<< 7/20-27

What a week.

Saturday morning we drove up to the Cities early for a baseball game.

Kaitlin was my photo taking co-pilot.
She caught me sipping coffee.
We'd gotten up early to do John's paper route
and I needed all the caffeine I could get.

By the time we got to the cities,
it was raining pretty hard.
The rains delayed the game for 1 hour,
which was okay because we were running late.

That's my son hitting a triple.

A player's little sister helped me put sunflower seeds on my toes.
So silly.
It might have been my idea,
but I may just let everyone believe it was hers.

After last week my husband asked me if I have a foot fetish.
"No," I said. "Why?"
"You have a lot of photos of your feet on your blog," he replied.
That's true, I do. 
I think it's because I'd rather take photos of my feet than of my face.

That's why.

On our way home from the games, 
we decided to take the back roads instead of the highway for a change of scenery. 
John and I were following JD and the girls.
At about this point in the trip we realized that JD was lost.

We took the even more scenic, scenic route home.
It was really scenic.

I like it when I have him for a captive audience. We get to talk about stuff.
And laugh about farts.

We noticed one cloud all by itself in the blue sky.
It was shaped like a duck. An arrow. A platypus. A cat's eyes.

"O, look at the Queen Anne's Lace, John! Isn't it just beautiful?"
I've been admiring them along the highway on my way to and from work 
each day for the past couple weeks. 
Little dots of white floating above fields of green. 
They are appropriately named, so regal with their thin, rigid stems and lacy flowers.
(Except I found out that their common name is Wild Carrot.)

"I wish Dad would stop so I can take a photo of the Queen Anne's Lace...
maybe I should stop and take a photo. I can catch up to him."
Because he knows me and knows that I would do that, 
he begged me not to stop so that we wouldn't lose JD.
And then we came to road construction that blocked the road we needed to turn onto.
So we had to stop and make a U-turn. 

And guess what was there along the road where we needed to turn around?
Queen Anne's Lace!

It was like God orchestrated our more scenic scenic route just so I could have the joy of taking this photo. He would do that. 
He's cool like that.

On Sunday at church I was talking to one of the girls
I follow on Instagram. 
I had seen the photo of her girls biking
over one of the several street murals that they have in Rochester. 
I hadn't seen the mural with hands and wanted to know where it was.
She couldn't remember exactly.

When we got in the car, JD googled where to find the murals and
we decided to go find all the street murals in Rochester. 
It was a 

We found the mural with the hands and I made everyone
get out to get photographed standing on the street mural.
I needed photographic evidence.

These tractor-seats-turned-tulips were by one of the murals.
That's a great piece of art, I think.

When my husband picked me up from my hair appointment
he had this waiting for me on my seat.
Flowers from Trader Joe's and sushi.
He knows the way to my heart.

Earlier in the day, while we were scavenging for murals,
we passed a flower store 
and I felt it necessary to inform my family of the type of bouquets that I like:
colorful informal ones.
"Pretty much any bouquet at a Farmer's Market or Trader Joe's," I said.

And then my husband goes and gets me one.
I love him.

I also love my bag and paper bead necklaces from Uganda.

Our friends are raising money to adopt a child from Uganda.
Buying them is really a win-win 
because I am helping them out and I got me some nice stuff.

Sarah took this photo with my iPod.
Isn't she just the cutest thing?
I love her freckles.

On Sunday night we went over to my parents' for dinner.
I felt like I hadn't had a chance to visit with my younger sister for a while,
you know, to just talk about stuff that sisters talk about,
so I told her that we needed to have some
sister/sister time
and we hid in the bedroom for the rest of the night.
It was a precious time.

You know what is better than finding some great clothes
for practically nothing at Savers?
Getting to the register and finding out that
everything is 25% today.

Score, me!

One morning this week Sarah wanted to spend time with me.
I was having my God Time at the time,
so I suggested that she get her bible and journal
and we'd study the same verses.
For her birthday she asked for a big girl bible,
so she was excited to go get her bible
and her journal and have a God Time with me.

