Saturday, April 29, 2006

On. My. Mind.

In lieu of a proper note, my brain is a bit too full, so I have decided to list all the things that are on my mind, in completely random order:

Sudan, Changing Diapers, Finding a new dance studio, Getting back on WW, Getting ready for a garage sale (tagging everything, organizing it, etc.), Finishing Certificate of Citizenship paperwork, Waiting for (and rejoicing that I finally completed) passports for kiddos, Paying bills, NEED to create and stick to budget, Removing nail polish, Putting something in crock pot (more frequently), So many books to read (currently trying to read Mountains to Mountains by Tracy Kidder), Watch t.v. less, Finish paperwork for overseas trip (guardianship for kiddos), Prepare for meeting with attorney re: girls, Make decision on immigration legislation (easily swayed by both sides), Write Ambassador, assignment for RCC - prepare for trip, prepare for TUSA taxes, get Kitty TUSA checks to process, Figure out more blogging things (read books I have purchased about this), Pick paint trip color for house, EXERCISE MORE, Finish laundry, Put away laundry (CURSED laundry!), Create shutterfly books for kiddos, Try to eat most of food in house before buying more...self challenge and to CLEAN it out - except basics (milk, bread, etc), Remember to vote Tuesday, Vacuum, Clean out organizer = junk collector on kitchen counter, Write my friend Kelly, Talk to my friend Jeanne, Visit my grandma, Decide on where to go for Thanksgiving this year, Call insurance agent (neighbors are all getting big bucks after the storm for damage...should investigate for selves as well), Start first course for not-for-profit certificate at Michigan State (work is going to pay for most of it...must get on it), Convince hubster to put up latest pictures, Prepare sale of goods for not-for-profit organization, Call dance studio - can't go to group photo for CM due to preschool graduation same time, Get kids something special for preschool graduation, frame graduation photos (SO CUTE), Get new mommy bracelet ordered (can be mother's day gift), Clean out my old clothes for garage sale, Get tree/bush for Foefie, Email phone person saying thanks (long story, washed Ds new one on Ebay), Clean out email (work and home), SLEEP.

Okay, so these are the top things on my mind at the moment. I am tired now, wonder why, just thinking about all of these things has worn me out. I wonder if this much of a random to-do list is running in everyone's mind or am I perhaps a bit ADD and/or OCD?

All for now,

Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring Clean Up

In my little burg where we have lived now for almost 9 years now, we have a tradition called Spring Clean Up. It is a unique thing, like a grand trash day of sorts where you can pile your trash spot to the brim with just about anything and everything. More and more trucks begin driving up and down the small streets the week of Spring Clean Up and culminates in a constant check on your pile to see what some RedNeck James Bond might want to utilize from your stuff that you were determined was junk, not even worthy of a Goodwill donation. The actual pick up is at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning and requires volunteers from the community to help the paid trash men to collect the mounds of junk. I know the overall intention is to keep our town looking nice and trash free, but I think that the people doing the obtaining from the trash piles in front of the homes, are the same people that the town was hoping would get RID of some of their junk. Sad that I find this all so interesting and look forward to this.

Besides my sick fascination with the vulture spring trash clean up and obvious lack of a remembering what a realllllly good time looked like, this process made me think about all areas of my life, I wish I could have an internal Spring Clean Up every year, that would be nice. I would pay the additional $5 on my utility bill for that, or could I go to my friendly doctor and see if they could do a clean up for a small fee, even not covered by insurance. As a mom, I think I am equipped with more than my fair share of guilt. I work outside the home, have 3 kids, work with the not-for-profit, work with another volunteer board, pretend to be on a committee at our church, and try to be a good wife and friend. I guess seeing that list, I can't help but have guilt because there is no way that any one person on the list gets the very best of me, hence the aforementioned guilt. Can I get a Spring Clean Up for my internal guilt, frustration, patience, extra weight, and the long to-do list that is rarely accomplished?

Wouldn't that be great. I hereby am giving myself a clean up! I am really trying to remember that life is short, my kids will only be young once, and the special moments in life aren't the big goals, rather the everyday moments. The moments when my baby eats 7 peeps and is so sticky and icky, but yet I can't resist hugging and kissing her sugary face or when she lays in her crib in the morning gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) babbling mama over and over again. The moments when my handsome little guy tells me that "actually, blood carries oxygen in your veins so you can live" and asks me to bend down when I pick him up at the babysitters and he places the most beautiful dandelions ever behind my ear so I can have flowers in my hair and be beautiful. The moments when my beautiful little girl holds my face in her hands, kisses me and tells me I am the best mommy in the whole wide world and when I see her treat her baby sister with such love and gentleness that I have hope that I am doing something right with them all. I have hope that I am not just the nagging mom who is constantly critiquing and critizing in an effort to make them into good people in the long run, but that I am also showing them love and acceptance, gentleness and kindness. This parenting gig is not easy, that is for sure, but it is the best thing I have ever done and will ever do in my life, of that I am convinced. No degree, work accolade, or external accomplishment will compare to being the mother to these awesome little people.

Life is this good...


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Basement Payment

I am a broken record...but it has been a while and much has happened.

Home Stuff
I have lived in the midwest the majority of my life and tornadoes, well, they are just part of life here. Before having kids they were more of a nuisance, but since having kids, well my perspective has changed a bit - and we had a tornado roll through one block from our house 2 years ago and do extensive damage to objects in it's path and we were spared without so much as a drop of rain. Nature is strong and we are so powerless.

