Friday, February 27, 2009

Marissa's Story Post

Marissa said she wanted to post a story on my blog, and she has been working on it quite diligently, so here it is. Some of the fonts didn't carrry over from MS Word so she is a bit sad about that. That's what happened to the area with the alphabet - the monotype sorts font didn't work and this less than computer literate mother didn't have any idea how to fix that. She does good work, doesn't she? Making her momma proud.

By Marissa Beaty and partly by Abby Rockhill.
Dedicated to my friends and family for being so good to me.

“Do you think it’s nice?” I asked my mom.
“Lovely.” She said. I was on way to being an all-star ice skater! Or that’s at least what my dad says. I’m Jennifer Joy McLatchen. That’s my full name. Anyways… wait? Where was I? Hmmm… Let’s see. “Do you think it’s nice?” I asked my mom. “Lovely.” she said. I was on my way to being an all-… Oh, yea! So, just then my brother Clyde came in my room. “I just wanted to remind you…” he said, “That It’s my turn to wash the dishes tonight.” I finished. “Dang!” Clyde said. I walked out of the room. Clyde followed me and said, “How do you always remember stuff with this…”
he put my fists together. “small of a brain?”
I told him in an I’ll-get-you-back-voice, “It’s just the way I do things.” Clyde rolled his eyes and ran out to the car. “Come on slow poke!” he said. I rolled my eyes at him like he did to me. Like all brothers, this one was REALLY annoying.

“And now here comes Jennifer Mc… Mc…”
“Latchen!!!” My mom yelled. “And here comes Jennifer McLatchen!”
said the announcer, trying again. The crowd clapped like crazy! I came out, but the music did not come. I was so confused I fell flat on my butt! Wait, let me try that again. I fell flat on my gjaghfjkah! Ha! You see, I replaced the bathroom word with gjaghfjkah! Anyway, the speaker said “Ah, folks we have a little problem here. Please stay calm.” But somebody shouted out “Hey the skater!? What’s she doin’ laying down there on the ice!?” Everyone looked at me.

First thing I knew my mom and dad and Clyde were racing on the ice. Soon, everyone was on the ice. Even some news reporters. LOTS more people came to see me. Finally, I got up. “What’s the matter?” everyone said, just not at the same time. (I think you knew that already.) Even the ambulance came. Before I knew it I was checked all over by a doctor. “She hurt her…” the doctor patted an assistant’s gjaghfjkah. “Real bad.” The doctor said. “But just a few days of rest here. Than her gjaghfjkah will get better.” My Mom, Dad, and Clyde nodded there heads.

I was reading my fourth book that I had.
It was a fairytale book. Although I didn’t read fairytales usually, I just HAD to read it. The art was so good! I was on the chapter Cinderella when I whispered to myself, “Wow. If I really lived in this book, there would be no embarrassment in your LIFE. I wish I lived there.” Then, the doctor’s desk turned into a gate with vines on it!
Suddenly. It all came together. I was in fairytale land. I’m sorry. But, I have to say this. WHOA! HOLD THE PHONE HERE PEOPLE!
I couldn’t believe it! My gjaghfjkah didn’t hurt anymore! Now, I KNEW I was in fairytale land.
As if you have guessed this already, you probably have found by reading that this is the place. WELL, HERE’S ONE THING: YOU GUESSED RIGHT! So anyways, what do you thing I did? Well, I walked around and then, a girl with a rag dress came running past me. I knew it was Cinderella.

I ran after her. I ran as fast as I could. Soon, I came to a house. Cinderella’s house. The cat, oh… uh… what’s his name again? Well, I will just call him… Fluffy! O.K! Fluffy was making all of these weird sounds and noises, I didn’t know what to do. The door opened. It was her. Cinderella.

or should I say Uh…Oh great!

“Who… who are you?” Cinderella asked. “I’m Jennifer Joy McLatchen.” I said. “A…a, come in.” said Cinderella. “What are you doing here?” Cinderella asked when I was inside. “I really don’t know.” I said, looking around. “I can ask my friends for help.” Cinderella said. “Who are they?” I asked. “Snow White and sometimes, when someone isn’t reading us, Sleeping Beauty.” “O.K.” I said. “Where do they live?” I said. “Go straight through the woods and sometime, you’ll meet a village.” Said Cinderella. “Thanks.” I was on my way.

