“The Tool”

MAX in Tigers baseball uniform 5-15-18

“You can’t start a sentence with ‘and,’” the multitalented student – who also plays baseball on a team named the Tigers in addition to possessing a very impressive knowledge of artists & lyrics sung decades before he even arrived on the scene – commented after coming across it in the pages he was reading. He made an identical remark about the word ‘but’ when that term began a sentence too.

Two weeks shy of turning 9 years old, my third grade nephew & I read the initial 5 chapters of an old book about a shark attack in 1916 he’d just checked out of the school library. Until he’d arrived home from school, I’d been at his house playing with his younger siblings, notably his brother of 4 when we played the matching game in which he’s a master as well as blocks on the carpet which we shaped into various animals. Snuggling his 1 month & 1 day old baby brother was a highlight too.

Back to the reading: Taking turns, I was thrilled to read & assist my nephew with every other chapter as we opened his new rental. Chapters 1, 3 & 5 were his & I read 2 & 4. He was becoming quite the reader! We came across a last name, something like “Oelirich.”

“When you see last names just sound them out however you think it goes,” I told him. “There’s so many different ones you’ll see. No one knows every word.”

“Isn’t it funny I can read the word ‘Philadelphia’ but I didn’t know ‘announce’?” he observed.

I explained phrases used in times of old, specifically “lad” for boy; “indigo” for a blue/purple mix; & “bathing costume” – when he’d bounce up & prance around his bedroom playfully striking model poses & grinning while saying things like “I’m fancy!” – instead of swimsuit.

At one point early in our reading time, I was thinking I’d grip his right knee as a nonverbal way to say stop, because I wanted to tell the youngster that he was an Exceptional Reader. Exceptional was my planned adjective. Planned, mind you.

When a pause arrived in the child’s reading, however, I ended up grabbing his knee while simultaneously saying loudly, “Stop!”

I needn’t have had such a shocked he’s-done-it-again reaction to the boy’s immediate song-savvy reply of a tune released a whopping NINETEEN YEARS before he was even born: 

“Hammer Time!”


By Aunt Amy




Nat Geo.JPG

Ever see the show on National Geographic about people trapped in foreign prisons called “Locked Up Abroad”?

In a recent episode of “Locked Up Abroad,” a British man who spent over 12 months in a cruel foreign prison shared a thought which mirrors my own thinking perfectly. Like the man on the show who endured a life-changing nearly deadly experience, I too lack desire to pursue earthly standards of success (which I think is completely fine for other people as long as they remember what truly matters, relationships with people & our Loving God).

Having defeated cancer & acquired perspective on the truly important aspects of life here on this earth – people & exercising faith in God – I just don’t have the energy (cancer treatment stole nearly all of it) to pursue projects that essentially are meaningless & will soon be forgotten & won’t matter in the least in our eternal lives in Heaven.

Live for what truly matters.


The Day Billy Graham Entered Heaven

February 21, 2018, Billy Graham at age 99 met Jesus. Good friend Kathie Lee Gifford said that her entire family was saved in Christ through the ministry of the most famous preacher in America, Billy Graham.

Kathie Lee Gifford shared her response she gives when people ask her why she’s – like Billy Graham was – so bold about her faith: “If you had the cure for cancer, would you keep it quiet?”’

Says Kathie Lee joyously, “I have a cure for the malignancy of the soul . . . Jesus.”

new on 10-11-17


One of the worst feelings in this whole crappy world is the simultaneous feeling of hunger

& the


that results from being so hungry.

I hate it! I feel it right now at this very moment & I’m trying so dang hard to exercise self-control to avoid larger outbursts following recent mini ones earlier today that I’m already guilty of.

This sucks.

– written by me laying on the living room couch on February 20, after just days prior  hearing that story of the U.S. Olympics women’s gold-medal winning snowboarder sending out a message while in South Korea during the Olympics that she was “hangry” because she didn’t finish her breakfast sandwich

2-20-18 HANGRY

FOOD UPDATE: 75% – 6 out of 8 pepperoni slices (only half are pictured) –


a Wendy’s chocolate frosty

happily made their way into my belly a couple hours later!


“20 Questions”

With a look of resignation, the boy returned the Star Wars

item to the shelf. Until it was discovered to be on sale. Then

he happily left Kohl’s with his new toy after leaving school

early for a dental visit. Then . . .

“I’m gonna get three-fifty,” my nephew announced after

mentally calculating the amount of money he’d get from

returning cans at Kroger. Brainpower continued . . .

“You just blew it!”

Because I asked him if the animal was a predator and earlier

I’d already asked if it ate other animals. He caught me.

No surprise there.

My 9-year-old nephew & I were playing the game “20 Questions”

& like always, the sharp youngster was on fire. (Turns out the

animal was a cheetah.)
Next came his turn where the boy had to guess something with wheels

(more specifically, I chose a standard kid-sized regular object with

wheels in his realm of knowledge). Inquiries posed included ‘Is it electronic?’;

‘Does it need fuel?’; & ‘Does it use batteries?’. More common things like cars,

buses & motorcycles he quickly ruled out. Unsurprisingly, the third grader arrived at

the answer after USING ONLY HALF of his allotted questions.

“Could it come in any size?”


“That just saved me 3 questions,” stated the thorough thinker. “I could have

asked, ‘Is it big?’, ‘Is it medium?’, ‘Is it small?’”

So, Mr. Intellect has done it again.

“Is it a wagon?”


The End


By Aunt Amy, 11-28-17