We read Philippians 1:3-5 and Philemon 4-5 together.
She noticed that both passages talked about
being thankful for those who are partners working for the gospel.
And that both books start with the same sound.
We discussed how important it is to be
thankful for and pray for those who work for the gospel.
(I'm so thankful for my husband, who works for the gospel.)

She drew some pictures while I journaled a little bit longer,
then she asked me to draw a picture of our dog
who was curled up next to me in her journal.
It was so sweet to study the word and draw with my little girl.

On Tuesday JD and I went on a big adventure.

There's Minneapolis.

"C'mon, hon. We need a picture of us on the plane."

The wall of the tavern we had lunch in.
I love interior brick walls.

I always knew he had a halo!

I love this car.
Just because it looks like it needs some loving.
And because no one else has a car like that.
I threaten my family with someday getting a car like this
and driving them around in it.
They think it's a threat.
I don't.

And, that's my week in instagram photos.

life rearranged
A link up with Life.Rearranged.


RSpontaneous Street Mural Scavenger Hunt

When we moved to Rochester in 2007, we noticed that one of the intersections by our kids' school was painted with a colorful mural. We learned that there were several street murals throughout Rochester. Every once in a while we'd see one but we didn't really know much about them.

The nice thing about smart phones is you can find all sorts of useful information. I asked someone about "the mural with hands" that I'd seen in one of her photos. She didn't know where it was so my husband did what any smart man with a smart phone would do, he googled it.

Well, now that we figured out where it was, we had to go see it for ourselves. So we declared a Spontaneous Street Mural Scavenger Hunt! and we headed off to find it and the other murals.

While on our way, JD read us some interesting information from the RNeighbors website that he found the murals on:
  • RColorful Corners was inspired by successful projects in Portland, Oregon and St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • In Portland, 87% of the residents in neighborhoods with similar street art said that they felt safer and that it contributed to less crime.
When we found the mural with hands I said, "Okay, now, everybody out and pose for a photo on the mural." Kaitlin's friend was out of the car faster than I could say "c'mon you guys, get out of the car, we have to have photographic evidence that we found the murals." She is obviously not tired of my spontaneous photo ops.

Photographic evidence.
What good sports. I didn't make them all get out of the car for the rest of the pictures.

Just south of the intersection at 48th Street NW and 20-1/2 Avenue NW.

"Funky Flower"
At the intersection of 7th Street and 7th Avenue SW.

"Kaleidoscope Flower"
At the intersection of 5th Avenue and 7th Street SE

Bonus art by the Kaleidoscope Flower:
Tulips made out of tractor seats.

On 2nd Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets NW
They heart the goose.

"Tree of Knowledge"
Near the intersection of 17th Street and 2nd Avenue NE
Kaitlin & Lexi at the Tree of Knowledge.

We got a kick out of the last mural's name. Like, wasn't the Tree of Knowledge a forbidden thing?

I'm not sure if we got all the murals, because the website doesn't really definatively list them all. It just lists a schedule of which ones were to be repainted in 2012.

Next I'm going to declare a Spontaneous Painted Goose Hunt! and make my kids pose for pictures with each of the painted geese in Rochester.

And after that, we'll have a Spontaneous Painted Electrical Boxes Scaventer Hunt!

And a Spontaneous Painted Bench Hunt!

So many possibilities.


Letters from Roy

I've had them for a while. They sit in a waterproof box on a shelf in our basement. There are many of them, these letters from Roy. Doris saved them all. Letters he'd sent her while he was away during World War II in the South Pacific. She tied them in bundles with white satin ribbon.

They were in her basement, along with everything else that had not been thrown out since she and Roy built the house in 1955 for their young family to grow up in. It was the house that my husband was born into and the house that we shared with his mom while we saved up to buy our own first home.

It was a big job, cleaning the house after Doris had gone on to be with Roy again. Among the things to throw away we found this treasure, these love letters with their yellowed edges written in Roy's flowing handwriting.

Roy had beautiful handwriting. I had studied the photo albums Roy put together which were now laying inside the coffee table. I'd seen his flowing script on little bits of paper stuck next to the old photos, now turning yellow with age. He was proud of his family's photos. He was careful to label the photos with flourish.

I didn't know Roy well. He was living in the nursing home when I met him. 
I wish I had known him when he was healthier. He was artistic, I'm sure we would have gotten along. He was generous and fun. He got angry. He was complicated. 

