Wednesday, May 29, 2013


So, we went to a vey nice party at FUS a while back, and I didn't get around to blogging about it.

Cabaret is an annual fundraiser at FUS that centers around a silent auction. We were sad that our friends Nina and Juve came thinking it was an open party, and not $30 per person at the door. A surprisingly large number of things are open to the public at FUS for free, but a fundraiser apparently does not fall on that list. Oh well, sorry guys.

We had a good time though. There were separate parties for the little kids and the bigger kids (Atticus spent some time in both) and there was a lot of good food and good friends for us adults. The evening was mainly structured around a large silent auction, which was weird for me at first, but once we got into it a little, it was fun. We ended up walking out with a basket of bath/beech toys for $26 and a fully catered and entertained birthday party with a local storyteller for $100 (she seemed really cool and open to letting us decide which story would be the theme of the party) which we will use for Atticus's 4th birthday. It would have been more fun if we were rich, but it was still fun.

One of the things I would have bought if we were rich was a sermon from the head pastor, Michael, and I would have asked him to talk about "Why is FUS so white, and is it a problem?" or some other problematic topic that doesn't get talked about much at FUS. Anyway, the dreams of a dreamer.

Lulah enjoying her treats and pouring her own drink.

Atticus rotated between the room for little kids and the room for bigger kids. The childcare people in the big kids room were excited to see him (although not excited to be on camera), apparently he is fun.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week of May 20

Our last full week in Madison! So sad. Except for the other 5 years of full weeks in Madison we have coming up. So, not so sad.


Cait got a hair cut in the morning.

We went for a run out to the beach again in the morning.

Homemade lemonade popsicles on the way to lake. Perfect.

You can see the haircut and sexy legs here.

I took Atticus to the Bookmobile and park in the afternoon until late in the evening. Unfortunately he did not fall asleep on the ride home. Oh well. Cait stayed home with Lulah and had some friends over.

I went with our friend James to pick up a free couch for us after I got home.


Parent helping at Atticus's preschool.

Cait sold her bike.


Cait took the kids in the morning to some outside play and inside play in the community center while the rain came down.

I went for a ride to campus to drop off the money to our friend for the Dalai Lama questions, then to a library committee meeting at FUS and then to group run where only one other person showed up because of the rain.


I had a bunch of meetings with the University Apartment's staff as I get going as Assembly Chair. I also brought my new vice-Chair Anna along to have her meet the staff too. They all went well and we came out with some good ideas.


Our friend Juna got new sand in her sandbox, so up the hill to play there.

That night we went to a ward marshmallow roast and smore fest. We honestly feel a little bit weird going to activities since we are no longer active and our tithing money isn't paying for activities, but we have so many friends there that it's always fun when we get there.


The big community garage sale was today. The weather, after being a little rainy, cooperated well. It went successfully in that we got rid of a lot of stuff we wanted to get rid of and there were a lot of people there. We did, however, come back with more stuff than we left. But a lot of it was free and all of it was stuff we needed/wanted. So we failed in decluttering out house, but we can try again when we get back, and at least there's not a ton of stuff hanging around that we want to just get rid of.

Here's our best find. A lego table with a box full of Duplos, including a Buzz and Woody and Lightning McQueen figurine.

This is our new-found life twin Nina, who was the former former Assembly Chair before Allison. She gave us so much great stuff because it was all "perfect for out kids" including some great cowboy boots for
Saturday also brought the long-awaited visit of Grammy and Poppy on Poppy's return from Afghanistan tour of the US. Here's some of the pictures of playing outside and reading books.


I rode Atticus down on the bike to go to a little bit of Mormon church before we went back to FUS so I could here the sermon on gun violence before I ran a film showing and discussion about gun violence after the meetings. The film and discussion (including a free lunch) went really well and we had more people show up than we thought would come. A lot of people seem to be really concerned about the issue, which is encouraging.

Atticus got to decorate a peace pole (a yearly FUS tradition) during the sermon, which he really enjoyed. Basically, a very nice member of the society provides poles and bunch of materials to decorate them and they are planted near the road in front of the building as a statement of our desire for a more peaceful world.

Cheesy smile

While I was doing the film, Atticus and Poopy built a huge block tower with our new legos.

