Thursday, December 14, 2006

...pointless as arguing with a 3 year old

This morning at around 3 my daughter came into my room and started crying "HELP HELP HELP". I turned on my bedside light, which is usually the problem - she can't see to get to my bed.

Both my children have formed the horrible habit of coming into our bed at some point in the middle of the night. I don't usually hear or wake up when Aron comes in because he's quite and he goes around to Eric's side of the bed (he needs no light, apparently he's part cat... or bat.)

Jordan always wakes me by crying for "Help!" which, as explained above has to do with the lack of light.

This morning she continued screaming after I turned on the light. When I asked her what was wrong, she exclaimed through her tears that she was "Skired." I asked what she was scared of and she said "KC."

KC, one of our two black lab mix dogs was lying with his head sort of by the door way, she had plenty of room to walk around, but she was "skired" nonetheless. She made it over that hurdle and jumped into bed with me.

My mother came back from Washington state this past weekend and is in town for a month. Last night, Wednesday, was Choir night for my dad and I at church and Eric, of course, had soccer. The typical Wednesday is Eric and I meet at the Chiropractor's office around 5, get adjusted, transfer kids and cars, he goes to soccer and I go to church and meet my dad. There is a meal and then the kids play in the nursery with their friends while Dad and I go to our respective bible study hours. Then we have choir until 8:30 and we take the kids home and I put them to bed.

Yesterday my parents took the kids, and I met them at church. Mom decided she could take the kids home earlier because it tends to be a late night for them. She left with the kids around 7.

So back to the middle of the night, I notice as Jordan climbs on top of me that she is not wearing any underwear under her pajamas. Which I file away as weird, but don't think anything of it.

Then I roll over, and notice Aron is next to me... and he is wet... and my bed is wet... and he, too, is not wearing any underwear.

So I turn the light on, pick up Aron to take him to the bathroom and change his clothes. Jordan starts screaming because she doesn't want the light on. Aron wakes up and starts screaming because he was perfectly happy wet and asleep, thank you very much.

I put Aron in a pull-up, which he still requires every night. While I'm putting him in dry pajama bottoms, Jordan decides she needs to go potty. When she's done I attempt to put her in underwear (she does not require pull-ups anymore). But she starts screaming that she wants a pull-up. And at this point I am beyond caring just so long as they both shut up and go to sleep. Finally I get them dressed and in their own beds - which in and of it self was a battle.

Note to self - break bad habit of children joining you in bed at night.

Then I head back to my room where Eric has blissfully slept through this entire episode. And I turn on the lights and start stripping the bed, to which he awakes with a unenthusiastic groan. I change the sheets, he gets back in bed and I lay down and try to get back to sleep.

Funny how one's mind focuses on the stupidest little things at 3:45 in the morning. Like what I'm going to buy people for Christmas and how I'm going to afford it and how I'm going to word my journal entry of this experience.

I finally must of drifted off because I awoke to my alarm at 6 with, thankfully, only Eric in the bed with me.

I realize that since Mom has been gone for 4 months, she doesn't yet have a handle on what is just "known" as far as the kids are concerned - as in, Aron needs pull-ups at night, and the pull-ups are located in the closet outside the bathroom.

It's amazing how much one takes for granted as knowledge.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Just so everyone knows, I have set up a MySpace account.

It's got a cool slide show of pics from Thanksgiving. Also, the song playing is by Nilz' band Oxford.

Thanksgiving in DC

Lots has happened, of course, since my last update. I’m sure that has to do with the fact that I haven’t updated in a while. But also, we took a family vacation over Thanksgiving and that was an exciting adventure.

Thursday before we left, Eric picked up the kids at school and someone hit the van while he was inside. They left without leaving a note or anything. It was an ominous beginning to our trip. Fortunately it was not a foretaste of things to come. The weather, however was. It rained all day Thursday and that continued for many of the days on our trip.

