Monday, December 17, 2007

House of Lies

Stephen, pumping his fist in the air: "I stand before a crumbling house of lies!"

"Did he ever marry his first wife?"

Abigail: "Sarah, can I borrow ____ [a Christian music artist]?"
Sarah: "He's...not mine to give."
Abigail: "Oh! I mean, can I borrow his CD?"

"I don't want to go to that funeral. I don't like funerals."
Dad: "Well, if you had died, wouldn't it bother you if no one came to your funeral?"
Jacob: "No."
"Oh. I guess it couldn't really bother you then, could it? But I know how you feel. I don't typically enjoy funerals either. I don't think they were meant to be enjoyed."
"You don't typically enjoy funerals? When was the time that you did enjoy one?"

Andrew to Sarah:
"You know what's bad about fasting on Tuesday? That's the day that Subway's has half-price footlongs."

Jacob: "Andrew and I are really good enemies."

"I have a bumpy voice."

Jacob, looking at a picture of a woman in a wedding gown:
"She sure would look bad if her head was shaved!"

David: "May the Lord pretend and defect you!” (as opposed to “May the Lord protect and defend you.”)

"When I die, bury me in the compost pile. But leave my head sticking out."
"Oh, do that for me, too! Except I want my feet sticking out."

Andrew to Mom:
"Can you talk faster? Because when you have finished talking, I've forgotten my response."

Sarah to Abigail: "Would you mind if I sent this email in your name?"
"It's not like I have any choice in the matter."

David, while coloring:
"This is the most colorful rat in the world!"

Stephen: "Mommy, I think Abigail has a fever."
Stephen: "Because I heard that people with fevers don't communicate very well."
David (goes over and puts his hand on Abigail's forehead):
"Yep, Abigail, you're a hothead!"

Mom, while looking at a picture of Bigfoot:
"Aww, he just looks like he needs a friend!"

Random person to Stephen:
"Is Sarah your mom?"
"No, she would have had to be 9 when she got married!"

Stephen, describing a political meeting that he attended with Sarah:
"I shook hands with all the men and hugged all the ladies and they said, "It's good to see you here, Mr. Greek."

Andrew: "200 years ago, everyone was 5 feet tall. That's because they wore hats that stunted their growth. Now, everyone is 6 feet tall."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Off the Record with Abigail

Welcome to the Abigail Exclusive! Here are some of Abigail's most recent observations.

"It would be fun to be a rabbi."

"I think my ears are too small."

to Sarah: "Can we go up to my room and chat? I really like chatting with you."

"I need to take a vow of silence."

"You know how horrible it is when you stay up really late with someone, and you tell them all these things, and then in the morning you're like, 'Why did I say that?'?"

"I've forgotten what they do at weddings."

"Quit trying to be sentimental. You're failing miserably."

*says something completely ridiculous and nearly scandalous*
Sarah: "Abigail!"
"Well, you said something stupid first, and I didn't want you to feel left out."

"They need to know how stupid they are."

"I'm not talking."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Unattended in Walmart

Mom handed me the shopping list.

"You can get started while I have my eye appointment. It'll take about forty-five minutes."

I looked down at David, who was to be my partner in 'crime'. "Sweet! We're gonna have fun, aren't we, buddy?"

"Are we gonna have cart races?" he asked expectantly, seeing my excitement.

"Well, I don't know about that, but we'll sure have some fun!" I promised.

As soon as Mom was out of sight, I started pushing a cart down the aisle and scanned the list. "Ok David, let's get you the slippers you wanted first thing." I stepped over to let him push the cart. "You lead the way, buddy!"

David grinned happily and pushed off. I followed him through men's clothes, then the boy's clothing department. Finally he turned back to the front of the store. He entered one of the main aisles and started going faster. I hurried to catch up, and he turned and gave me a wry smile.

"I wonder what the speed limit is."

Bursting out laughing, I asked, "David, do you know where the slippers are?"

"No, but I don't like this cart, so I'm going to get a new one."

We went back to the front of the store and found a new cart (on second thought, maybe we should have gotten one of those electric wheelchair thingies - that would have been fun!). David took the steering wheel and pushed it a couple feet. "This is too bumpy!" he said, refering to the horrible clacking sound the wheels were making.

"If you give a seven-year-old a shopping cart...." I thought. He would have exchanged it, but I didn't want to waste time.

David told me that he was going to ask someone for directions. I followed his lead. We walked up to a lady who had a badge on. "Where are your slippers?" David questioned.

She shot us a queer look.

"You know, the kind you sleep in."

I smiled and said nothing. The lady guestured for David to follow her and headed toward the back of the store. She stopped and pointed down the long hallway. "Just go to where that big 'SHOE' sign is, ok?"

David nodded and pushed the cart toward the sign. After selecting some camouflage slippers, we headed toward the food department.

"Now, buddy, we are going to take turns finding things. You go first and get some cheese, ok?"

He smiled his consent and started down an aisle.

"No David. I said cheese, not beer."

He led the way and I placed a package in the cart.

"Alrighty, the next thing is avocadoes. Follow me!"

I wound my way through the aisles while he pushed the cart behind me. After deciding that avocadoes were too expensive ($1.17 each) I chose some lettuce, gave David the cart, and read the next item: cottage cheese.

David pushed the cart back to the cheese section, but there was no cottage cheese to be seen. He wandered through some more aisles. We passed a lady shopper. Her little boy, who looked about seven, was following his mom around the store. The two boys exchanged a glance, and I saw pride written all over David's face. That "Aren't-I-cool-and-important?-and-by-the-way-that-wasn't-a-question" look.

A little later, I showed David the way to the cottage cheese (in case you were wondering, it was by the yogurt).

As we were shopping, fellow shoppers continued to give us strange looks. I could plainly tell what they were thinking. "Homeschoolers!"

Also on the list was a wedding present for some friends of ours. David and I went over to the frame and candle section. We passed some CD's and a board where you could hear sample music. I couldn't resist. I turned the music way up and selected some bagpipe music.

"Hey, David, since we're looking for a wedding present, let's get in the mood!"

I pressed "Classic Love Songs". We heard slow saxophone music that was more depressing than romantic. In disgust, I switched it off. David took over as dj while I went to look at the frames. Seeing nothing, I turned around and saw David dancing in the aisle to 'Since You Been Gone'.

Laughing, I went over to him and pointed out the "Little Children on the Move" CD. He turned it on and danced a little jig to "If You're Happy and You Know It".

David and I headed down the aisle while I looked for the next thing on our list. We paused for a Walmart worker who was lugging some bags of dog food. He bore a remarkable resemblance to Albert Einstein, only less smart.

The next thing on our list was rat traps. We had to ask somebody for help. He led the way through the toy section to a place where I never would have thought to look. All the way he was explaining to me why he knew where these traps are because he got some a few weeks earlier and on and on and on. I understood about one-fourth of what he was saying. We got to the traps, but seeing only mouse traps, I asked if they had any rat traps. His eyes got very wide. He froze up a little, but managed "Y-Y-You have RATS?"



