Saturday, 23 January 2010

Working Titles

So, I keep having people tell me I should write a book. Not sure I have the talent or the drive to do that, but if I do, I now have 2 ideas with working titles, thanks to some dear friends and hilarious dinner conversation. "Cheesesticks & Chicken Nuggets" and "Soup is Not a Meal."

Feed Sparingly

We have added a new pet to the household. Faithie really disliked one of her Christmas presents from us, so I told her she could take it back to WalMart for a store credit. She chose to use that credit to buy a Betta fish, tank, and accessories. She named her fish Prince Charming as we walked through the store. When we got into the van, she said, "Mom, I think the people at WalMart named this fish Sparingly." I asked why she thought that, and she replied, "Because on the lid to his container, it says 'Feed Sparingly Once Daily.' " I now have another GREAT pet name - looks like our next 2 pets will be named Stupid (see the post titled "Stupid Dog")and Sparingly.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


In my previous post, I mentioned my impending trip to the Dominican Republic. Mack and I go on a "beachy" trip every year about this time, through work. It would be a strong statement to say that we are "forced" to go, but it would be an accurate statement to say that Mack has to pay for it whether we go or not. The destination was decided about 6 months ago, and I have already vacillated between being excited and feeling guilty. Excited because, hey, it's a week on a beach with my husband and I love to travel to new places, but guilty because I know what a poor country it is and I always feel like a rich, spoiled American going to places like that on a vacation, rather than a mission trip, etc. Going frivolously to a destination where I know a group from our church is going on mission trip in a few months really hangs on my conscience.

My guilt has escalated to a whole new level since the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti last week. I googled it, and where we are going is 400 kilometers from Port-au-Prince. I feel so bad about spending a week on the beach when so many so close by are suffering, rather than doing something to help. Part of me wants to just not go, part of me wants to trek across the island to hand out food, water, and clothing, and part of me realizes that going maybe does help in a very miniscule way. I read a statement from the D.R.'s minister of tourism, who said that they were strongly urging vacationers not to cancel their trips, that tourism helps the D.R.'s economy, and if the D.R. is strong, it can help neighboring Haiti. But I'm not sure that that really puts my conscience at ease...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Mind of a Five Year Old

Every night when I tuck C-Ray into bed, I wait to hear what questions he will ask. Tonight's questions were paricularly extensive. Here is what I can remember:

-What causes earthquakes?
-What do earthquakes look like?
-Does the ground crack open?
-Should we go in the basement if there's an earthquake?
-Should we go outside if there is an earthquake?
-Can tornados suck up houses?
-Do tornados cause earthquakes?
-Why did God make tornados and earthquakes?
-Can you go to heaven even if you're not buried?
-Will we have blood in heaven?
-How tall is God?
-How old is God?
-What does "survive" mean?
-Are there earthquakes in Wisconsin?
-Are there tornados in Wisconsin?
-Why didn't the people in Canada go into their basements during the earthquake? (Note: I did correct him that the earthquake was in Haiti, not Canada)
-What's a hut?
-Can the people in Haiti move to somewhere else?

It was somewhere about this point that I told him I needed to go see why Little One was out of bed and put her back. I did reassure him about 5 times that there usually aren't earthquakes in Wisconsin, so he didn't need to be worried. I did NOT tell him that my trip next week is to the Dominican Republic, which is on the same island as Haiti- I didn't think that can of worms needed to be opened in his little mind...

Monday, 18 January 2010

Being In Love...

This is very random, but I ran across this quote by C.S. Lewis and liked it. I wanted to keep it, but knew I would just lose it if I wrote it down somewhere, so I am putting it here. I like what it says about the kind of love that you grow into, the kind that keeps your marriage running, is a conscious choice, a habit to be reinforced, rather than just a feeling.

Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called “being in love” usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever could be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?

But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense–love as distinct from “being in love”–is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be “in love” with someone else.

“Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.
It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
—C.S. Lewis

Thursday, 14 January 2010

And Thus it Begins...

I was greeted in front of the school today by Faithie (age 8) with this: "Hi Mom. Guess what. I think Simon likes me. Like really likes me. He always wants to be my reading partner, and sit by me at lunch and talk to me the whole time, and he sang me this song today while we were putting our coats on (sings the song for me)." My response? "Don't tell your father."

Simon is known in my little mind as "Peanut Allergy Boy" or "The Reason Why I Can't Send Peanut Butter Sandwiches to School with My Kids." Hey, when you have 4 kids, you have to develop little ways of remembering which friend is which. I only tell you that to explain the following: Faithie says on the way home, "Mom, what if I married Simon?" My response? "Well, you would never get to eat peanut butter again." Faithie replies, "Or watermelon. Or have a cat. Our kids would have to have a dog. I guess if I was going to marry Simon, he would have to give me a list of all the things he is allergic to so I would know." If nothing else, at least she plans ahead...