meandering simply

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008

I received this from a friend today. I thought it was cute.

2008 Contract
After serious & cautious consideration, your contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2008! It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to mess it up!!!

My Wish for You in 2008: May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words, may 2008 be the best year of your life!!!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

offended hannah

Hannah is a sensitive child in many aspects. She's much smaller than Rachael and people think of Rachael as much older than her when actually there's only 13 months between them.

One of Gordon's brothers is a bit harsh and insensitive. He has offended or embarrassed Hannah on a few occasions. Yesterday Gordon and the girls went to pick up Beppe who would be spending two nights with us. When they got to her house Gordon's brother Brian was there. The girls wanted to sit in the car while they waited, but Beppe wasn't quite ready so she insisted they come in.

Within minutes of walking in the door, Brian brusquely asked Hannah how come she was so much shorter than Rachael.

Hannah declared with no hesitation, "That was offensive and I think you're rude."

He apologized in his sort of way. I think they have a better understanding of each other now.


Saturday, December 29, 2007


Doesn't my mom look great??!! She's mother of 5, grandmother of 16, great grandmother to 15 (if my counting it correct). I think she's beautiful.

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JM and Reindeer

John Mark and a cute lil' reindeer.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

baby laughing

If you want to see something sweet watch this.


Roman Carter

I'm closing my posting marathon with a picture on Roman on his first Christmas. 5 months.

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Memory Lane, Missing Family

Sisters, Rachael, Deborah, Stephanie 2004

Michael, Annabelle, Jocelyn

Tata and g'babies

Mindi and Julien

Christopher, 2007

Michael and Annabelle

Jill and Mama (no they didn't plan to dress alike, it just happened as it often does with twins)

Hannah and Dixie

me and all my children.

Niece Melody and Deborah

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Sexy Sisters, (trying to be)

I am so lonely and homesick I can hardly function. To appease my emotions, I'm looking back through photos. Here is one on my birthday in 2004. Stacie and I are putting on our sexy faces in front of Victoria's Secret in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Diane wouldn't join our sick pleasure. We have so much fun.

As you can see, Stacie and I are overweight. Diane is not. When Stephanie and John Mark got married, we joked about him getting scared off when he saw all the overweight people in my family. We decided we'd set Diane front and center so she could distract him and he wouldn't notice us chunky ones. It didn't work. Firstly, Diane wouldn't try to distract him. Secondly, JM noticed us despite of us holding in our guts as best we could.

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You Can Do It Trooper

Seven-year-old Rachael and her buddy Trooper.

I just wrote about Stacie's neighborhood dogs and it reminded me of another story. Rachael, Hannah, Deborah and I spent a month with Stacie five years ago. Rachael was 7, Hannah 6. Stacie and Jimmy had just spent some pretty pennies on one of those underground electric fences to keep their Golden Retriever Trooper home. It was newly installed when we visited.

My girls are doggy lovers and thought it was great to be around all these sweet dogs. They also thought it was so cool that the dogs roamed free -- something they'd never seen before. It's a quiet street and they soon became accustomed to all the dogs, calling them by name and going for walks with them. All of them but Trooper. Poor Trooper had this new fence that kept him from leaving the yard.

Rachael and Hannah understood the concept of the fence to a degree, but they also thought if they were with Trooper it was okay for him to be out of the yard. One day Jimmy discovered why the fence wasn't keeping Trooper in like it was supposed to. He walked around the house and found Rachael and Hannah squatted in the street with doggy treats. As Trooper's collar beeped its warning not to go farther, Rachael and Hannah pleaded with him, "Come on Trooper. You can do it Boy." Then when he made the shock-filled little jump over the underground fence they rewarded him with doggy treats, lots of affection, and "Atta Boy, Trooper. Good Boy."

After having spent a small fortune on this fence, Uncle Jimmy wasn't impressed. I talked to the girls and they begrudgingly stopped begging Trooper to jump the fence.

Now Trooper is the only dog on the road that doesn't roam free. However he isn't lonely. The other dogs join him in his front yard and porch. It's just too cute.

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Gone Postal

Stacie's house sits just beyond the trees.

My sister Stacie, for the second year in a row, did not receive her Christmas card from me. I am positive I put the right address on it.

