Monthly Archives: November 2005


My dad made up limericks. Fun, corny limericks. I think he wrote one for each of us kids and made up a bunch of others too.

My limerick:

There once was a girl named Julia Ane
Who jumped into a frying pan
She found it hot
There on that spot
And so she called for a fan
My favorite non kid limerick:

There once was a great purple Lizard
Who had an oversized gizzard
Hungry for bones
He ate hail stones
And died of an internal blizzard
I think my dad has left me a legacy. I found my self the other night making up limericks for my kids. I got Dorothy’s and Emily’s done.


There once was a cute little dot
Who found herself in a tight spot
She gave a wiggle
And made a giggle
And found she was tied in a knot
-J.H. Schmidt

There once was a bright ray of sun
Who decided to go for a run
In Emmy it found
A place safe and sound
And stayed to play and have fun
-J.H. Schmidt
The others will be forthcoming. Limericks are just plain silly fun, isn’t it great?



Filed under Poetry, Writing

Duck Ponds and Buried Treasure

I grew up on a small farm in Pennsylvania. We had 15 acres which housed fields, woods, marsh, and ponds. There was a hill in the backyard which was perfect for sledding and at the bottom was our manmade duck pond, barn, chicken coop,and cornhutch. In on of our fields was a solitary hill which rightfully earned the name, “The Lump”, complete with trees. It wasn’t a farm for income but mainly for teaching us kids responsibility. I guess it has something to do with dragging your kids out of bed at 6:00 in the morning in the dead of winter to feed the animals and break the ice out of the water buckets before leaving for school. That farm holds a myriad of memories.

I was a swimmer, I dearly loved the water and any chance I had to take a plunge I did. I think I gave my mother grief by constantly diving into the nearest body of water, suited or not. One hot summer day, I believe I was around 4 or 5, shortly after my dad and brother had dug the duck pond (with some mechanical help I believe) I was dearly wishing I had a way to cool off.

My two older brothers sauntered up to me, “Why don’t you go for a swim in the pond, that’s what its there for.”

I eyed them warily, “I thought it was for the ducks. It’s awfully dirty.”

“It’s not that bad. If it’s good enough for the ducks, its good enough for you.”

Now that comment would typically set off warning bells, but to a five-year-old-water-lover it was a green light. It never occurred to me to ask, “Then why aren’t you swimming?” I just dove in clothes and all and swam happily for quite some time. This was not a clean pond, it was quite disgusting really. I was so proud of myself afterwards and so excited that I ran up the hill to the house calling for mom. She came out and seemed to look around for her youngest daughter but all she could see was a disgusting mud and duck poop ball.

“You didn’t! You did!” she gasped in horror.

I was not permitted to set one toe in the house and was immediately hosed down, for probably a good 10 minutes. I never swam in the pond again but it didn’t deter us from having the occasional barrel race. We had these big empty metal oil drums that we would float in the water and sit on then we would paddle across. I’m sure we fell in from time to time. We just changed and hosed off or bathed before mom could catch us. 🙂

I wasn’t always in trouble, and most of my trouble was innocent happenstance. Being the youngest though I was often underfoot. I had two older sisters and two older brothers and often found myself the oddball out and would attach myself to my mom.

It was fall, and I was 3 and we had just sent everyone off to school and I was moping because I didn’t get to go yet. My mom is a genius, taught school for a long time, and knows tons of things about bugs and animals that kids love to know about. She is very creative and is always ready to whip something out of her sleeve. To me it was nothing short of magical, and sure enough on this fall day she worked her magic. She pulled out the little red wagon, a lunchbox (which I was sure there was something yummy in there), and some shears. Then she put my hair in pigtails and I put on my red sweater and we headed off across our field to the woods. I insisted numerous times to know what we were doing, but she kept her secret locked away. The woods were ripe with color and I delighted in the numerous colors and leaves I found as we entered through our gate.

“We are going to make a path” my mom said. And we set to work. She cut branches and underbrush away and I piled it into the wagon. After sometime I was visibly wearing down.

“I think there is buried treasure here” Mom said.

My eyes glowed and I scanned the ground, “There! By the tree!” We walked off the path a little ways and mom provided a small shovel and we dug a hole big enough to line with rock and fit the lunch box in. We pretended we were pirates who had just found a secret treasure. I eagerly opened the lunchbox, “Chocolate!!” I was so excited I almost passed over the real treasure but my mother guided me back to it. There lying in the bottom of the lunch box was a Book of Mormon. We sat down on the side of the trail, and I ate my chocolate while my mom read to me. When we were done we boxed everything up and buried it, for another day.

I don’t know if that box is still there, or if I would even recognize the spot. We went back to it frequently, each time on some adventure or magical journey. The real magic is in the memory and the love. So don’t be surprised if you visit my house and find my back yard full of holes. 🙂


Filed under Farm Stories, Goofs, Humor, Personal History, Writing

Who are you named after?

I was teaching Dorothy’s Sunday school class yesterday – a batch of 5 year olds -7 of them actually, and we were learning about not taking the Lord’s name in vain. In an effort to stress the point that our names are special I explained that their Mom and Dad chose special names when they were born and some of them might be named after someone that meant a lot to their parents. I used Dorothy as an example explaining that she was named after her Grandma (my mom). I asked the other kids if any of them were named after someone special. I immediately got hands in the air and lots of answers.

