Park Time

It is spring and we are spending as much time outside as possible.


Someone brought their pet duck to the park. It was an instant hit with Patrick and Elise!



That’s all really. We have all been sick so we haven’t had a whole lot of fun lately so yesterday’s simple trip to the park on a warm sunny day was an easy choice as the highlight of the week.

Oh shoot. Nevermind, bad patenting. I forgot about Elise’s Preschool program and graduation this past Friday. For the record, that was the highlight of the week. More on that later. Uffda. I am ready for summer and to get these kids out of their petri dishes of schools so we stop catching every bug that comes through our town.

My Girl

We have just five more weeks together of Mom and Elise time. Elise goes to preschool on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Mom and Elise time. We have five weeks left and that is it. At the end of those five weeks it is summer vacation and after this summer she is off to all-day, 5-day-a-week Kindergarten.

The girl can drive me crazy faster than either of the boys. That said, I only have 5 weeks left of this special time with Elise… I need to stay conscious of that and make the most of it.

This past Thursday we took a long walk together down a new to us walking path. She let me take a few photos. This is one of my favorites.


Official Church Members

This weekend we will become official members of the church we have been attending on and off for the past year and half.

To become official members we had to take a class where they gave us a tour of the church, a run-down of the church staff and told us a bit about their church mission statement and beliefs.

We had two bits of homework to go along with becoming members. They asked us to fill out a form checking off boxes of the different areas that we would be interested in sharing our “times and talents” i.e. sing in the church choir, read the lessons, hand out bulletins, make coffee….

No problem with that form. Check the boxes for reading lessons, do not check the box for singing in choir (they sing at the 8 am service- no thanks!) and so on and so on.

The second bit of homework turned out to be more difficult than I think they intended it to be…. because I am me and the most simplest of tasks can quickly be blown into my latest project.

What was meant to take 2 minutes took me almost an hour.

What was the homework that was so complicated? It was a sheet of paper with one paragraph on top and the remainder of the page was filled with blank lines.

We were instructed to write an introduction of ourselves to the church that would be printed into the bulletin and the monthly church news letter.

The pastor told the new member class, “Just write something simple that tells us a little bit about you and your family and maybe where you work and how old your kids are…”  The pastor took pity on me when she saw me look at the blank page with wide eyes and said, “You can just email it to the secretary. Please email it by Wednesday, that is when she puts the bulletin together.” For the record I was not the only one who decided to email and not fill out the form laid in front of us.

Naturally I waited until 9pm on Tuesday night to start writing.

Here are a few drafts that Tim shot down.

This summer marks 10 years since Tim and Megan Shannon graduated college and ten years of Tim writing computer software for the company he works for. This summer is also TIm and Meg’s ten year wedding anniversary and their beloved Golden mutt Lucy’s 10th birthday. This summer the Shannons celebrate MIchael’s 9th birthday and Elise’s 5th birhday. In between those years they had Patrick who is the only one in the family who celebrates his birthday in the fall. Seven years ago, when Patrick was 6 months old, the Shannon family moved to Cottage Grove from their home in North Dakota. Megan doesn’t work outside the home, she is too busy trying manage the chaos at home.

This summer Tim and Megan Shannon will have been married for 10 years. They have a 10 year old Golden mutt named Lucy. Days before their first anniversary their first child, Michael was born. Patrick came along 15 months later. When Patrick was 6 months old the family of 5 (Lucy counts) packed up, left all their family in North Dakota behind and moved to Cottage Grove for Tim’s computer software job. Two years later Elise was born. And because having a high maintenance Golden Mutt, 3 kids within a four year age gap wasn’t enough to keep them busy, a year ago they added a mean cat named Astird to the mix. Megan doesn’t work outside the home, she is too busy trying to manage the chaos at home. For the record, it was the cat that tipped the delicate balance from fun to chaos. The Shannon family of 6 (Astrid doesn’t count) are excited to become apart of the All Saints Family. Is it offensive to say, that you all seem like a good fit?!

Tim told me that I should probably take it down a few notches so this was my next attempt.

Tim and Megan Shannon have married for 10 years this summer. They three children, Michael (8), Patrick (7) and Elise (4). Tim works for a software company and Megan stays home with the kids. Rounding out the Shannon Family is their beloved 10 year old Golden Mutt, Lucy and their very mean cat, Astrid.

BUT I couldn’t be okay with that one. I told Tim, one more try, and wrote this.

We are the Shannon family. Tim and Meg will have been married for 10 years this summer. Originally from North Dakota, we moved to Cottage Grove 7 years ago for Tim’s computer software job. We have three kiddos, Michael who is 8 and is our resident NASA and Minecraft expert. Patrick who is 7 and loves to play pranks and has an incredible imagination. And Elise who is 4 going on 14 who’s life ambitions include being a cowgirl, mother and astronaut in no particular order. Rounding out our family is our beloved 10 year old golden/mutt Lucy and our very mean cat, Astrid. We are really excited to be joining the All Saints Lutheran community.

And that is what I sent. Good grief. Next time, Tim writes the family bio.


For many more reasons than I care to get into in this post, our family believes in the Easter Bunny. We also believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. We believe in little leprechauns too… at least Patrick does. Michael doesn’t believe in leprechauns and Elise is scared of them so for two very different reasons we told two very different kids that there is no such things as leprechauns.

For now, though, we all believe in the magic of the Easter Bunny. My Grandma, the kids’ Great Grandma, knows this and for Easter she made this wonderful tray of fruit shaped like the Easter Bunny.

This is the first Easter that we have travelled to see my family since we moved to MN 7 years ago. It is a long drive to see them and because Tim doesn’t get any work days off for the Easter holiday, it means taking vacation time. In the past we have opted to save that vacation time for longer Christmas breaks or a bigger chunk of time in the summer but after a long winter we needed a break. The cabin, with my parents and a visit from my Grandma, Grandpa and Sherlene at Easter, was that break.

IMG_9140We are Christians. The kids know why we really celebrate Easter just like they know the true meaning of Christmas. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a little extra sprinkle of magic on top of a Holiday that already has us gathering as family.

In the end it boils down to this, life is short. The kids are growing up way too fast.  The window of believing in that magic is so slim. Any time we can be together as a family and add a little magic to the fun, we will do it. Life is too short not to believe.