Well, we did not fair so well this past Friday evening, Good Friday. As we were driving home from church service we were able to witness the most impressive lightning display ever, yet no rain. We quickly ushered our youngsters into the house and turned on the t.v. to see if there was anything noteworthy besides lightning. Sure enough, tornado warning with reported touch downs coming right at us. Within 5 minutes we were within the basement and we were there for over an hour. The kids were troopers and it was a bit scary, I must admit, but it felt like we were all safe and sound in our basement cocoon. We have always joked that we made a basement payment instead of a house payment. Thank God we make that payment. Our kids' wooden play structure did not have such a positive fate though...see the picture above.


Last week was very busy with lots of church services and a sick child, along with work. We had lots of things going on, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (intermittent tornadoes), ballet, Easter Egg hunt, Sunrise Service, Easter breakfast, Easter cantata, lunch at OUR house... In addition, my husband has decided to attend seminary...yep, going to be a pastor, hopefully at a college, but is going to get the MDiv first. This is going to be a long process and will indeed alter our schedule and dynamics, but I am proud of him for making the decision. He intends to still work, and we are not sure about all the specifics, but a decision, well, it has been made. May God walk with us and carry us when needed.

The Girls
Nothing has changed, still light at the end of the tunnel though...

I was doing so very good, until the Saturday before Easter. I have since gained back 5-6 pounds and am quite ticked off about it. I know that I need to put it behind me, get back on the horse, and continue with the effort of getting all dead sexy again - it's a joke people!

All for now,

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The week went by so fast I have been remiss in journaling all the happenings. So let me try to recap, although nothing too exciting.

*The Girls
We continue to try to get them into the hands of a family we know. We have discussed this with a nicer-than-normal orphanage director during yet another phone call, but still have no confirmation, but do have hope.

Work is okay, the same challenges, SSDD. One of the projects I am working on will actually allow me to blog surf - go figure! I am working on a "process improvement" project and this is one of the pieces I am covering. Wish I could specify more, but it is boring anyway.

*The Nonprofit
One of the aspects of our nonprofit is selling goods that are handmade by talented individuals in the Third World Country we work with, gorgeous silk, unbelievable quality - well, I just received a new shipment today. I feel like an anxious kid when I see these enormous boxes waiting on my front porch when I arrive home. Typically, the delivery company leaves me the nice little note making me sign the waiver on his first trip to our house (because typically nobody is home during the day), but today - even though I was not at work - neither was my neighbor and he actually signed for the boxes for me. One of the first neighborly things he has done for us in the last 3 years of being our neighbor, he is a quiet guy, but nice.

I was delusional and took all 3 (plus my mother...) to get pictures done on Sunday at a well-known mall photographer. I had purchased a package a year ago that essentially meant that I had paid for 3 sitting fees and time was dwindling. I used 2 of the sittings and felt as if I had run a marathon by the time it was over, but my kids were so darned adorable I could put some whipped cream on their little noggins and eat them all for dessert! The first one was just of our youngest, she is way behind in the picture race and I felt I needed more of her as a youngster...very difficult after the twins to make sure she is getting her fair shake in this family. Well, needless to say, after her own set of pictures, I changed her clothes and took one of all 3 in spring outfits, did I mention how adorable they are???! The last sitting did not go as well, but we did manage to get one decent shot and one really good shot of all 3. I can't stop looking at the pictures, so stinking CUTE!

*Spring Break
This week is Spring Break for our kids' preschool as well as for our babysitter, who is down helping in a project for Mississippi (just sang the song to spell that right). Man, I LOVE that woman. She cares so well for our children, loves them as her own, and is so dependable. I MISS HER WHEN SHE IS GONE! She and her entire family love our children and it means the world to have so much trust in someone. This has led us to have a bit of an altered schedule this week, challenging. Today, I took off work and stayed with the kiddos all day. Our afternoon entailed visiting the town I grew up, going to the fantastic ice cream shop and swinging on their playground. Not that I don't frequently realize that we have 3 children, but keeping 3 kids swinging really brought it home. Can I be there for all 3 when they need me, I mean, they all require 3 different things, CM wants to go really high, yet screams as if she is terrified; CA is very cautious and only gets his gusto going at the end, so I have to pay attention to when he is ready for less cautious; and S, she is just a little thing and I am still learning her preferences for swinging, but she is a bit thrilled and anxious about it all at the same time. Having 3 is challenging and yet so incredibly rewarding. While I can keep up with the swinging, I made sure that I also kept up with the expressions: the joy, the excitement, the timidness, the utter joy, the slight terror. These children of mine, they truly make life worth living, I just have to remember to savor every second, live in the moment, and soak up all their goodness. This swinging adventure is such a metaphor, but was a true situation:)

*My Great-Grandma
After our ice cream/swing event, we headed down to my great-grandma's house, my haven of love and safety and housing unit to the best, most pure woman that has ever lived. To say that I love my grandma is not enough, she was the one who showed my goodness, kindness, unconditional love, and probably a bit of spoiling... She is nearing her 90s and talk has turned to the fact that it is time for her to go to a nursing home. She lives with her oldest daughter (my great aunt), my great-grandfather passed away about 5 years ago. Grandma is not doing very well, but she lights up when her grandkids come around, both me and my children. I try to tell my kids how much Grandma cared for me, loved me, entertained me as she truly did a large portion of the raising me as my mom worked so much. I know my words will never soak in how much I love this woman and my kids will not have the same relationship with her that I did, but I try to have them around her as much as possible, although as you might imagine, it is not the same situation as before. My grandma is not educated, did not have a good homelife, was subservient to my grandfather until she was about 60, wore dresses only until that same point, cooked up a storm all the time, has never driven, never traveled much - and yet, I would be most proud if the qualities in me people most appreciated were those that I learned from her. She is a truly beautiful person.

I believe this catches us up on my week.