Friday, September 18, 2009


I joined Goodreads awhile back to organize my book group lists and keep track of notes about books I like, want to read, etc. I am forever jotting down titles or authors I hear good reviews on, so that I can check them out at my library. I used to lose those notes all the time. Now, I just add them to my "to-read" list with all the info about who recommended them. Its wonderful for me. Plus, I have some friends on the Goodreads network who share their booklists with me. I have found a number of favorites based on friend's booklists.

Also, on this site you can write book reviews and share them with your friends and the rest of the Goodreads world. Sometimes when I start a book I'll read other people's reviews to get a feel for it. (I rarely write book reviews myself. The best compliment I can give an author is to sacrifice my sleep in pursuit of the story.) Many book reviews are very educated, supremely (condescendingly) analytical and no fun at all to read! Some are briefly stated personal opinions. Today I came across a hilarious (to me anyway) review of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility. It was so young hearted and humorous. I don't know why but every time I read it, I laugh. Here it is:

"This my first Jane Austen. Okay, I LOVED this book. I don't even know why. It's about . . . girls who like boys! Who are jerks! Um, the end! But it was funny. But clever funny, which is my favorite kind..." "... Also I love all the wacky British society stuff. Like sending notes! And walking places! And having breakfast at other peoples' houses! And I enjoyed figuring out the etiquette of the day. Like, it's improper to exchange letters with a member of the opposite sex with whom you are not engaged? Crazy! But it's cool to be engaged and not TELL anyone? Insane! I love it. " ~ Kerry of Clementon, New Jersey

Thank you, Kerry from New Jersey.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Strike Ends - Kindergarten Begins

Hallelujah! The teacher strike has ended and school began today! What a long couple of weeks this has been. Summer officially ends for me on Labor Day usually, so we really haven't done much in the way of extending our summer activities. Boredom and restlessness has made my children crazy! Thank goodness for school! Noah started Kindergarten! He is thrilled to be walking to the bus stop with Tyler and going to a "real" school for big kids. Tyler is now in 3rd grade and is super excited about it. He has a male teacher this year, which is apparently the coolest thing. And Emma is flamin' mad that she's stuck with me all day for the next few weeks until preschool begins October 1st.

While driving by picketing teachers outside the school....

Noah: "Mom, what are those signs? What are the teachers doing?"
Mom: "They are holding signs up to tell everyone that they're fighting with the schools and want things to be better for their students."
Noah: "Mom, schools don't fight. (laughs)"

Another day, driving by ....

Noah: "Mom, is my teacher fighting with the schools too?"
Mom: "Yes, Noah. All the teachers have decided not to go back to work until they can get the schools to agree to make things better. School can't start until they agree."
Noah: " .... (mumbling grumpily) .... I hate those signs. And I hate those schools...."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Life Without Aidan

Emma began her new ballet class with Miss Mary and without Aidan. When I told her that Aidan wouldn't be in her class, she collapsed into my arms and sobbed for 10 minutes. Heartbreak at age four. I took her to class unsure if she would stay. But the hour that followed was probably her most productive and attentive class to date. Miss Mary commented at the end that maybe their separation was for the best since she listened so well without "getting distracted by that boy!"

"Gone - flitted away, taken the stars from the night and the sun from the day! Gone, and a cloud in my heart." ~Alfred Tennyson

“Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than remember me and cry.” ~ The Cure, lyrics from "Treasure"

Friday, September 11, 2009


Noah is six. Six year olds boys everywhere enjoy the same things: dirt, kung fu and superheroes. So, naturally Noah celebrated his birthday this week with a superhero party at our place, complete with 14 other superkids. It was crazy loud at our house, but it was filled with laughter and excitement. Each guest received their own cape and eye mask to decorate during the party. Noah & Emma decorated the house with superhero toys and everyone had a ball playing with them - especially the girls. They played "Pass the Kryptonite" (hot potato), "Kapow! Practice" (drew villian faces on balloons and then punched them like crazy) and then rescued Tyler when "Chance the Supervillian" kidnapped him. Chance was brought to justice when the kids put him in jail (a chair) and tied him up with toilet paper. Then they tortured him by pinching his nose and poking his eyes! I laughed so hard, I cried!

