Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tjardes Girls Really Do Sparkle!

August 1, 2007

So July is over, but the birthdays just keep coming. The birthday blogs were quite popular among my loyal and dedicated readership so they will continue as the birthdays present themselves. There won’t be as many as there were in July but August does get off to a roaring good start with my oldest niece, Ashley, and my Mom.

Happy Birthday Ashley! Ashley is my oldest niece, and will be a junior at SIU Carbondale this fall. She is on the track team there where she competes in the pole vault. Besides being a jock, Ash is a beauty queen too. This picture is of the two of us a few weeks ago when Ash turned over her crown as Ford County Fair Queen 2006. I enjoy hanging out with Ashley, she is pretty “go with the flow”. We both love pedicures and have an undying gratitude to the poor salon workers who have to deal with our nasty Tjardes feet!

I have a zillion funny Ashley stories, but I will only share a few. When Ashley was just learning to talk and put sentences together she was at my parents for the weekend when I was home from college with a couple of my friends from school. It was the spring and my parents had just put several pairs of cows and calves out in the pasture in front of their house. Ashley kept going to the kitchen window and looking at the cows then would say to anyone who would listen “Cows! See ‘em? Moo!”. If she said it once she said it a million times. To this day my friend Jeanne who was there with me that weekend always asks me how “Ashley-Cows! See ‘em? Moo!” is. About that same time Ashley also had some imaginery friends, every kid does, but her friends were not people but chickens that lived under the guest bed at my parents house. She would take everyone back to that bedroom to show them her chickens.
Also, one time when she was 3 or 4 and I was putting pepper on my food (not to worry the shaker was GTA-see July 16th post), Ashley scolded me, “Aunt Jane! Pepper is for boys!!!!” Don’t know what that was about, I know plenty of girls that rock the pepper, but whatever.
Another great story is when I was living with my parents post college and my brother and his family were between houses so Phil, Jayne, Ashley and Taylor moved in for few weeks as well. One morning I woke up to Ashley and Taylor (probably age 7 and 4, respectively) having a huge screaming match about who had more marshmallows in their lucky charms. (Side note I think Ashley had a thing for marshmallows because she actually tried planting them in Jayne’s garden one year hoping they would grow). Everyday I would come home from work and go upstairs to my bedroom and change and get my clothes for the next day gathered up and bring them down because I was actually staying in the guest room downstairs while Ash and Tay shared my room. Well, everyday Ash would hide somewhere upstairs when I was changing (the hall closet, bathroom, the other bedroom etc.) and pop out and scare the crap out me. I know I was the grown up, but she did it everyday, I knew it was coming I should have been prepared but she did it every day without fail then ran away giggling while I stomped down the stairs yelling “Mom! She did it again, can’t you make her stop!”
Happy Birthday Ashley!
Happy Birthday Mom! Today is my Mom’s 70th birthday. Ashley was born on her 50th birthday. My Mom is the most patient person I have ever met. She never gets in hurry… ever! I wish I was more like that. I have gotten much better in the patience department over the years, even my Mom will admit that, but I still have a long way to go.

My friends and roommates in college gave my Mom the nickname Mrs. Claus. Besides being short with white-hair and rosy cheeks my Mom just is Mrs. Claus… all things warm and homey and full of Christmastime goodness and joy. The nickname came about when in college my Mom got a flier from my dorm asking if she wanted to send me a finals week care package that the dorm folks had put together. I don’t know what was in the dorm care package but my Mom thought she could do a little better so she showed up one evening with every kind of homemade cookie and brownie known to man, along with other snacks, fruit, soda, gum and other random fun stuff. Ahh, Mrs. Claus… I have never been so popular as I was during finals weeks at college.

My Mom cracks me up. She doesn’t try to be funny, she just is, and the older she gets the funnier she gets. My favorite story about my Mom is when she went with me, Nik and Karen to a Cards game a couple of years ago. My Mom really likes the Cardinals… it started out because my Dad liked them, but now especially since they have satellite and she watches them on TV, she just really likes them on her own. So anyway at that game Jason Marquis was pitching and so my Mom says to me “I call Jason- “Sparkle.” I was like what? You are going to have to explain that one. Well she told me that the marquis cut (my Mom works part time in a jewelry store) has the most sparkle… Jason Marquis=Sparkle. Funny I just realized that this is pretty much how my Mom names their various farm cats. The gray cat=Smokey, the cat that sat in the sticker bush=Tuffy (aka Sticker because Ashley could never remember Tuffy, just that is was named after sitting in the sticker bush), the black and white cat=Holstein. Anyway I digress… another funny from that game was when Mark Grudzielanek came up to bat. I told my Mom that he was one of my favs, we were born the same year, and that well he was just REALLY attractive, to which my Mom said “Uh huh, his blue eyes go on for days!”.
My Mom was awesome when I had a cast on my foot for six weeks this spring and was on crutches and couldn’t drive. She took me to the grocery store and we had a blast as I got to use the little motorized cart at Schnucks and County Market. Sometimes she would just go and get my groceries for me, or do my laundry, make my bed, and take out my garbage.
Well I could go on and on and on about my Mom… let’s face it she rocks! She is the best cook and I know, and inspires me not to culinary greatness, but that if you cook with a warm heart, it always tastes good.
Happy Birthday Mom!
Editor's Note: The first pic is of Ashley and Lane (see July 27th post) when they were little tikes. It is one of my favorites of them, I bought them the matching Dinosaur pajamas. I don't really have a good picture of my Mom handy, so I thought Mrs. Claus was appropriate


Anonymous said...

So I definately enjoyed your blog today! Thanks for the Birthday wishes....I'm not sure that I had ever heard some of those amazing "creative Ashley" stories! I do however remember very clearly all my chicken friends.....they were just chicks at the time....I'm sure they are all grown up now...didn't grandma tell you..that is where she gets all of her eggs now! Also...I love that picture...I might have to make a copy of it! Then I can scrapbook about you in the MFCFQ '06 Scrapbook! And finally...for all those who don't know...Dinosaur pajamas are the new "it" item!!

-Much Love

MJ said...

Every kid should have imaginary animals! I love that Ashley's were chickens. Mine were two "cows" named Strawberry and Cherry. They, of course, lived with the other show cattle.