Category Archives: Marvelous Miscellany

Worth the Wait

Miss Hera Roberts posing on the deck of HNLMS JAVA

Dear people,

It has been a while!

I have excuses. So many excuses to offer you for my failure to post.

However, since none of these (really, very good) excuses are actually very interesting, let’s just skip ahead to the part where we’re back in the swing of things. It will be like Monday night’s dinner:

Usually, I cook something, Leo rejects it, and I give Leo a bowl of cereal. Since it was just the two of us eating at home last night, I skipped steps one and two (cooking and rejection) and went right to step three (cereal for dinner). Leo still didn’t eat very much, but we saved a lot of time and effort. I’m calling it a win.

So. Mike and I took a trip to Chicago over the weekend. I attended Why Christian 2016; Mike explored the city and enjoyed Quiet Alone Time; and we went to opening night of Das Rheingold at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. It was an incredible few days of learning, listening, worshiping, reflecting, and just being together. We had whole conversations where no small child interrupted us. We ate in restaurants without children’s menus and we got to eat our food while it was hot and drink our drinks before the ice melted. You get the idea.

There are many standout moments from the weekend. Here is one: Continue reading

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Satisfaction Guaranteed

 

IBM Electronic Data Processing Machine

I’m pretty sure this is a behind the scenes photo from Amazon headquarters.

 

What did we do before Amazon?

Seriously, what? How did we find the every day things that aren’t for sale in our town, or the obscure things we forgot we needed until we needed them immediately, or the things we didn’t know we needed until Amazon suggested them to us?

Amazon is a magical  place. When you live in a small town, it is a lifesaver: you can get the stuff they don’t sell in your town delivered to your door (and you can still shop in your town for all the stuff they do sell). Party favors, Halloween costumes, expensive but effective eczema shampoo and body wash, Thomas the Train everything. (Pro Tip: They still sell books, too.)

But it is dangerous, of course, for the same reason: they have everything, and they deliver it to your door. It’s easy to fall down the Amazon rabbit hole, especially if you read the reviews. One product review leads to another, and another, and another, until your virtual shopping cart is filled with things that have suddenly become essential.

We recently converted Leo’s crib into a toddler bed. (Or, in Leo’s words, “Daddy broke it!”) The transition was not as smooth as we had hoped–he was on the floor multiple times a night. So, I turned to my friend Amazon for the answer.

Piano voor aan bed gebonden zieken / Piano for the bedridden

I didn’t find this on Amazon, but maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

What would it be? A traditional bed rail? An inflatable bed rail? A foam bed rail? “Magic bumpers”?  There were so many options, each more expensive and complicated than the last. I was overwhelmed.

But then. Then, I was saved by the very tool that had brought me down this rabbit hole: the Amazon product review. I can’t find the actual review now, but the gist of it was: “This product is basically a pool noodle. Don’t waste your money on this. Buy a pool noodle instead.”

And it’s true! Cut a pool noodle to size (we went with the thicker kind), stick it under the fitted sheet, and voila! No more sad thuds in the middle of the night.

Thanks, Amazon, for once again helping me find exactly what I needed. Even if I found it on clearance somewhere else.

Visit of the Chancellor of the University of London, HRH Princess Anne to the School, 8 May 1986


What is the best or worst Amazon purchase you’ve made?

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Make ‘Em Laugh

Margaret Barr's "Strange Children" [ballet], 1955 / photographer unknown

Did I ever tell you about the time I got kicked out of class?

It was a Spanish language intensive in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I spent the first semester of my senior year. Something was funny–I don’t remember what–and my classmate and I locked eyes and started to laugh. Since we were in class, and our teacher was kind of strict, we immediately looked away and tried to pull ourselves together.

We failed.

Whatever it was, I know it wasn’t that funny, but we could. Not. Stop. We laughed uncontrollably, and when our teacher sent us out of the room to compose ourselves we laughed even harder. It probably took us ten minutes to calm down. A classic case of church giggles.

I mention this because a similar thing happened at Saturday’s wedding. Continue reading

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Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Ministry Matters

Why I Vote with My Children

Voting in Brisbane, 1937

“Can vote?” Zoe asked at the supper table Monday night.

“Not yet. But you can come with me,” I said, sorry to crush her democratic dreams.

Luckily, she wasn’t crushed. Clearly, she knows the drill, because her next question was:

“Can I have your sticker?”

I said yes. And when Leo asked if he could come, too, of course I said yes again.

In the morning, our conversation went like this: Continue reading

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Filed under All in the Family, Marvelous Miscellany

Swimming Among Various Citrus Fruits

I love this.

Sharon Conrad swimming among various citrus fruits

It’s one of the many hidden gems on The Commons, where the caption is maddeningly  brief: “Sharon Conrad, swimming among various citrus fruits.”

There is so much more I want to know. Continue reading

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Balloon Drops for President

I’ve been too busy Poppinsing (Pro Tip: of course it’s a word!) this week to catch much of the Democratic National Convention. Luckily, I have the internet to keep me up to date on the most important moments of the week.

For example, the balloon drop.

Seriously, friends, click on that link right now for all the Clinton balloon drop GIFs and memes you never knew you needed. They are truly delightful.

The photos are pretty great, too. For example: Continue reading

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Survey Says: Guilt and Floss and Family Feud

FSU freshmen playing bridge in Tallahassee

The Fox’s Pizza Den in Madelia has it all:

They have, of course, delicious pizza and stromboli.

They have a popcorn machine.

They have games.

As we waited for our pizza and stromboli last week, we munched on popcorn and busted out a box of Family Feud game cards. Zoe decided to read the questions. I decided that the positive (reading practice) outweighed the negative (reading questions like, “What is a cocktail that is also a person’s name?”). Although, Pro Tip: Knowing what a Tom Collins is–heck, knowing what a cocktail is–will totally give you a head start in second grade.

It was all fun and games (see what I did there?) for a while. Cocktails with people names; things in your kitchen you couldn’t live without. Then, Zoe pulled this card out of the box: Continue reading

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