Sunday, October 30, 2005

Murdery Mystery Dinner

Last night we attended our first ever MURDER MYSTERY DINNER. It was upstairs in Condo #404 of Rochester Towers -- Sam Balin's place. Sam was in Jb's class (but he is a MDPHD so he will be in school for seven years.) He and his girlfriend Jackie, who is in the second year class, hosted the dinner. We had AWESOME Italian cooking via Jackie yet again (she's a GREAT cook -- lucky Sam.) Anyways here are some pictures from our evening.

Malissa F. Orrthot "Scoop" (the reporter) and her jealous husband Gustavo with his Irish, Italian, and south American accents.

Billey "The Kid" Thrower, S. Treighton Harrow, the "new" Silky (when the first one had to leave), and Ernie "Bet a Million" G. Ambler

"Torchy" and "Silky"

Scoop and M. M Awbsterr

The new silky and Ernie

Molly with Eddie "Socks" R. Gyle

The observers, Nick (who is going to be a wolverine for Halloween) and the Jones'.

Jeff and his socks with John and his socks.

Our chef and investigator, Jackie

Jackie and Sam (Jeeves the buter)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ray kids spend the weekend with the Kits

Well Ron & Ebby went to Chicago this weekend for a Heisman Band concert. So, we had their kids! They came over around Friday afternoon. Friday night Veronica went to a dance, while Ajit came over and chilled with the guys (and Wendi). John made tacos and a dessert rice krispie treat pizza.

Today (Saturday), I took the girls to see St. Charles volleyball team play the Civic Center downtown while the guys swam with Jb and watched some Lord of the Rings. We've had a wonderful time, and the Rays will return tomorrow evening sometime. Tonight we are going to go to a murder mystery hosted by Sam and his girlfriend Jackie upstairs in his condo while Veronica watches the kids. Here are some photos from our time with the Ray muchkins! (Who aren't so "munchkin-like anymore".

Veronica getting ready for her school dance.

Little sister Veronica and big sister English (who is under the weather here and sporting a new hair-do) before English takes her to her dance.

John telling Colie he should start with one taco.
Colie telling John how many tacos he thinks he should start with.

John's Rice Krispie pizza. This stuff was RICH! Jam, frosting, and fruit roll-up pepperonies (how do you spell a plural form of pepperoni)?
A single slice of his creation -- too rich for Wendi. Jb says he doesn't have that thing in his brain that says "too rich".

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hurricane Pictures

My parents got power this morning. Most likely because they are next to a firehouse and a government building. They have no TV and the satellite company said it will be December 10th before anyone can come out and look at their satellite.
John's family is still without power. This morning they waited over four hours for some gas to run their generator. Apparently, most gas stations do not have generators so without power, they cannot supply gas! Ray called today and said the neighbors have been coming by asking for gas because they hear the generator. If you could please be praying for them, they are a little nervous that they may have people come and try to forcibly take their gas. Ray said they are making sure that he or dad or Matt are with Gabbi and Mom at all times.
My mom is still out of work and we do not know when the school will reopen. I will keep you posted. One thing that is irritating is that a lot of people are complaining because the rescue efforts are slow -- but people are told to have 72 hours worth of supplies. Those that did, like both of our families, have plenty to get through for even a week.
Also please scross down to my next post as take a second to vote for the Heisman band!

Here is my dad. You can see their townhouse right behind this tree. Normally, you cannot see the townhouses really at all from this road there are so many trees.

This is the huge lake that I usually run at when I am home. This is an area of extensive trees. There is no way I ever saw the pool house (straight ahead) unless I was standing right next to it.

My mom by a tree across the street from their house.

This is the street outside of my house. This view almost looks like another street to me as normally this road is a huge group of trees where you can see the houses.

Another view of this road.

Honestly, this view was the hardest for me to see. You could never see these houses from the road. All of the trees are GONE!

The main entrance to the townhouse community.

Another view of the road.

Right outside my parents house. This is taken from right next to their car. Their house is to the right.

This is about 5 doors down my parents' house.

This is a view from my parents' front door.

This is our school gymnasium. Normally, there is no light coming in the through here at all. There is now a sky-light in the gymnasium.


Help a Christian band get their break!

The Grammy nominated and Billboard's #1 album ranked group Hanson have a contest running to give an unknown group a chance to open for them at one of their concerts.

