30 December 2008
"My name is Mary, too. And my husband's name is Joph-us, too."
"Wow. That's nice."
"This is my baby. His name is Jesus."
"This is my baby. His name is God."
"Oh, that's nice."
29 December 2008
28 December 2008
27 December 2008
I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow and get over to the hospital to relieve Sublime Aunt and be another pair of ears listening to whatever doctors say. I' ve been enjoying the time to sit there and talk with my family members and crochet. My sister warned me tonight about carrying leftover flu to the hospital. Our doctor said that we wouldn't be contagious once symptoms passed; that it is the incubation period where people are contagious. I hope -- really, really hope -- he's right about that. The last thing either Grammy or Gramps need is the stomach flu.
21 December 2008
18 December 2008
16 December 2008
- It is unwise to mention out loud to one's sister that one's family has been remarkably devoid of the stomach flu for the last four years. It's basically writing out an invitation that reads something like this... "Dear stomach flu... Please, please, please come visit. All of us. All at once. And asap. Bring all the baggage you can carry. Looking forward to it. Love, April P.S. Dennis' birthday is later this week and I have big plans. We'll have the guest room made up by then!"
- I married a saint. He's also a hero and an angel, not to mention, a truly excellent chief, cook and bottle-washer (and yes, I intentionally made that phrase into three jobs). Well, maybe he has a ways to go with the "cook" part of the job description, but really... Dennis is totally the cog that makes the wheel of this family function. He has changed beds, changed and bathed and comforted and cradled kids, coddled me, done load-upon-load-upon-load of laundry, fed us -- but only what we requested, made trips to various stores, played, sang.... all while feeling terrible himself and missing a decent birthday celebration because of his own illness. The man is simply amazing. And he's ours.
- The smell of laundry being washed in the basement of this house makes the whole house smell fresh and clean. Which is really saying something when all four of the residents have the flu.
- At a certain point, it is impossible to fool one's children into thinking that Pedialyte is really apple juice. Even the young, gullible one.
- When one hasn't eaten for a day or so, saltines and ginger ale make a meal as delicious as any cordon-bleu cuisine.
- If I ever have the opportunity to design or radically remodel a bathroom, I will seriously consider covering the entire thing in tile, putting a drain in the floor, and making all storage units, lighting, etc. completely waterproof so as to be able to basically hose down the place at any moment.
- There are advantages to being sick -- lots of rest, thank you, Lord (and Dennis) -- the sheets all get cleaned -- the bathrooms get bleached -- cooking is pretty much optional as no one cares what dinner is going to be. The advantages, however, do not outweigh the disadvantages. I look forward to being well for a long time.
14 December 2008
11 December 2008
10 December 2008
09 December 2008
08 December 2008
07 December 2008
05 December 2008
04 December 2008
03 December 2008
We had Cook's Night Out at church tonight. It's the first Wednesday of the month and a different committee or ministry group hosts it on a rotating basis. This month, the youth group put out lasagna, garlic bread, salad and cakes. It was a nice time of fellowship.
It was an interesting meeting. There are many faithful people on all sides of the issue and nothing is cut and dried. Personally, I think the staff is essential and at least one of them is probably underpaid anyway. And I think the outreach is faithful and necessary, though I think it has become a little removed from the personal realities of many congregants because the church takes care of it for us.
When it comes down to it, I think I'm a big fan of leap-of-faith deficit budgets. This church has scrupulous record-keeping and pays impeccable attention to where the money goes. Balanced budgets are a tradition, I think. But in the three churches I've worked in as a paid employee, budget deficits of up to 1/3-1/2 of the projected budget were so commonplace that no one batted an eye at approving a budget with a projected $30,000 shortfall. And every year, the needs were met somehow. Sometimes I think a little affliction for the sake of gospel is a good thing that we mainliners don't usually experience. But I know that there are lots of people worried about financial afflictions in their own lives/ businesses right now. One more worry might be one affliction too much. We'll see.
In the meantime, these fellowship opportunities are probably just what the Spirit would order. At the end, the senior minister asked us all to join hands and pray the Lord's Prayer and everyone just sort of automatically (though with a teeny bit of bumbling) made their way into a large circle. The minister said, "See? You just know how to be church!" And it's true. They do. We do. And we'll figure out this latest challenge together.
02 December 2008
01 December 2008
If you want more info on the photo project, go here. And let me know you're participating so I can come visit!
29 November 2008
28 November 2008
26 November 2008
24 November 2008
Cook turkey necks/ drumstick, celery and onion to make broth for gravy and turkey. Strain, refrigerate.
Fold clothes currently piled on guest room bed. :)
Get out any new thanksgiving decorations i.e. the cornucopia.
Slice and blanche squash for casserole. Refrigerate.
Cook livers for pate. Refrigerate.
Make spinach artichoke dip. Refrigerate.
Vacuum upstairs, including guest room.
