Tag Archive | little kids

A Joyful Noise

Psalm 100:1 – “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.”

How do you make a joyful noise? Do you sing? Do you play an instrument? What is the noise you make that is joyful to the Lord?

I find the giggle from a baby makes me smile…that’s joyful. The chirping of birds outside on a sunny day….that’s joyful. The splashing of a trickling stream or a roaring waterfall….another joyful noise.

Personally, I love to make a joyful noise to the Lord with my voice. I love to sing (and those of you who follow this blog know that!) and most of all, I love to sing praises to God. I also enjoy playing the piano. Though I’m not at all an expert at it, I do spend a lot of time expressing myself through my piano music as well. To me, it’s a joyful noise.

Tonight, I got to enjoy hearing a joyful noise from my daughter! She performed in her first musical instrument concert….a recorder concert. I fully expected to go and have my ears assaulted. After all, how good could a fourth grade ensemble of recorder players sound? I fully expected to hear the occasional squeak from misplaced fingers on the holes or a note played out of rhythm, but I didn’t notice much of that this evening.


These kids were having fun up there! They didn’t care if it was perfect. They didn’t care if they missed an occasional note. All they cared about was if their parents were watching them from the audience and seeing them applaud at the end of each song.

I couldn’t help but think about what God thinks when we attempt to make a joyful noise to Him. He doesn’t care if we’re off-key; he doesn’t care if we forget the words and just hum the tune. All He cares about is the fact that we are trying to show our love to Him by praising His name.

God loves joyful noises. I know this is true. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have given us so many beautiful things to hear!

When was the last time you made a “joyful noise?” There’s no better time than the present!


♫Take me OUT of the ball game!♫


Do you remember the “good old days”? You know, those days when we could run around the neighborhood unafraid of those we would meet. Those days when it was hot outside and it was still okay to drink from the water hose? Those days when you worked for everything you got and nothing was just handed to you?

Those good old days are gone. I am concerned for our younger generation. It’s taken the sport of softball and baseball to bring this concern to light for me.

Back when I was a kid (now I’m sounding like my mother or worse yet, my grandparents!) when we played organized sports it was vastly different than playing sports today.  We kept score. We won or we lost. We got awards if we EARNED them. (I could go on and on here.)

Now that my daughter plays softball, I find it absolutely appalling the way this sport is handled at this age level.  At certain levels of the sport, they don’t even keep score at the games. When I asked about this, I was told, “It doesn’t matter who wins (okay, I’ll agree with that) so we just let everyone play (again, I’ll agree) and just have fun.”

Okay, fine. This is “do-able.”  So then I ask, “When we get to the play offs, how do you determine who wins the championship if you’re not keeping score?”

“Oh, we’ll keep score then to determine how they finish.”

Ah, wait a minute. Back up here. So, you don’t keep score all season long, the girls are clueless as to if they won or lost and then all of a sudden when it’s playoff time scores are important? Don’t you think that’s a little confusing for the kids?

Knowing this ahead of time, parents would sit in the stands with tablets and scrap paper, keeping score themselves just so they could know who won or lost. “Who wins or loses isn’t important,” they say. Really? Tell that to the next 2 candidates for president. I think they would beg to differ that it DOES matter who wins or not.

When playoff time finally came around, Katie’s team lost their first game and were automatically eliminated from the rest of the playoffs. I started to help Katie pack up her gear and we started toward the van. “Wait! Come back! They all need to get their awards.”

Awards? You get an award for losing now? Yup, apparently you do. Each girl on the team was given a trophy. Even Jenny* who only showed up for 3 practices and when up to bat, just kept swinging the bat whether a ball was pitched or not and struck out every last time, got a trophy.  Ellen* who spent her time dancing on the field doing pirouttes and ballet moves, never caught a ball, never got anyone out, and when up to bat always injured herself somehow (usually, it was tripping over her own feet, because again, she was trying out a dance move) got a trophy. Abbie* who was always “too tired” to play and begged to be benched as often as possible and who rarely showed up on time and never seemed to have a ride home afterward, and only had one good hit the whole season, who also had a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush got a trophy. (*Names have been changed.)