My face was filled with happiness. I was at the village. I asked somebody, “Does Snow White live here?” “Yes. Over the hills of the forest. And if you’re new to the village, some said she died because of the evil witch.” Suddenly, an evil laugh sprang up like a spring. Something grabbed me. I turned around to see who it was. It was the evil witch. She was staring right at me.


“So… you want to save Snow White? Never. Never ever.” She looked at me for a second.
“Wait. You’re not the prince. Who are you?” “I’m Jennifer.” I said. “Well, Jennifer. How glad to meet you. NOT!” she said. (She was REALLY stupid.) I looked at her, confused. “Don’t look at me that way!” said the witch. (I was out of my mind when I did this.) I said, “You’re stupid.” And boy did she get furious! She yelled, right in my ears, “TO THE DUNGEUON YOU TWIT!” Then, a guard took me and tied my hands behind my back. Then he carried me away to the dungeon.

It was creepy. It was weird. It had ponies and rainbows painted on the wall. It was the brightest thing I ever saw. There were lots of wooden doors. The guard carried me into a wooden door. Ponies and rainbows were painted on the walls, too. The guard put me down. He went through the door and locked it. I huddled myself into a little ball and cried. I would probably never get home.

I was asleep when I heard a noise. A guard opened the door. He said, “The queen has found the stupid twit is a use of a slave.” He put this pole with a circle around my neck. He walked me over to the queen. The queen said, “For now, polish my nails, clean the kitchen and scrub the Grand Hall.” I went to work without saying a word.

I was scrubbing the Grand Hall. “Psst! Over here!” Someone called. I quick turned around. It was Cinderella. “Let’s get out of here!” I nodded my head. We climbed out of a window in the Grand Hall. We were suddenly in another room. “What is this place?” I asked. “It’s a booby trap.” Cinderella said. I shivered. Then, while Cinderella was peeking around, I noticed there was some writing on the walls. It said, if You want ever figure this out, you will be free of the evil queen. “Hey. Check it out!” I said. Cinderella looked in my direction.
Cinderella’s mouth plopped open. “I know this handwriting!” she said. She took out a small book. It was titled, The Art of Monotype Sorts.
She flipped a few pages. There was a code. It said,

The whole alphabet. “Perfect.” I whispered.
“I figured it out!” said Cinderella. “If you
want…” The walls began to shake. Suddenly, the walls just disappeared. We were out of the booby trap.

I asked while we were running though the woods I asked, “How do I get home?”
“I wish I could help, but I don’t know what to do.” Cinderella said. We were at Cinderella’s house. There was a carriage at the house. Cinderella’s face brightened. “Wait here.” She said. “WHAT?!” I said, confused. “Follow the carriage! Not me! Trust me!” she shouted.

The carriage moved slowly with Cinderella in it. Finally, the carriage and I
were there at the castle. The prince came running out of the palace. “I knew it was you!” he said to Cinderella. “If you don’t mind,” said Cinderella. “There is a girl who needs your help.” She signaled me to come. I tried to walk slowly and gracefully up to the prince. But that all changed when I tripped and fell.
I said, “I was wrong. There is embarrassment
in fairytale land.” The prince and Cinderella laughed. “So… what was your question?”
asked the prince. “Well, you see,” I said. “I was reading you’re story and I wished to be here.” “And…” said the prince. “And I just was here at that moment. My question is, How do I get out of here?” “Ah. I see.” Just then, the prince’s mouth popped open. “THE LIGHT BULB!” he said. “I am Tomas Edison!” said the prince. “You’re a train?” I asked.

“O.K.! Here it is! The light bulb!”
Cinderella and I clapped.
“With this invention you will be returned to your home!” said the prince.

“Now, I shall put these things together!”
said the prince. We had gathered everything we needed to get me home. “I’m going home.” I said.

