Monday, December 7, 2015

Not Have To

I heard something on TV today that stuck with me (my paraphrase):

"The tragedy is when people can't see what they already have."

And a few years ago, a pastor shared what he says when his kids whine:

"No, you don't have to, you get to."

I was thinking about these things tonight because I should really get up, out of bed, and exercise.

Ugh, do I have to?

No, but I can. I have a healthy, complete body, family, warm housing, plenty of food (too much!), internet, TV, technology, etc., etc., etc.

That first quote? The speaker said it's the cure to self-pity. So off I go, first to snuggle with my son, then to work my butt off. Ha ha.

Why?

Because I get to.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving with Family

Wonderful day. So much food. After the King and I took the kids to the park I felt like this:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When Doubts Arise


Life feels a little uncertain right now. But I have no doubt that the Lord has stored up good for us and it is coming. We have leapt out in faith in the past and are leaping again.

I hope, as a writer, that I will also make the leap. See this post on my writing blog if you're curious.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Raccoon's Idea of Christmas

Last year, I focused more on doing special things with the kids and they received many little gifts throughout the month and one large one on Christmas. Raccoon's face fell when he saw our tree on Christmas morning and he asked me, "Where are all the presents?"

His one request for this year was lots of presents, big and small. I do think about materialism and knowing the true reason to celebrate and being thankful and all that, but seeing his little disappointed face last year made me want to do things differently this year. I remember the excitement as a child of seeing a big pile of packages under the tree on Christmas morning. Raccoon gave away over half his toys before we left and he's collecting change in an old juice jug at this very moment to help the poor. So I think he's got it, and will be okay even if he does get a little spoiled this year.

Thankfully, we are in the US, where stuff is easy to come by. Hello Dollar Tree. While the kids were distracted, I piled things into our cart. I ended up with 64 items consisting of some things we needed for the house, a few decorations, and lots of little presents for them.

When we got home, Kitty fell asleep and Raccoon settled in with a movie, so I smuggled the bags in from the car and dumped it all on the bed. I sorted and counted. They are 6 and 2 so there must be the same number of gifts for each, of roughly the same size.

Okay, here is a confession. As a child, I loved wrapping presents. Tonight, after about 10 presents, I peered at the large pile on the bed and wondered... do I really have to wrap them all? Where did all the fun go? Why do I just want to go to bed?

Ha ha. I am apparently an introvert in all areas of my life except present wrapping, and then to be trapped in a room by myself with yards of paper and piles of presents turns me into Scrooge.

My solution? I put everything into bags and will continue later.

Dear Raccoon,

There will be a huge pile of presents under the tree this year, even if I do have to wrap every.single.one.of.them. And someday when you're a daddy and your little boy or girl looks at you, maybe you'll remember this Christmas as one of your favorites.

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It is not okay...

...for there to be an us and a them, a "those people" or a "that group." I watched a video tonight from Samaritan's Purse about the Syrian refugees and it was heartbreaking, especially the children. What if that was us? Some day we may be in need and who will help us then?

There is just us.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Drinking Fountains

My children, every time they see one of these wonderful inventions.

 
Then they look like this... 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(I may just be having a little too much fun with my picture-themed Nablopomo. Ha ha.)

Friday, November 20, 2015

It's the Little Things

There is soap and toilet paper in every bathroom, even hot water. Youtube videos load seamlessly. So many choices stare back at me from every side, even at the thrift store. I find myself fascinated by TV commercials. I don't know any of the people talked about on TV. Cars stop and wait for me to cross the street. I left the car unlocked while the kids and I were at the park. It smells different, fresher without the smog and dust. The cashiers are friendly. It gets dark at 4 pm. My children wake up at 4 am, feeling like it's 7 am. Raccoon complained that these are the worst nights ever because he thought he had to stay in bed until it got light out around 8 am. The sun didn't shine today until noon. We were the only ones at the park. Car seats are not optional. The houses here are warmer than our cement house in South America, but outside it is much colder. We were wearing winter jackets and snow pants at the park today and saw a woman yesterday (same temperatures) wearing capris and a light sweater. Raccoon and Kitty got three vaccinations each and nary a fever.

The kids asked to go home today. Raccoon wants to buy a dog and Kitty wants to go to her favorite play place. They were easily distracted, but here is not home, not yet.

Foods I've missed: raspberries, seaweed, countless varieties of almond milk, turkey bacon, hummus, cereal, pistachios, seedless grapes, and dried mangoes.

