Friday, September 29, 2006

An arbitrary memory from each school year

Kindergarten-Mrs. Volk would take a beautiful chocolate cake off of the piano and light a candle when it was someone's birthday. We'd all sing the song and the birthday kid would blow out the candle. I wondered why we never got to eat the cake. Finally after months of this incredulous waste I inquired of my teacher. That's when I learned that the cake was made out of clay!
1st grade-There was a little girl named Patti Ann in my class. One day a group of us were playing school. An argument ensued about how to make a number 7 on the blackboard. Being the artistic one, I preferred to make a little extra line on the end of the top part. Patti Ann got so made at me that she bit me on the finger and left teeth marks!
2nd grade-My friend Lisa moved back from Canada and was in my class. I felt a bit protective of her because her mother had died.
3rd grade-My teacher, Mrs Hayes had a favorite saying when someone did something she disapproved of. She would say, "Look at Shane." I was always very puzzled by this, but would always look over at Shane Peacock to see what he was doing. He never seemed to be doing anything noteworthy. I finally figured out towards the end of the year that she was saying "Look ashamed."
4th grade-I became the author of a famous short story series about a dog named Charlie. I would draw wonderful illustations to go along with the stories. Then one day, a little girl in my class copied me and started another series about a dog...who looked uncannily a lot like my Charlie. I can't remember what she called her dog, but I was very annoyed. I was also annoyed that the teacher would let her get away with it!
5th grade-I hated competative sports. I was sure that I was terrible and everyone would laugh at me. Especially those awful boys! One day we were sent out to play kick ball with Mr. Hickey's class. I kept getting in the back of the kickball line so I wouldn't have to kick the ball. Mr. H found out and made a spectacle out of me and yelled at me in front of the whole class.
6th grade-I had a crush on a boy named Joey. (not sure why looking back on it). He didn't exactly feel the same about me. One day I left a stick of gum on his desk. When he found out it was from me, he threw it out.
7th grade-In math class I sat next to a boy named Craig. We nick-named our teacher "Turtle Woman"...never calling her it to her face of course. Anyway...Craig made me laugh quite a bit in class. We'd always get in trouble for laughing and talking.
8th grade-Jill sat next to me in science class. I got excellent grades, but Jill never seemed to catch on. I used to try to help her to no avail. One time during a test, I let her copy off of my paper which I knew was wrong. I felt terribly guilty. I was actually relieved when Mr. Bellini had us stay after class a few days later to "talk". Of course he had figured it out. It scared me half to death and I never did it again.
9th grade-Another science class memory. Mr. Moriarty stood 6'7" tall and was extremely intimidating at times. He enjoyed controlling the class through fear. One time he asked a question and no one raised their hand to answer. He got irritated by this and said, "I know people know the answer to this question. When I ask it again, I expect to see some hands." He then asked the question again and no one raised their hand and he yelled at the top of his voice, "Get those hands up there!" Every hand shot up in the class, including mine. I prayed he would not call on me because I didn't know the answer. Luckily, he didn't. The boy he called on knew the answer. Phew! How I hated that class!
10th grade-It was towards the end of the year and we were all feeling a bit mischievous. There was a boy named Salim (from India). He and I engaged in a water gun fight in one of the stairwells. A teacher saw us and started to object when suddenly another teacher named Mr. DeMatteis jumped out from behind a wall and began pelting us from water from his own watergun...he even made machine gun sounds with his mouth. The first teacher shut her mouth and left.
11th grade-I remember taking my time getting ready for school one morning...a little too much time. My mother told me I was going to miss the bus. I assured her that I would not. She warned me that I better not. I ran from the house, up the street and around the corner just on time to see the bus pull out of the neighborhood. I had missed it! What was I going to do? I knew my mother would be angry and she didn't have a driver's licence so she couldn't get me to school. Besides that, she ran a day care center which made it quite impossible anyway. I couldn't walk to school because I'd be late. What to do! What to do!!! I just stood there praying and then I saw one of my neighbors leaving for work. I flagged her down and begged her for a ride...which she complied! Praise the Lord!
12th grade-Tom sat next to me in music theory class. He would click his pen and reach over and "color" on my jean leg with it. This would fake me out because he was really clicking the pen point inside of his pen and not out. This would amuse him because I would always look. One time I decided to do it back to him, only by an accident I clicked the pen point out. I reached over to "color" on his jean leg only to discover that I really did it! We both did a double take. It was quite funny, but embarrassing. At the end of the school year he wrote this in my year book: P.J., It's been a great year in Music theory. You're a great kid. The only thing is that you owe me $400 for the soap that I used trying to get the ink out of my pants. Just kidding, yu only owe me $200. Have a great summer and good luck in college. Love, Tom.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

