Tuesday, November 28, 2006


It has recently been brought to my attention (not once but twice) that I am most likely a nerd. A geek. A dweeb. Perhaps even a loser.

First Nerd Confirmation.
We had been at the U of I watching our team WIN THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL GAME. Go Trojans. My mom had taped the game since it was televised so we were watching it the next night and Paul and I noticed we were shown several times in the stands. We were impressed.
Let me just say. I had come up with the PERFECT outfit for the game. Big yellow v-neck sweater over a royal blue long sleeved t-shirt, over a white turtle neck, which gave me a great combination of our team colors. Then I had on royal blue gloves, a yellow "Trojan Football" headband to keep my ears warm, and my sun glasses just happened to be blue. I did not need a jacket because the weather was perfect, which is a good thing because I hated to cover up my outfit. I mean, why ruin the look?
Now back to being shown on TV. When we pointed ourselves out to Kayla on the screen. She giggled and said "You guys have like NOBODY around you..." Then she held up a big "L" on her forehead and said "losers." UH!! She was right. There were like 5 empty spaces ON EACH SIDE OF US. I think the row behind us was empty too. I know the row in front of us was. No wonder it was so easy to spot us. We were the two people with the big "L's" on our foreheads.
Of course, we had taken 4 kids with us and much of the space around us was being taken up by blankets, back packs, sweatshirts,cameras, etc. dropped off by said kids.

Second Nerd Confirmation.
Here is our conversation last night at supper regarding Blake's wrestling meet.
Blake: It's not even a real meet, it's a "take-down" meet so you both don't have to go, especially since it's 2 hours away. And, no offense Mom, but if only one of you goes I'd rather it be Dad, especially if I don't have to ride the bus home and he can drive me home. Again, no offense, but I'd rather ride home with Dad.
(Tip to teenagers, don't start any statement with "No offense..." You will usually ended up offending.)

Me: UH!! You can't POSSIBLY think your father is a safer driver than I....!!

Later in the evening I brought this up to Paul (All in good fun, remember)

Me: Do you think Blake really thinks I'm not as safe as you when driving? Because that is ridiculous. You are more confident, perhaps, but I am more CAUTIOUS.
Paul: I think he is talking about your speed.
Me: Oh, you mean the fact that I obey the law and drive the speed limit and that I have NEVER had a ticket, therefore setting a much better example for our teenage son who will be driving IN EIGHT MONTHS??
Paul: Yeah, probably that.

Yes. I am a Nerd. But I am a cautious Nerd who knows how to dress for a football game.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Well, finally this year I did it. After Thanksgiving dinner, on our way home, I had Paul stop at the cemetery so I could look at Ivan's gravestone. This January will mark the 2nd anniversary of his death and I still had not gone out there.
There is something about seeing the name of a loved one on a headstone. Even when you are looking for it, it's like having a blast of cold air hit you in the face. First I noticed his military foot stone. Then the headstone, which already has Rena's name on it (that is almost too much to think about). Then I went around to the back of the headstone and saw the most beautiful part; a beautfiul etching of a couple square dancing. Above it were the words "BEST FRIENDS FOREVER" and below it the names of their 3 children.
Ivan and Rena used to spend their Saturday nights square dancing. As a little girl I was absolutely enthralled with the layers and layers of fabric under Rena's skirts that made up her can-cans. I was delighted when she'd twirl for me and make it stand straight out in a giant circle.
As we were leaving the cemetery, Paul pointed out another headstone and said, "Is that your uncle?" Oh my, I wasn't ready for that one.
I was only 3 when he died. He was married to my Aunt, one of my mom's
younger sisters.
It was a Sunday afternoon and we, as usual were visiting my grandmother, who was dying of cancer. I do not remember much about the day. But I remember being in the yard while everybody said goodbye to CJ and Jim and their two babies. Then I remember utter chaos and adults screaming and running all over the place...

As an aside. Let me just say my mom is the 2nd of 6 kids. She and her two sisters were 7, 9, and 11 when their mom finally had a boy. They sometimes to this day call him "Prince Lloyd" Anyway, those four kids were 5, 12, 14, and 16 when their mother had twins - a boy and a girl - Larry and Loretta. When Larry and Loretta were 12 they moved in with us and my mom raised them like our siblings, but that is a whole other story.

