The First Hundred the light of eternity. "Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." Wilson Mizner

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Getting a Grip

My sister sent me pictures of her "last day of the year" project for 2005: cleaning out the narrow closet where she stashes wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons, and a variety of decorations.
I can't believe all that stuff was in there to begin with!
The end result: less stuff, more organization, and starting the new year with a "handle" on one small corner of your life.
There, now doesn't that feel good?


There's a rebel in our neighborhood: a robin has refused to fly south for the winter.

We first spotted him about mid-November, fluttering around the curb out front, and felt sorry for him, thinking he was injured and unable to fly. We were sure the coming winter would bring his demise.

I don't know where he hid out during those two awful weeks in December when the thermometer refused to surpass the teens, but he's still with us, folks. Temperatures have climbed into the thirties this week and there he is, first thing in the morning, singing from the treetops at the top of his lungs as if Spring had arrived out of sequence this year. From the treetops. He can fly!

We're trying to figure him out. Either he knows something we don't, and we're in for a mild winter, or he's got a better idea of how his Creator should have programmed him. We're hoping it's the former, rather than the latter. Besides, I thought we were the only rebels in God's creation....

Friday, December 30, 2005

More Celebrating

Here I am with my sisters and our mom, before our dinner yesterday.
The salad? I bought romaine hearts, spinach, and green leaf lettuce and washed them myself.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


This morning I ran to the store to buy some salad fixings to take to my sister's house (for another in a long line of holiday dinners). As I contemplated the vast variety available, and remembering a recent event at my daughter's house, I decided I would never look at a "bag 'o salad" in the same way again.

On Christmas eve, Karina opened one of those pre-sorted, pre-washed, "ready-to-eat" bags of salad greens and found a large insect in the mix. She didn't freak out, but did take the time to enclose it in a plastic bag together with a carefully-composed letter and mail it to the manufacturer. I don't know what their response will be; probably a polite letter with a disclaimer that in spite of their rigorous controls the consumer should be aware that these things cannot be totally avoided. We'll see. Anyway....

I guess this shows that things aren't always what they seem to be, and we can't give up our responsibility to "sort things through" in life. This goes for things "packaged and delivered":
on television,
on the internet,
from your neighbor,
from the pulpit.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Celebration, Continued...

Arriving for churrasco, with appetites

Siblings, reunited
Visiting at Josiah's house

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

No vegans allowed...

We enjoyed a long-anticipated Brazilian-style "churrasco" today. All I can say is, go with a hearty appetite, and don't fill up at the wonderful, tempting salad bar. They'll bring a run of 15 types of meat directly from the fire and serve it from long skewers to your plate, in quantities you request. Another tip: turn your card to the red side to enjoy the meat while it's hot. As long as you leave your card green-side-up, they'll keep bringing the meat. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 26, 2005


OK, so I tried the notebook-and-pen-beside-the-bed thing, and here is my first entry. I was surprised to be able to read it, since it was 3AM, I was half-asleep, and didn't even turn on the light.
Still working on the interpretation..... but you're welcome to give it a try.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Photos

Even though Reiley had a cold & wasn't feeling well, he made the most of every opportunity
Uncle Mark got to meet his newest nephew
"Belly-bumping" with Papi
Luke in the "stocks"

Two little "elves" on Christmas morning

Papi's turn.....
All dressed for church.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas!

"Hi, Reiley! It's Papi. We'll soon be on our way to your house to hang our stockings and wait for Papai Noel. See you soon."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I was expecting a "new man", and here he is. Up early, bed made, clothes in order, boots shined, yes m'am..... I could go on, but you get the point.

The Army gets an A+, a snappy salute, and my son for 4 years.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Reading Between the Lines

We're in big trouble, folks.

In a recent phone conversation with Karina, she started spelling things. Like, "I made c-o-o-k-i-e-s yesterday" and "We're having w-a-f-f-l-e-s for lunch". So, I knew Reiley wasn't taking a nap. (Well, the other clue that he wasn't sleeping was that I could hear "Papi, Papi!" in the background. Why does he always think it's Papi? Anyway...)

It's what happened next that gave me a jolt. She said, "Reiley keeps trying to o-p-e-n the p-r-e-s-e-n-t-s that are u-n-d-e-r the t-r-e-e." Next thing we knew, he got a distinct gleam in his eye and headed for the packages under the Christmas tree...

I don't remember, what is the next tactic in the parental arsenal?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Home for Christmas

Mark is on a bus today, heading home from Ft. Lost-in-the-Woods, ahem, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Judging by his letters and phone calls (yes, he finally got through by phone), I'm expecting to see a "new man" around here for the next two weeks (when he's not catching up on his sleep, that is).

