Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hodgepodge: Reminiscing and Romance

1. What is something you are loving right now?

My daughter's excitement over getting hired to teach first grade full time. She will be starting this Friday. What a blessing to land a position literally a month after her graduation ceremony! The school is exactly the kind she's been praying for (an economically-challenged, low-performing school where kids seem to need extra TLC). But oh, boy, she's got a learn to learn! She will have 32 students and has to learn all their names, which isn't easy, considering some of the names sound like what you hear when you drop a handful of silverware on a tile floor.

She has been "teaching" since she was a little girl. (Here's a picture of her with her great-grandpa when she was five months old.) I remember how, at the tender age of five, she used to line up her stuffed animals and dolls on her bed and situate them attentively against the wall. Each one would get an imaginary pencil in their paw or hand. I'd eavesdrop outside Sarah's door and hear things like, "Mandy, are you yistenin' ta me? Sit up stwaight. Bobby, are you payin' tension ta me? Diss is not pway time, it's cwass time." (Her older brother used to say, "Mommy, she's not teaching. She's bossing!")

2. Paris, Venice, New York, and Rome are considered four of the most romantic cities in the world. Which one would you most like to visit?

Talk about a hard question to answer! The French Impressionist, French-speaking dreamer in me would love to see Paris. However, I have not given up on my my greatest travel dream which is to see Italy with my husband, and when we do (I'm not even letting myself say "if" but "when" ) we will include both Venice and Rome. If I had to choose, that would be hard. The romantic artist and historian in me wants to see Rome, but the artist and lover in me says Venice. Pressed for just one, I guess it'd be Venice. When we return, I will be sure to blog ad nauseum about our "Rome antics" and "Venice vistas."

3. Are you a romantic?

Absolutely! Such a romantic that I gave birth to my last child on Valentine's Day. I didn't choose the day; I had to be induced because he was over 9 pounds at 38 weeks, and the only time slot open in Labor & Delivery for me was February 14th. That ended up being wonderful, because Valentine's Day had become my favorite holiday over the years, thanks to my daddy, Lyle. He has always honored my mom and us girls every year with chocolate and heartfelt cards. We would wake up and find those things at the breakfast table, and then as adults await his gift in person at the door or in the mail, depending on where we lived.

I always felt I couldn't thank him enough. I knew I was going to name our last son after him but the bonus of having that baby on Valentine's Day allowed me to place Joel Lyle into my father's open and eager arms. "Here, Daddy. A Valentine with your name on it." If my dad was a balloon he would've burst from joy at that moment.

4. What's your favorite love story made for the Big Screen?

"The Notebook" ranks up there because it pictures the love of a man for his wife
who has been stricken with Alzheimer's. He is loyal, patient, and kind long after she has forgotten him or their story. It reminds me of my grandparents when they lived across the hall from each other in the nursing home. Grandpa would say, "Kathryn, here are our grandchildren. They've come for a visit. You remember Rachel?" Grandma would smile and stare blankly at my older sister and ask, "Who do you belong to?" And my sister would say, "Your son, Lyle." No recollection in her face whatsoever. Grandpa would touch Grandma's arm and say, "Lyle's family used to live in Alden when he was a minister, you remember?" And she'd say, "Lyle was a MINISTER?" Oh, the heartbreak. I remembered the days when she'd go on and on about how she loved having a son in ministry. Ironically, she remembered me, and how we used to play with baby dolls in the metal camper behind their house. I think it must be because Grandma and I were like two children playing together, and she remembered childhood things, but the fact is I was nine and she was about 59 when we played together.

5. Everyone loves Pooh bear and friends...which character are you most like and why? Click here for help in answering this question.

Kanga. According to the quiz results, I am "warm and loving and great with children. But kids know not to misbehave around me or I'll put them in time out." Hmm, see answer # 1 for someone who might be Kanga, Jr !

6. What's the best chocolate something you've ever eaten?

Triple Chocolate Layer cake made by my friend Sharon. It is a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, and chocolate frosting. Technically that's a quadruple chocolate cake, right? You serve it warm and the chocolate is like sweet lava in your mouth. I think I could eat it for lunch right now.

7. Share a favorite quote about love.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." That's exactly what Jesus did. He did the ultimate laying down of his life after 33 years of dying to himself day in and day out.

To me, it's easy to think of jumping in front of a Mack truck or a bullet to save my husband's or child's life, because "perfect love casts out all fear" and I wouldn't stop to think about myself. I'd just do it with everything in me, out of love. But to lay down my life in small ways every day by choice has been quite the test of love, and often I've failed. Yet they still love me after decades of failures and maybe a few successes? And vice versa.

8. Insert a random thought here.

A couple weeks ago I posted the "dream dress" my girl steered me to, as she was squelching major guffaws all the way to the rack. (We were at this bridal shop in NJ for my future DIL's dress fitting.) This "dream dress was ugggggggleeeeee!"

But I failed to show you the really, truly dreamy-romantic dress that my daughter would love to wear someday. It's one I would wear if I had it to do over. (Click to see details. This one is stunning!)

I can't wait to get a new battery for my Nikon so I can get back to taking pictures with good lighting and better resolution than my easy-peasy purse camera. Nonetheless, this dress is a work of art, and merited a picture of any quality.


Joyce said...

Congratulations to your daughter! That's fabulous and I'm sure she'll be great. Brand new teachers do have a lot to learn and they make mistakes but she seems to really have a heart for teaching and that makes all the difference. I hope my daughter is as lucky in the job department next fall!

Carrie B said...

Ahh, that's a sweet story about your son's birth.

I think that dress is georgous!

Mitchypoo said...

How exciting for your daughter and it's cool your youngest son is born on Valentine's Day! Does he like it too? Enjoyed your blog.

The Henry Crew! said...

Hi friend! Oh gosh, so many things I could comment on - my youngest was born the day after Valentines Day, so that day is very special as it marks the very last day I was ever pregnant... kinda bittersweet! And oh, my grandma had Alzheimers too and she and I had a very special bond that was unlike any other - same thing, she didn't know my dad or any thing else, but she knew me. What a tragic disease. Loved your "ugly dress" photo - my hubs and I did that once when we were dating, tried on the ugliest outfits we could find! hehehe... ok, I"m done taking up all the space in your comment feed now! :-)

Zoanna said...

Thanks, Joyce. I hope your daughter gets hired quickly as well. @Mitchypoo, my boy hates that his b'day is on a "girly" day.

Laurie said...

Sarah is God's girl! I love hearing and seeing how God is leading in her life!
I appreciate that you already have blog titles for after your trip! (I like that spirit!)
Wow! Wow! A Valentine's Day like no other when Joel was born! The blessing to your Dad is precious!
Your Grandma was a jewel!
Sorry this comment is a bit jumpy. Would Kanga understand?!
Love, sweet love!