Seeing that they didn't have any, we turned around. I ran ahead and hid behind some Christmas trees, but I couldn't scare David, so we went to the the other side of the store (after I barely managed to get him through the toy section). A drink of water was next. I turned around from the water fountain and was horrified by what I saw.

Painted on the wall was a picture of the earth: big, blue, and green. Under the planet was a drab looking brick building with 'WalMart' painted near the top. There were two sets of doors, both very plain. One side was painted 'Entrance', and the other 'Exit'. Looking at the picture, I knew immediately what was missing. A barbed wire fence surrounding the building.

PROOF! All the theories were true! WalMart WAS going to take over the world! I pointed it out to David loudly just as a Walmart worker passed by. I knew she knew I knew the truth.

After a little more shopping, we finally got tired and decided to follow somebody around. First we tried a mom and a little boy, with little success (they looked at us a few times, but David wanted to find somebody else).

"David! Look at that guy in the black suit! We have to follow him! He's probably a spy!"

"Really?!" His eyes widened.

"Sure! Come on!"

I turned down the aisle behind him, but David darted the opposite way.

"David! What are you doing?" I hissed.

"I'm turning around. This is too scary!"


It was no use. I followed David around, glancing remorsely at the evil dude in the black suit.

We landed next on a mom and her daughter. When the mom went one way and the daughter went the other way, we followed the daughter and found a clue.

She waved to a boy.

Yes, that's right. She waved to a boy! Scandalous.

After that, we followed her over to the aisles that hold hairspray, hair color, brushes and the like. On the way, (we followed about three feet behind her) she glanced quite a few times at me. I knew she was wondering what was up. She tried to hide her glances, but I could tell what she was thinking. I smiled mysteriously, winked at David, and poked him. He grinned back. This was getting good!

Mom paged us over the intercom just then, and we lost her.

Until next time,

Agent Abby

Friday, October 19, 2007

Depends on the Angle

Mr. W. to Stephen: "Isn't your sister Abigail beautiful?"
Stephen: "Yes, if you look at her from the right angle."

Andrew: "I was so cute when I was a kid."
Abigail: "I was cute, too, back when I was a kid. Then I lost my cuteness, but now I'm gaining it back again."

Mom, while discussing Hamas and Hezbollah: "They're in such a beautiful place. I don't understand why they just don't go down to the ocean and swim and think about God."

Stephen and David were making shadows with their hands on the wall of their room one night.
David to Mom: "What's this that I've made?"
Mom: "I think it's a puma."
David: "Nope, guess again."
Mom: "I don't know, it looks like a puma to me."
David: "No, it's the body of a puma and the head of Abraham Lincoln."

Sarah: "Some men are fallible. Others are more so."

David: "I'm allergic to socks. I don't wear socks."

Sarah: "John Donne said 'No man is an island'. He was right. He forgot to take the next step, though. No woman is a continent."

Sarah: "Could you hand me that silly little whatcha-ma-call-it thingy thing?"

Abigail to Sarah: "I learned a long time ago not to question your logic."

Woman: "Did you see that old man jump off the cliff into the river?"
Mrs. D: "That was my husband."
Woman: "Oh, dear! I would never let my husband do that."
Mrs. D: "I would never think of stopping mine."

Mr. D: "That's my walking partner: we go walking together every morning. He's only ninety."

Mrs. D: "What kind of tree is that?"
Mr. D: "It's a green tree."

Sarah: "The milk is bad."
Dad: "The milk isn't bad. It just tastes....different."

Ruthie: "I have two friends. One gives me good advice, and the other gives me bad advice. They both help."

Sarah: "Why do you have to do it just because I'm doing it?"
Andrew: "Because you opened the door, so I'm walking through."

Dad, reading 1st Corinthians: "...Where is the debater of this age?"
Stephen: "Sarah!"

Stephen: "It's good to cry a little bit everyday."

Andrew to Sarah, who was ordering him around: "You're acting like an old maid this morning, only worse."

Mom to Andrew: "Don't do that, because I do that, and it's bad."

photo by Jef Bettens

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I filled out a tax form today. You know, one of those ominous little black and white monsters who terrorize Americans like clockwork every April.

Oh! That reminds me. I wonder if anyone has ever thought of designating the IRS as a terrorist organization. After all, if you don't buy them off, they'll come with big guns and...

Never mind! Just kidding. To all the IRS agents out there reading this: I take it back! Really, I do.

Back to my story. So, I was filling out this tax form. And suddenly I see a little note at the bottom of the page.

"For federal tax purposes, you are considered a person if you are:

An individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States,

A partnership, corporation, company, or association created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States, or

Any estate (other than a foreign estate) or trust. See Regulations sections 301.7701-6(a) and 7(b) for additional information."


That piqued my interest. You are a person if?

I always thought you were a person if you were capable of wondering if you are a person. Cogito, ergo sum! I mean, you'd think that most of the IRS's audience would be comprised of persons (Unless, of course, there's someone else on the planet who is interested in paying taxes. Yes! Let the primates foot the bill!).

Apparently I was mistaken. For all I knew, I might be a nonperson. For federal tax purposes, I could be anything!

My fingers twitched nervously, and I rocked slowly back and forth in my seat. The pressure was getting to me. Was I a person, or wasn't I?

I ran quickly through the list. I am not a partnership, corporation, company, association, or estate.

But I am an individual...right?

You can't be too careful. I rushed over to the nearest computer and typed in the address of my trusty friend:


The page had never loaded so slowly. I bit down hard on my lip and waited desperately for the verdict.

"Individual: a person."


And to think that I went to all that trouble.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, tax form. It's nice to be sure.

See Regulation section 28450.2731 subsection 342.18(b) for additional information.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

When Freezers Feel

I've written before about the beautiful personality that lurks just below the coldness of modern society. Some people like to think of technology as cold and hard and uncaring, but in my personal journey, I've discovered that even machines are capable of expressing deep emotional sentiments.

Well, I had another glorious moment of discovery in Walmart (where else?) a few weeks ago. I was grocery shopping. The monotony of aisles and carts and shelves was beginning to wear on my mind, and a dreadful dullness was creeping over my spirit. Listlessly, I added item after item to the cart with a quiet apathy. It had been a rough day. I was just another consumer in a billion-dollar industry.

Frozen broccoli was next on my list. I yawned and directed my cart toward an aisle in the frozen food department. As I started down the row, I happened to notice that all the lights were off in the freezers. Oh dear. The second law of thermodynamics was at work...again.

But I was wrong. A greater law was at work here. Just as the front of my cart became parallel with the first freezer door, the lights inside snapped on cheerfully. Astonishing!

All else magically disappeared to me as I glided down the aisle. With each step I took, the lights on either side flashed on merrily, with a brilliant wink and a smile. The food inside grinned enticingly under the friendly glow of the bulbs.