51 things about me that you might not know

1. I was very good at math in school.
2. The first time I ever flew in an airplane, I was 34 years old...and it was only a week before 9/11.
3. I knew Matt Odmark personally before he was famous. (He's in Jars of Clay)
4. I accepted Christ as my savior when I was 14.
5. I had to sit in the naughty chair once when I was in kindergarten (I was teasing Sammy).
6. I had a stuffed dog when I was growing up. His name was Theodore. I took him to college with me. I still have him.
7. I enjoy a good cup of tea.
8. I clean a few houses to make some extra money.
9. I like sitting up front in a class or at church because I'm easily distracted.
10. I can sew.
11. I made a queen sized quilt once and it is on our bed.
12. I had pet gerbils, two cats and a dachshund as a kid.
13. I always thought it would be cool to live on a farm.
14. One of my favorite kinds of cookies is molasses.
15. I wish I had studied art in college.
16. My anniversary is next week. We have been married 14 years.
17. I wasn't interested in dating my husband when I first met him.
18. I've only lived in the state of NY.
19. I spent a lot of time iceskating as a kid.
20. I almost never iceskate now because it causes a certain toe to come out of joint and it is very painful!
21. I'm not a big sledding fan.
22. I think it would be cool to travel. I've done hardly any traveling.
23. I've never golfed.
24. I married a golfer.
25. I hardly ever watch television.
26. I've never seen some of the popular shows people talk about.
27. I'm not very technologically saavy.
28. I get up at 6:00 most mornings.
29. I think it would be really neat to adopt a little girl from China.
30. I think I suffer from the "fear of failure"
31. I had a broken heart once and it nearly killed me-literally.
32. I won't go to a high school class reunion.
33. I've never liked going barefoot.
34. I hate wearing sandals that have things going between my toes...which makes it challenging to find a pair.
35. I like the clothing styles from Llbean, Lands'End, and Eddie Bower.
36. My house isn't really decorated to my liking.
37. I love houses with history.
38. I miss having a real close girlfriend to visit.
39. I'm my dog's favorite person.
40. I like camping.
41. I like canoeing. Haven't done this or #40 in a long time.
42. I love sitting by a lake with my Bible in the early morning and listening to loons. (reminiscing my trip to Quebec)
43. I need 8 hours of sleep a night...which means I better hurry up and finish this so I can get to bed!
44. I get my words twisted up a lot when I talk which is a source of amusement for my family.
45. I'm quiet in real life.
46. I'm usually reading 2-3 books at once.
47. Sometimes I read children's chapter books.
48. I volunteer in our church's nursury.
49. I almost died of smoke inhalation when I was 18.
50. I'm 5'6" tall.
51. I never was big on amusement parks.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Getting back in the word

I've been trying to be more disciplined with limiting my time on the computer. It has definitely been getting out of hand lately. The Lord has been convicting me that I have not been honoring him through serving my family...and also not honoring the Lord through spending time with Him. may all hear less from me, but I will still be around.

This week Community Bible Study started up again. I am so happy to once again be accountable to a group of women each week for the study of God's word. This year we are studying Galatians and then Hebrews. This morning I did my first lesson on Galatians. I sat at the kitchen table with my Bible and my lesson and a pen. The lessons for CBS are deep and thought provoking. As a friend of mine describes it, it is a "Bible Study with teeth in it." I would encourage anybody to look for a CBS in the area they live in and sign up!

I got a phone call from the prayer chain with a prayer request for a mom who attends my church. She has MS and is really having a difficult time walking. She no longer can walk independently, but must use a walker and often needs help from a person as well. It is so hard to see her decline. I remember when I met her about 13 years ago, I could not even tell she had MS. I guess at that time it had just been discovered. She has 3 school aged boys. Years ago, she and I were in the same young mother's group. I remember her carrying her youngest son in a kids' carrier back pack. I sent her a card with a few verses and a note. I hope it lifts her spirits. I know she sometimes suffers from discouragement and depression. Please keep Christine in your prayers.

Monday, September 18, 2006


This cabin looks so cozy. I can just imagine sitting in there by the fire...maybe working on some needlwork or enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend. I long for the simpler life. I long for tranquility and peace. A world without agendas, television, or clutter. I long for deep companionship and a sense of belonging.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Toe Socks

How hard can it be to find toe socks for your daughter?

I'm gonna like this teacher!

The day before yesterday when Allen came home from school, he started doing his homework. He said, "Oh yeah, my science teacher, Mr McGory said whenever we don't have school work to do for homework, we have to do something around the house to help out." He showed me in his notebook where I needed to write what he did to help and sign that he did it. So...Allen folded and put away a load of laundry that was in the dryer and loaded the dryer with stuff that was wet from the washing machine.

Wow! I think I'm gonna like this Mr McGory!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dan's Birthday

Today is Dan's birthday. Dan is my brother. He left this earth to live with our heavenly Father in 1983. If he were alive today, he would be celebrating his 48th birthday. I called my mother today. I always try to remember to call her on this day and also on Feb 17th, the anniversary of his death. Telephones are good. You can spread so much love and care through the telephone line.

