Archives for April 2006


My Fashion Queen

Here’s my girl in an outfit of her own choosing. Takes guts to combine a red shirt, pink shorts, and big brother’s outgrown orange boots. Not to mention a very bright spandex vest from an old dance costume AND a pink terrycloth hat. (grin) I guess I’m not the only girl in love with color around here!

My Mother’s Love

When you’re a child, you often think of your mother’s love in terms of what she does. “My mommy makes me cookies.” My mommy bought me a new dress.” My mommy gives me hugs.”

My mother did all those things during my growing up years. But since I’ve become an adult, I’ve realized that the things my mother did NOT do for me were equally important.

She did not make a big deal when I got hurt. She simply hugged me and encouraged me to get up and brush myself off. If there was blood, I got a bandaid. But she did not gasp and go on and on about my misfortune and she didn’t let me either. Just a matter-of-fact patch job and an encouragement to get on with life.

When I was in school, my mother did not micro-manage my study habits. She expected me to do my best, but left the working to me. And the consequences if I did not work.

She did not act as a full-time maid in our home. Rather she trained us step by step to do the cleaning ourselves, working alongside her.

She did not buy me every new fashion that came out. She made sure I had the essentials and left the extras to me to buy– IF I could afford them and still wanted them after I’d put out the effort to earn the money myself.

Sometimes mothers get so hung up in doing for their kids that they forget the crucial importance of strategic not-doing. By not doing things for me my mother taught me valuable lessons. Accountability. Priorities. Work ethic. Skills. Resilience. Courage.

My mother did it right. You see, in the long run, it is not a mother’s job to do everything for her child; there lies the road to a stunted person, a forever-child.

Instead, it is a mother’s job to teach her children to become strong, competent adults. To, day by day, work herself right out of her job. And in doing so, gain a place of honor in her children’s hearts forever.


I have so much enjoyed reading (and rereading) each of your posts. I am almost hesitant to pick a ‘best’ because, truly, each one is a work of art and love. You all did a stellar job, and I mean this most sincerely. However, I promised a winner…

How about two?

Congratulations to:

Living iN my mind: Where I’m From

Holding the Mirror up to My Soul: I Am From

Awesome writing, ladies!


To conclude the week, I have three more “I Am From’s” to share. You see, when my younger kids realized that the big kids were getting actual COMMENTS from people on their posts, they came begging to me, asking me to help them write their own poems. So, here they are. Each of these phrases truly came from the children themselves, though I did the typing for them and arranged the phrases to fit the format..

I Am From (8 year old)

I am from a full house, a busy house, a buzzy bumblebee yard, a happy tulip yard. I am from pollen that makes my eyes itch. From a house of animals.

I am from birthday breakfast in bed. From ‘clear your dishes’ and ‘go play outside’. I am from picnics in the park. From fried chicken and lasagne.

I am from listening in church. From birthday cupcakes and Skittles in Sunday School class. I am from church camp in the mountains, eating good food and playing on the playground.

I am from pictures on the stairs and memories in my brain.

I Am From (7 year old)

I am from a dandelion house. A house of dishes and clothes and books. A house of 8 kids. I am from a yard of toys. From a bunch of bikes in the front yard. From weeding the flowerbeds. I am from shoes on the shelf in the garage.

I am from crying baby sisters. From Highlights magazines. From ‘clean your room’ and ‘be nice to your sister’. I am from ten birthdays every year.

I am from macaroni and cheese, and shrimp if we ever get some. From boxes of cereal. I am from spaghetti.

I am from a line of wagons at Vacation Bible School. From yummy food at church camp. I am from listening about God and coloring when pastor talks for a long, long, long, long time.

I am from 2,000 pictures everywhere you look.

I Am From (almost 4 year old)

I am from a house with flowers on it. From my pretty room with my little sister. From purples flowers in the grass. From playing with each other and resting with my little sister and my mama.

I am from playing outside with the doggie. From coloring at home with my little ittie sister. From doing some work with my teacher in her Sunday School.

I am from macaroni and cheese. From Daddy reading me a story about Angelina Ballerina. From a movie with some popcorn.

I am from pictures in my album.

Mother’s Love Writing Contest

Heather at Mom2Mom Connection is hosting the 1st annual Mom 2 Mom Connection Mother’s Love Writing Contest. The deadline is May 1st – visit Heather to get all the details.

I’m From (last one)

And last but not least, my fabulous 18 year old! (And thanks, everyone, for your comments– the kids are loving the feedback!)

I am from lush, green gardens and Kleenex and the belief that you can find anything at Wal-Mart. I am from the big white house with rooms that were-neat-a-minute-ago-but-the-younger-set-just-blew-through-like-a-tornado-so-that-is-done-for.

I am from waiting for the lilacs to bloom and the hot, green smell of August tomato vines. I am from naming the vehicles after berries, (Huckle, Black, Razz, and Blue) and a whole family of good huggers.

I am from baby lovers and family trips. From “It won’t affect your salvation” and “Muddy shoes stay outside doncha know!”

I am from a small church with a family feel where everyone knows who you are even if you can’t remember them. Where most every one is taller than the pastor. From being related to a lot of people in the church. From the church where, when invited to “move with the music” we all sat like stones.

From good strong-willed Norwegian, Swedish, Belgium and German immigrant stock, with just enough Irish for a love of Celtic music and dance, where Kimbap and Injera make an unlikely appearance through adoption.