Set out cream cheese to soften for pate.
Assemble squash casserole.
Assemble corn casserole.
Bake turkey. Cool. Slice. Cover with broth, cover and refrigerate.
Make pate. Refrigerate.
Make gravy. Refrigerate.
Clean bathrooms, vacuum downstairs again.
Put out guest towels.
Go enjoy sistah night.
Put clean tablecloth on the table.
Make parmesan breadsticks.
Make bacon appetizers.
Set out pate, crackers, cheeses, dips, summer sausage, hot appetizers, peanuts, punch, juice, wine etc.
One hour before dinner, cook casseroles, reheat turkey, reheat gravy. Drive the five blocks to Lil's. Give lots and lots of thanks.
23 November 2008
21 November 2008
20 November 2008
We are soooo grateful, thankful, and very excited about what is to come!
19 November 2008
16 November 2008
14 November 2008
I think I might be addicted to crochet. Seriously. Dennis caught me creeping out of bed at 12:15 this morning and asked where I was going. "Just downstairs." He asked what I was going to do. "Ummm....just some stuff."
"Let me guess," he said. "Does this 'stuff' involve YARN?"
13 November 2008
12 November 2008
11 November 2008
10 November 2008
Fast forward to the last couple of weeks when I went to a couple of the big craft stores in Peoria and noticed that all of the fall flowers were on 50%-75% off clearance. I found some big hydrangeas, which happen to be one of my flower weaknesses, and then it occurred to me that I know, sort of, how to use those! So I bought some others and came up with these bouquets with the help of two vases from WalMart.
This one is in the entryway right by one of the front doors. Again, it is about the perfect size and you can't tell in these photos, but the leaves hang down and the fuzzy things are a lot more green and protude out. And the eucalyptus has more green in it, too.
I have always kind of been a fresh-flowers only type of snob, but I gotta say -- I like not watering things. And I like that these arrangements are going to last. And I like that I was actually able to arrange them, which I have never, ever been able to do with fresh flowers.
So... fake flowers for me. For now.
09 November 2008
05 November 2008
Actually, I'm 0-4. I've never picked a winning president. And while this is rather pitiful, in many different ways, what it has afforded is the unique position of being part of the losing side and listening to the verbage of the losing side. And I have to say, I'm honored to be part of this losing side this time.
I believe that conservatives have responded, in most part, with grace and honor to this election defeat. I have read and heard many friends' opinions that conservatives are mean-spirited, selfish individuals. And most of us, they suspect, are inherent racists. I believed the same thing back when I was a liberal (which, for the record, was last year). I was wrong. And my many friends who believe the same thing, if they will admit it, are wrong, too.
I was realizing yesterday as I wrote my thankful list, that there are many, many, many people on both sides of the conservative/liberal divide who have a deep appreciation, gratitude, and commitment for and to our country that goes beyond which party is in power. This gratitude is not coupled with a blindness to our failings as a country, but is a very real evaluation of the assets, strengths, past, present and future of the country and a belief that those things overpower and overcome the liabilities, weaknesses and errors we have experienced and will experience.
I will confess, as a liberal, I was not one of these people. I said I loved my country, but I really believed that America was, if not THE problem in the world, at least A problem in the world, that we had brought more suffering on others than we had alleviated, that most of us, if left to our own devices make selfish and self-serving choices, etc...
When my candidates lost in the past, I did not hear other liberals speaking of hope for the future. I did not hear others talking about the strengths we exhibit as a country. I did not hear promises to continue to serve, continue to strengthen, continue to love our country. In short, I never had the sense that our patriotism went beyond our self-interests. If our candidate was not in power, something was very, very wrong with the world.
This time is different. I know that there are conservatives who will go on attack, but most of the conservatives I have read and spoken to are expressing their hope for the country, their resolution to pray for the country and for our president-elect, and their appreciation for the historic nature of Obama's election. Most everyone I know is glad, glad, glad that an African-American family will be in the White House. They rejoice in that. I have heard that religious conservatives are vindictive and judgemental. I found these links here and here at Holly's and I would urge you to read them. Though they express a sadness in some of Obama's choices especially in regards to abortion, I think they also express very aptly what many conservatives will follow up with action, especially through prayer -- a desire for our country to be strengthened, united, and strong.
McCain's concession speech, to me, communicated this commitment. I knew before the election that he would return to the senate and serve the country he loves the same way he has in the past. He confirmed that with the words that follow. I remain glad to have supported such a man.
This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Sen. Obama and my old friend Sen. Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years...
I would not — I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century. Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it...
Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Sen. Obama — whether they supported me or Sen. Obama.
I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.
Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.
04 November 2008
42. I am thankful that we consider freedom to be an inalienable right.
43. I am thankful that we are free to vote our consciences.
44. I am thankful that we have men and women who are willing to serve as our elected representatives.
45. I am thankful that we live in a time when all of us have access to lots of info about our elected officials.
46. I am thankful that I can be a campaign volunteer from my living room.
47. I am thankful that tonight, our country will be done voting.
48. I am thankful that regardless of the outcome of the election, many people will go about serving this country tomorrow and the day after that because their patriotism goes beyond political party.
