October wrap-up

Sean has been prodding and prodding, so here I am writing another long-overdue journal entry. So much has happened!! We have had some great visits with Steven, Kristen, and Isabel Garrison, my parents and family, Sean’s mom and step dad, and Pat and Jim Dinelli. We had intended to get back to Minnesota this summer to visit the Mellards, Berrys, Brett Godsey, and especially Sean’s Grandma Laura, but summer was so very busy. We did make it to Kansas for a week of work/fun combination. We all so love Lawrence (If you go, do try to stay at the Mellard Bed and Breakfast. The hospitality is world-class). Just this past week, the college basketball season started – for those of you who don’t keep track of that sort of thing – and we have been fondly remembering seasons, late nights, and games from the past. During my five years in Lawrence, I was able to go to at least one game a year. While I don’t really miss the live games, I do occasionally find it weird not be surrounded by Jayhawk fanatics. In any given parking lot, no matter how crowded, our kids can pick out our car because as Ellie will tell you, “It’s the only one with a Jayhawk sticker, and we cheer for KU;” to which Josh adds, “Go KU!” Can you imagine, the only car with a Jayhawk sticker!! I mention this because as happy as we are here, we still miss our Kansas friends and family even though a bunch of them don’t live in Lawrence anymore either.
We had a GREAT time with the Garrisons!! Isabel is absolutely adorable. The kids had a great time. Ellie proclaimed Kristen, “my favorite mommy friend.” That girl has great taste!! I am only disappointed that we couldn’t talk them into moving up here. The house on the corner of our block is for sale if you all change your mind. We’re hoping that the Berry’s will visit us soon, and I suppose if the Garrisons don’t want the house, the Berrys could buy it.
While we’re on the topic of friends, I want to mention our friends the Gunnetts who were our neighbors in the first neighborhood. Many of you know that Brian Gunnett was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a very aggressive form of cancer. Sean and I were shocked by the news. The Gunnetts had been over for dinner shortly before the diagnosis, and in a million years no one could have predicted this. As of right now, he is responding really well to treatment, so things look good. I have to say Brian’s illness and the communications we, and many other people have had with them since then, has affected my life in ways I hadn’t expected. I want to thank all of you have prayed for Brian and his family, asked about his status, and offered words of encouragement!! We also recently learned that Sean’s cousin Tara had a relapse of her cancer and is back in the hospital for treatment. We’re praying for her as well. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m tired of cancer and ready for it to be permanently eradicated. Sean and I have made a commitment to focus the bulk of our charitable donations to cancer research and support. We want it gone.
The kids are excited about Halloween. I promise to fill you in on that wonderful event. Frankly, Halloween has been my least favorite of the so-called holidays. This might stem from my teaching days when the kids seemed to get weirder and weirder as the day approached and then came to school for two or three with sugar overload. I’m hoping that Halloween through toddler eyes will change my tainted view of the day.

Almost reading

So, we’ve been working with Ellie on letter sounds and she knows many of them. I sat down with her the other day and had her sound out “sat” and “sad” and she can sound them out, by sounding each letter out, but she can’t quit put the sounds together yet . . . but, we’re very close. she’ll be reading well before she turns 4 next year. Joshua is finally starting to talk much more and he pretty much burst onto the scene with whole sentences. I guess he didn’t want to waste time with individual words. He still doesn’t enunciate very well, but he’s trying. The little guy just loves sports. He can play basketball on his little hoops for a long time and then sit down and watch football on tv. He likes to see people get tackled. The leaves are rapidly starting to change colors here. I took a photo from work this week looking out over our downtown campus (not the main campus) with the foliage in the background. Here were are right now at about 25% of the leaves having changed: Won’t be long.