Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grace and The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge...everyone is welcome to play along by answering the questions on your own blog, then hopping back here to add your link to the list. I do hope you'll take just a minute to read my random thought today (#8) and visit the website I've posted there.

Here we go~

1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they'll say about this period in time?  What do you most hope they remember?

I think they'll laugh at our old fashioned technology. I imagine more than a few will wish they'd pulled their pants up and worn their ball caps the right way round. 

They'll likely remember a country divided, but one where shoots of optimism still made their way out of the ground. I suspect they'll view their elected officials and the so-called news media with a healthy dose of skepticism, born in the decades of their childhood. Sadly they'll also remember where they were when particular acts of terrorism were committed. 

What do I hope they most remember? That no matter what circumstance this tired troubled earth finds herself in, the One who made her has always had the whole world in His hands.

2. National Teacher's Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th...share how a particular teacher positively influenced you.

I loved my first grade teacher...I wanted her to adopt me, and I'm only half kidding. She definitely had that magic touch all first grade teachers should posses.  When it comes to influence though, I'd say my English teacher, junior year of high school. He had a reputation for being super tough, and he was, but he told me I could write and encouraged me in that vein. He also fed my love of reading by recommending books I probably wouldn't have gravitated to otherwise...Rebecca for one, Anna Karenina for another.

3. What's a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood?

So many, but I'm going with meatloaf.  When I make meatloaf I think of weeknight dinners growing up, my mom sometimes making it ahead and leaving my sister and I a note to pop it in the oven with some baked potatoes so it would be ready when she got home from work.  My mom worked part time when we were teenagers and often left dinner nearly ready with a note for us to finish the cooking.  I still love my mom's meatloaf and so does hubs. I know there are all sorts of probably great meatloaf recipes out there, but I never mess with mine. 

4.  Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing pieces, parts, or plugs required.  What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug free?

My favorite was Kick the Can which technically required a part, namely a big tin can we pulled out of someone's rubbish bin and rinsed out. I think the big Hawaiian Punch/Hi-C cans worked best, and since juices come in plastic bottles now I imagine its a little challenging to find a big tin can in 2013. Do they even make Hawaiian Punch anymore?

5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child.

One that comes to mind would be my next door neighbor. She had two little girls and I spent hours at her house when I was a teenager, talking her ear off.  She exuded a true calm and gentle spirit and had such a sweet soft patience with her daughters that I knew I wanted to emulate someday.  

I've never forgotten her, and as I've mothered my own daughters through the years, her example is often the one in my head.  

6. Mamma Mia!  What's the best play or musical you've ever seen?

Phantom of the Opera is my all time fave, but Jersey Boys ranks right up there too. Mamma Mia is definitely one of the most fun, especially at the end with the audience up on their feet singing along to the Abba songs. Go ahead and say you're not an Abba fan...if you see Mamma Mia I promise you'll be singing along too.  

My real honest to goodness favorite would be the Middle School production of Guys and Dolls we saw way back in 2004. Daughter2 was Adelaide and honestly, it was like she was born to play that role. I'm smiling just thinking about it. 

7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?

freshly mown grass, the woods in early morning, a just-lit charcoal grill

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

One year ago today my beautiful niece passed away.  

It has been a hard year, a year filled with the kinds of firsts nobody wants to experience. A year filled with heartache, but never ever without hope. 

A year where I have felt the deep truth in words penned by Jesus' own brother-

"...yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." James 4:14

Those words are no truer for the sick than for the healthy, no truer for the old than the young.  They stop me in my tracks and cause me to consider how I'm spending the minutes and the hours of my days.  How am I loving the people God has put in my path?
My brother in law, uncle to our very special niece, is a talented musician. He's releasing a brand new CD this month entitled Holding Hands with Grace, and the title song in particular is one near and dear to our hearts. He wrote this song in honor of Anna, and it's absolutely beautiful.  

You can purchase the song or the entire album by clicking the 'to buy' link on his website (

All proceeds from the download of the title song, Holding Hands with Grace, will go to the Anna Daley Fighting Saint Scholarship established in our niece's honor at St. Charles East High School. The St. Charles East team name is The Fighting Saints...a God wink if ever there was one.  

 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:22-23


  1. I picked Kick the Can too! I remember loving that game with my cousins. :) And Mamma Mia would be awesome to see live! I've only ever seen the movie version.

  2. What a beautiful way to honour your niece. Hope to meet Anna in heaven one day. :)

  3. I like the idea that you went with something your mother cooked and served...that you liked. I on the other hand remembered something I detested and had to sit and eat it before dessert. Oftentimes, I'd forgo dessert. LOL

  4. It's so hard to rationalize why a young person dies. I know heaven is a beautiful place, and your niece is already there. But, I feel so sad, and pray, for your family members who miss Anna. One day everyone will be reconnected!

  5. They still make Hawaiian Punch, although I think they call it something else now. It's in big half gallon plastic jugs that my boys would guzzle down in seconds if I allowed it. :)

  6. I picked Kick the Can too and they still make Hawaiian Punch more of a Kool-Aid mixture. Hugs going out for you today--It is hard to understand why young ones are taken away from us.