I felt as though I walked on red carpet. I could almost hear a Marine band playing Hail to the Chief. I could almost sense the thundering applause. Never had I been so respected in Walmart! Never had my arrival been so celebrated!

My back straightened, and a brilliant smile lit my face. For the first time in my shopping career, I felt noticed and appreciated. For the first time in my life, a freezer had expressed respect for my natural superiority!

Of course, a less astute consumer would probably have come to a very different conclusion. They might have guessed that the new lighting system was merely the result of a desire to cut utility costs. Perhaps they would have decided that Sam Walton had been convicted by Al Gore's Convenient Lie and and become aware of the fact that every moment of saved electricity benefited Antarctica's polar bears all that much more....

But I knew the truth. I immediately understood that this was a noble effort to honor me, the consumer. Me, the consumer, the missing link that made the world's economy possible. The consumer, who, out of all the places that she could be, choose to spend her money and her afternoon in Walmart's frozen food department. It was about time for some recognition!

I turned down the next aisle of frozen food. Just ahead of me, two young girls were sauntering proudly down the aisle, grinning like only girls who know they're loved can do. The freezer lights flickered on in perfect synch with their steps. You could see the joy all over their faces. Society had recognized their value! In a moment, they had gone from just another consumer to respected princesses. You could practically hear the symphony.

We exchanged broad smiles and shared a secret giggle. It was the first kind look from a fellow shopper all afternoon!

My spirits lifted, I continued the day.

~ ~ ~

Just yesterday, I found myself in Walmart once again, doing the family's grocery shopping. Noting the frozen items on my list, I headed over to the frozen food aisles. This time I wasn't looking forward to the welcome I knew I'd receive, though. I had just returned from a funeral. It wasn't a time to celebrate.

Apparently, though, the freezers caught on. They continued in their morose darkness as I padded down the aisle. The ice cream freezer, however, farther on down, flickered up tentatively. Somehow, I found the low wink consoling. Hope would rise again in the morning.

I selected a half gallon of (all-natural) strawberry ice cream, to celebrate. After all, it was on the grocery list!

I went home comforted. The freezers loved, understood, and appreciated me for all I was worth. It was a dark world, but the freezers cared!

Next time, I fully expect a hug.

Why not?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Overheard at TPJ

For those of you at TP Judicial who requested them. Thanks for the laughs and the great memories!

Mr G: "I decided I'd come down and make sure ya'll weren't dancing around fires or anything."

Kyra: "If I was watching me, I would creep myself out."

Mr. G [a lawyer]: "I hate lawyers. None of my friends are lawyers. Lawyers are the most obnoxious segment of the population."

"Maybe if we make coffee like Mr. Echols, we'll act like Mr. Echols."

"I've never made coffee before, but I don't think that's the way you make it."

"But these (party hats) make us look awkward."
"We looked awkward already."

"I didn't realize that I was supposed to be offended by that, but thanks for letting me know."

"What's a motorboat? Is that like a regular boat with a motor?"

Kyra: "Save a monkey. Shoot a person."
Landon: "That monkey will then turn into a person."
Kyra: "Who will then shoot himself to save another monkey."

Kyra: "I see baby seals and then I'm like 'I need a stuffed animal!'"

"You're generic. We can buy you at Sam's Club."
"In bulk. At discount price."

To a chess player: "You're...chessy."

"In Arizona, we're 50th at everything, and proud of it."

"In Ohio we lose at everything, but we're very protective of it."

Emily Smith: "If the whole lawyer thing doesn't work, you can go be a manager at QT."

Kyra: "...but that would encourage grown men to wear sandals in public, and we don't want that."

Erinn to me: "You would look good with angel wings."

Mr. Norris:

"Take the flavor of what I'm saying and not the snippets, because when you take the snippets, it's bad for me."

Unfortunately for Mr. Norris, I took the snippets. Here are the results:

"Are you the kind of person who likes to write outlines with Roman numerals? Well, I'm not going to give that to you. I go all over the place."

"Did you just write that down, and you don't know what it means? Good! You're on your way to becoming a lawyer."

On ethics: "They're ok with stealing the ball, but they're mad because their ball was stolen."

On making assumptions: "Don't you just see how you can jump from lilypad to lilypad, and then all of a sudden it's not a lilypad, but it's a magic carpet and you fly away...?"

On justice: "...Or you could just go and try the vigilante style, where all the good people kill all the bad people, and it's great. Except then you forget which group you're in."

"...the Constitution, which was sort of ratified by sort of most of us."

"If you can dance on the head of a pin, and you do, that's fine, but when your feet start hurting, don't cry out to God, because He's the one holding the pin."

On democracy: "I'm not always crazy about the majority. Sometimes the majority is stupid."

"He's brilliant [referring to his son]. He said, 'it wants to kill me, therefore I must kill it.'"

"If I knew that I danced that bad, I would be against dancing."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Conversation on Wheels

Ever been in a conversation that moved fast enough to get lost in? A conversation that went from philosophy to shampoo at the snap of a finger?

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a large van full of gregarious TeenPacters. For two entire hours. It was great. We went from discussing politics to commenting on garlic in about 0.2 seconds.... and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I journaled our topics of conversation for about twenty minutes. Here's what we covered during that time span, in the order we discussed it. As you'll notice, we jumped from one subject to the next at a breathtaking speed. Sometimes you can see where one topic led to the next, but at other times even relevance is irrelevant.

Characteristics of the South

Women in the South


Political correctness

Garlic in Italy

Seatbelt legislation

The purpose of government

Traffic fatalities

Motorboat accidents

Synonyms for 'morbid'

Mispronouncing vocabulary words

Mispronouncing 'Penelope'

Adventures in Odyssey vs. Homer's Odyssey

The ridiculous conversation we were engaged in

Solutions for disposing of the world's waste (all of them unpractical)

Smog in New York City

How to propel trash into space

Global warming

Global cooling

Al Gore's electric bill

An Inconvenient Truth

The Kyoto Protocol

Polar bears and seals

Stuffed animals


The Life of Pi

Party hats

Barf bags

Food poisoning

China's equivalent of the FDA and what they're up to

Panda bears


Veggie Tales

Mars Hill

Small towns

The nature of reality

Rene Descartes


The 'if it feels good, do it' philosophy

"I think, therefore I am" vs. 'I am, therefore, I think'

The upcoming moot court tournament

....and there it ended, because we remembered that some of us would be competing in the tournament. ;)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Me 'N My Automobile

Not so many years ago, folks would drive their buggies to town, tie their horses to the hitching post, stroke the creatures who had brought them there so faithfully, and step inside the general store to purchase the supplies they needed. When they came back out, the horses would whinny with joy. Then the people would feel happy to have companions who valued their presence so highly.

Back in those days, everything had a more personal touch. You watered and fed your horses, talked to them, and petted them. Unless you were some sort of ogre from Black Beauty, chances were that you and your horse were good friends.

