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

Monday, February 27, 2006

This is Only a Test

After PR left for work this morning, I noticed a banana peel lying on the floor in the middle of the TV room. I almost picked it up. Then I thought, "No, I'm not going to pick up his banana peel." It was a first for me. It's totally against the grain for me to react like that. If there's something out of place I have to fix it.

You don't know how hard it was for me to leave that thing lying there. Every time I walked by, I would automatically start to bend down for it, then stop short, "He just knows that I will throw his garbage away. Won't he be surprised?!"

It was a long morning, but I persevered. When PR came home for lunch, he noticed it without my drawing his attention to it. He even tried to tell me he'd left it there on purpose. If he did, then he certainly was surprised to see that it hadn't magically disappeared. Now there's a man who knows how to keep his wife's thoughts on him all morning.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Equal Time

I told Daniel I needed some new photos of Josiah. He emailed these.

When I talk to Josiah on the phone, he just giggles and tries to hug the phone. Gotta love that.


Karina's the young one...

(Please note: this picture was taken at 10:18pm; way past my bedtime!)

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Luke & Papi

We just got back from another of our "thirty-six hour" visits with Reiley and Luke (and their parents, lest we forget....)

Here are a few photos of the fun.
Photo ops we missed: 1. trip to the pet store;
2. dinner at "Willy's" mexican buffet;
3. Luke & Reiley wrestling match.

Reiley's motto:

"Play hard.....

....sleep when you must."

Tubby time.

Reiley's having an "Elmo" theme for his 2nd birthday party in 3 weeks. Karina and I made a "practice" cake.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chill Out

In the middle of relaxing last evening, we were jolted by a loud clattering noise that seemed to reverberate throughout the radiators. I ran one direction and PR ran the other. He discovered that something had definitely gone wrong with the pump on our furnace boiler.

The repairman said he'd be here between 8 and 9 in the morning. Great. All I could think of was slowly freezing to death in my sleep....

I woke this morning, surprisingly. No, I mean it was surprisingly comfortable in the house. Checking the thermometer, I noticed it was 40 degrees outside, which is quite mild for 5:30am in Chicago on the 23rd of February.

And I knew what PR was going to say before he said it: "Looks like we don't really need that old furnace after all."

Do you think he was serious?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Overheard at a church: "I don't like to complain, but..."

Here's a little quiz. What was the topic of Sunday's sermon? Its application? The Bible passage from which it was preached?

I know, it's Wednesday. Maybe this quiz would've been easier on Sunday afternoon.

Why is it so easy to remember the mistake the pianist made, or the fact that the guitar player didn't smile or sing along on any of the songs, or the lady, one pew back, who should've stayed at home with her cough, or even the pastor's argyle socks? (Not that there's anything wrong with argyle socks.)
I'm posing these questions as rhetorical.

And the quiz is optional.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Kid Talk

This Saturday we met Karina, Jason, and the boys, "halfway", at a mall for lunch. When I asked Reiley if he had a kiss for Vovó, he said, "No. Hug Papi". Well, he knows what he wants, and knows how to get it. We had a good time, and you know he got his share of Papi hugs.... (I did sneak a kiss or two).

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Grandkid Update 2

Here's a rare pose: Josiah RESTING!

He's usually a very busy boy.

Reiley & Luke. You can also catch them here.

Reiley liked sitting on the motorcycle, whether or not we put the quarters in.

This is one of four photos. In the other three, Reiley was a blur.

Future Grandma

Here's my sister, with Luke, practicing to be Grandma. Her first grandson is due in June. She & her hubby raised FOUR daughters, so having a boy around will rock their world.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Looking for a Sign?

Maybe I should tell the boss...? Just kidding!
What if we lived our lives by fortune cookie messages?

"Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?" Galatians 3:3

Friday, February 10, 2006

Apple Pie

My mother's name is Mary, but we all call her Mimi.
Her father's name was Alpheus Montague. To us, he was Grandpa Monte.
His father's name was Marcus, but everyone called him Mark, except his grandchildren. They called him BoPop.
His mother's name was Sally; my great-great grandmother.
Her father's name was Amos. His last name was White. How plain.
His mother's name was Mary. I wonder what her nickname was...
Her father's name was Horatio. Brigadier General Horatio Gates (1727–1806), American general in the American Revolution. (If you want, you can follow the links on this website to arrive at my name, Karen.)

You could say I'm as American as the title of today's post, but you know, I got here the easy way. I have an admiration for those who have left their birth countries, and made a choice to proudly swear allegiance to our country and our flag:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

Now, that’s a big step, and it takes guts. And it’s something my family, or at least one long branch of it, hasn’t had to even think about for over eight generations. Thank you, Great-great-great-great-great-Grandpa Horatio.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Put That Away!

While we're out jogging, PR likes to point things out along the way. He's usually the first to spot Mr. Robin, high in a treetop.

Today, a panel van, with three men crammed in the front, passed by as we were crossing the street.
"Did you smell the coffee?"
"Nope... too busy.... breathing..."

Then this:
"Look, a Christmas tree!"
"In that house... there."
Sure enough. There it was, in the front window. Decorated. Thankfully, the lights were not lit.

I did a quick mental calculation (all the while remembering to breathe)... February 7th... OK, so maybe it's become a fixture, and they don't even notice it anymore.

Later, in the shower (when my brain was re-oxygenated) I mulled it over. (Actually, I do some of my best thinking in the shower. Except when PR is home keeping an eye on the gas bill. Shhh, don't tell him.) Sometimes you notice things because they seem out of place, and sometimes you don't notice things until they are missing.

For instance, while we were in Missouri this weekend, I got a call from Karina, who'd come to Chicago with Jason and the boys for a party and were staying overnight at our house.
"Whatdja do with our high school pictures?"
She hadn't been home since I'd decided, a few weeks earlier, to make some decorating changes, and had taken down our kids' senior pictures, circa 1995-2000.

When the good things disappear, we miss them.

But when life's seasons change, we have to be ready to put things away.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Graduation Day!

I'm writing from Fort Leonard Wood, MO, where we attended Mark's graduation ceremony this morning. Since the end of August, he's finished 19 weeks of Basic Combat Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) with the 82nd Chemical Battalion. After a weekend pass, he'll be on "holdover" for about 3 weeks until he can join the next cycle of Airborne Training at Fort Benning, GA.
To say we are proud of him, is putting it mildly.