Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blogging About, Well, Blogging!

This past weekend, we got to visit with our friends Heather and Martin and their adorable 15 month old son, Dylan. As we were making our plans to get together, Heather and I were marveling at the fact that it had been six months since our last get-together. We couldn't believe it had been that long! I remarked that it didn't feel as if it had been that long, since I check in at her blog on a regular basis. Therefore, there are all sorts of details of her life that I know about that she hasn't even told me personally. How weird is that? There are other real-life friends out there that blog, and even though I rarely talk to them, I have a pretty good idea of how there life is going right now, because I read their blogs.
Another blogging phenomenon, if you will, that I find interesting are the friends that we make. I now have two "friends" that I've never even met before and others that are merely acquaintances! Now, granted, I know someone that knows them, but the strange thing is that I FEEL like I know them.
Yet another oddity is "lurking." Yes, I'm guilty. I check in on certain blogs and rarely or never comment, because I feel silly and don't know the person at all. And thanks to sitemeter, I'm fairly certain I have my own lurkers. While I know how it feels, I encourage you to let me know who you are and how you found this blog. Who knows? Maybe I lurk on your blog as well!
So how about you? Do you only read the blogs of real-life friends? Are you ever a lurker or do you leave a comment every where you visit? Have you made any blogging friends that you don't know any other way? Have you ever met a blogging friend in real life after first meeting them through their blog? And lastly, do you find blogging worthwhile? I can honestly say that the encouragement I received during my hospital stay last August, really made me see the value of blogging. It was such a blessing. I'm very thankful for this outlet and look forward to what will come of it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mary and Elizabeth

Amelie has been into dramatic play of late, in which everyone assumes an new identity. Recently, the most popular has been Mary and Elizabeth. That would be Amelie as Mary, the mother of our Lord and me as Elizabeth, her cousin. Playing usually goes something like this:
Mary/Amelie: "Hello Elizabeth."
Elizabeth/me: "Hello Mary."
Mary/Amelie: "Where's Zechariah?"
Elizabeth/me: "He's at work. Where's Joseph?"
Mary/Amelie: "He's at work too. At work sometimes he works out and he finds bagels." (sounds strangely like what Amelie knows of Daddy's work activities)
Elizabeth/me: "I see..."
Mary/Amelie: "Where's Baby John?"
Elizabeth/me: I answer with whatever Linus is doing. However, sometimes Linus is Baby Jesus. He plays a dual role. Although, is it complete heresy to call my own son "Baby Jesus?"
Mary/Amelie: "Violet, you're our friend Sarah." (That would be a random Jewish-sounding name I came up with to include Violet, since I couldn't think of another contemporary female of Mary and Elizabeth, except maybe Mary Magdelene, and I wasn't going there.)
Sarah/Violet: "I Sarah"
Mary/Amelie: "We're going to Pennsylvania to visit my friend Ducky (what we call Duncan's mom). Joseph is getting ready for the trip but he's very sick with a stomach ache because he ate a bone of meat."
Elizabeth/Me: "Oh, my! Not a bone of meat!"
Mary/Amelie: "Yeah, he had to go to the hospital."
Elizabeth/Me: "Violet if you're done with the book, please go and put it away. Don't just drop it on the-
Mary/Amelie: "Her name is Sarah!"
Sarah/Violet: "I Sarah"
Elizabeth/Me: "Sarah, put the book away. I need to go and change Linus' diaper."
Mary/Amelie: "Don't you mean Baby John?"
As you can see, much of our play includes reminders of who everyone is. We've also played this using cousins. I'm Aunt Darcy, Amelie is Jack (her boy, yet long-haired cousin), and Duncan is Derek, another cousin. Another variation is using my oldest sister's family-- Duncan is Uncle Dan, I'm Aunt Karen, Amelie is "little girl" Erin, Violet is Megan, and Linus is Baby Patrick. (These cousins are 20, 18, and 14, mind you.)
It's great fun to watch Amelie's imagination develop as she tries out being different characters. The looks on her face as she talks about matters like the "bone of meat" are hilarious, beyond anything I could express in words.
She continues her trend of social play--wanting to always do things with us, not on her own. When I grow weary of this, I need to remember that there may come a day when she wants very little to do with me. I need also to remember the wisdom that Duncan's boss, Lee, shared with him while I was pregnant with Amelie: They just want to be with you.
I can't tell you how many times I've gone back to that, contemplating how true it is. She just wants to be with me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I'm sure I'm way behind the times, but I just got the new Caedmon's Call cd, Overdressed. I had seen the lyrics of the song below on another blog and decided I wanted it for my birthday. I can't even tell you how much this song is ministering to my soul right now. I have a feeling that others of you also could use the encouragement of these lyrics.
this house is a good mess
it's the proof of life
no way would I trade jobs
but it don't pay overtime
I'll get to the laundry
I don't know when
i'm saying a prayer tonight
cause tomorrow it starts again

