Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Humiliation Nation Goes International - Part 1

It's time. I am so overdue at sharing something completely humiliating. It's what makes me tick.
Not really, but who doesn't enjoy a good laugh? Plus, it sure does help keep me from taking myself too seriously.

I was on my very first international missions trip. It was such a huge deal for me. A dream I've had for years. One I still possess. I had packed my suitcase with great care. Including my Pepto-Bismol. Something I never left home without and usually the first thing I packed making any trip.

On the final night I realized that I managed to make it through the whole trip without a single, um, digestive problem...if you know what I mean. I used to have a very sensitive stomach and was very concerned that I would be plagued throughout the trip with numerous runs to any available restroom.

Which given the country, there weren't going to be a whole lot of options when we were out. If I was lucky (or should I say blessed since this is about a mission trip? *wink*), a communal outhouse would be available.

When I reached the end of this trip without any issues, I was thrilled. And thankful. You can question my faith, I just know that this was a reality for me for years. Throw on top of that an extremely sketchy food and water system and some unsanitary and unsavory conditions. Then add other team members afflictions and you can't help but wonder if you might be next.

I was thinking on this personal "miracle" as I dressed for a special goodbye service at our host church. And that's when it hit. I started having abdominal cramping and knew what would soon follow. I informed my roommate (a very dear friend of mine) that I was not feeling well and quickly moved to our hotel bathroom. Where I remained for the next twenty minutes.

I could hear the rest of our team gathering outside the hotel to load our bus and my roommate was urging me to make haste. Not exactly something that I felt was in my control. I prayed. I cried. I writhed as only one on a toilet can writhe.

By this point, the whole team, all 20 or so blessed people, knew my "condition". Several other team members gathered to encourage me to just get on the bus. They all knew. Twenty men and women knew I was stuck on the pot. I was mortified.

To be continued...


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Farewell To Summer 2009

Last year I posted a few somethings that happened during summer 2008. So I thought I'd share a few somethings from summer 2009. Makes sense, right?

Maybe not, sense may or may not be something I'm accused of when I
put a wig on my baby. It still makes me snicker.

Until I think of my baby being compared to George Costanza's mother (Seinfeld).

My summer somethings. Version 2009.

  • Something I found - a love for the Waltons tv series, I had never watched it until this summer
  • Something I lost - a lot of vegetables in our garden to our abundance of town wildlife
  • Something I learned - when Samuel draws on himself it releases an inner tribal instinct, complete with grunting and muscle making
  • Something I wish I could forget - seven toys can fit in my toilet drain, it's now a known fact
  • Something fun - staying up all night playing board games with my brothers and sisters
  • Something not so fun - getting up at the crack of dawn with little ones after playing games all night with my brothers and sisters
  • Something I worried about - Samuel's broken arm
  • Something that drove me to my knees - the direction of our country
  • Something sweet - the flowers and gift already waiting for me at our restaurant table on our anniversary
  • Something ugly - my dental bills and the work I still need to have done
  • Something I coveted- a Jersey milk cow (and land, still)
  • Something scary - when Samuel almost drowned!
  • Something that made me happy - my sweet, wonderful babies (all 3)
  • Something unexpected - Caleb's unending appetite when it came to reading
  • Something I finished - unpacking all the boxes from our kitchen renovation (from last summer)
  • Something I tried - cloth diapers and I think we're ready to commit
  • Something I made - canned goodies, like pickled peppers, peach jam, pasta sauce...

Goodnight, Jim Bob. Goodnight, Mary Ellen.

Goodnight, summer.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dave Ramsey $999 Starter Fund Giveaway

Did you know that Dave Ramsey is giving away a Starter Emergency Fund?

Me neither.

Since 9/9/09, Dave Ramsey has been giving away $999 in a daily drawing. Go here to enter the contest. The giveaway, which you can enter daily, will last through Sept. 18th. You can at least have three shots if you go now!

The next coolest thing to actually winning would be for someone I know to win! *grin*


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet Lenny

Lenny, meet world. World, meet Lenny.

Not your average butterfly.

We returned from a jaunt in the park this morning to find that this little beauty had kicked his chrysalis crib to the curb. It was patiently waiting for us in a jar on our kitchen table.

