Where I Was…

The morning of September 11, 2001 started out as no different than any other morning. Big A was a toddler, and I was pregnant with Big S. Luke was at school, and we were at home, not doing much. Luke calls me on the phone, and right away asks me if I’m watching ‘it’ on TV. I kinda chuckle and tell him, no, we don’t watch TV in the morning, A just wants to veg when it is on. He’s real serious, and I go turn it on. On CBS I see the two towers, and one has been hit with a plane. Dan Rather is doing his best to maintain a steady voice, and to keep viewers informed on what looks like an accidental plane crash into a building. Then the second plane hits the other tower, and I melt. Dan Rather does, too, for a few seconds, then recovers and keeps on talking. From then on, I am glued to the TV, holding Big A tightly and crying. Then the towers are falling and I have such a feeling of loss in my gut, like when I once realized my ticket to an OSU game had been stolen from my back pocket, only a hundred times worse.
I had arranged to bring a shut-in from our church a meal that night, and wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go out, after all that was happening. Were there more cities still to be attacked? When Luke got home from school, we took the meal. While in the car passing all the manicured lawns and nice cars and restaurants and billboards and Kroger and CVS, I had a very real sense that everything was different now, that if any of this material world had a hold on me, it was decidedly less, now that I had just witnessed so many people’s lives taken from them in a matter of minutes. Now that I realized my life could be over as quickly.
I loved hearing the stories that came out afterward- brave firefighters, oh-so-brave Todd Beamer, people who were supposed to be in the buildings at the time, but for some reason were running late that morning. Providentially saved.
I read recently that many families of the victims have a hard time with 9/11 being talked about constantly. I can imagine it might be a little like everybody I know saying, I remember the day Don (my father in-law) died, over and over to me, whenever we meet. That would be weird.
But this was a national tragedy, and their loved ones just happened to be involved in an attack on our country, so I am sure most deal with the constant attention with grace.
My prayer is that we learn all we can from that day:
-be united when it comes to things that matter
-be always ready to help someone in need
-be in prayer for our nation’s leaders; they have a tough job!
-show my appreciation toward firefighters, police, and rescue workers when I cross paths with them
-live each day like it might be the last
I don’t believe this will be the only national crisis I will see in my lifetime, so it would be good if I practice these things I have learned.
P.S. I realized today that I have had four children since 9/11. And I have been pregnant five times. In Five Years. Woah.


Yesterday the kids were sick, and it created a lot of dirty laundry. I fell into a rhythm of washing, switching to dryer, and folding the resulting clean clothes. This went on all day. I thought about the areas of the world where there is no such thing as running water in one’s house. Or clean water anywhere nearby. What do they do when a little one is sick all over everything? The time it would take to get everything clean (before the sickness would spread from the dirty things to other people) would be greatly multiplied. How wonderful to be able to wash clothes quickly and efficiently! We are even able to clean our carpets (thanks, Mom and Dad) when they get dirty. What wealth we have in just our clean running water and our washer and dryer.
Today I started the process of switching the kids’ clothes from warm weather to cold weather. First let me say that we are so blessed to always have more hand-me-down clothes than we’ll ever wear, so I rarely have to go out and buy something. Up until this season, I have kept extra clothing stored in my mother-in-law’s basement. The arrangement was good and bad. We liked being able to go down there for what we needed from time to time, but there were way too many clothes! This summer I worked at cutting back and am keeping only enough for the elders this winter, for little A, and clothes for a baby (0-12m boy or girl) if we have more children. This month I want to take time to look hard at areas I am overdoing it. Hoarding the kids’ clothes is one area.This fall, they will have a lot less in their drawers, but I doubt they will even notice- they tend to want to wear the same 3 outfits over and over. This is what they’ll have:
5 casual outfits
2 church outfits
1 pr sneakers
1 pr dress shoes
1 pr casual shoes
2-3 pj outfits
I got the boys done this morning, and will work on the girls through this week. It will be cold and wet for at least the next week, so we already need the warm clothes.
Again, how many children in the world only have the clothes on their backs? Even my children’s minimum seems luxurious.


A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine asked me a very thought-provoking question. In fact, I think I have given it more consideration than she originally intended the question to get. She basically wondered what she and I will do when our kids are grown. The reason I have given it so much thought is that every time I come up with an answer, I get to thinking, “Why am I going to wait to do that? Can’t I find a way to take part in these things now, even in the midst of motherhood?”
Here’s some of my answers and how I am attempting to get ‘r done:
*Take a cooking class- I try to watch the Food Network or read about making good food whenever I can, and use what I learn right away. So far, I am realizing that a lot of cooking doesn’t require real talent, just a bit of common sense. And you need to know what tastes good with what; this is the part that will take time for me to get a hold on.
*Make things and sell them- So far I’m developing my card-making and framing. The framing has to be done sans children, but the card-making doesn’t. They LOVE getting out the paper and ribbons and scissors and of course the glue stick (that N thinks is chapstick), and often come up with some unique works of art.
*Travel-the most exotic place we have been to this summer is Wooster, OH, but I have real dreams of getting an RV (I want to see that movie!) and going cross country in it. That would be the only way to do it with so many littles. But how memorable would that be!
*Spend more time with my husband-well, looks like that can happen now, too. He just got a job with OHVA, Big A’s digital academy, and will be working from home! I am excited for him, but I do wonder what this will be like. It is as if he’ll be seeing me in a different way (how I REALLY am:). We were comparing schedules last night, and I felt a little weird. But it will be cool. This is his dream.
Well, what do you want to do, but let your present occupation keep you from doing? I tag my sister and honey to tell what they dream about on their blogs. (Honey has already posted one great pursuit here.)
Have a lovely week!

Works For Me Wednesday – NoyNoy

I don’t have a tip today, but it is my little N’s birthday! He’s a two year old bundle of energy. I love his words right now-phrases only I and his closest confidantes (siblings) can understand. An added element is that he is saying most of these around a pacifier. A tutorial:
Dinty binky
Dady baby
Yaya A-Major
Bawa Big-S
Deemy Little-S
Gawa granola
Geeky cookie
Ditty (not to be confused with dinty) kitty
Mmmm time to eat
There are many more, but this is a good sample. We love you, NoyNoy.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday, so I thought I would write about what a great person she is.

B-believably the best cooker of potroast and spaghetti
R-rather than avoid us like the plague, she seems to like it when we come visit
E-eventually she will have completed every Soduku puzzle there is
N-never do I go away from her house hungry
D-do you know what is on tv tonight? She does
A-an excellent help meet to my dad

Just a few things that came to mind. In 1999, she had a heart attack, and at that time we all were forced to think about what life might be like without her. God was gracious in healing her, and we are thankful to have such a great Mom and Grandma in our lives.

Valerie’s Top 5

The top 5 things I like about my husband:

5. He is good looking

4. He is great about taking over at home when I am sick

3. His hobbies aren’t too expensive (have you seen how much
nine holes of golf cost? Ay yi yi So thankful he isn’t a golfer)

2. He is very wise and rational (we’re opposites here)

1. He has a real relationship with Jesus that my kids can see;
hopefully the legacy will be carried on in them

What do you like about your hubby?