The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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Try them May 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:50 pm

You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say. (from Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss)

A little over a year ago I was putting Benjamin in his car seat when I noticed a strange foot on the parking lot pavement next to me. It belonged to a man stepping out of a Jeep and he was just a normal looking man. But his feet looked like some sort of robot-hobbit mix and I had to force myself not to stare. He was wearing black Vibram Fivefingers, really weird barefoot shoes that look like gloves for your feet. A few days later I saw another person wearing them at the grocery store. About a month later, I went to the doctor and my doctor was wearing them (quite a shock–they are probably the most unprofessional looking shoes I’ve ever seen). I asked my husband if he had seen these weird shoes around town and he rolled his eyes in the affirmative. He had a facebook friend that was raving about them. I said that those would be the last shoes you’d catch me in. I couldn’t believe anyone would wear them in public. Why would you want to look like a robot-hobbit? Why?

But in an effort to lose some of this weight that I can no longer fairly blame on a “baby” who is now two, I started walking a lot and working out at the gym more. And my feet started to hurt. A lot. I had this constant pain in the arch of my right foot that only got worse and worse. I had an appointment with my doctor the day that the pain had reached its pinacle and I asked him to look at the foot while I was there. He gave me anti-inflamatories and prescribed rest. But he also put in a plug for the shoes he said saved his feet (which is a fair endorsement since he is on them probably 70 hours a week). I was so desperate that I looked them up online when I got home and they were even weirder than I remembered. The women’s ones came in all kinds of crazy colors and they were insanely expensive. I said again that I didn’t think I could ever be convinced to buy any.

When the swelling in my foot subsided, I went shoe shopping but every shoe I tried on hurt me worse than the one before it. So I gave in. I tried on the Vibram Fivefinger weirdo expensive shoes. And they were all kinds of wonderful on my feet. I went home, researched prices and found a good deal. I have been wearing them all day and my feet feel great (although I look like an avatar alien–mine are blue). I plan on wearing them mostly for working out and walking, so I guess fashion isn’t the priority.

These shoes are my green eggs and ham. I will be more careful in future what kinds of weird fads I sneer at and what things I say I will never try. If you see me looking like an avatar alien, please don’t sneer at me. My feet are so happy. I would wear them in a boat and with a goat and in the rain and on a train and in a car and in a tree. They are so good, so good, you see!


Sweetening (repost) May 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:11 pm

She laid the loaves with their straight sides together in the bake-oven, and she pressed her hand flat on top of each loaf. Pa always said he did not ask any other sweetening, when Ma put the prints of her hands on the loaves. (from Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Another thing I never noticed when I read these books as a child is how very romantic Ma and Pa Ingalls were.  It is so easy as children to just see your parents as mommies and daddies and forget that they are also husbands and wives. Pa and Ma were Charles and Caroline before they were Ma and Pa. And, sure, they’re no Gilbert and Anne, but they were a pretty romantic pair. I see evidence of their romance sprinkled like teaspoons of sugar over the pages of Laura’s experiences: a reference to their courting days here, a blush from Ma there, little acts of kindness and love at regular intervals. And it occurs to me that they never had “date night” or ProFlowers or even their own room (which raises all kinds of questions in this modern mama’s mind)! So how did they do it? How did they keep from getting stuck in a rut romantically? I think they just lived life together, listened and worked together, depended on each other for everything. They were best friends as well as lovers. They didn’t have three nights a week of their own separate activities to take time away from just living with one another. I think modern marriages are missing some of that good old fashioned living. We have too many things to do and not enough time to just be together. Maybe we should all take a page out of Pa and Ma Ingalls’ book!


The Beginning Itself May 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 1:58 pm

When I told Tillie that six steps seemed a lot to have to do before you begin, she said, “You must think of those six steps not as preparation for the beginning but as the beginning itself.” (from The View from Saturday by E L Konigsburg)

This week, I drove from Boston to Abilene, TX. I decided to drive here instead of flying so that I could bring my dog and stay longer. And you know what? I really enjoyed the trip. It took me three days to drive, but all along the way I enjoyed seeing America. There is some really beautiful country along the way, and I just kept thinking about how I would have missed it all if I had flown. And I also felt like I had the opportunity to just let my head clear after this last semester. For me, flying is all about the destination. It’s just preparation, a necessary step before my real vacation begins. But driving is the beginning for me.


