Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mixing Up Words: The Funny Side of Life

I’m a morning person and I like to stay up late at night, but I have to take a nap every day. This morning I woke just after 5 am and stayed in bed for another 40 minutes just because it was too early even for me. When I did get up, it was so dark that the stars were still shining brightly. Since my husband isn’t a morning person and he also likes to stay up late, but doesn’t take a nap like me, I try not to wake him.

Amanda and Samantha
The other day, both Amanda and Samantha were already up after I had showered and wanted to get dressed, so I took my things to their room. A little bit later, Amanda came walking through to the office and thrust my pajama bottoms at me and said, “I found this on my bed!” She then told me to follow her to her room.

When we got there she said, “Look! Your dry hair is on my bed too and it’s making it so messy!” She meant my hairdryer and she isn’t normally so concerned about her bed. Later that day she mixed up another word. She called corn-on-the-cob "cob corn." This morning she gave me a new one, horse seals as in sea horses, too funny!

It’s hilarious when little kids get their words mixed up. By the time the evening of last night rolled around, I found the opposite to also be true. Both Amanda and Samantha were watching a cartoon. I asked them if it was the show where the kids turn into dinosaurs. Amanda felt that it was important that I know the proper name of the program and so she told me in her best teacher’s voice with great emphasis, “It’s Dino Squad.”

Well, I just burst out laughing. She could say Dino Squad perfectly, but not hairdryer. It just goes to show that some things are more important than other things in a 4-year-old’s life.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 2

My 3 kids feeding African elephants up close 2006
Feeding African elephants up close 2006

Please check out my photography blog 1camera1mom for more photos of my family. I also give photo editing tips that will help you make your pictures awesome. These tips are great for making your blog beautiful.
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Monday, June 25, 2012


My brother and I, Western Cape, South Africa

Do you have a nickname? Do you use nicknames in your home?

I associated nicknames from family members as a form of endearment, but I grew up in a home where nicknames were not really used. On a few occasions I wished I had one, other than Tina, which is short for Christina. When I was a teenager, my brother called me Peanut Brittle. He did this for a couple of weeks.

For me, hearing a cute nickname from him was a big deal. When we lived under the same roof, my brother was hardly ever civil toward me (this is litotes – an understatement). I knew that I should never tell him that I liked it, but I’m an encourager. One day, against my better judgment, I bubbled over and told him it was a neat nickname. Well, I never heard it again, at least not while we lived in the same house.

Christina, Western Cape, South Africa

It’s funny how things work out, because I married an only child whose mother had several nicknames for her son. This was hard for me, as I felt that he was dearer than I, but now I know that she didn't intend it that way. My husband carries on the tradition and makes up names for lots of things. When Jeremiah was a baby and had a stinky diaper, my husband called it a pongo. Two of his nicknames for Amanda have been Amanda the Panda and Tookie Bear.

Do you use nicknames in your home, and if so, do they have a special meaning behind them? I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment and I will reply.

My husband and brother enjoying a simple picnic after touring some of the 
wine estates, Western Cape, South Africa. I took this awesome photo.

Please check out my photography blog 1camera1mom where I give tips on editing photos and making great memories.

P.S. My brother and I were reconciled years ago.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

What’s in a Name?

My first name is Christina. It means a follower of Christ. While growing up, I was sometimes asked to give my full name along with its spelling. I would say that it's Christ and then add ina. I always got a surprised reaction by that. Since Christ was never spelled with a K (at least not in English) I figured that was a clear enough explanation. I later found another way to say my full name. My maiden name is Littlefield, so I would tell people that it’s Christ in a Little field.

My middle name is Allison. It means truthful. One day, while looking up the meanings of names, I came across a more intriguing meaning, truthful warrior maid, like Joan of Arc. My favorite quote that I put on my Facebook profile states: In the movie The Return of the King, Eowyn is facing the Lord of the Nazgul in battle and says (as she takes her helmet off), "I'm not a man, I'm a woman!"

I wrote a bit more about my warrior side on my post 7 Things about Me.