What did this teach these three girls. It sure didn’t teach them that they have to work hard to earn something. It taught them that they could just goof off and get a trophy just like the other girls on the team who played their hearts out during unscored games. It taught them that they didn’t even have to show up to get the prize in the end.

This is just outrageous! Why can’t we go back to how it was? You know…where you kept score, there were winners and losers. The winners went out for icecream and the losers just went home. The ultimate winners got the big trophy for the team and little individual trophies for each player. The other teams got some sort of ribbon or token for participating, but nothing more. Everyone went home knowing that those who won the championship had worked hard to get there. They didn’t get the award just for showing up.

It disgusts me how we put our children in cocoons and try to protect them from disappointment and failure. No one wants to fail, but sometimes our greatest growth comes through failing.

How I miss the “good old days” when it wasn’t all sunshine and roses….but at least we knew right from wrong and that you don’t get a free ride. So, take me out of the ball game. I don’t want to play this way anymore. I’d love for our children to know what it is truly like to be a child. There are successes and there are failures. That’s life. What our children are living today is just a fairy tale. Hopefully, they’ll all turn out alright despite the sheltered life we force them to live.

I know this isn’t a typical post for me, but just something that I’ve been “stewing” on for a while and just needed to get it off my chest!

Thanks for reading!


Tea, Friends, & Family

Higinbotham's Tea Room, New Oxford, PA

Higinbotham’s Tea Room, New Oxford, PA

If you know me at all, you know how I love to go to tea! Recently, while traveling to Adams County, PA for work, I ran across a tea room I had never seen before in New Oxford, PA….Higinbotham’s Tea Room and Bed & Breakfast. When I arrived home, I quickly contacted my tea-loving friend, Tammy (we’ve been friends since 7th grade!) and we made arrangements to go to tea and check it out! We planned to meet my cousin Marcia there, but plans change, and Marcia had to cancel out. It all worked out well though. I took Katie in Marcia’s place, as Katie loves going to tea too!

Higinbotham’s proved to be a little different from other tea rooms we had visited. We enjoyed ourselves though, nonetheless! After all, having tea together is more about cultivating friendships than it is drinking tea and eating little sandwiches. We caught up on each other’s lives, since Tammy and I don’t see each other often. Katie threw in her two cents every now and then. Mrs. Higinbotham kept fussing over Katie and raving how well she was behaving and eating all her food. Mr. Higinbotham was there as well and kept our water glasses filled.

Tea was lovely, and we were quite satisfied and full. The next step in our day out was a stop at my cousin Marcia’s. Her sister (my cousin) Sharon and her children were here for a visit (hence, why Marcia cancelled out). I got to meet two tiny cousins that I had never met before. Katie was excited to see her cousin Caleb, who was only 2 weeks old the last time we saw him. He’s 6 years old now!

As it usually is with good friends and family, we picked up right where we left off from the last time we were together. Within minutes, it was as if we never had been apart. Sharon shared with me that Caleb had a special spot in his heart for Katie. Ever since he was a toddler, he’s had Katie’s picture on his bedroom wall. When Caleb walked in the room, Sharon said, “Look who’s here, Caleb!”

Quietly, he says, “It’s Katie!” and off they went to play. For a change, Katie was the oldest cousin in the room instead of the youngest. She was thrilled!

Marcia, Sharon, and Tammy and I all visited for a while. All good things, though, must come to an end. We began to say our goodbyes and snapped a few photos.

Cousins together again. Marcia, Sharon, and me.

Cousins together again. Marcia, Sharon, and me.

We went outside to track down the children. We found Katie and Caleb diligently working on a project together. They had gathered various sized rocks from around the yard and from the orchard behind the house and created a “fire ring” in the back yard. They were busily rubbing sticks together, hoping to create a spark. We watched in amusement for a while, and of course, snapped some photos!

The only thing that would have made the day more complete, would have been to have my cousin, Sue there too. It’s hard though once you grow up to have a time where it suits everyone to get together. However, those of us who were able to visit, created new memories together. And for that I wouldn’t trade a thing!