My mother wasn't home. But I will try her again later. I am sure she is thinking of Dan. She and Dad might have gone to a nursing home to spend time ministering to residents as they often do. I think it is tremendous that they have moved forward in ministry and in living. I think that nothing could be worse than losing one of your own children. I knew it was tragic when it happened when I was 16...but now that I have children of my own, I think about it even more.

Priscilla and the roses (circa 1971)

I've decide that from time to time I will change my profile picture just to add interest. This was always one of my favorite pictures of myself as a child. I think it was taken on a Sunday morning before leaving for church.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Locks of Love

I took Audra to get her hair cut tonight. The salon owner measured Audra's hair to see if it was long enough to donate to Locks of Love. It was! She tied it off with a rubber band and cut it off. Then she styled A's hair. It looks so cute...but short! Actually, it is a little below chin length. Jamie loved his girl's long hair. He's on a business trip right now. I hope he doesn't flip when I tell him! Knowing it was donated will help I'm sure.

Tomoorrow I will be mailing the hair to Florida. I'll post a picture of Audra when I get one!


Last night I took Audra to her first swim practice of the season. It was good to see her back at her favorite sport...working hard with her teammates and coach. They started out with a little pep talk with a welcome back cheer. I could tell Audra really enjoyed it. Swimming on this team is so good for her.
I'm very proud of my beautiful daughter.

Hiding squash and other fun games

Today is the fourth day of school and it already seems like school is quite routine. Audra and have been butting heads lately. It seems like everything is an argument. I'm hoping that it is simply because we are both having a hard time breathing due to congestion (thanks to fall allergies). I made a lasagna last night and I layered into it thinnly sliced summer squash. Audra was totally put out by this. She says she hates squash and insisted that I ruined the meal. She whined about it during the entire meal (until I threatened her). My other two children said they liked it. I thought it still tasted deliscious. I also thought it was an ingenious way to use up the squash that has been sitting around.

I made muffins while the children were at school. I wanted them to be healthy. I found a recipe that used whole wheat flour and wheat germ. They turned out to be very yummy. This morning I told the girls that there were muffins for breakfast. Audra looked at them suspiciously. "What's in them?" she asked. I said, "Bananas, peaches, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, sugar(emphasis on sugar)." What I didn't tell her was that I had shredded up the remainder of the summer squash and put that in as well. She ate reluctantly. " you like them?" I figured that she would say a resounding "yes." They were sweet, moist, tastey with chunks of delicious peaches. What's there not to like? She looked at me and said, "No. All I can taste is wheat germ!"

Can I ever win?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Rules!

I am trying to become more self disciplined. Last night, I stayed on the computer too long and got to bed way too late! Then of course I had trouble getting up this moring! So, what do I do when my kids are on the computer too long? I set a timer. When the timer goes off, they get arguments! Why is it that I make these rules for my kids and then I go and act like a child myself?

So I am mothering myself tonight and setting a timer. I have 15 more minutes. Jamie says that I am very amusing sometimes!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Stuffed up! Sniff!

I am having a bad allergy day. Managed to get the kids off to school. I'm glad we have lots of leftover soup for dinner!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school. I woke up pretty early (5:40). My son was already up getting ready for his first day of Middle School. He was gone before the girls got up. Allen walked to school and the girls took the bus. Sometimes we walk. I think tomorrow we will. It's good exercise and the kids hate the bus!

It was good to get back into a routine. I love summer...but I really do well with a routine and I think everyone was ready to go back. I had a wonderful quiet time using some of the scripture my friend, Jon sent me yesterday. (Thanks again, Jon) and then I was off to clean a house. I spent 4 and a half hours cleaning and left with money in in my pocket...which I deposited in the bank on the way home. Allen got home about 20 minutes after I did. He had a good day. An hour later the girls were home and they seemed pretty happy too!

So...I'm happy that school started. Do you think less of me as a mom?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Life on a Merry-go-round!

Just when I thought my life would get simpler...the summer ended. Actually today is the last day of summer vacation. Last night we went to an orientation for 6th graders at the Middle School. Now I've got a whole bunch of papers to go through and glean information from. We also went to visit Alicia's classroom. Second grade is much simpler...but I still have "stuff" to fill out and send in and mark on the calender. The swim team is starting up again. I need to go to the YMCA to talk to someone about getting scholarship money. I took a saxaphone in to get cleaned and serviced yesterday. My core leader (Sally) called me to let me know I'd be in her core group this year. CBS will start on Sept 20. Everyone wants volunteers. Everyone wants me to clutter up my schedule with more committments. My sister-in-law would like me to paint a mural for her. Another person would like a mural too. I'm picking up another house to clean every other week. I need to get my house organized and calendar organized. Our back porch is rotting off the house. We have no money to build a new one. My house is under construction and will be forever. My husband would like me to come up with a way to pull in more money than I have been. (I don't pull in much at all)

I just don't think I'm good at all this. I feel like I never do anything really well because I am pulled in too many directions. The other day I was sitting with a group of women from my church. A few of them have older children and they had horror stories about the books their kids are assigned to read in school and the battles they have had to fight against this. One woman is sending her child to Lima Christian School this year. Another woman home-schools anyway and she told about the wonderful benefits of home-schooling. I made a mental note to pick up a list of all the books Allen is expected to read this year from his English teacher...and I forgot to do that last night!!!