The local Chicago band, Heisman, a pop rock Christian music group has been selected as one of three finalists to open for Hanson at the world famous House of Blues.

This kind of exposure for an unknown band could make their career, and for a Christian group, it would do a lot to spread the good news of Christ.

They will win if they get enough votes! All you have to do is go to the Hanson website and vote for Heisman.
Here is the link:

Please vote and forward this information to as many people as you can. Each computer just gets one vote, so each forward really matters!

If you want to listen to Heisman's music, click on the following link and choose the song you want to hear on the right hand side:

To find out more about the band, click here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hurricane Update -- No power until November 22?

Well, I don't have any pictures of the storm yet, and that is for good reason. Both families are still without power. FPL's website (Floride Power and Light) is saying that it could be November 22. When I told my mom that tonight she just started laughing. Jb's family is using a generator, but my parents don't have any electricity. My poor dad could only listen to the World Series on the radio. I taped it for him, but he said he has already decided that he will end up buying the whole DVD at some point in the future. His White Sox finally make it, and he can't even watch it. He can't go over to the Kits and watch it either because there is currently a 7:00 pm-7:00 am curfew for the whole area.

As far as damage, both my family, John's, my brother Keith, and Keith's girlfriend AD, did not really suffer any major damage. The Kit's did have some damage to the roof in the back of the house, but I am not sure of the extent of the damage. Both groups also had a lot of debris and trees down.

My dad and mom walked to the grocery store today (they said driving is next to impossible right now and they want to conserve gas), and bought a few things. My mom said the grocery store is fairly well stocked with non-perishables Dad said that today would probably be the last day that the food in their freezer would be good, but they have enough dry goods to last awhile, and like I said, place with generators, like the grocery store, are open again. I asked if there were any restaurants open and my mom said she heard there was one place in Boca selling wings but other than that, the restaurants are all closed.

The fam can take showers now (with cold water), but still have to boil water before they drink it so they are sticking to bottled water. I think their biggest complaint right now is boredom. Yesterday, when I called at mid-day, they were on their fifth game of scrabble. I also seem to interupt naps whenever I call :)

As far as Fort Lauderdale Christian School where both my brother, dad, and mother-in-law work, and Robbie goes to school, they are out until at least the end of the week, and the damage was pretty extensive. Keith said the gymnasium roof was torn off on one whole side and the isulation got wet and was everywhere. Two of the classrooms in the gymnasium are also flooded. Keith said the dugouts on the softball field are gone and the light posts on the baseball/soccer field are bent in half. Another very sad thing is that the HUGE TREE in the playground (and for those of you who went to FLCS, you know INSTANTLY which one I am talking about -- the ones with tunnels and caterpillers under it) was basically destroyed. Dad said he is not sure whether or not it has enough left to regrow. That literally almost made me cry! I have played under that three since I could walk!

My mom has also not been back to work. Without power, Doormark cannot run. In addition, they were about to move to a new building and according to my mom, the roof is no longer on that building at all so the move-in has been delayed. Roy & Joan VanWyck our very good friends, are the owners of Doormark, and I ask you to pray for wisdom and guidance for them as I know all of this is probably very stressful. This is a very large company and if there is no power, and people can't work ... well, you know how it goes.

I will put the pictures up as soon as the power comes back on. Also, if I got any of these details wrong, I am sorry. I am not there and am trying to find these out on short phone conversations with my parents (when I can manage to get a line in). Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blue Collar Girl

I have been consistently reminded, during the two and a half years that we have called Rochester Minnesota our home, just how un-physician's-wife-like I really am. Tonight, as servers orchestrated a perfectly scripted food celebration, I was reminded that prior to 2003, I had never met a physician that wasn't my own.

Now, I am sitting in a room surrounded by them. Is there anyone else here that isn't a doctor or doctor-to-be? Yes! I find comfort in Debbie Swiggum, the mother of our good friend Hans. She's a fellow teacher (as I still count myself amongst their group), and she too looks a little confused as researcher after researcher steps up to the podium to show drawings and charts of medications and protocols we have never heard of. (And even after hearing of them, we have no idea what they are or what they do.) John leans over and encourages me that he, too, has never heard of some of the things the good ol' doctors are referring to, but I am not sure I believe him.

