Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

On Wednesday, just a few hours before we departed on our long family drive from Mankato, MN to Keshena, WI we found out that Sally Divine passed away. She was Alex's Aunt (Mother's sister) with whom Alex and Laura visited as often as possible during trips to San Francisco. She was a kind and caring lady who thoughtfully sent cards and stayed in touch. She loved animals and kept a beautiful garden. Both reflected all the best parts of her soul.

The details of her passing have not been fully determined, but we know it was sudden and therefore she didn't suffer. To that end we are sad, but thankful to have known her for all the feisty and sweet quaitlies she inherited from her parents (Alex's grandparents) and shared with us. Sally will be missed.

We arrived in Keshena, Wisconsin to a typical Thanksgiving celebration with Turkey, dressing and all the fixin's. Uncle Pfft (Brian - Laura's brother) was there and we had a very nice time. Food, drink and entertainment were, as always, most excellent for one an all.

The crew arrived home (Monkey Doo) late on Saturday so we could do our chores all day Sunday and be caught up by Monday. It promises to be a busy holiday season ahead. We look forward to it... in fact... bring it on!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Locks of Love"

-- By Ellie Taylor

It was 5:30 on Wednesday evening and my dad had just picked me up from piano practice, as usual. On the way home, we stopped by his client’s hair salon so he could speak with the owner. While visiting with the staff, they commented on my beautiful long hair to which my dad mentioned my interest in Locks of Love.

We found out that they did Locks of Love, and so he began talking to me about it. I thought and thought. It was a tough decision. I loved my long hair, but then some people needed it more than me. The stylist told me to look at a book with some short hair styles. I knew I had to get 10 or more inches cut off, so I had an idea about how short it would look. Finally, I said, “yes, let’s do it.”

They measured 10 inches and put a pony tail at the 10 inch mark. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Then I heard the “snap” of the scissors and felt almost no weight on my head. When I opened my eyes and saw the hair I had left. The stylist washed my hair and cut it to the style I wanted.

There was a lady right next to me getting her hair styled the whole time while I got my hair cut. She said I had a lot of guts.

When we got back in the car, my dad looked a little nervious. We didn’t tell mom I was going to do this. We were worried about what she’d say. When I got home, it took a moment for her to realize what I had done. When she did, I quickly told her I gave my hair away to Locks of Love. She said she was very proud of me.

Locks of Love is a program for girls that have cancer. They have people (like me) donate their hair so they can make it into wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair because of their chemotherapy treatment.

I like to think that my long pretty hair is now on someone who needs it more than me. It makes me feel important to help someone in need.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who's that CRAZY nut?

Twas the night before the Twin Cities Marathon, and all through the dome, these six idiots could be seen, far, far from home. Despite the Twins loss, it appears these morons had fun.

From left: Thomas "I am soooo annoyed by my Dad and these kids, I can't wait to go home" Ylvisaker; Maggie "Is this really how my cousin's act in public?" Taylor; Ursula "This is sooo stupid, I actually remembered to laugh" Beck; Ellie "I think I should have said 'excuse me' " Taylor; Elika "I think I'm falling in love with the guy in the red shirt and glasses" Beck.

The guy behind all this chaos appears to be a recently escaped lunatic from Decorah. There is no help for a guy of his ilk.

As for the marathon, CRAZY Pete and Alex helped pace Sarah (Pete's Sister from Apple Valley, MN) and Emily (a H.S. Senior from Lawrence, KS) to the finish line in time to collect a medal, t-shirt and the thrill of becoming a succesful marathon runner for the first time. Sarah and Emily were the hero's of the weekend. And as for the rest of this crowd... the Humphry dome may never be the same.
Sarah and Noah On Parade

Cousins, Sarah and Noah Kutner show some of their holiday spirit in this photo submitted by Emily (Alex's sister). Sarah has sprouted up, and if I'm not mistaken, Noah does not look too pleased about this entire situation. All we can say is... get used to it and be glad you are older that she is.

Sometimes, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Big Time in the Big Apple

Ellie and Alex in Times Square two days before Alex's participation in the ING New York City Marathon. This photo was taken after a subway ride down to Greenwich Village for lunch, a ride back to Grand Central Station and a brief visit to Madame Trusseau's Wax Museum where Whoopie Goldberg had her picture taken with Ellie.

After this we visited the Dorfman's on the upper East Side, then drove out to their place in the Hamptons for a day of activities on Saturday. It was quite spectatacular. And Ellie and Alex spend time on the beach playing frisbee and in the surf.

Alex returned to run the Marathon on Sunday. The event had more than 37,000 runners and covered all five boroughs. Alex accomplished his negative-split goal and broke 4:00 hours with a respectible 3 hour and 50 minute chip time, finishing comfortably in the top 1/5 of all runners.

Shortly after that, Ellie and Alex were sitting on a plan to arrive home at 2:00 a.m. Monday morning. Despite being a little tired, they reported for school and work (respectively) by 9:00 a.m. later that morning. Fun was had by one and all.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Day After Halloween

A little tired from a night of parading through the neighborhood as Elmo, a Vampire, a Barbie (gone bad) and a Pirate.

Kids will be kids. Fun was had by one and all.