These days, people just have automobiles. It's difficult to be friends with an automobile. You can't talk to it when you're changing the oil, and staying up at night with it when it's feeling poorly doesn't do much good. An automobile isn't happy when you come to see it in the morning. My vehicle has yet to whinny happily when I come out to the garage.

I do, however, like to observe other people's cars and the relationships that they have developed with these vehicles. There isn't always much to see, though. I have yet to watch a person bury their face in a vehicle's exterior and murmur sweet nothings while mingling their breath with the warm moistness of the car's exhalation system, as they might do if the vehicle was a horse. Somehow I don't blame them.

It's the 21st century now, yet we still haven't managed to escape our longing for the personalized side of life. Instead, as with so many other ancient pleasures, we have managed to repackage it and charge ten times the original amount.

We have done so, in this particular case, with flair.

I was sitting in our suburban a few weeks ago in the Walmart parking lot, indulging in one of my favorite hobbies - people watching, if you must know. Walmart is one of the best places to people watch, especially since my family shops there frequently and I am boycotting said emporium. Trying, anyhow.

Normally, people watching is incredibly distressing, and leads one to contemplate a life of solitude and eternal rejection of society at large. I was pondering such matters when I suddenly became aware of an incredible phenomenon.

I noticed that folks would get out of their vehicles, walk about 50 feet away, and then turn around. At that point, they would press a miniscule button on their keychain. Suddenly, like magic, the vehicle would wink at them!

I was astounded. The personal touch had been revived. It had been repackaged for the 21st century in all its former glory!

I was even more amazed to see what happened when folks finally emerged from the store. Once again, they would press the little button. Once again, the car would wink, sometimes even twice. The coolest cars would even make a cheerful beeping noise. It was a sound that was even cooler than a horse's whinny and more reassuring than a dog's wagging tail. It was also infinitely more personal.

Of course, the relief on each individual's face was priceless. It's good to be loved.

At that point, I was ready to try the procedure myself. I pulled the keys out of the ignition and jumped out of the suburban. After backing up slowly, I pressed the glorious little button and waited for a response.

I was not disappointed. The vehicle winked at me! It then fortified itself against invaders and awaited my return.

I walked into Walmart on air. This time, the impersonal nature of the traditional shopping experience did not unnerve me. The personal touch had once again become an integral part of the American lifestyle!

Upon my return, I roamed the colossal parking lot with a burning curiousity. I tried to signal the coolest vehicles to wink at me, but without success. Apparently, none of them felt a special bond with me. Then I spotted our suburban in the distance.

I dropped my bags and ran toward it, suddenly desperate for some personal acknowledgment in a cold, impersonal world. At the appropriate distance, I skidded to a stop, leaned back for effect, and pressed the magic button.

Instantly, the vehicle lit up and winked twice. Then, with a click, it emancipated itself from the locks that held it secure. My chariot was ready!

Needless to say, I am still thrilled with this development. The ancient affection that once bonded a person to his or her horse has been lifted from its stony grave and repackaged for my generation. The personal touch in transportation has been ushered into the 21st century with a wink and a click!

We welcome her back with a beep.

Disclaimer: The description of the author's behavior in this narrative was subject to creative license. ;)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Overheard at the Family Reunion

Last week, we celebrated a family reunion with Mom's side of the family. They are the coolest non-Greeks ever - seriously! Our days were packed full of fun and laughter. We also ate, played in the water, talked, played in the water some more, took pictures, and did lots of other great stuff. We enjoyed the time immensely! Families are awesome.

Scott: "Normal people don't have 6 kids."

Scott to Stephen: "Abigail freaks me out!"

Abigail: "Who is the president of the United States?"
Leo: "Barack Obama."

Dad was putting sunscreen on Stephen.
"You need to spread it around more, please."
"I know, I'm just doing the initial distribution."
Stephen: "You're writing my initials with sunscreen on my forehead? Cool!"

David to Stephen: "You don't take care of things, and neither do I."

Stephen: "When I see a little boy like ___, it makes me want to get married and have children."

Leo: "Abigail likes me, even though I'm a boy."

Aunt Lauren: "I can really see the resemblance between Steve and Karen."
Scott: "Yeah, they both have yellow teeth."

Leo to Abigail while playing 'Great White Sharks' in the pool: "No! You can't do that 'cause you're dead."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Snake, by David

Once upon a time there was a boy named David. He had three sisters and two brothers. He was playing outside. And a rattle snake came out of the trees, and three men came out with it. They were laughing. I thought they were my brothers. And yes, they were. Then the heavens opened. And two police men shot their guns at the heavens. Then I got the shovel. And I chopped the snake's head off. Then I got my Dad's gun and I shot the brain of the snake. Then the policemen arrested me. THE END.

Ha ha! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New, new, hear all about it!

Alrighty here fellow people of earth, and anyone else. Time for a new feature that I have been nagging Sarah to do for a long time. And we finally did it! *cheers*

Okay, so check out the poll we have added on the right side of the web-page, and please hurry, too, cause I really look forward to hearing your answers. We'll be making new polls pretty often, (guess who defines 'pretty often'? :P ). Anyhow though, keep on the lookout for random goofy polls coming up!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Postage

It now costs forty-one cents to mail a letter.

I'm sitting here in horror, trying to wrap my mind around said egregious fact.

It costs forty-one cents to mail a letter.

It costs forty-one cents to mail a letter!

And yet there are no riots on the street. I hear nothing of tear gas and policemen, of broken glass and burning vehicles. No one has gone to Washington to demonstrate. No one has fled the country. The world still spins on its axis. Apparently, everything still goes on as normal.

Yet here I sit, petrified. Aghast at the demise of the country I love.

What I greatly feared has come upon me. I will most surely go broke. I will live in misery and perish in obscurity, the innocent victim of a tyrannical postal system.

I still have vague remembrances of the good old days, the days when one could mail a letter for twenty-nine cents. Sure, that was still too much, and you had to lick the back, but at least there was a little money left over to pay the bills after you paid the postage by which to mail them.

Not so these days.

We scraped together a small fortune and bought some stamps a few days ago. They were large and triangular, which struck me as rather odd. They were also unusually beautiful. Apparently, the post office has decided that they will obscure their evil by putting a new face on postage. Apparently, they have been successful.

But the truth remains. This is no time for sugar coating the matter. We have done that for too long already. Ladies and gentlemen, the end of all things is at hand. Prepare to meet your Maker.

It costs forty-one cents to mail a letter.

It costs forty-one cents to mail a letter!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Overheard at the Capitol...

Unidentified Senator: "If you get ten letters on an issue, it's a big issue."

Senator Graham: "I love the House [of Representatives], but I don't always trust them."

Senator Graham (paraphrase): "But I just read through their governmental regulations, and it only took me 10 minutes! That's not long enough." [We need more government control than that!]

Senator Wilson (discussing birth): "Sometimes the placenta can get tangled around the mother's neck." :P

Senator Wilson: "You know the game, and it's all a game."