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

the children are sleeping
but their running through my mind
the sun makes them happy
and the music makes them unwind
my cup runneth over
and I worry about the stain (ouch!)
teach me to run to You
like they run to me for every little thing (ouch again!)

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

when I forget to drink from You
i can feel the banks harden
Lord, make me like a stream
to feed the garden
wake up, little sleeper
the Lord, God Almighty
made your Mama keeper so rise and shine
rise and shine cause

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

You can click on the link above to hear a clip of the song.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Profile Pictures

While Duncan takes a few pictures now and then, I am the primary photographer of the family. Consequently, there are very few pictures of me, historically. Well, since Amelie has unofficially been given our old camera (which has no flash) and since she's going to be given her own camera for her birthday next month (shh, it's a secret) there are and will be many more pictures of me. Most of them are not very flattering, but to honor my little girl and her eye for photography, I'll be changing my profile picture on a regular basis, using the pictures she has taken of me (or of parts of me=), as you can see right now). And yes, I'll even post some of the not-so-flattering ones. I personally like the one of my ear. I was changing Linus' diaper, by the way, while she took pictures of various parts of me. More to come...

Happiness is...

I'm taking the lead of Lynn and Sarah for today's post. Unlike them, however, I'm only going to post the one thing for which I'm the most happy today and that is...
...having two girls sleep all night long in their own beds AND having Linus wake up once at 1:30 (at which time the pacifier was placed successfully in his mouth) and then again at 4:00 (that's 10 hours without eating, baby!). I feel like a new woman this morning!
(Note: The girls have been treating our room/bed as if it were their own lately. It's been rather ridiculous!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Question and Answer

Question: How do I get Amelie to play really well with her sister for quite a long time?
Answer: Tell her we need to sit at the table and work on her school assignment.
Question: A sign of things to come?
Answer: I certainly hope not! Good grief!

