Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another Blogger is Born!

Head and Heart is the name of the blog started by Annette Selden who is an editor for DHP. I used to work with her at the bookstore where we would get in trouble for having too much fun. If anyone my age should be blogging, it is Annette - she will surely have some interesting things to say. So welcome to Annette from the 60 million bloggers in the world. Relax, we're only 1% of the population!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January is Almost Over

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It has been so cold lately, but hey, it's January . I got a kick out of all the snow stacked on these berries today. As I went to work in the dark, I realized I was missing out on many photo ops.

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Yesterday, I was happy to be warm and cozy in the house. The kids were getting their after-school snacks, and I was thankful for this simple thing.

Monday, January 29, 2007


If my vision fails when I'm crossing over
I'll use my hands like anyone
Sometimes a nail in my kitchen table rises
I hammer it down like I would in anyone else's kitchen.

I find this song rather soothing.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me:
"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the Lord. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. Jeremiah 18:4-6

Maria has been at a retreat for TEC(Teens Encountering Christ) since Friday morning. John & I went to a program tonight (Sunday) to pick her up. We were so excited to see her. The verse above was their theme verse for the weekend. She really enjoyed her small group - Mooing for the Master? They called themselved "The Cows" and they had a lot of good discussions. These kids -64 candidates and 64 student workers - had a ton of enthusiasm and energy which they displayed in their 2 hour worship program.

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Happy to See Each Other

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Nursing 101

This is true: when I would take career interest tests or inventories, the job that supposedly fit me the best was, ta-da: NURSE.

Now I know for a fact they didn't make you look at blood and guts on that test and I'm pretty sure they didn't even ask you about it. I get what I like to call sympathy pains (pains that shoot through my body) or gagging reflexes when I see either of these. Sometimes I believe that I really should have been a nurse, but then, I only need a week like this past one to remind me why I am not.

Reminder No. 1: Bridget threw up in bed one night and then ran in the bathroom and finished spewing forth on the toilet seat. (Poor sweetheart) I rolled up the bedspread and put it directly in the washing machine while gagging and looking the other way, and then asked John if he could clean off the toilet seat.

Reminder No. 2: Edward had his wisdom teeth removed Friday afternoon. After I brought him home, I had to "change the gauze." This involved me getting the kitchen trash can and placing it beneath him and instructing him to let that red soaked thingy in his mouth fall in the trash. Then I took a clean gauze and folded it up a bit and told him to stick it in there, you know and bite on it, and make sure you apply pressure.

The good news is, under my expert care, Bridget only threw up that one time and went back to school by noon the next day. Edward is also doing fine - my expert care provided him with applesauce, yogurt, pudding, jello, spagettios. And pain pills.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Flash Back Friday 3

Today's Flash Back also happens to fall on the 76th birthday of Dr. Don Wilson who taught anthropology at Calvin College. This picture was taken over 25 years ago in Liberia. He taught at Calvin up until last year, and John still runs into him there. Don sends out over 6000 postcards a year for birthdays of friends!

When I was at Calvin, he was my advisor and I remember going to his office to talk - he was so interesting! In 1988, he performed our wedding. He came wearing sandals, and my dad, ever the proper Dutchman, gave him a pair of his own shoes to wear. I don't remember if they were too big or too small - I was on cloud 99 - but it was all very funny.

Today also would have been my Grandma's 94th birthday. She was thrilled to learn that she shared a birthday with Don and they exchanged cards for many years.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Getting Old-er

The other day, a guy at work was asking me how old my kids were. When I told him my kids were 17, 15, & 11, he said that I must have started having them when I was 12. Those psychologists at work sure know what they are doing! :)

Someone at work sent me this story about getting older. See if you can relate.












Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Spelling with Style

Bridget participated in her school's spelling bee yesterday.

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Incredible nervousness sets in when these kids are up there. Bridget made it through a couple of rounds. I think she won in the category of expressiveness, though.

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She was given the word Buffalo, but she was so nervous, she said "B-u-f-a-l-l-o". Later, she told me she knew how to spell it, but in her excitement, she doubled the wrong letter!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Today we are thinking of this: life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it. Here is Edward happily reacting to the 5th or 6th time this week he had to put a tire or a spare on his car. We got it "fixed" several times. He called from school today and it was flat again!

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Actually, it's more like "Ma-a-a-a-ahm, why do you have to take a picture?"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Diggin the Snow

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The snow is beautiful here in Michigan, but before you begin to idealize our life here, you can see here what else goes along with the snow.
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Yesterday, we had a blue sky for probably the first time in 2007, and let me tell you, our hearts soaked in that color!
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The trees glistened in the sun!
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And even the fire hydrants were more red.
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Cat is Funny

When I am going about my business at home, sometimes I will see a kitty head pop up in the window. Leo is looking for someone to go open the door for him. Yesterday, I went to get my camera instead.