Anonymous lobbyist about anonymous legislator: "If he were in a different body, he would be the perfect man." (she was kidding, just for the record)

Abram, a Christian lobbyist, regarding a petty dispute in the legislature: "Regardless of race, religion, or party, when it comes down to it, at the end of the day, all men are four-year-olds."

Greeting card: "When a man is talking in the woods and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

Anonymous Legislator: "Oh, those Republicans! Those lazy, corrupt, foolish Republicans! Oh, wait - I'm a Republican."

Anonymous individual: "He's a nice-looking guy. Too bad he's not a nice guy."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Soft in Spirit

Stephen: "I want to marry someone with a soft spirit, so she won't fight with me."
David: "I don't think that will work for you, because you have a hard spirit."

Andrew: "You know how people are more likely to crash when they're speeding? Well, they should change the speed limit to 100 miles per hour, and then less people would speed, and so less people would crash."

David to Andrew: "You would look better if you were black and a little bit fat."

David: "Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel?! That's stupid! And it seemed like a short time to him?!"
Jacob: "I would have just found another girl."

Andrew: "Sarah, why do you always mark emails as 'unread'? You shouldn't do that. That's lying to yourself."

Dad to Abigail, while discussing Bill and Hillary Clinton: "I wonder if it's possible for the Beast and the Antichrist to be married."

David, while eating homemade yogurt: "It's still alive!"

David: "Those puppies were really cute. They were even cuter than me!"

Abigail to Stephen: "You're about to make me lose my temper. And you don't want to do that. Trust me!"

Sarah: "My perfectionism makes me cruel."

Sarah: (looking at and smiling with anticipation) : "I really want some more books to read. Oh, wait, I have lots of books to read downstairs!"

Jacob to Dad: "I would really like to have this. Aren't Dads supposed to buy things for their little boys?"

David to Dad after Dad cut his leg with the chainsaw: "How old is your leg?"

David, after being pricked by a cactus: "Ouch! This is pricking me. But it's all for the best..."

David to Sarah: "You're too old to be cute."

Andrew: "A team can do anything."

David: "Mommy, did you call Uncle Steve 'uncle steve' when he was a little boy?"

David, seeing a pillared building on a hill: "Mommy, look! The Romans live up there!"

Sarah to an unidentified male: "You are chivalry personified - you just have to be goaded on a little and nagged for a few minutes."

Abigail: "My calendar says, "All you need is love". I'm not so sure. I could use some money, too."

Abigail: "People think that love is an upwards kind of thing, but it isn't. It's a downward thing. You fall in love."

Andrew to Sarah: "You're going to share your chocolate-covered raisins with us? If I were you, I would keep them forever."

David to Sarah: "Why are you putting your chocolate-covered raisins away? Is it because you are embarrassed that I am throwing them?"

David: "I really want to be an uncle!"

David to Sarah: "If you wait too long to get married, all the men will be dead."

Andrew to Sarah: "If you care what I say, you are very gullible."

David to Sarah: "I am the spoiledest boy in the whole world."

Andrew to Abigail: "What? You are sending an email to __ ? You have no business sending her an email that long! Oh, you're going to start talking about me. Of course. I'm the famous one!"
Abigail: "Sigh to the fifth power."

David: "Sarah, you have braided hair! That is cool. Were you born with braided hair?"

David to Sarah: "Did you notice that most of the people in the park today were sinners?"

Dad to Sarah: "Don't ever get engaged to a man who wears a baseball cap all the time."

Andrew: "Sarah had it harder than all of us. She had to break Mom and Dad in."

Sarah to Abigail: "I had to fight for everything I've got, but you get life handed to you on a golden platter!"

Andrew: "Usually ladies don't make good comedians."

David: "I saw a man cigaretting [smoking]."

Jacob, after nearly slipping on a puddle of water in the kitchen: "Whew! If I was an old lady, I would have died!"

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Westward, ho!

Yes, you heard right. The Greeks went off to Colorado some time ago for a bit of visiting, skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, and other great adventures. We've asked aspiring writer and historian David Greek to give us exclusive access to his personal journal for his firsthand account of the skiing portion of the trip. He's agreed, albeit very reluctantly, and so we're going to hurry and post this before he changes his mind...


"I skied for two days. It was very fun skiing. I rented my skies and boots. I went on the chairlift about 12 times a day. It was very fun skiing when I went down hills. I learned how to ski very fast. I skied down White Rabbit ski run and Lonesome Whistle and Hobo Alley, Bluebell, Coronaway, Edelweiss, Marchhare, Dormouse and a few more. We went as high as 11,307 feet. The drive up was very curvy. The two person chairlift was scary. But the other chairlifts were not scary. We went skiing at Winter park. It was very fun skiing. Stephen fell getting on the chairlift. I saw a little boy skiing with a walkie-talkie."

And there you have it - David's personal narrative, reported exclusively to the privileged readers of the The Grecian Inquirer. Maybe if you leave lots of nice comments, David will be persuaded to make more of his writings public. Rumor has it that he's been churning out some wild western fiction lately.

And yes, we realize we haven't been posting, but we also realize that you don't want to hear our excuses. We do plan to post more often...and we have lots of good stuff in storage. Keep watching! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

War on Mice

Diary entry, March 25, 2007

You can just forget about Mickie, Minnie, Reepicheep, Jerry, Despereaux Tilling, and Stuart Little. Mice are evil. They are inherently, intrinsically, irretrievably evil. They aren't going to save the world, they don't wear clothes, and they don't fall in love. They don't talk, they aren't cute, and they don't paddle canoes.

My compliments to Walt Disney, E.B. White, and Kate DiCamillo, but you all were really wrong. Really, really, wrong. Even C.S. Lewis got it wrong here. Sorry, folks. Welcome to the real world. You were destined to find out sooner or later.

The fact, as I said, is that mice are evil. And the forces of evil have a certain little tendency that I'd like to tell you about. They like to portray themselves as cute and cuddly and sweet and lovable. They want to appear on your silver screen and work their way into your unsuspecting heart and captivate you. They want to make you think that they are like you. They want to be your friend.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am no friend to evil, C.S. Lewis or not.

My experiences with the species Mus musculus began at a very early age. I may have lived in Orlando and I may have gone to Disney World, but Mickie and Minnie never succeeded in worming their way into my heart.

You can't say they didn't try, though. Knowing that I was destined to become a woman who loathed evil in all its forms, they worked relentlessly to sabotage my sense of decency. Andrew and I used to find them in plastic form, fully clothed and smiling, at the very bottom of our Rice Crispy box during breakfast. Sure, we used to argue over who got to keep them, but I never let my guard down. The only nice thing about Minnie was that she wore a pink dress and had a bow in her hair. Come to think of it, it was a very short pink dress.

Speaking of plastic form, isn't it interesting how all that body hair disappears when mice make media appearances? I always found that fact very revealing (no pun intended) of the true character of mice. Evil likes to cover its ugliness with something attractive.