What I remember most about that day is standing frozen and watching while my grandpa carried my aunt Loretta, his 11-year-old daughter, across the yard like a limp rag doll. Her head was hanging backward, she was unconcious and her face was covered in blood. Luckily she ended up being ok.
My aunt and uncle had decided to take Loretta home with them for the day. CJ was 8 months pregnant, their daughter was 2 and their son was 1. As they were pulling out of the driveway, a speeding police car with no sirens or lights ran into the driver's side and smashed the car. Remember this was 1970 - It is safe to assume the babies were not in car seats and the others were not in seat belts. My aunt's husband Jim died 2 days later. The policeman was off duty and was in a hurry to get home. My aunt was left a widow - 8 months pregnant, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old to raise.
Thus began CJ's trip to Hell and back.
I think I can write about this because I've sat in church and listened to her give her testimony of God's grace and how he saved her from Satan's grip. This is the story she tells.
CJ freely admits to being a Hippy. A Real Live Hippy. She admits to getting caught up in drugs and not caring where she spent the night, or who was watching her 3 babies. She admits to falling for the wrong man and marrying another hippy who was a smooth talker and charismatic but sinful to his very core.
At one point my mom and Rena took her children. Yes, they walked in and took them away from their mother - for their own safety - for 6 weeks until she could pull herself together. My mom had the middle one - he was 18 months old and had started calling my parents mommy and daddy. When CJ came to get him, they had to pry him out of my mom's arms, everyone sobbing. My mom told her at that moment. "Never again. If you bring him back - he is mine for good." The same for the oldest and the youngest, who Rena was caring for.
CJ got herself cleaned up eventually. She became a Christian.
Ironically, people wanted to avoid her after that for awhile because she was so "on fire" with her new faith, she tried to convert everybody she saw, every minute she was with them. We've all been around somebody like that...
Now, though I can't be with her much because she lives out west, I know CJ is a person who just exudes peace. Just being with her - you can feel her peace. You can feel the joy and contentment she has in her life. She has an AURA of joy and contentment around her. She truly knows Grace. She knows, in her words "what it's like to be wretched and then made pure again..." She is not so "in your face" with her faith now, but she is thrilled to tell the Story. The Story of Jesus opening His arms to her after she had been the worst kind of sinner.
I do not envy someobody like CJ who has been to the depths of sin like that. But I do think they truly know the meaning of Grace. We all are given Grace beyond what we deserve, but how many of us truly OWN it? How many of us truly KNOW to the depths of our hearts what a gift it is?

Monday, November 20, 2006


When it is time for mid-term grades, we do not want to see a letter from the school in our mailbox. Because at midterm, the school sends a letter if your child has a D or an F in any class.
Well, today when I came home from work - for my usual 12 minute break to grab a protein bar and go to the bathroom before heading off to do carpool - I got the mail and noticed an envelope from the school. Well Crap! That's what I said (I know,Kayla, that was crude...sorry)
When I opened it, however, I could tell by the folded letter, that it didn't look like a grade report (yes, we've seen one before)So I assumed I had forgotten to get a health form in for Blake's wrestling season or something like that.
But no. It was a summary of Kayla's grades from her science teacher, Mrs. C. Just a note to let us know how VERY GOOD Kayla is doing in class and how much she enjoys having her. Of course, I wasn't surprised about the grade. We can access the grades on line and we pretty much know that Kayla averages high 90% in most classes and even over 100% in some of her classes.
But, how nice of Mrs. C to take the time to send a positive note. Don't we all love to hear great things about our kids? Kudos to teachers!!

Back to that carpool thing. Last week, on the day it was raining sideways all day, I put 50 miles on the van doing carpool - ALL IN THREE HOURS. FIFTY MILES!! And I never got further than 10 miles from home. I could have been at a really nice mall in 50 miles. That is a long way to drive to get nowhere.


