Thursday, June 28, 2007


When Christopher was 4 or 5 we saw a bunch of horses on a ranch. He excitedly uprighted himself in the car to take in the view. He loved horses eventhough he wasn't terribly familiar with them.

Among the horses there was a black and white spotted one. Christopher yelled, "Woe look! There's a 101 Dalmation horse."

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Deborah knows a new word: Data. "Mom I know another word for information. Data," she told me a few days ago.

She'll be eight next week and on Saturday I'm taking her and Kalyna swimming and then Kalyna will sleep over. When Deborah wrote out the invitation, she included the word "data."

It went something like this: "Dear Kalyna, I am inviting you to go swimming with me on Saturday. We are going swimming and then out to eat and then you'll sleepover, and then we'll watch a movie, and then we'll go to church in the morning. Important data -- Saturday June 30 1:00 - 3:30 swimming."

I thought it was cute that she incorporated her new word, data, into her invitation.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Naps and other evils

When I was a little girl there was a song on the radio that went something like this:

"Sittin' in my chair drinkin' beer in my underwear
Telephone rings, knock upon the door.
Ran through the house
Finally got my sneakers on.
Ran to the door
Everybody there was gone.
Didn't have time to answer the telephone
Just let the damn thing ring."

Until this morning, I don't think I've thought of that song since childhood. But this morning I phoned my sister and asked what she was doing and she said, "Just sittin' in my chair drinkin' beer in my underwear."

Well I was delighted to be reminded of that piece of my childhood. Stacie and I used to sing that song all the time. But when we'd get to the last line, we sang "just let the blank thing ring," because we didn't swear.

In our conversation this morning, we sang the song a couple of times and I got so tickled thinking of how human we humans are. So imagine, your sittin' in you chair drinkin' beer in your underwear when someone knocks on your door. You panic and run around trying to fix the situation. Your fix is putting on a pair of shoes. Now you're ready to face the guest as now you have on sneakers and underwear. Well I got tremendous visions as I imagined this scene this morning.

In my family of origin, for some unhealthy reason, sleep was frowned upon. One could sleep and should sleep between 10:30 and 6:30am, but sleeping any other time was simply wrong and immoral. I sleepily carried this feeling into adulthood, scared of sleeping during the day, afraid of being caught by daddy or anyone else for that matter. But I did sleep during the day, I just did it secretly.

One day I was napping when a UPS guy rang the doorbell. I ran to the door in my underwear and sneakers, just joking. But I did run to the door and gave 100% effort to look WIDE awake and fully coherent. I smiled and talked way too much to try to keep him from guessing he'd woke me up. He stared at me suspiciously. I knew he knew.

I signed for my package and when he walked away, I turned to a mirror to see how asleep I looked. Immediately I knew what he was staring at and how he knew I'd been asleep. My feather pillow had a hole in it. Consequently I was sportin' a clump of feathers in my hair and one feather hung precariously on my eyelashes. Yes, I'd felt it while I was talking gibberish to him, but my eyes always itch when I wake up, so I thought it was just itching because I just woke up. I didn't want to scratch in front of him lest he deduce I'd been sleeping.

As I laughed this morning at the lengths people will go to to look prepared for guests they're unprepared for, Stacie said her big thing is making sure she's got a bra on.

I said, "My big thing is making sure I don't have feathers in my eyes."

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Friday, June 22, 2007

flower dress

A few days ago a woman with some extra pounds came into the store. She was wearing a dress made of trendy huge flower fabric. I have some fabric very similar that I really like but assumed it would make me look huge. I've never used it. I was impressed that the dress was flattering on her. I made a mental note to make a dress out of my fabric.

Yesterday I got out my trendy huge flower fabric and searched for a simple summer dress pattern. I found something similar to the one the lady in the store was wearing and made myself a dress. I was looking so forward to wearing it to work last night.

The girls came home just as I was finishing it. They thought it was cute so I was pleased to model it for them. When I came out of the bathroom, Rachael and Hannah both creased their eyebrows in pain, almost like I was repulsive to look at.

