Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I want to tell you about our Sweet Marissa. Seems like I have blogged on and on about Princess Maren, but Marissa is something and someone else entirely...
Sweet Marissa is our first born and I remember when they put her in my arms the first time, I felt I completely recognized her. My first thought was, "I know you." Maybe it was because we had spent so much time alone together while we were waiting for her to be born. I read "Goodnight Moon" and "I'll Love You Forever" to my bulging belly every night (or morning if I happened to be working the night shift). The Captain (known then only as the Lowly First Officer) had just started flying commercially and was gone a lot with training and long trips on bad schedules that no one else wanted. We kept each other company. Even now, there is a part of her heart and a part of mine that are the same. I know that part of her.
She is not a girly-girl, but rather takes some pride in being a bit of a tomboy. She is barefeet and mudpuddles, a lightning bug catcher, a cicadia shell collector, dressed in ripped blue jean cutoffs and t-shirts, all wrapped up in a hefty dose of good old Iowa black dirt. Not that she isn't girly-girl material. She has the most beautiful green eyes (her Daddy's) and hair that would make Jennifer Aniston jealous even on her very best good hair days. She just isn't interested.
She thinks that bathroom jokes are the best and often announces quite seriously, with a giggle attached, that she has to "go associate with the big white round one" when nature calls. This is also inherited from her Daddy, I am sure. Not too giggly about the boys just yet and her boyfriends are really still just boyFRIENDS. She loves school, maps, reading, the Newsboys, swimming, her new cousin Lizzy, her dear friend Abby, and maybe, every once in a while, her little sister Maren.
The one thing that really sets Marissa apart is her BIG heart. This is the part that made her cry when we were leaving my mom and dad's the other day. I was backing down the driveway and heard her leave out a big sob. " I really wish Grandpa could walk better. It just makes me so sad. " My dad has Parkinson's disease, and although his teetering, stuttering walk is all she has ever known, I think her sensitive heart knows that things are getting worse and won't be getting better. This is also the part of her that indignantly claimed she was going to grow up to be the "King of China" so they would stop being mean to baby girls there, after hearing in Sunday School that little girls in China are not wanted and left orphaned or worse simply because they are not boys.
She has the gift of empathy. I hope she always has the bravery and spirit to use it. Empathy can leave you a little lonely and misunderstood if others just aren't feeling the love like you do. She is our Sweet Marissa and she really is something else.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
So, yes, one day as I was hurrying to put the Christmas decorations away until next year, I dropped baby Jesus on the table. He didn't do anything, it was all my fault. I look at that chip and think of my sin that He so willingly took on, a little farther down the road on a less than perfect cross. He is the perfect gift, and I am eternally grateful.
Monday, December 22, 2008
So vacuuming the basement is a major undertaking. It is hard to push the vacuum over carpet that is that shaggy. It is also like searching for lost treasure. I am sure I vacuumed up enough loose change to pay my Christmas bills. I also vacuumed up dozens of googly eyes from one of the girls craft projects. Not to mention Barbie shoes. So the girls stand at the top of the steps (neither one of them likes the vacuum very well) and holler at me every time they hear the vacuum loudly suck something up "Mom, what was that?". I have warned them - once they have everything cleaned up and it is time to vacuum that anything left on the floor is fair game. (They are usually a bit more thorough when I tell them this).
Anyway, I am vacuuming and vacuuming and vacuuming, and it happened, it actually happened several times - carperpetuation:
Agonosis (ah uh no' sis) - n. The syndrome of tuning into "Wide World of Sports" every Saturday just to watch the skier rack himself. (that one really ages me)
Airdirt (ayr' dirt) - n. A hanging plant that's been ignored for three weeks or more.
Cabnicreep (kab' nih kreep) - n. The structural condition in which the closing of one kitchen cabinet causes another to open. ( we have one of those)
Expresshole-n. A person who goes through the grocery store's 12-item express lane with 22 items.
Facon - n. The fake bacon bits served at cheap salad bars
Hozone (ho' zohn) - n. The place where one sock in every laundry load disappears to.
Kedophobia (ked oh fo' be uh) - n. The fear of having one's sneakers eaten by the teeth on the escalator.
Prestofrigeration: The peculiar habit, when searching for a snack, of constantly returning to the refrigerator in hopes that something new will have materialized.