We spent Friday evening visiting with Dad and Marilyn and my grandmother at the hotel. Kayla took a friend and swam in the pool after we had dinner in their little sports bar - great onion straws. Kayla and Hannah sat at their own table and were so grown up and polite (I listened while they ordered)
We had a great visit with everybody and I hated for the evening to end.
We had hoped to get back on Saturday evening but our day was crazy busy:
We left the house at 9:30 a.m. to drive an hour for Kayla's basketball game. Then left her game and headed straight for the varsity football game, of which we missed the first quarter. As an aside, I will say that, since we were moving from one game to the next with no stopping point, I dressed in my turtle neck and sweater and wore long underwear under my jeans - all to the basketball game. While this proved not to be warm enough at the football game. I WAS ROASTING HOT at the basketball game. It left me a little grumpy.
Anyway,as we arrived at the football field I threw on my winter boots, heavy coat, head band, scarf and gloves and we got out for the football game and watched our boys win 35-0 and earn a trip to the University of Illinois to play for the championship. Yeah Trojans.
Then we went home and got ready for a little party that Blake was having - one that was planned before we knew grandpa Ron was coming to town. I did get to visit with the mother of one of his friends, one of my favorite people. I could tell she was just as exhausted as I was as we sat and talked, waiting for our boys' party to end.

I had called and left a message with Dad and Marilyn that we would not make it to the hotel and reminded them that we'd be by in the morning.
So we skipped church and planned to spend some time with them Sunday morning. When I called to let them know we were on our way, they said they were just turning in their room keys and leaving. My first thought: We skipped church. I could have listened to Larry preach today.
This is typical behavior of Dad over the years and I have resigned myself to it. I didn't think I was upset but realized later in the day that I had been in a foul mood
all day. So I finally said to Paul "I guess I'm just a little disappointed that I told them several times we'd like to come back Sunday morning and they left before seeing us." Some old habits will never be broken I guess.
There have been times I have struggled with this terrible thought process "What kind of person must I be if even my own dad doesn't want to spend time with me." The logical side of me KNOWS that is ridiculous but the little girl in me continues to wonder....

Friday, November 17, 2006


Remember Cubbie? Blake's best friend, 6'3 - 250 pounds? Well, Cubbie was spending the night a couple weeks ago (not last week, cause Blake was at his house, of course)
And Blake and his two wrestling team mates were trying to "teach" Cubbie some wrestling holds.
I came down to the basement and found Cody trying to pin Cubbie on the floor. Cubbie could have been reading a magazine as bored as he looked. I heard Cody say something like "...Dude, I can't even get my leg around your thigh..." Then I hear Blake say "I wanna take Cubbie." So I had to stay and watch.
So they basically start out standing and facing each other with their hands on each other's shoulders. In most matches, each opponent would be putting forth equal effort to move the other. Here, however, Cubbie was standing perfectly, effortlessly still while Blake was pushing with all his might. Picture a 5 year old trying to move a Buick. And then the funniest thing happened.
In one quick, seamless move, Cubbie reached behind Blake, grabbed him behind the knees and behind the shoulders, cradled him for a brief second like a baby and then laid him flat to the carpet. I am pretty sure I heard a big "WHOOSH!" Kayla and I laughed so hard, I thought I would be lying flat on the carpet. (I was only sorry Paul couldn't see it, since Blake starts a wrestling match with him every night and Paul told me one night as he hobbled to bed "This wrestling is killing me." )
Then Drew and Cody, the other wrestlers, jump up, ignoring Blake on the floor, and yell "... Dude, I wanna try Cubbie again." So Cubbie was lying on the floor again when I left and I said "Cubbie, are they using you as their wrestling Dummy?" And he says "Don't worry Mrs. Woolard, I don't feel a thing."
Ahhh. Boys.
I grew up with this kind of chaos. My two older brothers had countless friends over and were always into some sort of adventure or fight. It's been fun to see the different phases Blake goes through with his buddies and remember my brothers doing the same things with each other and their buddies. My brothers' "adventures" left me well prepared to handle a house full of boys.
Thanks Terry and Clint. Who would have thought you putting SLIME in my hair, or you BURYING MY BARBIE DOLL IN THE BACK YARD would turn into a good thing...?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I have seen two or three blogs that do "The Thursday Thirteen," so I thought I'd give it a shot. The trouble is, I can't decide what to list......

