Legoland

Our kids were big into Legos when they were young.
I mean big.
I’m talking a 30 gallon tote big.

All that plastic goodness took a reprieve from our children’s lives for several years. But thanks to grandchildren, the Lego bucket is back on the scene. One night these dearly beloved mini-bricks reappeared, and the big kids instantly became young again and the little kids were mesmerized by All The Pieces.

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For years we threw it all helter-skelter into one big container. The pirates mingled with the Star Wars guys and the soldiers co-existed with the ninjas. “Someday,” I thought, “I will sort all those itsy-bitsy arms and legs and heads and hats into nicely organized piles. Then I will buy a nicely organized organizer with drawers to keep All The Pieces nicely organized.” Well, that day has come.

PB went away for a few days to go fishing up north. He’s having his fun, so I decided to have some fun of my own. Don’t judge me. I’m just acting according to my Enneagram personality type. I’m a One, which means I have a natural tendency to fix, straighten and nicely organize.

“Neatness and order are comforting to Ones.
It makes them feel safe and less anxious.”
(From “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile)

So maybe I miss PB a little bit. And maybe sorting the blues and greens and blacks and reds into separate Macbook Pro boxes gives me a sense of safety, serenity and comfort. All I know is, I’m having the time of my life.

I just have two questions.

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 Should I sort the lime green from the army green?

How long will it take our 8 grands to blow this to smithereens?

This Is What Happens

This is what happens when Eli comes to visit.

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Every car in the house is lined up just so.

This is what happens when Ella comes to visit.

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Every person is set up right where they are supposed to be.

Especially the twin babies.

This is what happens when two dear friends come over and take care of six kiddos for a couple hours so the rest of us can go out for dinner. Bless them. They brought ice-cream.

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This is what happens when you have four kids and they grow up to be pretty great adults.

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Meet Abel Jacob

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Big sister got a peak at her brand-spanking new brother on Saturday.

Abel Jacob made a record breaking entrance into the world.

He was born 8 minutes after mom got to the hospital.

He’s either going to be a sprinter or have a heck of a fastball.

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There’s something about seeing my boy holding his boy.

Oh boy. Give me a tissue.

The grand total is now 8.

In 2030, they will all be teenagers —

one 18 year old, two 17 year olds, two 16 year olds, one 15 year old and two 13 year olds.

More tissues, please.

“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

Psalm 34:11

My NCAA Champ

It’s March Madness — that wonderful time of year when the fans of 67 teams get mad because their hoopsters got knocked out of the bracket, while the fans of 1 team get to go completely berserk and set things on fire.

Back in 1941, the NCAA tournament included eight teams and nine non-televised games. There was no bracket, no Clark Kellogg, and no Vegas odds. Ah, the good old days.

Also, the trophy was way cooler than it is now.

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Wisconsin won that year.

They beat Washington State 39-34.

It was the last time the Badgers won the NCAA championship.

My uncle was on that team.

Can you pick him out in this picture?

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No, he wasn’t number 35 — that’s the big man, Gene Englund.

Nope, my uncle didn’t wear number 36 either. That’s Johnny Kotz, the tournament’s most outstanding player.

Uncle Morris isn’t in the first row or the second row.

He’s not number 26 in the back row.

In fact, he doesn’t have a number.

My uncle is the guy on the far left of the picture in the suit and tie, standing right behind Head Coach Bud Foster.

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He was the team manager.

(At least he didn’t have to wear those goofy socks attached to what looks like knee pads. What in the world?)

My uncle, Morris Bradley, was a 22 year old college student and he was having the time of his life.

When the team got back to Madison in the wee hours of a rainy March night, they were greeted by hundreds of fans. The champions were given a ride around the Capitol in a fire engine. Unfortunately, the fire engine caught fire so the parade was cut short. A reporter from the Cap Times newspaper quoted my uncle as saying, “Everybody had to pile off, and we were on our own from then on.” So I guess you could say they started a fire in Madison that night.

This year, as we cheer on our teams, let’s tip our hats to the guys on the bench with the water bottles and clip boards. In honor of my Uncle Morris.

 

My DNA

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This is a picture of me.

Or, I should say, a picture of my DNA.

For Christmas I received an Ancestry DNA kit. Ancestry.com is a genealogy site that helps people research their family history and connect with long lost relatives. Through the use of DNA testing, a person’s ethnicity can be discovered.

So, I spit some of my saliva into a little tube and put it in the mail.

Then I waited.

And wondered.

What secrets might be hiding in my DNA? Would I turn out to be a descendant of a Viking warrior? Might I have the blood of an Indian princess? Could I be in the line of English royalty?

Or would I turn out to be connected to a ruthless dictator or an infamous criminal or a lady of ill repute?

This morning the results were in. That little dab of spittle showed that my ethnicity is:

  • 50% from Great Britain. (No surprise there.)
  • 27% from Western Europe (Yep, knew that.)
  • 12% from Eastern Europe (Uh huh.)
  • 10% from Ireland (Wait. What?)

Somehow a wee Irishman jigged his way into my family tree unbeknownst to me.

Or maybe my Scottish cousin got tossed around in his boat and landed on the coast of Ireland by mistake.

This must explain why my kids loved Lucky Charms.

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It’s a good week to discover I’m 1/10 Irish!

Introducing Emma Kate

The newest twig on the family tree has arrived!

Introducing Emma Kate.

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She has her very own fan club.

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Emma decided to give PB a special birthday present. Herself!

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Birthday buddies forever!

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It never gets old.

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18

The Wedding of ’46

My parents were married on February 23, 1946. World War II had just ended and my dad was desperately trying to get released so he could take the next train home and marry his girl. My mother was working in Madison, Wisconsin, waiting for her sailor to come ashore.

This is from one of my dad’s letters to his parents, dated Feb. 8, 1946.

“I’ll be home Thursday, Feb. 14th for a 31 day leave in Wisconsin!! Thirty one days in Wisconsin — it will be perfectly grand. If it is possible, I think Elinor and I will want to be married — that is, if it can be worked out okay. Thirty one days is plenty of time — a week or so to get ready for the wedding, then a honeymoon and a week or so at each home. I tell you truthfully that Elinor and I want very much to be married. Thirty one days is a long time — we are very much in love.”

I guess Grandpa and Grandma agreed, because the wedding took place 15 days later.

Here’s to love!

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