Remembering Boppy

I called my grandma “Boppy”. She lived next door and when I was bored or trying to get out of doing chores, I would ride my bike up the back driveway to her house where I was always welcomed with a smile and candy corn.

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Boppy’s father, Herman, came over to America on a ship from Prussia when he was a baby. The story goes that his mother went up on the deck for some fresh air and baby Herman kicked off one of his booties into the Atlantic Ocean. He arrived in America with only one booty.

As Boppy got older, she began to lose her memory. But she never forgot how to make Apfelkuchen, or German Apple Cake. She would walk down the driveway to our back door with a fresh, warm cake. We would sit and visit on the screened-in porch and then she would walk back. The next day, having forgotten about yesterday’s cake, she would show up with more apfelkuchen. We ate a lot of apple cake that summer.

Memory is a funny thing. Boppy sometimes forgot her grandchildren in a hazy fog, but a recipe her mama taught her as a young girl was crystal clear. Today, PB’s mother may not remember the last time we waved to her through the window, but she can sing every verse of “Pic-a-nic-in’ the Park”, a song she and dad used to sing together.

I hope my mind is sharp when I’m 92.

But if it isn’t, I hope I belt out
“Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine”
down the halls of the nursing home.

I hope I don’t forget my loved ones faces.
But if I do, I hope every Bible verse I ever memorized
comes pouring from my lips.

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
Psalm 77:11

According to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.
Psalm 25:7

remember me

Flowers, Songs and Macarons

Mother’s Day brought me three of my favorite things:
music, sweets and flowers that never die.

Just look at that bouquet!
It never needs watering or arranging
and it won’t end up in the compost.
Perfect!
It’s great to have a spouse who knows you and what you love.

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Just look at those macarons!
There were two trays of these beauties.
They look like something from the Great British Baking Show.
I snapped a quick pic before we snapped the last two up.
Yummmm!
It’s great to have talented grown up kids who can cook.

Just listen to this music!
I put this song together for our church’s Lent season.
This arrangement was a surprise and brought a tear to my eye.
Ohhh!
It’s great to have sneaky grown up kids who can sing and record.

K&N, S&T, A&D and J&K, I love being your mom.

Presenting…. Theo John!

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I am proud to present Theo John Overlien!
Born on October 8, 2019
8 lbs. 14 oz.

Theo means “divine gift”.
That he is.

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My baby boy has a baby boy.

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PB and I have enough grands to make a football team.
I feel like I’ve already won the Superbowl.

“The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46:7

Spinning Wheel

Today, I found this gem.

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The chore spinner.

Obviously, Jake was too small to contribute at the time.

Or maybe he was just the 4th child,
the baby of the family,
whose only job was to be cute.

Seeing this piece of history made me smile at how things have changed.

All that free labor has now become management.
They are teaching their own kids to set, clear, load and sweep.

Thank goodness I still have PB.
He’s making real progress.
I cook and he cleans up.
No spinning required.

Arbor Day

Last year, I declared Arbor Day to be the official holiday of the Biddick siblings. My two brothers, my sister, their spouses and PB and I gathered around the table for a meal and to catch up.

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We don’t get together for major holidays anymore. There are 29 grandchildren between the four of us, so the inevitable branching out has taken place, as it should. Yet, long stretches of time can go by without us seeing each other. We needed our own holiday. Arbor Day was perfect.

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Our grandfather was a tree man. Grandpa was chosen as “Woodsman of the Year” in 1982, at the age of 87. He loved trees and owned timber land in Mississippi and Wisconsin, where he operated a logging and timber sawing business for many years. He planted hundreds of trees in his lifetime.

This year, Arbor Day also happened to fall on what would have been our mother’s birthday. I think she would’ve been pleased to know we reminisced and laughed together over memories on her birthday.

I used the “farm dishes” for this year’s 2nd annual gathering. When my siblings saw the table settings, there was a collective “ahhhh”. These were our “Sunday only” dishes — usually piled with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and homemade dinner rolls.

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It’s good to spend a day with people you love.
I hope you had a happy Arbor Day.
Mine was pretty great.

Introducing Isla

We interrupt this Lenten devotional series to bring breaking news.

Isla Dinah Jean arrived!
Saturday, April 6th, 2019
6 lbs. 14 oz.

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Meeting your sister for the first time can be breath-taking.

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Welcome to the world, little one.
We’re so glad you’re here.

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

The (Perfectly) Imperfect Christmas

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The grands got matching jammies for Christmas.
So, naturally, we wanted a photo of them sitting together on the couch.
But Emma looked away and Abel was a blur.

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So we tried it again but Ruby looked at Emma and Eli was losing control of Abel.

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So we called Opa over to make funny faces.
Emma looked at her cousins and Anna’s hand got in the pic.

Sometimes Christmas is like that. You try to make it all perfect and then you realize perfect isn’t much fun. Life is better with a little blur and a hand in the corner and whatever happens when you get nine kids under six years old in one house for 48 hours. It’s perfectly imperfect. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Ella wanted to put on the nativity costumes, so we set about staging the scene. Except Ruby was taking a much needed nap and Abel was dead set against putting on a sheep hat. So we didn’t force anything and went with the big five and two littles.

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Evie made for a very proud mama Mary. Eli stuck out his tongue — it’s possible Joseph did the same at some point that holy night. Ella was a slightly sneaky looking angel. Charlie wore his angel costume backwards, but it didn’t matter at all. Hudson was a shepherd with his eyes on baby Jesus. Emma sat where we told her to sit and posed for the camera. And Ember had her one big chance to take the leading role, not easy with eight older cousins. She played the part magnificently — smiling and cooing and blessing us all.

Perfectly imperfect.

I also contributed to this year’s theme.

 The Overlien Family Calendar for 2019.

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I’m just off by a year.

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Reprints are on the way.

“Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it!
It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person
to perfect some very imperfect people.”
Hebrews 10:14, The Message

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
1 Cor. 9:15