Monday, March 15, 2010

Random Ride

I have keenly felt my lack of storytelling and family news here on the blog. There are such great things to share, and so little energy for sharing them at the end of a day. Especially a day like today. So I will subject you to the tidbits of our household instead. Hold on. It will be a random ride!

Stuff running through my head...

A lazy Saturday morning (now 3 days ago) I gave James one of my favorite chapter books from my childhood - The Happy Hollisters (what's not to love about 4 siblings in the 50's who solve mysteries?). I read it in Grade 4, but James is supposedly reading at that level 2 years earlier than I was... Anyway, the book is 183 pages long. He was done before lunch. Yes. 3 hours. Done. Stunned me a bit. Today, Tuesday he has finished 2 more the same size since Saturday. This kid needs a library!

Today the boys found a stick bug in the yard outside for the first time. We had been looking for months ever since they learned about them in school. Lo and behold! Our own stick with legs rocking slowly along like the praying mantis we know so well. What a creative God we love! I didn't get to see it, but the boys say he had gorgeous blue and yellow spotted wings like a butterfly, but when still looked just like a stick to me. James and Joel were timid at first, running around excited. Then discovered the terror it induced in their younger sister... It entered the house twice... to my knowledge... (pictures will come)

I had a great conversation this afternoon with my Congolese friend Rachele about how funny it is that black people use whitening cream while white people use darkening cream. People with curly hair want straight hair. People with straight hair want curly hair. No one is content. Here everyone wants to be fatter, while in the 'first world' everyone wants to be thinner. Rachele was honestly shocked that people could ever really want to be thinner or darker...

It was one of our hottest days here today, muggy and in the 90s. Still better than I remember the rainforest to be, but hot nonetheless. Got out loose linen to wear and enjoyed every sip of ice cold water. Making my rosebush very happy - went from 1-4 blooms just today! Our water pressure is so low that most showers are basically cool/cold, but I really don't mind right now!

Anna has become my shadow at times even refusing to go to the potty if I won't come along for the social fun of it. Doesn't the girls group going to the bathroom together start in jr. high? She is so incredibly verbal talking about everything she sees and asking me an unending barrage of questions that I don't often want to come along for the social fun of it, introvert that I am. I did a bit of stitching this afternoon, Anna was right there in her princess sparkle purple tutu 'measuring' the couch (I finished half the couch cushions last month) with my tape measure. I'm chopping veggies for dinner, and Anna is right there (tutu intact) asking and tasting everything. I try to savor all this shadowing. This too shall pass. And all too quickly!

In a series of unfortunate events, I had everything planned for beef stew for dinner tonight. Sweltering heat is really not beef stew kind of weather... But what can you do? There's not exactly pizza delivery here. Not even late-night stores. We ate it anyway. Anna never minds another chance to have potatoes! She says at dinner, "Mom, you know we have TWO kitchens in our house." (referring to her toy kitchen as well) She promptly wanted to get down mid-meal and go prepare a potato stew for us. I held her off until after dinner. She followed the exact steps I had used earlier in the kitchen. First put in the meat. Then cut the vegetables and put them in. Then the potatoes. (Hers cooked in the oven for whatever reason.) Then she set our table (a wayward dining room chair). She sets the pot on the 'table', opens it up and says, "HMM! That smells... dinnery!"

Spoken like the true daughter of two linguists...

There's my crazy day.


Linda said...

Lovely stories! I cherish them! Little Anna is such a sweetheart. I'm glad you're writing down these stories. As sweet as they are now, they will be real treasures in just a few brief years. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Hugs, LT

Janine the Bean said...

Thanks for the random updates. Sounds like Aidan and James are in the same boat with reading. It shocks me how quickly he can read books. I signed him up for a kids book club and the library. He went to his first meeting on Tuesday and loved it. Fellow bookies!

I love hearing your stories. Keep blogging. I'm always here reading. I'l try to comment so that you know that.


Jerry West III said...

Hi there!

I was happy to read your mention of The Happy Hollisters in your post. My grandfather was Andrew Svenson, who wrote the series under the pseudonym Jerry West. The Hollister children were patterned on the real-life Svenson children: my father, aunts, and uncle. I know my grandfather would be delighted to know that his former fans still appreciate the Hollisters' wholesome adventures and are now introducing their own children to the books. I know he would also be fascinated with your family's travel adventures, since he loved to travel and incorporate his adventures into the books.

I thought you might be interested to learn that we have just republished the first volume in the series -- now in paperback, but otherwise identical to the original. If you like, you can read more about the project at our website (and see a photo of the family that inspired the books):

Thanks for remembering the Happy Hollisters!

kimom said...

So glad to hear more of those stories will be in circulation! I have searched for them in used bookstores for some time and only have 3. Fun to hear that there are 30!! I look forward to reading more of them! Fun website too. Thanks.

Jerry West III said...

Thank you for helping spread the word about The Happy Hollisters! My grandfather loved to correspond with his fans; we have slowly been making our way through his collection of letters from kids who wrote to him in the 60s and 70s, along with his carbon copy responses. We've even managed to track down a few of them and are happy that their enthusiasm for the books is still going strong! I think he would be really amused to know that we are using old-fashioned Hollister-style sleuthing, along with modern social networking technology to reconnect with some old friends.
Thanks again!