But back to the history of me and mice (proper grammar protocol would dictate that I say 'mice and I', but my sense of dignity prevents my placing the name of mus musculus before my own). It's a very interesting story. Come to think of it, I am a rather interesting person, but that's another story for another time. Interesting has its downfalls, you know.

I was lying across my bed at 5 AM this morning, trying to convince myself that I wanted to put my feet on the cold floor and start the day. I was mumbling to myself about the things I had to do, the places I had to go, the people I had to meet, and the evil I had to fight, when the very impersonation of evil itself scurried across my threshhold. Yes, a mouse.

I stared, horrified, at the whiskered felon who was sniffing the tile only a few feet away. My mouth went dry and my toes curled under my feet and my heart skipped a beat and the clock stopped ticking (to tell you the truth, it hadn't been ticking previously). I blinked and swallowed, then clenched my fist and pounded my quilt. The evil omen squeezed himself under the door and pattered away.

I hate mice. I can live with cockroaches and and crickets and ticks and chiggers and flies if I must, but not mice. If spiders were mankind's greatest nemesis, I would be superwoman. I've done battle with ferocious canines and attacking roosters and bolting cows and bucking horses and uncooperative goats and poisonous snakes and insane cats. I'm a country girl. But I don't do mice.

I swallowed hard and reflected on the terrible truth that a mouse had just entered my hallowed chambers and emerged unscathed. I bit my lip and wondered what else had been roaming my room during the night. For an entire 15 minutes, unable to move a muscle, I reflected on the entire history of conflict between myself and the evil force we refer to as mice......

My first impressions of mice were formed at a very early age. Like most children, I had passionate thirst for knowledge, and, like most mothers, my dear mother took advantage of me.

It happened like this. My mother, beset with toddlers who had not yet acquired an appreciation for standard practices of hygiene, sat my brother and I down and told us about the Bubonic Plague. The Bubonic Plague (also known as the Black Death or the Black Plague) was a terrible thing that happened in Europe a long, long time ago (the 1340's and beyond, to be exact). It was a sickness that was spread by mice and rats, and the only way to keep from dying was to wash your hands 100 times every day and take the yucky-tasting vitamins you were supposed to take. Because the Europeans weren't smart enough to do that, most of them died, and the mice ate them. We might get the plague too, if we weren't good little children, and didn't wash our hands...or something like that.

And so, from a very young age, I had the privilege of knowing the truth about mice (thanks, Mom!). Mickey and Minnie never stole my heart. The pet store never fooled me. I never watched Tom and Jerry. The Tale of Despereaux made me sick. A mouse falling in love with a little girl? They called this a classic? Children read this in school? Sorry, Miss DiCamillo. This was worse than Stuart Little. This was worse than Winnie the Pooh!

.....But that was then. This, believe it or not, was now.

I finally mustered the courage to touch the infected floor with my bare foot. I stepped out of bed gingerly. After checking under the bed, I got ready for the day, though with extreme caution.

Finally, I was ready to head upstairs. Normally, I walk all the way upstairs in complete darkness at a brisk pace, the result of many years of trial and error and several bumps into walls. This time was different.

I opened my door as wide as it would open to allow the light to shine into the hallway. After peering intently into the darkness, I ventured slowly out into the hallway, stomping my feet to scare away any intruders. Fyi, bare feet on a cement floor don't make a very frightening sound, but I certainly tried. I reached the end of the hallway and flipped on the light switch. The hall was empty. To be safe, however, I made a dash back to my room.

I reached safety and turned around to see if the light of our energy-efficient lightbulb (Al Gore would be proud) would reveal anything else. Suddenly feeling afraid, I only stuck the very tip of my nose out into the hall.

There was a mouse in the middle of the hallway!

The inevitable occurred.

I screamed.

The mouse ran toward me, then made a left turn into the office.

I screamed again, grabbed my Bible, and dashed upstairs before I had time to chicken out.

The response was immediate. Dad stepped out of his room, blinking and rubbing his eyes.

"What's the matter?"

"There's a mouse in the office!"

And then, just like the hero that he is, he dutifully set a mousetrap in the office. Although he did remark, "Sarah, you don't have to turn on every light in the house."

Oops. Sorry, Mr. Gore.

He went back to bed, while I settled down to read. The minute I sat down, I knew I had forgotten something.

I had to go downstairs again!

So I braced myself and made a run for it. At the bottom of the stairs, I turned on the light and stuck the tip of my nose out into the hallway again to check for my little attacker.

He was sitting in front of my bedroom door!

Not again! He was peering into my room, as though trying to decide if I was there or not. I sucked in a breath of air. He jumped and began running towards me. Just short of where I stood, he dashed under the office door and disappeared.

I swallowed my fears and retrieved the necessary item from my room. Back upstairs again, I sat down at the table and opened my Bible, but not before realizing that my trip downstairs had been completely useless - I didn't need the item after all!

I opened my Bible with a sigh, ready for inspiration. I can't think of a time when I haven't found at least one thing in my morning reading that particularly inspired me. This time, I was looking for something that would address the morning's challenges.

"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching....let us press on to maturity, not...of instruction about washings...of hands...."

I was horrified. What? I always thought it was 'wash your hands or perish'!

Let us press on to maturity? But of course! Fight evil. Fight mice. I could see it now, Mr. Churchill himself....

"Never, never, never give in!....Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the mice and all the odious apparatus of rodent rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in America, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Continent, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Continent or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our friends beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the American Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old....."

And so I have reached a conclusion. The problem of mice is intolerable. It is atrocious. It is unsufferable. We must fight. We must never, never give in. They have already infiltrated the media and the movies. Now they have invaded my house. They are not cute. They are not cuddly. They don't talk. They will not save the world. Only we can do that now.

Who will join me? Who will band together to save the continent from the utter tyranny that mus musculus are intent on subjugating us to?

Oh, and did I mention? You all will be doing all the fighting without me.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Overheard at TeenPact

Yes, you heard right. During our self-imposed blogging hiatus, Abigail and I had a grand adventure. TeenPact was an amazing experience this year, as always. I learned more in a week than is commonly thought possible, and experienced more awkward moments and daring adventures and inspirational conversations than I've enjoyed in a long time.

During the course of the week, we here at GI kept careful track of the proceedings, as usual. Our efforts were not in vain, for many of the happenings were preserved for our loyal readers in pen and ink. We've selected a few tidbits to aid in your personal pursuit of humor and happiness.

Disclaimer: The following statements are in no way representative of the usual intellectual climate of the TeenPact experience. During the course of the week, TP attendees sought respite from the relentless pursuit of knowledge by refreshing themselves with brief moments of humor. To tell the truth, the author, for one, enjoyed more laughs than said author had experienced in a very long time. While the source of said amusements were not usually recalled to memory after said amusements occurred, a few have been preserved for your delectation and delight.

Senator L: "We're backwards in our sophistication."

