Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I asked you to indulge me yesterday as I posted the findings of a very scientific poll asking elementary aged children the question "What is Love?" Well, this is still Valentines Day Week (I have a habit of stretching all special days out as long as possible — Ask my husband about "Mother's Day Weekend" or "Birthday Week"), so I decided to post another similar poll, this time on the subject of marriage. I thought it was just too cute to pass up, and far more entertaining than my own thoughts on the subject.


You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
— Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
— Kristen, age 10


Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
— Camille, age 10


You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
— Derrick, age 8


Both don't want any more kids.
— Lori, age 8


Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
— Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
—Martin, age 10


When they're rich.
—Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
—Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them. It's the right thing to do.
— Howard, age 8


It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
—Anita, age 9 (bless you child)


There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
—Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is ........


Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
—Ricki, age 10

Something to think about! Saturday night our community group put on a dinner at our church and showed the Date Night Challenge from Focus on the Family. It stressed the importance of dating your spouse, and challenged married couples to go on two more dates over the next two weeks. Yesterday Chris took me out to lunch to celebrate Valentine's Day at a great restaurant in downtown London I'd never tried before. It was nice to spend some alone time together, and Saturday night we have a date planned for dinner and a movie, so I guess if all goes well we've met the challenge. I think it is important to make the time to share special time alone with each other. Often our dates consist of take-out Chinese food and a movie at home. That's not bad — sometimes it's just what I need! But getting out together is important, too, and we both enjoy those times, however rare they may be. At lunch Chris suggested that we go out for lunch together once a month, and I wholeheartedly agreed. I'm so glad my husband is the one I chose to journey through life with. They don't come any better than him! Marriage isn't so hard when you're doing it with your best friend.

As a postscript, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my friend and fellow blogger Denise! May you be spoiled rotten today, my friend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What Does Love Mean?

My friend Denise recently composed a very amusing post about all those chain letters we get, primarily on Facebook these days, that really detract from the great experience that Facebook really is. I also love Facebook. It saved me our first year in London. For a while my only friends were Facebook friends. But I have to say, I'm not a big fan of all those chain letters.

However, I have to admit, this one got to me. Perhaps it is the teacher in me. I just love the hilarious and often adorable things that come out of the mouths of kids! I actually used to take polls like this one in my preschool and kindergarten classes, for special occasions like Mothers Day and Fathers Day. The answers were always precious, and so when this email turned up in my inbox, in honour of Valentine's Day, I just had to "share the love".

But don't worry, you don't have to forward it to five people in order for all your Valentine's Day wishes to come true!

A group of professionals posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds ,

'What does love mean?'

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined

See what you think:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis, too. That's love.'

— Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
— Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
 — Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
 — Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
 — Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
 — Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.'
 — Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents. And listen.'
 — Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate , '
 — Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.'
 — Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
 — Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
 — Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
 — Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
 — Elaine - age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford .'
 — Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
 — Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
 — Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (What an image!)
 — Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
 — Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
 — Jessica - age 8

 And the final one:

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard , climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said , 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'.

See? Precious.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Twelve Today

Today he is over 5'5" tall. He weighs 100 lbs. He can sink a shot from behind the three point line. He can Ripstick all the way to school and back. Most of his pant hems hover around his ankles. He loves tacos, and Phineas and Ferb, and the colour green. He is kind to his sister, and wonderful with all little kids. He'd be a great babysitter, but he still gets nervous when Mom and Dad leave him too late in the evening. He has (somewhat) patiently waited for years to go to Disney, and can hardly contain his excitement about finally going next month. He's my baby boy.

And today he is twelve years old.

Every year I say the same thing. Why are these the years that have to fly by so fast? My childhood seemed to go on forever, but my little boy has grown as tall as me in the blink of an eye. Still, I have been determined to enjoy it all. Every stage has been more fun than the one before. I loved every minute of the "floppy baby" stage, although Connor stayed there for about ten minutes. Toddlerhood was a hilarious time of riding his tricycle, feeding ducks, VeggieTales, Daddy back in school and special time just him and me. Then came the big brother days, and he was off to preschool and then kindergarten, and suddenly he was riding a two wheeler down a busy street and playing basketball and heading to the community pool with his buddies. And then it was time to move to London and make all new friends, and he was a trooper.  All through it he has been a tenderhearted boy, sensitive and caring and full of love. I couldn't ask for a sweeter boy. He still loves watching Spiderman movies with Dad and reading Harry Potter with me. He sits beside me in the front seat when we drive together now. I can still make him laugh with just a look. He is every bit the big brother I always wished I had; his little sister is a lucky girl. He still loves playing basketball, and he goes to Junior Youth with good friends, and he is too old for birthday parties.

Connor is twelve.

How did we get here? I am sure time speeds up. Because in four years, the time it takes to turn around, he'll be begging for a driver's license. And only two years beyond that I'll be picking out a dress for his graduation. And maybe not so long after that I'll be standing in the doorway of his empty bedroom. I'm not ready, and I'm afraid it is all going to sneak up on me. These days are precious. I need to hold them close.

So I'll take more pictures at the basketball games, spend a few extra minutes each night reading Harry Potter, and make the time for making special memories. Only one more year until we are celebrating the new teenager in our house! Will he want me to read bedtime stories to him then?

Happy 12th birthday, Connor! Your mom loves you so much!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

The birthday boy!
One of my favourite people in the world is having a milestone birthday today. He won't see this post today, because he is enjoying the last day of a well-deserved vacation in Florida with my mom, but I wanted to observe my dad's special day anyway.

It is so hard for me to believe that my parents are hitting these "milestones", because in my mind they've always been so young for their age. I remember hearing them say that it was having my little brother that kept them young. I guess having a preschooler in your forties will do that, but I don't believe Brad is responsible for my parents' eternal youth. My mom and dad have always had a young outlook; they don't let anything keep them from getting out and grabbing all the fun life has to offer. I only hope when I reach their stage of life I am still having as much fun as they are!

Happy 70th Birthday, Papa! I hope you're enjoying this special day! We all love you so much!