We left Friday morning with the van completely packed, including KC and Thumper who we had to drop off at the kennel on the way out of town. As an aside, this was their first kennel experience and we are told they did VERY well. And seem none worse for the wear since. Anyway, that’s Eric in the driver’s seat, me in the passenger seat, Jordan and Aron in captain chairs in the middle, Dad scrunched in the back, KC at Aron’s feet, Cooler and snacks at Jordan’s feet, DVDs/pillows and blankets between them and Thumper in back somewhere with my dad. It was an interesting 10 miles or so to the kennel.

The trip itself was fine. I think I took the first sleeping shift, which involved sitting in the way back and being able to lie down. Eric took the first driving shift, which left my dad to be at Aron and Jordan’s beck-and-call. They watched a lot of DVDs.

Somewhere around Ohio we stopped for a snack and Eric took the sleeping position, Dad took over driving and I kept kids contented. Also, I realized that I had The DaVinci Code Audiobook on my iPod, and my dad hadn’t read it, so we listened to that while he was driving.

I think it was Pennsylvania when Eric took over driving again and dad went back to the sleeping position. I think we left South Bend around 10:30 and ended up in DC around 9:30 or 10. We dropped off Eric at his hotel and drove up to Baltimore to spend a few days with my friend Debbie and her husband, Joe.

During our stay in Baltimore we visited Port Discovery, the kid’s museum and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, complete with a Dolphin Show. The kids were very excited. There are pictures on the website.

After a day of doing pretty much nothing we headed into DC for the remainder of our trip. We met up with the Cox’s and spent the rest of the week as our former extended family.

We saw the general usual sites (walked along the mall). We went to the Zoo (it poured). We stopped in the Natural History Museum (to see the Dinosaurs). The neatest thing was a 3-D movie at the IMAX theater called SHARKS! Aron got a kick out of that.

Shelly’s cousin lives in Virgina and graciously invited all 11 of us to Thanksgiving dinner. It was wonderful to go to a home and enjoy the afternoon with a family. They had 3 kids ranging from 2-10 and all 9 children seemed to really enjoy each other. The meal was fantastic and it was nice to be out of the hotel for the day.

Friday we drove back which was pretty uneventful. Dad and I got through more of The DaVinci Code. We didn’t finish it, however, until we got home and listened whenever we could over the weekend.

Eric had two interviews while he was at his meetings; one with Birmingham Southern College and one with St. Ambrose University. He hadn’t applied to St. Ambrose prior to the meetings, they contacted him. Since our return he’s applied there and to Regis College in Denver. We still know nothing, but we are ready for whatever might happen.

Since our return I have made the decision to pay a service to clean our house every other week. It’s really been a long time coming. They came for the first clean on Wednesday. I’m so sad I didn’t do this earlier. My house has never been cleaner. And it was such a wonderful feeling to get home after choir Wednesday night and find the house just… immaculate.

I think I mentioned already that Jordan has decided not to play violin, at least for the time being. I’ve been taking her lesson time instead and I am enjoying getting back into it. I realize I have a lot yet to learn and relearn, but I feel I’m making progress and that’s a plus.

Tomorrow Dad, the kids and I are headed to Chicago to pick up my mom (Grammie) who will be in town through Christmas. Jeff is also coming, I think next weekend.

The kids have their second concert next weekend and following that my parents, Jeff and the kids are going to drive out to Madison to visit Nilz and Kelly while Eric and I stay here and celebrate our 12th (yes, that is TWELVE YEARS!!!) Anniversary.

Everything else is maintaining the status quo for the time being. Christmas Shopping will have to be started soon.

We hope you all are doing well, and we’d love to hear from you.

Rikka, Eric, Aron and Jordan

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fall Update

Okay, so, yes, I’ve been lax in my updating of this site. And since my last entry much has happened!

