The Family & AVADIJ Thursday, 6/12/08

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.
John 1:16

…one blessing after another. Let’s see…


Saturday night Todd and I went out for an anniversary dinner. I say “an” and not “our” because there will be another, maybe two. (Yes, Todd. You read that right.) Anyway, we started at one restaurant, but the wait was wicked long. So we went to another restaurant, but their air conditioner wasn’t working and we were heading into the nasty heatwave you’ve been reading about. We finally ended up at our usual pizza joint – the place we pick up the best pizza around from. We’d never eaten there, but it was so pleasant. No wait, cool air, a booth for two, a glass of wine, a delicious meal, even a little hand holding over the table. Niiiice.

When we returned home Todd went upstairs to pack for the business trip he was leaving for the next morning. Remembering I was supposed to iron a pair of slacks for him, I headed up to do just that. But he said he decided to just take the pants the way they were. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: I actually thought I’d wait until the morning when it was a little cooler up here. You can put them in your suitcase at that time, can’t you?

Todd: Yeah, but that’s okay. I’ll just set the room air on North Pole cold and iron them there. I get in fairly early in the day and won’t have much else to do.

Me: You don’t want to iron while you’re gone. Seriously, I’ll iron them right now for you. (I was feeling kind of guilty because I’d said I would do it.)

Todd: No, really. It’s no big deal. I’ll just iron them tomorrow at the hotel.

Me: You’re sure??

Todd: Yeah. Don’t worry about it.

Me: Okay. (kiss) Um, since the room is going to be so cold and you’re going to have all day, why don’t I just give you the rest of the ironing??

Not surprisingly, he declined.


I had to drive Taylor to work one day. He works for a lawn care service and I had to take him to Stewart Road. For being a smart boy he doesn’t pay much attention to directions. He knew the neighborhood, but it’s a humongous development and he had no idea where Stewart was. So we drove around and when I saw Tudor Road I knew we were close. He was totally amazed at my knowledge and when I explained the connection he said, “Who knew such useless information would come in handy.”

Fast forward a week or so. He and Kristen were at the mall and as he was getting ready to check out of the bookstore he saw this great book and thought of me. So he bought it for me. With his very own money.

Here’s an example of one of the stories inside:

The infamous battle of Waterloo wasn’t fought in Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat occurred outside the village of Pancenoit, which was over four miles away.

Who cares? My inner geek does!! I love this kind of stuff!


After months, if not a year, of being pestered by Ben and Taylor and some nudges from mom and dad, Katie finally tried out as a singer for the youth band at church. I didn’t go to the tryouts, but Todd and Taylor did. According to Todd, “she was perfect.” According to Taylor, “She totally rocked!” Todd’s pretty biased so I figured “perfect” could be exaggerated. But Taylor’s the brother and has no compunction about telling it like it is. So if he said she rocked then she rocked. Which I had no trouble believing anyway. And, of course, she made the band.

Other than the singing, she’s turning into me. She has a book with her nearly everywhere she goes and is always reading. I love that about her. Especially because she was diagnosed with Phonological Awareness Syndrome, a type of dyslexia, when she was in the 3rd grade. She worked with the school’s speech pathologist throughout 3rd, 4th and half of 5th grade. She could barely read on a 1st grade level when she was diagnosed. Now she’s reading young adult novels that are 500 pages long. That makes me smile.


A week or so ago I was reading something in preparation for the Mothers with Cancer website. The memory of one of my lowest moments as a parent with cancer assaulted me and I started to weep. Not out and out crying, just sniffling a bit and, well, you know. Sookie looked up from where she was and came over to me. She jumped up on the love seat, sniffed my face while she stared into my eyes, licked my cheek and then snuggled down next to me. What a balm to my heart!

We had her spayed on Tuesday and now she has to wear the cone until the 24th. She hates it, but we can’t help but laugh at her. Just see for yourself:

That was some kind of party last night. Hey! Why is there a lampshade on my head?

Not only is she very loving and sensitive to my emotions, but she also likes to help me plant flowers:

Yup. I’d say that’s one blessing after another after another after another…


  1. Sing4joy on June 13, 2008 at 12:28 am

    I LOVE this post. Can I have that book when you’re done with it? And did Sookie get into that pot by herself??