Tonight we were invited to a dinner at the Foundation House for the second time in as many years. This is a prestigous house (shown above) formerly occupied by Will Mayo. This time it was a thank-you dinner for the research project John participated in last week. This is a research project that Hans Sviggum is involved in, and while spouses weren't traditionally invited, the charm of Hans got me an invite and a remarkable evening. As drinks and countless h'dourve trays pass by, and Hans makes good friends with the woman carrying the jumbo shrimp, I am reminded again what a different world I live in now and what a different world I am preparing to enter.

I grew up so simply, never wore skirts or dresses (they were for "girly-girls"), and refrained from "hob-knobbing" whenever possible. I liked my hair in a ponytail, loved to go to Long John Silvers for dinner, and owned multiple pairs of shoes but only in the tennis shoe variety.

Tonight I realized that my life will be different than the life I grew up knowing. I am not sure whether this is a bad thing or a good thing. I don't regret how I was raised nor do I regret the different direction my life has taken.

I am reminded of the moment that my father realized John was going to be a doctor. He put his hand on John's shoulder and said, "I'm counting on you John." For what John asked? "For my retirement," my dad continued. John then said, quite seriously, that the Lord may call him to be a missionary doctor. My dad, in response, got a very serious look on his face, closed his eyes, and thought for a minute, and then with a straight face said, "No. I don't think he's calling you to that." We all had a good laugh that night.

I have wonderful memories from my childhood despite the fact that money was not abundant and extras were truly "extras". Big events like a trip to Disney World or a fancy restaurant were truly special because they happened so rarely. My house growing up was full of love and simple pleasures.

I truly hope that I will always remain who I am in my heart now -- a simple "jock" who enjoys watching sports on television and eating a dairy queen blizzard over putting on a dress and eating pastries with weird fillings. I know things will change as John becomes a physician, but I think we can always be who we grew up being even as we talk to strangers and eat with multiple forks.

Now which fork do I use again?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Please pray for our friends and families

This is A1A in Pompano Beach very close to where my parents live

Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Downtown Fort Lauderdale

8:10 p.m.

"Hurricane Wilma hits Florida harder than expected; FPL’s electrical grid suffers extensive damage from broad swath of hurricane and tropical force winds; FPL asks for customers’ patience as repairs may take weeks."
I took this clip from the FPL (Florida Power and Light's) webpage. My brother is continuing to stay with AD and her family. My mom and Dad have a propane gas grill and plenty of bottled water. They still have water in the house but have been asked to conserve it and of course they have to boil it before they use it. I am still waiting for pictures, but my mom said it truly looks like winter with no leaves on any trees anywhere. She also said that she doesn't know how the mobile home parks in Broward faired, including the one that we grew up in. School is cancelled tomorrow, and my mom is not sure what is going to happen with Doormark where she works. Apparently there was damage there -- she is not sure of the extent. My brother has also been told that his gymnasium now has a sunroof. We aren't sure what this means either. In addition, the Kit's had roof damage, and Jb tells me that the roof is leaking quite a bit right now. I will continue to post updates as they become available. The pictures included above I got offline.

12.30 p.m.
Well the storm is officially over. Apparently I was mistaken about the tree in front of Jb's house being down. Apparently it is only 2/3 down and the base is still standing. The biggest issue now is that out of 4.5 million Florida Power and Light customers, 3.1 million, including both of our families (not sure about my brother) do not have power. With temperatures in the 70's until Wednesday, that isn't too bad, but it will be in the 80's on Thursday. They are saying that it could take weeks for power to be restored everywhere. So if you don't hear from my parents immediately via email, don't stress. You can reach them on their house phone. Also, it may take a bit for me to get pictures up as I don't know how long before they will able to send them to me.

11:45 a.m.
Just got a call from my dad, and he said the storm is over. They were going to check on a neighbor friend but have been outside. He said that a third of their trees look like they blew up and 1 in 6 have no leaves left but other than that, all the houses and structures are intact. He is taking some pictures now and as soon as they get power, he will send them to me so I can put them on the blog. They have also talked to my brother. He and AD are fine but I haven't talked to them yet. We are waiting on cofirmation from Jb's family that all are accounted for. I also am going to call Joan in a bit.

10:30 a.m.
Finally got a hold of my mom on the land-line. She said a tree fell earlier and now it is up on top of a van. She said that their screen blew out on one side which is nothing major and that the lights outside of the houses are rolling around. She said it is "pretty bad" but that it should all be over in an hour. My brother is with his girlfriend AD, and I haven't been able to reach him yet.