We are preparing for a big trip in our brand new (to us) minivan. We purchased a 2002 Honda Odyssey (something I’ve wanted for quite a while) from my boss last month. It’s great because all five of us (mama, daddy, Jordan, Aron and papa) can fit in there comfortably. There is a DVD player and two headsets so the kids can watch a video while the rest of the car listens to the radio. The kids can open and close they automatic doors, which they love. They can get in and out themselves. It’s great. We have yet to prepare and put on the market one of our existing cars. We are debating over which one to sell.

So all five of us are headed to Washington DC this Friday. Eric has his annual Society of Biblical Studies meetings. He also has interviews with some of the colleges to which he applied for fall 2007 academic jobs.

We are meeting up with the Cox family. Ron will also be attending meetings. Shelly, Paul, Sam, Joel, Eliot, Papa Pete, Jordan, Aron and I will entertain ourselves over the weekend and Monday at various events in and around DC. And then we’ll all have Thanksgiving together and go our separate ways on Friday.

I’m very much looking forward to getting out of town for a few days. When last I wrote I had embarked on a new adventure, going out twice a week to develop a prospect base and presenting our process of Compliance Check. It was a great learning experience and I’m glad I did it, but what I learned most was that I really enjoy my role as Director of Operations and at heart I am an Administrator, not a Salesperson. That’s a good thing to know. So I’m back doing my job fulltime which is freeing up my evenings and my mental stress to spend time with and enjoy my children. Who are a kick, let me tell you!

They love going to school. They go Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Papa drops them off and they have lunch. Then they play and read stories and do art work and have a nap and play some more. I used to pick them up, but now that the soccer season has finished, Eric does it, something he really enjoys. Their school pictures are on the site.

On Mondays we all go to the Suzuki School for Rhythm and Movement. Jordan and Aron had their first ‘performance’ a week ago at a Barnes and Noble. There are pictures on the site.

Jordan (and I) decided she’s not quite ready for violin, so we’ve put that on hold and I’ve taken her lesson time to get back into it myself. It’s surprising to me first at how much I remember, and also how difficult it is to really make it sound good (I’d forgotten that part). I’m hoping my practicing and displaying a routine of music will encourage both of them to be interested in some sort of instrument in the future. For now, they love the Rhythm and Movement and that’s enough.

They had so much fun at Halloween this year. They were a shark (Aron) and a unicorn (Jordan) – pictures are on the site. After every house Aron would say “Let’s go get MORE candy.” And “candy” has been the most requested foodstuffs when prompted “what would you like to eat.” Daddy had fun too, but then, it IS his mostest favorite holiday.

Soccer at Trinity is over for the season. They were conference champs and went to State, where they narrowly lost the state championship. It was a good season for everyone. My dad said good bye and Eric let them know that he’s applied for jobs out of state so who knows what the future holds.

Potty Training has pretty much been accomplished. Still a couple of accidents here and there, but they get it and know how to do it, so that’s good.

We’ve really hit the exploration stage of being three. Aron is flushing things down the toilet that don’t go down (we’ve had a plumber out twice, not to mention the self attempt at removing the toilet). Jordan loves to draw. And bake. She recently drew all over the TV. And one night at about 3 I woke up and noticed there were lights on. I peeked out to find Jordan “making something.” Which amounted to flour ALL OVER.

It’s so very difficult to get too upset with them when they look at you with those big puppy dog eyes and are so “sincere” in their apologies.

They are so talkative. And funny.

Well, I better get back to work. Just wanted everyone to know what’s happening.
We miss you all!

Rikka, Eric, Aron and Jordan.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Big Independence Day Update

July 4, 2006

I realize it has been a while since I’ve updated the site or this Blog. Quite a bit has happened, and I have updated pictures to share.

Currently I am on a plane from Denver to Chicago, Midway. Aron is sleeping to my right and Jordan is watching School House Rock to my left. Across the isle from Jordan Eric is watching the current World Cup soccer game (Italy vs. Germany). Jordan is ready to fall asleep any minute.

We’ve spent the past 10 days in Albuquerque with Gramma Judi and Papa Tom. (Gramps, Uncle Tony, Godfather Matt and Godmother Joey were also people we visited during our stay).