  2. Shauna on June 13, 2008 at 12:37 am

    LOVE IT!! What a wonderful way to reflect on your blessings. I need to do more of that. 😉

  3. His Girl on June 13, 2008 at 1:31 am

    this was one of my list of blessings today… a great reminder to look at all these happy things as gifts from God.

  4. Becky on June 13, 2008 at 2:20 am

    I LOVE the Sookie pictures, and the fact that Sookie licked your face at just that moment. Non-dog types just don’t understand…dogs understand people. They know when they are needed. I loved this one.Sounds like a great anniversary dinner, too. Congrats!I’d better go. We’re at my SIL’s house, and I’m in the middle of a fierce battle of the bands (guitar hero III) with Jericho. Woot woot!

  5. Jenster on June 13, 2008 at 7:32 am

    S4J – Maybe I’ll let you hold the book in October. And yes, she got into the pot all by herself. The picture doesn’t show her digging. lolShauna – It’s easy to not think about it, isn’t it?His Girl – You know the joy we feel when our kids are soul happy? I think God feels that way times about a million when we’re soul happy. So they must be gifts.Becky – Dogs are just special that way, aren’t they? I hope you’re kicking bootay and taking names!!

  6. Terri on June 13, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Yes, you are blessed. Congrats to Katie on the Youth Band, she does Rock! It was nice of Taylor to think of you when he was with his girlfriend. But is he saying that you are full of useless information?? And the “doesn’t pay much attention to directions” I think is a typical male trait, along with not stopping to ask for directions. Some are born without, but most with! :DWhat will you be doing with Poopie Sookie when you go on vacation? She’s getting so big! I hope you hadn’t actually planted anything yet!

  7. Jenster on June 13, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Terri – Yes, Taylor is saying I am full of useless information. Unfortunately, I can’t deny it.We have a college kid from church house/dog sitting for us while we’re gone. And no, I hadn’t planted anything yet. In fact, I STILL haven’t planted anything yet. Great intentions and all that.

  8. beans on June 13, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Oh Sookie- I am sorry you have to wear a cone on your head. It is a very attractive cone, though. Maybe they can decorate it for you with some stickers or drawings or something. You will be the most styling puppy in the hood!Looks like you are a good gardener as well. I like to pull weeds-you should try it!!Thanks for visiting mom’s blog. I am so glad to know there are other’s out there who know what I am going through!(Jenster–sounds like dinner was hit, even if not what was originally planned. Glad to read about your blessings-helps remind me to check in on mine a bit more often!)

  9. radioactive girl on June 13, 2008 at 9:48 am

    All of these stories are making me so happy. I love that you are in such a good place with everything now.

  10. Gretchen on June 13, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Oh, oh, oh, I simply luuurrve this post. What a great way to start my day. His grace IS sufficient and is found all over, isn’t it? Always right when we need it. He is so big. Love that little dog. And, History Geek, it’s called an Elizabethan collar. 😉 You probably knew that, but I thought the topic was relevant. I need to get that book for a certain almost-12 year old for his b’day. Looks great. Thank you thank you. mwah!xxxooogretchen

  11. Jenster on June 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Beans – Dinner was really, really nice. :o) And our puppies need to stick together – apparently.Tori – Thanks! It’s a great place to be, as you well know.Gretchen – Duh. I know that. Sheesh. (Picture me rolling my eyes like a teenager) But “lampshade” is so much easier to say. It really is a fun book!

  12. The Daily "B" on June 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Great post, you are one blessed lady. Great family. Loved the Sookie pics. I’m one of those people with the trapped nerd inside, looks like a good book to laugh and speculate over!

  13. Jenster on June 13, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Deb – It’s a really great book!

  14. Travis Erwin on June 13, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Nice family update. I like the way you did it.

  15. slackermommy on June 14, 2008 at 12:01 am

    This post is exactly why I love you so! I could just eat that puppy with a spoon. I’ve never heard of Phonological Awareness Syndrome. I wonder if that’s what my son has. Have a great weekend!

  16. Barrie on June 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    What a delightful post. And I love the photos too. 🙂 Oh yeah, so which YA was your daughter reading?

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