We are at the tail end of a very pleasant weekend Ė one with few outside
commitments so it was genuinely relaxing. The snow and ice canceled various
events and meant we could enjoy a quieter time at home. Actually, David and I
did go out to dinner Friday night so he could report on his RUM staff meeting
that had taken place that day in New York City. Otherwise, we have done a
routine housecleaning and watched a few videos.
Last weekend was quite different. David was away in Philadelphia
participating in a church missions conference (I ended up joining him on
Sunday). Peter had arranged to have two friends stay over Saturday night, so
naturally the brothers felt that they should be allowed overnight guests on
Friday. With David gone I did the Awana and logic class commuting, and somewhere
in there we fit a library trip and grocery shopping. Saturday night I took
Christopher and Ben with me to a country western dance at First Pres. This event
deserves a paragraph to itself.
The dance was First Pres.ís contribution to an international student
outreach program. My family will well remember the international student
conferences which make up such a large part of our family movies. Well, in
recent years the same core group of individuals has taken a different approach,
and arranged for a monthly event which rotates among several area churches. I
would love to connect more with Lehigh international students, but it wasnít
until last monthís ice skating party that we were able to participate in any
of the scheduled events. The ice skating was enjoyed by all except the novice
skater that I handed over to Peter for help and assistance. Next thing I knew,
she was in the first aid station Ėalthough Peter denies completely that he was
responsible. Anyway, we had a great conversation about God and evolution with
two women from mainland China over dinner, and I was hoping to see them again at
this dance. I was all decked out in a bona fide cowgirl outfit that a friend
from Texas gave me. Ben was very impressed with my fringed blouse and said in an
awestruck tone, "Mommy, you look BEAUTIFUL!" Christopherís reaction,
on the other hand, was one of complete embarrassment that he would be
accompanying such a spectacle.
The evening had excellent elements, but was rather poorly executed. I felt
sorry for the Kricks, who were obviously chagrined and kept trying to hustle
things along. The dance instructor spoke atrocious English, and I suspect that
most of the internationals barely understood her. However, in spite of all the
clumsiness, everyone had a great time Ė especially Ben. He stood in the exact
center of the circle and WINKED at me every time I passed him. I have never seen
him do this before, and it was so funny and charming that he stole the show. Of
course he stands out anyway with his blonde hair, especially in a crowd of black
haired people. My Japanese dance partner must be a direct descendant of a
kamikaze pilot. I have never seen anyone dance with so much energy and movement;
my limbs were in constant danger. It was most unlike the dignified manner which
I associate with Japanese. Christopher was delighted that a little Chinese boy
that he had met the month before was there, and Chris kept him entertained as
well as a horde of Korean children that he knows from the Kricksís Bible
One of the activities was making a valentine. Ben lapped up the project and
constructed an elaborate valentine of lace, glue, glitter, glue, construction
paper, and more glue. I thought it was for me, but he told me in no uncertain
terms it was for Sarah. Sarah is a lovely high school girl at our church who is
the object of Benís devotion (and maybe someone elseís in this family, too).
She sits with him in church which is a nice break for me. Ben spent most of the
service admiring this valentine which he had given to Sarah, and by the end of
the service he decided that he liked it so much he was going to keep it for
himself, after all!
Meanwhile, Stephen has developed a crush on another Sarah Ė Sarah Brightman,
the soprano. I brought home from the library a CD called "Time to Say
Goodbye" in which she sings some amazing duets with Andrea Bocelli and Jose
Cura. Even though they are in foreign languages, Stephen has gotten hooked on
them, and is driving his brothers crazy by playing them several times each day.
Christopher prefers Amy Grant, and Peter listens to Weird Al Yankovich. For
Valentineís Day I gave David a CD of Charlotte Church Ė the Welsh teenager
with a voice from heaven. When he can, Ben listens to Davidís old record
"Tweety Bird and Sylvester". I have been playing Elizabethan music to
supplement my Renaissance class preparations.You can see that we have quite a
variety of music here.
