Monday, December 17, 2012


Like everyone, I was horrified when I learned about Friday's school shooting in Newtown, CT. I couldn't believe it - and I still kind of can't. It's just too horrifying.

For better or for worse, I was at a CLE on Friday afternoon. It was one of the Hennepin County Bar Association's Law and Literature series - really excellent CLEs, by the way. We were discussing Pearl S. Buck's story John John Chinaman, which tells the story of John Lim, the son of Chinese immigrants living in a small midwestern town immediately prior to WWII. John lives with his pregnant wife, a recent immigrant from China, and his father. His conflicts are much what you might expect - he was born in the U.S. and is American, but isn't accepted as a "real American" by the town. He was teased as a boy, and continues to be teased and looked down on as an adult. His father worries about him, and he worries about his unborn child.

In the story, the mayor of the town is a WWI veteran who lived through some real horrors fighting in France. When he gets word of a draft, he is appalled by the thought that the young men of his town may have to live through something similar to what he had to endure.

I won't give away anything else in case anyone wants to read the story (because I don't know how to do hidden text in blogger). It's a great short story; if anyone wants to read it, let me know. I can email you the pdf we got for the CLE.

Anyway, so the CLE was for "elimination of bias" credits, so those are the issues we discussed - what John, his wife, and his father faced in their town, not being accepted as "real Americans," and to what degree those biases are still present today. But the theme that really hit home for me was how everyone was struggling to keep their loved ones safe. John's father tries to protect John; John tries to protect his wife and unborn child; the mayor tries to protect the young men in his town. But despite these efforts, John and his wife were teased and harassed, and young men were sent off to war. Ultimately, there's very little we can do, to keep our loved ones safe.

On Friday afternoon... this was not a great theme for me. I kept starting to cry, and having to leave the room, then pulling myself together to go back in for another round. So glad I only needed one hour's worth of credit - I left at the mid-afternoon break.

So anyway. After all that, I felt like we needed something fun and a little indulgent, with no TVs around, so we went to the Global Market. Apparently we weren't the only ones with that thought, because the Family Friday was super crowded.

Maisie gets ALL the beverages

Cream cheese wontons from Pham's Deli

Mushroom pizza from Jakeeno's... yum!

We ate wontons and pizza, and danced to the wonderful Roe Family Singers. It was a good way to end an awful day.

We haven't told the girls about the shooting, by the way. We don't watch the news with them in the room, and I didn't want to bring it up. I don't think Maisie needs to know yet. I know, though, that she may hear about it from other kids. So this morning I told her that if she hears someone talking about something they saw on the news, and has questions or wants to talk about it, to come to me or Aaron and we'll talk about it with her. I'm interested to hear how other people are handling this with their kids, though - let me know your thoughts.

Monday, December 10, 2012

We have snow!!

SNOW!!! After last winter where we had very little snow, we finally got a serious snowfall yesterday!

It started late on Saturday night. So by the time we got up on Sunday morning, we had serious snow on the ground! The girls wanted to go outside to play immediately. So we dug out their snowpants and headed outside. They sledded a little bit on the hill in our backyard, and then built a little snowman together... it was about 30 degrees so the weather was perfect for a snowman! 

working together

Tiny, adorable snowman
The snow continued throughout the day... I shoveled once in the morning and Aaron shoveled again in the afternoon, but we need to do it again.

Not our tree,  I just thought it was pretty.

Unfortunately, last night (while it was still snowing) Aaron & I realized that we were out of coffee (and a couple of other things)! We didn't want to take the car out - none of the streets had been plowed yet - so we all bundled up, put the girls in the sled, and walked to Walgreen's. It's only about five blocks, so it's normally an easy walk there. But last night it was a different story! It was getting darker and colder, and we had to trudge through a foot of snow... some people had shoveled, but not everyone. Pulling the girls on the sled was a lot of work for me and Aaron! But we made it there and back, and the girls thought it was a great adventure. And then this morning, there was coffee. So it all worked out in the end. :)

Silly Ella playing in the snow in the dark