♫ It’s the Most Wonderful Time….♫

Spring brings many things…warmer weather, sweet smelling flowers, new colorful birds at the feeders, and softball.  Now, personally, I’m not excited about softball, but I do like going and watching a good game. Fortunately for me, Katie plays softball and looks forward to each practice and game.  And Katie is pretty good at it, even if I say so myself. It wasn’t always that way though.

Katie played T-ball first. You just have to love a bunch of 5-7 year-olds running amuck on the field, not really interested at all in the rules or really learning anything. They’re more interested in watching their teammates do weird things with their baseball hat. Dirt becomes a huge fascination as does pulling grass and picking dandelions. One of my favorite moments comes when someone actually hits a ball and the entire outfield goes running for it and wrestles each other to get the ball. In the meantime, the player who hit the ball could have lapped all the bases twice. I think the only purpose of T-ball is to get the kids to learn how to hit the ball. None of them really learns anything in the outfield. Overall, I found T-ball painful to watch between the hilarious moments.

Katie up to bat.

Katie up to bat.

Then she graduated to girl’s minor league slow-pitch softball. Still not really good at it, she tried her hardest. She was the littlest girl on the team. But we soon discovered something…this kid could run, and she could run FAST! Now, if we could just get her to hit the ball.

During her second year of slow-pitch, she got better, much better! This little pipsqueak starting getting people out at third-base and at home plate left and right! She hit her first double, and after that, consistently got on base and would hit doubles. The only thing she wasn’t good at was pitching and this really bothered her. So, since the end of last year’s season, she’s been practicing.

Getting an out at home plate!

Getting an out at home plate!

Unfortunately, Katie’s team hasn’t done well the past 2 years. Each year at the playoffs, they have bombed out pretty quickly. She has not been a “good loser”. She really needs to do some practicing with that!

Now, in 2 weeks, we’ll get to see what she’s capable of. This year, it’s a new ballgame…fast pitch softball. It’s also a new team, The Flash. And, we have a new coach. Katie is excited about all of it. I’m excited for her. Yes, it’s 3 months or so of running and running and running. But, this is something that makes her happy and so I’m happy for her.

Katie has been trying to keep her skills sharp in the off-season.  She is concerned about how well she will do this year. We’ve told her that she just needs to pay attention to what her coach is telling her. She needs to practice her skills. She wants to finish this season well, and hopes that she is on a winning team this time.

In  2 Timothy 2:5 is says, “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” (ESV).  I think she needs to make this a “theme verse” for her softball season. (A little prayer couldn’t hurt either!)


Say What??

I debated about whether or not I would post this memorable moment. After all, some could view it as a bit risque’.  But after recently talking with my friend, Becca and finding out that you can actually print your blog in a book form, decided that’s something I’d like to do at some point. And so, I’m including this “Katie moment” here. Besides, it IS hysterical and it’s something I’ve neglected to put in her baby book. So, I figure if I post it here, it’ll become part of a book at some point.

This “Katie moment” is actually a “Katie/Katrina moment”. Katrina is one of Katie’s best friends. Now keep in mind, they were only 6 and 5 at the time, but this story is just classic!  It’s one of those “pick-me-up-off-the-floor-I’m-laughing-so-hard” moments! Enjoy…..

Two best friends-Katie (age 6) and Katrina (age 5). Now they're 4 years older, but still just as silly as they were then! :)

Two best friends-Katie (age 6) and Katrina (age 5). Now they’re 4 years older, but still just as silly as they were then! 🙂

The other week, Katie’s little friend Katrina was here for the evening.  They were having a blast playing dress up and house.  Dave & I were relaxing; I was in the living room reading and Dave was just coming in from the kitchen when he & I heard the following conversation….

Katie: “Wanna play restaurant?”
Katrina: “Sure!”
Katie: “Okay, I’ll go first at being the waitress and cook and all, and you’ll be the customer and then we’ll switch.”

Katrina goes back the hall and grabs a doll and comes back to Katie’s “kitchen”.