Unfortunately, it’s also been a week of illness. Prior to our leaving we all caught pretty bad summer colds. Monday night Jordan got sick. Whether it was related or not, she was out all day Wednesday. Friday night Aron got sick and although did the zoo on Saturday, he wasn’t really feeling great. Saturday night Gramma Judi got sick and she was down all day Sunday. And Monday Mama got sick and I was down all day Monday. Now, however, we all seem to be recovered and ready to go home.

It was a great visit otherwise. We went to the Albuquerque Aquarium and Botanical Gardens on Tuesday. Aron just LOVES the fish. It’s a relatively small Aquarium, but at the end there is a tank with a dozen or so sharks swimming around and Aron really gets a kick out that. In the Botanical Gardens there is a playground type exhibit that resembles Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. There is a honey beehive maze and some large ants a toddler could climb on. There is a vegetable garden with a carrot that has a tunnel a toddler can walk through. There is a slide down a large tunnel that from the outside looks like a log. There is a large pumpkin that has a rubbery floor, perfect for jumping in. And there is a sand pit in the turret of the large castle through which one enters and exits. We’d visited this previously, but this time the kids REALLY enjoyed it.

Friday we went to the Children’s museum called Explora! which was fantastic. There were plenty of exhibits for these guys, but also exhibits for kids up through teenage years. Outside on the roof of the museum is a large play area with a sort of lifesize Lincoln Log set, and Jordan, with the help of Gramma Judi and Mama, built a house large enough for her to stand in. Unfortunately neither Gramma Judi, Mama nor Daddy had the foresight to take a camera to this adventure, so I don’t have pictures. But we will definitely be making a return trip.

Saturday, since no one had to work, the plan was to go to the Zoo in the morning. Because Aron was under the weather we waited until after naps. Papa Tom was able to join us this way! The plan was also to go with Uncle Tony, but unfortunately, Tony had a motorcycle accident on Friday after lunch. Although he is relatively fine, he was sore and taking muscle relaxers on Saturday and wasn’t up to a long hot afternoon at the zoo. It was very very warm, but the kids do really enjoy all the animals. We stopped for ice cream as well, which Aron was able to stomach without a problem.

Sunday, after church and a visit to Matt’s Mommy and Daddy (Carol and Jack Sowar), we went with Matt and Joey to see Joey’s horse. Aron had really been looking forward to riding the horse, and he got on for a second or two, but the heat and the illness and the lack of sleep got to him and he spent most of the time in the air-conditioned mini-van playing “unlock the doors!” Jordan, however, was a natural. She wanted to ride again and again and again. And she did. Of this, I do have pictures.

Sunday evening Matt, Joey and Tony (and Kaiser, his dog) all came over to enjoy dinner with us and Gramps. It was a very nice evening.

Monday, without Mama, Jordan, Aron, Eric, Gramma Judi, Papa Tom, Gramps and Uncle Tony went for a picnic on the backside of the mountain. Judi made her fried chicken and they took up carrots and chips and cherries and homemade chocolate chip cookies! I understand they had a wonderful time, and I believe Jordan and Aron took lots of pictures, which I will share. Mama spent this time resting and watching mindless television, something I hadn’t really done for a while.

So, as you can see, it was a fully packed week. Completely understandable the kids are asleep at my side.

In addition to this particular vacation excitement, we have entered the world of Potty Training. Jordan’s pretty much got it down, and even wears big girl underwear, no training pants or pull-ups (if we are not on a plane, that is). Aron’s catching on, but still mostly wears pull-ups.

About two weeks before our vacation Jordan started violin lessons through the Suzuki Music School. She doesn’t have a real violin yet, but rather practices learning out to hold a card-board box shaped like a violin and a wooden stick with a frog shape at the end for a bow. She is very good at holding it under her chin to the count of 20. And we are now learning about dynamics!

In the fall Aron will start what is called a Rhythm and Movement class and he can see all the instruments (violin, viola, cello, flute, piano) and choose whichever he likes. Jordan will also be in the class in addition to a group violin lesson and continued individual lessons.