Some of my thoughts have been:
1. 13 reasons I am a "bad" mother
2. 13 reasons time is going way too quickly
3. 13 reasons it is good to be in this phase of life
4. 13 products I would highly suggest for your use
5. 13 reasons Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday
6. 13 reasons EVERYBODY should love my son
7. 13 reasons EVERYBODY should love my daughter
8. 13 reasons I am sure I married the sweetest man on earth
9. 13 reasons I miss my role as a "stay-at-home" mom
10. 13 battles I have chosen NOT to fight as a mother
11. 13 things I ABSOLUTELY PRAY my children learn before they leave the nest
12. 13 things I pray for/about every day
13. 13 things that make me laught out loud

So when I decide what to list, I will try next week. Anybody care to guess what next week's list will be...?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Dad and Marilyn are coming over this weekend. They are staying in the Holiday Inn, which is probably best because my guest room is upstairs and Marilyn has a broken foot...can't wait to see them, but I'm surprised they are making the trip.

As I was telling Kayla our plans with Grandpa this weekend, and the latest BAD news we received from his doctors. She asked "Is he going to live?" And I had to say "We don't know." I hate that. I am SO BAD at not knowing what lies ahead. I fail terribly at the task to "be still and know..." meaning wait and have faith. All of my prayers lately end with a question mark. I do not actually ask questions, but the Lord sees that my heart is one big question mark. "will You let him live?" "Will this be a second chance for our family?" "huh, huh, will it.? Will you give me what I want...?" I know I am being taught to WAIT....

Blake has finally given up his wrestling diet, at least until his body fat test comes back. I will be surprised if he has more than 6% (yes, I love him anyway). I was so thankful this morning when he ate 7 pancakes. I mean really, at 5'10" and 140, what is there to worry about...? Crazy kids. Kayla, (because I know you read this) if you get the crazy notion to diet, I will make you wear "mom" jeans for a month....You are beautiful and have a darling figure.

I ordered Kayla's Christmas dance dress last night. It is called a "50's strapless A-line" Disclaimer: She knows we will have to find a shrug for it. She has accepted the fact that she cannot wear strapless, spaghetti straps or halters without a covering and, praise God, there is never any struggle about it anymore. The dress is a gorgeous burgundy taffeta and is tea length. I think a black velvet or lace shrug will be darling and she will wear her black sparkly ballerina flats (which she wore last week to Sarah W.'s party with her NEW denim skirt and leggings - cute - and the denim skirt was EIGHT DOLLARS)We found the dress on line and, with shipping, paid 55.99. Daddy was thrilled; after he reminded her "you will have to wear something to cover your shoulders all evening." Her response "I KNOW, DAAAAAAD"
As an aside, 4 years ago, we had 2 weeks notice that she would be a flower girl. So I googled "flower girl dresses" and found a perfect one for very little. I did the same last night with "party dresses." Guess where we'll look for prom dresses?

Things are hitting an interesting pitch at work. I enjoy my job, but have realized I have not missed the office politics and petty sniping that occurs.

Our football team plays in the semi finals game this weekend. Here at home. As of Monday night, so I hear, 20 blankets had been taped to the bleachers to mark people's spots. If we win Saturday, we will play at the University of Illinois for the championship - the day after Thanksgiving. Guess who will drive a van full of kids????? GO TROJANS

We spent Sunday evening with our new friend Benjamin. He will be 2 in December. He is from London and has the sweetest British accent. A week before they moved over here, his mommy found out she was expecting...twins. They are our neighbors and his daddy works with Paul. Since his daddy was traveling, we brought him over for a few hours so mummy could rest. What a delight!!!! He loves our Little Tykes Mountain Train set that was Blake's. Every now and then he'd look at me and say "mummy?" And I'd say "we'll see mummy soon." And he'd say "mummy take a nap." or "mummy lie on sofa." Mummy is VERY TIRED. Benjamin will be staying with us when mummy goes in to deliver the babies - both girls.

Supposedly Blake will not need a ride to wrestling in 15 days. That is when Robbie gets his license and will drive Blake, according to Blake. When Paul and I both said we weren't so sure about that, you would have though we were beating him with a chair. Should we let Blake ride with a boy who has had his license for a matter of hours? He would be the only passneger since our law states there can only be one non family member in the car with a new driver. We are encouraging him to hitch a ride with an older boy who we know and has actually had his license a year or two. I have a feeling I am entering a whole new realm of fear.