Do you have a name with an interesting meaning? If you do, I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below and I will reply.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 1

Calla Lilies Under a Full Moon

Photographer: Christina Morley

Visit my poetry blog Consider the Lilies and be blessed!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father’s Day: In Honor of the Father of Our Children

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. In these last few months that I have been blogging on my own sites and following other mom bloggers, I have come across moms who are happily married and whose husbands take an active role in their children’s lives. This is always wonderful to hear. Sadly, this is not the case for everyone. I’m sure that there are many mom bloggers who will not be making Father’s Day crafts with their children, simply because the fathers of their kids are absent. To these moms and their kids I wish them a creative way to spend the day, so that it’s memorable. And if the dad is absent by choice, God the Father is not.

"If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up" (Psalm 27 :10 NIV).

Today, I want to honor the father of our children. He often does homework with them in the evenings. Every day he helps with driving them to where they need to be. He’s not an absent father, but a very present one and he enjoys being around his kids.

Here is an entry from my journal dated July 14, 2011: Robbie said with a heavy voice, “Today was one of my toughest days.” And then he added in a lighter tone, “But I enjoyed Amanda!”

The funny thing about that entry is that it is the only one in my nice, hard-cover journal. Yep, it’s blank inside except for that one! Writers should keep journals, but I haven’t in years. I would say that this blog is my new journal.

He has a blog called Real Church Life (church beyond the four walls). I came on board and share the site with him, but it’s where he does most of his writing. Today I chose “Do What You Can Do” as a post by him to recommend to my readers. It’s a quick read on the topic of Bible study with a link to his Bible Coaching web site.

Related posts:

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Blame It on the Fairies!

Girly Comments & Graphics

Enjoy your weekend!

How does Shakespeare, fairies and knots in hair have anything to do with each other?

This is a follow-on from my previous post Knots in My Hair! 

Last year, while teaching Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare to my son’s high school class, I came across a funny mention to knots in the hair. It appears in the bizarre speech made by Mercutio. He blames the fairy, Queen Mab, for putting knots in dirty hair and that once combed out, the locks are unlucky.

After years of brushing Amanda’s hair, I wouldn’t say that the locks are unlucky, but that the children are who have to endure the combing of their hair!

Here’s the quote below:

"She [Queen Mab] is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone.......
That plaits the manes of horses in the night
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes."

Wikipedia’s conclusion to this states, “Therefore, the appellation of elf lock or fairy lock could be attributed to any various tangles and knots of unknown origins appearing in the manes of beasts or hair of sleeping children.”

I also found this interesting quote on Wikipedia:

“When young children, especially girls, wake from an evening's slumber with tangles and snarls in their hair, mothers with a tradition of fairy folklore might whisper to their daughters that they had caught fairy locks or elf-locks. Faeries, they say, tangled and knotted the hairs of the sleeping children as they played in and out of their hair at night” (A Child’s Book of Faeries by Tanya Robyn Batt).

I’m so glad I’m from a modern era that understands the need to wash and that I can buy good shampoos and conditioners!
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Knots in My Hair!

Amanda is playing that the dolphins are diving
in the water at South Africa's West Coast.
The kids say the funniest things and I don’t always write it down. Sometimes, I say to myself that I’ll write it down later, but then I forget. I usually just let life happen, but I’ve found that writing it down allows me the time to enjoy the moment again and again.

The other day, I came across a little note of mine that had been buried under other papers near the computer. It was a funny moment that I had had with Amanda some months back and I had completely forgotten about it. Thank goodness that I had written it down on paper and not lost it! I’ve included a short introduction to help set the scene.

Every morning, I brush Amanda’s hair and tie it up out of her face. She has lots of curls that are sometimes hard to brush. Often, she complains that I’m hurting her. I try hard not to and I apologize when it pulls. If I don’t apologize, she gets upset with me.

On this particular morning she said the funniest thing. “You’re putting knots in my hair!”

“No, I’m not. I’m brushing the knots out,” I replied.

“You are putting knots in my hair. I feel it!”

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I thought to include a bit about how I edited these two photos. I edited both using PicMonkey, but I first straightened the one where Amanda is sitting with Picasa 3. I’ve included some links on these topics.