I went to look at myself in a full length mirror. Oooooohhh, it was bad. I don't know how that overweight woman pulled it off, but I looked like Busch Gardens on legs. So much for me a dress with trendy big flowers. Maybe I'll make a tent out of it instead.


Deborah and the ravens

I've been known to use the Bible as a weapon with my kids. When they've been disrespectful, mean, or unkind I've quoted from Proverbs. I heard long ago that we shouldn't use the Bible as punishment so I think I've stopped just short of that. But I've used it some to really put the fear in them.

A few weeks ago Deborah said something snitty and disrespectful. I asked her what the Bible had to say about how she had spoken. She got a disturbed look on her face and quietly said, "that God will send the ravens to pluck my eyes out." (That's an obscure verse, Proverbs 30:17, that no one ever talks about. Well no one but me.)

Terrible mothering, eh?



I've been meaning to write this for a couple months. When I was in junior and senior high, I had an incredible friend. Her name was Shelly. On this very blog, months ago, I asked if anyone knew where Shelly was. She and I lost contact when I moved to Canada and proceeded to lose my mind. When my mind came back, Shelly had moved and I didn't know where. Her husband has a most common name and every time I'd look his name up, there were a bazillion choices. I gave up.

We were in a small school (that's a severe understatement) so choices for friends were limited. However God was looking out for me and I got a great friend. Shelly was as easy-going as anyone I'd ever known and she had a kick butt sense of humor. I loved her as much as a teenager is capable of loving. She was a year older than me so of course she graduated before me. I wondered how I'd survive without her. I cried and cried.

Several months ago I tried looking for Shelly again. I found a website called Moboni People Search. Now mind you I didn't pay any money, but from that sight I was able to determine where Shelly lives and therefore I was able to get her phone number. (On a side note, aren't you curious about what you get if you pay that money to find out stuff? I've been really tempted to pay it and find out what's out there on me. But I never have, only because Gordon won't let me use a credit card to find out stuff about me. However I have typed in many names to see what I can find out for free. I learned that my sister Stacie is married to Jimmy and the last 5 places they've lived. My mom is married to my step-dad and they live in Mena. I used to be married to Kent, now he's married to Julie. Mobini lost track of me when I left the US. They have me in North Dakota. I guess when you leave the US they put you in whatever state is closest to the country you went to. Anyway the sight is cool and I'm sure you'll have fun learning where your mom and dad live, and if they are truly married.)

I phoned Shelly's number and had a very brief delightful chat with her daughter - I didn't know if she had kids - and then I spoke very briefly with her husband. Shelly wasn't home but I confirmed that I had found my Shelly. We connected two days later. Life is an interesting thing. I told Shelly this and now I'm telling you; when you care about a person as much as I cared for Shelly, there seemed a void in my life not knowing where she was or how she was. I feel more complete and whole knowing Shelly has a good life, is healthy, has a great family, is happy. It felt great learning life has been good to her.

I've found Shelly. I'm happy.

Shelly has this amazing ability to make me laugh. Even 400 years after visiting with her last, I immediately felt comfortable with her as we talked, and again, her sense of humor had me laughing. We talked about school days and that teacher I've mentioned a few time on this blog. You remember now? Well we started talking about that teacher, let's call her Doris for simplicity sake. I rehashed my disdain for Doris quite adequately, I commenced rehashing it a few more times. About the forth time around Shelly squeezed back into the conversation by saying, "Leeeeeetttt it go." I had forgotten how easily she could make me laugh.

Here are a few of her quick witted moments from high school. She liked this guy named something like Bingo. I think they went out a time or two, but I don't remember for sure. Whatever the history was, she quite liked him. One day she and I were sitting at Sonic when Bingo pulled up with a girl. Soon he and the girl were kissing while we stared from a distance, Shelly broke the silence. Calmly she said, "I can tell he likes me by the way he kisses her." I blew coke through my nose.

Being from a small town, it didn't take much to make the local news. One day, weeks and weeks after she'd had any contact with Bingo, the local news (radio) said that Bingo was going to Arkadelphia that day for some event. That evening after Shelly heard the news she said, "I know why Bingo didn't call today. He's in Arkadelphia."