Stacie lives in the Appalachian Mountains on a lovely hilly lane that cul-de-sacs three houses beyond her. A couple years ago, she had a mailman that was clearly dealing with some pent-up anger. He drove furiously down the road never slowing down for the several neighborhood dogs that snooze lazily on the quiet road. These dogs are truly neighborhood dogs. Everyone calls all the dogs by name, feeds them if they're at their house at doggy meal time, pets them, and of course looks out for them.

(Several months ago Stacie's next door neighbor got a new beagle pup. They wanted to teach their new pup to stay home so they put him on a really long leash so he could have lots of freedom, be part of the tight-knit canine community but still be grounded to home base. Stacie came home one day to find the little Beagle catching some zzzzz's in the middle of the road. He was still on his leash tethered to the owner's porch. Can you picture the cuteness?)

I got terribly off track telling that, but it sort of helps my real story about the mail delivery guy. Another side note: My mailman is the best mailman in the world. His real name is Don, but my kids started calling him Mr Berry because once he gave them some berries. They were very little so for some reason they became convinced that Mr Berry was his real name. Anyway, Don calls my dogs and my children by their names. Actually he calls Deborah Lizzybeth. He was our mailman when I was pregnant with her and at that time we called her Lizzybeth. Don still does. And he always gives Lucy and Bears treats if they are out front when he comes by. You can imagine why I think Don is such a good mailman.

Back to Stacie's Mad Mailman... He drove too fast for her quiet neighborhood where the dogs are free to roam and be neighborly. Stacie noticed a number of times that the mailman had no regard for the dogs. If it were just that, she probably wouldn't have approached him, but there were other things too. Once she received a parcel that didn't fit in the mailbox. Mad Mailman just threw it in her yard for the neighborhood dogs to chew on. But the real clincher happened on garbage day when the guy at the end of the lane hadn't removed his empty garbage cans from the road. Unfortunately Mad Mailman couldn't get to the mailbox for the cans.

Stacie watched from her porch as Mad Mailman went partially postal. He got out of his car swearing and kicking. He picked the blankety-blank-blank garbage cans up and hurled them down the ravine. Stacie wasn't impressed, but then again, Mad Mailman had never impressed her.

She went out in the road and stood expecting Mad Mailman to stop. He drove toward her angrily and she feared that he just might run over her, not as in run over her on accident. She thought he may be aiming at her. Anyway she started waving her arms so he'd stop. He came to an angry halt and Stacie asked him, and I quote, "Why can't you be a nice mailman?"

He got all belligerent on her and took off. Stacie wasn't through discussing the matter. She grabbed the door around the open window and hung on as he started to roar off. She hung on and ran with the car as long as she could pleading with him to "just be nice." He didn't stop.

She phoned his supervisor and reported her observations and personal experience. Mad Mailman wasn't her mailman for a while. When he came back to her route, he drove a little slower but gave her dirty looks.

Do you think there's any connection between Mad Mailman and my Christmas card not getting to her two years in a row?

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Merry Christmas. I hope all of you had wonderful celebrations. We did. Christmas is always fun, joyful, and exciting. But I'm always glad to get back to regular life. To recap our celebrations: On Christmas Eve we went to the service at church. When we got home we had a fondue supper, watched The Nativity Story, and ended the night with our stocking openings. It was a hoot.

Christmas morning came with kids whispering, "It's 9:05," at our bedroom door. Yes, everyone slept to 9:05. That was cool. So much better than the years of the girls coming into our bedroom at 5 and asking us to get up, which we never did. I think the earliest we ever got up was 7:30. After reading the Christmas story, we spent a couple hours opening gifts. It was a wonderful time.

Later in the day we had our big Christmas meal. We had an extra seat at the table. I wanted to go fetch a homeless person to join us, but the girls didn't want to do any such thing. So we sat in warm comfort eating a feast while some were huddled in boxes on the streets. I hope my kind thoughts and prayers for those people is worth something. But that heavy aside, it was a wonderful few days.

Gordon is off work till the 2nd and we've been enjoying the down time. I'm sorry I've not posted much lately. I have no excuse but my own lethargy. I'll try to do better. :)

(And just for fun, I'll add that I bought four 2008 Christmas presents today. I love gettin' a leg up on those things. Yeah!!)


