Saturday, November 29, 2008


watching the pinata fun by you.
Last night Grandpop Hoffman went home to be with the Lord. He was 91 years old. It's odd to feel at peace knowing he is finally gone, yet having such a deep sadness that it keeps creeping up on me wave after wave.

So many memories. From sitting on his lap squealing in agony as he cleaned out my fingernails when I was a little girl to getting the "green stuff" when my report card was good. Changing my nickname from Cinderella to Princess because I didn't think it was high-ranking enough. Always threatening to come sit behind me in school and look over my shoulder to copy my answers because I was smart--always telling me I was going to become Dr. Hoffman and he'd be there to see it. Only committing to something with a "Lord-willing", and reminding us to always stick close to the Lord.

I've yet to meet a more humbly money-conscious man with as big and generous of a heart as his. He has left an impression and legacy for many to aspire to. Truly everyone who met Grandpop Hoffman went away from his encounter with a hearty laugh, a good meal, a prayer, a $20 bill, and a blessing on his life.

I'm gonna miss my 15 second phone conversations before he would "hand me back to grandmom", our little inside jokes, and just knowing that he's there for a hug anytime I'm in NJ. I know I'll see him again. Where his new body can keep up with his quick wit.

But now it's time to say goodbye. To grieve hard with my family. To remember him well and share how he has forever changed all of our lives. To celebrate a true man of God, a veteran who loved our country, and my Grandpop.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Review: My Little Girl

My Little Girl [Book Cover]
I ordered My Little Girl, by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas, thinking "it's pink, so E will like it, but I know it's gonna be cheesy". I must admit, this skeptic was pleasantly surprised.

The pictures are captivating--colorful and likable. The storyline is down to earth and believable. Except for the really coutryish parts--I'm too citified to find excitement in dancing with chickens and riding in a pick-up truck.

I love the fact that this book made the mundane everyday tasks of the day "super spectacular special"--just because daddy and his little girl were together. It doesn't take a trip to Disney, a new Hannah Montana wardrobe, and an iphone to make a day special, it's just doing life TOGETHER that makes it so special.

I loved that at the end of the story there's a page where you are encouraged to spend some special daddy-daughter time and write your own story or memory.

I think I'd have to, begrudgingly almost, recommend this book!

Impromptu trip

Addi and I flew to OK for a long weekend. Wish we could have flown in one of Devon's jets (like this one), but alas we had to board the commercial flights with the masses instead. We had a great time visiting dad's hangar, eating mom's fabulous cooking, cruising around in the BMW, visiting with Andrew, Carrie & Chase, shopping 'til our feet hurt, laughing 'til our sides hurt, and making pizza bread along with a lot of memories.

It's been a bittersweet trip. It's easy and hard to leave more than half of my little family behind. I thoroughly enjoyed a little break and talking on the phone to L & E from afar--hearing their take on life from the other side of the phone.

It's been exciting being with Carrie as she's about to give birth any minute to Ian Douglas. Teasing her about doing jumping jacks, watching her frown at everyone who asks her when she's due, and listening to Andrew ask her if she's in labor yet and taking her for "walks" to try to get things moving.

At the same time my Dad had to grab a flight to New Jersey, where Grandpop Hoffman is in the ICU battling pneumonia post-op from hip replacement surgery after a fall last week.

So, we've got our cell phones glued to our hands waiting for phone calls. Each probably announcing the opposite of the other. And knowing that both are inevitable. For all of us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

as many as a cat's lives

This was us nine years ago. We still love eating cake together and still love to kiss (mmm...minty!). We still think each other are quite good looking and wish we could spend more time together. We've been through hell and high waters together, helping each other through some excruciatingly challenging situations. Testing the vows we took 9 years ago and finding that our words were simply indicators of the deep commitment we have to our relationship with each other.

There have been anniversaries where we've celebrated that the year is "over" and had to admit that we're relieved that we get to start a new one--hoping that it will be better than the year before. ("We get a do-over!" -Liz Lemon) And there have been years where we've celebrated because it's been a good year. This is one of the latter. God has been good to us. Making Dan for me, giving us a story and a history that enmeshes and intertwines in beautiful contrasts and complements.

So excited about keeping on this journey called life with you. We have some exciting stops coming up along the way and I couldn't ask for a better travel partner, my true companion.

(I had to borrow this from Jamin's recital acknowledgment to Angie, but it just seems to fit how I feel right now.)
Dan, I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Third one's a charm-er

i counting by you.
Oh Addison Mabel. Here you are lining up your
underwear so you can count them carefully a few times,
then sort through and say, "maybe dis one?...No. Maybe dis one? No."on each and every pair before choosing (with a little help and lot of hurry from mommy or daddy) which pair to wear. Of course, we're trying to rush to get out the door, but you have your own little agenda, don't you?

