Monday, December 8, 2008



Puttin'-up-the-lights day. Emma is all smiles because, like her dad and unlike her Mom, she's a lights-likin' kid. One of us clearly taught her well!

We happened to be doing this during Sam's afternoon nap, and he was ecstatic to have two humans he knows suddenly appear outside his second-story window:


Here is Emma playing the guitar at her Christmas music class -- they did okay for a group that just started a few months back!

Anna had her eartubes put in again in December also. The first pair lasted two years and really helped eliminate most of her ear infections. (And although Mark believes all of evolution, he does think that evolution really screwed up on kids' ears, alas.) As you can see, Anna was all smiles during the initial weigh-in, mostly because they gave her a new stuffed lion to play with and those funky hospital socks to wear:

More pre-op and she's still lovin' life: phones, books, etc. to play with to her heart's content. (In the future, of course, kids will be text-messaging when they do this instead of pretending to actually talk on a phone):

Anna got a bit more serious when the stuff that looked like real medicine gradually started to come into play:

Anna after the minor surgery. She looks dazed and confused, but hey, at least she has a full head of hair, unlike that other mammal in the background:

Erin doing Emma's hair in the kitchen. (Mark was actually got pretty good at braiding her hair when he had to get her ready each morning in Ann Arbor, but that skill has faded with disuse over time.)

Cute girl on a snowy day:

The kids' next-door neighbors and best friends: Laura, Tess, and Maddie Windhorst:

Sam in the exact position he maintains for a very long time each day:


Grammy and Grampy Burns and Aunt Caren all visited over Thanksgiving and were able to stay for several days after. Here are a few random photos from the time they were with us:

Monday, December 1, 2008


For the second year in a row, we decided for Thanksgiving to go with our friends Lawton and Amy Smith to a local Marriott Residence Inn meeting room that Lawton gets at some discount related to his business. The advantages: it's big enough to invite lots of folks, it has a nice TV for watching football, and best of all, it has a big pool for the kids to play in post-feast. Here are some highlights of the day: first, Adam was the only other family member as fascinated as I was by the turkey heart we found while Erin was preparing things that morning. We did a bit of home surgery, could see the various chambers in the heart, etc. -- fascinating to we males, gross-out for the other non-males in the family:

At the Marriott, here is the kids' table and I think kids ready for dessert a few hours later:

Here are the other two long tables with the adult friends and family:

And finally, after dinner, the star attraction was ... the pool!


Adam with his kindergarten teacher Mrs. Miller, the same teacher who Emma had four years ago when she also started the same dual immersion program:

Anna with our neighbor and good friend Scott Windhorst, and then her good friend Dad: