Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We are a very goofy family. Our kids got that silly gene from us.

Here's proof:

I remember doing this at slumber parties in junior high school. I cannot stop laughing at this video!


Monday, June 22, 2009

From Japan, With Love

When my husband and I were in college, we saw a group of people playing roller hockey on the tennis courts at our dorm. It looked like fun. We watched a while, then ventured over to talk to them. Turns out, most of the group was Japanese, and came overseas to Study.

One of them grew up near us.  His name was Yujin, and it was the beginning of a lasting friendship. My guy and I both got hockey sticks. We had rollerblades already. We joined them for their games several times a week. I didn't always play, but my guy always did. We've shared dinners out, visits to homes, and I've learned so much over the last 13 years of knowing them.

Here is a picture of us on a trip to the ice skating rink together. It's my guy, me, Sonja, and Yujin.

Yujin and Ikuko moved to Japan after they both graduated. They married and built a house there. But whenever they are in town, they stop by and visit.

The last time they visited was late October last year.

Here we all are.

They came to our house one day, and the next day we went out to dinner. I happened to mention to Ikuko that I was really interested in Bento boxes as a way of eating. She thought that was hilarious. I guess it would be kind of like someone from Japan saying to me they were really into brown paper sacks with lunch meat sandwiches and sacks of potato chips.

Last week we received a package in the mail from Yujin and Ikuko. I will show you what they sent.

This picture is blurry, but it's a blue bento box, a cold bag to store my bento in, as well as a cloth bag to use if it doesn't need to be temperature stable.

Here is a closer view of my box.

There was also a set of 3 boxes for the kids.

Here are the cute little condiment containers, with spreaders that hook on the bottom.

Here are the onigiri molds, which can be used to shape rice, mashed potatoes, or anything of the right consistency.

It's all just so super cute, and I can't wait to get started.

Now I will make a package for them. I love finding things to ship off to japan. Ikuko mentioned that she can't get pumpkin pie mix in Japan, so I will send some of that.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Alternate Plans and Chocolate Bunnies

Today, we were going to get up very early and go to the zoo. We were going with a friend and her 6 year old daughter, my mom, and my sister and 2 of her kids.

I got up early and got ready, then the thunderstorms rolled in. So we'll go on a different day instead. Which turns out to be okay, because I'm tired. Exhausted. Worn out.

I love rainy, thundery days when I feel tired. I have no expectations for myself other than to lie on the floor and push cars and pat baby dolls. Also, our air conditioning is not working, and the rain cools it down a little bit.

So I'll tell a story about my son.

He is a saver.

Once, a friend bought him a pack of 6 sticks of candy, each the size of a pencil. He has yet to eat one.

This past spring I was talking to my sister and told her that I was going to reuse his chocolate bunny from the previous Easter. We laughed, and I think she thought it was strange that I'd give him year old candy to eat. But I told her that he didn't eat it last year, and I felt confident he wouldn't eat it this year either. He hasn't. Now he has 2 chocolate bunnies because he also received one from his mamaw. I fear that when he moves out one day, we will clean his closet and be toppled by boxes and boxes of chocolate bunnies.

He just loves them so much he doesn't want them to be gone. I think the anticipation of eating them is better for him than the actual eating. Or maybe he's just tragically nostalgic, like his mama, and would miss them.

If I tell him he can have one ice cream sandwich per day, he will never eat one because he would worry about how he'd feel later if he ate one and then later wanted another but the chance was gone. So the limit is two per day, and that way he will actually eat one.

His tendency to save extends beyond food. He is good about saving his money, he gets sad every time we must turn in the library books, and he never wants to get rid of old toys no matter if he plays with them or not. Because he remembers when he used to play with them, and they were fun back then.

I think he is similar to me, and just wants to hold on to the happy stuff. Neither of us does well with change. I do most of my sentimental saving these days with photographs, to cut back on clutter. He loves every piece of his clutter, and that's okay with me. My closet was stuffed full as a child too.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

She Is A Water Baby

So her favorite new thing to do is to sit on the side of the sink, and play in the water.

She likes the kitchen sink best.

She likes to stick her feet in it.

When I ask her if she's all done, she signs "more."

Sometimes she gets thirsty. She has watched her dada and brother drink like this.

I'm constantly amazed by what a one year old can learn. She signs the words more, eat, and all done. She is saying quite a few words these days too. The current list of words she can say is: mama, dada, her brother's name, hi, bye, boo, ball, hot, hat, on, up, uh-oh, baby, and thank you. She also calls all animals the same thing--ta.

I love her to pieces!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

City Girl, Country Girl

When I go home to visit my dad, I watch my kids in the environment that I lived in as a child. I watch them ride tractors, combines, and 4-wheelers. I watch them go to the creek, play in the rocks, and run around in a huge grassy yard. I take them up to the hayloft. I show them the pigs.

Here is an old picture of my son and my dad in the sweetcorn field. A whole field of sweetcorn! He plants it every year and gives most of it away.

I get to take them up in the treehouse that my dad and I built.

Oh the treehouse! I was probably around 11 years old and had always wanted a treehouse. Dad took a whole day off and just the two of us built that thing from scraps we found around the farm and one trip to the hardware store. I loved that tree house. Still do. When I had friends over, we slept in it. My friend Kim and I wallpapered it with comics from my grandma's Sunday paper. She saved them for us for weeks. I have so many memories of that treehouse.

Here it is in the background of this picture. I'm sure you'll have to click on it to see it larger. I need to take a better picture.

My dad built a cabin by the pond. This summer he and my son will go fishing there.

I can still go to the farm and find the wild baby kittens in the hayloft, and when they get a little older I can try to find them again and tame them. It's a talent my sister and I share.

I love that I can do this for my kids. I grew up on that farm, and it meant the world to me to have so many places to go while I was still at home. Home was acres and acres of land that I was free to explore. My sister and I took our Barbies camping at the creek. We built forts and houses out of bales of straw in the hayloft. I spent 8 years in 4-H, caring for and showing animals.

And here I am living in the city. To many people it's probably more like a small town, but it will always feel like the city to me. Also? I love it here in this city. I think it might boggle my dad's mind, but I truly do.

I love the museums, the fountains, the parks, the restaurants, the shopping, the arts. I love the education options for my kids and myself. I still have somewhere fun to go and explore every day. This is a very amazing city with lots of green space. There is always live music to be found.

Every time I go visit Dad, I think about moving back, and finding my own large plot of land. Then I remember all the wonderful things about my city that I would be so sad to leave.

I can't categorize myself. Am I a city girl or a country girl? I think I have the best of both worlds. I get to live in the city where I somehow feel like I belong, and take my kids to the country as often as I like, where I also belong.