Also, we’ve enrolled the kids at pre-school (ECDC on Notre Dame’s campus) two afternoons a week. Eric will be teaching two courses this fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so my dad will drop the kids off for lunch and I’ll pick them up when I finish doing my drops (more on this in a minute).

They are excited because their friends Julie and Avery (who live two doors down) also go to ECDC.

I think in addition to all of this there is a Mommy and Me Soccer Program for 3 year olds that we can start in the fall.

It’s amazing to me every day at how much they grow and learn. Both their speech and their comprehension are just phenomenal to me. It’s true that Eric and I understand them better than most people but they do a fair job of communicating to everyone they see. They are both very social and outgoing, although Aron is a little more cautious, especially in brand-new situations.

So in addition to teaching at Notre Dame this fall, Eric will also be coaching, for probably the final year, the varsity team at Trinity. In addition to that he will be the Co-Director of Coaching for Echo, the club with which he has been associated for the past couple years. And he is on the staff for both Indiana and Michigan ODP (Olympic Development Program). AND he’s working on various coaching licenses. AND he’s applying for academic jobs this fall, to begin next fall. One he’s most interested in at the moment is in Colorado Springs. We’ll keep you posted as things progress.

I’ve taken on a new/additional role at work. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am developing a geographic area for sales using the process we use to help employers with areas of risk management. So far I’ve dropped off information to 74 businesses. And my plan is to cultivate 200 prospects, seeing them each monthly for 4 months and hopefully working with a few more intensely after that. If we decide to stay in South Bend indefinitely, it could end up being a full time role for me, which would hopefully be quite a bit more lucrative

If we decide not to stay in the area then I feel I’ve gotten some training in sales and personal relationships which will help me in whatever I decide to do next.

My mom moved back to Washington a couple weeks ago. She is teaching at Seattle Pacific this summer, two summer courses. In the fall she will start full-time at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. She’s been out to see her new office and is looking for a place to stay until she and my dad figure out what will become more permanent.

My dad is still in South Bend, getting the house ready to be put on the market. He has commitments through the end of the year, so will be staying with us once the house sells. Mom will be back for a few weeks in August and we will be celebrating Christmas in South Bend this year.

My brother, Nilz got engaged recently to his long-time girlfriend Kelly. We are very excited to welcome her into the family. The wedding is set for next summer sometime, after which the two of them will be moving from Madison, Wisconsin to the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington.

And Jeff is looking to relocate to San Francisco sometime in the not-too-distant future. The on-line gaming company he currently works hourly for (Puzzle Pirates) is located there and he is hoping to land a full-time w/ benefits type job with that company.

July 5, 2006

So we are back at home and other than the fact that Eric is packing to leave for 4 days and I won’t actually see him again for 10 days, things are returning to normal.

When we got in last night we decided to join our friends in Dowagiac for their fireworks show. We went last year and although it rained we enjoyed it.

We got there in plenty of time, but as soon as the first boom happened, Jordan asked for “Mama”. She sat in my lap the entire time, with one blanket close to her mouth, where she was sucking her thumb and the other blanket over her head so she could hide. She was silent the entire time.

Aron enjoyed the “fire-booms” although he would turn away from them every now and again. He even sat in someone’s lap besides Mama or Daddy’s!

After the fire-booms, when we had safely returned to our car, Jordan piped up enough to tell us that yes, she was “skired” but that the fire-booms made a pretty circle of stars – and a loud noise.

I think they’ve had enough excitement for a while. Our next big adventure will be a trip to the beach, for their birthday, with their friends Julia and Avery. But that’s a few weeks away yet, and I’ll try to stay on top of things until then.

Hope all of you are well.

Love you,
Rikka, Eric, Aron and Jordan

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spring Update

Spring has finally sprung and that’s a good thing for the Stewarts. This picture was taken this weekend at church, it is our official family picture as “new members” of Christ the King. It was actually the first time we’d all been to church together since we became members last month. Life has been busy. The good kind of busy, but busy nonetheless.

