Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm Confused

Isn't it almost April? And don't I live at 0' Elevation?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Voice of God

Have you ever heard it? I mean audibly- like you hear your spouse or your kids. I have.
I was in the midst of one of my best tantrums. I had 4 little children who drained every ounce of energy from my being and another on the way. They left messes everywhere. Dishes were spilling out of the sink onto the counters on both sides, and the dishwasher was out of commission. Laundry had vomited out of the laundry room into (nicely color sorted) piles on my kitchen floor. I could barely walk from the garage to the dining room. I felt like I was the only one who could manage to wash a dish or change the laundry around- And that was just the kitchen.... Looking around I just lost it! I stood in that mess with tears of frustration streaming down my face seething at God for the life he had strapped me with. I let him know just how I felt- OUT LOUD. I finally went to bed, leaving the mess for the next day. I crept into bed so I would not wake up my husband- because in his defense he had spent the day wrestling lumber to build someone else's dream- and sniffled my way into sleep.
You know how you can have a conversation with a good friend and leave it hanging indefinitely- but when you pick it back up you both know what the topic is and where you where in it?
The next day we were at church. I was teaching the Children's Church and we had finished early so we decided to play a game. Since we met in a school, the children were in the gym- the perfect place for games- except for those darn irresistible bleachers. Jesse, thinking he could clear the distance between the two sets, took a flying leap-and missed. Well he mostly missed. He caught the next set with his nose. In the midst of a lot of screaming and blood I could see that he had loosed the nostril from the cheek.
I ran into the service where Sebastian was just about to start the last worship set. I rushed up to him and said something urgent like, "We need to go to the hospital." He nodded at me and then proceeded to strum the opening chord, not fully understanding what I had just said to him. I spun around and shouted, "NOW!" Well that got his attention. He just dropped his guitar and ran after me. A friend followed us out. We were fortunate enough to have driven two cars that day because I just dropped my keys in her hand and she gathered our other children and took them to her house and fed them lunch.
All the way to the urgent care center I had to hold Jesse's hands away from his face as he rubbed his bloody nose all over my shirt. All I could do was tell him how sorry I was and try to keep him calm- all the while wishing I could take that pain on myself.
Eight stitches, an antibiotic, and a nap- for both of us- later, I got around to cleaning my kitchen. Then I decided to make the kids Jello as a special treat after such a traumatic day. I was up to my shoulders in my container cupboard, looking for those little gladware single serve guys, when I heard His voice. If I could have I would have turned around to see Him leaning back on my sink, with His arms crossed over His chest- like I do when I talk to my children. However, no man can look upon the glory of God and live to tell about it, so there I was- stuck in my cupboard. This is what He said to me:
"Do you see now? Do you see how much you love them? I love you that much. So much that I gave you my own Son." There was no reproach, no scolding. Just the same kind of soothing voice I had used with my own hurting child earlier that day. Once again I had tears streaming down my face, but this time they were tears of repentance and of forgivenness.

I Need A Wife!

I spent yesterday doing MOPs stuff. The whole day. I started with a committee meeting from 9:30 to 12:00. Then a friend surprised me by stopping over for lunch- take out menu in hand! After that I did cold-calling to solicit donations for our upcoming auction. Then it was time for my kids to come home from school. At this point I had to dress Jonah because the girls had to be run to Little Cheer. After I dropped the girls off I made dinner and then went and picked up a couple of donation items, went to the b-ball game, and watched my girls do their thing.

So, I was lamenting to my friend at lunch that I needed a maid. You know, so I could devote my time to the truly important stuff. She tells me I don't need a maid, I need a wife. Yeah, a wife. Someone who is just there to clean up behind me as I go and I don't PAY her! Good idea.

EDIT: I wrote this some time ago, but as you just read it was a very busy time. It is timely now because I am gearing up for my last Special Tuesday- Ever ( but that's a different post). Jesse, of course, pointed out the fallacy of my thinking. "Mom," He said, "If you get a wife, then she's gonna need a wife, and then her wife will need a wife- it's gonna get pretty crowded here pretty fast!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So Nice

Today, just when Jesse was feeling really bored and sassy, he got a call from his teacher. She said "Thank you for the fortune cookie." Then all 30-ish of his class mates passed the phone around and thanked him for the fortune cookie, and all together they told him goodbye. They had planned on waiting until Jesse came back to eat the fortune cookies, but a week and a half is a long time for non-commercial, non-sealed baked goods to wait around.
After the call he was ready to sit down and work on some of his homework.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Typed Too Soon

Apparently the other two either had chicken pox too mildly for it to do them any good, or they had something all together different.
Now I have 4 down this week- all broken out on Saturday (Yes JoJo had 3 on Friday, but he exploded on Saturday).

5 down, 0 to go!
It was good of them to get it over with all at once.
The last of our souvenirs from Romania....