She had such a great way of summing something up succinctly, but with great humor. Once at Sonic, (Sonic was THE place back then), a good looking stud parked beside us. He was pulled up farther that us, so we were able to stare without being noticed. We did just that. Then he turned around and looked straight at Shelly. She said, "Oh gosh, he caught me drooling."

Once in her car we were dragging Main. Do I ever feel old using that expression. For clarity, "dragging Main" means we drove up and down Main Street. That seems so stupid and senseless now, but it's what teenagers did when they weren't parking and getting pregnant. Shelly and I didn't do either of those things at that point in our lives. We were good girls who felt really risque' dragging Main. Anyway, there was this car that we would meet every time and he didn't have his headlights on. Every single time he passed us, we talked about the loser dude who didn't have the sense to turn his headlights on. Yes, we were soooo cool.

There were some guys that we wanted to get a better look at. We pulled into WalMart parking lot hoping to get a better look at them as they passed. When we parked, I reminded her to turn her headlights off so they wouldn't notice us. She reached down and then pulled back and humbly confessed, "Oops, they're not on." The whole time we were talking about the loser boy who didn't have the sense to turn on his lights, our's weren't on.

One more story. We were at the car wash and this beautiful, tall, dark and handsome guy arrived on the scene with his dad. The son was very very good looking. The dad was really really not. The dad must have been a mechanic or something because he was oily, dirty, disheveled, but it was the teeth that really stood out - and I mean just that; his teeth stood out. Stood out. Do you get that?

We finished our vacuuming and then sat reflectively staring at the handsome guy. I broke the silence by saying, "Wow is he ever good looking?" After a short silence Shelly dryly responded, "Yeah and his son's not bad either." I about had a coronary laughing.

I didn't do Shelly's humor justice with my writing, but at least I have some of my favorites in writing for my own enjoyment. Shelly was an amazing friend. I missed her enormously when she moved away. Thankfully with the marvels of the world wide web, I can easily keep in contact with her. She's as amazing as ever. I'm so happy to be back in contact with her. Shelly, I love you and always will. You were my first real friend and I still count you as a best friend.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I must really type fast if I'm going to actually get this posted on Thursday.

Here are 13 things that sound wonderful to me.
1. a retreat by the ocean
2. a retreat in the mountains
3. a family holiday to Hawaii
4. having all the house projects completed
5. a nicely manicured backyard with no mosquitos
6. soaking in the sun in that nicely manicured backyard with no mosquitos, enjoying the singing of birds, the gurgling of the fountain, the scent of the lilacs. heavenly.
7. visiting Ireland with Stacie and Diane
8. holding my grandson Roman, inhaling his scent and listening to every grunt
9. a weekend in Jasper just with Gordon and his father's day cologne that drives me wild
10. a date with Gordon to the Cheesecake Cafe
11. a granite countertop. way too extravagant for me, but lovely still
12. a visit from a relative
13. lots of hanging out time with Stephanie and Christopher.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

To better understand men

Because I am a man...

When I lock my keys in the car, I will fiddle with a coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in. Calling AAA is not an option. I will win.

Because I'm a man, when the car isn't running very well, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at. If another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, "I used to be able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and everything, I wouldn't know where to start." We will then drink a couple of beers and break wind, as a form of holy communion.

Because I'm a man, when I catch a cold, I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You're a woman. You never get as sick as I do, so for you, this is no problem.

Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic items like cumin or tofu. For all I know, these are the same thing.

Because I'm a man, when one of our appliances stops working, I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.

Because I'm a man, I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it.

Because I'm a man, there is no need to ask me what I'm thinking about. The true answer is always either sex, cars, sex, sports, or sex. I have to make up something else when you ask, so just don't ask.

Because I'm a man, you don't have to ask me if I liked the movie. Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't. And if you are feeling amorous afterwards, then I will at least remember the name and recommend it to others.

Because I'm a man, I think what you're wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine too. Either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without it, looks fine. It does not make your ass look too big. It was the pasta and potatoes and margaritas that did that. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we just go now?

Because I'm a man, and this is, after all, the year 2007, I will share equally in the housework. You just do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes, and I'll do the rest.

