Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grab your mittens baby! We're going North

Even geese are smart enough to know in winter, you head south. But today Nana, Sophia and I are facing due North and traveling over 12 hours to the land of my ancestors. Crazy--oh you have to be! We're heading up to celebrate the life of my great-aunt Hazel. Who went to be with the Lord this Sunday. It will be a joyous celebration of a rich life and a dynamic women. Most importantly Sophia will get some G-G time (great grandparents.) With the brutal cold and unexpected illness, neither were able to join us for Christmas so we're packing every piece of warm weather clothing we have and moving out. Both my parents grew up in the frozen state of North Dakota, and are well versed in winter survival driving. But being raised knowing that the heat of one candle can keep a grown man alive in a car, well that's knowledge I'd rather never cash in! A little crazy when you're applying it for your toddler! But people live up there quite happily and I'm sure I'll have plenty to share when we get back!
Oh just in case you were wondering, the rainbow like things on the picture are called SUNDOGS, they appear when its REALLY cold.

Iconic images of the land where I was born

Friday, January 18, 2008

The story has been told of a professor who wrote on a blackboard these words: A woman without her man is nothing

The professor then directed the students to punctuate the phrase.

Most of the men wrote:
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
However, most of the women recorded:
A woman: without her, man is nothing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sophia absolutely LOVES this book. We have to read it at least twice a day and of course it never changes. Today I realized how many times we've read it when she started identifying tigers and elephants from her animal crackers. Each with an action or sound from her favorite book. I have to admit, I love it. I love to read to her and her delight makes up for the fact that we've both memorized it weeks ago!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Nana!

Yesterday Sophia and I got to play delivery elves for my father (Papa.) Every year on her birthday my father has been giving my mother a rose. One for each of the years they've been together. This year that meant 30 roses plus one, for the year they dated.

Nate, Dana, Sophia and I added half a dozen Calla Lillie's for an incredible bouquet in celebration of a wonderful women. Wednesday means Mom's working at the University of Iowa School of Dentistry. Since I had my hands full with the massive birthday surprise Sophia went on ahead carrying a single red rose. Slipping up next to Mom's elbow a little voice announced 'Mmnabe ebabr ya Flower for Nana'
Sophia performed her part delightfully and stole the show and every one's heart in an instant. Even after opening her impressive romantic assortment of flowers, it was clear little hands and a little heart made the perfect birthday gift.

Monday, January 07, 2008

What we've been up to:

FAITH, HOPE & LOVE: Nate & I've had the pleasure of sharing a at city-wide, Christian, twenty-something, worship service, (how do you like them adjectives?)
Up till now, we'd both end up preparing a message or lesson at the same time. (Coincidence?) Working together has really been inspiring. If you're interested listen & let us know what you think. Check out the Faith, Hope & Love Series in December: http://watershedmovement.com/pages/learn.html
And a huge thank-you to my mommy prayer-group for their support on this one and everyday!
Look for more Ndjerareou collaborations coming soon!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Power to the People

According to the Republican Party of Iowa website:"The word caucus is a North American Indian word, thought to be of Algonquin origin, meaning a gathering of the ruling tribal chiefs.
The Algonquin's may have invented the caucus, but I'm sure they wouldn't hold one on cold January night! I've been committed to Iowan politics long before I could vote. It was on a summer campaign stop when George W. was just introducing himself to the nation that I met a cherubic Governor Huckabee (that was before he lost over 100lbs!) I remember thinking, 'Nice guy, there's no way he can win!'
As the Huckabee signs began to appear in our neighbors lawns, I had the same laissez-faire support for the slimmer, likable candidate. During the past several months, we've had a chance to hear ALOT from the candidates and I've been pleasantly surprised to see the former pastor charm Iowans with sincerity, logic, and humor.
There are lots of perks that come with being the first in the nation state. We get so many candidates and press in a race like this that national news start interviewing the owners of Domino's pizza about their caucus prep! My parents, staunch Republican supporters, have started screening their calls as they've been getting as many as 15 political phone calls a day! Some with recorded messages over 3 minutes! Not to mention sitting through 3 to 7 political TV ads IN A ROW!
Cold or crowd I can't complain--It's always thrilling to be a part of history.
It's especially moving when you see the frightful fallout of elections in places like Kenya or Pakistan. Opposing political parties meeting in the same church or school, seems somewhat short of a miracle in light of the international alternatives that deserve our prayers.
I'm a proud Republican, although tonight I'm especially proud of Iowa (a statistically Caucasian state) voting for an African-American! (How do you like them apples!)
The most challenging part for me has been asking my husband (who's is not an American citizen) who he'd vote for--unfortunately he's more informed than most US born voters. Let's stand-up and be counted. If not tonight then when?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ack! I'm Becoming My Mother!

It's bound to happen eventually-but NEVER during craft time! I've never suffered with perfectionism (sometimes I wish I did) so Sophia's creative expression's something I've loved about being her mom
Does Not Share Well with Others? The awful truth dawned this morning when I realized I'd taken-over Sophia's sticker project! Eventually the poor thing resorted to coloring a napkin b/c mommy was obsessively arranging her African village without letting her play. Well you have to get the perspective right?! You know, so that the large people & objects are near the front to maintain proper realism!?!?!?
Now I could NEVER manage to color inside the lines as a child. Still can't for that matter. I've never been symmetrical and so everything I've touch always has what I lovingly call "flair." This of course drove my own mother nuts! And however well intentioned, many projects in my childhood were confiscated in the name of proper realism.
In my defense, my daughter and I have a strange symbiotic relationship that all toddlers acquire with their hosts (i mean parents.) One is never fully conscious of what one consumes, creates, or completes.
For example, this Sunday I found myself taking communion at the back of our little church, while simultaneously entertaining a wiggly 21-month old. When directed to 'Take and eat in remembrance of Him,' I discovered Sophia had ALREADY devoured my representation of the body of Christ while I'd been attempting to create a fantastic coat of many colors for Joseph!Thankfully animal crackers were a handy alternative and went down easily with my prayer for forgiveness.
So you see, happy-chaos is a common occurrence in our home. Even though I swore I would never try to correct my daughter's art! Who cares if in our African village the chief has a donkey sitting on his head? Or that the cattle are larger than the men?
Sigh--one more hard-earned lessen in maternal grace:To give is to receive.

For more of these beautiful craft ideas check out

A great mama/artist!


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