Sunday, January 31, 2010

Uncle Baby Has a Birthday!

We first became aware of your story when I cleaned out that bathroom closet and found the unused pregnancy test, which I couldn't bear to throw away without using. Then, instead of the negative result I KNEW was coming, it was positive.

Some months later we made a crazy 10 minute trip through a major snow storm, and by the time we got to the second floor of the hospital, you were pretty much here.

Today you're eight!

You, who are the best friend to each of your siblings.

You, who begins each day and ends each night with these words, "You know what, Mommy? You know what, Daddy?" I LOVE you!"

You, who rarely, rarely complain.
You, who gave serious thought to inviting your teacher to your sleepover party, but decided against it since not everyone would be able to sleep next to her and someone would be sad.

You, who made our family complete.

Uncle Baby or Kid or whatever nickname you've given yourself these days: you know what?

We LOVE you!!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fragments: The One Blogging Day I Couldn't Live Without

~You know I love Fridays: pizza night, no homework, and Friday Fragments!!!!!
Mommy's Idea

~My daughter paid $17 for her Snowcoming dress. Her friend paid $10. I'm sending them shopping for me next time I need a dress. Mine might need to cover more body parts though.

~I love making new friendships, but may have overdone it at the new Walmart. I do, however, feel very popular when I go there and that may explain quite a lot.

~My daughter tagged me on this image on Facebook this week. Grammar aside, I was grateful.
~One of my students this term is named Hen. That's a rough moniker to carry through life.

~Last week, the Sunday school lesson focused on Martha and Mary. So often, in my childhood, I heard Martha portrayed as nagging, petty, shallow, but one thing I learned as I studied and wrote my discussion questions was that Martha was the one who invited Jesus to come teach in her home. She was a leader. She was spiritually hungry. I like her much better now.

~Last week I mentioned that I needed a ladder or two for my boys' beds. My neighbor and blogging friend, Won, had one! What a perfect reason to meet for lunch! When my boy used it that night, he was thrilled!!

~Pepper the dog has become a food thief. The cuteness of that is akin to John Edwards' cuteness these days.

~Still reeling from my accidental acquiescence to a camping vacation next summer, I listened as Checkered called a seller who had listed a pop-up camper on Craigslist. Checkered kept apologizing because the man couldn't hear him - even as the seller got increasingly frustrated at Checkered's mumbling. The seller eventually figured out that he was holding his phone upside down. And no, we did NOT buy that camper.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Opening Night for my Who

It would be more appropriate to say, "Break a leg!" but that is something I simply can't say to my own child. She is a literal girl, after all. It will suffice, I think, to say,

"Although it's already been a long week of strep and post-ortho swollen cheeks (that remind us of your baby days) the show must go on. Good luck, sweet girl. We're very proud of you!!! And for goodness sake, whatever you do, don't break any legs."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Do You See Pepper's Tongue?

'Tis sweet to hear the watch dogs' honest bark Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark Our coming and look brighter when we come.'

Lord Byron

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Precious and Loved

We've been on an interesting journey with our youngest boy for a while now trying to get an appropriate diagnosis. He is smart and fun and an enthusiastic reader and the sweetest second grader you might ever meet. He also has some symptoms which may be categorized as Asperger's. But because he doesn't exhibit all Asperger's symptoms, we have no official diagnosis yet. Five doctors and lots and lots of insurance monies and out of pocket expenses later, we have a treatment plan which is starting to work. Some school personnel have been quick to say that things are fine now and we'll have no more worries. But we see him in other settings and know we have a long way to go.

The other day, this boy who doesn't always recognize and articulate his emotions and who struggles in some other areas, was singing the chorus of "How Great is Our God." He has his mom's inability to get all the lyrics right, but his pure heart made the day absolutely beautiful.

How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great
How great is our God

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spammer Beware

One of the joys I find in blogging is hearing what other people have to say. Getting a comment is a little like Christmas morning for me. It's a small, wrapped surprise just waiting for me alone. Some of you are so loyal that I am humbled. I rarely make it through my reading list these days and when I do, my reading is hit or miss. I've become a lurker: seeing what you have to say but never stopping to comment. Yet you come here day after day and take the time to talk. Those comments mean the world to me.