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When I finally did open the door, he looked at me like I was a poor excuse for the lady of the house.

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Then he proceeded to sit smugly on the bench while I photographed him.

Here is a slideshow I made of him.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Flash Back Friday 2 *

Reinder and Popko

This is my dad & Uncle Ray as young boys in the Netherlands. My parents are going there at the end of the month because Dad is being featured in a TV show about people who had left the country many years ago. I suppose someday we could watch a tape of it , but since it will all be in Dutch, I'm afraid I'll understand very little as I am a bit diluted.

*Please note that this Friday feature has been renamed.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

High School English

This post is dedicated to my 2 high schoolers who are in the midst of exams this week. Click here to read a list of analogies collected by high school English teachers that could make you laugh like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Snow Day??????????

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That one verse I posted the other day... here it is again:
He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.' 7 So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor. Job 37:6-7

It's still true. Yesterday morning, I was going about my morning routine - just trying to "Git-er-done", as they say. I took Bridget to the bus stop, and thought we missed the bus. So I took her & Maria to school. Except the school was dark. I did not think there was any way possible this could be a snow day! John had told me earlier to tell Edward that there was a layer of ice, so he should leave early enough for school to combat this. I had relayed this message to Edward with such animation that he told me just to talk normal. I guess I didn't hear what I was saying. Oh well.

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Leo wants in from the cold.

Psalm 116

This past Sunday, a slide at the front of the warehouse where we go to church suggested that we read this psalm as we sat there waiting.

1 I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. 2 He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. 3 Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn't know which way to turn; 4 then I called out to God for help: "Please, God!" I cried out. "Save my life!" 5 God is gracious - it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. 6 God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. 7 I said to myself, "Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. 8 Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling." 9 I'm striding in the presence of God, alive in the land of the living!

10 I stayed faithful, though bedeviled, and despite a ton of bad luck, 11 Despite giving up on the human race, saying, "They're all liars and cheats." 12 What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? 13 I'll lift high the cup of salvation - a toast to God! I'll pray in the name of God; 14 I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, and I'll do it together with his people. 15 When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love him. 16 Oh, God, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! 17 I'm ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God. 18 I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, and I'll do it in company with his people, 19 In the place of worship, in God's house, in Jerusalem, God's city. Hallelujah!

Death doesn't always stare us straight in the face like this, but it had been staring at Skip, a member of our church, during the past week. She had a melanoma removed from near her eye and the doctor had thought the cancer was deeper. He also saw a spot on her lung. (She had breast cancer 10 years ago.) We prayed with her the Sunday before, and she and her husband both told us how that had given them such peace about the situation - and an actual warm feeling that went down in her body. This week, to cheers and tears, she told us the good news that when she went back to the doctor this past week, there was no cancer to be found. We are so glad.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rainy Day

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I told you that we were getting snow again, but that has turned in to rain. Yesterday afternoon, I was going to take my daily walk when I saw these raindrops begging to have their picture taken. It started to rain more, so I ended up having coffee with my neighbor. You never know what to expect with our weather. Snow is coming tonight?

He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.' 7 So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor.
Job 37:6-7

It Didn't Seem Like Work

Today, I went downtown to work at a bridal fair where we sponsored a booth for Healthy Marriages GR. This is one of the organizations for which I work, and we were there to promote our premarital workshops and to offer some literature. The booths down there are geared mainly to the actual wedding day - photography, catering, tuxedos, limos, etc. and so we are often a welcome sight, because, as some of the mothers who go by with their daughters say, this is what you really need.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Forget-Me-Not Friday Number 1

I told Maria a few weeks ago that I was going to start a new feature on the blog called, "Forget-Me-Mot Friday" where I would scan one of my thousands of old pictures and maybe tell about it if it needs more description. Last weekend, we had another little conversation:

Maria: What happened to Forget-Me-Not Friday?
Me: I forgot.