From the year my dad made his girlfriend (my mom, now) ride the bus because she might shed permed blond hair on the seats of his precious Vega. From the ingrained love of books and the beach. From a longing for travels and adventure.

From a handsome great grandpa who, after a tornado, plowed the field through all the rubble and pulled the nails out of the wood he ran over to re-plug the holes in the tires so that he keep plowing and not lose the rest of the day fixing it.

From the memories told to the kids so they will remember and the scrapbooks that hold the proof. From the from the lines of laughter around all the eyes and the perfection of the passed on looks. From identical confusing phone voices. From the love that will always keep us together.

I Am From (#4)

This one was written by my very accomplished 16 year old daughter

I am from piano keys on quiet days, from Levi jeans and chocolate chips.
I am from the white house on the top of the hill with children bent over school work and running outside.

I am from the sunflowers in the garden and the daisies striving to be taller than the weeds.

From special music at church and squinty-eyed smiles. From a grandmother who loves to sing and one who loves to cook. I am from large families and bedtime stories.

From just-because-I-told-you-to-clean-doesn’t-mean-someone-is-coming-over and when-we-are-at-family-reunions-you-have-to-say-more-than-yes-and-no.

I am from busy Sundays filled with Sunday School, church, choir and youth group at our small Lutheran church.

I am from a desert surrounded by mountains, from Kimbap and Injera.

From the high school sweethearts who married at the age of nineteen. From yearly drives to and from the ocean for breaks from the daily grind, and weeding the family garden in the hot, hot, sun.

I am from a family of many relatives and large lunches. I am from grandparent’s memories, photo albums, newspaper clippings, home videos and slide shows on DVD’s.

“I Am From” links:

I decided to move these links up into a fresh post. Remember, the contest ends Friday evening– 6 pm Pacific time. If you want to write your own I Am From, the instructions are here Fragments From Floyd. For your reading pleasure, here are the people who’ve played so far. Let me know if I forgot to add yours.

As I See It Now: I Am From …
My Life in Bits & Pieces: Where I’m from
Children and Cheerios: I am from….
Diane’s Page: I Am From…..
LammyAnnLife : I Am From
Living iN my mind: Where I’m From
Faithful Mommy: I am from
Somewhere In The Sun: I Am From
Are we there yet?: Where I’m from
From Under the Laundry Pile: I Am From
The Mother Load: I Am From…
Magically Mama: Where I Come From
Please don’t hang up: I Am From….
Holding the Mirror up to My Soul: I Am From
Lifenut » From
Family Circus: I Am From
Just a bunch of nothin’: I AM FROM……
Fumbling for Words: I am from
Bombadee’s Garden: Where I’m From…
Mom’s Musings: Where I’m From
Chinese Take Out: I am from…..
It’s Always Something: I Am From
Mom of All Trades: I am from
Susie’s Space: I am From
Flippin’ Sweet: I am from email rainbowendy at yahoo dot com for password
She Lives: She Is From
HolyMama!: I am From…
Insight to Lala’s world: I am from
Mama’s So Called Life: I Am From
Abandoned in Pasadena: Where I’m From
Mayhem and Magic: Where I’m From
Too Many Kids=1! 2! 3! 4! No More!: I am from!
Just Peachy . . .: I Am From . . .
Singalullaby: I Am From

These are just awesome, y’all! Some snippets that come to my mind, from ones I’ve read recently include ‘the stump in the front yard perfect for making human statues’, ‘Duncan Hines frosting hidden under the bed’, and ‘napping in my grandpa’s Old Spice scented armpit.’ I love it when words are used in ways that are so unique…

I Am From (#3)

This one was written by my awesome 14 year old!

I am from the bat, ball and glove, the ball field in the middle of the summer when it’s so hot the air feels like it’s about to catch on fire. From the thrill of victory and agony of defeat, from after game snacks of Gatorade and Nabisco cookies.

I am from the white-house-with-green-trim, and ponies grazing in the pasture. From the house with a number missing on the mailbox, but the mail lady still delivered the mail. I am from swimming holes that are deep enough to dive into, and desert wind that blows dust into the house even if the doors are closed.

I am from Taco Tuesdays after the other kids are done with choir and weekend wood trips in the summer. From family members that you see only at Christmas time, and weddings that you have to travel miles to go to. From Super Bowl Sunday parties where we see family and friends.

I am from the place where you can never miss the bus, and school begins between 9 and 10:30. From “I guess it’s time to hit the hay” and “Just one more story please, Daddy!!!” I am from the swimming pool in the August heat, from Speedo goggles and Super Soakers.

I am from loving Jesus, and being there every Sunday, but almost never being in time for all of Sunday School opening. I am from perfect attendance, and birthday treats, Sunday school doughnuts, puppet shows and Christmas programs where I never got to be Joseph.

I’m from the place where you have to water your lawn, and potatoes, sugar beets and corn are everywhere. From Cambell’s soup with Skippy peanut butter on saltines when Mom was away at work and Dad had just gotten home.

From the stories of Mom at 16 driving across the U.S. in a van pulling a trailer, while her dad was driving a U-Haul. From stories about Dad and his dad hiking to serene mountain lakes to fish together.

I am from the dust of the earth, the wall behind the stair, home videos, photo albums and computer screens. This is my life as of now. It couldn’t be better.

The Ham Returns