MARK LUEBKER: That's me, staring into the computer, as usual.
KATHLEEN FAIRFAX: The new Director of Study Abroad at MSU and this year's
winner of the Sycamore Girl Scouts' Mary Patterson Award.
EMMY: That's Emmy in her catchers' gear during the tournament last
year. We have to find a newer pic of her--one that shows her new glasses--but
for now, this is one of my faves.
ROSIE: This is her fourth grade class picture, from Mrs. Miller's self-contained
classroom. To make it really represent her, she probably should be
wearing a Sailor Moon costume!
SARAH: Here's the little spud, in her Pooh-Bear PJs, coming down the
You can check out some of my other pages by clicking the following links:
25, 2001 UPDATE: Seems like it's time
we actually got around to putting up a new version of our family page. So
much is going on and so much has changed (and will be changing more, soon)
that I guess it's time.
NEW DESIGN! I've been thinking about how to make our page more interesting for a while now, and this is what I finally came up with. When I get things working as planned, you'll be able to click on the photos and icons at the left to go to various other pages, ranging from my own hobby-related pages, to the girls' own home pages. (Including Rosie's Sailor Moon pages, which she's been working hard on!)
WE'RE MOVING! That's probably the biggest news right now. On July 23rd, Kathleen started work as the new director of Study Abroad at Michigan State University, up in East Lansing, Michigan. She was in essentially the same position here at Purdue, but when MSU--which has the #1 study abroad program in the country, and are looking to make it even better--offered her the job (after a nationwide search), it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
East Lansing isn't a lot different than West Lafayette in terms of weather--the average temperatures are maybe a degree cooler than here--but they do get about twice as much snow. I grew up with snow, so I guess that will be tolerable, but I did tell Kathleen she'd have to buy me a snowblower!
Anyway, we seem to have sold the house here without ever listing it with a realtor--one of Kathleen's colleagues at Purdue wanted to move closer in to the university and liked it enough to make us an offer, even BEFORE we finished all the remodeling jobs we have underway--so that's one less thing to worry about.
The girls and I are still here in Indiana for a couple more weeks, to finish up the aforementioned projects while we wait for the house we'll be renting up in East Lansing to be ready. The movers will be here (and Kathleen will be back) on August 2nd and 3rd, then we're off to Michigan to take possession of the house.
A day later, we drive Rosie and Emmy off to Girl Scout camp up in Michigan. They decided they'd like to get a jump on meeting some new friends up there, so instead of going here (as they have for years), my brave daughters are going to try out a totally new camp.
And speaking of Girl Scouts...
KATHLEEN AND THE GIRL SCOUTS: Back in April, the local Sycamore Girl Scout Council awarded Kathleen its annual Mary Patterson Award, given in memory of a local scout troop leader who was so dedicated to her troop that she actually died of polio while on a camping trip with them. ("Mary's Ring" at the Sycamore Girl Scout Camp is also named in honor of Mary Patterson.) I've seen how hard Kathleen works on Girl Scout stuff, and the amount of time, effort and caring she puts into the activities for her troop, so I was thrilled to see her honored that way.
The the first weekend of May, her troop had their spring camp-out at Sycamore--in the platform tents this time, as opposed to staying in the Troop Cabin as they did last fall. Here's her recap:
"We had fabulous weather, no injuries, and a good time, so all in all it was a success. The girls did really well with the tent sleeping, and we leaders actually got more sleep having the girls spread out in tents, than all sleeping together in a cabin, like a big (noisy) slumber party.Kathleen is sad about having to give up the troop here, but she has some great assistant leaders who have stepped up and volunteered to take it over next year. (Take a bow, Vicki and Stephanie!) And of course Kathleen has already gotten in touch with the Girl Scout council up in Lansing to see if she can find a troop up there that can use someone like her.
ROSIE IS A WINNER: Also in April, Rosie was a winner in a poetry contest sponsored by the Tri Kappa Service Sorority. Each school in the area was asked to have their students write a poem on the theme, "Be True to Your School," and Rosie's poem was one of three selected from her school. Congratulations, Rosie! (When I get a chance, I'll put a link over on the left someplace to go see a copy of her winning effort, and the ribbon that she was awarded.)
SOFTBALL 2001: As usual, Rosie and Emmy played softball this summer. This year they were both in the same league again, and as is also normally the case, their daddy was coaching them. Kathleen was our team's official scorekeeper and Sarah worked the sidelines, schmoozing all the parents--of both teams!
Both Emmy and Rosie strapped on the catchers' gear again--something that was a little tougher for them with the beginning of live arm pitching in Cadette League. Rosie also played some third base, with Emmy playing some second, and both in the outfield.
Emmy seems to be a natural hitter--she didn't strike out once last year--and Rosie has developed a little power and at the same time become a "bunting queen." While not the fastest runner out there, she can drop a bunt right into that "Whose ball is it?" zone between the pitcher and catcher, and it usually got her on base.
Rosie also made the Cadette League all-star team. One of the big highlights of the season came at the end of the final game of the all-star tournament, just last week. Here's how I saw it:
"The sweetest play of all was the last one: With the otherWe wrapped up the season with a pizza party where everyone got a participation trophy and Silly String filled the air.
I rarely talk about my dad--he died back in 1989, before any of the girls were born--so I wasn't sure what she meant. I asked her to tell me more about him--what he looked like, what he liked to do.
She started describing him--black hair, but a gray beard, likes to go fishing, etc. Well, that's kind of a description of me (except for the fishing part), but the dark hair and gray beard is also what my dad looked like in one of my favorite pictures of him. (That's it above.)
So I came down here and printed out a copy of it (we don't actually have it displayed anywhere) and she told me in a very matter-of-fact way, "Yeah, that's my grandpa."
I know there are all kinds of reasonable explanations for why that turned out to be the case, not the least of which is how suggestible a child of that age is. But I like to think that somewhere--maybe in her dreams--she and he have met and become friends.
Anyway I got her a frame for the picture and put it on her headboard, by her bed. And she still talks about her grandpa and all of their adventures, all the time.
Over spring break, the girls went on day-trips with their friends.
Below are Rosie and her friend Sami, up in Chicago (high atop the Hancock
Tower) and Emmy and her friend Emily at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis.
We didn't realize it then, but the Spring Break events were the beginning of a frantic round of farewell parties, sleep-overs and other get togethers for the girls. Emmy had an early birthday party a few weeks back, Rosie is going to two parties this Friday, and we're still trying to figure out whether there's time to squeeze in an early birthday celebration for Sarah and her preschool buddies at the local McDonald's.