Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

I'm not doing birthday shout-outs for everyone. Actually, I'll probably only do one for my mom. Because my mom is special. Extra special. She's my number one fan and I'm pretty sure she tells complete strangers to read my blog. (She might not when she sees some of the pictures in this post though) My mom is hilarious. And she doesn't mean to be. I think that's the best kind of hilarious. So Mom, I hope you don't mind that the world wide web now knows the following things about you, but I love them all. Also, we got you a cool present so don't think we forgot. And consider this your birthday card from me.

55 Reasons I Love My Mom:

1. She continually puts others before herself.

2. She cut our bangs, (often crooked), then she curled our bangs, then feathered them, then taught us how to grow them out.

3. She loves her creator and models for us the importance of spending time alone with Him.

(alone time with God often involves a coffee mug in hand and feet in the sand)

4. She creates a warm and inviting atmosphere so everyone feels right at home in her kitchen and living room.

5. She taught me how to be feminine. She forces me to brush my hair and wear lipstick and she faithfully tells me when I look pale as death and need my roots touched up.

(Note: second picture with coffee in hand)

6. She always woke us up by singing, "Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!" Then she drove us to school in our embarrassingly loud, brown van while singing, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it" even when we were grumpy and grumbling and rolling our eyes repeatedly.

7. She makes a mean chicken curry and her lasagna is the best in the world.

8. She raised 4 kids who were age 4 and under at one point and did it with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. Plus, she rocked this female mullet:

(Sweet stache, Dad. And yes, I'm reading a book. Get over it)

9. She once hung up on the school principal. She was probably talking to him about one of my brothers' many antics and it probably wasn't a fun conversation. My dad chose this moment to put on an old man mask and knock on the window, making her scream and hang up the phone.

10. She loves to take trips with my dad and takes random solo pictures like this one:

(Not sure why she was so excited about hot dogs and churros in New York)

11. She tries not to laugh at our inappropriate jokes at the dinner table but we know she thinks they're funny.

12. She was my Daisy troop leader, carpool driver, team mom, room mom, super mom.

13. She opens up her home and entertains many at "Hotel Hardeman." Here she is with the fam and Chazuko, our exchange student who I brought to school for show-n-tell.

(Note: we were NOT in Hawaii so I'm not sure why we have leis)

14. She falls asleep in 4 out of 5 movies. (even in the theaters- the snoring is a bit distracting)

15. She constantly dressed us in matching clothes and passed on her love for matching attire to me and Heidi. Her own mother passed on this habit and often dressed my mom and her sisters alike.

(Mom and Aunt Deb sporting some sweet gloves)

(She's the one trying unsuccessfully to hold down her blowing skirt)

16. She loves her God, her husband and her kids with passion and purpose.

17. She introduced us to many skin care treatments like the following:

18. She oozes compassion and comfort making her a remarkably nurturing mother and Neonatal nurse.

19. She is notorious for getting words and expressions mixed up. Her most recent slip up was calling the Rockefeller Center "Rockerfellow Center." She blames her own father who often referred to Starbucks as "Starburst."

20. She would punch the Pope himself if he ever insulted one of her children.

21. She goes on adventures. She and my dad lived in Seoul when they first were married and when they had a "North Korea is attacking" drill, she was alone, on a bus, and had no clue it was a drill.

22. She made our childhood adventurous and memorable.

(Can you find her in this oddly developed picture?)

23. She played lots with us when we were growing up. Our favorite story is when she was rollerblading with me and fell on her butt at the bottom of a steep hill. Travis saw and yelled to the whole neighborhood, "My mom just ATE it!" (When I told Vander this story, he said, "What'd she eat?")She also broke her leg while playing follow the leader with us. She slipped in the kiddie pool we jumped over. I suppose this is a different type of pain that comes with motherhood.

24. She shakes her shoulders when she laughs.

25. She's modeled for us how to be a loving, supportive wife.

(even when her husband of over 30 years wears odd wigs on occasion.)

26. She is all of our biggest fans. (She was the mom in the stands yelling, "Shoot it!" every time we ever touched the ball.) She has always been our most enthusiastic cheerleader- on and off the court.

(sweet jacket, dad)

27. She is a master at braiding our hair and looks bomb in a vest.

28. She was usually the "good cop"- probably because her spanks were so pathetic.

29. She makes her children feel special and loved and she does quirky things like dresses in matching colored, zebra print shirts with her sisters.

(Their shirts were "Africa" themed since they were sending me off to Mozambique)

30. She let us eat lots of sugar cereal and never said "no" to sleepovers but she didn't let us watch The Simpsons or listen to KIIS FM.

