Posts Categorized: Joy

Strawberry Shortcake for Dinner

Here’s how the story starts: I was at my sister, JoAnne’s, one July 4th. In the afternoon, after a traditional

a traditional strawberry shortcake, Mom Goodwin-style

a traditional strawberry shortcake, Mom Goodwin-style

Fourth lunch of burgers and hotdogs with her family, she said, “I think we should have Strawberry Shortcake for dinner, just like Mom Goodwin used to make.”

“What?!?!?” I didn’t recall any such tradition. Our dad grew up in northwestern Ohio, in Wauseon. We would go, every two or three years, for a summertime visit. We’d stay for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t remember ever being there on Independence Day, and I certainly never heard about having Strawberry Shortcake for dinner. Ever. So, she told me how she learned about it.

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Mr. Stevenson Had a Shadow. Mine’s a Little Different.

I had a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses when I was a kid, and I remember reading the poem “My Shadow.” It must have made a great impression on me, because I can still recite the first two lines. (Okay, maybe not all that impressive, but I do remember what the poem was about.)  It came to mind this week, as Peter’s here. So, I reworked the poem to describe my shadow.

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There Were Friends. And There Was Fun!


It was Fun with Friends, and it was very good.

I’ve spent each evening this week at church, with the little kids (Pre-K’s and Kindergarteners). The first through sixth graders were having Music Camp, and we were having Fun with Friends. Literally. We did ART, and lots of it. Sunday was Collage Night. Monday was Drawing Night. Tuesday was Painting  Night. Wednesday was Printing Night. And Thursday was Sculpture Night. As usual, there was Tall Painting. And I was sure you’d want to see photos.

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I’ve Never Been Particularly Good at Knowing What Two-Year-Olds Are Thinking. Why Do I Keep Trying?

Left side opened w/car inside; right side closed w/car outside

Left side opened w/car inside; right side closed w/car outside

This is how our garage looked, all my growing up years in the house where we now live. Well, except for the cars. Not for the years and makes of them, but just the fact that they’re there. My Dad would get up each morning, open the garage door and go out to get the newspaper, and leave the door open. After he left for work, it stayed open, all day, as did most other garage doors on our block. He closed the door each evening after dinner. The right-hand door wasn’t opened very often, as there wasn’t a car there.

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Having to Spend Each Day the Color of the Leaves*

Years ago, I read books by Don Aslett, a man who grew a college cleaning job into a huge cleaning supply industry

Some choices from Home Depot

Some choices from Home Depot

and authored several books about housecleaning, starting a business, organizing, de-cluttering, writing, and public speaking. You can find some of his books in libraries, bookstores, and of course, on Amazon. In one book (and most likely some others), he talked about how much of modern life is overkill; we have, and consistently seek, more, more, more, and more. He specifically mentioned paint colors. And, most pointedly, green. He quoted a number (and I am so very sorry that I cannot recall what exactly it was, but it was HUGE, in the hundreds), of how many colors of green paint one could buy at a paint store. “You don’t need that many greens,” he said. “There aren’t that many greens.”

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Of Birds and Bees and Springtime

So long, lavender sweater. See you next fall.

So long, lavender sweater. See you next fall.

It was chilly, early last week, and I wore my lavender sweater one more time before washing it and putting it away. My favorite sweater, I’ve had it for years (and will have it for as many more years as it can take it). I’ve surrendered to the fact that spring is really here.

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Comic Con

This is a short post.

"You can read this book to me, Mimi. 'Green Eggs and Ham' by Dr. Seuss." Yes, I can, *several* times a day.

“You can read this book to me, Mimi. ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ by Dr. Seuss.” Yes, I can. I can read it in a chair. I can read it in the air. I can read it in my lap. I can read it while I nap. I can read it in the car. I can read it from afar. What, oh, what will make me better? I can feed it to the shredder!

We’ve had a guest this week who’s taken up lots of my time.

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Peter’s First Sleepover

Sunday before last, I went to Fort Worth to keep Peter while April was spending time with her mom, who was having a couple of medical procedures done on Monday and Wednesday. Hah!

Monday, all of Fort Worth woke up to sleet and snow and freeeeezing temperatures and no work or school or traveling, and certainly no medical procedures. So, the only thing that happened was that Peter got bundled up and went outside with his parents to enjoy the unusual weather (while I stayed on the porch).

Things were still undecided on Tuesday (and thawing out), so I said I could go on home and come back when they needed me, and would it help if I took Peter back to Waco with me.

Aside: Ever since April got pregnant, Kevin has been asking me when I thought we’d be able to keep Peter for a night or so, so they could have a break/vacation/getaway. I said, not until he’s walking well and doesn’t have to be carried around all the time. Last fall, they came for a few days, to help a friend’s mom do some work at her home out in the country. One of those days, Peter was asleep when they got back to our house, and still asleep when they left in the morning. So, technically, we did a one-night sleepover with us and without them. I thought we could make it work this time.

