Sunday, November 30, 2008

small miracles

we've been spending lots of time lately praying for our dear friend aidyn & what's going on in her life...

and praising god for his soveriegnty & for even the tiniest miracles.

if you get a chance, check out her blog & say a prayer for her, too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

fine literature: confessions of an english major

i quote shakespeare.

i do. and i don't find him in the least difficult to understand.

i devour books whole. once i get started i can't put them down. i've always been that way.

i was an english major. and i loved it. juggling classes on the victorian novel, drama as a genre of literature, and the romantic poets was just my cup of tea. i read with highlighter in hand, marking passages that might be useful to me later on.

i am the kind of person who decides that the brothers karamazov would make a great addition to my summer reading list. and then really reads it while at the pool. a book that size casts a notable shadow across the tanning zone -- and i don't care. i wear it like a badge of honor.

as a literature teacher, i drive students batty pushing them to look deeper. look harder. look further. why did the author choose that name? what is the setting telling us?

i start to get all tingly and can barely keep from jumping out of my skin when i know that an author has managed to set up the mood for the entire novel in the first sentence -- or better the first phrase (i.e. steinbeck: "a few miles south of soledad...")! i've got goosebumps just typing that!

so when a friend recommends to me a piece of fine literature, i jump right on it. i'm not a library kind of girl (although it would save me a fortune). what happens if they don't even have the book i need? or if it's checked out & i would have to be added to a wait list? we all know that kafka, dickens, and bronte are flying off the shelves these days. so i usually head straight to the book store to pick up the priceless treasure.

searching through rows and rows of dusty, musty books is my own private indiana jones experience. looking for the holy grail of good reads. it's more excitement than should be legal.

just a few short weeks back, i was given such a recommendation from a friend upon whom i knew i could count for just the kind of book i would love. full of deep thematic elements. complex and dynamic characters. innovative style. perhaps even some philosophy or a profound life-truth buried deep within the lines.

i didn't rush right out to the book store to purchase it, not even sure i would be able to find time to read between diapers and baths and the rest of the chaos that is my life. but i soon found myself at walmart or target or some other all-purpose haven for one-stop shopping. as i wheeled the cart down the endless aisles, the sleek black cover of the aforementioned recommended reading drew my attention.

so i tossed it into the cart, in between a pack of sippy cups with lids the razorlike teeth of the little dudes would be unable to penetrate, and a box of cheerios -- food the whole family can love.

later in the afternoon, as the house grew quiet the way it only can during naptime, i opened up the book, and there it was. that tell-tale first sentence.

"I'd never given much thought to how I would die -- though I'd had reason enough in the last few months -- but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this."


i knew it immediately -- had known it before i had even opened the book, really.

total trash.

and i loved every page.

to make matters worse (better?), the movie opens on friday.

i'll see you there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jack & his Wife

you all remember the nursery rhyme, right?

Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

well, i've created my own version based on my picky eaters:

Wesley could eat no fruit
His bro could eat no green
A cracker, tho, them both will please
If Mommy’s not too mean

it's not a stretch, either.

today we had pizza for lunch (all 4 food groups, right?). wes couldn't get enough of the sausage, cheese, olives, mushrooms. nolan would only gnaw on the crust.

go figure.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


after such a long & heated presidential race and an emotional election day with record numbers turning out to cast their votes for the next ceo of the united states, one might assume that a post of this title would involve strong political views and a reference to our new president elect.

if that's what you were expecting, i would like to apologize becuase you were wrong.

those who know me better might be expecting something about the twins or about halloween candy.

you see, after years of living overseas, i have come to appreciate many forms of government and many political views. there were aspects about both candidates i liked and aspects i did not. there is no one perfect governmental system or ideology. things that work in the u.s. would not work in other countries and things that run smoothly over there would never go over with the american populace. i do not see things like socialized medicine as the road to an evil government. nor do i think that tax breaks for businesses that provide jobs (and health insurance) are entirely unfair. things are not so black and white in my opinion.

we have to remember that, even though we may disagree with some of the ideologies of either (or both) candidates for president, they both love the country. they both want what is best for the people of the united states. neither one is the anti-christ. neither one is a terrorist. and, ultimately, no one comes to power whom GOD has not allowed to rise to that position.

so, no, my disillusionment does not come from whom the american people elected as the 44th president of this country.

my disillusionment came yesterday, long before the polls were closed, at chick-fil-a.

i had heard about all of the election-day freebies and special offers around town. so i made a plan. first stop: chick-fil-a. a free sandwich for me & some nuggets for the boys. then i was going to make my way to the nearest starbucks for some coffee, and perhaps even find some ben & jerry's or a krispy kreme to top off the day. my plan was scrumptious.

unfortunately, it was foiled at my first stop.

at chick-fil-a, they had drawn a clear line in the sand. no one was to receive a free anything without the official "i voted" sticker. having taken my civic duty seriously this year, i had realized several weeks ago that standing in line for who knows how long with one year olds was not such a good idea. so i mailed in my ballot. the problem with that? no sticker for me. and the chicken sandwich nazis equated that with no freebie for me.

so i was a little disappointed. but i understood that they needed to draw a line somewhere so as not to be taken advantage of. so, i bought my sandwich (and fries, and sprite) and ate an enjoyable lunch with the munchkins.

then, on my way out, in walked a group of at least 25 pimply-faced kids. some still had braces. a few were sporting the splotchy facial hair of teenage boys. someone even wore a sweatshirt sporting the name "grandview high school." affixed nicely on each trendy shirt was a little oval "i voted" sticker. last time i checked, you had to be 18 to vote. unless we are referring to the world-altering election of homecoming queen.

according to the rules of chick-fil-a, each one of those i'm-sorry-my-voice-just-cracked teeny boppers in their leggings & mini skirts got a free sandwich.

and i didn't.

i was so irritated i didn't even try starbucks, ben & jerry's, or krispy kreme.

instead, i went home and had some milky ways for dessert after realizing that we have no more peanut butter cups. just one more moment of disillusionment.
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