49. I am thankful for the dedication and sacrifice of those enlisted in our armed forces.
50. I am thankful for the endurance of their families.
51. I am especially thankful for my friend, Scott, who is in the Sudan right now.
52. I am thankful for Jessica, his wife, and their children who welcome him home.
53. I am thankful for the way he has chosen to dedicate his life to service of our country despite a near-PhD and the lure of a more secure life.
54. I am thankful for the many others who try to make life better for themselves and those around them.
55. I am thankful for teachers.
56. I am thankful for pastors.
57. I am thankful for those in the medical profession.
58. I am especially thankful for those tending Grammy this morning.
59. I am thankful for civic servants.
60. I am thankful for scientists.
61. I am thankful for engineers, especially my engineer.
62. I am thankful for those in service positions.
63. I am thankful for those who do work others do not want to do.
64. I am thankful for volunteers.
65. I am thankful for students and learners.
66. I am thankful for the opportunity to become what we want to become.
67. I am thankful for the men and women who could not and sought a better future for themselves and others.
68. I am thankful for the knowledge of our country's history.
69. I am thankful for generations of gratitude passed down among its citizens.
70. I am thankful for current scholarship that continues to teach.
71. I am thankful for those who encourage thoughtful and rigorous examination of where we have been and where we are going.
72. I am thankful for a family who engages the world thoughtfully and with rigor.
73. I am thankful for family members who have extended grace in the midst of my own confusion, confrontations and affrontations.
74. I am thankful for the freedom to pass on these values to my children.
75. I am thankful for the commitment of my community to creating a safe, healthy place for children to grow.
76. I am thankful for the innocence of youth and the wisdom brought by age.
77. I am thankful for nice weather for this election day.
78. I am thankful for early voting procedures.
79. I am thankful for absentee ballots.
80. I am thankful for this election.
03 November 2008
- I am thankful for the time change that had everyone in the house up and ready to leave for preschool with plenty of time to have breakfast and enjoy our walk.
- I am thankful for the walk to the school that forces me to have a little exercise and allows Daniel to look at the big trucks zooming by on Main Street.
- I am thankful for the way Annalivia points out the trucks to her little brother and is excited by his reactions.
- I am thankful for the money to buy bright red mary janes for her little feet.
- I am thankful that Annalivia generally doesn't argue about what she should wear to school or church or out and about.
- I am thankful for Annalivia's teachers.
- I am thankful that she enjoys and looks forward to school.
- I am thankful for enthusiastic stories.
- I am thankful for full-body motions to accompany narrations.
- I am thankful for her vivid imagination.
- I am thankful for a good night's sleep -- early to bed and no children interrupting.
- I am thankful for little and big kicks from the baby, even when on a full bladder.
- I am thankful for this beautiful house to live in.
- I am thankful for cheap rent.
- I am thankful for a porch to enjoy.
- I am thankful for comfy porch furniture.
- I am thankful for Portia, our guard pig and the fact that our children love her, too.
- I am thankful for a sweet neighbor.
- I am thankful for a good, reliable van to drive.
- I am thankful for preschool papers and Thomas coloring books.
- I am thankful for the high school marching band that played us home almost every day of September and October.
- I am thankful that Annalivia and Daniel like to sing.
- I am thankful that they both like to sing by themselves and with each other.
- I am thankful that there is homemade bread leftover from yesterday's potluck.
- I am thankful that there is still plenty of Lillia's apple butter.
- I am thankful that Daniel likes to play with his trains by himself.
- I am thankful that he knows how to ask for help when he needs it.
- I am thankful that he has room/s to play.
- I am thankful for the train table that provides so much fun.
- I am thankful for books that entertain, too.
- I am thankful that my children climb up on my lap when they "need some love".
- I am thankful that they think it is hilarious when we play the same games again and again.
- I am thankful that I am here right now.
- I am thankful that I am not worried about whether I've not done something for my job.
- I am thankful for a husband that is ok with me being with our children.
- I am thankful for a husband who does laundry and dishes without complaint.
- I am thankful that we live in a time when our water is heated automatically.
- I am thankful for such miracles as a washing machine and dryer and laundry soap.
- I am thankful for such treats as good-smelling fabric softener and cleaning supplies.
- I am thankful for time to reflect on those things for which I am thankful.
31 October 2008
29 October 2008
27 October 2008
21 October 2008
20 October 2008
Annalivia: We're playing Narnia! Daniel is Edmund and he's with the White Witch but Aslan is going to save him!"
A little while later, after hearing Daniel cry out...
Me: Annalivia, why is Daniel crying?
Annalivia: Well, the White Witch just bonked him on the head...
Guess which character she was playing?