Thursday, April 28, 2011

She's All About Fun

We girls all needed flip-flops, so off we went when we found an amazing sale. Jonalyn was excited to see them, but disappointed that I only held ones for Alyssa & myself in my hands. She kept asking, "My plip-plops?" No, sorry, this store didn't have any for you. Off to the store next door. Jackpot. What color would you like? "Pink orange." Oh, yes, that did have pink & orange "plip-plops" in one shoe. Then she was very excited. "Plip-plops fun." That's her new mantra. "Fun plip-plops." Wait until she actually gets to wear them!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Jonalyn's picture

Jonalyn drew this person on her magna doodle ALL BY HERSELF!!! Gotta love the hair :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm on Facebook!!!

Yes, folks, I've joined the 21st century and now have a fan page on Facebook! Can I ask you all a very big favor? Please come like me and make it look like I have lots of fans. I'm not above begging. Please, please, please. Spread the word about me to all of your friends and invite them to my fan page, too. Have them become a follower here while you're at it. Snow on the Tulips is on its way to the editor and having an established fan base will impress her. You all could help me get my book published. Now how cool is that? Just click here and like me. You could say, "I knew her way back when and was one of her very first fans!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Big Day

Today was the big day. Mere minutes ago, I sent the proposal for Snow on the Tulips to my agent. It's gone, out of my hands. Soon, the publisher who requested it will have it and will read it. I am sooo nervous. I've sent my baby out to the big, bad world. Can I ask you to please pray for me, that I will be calm as I wait word on this manuscript, and that it would find favor with the publisher? Thank you all for your support and kind words as I wrote the book. As you saw, it is a long process that hopefully is not over yet. I'm going to treat myself with some chocolate and take a vacation from writing for a few weeks. There is another story brewing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Been One of Those Days

My kids like to travel in the car. They do well for the most part, even on long trips. When they were little, we drove to Arizona - 2 1/2 days. Today we couldn't get from Jonalyn's school to the house. That's a distance of 1 1/2 miles. I actually was one of those mothers who pulled over to scold them and tell them to leave their hands to themselves or I would dump them on the side of the road. O.K., these kids are 16, 11 and 8. I really shouldn't have to do that anymore. Sigh.

In other news, my WWII novel Snow on the Tulips is almost ready to go to my agent. I'm getting excited, doing one last read-through to make sure it's good. Please pray for me, that I would be able to get this proposal put together this week and that it will find favor with the publisher that requested it. I'll keep you updated. Now back to...

KIDS, KNOCK IT OFF... reading. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's Been a While...

...since I posted anything about Jonalyn, and she's done some cute things in the past twenty-four hours I just had to share.

Last night, we had Springfest at the older kids' school - games, prizes, the whole nine yards. My parents watched Jonalyn while Doug & I worked and along the way, she collected some candy. My mom put it in a baggie for her to take home. During the entire way, she grasped that bag for all she was worth. As I got her out of the van, she handed the bag to me and said, as clearly as she has said anything in her life, "Here mom. This is MINE. To eat." Not was her speech great, but she was showing ownership of something. Hooray!

This morning, we went to get some flip flops that were on a great sale. At first, I could only find my & Alyssa's size (yes, we wear the same size). She kept asking about the flip flops and was very disappointed that she didn't have any. Then I found some her size. She is so tickled by her pink flip flops. And she knows fun is associated with them. It's all she can talk about. I almost hate to break it to her that it's snowing now.

Oh, and she is learning to spell her name!!!! She's made a huge breakthrough on letters. Huge! She can recognize several of them now. And if you ask her and she's up to performing, she'll proudly tell you her name is spelled J-O-N. Oh, she just did it for me. Gotta love that girl :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eleven Years Ago Today...

Eleven years ago today, our beautiful Alyssa became a part of our life. We traveled to the Detroit airport to meet her flight from Korea. I was so nervous but also very, very excited. Before this I had a little boy who was all boy and honestly, I didn't know if I was ready to raise a girl LOL! How silly we can sometime be.

I saw her come through that door and all my fears vanished. She was a little out of it when we first held her. I think she was tired and very hot. The day was exceptionally warm for April and her foster mom had dressed her in several layers. She was good and didn't cry until it came time to leave when I changed her and put on something cooler I had bought a day or two before. As soon as we put her in the car seat, she fell asleep, only to wake up an hour later SCREAMING. I think she was jet lagged and frightened. She was in a rear facing seat, so when she woke up, all she could see was the seat. Brian, 5 at the time, wanted to sit next to her and tried to soothe her, to no avail. Finally, Doug pulled off the highway and found a fast food parking lot. As soon as I took her out of the seat, she stopped crying and didn't cry much from then on.

She has grown into a lovely young lady with a sweet, sensitive, caring soul. She is getting to be a pretty good piano player, loves to draw, is very bright, and right now, she's busy curling the hair of her American Girl doll. Gotta love it! My stomach is rumbling because the house smells like bulgogi, which is on the menu tonight along with Korean won ton. Dessert? Apple pie, per her request. Yes, we are a multi-cultural family :)

I thank God every day for the precious gift he gave us in our daughter.