That's it I guess.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


So Today is Veteran's Day. Television will be full of old war movies; they've already started. I cannot watch a war movie without thinking of my grandfathers. They were both veterans of World War II. And if you're reading this, you will get to learn a little about them.

My grandpa Meadows (my dad's dad) landed on the beaches of Normandy on the second day (D-2, I think he called it). He spent the majority of his time in Germany. He was wounded - shot in the wrist during one battle. He spent several days stuck behind enemy lines, hiding out with a group of fellow soldiers. He told us once that one of the soldiers wanted to surrender and the others, grandpa included, had to fight him to keep him from running out and giving up their hiding spot. They threatened to shoot him themselves if he risked the lives of the rest of the group. He actually fought hand to hand combat with the Germans. He was that close to the enemy. When they finally were reunited with their company, he was able to write my grandma a letter. Part of it reads "... I got to eat today. I had 3 hamburgers. That is a lot for a little guy like me..." My grandpa was so little, he lived his whole life with the nickname "PeeWee." In another letter he wrote "...there are times I am so scared, I shake as though I am freezing to death. I hate this. But I am here so that little Ronnie will never have to do this..." Ronnie is my dad. He was 10 days old when Grandpa left for war. Also, included in the letters Grandpa sent back to Grandma, is the picture he had carried with him during his tour of duty. It is of Grandma and her friend in two piece bathings suits. Go Grandma!!!
Grandpa Meadows spent his post-war years working as a street superintendent in his little home town. We knew, as young children, when there was a blizzard, Grandpa would be out clearing the streets; sometimes working all night. That's what winters in Illinois are like. We always tried to look really close at the drivers when we saw a snow plow, hoping to catch a glimpse of Grandpa. When you're 5 or 6 years old, driving a snow plow in a blizzard seems heroic. Now I know he WAS heroic.

My Grandpa Johnson (my mom's dad) was a fighting Sea-Bee. He spent the war in the Phillipines. My mom was 18 months old before he met her. This grandpa left his family a great legacy. He kept a journal starting before he left for the war, up until the time he just could not manage to write anymore (around age 80). There are not a lot of entries during the war, because he was too busy fighting for his life, I guess. But just to see the journals with the dates on the spines and knowing those were from the times he was at war, is amazing to us. One entry, as he is on the troop ship heading for the Phillipines, reads "...I am too sick to die." I guess the sea sickness was excruciating and it was just like Grandpa Johnson to sum it up as briefly as he could. Grandpa Johnson returned from the war and started working in the plant at the same company where my husband works today. He worked there for 40 years as a welder before he retired. Back to the journals. Grandpa's entries during the post war years were very brief. They covered, basically, 3 things: the temperature outside, the number of fish he caught (and what lake he had fished at) and who he had visited with that day. If a grandchild happened to be born that day, he would enter it. We all got such a kick out of finding "our entry". On February 6, 1967, his journal reads "Irene had her fourth today. A girl. Heidi Irene." See, nice and brief. There are 19 entries for grand chiildren's births and 21 entries for great-granchildren's births in those journals, which after his death were divided amongst his 6 children.

My father-in-law was a medic in Korea and Vietnam. I cannot write much about his experience because, like many veterans of these eras, he does not speak of it much. But I sometimes try to imagine the horror he saw. He has seen firsthand the atrocities human beings can inflict on each other. He recently told my son something while they were watching a war movie together. He said "Blake, I fought in two wars and I saw a lot of things. Let me tell you, soldiers did not cuss as much as these movies want to make you think we did. We did not let every other word out of our mouth be the f-word or any other cuss word. I don't like that they portray us like that." Interesting. And although he is a Christian now, he wasn't when he was a young soldier.
Paul's dad served 19+ years in the Air Force before he died of cancer, when Paul was four. My brother recently retired after 21 years in the army, earning a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice while he served. So everywhere we turn, we have ties to the military.