Hannah: "Ah, the sweet taste of pessimism!"

Hannah: "I'm allergic to some seafood. But I don't know which seafood bothers me and which doesn't, so I just avoid it all."
Jonathan: "That sounds a little fishy to me."

Mark to Nathan on Sarah's status as a staffer: "Sarah used to be one of us."

Hannah, describing her concussion: "But it sure made a cool cracking noise!"

also Hannah: "Just as I forgot, I remembered."

Hannah again: "I don't have to pretend to have mental problems. I am one."

Mark: "I'm not going to waste time thanking you each individually."

Mr Jack: "I'm certain that ties are an invention of the devil - or at least of women."

Nicholas G. had the great honor of being elected to the prestigious position of TP Missouri Governor. As usual, GI staff took copious notes during his "State of TeenPact address". The following were some of Governor G's most memorable comments.

"I found a Communist in Jefferson City this week."

"The guys actually held the doors open for the girls, and the girls actually said 'thank you'!"

"You can't walk out these doors and be the same."

"TeenPact is an oasis in a desert of ignorance."

"My generation is not a lost cause....God bless TeenPact."

Indeed! A big thanks to all the amazing students and staff who made the Missouri TP class possible. Not mention Mr. J and Mrs. M and Mrs. R and the PD, who are a whole 'nuther story....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You Might be a Greek if....

1. You go downstairs in the winter and get frostbite.

2. Supper is after bedtime.

3. Getting ready to go to town involves putting trash in the car.

4. Your Dad goes to the garage to turn on the electricity.

5. There are at least 2 people looking over your shoulder whenever you are on the computer.

6. You think that activated charcoal, garlic, and Vitamin C are the solution to all medical problems - including broken bones.

7. Giving visitors directions includes the comments:
"Do you have 4-wheel drive?"
"It will look like the road ends, but keep on going anyway."
"You will cross four creeks."

8. You measure distance in minutes, not miles.

9. Your guests get out of their car, and the first thing they say is, "How did you find this place?"

10. Someone mentions Y2K, and you burst out laughing.

11. You open the refridgerator door and half the things fall out.

12. You listen to the State of the Union address on tv, radio, and internet all at the same time.

13. You might have to push your visitors' car up the driveway.

14. You think dishwashers are people.

15. You go from the basement to the attic and experience global warming.

16. You listen to music in a language you don't understand (it's all Greek to you).

17. You think microwaves are evil.

18. You are summoned to meals by the sound of a shofar.

19. Riding a bicycle on pavement is almost unheard of.

20. Your Mom hands out toothbrushes in the car.

21. You know breakfast is being made when there's classical music blaring through the house.

22. Every night in the summer time, a frog and cricket choir sings you to sleep.

23. Your Mom reads every label in the grocery store.

24. Consuming MSG is considered high treason.

25. You think the intercom in Walmart is a family walkie-talkie.

If you fail to identify with these, you are in dire need of Hellenization !

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Death by Zucchini

We here at the Grecian Inquirer have once again teamed up to bring you yet another humorous collection of random Greek philosophical observations. Enjoy!

Dad: "My uncle died of leukemia."
David: "Zucchimia? Is that when you eat too much zucchini?"

Abigail to Dad: "Had color TV been invented when you were born?"

Abigail, on hearing that Sarah was alive when the Berlin Wall fell: "I didn't even know that Dad was alive back then!"

Abigail, on seeing pictures of graffiti on the Berlin Wall: "I didn't know that graffiti had been invented back then."

Abigail: "I broke it, but it still works!"

David: "Daddy, how old were you when you were born?"

Abigail: "We should TP the UN building!"

Abigail: "When I grow up I'm going to adopt 24 kids. Plus I'll have my own."
Sarah: "Are you going to homeschool them or send them to a Christian school?"
Abigail: "Sarah, I'm going to have so many children that my house will BE a Christian school!"

Sarah: "At the time, I was certain that I would wake up, not wake up."

Jacob to Dad: "Would it be ok if I were 8 feet tall when I grow up?" (nice of him to get permission, don't you think?)
Dad: "No."
Jacob: "Can I be 7 feet tall?"
Dad: "I suppose. But you'll have a hard time finding clothes and shoes."
Mom: "And a wife!"
Sarah, later: "He's going to have a problem with that anyway."

David to Mom: "You look like you're dressed to be in 2nd class on the Titanic." (only a 6-year-old homeschooler would say that!)

Abigail: "I feel like having a very mature conversation with a very mature person about a very mature topic."

Sarah: "The enemies of your enemies are not necessarily your friends."

David was helping Mom make a smoothie in the blender. When it was finished blending, David peered into the blender and noticed several small bubbles rising to the surface. "Look, Mom!", he exclaimed. "A frog!"

Sarah, while explaining the complexities of the human birthing experience and the miracle of birth to Abigail: "Anyone can die, but it takes someone special to be born." :)

David and Mom were reading the story told in Genesis 22: 20-24 when David asked a strange question:
David: "Did they eat their children in Bible times?"
Mom: "Of course not. They would have been cannibals if they did that."
A few minutes later: "So, how many children did Milcah have?"
David: "None."
Mom: "Look again."
David read it again and said: "None."
Mom: "They had eight [ate] children."
David: "See? I told you!"

Stephen: "Hey, that's my car! You can't take it! The Bible says, 'do not steal'."
David: "It also says 'it is hard for the rich to go to heaven'. I'm just helping you!"

David: "I really want a job that pays about 9 dollars a minute."
Dad: "If you find a job like that, let me know. I'll retire, and you can take care of me!"

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Stephen!

My little brother is no ordinary kid. Having just turned 9 years old, Stephen is quite the expert on vehicles, loves to learn new things, and enjoys telling his latest jokes. While we are driving down the highway he is usually peering out the window and impressing us with his vast knowledge of vehicles of all kinds. With a "Look! There's an Expedition!" or a "Did you see that Toyota Tacoma?" or even "You don't know the difference between a Dodge Dakota and a Dodge Durango?" (he was talking to me there). We are quite amazed at his skill in the identification of them.

Stephen is also quite the avid reader. He has informed me that his favorite book (it was a hard decision) is 'Gateway to Space' and 'The Dictionary'. Spoken like a true homeschooler! He reads as much as possible and it is quite hard to pull him from his books.

Art and P.E. are his favorite subjects in school and he enjoys showing others the latest projects he has done in his Art book. On being asked what he thought his future career might be, he replied, "Oh, I don't know. I think I'll just do miscellaneous jobs. Maybe I'll sell cars on ebay."

For his birthday activity he requested to go iceskating and then to have supper at the Japanese Steakhouse. He had a wonderful time and was quite a remarkable iceskater. He won alot of races we had at the iceskating rink.