Katie: “Welcome to Katie’s dinner.  Here’s a nice table for you.”
Katrina: “Thank you.”
Katie: “I’ll get a highchair for your baby.” (Proceeds to get a doll highchair and drags it to the table.) “Here’s your menu, let me know when you’re ready to order.”

Katie then goes to the “kitchen” and begins to “cook”.

Katrina: “I’m ready to order.”
Katie: (With tablet in hand) “What will you have?”
Katrina: “I’ll have the pizza.”
Katie: “And what would your baby like to eat.”
Katrina: “Oh, she doesn’t eat.  She drinks from my nipples!”

Now Dave is just about in the living room when he hears this, comes in and whispers “Did I just hear what I think I heard?”  Yes, Dave, you did!

Without missing a beat Katie continues on…. “I’ll be right back with your pizza.”

Talk about hilarious!  There is Dave and I tears streaming down our faces because we’re trying not to laugh out loud and Katie and Katrina continue on playing restaurant as though nothing was ever said!

Kids do say the strangest things! 🙂


Katie the Bear! (Grrrrrrrrrrrr!)

Here’s another memory I found and it’s a real “Katie classic”! This is one of my all-time favorite “duh moments” she’s ever admitted to! At least this whole incident taught her a lesson…she’s not a bear!  Enjoy…..

Well, my daughter did it again! She never ceases to amaze me!  The other day, when Katie got out of bed, she told me her back was itchy and would I scratch it.  I scratched it and the day moved on.

When I got home from work that evening, Katie once again asked for her back to be scratched.  Thinking nothing of it, I obliged and scratched her back.  She proceeds to tell me that at school that day, her back had itched but her friend, Sushmita, didn’t know how to scratch it like I did and she was glad I was home so her back could be scratched.  I started to wonder why she was so itchy all of a sudden.  I went to the kitchen and made supper, and forgot all about her itchiness.

Then came bath time for Katie.  As she began to climb in the tub I noticed something terrible on her back!  It looked raw, totally brush-burned and scabby!  How could I have not known about this?  Of course, I immediately questioned her–“What happened here?!!!!!”  Katie proceeds to tell me. “Oh, I was really itchy at recess today, and since Sushmita didn’t know how to scratch my back, I used a tree.”

“You what?”

“I used a tree.”


“I lifted my shirt, leaned against the tree and started rubbing up and down until it stopped itching.”

“Like a bear?”

“I guess you could say that,” she says.

“Did you ever think this was a stupid idea?” I asked.


“Do you have any idea what your back looks like?  Do you realize you could have given yourself splinters?  Do you know you aren’t a bear?” I questioned.

“Yeah, Mommy.  But I don’t itch anymore!”

"Ooooo, a little more to the left!"

“Ooooo, a little more to the left!”

Well, her itchiness had ended after her encounter with the tree, but now it’s back full force since the scabs that formed are starting to come off!  When will she ever use her head?  I guess she was–she was thinking like a bear!  🙂

One of my favorite pics of Katie! She was about 22 months old here.

One of my favorite pics of Katie! She was about 22 months old here.


Ready for Anything (A memory from 2009) ☺

Here’s another oldie but goodie! ☺

The other week, we had to have our septic tank pumped.  This meant that Dave would need to dig a hole and find the top of the tank so that when the pumper people came, they could do their thing.  Dave went out and started to dig.  Katie announced, “I’m gonna help Daddy!” and out the door she went.

Next thing you know, in comes Dave and he heads for the basement.  He came back up the steps with Katie’s toy garden tools so that she really could help him!

Katie and Dave are out there digging away, when suddenly, Katie makes a beeline for the house.  I didn’t think much of it, just figured she had to go to the bathroom.  She comes flying in the door all out of breath and says to me, “I’ll be right back!  I need to do something!”

As she went down the hall, I hollared out my usual “Don’t forget to flush!”  (Little did I know that she had other things in mind instead of going to the bathroom!)

Next thing you know, here she comes!  She is wearing a play hard hat that she got when she built her own bear at Boyd’s Bear Country, and she is wearing a pair of gloves.  I say, “What are you doing?”

She replies, “If I’m gonna help Daddy, I need to have everything I need.  Now I’m  repaired for anything!” and out the door she goes.

