Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I just woke up from the sweetest dream!

The boys were little. Brett was about 4 and Ryan not quite two, so they were younger than in this picture. Ryan was running around with that twinkle of possible mischief in his eyes, and Brett was building a Lego fort bigger than both of them. He jumped up on top of it, and I told him to get off (joykiller :/ ). My mom was trying to sleep in the living room, so I took all three of them--Jylle had joined us by now--and rearranged the furniture in one bedroom so they had a kind of stairs to climb where they could jump down onto a bed. Not quiet fun realistically, but hey, this was a dream, and stuff just gets to "be" in them.

Jylle asked if she could jump too, and even though the boys weren't thrilled, I said yes. She was so excited. It was so. much. fun. to be playing with my little ones again! Ryan would run around just like he used to, cape flying behind him, curly hair framing a face starting to bead with sweat. Brett was studious, in the way he had of absorbing all the details around him. He was their leader, showing them the best way to do things, even in a dream...

I always did relish playing with my children like that. I remember taking a door we weren't using and setting up as a slide in the living room, propping it up on the couch and throwing a couple of pillows down at the bottom to soften the landing for their little bums. More than once we made a game of keep away on the bunkbeds--you had to stay on the beds, no touching the floor, or you were out. My favorite games were ones that ended up with me hugging them, which I pretty much ended with no matter what we were playing, come to think of it. Yeah, Hug Da Babies--my favorite game of all...

My mom needing quiet because of a headache was something all too familiar from my own years of growing up. They plagued her so regularly that it was more uncommon for her not to have one. It was either fairly quiet in the house because noise really played havoc on her hearing aids, or because she was trying to sleep away a throbbing head. In my dream, I was the one making noise that disturbed her though, not the kids. I kept tripping or banging my head, just klutzy stuff. I don't think I really did that in real life. Of course, there wouldn't be a long piece of metal roofing set at a precarious angle in my real life living room that I'd have to dodge like there was in the dream.

My sweet chillins and my mama in pain--memories of the sweet and the sorrowful... I'll take it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I sure do love my mother-in-law. She is an incredibly wonderful inspiration and role model. There are so many adjectives that come to mind when I think of what she's like:


Anyone who knows her could add more virtues to this list, which is definitely not exhaustive. Those are just the ones off the top of my very limited head. Honoring, practical, and thrifty just came to mind.

After I lost my mom, I told her that I would need her more than ever. Since then, she has signed all her emails to me "Your mom." Creates a lump in my throat every time I think about it. I have a voice mail from her that I'll continue to save. She's thanking me for calling and telling her about my mom (who was in the ER and not expected to live). She clears her throat and says that we'll talk soon and to take care. She's a very brave and private person, so I can imagine that she was trying to be strong and keep it together to make the message easier on me, so as not to be a distraction to me.

She is distracting though, in that the absence of any thought to herself stands in stark contrast to my own self and most of the people I know and have ever met. She is the closest thing to the Proverbs 31 woman I have ever known, while also being totally approachable.

As we celebrate her 81st birthday today (and in person this coming weekend), I raise my hands in grateful praise for the woman who raised my husband, has taught me what it means to love Jesus in word and in deed, and continues to inspire, motivate, and encourage me, using words if necessary.

I love you, Mom. Thank You, Lord, for this WW.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Online Memory Minder

Stuff I jotted down on all different pieces of note paper that I don't want to forget about, but don't want to physically keep anymore:

Songs to check out:

Cannot Turn Away, Chris Tomlin
Worthy of All Our Praise (?), Selah
I Fall, Phil Baquie
My Offering, Kelly Minter (sp?)

Books to check out (ha, literally):
The Suncatchers
A Thousand Tomorrows (Kingsbury series)
Red Glove (Kingsbury series)
Elm Creek Quilt (series)
True Believer (Sparks)

Movies to check out:
The Red Pony
The Field
Goodnight, Mr. Nick
Dancing at Lhugnasa

Ryan's 2010 Wish List:
  • Some really good gloves
  • Anything super cool by guys like Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, Ravi Zacharias, those kind of dudes--books, videos, stuff like that.
  • Sanpera I (Foot switch for Peasy Vyper modeling amp ($100)
  • Faith + Hope + Love
  • This is Our God
Hillsong United
  • Tear Down the Walls
Desperation Band
  • Light Up the World
I found a scrap of paper with this scrawled on it: Dad's 1st Place, 512 S. Union St, Shawano, WI. While I don't remember the context of it, I googled it just for funzies.

He said that except for a porch that used to be off to the right in front, it pretty much still looks the same. He got a kick out of seeing it again. Kinda cool to think that this is where my daddy started out his life, a life that I am so deeply thankful for and love to da moon and back.

Lydia is allergic to pineapple! Do not forget this one.

It gives me the heebiest of jeebies to think of losing anyone I love. "It's impossible" is what would I would feel, as quoted from the book Making Toast. I still feel that way every one of the hundreds of times I think that about my mom.

Life is good, especially when we remember how tissue frail it can be.

Delight yourself in the small things. Someday you will realize they were the big things.

More Salad

This was written on a scrap of paper in my nightstand:

Days go by, I lead a little life,
An ordinary mother, daughter, sister, wife.
Acquaintance to many, friend to a few,
Irrelevant to most... but not to You.

I read this today and don't know if I wrote it or if a speaker did: "Hindus look to the future, Jews to the past, Christians to the NowHere." The "NowHere" throws me off because that's something I use fairly frequently.