This has been a public service message for women to better understand men.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's just a hair

Yesterday I had all the bottom cupboard doors drying on the picnic table in the backyard. It wasn't a real smart move as that is one of Lucy's favorite sunbathing spots. As luck would have it, soon enough I discovered Lucy soaking in the sunshine where?, but on top of the cupboard doors. It wasn't a total disaster, just a partial one. The paint wasn't wet enough to get on her, but her stout body did do some damage to the paint that hadn't totally dried. (I didn't get mad because I thought she actually looked kind of cute sitting there on my gleaming white doors. Man, I love that dog.)

While I was pulling little fawn colored Lucy hairs off the doors I remembered a cute episode that happened to us back in Cranbrook.

Gordon and I went out to eat with another couple. When our salads came we began to eat, but within minutes Scott started complaining about a hair in his. He and his wife didn't take it in stride - not that I like it when hair is in my food, but I don't usually have a cow right then and there.

Scott quickly called the waiter over and began to protest. He went a little over-board. When he finished, the waiter said, "I understand, but it's not like it's a long hair. It's just a little one."

Scott said, "Quite frankly it's because of its size that I'm so bothered."

We all knew precisely what he meant and I think at that point we all lost our appetites.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Stephanie and John Mark

That's my grandson Roman under the skin. Don't Stephanie and John Mark look cute? I thought it was a clever pose.

I can hardly wait to hold litte Roman.


Sunday, June 17, 2007


You won't be hearing much from me for a few days. I'm seriously depressed. My mom and aunt are visiting my sister in North Carolina. It's just wrong. It has been years since any of my family has visited me. Something lame like, "you live so darn far away."

Ok, so seriously I'm not depressed. But I do long for a familial visit. Oh how I do. Just to hear someone say, "this needs more salt," would be so nice. Anyway, I guess I'll forgive the wrong done to me, that is, no one visiting me like I'm some kind of disinherited child.

Now back to my first train of thought. You won't be hearing from me for a few more days. The kitchen is getting a makeover. My kitchen is dated. However it's a delightfully functional kitchen and I simply love the clean L-layout. It's totally practical and I am totally practical.

I can't wait to show you a picture of my freshly painted kitchen. I'm not getting new cupboards or anything, but I have been busily painting them. Just give me a few more days and I'll show the fruit of my labor.

And just in case it needs clarifying, Mama and Auntie, I hope you have a great time with Stacie. She is so spoiled. Do you realize if you'd left to come see me on Thursday you would be getting here tomorrow? Sucks to be you eh? :-)

Seriously though, I hope you are having a good time.


Doggie Pictures

For my visitors who love dogs, you'll like this site:

Unfortunately I couldn't make the link work, so copy and paste the address into your browser. You'll enjoy this. There are tons of funny dog photos. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Friday was my girls' allowance day. I was negligent and didn't get the money. The girls have daily been reminding me. Before Gordon went to work this morning he wrote "get allowances" on the message board.

Later I walked past it and saw an additional note had appeared. It was in Deborah's writing. In red she had written, "Due Date: TODAY" and drawn an arrow to Gordon's note.

I remembered to get allowance money.


Monday, June 11, 2007

You might be Dutch if...

Most of my readers will not be able to fully appreciate this. But for the few Dutchies who visit, this is for you. It's especially for my pure blooded Dutch husband.

You might be a Dutchman if...

You finish the food on your plate in a restaurant even though it is burnt or otherwise unfit for human consumption. (I have the easiest husband in the world to cook for. He'll eat anything. Whatever I make and no matter how badly I screw it up, he eats and doesn't complain. This was especially helpful in our early marriage.)

You reused plastic margarine containers long before anyone had heard of the environmental movement. (True story; last week after an ice cream social at church, Gordon plucked the empty pails out of the garbage to bring home. "I have all kinds of uses for these babies.")

You have a two volume address book, Volume I: A-U Volume II: V-Z (For those who don't get this, many many Dutch names start with van. Dykstra doesn't start with van, as you know, but it is the second most common name in the Netherlands. It means they "live beside the dyke.")

You have never skipped church to watch the Superbowl. (Dutch Reformed folks, most Dutch people are Dutch reformed, are really really committed to the Dutch Reformed church.)

