Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Lately I've been thinking about a lot of things. About how people come and go in our lives...our seasonal friends. Personally I am not a fan of seasonal friendships. I hate the whole idea of them, but I understand that they are a reality of life. Not everyone will be a forever friend. I have had plenty of seasonal friends in my life. Growing up and moving around a lot contributed to that reality. I didn't have a choice really. As an adult I have more of a choice, but even so sometimes people just grow apart and life moves on.

We don't plan for people to be our seasonal friends. It just happens that way. We don't start friendships with the mindset that one of these days we probably won't know where that person is or what they've done with their life. We will look back with fond memories on those friendships and wonder how it happened that we lost touch. Maybe we will know exactly what happened that caused us to not be friends anymore, but we will still remember the good times.

I don't know. Lots of crazy thoughts.

Just over a year ago I wrote a post called Bubbles. I've been thinking about that a lot too. Something I've realized in the year since that post was written is that we can always find some shared commonality with just about everyone we meet. We might not look alike on the outside. There might not seem to be any shared interests, but if we dig deep and really listen we can find something familiar in them. Something that rings true in our heart. Something we share. Believe me, I know. And I have discovered that it is worth the digging to find a friend.

That's it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Yesterday AmazingGreis, Kay, and I donned our Maddie shirts and participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies in Houston. I had never met either of these women, but like me they had been touched by the story of baby Maddie.

We joined crowds of people.

And we walked. Slowly at first, but we were able to pick up our pace as we went along.

This is the view in front of us.

And the view behind us.

We passed a butterfly garden during one portion of our walk.

So sweet.

Approaching the finish line.

Our free lunch.

I know my words are few, but I'm not sure what else to say. It was a wonderful experience, and I was honored to be able to participate. Thanks girls!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


After writing my heartfelt, thought-provoking post last night I went to bed. Today I read the encouraging comments from all of you. It made my heart glad to see the love and support. And then I really thought about it. 6 months? Really? So I counted down and up and back. And I realized that it's really only been 5 months. I totally relied on a 4th grader's arithmetic. Anna Grace said 6 months, and I believed her. So now I'm thinking we really need to work on her math skills!

6 months

Lately I've been thinking about our life here in America. We've been back for exactly 6 months today. I wasn't paying attention to the date. I hadn't been counting down or up or back. I knew it had been about 6 months, but I wasn't really keeping track. Then tonight Anna Grace came into my bedroom. I could tell she had been crying. She told me that today was exactly 6 months since we arrived. And she burst into tears again. She wants to go back to Turkey. She and Will both want to go back. Erica and Jacob seem to be having an easier time of it, but even they've wanted to go back at times. I've watched these kids navigate the roadways of life in America these past 6 months. There have been some really hard days. We've had to deal with some reverse culture shock in a big way. I have almost blogged about some of those things in the past, but I didn't want people to think I was being judgmental, racist, prejudiced, or insensitive. I've decided to put a couple of those thing down tonight, because for some reason they are weighing heavily on my mind.

The first week of school for Erica was eye-opening for us all. Erica came home from school talking about a girl in her class who was pregnant. That didn't surprise or shock me. I fully expected there to be a pregnant girl or two in her school. After telling me about the pregnant girl Erica mentioned another girl in her class who has a 1 year old boy. I asked Erica what she did with her son while she was in school. She told me that he went to the daycare at the school. I was shocked. On one hand I was happy that this girl could continue her education without having to worry about who was taking care of her baby. On the other hand I wondered how many kids at her school had kids. Evidently enough that there was a need for an in-house daycare. It was hard to wrap my mind around that. It still is.

We've also had to deal with the way our kids talk about people of a different race. We came from Turkey. We called those around us Turks. They were Turks. There weren't Chinese Turks and French Turks and Georgian Turks. If you were Chinese you weren't Turkish. If you were Greek you weren't Turkish. Even the Kurds who lived in the East, who had been born and raised in Turkey weren't Turks. They were Kurds. It is what we were used to. At the international school our kids attended there were kids from all over the world. Iraqis, Italians, Greeks, Nigerians, Brazilians, Iranians, Egyptians, and so many others. Those nationalities were celebrated at their school. Here in the states our kids find themselves wanting to call people by the nationality of their ancestors. In Houston there are many people of Mexican descent, but they are not Mexicans. They are Americans. The kids know that...now.

I hope you hear the tone in which this was written. It's observing, thinking, and understanding. It is without fear. It's been 6 months already. I can't believe it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I sit here and just stare at this blank space. I want to put something here, but I don't want to write something just to be able to say I posted today. I have had lots on my mind these last few weeks, but I have a hard time putting words to those thoughts. As I sat here I thought of something I posted back in November of 2007. I am reposting it because it is exactly what I need to say.

Oceans and Straws

I just read something that I have to share...

I've often said that there are times I feel so full, but I can't get anything out. I want to write, but for some reason I have trouble getting my thoughts to make sense...they don't flow well. I was reading the blog of a friend of a friend of a friend....I think...and they said that there were times that they wanted to write but couldn't manage to put anything down on paper. They said it was

"like pushing the ocean through a straw".

