Friday, July 28, 2006


First, hope you're all well. Second...

... I passed my drivers' test!! And look - here's my license!

Well wahoo, anyway! It wasn't (like most things) as big a deal as I had thought, but I think I did fairly well anyhow. I took my test in Roanoke (which for those of you who know Roanoke will probably raise a smile) but it's not like I'm planning on tackling the Chicago Loop anytime soon. Though I am planning to compete in the 2007 Indy 500. And place high, believe me.

In celebration I drove us back through a McDonalds, then through Peoria. For those of you who know Peoria at the moment, ain't it a bummer? Most of the improvements are looking awesome, but in parts it looks like the results of a giant baby playing in a sandbox. Btw - the 'B' restriction on the license refers to my eye sight, i.e. legally I have to wear glasses when driving, which shouldn't be a problem as I don't drive much in the shower or while asleep in bed.


Here's Amy's license too! She wanted hers on here too - she's had hers for ages though, which is why she can eat fries and drive at the same time without dropping any.

If anyone can tell us why mine is type "ORG", and Amy's is type "COR", we'd really appreciate it. We've looked it up everywhere and it's been bugging us silly. The best we can think of is that with mine being a first issue the 'ORG' might mean 'Original', and because Amy changed her address and got a new card recently her 'COR' may mean 'Corrected'. Hmm.

We've been working really hard on the website for Brian, and it's coming along really nicely. It should be done in a couple of days now. It's been a really nice way of organizing not just the pictures and items related to him, but also our feelings regarding his birth. I can't wait to be able to share it with you all. We called into the cemetery also on the way home and his grave looked beautiful as ever. I showed him my new license - for once in my life I actually wished my picture had gotten a giggle.

We also visited with a really lovely lady called Irma Robbins yesterday, who works for OSF St. Francis in support of mothers whose babies die in childbirth or shortly afterwards. She gave us pictures of Brian taken in the hospital, which are more precious than we can say. She also gave us a bear, unfinished so we could add the last of the stuffing, together with a little heart token which we could put inside him. We called him Ringo and have dressed him in the same clothes we buried Brian in. He's really a handsome bear - we're going to put him on our website too.

Anyway, gots to go.

Takes care,

Jim - and Amy x x

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hooray! Hurrah! Wahoo! And all the other 'whoops'.

Here is a picture of my EAD card, which means that I am now legally able to get up at unearthly hours and do stuff in return for money. Go to work, I mean.

Cool, isn't it? Though why do I ALWAYS look like a criminal in passport photographs???

Plus, in a complete shock development Amy and I received an interview request from the USCIS today pertaining to my Adjustment of Status application. It's at 10:30am on September 7th (my sister's birthday!) in Chicago. Darn. Looks like we'll have to stay in another nice hotel for the night. Probably one with a hot tub, knowing our luck. Just hope they don't have a pool.

If the interview goes as it should, I will get a Permanent Resident card (the infamous 'green card') which means I can, for the first time, live and work without restrictions. Exciting stuff!

Lastly, thank you so much to everyone for your support after Brian's death. It has meant so much to us. We are currently beavering away on a website devoted to Brian which should be ready soon. We'll post the address on here as soon as it's done. We're missing him very, very much, but we have a lot of hope for the future, not a small part of which was given to us by Brian himself.

Love to you all,

Jim and Amy

P.S. - I am planning to take my driver's test on Friday morning. Say a prayer for me. Stay indoors.

P.P.S. - I have already applied for three jobs. One at Staples, one at Wal-Mart (night-work only), and one at Menards. I do have one problem with working at Menards though. Every time I hear the name I think of someone doubled over having just been punched in the family jewels saying "Ooh, me nards." I decided not to put that on the application form.

I John 4:7-8

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"1000 Oceans"
~Tori Amos~

These tears I've cried
I've cried 1000 oceans
And if it seems
I'm floating in the darkness
Well, I can't believe that I would keep
Keep you from flying
And I would cry 1000 more
If that's what it takes
To sail you home
Sail you home
Sail you home
It's the middle of the night, and I miss my son.

