Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some Memories Never Fade

As I've grown up I'm realizing that many of my childhood memories are faded.  It's not like I'm old...yet, it's just that there are periods throughout my time growing up that seem to be much more muddled than others.  I won't hurt your feelings and tell you which memories I can barely remember...but I wanted to share some memories that are as clear as day even though it was 20 years ago!!

In December/January of my 4th grade year my family moved to Holland/The Netherlands.  No, my dad was not in the military, but he worked for Amoco, an oil company. We stayed in Holland until the end of my 5th grade year.  There are many things about living there that I remember as if it literally were yesterday.  I'm butchering some of the spelling but I'm going off of memory and phonetics!!!  Here are a few memories:

Shopping:  I remember that we lived right down the street from the local grocery store (Albert Heijn).  I remember that Joni and I would get a grocery list from Mom and go by ourselves.  We pulled a little black cart on wheels to bring our things home in.  I remember 'secretly' spending some extra change on candy. (sorry if you're hearing this for the first time Mom/Dad)  I remember the building right by our house (may have been Albert Heijn) having a digital flashing clock and temperature.  I remember trying to guess what the Fahrenheit temperature was based on the Celsius shown (yes I was even a nerd then!).  Looking back I think it was really neat how we'd park our car/bikes and walk down a big long street with shops. I think it was called the Longstraat or something like that.

Bicycle Rides:  I remember packing up our bicycles and riding them around the sand dunes in Rotterdam. (I think it was Rotterdam).  My bicycle had really big fenders and a basket.

The American School:  I remember riding in charter buses everyday to school.  That was the school bus.  I remember school dances and 'head-banging' for the first time.  I remember being dared to do many things at those dances (ask guys out, run into the boys restroom...).  I thought it was so cool that in 5th grade you got to take an overnight field trip.  We went to a monkey zoo where monkeys roamed freely.  I remember a talent show during the trip and we used a sheet we decorated as the back-drop.  I remember "Mr. Small But He's Tall", Mr. Klein.   I remember forging my parent's signature for the first (and only!!!) time in Ms. Parmeter's class.  I think I had to write sentences for that one!  I remember having my first class that I really, really struggled in, Dutch!!  I can still count, say 'I am Jodi' and...umm...that's about it.  (My favorite number is 88 because it's fun to say in Dutch)

Food:  I remember these big GIANT pancakes (called Panokoken) that we used to get at 'The Pancake House' in the nearby town Liden.  My favorite food was Stroop Waffles.  We would buys these fresh, hot off the griddle by a guy in Albert Heijn.

'Home':  Our house was a 4 story (if you counted the basement/garage) row house.  Joni and I shared the top floor.  We had a big window in the back and birds used to smack into it.  Our backyard sloped down to a canal below.  I fell into the canal on my first visit to see the house.  It was frozen (but not all the way) and I fell thru.  Before we moved in our house we lived in a Holiday Inn.  The Holiday Inn had a life-size chess set and putt-putt inside.

I'm really not sure why I'm writing all this, but some of these memories came back to me recently and I wanted to share.  Aside from my years in high school band, the year and a half I spent in Holland was probably my favorite memory of growing up.  Thanks Mom and Dad for allowing that to happen!!!

**To confirm some of my memories after I wrote this, I just went to Google Maps.  Surreal.  Wassenaar, The Netherlands

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Family Fun Day - Pafford Style

Family Fun Day - Pafford Style

We ended our spring break last week with a treat for Joseph.  On Friday evening we went to dinner at Olive Garden and then took Joseph to Putt-Putt Golf and Games by North East Mall.  Here are some photos of that fun.

Kurt and Joseph rode together on the 'big' race course in, appropriately enough, the Cheerios Car!!  I realize my iPhone is not the best at action shots, but I have to share these next photos.  Joseph got to ride the Jr. Track all by himself!! He actually did very well!!!  He took turns like a pro, passing people in his way.  I was completely shocked.  I thought he'd get scared after pushing the accelerator and seeing how fast he was going....my boy's growing up!!!!

Joseph was in the purple car number 1!

Next we played putt-putt and Joseph did great at that too...when he was patient enough to let the ball stop before he hit it again.  Joseph and I tied for 2nd place against Kurt on the first 9 holes (max score of 4 hits per hole).  We had a family with cute boys behind us who kept cheering for me, saying, "Go Mamma, go Mamma"!!  It was really sweet.  I took a few videos of golfing but no pics.  
We then went inside and played some of the games to get tickets and he picked out a bear with his tickets.  This photo was taken at close to 10:00 pm.  He was so tired!!  I had to beg him to smile and when he finally did, it didn't even turn out to look like a smile!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How could this be?

How could it already be March 17th and I haven't written a blog post since the end of February!!  Well, life happens, and happens fast sometimes.  Here's a recap of the Pafford's last few weeks....

Kurt and I went to Weekend to Remember conference at the Gaylord with a great couple from church.  It was a great experience.

I once again auditioned for Biggest Loser this past Saturday.  It was great fun even though I didn't get a call back.  So my quest to lose weight won't be done on live television, but I'm thinking of ways to do so somewhat publicly via my blog or FaceBook.  More to come on that.

In what has turned out to be a total "God-incidence" (verses coincidence), I have met a wonderful new friend/mentor/trainer.  I start officially training with her on Saturday.  If you follow me on FaceBook, then you probably saw the pictures from Biggest Loser auditions.  Laurie was there supporting one of her other clients so she took some pictures for me.  Laurie is a wonderful lady who literally is a God-Send.  I can't wait to officially start working with her.  (a little plug for her.... http://www.calibrationfitness.info/ )

Spring Break has consisted of lots of cleaning, playing, some family time and fun!!

That's all for now...here's hoping I can be more active with my postings!!