She’s out there digging away in her “workman’s outfit” while I stay inside rolling with laughter over her “repairing” herself for work!  What a kid!

This was taken around the time of this story in 2009. Boy has Katie grown up since then!

This was taken around the time of this story in 2009. Boy has Katie grown up since then!


Crazy Ladies and Sliding Boards

I found out last night that my Great Aunt Jane passed away. She was 93 years old. I only wish I had a few digital pictures to post with this so you could relive one of the craziest memories I have of Aunt Jane.

Jane was not her real name. Her actual name was Ruth, but because there were several “Ruths” on my dad’s side, they decided to call her by her middle name….Genevieve. Now apparently, she didn’t like this name and she would often say, “I’m just a plain Jane”, so the name Jane stuck.

She was a little woman, not even 5 foot tall. I always remember her just being generally silly! When I was little, we would go to Aunt Jane and Uncle Elmer’s house and visit each time we went to see my Grandma Beideman. I’m an only child and so, there really wasn’t anyone my age there to play with, so she would do her best to act my age and play whatever I wanted to play.

The first few times we visited, I remember her youngest son, Andy, was still at home…a teenager then at the time (I believe he’s in his early 50’s now). His room was in the basement and I was fascinated by him. He had a psychedelic looking room with black lights, disco balls and a bead curtain for a door. I loved it! He’d spend his time in there strumming a guitar and I would sit and watch him in fascination.

When I was a little older, Andy had left home and then there were just boring adults to visit with. But Aunt Jane would pull out whatever toys she had or run down the steps to the basement dragging me along so we could play pool. We’d play pool for hours. Neither one of us knew what we were doing, so often we would just roll the balls across the table aiming them at the holes. We’d cheer loudly if one of them actually made it in!

Time goes by and kids grow up, and we didn’t visit as much as we did. Uncle Elmer passed away, but Aunt Jane continued to enjoy life to the fullest. She was constantly busy doing something or going somewhere.

The year I graduated from high school, she called and said she’d like to take my mom & dad and I to Ocean Grove, NJ for a weekend. She got us rooms at a bed and breakfast. We were really close to the “Great Auditorium” that is part of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Many concerts are held there, and there is Sunday morning worship each week.  We had a blast with Aunt Jane! We swam in the ocean together, played on playground equipment like we were little kids and had overall fun-filled weekend together. We attended church together at the Great Auditorium that Sunday and she I heard Norman Vincent Peale speak in person. That was a first and last for both of us, as he died not long after that time.

In recent years, she developed Alzheimer’s disease. But, that did not dampen her spirit one bit. At one of our last family reunions, she came up to me and said, “I know you! You’re Richie’s (my dad) wife!”

“No, Aunt Jane, I’m his daughter, Miriam.”

“Oh silly me! Are you out of school yet?”

“Yeah, for about 20 years now!! I’m married now, Aunt Jane. That’s my daughter over there (pointing toward Katie’s direction). She’s 3 years old.”

“Well, I will just have to check her out!” and off she trotted. Now this woman was 85, mind you. And she went sprinting up to Katie, told her who she was and said, “Let’s go play!”

Katie took her by the hand and they went running to the playground next to the pavilion. Next thing I know, I hear excited giggling from Katie and a loud “Weeeeeeee!” coming from Aunt Jane. We all turned to look and there she was, all 90 or so pounds of her, sliding down the kiddie slide, hands waving in the air! Katie hollars, “Again!!” They both climbed the ladder and went down together. They did this so many times that everyone was grabbing their cameras and snapping photos left and right. What a sight to behold!

It was a sliding board like this that made Aunt Jane young again

It was a sliding board like this that made Aunt Jane young again

Finally, Aunt Jane started to tire out and came back to the pavilion. “I must be getting old,” she said. “I can’t keep up with these little ones any more!” Then she came over to me and sat down.

“Did you have fun, Aunt Jane?”

“Sure did! Now, tell me, how long have you and Richie been married? ”

I began to explain once again, that I wasn’t “Richie’s” wife. But I stopped. “Look at Miriam over there sliding away! She sure is cute. I always loved to play with her!” she said.