Tuesday, over lunch, we decided that yes, it would help to have Peter away from the house for a couple of days, and April and I scurried around, me getting myself packed up (I only left my house shoes and a hanger behind), and April getting Peter packed up, trying to get us on the road before he fell asleep so he could nap in the car.


Tuesday night-FINALLY asleep!

Things went fine until Tuesday night bedtime. Ollie, Mollie, Gollie! He wept and sobbed and grieved-Mommy/Daddy/Mommy/Daddy, and for an hour or so, I rocked him and sang to him, until I was hoarse. I finally put him into the crib and said, “It’s time to go to sleep. I will rub your back; close your eyes.” He closed his eyes and put his darling little hands over his eyes to keep them closed, and he was so sweet, I got all mooshy schmooshy inside. But, I did think that, if this happened Wednesday night, too, he’d have to go right back home.

Watching the Waco snowfall on Wednesday morning.

Watching the Waco snowfall on Wednesday morning.

But it didn’t; he was absolutely fine, for days. I talked to Kevin on Thursday and said things were going great, and Kevin said everything was on hold, medically, but April was getting lots of other important things done, and could Peter stay longer and I said, sure, we’ll bring him back Sunday after church.

We went to three libraries, one grocery store, one museum, twice to West Avenue Elementary School for Reading Club, and a trip to Target. But, no walks, no parks, no playing in the yard and not even any playing in the sand box in the garage. Tooooooo colllllld! But we did buy a set of construction trucks like he has at home. There, he plays with them in a sand box on the back porch or on a tray of dried beans inside. We got some rice instead and used Tupperware containers, not wanting to spend any time playing in the sand box in our frosty garage.

Granddad is an excellent playmate, and the instant he arrived home each evening, he was the preferred partner for dining, playing, bathtimes and bedtimes. Which made for restful evenings for me.

One of the funnier incidents: Early Saturday morning (before David had to go to a meeting), I made a quick trip to Target for more diapers. I spent several minutes looking at my numerous choices and got a small package of Huggies or Luvs or something, that had monkeys and purple designs on them, which I didn’t realize until I’d gotten them home and opened the plastic packaging. Too bad, I’d already torn open the package. But, they did what disposable diapers are supposed to do. Later, after the third trip to a library, we came home, David was home, and we had some lunch, and David put Peter down for a nap. About half an hour later, Peter came roaring out of the room, shouting, “I waked up, Granddad! I waked up!” He was waving the plastic packaging from the diapers. “I need throw this away,” he said soberly. So, what had happened was, he stayed in the crib for 5 minutes or so, then climbed out, got on the big bed, removed all the diapers from the package, strewing them all over the bed, looked at the package and developed a strategy that he hoped would fly. It did not. He did throw away the plastic, but then we kissed him good night once more, and put him back in the crib, with stern(ish) directives to stay in it and go to sleep. Which he did.


When we got home from Fort Worth Sunday evening, we came in, SAM_0951walked past the high chair, crunched over grains of rice on the floor, and walked by the room where the crib is. The little night-light was still on.

“It’s pretty quiet in here,” David said. And it was. In a good way, but in a lonesome way, too.


And the women of the city said to Naomi, “Bless the Lord who has given you this little grandson; may he be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and take care of you in your old age;
Ruth 4:14-15a (The Living Bible)

Two weeks from today, if you’re reading this on Friday, they’ll be here for a Waco ComicCon. I hope it’s warmer and we can move those trucks outside, because it will take me that long to get rid of all the rice on the floor.

Then, I think they’ll be here two weeks after that, for Easter. I’m grateful they live so close.


Curbs. ? or !

One afternoon last July, Kevin and April and Jeremy were here, trying to get some work done, and they suggested that they might be more

It seems to me that, from a toddler's eye view, this would be a scary, deep, dark cavern, to be avoided at all costs. Apparently, toddlers are much more adventurous than I am. And they fit much better, too.

It seems to me that, from a toddler’s eye view, this would be a scary, deep, dark cavern, to be avoided at all costs. Apparently, toddlers are much more adventurous than I am. And they fit much better, too.

productive if Toddler Peter weren’t in the house, wanting to sit in their laps, around the table. So he and I went to WalMart. We walked into the store and toward the shopping carts, where Peter was thrilled to spy this tunnel-ish sort of walkway, thoughtfully provided by the WalMart people for the entertainment of little folks. He walked a little way in, could not be convinced to walk back towards me, so I had to wriggle in, grab him, and wriggle back out, where I popped him into a cart and strapped him in…securely, so we could go and get our shopping done.

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More Family History

After last week’s pre-Kevin’s-birth story, I thought I’d tell a pre-Jeremy’s-birth story.

In the summer of 1977, Word Publishing (a local company that produced Christian books and music) put out a request to church choir directors.

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