyone sounds very stilted and forced when they talk), but "discovering" Joshua/Yeshua/Jesus and what it would be like to hang out with him, watch him work (as a woodworker), listen to him talk about just about anything, and share a meal with him (homemade chicken soup, fresh bread, vegetables from his garden, a glass of red wine) has given me a sense of peace and made me want to be like him even more than before. The book even gave me a new way of thinking about my church dilemma.

And then this morning, my devotional was this:

When you invite Christ to rule over your heart, you avail yourself of his power. And make no mistake about it: You and Christ, working together, can do miraculous things. In fact, miraculous things are exactly what Christ intends for you to do, but he won't force you to do great things on his behalf. The decision to become a full-fledged participant in his power is a decision that you must make for yourself.

The words of John 14:12 make this promise: When you put absolute faith in Christ, you can share in his power. Today, trust the Savior's promise and expect a miracle in his name.

So, I decided to do just that: trust God and expect a miracle. After I prayed this morning, asking the Holy Spirit to fill me and asking God to use me for his purpose and asking for the peace that Jesus knew, something popped into my head - exactly the way that Barbara Brown Taylor described in her sermon. I immediately thought of my best friend who has been trying to get pregnant for two years. I've been praying for her and her husband for a long time, but suddenly I got a strong feeling that I needed to lay my hands on her somehow and that God would finally bless her with a baby. The image of touching her stayed with me all morning on my way to work. When I got to work, my friend (we work together) wasn't there yet and she ended up coming in late. When she got in around 10, the feeling kept at me. I actually felt nervous and jumpy and tingly. That made me smile because I always feel that way during a certain time of my cycle, and I'm at that point now - AND one of the things that Barbara Brown Taylor mentioned in her sermon is that sometimes people chalk the Holy Spirit up to hormones. :-)

Anyway, I tried to stop by my friend's office a few times, but she was either on the phone or in a meeting. Finally, on my way out to lunch, she was alone so I walked in and just said, "Hey - I know this is going to sound weird, but I need to give you a hug." And my friend jumped up, and we had a wonderful, loving hug. (She loves to give hugs anyway, so it wasn't that strange for us. We've been friends for 17 years.) And then she told me that she really needed it because her father, who is trying to recover from brain cancer, had just called her, sobbing. We talked for awhile and I tried to be as good a friend to her as she has always been to me.

And, as crazy or irrational as it sounds, I honestly believe that she will get pregnant now. Maybe God was just leading me to give my friend a hug at the moment when she most desperately needed it, and that it was just about giving her comfort. I believe it was that and more. I'm not saying that I am a performer of miracles. But I have this feeling that God asked me to do this as the clincher - that, after all of the prayers that have gone up for my friend, God needed me to do this one thing to enable her to get pregnant. I suspect that this miracle is partly for my friend (because of course I'll tell her about this one day) and partly for me. It helped me have an amazing experience of faith, and I'm so thankful for it. I've been at peace all day because of it. At peace AND wanting to shout, "WOOHOO!" :-)

Monday, July 16, 2007

I almost forgot!

A friend sent me an email over the weekend that reminded me that I never posted about how my first Thursday off with R went! It was wonderful! R was very insistent that it was a day just for the two of us, so A headed in to work for an extra day, which worked out well for him, too.

In the morning, R and I headed to the little "beach" in our town. We ended up staying for three hours. It was a bit chilly so we didn't do a lot of swimming, but we waded near the edge of the water, dug holes in the sand to make lakes and rivers, played at the playground for awhile, had lunch and an ice cream, and just had a lot of fun together.

After the beach, we headed home to play with Play-doh and cars and to bake blueberry buckle. R called it "blueberry buckie," so I think that's what I'll call it from now on because it sounds so cute. We also went to the toy store to get him a bat and ball because he's been talking about baseball recently. He had been playing his version of baseball with a plastic pole and a squishy football in his bedroom, so I figured I'd get him something a little closer to the real thing.