The cutest thing I've seen all day. Roman, 5 months old.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Tonight I laid beside Rachael in her bed and we swapped a few stories. She told me one from grade 4 that I don't remember hearing before. Her teacher began a language arts lesson by asking who could define a period. Rachael knew because we'd had the talk. She bravely raised her hand and when called on said, "It's when you become a woman because now you bleed every month and can have babies."

Mrs Hetland replied without any hesitation, "Actually it's a dot at the end of a sentence."


birth abroad

Children born to American citizens are American citizens. But if "Birth Abroad" isn't filed, their citizenship isn't proven, therefore worth nothing. I've been getting these sort of affairs in order. Yesterday the girls' "Birth Abroad" certificates came in the mail. They're snazzy birth certificates that look like they should be announcing a considerable award. These impressive-looking certificates have been on the console table in the hall for the past 24 hours.

Tonight Deborah was helping me tidy when she came across these certificates. "Hey what are these award winning certificates?," she asked.

"Those show that you're American citizens," I answered.

Hannah, who'd seen the certificates yesterday, poked her head around the corner. Looking as if she missed some of these papers' significance, asked slowly and seriously, "We're award winning American citizens?"


Monday, December 17, 2007

Tag of 8

I got tagged by Mindi . Please accept my partial list.

8 passions in my life:

1. my hubby Gordon
2. my 5 children and Romie Boy
3. prayer
4. writing
5. reading
6. orderliness
7. my doggies, Bear and Lucy
8. my home

8 things to do before I die:

on a different day, I'm sure I could think of eight, but right now I'm just trying to take a day at a time.

8 things I often say:
1. Come on Hannah, we need to leave. (Hannah's always dilly-dawdling.)
2. Deborah do you have socks on?
3. Have you brushed your teeth? (To Deborah)
4. Good Morning Beautiful. (To one of the girls)
5. Papa Bear, is that you? (When Gordon comes in the door and I know darn well it's him.)
6. I didn't ask if you wanted to. (My smart retort to "but I don't want to")
7. You're such a purty girl. (That's to Lucy.)
8. Arkansas (Whenever I leave the house, someone asks where I'm from.)

8 books I read recently:
1. Stillwatch
2. Weep No More My Lady
3. A Cry in the Night (all three of the above are by Mary Higgins Clark)
4. Run to the Mountains -- The Journals of Thomas Merton
5. Mount Vernon - A Love Story (about George and Martha Washington.
6. Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott
7. Kids are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso
8. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

8 songs that mean something to me:
1. Since my wedding day was such a painful fiasco, I'm planning a big 25th Anniversary Bash like a bride plans for her wedding. For my bash (you're all invited, May 2018) I like to choose love songs for the dance. Those songs I can get excited about.
2. The Story by Brandi Carlile
3. How Great Thou Art
4. My Jesus I Love Thee
5. Home by Rich Mullins
6. Deborah's Song
7. Hannah's Song (These are songs I wrote for these daughters)

8 qualities I look for in a friend
1. humor
2. integrity
3. humor
4. integrity
5. humor
6. humor
7. integrity
8. humor

8 people I Tag:
1. Jones
2. Tonya Rimmer
3. Stacie
4. Mama
5. Jill
6. Stephanie
7. Susan
8. anyone else who wants to play


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Six-Word Memoir

I copied this: Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. The result was "For sale: baby shoes, never used."
Since SMITH celebrates the personal side of storytelling, our twist on this classic concept is the six-word memoir--the short, short true story of your life.
It could be the title of your autobiography, or maybe your epitaph. Shorter than haiku and meatier that a one-liner, it truly makes you take stock of who you are. Try it.

From the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the secretive (“I like big butts, can’t lie”), SMITH Magazine has been receiving thousands of six-word memoirs since we first posed the six-word challenge in November, 2006.

I have entered mine, ("I was happiest. I was saddest."), click here to add yours. If anyone wants to share their's, I'd love to hear it. You can post anonymously.

"Me see world! Me write stories!" – Elizabeth Gilbert

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

for Lil' Bit




Wednesday, December 12, 2007

holy christopher

Last night I was telling someone a little story from when we lived in Calgary. It was very near to Rachael's delivery day. It was a Sunday evening and we were going to eat out before church. However we let time get away from us as we discussed where to eat. Gordon wanted one place and I wanted another and Stephanie wanted another. Time passed and it was pretty much too late to have a meal before going to church. We were getting to the place of agreeing to skip church so we could eat more leisurely.

