Kids Fix – ‘Twas a Holiday

More pictures, from the current month even!
From April 8th.

Happy Easter! Have a scimitar.

Good plan on the Easter Bunny’s part. Thanks dude.

And a Happy Easter from Tyrone Biggums, Esq.


Chocolate = win. Always.

So’s that smile.

Time to rock some cool shades from the goodie basket.

Lookin’ good.

But some people are far too cool for the room.


The kids were on fire with the expressions that morning. Here’s Emily posing for her Senior Portrait.

Yup, more leg than Dad would approve of there, at any age.

Actually, I could see him doing this for a portrait too.

While the lad got up rather early and rampaged the house, we did get some shots of the Lass hunting eggs.



Then later that day, on to Grandma’s for lunch and more fun.

I don’t remember what she’s looking at, but she’s definitely a doll.

Cousins. I’m still amazed how alike they look.

Auntie with the brand new baby cousin.


Now counting, but not quite all there.

Oh the expressions.

And the hunt continues…


And the look I get when taking pictures of her.

Or saying something to the kids.

Or saying anything at all.

Or breathing.

I do love her so!


Kids Fix – Birthdays

Once again, long overdue. Beyond a simple blog post, here’s a big reason anyone comes here.
However, now that Instagram is out for Android, M and I are using it. Way easier to share pictures. I tag mine into Twitter, M goes to Facebook. Or you can check out our feeds directly on your phone. It’s a free app. If you want our account names, just ask directly.

From February 12th.

I turned 29. And this is my family.


From March 12th.

The almost birthday girl. Posing. Kinda cute. Striped leggings.


Then she turned four.


No way it’s been that long. She was just a wee thing barely walking, last I checked. And sporting a Maggie Simpson hairdo.

From March 17th, 2012.

Hair as long as can be. Smile that overshadows Helen of Troy.

And talks. Constantly.

I’d be annoyed, but I think it’s awesome.

These two pictures amuse me. She’s just digging on her new iPad-like toy called a Leap Pad.

Woah, wait a second! That has a screen!?

Instant big brother.

You should push that. And that. Here let me do this. This is how it works. And go here.

It’s okay. She’s stoked to have a birthday. We do have to sport the Irish Green bows.

And cake!

She’d been asking for Hello Kitty for a couple of months at least by this point.

Out they go. She used to need help…

That’s a four-year-old Emily Rose.


She’s my little girl and she’s perfect. I love how she’s growing up. I love every day being more and more and more. She can do so much, understand so much. The world keeps opening up so big and I love watching her mind decipher it all.

It’s great.

The other day, she started saying 3 correctly. Before that, it was One, Two, Free, Four, Five. I’d been correcting her occasionally, knowing she’d get it eventually. And suddenly, she has. She can’t say it wrong anymore. One, Two, Three, Four, Five. Exactly perfect.

But now I miss the Free. She’ll never be Free again. She’s Four now.

Every moment is a whole world that never comes back. We mortals should cherish them more.

At least I get to remember her being Free, no matter how old she gets.


[And at least she still skips Thirteen when counting. Here’s hoping that sticks.]

Quick Thoughts

First, from my daughter’s brain:


Emily wanted to write a letter to her friend Elizabeth. The top is her attempt to sound out the name. Then she asked me to write out the name below, so I did to give her an example. Last, she copied it herself. She turns 4 next week. Kinda cool there.

Some links:

Emily’s schoolwork. She’s big into cartography. And posing.


Christmas Sentiment

This year, I’ve had a nearly overwhelming sentiment to my family and the traditions we had when I was growing up. So when I heard this song by Tim Minchin on the radio on Eve’s morning, it struck home. Hard.

Minchin’s a native of Australia and is raising his family in England. Christmas memories for him are of Summer, a warm and sunny place. Though California’s not exactly in its hotter days of the year, it too is a naturally warm, sunny place. And I have as many family memories of Summers visiting family all over as I do from the holidays.

