Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Home is Where the Hodgepodge Is

I missed the Hodgepodge during my week in Haiti, and also last week due to the busyness of Thanksgiving week, so I am glad to be back! As always, thanks to Joyce for hosting. Be sure to click the button to pay her a visit, and see who else has linked up for the fun. With just four hodgepodges 'til Christmas, she's diving right in with some holiday questions.

1.  Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion?
I don't really have a preference on gift wrap. I'll accept a present in a brown paper bag!
For giving, if I only had a few, I would enjoy creative gift wrapping in paper and bows. However, with several to wrap, I usually opt for paper without bows (stacks easier under the tree) or bags.
And what percentage of my gifts are wrapped right this minute? Zero.

2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
I don't know, peace on Earth?

3.  What makes a home?
This question immediately made me think of the Sandi Patty song, Love Will Be Our Home.
The lyrics are:
If home is really where the heart is
Then home must be a place that we all share
for even with our differences our hearts are much the same
And where love is we come together there.

Wherever there is laughter ringing

Someone smiling, someone dreaming
We can live together there
Love will be our home.
Where there are children singinig
Where a tender heart is beating
We can live together there
Love will be our home

With love our hearts can be a family

And hope can bring this family face to face
And though we may be far apart our hearts can be as one
When love brings us together in one place.

Wherever there is laughter ringing

Someone smiling, someone dreaming
We can live together there
Love will be our home.
Where there are words of kindness spoken
Where a vow is never broken
We can live together there
Love will be our home. 

And here is a vintage video of my friend Sandi singing it on the Tonight Show:

4.  Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck.
I did consult the list, and I'll have to go with My Girl. And have you seen the movie? One of my favorites.

5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?
It definitely used to be red. I often dressed the whole family in red. It's bright, festive, and easy to spot in a crowd. To illustrate my point:
 Can you pick out our kids with Grandma and Grandpa and the cousins?
 First day of school, probably 1993.
 Monticello, 1997.
Now, it's not so much red in my wardrobe, but black and gold instead (team colors, you know), although  between red and green, my closet has more red.

6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon?
Well, true, of course. I like the bacon in Blue Cheese Slaw, and also in Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole. I also enjoy a good ol' BLT, especially on toast with fresh tomatoes.

7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.
From my own childhood, it was the Christmas that we got this:
I believe I have written about it before. My mom (not the dog lover in the family) arranged for the puppy to be delivered on Christmas morning by a family friend who always came for breakfast on Christmas day. I (thought I) was past being surprised by anything on Christmas morning, but when I saw her carry in the box, I could tell there was something alive in it. My mom says it was the most excitement ever shown by me over a gift. His name was Dudley.

I have many, many favorite Christmas memories of our children growing up. I enjoyed directing the choir at church, and the Christmas eve service was always a special one. This is a sweet picture of David and Andrew just before Andrew ripped off his bow and went to sit with his father. Oh, the memories!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Daughter Jennifer attempted some photos of son Andrew and Darci's little ones yesterday. It is always a challenge to get all three looking and smiling at the same time. These are a couple 'after' shots, when they were just being silly.

And Granny even got in a picture. That's one sweet lovin' armful!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hand in Hand in Haiti

There has been a lapse in my blogging lately, starting with my week in Haiti, where the internet was only available for a short time in the afternoon, and the signal was not strong enough to upload photos. And what's a blog without photos?
When I returned home on Monday morning, it was Thanksgiving week, and there was book club, unpacking, MOPS, and laundry, along with groceries to buy, costumes to make, and cleaning to be done. Not to mention over 600 photos to sort through in order to select a few hundred reasonable number to share on the blog.

This was my fourth trip to Haiti, and my first since the devastating earthquake in 2010. I was anxious and apprehensive at the same time to see how the landscape had changed since my last visit. The trip was led by my friend Jamalyn, and her daughter Margaret, age 6, was a part of the group as well. In this photo, Margaret is talking to her grandma during our ride to the airport.
After an overnight in Miami, we were up bright and early for our flight to Port au Prince. Margaret was so excited, especially about meeting her friend Bervencia for the first time. They have exchanged letters and photos, but this would be their first face to face meeting.
It takes about 2 hours to make the 45 mile trip from Port au Prince to the mountain community of Fondwa. We had two vans to transport our group and our luggage through the busy streets of PAP through Leogane and on to Fondwa.
We stopped at the beautiful new guest house in Leogane and took a photo of the whole group. There were 19 of us, made up of a combined team from Indiana and North Carolina, with one from Illinois and one from St. Louis with us as well.
We arrived in Fondwa and got settled in our room for the week. Margaret was greeted by some new friends, as she unpacked and shared some of her toys with them.
She and her mom were soon on their way to Bervencia's house, carrying the backpack Margaret brought for her, filled with goodies.
Instant buddies.
Bervencia was happy with her gifts, but even happier to be with Margaret.
Soon they were headed out to the neighborhood.
Hand in hand.
See you later, Mom, I'll be fine. And she was.
Stay tuned for more adventures from Haiti!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Davidpalooza! (Alternate title: Happy 30th Birthday!)