Christopher wanted to go to church. With his holiest 6-year-old tone he said, "I don't care where we eat, I just wanna learn about God."

To this day, when we are being indecisive about something, one of us may drone, "I don't care where we eat, I just wanna learn about God."



Fickle. That's what I am. As Mindi has requested more than once, I have turned my comment option on.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chocolates for Breakfast

As I wrote Lexie's lingerie experience, I remembered my own embarrassing lingerie story. It's not as good as Lexie's but it happened when I was young, stupid, and profoundly easily embarrassed.

My mother-in-law had given me a lovely pair of soft pink silk pajamas for Christmas. They were a little big. My sister-in-law Brenda and I went to Ft Smith the next week to make some Christmas returns and such. My pajamas came from a lovely little lingerie store called Chocolates for Breakfast.

It turned out that Chocolates for Breakfast was quite the happening place. There were a number of people there; I assume it was a sale. There were even men in the store - I don't know if they were just tagging along with their wives or if they were shopping, all I know is that they were men.

That I was in this store with men was more than I was comfortable with. It was a very tasteful store, but there was this small section of "marital aids." I didn't know what I was looking at because I didn't know what "marital aids" were. I recall holding a leopard looking piece of fur wondering what it was. Brenda, older, wiser, and more worldly-wise, educated me, the country bumpkin, that it was for the man to wear. I don't remember screaming, but I may have screamed as I threw it.

I wanted to look around, but honestly, I felt dirty looking at underwear and such in the presence of men. It seemed wrong. So I wondered between the racks of things as discreetly as I knew how. I stopped occasionally and touched things so I could give the impression I was comfortable. Unfortunately my efforts to look at ease and comfortable were successful. I remember precisely the man that was nearest me. It was because of him I was trying to look mature, casual, and unaffected by his presence.

A lady who worked there came up to me and boldly told me I was looking in the wrong size. She looked at my boobs and then, I promise I am telling the truth, grabbed both boobs like they were oranges and told me what size I needed.

I felt soooooooooooooooooooo violated. I was horribly humiliated. All of this happened right beside that man.


Lexie's Lingerie

I have a friend, let's call her Lexie. Lexie is about my size (size 6/7). Baw-haaaaa. Actually she shops in an "above average" store. Last week was her husband's birthday. I guess she has a tradition of buying herself lingerie on his birthday. She's of a modest persuasion and hates actually going into a store to buy underwear, much less lingerie. But she does,-- evidently every year for her hubby's birthday. She discreetly chooses something, tries it on, and tries to pay for it without being noticed.

So last week she went through this ordeal. She turned beet-red as she relayed the embarrassing experience to me.

She picked out the lingerie that she wanted and tried it on. It fit. She was relieved not to have to go back to that section of the store. She got in line to pay. The lady being checked out was buying sexy nighties too. She was a large lady and didn't mind the mental imagery games that talking about the purchase would provide. She spoke openly about how this piece was for her boyfriend but that it would be a few days before she saw him. She got the opinions of those around her, should she or should she not send a picture of herself in this nightie to him via email. Would that be cruel since he couldn't have her for a few days? Ugh.

Evidently this loosened up the atmosphere at the till. Lexie laid her lingerie choice on the desk. The lady opposite her yelled, "Wooohooo, is someone gonna have a good time tonight!!" Lexie about died as the clerk held up her sexy piece for everyone to see. As she held it up she loudly asked, "Are you gonna get some black pumps too?" Without waiting for Lexie's response (thankfully), she went on to loudly tell Lexie how good this nightie was going to look on her.

Lexie very near died right there. But she was able to whisper, "You're embarrassing me." The lady became apologetic telling Lexie she was a beautiful woman who had nothing to be ashamed of. The ladies began to boast about how good they felt about themselves and Lexie said she wanted to say, "Look I don't want to be a member of your 'Proud to be Fat Club.'"

Lexie survived the experience and after 4 or 5 days was able to laugh when she told me about it.


Christmas 2007 pictures

Hi Everyone. I hope I've been missed. I don't happen to recall where I've been. I wanted to share a couple stories, but I'll start with a picture or two of my wee ones. Deborah 8, Hannah 11, Rachael 12.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

All oiled up
If I've told Gordon once, I've told him a 100 times, "quit leaving the house in your speedo." Can you spot him?


Saturday, December 1, 2007

lovable lion