  7. Too funny about the Hawaiian Punch in the can... It's just not the same in the plastic bottle (doesn't taste the same as I remember either!) Remember, you had to pop two holes to make it pour out? Do they even sell openers like that anymore? Ours was on the other end of the bottle cap opener!

    Thanks for hosting!

    Julia @ Mom on the Run x2

  8. Funny you say meatloaf because that's the one meal I absolutely hated as a kid and if I ate meat today I would still hate it. :-) I find it interesting so many people love it. To each his/her own. Wishing you peace on this difficult day of the anniversary of your niece's passing.

  9. Yes, they do still sell Hawaiian punch...I see it all the time in Wal-Mart, though I haven't purchased it in years. What a great answer you gave for #1! I'm thinking of you and your family on this day of remembrance. Losing someone you love is never easy, especially when they're so young. May your memories bring you peace and comfort.

  10. Joyce, you always inspire me the way you put a positive spin on all things :) and you continue to amaze me week after week with the great questions you provide for The Hodgepodge! #1 was a tough one!

    The lyrics to your BIL's song, in honor of Anna, are just beautiful. Sending up prayers for the family today...

  11. What a fabulous way to remember your niece! I have never played "Kick the can".

  12. I forgot about juice coming in those big tin cans. Now it seems everything is in plastic. I agree that all first grade teachers should have that special touch.
    (((Hugs))) to you today as you all are missing your niece.

  13. Loved your answer to #2, well, I enjoyed all your answers and what a precious tribute to your niece. My goodness, I can't believe it has been a year already. Time truly does go by way too fast. Blessings to you!

  14. I never played kick the can but have a feeling I would have loved it. What a wonderful way to remember and celebrate your niece. Praying for you all today...HUGS

  15. My daughter believes in God but my son who majored in Philosophy has trouble with the concept. I admit I hated meatloaf as a child yet it is my families favorite meal! I totally forgot about Phantom of the Opera, that had to be 24 years ago when I took my son. It was wonderful. It hardly seems like an entire year has passed since your niece went to Heaven but I know in your hearts it feels like yesterday.
    Keeping your family in my prayers today and always. ((HUGS))

  16. I never saw Momma Mia live, but would love it.. I love ABBA so I would be singing along in the audience :)

    Fresh cut grass... yep...

    Your beautiful niece. I bet that year has felt so long without her :(

  17. I don't think I ever played Kick the Can either. Love your smells. Your sweet mother. And I am so sad about your niece. She was beautiful. And I don't know why things like that happen either. Love, sandie

  18. I have a habit of humming to myself and singing "fruit juicy" from the old Hawaiian Punch ads. My husband gets a kick out of it when I do it and it's become one of our call and answer things. He just bought me a bottle of Hawaiian Punch on Saturday, so they definitely still make it, but not in the big cans.

    The scholarship in your niece's memory is a wonderful tribute. {{hugs}}

  19. I love that...The Fighting Saints! Awesome!

  20. I just can't do plays or musicals. I had to when Birdie was in them in high school- it's always different when your kid is in them, right? LOL

  21. I remember you talking about your niece a year ago. That is a sad and unfortunate story. ;( Though she is now in a better place.
    I hope the Phillies don't sweep the Giants tonight! :/ Have a great rest of the week!

  22. What a nice way to honor your niece. I've seen Hawaiian punch but I've not seen it in cans, only plastic.

  23. Really enjoyed your answers and got me thinking of some of my old memories too, we played Red Rover all at school a lot, nothing needed for that but we learned real quick not to stand near any walls :)

    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  24. I can hear the pain in your words, so deep the loss of such a young family member. Hugs and prayers to your whole family. The nostalgia was just about too much for today! In good ways, though. I have often thought about Kick the Can at oddest times, and wondered what we used for a can that wasn't liitle because it was easy to kick. Thanks for reminding me. It was never OUR Hawaiian Punch because our parents didn't buy it. And none of my friends dared rinse out a stinky can of V8 !

  25. As always, a lovely hodgepodge! I just love this community of bloggers :) We just lit the charcoal grill to cook dinner ! :)

  26. My dear Joyce, I know all about the year of firsts. It is a painful thing. I recall reading a book called "The First Year of Forever". I cried the entire way through, because this was now my life. It has been 28 years since my Katie passed from this world. Most days I do well. Occasionally it all comes flooding back. I send my prayers, hugs and wish you God's peace.

  27. What beautiful lyrics, of a beautiful song, for a beautiful girl. I can't believe a whole year has passed. What an amazing project to help other's fulfill their dreams in her name : )

  28. It's hard to believe that was a year ago. I'm so sorry for your grief. It's special that your brother-in-law can use his gifts to honor her.

  29. Phantom of the Opera and Meatloaf! I didn't read your's first so that's pretty cool!

    Sad to read of your niece's passing ... "they" say time heals, but I believe it's actually God's hand of grace that does it. Healing doesn't mean we no longer cry, just that we smile a bit more.

  30. i love the music from phantom and all of his work---and i too adored my mom's meatloaf---such a beautiful memory of your niece <3

  31. I'm looking for a good meatloaf recipe. I've been thinking about wanting meatloaf all week.