It was exactly the kind of day I've been wanting to have with him. And, I was relaxed and completely focused on him (instead of work). I wasn't even wiped out at the end of the day! I'm so thankful that I have this time with R now. It even made me more energized for work the next day. So I think it's going to be a good thing all around for me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I've been meaning to post all week, but I was never sure exactly what to post about. I've got all these beginnings of posts in my head, but I don't think any of them are particularly well thought out (or maybe even interesting). But, it's early Sunday morning, I have some time to myself before my boys wake up, so I'm going to plow ahead. Just bear with me or feel free to move on now. :-)

Happy Birthday, Mom!
My mom's birthday was on Thursday, and it sounds like she had a wonderful day. I wish I could have been with her to celebrate. Mom lives in Florida, along with a lot of the rest of my family now, so I only get to see her once or twice a year, which kills me if I think about it too much. I miss her tons, and I HATE raising R without her nearby. But we do the best we can to make sure that R knows his Grandma, and Mom and I stay in touch via IM and phone pretty regularly. She's the glue that holds our family together, and she's sweet, funny, silly, smart, beautiful, and extremely interesting. Next year, for her 60th birthday, she wants our whole family to have a vacation together at a beach house somewhere, and she wants to have sort of a ceremonial handing down of her family's history. It's been awhile since our whole family was together in one place, and it wasn't under the best circumstances last time. And, we haven't taken a vacation together since my sisters and I were small. But I'm excited about it. R and his three cousins have fun together, and my sisters and my mom are my best friends. I think it will be hard to all go our separate ways afterwards. (Or, maybe we'll run away screaming after all being together in the same house for a week...):-)

Fun and Sad Friday
On Friday night, we took R to go see a ska band that A and I used to go see together a lot. They were playing outside in a nearby town for a summer concert series. We're friends with a couple of the guys in the band, and one of our best friends used to be in it, too. R had a blast. He and a bunch of little girls were running around, dancing, jumping, hugging each other, etc. R wore himself out and slept all night! (I woke up praying, "Thank you thank you thank you!") So it was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see how much we all have changed: pretty much everyone in the band now has kids and, instead of being in a smoky bar and dancing until the wee hours, we were on a picnic blanket in the beautiful night air, drinking lemonade and eating subs for dinner.

But it made me sad, too. Before I met A, a few of my friends and I used to go to every ska show in Massachusetts that we could. And, there were a lot of them. We would go out sometimes three or four nights a week. (I actually met A at an after-party for one ska band that I used to see religiously.) We'd get there for the opening band and to stake out our dancing spots at the front of the room near the stage. Then we'd dance for hours. I loved the dancing and the music. If you don't know ska, it's a music form that came out of Jamaica, and it's very happy, peppy music, usually with lots of horns. (It's used a lot in commercials now - ugh.) There's a certain kind of dance that you do (called "skanking") that involves lots of knees and elbows flying around. It's a great form of exercise, especially when you do it for hours at a time. No wonder why I was so skinny in those days!

So, seeing the band just made me miss those times with my friends and the freedom and abandon of my life back then. I "discovered" ska when I was at a pretty low point in my life, and the music and dancing were very therapeutic for me. I don't regret anything about my life now, but part of me misses my old self. I was a little crazier, more fun, less held back by my own worries/fears/hang-ups/etc. So maybe I can find a way to bring some of that back into my life now.

Fun With Friends
On Saturday morning, we went with friends to Castle Island in Boston. It was beautiful there. We walked around the huge fort and let the kids wear themselves out at the playground. The best part was when we heard cannons going off. At first, we just ignored them, but then we decided to see what was going on. So we trekked back around the fort and found that there was a huge ceremony going on for turning the U.S.S. Constitution (a.k.a. "Old Ironsides") around. People dressed as minuteman were shooting off cannons from the edge of the island, the ship was shooting off cannons toward the fort, police and fire ships were circling everywhere, and the fire boat did that thing where it sends huge sprays of water into the air. Later, two smaller ships came out and were shooting off cannons at each other. It was just incredible - beautiful to watch and amazing that we just happened to be there on that day! R was impressed, and it cemented our plans to take R back to my hometown of Plymouth, Mass. to see the Mayflower II and some of the other historic monuments and houses.

