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Showing posts from May, 2011

The Eve Tree

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Rachel Devenish Ford and I traveled in overlapping circles for a few years before we actually met. I knew who she was long before she knew me, I think. She has a kind of presence, a look, a quiet, graceful way of moving through a crowd that makes you stop and watch her, just because.

That of course will embarrass her to read because she's quite shy and introverted and often wishes she was invisible. She will probably flatly deny that she is graceful, but she is one of the most graceful women I know all the way through. She is also the reason Aaron and I found ourselves all alone in the middle of the desert within a week of meeting each other.
You can tell by the way she writes how carefully she observes people. She knew, before I did really, that it was important for Aaron and I to have some time together for a while.

Yesterday I read her debut novel, The Eve Tree, in a single sitting because I couldn't put it down.

It is about Molly and Jack, and their grown children, Molly&…

Team Work

There was once this time, when I decided to do this thing, I knew it was a really important special thing but no one understood or seemed to care that I was doing it. It went on to be to be one of the most critical and formative years of my young adult life, and I met my husband that year, so I'm glad I chose to do it anyway, in spite of how much of a struggle it seemed to be to do so.

If you wonder what exactly I mean by struggle I'll just sum up three ways, the pastor of the church I went to thought I was silly and self indulgent and was the exact opposite of supportive and made me feel small and stupid with his words. (In his defense I probably was silly and self indulgent, but I considered his criticism to be an obstacle.)

The second two ways involved a guy we trusted stealing all our money and being turned away at the border for 2 whole days.

That story is only one example of several times when I have been disappointed by the lack of support from the people around me when…

Forums, Presentations, Syndication, oh my!

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Today I am getting dressed up, in borrowed clothes, because I don't really own any office appropriate wear anymore, at least, not that fits, and go tell a crowd of people at a thing called an Entrepreneur Forum about what we have done here.

Ok, maybe not a crowd, but 100 or so feels like a crowd to me. Facebook causes says it's more like a group. Fine, group.

But I'm off to tell them about The Charis Project. (Check out the website upgrade I've been working on.) I will tell them all about you, about what you did here, the way you helped all these years and have cared for all these kids. I will tell them the story of how a bunch of people I've never met banded together to create a community that has sustained more than 30 kids, keeping them safe and healthy and in school for almost 3 years now.

Even though Aaron and I are the ones up there talking to them, we wouldn't be anywhere at all without you, and neither would those kids.

So thank-you, from the bottom o…

Finding our life

"Mama, what do you want to do with me that's fun!"

I look around at the breakfast dishes still on the table, the laundry I need to hang to dry, the floor that needs to be swept, again, so the crawling baby doesn't find anything to choke on, and the laptop, where a whole lot more work is waiting. I can't remember the last time I did something fun with her, just with her, just because.

I think of mixing school into the mix. "I will read to you!" I announce. I read out loud all the time, but rarely the books she finds interesting. I'll read her one that she chooses.

"But I want to do a puzzle or color," she says.

I agree and go to relocate the baby and use the bathroom and when I come out she has it all set up. An ottoman is pulled up to an end table and a coloring book is laid out. "Sit here mama," she pats the tiny space beside her, "I will hand you crayons."

We color 2 pictures, hers a baby tiger and mine rainbows and …

When Seasons Change...

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Their longs limbs no longer fit into the tiny clothes I pack up into bins, give away. The tiny newborn sizes give way to sturdy legs and chubby 9 month old thighs.

Those give way to 9 year old limbs, long and strong and full of self importance, the good kind, the confidence that he can accomplish what he sets out to accomplish. I'm not keeping baby clothes anymore but passing them on as soon as they become too small.

But still I keep the Girl's clothes, watching as hemlines and jeans creep up higher and higher, putting them away for the little sister who, all to soon, is losing the baby fat that dimples at her wrist and lengthening her legs, all the while keeping her torso the same.