Your main contribution to gender equality was the switch from King to Wilhelmina brand peppermints. (Queen Wilhelmina was a heroin and Dutch people take their mints really seriously too. I know a Dutch home school family and for a science research paper, the son researched brands of mints. Kind of weird, eh?)

Your range of restaurants is restricted by the contents of a "Buy one meal, get one free" coupon book that you purchased to support missionaries in Sierra Leone. (Again, this is a joke about the commitment to the Dutch reformed church and its missionaries.)

You wipe the last of the butter out of the container with your bun. (This doesn't need an explanation, but oh my, how true it is.)

Your closet is divided into work clothes and Sunday clothes. (Again, it's all about THE church.)

Your church attendance record is not disrupted by childbirth. (I think by now you're getting the drift.)

Your Sunday routine resembles: church, coffee, roast beef, jello salad, snooze, and church. (I have to admit, most of my Dutch connections are more into tea than coffee.)

You have a living room but never sit in it.(Gordon taught me there are two strands of Dutch. The formal and the very informal. I married into the latter, but I've met a few of those "never sit in the living room" types. They vacuum that room they never sit in a couple times a day, seems like it anyway.)

All your cookies taste like almonds. (True mostly, but I'd add anise seed to that too. Almonds or anise seed cookies, your choice.)

You have always been to church on New Year's Eve. (You remember the church thing don't you?)

You can sing "eere zij God" even though you can't speak Dutch. (I can sing a song in Dutch. Well that's too strong, my in-laws laugh at it, but it sounds to me like I'm saying it right. I can't get that throaty h sound. My Deborah does it amazingly well.)

You think that being progressive means discarding the church hymnbook in favor of Keith Green songs on the overhead. (In THE church, tradition is everything. You do not stray from it. I don't know if in real life the hymnbook is ever discarded in THE church.)

Seeing raised hands during worship causes you to look around for a stick up man. (I knew a man who tried to bring "revival" to the church. He suggested they stand more while they sing. He was ostracized as a radical.)

You are still trying to justify owning a dishwasher. (Holland was occupied during WWII and many people had nothing to eat. I go to church with a lady whose family survived on tulip bulbs. Thriftiness is inherent it seems, if you're Dutch.)

At your wedding everyone is swaying but no one is dancing. (Dancing is wrong.)

You have lace on your windows but not on your underwear. (It's true but I don't know the explanation. Rather I should say, the lace on windows is true. I don't know about anyone's undies but Gordon's and you know what, they don't have lace. Go figure.)

Your two permanent Saturday jobs are to wash the car and make sure you have enough single bills for the offerings. (Can't explain it, but I've seen it enough to believe it.)

All of your recipes are adapted to fit a 9 x 13 pan. (Functionality is supreme.)

You can't imagine a funeral reception without ham buns. (This is funny to me, because it's so true.)

The usher never needs to ask you where you want to sit. (Tradition is everything. But consider this, in the old world they actually own the pews they sit in. Yes, it's true. I suppose there are pews there for visitors to use, but the regulars have their own pews that they purchased and always sit in.)

You consider ketchup a spice. (I don't really get this one. Seems to me that my connections are more mayonnaise people. We had a delicious meal at my mother-in-law's a few nights ago. There was a jar of mayonnaise on the table. Gordon and his mom put it on their bread. From my perspective is was so out of place, but it's what they do.)

The above I got from my Dutch blog-friend Joan. But to add just a few of my personal observations:

Dutch people sniff whatever they take out of the refrigerator. We became good friends a few years ago with a Dutch couple. I was telling them how Gordon's family always sniff their food when they take it out of the fridge. The looked at me like I was weird and said, "You don't? Don't you want to make sure it's still okay?"

Dutch people put lots of stuff on their walls and in no particular order.

They leave their blinds open lots. When you go for a walk after sundown you can see in houses. Many times I smile at the houses with their blinds still open well after dark. How do I know they are Dutch? The cluttered walls and the Dutch shoes that are hanging.