31. She thinks quickly on her feet. She did the "fast money" part on Family Feud and won.

(the farmer and his daughters dominated)

32. She worked the night shift once we were all in school and slept very little for many years. Perhaps that's why she drinks coffee and Diet Coke like they're water.

33. She cuts off people's heads when taking pictures and sounds like she's dying when she coughs.

34. She'll be goofy in pictures, even though it sometimes kill her when I refuse to smile normally.

(coffee cup number 3)

35. She taught us to be proud of our Dutch roots. (see hat above)

36. She hides behind doors and jumps out to scares us.

37. She's honest to a fault. If she doesn't like your outfit or haircut or baby's name, you'll know right right away by the look on her face.

38. She's taught us the importance and beauty of traditions and sisterhood.

(Bass Lake tradition: hours of floating with sisters in matching hats)

(Christmas tradition: matching pjs opened on Christmas Eve)

39. She is the most generous person I know; generous with her time, her love, and her money. (she balanced out our tight-wad father by constantly sneaking us cash)

40. She spells "brat" with two T's and let's me know when I'm being one.

41. She convinced me I was brilliant and beautiful- even on my ugly days.

42. She's taught me to appreciate my sisters, cheer for others, do strange poses in pictures, and throw the peace sign as often as possible.

(I think the plaid shoes are my favorite part of this ensemble)

43. She jumped in the pool in her clothes to save the dog when he fell in.

44. She taught us how to shave our legs and bake amazing sugar cookies.

45. She is passionate about God's kingdom and spreading the gospel message.

(in a small village in the Philippines)

46.She can take a good razzing. We are pretty merciless and find numerous things to make fun of her for. For instance, the other day I turned on the movie "Drumline" where a bunch of African-Americans go to "band camp." My mom saw them on the bus and said, "What? Are they on their way to prison?" We'll tease her about this one for years.

47. She has zero rhythm. None of her sisters do either. They sure do love the "YMCA" though.

(Note: how is it that none of them are on the same letter?)

48. She passed on several of her passions and abilities to us; like a love for reading and the ability to eat an exorbitant amount of sweets in one sitting.

49. She made us feel like kings and queens on our birthdays. She knows how to celebrate well and once took me and my friends out of school to go to Disneyland.
(clearly, matching shirts are a big thing with her)

50. She says ridiculous things sometimes. The other day I told her how I'm going to Spain in August and she said, "But what if you're engaged by then?" I'm not dating anyone right now. She's very hopeful.

51. She is an incredible grandma. I'm already excited about all the free babysitting and attention my kids will get from her. (I'm hopeful too)

52. She jumps right in when we do strange things like get our hair braided. Family tattoos next?
(Coffee mug count: 4)

53. She taught us that alcohol and Easter baskets are from the devil.

54. She smothers her kids and grandkids in kisses and hugs- even when we try to dodge them.

55. She is thoughtful and selfless and Christlike in so many ways.

I'll stop at # 55. There are many other reasons I love you, Mom, but this just seemed like a fitting place to stop (wink, wink) and I don't want to use up all the embarrassing pictures I have of you. I need to save some. Love you! Happy birthday!


  1. "Her children rise up and bless her----" Proverbs 31:28
    beautiful tribute, katie,
    ----you have one rockin' and amazing mama!!!!!

  2. thank you,now I will go make a yummy cup of java :} much love

  3. Happy Birthday, Aunt Cindy! Besides the shockingly offensive racist comments (ahem #46) these are all reasons I love you so and aspire to be just like you...making my girls wear matching clothes, singing "rise and shine" and "this is the day" in the morning as they groan grumpily, being ferociously defensive of my children, still crazy in love with a wig-wearing tight wad, relaxing with my toes in the sand, believing Katie will be engaged soon, loving God wholeheartedly and seeking to glorify Him with my life. As Kaelene likes to say... you are OSUM! Hope your day was filled with family, fun and coffee. :)

  4. I love your tribute to your mom. She is indeed a very special lady. Your tight-wad dad probably inherited that trait from your tight-wad grandma and growing up as a missionary kid in the Philippines. We did manage to do a lot of travel on a missionary budget by being tight-wads. :>)

  5. What a wonderful tribute to a great mom! You are blessed, Katie!

  6. Laura Vander DussenFebruary 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    What a blessing you are to your mom! These are many of the reasons why we love your mom so much also! It does make me wonder what my boys may someday write in a blog about me??? uugghh...I am inspired to be a better mom!!!

  7. Katie, I hope I get to meet your mom some day. She sounds like an awesome woman.