In the afternoon, we went to visit some other friends and stayed WAY too late. But we had a great time. They have a beautiful, old house and a huge yard that's enclosed by woods, and people just drop by and hang out for hours. We eat lots of good food, drink nice wine, let the kids run free and go nuts on the trampoline, and we talk and laugh 'til we're all getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. A and I brought along R's bouncy house and our hydrogen rockets to entertain R and the other kids, which worked out well. When dusk came, we were thrilled to show R lightning bugs and bats flying around and to teach him how to make s'mores. We lit sparklers, and I was a bit relieved that R was a little scared of them. It was a beautiful night. I know R is only 3, but I'm hoping he remembers some of these almost magical times when he's older.

Church Dilemma
Edited to add: This part is really whiney and completely illogical, and I'm not proud of it. But wonderful Bob already read it and commented, so I didn't want to delete it - although I was tempted.
I haven't been to church in a few weeks. I'm really torn about it. I went a few weeks ago for the first time to the summer service. Normally, I attend my church's 8 a.m. service - partly because I go by myself and it's less than an hour so I'm not away from R as long, but mostly because it's small and intimate and quiet, and I like that environment. But for the summer, there's only a 9:15 service, which lasts close to two hours (so I'm away from R and A a lot longer - if you haven't noticed, I carry a lot of guilt about not being with R all the time) and is much "busier." Communion is an assembly line (versus where we all gather behind the altar in an intimate circle at the early service) and there's just a lot of distraction from lots more kids, people chatting, etc. Plus, now I know this is awful, but there are a few people at the bigger service that have beautiful voices but sing so loud that I can't hear myself at all. I love singing, and I like to be able to hear myself. These people were singing so loud that I couldn't concentrate - and they weren't even on the same side of the church as me - they were clear across the room. The whole thing just didn't work for me - I couldn't concentrate on the sermon, and it didn't feel worshipful (in the way that I need; I know that everyone worships God in their own way, so I'm not saying that people shouldn't sing loud, but it just made it frustrating for me personally). So I haven't been back. I've actually even thought about trying out some other churches because, while I love my church and the co-pastors give some amazing sermons, it sometimes feels a little too - hmmm, I'm not sure how to say it except for this: like everyone has a stick up their butt. [Edited to add: See? I can't believe I wrote this now, and I'm so sorry. And, I fully recognize that a lot of people would include me in the category of those with a stick up their butt. And they're probably right. The people at my church are very nice and I'm sure a lot of fun, too.] I've been incredibly moved during the services I've attended, and I've heard God's message for me many times, and it has moved me to tears. Or, sometimes I'm just so happy and joyful that I want to sing some good, old-fashioned gospel tunes. But I attend a Lutheran church in New England. There isn't a whole lot of emotion being expressed openly - and not too many lively hymns. Actually, once in awhile, one of the hymns will be an old spiritual or something like Andrae Crouch's "Soon and Very Soon, We Are Going to See the King," but a bunch of prim and proper Yankees just doesn't do 'em justice. :-) Now, admittedly, I am one of those prim and proper Yankees, but I wouldn't mind some clapping or shouting once in awhile. On Easter morning, the vicar could barely get the church to shout along with him, "He is risen indeed!"

I know I sound completely contradictive - I want more emotion and audience participation, but I also want quiet and an awe-filled, worshipful setting. So that's my dilemma. And here's another twist: I hate going by myself, but when I've attended church with other people, I get distracted by worrying about whether they're okay with the service, whether they're uncomfortable, etc. And, forget it when A and R come with me - R can't sit still for five minutes, so I can't follow anything that's going on, and I worry that A is getting offended the whole time.