It's the little things that let me know that we're here, in the US.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Surprises

 
Kitty's face when she found out that in the US, car seats are not optional.

 
Raccoon when he found out that Kitty needed 5 shots and he got to watch.
 
 
Then it turned out that he needed 3 as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Culture Shock

In the bathroom...

My daughter enthusiastically pulls out several toilet seat covers and wraps up her latest treasure. Her beloved tissue paper was not in her carry on and she is relieved to find that the US has plenty available.

Kitty, that is not a wrapping paper dispenser.


Culture shock is...

...not knowing what things are.

...not knowing where to find things.

...not knowing how to make things work.

...feeling every emotion, sometimes simultaneously

 
 

 
 



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Arrived!

Seeing my parents is the best thing ever. No matter where they move to, it feels like home if they are there.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Good-Bye

Today is our last day in our little house on our land. Our Castle on Lighthill. I may or may not say good-bye to a few of my trees, as well as half the neighborhood. The kids and I have already said good-bye to our favorite mall, Raccoon's secret hideout, and many, many friends. Raccoon keeps saying, "Good-bye for a year!"

And to ward off the sadness, a few pictures. Say a prayer for us tonight as we travel.




Sunday, November 15, 2015

Colossians 3

This chapter has been my anchor lately.

"Seek those things which are above."

I'm trying, Lord, I'm trying.


This turtle is just because Raccoon has decided to collect all things turtle. 
Kitty is still all about make-up, nail polish, and bling bling.


P.S. Today is our last church service in Ecuador for we're not sure how long. I may have more to say afterwards, but I am selling my computer, so will be disconnected for a bit.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Two Days and Counting

These pretty much sum up how I feel:


How many days left?


Can I go to sleep yet?


Friday, November 13, 2015

Playing Together

Raccoon and Kitty are at a great age. Kitty is now just old enough to be fun to play with, as well as being old enough to drive Raccoon crazy in a way only a sister could. Sometimes they play, eat, or watch the iPad peacefully. The King and I have even caught ourselves sitting on the couch - together! - and talking. A miracle. But then after five or ten minutes, the complaints begin.

"Moooooommmmmmmmmmmy! She hit me!"
"Waaaaaa!" (that's Kitty)
"I didn't do anything."
Silence.
"She hit me again!"
More "Waaaaaa!"

My classic question... "What were you doing when she hit you?"
"I took her toy" or "I wouldn't let her touch my _____" ad infinitum.

I will say that Raccoon is honest to a fault, even if it means telling on himself.

Me: "Kitty, no hitting. Raccoon, stop teasing her."

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Here is the illustrated version:












Thursday, November 12, 2015

Feeling Sad

Today the sad has won over the happy. I went to a neighbor's house to give her some of Kitty's shoes for her niece. When I hugged her goodbye, I told her how much her friendship has meant to our family and that I probably wouldn't see her again before we left. She said she might come up to our house on Monday, but if she doesn't it's because she's too sad. Just writing this makes tears come to my eyes.

The kids and I did our last lunch out and shopping, saying goodbye to our favorite mall. Kitty helped me put together some candy/snack bags for the airplane tonight with the loot. Raccoon won't be able to have candy again for a long time, or random treats, because of his corn allergy. It's so much harder to feed him safely in the US.

We went to see a piece of land today that my nephew-in-law and his wife (our new downstair tenants) want to buy. It was a gorgeous, green oasis at the bottom of a valley. I felt like digging a hole there and crawling in, except that the bugs were terrible. I walked to the edge of the next lot over, expecting to see a merry stream running through the bushes.

Instead it was a deep chasm, the river so far down I couldn't see it at all. My grief over leaving is like that. It seems shallow at first, but I'm afraid that if I get too close, I might fall in.

(The line of trees past the fence in the second picture, that's where the chasm is.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Not-So-Typical Thankfulness

It's November, so the "I'm thankful for..." lists start popping up. Besides the traditional ones, family, house, food, etc., I would like to propose thankfulness for some not so widely recognized things.

1) Indoor toilets

2) Running hot water

3) Zippers and velcro

4) Religious freedom

5) The Scientfic Method

6) Inventors

7) Antibiotics

8) Artists

9) Our created world

10) Jesus

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Far From Normal

My children are about to experience something wonderful and terrible all at the same time: furlough. Being an ex-MK myself, I know the pain and the joy firsthand.

The thing about parenting is, once you have more than one kid, sometimes you just can't get it right for everyone. Surprisingly, it's my change-hating baby who has grown into an adventuresome little boy, and my mellow baby who has become my home-loving daughter.

