Saturday, May 21, 2011


These are my grandparents.
My mom's mom and dad.
His name is Andy and her name is Stella.
I call them PopPop and Grandma.
Whenever we came to visit when we were younger,
they would buy oatmeal cream pies, and make homemade meatballs.
We'd roller skate in their basement and play on my grandma's beauty chair...even though we weren't supposed to. Most days we'd go "down street" and run some errands. The post office, or get gas, sometimes stop for an ice cream. One of our favorite things to do was to drive a ways to the natural spring and fill up gallons of water to take home.
We still take drives to that spring.
We don't fit into the roller skates anymore, but when we visit we do things like go thrift store shopping together, or go on long walks. We like walking a lot. Grandma will show us her new line dancing moves and command us to dance for her too. While we tell her we don't know how, PopPop will say, "Stella, they don't want to do it!" and then squeeze our hands and slip us a 20 dollar bill.
They have a porch that is great for eating watermelon.
One night I guess the two of them were eating one and spit the seeds into the grass.
The next year they had their very own watermelon off that very porch. I saw pictures.
My grandma goes to mass. When we go with her I think she is happy just to have her family all there.
PopPop always asks us at breakfast what he can get us. "More cereal? More fruit? You need some hard boiled eggs? We'll make some", he always says.
One weekend my sisters and I drove up by ourselves to be with them.
We went to the center and played Bingo. It was the most fun I think I had all that year. They wanted to take us out to eat to Perkins with a coupon they had. But when they pulled into the parking lot they realized it was expired. So we just went home and had left over meat balls on sand which bread.
They taste even better the next day.
My favorite is when grandma gets into a laughing fit and can't stop crying. Also, when PopPop get's a twinkle in his eye and does something out of ordinary. Like put a hat on sideways, or put a rabbit pelt on his head and say "look, it grew back!".
The two of them are still in love.
When Grandma hurt her hip, PopPop took care of her every day.
She said that "Andy and prayer" was what brought her back.
Grandma knows how to pray. She talks to God all the time about everything.
About her family most of all.
When she hurt her hip, she was pretty sad.
Probably because she couldn't dance. They love going to the dance.
"It's how we met", she always tells me. They'd go every day if they could.
PopPop buys lottery tickets every day. I think it's the Powerball.
He doesn't buy it so he can be a millionaire.
He does it so if he wins he can give it to his kids.
He's never said that, but you just know that about him.
Something you can be sure of about Grandma, is that if you are sick,
you are drinking olive oil.
She uses it on everything and for everything.
My sister hid once from her at our old house in Williams Bay. She had a sore throat and thought Grandma would tell her to drink it. She was right. She did. And Bethany did. And cried.
Now I use it for lot's of things too and when I do, I think of her.

Sometimes I wish they didn't live so far away.
Because I could definitely go for a long walk this spring morning,
holding both their hands, and being thankful that their blood is in my veins.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why I am falling in love with Jr. High.

The other day someone asked me what it was like working with Jr. Highers.

At that exact moment in time, I found myself at a loss for the right words to describe what that opportunity is like.

But as I walked back to our apartment tonight,I thought back on so many of our evening's events and decided that maybe I do have the words after all.

It goes a little something like this:

Can I go to the bathroom?

Bieber Fever!

We broke up.



I don't like that flavor ice cream.

I just spilled ice cream all over her shirt.

Can the 4 of us go to the bathroom?

I am in a play this weekend!

We won our basketball game!

School was horrible today and I want to never ever ever go back there ever again.

Want to read my story? It is about a princess who is a Ninja.


Guys, let's sit with the 8th grade boys.

Can I have another bowl?

I don't know how to play this game.

Wait, what are the rules?

I heart Justin Bieber.

I really miss my brother. Sometimes I wonder if he even remembers I am alive.

8th grade guys are so dumb.

There is a bully at my school. I don't like going.

Will you do my homework for me PLEEEEAAASSEEE.

I stayed up til' 4:00 in the morning WAHOOOO!!!

Which do you like better Unicorns or Platypi?

I just drank a mountain dew.

I don't know what to do. My friends all swear and I don't want to.

You don't dance very good.

I just threw up.

She just threw up.

My dad left. I don't think he's coming back.

I have a bagillionzillionkatrillion pieces of homework to do!!!

I don't wear deodorant. I don't need it yet.

Can the 8 of us use the bathroom?

I don't think she likes me. She had a party and I wasn't invited.

I hate my hair.

Ninja Ninja Ninjas, you are so beast, beast, beast.

Ok, next week, let's all dress up like we are nerds or something.

I ate something off of the floor and I am not sure what it was. Also, I don't feel well.

I wish more of my friends knew Jesus.

It's my birthday next week and I am turning 13 and guess what guess what guess what...I get to be on Facebook!

That lesson from last week...I really needed to hear that. It reminded me that God knows what I am going through.

What is it like working with Jr. Highers? One of the craziest, messiest,most hysterical and random rides you will ever take in your entire life. But it is one fraught with moments of the Divine. They are the moments that shine bright amidst the chaos. The moments in a growing child's life when you actually get to witness the hand of God molding one His son's or daughters. It is a responsibility that we do not take lightly and a privilege that we do not take for granted.

If you ever get the chance to talk to one of these hundred mile per hour human beings, I encourage you to listen closely. You never know what's between each line.