“Done yet?” I asked after the twentieth hour that the prince was working on it. “No.” he said. “It’s been forever!” I complained. “I’m done!” said the prince. “Good.” I said. “I’m really going to miss you guys.” I said. “You can come back here anytime.” said Cinderella.
“Step on this platform.” said the prince.
“Bye! Bye!” I shouted. “Thank you!”

I was in my hospital bed. The doctor’s desk wasn’t a gate with vines on it. My gjaghfjkah didn’t hurt as much since last time. I smiled.
I was home. Clyde came running into my room with the doctor. “You can go home with us now!” said Clyde. I felt my face brighten. Then I turned to the doctor. I held up the fairytale book. “Is it O.K. if I keep this?” I asked. “Yea. That’s fine. We have about three-hundred more copies of it here.” said the doctor. I turned to Clyde. “Shall we go?” I asked. “We shall go.” said Clyde.


“Hi. I’m Jennifer Joy McLatchen.
Have you ever met Cinderella and her prince? Have you ever gotten captured by the evil queen in Snow White? Have you ever had to be a servant for about… say five minutes? Well, to tell you the truth, I HAVE. I would have said “Yes” to all those questions.

Hi. I’m Marissa Beaty. I’m the author of this book. I wrote a book one, book two, and coming soon a book three. If you like this one, well, call me if you can!(NOT!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This morning we woke up to the weird weather phenomenon of what these NW Iowa weatherpeople like to dub THUNDER SNOW. The radio, the TV, even the Captain (those flying types really get into the weird weather phenomenon) they were all loving the THUNDER SNOW. A bit dramatic don't you think? But, I guess there is no other way to describe it. Partly thundery/partly snowy? Snowy with scattered lightning? Looked it up on Wiki and it is the real deal. They even have a little diagram about it.

The weather here in Iowa often makes an awkward transition to spring, and that is just how it felt this morning. Seven AM or so and we heard our first peal of thunder. Hmm, was that really what I think it was? Flash of lightning later, followed by another boomer - yep I guess so. Immediately thought of green grass, smell of rain, tulips, POD marching band practice, and all that other good spring stuff. But, looked out the window only to see a driveway covered with sleet and ice and a bit of THUNDER SNOW. Decidedly awkward.

We now have blowing and drifting THUNDER SNOW. Actually the thunder is long gone, but some of the snow that fell while it was thundering is still blowing around. So that would count as THUNDER SNOW in my humble non-weatherperson-just-a-nurse opinion. Of course, now there is just plain snow added to the THUNDER SNOW. It is having a hard time living up to the hype of the THUNDER SNOW. I feel sorry for the plain snow.

SOOOOO, as an IA Pilot Wife, who is desperately wishing, hoping, praying, for Spring, I have had to lower my expectations once again. I will say I do have an absolutely lovely, mesmerizing, unbelievably hot fire in the fireplace right now. I am in love. Take that THUNDER SNOW.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bald IS Beautiful...

I briefly mentioned painting bathrooms in my last post. Usually means a small space, with lots of cutting in (doors and windows and vanities and such) and requires getting up close and personal with a toilet. I really hate trying to paint behind a toilet.

I did do some bathroom painting this weekend and had the distinct privilege of getting up close and personal with Mom and Dad's toilet. The Captain helped with a large portion of that - thanks honey. There is a weird part of me that actually enjoys painting. I find it therapeutic to some extent. The old has gone, the new has come. Through many remodels and house projects, I have gotten to be pretty adept at painting. Painting at my parents house left me a little nostalgic though.

The reason we were painting is because my parents have recently redone their bathroom. They removed a small cramped tub/shower unit and replaced it with a large shower unit. My dad with his Parkinson's disease was having a harder and more difficult time getting his leg over the side of the tub and his shower chair never fit very well into that small tub they had. So, this should work much better. No door, just a small lip to step over and mom can help him much more easily without hurting her back. All good.