But then those those stinkin' spammers found me. Those are a little like a Christmas present that holds such promise -- someone thought of me, someone took the time to get me something -- until it's opened and you see that it's a pair of dirty, stinky socks.

神待ち has left a new comment on your post "FF: Random is as Random Does":

神待ちサイト ガールズBBSは家出少女を救う神待ち専用の掲示板です!登録無料で家出少女と出会えるチャンス

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by 神待ち to The Human Race 600 at January 24, 2010 2:21 PM

I'm tired of being told I can earn money if I contact the reader, that the reader thinks my blog has improved OR that they supposedly can read my blog in English but can only respond in another language.

So, comment moderation is on now and I finally get why so many of you moderate, too.
I would prefer that comment moderation work a little more like a loud whistle in the spammer's ear, but short of adding a word verification, it will have to do.

Stupid spammers!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Favorite Day: Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

Time for Friday Fragments. Wouldn't you just love to meet Mrs. 4444 in person? I surely would!

**Someone destroyed our mailbox one night last week, so Checkered put the new one up on the "safer" side of the driveway. The problem is that the safer spot is right smack-dab in the middle of my pre-existing tire tracks. I'm apologizing up-front, Checkered, as I fear for the safety of the new mailbox.

**Said with a mix of braggadocio and love the other night, "Wow, Daddy, you're even grosser than I am and I'm pretty gross!"

**Our son came home from his buddy's house singing the joys of their bread machine. We replied, "We used to have one. Didn't like it. Gave it away." That same line was repeated for 24 hours, then we bought a new bread machine. Yes, we are in love.
**I also love Iced Caps from Tim Horton's even though they're kind of nasty tasting. Yesterday, one of my students was arguing in class about global warming and she mentioned how the ice caps were melting. Honestly, I did NOT hear a thing after she said, " cap..." and yes, I did stop at Tim Horton's after class.

**I need a ladder or two for our loft beds, but never dreamed they would cost so much!

**Have you met Nancy? You should because she is a clever, clever writer. She has proposed a grand idea for bloggers. What if each blogger gave one hour of service to their community for each blog follower they have? I am so glad I have only a few followers - not that I'm counting. P.S. Nancy says watching your friends' kids and doing work for your church counts so I might already be done for 2010 !!!!!!

**Lionel Richie was in my radio singing "Sail On" this week and I sang along with gusto. Sadly, it seems that the only accurate lyrics I know are, "But I'm giving you back your name." A weaker person would have let that stop their singing.

**Mr. Asthma is now running a fever of 102. Looks like a week-end close to the house and I am A-OK with that. What's up with your week-end?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Need a Shirt

I suppose that title sounds bad and could be misleading. Although I am mostly clothed, there is a shirt I would like to find. At Christmas, my daughter saw a shirt that said,

"Don't ask me how I'm doing. Read my blog!"

The shirt wasn't in my size, but I was certain I could find it someplace else. I can't.
Have you seen it anywhere?

*Inserting abrupt transition*

In my search for that shirt, I ended up at
There I discovered these flip flops which adhere to one's feet yet leave no sticky residue.

Okay, then. Back to finding that shirt.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weird Wednesday

Because there is nothing stranger than the truth:

~In Maryland, two men robbed a funeral home after confusing it with a nearby bank.

~In Arizona, a high school choir teacher found a restaurant which agreed to accommodate her group of 40 students. Unfortunately, the restaurant was Hooters and the teachers in now on administrative leave.

~In Washington state, blood donors who are willing to give a pint of blood receive a coupon for a free pint of beer - after the donation.

~In Sweden, a man on disability was found guilt of fraud after police searched his house and found pictures of him dancing with costumed cartoon characters at an amusement park.

~In Italy, scientists have determined that chickens can count AND have a left/right hand preference.

~In California, the repo people took a woman's car. Unfortunately, they failed to see if any passengers were in the car at the time. The woman's 2 year old son was eventually returned unharmed.

