29 July 2010

Coffee Name

Do you have a coffee name?

You know, a name you give the Starbucks barista even thought it's not your real name.

Walter heard a story on NPR yesterday about the realization that those names scrawled in black marker on the side of the white logo clad cup might not be accurate. Like a fake phone number you give to the person you really don't want to get a phone call from.

Sure, my number is 555-1234.

It's a name intended to portray an identity different from your own. Sometimes meant to confuse, sometimes to shock, and maybe just to add a moment of whimsy to your day.

We sat on the porch discussing our coffee names for a while as Asher did his "sport" of throwing a tennis ball over the tree. I gave Walter his new coffee name and he approved of mine.

Calvin and Calie talked about the lattes and dark roasts we would enjoy together as we sipped coffee in romantic coffee shops looking up at the mountains or while digging our toes in the sand.

Then Walter and Angie went into the house to change a diaper and set the table for dinner.

27 July 2010

Don't forget Amelie

I often say God gave Asher such an interesting personality so I would have something to write about. With my oldest child providing so much material for me to analyze, I often forget to write about the sweetness of my Amelie.

Three years ago, I started this blog as an outlet for writing and to keep family and friends up to date on the happenings in our family. RealReedy has morphed through different phases from focus on family stories, to what I'm learning from God, and then just random thoughts that need to find their way to a page. But one thing that has remained constant is my desire for this to be a record of our lives whether that means I am entertaining or not (sorry!).

So I'm taking opportunity here to share about Amelie.

She is the girl whose face lights up when she waves and blows kisses to anyone and anything. She waves at her pacifier when we leave it in the crib, she waves to Elmo on her diapers, and fervently waves at pictures of Asher hanging on the wall.

She is the girl who loves shoes and hats (won't we have fun shopping in a few years!?). The crocs I bought for her to wear next summer are her favorites and if they are not on her feet, she brings them to me so I can put them on for her.

She is the girl who loves to eat. If the toddler-proof snack bowl is in her hands, she smiles. Our son refuses to eat at most meals, so Amelie eats her portion and often moves on to Asher's.

She is the girl who appears to have an obsessive side like her mommy. She insists on putting things away properly (don't put the toothpaste away without the lid on!) or you'll have to do it again.

She is the girl with no fear of water - who runs along the edge of the swimming pool until she has escaped my reach and then decides to lunge for the water. I'm constantly running back and forth trying to estimate where she will decide to jump in.

She is the girl who cuddles with even Touch and Feel books, trying to rub them onto her arm and be as close to the soft feeling as possible.

She is the girl who loves to dance. Instrumental, Pop, Folk, Washing machine buzzer, Learning toy tune, it doesn't matter, she's not afraid to show off her moves.

She is the girl who God gave us as a reminder that there is much Hope in the world.

21 July 2010


Jonah found himself in the belly of a whale - did he cause a riot inside? NO!

Sometimes when I remember a Bible story all that flashes into my mind is the words to a song I listened to about a billion times on our old red tape player while growing up. My sister is coming to stay for a few days today and she really gets going on some of these songs. So I usually cringe to even hum a few bars of any song we used to listen to together for fear of her running with it and firmly implanting those kid voices into my head until something equally annoying replaces them. (By the way, does anyone who watches America's Got Talent still get flashes of "Studio" running through their inactive brains? )

Anyway, back to Jonah, the sound sleeper.

I can seriously fall asleep anywhere and do so often but I don't know if I would be quite as much of a sleepyhead as Jonah.

A massive storm moved over the sea seeking out Jonah on his cruise with destination as far away from God's will as possible. The seasoned mariners ran around throwing cargo overboard and using all their muscles to keep the boat afloat and where did Jonah find to make himself useful?

The bottom of the boat, sound asleep.

"But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep." (Jonah 1:5)

Really, asleep? Maybe the roaring waves lulled him into a sleep that was much needed after fitful nights when he arguied with God about not taking a saving message to people he didn't want to be saved.

I find sleep to be the best way of avoiding things I don't want to think about and I too choose sleep over a mind that races in a direction I don't want to go.

And I'm wondering if there's some area of my life where I'm asleep? What am I choosing to block out of my mind so I don't need to think about doing something I want to run away from?

Sleep, oh blessed sleep. Please God don't allow me to use sleep as my drug of choice.