Here is a picture taken of her after we got to the hotel where we stayed with her for the first few days to have a little private time to bond with her. She had calmed and was more alert by now. Sorry, don't know how to change the orientation of this photo. You'll have to look sideways to see it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

66th Anniversary

Wow, I didn't realize it until too late in the day, but yesterday was the 66th anniversary of the inciting incident in my WWII novel. On that day, in Dronrijp, Netherlands, 14 men were marched along the streets to the edge of the canal by the Nazis and shot in retaliation for the Dutch Resistance sabotaging railroad lines further north near Leeuwarden, causing a Wehrmacht train to derail 26 cars. In groups of 3, the men were brought to the water's edge and executed. The Germans were very nervous because Allied planes were in the air when they arrived in Dronrijp. Gerard de Jong survived by playing dead. Later, my cousin Johan Feitsma came and found him and took him to my aunt Hiltje's house where she nursed him. From the best I can gather, Dronrijp was liberated five days later.

The men who were killed includedHeinrich Harder

Dirk De Jong

Hendrick Jan de Jong

Jan Nieuwland

Henry Joseph Spoelstra

Douwe Tuinstra

Egbert Mark Wierda

Hyltje Wierda

Klaas Wierda

Sijbrandus van Dam

Also, Ruurd Kooistra (I can't find a picture for him) and Johannes Marinus Ducaneaux and a Mr. van Dijk.

The last two are not on the monument at the spot and not usually included in the account. Ducaneaux apparently was spying for the Germans and van Dijk was a deserter from the German Waffen-SS service. The Wierdas are all brothers and are buried together at the Resistance cemetery in Leeuwarden, along with several of the other men.

This is a picture of Gerard de Jong taken at the site of the executions in 1955.

This is a picture of my aunt Hiltje (sp ?) Feitsma. I don't know the date of this picture.

And finally, a picture of Johan Feitsma, the young man who brought Gerard de Jong to my aunt. My dad is on the left, my grandmother on the right. The other woman is Johan's wife.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Weekend

I know it's been a while since I posted. I had a big weekend and I had to work on Wednesday and Thursday to get ready for it, so I didn't have a spare minute. Whew. Anyway, Doug & I (yes, just the two of us) left right after we dropped the kids at school on Friday morning to bring the camper to our property up north. Turkey season is in two weeks and Doug needs a place to stay. I thought it was craziness to go camping in Wisconsin on April 7 & 8, but we got a PERFECT weekend. By the time we got up there after lunch, the sun was shining. Oh, it felt wonderful after so much cloudiness here. We worked on clearing a road for Doug so that when he gets a deer this year (not if, but when), he doesn't have to drag it to his truck - he can bring the truck to it. Don't need him having a heart attack trying to do that. After we worked for a while, we laid out on the picnic table benches (the picnic table was Doug's Christmas gift) and soaked up some sun. It felt wonderful to my poor, aching muscles. It's been a tough fibro winter. We relaxed and played two games of cribbage on Friday night (I FINALLY beat him!!) and went to bed early. I mean 9:00. Wow, was that great!! Saturday, we took a drive before getting back to work on the road, clearing out some stumps from the last time the trees were harvested. The land had been owned by a paper company and will need to be harvested again sometime around the time Alyssa goes to college. The Lord's provision at work. We enjoyed our time so much and I didn't freeze to death as I feared. I'm looking forward to the time when the two biggest are out of the house & Jonalyn & I will be able to go hunting with Doug. Of course, we'll stay in the camper or around the campsite, but it will be great to get away with him, enjoy our property, write, read a book...

This is a picture of the road we're working on.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY April 6, 2010
Outside my window...sunny but windy. Spring has had a tough time coming this year. I wish it would hurry up and get warm. I'm anxious to get out in my garden!
I am thankful for... all of the writing opportunities I've had recently. It's kept me busy and away from blogging, but I'm excited by all of it.
From the learning rooms...we are in the home stretch for the year. Brian and Alyssa both have big projects to work on and soon after spring break, it will be exams. This year has flown by. Jonalyn is doing so well in school. We are very pleased with her progress this year. She's been singing the ABC song and only messing it up a little.
From the kitchen...a new recipe with pork tenderloin and country-style Dijon mustard. I'm bored with the same things I seem to make over and over again. I hope it's good.
I am wearing... a pair of jeans, my fuzzy slippers, a red sweater, and my trusty blue fleece.
I am creating...some of the final edits on my WWII novel. Woo hoo! My goal is to have it to my agent either the end of next week or the beginning of the week after. Definitely before Easter.
I am a Bible study on suffering tonight. Our pastor asked me to come because he thought I might be able to help someone there. That's all I know, so please pray I'll be able to minister to this person.
I am reading...only what I'm writing. I'll reward myself with a book or two over Easter break.
I am hoping...strength and energy to do everything that needs to be done in this busy month.
I am hearing...the heat running, the dog snoring. I love it when the house is this quiet.
Around the house...trying to get some cleaning done. When I finish this book, I'll be a cleaning maniac, but until then, it's just the basics. I did get all my laundry folded last night. I consider that a real accomplishment!
One of my favorite things...sunshine. We don't see enough of it here.
A few plans for the rest of the week: finish this round of edits on my novel, get my house cleaned, go to work, enjoy two days with my hubby - just the two of us. We haven't done that since before Jonalyn came home.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
A hawk in our tree. If we could only get him to eat the voles in our yard. They did a lot of tunneling this winter and our lawn is a mess. Doug & Brian killed one over the weekend, but I suspect there are more.

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