Somewhere between cutting in around the new shower and the baseboards, I started getting pretty sad. I remembered my dad helping us do various odds and ends when we moved into our first home in Tulsa. He helped me paint that bright red accent wall in our hallway that I just loved. He was a good painter. Very particular, very detailed as is his nature. Over the years, as Parkinson's has taken its toll, he does less and less in the home improvement projects, and that's OK. I know he would love to help, but just can't. He sat in his lift chair and offered words of encouragement from the living room, or he would shuffle over with his walker to let me know if I missed a spot - He really liked that part. : )

MOM: (peeking in the door) Shannon, are you OK?

SHANNON: (sniffle sniffle - turning away and paying meticulous attention to the cutting in above the shower) "Yep, must be getting a cold - or else this paint is getting to me...I'm fine."

But sometimes I'm not. I get jealous of other grandpa's doing things with their grandchildren that my dad never will. Will my girls ever know what a goofball my dad used to be? He had this crazy comb-over when I was a young girl and he used to let me fix it with foam rollers. And he used to drive around in his old powder blue Ford pick-up with his "Bald IS Beautiful" bumper sticker, and people would honk and wave whenever we went into town because everyone recognized that crazy blue truck. Did you know he once put baby mice in the pocket of my coat to "go show your mother", and that he bought me a pony - my very own pony? Did you know he could fix anything - REALLY. Did you know that in the summer he would get dark as an Indian in the Iowa sun, and that his corn fields really were the straightest and weedless long before all the fancy equipment and round-up ready corn? Did you know he liked to play golf and once shot a hole in one?

I try to tell them these things and show them too. I am grateful for the chance to live as close to them as we do. To help paint bathrooms of course, but also to give my girls some memories in what feels like a limited amount of time some days. Every once in awhile I see my real dad come out. Like when he had Maren convinced that if she tapped him on the head three times - that would make his teeth pop out (he has dentures). It was very cute when I saw her standing up on her stool that night looking in the bathroom mirror, hitting herself on the head, really hoping her teeth might pop out too.

I also remember last fall when mom had surgery and was on a five pound weight restriction, my brothers and I took turns staying over at night in case Dad needed some help. Once his last Sinemet wears off - he is as stiff as a board and can't get up on his own during the night. I had just gotten him settled to bed, and was about asleep when he called - "Shannon...need some help." I sleepily walked in his room and he had his blankets pulled up to his chin and I could barely make out his blue eyes twinkling in the nightlight, but then he said - "Just kidding"- with the tiniest little grin on his face.

Hope you like the new paint job in the bathroom Dad, you taught me everything I know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

HTML What?

I am tired today. I stayed up entirely too late trying to change this silly template. I probably should have left well enough alone, but for me part of the appeal of having a blog is the ability to change the template ...frequently. I am one of those furniture rearranging types. Gotta have something different. Gotta keep the hum in my drum. Figured changing the blogger template would be much less strenuous and yet ease my desire for something new and different.

So I found this happy green - heaven knows we could use a little green around here- template that the Captain says is a bit overmuchly green over at Leelou Blogs. The last time I downloaded a new template, it worked like a charm. This time was a different story, kept getting these BX something or other errors with everything I tried. Finally got that figured out, then decided I missed my three column template, so found a site that showed you how to edit your HTML to add a third column. So I hope the gals over at LeeLou don't mind that I did some rearranging on their free template. This all came to a close at about 1:30 AM. Did I really think this would be easier than rearranging furniture? HMM...

It got me thinking though about how computers have really changed everything. I remember typing up my college paper with a basic word processing program and thinking that was cutting edge. Now the internet - what piece of information can NOT be found on the internet. It boggles my mind! And this blogging and HTML stuff. How does that gibberish get translated to something with meaning and often times with blogs - pretty darn cute meaning? Then I start to think of my Grandma's generation and the incredible changes they have experienced in their lifetime. Going from (in?) outhouses and farming with horses to this computer generated day and age has to be a bit daunting. And what will the M's see in their lifetime? Amazing.

I do want to keep learning though. I am not the most computer literate in the whole world, but I do want to stay in touch and especially keep up with the kiddos. I feel like Maren already knows more about the Wii than I do. And Marissa - she takes a keyboarding class at school and already knows how to do so many things that I feel I have just figured out in the last few years or so.

