Success, Suffering and Miracle Gro

Early success is like putting Miracle Gro on your character defects.”  --Michael J. Fox @ HIMSS conference in FebruaryMichael J. Fox, aka Marty McFly in "Back to the Future" to my kids, said this great quote at the conference Scott attended in February.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since.Clearly Michael J. Fox has been through both a lot of early success and a lot of suffering since his Parkinson's diagnosis.  Scott was hugely impressed by his words, his sincerity, and hi … [Read more...]

More on the Chinese Water Torture

(A follow up to I’m Torturing my kids)“How was it?” I asked Kai-Kai when picking her up from her latest session with the Chinese water torture, aka as YMCA swim team.“OK.  The coach said it was a really hard workout.”“But you survived!  That’s great!  How does your body feel?”  I don’t know if she can sense it, but for all the whining and complaining that happens before swimming, after 30 minutes of “dry land” and 105 minutes of swimming laps Kai jumps into the car emanat … [Read more...]

The Joy of Kids Reading

None of my kids were early readers, and this really stressed me out.With my son, we wondered if he would ever read at all.  When he was in 2nd grade his teacher said he was obviously bright, always worked hard, always was on task, but still could barely read. At his IEP hearing, the special ed coordinator looked at us like we were crazy, pointing out that he scored average, high average and even high high on his tests.  On the decoding test, the teacher assumed he’d be d … [Read more...]

Great Granola

Our granola breakfast looks like this upside down--lots of fruit on the bottom with a little yogurt andgranola on the bottom.  But taking photos of mycreations and uploading them is too overwhelming(Today's my 46th birthday, here's a birthday gift for you--my granola recipe!)I make a truly great granola.  I discovered granola while doing Weight Watchers 8 years ago.  When I ate a generous serving of fruit with a spoonful of nonfat plain yogurt and a sprinkling of granola, I wasn’t … [Read more...]

Death, Dyeing and the possibility of becoming a Skunk Head

I turn 46 tomorrow, and although I’ve already hit the mid-way point of my life, somehow the number 46 seals it for me. I’m sliding down the second half of my life towards death and freaking out just a little bit!I always hoped I’d be the sort of woman who aged gracefully, who accepted her gray hairs, who grew wiser and kindlier and more open with each passing year.  But now I’m not so sure.Take hair dye for instance.  I swore I’d never dye my hair because in Hawaii there are all sorts o … [Read more...]

Loving Students

Several years ago I thought of leaving campus ministry to take a church job.  When I told my kids they literally began weeping and wailing, “No!  Don’t do that!  We like InterVarsity!  We love students!”I didn’t leave InterVarsity, but I did leave direct grad student ministry to direct our team and work with faculty.  My kids are less enthusiastic about both aspects of my new job.    As Ling said recently, “What’s great about hanging out with a bunch of 40 … [Read more...]

I’m Torturing my Kids

My 2 younger kids claim I’m abusing them.  Is it because I’m forcing straight As or piano lessons or some other Tiger Mom stricture?  Is it because I’ve decided to go vegan on them and expunged the house of chocolate and junk food?  Nope.  I signed them up for swim team and am forcing them to exercise.  Yesterday the whining started 2 hours before swimming even began.  It got so bad that both parents lost it before almost forcibly carting these kids off to the Y.&nb … [Read more...]

The Last of the Typewriters

This morning on NPR I heard that the last company that produces manual typewriters has just discontinued them.  There are 10 English typewriters left of the 200 in stock—buy one now!  I turn 46 on Saturday.  The passing of the manual typewriter and my impending slide towards 50 makes me nostalgic for times gone by because my first manual typewriter was like a best friend.  When I took Typing in 10th grade, I was the third best typist in Mr. Kusonoki’s class, just behind Mar … [Read more...]