A note from my sister Trang:
I had my last chemo pump disconnection today at 3:30. One of the best days of my life ! It was definitely an overwhelming journey but I managed to complete it. Now, I am ready to start a new journey in my life and appreciating each and every day I have with my family and friends.
Back in August when we camped in the Redwood Forest....there was an incident that dampened the trip.
The kids played with the bow and arrow set that Adrian bought for them and left it by the redwood trees when they were done playing. When we came back from a hike, there was a note on the picnic table to stop by the Ranger Station to pick up the bow and arrow set. The note also listed 3 violation codes.
We expected a lecture on how a bow and arrow set is considered a "weapon" and that we should not leave it unattended.........oh hell no, the Ranger wrote Adrian a ticket (not a warning). A couple of days later, we received the citation in the mail....with a hefty fine of $489 for vandalism!!!!!! The bow and arrow set was only $20 and they played with it for a mere 30 minutes!!!
After consulting a neighbor who's an environmental lawyer and sister Thu who works at a big law firm in Houston....it was concluded that we didn't stand much of a chance, just pay the fine and consider it a big fat donation to the Redwood National Park. I was advised that I could write a letter to explain the situation, in hopes the court would reduce the fine.
I did just that....in the letter I wrote that we chose to visit the Redwoods to teach our kids the importance of preserving and respecting nature...the last thing we would do is to harm the very trees we drove almost 1000 miles to see....yada yada yada (more nature loving stuff)...and included a picture of the harmless weapon.
Then last week, we got a letter in the mail that the fine was reduced to $75! There was an additional $75 for court fees......but it worked! Writing the letter really worked!!!
Here's evidence of unintended vandalism:
Nic became good friends with Mikko (Finnish version of Michael) from his soccer team. They've been hanging out with each other during Thanksgiving break. Mikko just moved here from living in Italy for 2 years. He goes to a different school but lives only 2 blocks away. We'll be seeing alot of Mikko because I also really like his mother! She has a MIS degree like me but left all of that behind to be a professional photographer. She used to work with a lot of models in Italy.....wow. She's my new Mom crush!
Mikko and Nic buried a hummingbird that banged into our window. The monument next to the grave is a bank to collect money for the gravediggers. Times are tough, y'all.
The family fighting colon cancer with our AMAZING sister Trang.
Representing Houston on the Colon Cancer Coalition website - none other than my beautiful sister leading the pack!!
Last weekend in Houston:
The Colon Cancer Run was cancelled in SD at the last minute, but that didn't stop us from STOMPING on Colon Cancer!
Paula's team placed 4th:
Paula let a goal pass by her because she was chatting with a boy on the sidelines....
Team Tornadoes: (front to back)
Row 1: Lily, Hailey, Paula, Sarah, Kristina, Anissa
Row 2: Isabel, Zoe
Row 3: Lena, Lyla, Eva, Emma
Nic's team placed 2nd -- this is the farthest he's gotten with any team.
Team Barcelona: (left to right)
Shepherd, Luka, Chava, Niculai, Mikko, Dominic, Noah, Brandon, Rhythm, Jameson
Sure, I like the extra hour of sleep, but I don't like it dark at 5pm.
Spending a lazy Sunday with the Chamberlains after a horrible football game. Luke demonstrating no shame in wearing a Charger's shirt.
With a slight chill in the air and the sky getting darker earlier, it was a good night for the Lantern Festival at Nic and Luke's school. It was also a celebration of St. Martin. Apparently this is a popular celebration in Germany, so our kids got a taste of European culture tonight.
Excerpt from Wikipedia:
November 11 is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying from the cold. St. Martin was known as friend of the children and patron of the poor. This holiday originated in France, then spread to Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. It celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of harvesting.
Laternelaufen (‘Walking with Lanterns’) is a German tradition for the time around St. Martin's Day. On 11 November children walk along the streets holding colourful, often self-made lanterns (Laternenumzug, ‘Lantern Pageant’).