Rignition (rig ni' shun) - n. The embarrassing action of trying to start one's car with the engine already running. (I just did this the other day)
Nice trip down memory lane, must have been the 70's color scheme. But after tonight, I have made up my own sniglet:
Vaclamation: the loud protest children make when they are worried a parent has vacuumed up their toys.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Really, we had a pretty good day. Marissa's dear friend Abby came over and saved the day. The girls built forts, painted pictures, played Barbie's, all interspersed with watching the really funny parts of Horton, and tonight we made cookies. Pretty fun really. I finished the Christmas cards, my novel , and the laundry. But what in the world are we going to do tomorrow?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Lovely Ms. E: Ms. E came into rehab today without her wig. After a year of chemo, tears, anxiety, a double mastectomy, and should we say a wig that had seen it's better days, she left it at home. And she did look lovely. Her hair had grown back in a nice soft swirl of curly silvery gray and Ms. E shone like an angel. It was more than just an opportunity to stuff her slightly matted, slightly singed, ( that's a story) completely uncomfortable wig into the nether-regions of a storage closet, but a gold medal victory over the the considerable opponent of breast cancer.
The Formidable Ms. N: There ain't no stopping Ms. N! She just keeps coming back for more. This sixty something young lady rides the stationary bike (for an hour) in rehab on M-W-F, does yoga and swimming on T- TH and tops it all off with a 4 mile walk on Saturday. This past year she has faced a heart attack, a near fatal brush with a ruptured appendix, and the death of her dear mother whom she had taken care of in her home over the past few years. After putting her 60 minutes in on the bike she was off and running to the Omaha airport to spent Christmas with her family in Phoenix, AZ. Her beaming smile rivaled the Iowa sun on fresh winter snow.
The Divine Ms. G: Ms. G. is 90 years old. She is my most consistent customer in cardiac rehab. Come hell or high water, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9am she is on the the bike- seat at position 1, RPM 40-50, 15 minutes, BP 102/60, HR 66, weight 167 pounds - for the past 8 years. Last month Ms. G's heart rate irregularly jumped to 125 and they have been adjusting her meds to try to get it slowed down and regular again. Last night, while in the hospital it stopped. Completely. The nurses were able to get her back and this morning when I went to see her, after she complained of a sore chest from the CPR, she grabbed my hand and said, " I miss you in rehab, but it's okay if I don't come back." She lost her husband this past year also, and had taken care of him at home for a number of years after he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. Won't they be a sight when they meet in Heaven again? Pete will probably walk out to meet her and maybe Ms G. will ride her bike through those pearly gates.
I hope I am half as strong as these women someday. I have a really cool job, don't I?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I do have proof, see and that IS a minus sign out in front of that 4. This was the latest temp on our handy-dandy-indoor-outdoor-thermometer-thingy bought by my techno geek hubby. (I do find it quite handy myself, but don't tell the Captain) This is the temp, but what you can't see is the wind chill which the news said was -29. WHAT?
So we woke up to the wind howling this morning and a good amount of blowing snow. Princess Maren looks out the window to check the weather and announces, after a thoughtful pause, " We sure are going to have to use a lot of hairspray today, Mom." Spoken like the true girly-girl that she is. Where did she come from? Here I am imagining fingers and toes lost on the way to church if not properly covered and she is thinking about her hair? That's our Maren.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
So anyway, what does the IA Pilot Wife want for Christmas? Hmm, a break, a new job for her husband, tantrum proof children (not asking for perfection here) and a passenger side door lock that works.
Our lovely old Dodge Caravan has always had a few shall we say "electrical idiosyncrisies". Sometimes the left blinker comes on if you don't push the blinker lever (is that what it's called?)up all the way. Yes, this can be a problem. After going through the drive through, I have had the drivers side window sink down into the door- never to return - in the middle of winter last year. And now the door lock thing. All the doors automatically lock on the van once you hit 20 MPH. A couple weeks ago when the front passenger door locked it started making this awful, really loud noise, like someone getting defibrillated - hard. ALL CLEAR! SHOCK ON THREE! The first time it happened I really did feel like I was going into cardiac arrest. So, I have gotten fairly used to it now, but feel I have developed a bit of a tic. No wonder the "Big Three" CEO's took their private jets to DC.
Anyhow, I think I have figured out the perfect gift for us busy moms. I have this little icon at the bottom of my computer screen that always tells me "You have unused items on your desktop. Use the desktop clean up wizard to clean them up", or something like that. First, I always get a bit defensive thinking - "if you think MY desktop is messy, you should see my husband's". Being the good Dutch woman that I am, I try to keep my desktop tidy. But, I think I should have one of these installed for my house. "You have unused items in your household. Use the household clean up wizard to clean them up." For my house is truly a mess. No defensiveness - just blatant truth. Yes, that is what I really want for Christmas - a Household Clean-Up Wizard.
