Showing posts from November, 2008

Why We Don't Do Conventional Christmas

I grew up celebrating Christmas much the same as everyone else does. Our family had it's little rituals and traditions just like everyone else does that were unique to us; buying a tree, mom sulking around angrily until dad got the lights untangled and put on, baking, homemade decorations, the tree almost falling down year after year, stockings and presents, etc. I can't remember a Christmas after 10 years old that I wasn't disappointed Christmas morning somehow. (Except for the year I got a mountain bike.) I was a little snippy, ungrateful and spoiled brat that I can remember. (I guess kids who grow up without a lot of money can be spoiled too.) Poor my parents putting up with me. But I loved the part where we all got together with my whole extended family to sing Christmas carols and pig out on dessert. I loved the family dinner at my grandparent's house. I loved the story and the snow and the lights reflected off of the snow. I liked concerts and pageants, I like

1000 Gifts Friday-Week 6

It would be a little bit lame if I missed posting on 1000 Gifts Friday because Thanksgiving has thrown me off schedule wouldn't it? Sorry, I've been too busy stuffing my face with turkey and then laying around moaning in the name of giving thanks to actually give thanks. Well, it may be late in the day, but here are the things I wanted to share from this week. 1. I'm thankful that I have the type of marriage, the type of husband, where a potential disaster has no power to cause strife. Wednesday evening the alternator broke in our vehicle. In the home of my childhood a car that was dead and needed repair the day before Thanksgiving would have been anything but cause for thanksgiving. There would have at least been bickering, maybe even full on fighting about it between my parents. There would have been stress and fear and impatience among us kids as we alternately hoped that dad could fix the car so we could go and hid behind things to try and escape the emotional fallou

Haircut picture

Well, the best way to end an emotional/hormonal roller coaster of a week of course is to look in the mirror and declare, "Self, you need a haircut. You can't do much about the tired eyes and the skin that wishes the weather would make up it's mind, but you can hack off your hair. Won't that feel better?" And then you respond thusly, "That's a great idea self. Why, here are the hair scissors right here, how about we do this before we take a shower?" What? That's not what you do? Oh... Well... I have almost cut my own hair before. I gave myself a pretty cute bob by tying all of my hair at the nape of my neck with and elastic and then cutting off the pony tail. Of course, the first time it was because I was planning to cut all of my hair off, that was just the first step. But it looked quite cute. A few months back I tried it again, only with my beloved SIL standing by to fix and even things out, which she did, and it was again pretty cute I th

Go vote for my Manly Man-Pretty please?

Well, I was going to post something about the haircut I gave myself this weekend today. I twittered it, but people wanted to see pictures. I'll get to it. But first I had to tell you some good news. See, I write over here too, for this other site called Blissfully Domestic , about marriage. And through that I found out about, don't ask how, the Art of Manliness-Man of the year Award Contest sponsored by Old Spice. (Of course.) So when I found out that there was a $2000 cash prize involved... well I just had to write up an entry and send in a picture of the Genius Husband, because I think he's pretty great myself. Why shouldn't he win a basket of Old Spice products [snicker] for being his awesome self. Oh yeah, and $2000. And a great title to put on his resume, or his ...well, I'm sure the title would come in handy some how. And I just found out that he is a finalist. Which is really amazing because I read all of the other finalists stories just now, sizing up th

1000 Gifts Friday-Week 5

I always have trouble going to bed at night. There's always on more thing to do, one more things I forgot to do earlier in the day that I need to do. There's always a vaguely unfinished feeling that keeps me puttering around when I should be sleeping. That has lessened now that I spend the last few minutes writing in my gratitude journal each night. I end up putting it down with a smile on my face and go peacefully to bed. It gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day. It's the night cap I'm looking for. It restores peace to my weary heart that can only think of the things I didn't do today that I should have done. It silences the voice of discouragement in my head. This week: Friends who share the exact right words of comfort when I'm worrying needlessly . The Boy and I had several rough patches yesterday. He wasn't listening, I would yell frustratedly at his , "But I didn't hear you" excuse because that of course was th


I have a post up over at Blissfully Wed again. Yes, I'm still talking about things husbands wish their wives wouldn't do. Apparently, there are an awful lot of things that husbands wish their wives wouldn't do since I'm still going on about it. Yes, I know wives have a list, but that's not for me to write since men aren't reading these. Well, not many anyway, but they usually leave the funniest comments.