My original plan when I first started attending my church last fall was to have R start coming with me this fall because he'll be old enough for Sunday School (which is held between services) and for Children's Church (which is held during the sermon - the rest of the time, the kids are in the service with everyone else). But I just don't know now. I do believe that God led me to my church, but maybe now that I got into the habit of going, there's another church home for me elsewhere that fits a little better with my needs. I joke that what I need is a tiny, struggling church where I feel guilty if I don't show up on Sunday because I make up a significant percentage of the congregation (that was what my church growing up was like). I want to be needed, but I also don't have the time to commit to lots of other church activities during the week. I want to participate more, but I don't feel right about taking any more time away from R than I already do because of work.

Anyway, I'll keep praying about it. But that's why I'm sitting here typing at 8:45 a.m. on a Sunday instead of getting gussied up for church.

I have to go wake up the boys now. We're supposed to go visit my dad today, and we should get on the road soon before it gets too hot. My dad's apartment is on the third floor and isn't air conditioned, and it's supposed to be 87 degrees today. We're thinking about stopping at Lowe's on our way down to buy my dad an air conditioner. (He's got one for his bedroom, but we can't all hang out in there for four hours.)

I wish you all a happy Sunday!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Week o' Fun

This has been such a great week. (Well, I was a bit overworked, didn't get much sleep, and ended up sick at the end of the week, but family-wise, it was great!) My office closed at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, so I met A and R and our friends at the Public Garden in Boston for a ride on the famous swan boats. (Make Way for Ducklings is one of R's favorite picture books and a Boston classic. The book features the swan boats.)

Afterwards, we got ice cream and hot dogs from Mr. Frosty (ice cream truck), used the boys' room at the Four Seasons Hotel (when you've got to go, might as well do it in style!), and headed home for a LONG ride on the T and bus. R actually fell asleep in my arms on the bus. He NEVER does that.

On the 4th, we set up our pool for R and his friend A to play in. They had a blast together. They've been playing more together lately instead of each doing his and her own thing. They've been inventing games, which is so cool to watch. Later, we took R to a carnival in the town next door. He LOVED the rides - his favorite was the roller coaster.

I went with R on an obstacle course thing, but he left me in the dust. The three of us went on a huge gondola ferris wheel, which was a lot of fun. But, for the most part, I got my first taste of being the one to hold all of our stuff while R and A went on rides together, which was fine with me. I got some fried dough and was happy. :-)

Later, our friends came over to hang out for awhile and then we headed out for dinner at a fun, kid-friendly place in the center of town. We went there last year together on the 4th, so we're starting to make it a tradition. The kids were a bit nutty, but it was still fun.

I was back to work on Thursday and Friday, but this morning we met up with our friends again at a local playground to let the kids run and climb and burn energy.

Tonight, A made a delicious grilled dinner of steak, corn on the cob, and baked beans. For dessert, we had watermelon and blueberries. A perfect summer meal for a perfect summer day and week!

Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Rockets - Pics & Video

I finally had some time to download (and upload) everything. So, here are some photos and videos from our rocket outing last week - enjoy!

This was one of the early launches of the day.

R and his friend Z prepare for launch sequence.

Two catches on this one during recovery!

A and R getting ready to launch our tiny rocket.

My favorite part of this one is our friend Mark yelling, "Go Gemini!" and then R repeating it after him. :-)

This was the best one A caught on video. All three pieces came down and were recovered, including the little astronaut guy that our friend Ben had stuffed inside the rocket. Ben grabs him at the end and hands him to R.

This one is cool because the rocket was so darned big and because Ben built it himself from scratch (not a model). But - the nose cone exploded when it hit the ground. Lucky 7, we hardly knew ye!

The aftermath of the explosion.