Thursday, August 27, 2009

One year ago Mamma mia ...

One year ago, August 28, 2008, we lost our Mother. We miss her so much, but we know she has been trying to tell us through so many signs that she is happy now. Last year, on the night before we brought Mother home from the hospital to spend her last days with us, our dear friends, Nancy and Charlie took me to the movies to see the movie, Mamma Mia. The same day this year Dave and I went to the Decatur Celebration where the featured bad just happened to be ABBA, whose songs the film Mamma Mia is based on. No coincidence I think. I took some video but it was too big to download, so here is a link to the song on Youtube, a picture from the celebration, and some of the song lyrics. I think Mother would like this.

"Mamma mia, here I go again. My, my, how can I resist you? Mamma mia, does it show again? My, my, just how much I missed you. Yes, I've been brokenhearted. Blue since the day we parted. Why, why did I ever let you go? Mamma mia, now I really know. My, my, I could never let you go... Good-bye doesn't mean forever"

We'll love you forever.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Parkland Cobras Rah Rah Rah!

This was our first Parkland basketball game this year. Mikayla LOVES the dancers, who are award winners this year! We always sit with the dancers when we go to games. Sweet Rachel that you see in the video took Mikayla under her wing. Mik was drooling over the pompoms whispering to me "I just want to touch one" reaching out one little finger to gently touch one strip of pompom. Then Rachel let her HOLD both of them and actually taught her how to use them. She was sooooo excited. The dancers' coach brought Mik a 2009 poster of them and Rachel had all the girls autograph it for her. The next day I framed the picture and gave it to Mik for her room. She kissed Rachel's picture and said "I love her". Awwwwwwwww...

She did actually watch a little of the basketball game and loved yelling when our team made a basket. One of the players is a CHD student and is doing a practicum in one of the classes at the Child Development Center (not in Mik's room, so she didn't know her). I don't feel bad going to the game for just the dancers and cheerleaders. Those sports are just as important and as athletic as basketball, just not so appreciated.

Friday, February 13, 2009

So long tooth, hello tooth fairy!

Today Mikayla lost her first tooth. She was laying on the couch resting with Grandpa and all of a sudden yelled "Here's my tooth!" She was so excited. I think the most fun was being able to suck on a straw without even opening her teeth. So funny. I forgot what fun something as simple as that can be!

Lincoln's Valentine Birthday!

Yesterday we made heart-shaped brownies with pink icing to celebrate Lincoln's Birthday! And you know how much we love our guy. Happy 200th Abe!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Verse

This verse was given to me by my friend Donna:

2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT)

"So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call."

You know why I chose it. Thank you Donna.

Guiding Light (daily drama that's not mine!)

There has been something that has been with me for my entire life, maybe even before my little sisters, and I've let it slip in the past 15 years or so. It left two other times, but came back with tv rooms in the Illini Union and then the invention of the VCR. I tried bringing it back into my life several years ago, but a cloning issue with Reva just made it too ridiculous to consider. But now, Phillip Spaulding is back from the dead after five years away, and I may come back too. Yes, I'm talking about my soap, the Guiding Light. How have I lived without the Bauers and the Lewises and the Spauldings for so long? I showed a copied video to one of my classes last week and at the beginning of the tape was a little piece of a GL from the 80's, one of the golden ages of the show, oh the memories. Oh how I looked forward to the love between Beth and Phillip (did you know he saved her from the terrible sexual abuse of her stepfather?). Times have changed. You can even watch episodes of the show right on your computer even if you don't have DVR, which I don't. To celebrate Phillip's return, the show's website has clips available of all the past segments of Phillip's life-very fun stuff for us old people. Gosh I forgot about Dr. Marler and Jackie and Elizabeth (Phillip's real mother and the namesake of Lizzie). There was even a clip of the fight between Phillip and Beth's stepfather, the evil Bradley Raines. Yesterday, Phillip returned to the show. And I saw it. I was lucky enough to be home sick-I'm always sick now, I think I have gall bladder problems. Of course, in typical soap style, they waited until the final seconds of the show for his return. They had advertised that "the return of Phillip Spaulding" would be February 9, so all of us soap fanatics were sitting on the edges of our seats (or our bedpans) to see it. Yes, he's back, and maybe I am too. I need a little more drama in my life (yeah right).
Regarding that gall bladder thing...I went to the doc yesterday, had some tests, more today and more Friday. Until then, no milk products, no fat, and only small amounts of food at a time. In other words, don't eat anything I like. The good news is I've lost ten pounds in three weeks. I may need to stay sick for another twenty pounds worth. I may have to. It's really not fun.
Okay, one more thing, or two. Who can forget the evil Roger???? That was the best storyline of all. And do you remember that Kevin Bacon used to play TJ Werner? Just had to get that in. Sometimes it's just fun to realize that my life really isn't as bad as a soap opera!

