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The Girl is Back-Happy Easter!!!

Allelujah!~  What a Happy Easter!  We had a fun weekend, but it was pretty low key.  We headed to Sioux Falls to see Zach and Adam Sieff to do a video of Lauren's Make A Wish process.  This video will be used at the Big Red Dinner on June 5th to explain the process of how a kid discovers their wish.  Lauren and Jonathan spoke about that process to Zach as he interviewed them at the park in Sioux Falls.  I don't know how the video will be edited, but as usual, Phil was eloquent.  I had to walk away when he was being interviewed because his words touched me to my core.  I didn't want to blubber in a public park.  But, he was awesome and sweet.  I was proud of him to not worry about being a tough guy and open his heart and speak of the love he has for his kids in such a way.  It was a beautiful day.  We had such a nice time hanging with Zach, the younger brother of one of my closest friends, Jen.  He is an incredibly talented guy.  He produced the video that went to Taylor Swift's PR agent and convinced Taylor that a visit to Lauren would be a good idea.  (Of course, my  former students, Lauren Kubat, Sydney Monahan, and Ellie Mulligan did a comparable job enticing people to put the pressure on Taylor also.)  Anyway, like many things, the journey is the reward in itself.  The process of making the video with Zach was heartwarming.  The next day, we went to mass for Easter together back in Omaha.  Everyone looked so good!  But, we were tired and before I could take a picture of us in our Easter best, we all changed into sweats and took a nap.  We are turning into the laziest slugs on the planet!  Then, we hung around all day and didn't accomplish much.  I made ham for dinner.  It was just the four of us.  There are pluses and minuses to being such a small family.  We do get to do whatever we want and eat whatever we want on holidays.  But, I must admit, I am often jealous of these ginormous Catholic families in Omaha.  Most of all it makes me sad that my kids don't have the cousin experience.  Some of my favorite memories were of fun times with my cousins.  I had very nutty cousins....sorry, guys, but very true!  My kids have three cousins that they have seen I think twice or maybe three times in their life.  So, we are going to put ads in the paper and start interviews for "cousins!"  I told the kids they both have to have 6 kids a piece or our family is going to die out.  The pressure is on!  Despite the cousin angst, I nailed Easter dinner....just sayin.'  The kids loved their Easter baskets (which I also failed to take a picture of) and then Phil and I laid around and watched PBS for the rest of the night.  We are truly getting boring as well. 
     But, the next day, I watched Lauren as she created adventures with her friend, Kiley and thought, "The Girl is Back!"  She created a nightmare of a mess and was into everything yesterday.  They about emptied the shed and built a swing in a tree.  (The weather is becoming glorious!)  She and Kiley made homemade gelatin soap and so multiple jello looking soap is firming up in my refrigerator.  I am glad they told me it was soap before I swiped a bite and embarassed myself.  They had stamp pads and clay out all over the kitchen table.  I told Lauren we could go to lunch together this week and have a pedicure.  She said, "Oh mom, Let's do CRAFTS!"  I thought, "Oh, dear Lord, if I could just hack into Pinterest and blow the whole damn thing up."  I guess we will be making glitter bowls this week and whatever other crazy thing Lo comes up with.  I have to indulge her.  I think I was the same way.  Nothing against my mom, but those of you who know Nanny, there was not a possibility of her doing crafts with me growing up.  Crafts were....hmmmm.....strange....and why would you make something that ends up looking made when you could find something fabulous at Nieman Marcus?  Got to love her!  But, crafts and playing outside are the essence of Lolo.  
     In the afternoon, Kiley and Lo were able to babysit themselves while I headed to the DMV with Jonathan.  That is an experience in itself.  He thought this was another planet and had his eyes wide open looking around as people were packed in like sardines in very bad moods.  I thought maybe he should spend once a week for an hour in the DMV.  It actually made me laugh.  He almost had an anxiety attack and wanted to leave every 5 minutes.  I explained that getting your driver's permit is a quest and there is no way we were going to abandon this mission.  This kid needs to practice as much as possible.  But, we ended up being the last humans standing in that DMV and they wouldn't even let him take the test he was so nervous about taking.  So, I actually have to take him back today to take his dang test.  We have an appointment.  But, he is getting that driver's permit! 
     Lo is out back swinging by herself in the backyard and roaming around peeking at the flowers trying to pop up through the earth.  She has this week off and is happy as a clam.  We usually travel on Easter break, but we are broke, so no trips.  I thought the kids would be sad, but I think Lauren is having the best week ever.  She was an alter server at mass this morning and was so nervous about it.  She looked scared up there, but our pastor, Father Baxter, was so kind to her.  I made her take a picture with him afterwards.  She thought I was a nut, but it was pretty adorable.  
     Tomorrow is Lolo's neurology and oncology appointment at Children's.  I am writing ahead of time because I know the news will be good.  I don't want to assume anything, but watching her play outside right now, she looks so healthy and well.....and happy.  What a difference a year makes.  God is good....all the time!  Allelujah!  It is easy to choose life this week.  We have big, fun, crazy fun plans!  We are going to hit golfballs, do crafts, bake coconut bread, hopefully see our little friend, Ollie, and maybe head to Westpoint to babysit Lo's former babysitter, Brianna's little girl, Rayna.  Brianna needs your prayers....she is on bedrest until August, so we thought it might be a good idea to head out and help her.  She helped me so much and after feeling my cousin angst this week, I realized....DUH!!!  The Broekemeiers are like our cousins.  We have more cousins.....we have just created them from love!  Lauren can't wait to play with baby Rayna!  In the meantime, please keep Lo (& Ollie & Cooper & Emma & Briana) in your prayers!  Please pray that she has many, many, many more carefree days like today. might want to stay off the roads:  Jonathan will be in the driver's seat on the way out to the dentist today!
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kristal Baker
By kristal Baker
Prayers for MANY happy carefree days!!!!!
Anne Fangman
By Anne Fangman
Audrey and Oliver would love to have your kids as cousins:) Praying for Lauren and your family every day.
Virginia Kelley
By Virginia Kelley
Thinking of you and wishing you the very best!!!
Alesia Hacker
By Alesia Hacker
Happy Day Hello from Plano, Illinois

PEACE and LOVE from Grandma Polly and Aunt Alesia