Friday, May 28, 2010

forever brothers

I realized this week that I have several recent pictures of the girls together, but none of the boys together. And I also realized I have been neglecting my "Front Door Friday" pictures for the past three weeks. Having children becoming sick does something to your schedule. You forget things.

The good news is that everyone is healthy - finally! And so we have all been enjoying the beach, counting down the days left of school (only three!), and looking forward to "a very, very busy June and July," according to Nathaniel.

For the record - he is right. We have plans about every other week - Camp Agape for the kids (and some alone time for me - Anna said to me last week, "Mom, won't it be so strange to be here by yourself when we go to Camp Agape? I mean, you are with us all the time. You won't know what to do!" "Oh, honey, you're right, it'll be weird without you. I'm not sure what I'll do with all of you gone," I answered, trying not to grin from ear to ear. I love my kids, but I am looking forward to a short, sweet break that week!)...

Where was I? Oh yes, a week in da UP, eh? (upper Michigan for those in the dark), then a couple weeks at home to prepare for

drum roll, please.....

an Alaskan cruise! Glen and I are going by ourselves - if you can call traveling with Glen's co-workers alone - and leaving the kids in the very capable hands of my parents and Camp Agape.

Now, I have to stop because my six-year-old is reading what I'm writing as I type it. He can read much better than he likes to admit.

And he loves his older brother very much - more than he likes to admit. Can't you see the love?

Happy weekend!
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

Who could not pick up a small book with such a provocative title? I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is written by Nujood Ali, with Delphine Minoui. I could not pass it up when I saw it on the library shelf, and I'm glad I didn't.

Minoui helps Nujood tell the story of her childhood, starting with some strange happenings in her remote village in Yemen which resulted in moving to the city with her family. There are many things in her childhood Nujood does not understand - including why she was married off to a man from her home village when she was only nine. She fights it with all her being, and eventually convinces her husband to take her back to the city to visit her family. There, she finds the courage to escape, go to the courthouse, speak to a judge, and ask for a divorce.

Chaos ensues, but all Nujood wants is to go home to her mother and her sisters and live out her childhood. She wants to go to school and learn to read.

Through the course of the divorce trial, we learn more about what happened to force her family to flee the country for the city, and we learn other tragic secrets of her family.

I Am Nujood is compassionately written, helping us understand the forces at work in Yemen culture.

Although Nujood has lived a lifetime in her short life, her story is not done. I look forward to hearing how she fares in her attempt to regain her childhood in the midst of the world-wide media attention she's already received, and if she's able to reach her goal of becoming a lawyer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Red Hen

I harbor, deep in the back of my mind, a secret desire to raise chickens. I continually talk myself out of it - I hear they're messy, loud, a lot of work. Plus, we have spotted coyotes in our yard, not to mention the raccoons.

But I really, really love farm-fresh eggs and I think selling eggs would be a good little business for my kids.

Glen would never agree, so my now not-so-secret desire to raise chickens will stay a desire.

Instead, I will share this fun little poem I found in Eric Carle's Animals, Animals:

The Red Hen

She turned her head to this side;
She turned her head to that.
Looking round for tidbits,
Juicy ones and fat.

Scritchy-scratch went Red Hen's feet:
Nib-nob went her bill.
She ate of juicy tidbits,
Until she had her fill.

And then she flew into a nest
And laid an egg, and then.
With a cut-cut-cut, ca-dah-cut,
Flew off to eat again.

~James S. Tippett

Enjoy more poetry here: Poetry Wednesday

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In the Garden

picture courtesy of Anna, from Chicago Botanical Gardens, 2009

I went to a business women's luncheon today. It was at a couple of storefronts in downtown Wauconda (and yes, we do have a few storefronts on Main Street).

As I was walking out of one of the stores, I spotted a framed page from a hymnal and stopped to see what song was framed.

I showed it to my mom - it was one of Grandma Sabourin's favorites (my dad's mom). I remember she had it sung at her and Grandpa's 40th anniversary celebration. (We weren't sure it was quite appropriate, but it was her favorite!)

We sang it at her funeral.

I thought of her today, when I saw the song, so thought I'd share it with you.

In the Garden
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear,
falling on my ear;
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share
as we tarry there,
None other
has ever

He speaks and the sound of his voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody
that He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share
as we tarry there,
None other
has ever

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Remembered My Camera!

Glen's parents came north to our house to help us around the yard on Saturday, and to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday. I cannot believe that I remembered my camera!

Above, Grandma poses with the children in front of our freshly mown lawn.
After church Sunday, Glen treated all of us to my favorite restaurant - Girodano's Pizza. Yum!

FYI: this is stuffed pizza, not deep dish.
That, my friends, is a very important difference.

(So I don't have an ultra-fancy camera. When I was uploading this picture, I realized that Anna was slightly out of focus, but the Cubs' game is in perfect focus. This is for you, Omar.)

My very shaggy 12-year-old. He has visions of shoulder-length hair.
Glen has visions of clippers.

Igor Gustafski
(a long nickname for a little kid)

Poor Lydia Lynn.
She wasn't feeling well and church plus lunch out after was too much for her.

An infrequent indulgence. I love holidays!

And the piece de resistance - a new doorknob on the garage door!
It only happened because my mother-in-law insisted.
As it happened, changing it out involved a hammer, chisel,
a huge hole in the door, a trip to the hardware store for wood glue,
gluing the broken door piece back, and quite a bit of loud discussion.
I'm glad I was just watching.

I'm still getting used to it.
Thanks Juli! Best Mother's Day gift ever!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Heaven's Waiting Room

A week ago, most of my family participated in a talent show at our church. A couple of the teenagers organized the event, for which I am grateful. It gave my pianists a chance to practice performing, my dancers a chance to dance with their good friend, and my husband a chance to blend his voice with a men's quartet. (And, of course I have video, but no pictures! argh!)

I love that more adults participated this year. Not only the men's quartet, but a juggler and a poet. I made a new friend that night, a teacher by day and a writer/poet all other times.

Audrey Hessler shared a poem that night I enjoyed, so I asked her if I could publish it on my blog. She graciously agreed, and e-mailed me a copy. Thanks Audrey!


by Audrey Marie Hessler

Is there a waiting room for heaven?

I have heard people say.

I have wondered the same question since,

I will live there someday.

Will I enter heaven’s gate and be

pointed toward a chair?

Will they point me over there saying,

“Please, take a seat somewhere.”

Will I enter one room and then be

whisked off to another?

Will I meet up with my grandparents?

Siblings? Father? Mother?

Will I catch up with my old friends who

went ahead of me, too?

Will we be waiting together in

a room of powder blue?

Will there be lots of magazines and

background music playing

While I’m with all these people and we’re

waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting?

Is there a waiting room for heaven?

I have heard people say.

I have wondered the same question since,

I will live there someday.

So one day I decided that I

would make it my clear task

To simply say a prayer to God, and

then plainly I would ask.

Well, I thought I felt the room shake with

loud laughter and great mirth.

Then I heard, “Yes, there’s a waiting room

for heaven—it’s called earth!”

poetry wednesday