10:15 a.m.
Hi all -- it is now 10:15. I spoke with my parents at 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 but now cannot reach them. Jb finally reached his dad's cell phone. Apparently they are in the worst of it right now. John said the front yard looks like kindling and the huge tree with a treehouse in their front yard is down. However, they do not believe there will be any structural damage. They can also see (through a crack in their boarded up windows) that there is a powerline down. Gabbi, Ray, and Grace are also staying with them. As for my parents, I cannot reach them right now. The last time I talked to them they said that there were a lot of trees down and they were not going upstairs because it was rattling so much but downstairs was fine. I will post another update when I hear more.

7:00 a.m.
Hi all -- it is 7:00 a.m. on Monday. If you get this, in the next few hours, please pray for all our friends and family in south Florida. The eye is going to be going over Broward county where they live in the next 1-2 hours. Jb's parents have already lost power. I am calling my parents on their cell phones every hour or so and so far, they still have service.
Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I went to work this morning at Mayo. My boss is going to be out of town this week, and so I did some weekend hours and plan to take off some time during the week. While I was there, I heard this song "Atmosphere" on the Christian music MP3 Jb made for me. Then this afternoon, I went to our quarterly meeting for Hearts like Hannah, our infertility Support Group.
As we sat and talked and met new people, I was reminded again of the words to this song by Toby Mac (one of the members of "D.C. Talk"). I wanted to share these words with you tonite (during a break in White Sox action). While they minister to me in obvious ways, I am sure there are very few of you who are reading this who can't relate to the words either in past, present, or future situations, as they pertain to some difficult event in your life. It's so important that we all remember that the Lord is there no matter how difficult the journey. Just keep the course, you can weather the storm!


I know you keep a journal and every page is rippled
From the tears that you cry, ain't no meanin' to your scribble
Cause words can't describe what you've been feelin' inside
It's like thousand foot walls, and they're still on the rise
But look up to a beautiful sound
And see for yourself you're not that far down
And know this, I cannot love a little
My promise to you is unconditional

And I'll keep the light on, for you

Just keep the course, you can weather the storm

I'll keep the light on, for you
You've come this far, don't you ever lose heart, now

Just turn around and I'll be there

I'm moving into your atmosphere
Just turn around and I'll be there
I'm moving into your atmosphere

I know you're all alone in a crowd full of friends

I can see it in your eyes that your fadin' again
Checking out, moving into your hole
Where the light can't touch any part of your soul
But hold up and let the river rush in
You can turn around and start livin' again
Cause your life is a beautiful bloom
In the image of the one that created you

And I'll keep the light on, for you

Just keep the course, you can weather the storm
I'll keep the light on, for you
You've come this far, don't you ever lose heart, now

Just turn around and I'll be there

I'm moving into your atmosphere
Just turn around and I'll be there
I'm moving into your atmosphere
I'll be there
Said I'll be there, said I'll be there
Said I'll be there always, forever
Said I'll be there, said I'll be there
Said I'll be there always, forever

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A weekend alone watching the storm


Well the company is gone -- all back to Florida where we are all anxiously watching the path of Hurrican Wilma. It was supposed to hit Sunday, then Monday, and now, as it continues to hover over Mexico, Tuesday? My dad has been Im'ming me more than normal indicating that once again he out of work, awaiting the storm. They even watched the Dolphins play a Friday night game as it was moved up to beat the coming storm.

We are also watching Wilma closely because we are supposed to go to Cozumel on our cruise in December. We are hoping this doesn't change out trip.

As for what is going on with us, apart from not having any company in town, (it feels really weird!) life is actually pretty normal. Here is a rundown of a few quick facts about what is currently going on in our lives.
  • I have officially gotten my hours changed at work. I am now working 8 hours at RLS and 24 hours at Mayo. This gives me 4 hours on Monday and 4 hours on Friday to use as I need. This time can be used to work extra at Mayo, to do some work for RLS, or to work on my stories for Rochester Women. I can also work on my houses for the Real Estate Company. This may mean working at home for RLS on the weekends or even going in to Mayo on an occasional Sunday, but I am very happy with the flexibility this provides me with.
  • JB is still on his research rotation. He will be on this rotation until the first of the year.
  • This weekend is filled with different things. Today I am going to work a booth at the Women's Health Fair for Rochester Women for an hour. Then we are going to go to church this evening. I may work a few hours tomorrow at Mayo, and then I have a Support Group meeting in the afternoon tomorrow.
  • We sold our washer and dryer. When we moved into the condo, we left it with Ron & Ebby, but they have got a new house to rent and no longer need our appliances so we had to sell them. We were very happy as we got $450 for them -- about half what we paid for them 5 years ago. Very nice treat.
  • This next weekend we are watching the Ray kids when Ron & Ebby go to Chicago. That should be fun.
  • We heard our goddaughter Jessie (Mike & Deanna's youngest in Kentucky) got a commercial on CMT. Don't know much else but do know it is a speaking role! We will let you know about that more when we know more.
  • We are heading to Chicago in two weeks. That should be a fun getaway.