Soon after one of my Grandpa Meadows' funeral (both of them had full military rites) we let Blake watch SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Before we started it, I said this to him "Please remember, Blake, that this war was real. Both of your great-grandfathers fought this war, one of them where this movie is set. As bad as these scenes will be, it was much worse for your great-grandfathers and all of their fellow soldiers. Please do not allow this or any movie to glorify war for you. Remember the stories you have heard recently about your great-grandfathers and their sacrifices, their utter fear and pain. Remember that any one of these young soldiers depicted here could have been my grandfather, the father of your grandpa Ron." And I think he got it, at least as much as a boy that age could.

Thank you for reading. And now, I'm going to send my father-in-law and my brother a note and tell them Thank You.

Friday, November 10, 2006


To clear something up from my previous post. Kayla had some friends over last weekend after our high school football team won another round in the playoff series. Actually, they beat a team that had never had more than 14 points scored against them all year. We won 54-0. But I digress.
We called Kayla's little get together a "Fifth Quarter" party. We had cookies, cocoa, kettle corn, and smore's. And giggling. Lots of giggling. Since there has been a problem with some girls in this class - blabbing to others when they are going to a party to which some weren't invited, I put on the bottom of each invitation "This is a very small get together, so please keep your lips together about it." Subtle enough?
Paul and I were high school sweethearts. After every home basketball or football game, we usually went to "Fifth Quarter." The Methodist church in town opened their teen room each of those Friday nights and invited all the high-schoolers to play ping pong and pool, eat pizza and drink soda. The parents from the church took turns supervising us. It was wonderful. We had a blast and our parents knew we were doing something safe.
We had been telling Kayla about Fifth Quarter and kept saying she could host one of her own. We realized a couple weeks ago, that our football season could soon be over, so we quickly threw one together for last week.
Between giggles, the girls commented on wanting to "do this every week." Before I could stop the words, I had said "Well, we will not be driving to the game but all of you are sure welcome to come here again for the fifth quarter party next week." And there it was. I had forgotten to keep my lips together about another very small get together.
But it was fun. They take no supervision, really. We just have to take the pictures they request. Lots of pictures.
Oh, and a smore tip my friend Rita passed on: Instead of Hershey's chocolate, use a Reese's peanut butter cup.... YUMMMEEEEE!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Kayla just finished a basketball game against one of the team's toughest rivals. Early in the season this team walked all over us. The score was like "a whole lot" to "very little" at that first game. Some defeats are harder than others. This team is very rough and shows very poor sportsmanship.
Tonight we lost again, but only by one point. Our girls surprised them and it was a terrific game. There is no shame in a defeat when they play that well.
Kayla's boyfriend happened to be there watching again and got to see her make a fantastic shot. His name is Blake. His middle name starts with an A and his last name starts with a W - just like our Blake. He shook Paul's hand when they met and he seems like a nice young man.
Our Blake, however, seems a little concerned. Last week, on our way to a school function, he said "Mom, did you know Kayla has a new boyfriend?" "Yes, I did." "Well, do you know anything about him?" "As a matter of fact, his name is Blake (middle name, last name) meaning he has the same initials as yours. They have sat beside each other for a couple of years because they both have "W" names. Oh, and he's letting his hair grow long." "Well," said Blake, "I think I need to check him out."
Later that night I heard Blake asking Kayla if "this kid plays football." Then when he heard Kayla ask if she could join a group of kids at someone's house to watch a movie, Blake chimed in with "Will there be parental supervision? What about this Blake kid? What are his parents like? Are they Democrats or Republicans?" Kayla just giggled. (For those of you who don't know, my Blake has been a Republican since 3rd grade. He LOVES politics and I usually ask him to fill me in on all the candidates before I vote. REALLY. Perhaps I need to post about that tomorrow. Our friends used to call him Alex P. Keaton and when he was in the 1st grade he told me he wanted Peter Jennings' job) Oh, also right about the same time Blake was questioning Kayla, my brother called. He happens to work for an agency that falls under the Department of Homeland Security, so he was more than happy to let Kayla know that he would be running finger prints on this kid and doing a thorough investigation of him. It is good to know she's got a big brother and a couple of uncles helping us look out for our girl.
But anyway, back to the game. Tonight was "8th Grade Night," a time to honor the 8th grade players and their parents, and since Kayla is in 7th grade she got to present a gift and make a poster for an 8th grader she has known since baby days. They sat in cradle roll Bible class together. They attend church camp together. We have pictures of them hugging and playing as pre-schoolers; two big bows colliding on their heads. They actually went through a pre-teen snit last year where they weren't so friendly but that has passed and they are back to a sweet friendship that I hope lasts through high school and beyond. How many friends do you have that you've known since the day you were born? It's a rare treasure.
And then to end our evening, we got to listen to two of the first grade classes sing "The Star Spangled Banner." It was beautiful. Those kids sang it as perfectly as any kids could, and of course got a standing ovation.
And now we are home and I am bracing myself for the weekend.
Here is Kayla's schedule:
Friday: 13th birthday party for Sarah W - it's a dance (and she simply must have a new denim skirt for it. Unless I'm willing to let her wear her old one, which I'm not because it's too short.)
Saturday: Ride 110 miles to the Football game with Hannah - we're in the play offs after all. Then back here for cookies and cocoa again with her friends. Yes, somehow I found myself saying "you girls are welcome to come back next week to do this again." You cannot put toothpaste back in the tube....
Sunday(evening): a double 13th birthday party for Samantha and Moriah; this one a hayride and weiner roast.
And guess what. I have not bought ONE gift yet for a 13-year-old girl.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I just read my previous post and noticed a typo. My last line reads "...you have to factor in the jog thing..." I meant to type JOB thing. Those who know me well surely understandI have nothing whatsover to do with the JOG thing. I like what a friend said when I told him my husband runs everyday at 5:15: "how does he get somebody to chase him so early in the morning?" That about sums up what it would take me to get into the jog thing.


