Rediscovering Tina

There is life outside the pulpit

Learning from Lynzi August 12, 2011

Filed under: Family Discoveries — Rediscovering Tina @ 10:39 pm
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I just got off the phone with the wisest and funniest eight year-old I know. I always pray that the time I get to spend with her (and any of my most awesome nieces and nephews) will be opportunities to talk about God and life and the art of being silly. What blows me away is when God uses the awesome nieces and nephews to teach Aunt Tina lessons about God and life and especially the art of being silly!

Here are a couple of snippets from our conversation:

Lynzi- (Telling me about King’s Island and going up to the top of the “Eiffel Tower”)- It was so awesome to be up that high and looking down!

Tina- Yikes! I am afraid of being up that high! I’m a scaredy cat!

Lynzi- Daddy is a scaredy cat too! But it was so awesome! I kept thinking how cool it would be to jump off!

Tina- Jump off? Are you serious??

Lynzi- No silly! It would be fun to jump but not so much fun to land! 


Lynzi (telling me about how she hates going to daycare in the summer)- I created a daycare upstairs with my stuffed animals.

Tina- Are you the teacher or the student?

Lynzi- Oh no! I am the student. Stuffed animal teachers are much nicer than real teachers.


Lynzi- (telling how Emma doesn’t play fair)- We were playing house and because I was playing the Mom I was the boss of the game so I told Emma she had to play the big sister, but Emma wanted to be the dog and I told her NO DOGS IN THE HOUSE but she wanted her and Grady to be the dogs so I made them a cage and they were the dogs. *she really did speak that in one breath!*

Tina- It sounds like that was a great decision. It can be good to let Emma be who she wants to be sometimes.

Lynzi- She can be who she wants to be when she is the Mom!


Lynzi- (Telling me about the toy horse she got for her birthday)- It’s the horse I always wanted! You can feed it a carrot, put on a saddle and a blanket, brush her hair, and I  named her… uh… I forgot.

Tina- That’s a weird name for a horse. Giddyup I Forgot!

Lynzi- (Laughing) That’s not her name!

Tina- I think you should name the horse Aunt Tina Is Awesome.

Lynzi- Whatever. 


Kickin’ Butt March 8, 2011

Filed under: Family Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 9:44 pm
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Marie and I have had a love/hate relationship for the past 43 years. She was born when I was two years old, and from the moment she could grab a handful of my hair, we’ve been at each other’s throats.

Most people find it strange that two sisters would actually try to knock the other into another stratosphere. Fairytale images of sisters abound of  slumber parties and doing each others’ hair and telling each other secrets.  Little curls in dresses and curls playing with their baby dolls and pretending to beautiful princesses.

*Those of you who know me are rolling on the floor in hysterics at the thought of me with a baby doll right now, aren’t you?*

Not so for Marie and me. We pulled each other’s hair, threw mud pies (with a few strategic pebbles packed in) and ran over each other with our bikes. It took nothing more than Marie breathing my air for us to end up rolling around on the ground pounding the crap out of each other.

One particularly fun day, we were sitting on her bed and before I knew it, I was on the floor with her straddling me and rubbing my face raw with a wad of notebook paper! Talk about paper cuts! ‘

Tis okay. I got her back one day when we were staging a fight while waiting on the school bus and she zigged when she should have zagged and I socked her right in the eye.

I had a scratched face. She had a black eye. All’s fair in love and sisters.

The flip side of this complicated relationship is while Marie is still the only human I ever have fleeting thoughts of sending to the moon with a great right hook (with the exception of an urgent care doctor or two), she is also one of the first people I would lay my life down for.

Numerous times I took the punishment for something we both know she did. Today it’s called enabling… at the time I called it protecting her. When others threatened to kick her butt I was the first in line to kick theirs.

Right now, kidney failure is threatening my little sister and I’m at a loss as to how to protect her from this one. She’s made ginormous strides in becoming healthier to be considered for a transplant, but after losing 100+ pounds, the transplant folks tell her she has to lose more. They mentioned gastric bypass which she’s already been told she can’t have because she has so little kidney function.

So she feels like she is back at square one even though she has mastered 500. She feels defeated when she has so much to rejoice over. She feels she still hasn’t done enough when she is doing all that is humanly possible.

I feel like I want to kick kidney failure’s butt and hug my sister.