Today at the mall, we just about died as you gave us all of 7 seconds warning, "I nee go potty...need to go pee-pee" before straddling your legs as far apart as you could and letting it fly like a fire hose onto the carpeted floor in aisle 4 of the Shoe Dept store. We just about died.

Since you no longer wear diapers, I no longer carry diapering paraphernalia on my person. Daddy was a man and told one of the associates there had been an "accident"...and when pressed admitted that it was actually a "pee" accident.

I just have to say, you're so darn cute. It's what makes situations like this one bearable and actually quite funny. And now, since I can hear you playing in your bed rather than napping, I will end this post here and go remind you that even though you are cute and adorable and that it is fun for me to listen to your little cartoon voice make all your friends and animals talk and sing (and even sometimes pray) you are still little and you still have to take a nap.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book Review: In the Shadow of the Sun King

In the Shadow of the Sun King by Golden Keyes Parsons [Product Image]
I received the book, In the Shadow of the Sun King by Golden Keyes Parsons, from Thomas Nelson free of charge as long as I agreed to review it. If you are interested in becoming a book review blogger as well, click here.

I ordered this work of historical fiction with a bit of trepidation. I don't usually read these types of books, but this summer I enjoyed reading a work of fiction about Marie Antoinette, so thought I'd give this book a chance.

When I received the book and saw that it was more than 350 pages, I was a bit worried that I might not finish it or might get bored with it. I started reading it and was initially put off by the sickly sweet description of the stereotypical French provincial setting. But I always give myself 5 pages before deciding not to finish a book. About an hour later, I realized I had lost all track of time and was a good 75 pages into the book, and definitely into the storyline.

At times I did a bit of skimming over some of the more spiritualized parts of the book. Although I applaud the author's ability to take an actual family history, combine it with historical fact and add a great dash of creativity in developing a story, I still found myself tripping over the religious "moments" portrayed by various characters throughout the book.

Though long in pages, the storyline keeps moving very quickly with some unexpected as well as some totally predictable twists and turns in the character's interactions.

I can definitely recommend the book without reservations to fans of Christian romantic historical fiction books. As the first in this series I would not hesitate to continue reading the chronicles as the author continues the saga of Madeline and Francois Clavell.

I can think of a few people I know who would probably enjoy this book, so I will pass it along to any of you who would like to read it next--just let me know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CPS certification contemplation

The other night, Dan made an interesting comment. He said something to the effect (or is it affect? I can't remember) of, "if we had a nanny, we could make this work", in regard to us both being gone 9 hours a day every day this week.

I agreed, but then pointed out that neither of our "salaries" would be enough to compensate a nanny for our 3 (and in '09 our 4) children. More importantly, I realized that with the intense schedule this week has afforded, I've had about 2 hours a day with my family. And about 1 and a half of those hours have been eaten up by meal and bedtime routines. That leaves about a half hour of actual interaction time to split between a husband and 3 children. That is NO WAY to build relationships, trust, have any fun, or really do anything for that matter. It's just no way to live.

So, although I have thoroughly enjoyed everything in the list heretofore following, I'm looking forward to getting back to the really blessed life I have. Of getting to choose to be home all the time. Of getting to spend immense and intense amounts of time with my family during these formative years of our kids' lives.

Things I have enjoyed about this week:
Showering daily
Wearing a "new" outfit each day
Wearing earrings
Breakfast provided for me
Coffee made for me
Going to the bathroom by myself any time and as many times as I want to
Eating junk food and not having to hide it or share it
Having lunch
Having lunch made for me
Eating a meal that is still warm from start to finish
Learning new things
Listening, reading, taking notes
Taking quizzes and tests
Role playing
Teaching, educating, explaining
Talking to adults
Meeting new people
Being affirmed
Having people take an interest in me and get to know me
Driving in a car by myself
Letting my husband get to experience a day with the kids
Coming home to "mommy! mommy! mommy!" every day
Being greeted in the garage before I can even get out of the car
Little hugs and clamoring for my attention and affection and listening to 3 stories all at once
Listening to a day from my husband's point of view and in his riveting style of narrative
Planning a day out ahead of time so that it goes smoothly
Dropping into bed exhausted
Being able to handle this whole experience
Getting certified
Realizing how far I've come from those low, low PPD days
Waking up to an alarm clock
Needing to be somewhere
Brushing my teeth in the morning
Cracking jokes
Getting into "the community"
Doing something worthwhile
Doing something new and different
Rubbing shoulders with different people
Not being on the computer so much

Friday, November 07, 2008

Now playing: Ellison Jennaye turns 4

Since we're headed to family camp this weekend (Dan is the speaker) Elli's birthday has to be "on the road". Tradition is to decorate a cake in the theme of the child's choosing. Elli has had a hard time making up her mind this year--she's waffled between Holly Hobbie, Strawberry Shortcake, Hannah Montanna, and a truck (?). At the 11th hour (well, more like 8pm so it'd be done by the time the Office came on last night) I decided that a 9x13 cake would be easiest to transport on the 2 1/2 hour drive to camp.