They LOVE flowers. I love flowers. They LOVE flowers. The first year we were married, Gordon's cousins came to visit. We had a wonderful time. They were great guests. (They wouldn't eat corn. They said corn was bird feed. I've since learned that many Europeans consider it bird feed.) Once while we were out, I asked one of them to tell me the biggest difference between our countries. She didn't hesitate. "We have many more flowers." She went on to tell me how much she was missing seeing flowers.

I meant for this to be really short and sweet. I could elaborate more, but I'm falling asleep. As a disclaimer: I wrote this somewhat in jest. It is purely a light-hearted observation only meant to humor and shed a bit of light on my take of this sub-culture I married into.

Some of the most wonderful people I know are Dutch and I'm very serious when I say that. I love my Dutch connections.


Friday, June 08, 2007

A Good Friend

This is a little tale about someone I know who is a wonderful friend, a friend we would all be happy to have. Now just because she happens to be my child has no bearing on this tale whatsoever. Certainly mothers are biased, but I'm confident you'll agree that my little Deborah is a great friend.

Deborah has a new club. It's called the "Good Friends Club." Unfortunately the clubhouse is in my front yard - the unfortunate part being that it's in my front yard instead of my back yard. But I can live with it since she and her friends are having so much fun.

The club house is constructed of wood and cardboard. One neighbor boy has brought the masculine element to the club. He wrote "Keep Out" on it accompanied by a skull and cross-bones. The girls however put out the welcome mat, quite literally. There is a rug at the opening. They put down rugs (actually they're blankets) for the living room and there are 2 plastic chairs to sit in and visit. Yesterday I saw a comforter in the yard and asked what it was doing outside. They took a break from their sweeping the ground to tell me they were adding a bedroom to their clubhouse.

Every week at allowance time, Deborah takes her money to the dollar store to buy treats for the good friends club members. She takes it all very seriously. I take delight in seeing her playing so seriously and having much fun doing so.

This morning before school, the doorbell rang. Deborah got to the door first. It was one of her younger friends bringing a colored picture. Deborah didn't take it with the common simple "thank you." No, she said an exuberant thank you and told Nadia how much she loved it and how beautiful it was. I delighted in hearing her be so affirming of a younger child. I was blessed.

Deborah's best friend is Kalyna. She lives next door and they are two months apart in age. Since baby-hood they've been best friends. Kalyna's family consist of little people. Deborah's family consists of big people. They are just 2 months apart in age, they look a couple years apart. Deborah is a full head and shoulder taller than her best friend. Kalyna is about as petite as they come and Deborah is stout and hardy.

Kalyna has another friend named Megan. Deborah doesn't know Megan very well, so it seems to me that she would be jealous when Kalyna goes to Megan's. But she's not. She misses Kalyna while she's gone, but she never seems jealous.

A couple weekends ago Kalyna went to Megan's for a sleep-over. At supper that night Deborah thanked God that Kalyna got to go to Megan's house and asked Him to help them have a really good time together.

Now is it just me or is that a great friend?

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hannah's Answered Prayer

Rachael is raking in the dough with her jobs. She recently bought an MP3 player and regularly buys stuff just for fun. But the real impressive thing is her savings account.

Hannah has a little job too but she doesn't make nearly as much money as Rachael. Hannah has been talking about this for a week or two, wishing she had a good job. She and Gordon prayed for her a job on Tuesday night and agreed to pray for one regularly.

Last night a lady phoned. She was new to the neighborhood and she had asked her neighbors if they knew anyone who would walk her dogs every day. One neighbor suggested Hannah. The new lady in the neighborhood phoned and Hannah and I just returned from the job interview.

Hannah got the job! She'll go there after school and walk them 30 minutes every day. How much money will she make? $6 a day! I said six dollars a day! Isn't that great?

Imagine how this sends the message to Hannah that God loves to answer prayer. I am absolutely thrilled for her. She's thrilled too.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

From Lawana

I couldn't resist posting this. I got it today from my favorite sister-in-law.


FRIENDS: Never ask for food.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Always bring the food

FRIENDS: Will say "hello".
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss.

FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.

FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing, and just being together.

FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' back-ends that left you.

Friends: Would knock on your door.
SOUTHERN FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home!"

FRIENDS: Are for a while.

