Tuesday night was the annual Cub Scout Blue and Gold dinner. It's a nice catered dinner and ceremony to celebrate the latest round of Webelos who are crossing over to become full fledged Boy Scouts. As you can tell from their expressions, Luke and Avery were very excited to be there!
After the ceremony, the boys were entertained by the amazing illusions from a guy known simply as Magic Brad. Joey and I were quite impressed with the performance and constantly tried to figure out how he pulled off each one of his tricks. After an hour or so of frustrated analysis, we finally came to the determination that Brad must really be magic. Therefore we had to go over and touch him with the hope that maybe it would somehow rub off on us. No luck yet.
Miss Sheri had a bit of an unfortunate mishap happen to her this week. While driving to work, she stopped at a stop light. The lady behind her became confused by the traffic in a different lane and accidentally smashed into her causing quite a bit of damage to the rear end of Miss Sheri's van. Since we have insurance and no-one was injured, naturally Miss Sheri told the lady not to worry about it and they ended up being quite friendly with one another. So much so, that when Miss Sheri came home from work these flowers were waiting for her with a note saying "So sorry again. Thanks for being so understanding!" And that's the way the world is supposed to work!
On Friday night, Wild Boys Krazy Kory and Ron "Sugarman" Myers came to town for a little visit. It was supposed to be the weekend of our annual ski trip, but that fell apart due to Kory's recent back surgery and several other friends not being able to make it up for the weekend. Instead, these guys just came up to hang out for awhile and see what kind of trouble we could get into at my house.
Turns out, there wasn't a lot of trouble to be found. So we just played pool until the wee hours of the morning.
We like to make some friendly wagers on the games and usually Ron beats up on us a bit. But on this night, we were able to keep him confused enough that we ended the night in a three way tie. It's important to keep filling his body with things that cause him to have difficulties seeing straight.
Even though we stayed up late, we still were able to get up early to attend Avery's basketball game. I tried to explain to Ron that we're really not supposed to heckle the refs in third grade, but the excitement of the moment just proved to be too much for him. Lucky for us, we didn't get kicked out of the gym.
Grandma Linda was quite excited to spend her Saturday with some new male companions. She enjoyed enthralling them with her theories on the way the world works. And after a couple of beers, the things she told the guys really started making sense.
On Saturday Night, we decided to pull the grill out of storage and cook up some succulent steaks and brats. Krazy Kory demanded to be the grill master because he really enjoys handling meat. It's a good thing he did too because he is a very good chef. I guess he picked up a thing or two along the way after being fired from more restaurants than I can count!!
On Wednesday night, the Shortarmguy Family had the good fortune of joining the Cub Scouts for a night of tubing at Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota! The temperature was a balmy twelve degrees and we were ready for a hot night of fun!
Buck Hill has ten lanes for tubing. There's a steep drop, then a flat area so you don't build up too much speed, and then another steep drop. Since it's been so bitterly cold lately, the hills were very icy causing us to flew to the bottom. My fat butt barely fit in the tube so I was paranoid every time I crashed in to the side wall that I was going to go flying in to the path of my neighbor. Lucky I was able to stay wedged in enough that I didn't crush any unsuspecting scouts in the lane next to me.
Wednesday was the first time we had to face our Cub Scout Pack leader, Troy. We were afraid to see him because we chickened out on attending Polar Cubs the Sunday before due to extreme cold. It was nearly 40 degrees below zero with the wind chill, so we backed out of the winter day camp chock full of outside activities. It turns out that 25 of the 43 families signed up didn't show. That still didn't help me feel like less of a wuss for not attending. Guys like Troy who were there probably were wearing short sleeve shirts exclaiming "You think this is cold....this ain't nothing!"
I was lucky to capture a couple photos of Avery while we were there since he abandoned his parents pretty much immediately after we arrived. I guess in third grade, boys start to prefer hanging out with their friends rather than their dad. I keep hoping this is an attitude he'll outgrow. How could he not prefer hanging out with his ultra-cool father?
Luke was kind enough to stick with us for at least the first hour we were there. Then even he grew tired of us and connected with one of his Cub Scout friends. He kicked his mom out of the tandem tube they shared so he could ride with his friend instead. They liked racing the other tubers and then throwing snow at them at the bottom. Nothing like a little ice in the face to make you feel better about losing the race!
Luke and Miss Sheri can be seen tied to the tow rope that drags tubers to the top of the hill at a nice, leisurely pace. I started feeling my age when I recognized that I was enjoying the slow trip up the hill more than I was enjoying the roller coaster ride down! It sure does suck to get old!!
On Tuesday, Miss Sheri and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. We didn't do much exciting other than reminisce about all those wonderful years together. Then she started feeling a little ill and went to bed early.
Miss Sheri had a pleasant surprise on Saturday when she received an actual coconut in the mail from her friends Cathy and Robin. Robin lives in Hawaii and Cathy was there this week paying her a visit. They were very sweet to send this and I found it very cool that the post office delivered it in near perfect condition!
Miss Sheri shocked me when she suddenly devoured the large, hard fruit in a single gulp. I thought for sure she'd choke or something, but sure enough, she swallowed the whole dang thing. I was pretty proud of her.