Creating a World Without Poverty-A Book Review

This is probably one of the most important books I've ever read. How's that for a catchy opening sentence. But it's true. If you don't know who Muhammad Yunus is here is the quick version. He's from Bangladesh, he invented micro credit , or at least figured out how to make it work in this century, he and Grameen Bank won a Nobel Peace Prize because of it. He tells one story about how he became a banker to the poor. He met a woman named Sufiya. All day she would work to make bamboo stools to provide food for her family, but no matter how hard she worked she was never able to get out of poverty. He could not understand it, but as they spoke he learned that it was because of corrupt money lenders. In order to get the bamboo to make the stools she had to borrow money from a money lender. He would only lend her money on the condition that she only sell her wares to him, at the price he set. It was essentially slave labor, a cycle of servitude she would never escape

My Heart is Raw Today

I don't know what triggered it exactly. Was it thinking about whether or not to take the kids to the orphanage in Mexico for a weekend in December? Was it thinking about what the Boy will do if he wakes up wet? Do they have a shower nearby? Was it wondering about the Baby, and how she loves routine, loves her bed, loves knowing where everything is and how things work in our house? Would she nap at all in a strange new place? Would she cling to me? Is there any point in going if all I'm going to do is hold a clingy baby? Or was it when I realized that these kinds of things are going to be their life for the next several months? Big transitions, the interruption of routine. Strange face and languages. Strange beds strange food. How will they do? How will I do? I worry about them. Tears press at the back of my eyes today and I fight to hold them back. It is raw. I know it will be alright in the end, that kids are adaptable. I believe it will all be worth it. I believe

1000 Gifts Friday-Week 4

Every night the kids and I take a minute before bed to thank God for the day and talk about the best parts of it. Just as I need the discipline of counting my blessings, so do they. Their choices are predictable. They remember treats, playing with friends, whatever was good and exciting. They have yet to give thanks for a mother who tries to be a consistent disciplinarian, for the moments in the day when they didn't get to do what they wanted but rather had to do what was needful. They haven't expressed thanks yet for the times of correction and tears. And yet, I find myself mentioning these things when it's my turn. I am growing a genuine gratitude for the more unpleasant parts of the day. I'm glad for these moments because they are learning hard lessons in a safe place. They are learning that not doing something right away when it needs to be done leads to unpleasant results later. They are learning self control. they are learning discipline. They can't see it,

What we saw.

We played hooky yesterday. It seems like we ought to take advantage of the things we have here, and enjoy it while we can. So we got on the train and went to the ocean. It was a good day.

WFMW-Helping kids get rid of toys.

Well, one of the things about moving to Thailand is that there isn't much room in our luggage to bring the entire room full of toys and clothes belonging to my children. Over the years I've tried many things to help them cut down on the number of toy they have. We've had them go through their toys and choose 10 things to give away once a week. And that sort of works, but it doesn't get the number low enough for our purposes. I've tried disappearing things after they are in bed, but they are able to remember toys now and will inevitably ask me where the bunny with the flower on it that the Girl gave to the Boy for his birthday went. I thought I'd share what I've done since the too many presents season is soon upon us all. So here is what I've been doing the past two weeks, and already the toy basket is almost empty. After the kids go to bed, I put anything still lying around into a big plastic garbage bag, toys, clothes, shoes, jackets, etc. I told t

Well, the results are in.

68.6% of you don't want things to change around here. At least, not the the names. So I will bow to the democratic process this once and keep things almost the same. Except for the part where I take the advice of one lone commenter and do that. Embejo suggested I go with Boy, Girl and Little, an idea I loved and so that's what I'm going to do. Besides, the Baby isn't such a baby any more, she's almost two, but the tiniest two year old you ever saw, who is healthy. (Seriously, she's 20 pounds and still wearing 6 month pants because anything bigger falls down on her, and she won't stop eating..) So from now on the child formerly known as Baby will be referred to as Little. ************* ps. Thanks to those of you who made a donation yesterday. We'll be sending everything to help the kids get food by the end of the week. You are the best readers ever.