A friend blessed us with a Monarch caterpillar and we've had fun turning the experience into an unplanned unit study on butterflies. Hands on learning at its best! *grin*

Anyway, in the short hours that we've known him, Lenny has quickly endeared himself to our family.

Although I use the term "himself" loosely - we are having a difficult time determining "his" actual gender despite the research we have done.

Gender or not, Caleb quickly named it Lenny. Of all the names in the world and in our imagination, we pick Lenny. *No offense to any and all persons named Lenny. The name just doesn't speak, um, butterfly to me.*

This has got a child's book with the theme of redemption written all over it. Kind of an ugly duckling on steroids type of story. Lenny the Butterfly.

Just remember, you heard about it here first.

Caleb has grown extremely attached to it. And honestly, I think the little guy has become attached to him.

But then again, maybe I've just watched too many Disney movies.

The man cub has been talking about visiting Mexico and maybe running into Lenny. You can only imagine our discussion about butterfly life spans. But, he was intrigued by the thought that maybe next year we'd find one of Lenny's great-great grandchildren in our yard. I hope he always has such a tender heart.

And as a mom, I can't help but wish we had some wild tale about a butterfly who wouldn't migrate so we had to set up a special home for it. I know it's not God's way in nature, but it sure would make one little boy I know so very happy.

It would make a nice book, too.


P.S. Sorry about the quality of pictures. I'm still having issues with my computer and used these from my cell phone.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Imagination Station

Imagination. The stuff that makes childhood. There's been lots of it this summer. Which makes me happy. Except when outfits are being changed three times a day. Then I remind myself that it's time to teach Caleb how to do his own wash.

The boys reenacting the story of The Good Samaritan.

It's nothing to find Caleb in some variation of this "getup" as he pretends he's in the Civil War. Currently his favorite time period. Although, I don't think they had crocs back then.

He loves to get the little ones involved. Yes, even Abigail. Here I believe she was their field nurse during a reenactment of some battle.

Speaking of laundry, we even have issues with the clean stuff. The boys piled on layers of clothing to be big sumo wrestlers. Watching them walk was probably the funniest thing.

Ah, librarian Caleb. With the pen in his pocket.

Obviously tying a necktie is also on the list of things to learn.

One of my personal favorites, the big brothers. Because they had "big muscles". Otherwise known as more clean laundry.

Clearly I need to find another spot for clothes waiting to be folded other than the couch. Or maybe not. It's seems to be so inspiring.

I love this boy's creativity and imagination. Such special gifts from God.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Time Like The Present

Dabbing my toes back in the bloggy water. Seeing what it feels like. Wondering if I have the motivation or desire to continue. Well, more motivation than desire. Or maybe it's something else.

I've had a quadrillion (as opposed to my usual gazillion) blog posts throughout the summer that have never quite made it on here. Some started and sitting in draft mode just waiting for a chance. Poor things, sitting the bench will never be trendy. In fact, this post was started about three weeks ago. Timeliness has always been one of my best qualities. *insert huge guffaw*

I could attribute the lack of blogging to many things. Some good. Some not so good. Some just downright insane. All truthful.

Instead, I've decided that I just want to categorize it as my life being very full. Which is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. And it makes me feel good. Like I made good choices.

Or maybe that's just leftover from being exposed to the
D.A.R.E. program in elementary school. I will always carry certain things with me. D.A.R.E. and "Give a hoot, don't pollute" are two of them.

Seriously, my mom heard me quote that slogan in my sleep when I was little.

Anyway, I've managed to keep myself from getting too sucked up in the vortexes of cyberspace this summer. The vortexes that devour two hours of time like me when I'm left alone with rice crispy treats. Or peanut butter ice cream. get the point, in nothing flat.

So I'm proud to say that I've actually gotten quite a bit accomplished. Of course, not even an eighth of it would have happened if it weren't for Richie and the fact that he was home more this summer than in the past to lend a helping hand. Or two. What a guy! He was quite the taskmaster, I mean motivator. *wink*

But, I'm hoping to get back to blogging at least twice a week. I enjoy it and I really would like to have something fun for the kids to look at when they get older. It will still be unpredictable in content and purpose, because, well...if it weren't, then it wouldn't be me. *grin*