I love that word picture. I'll remember that the next time I sit here and stare at my computer screen in agony...my mind filled with an ocean full of thoughts that I can't do anything with!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Love this!

I know I haven't really written a blog post in a long time. I will. Things are churning in my head and eventually I will figure out what I want to say. But today...today I feel the need to post these pictures.

Some amazing Texas scenery.

I had to pull over to take this picture. Thankfully it was a quiet street. I was kinda wishing for a lawn chair and some lemonade so I could just sit back and enjoy it. Click on the picture for a better view.

And because I'm sure you couldn't see it very well in the first picture I zoomed in on the shed in the pasture. You gotta love Texas.

I wanted to pull over several more times, but I had places to be and people to see. One of these days I am just going to have to go driving for the sole purpose of taking pictures.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Random pictures

One of my nieces celebrated her 1st birthday last week. She cried when we sang to her and refused to touch her cake! I know how she feels. I will be turning 40 in a few short months, and I am totally going to cry about it! I won't turn down cake though.

I have been known to go out into the middle of my backyard and sit in this chair in the sun just for fun. I took this picture several weeks ago before we planted more stuff in the flowerbeds. Now they look much better!

Recently I attended an event where there were free cupcakes. See that cupcake with the red sprinkles? It was chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. I chose that cupcake solely based on it's name. It was called the Michael Jackson.

My 10 year old niece had a fund-raiser at her school. They sold Coca Cola products. Score!

I have many different versions of this same picture in a file on my computer. I was trying out the new camera and took a picture of myself on each setting. Once I uploaded them to the computer I realized that I had no idea which setting took which picture. And honestly other than the scenery in the windows nothing really looked any different. Why I felt that it was necessary to do this while we ran errands is beyond me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Today little Maddie will be laid to rest. People all over the world are wearing purple to honor her memory. Balloons are being launched, pictures taken, flowers planted...all for her. Amazing this world wide web. Amazing these internet stranger/friends. Truly amazing.

Help me reach my goal! Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

Monday, April 13, 2009

an idea

I've joked around about walking half a mile to the grocery store on facebook. We really do that.

The other day the whole family walked to a Chinese food restaurant in the same shopping complex as the grocery store and then went grocery shopping afterwards. The kids didn't think much of it. They are used to walking to the store. Nevermind that nobody else does it around here.

Then today I was running an errand and passed by this.

Can you see it?

Here's a closer look.

Evidently we aren't the only ones walking to the grocery store. At least we don't push the cart full of groceries to our house after we check out. Not that I haven't thought about it. I just didn't figure my neighbors would appreciate seeing a woman with a grocery cart walking down the street. Hm...maybe I should reconsider...

And yeah I totally turned my car around and went back to take a picture of that grocery cart.


Remember this picture?

It's the fun kids from this post. The ones in our family who don't have glasses.

Well, I have an update.

Yeah. Seriously.

They don't have to wear them all the time though. Just for seeing the board in school. And driving...which neither of them know how to do yet. Will said he couldn't believe how clear everything was. It was like looking through a really clean window.

And I guess I should admit that my almost 40 year old eyes are beginning to act like...well...almost 40 year old eyes. I am noticing that if things are too close they are blurry. I don't need reading glasses yet, but I am holding my book a little farther away than normal. Big sigh. REALLY big sigh.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I have tried to start this blog post so many times and ended up erasing the words I'd written. I don't know what to say. I guess I should just start with the facts. On April 7th a beautiful 17 month old baby girl died. Madeline Alice Spohr. Maddie.

I didn't know her personally, but it felt like I did. Her parents, Heather and Mike, both have blogs, and I was a regular reader. They are also on twitter where the interaction is fast paced at 140 characters or less. Through reading their blogs and chatting on twitter I felt like I knew them. I read all about Maddie's premature birth and the medical miracle that she was. Dr. Looove, oxygen rockets, liquid diets, developmental specialists, nutrition specialists, 1 1/2 pound weight gains...all of it was there for me to read and reread. Even though I didn't know Maddie I "knew" her.

I knew that she had a cough on Saturday. I knew that they were giving her oxygen at home on Sunday. I knew that she went to the doctor on Monday and was sent to the hospital. I read the tweets from Heather on Tuesday that mentioned the problems they were having with keeping an IV in. All of it was there for me to read. When I went to bed on Tuesday night I had no idea that Maddie's little body would give out later that night. It never crossed my mind. When I woke up Wednesday morning and signed into my reader I checked on Maddie first thing. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Maddie was gone. I was in shock. I still can't believe it.

The funny thing about the Spohr family is that it seems that everyone "knows" them. The internet was abuzz with the news of Maddie's passing. Maddie was even a top ten trend on all of Twitter most of the day Wednesday. Over 280 people from all over the world wrote blog posts as a tribute to sweet Maddie. People from all walks of life, people who didn't really know each other other than in this crazy blog/twitter/internet way rallied together in support of Heather and Mike and their families. And together, as a community, we grieved. Those who could organized food donations and March of Dimes donation pages and whatever else they could think of to help out. A blog was even set up to put it all in one place.