Related posts:
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pleased with Herself

We have an open-plan living room and dining room. This morning the couch was pushed up against the back of the dining room chair where Jeremiah was sitting and studying for his mid-term exams. (American kids are out of school enjoying summer break, while my three big kids here in South Africa are busy with exams.)

I watched as Amanda tried to squeeze between the couch and the chair. I then called for Jessica to push the couch back, because she had moved it earlier to get a better view of the TV. When she came through, Amanda happily said, “It’s fine. I did it myself!”

Jeremiah heard that and added, with a bit of a laugh, “Yah, but I helped you.”

Isn’t that just how we are with things that we’ve accomplished? We happily say, “I did it myself!” But, what we don’t realize is that God is smiling down from heaven and thinking, “Yah, but I helped you.”
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday Morning Fun

What do you do with your kids on a Saturday morning?

Amanda still needs help getting dressed in the mornings and since we’re having winter below the equator, I need to make sure she’s dressed warmly. It was dark outside and everyone was still in bed when Amanda got me up this morning. Normally, after taking her to the toilet and dressing her, I’d put on the TV and leave her watching children’s programs, but not this morning. She saw her Disney princess magnetic dress-up dolls at the coffee table and asked me to take turns with her dressing Cinderella. How could I say no? We played with that until Samantha came through. Samantha was happy to join Amanda and I took the opportunity to go and do something else.
Disney Princess Magnetic Wooden Dress-Up Doll Set
A little bit later, Amanda found me at my computer. When I saw her standing next to me, I remembered the e-book I had downloaded onto my PC yesterday called Amanda Finds Her Manners by Cindy Adkins. Amanda Finds Her Manners is about a lively girl who attends a fancy tea party and tries desperately to remember her manners. But, the harder she tries, the more she makes mistakes! This book is already a Bestseller! It's an e-book for ages 4-8 on Amazon. Sorry, but there are no illustrations, except for its sweet cover.
E-book on Amazon
Amanda hadn’t heard the story yet, so I put her on my lap and double clicked on my free Kindle app. When it downloaded to my computer, it came with three free classic books: Aesop’s Fables, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island.

Amanda was very excited to hear her name in the story. At first she wondered if it was about her, but I explained that the girl had the same name. To make the story more fun for a 4-year-old, I got her to act out some of the things like to wiggle her nose when the bunny wiggled its nose. She stayed on my lap for the whole story and happily bounded off to a new activity once it was finished.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family and don’t forget to read to your kids!

Related posts:
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

7 Things About Me that You Probably Don’t Know

This Beautiful Blogger Award comes via Marge at Inside Out Cafe. She has an awesome blog with lots of helpful information. Go and check it out. I know you won't regret it!

In order to accept the award, I have to tell you 7 things about me and list 7 other bloggers who have inspired me and say why. If you would like the Beautiful Blogger Award, then follow the same steps and copy the icon and paste it in your post. Don't forget to add a link back to me. Go ahead and share in the fun!

Here are 7 things about me that you probably don't know:

1. For several years I’ve wanted Disney to make an animated version of the Sound of Music and for me to be the voice of Maria. I know, it’s a lofty thought, but I’ve loved the Sound of Music since my childhood and I do sing. I’m also part Austrian (my mother was a baroness by birth), so I feel a kinship to the von Trapp family.

2. I have 4 children, but my husband and I want 5. When I was a teenager, I wanted to adopt and I still do. This was inspired by my trip to Romania. I had heard a Romanian pastor tell about his childhood, how his mother had died and his father had left him to the care of the government. In 1998 I wrote a poem about Romania’s orphans and an English woman named Beverly who had worked among them.

3. My husband says that I talk to my 4-year-old like she’s a teenager and to my teenage kids and their friends like they are 4-year-olds.

4. I love reading. Some of my favorite books were written for children. Here are 4 award-winning children’s novels with important life-lessons: I am David (also known as North to Freedom), written in 1963 by Anne Holm; The Diddakoi, written in 1972 by Rumer Godden; Goodnight Mister Tom, written in 1981 by Michelle Magorian; The Wind Singer, written in 2000 by William Nicholson and is part of the Wind on Fire Trilogy.