Up May 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:46 am

…how else can hope go but up? (from Rules by Cynthia Lord)


The problem with numbing May 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:39 pm

Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.  (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling)


Like lemon drops May 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:45 pm

He told Ruby most people were like lemon drops, sour and sweet together. (from Love, Ruby Lavendar by Deborah Wiles)


Somewhere a well May 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:02 pm

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well.” (from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

 I’ve been in a desert place only a couple of times in my life– just raw, hot grief, stinging prickles, sand and sweat blurring my vision.  Those few desert seasons are so easy to recall partially because I’m so lucky to only have a very few of them. As a very young woman I worked for a small ministry under the umbrella of a large church. When one of my co-workers and friends committed a terrible crime, the ripple effect from his actions caused me to lose my job including work I really believed in, a handful of my closest friends, and for many years my enjoyment of church. It is hard to explain the full impact of this single event on my life in such a short space, but believe me when I say that it was tremendous. The other time was when our first baby passed away in the womb at eleven weeks. We went into the doctor’s office with our happy questions and normal concerns and came out with just grief. This was followed by months of blood testing and wrestling with so many questions. Those were my desert times.

But, like Saint-Exupery says, the desert becomes beautiful when you realize that it hides a well. The harder it is to find, the more precious that water is.

When I finally emerged from the desert of failed ministry work, I had a deeper understanding of grace. It is something I would not trade even if I could go back in time because it has been so necessary. That experience has made me a better wife, mom, friend, and leader because I now understand the importance of accountability, support, training, and transparency. These wells of water I have drawn from many times since I found them in that desert.

When I trudged out of the desert of miscarriage, I found that I had a voice to bring healing words to women who needed them. I found that I could pray for someone in loss so much more personally, with so much understanding. My sense of empathy leapt to new heights. I don’t take as much for granted and I don’t put as much needless responsibility on my own shoulders. Now I know that you can do everything right and still not have everything turn out how you planned. It’s strange, but that one realization released me from so much stress and guilt. It is a well I draw from as a mother all the time.

This is a heavy post. I received some hard news about a friend earlier today and it’s hard to swallow. But I know that even this will have its own strange beauty in time. Somewhere it hides a well.


No bolts of lightning

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 8:48 am

Thor’s thunder boomed and crackled above him blackly.

“OKAY, THEN,” screamed Hiccup, “HIT ME with your stupid lightning. Just do something to show me you’re thinking about me AT ALL.”

But there were no bolts of lightning for Hiccup. (from How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell)

[Sorry I forgot to post yesterday!]


A better thinker May 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 10:04 pm

Anybody who can have a twenty-minute conversation with a winged shark the size of a planet and come out of it alive is a better thinker than I am. (from How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell)


Onward May 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:53 pm

But on you will go

though the weather be foul.

On you will go

though your enemies prowl.

On you will go

though the Hakken-Kraks howl.

Onward up many

a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your sneakers may leak.

(from Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss)

Oh my, did the Hakken Kraks ever howl today! It was a leaky-sneaker, sore arm, paddle through the muddle day. One minute my toddler son and infant nephew were screaming and clinging and I thought, “Why, oh why did I have a pre-conception check-up recently? Why am I even thinkingabout having another baby?! I can’t handle it!” But the next minute they were sweetly cuddled up in my lap, snuggling their wonderful downy heads against my chest and smiling precious smiles while I sang What A Wonderful World. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, I could have about a hundred of these precious things!” And then my nephew went to sleep and Benjamin wanted me to read to him and we read so many wonderful little books. He’s really starting to understand the books better and he fills in so many words when I pause for him to. It’s just marvelous.

Then we went to the zoo and Benjamin discovered the joys of jumping in the puddles from this morning’s rain shower and the perplexity of wrinkled up toes when the wet muddy socks came off. It was fun.

But when we got home, when I lifted my nephew from his carseat, I felt how hot he  was and I saw the pathetic look on his face and I knew. The day was going downhill after this. I checked his temperature. High fever. I searched for infant Tylenol while Benjamin poured sticky pineapple juice from his lunchable all over the floor. My mom came over for our usual Friday lunch (thank goodness!) and I fixed sandwiches and tried to keep my cool while she fed the extremely fussy baby. I don’t know how he accomplishes so much in such a short span of time, but in a half hour Benjamin managed to scatter the debris of a lifetime throughout the house. I stripped him of his sticky clothes and started a load of laundry, then popped him in the bathtub and mopped up the pineapple juice while the tub filled. I put the baby gate up so no one would run in and slip on the wet floor. But, just as I finished washing my son, I heard my mom exclaim. The puking had started.

And it didn’t stop. Not for a while. I’ll spare you the rest of the details.

Anyway, in the end, even though it was a long long long long day, it’s the sweet cuddly babies that left the deepest impression. It was Benjamin filling in the words in his favorite books that made me not mind so much when the shower I finally got to take was interrupted by him throwing rubber ducks and plastic dinosaurs in at me. It’s the sweet downy wonderful smelling heads that help me go on.