Hang on, chicos, it's going to be quite the ride, but totally worth it. Five days to go.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Am Not A Tree

I like change, I really do, but the last few days before we move to a different country for an unknown period of time have been too much even for me. I am not a tree, but sometimes I wish I was one. Ha.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Orphan Sunday

Thinking of my baby girl today. Praying for all those in need still out there.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thinking of You

This is for a dear friend who has just received terrible news, twice in one day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Funnies

I love to laugh. So I thought I'd post some of my favorite pictures, mostly from my Facebook feed. Okay, all of them from Facebook.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nablopomo Prompts

from BlogHer:


Monday, November 2 What was the one toy that a friend had that you wished you had when you were little?

Tuesday, November 3 What did you think was the coolest job in the world when you were younger? Do you still feel that way now?

Wednesday, November 4 When you were a kid, did you want to have the same job or a different job than your parents when you grew up?

Thursday, November 5 What is the most important lesson you learned as a child, and who taught it to you?

Friday, November 6 What was your biggest fear as a child? Do you still have it today? If it went away, when did your feelings changes?

Monday, November 9 What is the first thing you do every single day (I mean, after you hit the snooze button)? When did that step in your routine begin?

Tuesday, November 10 What is the hardest part of a big project: getting the energy to begin, finding the time to work on it, or feeling down that it's over?

Wednesday, November 11 What was the last thing you fixed or built?

Thursday, November 12 If you had a personal assistant who would do your most dreaded tasks, which items from your to-do list would you assign out?

Friday, November 13 Describe your ideal day off. What would you do with your time?

Monday, November 16 Pretending you have the expertise to make the product a reality, what do you wish you could invent?

Tuesday, November 17 What is one place you need to see to feel like your life is complete? 

Wednesday, November 18 What do you hope people remember about you after you're gone? 

Thursday, November 19 Where would you want to retire if money wasn't an issue?

Friday, November 20 What do you hope happens by the end of this year?

Monday, November 23 What do you do better than anyone else?

Tuesday, November 24 Who is an expert you admire and why?

Wednesday, November 25 Do you think it's better to be a recognized expert for one thing, or known to be really good at lots of things?

Thursday, November 26 If you're celebrating Thanksgiving today (or even if you're not!), tell us about the best cook in your family.

Friday, November 27 What's the best purchase you ever made?

Monday, November 30 What do you like to do to celebrate an accomplishment?

Monday, November 2, 2015

What happened in 2015?

Not many blog posts, apparently.


Normally I'd boost my count a bit with Nablopomo, but not this month. I'm switching my efforts to the ridiculously fun (I hope!) Nanowrimo. But it may spill over here a bit, it's hard to say. Once the writing gate opens in my life, there is often a flood. I may even peek at the Nablopomo prompts and see if they inspire me.

What does 2016 hold? A move back to the US, deciding whether or not to continue homeschooling Raccoon, and a lot of traveling. Every time I see a blogger put that she wants to post more, she often stops altogether. So I will not say that.

But I live a better, richer life when I process things through writing. I have stopped journaling and blogging, and my life is poorer for it. Writing helps me to stop and appreciate things, and to remember what is important. So I will think about posting more and put "more blog time" on the vague list of "Things I Want."

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Saying Goodbye Sunday

Today we are off to visit a church we helped plant many years ago. I am excited to see the almost finished pastor apartment on the second floor, and to once again connect with our friends there. Spending the day away from our live volcano is also a plus.

This post is a bit of a placeholder as I expect to have additional reflections upon my return. To be continued...

I did enjoy today very much. It was amazing to see a body of Christ where 3 years ago there was nothing. Now there is a full church and a second floor pastor apartment. Thank you, Lord. The pastor and his wife gave our visitors some very touching gifts, traditional man and woman outfits, and then dressed them up. It reminded me that there are connections all over the world as Christians, and we truly are a family.

After the service, we went to a park with giant-sized playground equipment. It was fun to feel like a kid again, crawling and climbing all over the place. Raccoon continues to be fearless, while Kitty is interested but hesitant.

I am 13 minutes past my designated bedtime of midnight, so off I go after a very happy but tiring day.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Notes: No Fear

By Tony Perkins

This book challenged me to think about my faith in the context of political activism, and the fact that I have a right to my belief in God. I'm about as non-confrontational as they come, so my first reaction is to exercise my faith quietly. Being a Christian is becoming more and more counter-cultural, but Perkins reminded me that I still have the freedom to choose. It is okay to stand up to the majority, although not easy. Many of the people he highlights were just going about their lives. What if in my daily life I have an opportunity to stand for Christ? Would I do it? Knowing that I have the political right to stand up for what I believe, on top of the moral obligation, is encouraging.  