~Finally, enjoy this electric car currently in the the Detroit Auto Show.
It's said to be the only car which may not fit you after lunch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going Meme Again

Today's meme (courtesy of Yano) is 10 songs I'm embarrassed to admit I like. Since I am safely cloaked in anonymity, here's my list:
1. Love Will Keep Us Together (Can I get at least one smile for Captain and Tennille??)
2. If I Had Million Dollars (I laugh myself silly every time I hear it)
3. Invisibly Shaken (Rodney Atkins could sing the weather report and I would love him)
4. You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This (who COULD resist snappy lyrics like, "I see one candle burning in your eye...?")
5. I think I Love You (think David Cassidy)
6. I Will Survive (I drive very well when I sing this one)
7. Respect or Chain of Fools (Aretha in her prime)
8. Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie NOT Frankie)
9. Second Chance (I know every.single.word. Ask my kids!)
10. How Firm a Foundation (the hymn, of course! One of the verses uses the phrase "hoary hairs," and thanks to my vast hymn knowledge, I knew what "hoary" meant when it showed up on an IQ test in 2nd or 3rd grade. So there!)
Your turn: what odd song do you love?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dear Jesus...

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor is his holy ear too dull to hear.

Isaiah 59:1

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm Going With Plan B

PLAN A: Someone else paid $7,000 for her new style and she loves, hates, loves hates it.

PLAN B: Her mother paid $15 for the new style and she LOVES it.

There's a lot to be said for keeping it real, Kate.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FF: Going Thankful

Blogging the way my mind was intended to work: fragment by fragment.
Thank-you, Mrs. 4444
Mommy's Idea

Evan's mom has me thinking about what I'm thankful for. Here's today's completely incongruent list.

That when my kids are sick, it's just a short-term virus and they will be perfectly healthy in just a few days.

That I have a job which allows me to volunteer in my son's classroom.

That the meds are working for my son and we had a positive parent/teacher/principal conference.

That the best educational advice I still get is from my high school guidance counselor, my mom!
That the sun is bright and the sky is blue!

That I have neighbors who know my name and say it kindly.

That there was no ice and I could wear my nice shoes for the first day of the semester.

That when my child wet the bed the other night, the child who was sharing the bed with him didn't punch him.

That the Christmas wreath in my family room looks good with Valentine's Day tinsel on it and will look even better with St. Patrick's Day tinsel.

That Yaya's news had me smiling for hours and hours: )

That my kids have contracted with the neighbors to shovel snow, and that the snow has come during school hours, and that I have earned $40 shoveling thus far this year.

That when I kindly (albeit insincerely) offered to go camping for our summer vacation, I was able to hide my dismay when everyone said yes.

And that MOST of my blogging/FB friends agreed with me that adults don't skip anymore because of ... well... physical attributes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Walmart Wins Again

My daughter - my teen-aged daughter - wanted a hair cut.
Facetiously, I said,
"I'll take you to Walmart."
Seriously, she replied,
"Okay. I like your hair. Let's go!"
What kind of mother does that to her hyper-aware teenager?
Somebody could have seen her walk into Walmart!!
After the cut, we picked up a million dollars worth of groceries and my teenager, who finds fault in cut, said,

"I LOVE my hair!!"
To Lori at the Clinton Township Walmart:
You're the best!!
Now please don't quit or get fired, okay?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday School and Me Again!

If you missed Sunday school last week, you can catch up here today! Here are the discussion questions I wrote to be used in class.

Jesus is baptized

Key verses:
Matthew 3:13-17
Mark 1:9-11
Luke 3:21-22

Warming up our memory banks…

1. How old was Jesus when he was baptized?
2. Who baptized Jesus?
3. In what river was Jesus baptized?
4. When Jesus came out of the water, what kind of bird came out of Heaven?
5. What did the voice from Heaven say?

The wheels are really starting to turn now!
1. Why did John NOT want to baptize Jesus?
2. Is baptismal water holy?
3. What three signs at Jesus’ baptism showed the presence of God?
4. Why would someone choose to be baptized but not really choose to repent?
5. Other people were baptized by John on the same day Jesus was baptized. How do you think they might have reacted to his baptism?

How does this apply to my own life?