Place your orders now ladies!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In our reading for this week we looked at a quote by a Dr. James Houston who said, " I want to be a Christian. But in spite of that I want to be honest." I laughed when I first read it and the author, Robert Loane, writing so insightfully about this quote, laughed too when he heard it and goes on to say,
"On one level to speak of being honest in the Christian life may seem so obvious that it bears not even needing to be repeated. Yet, at another level it unmasks the struggle of so much Christian experience in this world. Sadly for many, to be faithful to Jesus Christ means putting their head in the sand , denying the depths of problems that exist both in the world at large and in their heart. For others, to be honest means a rejection, or at least a seemingly all pervasive suspicion, of anything that is hopeful. It is in the midst of this tension- faithfulness and truthfulness- that the Christian life is lived out." Robert Loane - Vantage Point 3
I think I have always thought that tension should be avoided or relieved, and we should strive to live "tension free" lives. So if in this tension is where we are called to live out our lives - I have to readjust my mindset a bit. So, this class has been a journey of awareness for me instead of just making it through the day with my head buried nicely in a dark sandy hole. Awareness that some sorts of tension cannot and should not be avoided - honestly. Not easy, definitely hard, but definitely worth it.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
- ANGRY: This hitting and tantrum throwing has been on the agenda for too long. When is it going to get any better? If I were Ironman I would have shot one of those light balls out of my hands - not at her, but close enough to scare her real bad! Instead, I immediately threatened her with a spanking the minute we got home.
- RELIEVED: I do thank God the hot chocolate was not hot enough to burn Jackson's little face. I just cringe at the thought.
- EMBARRASSED: What? My child acting this way? I wanted to crawl in the nearest hole.
- DONE: I was about ready to bawl. It had been a hectic morning looking forward to a busy afternoon and I was ready to call it quits.
Thankfully a few things happened that I will attribute to God's grace. Jackson immediately started laughing. What healthy five year old, "nothing but boy" wouldn't find it hilariously funny to be doused with water and globs of undissolved hot cocoa mix all over his face in church. Then our pastor's wife walked by with their child Josi who is in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy. Shelly casually mentions that she had spilled an entire pitcher of lemonade on their kitchen floor yesterday. Perspective makes a come back.
By the time we got home, I had cooled my jets (and Ironman fire balls). I did not spank her, but Maren and I had a long talk. I know there is only so much reasoning you can do with a four year old, but I did see the look on her face when she saw what she did to her cousin and best buddy Jackson (They have been "married" at least three times - no kissing) We talked about holding her hands together real tight against her tummy and taking three big breaths instead of hitting - and I saw her use it tonight when she was tempted to wail on her sister while they were arguing over the Barbie's. So maybe this was the lesson she (and momma) needed to learn. I'll keep you posted.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
...that is the question, and the answer -for I am very tired - wooo, very Shakspeareanish. Hmm, Shakespeare ...let's give that a whirl.
When the sun this morning did rise - who did call to myself with her little voice demanding that the nights fast be broken, but the lovely Maid Maren. My body and mind did long for more of such sweet, sweet sleep. Doth not this child know it is the day of Satur? Hath she not something better to do. Alas, no. Ah Bed, parting is such sweet sorrow.
Arise and face the Day of Satur! Such cleaning, such laundering, such Christmas program praticing shall be done. What? What say you? The practice is not of this day, but starts next week? We have dressed! We have partaken of lousy breakfast food in order to be on time! Next week? Surely you jest! But alas, tis true.
Ah Bed, you call to me - if sleep be the food of love, snore on!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
How cold is it? Well, I don't know the acual temp (who wants to be tortured with that information) but the minute you step outside and take a deep breath - which you do because the cold nearly knocks it out of you in the first place - all of your boogers automatically freeze up inside your nose and get real sharp and painful. I hate that phenomenon, but it has become my official standard by which Iowa coldness can be judged.
So why another blog? I didn't realize such a vast blog world existed - until of course I tried to pick out a clever name and address that had not already been taken - who knew? Not I. (We do live in Iowa, you know.) Over Thanksgiving my sister-in-law introduced me to her friend's blog - and I was impressed! What a great outlet for creativity, venting, humor and keeping lots and lots of memories. I have tried to scrapbook, and have not done too well , but I still have the desire to keep these memories fresh or bring them back to life down the road. No paper, no mess, no clean-up - just a handy-dandy blogspot. I can deal with that.
So, why am I so crazy as to start a blog over the holiday season? That is the bigger question. I think it is called procrastination. I can think of about a hundred other things I should be doing right now. But, it is nice and cozy here in my little corner of the basement - space heater on foot and hot chocolate in hand. The girls are actually playing Barbie's together very nicely- small miracle for today. Ahh, now this is what getting ready for Christmas should really be about...AND my boogers are nicely thawed.