Not all of the stories resonated with me, but I think that the main message is true: if you stand up for your faith, you are going to get criticized and possibly persecuted politically and/or financially, but it is a God-given and Constitutional right, however unpopular it may be. Ultimately, this book dared me to have more reverence for God than fear of man.

My favorite quotes:

"For some it is little more than the inconvenience of having to stand up and defend your right to express your belief in God."

"...seeking the right to pray in public — whether you are a principal, a student, or a politician — is not an attempt to impose religion on a community or the country; it is exercising our God-given rights to live out our faith in a real and tangible way."

"There's a way to take a stand for your faith without attacking others. That doesn't mean we back down from our convictions, but that we hold to them in a loving way - in a way that respects even those who oppose us." - Rebekah 

"We need to make sure our stand for Jesus honors Jesus!"





Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beauty in the mess

Today was a messy day. Not quite a horrible awful move to Australia day, but almost. Tonight when half the chaos went to the airport and the other half fell asleep, I looked at my counter. My brain saw the mess and dirty dishes, but also these amazing roses I bought for $3.

Life is like that. All mixed up together. And I am grateful for my two little hurricanes, even on the rough days.

Raccoon is getting so big. He's six now and I can see my little boy evolving into a young man. He's still very serious but is thoughtful as well, and very giving of himself. My little man.

Kitty. I call her lay-lay, an affectionate diminutive of noisy nelly. She has her preacher grandpa's voice and is not afraid to use it! Tonight she kept asking me, "Are you fine?" and "I love you, Mama." She keeps trying to get away with calling me by my first name.

They weren't the only ones who were grumpy today but it all ended with hugs and apologies. Tomorrow we begin again.

Beautiful and crazy. My life.

P.S. Two days until Nanowrimo. No nablopomo this year. I have 50k words to write!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

How Can People Say...

...that there is no God?

This TED talk blew my mind. It is exciting and freaky all at the same time. To think of the things going on at a micro level, and the beauty and precision that God created even though we are just now able to see some of it. Amazing.

Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA. But let's do it wisely

But here is the scary part, designer babies. The wanted ones who are born is one thing, assuming there are no unintended consequences, but what about the other lives that may be discarded in the search for a certain eye or hair color? What about world-changing people like Stephen Hawking or my baby girl SB who may never be born? Where will the search for perfection take us?

Jennifer Doudna is calling for a worldwide moratorium on genome editing in embryos. I hope the scientific community will listen. She says that she feels uncomfortable outside of the lab,  on the world stage,  but she feels responsible for the technology that she co-discovered. Bravo, Ms. Doudna, thank-you.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Berries

Kitty loves berries. I've planted 6 berry bushes for her and two mulberry trees. A friend has some bushes as well, so we went berry hunting, only to discover this large spider instead.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Living Near an Active Volcano

This last month has been stressful, to say the least. Ministry changes, illness and illness again, uncertainty about our next furlough, and personal challenges created a perfect storm of miserableness. I think, I hope, I may, see the sun peeking through the clouds tonight.

We figured out Kitty's uncharacteristic bad moods of late - 2 year molars, hives, and tummy problems. I don't know what caused the full body hives, since she hasn't had or been near any shellfish. Another allergy mystery to figure out. But she seemed happier today, especially once I stuck my finger in her mouth snd felt her swollen gums. Poor baby.

Raccoon is excited about his upcoming party. Tomorrow we will kill our turkey and two ducks in preparation for Friday's feast. We're doing a family-only party this year, since the turkey was originally meant for Christmas.

Why the premature turkey sacrifice? That question brings me to the title of this post. Our volcano neighbor has been quiet of late on the surface, but seismically active which means something is cooking. The daily government censored reports are vague, but they do list some of the scientific measurements.  Hello crash course in volcanology. VTs lessening, LPs increasing, but only slightly.

So life goes on, shopping and school and hints that a large eruption is more likely than not, brings us to last night. The King gets a late night message from a woman we've helped over the years. She says that her cousin works at the IG, our national monitoring station. Supposedly,  the experts want to raise the alert level to orange and that they expect a catastrophic eruption within the next two weeks, but the government won't change the alert because they want to avoid a panic. Then the same woman leaves us another mesaage today, distraught, that she met with her cousin today and we should evacuate to Quito if possible.