Look! A Squirrel! February 19, 2011

Filed under: Family Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 8:30 pm

Hubby and I were sitting in Denney’s this morning waiting on breakfast. I was attempting to talk to him, answer a text from my sister and figure out what we needed from Wal-Mart. I started and stopped what I was trying to say two or three times, then would get distracted again. Finally having enough, Steve said, “Do you think we could have a broadband conversation rather than dial-up?”

Smarty pants!


The Most Beautiful Woman in the World February 17, 2011

Filed under: Family Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 8:32 pm
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Today would have been my Mom’s 65th birthday.

Janet Louise Kroft (I have her middle name) was the most beautiful woman in the world. I know every little girl believes that her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, but in all my 45 years, I still believe this about my Mom.

She grew up in an emotionally abusive home and married a man who promised her a way out. I often asked her if she regretted marrying Bio-Dad since they divorced after five years. She would get teary-eyed and remind me that if she hadn’t married him she wouldn’t have my sister Marie and me, and that was worth everything.

When I was nine she married my Dad. During the worst of his drinking, I watched as she prayed and cried to God to save him. I saw a woman committed to her husband, in easy times and hard times, and a woman who helped lead her husband to God because of her faithfulness not only to God but to my Dad as well. She taught me what it meant to vow “for better or worse”, and she was the example I followed when I had to make a similar decision about my own marriage.

Mom had a sharp wit and a tongue that matched it. If you were on the receiving end of her wit, it meant that she loved you greatly. She used to tell people, “If I ignore you, I don’t like you!” She also had a laugh that sent joy through my heart.

The abuse my Mom experienced growing up could have colored the way she treated her own children. While it left scars that I will never fully understand, she chose to raise her children differently. She was most definitely the authority and expected her children to be respectful and well-behaved. She encouraged us in everything we wanted to try. She cheered the loudest and laughed the loudest and cried the happiest tears for our accomplishments. I was never afraid of her… but absolutely terrified of disappointing her.

The last few years of her life, Mom was struggling with kidney failure, diabetes and congestive heart failure. She was losing her eyesight and had horrible arthritis in her feet. Through all of it, she never complained or felt sorry for herself. She had a quiet strength that hid what was going on with and in her body. She spent time caring for others with her work with Gilead Ministries as their administrative assistant and volunteering with her church.

In 2000, Mom had a quadruple bypass. Before she went into surgery I completely fell apart and felt I was losing her. She held me close and whispered in my ear, “Baby, the promise in the Bible is real. If I live, that’s wonderful, because I get to spend more time with all of you. And if I die, I get to be with Jesus. You see? I can’t lose!”

Two years ago next week, the most beautiful woman in the world became the most beautiful woman in heaven. I personally think Jesus gets the better end of the deal.

Until the day I get to see both of them face-to-face.

Jesus on one side. Mom on the other. I can’t lose!


Three Funniest People January 28, 2011

Filed under: Family Discoveries,Post a Day — Rediscovering Tina @ 8:15 am
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“It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.” ~ Oscar Wilde

One of the things I love about life is laughter. If someone’s not laughing then we are all just taking things a bit too seriously. I believe that one of the gifts God gave me was to find humor in every day things and to help others laugh at those things along with me.

Is it any wonder that with as much as I love to laugh, God has placed even funnier people around me to keep me on my toes? Here are the three funniest people in my life:

Steve: My wonderful husband who is one big ball of goof. He is constantly surprising me with his wit and with the silly things he does. In fact, one of the first things I realized that made me crazy about him is his sense of humor. He has long conversations with the cat or with invisible people in McDonalds. He and the cat sing together. My favorite is when he clucks and walks like a chicken back and forth across a window just to get my reaction.

LeeAnne: My little sister has the quickest wit of anyone I know. It first became evident when she was four or five and she was “operating” on Bugs Bunny when she suddenly threw him behind the couch “because he died”. She has a comeback for every quip. She can put you in your place all the while cracking you up while she’s doing it. Even in dire situations, she has no idea how funny she is and how much she alleviates stress just by being herself.

 This is cheating, but ALL the ladies I work with (Lisa, Beth, Bev, Nou, Megan, Aggie, and Nan):  One of the reasons our team works is that we all play well together. There are people in our office who think we do nothing but goof around because there is so much laughter and giggling going on around here. What they don’t realize is that this is one of the qualities that makes us such a good team. We work well together because we laugh well together. Is it any wonder I LOVE going to work each day?

Who are funniest people in your life?


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