Having given it a good 10 seconds worth of thought, I have a couple to add.

Friends: Might say, "Oh my, I bet you were humiliated."
Southern Friends will say in a sing-songy voice, "God love ya, bless your heart."

Friends: Might say, "Look at that idiot, his fly's down."
Southerners say; "Bless his heart, his thingy's showin'."

Friends: Might say someone is ugly.
Southerners would say, "Bless her heart, she's kinda hard to look at, in't she?"

Friends might say someone is stupid.
Southerners would say, "Bless his heart, he's not the smartest pup in the litter."

Not bad for 10 seconds (give or take :)) of thought, eh?

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Last evening, Deborah was spinning around in circles in the living room. She wouldn't call it spinning in circles; she'd call it dancing. As she danced she sang a song, making it up as she went. (This particular song was about her liking cows. "The black and white ones, the brown ones and the white ones too.") Singing and spinning in circles in the living room is a common thing for Deborah.

As she spun and sang, Rachael was 3 feet away at the computer doing her homework. Rachael turned to me for homework assistance, "Mom, how do you spell annoying?"

Deborah stopped spinning and singing to rush to Rachael's side. Accusingly she demanded, "Are you writing about me?"


Saturday, June 02, 2007


Today Rachael had cat food samples to deliver with her papers -- 2 cans per house to be exact. It was a sizable increase of work.

Deborah was up for the challenge and Rachael promptly hired her to assist. Deborah isn't the most work oriented child I've seen. Matter of fact, I praised her ridiculously much just to get her to complete the task. But admittedly, it was indeed a task for such a little one.

I sat in the van musing as I watched them. (Yes, I did a bit of help myself, but someone had to drive.) Deborah had on a sundress that I made for her last summer. She's grown a lot this year. As she struggled with her bag of cat food cans, I couldn't help but smile. Her dress is approaching mini-skirt length, her flip flops looked a bit floppier than they should, her skinny legs reminded me of toothpicks. It was hot and her hair was sweaty and sticking to her head. She has a bit of sunburn and her red face glowed with heat and beads of perspiration. She walked clumsily with her heavy bag of cat food. She was really quite cute to watch.

Rachael who is a wonderful paper delivery girl, would stop every so often to wait for her sister. At first she seemed annoyed with Deborah's speed, but before long it appeared as though she realized the burden her little sister was carrying. After a while Rachael was waiting for Deborah to catch up without the annoyed sighs and rolling eyes. She even suggested that Deborah sit in the van for a rest while she delivered both the cat food and papers.

I was proud.

Deborah is my youngest and watching her get so big is frequently sending me down memory lane. Watching her today, I kept thinking about Christopher and his little boy ways of years ago. What a wittle cutie he was.

He took a big fall when he was 3 and knocked out 3 teeth. That left a pretty big "blank spot" in his mouth for 4 years. He developed a unique mouth and lip movement to fill that empty spot. His lower lip seemed to pass through the gap with every word he spoke. Three of course is an odd number, so the lip went kind of to the side as it passed through the blank spot. It was an interesting lisp. (Lisp isn't an accurate description, but I can't think of one that's better.)

Along about this same time, he developed a shark fascination. He ordered shark every time we ate out. Thinking it was cute, I played along and whispered "chicken nuggets" to the waitress.

Watching Deborah and being reminded of Christopher, I sat in the van trying to move my jaw and lips to imitate the way Christopher said, "shark." I never was pleased with my imitation -- fortunately I don't have three teeth missing. But I enjoyed the mental pictures of Christopher saying "shark" that funny way he did so many times in so many restaurants.

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When Stephanie and Christopher were 8 and 4, we took a road trip from Edmonton to Cranbrook, a bit of a journey. Along the way we'd buy treats for them to keep them occupied. One particular time Stephanie got a pop and Christopher chose something else.

When he finished his treat, he asked Stephanie for a drink. She kindly obliged. He took a hefty drink and returned it.

With marked annoyance she complained, "Ugh, gross! Look at all that backwash. Who would want this?"

Seizing the opportunity, Christopher optimistically piped, "I WOULD."

It was funnier than it appears in writing.

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