Unfortunately, I crashed on my bike ride home in the rain maneuvering around all the toys strewn about the sidewalk in front of our house and hurt my hand trying not to crash through a window. Hopefully it is just a contusion and not broken, because it would be a pain to have to cast my hand for the whole summer trip. The pain is pretty minimal and I have full mobility, so my hopes are high. I just have a hard time grabbing things or using it to push off the floor. We'll see.

I was still able to help some get ready for our big going-away potluck, which went really well. Thanks everyone for coming out and stuffing inside our little apartment because it was a little rainy outside. We've made some really great friends here in Madison who also happen to be really good cooks.

Here is a bonus behind the scenes look for making it all the way through this post:

Technically, I think I am uploading pictures to Facebook, but it was while I was in the midst of working on this post. Also wearing the same clothes as last night. It was that kind of party.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Week of May 16

This one is late again, sorry. At least I haven't been later than the next Sunday yet.


The speech therapist came on Monday to do some further evaluations of Atticus. This video is really boring and quiet, but if you're interested in the speech delays that they are evaluating, this shows them.

Cait took the kids to play at a park.

New stroller for Morocco trip.

Boons approves.
In the afternoon I took the kids to the bookmobile and the park with our friends Nina and Juna, and Cait joined us after she went to the chiropractor.

At night, Cait ran the story time at Atticus's school and I stayed home with Lulah.


Cait was a parent helper at Atticus's school.

Playing with various friends in the afternoon.


I went to a roundtable that the university sponsored with the Dalai Lama and some scientists from UW, moderated by Ariana Huffington. It was really neat. His optimism for the future, humor and realistic view of todays problems reminds me a lot of President Hinckley. His solutions to the worlds problems were certainly more based in science, secular ethics and a progressive tolerance of diversity, but still a very same feel. He reiterated again and again that feels that he feels that ours is the generation that will cause ethics and morality to finally catch up to a world that advanced so quickly in terms of technology and globalization over that past few decades. A global ethic that makes room for all people, where the person across the world has as much value to you as your next-door neighbor. It was great stuff.

Photography was prohibited, so all you get is the program.
Cait took the kids to Fitchburg for playgroup, biking the whole 8 miles there and 8 miles back. They had a lot of fun. With more playing outside in the afternoon.

The kids taking a break in front of the new tiny TV that we saved from the dumpster.
At night, I had my second Assembly Meeting as Assembly Chair. I'm still working on the post explaining what that means. But basically I ran another meeting where staff and residents get together to talk about whatever issues/events/etc. they want. This time we swore in some new officers (thanks Anna and Sunny!) and talked about getting the carseats for the community cars and considered some different models as well as talking about our the summer plans for the Assembly. Also some other events and programs. It went much better this time.

This is Allison, the outgoing Chair, with Lulah, obviously.


We took the kids in and Cait and I got vaccinations that we are going to need in Morocco, or rather, there is a very small chance that we might possibly need.

At the doctor's office.
After school (where the speech therapist came to evaluate him in a non-home environment), Cait took the kids to play with their friend Juna for the rest of the morning while I cleaned. It was a hot day for here.

And then I took the kids to playgroup in the afternoon at our friend Marci's house. Marci's mom suddenly passed away a little earlier this week, but after this playgroup, really unexpectedly. It was a sad day for a good friend.

With the semester ending, it was the most masculine playgroup yet. We talked about the problems of common science progressing beyond the reach of the average learned person's understanding. You know, the usual.

Cait had her big Arabic final. She did awesome. Cait studied for 3 or 4 hours beforehand and walked away thinking that she was so tired of studying Arabic. Oh wait, that's all she is doing this summer. Plus, training across Europe and hanging out in Germany (which is also in Europe but comes later in the trip).


Cait had her Global Feminsisms test. Also rocked it.

I took the kids and went out to the nature preserve (technically, we live in a nature preserve, so I guess we went to a different part of it) where there was supposed to be some bird banding happening, but Lulah slept in after a rough night and we were too late. So instead we went to one of the mini-beaches along the lake and the kids played in the still-cool water for a while.

That night we went to a graduation party at the community center for some of our friends. The food was really good.


FUS in the morning for Atticus and I. Grocery shopping for Lulah and Cait because Lulah had a bad rash that seemed like it might be contagious. It wasn't. We played around the apartment after that.

Turned out to just be a mild, non-contagious form of the measles in reaction to the vaccination. It cleared up soon after this.
Atticus got finger nails painted.