Tuesday, February 28, 2006


So far, only one of my 3 sisters has visited this blog. My own mother is busy traipsing around Florida with no internet connection. Maybe if I post a picture of the infamous sisters, they will come. Here they are:

dec06 013

We always have to pose for this picture whenever we're together and I'm always the oldest and the shortest and the best-looking. (haha) This picture actually shows us in order of age: Julia, Marianna, Andrea and Paula. Instead of all our names starting with the same letter, our parents chose to make our names end with the same letter which really is something if you think about it.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Did you know that Wintergreen Lifesavers emit blue/green sparks when you bite on them with your mouth open in the dark? I tried to demonstrate it to some of my co-workers in the bathroom today at work, but they must have been doing it wrong because they did not see the sparks. I saw the sparks in my mouth. I'm a believer in the sparks. At this point in time, they are not, however. I actually found the scientific explanation for it. It is called triboluminescence or TL which is light resulting from crushing or tearing. When the sugar crystals are crushed, the negatively charged electrons break loose and end up crashing in to nitrogen in the air and causing the blue sparks. You should try it sometime. It will light up your life.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bottoms Up

I just found out today that milk is on sale at Meijer this week for $1.66 a gallon. I love it when that happens! It really is a big deal when you go through 5-6 gallons a week and you have such an exciting life to begin with. Today, after church, John & I got to serve the coffee and they were just drinkin' it like water, man. It really is a fun job because you get to see all the people at one of their most forward looking moments when they are reaching for that styrofoam cup of church coffee after sitting still for over an hour. The look in their eyes says it all, and they love you. We were pouring and pouring till John had to go teach his catechism class leaving me alone there. Finally, one of our wine-tasting friends and his cohort came to the rescue by railroading the cart back in to the kitchen for me. We were pretending that it was a Starbuck's/Coffee Beanery cart and it was the end of our shift and hey, it was time to cut 'em off, already. Our wine-tasting events may be a little pretend, too as they usually involve whether the wine is tinny or tastes like shoe leather. It's usually more the name of the wine that gets critiqued or joked about, and it is so much fun. Like did you know Liebfraumilch is a German wine and the name means "blessed mother's milk"? That alone lends itself to a pretty fun evening.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Easy as 3.1415926535.....

I spent a good portion of my day taking 8 kids from my daughter's school to the MathCounts competition down at GVSU. We had so much fun! As soon as I heard a kid down there say, "I memorized pi to 20 digits," I felt right at home. This week I realized today would have been my 20 year anniversary at Watkins Ross doing actuarial work, if I had stayed there. I probably would have gotten a pen set. A really nice one. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Little Old Ladies

Today, I was feeling pretty young and cool - got my own blog, a friend of mine who's my age does virtual dating on the internet, another friend asked me to go hot tubbing. Then I went to the bread store. As I was checking out, the cashier lady asks me, "Are you over 50?" Actually, it was more like, "You're under 50, right?" (ie., you're not eligible for the seniors discount, are you?) Whatever, the effect was the same. Maybe she saw me looking at the red hats over at Meijer. I just said to her "You've got to be kidding me. " I'm used to people asking me if I'm over 21. Or people calling our house and asking me if my mother is home. YOU ARE ALWAYS THE SAME AGE IN YOUR HEAD.
A friend of mine sent me this really funny e-mail about life in the 1500's. I've always thought I could have never survived the olden days because I've needed all the modern medical technology I could get, but then I remember, I wouldn't have gotten hit by a car back then either. I later found out that the e-mail was an urban legend, but it's still funny to read. Anyway, I've been feeling pretty old lately with old, achy bones, so maybe I should move to Arizona. My mom is only 20 years older than me and she always said we would be little old ladies together. I can't believe it's here already.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Eat This Book

John heard Eugene Peterson speak at Calvin College a couple of weeks ago and he brought home an autographed copy of his latest book, Eat This Book. It said "To Julia" in the front cover and it was almost as if my name had been written on a white stone because here the man who had translated the whole Bible wrote MY NAME. The title of the book refers to Revelation 10:10 where an angel gives a little scroll to the apostle John and he starts to copy it down, but the angel tells him to eat it. It was sweet to his mouth but bitter in his stomach. And that is how God's word is to us - sweet when it goes in, but it turns us upside down when it gets inside us.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Conger Family

Conger family

I LOVE this picture because it's just sooo beachy. And how often do you find a picture of your great-grandparents on the beach? The second one from the right is my grandmother (Oma Boyer) whom I'm named after. Isn't she so cute? Her maiden name was Julia Conger and I was given those names for my first and second names. The story goes that she was the fifth Julia Conger and I inherited this set of 400 year old dishes that had been passed down through them all. The other day, I was just googling away at the computer and something led me to google "Julia Conger" and I came across this lady's ancestry page where she was looking for the descendants of a Julia A. Conger. I was so excited because I thought, "Well, it's about time they found me. I've been waiting my whole life for the royal title I feel is mine." So before writing this lady, I did some research and found that roughly 1/3 of the world must carry the surname Conger because there are like a trillion of them. I am astonished daily by the size of this world.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Yesterday, John & I went to the Homecoming basketball game at Calvin College. The average age in the stands excluding the students was about 70 because if you think about it, people our age with kids are busy with their kids and not at the game. We took Edward with us so we were busy with him, but the Nellies didn't want to go. I pointed out all the great benefits of going to Calvin to Edward, but he told me he already knew. The game was a little anticlimatic but they won the MIAA championship at the end. To pass the time, I called my old college roomate while she was running errands in New York. I think she really wished she was there at the game(duh!). I did get to see Don Wilson, the awesome anthropology professor who married John & me.
I'm eating a bowl of grits right now and it's reminding me of driving through Georgia.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ode to Edward by the Nellies

Here is a video of Maria & Bridget saying their Ode to Edward.

We refer to Maria & Bridget very affectionately as the "Nellies". It's one of those names that just stuck like a dumb song in your head. And now it keeps flowing as in Nelly 1 and Nelly 2 or Nelly Senior and Nelly Junior and they are just so cute together. Edward even comes up with useful adjectives to use like Nellyrific. In a way, they are like those sisters in the movie In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz, and I see in them the wonder that is keeping the stars apart. Bridget loves shoes, too.

Edward and the Christmas Kitty

Here is a bideo of Edward and Bachristmas tree.

So my genius Christmas baby(Edward) helped me expedite the process of adding this video to the blog which now can be called a vlog. Okay, he's 16 years old now, but 16 Christmases ago(or would that be 17?), he was born to us on a beautiful Christmas morning. And I remember all the angels singing when he was born at 12:30 in the morning in the form of nurses at their station cheering in the first Christmas baby of 1989. Now, he loves Christmas, and calls our cat Leo, "Christmas Kitty," in rememberance of that special day.

Friday, February 17, 2006