I pureed a can of tart bing cherries and mixed it with a box of classic white cake mix. It smelled amazing while baking and is a blissful shade of pink--Elli's most favoritest color. This morning we mixed up some buttercream icing with a splash of almond flavoring to complement the cherry cake. I cannot wait to eat this cake!

I had Dan show me his ipod as well as find a good image of a pink ipod for me to use as the model for Elli's cake. For any of you who know Elli, music is second only to all things pink and princess in her life. When she is upset or afraid, she responds best to singing to help her calm down. She memorizes and sings songs she hears rather quickly and it will be intersting to see if she has the Scott-side-of-the-family propensity towards all things musical. She falls asleep every night listening to music, and has very decided opinions about what we listen to in the car.

When I proposed the idea of a pink ipod to her, she (dramatically) squealed in delight, hands fluttering to her face, and gushed about how that is EXACTLY the cake she has ALWAYS wanted.




She helped ice and decorate the cake. (Which is extremely hard for me because I always want to "do it myself"--but I'm learning that the cakes are more important to the kids when they contribute and help make them than if they look picture-perfect but have been ignored in the process). So here it is--in all it's "metallic" pink glory. (notice album cover of birthday balloons, play list, length of time music has been playing, and scroll wheel)


I know I'm kinda silly this way, but I "plugged" in the headphones and made her "listen" to her ipod cake for a photo.


This was a super fun (and easy) cake to make. And although it will be a little unconventional celebrating her birthday at family camp, I know it will be a lot of fun and make some great memories for Elli J.J.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the day-after thoughts

First of all, let me admit I have watched not a single political debate, commentary, commercial, NOTHING this year. On purpose.

So last night as I watched John McCain's speech (the first time I'd ever seen him speak) I said to Dan, "aww. I'm really sad I won't get to listen to more speeches from him." I was proud of my grandfather who did overseas tours in the army and my dad who was a helicopter pilot in the Navy. My family has given to this country, so I can identify with JM's sacrifice and feel that swell of pride in our country.

I wasn't nearly as impressed with Obama's speech (again, the first time I've seen him speak), but it's not about who is a better speaker. Not to me, at least. He does have great teeth. Maybe we'll all get dental benefits now?

Today while I was sweeping the kitchen floor, I was wondering what my parents were thinking about the election results. Probably not too pleased. I can tell from Facebook statuses and Twitter comments that there is a lot of fear and disappointment out there.

Although who I voted for didn't win, I know this decision was out of my hands. God knows what He's doing. I have to keep telling myself that because I find myself slipping into moments of not "feeling" that way. I guess there must be a lot of healing that needs to take place in our nation and in many individual's hearts. And I know that since I am so guilty of being embarassingly ignorant of history in general and black history specifically, I'll at least have some frame of reference for my new little guy. To be able to say, "hey, you're not the only one who is adopted. You're not the only boy with dark skin whose parents have light skin.You're not alone. Look at our president."

And that gives me hope.

There were some more close-to-home results last night that really affected us. Positively, we are thrilled that a township millage passed allowing a natural area or park on a huge parcel of land at the top of our street rather than the development with 110 cookie-cutter homes that a developer proposed, which caused our neighborhoods to band together and fight for many, many months. This is a HUGE victory and relief for us.

On a sadder note, I'm worried about the passage of the "legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana in Michigan" that happened last night. I started having visions of being in a car accident because of a stoned high schooler who had a "prescription" for his pot and losing one or all of my children, myself or Dan. But I can't let anxieties like that drive me and give way to fears and anxieties. I have to think of the cancer patients whose pain can be alleviated when this admission is enacted and administered as it was meant to be.

I was also heartbroken by the passage of our proposal 2 that allows for the expansion of stem-cell research. Again, pretty ignorant, but not feeling like it's a very good thing. But, again, I have to give it to God and trust in His goodness, not thrust the foundations of all my trust, warm fuzzy feelings, or fears for the future on mere, mortal man (and woman for all the PC'ers out there).

It's a new dawn, it's a new day. Let's start there and go with it.