It goes too fast, this season. The older ones point poignant reminders at the younger of how fleeting this all is, how quickly bodies and minds fill up and expand and move on. I snuggle the baby close, hold him tight against the waves of time, even as I let go of the too small sleepers. I will pre…

7 quick takes

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Look at that, another whole week has gone by and I haven't posted at all. Not that I haven't had several ideas for posts or even started writing some, only to find they require more attention than I have time to give. This week has gone so fast. Yesterday I looked at Aaron and asked, is it really Thursday tomorrow? What happened to the week? Time does that to you when you're trying to meet a deadline I suppose.

And I missed the memes I sometimes do that fill in the spaces, 1000 gifts and pretty happy funny real. So, lucky you, you get a Friday mishmash of both of those all smashed into 7 quick takes. I know, you're thrilled. I promise, I'll write again when I'm finished creating projections for future milestones for implementing microfinance as a form of income and community transformation in a self-sustaining orphanage model. (hint: I'm not really sure what order these need to go in. Hoping to look knowledgeable and on top of things enough to attract an a…

Random and Cute

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I changed a poopy diaper this morning, cloth so I had to scrub it out afterwards, and this afternoon I still smell poo somehow, even after washing my hands 100 times or more.

I've been working on this presentation still, all week long. It's getting closer, it's much better, but it's still not done. We've got less than 2 weeks to get it ready now. I have to have the stuff for the printer finalized today.

I'm making some sort of desert to take to dinner tonight at my mil's. I think I shall just pick up ice cream and cones on the way and call it done.

The Girl on the other hand is showing me pictures of elaborate desserts in gourmet cookbooks and wants to make one of those. Her favorite the one where you blow up balloons and dip them in melted chocolate. When the chocolate hardens again you pop the balloon and you have solid chocolate bowls to put stuff in. I doubt we're going to pull that off in the next hour and a half. Especially since we don't have…

Bio of a SAHM

So I've been really, really busy the past week or so. So busy in fact that I spent most of mother's day glued to the computer trying to finish a presentation for review while Aaron took the kids to his mother's house. That actually sort of happened by accident and involved the threat to Little that if she didn't swallow her parasite medication, poor girl has worms, she would have to stay home with mommy until she did rather than go to Beema's house. At the last minute she finished, gagged, ran out the door and they all took off leaving me... with time to work, which was sorely needed. Happy mother's day to me.

But the presentation is starting to come together. It's all for something called a Quarterly Entrepreneur Forum, which a guy on our board invented and put together, where we invite a bunch of successful entrepreneurs to a networking type of meeting, and then tell them about our idea to create a self-sustaining orphanage model using entrepreneurship an…

We Were Sisters

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I promised in this post last week, where I was waxing rhapsodic about the multitude of expressions of faith in God, to tell you a story sometime. Not a day later I heard about the Rally to Restore Unity, which is fun and clever, not to mention needed, and has it's own hashtag. #restoreunity So it seemed a good time to tell my story.

Here it is.

My accompanist in college was named George. When you are a voice major a good accompanist is a very important thing to have. George was very good. We spent a lot of time rehearsing. We didn't really hang out socially, but we were friends.

George was married to a sweet girl and they had a little baby boy. George was also Mormon.

Cut to a year later, word spread, somehow as it does, through the college, "George has stomach cancer. He only has a few weeks to live. If you want to say good bye, go to the hospital now."

They hadn't told anyone he had cancer, they were trying alternative treatments, it hadn't worked. Now the …

Arachnid Invasion

I think there is a black widow living under the passenger set of my van. I don't know for sure because I've never seen it. (If I had it would be a squished spider.) But the webs I pull aside are thick and strong and exactly like a widow web. It could be a brown widow, which doesn't seem to inject as much venom when it bites, so it's safer, or black. Whatever it is, yesterday it's eggs hatched.

We were running to get to the orthodontist, and we were late, so I only half listened to the kids tell me about the spider that blew away when they opened the car door. "Good," I thought, "It's gone."

Driving down the freeway at 70 miles and hour is not a good time to notice dozens of tiny little spiders stringing webs above you head, just so you know. I squashed at least 20 before we got out of the carhalf that were crawling on me. The Girl has 2 bites on her, but no neurological reaction, so I think we're safe. (I'm totally gonna win mother o…

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