There is a lot that I don't know about Roy, about Doris. I know that they came from some difficult beginnings and each had a difficult ending. In between they found each other and found God and had three kids in four years, then, thirteen years later, had my husband.

Roy got sick when my husband was in middle school. A muscle disease made his mind disease noticeable, unavoidable. Middle school is hard enough without a manic-depressive father and a mother who relied on you too much for her emotional support. Hard enough without doctors who misdiagnosed, counselors who didn't counsel well or your birthday wishes spurned.

We haven't read Roy's letters to Doris yet. The first time I had opened one of the letters was just recently to photograph a letter for the photoaday journal. While holding the letter I admired his handwriting. "My Darling Doris," he wrote. "I miss you."

I think I have put off reading them for so long because it seemed a little sad to me to read the beginning of the story whose end I already know. The thought of reading his expressions of young love, while knowing some of what happened after he got sick, was similar to how I felt about listening to a singer-songwriter sing of flying.

Every so often I would pass the box of letters in the basement and dismiss the thought of reading them yet. Maybe I was afraid those letters would make me feel some emotions I didn't want to feel. Emotions I wasn't ready to feel.

But this time, as I pulled out the box of letters to take a photograph, I was interested in what Roy had to say to Doris. Perhaps my willingness to read Roy's story and glimpse into their young love story has something to do with what my husband and I have walked through together these past two years and continue to walk through. Together. I now know that my own love story is a happy one. 

Our story is a part of their story. Their's is part of ours. Their legacy, our own, our kids'. On and on it goes. Twists and turns, ups and downs, sickness and health, better and worse. Forgiveness. Redemption.

I am looking forward, now, to reading what Roy said to Doris when he was in the South Pacific and she eagerly awaited the letters with the military postmark and the beautifully written mailing address. I wonder what went through her head as she opened the letter and read,

"Hi Darling."


<< 7/13-19

My Week in Review
{a weekly post in which I share my Instagrams of the past week 
& my thoughts about them.}

My husband said last week's post was pretty long.
I guess it was.

But this place is my personal blog, it's
kinda like my journal.
I want to be able to go back and remember what happened this week
and my thoughts about it. Even years from now.
here's a peek into my last week.

I took off work a little early on Friday to drive up to the cities for my son's baseball game. 
I love the rows of phone poles along Highway 52.

The closer I got to the cities, the larger the clouds became. 

By the time I got to the game, the clouds were dark grey. 
Lightning delayed the game, but the hard rain never came our way.

Instead it drizzled for the rest of the game.
Good thing I packed the rain gear when I left for work in the morning.

(Also, I need to remember to put moisturizer on my neck.)

The drive back home was gorgeous with the black sky in front of us heading into the storm
and the yellow / orange sky behind us.
I wanted to look behind me the entire drive, but for safety reasons I didn't.
Well, not for the whole drive anyways.
I tried to get my daughter to take a photo of the sky for me but she had a hard time twisting around
so this is the only photo of the sunset I got.

Saturday morning we were back in the cities for the 3rd game.
It was hot already at 9:00 am.
(I'm a Birkenstock girl in a flip flop world.)

Since we lost both Friday's games, we didn't make it to bracket play.
Instead one of the coaches invited us to their cabin on a lake.
We had to do some errands first so my husband said,
"We'll call you when we get to the exit for directions."
And they were all like, "Okay."

When we called, there was no answer.

We figured they were out in the water & didn't hear their phones. (They were.)
Fortunately our daughter had been to the cabin the night before,
though she was just a little distracted by the baseball players in the car with her.
Still, she said she thought she could remember how to get there.

"Turn here," she said.
"No, I mean the other way."
"Turn at the road that is black. You know, it's not dirt, I remember that."
When we saw water, she said, "I remember this! It's by water!"

We laughed so hard the entire time because it was so ridiculous 
to be trying to find a cabin
on a lake we didn't know the name of 
in the state who's license plate says "Land of 10,000 Lakes."

red = the right way to get there; blue = the scenic route we took.

