Teeth and Feet

My apologies for reposting this. My husband tried to remove spam from the comments and accidentally deleted the post. He rebuilt this but lost the comments

“Teeth! Teeth!”

Translation: I want to brush my teeth. We know this because Charis comes running toward us holding the toothpaste and her toothbrush while gleefully yelling “Teeth! Teeth!”

“Feet! Feet!”

This is new. Charis has just started saying “Feet! Feet!” when I am washing her hands and face after a meal. To humor her the first time, I went ahead and ran the washcloth along the bottoms of her feet. (The cloth was on its way to be laundered anyway.) Since then, touching the top of her foot with the washcloth seems to suffice.

Yes. This is the girl I blogged about who speaks in complete sentences. But these are not instances of said speech pattern.


At the end of last week, our church sponsored a ELM (English Language Ministry) worskshop as beginning training for members to start an English as a second language ministry to recent imigrants to the St Louis area. It was also to serve as training for some who will go on a short-term missions trip to Juarez, Mexico, on the Texas border this summer.

I attended the workshop, and I found it interesting and helpful. First, I was fascinated with the concept of teaching adults English by using the same method toddlers use to learn the language. I guess I was fascinated because we have a toddler at home, and I could readily see the parallels. Our toddler girl is a fourth child who is a few years younger than #3, so she hears English spoken a lot more than the others did. From what we can see, it seems all of the additional exposure she gets has made her learn more quickly. She speaks in complete understandable sentences much of the time at 21 months old. This is definitely earlier than her siblings. Our foreign students are supposed to learn English in the same way–by hearing it spoken over and over again in different contexts.

In our workshop, as our students we had 3 Liberian refugees who are now located in St Louis. It was great to have actual non-English speakers with whom to practice. I also had the opportunity to try to communicate with one of the Liberian women when I picked her up at her home in South St Louis to drive her to the workshop. It was difficult to have a conversation, but I appreciated her friendliness and patience with me, despite my slowness in understanding.

I came away from the workshop anxious to see our church start its own ELM, and, hopefully, I will be able to be a part of it.

Groundhog Day is Coming

Being from west central PA has few distinctions, so I must take advantage of the opportunity to note one of them. Next Wednesday is Groundhog Day. The Great Prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil will make his appearance minutes after the sun rises to let us know how much more winter we will have to endure.

Punxsutawney is about 20 miles south of where I grew up. The funny thing is, I am associating myself with Punxsy (nickname for the town used by locals) when I actually attended high school at Punxsutawney’s rival DuBois Area High School (home of, you guessed it, those other gnawing rodents, the Beavers). I do have familial links to Punxsy though. Both my parents are Punxsy natives. My mother’s parents lived there all their lives, and my paternal grandparents lived on the outskirts of the little burgh for several years. Now my 2 older brothers live in the Punxsy “suburbs,” and their children and grandchildren go to school there.

As a native of the area surrounding Punxsy, I encourage you to at least tell someone “Happy Groundhog Day” next Wednesday. It gives most people a little smile, and the locals in the Greater Punxsutawney Metropolitan Area enjoy their annual day in the spotlight.

My take on the latest news

Well, if you read Mark’s blog, you know we are now in St Louis. We have enjoyed being here for about 2 months, and we feel pretty settled. There are still some boxes to unpack stacked in the garage, but the majority of things have been assigned a place in our new home.

One of the best parts of our new situation is that we now have some of the modern conveniences that we were missing in rural OK. Here’s a list of small things I am thankful to have once again (although I have learned that you can live without):


2. Crystal clear water for washing clothes and everything else.

3 .Driving 2 minutes to the grocery store instead of 25.

4 .Driving 4 minutes to the pediatrician’s office instead of 25. (OK, you get the idea)

5. A free zoo and other great free activities for the kids.

6. A garbage disposal in the kitchen.

7. An attached garage with electricity and without rodents.

The list could go on. But I’ll stop. God is good.

I luh you!

“I luh you. I luh you.” Imagine a very cute 20 month old girl singing this over and over again to a tune very much like the Barney theme song and grinning all the while, and you will know something of how I feel at least once a day. Pretty sweet.