Friday, May 1, 2009


People are always asking us, "What makes you so quirky?"  (That's a really polite way of wondering why we are obsessed with film, literature, and our family.  Someone recently went as far as to claim that I am insane.  I will choose to take this both in stride and as a compliment.  This is something that you must often do when you are as easily amused with your own self as we happen to be.)

"We are each a combination of many factors woven together out of the joys and sorrows of life.  We're the product of our choices.  We're the result of what was done for us or to us by our parents.  What were the ingredients that made you who you are?"

Well Luci Swindoll, I'm so glad you asked.

Val and I (and the bonus Jonas, Clay) are the result of a house that played a lot of classical music and watched a lot of the 3 Stooges.  We grew up eating picnics in the park on Sunday afternoons, attending thousands of band and choir concerts, and memorizing our own home movies.  That's right, if you don't know what we are quoting, we are probably quoting the childhood version of ourselves.

If your family attended church, you more than likely went out to lunch on Sunday.  This was not the case for our family. (Which is possibly the reason that I ate out every Sunday for lunch while in college.)  We usually enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches while fighting over... err... reading the comics.

Soft drinks (Cokes) were reserved for special occasions.  (Which is possibly the reason I lived off of coke throughout college.)  But being the especially sneaky children that we were, we often used to drink cokes in the closet under the stairway and then hide the cans in the various drawers and crevices, only to act totally dumbfounded by such an item a few months later when mom discovered the cans.  Why we didn't throw them away when she was at the grocery store I will never know.

We were only allowed two or three Oreos for dessert.  (Which is possibly the reason you will still find the container for Oreos upstairs when we all come home for holidays.)  I discovered early on that you can fight this system.  Simply drop two Oreos into the bottom of your cup of milk and carry the three you are allowed to the table.  Although the extra Oreos will be soggy, you will have achieved a successful breaking of the rules right in front of the enemy.

I would not recommend that you allow your children to take their carrots or vitamins to "finish outside."  We didn't finish them.  We pushed the carrots and vitamins through the floorboards of our playhouse.  Our parents didn't realize that they were giving us so much more than just a place to let our imaginations run wild. 

We all read the paper, just different sections of it.  The T.V. was reserved for the weekend (or whenever mom and dad left the house.  So glad the garage door was so noisy.  "Run!  They're home.  Val, start playing the piano.  Hurry, Clay!")  Sugary cereals came three weeks out of the year (Happy Birthday to me from Lucky Charms) - and then any time you could win the battle over the mini boxes at the beach house.  I imagine we are the only kids who would try and wake up early to make sure you didn't get stuck with Apple Jacks.

We are a lucky family who still loves laughing in the kitchen and walking through the neighborhood.  We spent Advent around a wreath, and Easter at the Cha-Cha Church.  Those most loved are the brunt of countless jokes.  I pity any fool trying to enter this extended family.  We live on malts, BBQ, 7-layer dip, chocolate pie, sweet potato casserole, tiger butter, and cashews. 

My older cousin confessed to thinking us the strict family, but I know we had a fabulous childhood.  Thank you to mom and dad for:
-Doughnuts on Sunday Mornings
-Countless Family Vacations without a television producing some of the best memories.
-Music Lessons (and even getting to practice piano at 6:15am)
-Letting us try everything, even the things we were less than coordinated for (Ballet, tap, baton twirling, soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, hockey, swim team, children's theatre, scouts, art class...)
-Breakfast for dinner
-Movie traditions on Christmas Day
-Wonderful examples of giving and prioritizing faith
-A wide appreciation for music
-A bizarre sense of humor
-The command to "Go outside and play!"
-Encouragement to do or be anything we so desire... even if we are a bit insane.

From home movies circa 1988-
Mom: What did you do today?
Ginger: I went to BSF...
Valerie: Blah, blah, yadda, shirt, paper...
Ginger:  And then I came home...
Valerie: Blah, blah, blah, babble...
Ginger:  And then I came home...
Valerie: Paper in the sink...
Ginger:  AND THEN I CAME HOME and had my quiet time.
Valerie:  Pizza!


hootenannie said...

Ginger. Your bangs are glorious.

Katie said...

I love Val's little dimple and Clay's slightly frightened smile. And I had a dress VERY similar to that.

Fun post! Maybe I'll have to post about my own "ingredients."

Stevox said...

I was voted most unique in high school. I took it as a compliment too.