So now what? Anxiety churns my stomach even as I write this. We could go stay with my mother-in-law, us and our five dogs and a cat, for a few weeks. We are planning to go to the US for furlough in November anyway. Or do we stay home, stock up on more supplies and just avoid the most dangerous nearby town? Is this just another rumor? Can we trust the government?  Will even the experts know in time? Will the volcano behave as it's done in the past?

The problem with prophets is that only time proves them right or wrong. But we don't get to make this decision after we know, we have to choose now. Or nowish.

For tomorrow, we will stay home. Tuesday we may go to a farther away city than usual to do our errands.

What would I do if I knew for sure it was going to blow this week? Or next? I'm not sure. Lord, we need peace and a clear plan of action.

Mom, if you read this, don't stress. We're fine.

But tonight I took a slow walk around Lighthill (our land), savoring the beauty. Just in case the world has changed by morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Difference of a Day

It's amazing what the Lord can do in a day. Yesterday, life was a mess. Today, by His grace alone, they are pretty well sorted out. Thank you, Lord.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Notes: Pretending We're Normal




This is the second book the author wrote after her husband died unexpectedly, leaving her with two small boys. The first one was more riveting, taking place just before and after her husband's death, but the second book made me laugh. Her writing flows well, and above all, she is honest. When reading someone else's story, truth is what I appreciate most. She captures the ambiguity of her new life well, the tug between thinking of marriage again yet enjoying her independence. She made me feel like one of the gals, as if I'd just popped over for coffee to catch up.

I confess, I felt tempted to judge when she wrote about things like not wanting to read her son a bedtime story, until she mentioned that it was two hours past bedtime. Ah, I know that feeling. And those days that I, too, wonder what I will be apologizing for when talking to my future daughter-in-law.

I enjoyed it once but doubt that I'd ever reread it. For me, it lacked a bit of cohesiveness and a stronger overall theme, which is why I gave it a three.


I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Summer Day at Home

From June, a glimpse of our life in pictures.


Having fun with daddy... strong man!


Our house


Enjoying books after setting up our new reading corner in the living room


Fast forward to the teenage years! I can see it already in this picture.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

RIP Juguetona

We brought her home June 3, probably about three weeks old. Her mom abandoned her in a hole and wouldn't feed her. Raccoon slept with her, fed her, and fell in puppy love.


A few days ago, she had the sniffles and it quickly became something like doggy pneumonia. We gave her an antibiotic but she didn't pull through.


We will miss how you jumped on all four feet at breakfast time, how you followed us on puppy legs to the store, and your fighting spirit.

P.S. My parents also flew home today. A day of many losses.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On Friendship

I wanted to write a post about how complicated friendship is, but what I really need to focus on is maintaining, fixing, and improving the friendships that I have. Tonight, off to bed. Tomorrow, off to jump a few cultural hurdles.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Random Encouragement

Ideas in my facebook feed today:

How Parents are like Rock Stars (see picture below)

Coffee sensory play. 'Nuff said.

We're all just one step away from stupid.

You and I are not limited to our past mistakes. Keep showing up. Be steadfast.




Sunday, July 26, 2015

Today was a Gift

Life was rich. No matter what the future held, this was a marvelous moment.

—Madeleine L’Engle, Two-Part Invention

The kids went to church with the King today, just him, for the first time ever. My mom wasn't feeling well so she and I stayed home. Unexpectedly, we were given four hours just to talk and be together, no interruptions. It was an amazing gift. We sat on the grass and talked and laughed and cried.

Then in the afternoon, Kitty fell asleep with an aunt and Raccoon played with a cousin, so we had more time to sit together on the stairs in the late afternoon sun.

None of us knows what tomorrow holds and I am so grateful for today. Thank-you, Lord.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Notes: Between the Dark and the Daylight

Embracing the Contradictions of Life
by Joan Chittister

I found the beginning profound, the middle cliché, and the almost-end profound again. There are parts of her philosophy that I do not agree with, but there was still much for me to reflect upon. I was especially challenged by her thoughts on moral courage. She sees many things clearly, and has a knack for beautiful phrases:

"It is the challenge to face up to the unfinished business of my life. To resolve what I regret. To confront whatever it is that is blocking my ability to live a life free of consternation, alive with joy. Indeed, we can’t ever really run away from anything. We can only settle it or be harassed by it all the nights of our life. It is a choice we make that will affect the entire rest of our lives. It is the martial art of the soul."