1. If baptism represents our internal decision to turn away from sin, and Jesus was sinless, why did he get baptized?
2. After the baptism, God’s declaration that Jesus was his son is thrilling, but how does it also hint at sorrow?
3. There is an old expression for Christianity called walking wet. What do you suppose that means? Could it mean something deeper than the actual act of baptism?
Coming next week to a Sunday school near me: the temptation of Jesus

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Answer is: Honey BBQ Wings

The question is: What was for dinner last night?

What did YOU have?

Monday, January 11, 2010


Checkered and our son went to a sports banquet last month and declared it the most perfectly run social gathering they had been to in a very long time (and that should be no surprise because Butoku Karate Doju is the best run sports program/school we know.) One of my guys' favorite elements at the banquet was the photo booth. I remember photo booths from my childhood where for too much money, we could get a strip of photos - sometimes two, sometimes four, usually in black and white. I used to see them at train stations (I think) and then, more recently, at arcades.

The photobooth at the banquet was free to guests and seems to be part of a franchise. The photo strip was capped off by the corporate logo of the hosting group (in our case, the karate dojo's.)

There is also a website guests could access after the banquet where they could view their pictures, the pictures other guests took that night, and order copies of photos in different sizes.

I liked the Shutterbooth idea so much, that I really thought about having a party of my own or another wedding just so I could rent one. Then I learned that the prices start at $800 and thought I would just use my own camera to take some pics instead.

It would be fun though, wouldn't it?

Friday, January 8, 2010

FF: Where Walmart and Facebook Vie for Attention

~After a FF absence of a few weeks, I return amazed by how much I missed all you fragmented bloggers. Thankfully, I've had Facebook to keep me company during my self-imposed absence.
Mommy's Idea

~Someone I know just had a prescription increased from 1.25 mls to 2.5 mls, yet when the script was picked up at the pharmacy, the directions said .5 mls. A call from the pharmacist to a clerk in the doctor's office resulted in a dosage of 10 mls until the patient and pharmacist agreed that didn't sound likely. A second call from the pharmacist to the doctor's office finally brought about the right dosage of 2.5. Yikes!

~I got my hair cut at ... WalMart. $15 later, I look better than I have in months although the stylist may have been on speed.

~While walking into WalMart, I watched a very aggressive driver bebop around other cars and finally land in a handicapped spot. She and her cell phone parked and walked in front of other drivers to get into the store. As she entered the store, she raised her keys behind her head and pressed the lock button. Since she never looked back once, I do wonder how long it took her to realize that she had not pressed the lock button, but that she had pressed the remote start button.

~On Tuesday morning between 10 and 11 AM, I was told by three different clerks to have a good night.

~My friend sent me an email last week and referenced the song, "Why don't we just dance." I spent two days fretting about why she wanted to dance with me. Then I finally reread the note and realized she was just saying she had heard the song and liked it and she hoped we could meet for coffee. That I can do.

~Facebook has apparently not done anything to improve the rate with which I reply to email.

~FB has, however, offered yet another form of entertainment as I watch my friends interact with their daughters' boyfriends. In their FB posts, the boyfriends are all so cautious and solicitous of the moms' health, welfare, and social calendars. "Hope you have a great day, Mrs. So and So."

~And finally one last Facebook mention: next summer I have a high school reunion. This week I was overcome with doubt that anyone would remember me and that begat panic that maybe I never even had any friends in high school. When I hinted at that on FB, I received some absolutely lovely notes from high school classmates - although not nearly as many as I might have thought SHOULD respond!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Worth the Listen

Of all the songs I heard for the first time last year, I'm pretty sure this one was written just for me. Okay, maybe it was written for you, too. Enjoy.