If you haven’t heard already, my mom is interviewing for jobs back out in Washington State where she is looking to be hired for the fall. That has presented some interesting new twists for all of us, but mostly it seems to be sorting itself out. She’s interviewing at Western this coming (Easter) weekend, so we are hoping good things for that trip.

I spent a considerable amount of time this weekend getting the kids’ outdoor play areas (the front porch and the back screened porch) ready for them to enjoy. The sun was out all weekend, although Saturday it was still a bit chilly.

Sunday they ‘helped’ Daddy rake leaves… and blew bubbles which seems to be one of their all-time favorite pastimes.

They also were invited down to Eeya’s (that’s AronSpeak for Julia) and Avery’s house to decorate Easter cookies. At one point there was much more frosting on faces hands and tongues than on the actual cookies, but they had a grand time.

Next door the other direction are two boys (Ian who is 14 and Gabe who is 8) who took the kids for a walk Saturday morning. They are establishing themselves in the neighborhood. They are mostly just thrilled that they get to go outside and play.

The biggest adjustment we’ve all had to make is the change to Daylight Savings Time (a novelty for those living in Indiana). The kids’ bedtime is between 7 and 8, and it’s still pretty light even at 8 p.m. They are adjusting to calming down before it gets dark. The nice thing, however, is that they’ve been sleeping until well after 7 most mornings.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Hope all of you are doing well. We love hearing from you!

Oh, I should give you an update on the MS Walk Pledges! You have all helped me out greatly, I’m at $465 of my new $500 goal. The team goal is $3,000 and I’m trying to think of a good activity that I could do to bring it more for the whole team – like a bake sale? If any of you have ideas for fundraising activities, I’d sure be interested in hearing them!


Rikka (Eric, Aron and Jordan) Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 27, 2006


It's great that the kids are now feeling better. We had quite the weekend. We started on Saturday with a round of Play-Doh. It's a wonderful invention, seriously. The kids love it (although Aron believes the brown Play-Doh is called "poopy") but it sure does make an awful mess... and our dining room is carpeted.

In addition we went down two houses to visit Julia (4) and Avery (2) whom are fast becoming thee neighborhood friends. We started out the visit with Play-Doh, which was lots of fun and not my mess to clean up! At one point during the visit they decided to get all of Julia's princess outfits out and put them on. Here you see Aron as Snow White and Jordan as Belle. And although I missed it personally, I guess at one point they were all dancing in the living room to Brick House... which was quite a sight, I'm sure. I'll post the rest of the pictures in their 2006 photo album which you can get to from the site. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Funny Things Kids Say…

Thing 1 – Tonight Aron and Jordan were going on and on about how their “teeth hurt.”  This has been a nightly thing for a couple months now.  True, they were both teething their molars, but mostly they just like the Baby Orajel.  At first it was just that they wanted me to put it on their teeth.  Then it was they wanted it on their finger to put it on their own teeth (read: suck it off their finger).  And finally it’s gotten to where they want to open the thing themselves and basically suck the Orajel directly into their mouth.  

So tonight I decided there needed to be kibosh put on the whole thing.  I was talking to Aron and asking him what might help his “teeth hurt.”  And at one point I said, “What would make your teeth feel better?”  And he promptly responded, “CAKE!!!”

Thing 2 – A month or so ago Aron started kind of punching me in the breast and asking “Mama, what’s that?”  To which I responded “Mama’s boobies.”  (Yes, technical term, I’m aware.)  Anyway, his response was, “I count Mama’s boobies… one… two… THREE!”  So apparently I now have three breasts.  

Oh the funny things kids say.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Getting Over the Hump

For the past month (or so) at least one, if not all of us has been ill (including Mom and Dad).  Finally we are all on the mend, which is a wonderful feeling.  Aron finished up his 10 days of Amoxicillin today and Jordan’s last dose is tomorrow morning.  They had strep, but fortunately they didn’t share that with anyone else.  They are both teething and I swear there is a link.  