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Pox

JoJo has 3. The one on his toe, one on his chest, and the one I can't show you.

2 down, 1 to go...

(The other 2 had it about 3 years ago.)

Fortunate Cookies

Yes, They can be made from home. They were pretty yummy, too. Jesse had a lot of fun shaping them. I got him started and then I had to go to my MOPs meeting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What Did You Do Last Weekend?

We went "camping" in our friends' Yurt!
We took the kids and headed for Eastern Washington. Through Wenatchee, to Eniat, and back up into the hills. We had a lot of fun playing in thier snow. The days were super warm (38-40), but the night inside the yurt was super cold (34 or 35- with a fire in the stove). But what can you expect when you are sleeping in a glorified shopping bag?

We made an igloo while we were there. I got inside and built from the inside and my honey built from the outside. I packed snow into all the crevices until there were no more cracks, while
the family did the same from the outside. Only we didn't cut the door until VERY LAST. I remembered this story by Edgar Allan Poe while I was waiting for Honey to cut me an exit. A little Morbid, I guess, but it was rather small in the space I chose to wall myself into. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back when it is hotter than the blazes for a good swim in the tiny river.

Friday, March 14, 2008

At Long Last

I Know you have been waiting anxiously for these pictures. A friend of mine said just yesterday, "Why don't you take them to Wally's and transfer them to disc?"
"Uhhh, yeah, good plan."
Do you know that I go there at least once a week. Not counting last night to scan my pictures for pick up this morning, I have been there 3 times since I have been home....
So, With much anticipation and without further ado, Here are my seven good pictures of Sibiu, Romania:

This is the Council Tower. Also called the Clock Tower. It sat near the city wall in medieval days and was the center of the city government- city hall, as it were. If you look up you will see narrow windows. These were for the archers in case of attack. Seriously. By the way, the tower didn't move, the wall did. It was expanded out as the city grew. The strongest portion, to the south, is still standing. Too bad I don't have a picture to show you.

This is the entrance to the tower. Rather small, yes? That's because you immediately start climbing a scary spiral staircase (Think 1500's) to the second floor. Actually, now that I look at it, it looks as though it may have served as a gate for the wall- see the two passageways?

Here the kids are standing in front of an architectural model of the city on the second floor. Sorry the picture is so dark. Ahh, low tech.

Again a dark picture of my kids inside the tower, but what they are standing in is now a window, but was originally one of the archer's posts. On the outside the openings were relatively small, but on the inside they flared out so the archers could get the best shot without exposing themselves.These last pictures were taken from the top level- above the clock face- and this is the view North. This is the Evangelical Church- We call 'em Lutherans. My honey says there is a pipe organ inside that he learned to play as a boy. Also, he told me that there was a pipe organ concert every Wednesday evening at the Lutheran Church. Too bad I didn't know that Lutheran and Evangelical were the same thing while I was there...

To the South is the Piata Mare (Say it like this: pee-aht-sa mar-ay). Also known as the Large Square. This is where the shots that started the Revolution in Romania were fired. My honey doesn't like to talk about it, but he fought in the streets for his country's freedom from Communism.

These are East and West- don't ask me which is which. See how the city sprawls? It's actually not that big- about the size of Everett. But it is kinda cool when you can see it ALL.

Thanks for your patience on my ineptness. Enjoy the view with out the queasy stomach from the heights!

Are We There Yet?

While driving down the road today a child whined at me, "Are we there yet?"
I couldn't help but give the smart-aleck answer that my 10 year old came up with.
"No, we will never be there. We can only be here. When we get there it becomes here. So, no, we will never get there."
I guess you have to be 10 or older to appreciate that answer.
Ok, so if you're like me and never actually go to bed, read this. I just did. I started at 10:30. I think it was a justifiable use of three and a half hours- especially since it makes me want to go find my husband....
And if you like that one go here.
Oh, and Trish, just because I followed you around all our lives and, I seem to be doing it now, doesn't mean I want to be just like my big sister. Ok, maybe it does.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Know how I know?

No, it's not the spring rains- it rains here pretty much all year long.

No, it's not the bulbs poking out of the ground- although I did discover that someone had obliterated one of the two iris plants I have.

No, it's not the start of baseball- I don't care that much for sports.

I was driving home tonight from a little solo shopping trip and I heard the frogs singing! Not too many of them, but a few. Give it a couple more weeks and I will be able to hear the whole froggy choir from here to there and back again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Notice Anything Weird?

See this picture? Notice anything weird?

Yep. Libby has Chicken Pox!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lurker Day

I have recently been made aware that I have "Lurkers". Some as far away as Alaska. I want to hear from you if you are a lurker. I would love to see who is reading me!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Now for the funny part.

Now that I've bragged about Abby, I will tell you the funniest story....