So, here we go. I thought I would start with one of my favorites of Maria since she so kindly helped me remember:

Maria, 4 years old

Thursday, January 11, 2007

On Eagle's Wings

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

They are saying on the news that the funeral of Gerald Ford last week was one of the biggest events in Grand Rapids history, and they are still talking about it. The newspaper has covered it extensively over the past couple of weeks, and a couple of things have stood out to me:

One day, the paper had an interview with one of the pilots who flew one of the jets in the 21-jet flyover (Missing Man formation). This tribute is only done at the funerals of Presidents and Vice-Presidents. The pilot said that he felt he was carrying the pride of an entire nation as he saw thousands of flashbulbs going off when they were performing the tribute. It took hundreds of people thousands of hours to prepare for it. There were 27 fighter jets and 4 tankers that flew overhead during the mission who all flew to GR from Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina. They performed the maneuver at sunset and flew back home. There had been a delay which necessitated some complex refueling maneuvers 20,000 feet over GR. All that goes in to this comes down to the precise timing involved with a 5-7 second leeway. They pulled it off with perfection and left the entire city spellbound.

Then last night, I read in the paper about another flyover which could only have been orchestrated by God. During the funeral at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, a man was standing outside during the service with a pair of binoculars to get a good view of things. He also had a program of the funeral proceedings. At the time when Sgt. Alvie Powell of the US Army Chorus was most likely singing "On Eagle's Wings", he looked in the sky with the binocular's and spotted a lone American bald eagle. Amazing! (He then showed it to the city's Mayor).

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run,and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Whiter Than Snow

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The snow started to come down again this week which has been nice because it gives a layer of brightness to the dull and dreary landscape. Here's the one verse about snow I was thinking of as it is in the New Living Translation:

"Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool." Isaiah 1:18

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I can't believe what Maria does when I'm gone.
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PS. Happy Birthday Tiffany!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

God's Timing is Perfect

God says, “These things I plan [for your life] won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient. They will not be overdue a single day.” Habakkuk 2:3

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Missing Man

This link will bring you to our view of what we saw downtown the other day (but we could not videotape at the museum.) John just posted it on Youtube today when we got the cable we ordered (accidentally ordered from Hong Kong :)) to go with the camcorder. The video shows a good view of the missing man formation. I thought it was even better than News 8. If you can watch it, you'll also see the kids & I "live". (I look kind of like Donald Duck with sunglasses on). John is narrating. Edward trots off at the end.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Weather

Today, I am so tired, make that brain-dead, that I am only going to blog about the weather. We haven't had any snow here since the beginning of December! Yesterday, for President Ford's funeral, it was in the upper 40's and sunny. I stood out to watch the procession with no coat, mainly because I forgot to bring it.

One of the local weathermen had this to say about the weather yesterday.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Welcome Home, Mr. President


It feels like it was a week ago when we woke up this morning at 2:45 am to go downtown to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and see President Ford lying in repose. We waited in line for 2 hours to become 5 of the 60,000 plus people who would pay their respects to this great man. Last night, the lines were 5-8 hours long, so we decided to go early in the morning. Much of the line was in the warmth of a conference center, but the last part of the line rose up over the foot bridge of the icy cold Grand River and went down in to the shining museum. This part of the walk gave us a good wake up call for our final view. We enterred the Museum, and around a large black curtain, we saw the flag-draped coffin. Five honor guards, who looked as if they were made of wax, surrounded it. We walked by it reverently, and then, two friendly people gave us Memorial Cards as we left the museum.

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Later in the day, after work & school, the kids & I met John downtown to see the funeral procession and the flyover of F-15's. We arrived in time to see the hearse come down Monroe Avenue. We also saw Betty Ford and the Ford children. Earlier, John had seen Jimmy Carter and others.

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We walked up Monroe to one of the parks on the Grand River to witness the fly-over. While we were waiting, I called my mom to tell her what we had seen. She told me what was happening in the funeral as she watched it on TV. The smoke in the picture below was from the 21-cannon salute.

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The twenty-one F-15's came at last from the south up the Grand River; one led the way, and then there were 5 groups of 4. As the final group of four was directly overhead, I looked up with tears in my eyes as one of the planes left the formation and soared off into the heavens.

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So this was our view of the day in Grand Rapids. This video shows how great the day was.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


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For Edward's birthday, he got a new backpack so he can go on some hiking trips. If you have ever put a backpack on, you know how it just makes you feel like a mountain man. My dad even tried it on and posed with my brother-in-law's dog.

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This, of course, brings back the happy memories of when Paula's big sister Julia came home from college and let her try out her backpack.

Go Paula, go. Now I know why I sometimes call Bridget "Paula."

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Blessings to you all in 2007!!! We have had a restful weekend and last night, we had friend's over to help bring in the New Year.

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Part 1 of the evening - the girls made a gingerbread house. We also played pool and DDR which stands for Dance Dance Revolution. Maria, Lori & I also escaped for a bit of winter hot tubbing.

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Waiting for the ball to drop...

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Keith & Lori toast the New Year.