5. My middle name is Allison and means “truthful warrior maid.”

6. Symbolic pictures or prophetic words that others have seen regarding me (and these people did not know my middle name or its meaning): a warrior, a battleship, a woman on a horse wielding two swords and slaying demons on either side, sweet custard (similar to vanilla pudding and yes, it is funny), an advocate standing between two pillars, a rainbow with a unique color not seen on earth, a beautiful butterfly and wherever it lands it brings sparkling colors out in others.

7. I had hoped that when I turned 30, it would be a magic age in my life ushering in new things. I am now 37 and still living in the same small town with very few real friendships (I need some kindred spirits!). The only big differences are that I privately recorded a CD (which did not open any doors for me), gave birth to my 4th child (she is absolutely adorable), moved into a bigger home (it even has a pool), and this year I stepped out and began my own blogs (I kind of went crazy and started 4 blogs and share a 5th one with my husband).

Here are 7 blogs that have inspired me:

The 1st 4 are lovely bloggers who I have met in my short blogging career and who have already extended a hand of friendship to me. The last 3 are beautiful blogs that encourage other blogging moms.

  1. Women Walking in the Spirit of Christ
  2. Shortybear’s Place
  3. Great Family Fun
  4. The Chic Stay at Home Mom
  5. Far Above Rubies
  6. Cindy Adkins’ Whimsical Musings
  7. Denise in Bloom
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Monday, June 4, 2012

An Unconventional Question

I asked Amanda an unconventional question and I got an unconventional answer.

I’ll begin with the conventional question. As soon as Amanda got back from her Nanna’s, we all basically asked her the same thing, “Did you have a nice time with Nanna?” Of course, the answer was yes. She was very excited to tell us all about it.

Here are a few of the things she told me:

Her Nanna bought her small yoghurts with Barbie pictures on them. She got to pick out a squeeze bottle of honey at the store. She got to have treats all the time. Her Nanna let her to do anything she liked (I’m sure within reason). For dinner, they ate Gnocchi, which she struggled to pronounce. (It’s funny how a detail like that is important to a four-year-old, but I like it when she shares the details. I’m pretty sure she mentioned it because it was new for her.)

The part her Nanna told me was that they spent as much time at the beach as possible.

Not long after Amanda arrived home from her visit, I decided to ask her a less standard question. Instead of “Did you have a nice time with Nanna?” I asked her, “Did Nanna have a nice time with you?”

With barely a pause, Amanda replied, “No.” Then she looked straight at me and, with the voice of a teacher wanting to explain something to her pupil, said, “It’s hard work babysitting.”

For me, that was a remarkable answer, especially since she came up with it all by herself. I do know her Nanna had a nice time with her, she adores her grandkids, but I’m also sure it was hard work. This is the wisdom of a four-year-old.

I took this photo of Amanda in her Hello Kitty swimsuit running on the beach by her grandparents’ house at Britannia Bay, South Africa, December 2011.

Here are more posts on the funny and/or profound things that Amanda has said:

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Few Days with Grandma

Girly Comments & Graphics
Recently, I wrote that Amanda went to her grandma’s house for a few days. It was a special treat, just her with her Nanna at the beach.

One day, the two of them went to see Amanda’s great uncle, her Nanna’s brother. While there, she played hide-and-seek with his dog. She was told that if she hid the dog’s toy duck, he would find it and bring it back.

Amanda eagerly went and hid the duck. Then she whispered in her Nanna’s ear where she had put it. Her grandma laughed and said, “You don’t need to whisper. The dog can’t understand you.”

Amanda thought it over and then, deciding to trust her Nanna's wisdom, said it out loud, “I hid it behind the couch.”

A moment later, and the dog came back with the duck. Amanda, clearly upset, exclaimed, “You see! He did understand!”

My mother-in-law shared this story with us. I hope it gave you a laugh as it did us.

You can see two adorable pictures of Amanda with her grandma on my post “Missing My Girl.

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