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Sometimes, not often enough, we reflect upon the good things. And those thoughts always center around those we love. And I think about those people who mean so much to me, and for so many years have made me so very happy. And I count the times I have forgotten to say, Thank You. And just how much I love them.

We played this song for our mothers to walk in during our wedding. Mikayla and I were looking for music videos and this came up. I remembered how much we loved our mothers and wanted them to know just how much we loved them.

Listen here:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Memory verse

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

If you see me, ask me to recite it for you. I need some accountability and a little encouragement!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baby, the three-legged dog

"Until man extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace." Dr. Albert Schweitzer


What an inspiring day! I couldn't believe that some of my students didn't seem to GET the significance of the event. And all those people at the National Mall and not one arrest. I loved Chris Matthews' (MSNBC's Hardball) comment that he had never seen so many teeth (from smiling).
Bad ending to a wonderful day-I caught the virus that Dave and Mikayla had. I haven't been so sick since I had appendicitis. It's easing off, but I still feel crummy. So glad I didn't feel like this all day yesterday. I would have missed history.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Clair de Lune

Cousin Karen shared another memory of our mother with me. She told me how she listened to Debussy's Clair de Lune as performed by Iturbi over and over and over a million or more times until Karen was sick of it. When she complained, her mother told her to go to her room if she didn't want to listen, it was GOOD music. Iturbi was also a film actor as well as a musician, thus explaining how Mother probably became interested. There is now an Iturbi piano competion and a simple version of Clair de Lune is one of the first pieces learned in piano lessons (I remember our neighbor Chi Chi played it as did my son Josh when he took lessons). Click the link below to hear Iturbi playing the song on YouTube".

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Doing life together

This is the awesomest small group of women (next to my sisters of course!) in the world. I have never met a more sincere, God-loving, servant hearted , REAL bunch of gals in my life. We are all so different, yet so alike. They are (left to right) Donna, Denise, me (I'm not that awesome and I look like I'm posing, but really I'm trying to stand up straight and not look so dumpy!), Sue, Margaret, and our leader Joanne. I am not worthy to be a part of this group, but I am so glad I am. I love you guys.
And Tim-thanks for taking the picture! Love you too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Heather Harris Original

This picture was done by one of my former preschoolers, Heather Harris, and has been hanging on my office walls for over 30 years. She made this portrait of me when she was just five years old. She is now an accomplished artist who does exhibitions throughout the Austin, Texas area ( I recently caught up with her facebook page. I asked her how much she thought this portrait was worth now! Of course, I can tell you what I think-PRICELESS! And guess what else? Just like so many other famous artistic works, I also found another of her works on the back!

Makes me smile! Check out Heather's artwork.

Things I learned about God while cheating at cards

Okay, not REALLY cheating. I like to play Spider Solitaire on the computer. My favorite moves are “undo” and “restart game”. Is it really cheating if you’re playing against yourself? Sometimes I undo back more than ten moves. Sometimes I play the same game again and again until I get it right. When I’ve re-played the same game a few times, making “all the right moves”, I try it with all the “wrong moves” and often succeed with that. I’m convinced that there is a way to win at every game. It’s weird I know, but late at night I sometimes imagine that I’m playing Solitaire with God. Can I still call it solitaire? One day it hit me that maybe He can even use my solitaire addiction to teach me a few things. Here are some things I’ve learned:

  1. You can always win, you’ve just got to keep trying. You don’t know what’s coming next.
  2. We have no concept of time when playing solitaire. Maybe that’s like God’s time. What may seem like a long time to us is a blink of an eye to God.
  3. Sometimes the most unlikely or “wrong” move, like those God sometimes tells you to make, (”lean not on your own understanding”) may be the one that that is the most helpful to you or someone else.
  4. It’s fun when someone claps for you-even the computer (God loves praise, but he also claps for us and loves us to do well).
  5. Solitaire wastes a lot of time that could be better spent reading my Bible, serving others, praying, or doing my homework.
  6. In the end, it’s just a game, and God still loves you.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I cooked!

This is my version of baked potato soup-look good? It was. Shock of shocks.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lionel is back AGAIN!