I've heard people talk about how the Army experience changed their lives; how they learned lessons they will never forget; how it built character within and unity with others; how it made them appreciate things they took for granted before...

It may sound funny, but I think the Army has done a few things for his Mom and Dad, too.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Got a question from
Cheryl on my last post, so I checked out this song from Manhatten Transfer:

By William Spivery

Give me information
Give me long distance
Long distance
Give me heaven...

(Two, three)
Give me Jesus on the line
I'd like to speak to a friend of mine
Oh prayer is the number
Faith is the exchange
Heaven is the street
And Jesus is his name
Please give me Jesus on the line

Won't you tell me why
Tell me why
Don't try to tell me
What number to call
My mother used this number
When I was very small
And everytime she dialed it
She always got 't call the
Please give me Jesus on the line

Please hurry if you can
Oh Operator
Please connect me
With the man
Don't worry 'bout the money
You know I will pay the charge
Just give me on the line
I'm callin' from my heart
Please give me Jesus on the line
Please give me Jesus on the line

Won't you please -
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus on the line


No, I hadn't heard of this song. But, Cheryl, I can see what you mean.

And, in reference to your other question, Vovó is Portuguese for Gramma. Papi is the word Reiley invented for Grampa, but he had trouble with "Gramma" for some reason. So my daughter taught him the word she learned growing up in Brazil. Which brings us back to M.T.

I see they have an album titled "Brasil". Wow, the blogging world has expanded my horizons once more...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Getting Through

When I answered the phone, I expected to hear my daughter's voice. Instead, it was a small voice, "Papi? Papi!"

"Reiley, hi!. This isn't Papi. It's Vovó." Silence.... then, "Vovó!"

Apparently, he's figured out that the phone is a pretty neat invention. When he gets the whim, he hands the phone to Karina, wanting to call Grampa. Right now the conversations are quite one-sided, but that's okay. Just knowing he can get through to his Papi or Vovó whenever he wants is pretty thrilling. (I wonder if it's more thrilling for him or for us?)

There's a parallel here.... I'm thinking about how easy it is to "get through" to God in prayer. I want to get away from life's 'busyness', thinking I need an appointment with the Lord, or worrying about bothering Him with the small stuff. How about re-capturing that vibrant, child-like thrill of communing with the Lord? He's so available and approachable; wanting us to come to Him "at all times" and "without ceasing". Just like Reiley knows he can do with us.

And, just so you know.... one of these days it will be Josiah's turn to discover the phone.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

On NOT Hibernating

I was groggy this morning, and poking my nose out from under the comforter was all I could manage for about 10 minutes.
It doesn't help that we, that is, my husband turns down the thermostat to 58 at bedtime. Even when I'm not groggy, I wait until he gets up and cranks up the thermostat before putting my feet on the floor. In the name of cost-savings this winter, he's been cranking it all the way up to about 63 degrees. To his credit, I have to say he bought me a couple of those electric space heaters to take the chill off (or thaw out my feet, as the case may be).
I've always been a morning person, but as I age it's getting easier to cling to the covers in the morning. Or maybe it is this cold snap we're having.
We exercise almost every day; 6:00 AM, sharp. We alternate running days with walking days. Today was a walking day, but when I read the outside thermometer at 14F I knew we'd be improvising indoors, again. The upside is that we live 1/2 block from the church where my husband pastors, and there's a gym. The downside is, walking around and around in a small gym gets old very quickly. Besides that, I was still quite sluggish. My husband even mentioned that if we could count our steps, we might actually be able to walk with our eyes closed and still make all the turns without hitting any walls...
While I didn't try his game, I did get creative following all the lines painted on the floor; basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, the AWANA lines.... do you realize how many different patterns you can trace in 30 minutes? Well, once the blood got pumping and my brain cells woke up, I actually had a good time. Not quite as much fun as running outdoors when it's above freezing, but it'll have to do until we're out of this deep freeze.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Craziest Language

How fun it is, observing the grandkids as they start communicating. Gestures begin to make sense and random sounds become intelligible words. It's amazing how quickly these little ones can make themselves understood!
I hope they'll have the opportunity and blessing of learning more than one language some day. One thing I know for sure: any second language they learn will be much easier than their mother tongue, which happens to be English. Consider the following poem, which my son (a first grade bi-lingual teacher) recently emailed me.

The Craziest Language

We'll begin with a box and the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes.

Then one fowl is a goose, but two are called geese;

Yet the plural moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural would never be hose.

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his, and him,

But imagine the feminine: she, shis, and shim.

So English, I fancy, you will agree,

Is the craziest language you ever did see.

Author - Unknown