Now there is blogging and facebook and itunes and free playlists and it all just is really quite enjoyable. I secretly did have a lot of fun editing the HTML - frustrating as it was. Sort of like painting the bathroom. What a pain, but how fun are the results. Ahh, the little things that make me happy.

P.S. See, Captain, see how the bright lime green matches the bright green in Marissa's new SpongeBob robe her very talented seamstress Grandma made her? All part of the greater plan, honey. Your mom and I had it all figured out! Just leave it all to us.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nosepicking Revisited

I was going to save this little "booger" for a later date, but seems like the nosepickers are out and about, so we will just go with it. I tried to make it a little less garish by editing it with a nice sepia tone. Does it work for you?

If you are interested in seeing more of the gold diggin', then click
here and maybe you could win a t-shirt and then click here and laugh your head off at the juice bag recordings. Seems Baloney's Micheal has it right. Nosepicking really is the greatest symbol of life.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

O What A Thrill!

The Captain did good this Valentine's Day. Here are some highlights.

1. Princess Maren cannot keep a secret and informed me at breakfast on Friday morning. "You and Daddy are going on a date wit ee chudder." Like that. My heart melteth.

2. The Captain cannot keep a secret either. He posted a status report on FB that he was making Valentine's Days plans. Very subtle. No one reads FB.

Craig is planning for Valentine's Day with Shannon . . (sshh, don't tell her!) 4:54pm - Comment - -
You like this.

3. I came home from work Friday to a rose on the counter and he had bags packed for the M's and a bag packed for me ( I'll have to admit, I repacked) and we were dropping the M's off at the G's. (Grandpa and Grandma). FOR THE NIGHT. Can I get a WHOOT! WHOOT! Thanks G's!!

4. He had reserved a room at the Wild Rose B&B in Okoboji. We had gone there for what we figured was probably our 5th anniversary and had a nice time. So what great fun to be going back!

5. He also had made me the sweetest Valentine's Day CD. A little Beatles, U2, Tony Bennett, Micheal Buble (swoon) and the Mavericks. (make that a double swoon). We listened to it on the drive up there. Lub Dub.

6. We went out for dinner at Minerva's. Where it was martinis, salmon, grilled asparagus and really good crusty bread. Num Yummy. Did you know that asparagus is an aphrodisiac? Me neither. I KNOW!

7. Back at the room ... well that is none of your business. It's true what they say about asparagus.

8. King size bed, gas fireplace with a switch, jacuzzi tub, chocolate covered strawberries, champagne with a resealable top. I find joy in the small convenient stuff. And it is still none of your business.

9. Good night's sleep and woke up to the smell of blueberry muffins and a bright shiny day.

10. Tasty breakfast which I did not make and it was off to the Barn Swallow, one of my favorite stores at the Lakes. The captain allowed me to browse at my leisure. No rush. We found some cute stuff, giggled at the greeting cards (they have the best cards there) played with the kitties (they take in strays and the cats wonder around the store as you are shopping) and the Captain bought some really good chips and salsa. Fun.

11. Then it was back to the OC to pick up the M's. Funny, absence- even a short 20 hours-does make the heart grow fonder.

12. I had to work for four hours that night in MedSurg. When I came home, the Captain had folded and PUT AWAY all the laundry. I do love this man.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I know what you are tying to do. I have your number and it is 52 luscious Fahrenheit degrees on 2 (as in February)-10-09 in Northwest Iowa. You are easy come, easy go. Here today and gone tomorrow. You tempt me with your warm breezes, those glimpses of green grass peeking out from the dirty worn out snow, mixed with the heady perfume of thawing Iowa black dirt. I know how you are. You want me to think that you are committed and here to stay, but I am not easily fooled. You are a one day stand and tomorrow you will give me the cold shoulder.

I will, however, tip you back and drink you in and relish every drop. I'll get tipsy on your excess. It makes me think of this:

and this,

and this.

Lovely apparitions all, but, in my heart, I know you will just give me much more of this.

So, I am waiting on the real deal. You will not break me Fake and Fickle Spring-like Day. I am just not that into you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bath Time!