That's all I have to report this morinng. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Heading Home to Wilma

Well, tonight is Mom & Dad's last night in Minnesota. They will leave tomorrow afternoon for Florida where Hurricane Wilma is preparing to hit the cost of Florida. I've tried to talk them into staying but apparently they have some other kids still in Florida that they are all concerned about! Geeez!

Last night we had Ajit, Hans, and the Rays (minus Ronnie) over for Indian. Then today, Mom, Dad, and Jb went back to the Apple Orchard where they bought some butters and jams for Ray & Gabbi who were prohibited bringing them home when they came to visit due to suitcase restrictions. So, here are some pictures from the dinner last night and the Orchard today.

English and Wendi. I miss my daily drives down to St. Charles with English. In July, English will be entering the Air Force and heading to a school to be a linguist!

Colie Olie Rollie Polie looks on as boyscout brother waits for dessert. This was moments before Colie clunked his head on one of our kitchen stools.

Mom at the pumpkin patch.

Mom & Dad with some grapes at the Orchard. This is Dad's favorite grape!

Mom & Dad outside the corn maze which Jb said he couldn't convince them to tackle. (Remember, Grace went through it three times -- well, that was the kiddy maze, but still!)

My babe and Dad picking apples.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Trip to Lanesboro

Today Jb, his mom and dad went to Lanseboro today to see the leaves and get some good pictures. I had to work, but when I got home, I agreed to post the pictures online even though I was too busy being a "suga-momma" to get to go with. Mom also wanted to post a call-out to Gracie -- a big "hello". Grama and Grampa can't wait to get back and see you Gracie!
John's photo of the leaves changing. Very similar to what our family is currenty experiencing in Fort Lauderdale (sorry Gabbi!)
Mom and Dad at a break by a waterfall.

Mom and Dad. We really can't comment about what was happening in this photo because no one is really sure. Our best guess is that Mom is asking for "time-out" and dad has a question.

John with his parents. Mom is thinking long and hard about why John hasn't shaved since research began. John is wishing his arm was a tad longer.

Mom & Dad in a yard they staked claim on.

The restaurant we usually at in Lanesboro was closed for the season so they ate at this german resturant. Apparently the food was very good and the owner started playing the accordion for dinner entertainment.

Mom and Dad posing by a grapevine. John tried one of these and determined that it was a little too tart!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Jb on Research

Well, as you know research has started for Jb. I thought I would include some pictures to illustrate how hard he has been working during this time. It has been a very stressful few weeks for him as you can see :) We are now excited to have his parents here with us as of today.

Mom and Dad Kit. got in around 9:45 this morning. We had lunch at Chipotle. We have all taken a nap and are just relaxing. We also took a walk by the river before dinner (which Jb is preparing now). It is gorgeous weather -- in the high sixties, low seventies with beautiful leaves.

One sad thing did happen today. I called my dad and said, "Can you believe how badly the Dolphins are getting beat?" Ummmm ... my dad got very angry and said, "I cannot believe you just said that." He was taping the game to watch it later since he went to the late service! Well I felt lousy! How was I supposed to know that while living in South Florida he would tape the game. Unfortunately we can't even pick the game up here.

Anyways, here are some of the pics of Jb during research.

Hanging out with Tara after Bible Study.

Hanging out with Gracie at the zoo. Wendi asked for a picture next to the giraffe but this one on a poster was all they could find.

Taking a nap with Gracie.

Reading. Jb has read through almost all of the Harry Potter series during his break.

I also wanted to point out that our friend Calvin is referencing me on his blog saying how not-cold it is in Minnesota. I encourage you all to post a comment and tell this Canadian how cold it really is for your little Florida friend (me)!

You can visit his blog at: The Cold Canadian Heart Surgeon