Friday, February 25, 2011

O Jackie!

Each time Molly scoots off with my Mom and Grandma I receive an emailed photo like this...

I cannot imagine why my daughter insists on covering 47% of her face with these sunglasses when in the presence of my mother.  Molly is way too young to remember this particular fad's creator. In fact, I'm almost not old enough to remember this fad's creator. 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, wife of the late president John F. Kennedy, began wearing large Herm├Ęs sunglasses in the late 1960s after her marriage to Aristotle Onassis.  She is pictured below in her famous frames:

It does occur to me that I do know someone who may perhaps be old enough to remember this fad in all of its glory...
...make that TWO someones! 
My Mom and Grandma are never without their "Jackie Os" as we call them. 

Which probably explains why Molly tends to look like this when she is in the company of these two fine fashion icons... they say...
"When in Rome..."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Saved by the Books...

Oh it was loud. After two weeks of Kate and then Molly being at Grandma and Poppy's house, our home finally held its quota of four pairs of feet, three of which were running to and fro and hopping and thumping.  There were six lungs in various pitches of squeals and whoops echoing off of the walls at the very time of evening when things should have been at least simmering down a bit and even approaching calm. The owner of the set of lungs that was not, at the time, shrieking, was, as usual doing what she'd been instructed to do and was making preparations for bed.
The others...well, after three dozen or so warnings, they were still just being loud. I finally howled, "That's IT, everyone on the couch! Get out the library books and READ!!"  

We are not against mandatory reading here. If it hadn't been so close to bed time, I would have gone a step or two further and handed out sentences of sweeping and Swiffering followed by laundry with a dishwasher unloading extravaganza for the finale.  It was the approach of bedtime that saved them from certain servitude.  The approach of bedtime and this sight that met my eyes as I turned the corner... 
I fully intended to be the one reading to the girls, and expected the 
oldest noisemaker to read on his own.  Happily, they all had other plans.

Cole kept the girls' attention much better than I ever have.

It may also be worth noting that all three children accidentally
 learned a bit about Holland from this cozy children's picture book.

They thoroughly enjoyed this book, I think in part, because the blonde character
 (pictured on the cover) slightly resembles their mother. Maybe. A little?
This is the third book in the Knuffle Bunny trio.

After Knuffle Bunny found his way to the end of his adventure, I feared that the magical spell the children seemed to be under would dissipate and the thumping and squealing and running and thumping and thumping would begin once more.

Enter Olivia.
We absolutely adore her. We discovered Ian Falconer's creation during Kate's toddlerhood, when it became obvious that Mr. Falconer had captured the essence of Kate with an illustrated pig.  

We own the first two in the series, 
Olivia and
Olivia Saves the Circus
Many more Olivia books have been written about this delightful pig, and finally, after a three year wait Olivia is back and she's visiting Venice...

 ...and my son lent his voice to her

Olivia usually makes us smile, but when we read about 
our favorite pig encountering airport security...we cracked up!

...and then began to calm down a bit.

Next in the queue was none other than...
I wondered if Cole would draw the line at reading about Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique but he didn't have the chance...
Kate decided that she could handle this one and read the story to Molly and me.
 Ok, just me,
Molly wanted to go back and check on Knuffle Bunny.

It's a wonder isn't it, how a few trusted children's books, snagged from the library, can save the sanity of a weary mom, 
hush squealing siblings, 

and take children on trips around the world all without ever leaving the couch!!

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”~Katherine Patterson, children's author.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

He's All Heart

I wonder how old I was when I received my first one of these...
I'm certain I received the first dozen or so in person, but these days... comes in the mail. Every single year...
...on Valentine's Day
from my Dad. 

He loves me a little.

Every year, no matter where I live or 
who my "other" Valentines have been, 
I always get chocolates from my
Very First Valentine!

Thanks Dad...
I love you too.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To My Valentine...

Do you remember where it all began for us? I'm wondering if you think that it was that moment when my sister and I walked into that room filled with college kids who were seeking to further their relationships with Christ (and perhaps, find other sorts of relationships as well?). You may even be thinking that it was at that moment when you turned your head to see who had arrived so late to the meeting (because I'd never been there before and because "late" was, even then, one of my  spiritual gifts) and our eyes met for the very first time.

You may even imagine that it began in front of this building...

...on that very sidewalk when we kept "happening" to run into each other. (If only you knew the hours I spent figuring out just when you'd pass by...)

Perhaps, you might guess, it was at that football game where we sipped hot chocolate in the snow while our parents watched us through binoculars from the other side of the stadium.
Those were all excellent moments, I cherish each one, but none marked the beginning of us quite like this did...
...this tiny little piece of paper.

 It wasn't much more than the top margin of your notebook paper, probably torn from your accounting notes, where you scratched out your intentions in your own tiny font and in so doing you created the moment from which I mark the beginning of us.  

I wonder if you remember writing this note to me while I sat beside you in the commons area pretending to study. Do you remember what it said? You used words like "happy" and "love" and "secret" and "Gretchen" and it was the most honest and sincere three inches of paper I had ever received. 

It still makes me smile each time I unfold it and read it, though now I need glasses to do so. I grin when I think about how many times you folded that already small piece of paper before you handed it to me. I still keep it folded just that way. 

Do you wonder where I keep it so that it is safe from the four little us's?

I keep it tucked away in a photo album that holds pictures of a much younger us ...

...right behind this picture...
I don't remember what we were laughing about then, 
but I'm so glad that we've been laughing together ever since.  
 I'm so glad you are my Valentine. 
I'm so glad you are my Man. 
I'm so glad I get to be married to you

I'm so glad you wrote that note!
~I Love You~

Below is the new song for the aging US!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Once Upon a Monday Morning...

Once upon a Monday morning there was a family who had entertained grand plans of accomplishing amazing amounts of work and school around the dining room table.  The father of the family got the morning off to a lovely start by bringing the mother her favorite Monday morning treat.

After setting up a temporary office in the tender presence of his children, he set to work himself, to do list and faithful writing tool at the ready and trusty velcro cord organizers to keep his electronics as organized as his Monday morning agenda...

There was Sister, diagraming her grammar sentences with skill...

Brother, solving multi-digit multiplication problems...

And Little Sister...who would soon find a more ambitious pursuit...

...under the table upon which the rest of the family was working.
Round and...

...round and... 

...round they trampled. 
Knees and hands thumping and pounding the floor and table legs.

Father was much perplexed at the turn of events, and decided to investigate...
The Baby soon decided that Father was cramping her style and...
...paused to make a simple request of her mother:
"Mommy," she said looking the mother right in the lens, "can you pleath move Daddy?"
Mother needn't have worried about the bold request... seems the Daddy was plenty "moved" without one bit of 
help from the Mommy after all!

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