I have to admit, sometimes I really don't enjoy bath time. Let me rephrase, I do enjoy my own leisurely bath time, but do not always feel that the girls bath time is at all leisurely. Just another thing that gets put on the to-do list. There is also that fact that this task is often done solo, since the Captain is up in the air. Usually starts with the pleading to get in the tub, and by the time they are in, you need to plead with them to get out.

However, looking back over some old pictures, I do seem to have a lot of pictures of the girls taking baths. I am sure they will love that as they get older. "Awww mom, not another nekkid bathtub picture." And then I am posting them on a blog. On the world wide web. They will love me for sure. Sometimes motherly revenge is sweet.

The fact that I grabbed the camera says I must have wanted to capture this moment. Maybe I knew this event would not always be there for the taking, and I should record more than a mothers heart can remember.

Sometimes, I think there should be a different type of baby book. Not the one where a mom makes an attempt to record her baby's firsts, but the lasts. I look at this picture of M and M and can almost hear the laughter erupting from the bathroom. It was giggles and water from floor to ceiling let me tell you. Maren loved taking a bath with Sissy. This year though, legs have gotten longer, the bath tub seems to be shrinking, and Marissa in a plea for some privacy, leans toward taking a shower. Without Miss Maren. Have I seen their last bath together? Probably. I think I should have written that down and cherished every minute just a little more.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Messy Marvin turns 32!

My younger brother Nathan (aka Nate) turned 32 this past Wednesday. I can't believe my little bro is getting so old! Nah, not really. 32 actually sounds pretty good to me these days! Nate came into the world living large at nearly 11 pounds (my poor mother whose silly Dr. let her go two weeks past her due date and thus she gave birth to a small child) and has really been living that way ever since.

I used to rock him to sleep for mom and the whole left side of my body would fall asleep too because he was SO heavy. We didn't see his eyes for about 2 weeks after he was born - he was such a chunk. Wasn't long and he was the cutest little tow headed toddler there ever was.

Until he turned about 5 or 6. Then he was just a brat. Do you remember Messy Marvin from the Hershey's commercials in the 80's? Nate could have been a body double. Had the messy hair, the crooked glasses, all the goods.

He ate dog food instead of Hershey's chocolate. Mostly to torment me and my girlfriends, I think. Although we loved the opportunity to use all that eighties valley girl speak. "Gag me with a spoon!!" comes to mind. The more we grossed out, the more little nuggets he would eat. Maybe that's what's wrong with him!

So, now he is 32 and has three little boys of his own. It is great to watch him be a father to them and a good hubby to his wife Tanya. His family really went through some major changes and their share of trials this past year. He is a man of faith and is seeking God in his life and it is good to see. I think he has finally laid off the dog food, too. Happy Birthday Nate! Love ya!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Today is the American Heart Association's national Go Red For Women Day. I made my five dollar donation and wore Red and a pair of jeans to work today. So did many others. It was kinda cool to head down to the cafeteria and see all the Red happening.

I am not a "causey" person. Since working in Cardiac Rehab ( where people go after heart attacks or heart or valve surgery to get their hearts stronger) I have been much more in tune to the effects of heart disease and how devastating it can be. I have had grown men break down and cry in our first session after they have had a heart attack. Women too have been teary eyed and uncertain. Having something wrong with your heart leaves you in a very vulnerable place.

Not only is the patient affected, but the family as well.
Baloney, told this story of her father passing away from congestive heart failure most likely, at the young age of 42. She was only 9. That is only one year older than my Sweet Marissa. I thought this was a neat video. Now, I am going to go take a walk.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blog Award? ME?

My first blog exciting!

Annie sent this my way - thank you so much!

Here are the official rules:
1) Admit that ONE thing you feel awful about involving being a mom. Get it off your shoulders. Once you've written it down, you are NO LONGER allowed to feel bad. It's over with, it's in the past. Remember, you're a good mom!
2) To remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list SEVEN things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you. These are the things to remind yourself of EVERY DAY that you rock!
3) Send this to FIVE other Moms of the Year that deserve forgiveness and a reminder that they, too, are the best moms they can be!!! Remember to send them a note to let them know you've selected them, and add a link to the person who nominated you!"

