Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stepping back for a better view of the future

Two Years Ago I started blogging.  Back then I did not know much about blogging.  Tim opened an account for me and I did not know how he did it.  All I knew was that I could write and publish anything when I wanted to.  I wrote two or three times a year in the beginning.  Then I forgot my password.  I was very sad because that was the end of my intermittent blogging.  More than a year later, by accident, I figured out that I could open my blog through my google account.  Yipee!  I could see my very old posts.  That was December 2008. Then I posted some pictures.  I thought it was a good way to allow my relatives and friends overseas to see our family pictures.  I came to realize that I needed to keep it current.  That is a tip that I discovered.  The problem with pioneers is that they have to discover a lot of things.   Now it seems like everyone has a blog. 

One mistake that needed to be rectified is the URL address given for my original blog.  For those of you who have been reading my blog you probably have noticed that it contained all my names.  It was a security disaster waiting to explode.  Not only the address, the blog name also was not very creative, "Helen's Blog".  Wow!  Well, I did not know that you can choose the name for your blog.  All I thought was that it was based on your name or email address or something.   Now, I've changed it.

Laugh at the Days to Come.  That is the new name for my blog.  If you are wondering why I chose this name, I'll be glad to tell you. 

There are two more days before we start the new year.  It is a good idea to look at the things that need some renovation.  Things always run smoother if they are in order.  Life is always better when lived in a healthy way.   I need to look at my own and see what can be done to make it more meaningful in the eyes of the One who put me where I am now.

Internal crutiny is good when it results in a positive change.   Happy New Year Everyone!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Words of My own Son

One of the presents that Brahms gave me this Christmas came in a small medicine bottle.  It was a poem he wrote about me.   If this is how my children think, then all the sweat and stress that come in raising kids is nothing compared to the joy of knowing that they appreciate what I do. 

Amazing Abilities
By Brahms

I don't know how
You keep it up
Filling our plates
Filling our cups

Doing the laundry
Cleaning the house
Strong as an oxen
Quick as a mouse

No speck of dust
Is left behind
So cruel to dirt
But to us she is kind

With kids that roll
With kids that hop
I don't know how
She has time to shop

With all these strange
Supernatural deeds
The funny thing is
She attends to my needs

She loves
And she cares
Takes all of our pictures
Cuts all of our hairs

I don't know how
She manages it
But if I were her
I think I would quit.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Word of Emancipation

Tomorrow Mom and Johnnye will be here for an early Christmas with us.  We are very excited to have them over.  It must have been a five years or so since the last time they came to our house.  Since they don't visit us very often, everytime they come seems like I have to try hard to guess what they think is alright, you know, daughter-in-law trying to gain approval.  Just kidding.  The truth is I just have to clean a lot more than we normally do.  When it comes to home maintenace and orderliness, my in-laws are the paragons while Tim and I are the caricatures.  A couple of weeks ago I was expressing my worries about the inferiority of my home maintenace like the rough paint on the baseboards and the uneven line of paint between the walls and the ceiling.  Tim was listening as I counted all those things but then he interrupted my littany and told me the most liberating statement I've ever heard in my life.  "Your home is already a shock to their sensibilities."  That's what he said.  I repeated his statement slowly and absorbed it carefully to understand every meaning attached to it.  Then I laughed.  I laughed loudly.  For some reason that made me really happy and emancipated.   "It is already a shock..."  There is no reason to prove otherwise anymore.   Beyond that I also figured out that I, not just my house, am also a "shock to their sensibilities."  Just imagine the liberation that I have now.  I'm free to be me now.

There is hope in freedom!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

4th Grade Now

Miriam and her first-ever Golden Bear Award

The Golden Award is given to any 4th and 5th grade students at Brooks Elementary who performs academically well.  The minimum grade point average (GPA) required is 3.5.   Since Miriam is now in 4th grade she has the opportunity to get one. 

Miriam and her 4th Grade Teacher, Mr. Nordquist

Mr. Nordquist, aka Mr. N is Miriam's teacher.  He teaches a combined class of 4th and 5th graders.  I'd like to think that the students who are in his class were chosen carefully in order to excel in such unusual classroom.  Miriam is enjoying being in his class as did Brahms and Shannon who were also in his class when they were in 4th and 5th, and 5th, respectively.  All my kids feel privileged in having the only male teacher in the whole school other than the music teachers.  Mr. N is part of a lot of topics discussed in the house.  Fortunately, he made a deal with all the parents during Back-To-School Night that he will not believe all stories the students bring to school as we will not believe the stories they bring home from school.

Miriam is enjoying her time in 4th grade.  May God help her to continue make the right choices along the way.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thank You Card

Thank You card from DJ - December 2009

It was snowing in El Dorado Hills when we got this card from our nephew DJ.  It is such a delightful card that I had to make sure that I kept a record of it.


DJ and Uncle Tim

We love you DJ!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

FMITIL According to Miriam

My daughter Miriam was helping me make garlic bread today and she blurted that there are five most important things in life (FMITIL).

  1. God
  2. Internal Organs
  3. Family and Friends
  4. Grandma's Apple Pie
  5. Garlic Bread
Other than the first one on the list, the reason and the order that they come are not known to me.  However there is one thing that I know very well...the Garlic Bread that she talks about.  Here's the recipe direct from the Lewis Family Cookbook, that has not been written:

Lewis Family Garlic Bread

4 tbsp butter
1/3 lb cream cheese
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 loaf Pugleise Bread (1 lb)
Combine the first four ingredients.  If necessary, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Cut the bread across lengthwise in half.  Spread the butter and cream cheese mixture on the cut surface of the bread.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the edges of the bread turn golden brown.  Take out from the oven.  Cut bread into convenient pieces.  I like to hold the bread with tongs and cut with kitchen shears.  Enjoy the fifth most important thing in life!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On Braces

This afternoon, Shannon and I were on our way to her orthodontist appointment when we were delayed by a traffic accident on East Bidwell Avenue.  Her braces by the way are soon to be removed.  Dr. York is just doing a little bit more fine-tuning on the position of some of her teeth.  Usually, I check her teeth and tell her that they are the same.  This time she pointed out to me that her teeth actually have moved, before I could even inspect them.  Then the following conversation followed:

"Oh yeah.  I remember when they used to look like pop corn."
"Mommy, I would have been fine without getting braces."
"But don't you like it that you now have straight teeth...almost?"
"I lost TWO years..."
"Lost two years of eating tootsie rolls?"
"Yes,  TWO long years."
"Don't worry, during the next two years, you can eat as many tootsie rolls as you could eat in four years.  After that you'll have recovered all the lost years of eating tootsie rolls.
"I should not have braces at all. Straight teeth is not worth the pain, inability to smile well, and not being able to eat everything."
"Yes they are!  If you didn't have them you would have ended up like me."
"You're fine Mommy!  See, you got married."
"I married but you don't understand."
"Daddy loves you just the same."
"Yes, but...you don't understand."
"Mommy, straight teeth are not worth the two lost years."
"You do not understand how it feels to be married to someone whose entire family has straight teeth."
"Mommy, you're fine."
"No, I'm not.  When we all get together, I imagine that everyone is wondering about my crowded-teeth."
"Mommy, when I have children, I will tell them not to get braces.  I will tell them that they are fine the way they are.  Whenever, I see people with straight teeth these days, the only thing that comes to my mind is the thought that those people have wasted two years to get those teeth straightened."
Before completing our conversation, we got to Dr. York's office and we were late.  Shannon got a tiny spring to close the gap between her teeth.  She hopes to have them removed before the new year.  We'll see.