I just had to post this pic of Lionel. I got an e-mail from Villy with an address where you can look up the song that was #1 on the day you were born.
When I clicked on the link, there was a picture of the guy with Lionel front and center (or you could just look at it here). He has nothing to do with the site at all. It's so funny that Lionel tends to show up every time I'm having a heavy "Mother" day. I'd better be careful or my blog is going to start coming up anytime someone googles Lionel Richie. What a hoot that would be! It's fun to look up the song thing. I'd never heard of the one for my birthday "Little Things Mean Alot" by Kitty Kallen, but I did know most of the others. Lots of fun.

Message through the radio-again (another little miracle)

So I just finished writing the previous blog entry about hearing about my mother through the radio. I got into the car to go to work. The first song on the radio has lines "I really just wanted to talk to you ("I'd Really Like to See You Tonight" by England Dan and John Ford Coley). The next song was "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. Mother considered "Maggie May" her song because our neighbor in Florida, Mr. Patota, used to call her that. Funny I get a response right after I write about hearing messages about her through the radio. Coincidence? I don't think so.

The Miracles of Lionel Richie

This summer Val and I were driving home from Jena's and having a deep discussion about Mother and how we so wanted to be sure she was with her parents and happy. I took this opportunity to tell her about how God often gives me messages through the radio (as I mentioned in an earlier post). Right after that, a Lionel Richie song (one of Val and Mother's favorites) came on the radio. The song "Stuck on You" included lines: Guess I'm on my way, Been a fool too long I guess it's time for me to come on home, Oh I'm leaving on that midnight train tomorrow and I know just where I'm going, I've packed up all my troubles and I've thrown them all away (love this part!), I'm coming home to stay. And the way I feel now I guess I'll be with you 'til the end, guess I'm on my way Mighty glad you stayed." When the song was over, the DJ said the song was for her parents from their daughter, Nancy. Valerie's comment: "Show off!" I loved that. God is so faithful. A few weeks later, on Halloween, I was getting ready to go home to Wellington and trying to decide if I should stop and put a Mounds bar on Mother's grave. Lionel came on the radio singing "Stuck on You" again-and he is never on the radio anymore so what's with this! I went. Then, all alone on New Year's Eve, I turned on CBS to watch the ball drop. Guess who was there? Good old Lionel. Happy New Year Mother. I'm glad you're happy.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Puppy Hugo

My Raggedy

One of our prompts for Journal Your Christmas is "Best Present". I've gotten a lot of best presents, but I want to write about one that is over 45 years old. Above you see a picture, captured from old film I recently had transferred to DVD, of my Raggedy Ann on the day VALERIE got her for Christmas. Yes, I said Valerie. She was not originally my doll. That Christmas I got an absolutely beautiful doll with a gorgeous bed, one I'm sure I asked Santa for. I don't know why I fell in love with Raggedy Ann. Maybe because she was so soft and loveable, or maybe because she said "I LOVE YOU" on her heart. I traded the beautiful doll for Raggedy Ann, who then slept in the gorgeous pink frou frou bed (can you just imagine it!). I still have Raggedy Ann and I still love her. She was very well loved. If you've ever read the book "The Velveteen Rabbit" (and I suggest that you do!), you will know what I mean when I say that I think she is now real. Here's a picture of her today.
You can see that she is not in good shape, as any well-loved doll would be. You might be able to see that she still has bandaids on her leg and foot. By the way she looks, I think she needed more than just bandaids! I don't know where her clothes are. Valerie and Susan probably absconded with them! Can you believe she still has her hair and both eyes! One thing I can tell you is that I still love her and she still loves me as you can see below.
I still love Raggedys and it's so cool that the annual Raggedy Ann and Andy Festival (yes, I love Andy too) is held just 30 minutes away in Arcola, Illinois where Johnny Gruelle, who wrote the Raggedy Ann stories, was born. They even have a Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum. One year we got to see Gruelle's grandchildren who signed a book for us. Gruelle wrote the Raggedy Ann and Andy stories for his daughter, Marcella, while she was very sick. She later died at age 13. I now have several Raggedy Anns and Andys, but this one was the first. I often give a Raggedy Ann or Andy as a new baby gift and I usually keep a new one around for just that purpose.
I must say I was so excited to find the picture of my Raggedy Ann on her "birthday" I just had to write about her! Did you have a doll or other stuffed animal that you really loved? Do you still have it? Don't let it go because you will feel that love forever and you may need it someday.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

John Booth Monster

Yesterday Mik drew a picture of a "monster". She told me he was a John Booth monster and he would shoot people and kill them and was very bad.