My first born turns 30 today! A cute little bundle born the day after Thanksgiving, who made me a mom and stole my heart. He is brave, kind-hearted, smart, and loving. He definitely has brains... and a whole lot more!
In honor of the occasion, we gathered for a celebration of Oz-ian proportions... Davidpalooza! We reprised the costumes from Halloween 1988, with a few more characters added, making our appearance at Purdue's legendary Breakfast Club. The last home game of the year (for the bucket, of course), Adam's senior year, and David's 30th birthday made for a festive early morning gala.
Tin Man, Dorothy, Lion, and Scarecrow (aka Birthday Boy). And yes, he's wearing the same hat and the same collar. I save everything. :)
Glinda and the Wizard.
The Wicked Witch and Glinda.
Dorothy and Toto too.
 There was even an appearance by Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. In black and white, of course.
Let the celebration begin!
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
A big ol' Cowardly Lion. Put 'em up, put 'em uuuuupppp.
The whole group, off to see the Wizard!
And for a perfect ending to the day, a Boiler victory over that team from B-town.
So that the bucket stays in WL where it belongs. :)
And the Wicked Witch (who is not a witch at all, but David's beautiful wife, Shylah) and the Scarecrow lived happily ever after.
Happy Birthday, dear David,
Happy Birthday to you!
I love you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boiler Up!

It's college game day, and since the Boilers will be facing off against the Hawkeyes in Iowa today (hello Miller family!), I will post photos from the game last week in West Lafayette. You might say it's do or die time for the Purdue team, since they can't seem to figure out how to win a game. Or who should be quarterback.

Shylah and Jennifer and I made a trip to Purdue Pride before the game against the Nittany Lions, and found Drew Brees there. The girls posed for a picture with him.
Carl and his girlfriend Laura stopped by the tailgate, and we enjoyed seeing them.
We also found this guy in the tailgate lot. We had been looking all over for him.
We managed to get a picture of the whole clan, minus the little ones who stayed home where it was warm and dry.
The halftime show was a salute to the armed forces, complete with a moving tank and a plane with jet engines.
It really was the highlight of the game, since watching the football was a bit painful for the fans.
The band paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, depicted atop the World's Largest Drum.
We discovered that our friends Kyle and Kristin were in town for the game. And it sounds like it will soon become 'their town.' :)
Jim even got in the picture. It was fun to see them, along with several more of David's fraternity brothers, who all piled into the van with the ten of us for a cramped cozy ride through campus. Ah, the college life!
Meanwhile, Haleigh was practicing her 'Boiler Up'.
Let's hope the Boilers have been practicing, and are ready to play today. We are HOPE-ing for a win!
And in other news...
Andrew had a little mishap during a basketball game, and will be having surgery on Monday to repair a broken bone in his hand. Yes, he finally broke a bone. Or should I say he finally broke one of his own bones. :)
I will be praying for him from Haiti on Monday, and invite you to join me in prayer for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. Love you, Andrew!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Fun

I needed to make a quick trip to IKEA this morning, and Darci and the girls came along for the ride. It was their first trip to IKEA, and there was so much to see!
Haleigh wanted a map and a pencil to work on her wish list. She put her pencil behind her ear just like her daddy does.
Sweet little shopper.
Ella enjoyed shopping as well.
We ate in the cafe, and Ella had a tasty lunch of chicken nuggets and fries.
We purchased pillows for my trip to Haiti. Seems many of theirs were ruined due to Hurricane Sandy. I will be leaving tomorrow, and would be most grateful for your prayers.
Back in the 'burg, we had a fun supper at Pizza King with these three cuties. Love them!
Looks like Ella is saying a prayer for her Granny. Bondye beni ou, Ella!