Monday brought us news that wasn't very good. Dad's latest round of chemotherapy was unsuccessful in sending his leukemia into remission. He also continued to struggle to find his appetite and get beyond the variety of ailments that he's been battling. Since dad and Joyce both sounded like they could use a boost in their spirits, my sister, Tammy, and I decided to put our lives on hold for a few days and take a trip to Springfield, Missouri to visit them.
I took a late night flight out of Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. It was eerily quiet. It seemed so odd because normally when I fly out of here, the place is bustling with activity. On Monday night, though, there were hardly any people. I even made several stops in the men's room to see if I could pick up any US Senators, but no luck. I kept tapping my feet under the different stalls but just didn't get any responses.
When I woke up Monday morning, I had no idea that I'd end the day sleeping with another woman. But that's exactly what happened when Tammy and I decided to save a few bucks and share a hotel room. As you can see, we did have separate beds. I might be cheap, but I'm certainly not sick and twisted!
Dad and Joyce have had a very challenging month to say the least. They entered the hospital in early January to get a chemo treatment that was intended to drive dad's Leukemia back into remission where it had been the past 2 years. The chemo works by basically cleaning out his blood entirely of everything that makes it useful including most of his immune system. Naturally this leaves him at risk for a wide variety of bugs and infections. Although dad is a very strong man, his body has been fighting this for a long time now so every challenge gets tougher and tougher to tackle.
We did get to witness some exciting times for dad while we were there. He was strong enough to walk around the corridor a couple times which made us all very happy. As you can see from the expression on Tammy's face, this was the highlight of our day!
While we were with dad, we learned of some extremely unsettling news. My cousin Terri's husband, Ronnie White, passed away from a sudden heart attack. He was only 50 years old. His obituary can be read here. Ronnie was a really nice guy and a great husband and father to his two daughters. After my step dad, Denny, died a couple years ago, he sent me an email with his prayers. He said the following to me:
It's hard, but there is no doubt you will see him again. Cry your tears, share your thoughts, grieve to the bottom of your heart, then live your life as he would expect you to. He'll always be with you. In ways you may never see, but he'll be there.
Ronnie, you will be missed!
I came back to town on Thursday, just in time to attend the "Doughnuts with a Cool Dude!" event at Luke and Avery's school on Friday morning. I think they enjoyed the doughnuts more than the cool dude, but it was fun nonetheless!
On Saturday morning, I received a phone call from my dad. He sounded like he had more energy than I've heard in quite some time. We did this video call later in the day and he looked much better as well. Joyce said he's been doing some eating and more walking around! So that's great news!! They're even talking about possibly going home tomorrow which would be an awesome thing! As always, any spare prayers you can throw their way would be greatly appreciated!!!
It's been a tough week for Shortarmguy's dad who has spent most of the last month in the hospital battling leukemia. We thought things were looking better last weekend, but his white blood cell count has been steadily dropping throughout this week. We also received some distressing news this morning when we learned that the bone marrow test he took on Friday revealed that his latest round of chemotherapy didn't send his leukemia into remission like we were hoping. We don't yet know what the next plan for treatment is going to be, but my dad is a tough dude and I know he's going to keep fighting until he Kick's Cancer's Butt. Thanks so much to all of you that have been praying for my dad. Please keep the prayers coming!!
My dad lives 10 hours away in Southern Missouri, so I haven't had the chance to go see him in the hospital yet. Luckily, I set him up with a webcam a few months ago so we've been able to see each other on a regular basis through the magic of video conferencing. I've even had the chance to meet some of the lovely young nurses that have been taking such good care of him. So that's been a bonus.
It was dang cold in Minnesota this week. This was actually one of the warmer days. On Tuesday, the thermometer read 20 below zero and the wind chill brought us to near 40 below! That's just too much for human beings to handle. Yet we continue to do it year after year. I always wonder why we live here this time of year. Then Spring rolls around and we forget the pain we just endured.
We had a very busy Saturday beginning with Avery's basketball game at 8am. Each week, their games get more intense. Although they sadly lost this game, their team has been getting more and more competitive. They are really learning how to pass the ball and look for the open man. Much better than it used to be whenever anyone would touch the ball they'd toss up a shot regardless of where they were!
Luke started off the season on the basketball team, but quickly learned it wasn't for him after getting trampled in the first game and balls tossed in his face at the next two practices. I tried to talk him into staying. I told him that maybe it wouldn't hurt so much if he let us throw balls in his face at home so he could build up his tolerance. He didn't like that idea too much!
After the game, we headed straight over to the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby where we enjoyed some intense racing action. Luke and Avery parked in the front row so they could root on the cars that looked the coolest!
The boys always want to pick unique designs for their cars since they know their dad's wood carving skills probably aren't going to win them any speed records! Avery wanted to have a Number Two Pencil while Luke opted for a police car complete with a flashing red light on the top of it.
Avery's car finished in second place for the Bears while Luke's came in fourth. Luke's car had won awards the past two years which left Avery feeling pretty upset after those competitions. So naturally Avery remembered what a crappy feeling that was and couldn't wait to rub his award straight in Luke's face after we came home! Ahhhh, Brotherly Love!
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