Sunday, February 25, 2007

To Plainfield and Back

It was a busy week and weekend for the Leathermans. On Wednesday, Stephen and I packed up to go to my parents' house in the Chicago area. Once there, we relaxed for a few hours and then headed up to the city to meet Steve Hendershot and then I recorded on his band's new worship CD.

It was nice to be able to spend some time with Heather, Marc-Andre, and Emily while we were in town. Here Stephen is excited to be held by his new uncle ... He and Heather are now back in Germany.

My dad is doing so well following his surgery that was only 3 weeks ago. He tires somewhat easily, but he was cooking, cleaning, playing with Stephen, driving ... just not working at CAT!

I enjoyed seeing Jena Morrow as well as Emily (Haluska) Welch, and congratulating Emily on her baby due to be born in September! (Speaking of babies, we were excited to hear that the Hagenberg twins, Luke and Joshua, were born on Tuesday the 20th.)

On Friday we "rescued" Ryan from the train station. He had been at an all-day saxophone conference in the city with some guys from school. Then Saturday he recorded on Steve's CD and got his soprano sax fixed at a repair person in Evanston.

The weather warnings were true!! The roads were very slick near Kankakee and we were going 30 at times. Needless to say we showed up at Andy Forbes's 30th birthday party 15 minutes after it was OVER!

Today we celebrated Mark and Sue Dewing's new baby with some friends in Urbana.

... now if I can only get over the cold I've been fighting for 2 weeks!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Digging Out

The University closed yesterday and today - apparently it's the first time that has happened since 1979! Ryan got to the bus stop and the bus driver was the one to tell him that classes had been cancelled. Just this morning he got outside to shovel the driveway. The drifting had made it pretty impossible to even get to the garage! See here our house. It's the left side of this white duplex.

I bundled Stephen up in his snow suit and took him out for a few minutes while Ryan and the neighbors were shoveling. He seemed to like being outside, and the biggest trouble was the blinding effect of the snow!

We have enjoyed seeing our friends who live around the corner since seeing them doesn't require travel in a vehicle. And this morning Ryan, Bethany, and Eric shoveled our next-door neighbor's driveway.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Aunt Colony Has Disbanded

We had both Heidi and Heather in town this week (which allowed me to be gone two nights in a row for symphony rehearsals). Then today they took off for Princeton, and word is that they just got in.

Sherry was also here yesterday and we really enjoyed showing her around the place and having a nice dinner at Za's.

The CU Symphony performance went well. I really like playing Russian music, and there are points in both Petrushka and the Rachmaninoff that can really take your breath away. And speaking of taking your breath away, I really needed to cough for about the 2nd half of the Rachmaninoff and I know my face was as red as my winter coat! I was so glad when the piece was over and I could cough during the applause.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Heidi in the house

We are glad we were able to be with my family after my dad's surgery last Thursday. He is recovering very well. Although he doesn't really feel good all the time, it's pretty remarkable how he is healing. Thanks to many friends and family for their prayers for him!

We also got to see Margaret, Ryan's cousin who goes to the University of Chicago. She hadn't met Stephen yet. The four of us met up at a local pizza joint and enjoyed a concoction called Garbage. Seriously.

Then on Saturday we headed to Indiana to be with Ryan's grandparents. Dave and Susan also joined us, which enabled us to take the long-awaited 4-generation Leatherman picture. That's what you see here. It would have been nice to stay longer, but we had to get back to Champaign for Ryan to rehearse Sunday afternoon and to get to a superbowl party that night.

Heidi is staying with us for the week to get some work done in town. (She does most of her doctoral work from her apartment in New Jersey, though she's still a U of I student.) She and Ryan are keeping pretty much the same schedule - leaving in the morning, coming home for dinner, then going back to campus to work some more. Ryan is also beginning a job this week, so he's gone extra hours for that. Beginning tomorrow, I'll be playing 3 nights in a row for the CU Symphony. Tomorrow's sitter is Heidi and Thursday's is Heather. Ryan will be home on Friday night.

Stephen is changing every day, it seems! I'm noticing little abilities all the time that even a week ago he couldn't really do. His newest pastime is turning pages in his cloth books. He mostly wants to put them in his mouth, but sometimes he "reads" them. Tonight he actually drank a little bit of apple juice from a glass! He loves the look of glassware and that was enough to intrigue him to try it. We still aren't having luck with having him like solid food, but I figure that is alright for the time being. We'll just keep trying.

I finished the David Kuo book, Tempting Faith. Fascinating material! I'm still not sure entirely what I think about his conclusion - that Christians should take a break from politics - but the stories he tells are riveting. Once he was convicted that, as a speech writer for many Republicans, he shouldn't be making fun of the Clintons, and he felt that he really needed to actually apologize to them. He found himself face-to-face with Hillary at one point and got up the strength to do it. Though she didn't react much at the time, she apparently mentionned how much it moved her in a national speech the next day! There are accounts of things other powerful leaders in Washington have done and said that you would never hear about on the evening news.

Heather is on her way tomorrow and we look forward to seeing her again!