It’s all about the gold, isn’t? Gold medals, the gold standard…we attach a lot of value to the idea of gold…

Hearts are as pure as gold, silence is golden…

Women are accused of being gold-diggers…

Someone who is effective in making things happen is said to have the Midas touch…

So and so is “golden”…

Gold Medal flour…

Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, thought his position was golden because he would be able to sell President-elect Obama’s vacated Senate seat…and that cost him a lot more than a bag of gold!

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow guarded by a lucky leprechaun…

Given the current events of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I thought I should put forth my best effort in recognizing an amazing unsung hero…

I am awarding this gold medal as a shared award–kind of like a team award. This gold medal recognizes someone willingly taking full advantage of new opportunities for personal development–above and beyond their natural skill or interest. I can honestly say that this person has proven repeatedly that it has nothing to do with his personal interests or needs, but rather those of his behind the scenes partner.

Many years ago, this individual left his humble hut behind and attacked with gusto many new and uncharted projects that would have escaped him were it not for the impetus behind all those uncharted projects. He developed a love of digging up plants and moving them to other yet-to-be-dug holes. He discovered new ways of getting brand new clothing ruined by dirt and grime faster than anyone in history. He never met a paint brush he couldn’t leave without layers of clear-cut evidence of the history of his handiwork.

He has graduated from building plywood crates to ship appliances overseas to mastering multiple kitchen projects, even an entire basement. Becoming well-versed in load-bearing walls and their removal, he has come to expect a wall to come down in every home he has bought.

He is a painter extraordinaire, whipping out his paint gear and attacking the house with colors he can’t even pronounce, repeatedly.

There is only one remaining medal event for him–tree removal–but he is ineligible to compete in that event due to his past experience involving a ladder, a tree and a chainsaw. Because of his serious violations, he is forever forbidden from competing in this event.

So it is with great pride that I award the Gold Medal for Outstanding Taker of New Opportunities to my own husband, Superman. I joyfully share that award with him as the impetus behind those repeated opportunities to extend his knowledge and skill in areas for which he has no natural interest. Please stand and join me for the playing of our National Anthem.


Naked Ladies

They get called a lot of different things…

Mystery Lilies

Surprise Lilies

Pink Ladies

Naked Ladies

But in all honesty, none of their names do them justice. In the Spring, when daffodils and other bulbs start shooting up their greenery, so do these lovely ladies. But if you are expecting flowers to follow immediately you will be so disappointed.

However, long after their foliage has died away and you’ve forgotten all about them, and the long hot days of the miserable Summer have taken control, you are greeted by these mysterious stems shooting through the ground with no leaves or foliage whatsoever.

And you get so excited! You try to remember just what those things were, and then you remember…

these shoots are about the same height as Curly Top

So as little Curly Top goes wandering through the garden, she breaks the neck of one of these beauties so she can savor its fragrance. And unsuccessfully attempts to put it back on…I almost cried.

But the blooms are so delicate and lovely, pink and blue and lavender…gorgeous…

Preparing to open…

With so many dying flowers from our drought and heat, the presence of these just gave us all a reminder of the beauty around us that we so easily ignore.


So, whether you call them Pink Ladies, Mystery Lilies or Naked Ladies, just make sure you appreciate their beauty, because it is here today and gone tomorrow!

That Girl is a Wee Bit Mixed Up

So we are in the throes of potty training Curly Top. She is doing a great job using the potty for her pee pee. Woo hoo! Not such an expert in the other area. But she does an awesome job hiding where it lands. There is a little problem, however.

She thinks she’s a boy.

don’t all princesses play soccer while dressed in their gowns?

I know…she also thinks she’s a princess.

who? Me???

She likes her fancy party dresses, her tutus and sparkly shoes. And the boys’ boxers and briefs with Thomas the Train and Spiderman and all the other super heroes…but I digress.

My crazy little granddaughter has brothers…and they have to take careful aim when they go pee pee. Ahem, there is a REASON for aiming with care. And it isn’t optional.

But my crazy girl thinks she needs to aim, too. She sits on the potty backwards, and aims. All over the back of the toilet. Ugh. So much for her older brothers setting an example for her to follow. Or maybe they actually DID…I see some retraining in their future.

But it could be so much worse…Australia, who has been away for the summer, apparently thinks she goes potty out of her belly button. I just don’t think she will be trained before she starts back with me in a few weeks. And that’s ok. One at a time is a lot easier to manage anyway.

So here I am, after all these years of training little people on the finer points of potty training and the appropriate decorum that accompanies said activities, perplexed and totally confused, and without an idea as to how to proceed.

Stop laughing…I know you don’t want to trade places. Or maybe you do??? Anyone? Please??? I know you can’t see me, but I am on my knees…

A Trip to the ER = Cure for Boredom

So, I was suffering from boredom today. It honestly doesn’t happen too often, and I really don’t handle it well.

But tonight…life has returned to its norm around here.

The kids were at VBS tonight, and Nathan and I had the rare opportunity to savor the quiet together for a few hours. That quiet was interrupted when our daughter called to say she needed to take one of the boys to the ER. I quickly got ready, not knowing the problem.

Apparently the children had an outdoor activity this evening at VBS, and Sean was a highly active participant. He began to feel pain in his chest and looked like he was going to faint. The teacher brought Sean to his mommy, who was checking in on Dancing Eyes. Sean looked and felt terrible. After a quick phone call, we were on our way.