“White Wine in the Sun” is a feeling strongly infused with family for me. On those hot days, I learned from my grandma to just pop an ice cube in your white wine to keep it chilled, and it stays just as tasty. As we kids, my sister and cousins, grew up, it got easier to just enjoy one another’s company. Have a dinner, drink some perfectly pressed grapes, and revel in life itself. Nothing loud or overwhelming; my family is generally small and quiet.

Christmas got better as I got older, I think. The gifts were great, but they could wait. Waffles from scratch with a side of bacon were of utmost importance. We would see each other and eat meals together when we could. But even as a kid, I was just as excited to visit my cousins or my Auntie as I was to tear open those gifts.

Even now, so far away, my own family grown and active, it’s thinking back to my family times that warms my heart. Meatballs passed around my one grandma’s table, or cheese and crackers on my other grandma’s patio under the vine-covered canopy, those are my times. Those warm days, mentally or meteorologically, drinking white wine in the sun.

So I listened to Tim Minchin in my car, in the closed garage, on a quiet Christmas Eve morning. Tears in my eyes.

It’s tough being away from so many of my family. I love them. I miss them. They’re who I grew up with.

Merry Christmas. Mine is, and I hope yours is too. The sentiment is as lovely as the day itself.

California Vacation, Days 1 & 2

My apologies for the lack of updating here. I’m sure I’ll fill you all in another time as to why. But suffice to say: we’re on long overdue vacation in California for Spring Break.
From March 11, Day 1.

Waiting at the gate in MSP. The consequence of creating the iPhone so easy a child could use it.

The view out half the windows at my parents’ house.

Boy and pond. Things were thrown.

So much green.

My girls as the sun sets.

Sunset behind the Sutter Buttes and the very distant gray Coastal Mountains.

From March 12, Day 2.

Snack time with an audience.

Off to visit Great Grandma. And the kids basically looked like blurs running around. At least M and I had a chance to sit and visit.

Em brought Granda Pam some flowers.

Pouting about something.

Preparing the flowers with Gram and Great Grandma.

Goofing around at snack time.

I believe this was a great big, “Pleeeeease!?” to milk Gram for all she’s worth.

Four generations of the women in my life.

The German Koenen descendants.

Dinner overlooking the world.

We are so happy to be here. A great sigh of relief came when we finally boarded the plane and knew we were on our way. Now we get to enjoy sleepy, rainy days in the gold country up here. As long as I get to read and Gram and Granddad get some good time in with the kids, it will all be a grand success.

Midweek Kids Fix

Pictures from … today! I can hardly believe it either. We had some sunshine coming in the house when we got home, so I tried to get a few snapshots.
From January 12th, 2011.

Charmin’ dude right here. Game on.

Smirking girl in her kitty sweatshirt. And doing the goofy hand pose thing that she does now.

I don’t know what this is. Um, rock on?

Close up of those blues.

Continue reading

Blizzard Kids Fix

Last weekend a dusting of snow fell on the Twin Cities. A dusting as a child would dust a cupcake with as much frosting as they wanted. We were out and shoveling multiple times on Saturdays, and in the Cities proper, they were completely shut down almost through Monday (there’s no place to shove the snow down there).
From Sunday the 12th.

Once finished with the driveway a couple of times, with some help from my neighbors, I felt like relieving the deck of its burden.

A tall toddler to help explain the height that piled on the deck.

Continue reading

Freedom for Risk

In the past week I have come down with a nasty case of strep (the rest of the family did too) and then starting Sunday I have been fighting a bout of stomach flu to boot. I do my best to keep calm and carry on, but my immune system has been working overtime, preventing me from doing the same. The best that can be hoped for is my stomach to realign itself in time for a bit of turkey and gravy. Pie may be off the menu entirely this year. For now, I’m nursing some tea and about to head to bed.

When able to focus without nausea, I have really been enjoying the writings all over the blogosphere about TSA rules and common sense. It is great to read, but it is not much of a debate. Most seem to end feeling futile and defeated in the face of The Nothing that is irrationality.

I hope to read and write more. Right now, I’m back to my tea and lingering on this quote from our great Benjamin Franklin:

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.