Monday, January 14, 2008

32 Lesser-Known Things About Me

In honor of my 32nd birthday (which is tomorrow), I've decided to share 32 of the lesser-know tidbits about my life (at least to some of you!).
1. I share my birthday with Martin Luther King Jr. and when I was very little, we got the actual day off from school--not the closest Monday after the 15th, like it is now.
2. By the time I was 18, I had visited eight foreign countries. (Canada, England, France, Spain, Honduras twice, Mexico, Italy, and Greece) Since then, I've only revisited Canada and Mexico and that was ten and eleven years ago!
3. From the time I was five until I was fifteen, I Scottish highland danced competitively.
4. I'm the youngest of four and my siblings are 12, 11, and 8 years older than I am. My mom insists I was the planned one. (Apparently, that's what she tells each of us when we're alone with her. She'll deny it if we bring it up around each other.) I've always had a hard time believing that, considering how many years there are between my brother and me. Also, she was 32! So old! Wait, how old am I again?
5. My parents still live in the house they lived in when I was born.
6. I wore glasses all the time from age 3 until 12. At that point, I no longer needed them.
7. I live in my hometown.
8. My summer job after high school graduation was at the Jessup Region jails in the medical records department. I can't believe my parents let me do it.
9. I wanted to marry my husband shortly after I met him in 1995. We didn't start dating until more than two years later and we got married five years after we initially met.
10. I believe I am married to the best man on the planet. He's incredible in so many ways.
11. I went to West Virginia University. Let's Go! Mountaineers! (Whatever. I wasn't even into football while I was there. It just isn't my thing.)
12. My degree is in elementary education with specializations in science and Spanish. (Those specialization won me a summer study in Mexico and an extra semester of school.)
13. I came to a true faith in Christ while I was in college. Consequently, my college years were some of the hardest and most glorious times in my life thus far.
14. The Lord used the three summers I worked at Pine Springs to solidify my faith in Christ. I haven't looked back since the summer of 1995.
15. I believe Jesus when he said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). To think that Jesus is just A way isn't the truth. If that were the case, you'd have to call Jesus a liar, based on his words quoted above.
16. I've been driving a car for half of my life! What a crazy thought!
17. I HATE flying mostly because of the irrational anxiety from which I suffer.
18. My girls were born in the same hospital where I was born.
19. Amelie is going to the same pre-school that I attended.
20. I lived with the same college roommates for four years. (One was the roommate they assigned to me freshman year and the other lived on our floor freshman year.)
21. My freshman year of college, I lived on a co-ed floor. It was a blast. I look to that year as one of the most fun in my life. What could be more fun than playing Backgammon at 3 am or watching 90210 in the lounge with 30 other people every week? (We didn't have cable in our rooms that year, just in the lounge.)
22. Despite my feelings recorded above, I can't imagine allowing my children to live on a co-ed floor in college!!
23. I've taught a total of three and half years since graduating college. One year I taught 5th and 6th grade math at a private school. The other two and a half years, I taught middle school Spanish at a public school. I don't think I'll ever choose to teach in the traditional classroom setting again.
24. I was a Girl Scout for 12 years. Two highlights were being a congressional aide for John McCain and traveling to the world center in Mexico--Our Cabana.
25. The year after we were married, I worked for the Girl Scouts in Central PA and was totally disillusioned by the organization.
26. I am very squeamish about all things medical, but my experience this past August desensitized me a wee bit.
27. In a lot of ways, I still feel like a teenager.
28. I was born on my dad's mother's birthday and my brother was born on my mom's father's birthday.
29. I was baptized in a Lutheran church and when I was about four, my parents joined an Episcopal church.
30. My husband was the only serious boyfriend I had.
31. Last year was the hardest year of my life, to date.
32. I look forward to the challenges that come this year, believing the God I serve is far bigger than any problems of this life!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The best $1.98 I've Spent So Far

I can't believe Miss Amelie will be four in just over a month. I feel like just yesterday, she looked like this:

Amelie used to suck three fingers. Over the fall (we're not even sure when), she stopped on her own without any prompting. Over the last six months or so, she was given a few incentives to stop, however, without much pressure. I told her we could go to Build a Bear once she stopped, which we have. (We got "Chocolate Cub" with an Ariel costume.) I also told her she could start to wear nail polish on her fingers. (Over the summer, we painted our toes and her thumbs and pinkies--the fingers that weren't part of the trio that was constantly in her mouth.) Amelie got two new bottles of nail polish in her stocking--pink and orange. We've done our nails several times since Christmas. I even let her paint the nails on my right hand once. (How else will she learn?) The most recent time we did it, the following conversation ensued--

Amelie: "Mommy? When I'm big and I have ten babies (this is from a conversation from several months ago, in which she named all of them), can we be friends?"
Me: "Of course we can! I'd love that!!"
Amelie: "Mommy? When I'm big and I have ten babies and a husband, can we be friends and I'll come over and we'll paint nails?"
Oh, sweet girl, that is the desire of my heart. I very much look forward to that day!

Another new love of Amelie's is photography. These are two hand self-portraits (as if you couldn't tell) of the "rainbow" she currently has on her nails. Man, I love this kid!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I promise every post won't contain Linus Victory in his glasses from now on. Maybe just most of them =).

Because I'm Too Excited to Wait...

...for Linus to wake up, I just had to post a picture of him while he's sleeping! (Which is what he's been doing since we got home from getting his glasses!!)
Check back for awake and eyes open pictures of this cutie!