We have a new poster hanging up at work. A poster which, according to word from above (meaning corporate office),MUST hang where customers can see it. You would not believe the big to-do that went into hanging this poster. Mainly because it is tacky. It does not fit with the decor of the office. It does not match the cherry wood desks and soft watercolor paintings. But it MUST be hung. I am the lucky one. It is right beside my desk. This is it:


Earn your first dollar by your labors. Get up early, work late. Get up early and do it again. Keep doing it, even after the dollars start adding up. Smile at challenges. Curse at idleness. Be true to your dream. Don't stop until you achieve it. Then dream another dream. And work to acheieve that. Pass on your values. Not just your assets. Give your family a better life. And the world a better life too. Leave no statues. Leave signs of significance. Working wealth wears no uniform and meets in no club. But you know who you are. We would like to say one thing. Welcome.

(Now,the words alone are very nice. It is the look of the poster that is tacky.)

But I copied the words because some of them are very important.
Earn your money by your OWN labors. Work hard. Do not be discouraged. Do not be lazy. Perservere. Work through challenges. Set goals. And more goals.

PASS ON YOUR VALUES. NOT JUST YOUR ASSETS. I love that. I don't know how many nights i've lain awake wondering if my children will be the wonderful Christian adults I've hoped and worked for them to be. How often have I prayed that I will be the kind of Christian mother that will lead them to Heaven one day? EVERY NIGHT. I have never once wondered if I will be leaving them enough money when I die, or if they will have huge bank accounts as adults.
GIVE YOUR FAMILY A BETTER LIFE. AND THE WORLD A BETTER LIFE TOO. Our family is doing just fine. But what are we doing for the world? HMMMM.

Now as for working late day after day. I do not agree with CHOOSING to work late because it will get you the better office or the nicer car. I believe in working late because that is what your profession calls you do to - doctor, farmer... and many other jobs, I'm sure. I believe in working late to put food on the table and keep your children in shoes. I do not believe in working late to make a million dollars that will sit in a portfolio and be passed on to your children, so they can add another million and pass it on to their children, so that in 4 generations there are millions of dollars growing on paper and doing nothing to "Give the World a Better Life Too."

And just on a personal note. That part about getting up early. I am fundamentally opposed to that most of the time. There are very few reasons, in my opinion to get up early. And they are
1. A baby in the house
2. Somebody setting a tray of breakfast on your bed
3. A big shopping trip
4. Remembering there is a snickers bar left from the halloween stash and you have to get it before your husband.
Yes, yes, you gotta factor in the jog thing and school. But that doesn't mean I like it.