There are many things that pop into my head when I read #1. There was the time I forgot to pick up Marissa at school when they had an early out. I rushed into the school office to see her sitting there, head bowed and tears silently streaming down her face. I remember the time Maren (with her lifejacket on thank goodness) slipped off the back of my brother's boat into Lake Okoboji, she panicked and I froze, could not move. Thank goodness my sis-in-law Michelle had the clear head to jump in after her.

When I was doing my narrative for my VP3 class, one of what I have always felt was my worst mothering moments came to mind while I was writing it. I had just gone back to work after Marissa was born. I had about a half hour commute and my shift started at six-thirty - that would be AM. I would get up at 4:30, get showered, wake Marissa up at 5AM, breast feed, get dressed, pack her in the car, leave the house by 5:30, drop her off at daycare by 6AM, find a parking spot at work, hope for an open elevator and barely walk into the MICU at St. John's Medical Center in Tulsa, OK in time to get report for the coming 12 hour shift.

One evening my shift went long and I didn't get done with my shift until about 7:15PM. The daycare was right on the hospital campus, but the attendant was unhappy with me for being late. The Captain was gone on a trip. Sweet Marissa was always a bit fussy in the evenings and this night was worse than usual. I could not cope. She would not STOP crying. I laid her in the crib and I




I left her crying in the dark for who knows how long. I don't remember. It was not my actions that bothered me most, but the deep dark place my mind went in that moment. A place where mothers do shake their babies out of frustration and despair. A place where someone tells you you do not deserve to be a mom.

I do think that in my worst mothering moment, God gave me the grace to make it my best mothering moment. I didn't hurt my baby, and that night I made the decision to work only part-time and only in eight hour shifts for that season in my life.

So I release this bad mommy moment out into the endless ethernet. It is well with my soul. Actually Sweet Marissa had given me a nice little Mommy Award in church last Sunday. I'll take that one too!

1) I love it when the delicate Princess Maren laughs so hard she snorts.
2) I love their sweet kisses.
3) I love the way their hair smells after having a bath.
4) I love the fact that Marissa can still snuggle on my lap and still wants to do so.
5) I love it when they giggle together.
6) I love to watch them greet their daddy after a long trip.
7) I love it when they talk to Jesus in their own words.
Now I will send this on to:
Dawn at The B Keeper
Kelly at Beaty Blooming Blessings
Kim, you tag Rachel and I will talk three other friends into starting blogs so I can tag them. What fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Old Dutch Cleanser ... Updated Version

Really, why do I do it? Talk about an exercise in futility. After taking it easy last Tuesday - I am back to the usual routine. My house is clean, but why, why bother? My bathroom, 2 hours post spotlessness is now nicely encrusted with a layer of slimy toothpaste slithering down the sink ala Princess Maren. Floor, once freshly Swiffered is now tracked with soap scummed footprints from Sweet Marissa in search of a book to read while bathing.

I must have enough of that weird Dutch gene that finds fulfilment and calling in keeping her house clean. Mind you, I am not obsessively clean. This is coming from someone who in high school came home to her clothes being thrown out her bedroom window onto the roof of the garage by her father. His threat was not an idle one. (I am, by the way, keeping that one in the arsenal for future use with our girls.) I did not keep my room very clean at all in high school. Who knew what sort of disease and pestilence spawned in the nether-regions under my bed. So, to have made it this far is some sort of small miracle. I do find myself in a much better mood when my house is clean.

So the Captain and I were chatting on FB and we got into a discussion about toilets. I know! There should be better things to chat about. But, a nurse can talk about most any bodily function and fluid it might involve without too much pause, and then go eat her lunch. We often talk of these things in our household. But, the Captain was saying they have these really cool toilets in Japan that are heated, give you a nice little cleaning - if you get my drift, and then play a cute little flushing song when you are through. He thinks there may be a market for that in the US. When the Captain is not being the Captain, he is really Professor Gadget. The man has an imagination. Naturally, I had to Google it and YouTuble it.

He was right! There are all sorts of YouTube videos heralding the praises of the Japanese toilets. I saw only one thing that could be improved upon and that would be a self cleaning option, ( not the human, but the actual toilet) now that would be glorious. And then I found this.