One nuisance that is practically a daily occurrence in our house is the
"lost item crisis". David lost his Visa card but was pretty sure
that he had lost it in the house, so we neednít panic about unauthorized
charges showing up on our bill. Then he quietly borrowed mine and I had a moment
of panic when I went to pay for a purchase and my card was missing. I eventually
found his, so peace was restored. My patience was wearing thin, though, when
Christopher revealed that he had left his vest behind at the First Pres. dance.
We drove back to the church later in the week and Ben and Stephen played in the
snow there while Christopher tracked down his vest through the lost-and-found
system. After we got home I was told that Ben had left behind one of his gloves
in the snow! A companion vice seems to be that we acquire things that donít
belong to us. Three times this past week someone said to me, "I think you
have ..." and, sure enough, we did!
David and I exchanged favors last week. I helped out at Lehighís club fair,
and he came to my Masterís Academy classes as Martin Luther. He was a big hit.
He wore his academic gown and we had borrowed Peter Feaverís floppy academic
hat, so he looked the part. As I was giving an introduction to the lesson, we
suddenly heard someone nailing 95 theses on the door and in came Martin Luther,
fuming about Tetzel and indulgences. The week had been exceptionally busy for
David, so we had only practiced
our routine in the sketchiest form at about midnight the night before but it
worked. Several students asked me this week if he was coming back Ė one little
girl asked if he really was Martin Luther!
One reason the week was busy for David was because he conducted two biology
dissection labs in addition to the usual classes. We had stacks of boxes
containing specimens in the hallway. I didnít really see the point of all the
excitement. I mean, how much can there be to see inside an earthworm, anyway?
But David was nervous about the whole thing because he hadnít done a
dissection himself since high school. At Hopkins he was using electron
microscopes and separating DNA strands! I guess itís similar to people
assuming I know all the rules of grammar because I was an English major, when I
didnít have a single grammar course in all my college years. Anyway, it all
went smoothly. The girls eeeked and the boys swaggered. [This reminds me of a
malaprop our pastor made today. He meant to talk about people who saunter in to
Godís presence, but instead he said "people who psalter in".]
It was a funny coincidence to read in Momís letter that she had baked
Chinese almond cookies. I also baked them that very same week, though I hadnít
made them for years. The children complain loud and long that I bake every
Wednesday to take goodies to the Lehigh students, and they only get the
leftovers. This week the wailing reached new heights because, for the first
time, the students ate all of the cookies. One of our new students this semester
brought two more of his fraternity brothers, so the group is growing by student
word of mouth.
One night I was just about to serve dinner when I noticed that a bowl of
chicken noodle soup had spilled in the refrigerator. As I frantically emptied
everything out to clean the fridge, Christopher commented, "You could start
a busy motherís club Ė but then no one would join!"
A gem from Ben: "I kissed Big Mama (the guinea pig) on the face and now
he loves me."
The boys and I have been thoroughly enjoying reading aloud from the
missionary books that Nana and Poppa sent. They are engagingly written. We put
Ben down for an afternoon nap and then read a chapter or two together before
continuing with the school day. Stephen sighed, "Wouldnít it be great if
school was just reading on the couch all day?"
I know you are wondering how Daniel is doing. He says things are going well.
Apparently Calculus is his only super difficult class. He is playing some indoor
soccer and even is the goalie Ė a position he has never played. David hopes to
see him next weekend at the RUM conference, which is being held near Baltimore.
Peter is sad that his winter ski sessions have concluded. One of the mothers
told David that Peter has developed into a great skier. I am just so happy he is
all in one piece. While at the missions conference last weekend, someone was
called out of the meeting. We were later told that his son had just been in a
skiing accident receiving critical head trauma. I worried about Peter all
Tuesday because Iím sure he is a daredevil on the slopes. His best friend said
that Peter is the type who would rather die than submit when they are wrestling,
so he has to be careful that he doesnít hurt Peter because Peter would never
tell him to stop.
Speaking of which, I think itís about time for me to stop. We love hearing
from you all.