Monday, September 29, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

K, so Mondays are my "play guitar and sing at the very tip-top of my lungs" time while both kids are in school. As a result I just about threw a chair at my hubby's friend when he came in the door. I was seeing red as I dropped my son off, KNOWING they'd be chatting away in my living room when I got home (detect any selfish whining in there? I do.)

Then it hit me, I'll just climb into the hills behind our house and play there. So, I grabbed my Ipod, guitar, water and apple and hiked 20 minutes into the hills. I found a nice scrub tree and sang away for an hour. Oh, little did I know how more blessed that time would be in His creation! His presence sat and enjoyed the time with me.

Then, on the hike down, I listened to an amazing sermon by John Piper from Sept. 3 entitled, "How Satan Saves the Soul", it was like eating a sermon hoagie it was so meaty!

All this to say, why don't you slow down and spend some time with Him? What keeps you from it?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Byzantine Blues

I've had my moments of being irritated over the last three months with our guest. The Turk wasn't noisy or intrusive, but with our quarters being so tight there was bound to be some stress.
The last couple of weeks I've been counting down for tomorrow...dreaming of moving my hubby's piles of stuff back into his office where it won't drive me as crazy.
What I wasn't expecting was to feel sad...sad as if my child is leaving the house and going off into the scary world. He's 24 and no child, but in a spiritual sense we have been his parents and he is our baby. He's going back to a country where religion isn't encouraged and where his family would freak if he brought up Christianity.
I worry that we haven't given him enough love, enough insight, enough of anything to stay encouraged until he can come back to the states and explore God like he wants to. But hey, really it's all out of my control anyway...God speed Bestami.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It Only took a Month

This may be the first week where I get to spent my TWK (time w/o kids) exactly as I had purposed to. Here's my plan:

Mon-Meet w/ friends I barely see or rock out on my guitar
Wed-Study up for bible studies and workout at the Rec center for 2 hours.
Fri-Maybe window shop, deep clean house...this one is my anything goes time.

I just finished playing guitar and singing at the top (the very top!) of my lungs for 1 1/2 hours. I've known for the last 7 years that this way of worship is so integral to who I am. But, it's hard to rock out with your kids around...ya hate to look like the dorky parent! All that to say, my goal is to build up the old callouses, start playing fast again and being inspired to write music again. I've got this great 12 string guitar that I haven't approached (it's been in its case for 4 years) because I want to have some skills before I dare attempt it.

Also, I just gotta tell you, I'd like nothing better than to take drum lessons.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pros & Cons Day

Ate tasty lentil & sausage soup for lunch, ate tasty scone @ Starbucks while studying and guzzled down a quart of sweet, sweet coffee. Finished reading book about cadavers by Mary Roach. Got to exercise for 2 hours and burned an estimated 600 calories because the caffeine made me extra peppie!

Cons-Said soup & scone, while tasty, caused stomache discomfort and the real urge to upchuck. Coffee, while energizing, made my hands shaky and pupils get REALLY tiny.

Moral: Skip the scone and soup...maybe less coffee.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Money Doesn't Make Our World Go Round

Since the beginning of time there's been a drive to gain more than what we currently have. We, as Americans, know this all too well in our land of ample opportunity. The struggle we parents have to deal with is how to teach our youngin's what money should be.

Before we even can teach them though, I think we need to have a good handle on what we think money is.
Is it the most important aspect of our lives?
Is it a stressful means to an end?
Is it something we've been given to give away?
Whatever our personal philosophy of funds happens to be, that will be the monetary impression our kids will get.

We, in our unique journey, strive to use our funds to help those around us be who they are supposed to be. This means that we give a portion of our funds to mission work. Not only do we give monetarily, but we also are able to go and visit other countries. This has made the biggest impact on our 6 year old's view of money. Watching the street kids struggle to live on nothing in Nicaragua and the generosity of low income friends to give us a great meal in Turkey has shown her how blessed we are. On her own, our daughter has decided that she doesn't always need to buy more. We consistently reiterate in front of both of our kids that everything we own is not ours. We've been blessed with it for a time and it's ours to bless other's with.

I'm hoping that by setting this (mostly) consistent example of holding money as something that we are blessed with that our kids will keep a balanced view of it as they get older. We will see!

This was post was written for a contest on Parent Bloggers Network in conjunction with Capital One . They have a new program online ( Moneywi$e eLearning ) tool to help families learn to manage their finances.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Esta Es Un Gran Tarantula!!

Well, it was bound to happen. The big bad tropical bugs make their first appearance last night. Of course it would be in the room where the 4 kids sleep. The 8 ran out hysterical screaming that there was a tarantula in the room.
Sure enough, on the corner wall was a big bad creature straight out of "Arachnaphobia" (for the record, I've never been able to watch all of it). It wasn't the biggest bug I've ever seen, but it was the size of a hand. The gate guard was nice enough to come squish the heck out of it with his heavy boots. They're faster than I expected.

Other than the spider, yesterday was a pretty calm day for me...I laid around the house reading while rain flooded portions of the house. Reminded me of some days I had as a teenager at the lake.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Vote for Me!

I've got a mural up in a for it if you like it:

A Nicaraguan Day

Hello all! I'm hailing you today from muggy Managua, Nicaragua. I got here last night with 3 checked bags (non of which had my stuff in them) that I flew down here for some friends. One of the perks of flying cheap is you get to be a long-distance sherpa!

Our friends are down here starting up a home for the street boys who are addicted to sniffing glue. Not the easiest group of kids to get cleaned up. For example, two of the boys who are still out on the street got into a fight today and one of them was stabbed. Another one looks like he's going back to jail because he didn't stay in the house like the judge told him to.

Right now three boys are willingly staying in the home and I marvel at the changes that have happened in the last 3 years. The hubby and I were here 3 summers ago and hung out with many of the same boys. At that point they had no hope past the glue under their noses. Now they have 3 square meals, a roof, the beginnings of some education and the love of some gringos. I know it's discouraging for my friends here to see how slowly things are progressing, but I'm still blown away by the addition of life back into their eyes. It's hard to see the big picture when you see the daily grind (kind of like being a mom).

Anyhoo, that's just a quick update from the low lands. Later skaters!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Newton Equation

My son is a professed fruit hater...don't know why but at the age of 2 1/2 he refused to touch fruit anymore! So, I got around it by giving him healthy juices and letting him eat a Newton or two a day.
Yesterday there was a breakdown in the Newton monitoring. Somehow he ended up consuming 20 Newtons yesterday and 2 carrots. Sure enough at 3am he woke up screaming that his "tummy" was killing him and proceeded to whimper and fart for the next 40 minutes.

I'll take that over the spiders.