It was exhausting, but worth it. After the last child left, our home was quiet and terribly messy. I sat down and thought about my boy. I thought how small he was 6 years ago. I thougth how when I brought him home from the hospital he was too small for a carseat and had to ride home in a "car-bed". I thought about how I pulled over three times on that ride home to make sure he was OK in that bed. I thought how very soon (hopefully) he'll begin Kindergarten. I thought how soon enough he won't want superhero parties or his mother's chocolate cake. Soon enough, he'll be too busy for us to stop and play hot potato or anything else and will think himself too old for such games. It brought tears to my eyes. I decided to enjoy his enthusiam and general boyish wildness more. I decided to live in the moment more and listen to his stories more and be more forgiving of his messy ways.

And then I fell asleep in the recliner.

"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes." ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Happy 6th Birthday to Noah!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Exodus Ended

I am writing to warn the universe that I intend to resume blogging. I apologize in advance for the many new blog entries that I will post over the next several days as I catch up on all things Richardson.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thank Goodness for Photoshop

Emma had an interesting August.

She came across Tyler's "safety" scissors and decided it was time for a hair cut. When she proudly presented me a handsome wad of her locks ... well, I screamed! I love that gorgeous hair of hers. Thankfully, her hair is so curly awesome that most people haven't noticed the giant chop on the left side. She just looks a little more like Shirly Temple these days.
Unfortunately, things got worse. A few weeks later during a wrestling match with Chance and the boys, she somehow bumped her mouth and hurt her front tooth. It became slightly loose and bled a bit, but we didn't worry too much about it. Google said it would firm up in a few days. (Of course, I believed Google!) Well, the other day it started to change color. I took her to the dentist who confirmed that her tooth DIED! Its dead and turning uglier every day! There's nothing to do but wait for it to fall out and the new one to grow back in. That will be YEARS! Tyler's front teeth are just now coming all the way in and he's 8! Four years?

My brain knows that her tooth will fall out and eventually a sparkly, new, perfect one will grow back in, but I feel like I'm in mourning. I'm suffering from Mommy Vanity! She's still beautiful of course, but her once dazzling smile now looks so crazy. She looks like a 4-year old homeless girl. Its perfect for Halloween, but not for everyday for four years! And yes, I know I sound insane. Its just a baby tooth, after all.

As fate would have it, the kids have pictures scheduled for tomorrow. I spoke with my fabulous photographer, Ashley, who confirmed that its a snap to whiten teeth in Photoshop. Thank goodness for Adobe.

"Now Bart, since you broke Grandpa's teeth, he gets to break yours."
~Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dash Point

My nephew, David, visited for a week this summer. One afternoon the kids got a little stir crazy so I drove them down to Dash Point. Since it wasn't real warm, I didn't plan on them swimming. I thought we could walk around and explore the beach a bit. We're planning to have a photo shoot here in a few weeks so I thought I would check it out.

I instructed the kids to just get their feet wet and walk around on the beach or play in the sand. They quickly found out the water was very cold.

But before I knew it ... they changed their minds. In a matter of minutes they were drenched and shirtless. And they somehow convinced David to join them.

Noah: "What's that!?!?!"
Mom: "Seaweed."
Noah: "It is?!"
Emma: "Yeah, for the mermaids."


**Note:  This post is from a conversation saved in my drafts from a few years ago.  Blogger somehow didn't save the date for me, but I believe it was sometime in the fall of 2009. 

The Covington McDonald's is going to be demolished. We drove by this afternoon find a "closed" sign and a barrier fence around it. When I explained to Noah and Emma that someone was tearing it down, they burst into tears! Noah strangled out an anguished "WHY?!" I explained that they just didn't like that building and needed to tear it down in order to build something better.

Emma: "But I LOVE that building!"

I then explained that a new McDonald's will be built in the same place. Noah pondered this for a bit and decided that it must be that someone complained about the building not being "green". He wasn't talking about the environment, but the color of the roof. (In Minnesota, we had two McDonald's - one with a red roof and one green.) Yes, that must be it. He looked over the building and nodded his head. Then the two of them had a lively debate about what would be different and the same and whether the big M sign would be replaced. Emma insisted it would be while Noah held firm that he had seen the same signs in front of the "green" McDonalds, too.

How interesting to listen to them debate. Emma, wildly dramatic and hotly emotional about her opinions. Noah, presenting his case with obvious "facts" to support it.  I love them.