Can't find the English lyrics to "My Nipa Hut," whose title I found on yet another scrap piece of paper, and my cousins don't know the words even to the Filipino version. I found the words "suman" and "kuchinta" on the same scrap, so I googled one of them and found this site. I bookmarked it so that the next time I see my cousin Aida who loves to cook, we can try out one of these recipes.

I have got to start writing down where I hear or read things I deem worthy enough to jot down--makes me nuts. These two quotes are on the same "kuchinta" scrap. Nothing that causes me to launch into study right now, but I wanted them in a safe place so I can toss the note.
  • Every Utopian vision involves death on a mass scale.
  • My imagination is a creative force.
  • Pride--the unwanted guest.
  • All of God's stories end in peace.
  • Little girls who make their mothers live grow up to be such powerful women.
Ryan is amazed at the influence we have on people even without words. I've been thinking about it ever since he told me.

On an reptilian note, Kev asked a science teacher what to do about the turtle I captured a few days ago. He said it was migrating, looking for a place to hibernate. I painted two red spots on its shell with nail polish in case it , and released it in the field pointing south. It must've been used to not being able to go anywhere because it sat there inside its shell for a really long time. It was also terrified of the dogs, judging by its antisocial tendencies.

The journey of a thousand miles....

Off to ready us for the weekend. Jolly good...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I found this in a Bible I haven't used in years, and it inspired me all over again with its reminder of truth. I found something online that said it's apparently from an ancient hymn.

Lord, I'm willing to receive what You give,
lack what You withhold
relinquish what You take
suffer what You inflict, and
be what You require.

I wish I was the person my dogs think I am.  I think that so often that it's become a kind of mantra. I don't know if that's healthy, but at least I don't believe I'm dumb anymore. One trip to Stevens County Title proved that to me. I used to think I was compliant. Lord's shown me otherwise. Like a lot of other passive agressives, I don't like change. I resist, avoid, run, anesthetize, and struggle. Go back, make it not that way, change it back. My life will be a lot more peaceful when I drink in and embrace for myself that nothing will happen to me that He has not allowed because He is always and only Good. Instead of being apprehensive about what-ifs, I want to rest in the Hands that have me engraved on the palms. This sounds like so much flowery speech, but it really is what I want to want, who I want to want to be, more than I want to breathe.

On a lighter note, Kev wants to eat less meat and dairy. This is easy right now when every shelf and counter has some kind of fruit and vegetable on it (I love this time of year). It'll be a greater challenge in the winter when lettuce, oranges, and apples are about all that's available. How I wish I could preserve a winter's worth of watermelon! And not those rind pickles--that is not watermelon. Gotta find some good, tasty recipes for meatless entrees that also don't contain a ton of carbs. On to my homework.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Photo Salad

Thought I'd photoblog a salad of life this last week. Just for funzies.

The biggest head of garlic I have EVER seen!
This is the from the crop my mom planted last fall...
Never thought garlic would touch my heart.

Boating with Barb & Dave at Hunters.
Best day at the water this year!

Roses my daddy sent home with me after I spent the day with him ('cause I can).

Summer bounty--and this is only a few of the tomatoes. We have five kinds, two varieties from my dad's friend, Leroy--an orange cherry tomato and a maroon heirloom.

The turtle I found in the barn! I screamed as it 'sped' away. Then I captured it with a bucket and a drill (it's all I could find besides my own hands, and no way!) and put it in an abandoned water trough. I added a large piece of wood and gave him some lettuce. I have no idea what to do with him.

Blackberries from my Glenice plant! The late spring freeze means no berries for most in this area, but this plant is right next to the garage, so that must've helped spare the blossoms. Yay for garage walls!

Breakfast for Sahib. The other two were eating grass hay, and I couldn't see Sahib. I found him chillin' in a stall, so I did what I do--spoiled him with horse candy ('cause I can =) .

Beer can chicken. It was good, but no different than oven roasted. Took an hour and a half on the grill, so I won't try it again unless I come across a recipe that someone testifies is worth it.

We went to the Interstate Fair on Friday night to see the rodeo. We met Carol and Glenn and their daughter, Karen, when I stretched and Carol "caught" my fist in her two hands. I have no idea why such a simple gesture made us laugh so hard, but it did. Kev and I split a plate of fish and chips, and our second course was lo mein with veggies and teriyaki chicken. It tasted a lot better before I realized that I'd doused the whole front of my shirt with the juice when I carried it to the stands. I looked like a five-year old. *sigh* The last thing we got before we left was a baker's dozen of cinnamon sugar mini-donuts. We each had a couple and then saved the rest for Jylle because she went ape over them when we brought her some from the Cusick fair last month.

Pretty sweet week.

Friday, September 02, 2011


A friend posed a question on her blog: How pliable are you? do you embrace change or resist it? do you adapt easily, or fight tooth and nail when change invites itself in?

My answer: I have never been accused of being pliable. But neither has anyone called me stubborn (although I personally believe I am passive-aggressive). I process plights in the inky twilight of Between as I seek to find balance between what's reasonable, and the prompts that my heart is whispering. Having to adapt to two of my three kids moving on with their lives was a daily exercise of willful surrender and acceptance. I woodenly took one step and then another, but Grace is greatest when the need is deepest, and so I survived and now own for myself two altars of sweetest gratitude and love. Things are as they should be, indeed as they need to be. This acceptance--and embrace--has come out of great struggle, tears, and sadness. By labor were they born, and by labor were they freed. Lord, You know.

Now I just hope that what I've learned from processing these two departures will help a year from now when my baby leaves this house to begin her college years! Oy...