Of course, by the time we arrived at the hospital, Sean was looking and feeling better, but his pulse was still a little high. We were taken back to a room faster than we have ever experienced. Wow. I didn’t even get to explore the updated waiting room…

All Sean cared about was getting the Cartoon Network on the tv. And Dancing Eyes? Well, he was all about making gross, fake bodily noises and laughing almost uncontrollably. Seriously. And poor Mario was suffering the indignities of being the scape goat.

I really felt sorry for the doctor. He never stood a chance. He looked like he had just graduated from high school. And I remembered that it was July–new residents starting up their program…Poor kid.

Mario went flying across the room and hit the doctor dead on. Somehow, he managed to catch him. My daughter was mortified. The doctor looked stunned, but smiled. Dancing Eyes just burst out laughing even louder.

Eventually, the boys each got to eat a nice red popsicle. You know…the color of blood? Dancing Eyes started making this noise…

“Hlech…hlech…hlech…” over and over. Then he spit out some icky goo into his hand. Great. Disgusting and gross, and the doctor is trying to explain the results of the EKG.

I washed the offending yuck off Dancing Eyes’ hands. And then…



“Hlech…hlech…hleck…” and then more crud.

By this time, the doctor appeared a little concerned about what the deal was with our little clown. But for anyone that has sinus and allergy problems, you know exactly what the kid was doing–

Eventually all we needed to wait for was the discharge papers. That is the hardest part of the whole trip to the ER. You know you are fine. You just want to leave. But you can’t leave because you need those papers. Seriously, will they call the police if you leave without the discharge papers? Just curious…

By this point, both boys were bored and a little more than stir crazy when Sean discovered the blue exam gloves. What a great thing. And he had such a great idea…

“I know, let’s fill it up with water!!!”

Now, you know there was no way Sean was getting one and Dancing Eyes not. Never going to happen. So now, there were two little boys, in the ER, with blue exam glove water balloons. I won’t even tell you all the things those little hands did. Sometimes it’s just best to leave it to the imagination.

Somehow, we got out of the hospital, into the car and onto the street before the first one burst. Great. One wet little boy, laughing hysterically and another boy wanting his to burst. NO PROBLEM!!! So we had two laughing and very wet little boys cracking us up all the way home.

The discussion in the car went something like this…

“Sean, mommy needs a princess car. A BIG princess car. And Curly Top can have a little princess car. And Nana…”

And then both boys said simultaneously, “A Daisy car.” I don’t know who Daisy is, but apparently both boys thought of me as needing a Daisy car.

“And Jesus made us Sean. Sean, and Jesus made us. Sean, do you hear me, and Jesus made us.”

“Yes, I heard you. I know.’

“And Mario needs a rug in his car, too.”

I was really having a lot of trouble following the line of thought…it was so random. Punctuated with bursts of laughter.

So, I am no longer bored. Just thought you would like to know. 🙂


Sigh. I’m bored. It’s too hot to work in the yard. It’s too hot to play outside with the little guys. The several hours of watching the crews repave our street is over and done with in less than a day. Trash trucks won’t be around until Thursday.



Big sigh.

Waiting on the counter tops to be installed, so no progress to be made in the kitchen.


I have a bad case of the summer doldrums. And I miss my sweet little guy so much!

isn’t he the sweetest little thing?

Sigh. I want a few more little hugs and snuggles. I hate being so far away.

Sigh. I’m so bored. And sad. I think it’s time to move.

God is truly a merciful God. Even in the middle of horrors, He is there.

A Tenacious Joy

July 22 – a note of explanation

I’ve tried to leave this post just as it was originally written because it was a heartfelt response after a very traumatic experience.  But I’m sometimes clumsy with words and even when I think I am writing clearly, there is always the reader who doesn’t know my heart or doesn’t hear the words the way they were intended.

I feel as though a few people have taken what I said and twisted it. When I wrote my post on Friday, I had a grand total of eleven blog  followers. Yes, eleven. I generally post on facebook and have had a loyal little group of readers that numbered thirty or so. That is who I generally write for.  People who know me  know that I dislike talking on the telephone. I’d pretty much rather clean a toilet than spend time on the phone. I…

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Apparently the word ‘privacy’ has been the victim of confusion. At least in my little world. So I thought I would do my own little informal yet totally scientific study on the term.

According to Merriam-Webster for children, privacy is defined as:

Main Entry: pri•va•cy
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
1 a: the quality or state of being out of the sight and hearing of other people : SECLUSION <the privacy of the home> b: freedom from being intruded upon <one’s right to privacy>
2 : SECRECY <talk in privacy>

When I asked Sean what he thought the word meant, he said, “Umm, hmmm…I don’t know.”

Of course, I had to find out what Dancing Eyes thought. He gave a very complete answer. “Um, privacy means go to bed.”

That gave me something to think about.

When I asked Curly Top for her input, she said, “Hey, there’s Papa.”

In the background, I heard my daughter asking, “Why, did they do something wrong?”

If you think about all those little responses, it becomes totally clear why I have none of it. And I really do mean NONE of it.

I have taken to locking the bathroom door. Not because I don’t want to be caught unawares, but it is truly the only time I am alone. And although one would think simply locking the door would keep little bodies out of the bathroom, it does not preclude them from interfering with my seclusion or even secrecy.

“Nana, what are you doing?”

“Why did you lock the door, Nana?”

“Nana, when are you coming out?”

“Nana, you’re taking too long.”

“Nana, how come I can’t come in with you?”

And the questions just keep coming, followed by the sound of the child sitting down on the floor outside the door and begin banging on the door. Rhythmically. Annoyingly. Assuring absolutely NO PRIVACY.

I am now in contact with Russian officials to find out what it would take to be on the next flight to the International Space Station. I am accepting donations. And I will look into tax deductions for your donations.