“I was named after my big sister Reagan and Sydney, and after my mom and my dad.”

“I was named after my big brother.”

“I was named after my 3 brothers and sister”.

“My little sister was named after me!”

I ended up getting a family history from almost every child as they listed everyone born before them that they came “after”. I think I hid behind my manual, I was laughing so hard. I just love kids . . .


Filed under Humor, Religion, Things Kids Say


We have a lot to give thanks for this year. We do every year, but even more so this year. When Jacob was in the hospital we noticed signs on the walls for a homemade Easter dinner put on by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We didn’t know then that Jacob would be in surgery that day, we thought we would bring up the entire family and eat together, but as is the way with things, the plan changed. We enjoyed the dinner with Paul’s parents as we awaited word on Jacob’s surgery and progress. Having that support was huge. I don’t think they realized what a huge service they did. Since then we have talked with the Sister (Sandi) that headed up the dinner and found out that she organizes a dinner for each of the three major holidays, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

So this morning we boxed up cookies and goodies, bundled up our 4 children and went up to the hospital. It was tough at first, greeted with a flood of memories of doubt and worry, but we were soon wrapped up in the love of service. Jacob got to meet Sandi for the first time, and we even saw one of our ICU nurses and one of our respitory nurses too. It was an amazing thing being able to be there and offering a service that meant so much to us. A perfect Thanksgiving, offering thanks for the miracle of our son by serving others. I don’t write this to say hey look at me, I just want to express the grattitude in my heart. I have always had a lot to be thankful for, but this year is different, and gathering with my little family is a lot more meaningful. I love Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful, to love and to serve, to spend with family, and to joy in each other.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!


Filed under Family, Heart, Jacob, Religion

5 Year Old Wisdom

Dorothy was talking to her sisters this afternoon and got upset about something. I overheard her say either the word “stupid” or “hate”, both of which are unacceptable in our home. I looked at her surprised, and gently, but firmly, said, “We do not say that word in our home.”

With the quickness and wit of a five year old whose gears are always in motion she looked at me quizzicaly and asked, “So, can I say it somewhere else?”


Filed under Children, Dot, Humor, Parenting, Things Kids Say


There are moments in life when you feel like you just hit the jackpot. No matter how trivial it might seem to others you feel like you are holding a bar of gold. I felt that way when I got married, and when I held each of my kids for the first time. I felt that way when I got to hold Jacob for the first time after his heart surgery. It’s not always a huge moment that creates that special jackpot feeling though. This summer I found the most incredible deal at a garage sale and got that instant jackpot feeling. Now, where is this jackpot story leading you might ask?

Well, today is gold rush day. I went on a simple outing to Walmart in search for hamster bedding and pull-ups and I hit the jackpot. I was passing the cheap-o dump bin for DVDs and out of the corner of my eye I saw it, a bar of gold! A collection of 60 cartoons, not just any cartoons, but old, really old classics! We’re talking a two disk double sided collection of: Popeye, Superman, Felix the Cat, Woody Wood Pecker, Little LuLu, Mighty Mouse, Mutt and Jeff (I’m so excited to watch those Fourth Fret), Baby Huey, Little Audrey, Betty Boop, Casper, and some miscellaneous ones like The Big Bad Wolf and Humpty Dumpty. It even came with a bonus CD with 49 kids songs on it! The whole works cost me a whoppin’ $5.50. They are not restored and little lines and squiggles dance along the screen from time to time, but that makes is so much more authentic and fun.

So here I am in the middle of a gold rush with my 3 year old and baby watching Popeye. Can life possibly get any better than this? Well, yeah, when I have all the kids home from school then that will be the top!! Life is Great!!! 🙂


Filed under Children, Family, Love and Marriage, Opinion, Parenting, Philosophy


I have to take a moment tonight and praise my piano students. We had our piano recital this evening (we have two a year) and everyone did so well. I always get so nervous for all of them, wanting them to do their best. It feels so good to work hard for something and then have it turn out well. So I was so pleased when all my students did an outstanding job. No one was perfect (are we ever?) but the mistakes were minimal and they really sounded polished. I was really proud of them. I have had recitals that haven’t come out this good, but tonight was just awesome. We had everything from My daughter Dorothy plunking out a few simple notes to Scott Joplin and Aaron Coplin. The wide range made it especially fun. I know I am not supposed to have favorites as a teacher, but my two favorite kids (Lizard and Dot of course 🙂 ) did really well too. I could tell that Dot especially was nervous but she just plowed right through her little piece. You go girl. And Lizard held hers together really well too. It wasn’t Carnegie Hall, and we definitely aren’t concert pianists, but we love music and had a lot of fun. ( I must say, it is a big relief to have it over though)

One more thing . . in a strange twist of fates . . .

A lady from church came to visit yesterday and told me she was looking for a home for her two girl cockatiels and was wondering if we would like them. The strange part? She didn’t know that Pepe had just died. Of course I said yes and she will bring them tomorrow. I haven’t told the kids yet, they will be so excited. So, I am collecting name ideas. Some kind of dynamic girl duo. I’ll even post their pictures when they come, since you all never got to meet Pepe. *sniff* 🙂


Filed under Dot, Family, Lizy, Music