Monthly Archives: December 2008

Merry Christmas!



This morning, we got a text message from Daniel, my newest brother-in-law.  It said:

Wishing you the very best in this time of yearning between the now and the not yet.

Happy Christmas

Daniel & Amber

On this day of family, food, and friendship, I pray the same for you–both the yearning, and the fulfillment of it in Jesus Christ and the home He has prepared for those who love Him.

Happy holidays!

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful…


…but I rather like it.

There’s nothing quite like sitting inside your warm, comfortable home watching the swirling white dance of snowflakes outside your window.

It’s been snowing all day, making it difficult for the kids and I to concentrate on sight words and counting by tens instead of daydreams of snowball fights and sled runs.  I watched it piling up outside the window, an inch at a time, wondering about the road conditions and praying for safe journeys for me and my students.  The six mile trip to pick up Paul and return to the house took twice as long as normal with everyone inching along, testing the traction on their tires.

And still, it snows.  I’m as bad as the kids, hoping for a snow day, checking and rechecking the local news websites for information about school closures.  So far, no word, which means that I should be in bed right now.  Especially considering what happened this morning, when we woke up to the sound of a phone call, only to find that we had overslept our alarm.  We usually leave the house at 7:10, and it was 7:15 when we awoke and catapulted out of bed to a maelstrom of rushing and shrieking and throwing around clothes and breakfast.  It wasn’t a great way to start the day, and I wouldn’t like to repeat it.

Factor in the driveway shoveling we’ll have to do tomorrow morning to make it out of the garage, and I really should be snoring instead of typing right now.  But I’m not ready yet.

Just a few more minutes of watching the snow fall.  That’s all I ask.

And you, stay warm.


Update:  I got my snow day.  It takes a lot of snow to keep you home in North Idaho, but eighteen inches in a 12 hour period will do it rather efficiently, especially if you drive a Ford Escort and the county snowplows haven’t gotten around to you yet.  Even better, Paul is off, too.  He didn’t get the text message until he was late for work and three quarters of the way through digging out the driveway; he had a few choice words for the powers-that-be about waiting till the last minute, but now he’s warmly esconced on the couch with a root beer and his laptop, happy with the world.

It feels like a good day for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, for baking with the kids, for playing games and drinking hot drinks.

And for finally catching up on the three weeks of laundry hulking in my laundry basket, looking ever more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Change I Can Believe In


Be warned: given my record as a grammar stickler, what I’m about to say may shock you.

I think the time has come to rewrite the rules.

Well, not all the rules.  Just one, really.  (Okay, two, if you consider that I’ve already embraced complete anarchy on the matter of sentence fragments.)  And what, you may ask, am I rambling on about?

Just this:  I think it’s time to rid ourselves of the archaic notion that it’s wrong to end a sentence with a preposition.

*pause for collective gasp*

After all, when it comes to the spoken word, we already have a deeply entrenched habit of doing just that.

In school: Johnny, who did you just throw that whiffle ball bat at?  If you don’t stop throwing whiffle ball bats at people, you won’t have anyone left to play with.

On the job: You other guys can pay your bills if you want to, but I know what I’m going to spend my paycheck on!

In marriage: It’s not that I don’t find chess tournaments fascinating, dear, but isn’t there anyone else you can go with?

At home: Mom, Caleb’s nose just froze solid and broke off, but he still won’t come in!

Of course, common oral usage alone is not enough to render a grammatical construction unobjectionable (see: “aight”, “nucular”, and “ain’t no never mind” for examples), but it certainly merits a deeper investigation by the grammar police.  (And while we’re on the subject, who are these grammar police, anyway?  Is this an elected office or an appointed one?  Shouldn’t we get to vote?  If my word usage is being curtailed, I need to know that the curtailer has at least a passing understanding of poetic license, the all-purpose excuse I invoke to cover my personal grammatical anomalies.)

Sure, I could rewrite my sentence to say: “At whom did you throw the whiffle ball bat, Johnny?”  And Johnny, unexpectedly gripped by the complexities of proper prepositional usage, might just halt his reign of terror long enough to query: “Huh?”  But in the end, it makes for a dreadful sentence, a sentence marked out by all the other sentences, enraged by its high-falutin’ snobbery, for metaphorical playground whiffle ball bat attacks.  To put it simply, as a grammatical companion, “whom” is a bit of a dud.

I know, I know.  Just by writing this I’m running the risk of having Strunk and White break into my home to take away my copy of Elements of Style.  Fortunately, in my thorough research of this issue (by which I mean a single Google search for the term “ending sentence with preposition”), it has come to my attention that I am not the only prepositional rebel out there.  In fact, there is a whole groundswell movement of actual grammarians who agree with me.  Some of them even went to college.

You can do what you like, of course, but as for me,  I’m going to give “whom” the wedgie he deserves and start ending my sentences with prepositions wherever I think it looks and sounds right.

Some rules are just plain silly.

Or, as Winston Churchill once said it: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”

Home Sweet Home


I love the vaulted ceilings.  I love the fenced backyard.  I love the open floor plan, and the Pergo floors, and the huge garage.  I love my walk-in closet.

But most of all, I love having two bathrooms.



Do you realize what that means?  I can be in one, and the kids, whose bladders were apparently set at birth to go off whenever mine does, can use the other one!  No more pounding on the door, no more frantic calls of “hurry, mommy!”, no more bursts of cold air intruding on my hot shower as the kids go in and out the door in search of toothbrushes and hair barrettes.

It is bliss, I tell you.

I’ve been promising pictures for a while now, and here they are:

Living Room




Dining Room


Master Bedroom (Note the door to the right of the bed–my own personal bathroom!  Well, okay…Paul can use it, too.)



Walk-in Closet  (Wow, we have a lot of stuff.)


Katie’s Fortress of Solitude


Caleb’s Toy Box