19 July 2010

Plagued by guilt

Keeping my thoughts under the 400 word count limit is usually a challenge, but this time I felt completely constrained by the requirement.

I wrote about Mommy guilt in my Pantagraph column this month and cut more than half of my initial ramblings on the subject. It's such a challenge to not constantly be weighing my actions on a giant "Good Mommy/Bad Mommy" scale to decide if I'm doing the right thing.

Asher's feather collection has evolved into a feather obsession. Walter walked with him to a nearby neighborhood pond one evening last week. They found several disease and micro-bug infested duck feathers and fluff so of course he wanted to go back.

We are sweltering under stifling heat and humidity in Central Illinois right now but I saw the serious longing in Asher's voice to go get more feathers the next day. I warned him it would be hot and we might not find feathers since he had just been there less than 24 hours earlier, but he was persistent. So we went back to look for more feathers.

It was HOT! I pushed my baby girl in the heat and we kept our eyes looking for anything resembling a feather. We weren't disappointed. Asher added several more feathers to his collection that morning and I labeled myself a GOOD MOM!!

We continued with our day's agenda.

One stop needed to be the yarn store since I heard they were having a great sale. Of course Asher declared his hatred of stores before we even got inside and didn't let up with reminders of how much he doesn't like stores while I quickly scoured the store for a good deal (since I still don't know much about yarn or knitting, this didn't go as quick as it should have). That nagging mommy guilt "friend" came back scolding me for being so thoughtless to bring a child into a store that obviously he wouldn't like with yarn and needles and displays everywhere that he could easily mess up. What was I thinking this "friend" asked?

While I stood at the cash register Asher discovered the fountain right outside the door. He went out to look at it.

Friends, you can guess the next part... he didn't want to leave.

Great! I was back into "Good Mom" status.

And so my day continued labeling and relabeling myself as good or bad because of some crazy standard I have on if I'm doing this mom thing right.

This blog post has grown just as my original column grew to more words than I thought I had in me today.

Anyway, here's a link to the column if you want the solutions I'm trying to implement in my fight against mommy guilt.

15 July 2010

Dreams do come true

80% of the U.S. population dreams of writing a book, according to a study by the Jenkins Group.

Anyone who has seriously pursued this dream knows the process of acquiring an agent, finding a publisher, and of course writing that manuscript is brutal.

But my dad did it!!

In May we finally held his memoir, "I'm just an Illinois Farm Boy" in our hands for the first time. How fun to hold a book with his words and bio on the back. Our local Borders and Barnes and Noble have agreed to carry the book in their local authors section and I very proudly went to check it out with Asher declaring in a loud voice, "Oh! There's Grandpa's book, right on that shelf!"

In his book, my dad describes his journey from growing up on a farm in Central IL to being a missionary in Ethiopia. His main point is to make the reader realize if someone as unlikely as he could follow God's call to the other side of the world, anyone can.

So I can't help but be incredibly proud of my dad and let my blog friends know that the book is now available on Amazon.

13 July 2010

Are we there yet?

Do you know that feeling of being in the car too long?

With 2 20 hour car trips in the past five months, I know that feeling all too well. About 8 hours into the drive, we begin to sing a little louder than we would have 5 hours ago. Little noises that fellow passengers subconsciously make begin to grate on my nerves and I hold my breath just anticipating the next time I'll hear that next little sniff or snort.

Everything becomes super funny. That road sign for a Dairy Bar suddenly strikes a chord of hilarity that didn't exist a few hundred miles back up the road.

Toys meant for entertainment in the car lose their appeal and the baby's toys create great fun.

Whether I'm driving or a passenger, that "been in the car too long" feeling becomes so intense that it feels like I must get out of the car immediately. And if I can't get out of the car, then the singing gets even louder and conversations become more wacky than even those held around a campfire at wee hours of the morning.

We counted water towers all across the plains of this great country. Some have little roof hats and others are just cute and little.

I sang songs to a baby girl who refused to give in to sleep while she petted her new stuffed wolf and sucked hard on the pacifier.

Snacks, oh we had snacks! Raisins, and cheese crackers, and cereal bars with promises of popsicles when we finally got home.

Colorado was beautiful and I'm chuckling watching Asher try to find something to climb now that we're back in our flat Illinois backyard, but the road trip is something I am glad to leave behind.

We've declared, a ban on traveling. We will not spend more than 20 minutes in our Jeep at a time!

(At least until I get the next vacation planned!)