Monday, July 24, 2006

We went out and got Chinese food tonight from the Fast Dragon in Pekin. We opened our fortune cookies afterwards, eager to benefit from their wisdom and foresight. When Amy opened hers it said this:

"Simplicity and clarity should be your theme in dress."

I think we can all learn something from that.

From (left-to-right) Bloomington Pantagraph; Pekin Daily Times; Peoria Journal Star

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Funny Story Time.

Tonight Jim and I were driving by the post office at like 9:30. This guy came running out of that alleyway next to the p.o. He was wearing no shirt and had sweatpants on. Jim acted all concerned and was like shaking his head, so I was like . . ."What?" He goes, "Nothing." So I said, "Just tell me, what??" And he goes, "Did you see that guy come running out of the Dojo?" For the next 10 minutes he goes on to argue with me that there was a Dojo in Tremont, or still is a Dojo in Tremont. We drove by so he could see there wasn't a Dojo, but he still kept insisting there was once a Dojo (above or next to the Post Office). I laughed so hard I seriously almost peed my pants. I totally kept picturing the guy with sweats going to work out at the Tremont Dojo, and then running out all worked up and upset. HAHAHAHAHA

Kreese: Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it?
Karate Student: No, Sensei.
Kreese: Pain does not exist in this dojo, does it?
Karate Student: No, Sensei.
Kreese: Defeat does not exist in this dojo, does it?
Karate Student: No, Sensei.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Well, I'm over the England thing. Portugal getting the French kiss-off in the semis helped, but I think it was the therapy that cheered me up most.


So yesterday was July 4th, a.k.a. Independence Day (it's not just a Will Smith movie, geniuses) and the day of the year when Americans let off fireworks and celebrate their independence from England. Given this fact, I thought maybe I should stay safely indoors, but Amy assured me it wasn't like that and so I celebrated my independence too. We had a really awesome day! At 8PM we went (back) to Hopedale (which was a little odd at first) to watch a really cool fireworks display. We took along a shopping bag full of cheese popcorn and ate lots while the spectacle unfolded. Seriously, you have to love a country where you can eat popcorn from a carrier bag, and where the sandwiches are measured in feet (and occasionally taste like them - ho, ho) We took Maddie and she was exceptionally well behaved and genuinely watched about half the display and HONESTLY sung the Star-Spangled Banner. Only one of those facts is true. Then we came home at about 11PM, and it was so warm we put on suits and went nightswimming (see below) and floated about with the moon on the water.

We took some pictures, but we have to get them developed (we've lost our digital camera - erk.) We'll get them put on a CD so I can blog a few of them.


I've spent the day painting what will soon be our baby's nursery, and I have paint in my nostrils. But it's going really well, and I think it's going to look great when it's finished. There are pictures of that coming soon, too, but for now here's a very primitively described preview of our color-scheme:

Ooooooh, nice!

Painting the ceiling is going to be REALLY fun. :) If I don't manage to swallow at least a cupful of blue paint, I will eat my hat. Which would be ironic, and counterproductive.

Anyway, the hat thing made my tummy rumble which woke me up to the fact that dinner time is here again. Hate to leave you, but as we speak Amy is drawing me inexorably from the computer with dulcet song and the suggestion of eggs, and the Ore-Ida brand Hash Brown Patties are cooing seductively from the freezer so, frankly, what can I do? Hope you are all great, and speak to you again soon in one way or t'other.

Jim and Amy and Stupenderosa

P.S. - Apart from working too hard, Amy is doing great - she's feeling lots of kicks, and has got a nice big bump coming along, too!

P.P.S. - We're not really going to call the baby Stupenderosa. That would be Stupiderooney.

P.P.P.S. - 'Nightswimming' by REM - this song has always been a bit of a talisman for Amy and I.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.
Still, its so much clearer.
I forgot my shirt at the waters edge.
The moon is low tonight.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
Im not sure all these people understand.
Its not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
Of recklessness and water.
They cannot see me naked.
These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
Septembers coming soon.
Im pining for the moon.
And what if there were two, side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

ENGLAND 0 - 0 PORTUGAL (1-3 on pens)