1000 Gifts Friday-Week 3

I've started wondering, as I keep this gratitude journal, what would have been different about my life if all my other journals had been designated gratitude journals as well. I imagine myself in a moment of ennui turning to my journal for solace and pausing for a moment over a blank page. I would want to pour out all the pain and anger onto the page, but this was a record of gratitude. My pen would hover. "What was there to give thanks for in this?" And that question could have changed so much. Because there is always something. Searching for the blessings instead of dwelling on the sorrow could have changed me for the better, altered my perspective, taught me reactions other than self pity so much sooner. Well, better late than never. Here are a few things this week that made it into my journal. One evening at dinner the Genius Husband and the baby were playing a game, he would lean up close to her face and say "boo". And she would laugh and laugh and lau


I have so much on my mind today, and I can't write about some of it. Things are changing for people I love, but I promised not to tell. And I'm ambivalent about the changes. Hoping praying that they will bring lasting happiness to the ones I love and knowing that the path ahead may prove hard, maybe too hard. And trying to let go of the desire to protect in exchange for the much healthier interaction of just loving and supporting, come what may. ************ I need to find a place to stay for January and February. We can't stay here without renewing our lease or paying some exorbitant month to month rate. But we're not going to be ready to go until March probably. It would help to cut way down on our monthly expenses. Free would be good. Anyone need a house sitter? ******* I'M MOVING TO THAILAND PEOPLE! The reality is finally starting to sink in. It's the sorting and not packing that's done it. (What? Don't you not pack too? You know, where you look


It's one of those mornings. This morning I ran over with the kids to pick up the laundry that I forgot about last night. By the time I remembered the doors to the laundry room were locked. This has happened hundreds of times in the 3 years we have lived here and nothing has come of it. I guess we've just been lucky. This morning a load and a half of laundry was gone, and my laundry cart. Random stuff was stolen, bed liners, baby clothes, the GH's dress pants. It makes no sense to me. The greatest tragedies are the baby blanket my great grandmother crocheted for me 32 years ago and I've had ever since. She passed away 4 years ago. It was a comfort to have that around, to cover my children with it, to imagine her with hers. It's gone now. And the Boy's new pants that we got for his birthday. Those can be replaced, but he is upset. It's a small thing really. We are needing to get rid of the stuff we have accumulated over several years. We aren't taking

Nick Names

I have considered it one of my chief failings as a "mommy blogger" that I don't have cool made up names for my kids on this blog. I know, I should get a life. The problem is, I am terrible with nick names. I don't nickname, ever. I named my kids so their names would be hard to shorten into nicknames, and here I am wanting to do it now. But the Baby, she seems to have solved this problem for me by giving her siblings nicknames of her own. And they love them so much that they tell each other about them. The Boy has become Yiyah, which sounds sort of like his real name. The Girl is Baba, which is nothing like her name, and I find myself frequently calling the Baby what her dad calls her, Little. So the question is, are these nicknames good blog names too? I'm not sure so you tell me. I even made a poll, fun huh? So what do you think?

Perfect Post Awards

For a many months now I have been reading Jennifer F. of Conversion Diary . I'm fascinated by her story of her journey to faith, the way she articulates the things that guided her there, and the way she expresses the things she has discovered as she tries to live out a life of faith now. I've been inspired by her segment on finding peace in daily life . It's led me in many directions that I may not have found myself going without her. And they have been fruitful. I continue to be drawn to her understanding of vocation, as a choice of whom you will serve. This month she posted some reflections on being tired. And I thought them so wise and thoughtful and encouraging that I decided to give her my nomination for a perfect post this month for this post. Conversion Diary: On being tired - The diary of a former atheist For more perfect posts check out the hosts petroville suburbanturmoil


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