"To be so happy anywhere you never want to leave it, to love someone so much you cannot bear to say good-bye, must be one of God’s greatest blessings. …Choose wisely. May sadness be the measure of your wisdom as you go."

Is it worth reading? Yes. Worth finishing? Yes again. I almost didn't, but was glad that I did. I gave it three stars because when she was good she was brilliant, but there were times that I felt like she took the easy way out, serving up a little more platitude than paradox.

But still, someone who can come up with the phrase "the martial art of the soul" definitely deserves a read.


I received a free copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.


More quotes:

The things of the soul—the joy of life, the love of beauty, the gift of friendship, the integration into nature, the pursuit of truth and the depth of the spirit—grow in open land, bare of the baubles of life, free of frenzy and devoid of the chaos of accumulation. Then we are rich. Then we are strong. Then no one can take anything away from us because we have already relinquished it.

Mignon McLaughlin writes, “It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change."

Epictetus wrote: “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

...holiness depends on choices that have been tested by opportunities.

George Soros says, “…there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.”

…what it was for which the soul pined that was making it impossible to accept the good of where they were in life.

Great pain does not dampen hope and great opportunity does not ensure it.

When we align being able to do what we want while we do what we must, the fog of hopelessness will lift.

“Bloom where you are planted,” the poster reads. But the poster does not tell the whole story. “Plant yourself where you know you can bloom” may well be the poster we all need to see. Or better yet, “Work the arid soil however long it takes until something that fulfills the rest of you finally makes the desert in you bloom.”

As Hemingway writes: “Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”

“A single event,” (Antoine de Saint-) ExupĂ©ry writes, “can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

Everything I choose is not the best choice I could have made, perhaps, but the way I deal with it is the choice that will define me in the end.


Friday, July 17, 2015

A List of Likes

A snapshot of who they are now, at 5y9m and 2y5m, in random order.

Raccoon

Water ballons
Dog treats for Teddy and Juguetona 
Ice cream
Sugar cane at la Y  
Bug digging                  
Inviting a friend over
A game of tag
Furniture jumping
Being in charge
Balloon volleyball
Visiting a friend
Playing with the hose      
Board games
Stories
Reading together
Getting new pets
Messy experiments

Kitty

Sticker books
Singing
Dancing
Make-up and nail polish
Little animals
Looking fancy
Holding Raccoon's hand
Snuggles
Books
Getting wet
Anything Raccoon has or does
Tag
Going to our local store
Not wearing shoes or socks
Helping
Music
Chocolate

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dear Computer

I am so pleased to meet you. I hope you had a pleasant journey to South America with my mother. This may be a little soon, but I am in love with your wide screen and number pad. Even the click-clack of the keys is very nice.

Your wifi has 3 bars out of 4, which makes my heart sing. I am typing this from my bed as my daughter sleeps beside me, the place where most of my work is done. I had to get rid of your predecessor because it refused to work with my wifi network. I trust that you and I will not have that same problem, and instead enjoy a long and productive working relationship.

With much excitement,
Your New Owner

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Be Still My Heart

Raccoon is reading to Kitty. Made-up stories for now, but it makes me so happy to see my children enjoying books.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Movie Theatre: Inside Out

We went to the movies for the first time as a family yesterday to watch Inside Out.  Kitty made it through an hour, then we left and came back for the last ten minutes or so. Since I missed the middle, this isn't a review, although my 5 year old son, who watched it all, wasn't thrilled.

In the movie, Riley, an 11 year old girl, has several islands (being goofy, hockey, a best friend, family, etc.) that make up her personality. Some of her key emotions get lost, Joy and Sadness, and the islands are destroyed one by one.

After the movie being an okay experience for our family, but not really that much fun, I felt like the island in my mind, called Movies, fell into the Abyss and became no more.

I have always loved movies, and going to the movie theatre was a treat I relished. As a young married couple before kids, the King and I went all the time. Our first movie was Shrek, and one of the most memorable was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, at a midnight showing before we flew east for Christmas with my parents in Maine. I took my 8 year old neighbor friend to the movies every chance I got. Even N and J were movie theatre pros.

But I've changed. Maybe it's the years of no sleep, or my life not being my own with the constant demands of small children, or the content of the movies themselves, I don't know. I browse Netflix, but end up switching to music on YouTube or Ted talks instead.

Movie Island has died. I want to be in control of the characters, instead of just passively following along. Perhaps Writing Island has come to stay.