To say that Abby is strong willed would be an understatement. She had a rough start to her kindergarten year. I warned her teacher that she would test her at every twist and turn, until she (the teacher) established herself as the clear winner. Well this child balked at the classroom door everyday for a month- and her sweet teacher let her sit outside the door until she was ready to come in every day for a month. Finally the teacher called me for help and we talked about steps and consequences. So for the next month the child sat in the "solution room" every morning until she was ready to join her class. I finally asked the principal, who is about 6' 4" and about 300 lbs to put on his "Big Scary Principal Face" the next time an opportunity arose. Then suddenly she decided to go to class. I was in utopia for about a week, and then I got this call from the principal...

"Hey, Gina. This is Victor. When you get in could you pop over to the office (Remember, we share a fence with the school.)? I've had Abigail in here since about 1:00. Thanks."

So, I popped over to the office to pick up my delinquent child and to get the story on the situation.

It had started innocently enough. She was lining up to come in from recess and happened to kick a rock as she went. The rock happened to peg a little boy right between the legs. The little boy told the playground supervisor who asked Abigail to apologize. Well, in a 5 year old mind, if it was an accident then there is no reason to apologize. We're still working on that one. She refused was taken to the solution room and sent straight to Victor per our conversation. All the child had to do was sit in his office and contemplate an apology and then go back and apologize. Not Happening! So she sat. And sat. And sat. For. Two. Hours. That. Stubborn. girl. Sat.

I brought her home, sat her on her bed, brought her down for dinner after the family ate, and then put her to bed. No Words.

The next day she went to school, apologized, and we haven't even had a sideways hiccup since then.

Fast forward to February when we were gone for an entire month. When I got home from my trip I opened the mail and found out that she was being honored as student of the month.

Ok, here's how my brain works:

  • Child has a horrible start

  • Child leaves school for a month

  • Child is suddenly student of the month for Kindergarten

  • Hmmmm

I know, funny, huh?

But it gets better!

Later that evening, as her daddy is cooing over her achievement, he asks her, "Abigirl, how do you get to be student of the month?"

With a dead serious face she says, "Well dad, you have to start out really horrible...."

Unfortunately that's all I heard of her answer because just that much had me rolling on the floor in hysterics!

Student of the Month!

Abigail was honored this week as student of the month! We have a special bulitin board for displaying these kinds of papers- right when you come through the door.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I've gotta figure out how to post those darn pictures!
Well, if you go read Lee Ann's comment on my last post, you will read about a stray dog.
Having been to Romania and seen the stray problem she knows of what she speaks.
My in-laws live in a city about the size of Everett, Washington- with 3 times the population! As a hold over from Communism, there are all kinds of stray dogs roaming the city. They are not particularly aggressive, but they have mange and only God knows what else. The streets and sidewalks are broken and pot-holed at best and they have never seen a motorized street sweeper. Also there is no Animal Control. Do you see what I am driving at?
Here at home if we are walking down the sidewalk and there happens to be a patch of grass nearby, my kids make a beeline for it (I'm talking about public grass since they have been taught not to walk in people's yards). And if they see a dog they know they are allowed to ask the owner if they may pet it.
In Sibiu, if the kids strayed off the sidewalk it was certain they would step in a pile of dog poop. We even had to dodge it on the sidewalks! I also had to turn freakishly scary-mean when I told them that under no circumstances were they to touch any dogs while on our trip.
I don't actually have any pets here in the US- unless you count my kids' 3 goldfish- so the idea that I would bring a stray home is quite a stretch!
I actually threw away all the tennis shoes when we got home....
I know you are all waiting anxiously to see my 5 beautiful pictures. I'll get it figured out soon. I promise!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Since you've been waiting SO patiently

I know everyone is dying to see my 5 good pictures from Romania- but my scanner isn't working properly so I still have to figure out how to get them up.
Instead I'm going to show you what I can do.
My friend Karen moved SO FAR AWAY, and she used to be in charge of cutting hair for us. Well it is kinda hard to mesh our schedules now- and my boys were about 2 months overdue for haircuts. Karen came over as a side trip from one of her errands the other day and gave me a 15 minute tutorial. She cut Jonah's hair while I watched closely. She also explained the nuances of Caleb's hair to me- explained how to blend it and all.
When Caleb came home from school I grabbed his little helmet-hair self and gave him a hair cut. My hands were shaking so much that I couldn't do the blending, but for the first time, not so bad- and free, too!

Ok, there is that spot in the back that I don't love, but his hair grows SO fast that I can fix it soon.

And now I am going to add 2 more since he was being such a goofball about getting his picture taken!

Aren't you proud of me?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mama always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates...."

No, wait. That was Mrs Gump. My mama always said two things:
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
"If you don't want anyone to read it, DO NOT write it down."

Sorry for the silence. It was a hard month. I did manage to get a few really good pictures- finally. I will do some posts as I get settled in.

"There's no place like home. There's no place like home." Wait- that was Dorothy....