Spring is just on the verge of breaking through.  Today is absolutely gorgeous, but it’s like 35 degrees outside, and add the wind to that and you’ve got a frickin’ COLD day.  But it’s nearly here, and for that I’m grateful.  

We are going through the “My Turn” part of the “terrible twos.”  Both Jordan and Aron are very interested in helping whenever they can, doing everything they are capable of all by themselves, and generally letting it be known that they are independent, thank you very much… except of course when they want to sit in mama’s lap, which can be every other second.  

Eric is out of town this weekend, which is making for an interesting time.  I’m getting a lot done in the house, and I’ve decided God invented the iPod specifically so that I can do housework.  Nothing like listening to Harry Potter while I’m scrubbing toilets!  

Speaking of God, last weekend I debuted as a cantor/assisting minister for church.  It was quite enjoyable and many people gave me wonderful praise after the service.  I’ll be doing it again at the end of April.

Well, I guess that’s the update for now.  It’s time to get back to the cleaning.  I’d love to hear from you all!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

So it starts...

So it starts…

Every year about this time I start my quest for pledges for the Annual MS Walk.  This year, however, I’m committed to raising $250.  So if you know me, you WILL be getting a request to sponsor me (or Aron or Jordan, your choice).  You never know until you ask, so I’m asking “Will you sponsor me?”

You should know by now that I do this every year.  One of my co-workers has MS and our company has a team in the event every year.  Last year we got beat out by a team that raised over $15,000 and this year is going for $20,000.  That’s just get’s my competitive juices flowing!  

It’s for a wonderful cause.  And even if you can only sponsor $5 (which is about all I can do myself) every $5 helps!  You can pledge in one of two ways.

  1. If you are internet happy (which I am) you can go to our pledge site and sponsor us.  click here!

  2. If you prefer to write a check, you can mail it to:

2312 Foxfire Drive
South Bend, IN  46628

Thank you so much for your support, we really appreciate it.  (EVERY LITTLE CONTRIBUTION HELPS!!!)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday Night

Well, it’s Sunday night, which means the end of another busy weekend and the start of another busy week.  No rest for the… mom, I think the cliché should say.  

This morning at church we were accepted as new members.  This was an interesting adventure with two toddlers.  Make no mistake, everyone now knows “the Stewarts”.  We were to join the pastor up front after the hymn of the day, which follows the sermon.  So during the song, I slipped out of the choir loft, went to the nursery and gathered my family.  Then after the hymn finished we joined another family up front to do our little “I do” response to the question posed.  The way it was worked out we were to stay up there for that little bit, the responsive reading of the creed and the prayers for the church.  Finally we did another little “I do, and I ask God to help and guide me” response and then we were ‘presented’ to the congregation with a “welcome.”  

First of all, when we walked into the sanctuary and the song finished, Aron shouts “PAPA!!!  LOOK!! RIGHT THERE, MAMA!!!”  Because my dad was up in the choir loft.  Then, during the prayers, my children decided they had no interest in waiting quietly in our arms while the pastor and the assisting minister prayed and the congregation responded.  Nope.  Jordan, who was first in her father’s arms, needed to get down.  I had my foot on the bottom step of the alter because Aron was getting heavy in my arms, so I had him sitting on my leg.  She got down and put her foot on the bottom step… just like Mama!  Then, of course, Aron wanted to get down like Jordan.  Eric took Aron and Jordan sat down on the step and slapped her lap like “okay, this is good.”  Which it was, for about a second and a half.  Then she scooted up another step, and finally to the top step.  At this point the only thing to do was let Aron down, I mean the whole church is praying!  We were going for quiet here.  So they both are crawling up and down the three little steps.  And at one point, Aron took off around the back of the alter while Eric raced after him (cracking up, I might add, he’s not a lot of help.)