For the past two days I've tried to think of what I could do for Heather, Mike and Maddie. I wanted to do something that would count. Heather and Mike have asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s memory. Donation buttons for the March of Dimes are everywhere in Maddie's name. I decided that I could put one on my blog as well. But it didn't seem like enough to me. I wanted to do more. So I've decided to walk. On April 26 the March of Dimes is sponsoring a march for babies and I've signed up. I'm walking for Maddie. I'm walking for Heather and Mike. I'm walking because it is something I can do to make a difference. If you can I would love for you to sponsor me. Just click on the button below and it will take you to my March of Dimes page where you can sponsor me for as little or as much as you are able. I would love to surpass my goal.

A PayPal Account has also been set up to assist Heather and Mike with any upcoming expenses. You can donate by clicking the link below. All money received will go directly to them to be used at their discretion.

And finally a mailbox has been set up for Heather and Mike, so if you would like to send them anything, you can send it to:

Mike & Heather Spohr
11870 Santa Monica Blvd. #106-514
West Los Angeles, CA 90025

It is at a UPS Store, so they can accept packages as well.

I do want to say thank you to all my readers. It's times like these, when people rally together to help their "friends", that I am reminded why I love blogging and the internet so much. The friends I've made here mean a lot to me. I've come to count on you to make me laugh and bring me to tears. You get this blogging thing and why I need to do it. I love being part of your lives. I thank you for sharing in mine.

Monday, April 06, 2009

A whim

After all the talk about taking pictures in the bluebonnets I decided I couldn't wait until Saturday to have my turn. So today, as soon as the last kid arrived home from school, we set out to find a bluebonnet field. I knew where I had seen some on Saturday so that is the direction we went. One hour later we came to this...


And this. Oh my.

So we frolicked and took lots of fun pictures.

Notice that I didn't care what my kids wore.

Or really how they posed.

I made sure to get their individual shots as well. They chose their own poses.

As we were leaving another car pulled up and the kids piled out. All girls. All dressed in hot pink. Even the mom was dressed in hot pink. I'm sure their pictures looked fabulous! All matching and everything.

And yes, Brian and I had pictures taken in the bluebonnets as well. Will took them. I wore sweats and no make-up. Brian worked the camera. Will even said that Brian was made for the camera, but I'm not going to show those pictures here. Oh, ok. I'll show one. but I cut out part of it for a very good reason. Trust me.

Now I'll never have to take bluebonnet pictures again. Unless I want to that is.


Here is a picture of kids sitting in bluebonnets. Brought to you by Mrs. Flinger. I would venture to say the picture is at least 20 years old. ( I just read her comments and she confirmed that the picture is from 1988. Ha! I'm good!) This bluebonnet thing isn't new.

And now for a few pictures from my friends who are much better at being Texans than I am. For your viewing pleasure...

These next two are over 20 years old as well. Ahh...the good ol' days.

Thanks Shari, Tamara, Becky, and Vanessa for the help!

Not exactly what I had in mind when I said a picture frolicking in the bluebonnets, but I thought I should include it since it was the first submission I received. Thanks Guy!

Oh...as I find more I'll be adding them to this post. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


On Saturday I did some driving. I was in the car for about 3 hours; windows rolled down, music blaring, just enjoying myself. I drove through some country and had to deal with some traffic. Since I was in the middle of nowhere I was surprised by this. There were cars everywhere. They were slowing down and pulling over to the side of the road. People were everywhere. Getting out of their cars and frolicking in the bluebonnets. Those of you who have never lived in Texas may not be aware of bluebonnets. The bluebonnet is our state flower. In the spring there are fields of them all over the place. People bring their kids out and take their annual bluebonnet pictures. And let me tell you Saturday must have been the day for pictures because I literally saw hundreds of people in bluebonnet fields between my house and Giddings, Texas. I wish I had some bluebonnet pictures to share with you, but I don't. In all my years of living in Texas, I have never once taken pictures in the bluebonnets. No pictures of me or my kids frolicking in the fields of blue. I know...how can my kids call themselves Texans when they've never taken bluebonnet pictures!?! I thought about rectifying that today, but it was a lazy Sunday. Still no pictures. I wonder if next weekend will be too late.

Oh and if any of you have bluebonnet pictures of you or your kids or your friend's kids send them to me, and I'll post them on my blog. Just so my readers can understand the phenomenon. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

a day out

Last weekend one of Brian's college roommates and his wife came for a visit. On Saturday we went to a car show our church was sponsoring. You know...just for something to do. Now I had never been to a car show before so I wasn't sure what to expect exactly. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Brian's roommate, Brian, like this truck.

His wife, Tamara, liked this one.

There was also this cute little number.

Erica liked this one...and I can't say that I blame her.

Actually all of the above cars and trucks were quite lovely, but I have to say that my favorite was this one.

It was clean, bright, shiny, and sparkly. I like sparkly!

The chrome on the inside was fabulous! This picture just doesn't do it justice at all!

And power! Wow! And it's so sparkly. I can't get over the sparkly...