Will wonders never cease!! Now if the Captain could market this in the US, all us crazy Dutch women in NW Iowa would go out and buy one and single handedly save the US economy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Personal Favorite...

I'll have to admit, I did not watch much of the SuperBowl. I did go to YouTube to check out the commercials. This one is my personal favorite. It does take some humility for me to say this, because the Captain will tell you that a) I tend to criticize his driving and b) I often slap on, not my Angry Eyes, but my Rolling Ones. So honey, I will offer this up as a peace offering. Laugh all you want. Love ya!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lessons from a Royal Cupbearer

Pastor Jon is doing a sermon series on Nehemiah at church. I'll admit, I was less then excited about this for various reasons.

First, Nehemiah is in the Old Testament. I find the old Testament a bit daunting. Too many rules, major and minor prophets, kings, tribes of Judah and some really weird stuff. Sometimes, besides the obvious Psalms and Proverbs, and the Big Ten, the OT doesn't seem quite as applicable to this day and age.

And by the way, where exactly IS Nehemiah in the Bible? I do like to follow along with the passage during the sermon, but get frustrated if the reading is half way over and I haven't even found the book yet. Let's just go to the New Testament please. I know a little memory song about the books of the New Testament and that is way easier.

And the spelling, how much you wanna bet spellchecker is gonna be all over Nehemiah. Let's just call him NeHi for short.

Turns out, I have learned an awful lot from NeHi. He was living the life as a well respected royal cupbearer for the King of Persia, Artaxerxes (another spellcheck nightmare) and felt called to return to Judah to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem. He actually got the feat accomplished in 52 days. He was a man of both prayer AND action, which can be a rare combination. He was an organizer, an encourager, a mobilizer, and just an all around upstanding guy.

This week NeHi was fighting injustice in Chapter 5. The people of Judah were being unfairly taxed, worked to death, and selling their children as slaves in order to put food on the table - and this was all at the hands of the more wealthy Jews, their own people. And I thought the OT wasn't as applicable? So NeHi took these Jews to task and some remarkable things happened. First at the end of 5:8, it says, "They kept quiet, because they had nothing to say." The truth often hurts, but don't we all usually have something to say, some excuse, someone else to blame? And then NeHi takes the high road. He admits in 5:10 "I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain". I greatly respect a man, or anyone that can admit they are wrong, and then take the steps to make it right and that is also what NeHi did.

So, Pastor Jon made some sermon points on why we, (as in I) as a community, as a church, as a nation, are often immobile or inactive in the face of injustice.

1. We just don't have very much experience with it. In fact, we are often more afraid of justice rather than injustice. Generally, on a day to day basis, many of us don't experience injustice. Jon related a story where he was speeding and passes a Highway Patrol coming over the hill in the other lane. He saw him tap his brakes in his rear view mirror - Jon was scared. Not of injustice, but of justice. Shouldn't we consider that a privilege?

So does that mean injustice does not exist in NW Iowa? Oh no. Jon then related a story told by some friends of ours that have just adopted two little girls from Algeria. Gracie, their eight year old daughter was riding the bus home when another little girl comes up to her and loudly declares, "That boy in the back of the bus says he hates you because you are black." My heart burns even as I write this. Gracie is one of my students in Children in Worship and she is precious beyond words. That makes me ANGRY.

2. We are often overwhelmed by the scope of it. How does one start to heal the continent of Africa? Or even the convoluted injustices of this nation?

3. It is often politically polarizing. Nehemiah had to ruffle a few feathers when he confronted the wealthy Jews, he even had his own feathers ruffled. I'll admit, it is hard to step out of the comfort zone, lift up my head and SEE. I think it goes way beyond political parties and their views, but it is often these differing views that get in the way of each other and therefore nothing gets done. Nothing changes. I think Satan likes it like that.

I don't know all the answers, and that is the whole point of this post. I need to sift through these thoughts and process them. It does makes me think and squirm a bit uncomfortably,and maybe that is the first step. Maybe someday I'll be brave like NeHi and take a stand.