Shortly after that it mercifully ended and we were permitted to leave.  By this time they were both very loud, fortunately this was the “passing of the Peace” section, so everyone was talking.  The thing is, the choir sings immediately following the passing of the peace, while the offering is collected.  So I rushed back with Eric to drop the kids off at the nursery and then rushed back to the choir loft so I could sing.  But I was late, and everyone was waiting for me.  One would think I LIKE drawing attention to myself.

Following the service, several members came up and A) welcomed me to the church and B) sympathized with me and having small children and C) shared their mirth.  So if nothing else, we provided a little levity to the service.  However, this being Lent, I don’t think levity is really want everyone is looking for.

Tonight I started a small group with the church wherein we are discussing a book during the season of LENT.  I arrived (as usual) a couple minutes late.  I saw a group gathering in the Fellowship Hall and assumed that to be my group.  I was not, however.  It was the wrap up of the church council meeting.  The pastor said “and I’d like to introduce Rikka Stewart” to which I responded “I think I’m in the wrong place.”  I was redirected and I parted with a “I guess I just feel like making myself KNOWN today!” to which everyone laughed and I got a “You did very well this morning.” of encouragement.  

All in all, not a bad day.  One more to record in the life with twin two-year-olds.  Ain’t life fun!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Caught UP!

I’m starting to get “caught up” if there is such a thing in this life of parenthood.  At work I’m studying for the Series 7 exam, which is not exactly fun, or even interesting, but I’m about one third of the way through the studying and not doing badly.  

The family seems to finally be getting well.  I ended up with an ear infection/sinus infection.  I totally have sympathy for any child (including my daughter) who’s had an ear infection.  MY GOD is that painful!!!

This weekend we are joining the church that we’ve been attending since my parents moved here.  The kids love Sandy, the nursery attendant.  They spend Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings with her.  

I’m really enjoying singing in the choir with my dad.  Next weekend I start being a cantor and assisting minister as well. I think I’ll really enjoy that role as well.  I’ve even joined a small group to discuss a book during Lent.  

Life is pretty good for us.  We’d really like to hear from all of you.  Tell us what’s going in your life.  

Monday, February 20, 2006

Manic Monday

Mondays in my world are by far the most stressful day of the week.  I’m sure that is true for many people.  

My Mondays begin with me frantically preparing for my meetings.  Because they are as follows:

8:15 Team HEBA weekly meeting (I observe)
8:45 Process CCK weekly meeting (I run)
9:30 Company Marketing Meeting (I run)
9:45 Process LEAP weekly meeting (I run)
10:30 Team HF weekly meeting (I observe/run)

For almost every meeting there are weekly reports that I’m responsible for not only running, but also data entry, which is a pain.  

Often I don’t have the data to enter prior to the meeting at which it is supposed to be presented; therefore, I’m unprepared, or scrambling around like a maniac.  

Finally, Each meeting, although integrated in some way, is actually different in terms of people attending and material covered.  So I have to be aware of switching gears every ½ hour or so.  

Add to that the fact that I’m still seriously trying to get over this cold which seems to have moved to my chest and you have my typical Monday rant.  

In other news, life is good.  All Stewarts are recovering from illness(es) and therefore in better spirits.  2 ½ is such a fun age to observe.  I do not know WHERE they get all their energy, but I sometimes wish they’d share some of it with me!

Friday, February 17, 2006


Today thus far has been interesting.  Yesterday Jordan was diagnosed with an ear infection, which, of course, is troublesome.  But it’s Aron who has been acting up and showing his inner 2-year-old.  All of us are fighting colds – I lovingly refer to it as the Midwest Crud.  The year we moved here I think I was sick for 9 months.  I’m happy to report, however, that this is the first ear infection for either of them in 2 ½ years.  Hopefully it won’t turn into a habit.

Work has been interesting as well.  It’s my fault for staying up too late last night working on the website, but I’m kind of cranky and irritable.  Trying to focus on the positive here.  

Still Experimenting

Okay we’re still experimenting.  But this is fun.  I so need to go to bed.