He is With You
Ronnie Freeman

There's a time to live
And a time to die
There's a time to laugh
And a time to cry

There's a time for war
And a time for peace
There's a hand to hold
In the worst of things
In the worst of things

He is with you when your faith is dead
And you can't even get out of bed
Or your husband doesn't kiss you anymore
He is with you when your baby's gone
And your house is still
And your hearts are stone
Crying "God what'd you do that for?"
He is with you

There's a time for yes
And a time for no
There's a time to be angry
And a time to let it go
There's a time to run
And a time to face it
There's love to seek
In all of this
Through all of this

He is with you in the conference room
When the world is coming down on you
And your wife and kids don't know you anymore
And He is with you in the ICU when the doctors don't know what to do
And it scares you to the core
He is with you

We may weep for a time but joy will come in the morning
The morning light

He is with you when your kids are grown
When there's too much space and you feel alone
And you're worried if you got it right or wrong
Yes He is with you when you've given up on ever finding your true love
Someone who feels like home
He is with you

When nothing else is left and you take your final breath
He is with you

He is with you

Here is Mandisa singing this beautiful promise.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunday School and Me

In a moment of tremendous guilt (standing in line at Best Buy on Black Friday) I mistakenly accepted a call from my pastor. I knew that whatever it was he would ask, my response would be, "Sure, Pastor, I can do that." I also knew that I would not want to do whatever it was he asked. How did I know how that would transpire? Because that's how it always transpires. Since I have no Catholic guilt, it must be a woman thing ~ this foresight and insight and hindsight.

My latest service to the church? I am the developer of discussion questions for our family Sunday school class. It's a class where entire families sit and review whatever Bible story the pastor has just preached about. Although it pains me to admit, I love this class and may have said so on Facebook -- where my pastor is my friend. You can do the rest of the math on that one.

Last Sunday our topic was John the Baptist. Let's see how your J the B knowledge holds up.

Key Verses:
Isaiah 40:3
Malachi 4:5
Matthew 3:1-12
Matthew 14:1-12
Mark 1:1-8

Warming up our Memory Banks…
• Who were John the Baptist’s parents? (Zachariah and Elizabeth)
• How was he related to Jesus? (some degree of cousins)
• What was remarkable about his birth? (parents' age and infertility)
• What did John the Baptist eat when he lived in the desert? (locusts and honey)
• From what animal was his clothing made? (camel)
• Did everyone else who lived at that time dress like John?
• John the Baptist’s job was to prepare people for which person?(no)
• What did John ask the people to do? (repent)
• In what body of water did John baptize others? (Jordan River)

Starting to See the Sparks Fly from our Brains…
• John the Baptist was a prophet. What is the job of a prophet (saying “To prophecy,” doesn’t count!)
• What was it that John prophesied? (the Messiah would soon arrive and that hearts needed to be prepared for his arrival)
• Why was baptism important? (it is an outward sign of a heart made right with God)
• John’s simple clothing and lifestyle was a visual protest against what?(self-indulgence)
• Why did so many Jewish people not understand why they needed to repent?(because as descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they were assured of their place in Heaven)

How does this apply to my own life?
• Other than repentance and baptism, what else did John say people needed to do (Matthew 3:8)? (live a life bearing proof of their repentance)
• Some of the religious leaders of John’s time were caught up in the popularity of John’s message, but it was mostly a show for them rather than a genuine lifestyle change. Does this ever happen in our time?
• Like the Jewish people of John’s time, do we ever rely on things other than repentance to get us to Heaven?
Coming next Sunday to a class near me: the baptism of Jesus.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It Was Sweet

The school break is over and I wonder if my children will ever believe that I don't like sending them back into the crazy routine of school and after school activities any more than they want to give up most of their free time. So while they cling to the hope of another week off in February, here's a brief recap of our holidays.

~The first glimpse of evidence that Santa had stopped by for a visit.

~This was shortly after she learned that Santa had forgotten to buy one of the three things she requested and just before she learned that while he had purchased fragrances for her, they were not the fragrances she took him to the store to show him. This may or may not have impacted her decision to lobby us to let her move to Kentucky to live with her grandparents.

~Steady rain and wet wood made for a slow and steamy fire. (That doesn't sound exactly like I intended to say it...)

~Although there are no pictures (my mother thinks that maybe I don't exhibit the best editing skills in my pictures of her), we had a very nice visit with my parents. It's never easy to leave and the visit always seems inadequate.

~New Year's Eve brought my lovely friend by for a night of pizza, conversation, boardgames and a gaggle of kids in a hot tub.

~And then there was finally New Year's Day.
No appointments. No obligations. Just a book. A fire. And pajamas.

A very fine holiday season indeed!