“And she always loved to play with you too, Aunt Jane,” I replied. She took my hand and looked at me so lovingly. “So, how long have you been married?”

“Richie’s been married 37 years, Aunt Jane.” I couldn’t bear to correct her again. My heart was just over-flowing with love for this little woman that I could always be crazy with growing up.

Rest in peace, Aunt Jane. We’ll go sliding again in heaven!


♫Smelly cat, smelly cat…it’s not your fault!♫

Cali the cat....in drier days!

Cali the cat….in drier days!

Several weeks ago, our cat, Cali jumped up on my lap and I suddenly smelled a stench.  Oh my word did she smell! We decided to give her bath that day. Katie apparently thought that gave her permission to bathe the cat any time she wanted.

About a week after the much-needed bath, Katie pulled Cali into the tub with her. Such howling from the cat! She quickly escaped and took off running through the house. Even though she was bogged down with wet fur, she was surprisingly fast. Until Dave and I caught her, she had every last room wet in some way! We literally spent a half hour cleaning up little water puddles!  Katie was punished for washing the cat and told to never do it again. We thought she had learned her lesson. (How silly of us for thinking!!)

When I got home from choir practice last night, I went to the bathroom. When I walked in, there was a pile of towels on the floor in front of the tub, one rug was soaked, and there was heavy towel so wet it was on the verge of dripping. “What happened in here?” I yelled.

David said, “Ask Katie!”

So, Katie shared the story and was it ever a tale!! Here’s how she related the saga to me:

Last night, Katie was sent for a bath as I left to go to choir. Dave was getting ready to watch a little TV and relax for the evening. Unbeknownst to him, Katie shut the bathroom door, but not until after she had trapped the cat inside. Katie decided that if she was getting a bath, the cat might as well get one too, and so the cat was put into the tub. She grabbed the shampoo and scrubbed her. Then she grabbed a towel (one of my best thick absorbent towels) and wrapped her up tightly in it. The cat, according to Katie, “waited” for Katie to finish her bath. (Never mind that the cat was unable to move because of how it was wrapped!) Then Katie proceeded to dry the cat.

Well, the cat apparently enjoyed being wet and soon escaped Katie’s clutches. Katie took off after Cali and pinned her down until she got the hairdryer hooked up. (Now this something I would have loved to see!) “Cali didn’t care for the hairdryer much and I couldn’t keep her pinned down. I don’t get it….the hairdryer has warm heat and it would dry her. She should have enjoyed the heat ’cause she was shivering.” (Really? Ya think she was cold? Did ya ever think cats weren’t used to being washed?)

After a failed attempt of totally drying her with the hairdryer, Katie had another brilliant idea. Now Katie is telling me this as she stands there in her fleece footie pajamas and my mind can only imagine where this story is leading!  “She was still shivering, even after trying the hairdryer, so I unzipped my jammies (Oh, I don’t like where this is headed!) and stuck her inside and zipped them back shut.”

“How did that work out for you? ” I asked, trying not to do one of those laughs where it comes out so fast and hard that you spit.

“Oh, not so good. She started to crawl around inside there and meowed ’cause she wanted out.” (Ya, think?)

“So then what did you do?” I questioned.

“I left her in there. It was for her own good. She needed body heat to warm up.” (Note to self….Katie doesn’t get to watch “Deck the Halls” anymore!)  (Check out the very end of this clip and you’ll know what I’m referring to!)

“I finally let her out ’cause she was tickling me….a lot!”

I just had to ask, “So why is everything soaked in the bathroom?”

“I just told you, Mom. I gave Cali a bath, duh! I had to try to get her dry somehow!” (With the entire contents of the bathroom?)

Oh well….the cat survived and so did Katie. This time, Dave was punished for not paying attention to what was going on. Guess who got to clean the bathroom. Poor Dave! You  just can’t trust a 10-year-old not to be stupid sometimes! Guess Dave learned that the hard way! You do have to admit, she does look good when she's clean!

You do have to admit, she does look good when she’s clean!