Friday, September 30, 2011


I try to get to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see each season change - the waterfall garden is one of my favorites.

Back in February, a terrible storm caused damage to 3 of our bedroom ceilings. See the lovely patchwork?

We finally had the repairs done and the ceilings repainted. What a mess!

Lest you think I haven't spent any time with medical issues, Blair took over Lauren's role. He started off with an infected leg that turned to cellulitis. Then, here he is nursing his Pink Eye with ice packs. It took 3 doctors and multiple prescriptions to accurately diagnose him. He didn't hardly leave the house for almost a week.

Aren't these awesome uniforms? The feather plumes are missing because there was a chance of rain. There were 3 football games in a row, now we have a few weeks off before Homecoming. Rachel began a small tutoring job and Megan is about to begin basketball team workouts.

So, Nathan was cast in the school musical. It is the Wizard of Oz and he is Zeke (a farmhand), one of the Lollipop Guild, an Ozzian and a Munchkin. He has great stage presence and is having a blast. He gets to dance and sing and act. I love his enthusiam!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

For any of us who have ever spent any time out of the United States, feelings of patriotism are naturally tender and close to the surface. As we commemorated Sept 11, 2001 today, Rachel's high school performed a remembrance concert with her band and the school choir's. One of the speakers reminded us that our kids have never known an airport where family members could actually meet you at the gate or where you didn't have to take off your shoes to go through security. Do you remember when you could visit a hospital without showing ID first?

When the twin towers were hit, we were living in Utah and Blair was on a business trip in Texas. I remember the uneasy feelings of airports being shut down, having no idea what would happen next, and waiting for Blair to finally make it home after a 24 hour bus ride.

Since 2001, we have lived in New Jersey (1 hour from New York) and been to Manhattan many times. We were only 4 hours from Washington DC sites like the White House and the Washington Monument. We went to Philadephia and learned so much about our founding fathers while there. We are so blessed in our country to have so many freedoms and so many who guard those for us.

The videos below are from Rachel's concert. They both are under a minute and are worth the watch. Start with the bottom one first. They opened the concert with the audience singing The Star-Spangled Banner, then, as we are sitting down, Rachel plays Taps offstage. Side note - Rachel is incredibly talented and loves music! I was so impressed by her playing today. I have told her I expect to hear her play Silver Bells on the trumpet in my final moments of life.

The first video is of their closing number. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to School

The night before... Blair managed the school supplies, paperwork, 1st day outfits, etc. etc. But Nathan needed a haircut and so did Blair. Being the thrifty man he is, Blair splurged and spent $30 at Target for a trimming kit. Here Megan is using the vacuum while Nathan does the buzzing. They obviously had fun!

Nathan gets up at 6:00 am and leaves on the bus at 7 am now. Middle School with all its lockers and changing classes and different schedules on A days or B days, dressing down for PE, etc. is confusing to me, but he has it down and is learning a ton! He tried out for the school musical and is waiting to hear if he has a part.

Megan is a freshman and Rachel is a Junior, so they leave together for seminary at 6am, return at 7:15, then get on the bus at 7:30. They already have tons of homework!

Fall means football and marching band season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Megan is one of the shorter clarinet players while Rachel is one of the taller trumpeters. The band is 209 members strong, they practice for a class period each day, then have one night rehearsal each week and perform at all the home football games. Not only do they sound amazing, but they had some cool moves for their first game as well.

Megan has several teachers that Rachel had - here is the note on her english homework. Poor Megan has a lot to live up to.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Someone is clearly missing!!

It is interesting how the absence of one person changes the family make-up. Lauren was not the most vocal of all of us, however, she provided some kind of daily drama. It is a bit quieter without her.!! The lonely bedroom quickly has transformed to a music room/Blair's office.

I had to alter the dishes/help with dinner chart, our seating at the dinner table is now confusing, and tomorrow is Saturday. The Saturday job assignments now need to be refigured.

The good news is that one less person is fighting for the front seat in the car, there is a tad less laundry, and there are no med containers on the kitchen counter.

We miss Lauren but she is having the time of her life and I wouldn't have it any other way!