Stephen is quite the goof ball at times, and does a great job of making people laugh. Drop him a comment and wish him a 'Happy Birthday!'.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Glimpse into a Girl's Mind

Abigail's math book: "A grain auger is driven by an electric motor with a 3-inch pulley turning at 1,750 rpm. The belt around this pulley drives a 13-inch pulley with a 3 1/2 inch sprocket on the same shaft; both pulley and sprocket turn at the same speed. The 3 1/2 inch sprocket turns a chain that drives the 12-inch sprocket of the auger. What is the speed of the 12-inch sprocket?"

Abigail's answer: "1,750 rpms? Sprocket? Auger? Rpm's? Shafts? Pulley? WHAT?? This problem is for Mennonite farmers who lived 200 years ago - not me!"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You know better than I

I learned something new recently.

It's probably not a good idea to sing "You know better than I" when your siblings are around. Especially little sisters. Especially little sisters who have just hinted that they think you should do all their chores for them.

For some strange reason, they're liable to get the impression that you're singing to them. Never mind the spiritual references in the song. Never mind the fact that their suggestion was the last thing on your mind when you were singing.

"I've let go of the need to know why, for You know better than I"

This really boosted my sister's ego. The look on her face said it plainly: "Sarah! I've been trying to tell you all along!"

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Greek is Born!

We are happy to announce the birth of another cousin! Josiah Israel was born on December 19,2006. He weighed 6 pounds and 6 ounces.

We congratulate his proud parents David and Alyssa on the birth of this little boy. Congratulations also to his older siblings James, Michaela, and Jasper.

Welcome to the Greek family, Josiah!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Also Overheard at the Greeks

David: "That's a Navy bean? I wish there was an Air Force bean."

Stephen: "Sarah goes to bed at midnight and wakes up at 3:00 in the morning."

Mom: "Abigail has many interesting conversations - with herself."

Andrew: "Classical music doesn't have any words because words hadn't been invented back then."

Dad: "But if she went, she wouldn't be here."

Mom: "When someone says 'I see', you never know exactly what they see."

Sarah went on a walk with Jacob, Stephen, and David after dark, and the boys began to get scared of the coyotes and other animals howling in the distance.
Sarah: "Well, boys, if we're attacked by a panther, should I protect you or will you all protect me?"
Stephen: (shivering and moving closer to Sarah) "You protect us!"

Dad: "Sarah, you should stop writing until you're going to get paid for it."

Stephen: "Do you ever feel like a rotten pig after you eat too much?"
Dad: "I don't know what a rotten pig feels like."

Jacob: "I don't have enough money for a bike"
Andrew: "Ask them if you can trade Sarah for it."

Dad: "President Bush declared tomorrow a national day of mourning for President Ford."
David: "Does that mean police are going to drive by our house to make sure we're crying?"

Sarah: "This is a cute shirt! Except it looks bad."

Abigail to Sarah: "You think I care if I get kidnapped? It's you I'm worried about."

Dad: "Come on girls, you don't have to write everything down. People are going to be afraid to talk in this house!"
Andrew: "They already are!"

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Groceries by Night

Written by Sarah several years ago for a children's publication. A true story.

The Greeks are coming home.

Miles and miles from town, up and down and left and right, over the mountains and through the ravines, the van roars through the darkness.

It is a cold January night, but on the inside, the van is cozy and warm. The children sit with their heads tucked under their arms, half-asleep, like chickens on a roost in the barn at night. Maybe that's were they'd learned it from, for no one has to spend the night with a chicken to learn a thing or two.

Suddenly there is a loud splash. Icy water flies up as the trusty red van speeds through a creek, and then, a few minutes later, dashes through another one. The milk jugs tremble and nearly topple over.

The van crunches to a halt before a blue cattle-panel gate with fresh snow piled atop its bars, standing at attention like a sentinel before a palace. The headlights reveal only a steep hill beyond, covered in snow, with woods pressing in thickly from either side of the road. Deer and raccoon tracks cover the trail, but there is no other sign of life anywhere.

A general commotion breaks out inside the van as heads emerge from arms and arms from heads, seatbelts snap open, and a high litle voice pipes, "Daddy, are we there now?". Then confusion takes over in the form of a general scramble for coats, hats, mittens and boots before the doors swing open and the cold air breaks the warmth with an icy slap. Mom hurries to bundle up the babies for the treck ahead.

The door slams open and four children jump out eagerly, landing one by one in the soft snow. They race to the back doors, each grabbing a sled from the side of the road on their way.

Behind the back seat, the van is full of groceries from the day's trip. It is a huge pile, and with the moon shining dimly on it, it seems even larger.

By this time Dad has reached the back, and everyone begins piling groceries neatly in the sleds. Eggs, potatoes, milk, kiwi, peppers, bagels, and even a bag of oranges from Florida. It's a far cry from these snowy mountains, that magically beautiful peninsula where the sun always seems to shine and tropical heat beats down on endless rows of citrus trees. Imagine the waves pounding rhythmically on the sandy coast, while children scream in delight over their lovely sand castles....

But Florida is far, far away tonight, and here in the world of icycles and toboggan rides, most of us are only worried about getting home.

By now the group is huffing and puffing their way up the trail, their plastic yellow sleds slowly bobbing along behind. A single tomato, pushed out the back of a sled by a box of taco shells, rolls down, picks up speed, flies through the air, and then hurtles into a patch of ice at the bottom of the mountain. An orange follows in quick succession. Oh well. Someone is bound to find them in the morning.

The glow of the flashlights winds to and fro around the snowbanks. Coyotes howl eerily from the neighboring hills. The small group presses on, dodging trees and pausing every so often for someone to adjust the buckles on their snowboots. The walking is difficult, so the children stop occasionally to giggle and catch their breath. Mom and Dad, with little ones, are not far behind.

Thirty minutes and thousands of steps later, the soft lights of the house can finally be seen. It stands lonely in a clearing, distant and isolated from the refinement of the city so many miles away. The boys quickly take a shortcut through the woods, while the girls opt to stay on the trail.

The wind whistles past angrily as the shivering travelers stomp their feet and yank their sleds into the house. A gust of warm air escapes outside and rises quickly toward the clouds.

A few minutes later, all is warmth and coziness inside as the family stretches out around the crackling fireplace. The coals glow red and toasty, and the children curl their frosty fingers around steaming mugs of hot cocoa.

Meanwhile, outside on the mountain, a shadowy raccoon slips stealthily out of the forest and onto the trail, where the forgotten tomato waits helplessly in the snow. He hunches down and sinks his teeth into the juicy fruit.

Another day on the mountain ended.

Monday, January 1, 2007

One in 19,343

We always thought we were unique. We've often felt different from the rest. We've always seemed a little counter-cultural, kind of weird.

We are.

We have discovered that we are 1 out of 19,343. 'Greek' is the 19,343rd most popular last name in the United States. And even then, it has to share that humble status with 503 other last names. In other words, you have to wade through countless other humans before you can even hope to get to us.

If you know us, therefore, you have the rare privilege of an acquaintance with individuals who can only be found once in a crowd of 19,343 or more. Or is it one in a million? :P