Happy Sunny Sunday. I spent today in the first part of a training called Crisis Intervention System Management (CISM) and will spend all of tomorrow there as well. It is sponsored by the Red Cross and the contents are supposed to make me a better communicator when there is a crisis and enable me to help individuals in a crisis. Unfortunately, I was soooooo sleepy today that I am afraid I didn't pay much attention. I tried, I really did but I was having a hard time staying awake until I took out PK's Spey Valley sock and proceeded to work on it. I highlighted important passages in my book and listened and yawned. A lot. Hopefully, I'll get more sleep tonight and tomorrow I'll be more awake.

Emily Jane will be 22 on April 2nd. My 9 lb 9 oz, 21 inch baby with the 14 3/4 inch head has grown into a lovely, intelligent young woman with a good sense of humor. She invited us and Jim's parents for dinner last night to celebrate her birthday. She told us she wanted money towards the purchase of a new laptop instead of a gift. We agreed to this but wanted to make it special. So we did, in our own special way. PK bought a large stuffed penguin (ask Em to tell you about the Penguin Wars). I went to the bank and asked for a large number of one dollar bills. Kate disembowled the penguin and stuffed it with some beautiful roving that she bought for Em and the one dollar bills that PK crumpled up. See the dollars and roving inside the penguin? Kate did a good job. She stuffed the bird full of dollars and put some of the original stuffing back to hide the fact that the dollar bills were there. While they were doing that, I was putting together the ingredients for the chocolate torte we were taking for desert. This is a favorite of Em's and I had offered to make it for her. After an hour in the oven, I thought it was strange that I couldn't smell any chocolaty goodness. When I checked, the torte was still liquid and the oven was not even vaguely warm. After much consultation with PK, I learned that the igniter in the oven was not working. Unable to obtain a new one on Saturday afternoon, we stopped at the bakery and bought a cake on our way.

We travelled over the Benjamin Franklin bridge and past the Philadelphia Art Museum. That beautiful blue river is the Schuykyll (pronounced skoo-kill)River. It doesn't look that blue in real life. I tried to get some photos of the guys rowing on the river but we were moving too fast. There are a lot of bridges that look like this along the way. They're beautiful and old looking. It takes about an hour to get to Em's house if there is no traffic. We lucked out yesterday and made it there easily.

Em was glad to see us since we came bearing chocolate cake and a large green present. She was less thrilled when she opened the box and found a large stuffed penguin. She reluctantly posed for a photo with her new friend. And then she realized that the penguin felt a little stiff and not quite soft. She quickly opened the seam that Kate had sewn and was quite happy to see what was inside . Of course, she had to pull out all the ones and flatten them out. It took a while.

We "celebrated" Earthhour by turning off all our lights before we left the house and Em turned all the lights in her house at 8 o'clock. We had candles aplenty and it made for such a nice atmosphere that when 9 o'clock came, we didn't turn them back on. And we noticed that some of Em's neighbors had turned off their lights as well. We had cake candles in the dark. Can you tell that the candles have different color lights?

As for my health. I have an appointment with a surgeon on April 16th to discuss the gall bladder issue. That was his earliest appointment. I'm just hoping the gall bladder decides to behave itself until then. I'll have my cell phone sitting in front of me during the training so that when my gyn calls me I can leap up and take the call. I did some research on cysts and the information is all over the place. Some is reassuring, some less so. I am not borrowing trouble but will wait until I hear from the doctor.

It's hard to believe the weekend is over. It went by so fast. Friday night we saw Horton hears a Who and laughed out loud. It was a perfect Friday night movie. And tonight, PK is taking Kate out for driving lessons. I am sitting here with my feet up and being perfectly lazy. It feels good. I hope you all had a pleasant weekend.


gemma said…
Hi Donna Lee,
Money always feels kind of like an easy option for a present, but the way you put it together is utterly brilliant. Thanks for sharing, now I can use that with my grown up kids too.

cheers, gemma
Sheepish Annie said…
This weekend certainly did seem to fly by...dunno quite where it went. And I didn't do anything nearly as fun as you did. Love that penguin!
amy said…
I love the picture of Em with the penguin, before she realized what you'd done. Happy Birthday to Em!

Good luck hearing from the gyn soon. It's so hard when you don't have all the information.
Galad said…
Happy Birthday to Em! My baby will be 22 on April 4th but I'm not being nearly as creative as you were. Great idea.
Bells said…
What a fabulous way to give Em her gift! Such creativity!

Em looks different in every photo you post!

Don't you hate the way specialists make you wait so long? It's really quite astounding. Fingers crossed it's all ok.
Rose Red said…
I've now read about Penguin Wars - love it! I especially love the dollar bills - if we did this here it'd be one heavy penguin, as we only have dollar coins!!

Hope you hear some good news soon. (and I'm keen to know - did you eat the cake mix anyway...ie without cooking it...it'd be just like licking the bowl, just more!)
Roxie said…
Hmm, chocolate torte soup. Yummmmmm!

Sounds like a splendid party. What a creative, delightful present! Em is a lucky, lucky girl to have you for a parent!

And where did you get those nifty birthday candles?
Dianne said…
Happy Birthday to Emily, and I hope you hear good news very soon. (Love the idea of re-stuffing the penguin with money!)
Happy Birthday to Em! I love how you 'wrapped' her present. Weekends go by so fast, even if you're doing nothing, as I did!
Bezzie said…
Aw what a cute little penguin and clever way to disguise cash. Dare I say that penguin was about 9lbs 9 ozs itself? ;-)
Amy Lane said…
Awww... that's an AWESOME IDEA. I love that!!! Especially the picture where she's not thrilled...that's too cute:-)

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