We came to a cabin with some friendly looking people sitting outside
enjoying the hot, humid day with cold beverages
and stopped to ask them
"Do you know where the Grimsrud's cabin is? We can't get a hold of them for directions."
"Are they the one's with the white haired kids?," they asked.

Well, this is the land of Scandinavians and Germans in addition to 10,000 lakes. 
There could be a lot of people with white haired kids.
But, "Yes" I said. To which they said,
"They're not on this lake, they're one lake over on French Lake."

Once we got to French Lake, we relied on our humor and Kaitlin's memory.
After a few three point turns we pulled into their cabin.

"I have friends who have been here 10 times and still can't find their way here," 
said our friend who when we pulled in, clearly impressed.

We're impressive like that.

O those poor people who won their state tournament games.

Kaitlin poses for a photo before going tubing.

A fun, fun impromptu day at the lake.

I learned 2 important lessons:

1. always have an extra swimsuit in the car
(I didn't)
because you never know when you might get invited to a cabin on a lake.

2. chip clips work well in keeping your hair off your neck
if you can't find elastics to pull your hair back in pony/piggy tails.

Back at home we relaxed in our backyard hammock
and admired our tan lines from socks and Birkenstocks.
I love snuggling in the hammock with my honey.

Sunday evening was the FCA Classic Dinner Concert.
Ben and Karyn Utecht were the main event.
Getting the room ready before the guests arrive.

Sound check.

The next day was the FCA golf tournament so I brought the girls to work with me
while my husband and son worked the event at the golf course.
The girls and I joined them for dinner.

After dinner, Chris Norton spoke of the spinal injury he suffered during his freshman year of college
and of the faith that sustains him to have determination to beat the odds.

I found a video of him on YouTube that shares a little bit of his story:

What an inspiration to hear him.
and to see his 2 roommates who help him with
ev er y thing
so that he can live on campus and go to school.

This is something I see all the time at work: a walker left in a resident's parking space.
Someone once came into the office concerned that someone had forgotten their walker.
No, it's not forgotten. It's a senior residence.

I stopped to take this picture while my girls were with me, on the way to lunch.
"Hey Mom," Sarah says. "Let's play a game.
Let's see how long we can go without taking a photo."

I think she caught on to the idea of why I like the Quiet Game.

The girls sat in on the Resident Club's General Meeting while at work with me,
in which the residents discussed:
- whether or not windows should be open on hot days,
- the need for people to clean the washing machines and lint traps,
- and whether or not and how to recycle.

After the meeting Kaitlin came into the office and laughed
like she'd been holding it in until she got there.
"Old people are funny," she said.
"They sound a lot like us at our house," she said.
"Clean up after your mess. 
Close the windows when the air is on. 
Throw your garbage away."

Some of my work peeps.

Once a month I schedule Donuts with Dave.
It's a fun way for the maintenance guy, Dave, and me to visit with the residents a little bit.
And it's a good excuse to have donuts. 
As I was trying to get a photo I backed into the spigot on the coffee pot, 
which poured coffee down my backside.

Fortunately I wore a cami under my white shirt,
but I felt a little bit under-dressed while I was waiting for my white shirt to dry.
"Now we get to see your butterfly," they said of my tattoo.
I don't hide it on purpose, but it's usually covered because
I don't usually wear camis to work.

"I have a friend who got a tattoo of a rose on her shoulder for her 
80th birthday," one of the ladies said.
Can you imagine that? A tattoo at 80!
I want to meet that lady!

This is the last week of softball.
So I had to get one more photo of Sarah at bat.
She's a hitting machine off the pitching machine.
And she looks so cute in a batting helmet.

I've been reading with the She Reads Truth gang on the topic of prayer this week.
Every day there's a different bible verse to meditate on and journal about.
This week I've been thinking about:
 - how God bends down his ear to listen to my cries 
{He's gentle, attentive}
- how I should always be praying, & not become distracted 
{God is faithful}
- how Jesus didn't pray for us to be taken out of the world, 
otherwise we couldn't be His witnesses
{in, not of}
- how I need to pray for others to be blessed, especially leaders 
{praying for others brings unity}
- how even when I read the wrong verse, God still speaks to me (above photo)
{He's cool like that}

life rearranged
a link up with Life.Rearranged


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