^^^ These barely relate to the post, but I like them.

For the past month and a half plus (so basically for the past two months), Chris has been inundated daily with the latest and greatest news about my newest friend Anne. I've even looked forward to it being my turn to do bedtime for the kids because I would get to spend more time reading. I don't know how I didn't read these books when I was growing up, but I can tell you that I truly believe if I had read them during my formative years rather than the trash I had in my reading stack, I would cringe less when I think about middle school and high school. What if I had had a literary role model like Anne Shirley rather than Scarlett O'Hara (although I don't think Gone With the Wind qualifies as trash), the Sweet Valley High twins, the subsequent Babysitters Club books, some characters in actually trashy books I won't name and some characters from unfavorable Judy Blume books? Anyway, to say that I adore her and L. M. Montgomery is an understatement. 

And I only started reading it because I randomly saw a free Kindle copy on Amazon. I'm so thankful to whatever algorithm caused that happenstance. 

The past few days I've been lamenting to Chris that I was on the last book, Rilla of Ingleside. I was crying not only because of the events in the book, but also because each page I read brought me closer to the end of the series.  Chris asked if it was like I was kind of losing a friend to which I replied with an emphatic, "YES." 

I finished the book yesterday with a sob, and today I thought about starting to read the Chronicles of Avonlea that was included in the Kindle bundle I had downloaded. Whenever one of the books in the bundle ended, all I had to do was swipe to the left on my iPad and lo and behold, there was the next book. The table of contents had reported that Anne Shirley was mentioned in the short stories Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea, but I just didn't know if my wailing heart could be placated by stories of her hometown when I was missing her as the main character. Until then, I had avoided any Internet search while reading the series because I wanted to be as surprised as possible considering I already knew who she married just because of pop culture. But now I was finished with the series and the known story was safe from being spoiled so I googled, "Is Chronicles of Avonlea worth reading?" thinking I would dive down a rabbit hole of Green Gables message boards. Instead, however, I went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and had to blink a few times when I noticed that there were actually EIGHT books in the series rather than six. Had I been deceived by the convenience of the swipe of an e-bundle??

I had. A fact that I'm both pleased about and peeved about. I'm pleased because I thought I had said goodbye to a dear character when really two books remain. What a pleasant surprise! I'm peeved in the same way that I'm peeved Ryan and Elise were born in South Bend, IN but Conor was born in Mishawaka, IN. The lack of order kills me! 

Anyway, the library has the books on hold for me, and Chris already knows to buy me one of these pretty Anne books a year so Elise Anne and I can be all set when the time is right. 

Okay off to do some work. And I'll have to remember to blog soon about Confession last night! 



Band groupies

^^^Our feelings post this season's opener. But! You can't stop our fanaticism! ;)

(And he insists that this is the way your ears should be when wearing a helmet ...) 

Every Monday we get to join Chris' program for dinner before they have class. Not having to cook dinner is the best way to start a week. Way back when Chris started the MDiv, Ryan, Conor and I began a tradition. After Conor and Ryan have displayed their lack of decorum for a sufficiently humbling amount of time, the kids and I depart to explore campus during the golden hours. Some days we just stay on God Quad climbing trees, some days we go to the park, some days we feed the ducks, all days it is like herding cats and, in the fall, during the greatest sport season of all, we often follow the sound of the marching band until we find their practice.  

Last Monday, we biked to dinner, then the boys biked to the student center ahead of us girls while Elise got her steps in. I made good on my promise to visit the candy wall, and then we were off to find the park via the band. Groupies, we are!

We followed the echoes until the sound treasure was found and the boys slung their helmets to the ground and ran to the gate of the stadium just in time to watch the last of the sousaphones descend down the tunnel. Last year, Elise was less than a month old and tucked away (sleeping or crying) in the ring sling while we would make the hurried hunt toward the band. This year, she reacted a little differently:

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I guess the sound of the fight song played live puts the boys in an emotional state incapable of anything other than barking, but never fear, they do know the words: 

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Not to be outshone by their little sister, the boys demonstrated what can happen when you live your life with a Notre Dame football soundtrack. 

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I'm in complete denial that this might be our last year here.