I feel like I'm not doing a good job at being a "home executive." Am I doing enough? Probably not. Am I doing too much? Probably. I kind of miss those simpler days of having a new born baby and a toddler. No one expected anything from me other than to be a mommy. The world was safer. I didn't worry about school curriculums and policing it. I didn't worry too much about the calendar. Oh sure there were things on it that needed my attention, but I always took a nap in the afternoon when my babies did and I never felt too guilty about it. (ok...maybe I did a little) My kids didn't use a computer...and we had no internet hook up. No worries about what they were stumbling across (albeit accidently). We read picture books from the library and watched Veggie Tales, The Donut Man and Barney. When my kids went to preschool...they were under the wings of Deb Thompson, where they learned Bible stories and did fun projects and they learned about caterpillers and apples. Kids tapes could be heard playing songs like The B-I-B-L-E, and Jesus Loves the Little Children. Sometimes I felt like I was going crazy...but I had a stay-at-home neighbor with children the same age as mine and we were both Christians. I spent hours drinking tea with her and talking as our children played. I went to the mother's group at my church every Thursday morning. We would look at scripture and talk about parenting preschoolers.

Oh dear! I'm getting all sentimental and weepy! Somebody out there give me a good scripture to encourage me or some words of wisdom and comfort because I think I need them today!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Soggy 5K!

Today was the Crosswinds 5K. It drizzled the entire time and then...just as Alicia and I were crossing the finish line, it started really pouring. Looks like we are in for a lot of rain for a few days because of Hurricaine Ernesto.

I should probably tell you before you are falsly impressed by my stamina and athleticism....that I actually walked the entire thing. Allen and Jamie both ran and did quite well. I walked at a small 7 year old's pace...but it was good. And...I should also add that Alicia and I earned just as much money for the Sands Cancer Center as everyone who ran. Maybe next year I should train to run it just to prove to myself that I can.

Alicia and I came in dead last. There was someone else who came in with us and she actually medaled. (ok...Dorothy is in her 80's and she won 2nd place for her age division) Anyway...we were soaked to the skin when we were finished. When we got back to the church we went to the awards ceremony. I saw a guy I went to high school with whom I hadn't seen in years. It was nice to see him.

My church always posts pictures of the 5k. When they do, I will be sure to post a picture!

Friday, September 01, 2006


Last night, Jamie took inventory of everything the kids have and still need for school. He did all the school shopping this year-on line with Staples. It was all shipped to us via 3 different boxes last week. Shipping was free because our order for 3 kids was over $50! Today I told Audra to load up her back pack and we went over to the school to meet her teacher, Mr. Bambey and see the classroom. As soon as I set foot inside of that building, I noticed the smell. It doesn't smell bad...but it smells like the school. Probably a mixture of all the markers, pencils and papers in that place! You could tell excitemenet was in the air as kids filed in one by one to see the class and meet the teacher. School starts next Thursday and we are ready!

Lots of changes are in the air. It is definitely feeling cooler and I've noticed a few different changes in leaf coloring here and there. Allergies are at full hilt for me, which isn't fun...but I'll survive! On Wednesday the kids and I drove a couple of hours to meet up with our friends, the Falkes. Amy was saying that she finally is getting the hang of changing seasons. She grew up in Zaire as a missionary kid right on the equator. The weather there was pretty consistent all year round. She said when she first moved here, the change of seasons always caught her off guard and she didn't know what "fall stuff was." Now she has learned to appreciate pumpkins, crisp apples, cider mills, fall starting again!

I remember as a kid, we used to always take a drive in the fall to see the fall colors. (See picture above. I am on the far right) Quite often we would end up in the town of Naples. Naples seemed like it was hours and hours away from our house. Now that I am an adult, I live closer to Naples and it is actually the next school district over from us. But in any case, I remember driving down, getting food at Bob and Ruth's (a classic restaurant there that still exists today!), walking through the quaint shops, looking at the pioneer cemetery there...and even taking a wine tour once (but not being able to taste because I was a kid).

So we will be donning more sweaters and packing away the swimsuits and shorts soon...but I look forward to the new season and it's beauty!