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Monday, September 29, 2008

House pictures and so much more!

Normally I would wait a few days 'til I took the time to add another post. For one I'll get more comments that way (I recently figured out that my best chance of getting into double digits is to blog every other day and then take a few weeks off!). But tomorrow we'll be gone all day, I'm anxious to show some house pictures and I figured instead of waiting 2 more days I'll just nonchalantly hint that those who do leave comments could be so kind as to go back and read yesterday's post (or a small portion) and leave a comment.

Now I may post.

I have so many new pictures that have been accumulating I'm not sure where to start!

The room I have both before and after (painting) pictures is the dining room, one of my favorite rooms in this house! The kitchen and dining room (which are connected) are so open to the outside. With the sliding doors to the kitchen open, the dining room door open and the windows open it almost feels like you are outside (I'm a very outdoorsy kind of a person and since the weather here is WONDERFUL I'm feeling totally and completely spoiled!).

And you know how the before and after pictures you see on tv when somebody is advertising a diet pill or an acne treatment? Have you noticed how the before pictures are always of a lady without makeup? (perhaps she has makeup on to make her look as makeup-less as possible.) I'm sure this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to make their product look way better than it really is. If they did nothing but show a picture before makeup and then one with makeup (without the weight loss or cleared up acne) they'd probably already have half of us convinced it's a product worthy of our money.

I am telling you this and making this post much longer than it needs to be so that I can confess that I know the clutter in the before pictures makes the after pictures look even better. If you don't care for my choice of color I would still bet that you like the after pictures better if for no other reason than the clutter-free atmosphere (that's how I am, anyway).

So here are two pictures of my before-painted-and-full-of-clutter dining room.




Did you notice the stencil paintings above the windows and around the top of the wall? Now if you're the type who appreciates and enjoys stencil art in your home then please don't take this personally but I am the epitome of a non-stencily-type-person...the stencils just had to go (the walls hadn't been painted in years either so I did have a justifiable reason as well). If I walk into a home that has stencil art I can appreciate how homey stencils make it...but it's just not my kind of homey. You know?

Before I show you the after pictures I want to take a bit of a rabbit trail and it has to do with lizards. I had to laugh reading the Princesses blog this morning as I discovered how unwanted lizards are as house-guests to some (probably most) in the U.S. when they are more than welcomed into my home here! Not only are lizards not a bother (except for an occasional dropping that needs to be cleaned up) but they take care of so many of the bugs that are a bother. Besides that I think it's cool watching them crawl across the ceiling. And because we're in the bug season right now (beginning of rainy season) I'm debating on starting a "Let's help our household lizards reproduce quickly" campaign, or something of that sort.

How does this have anything to do with painting my dining room? Well, as common as it is to find lizard eggs in baskets or in the back corners of our cupboards I'm always interested when we find them and this time it was behind the outlet cover in the wall!


Aren't they cuuuuuuuuuuuuute? These must be old judging by the amount of dust on top of them (2 out of the 4 had hatched...guess 2 of them were duds).

I do wonder how long this can't-make-a-normal-face-for-the-camera-stage is going to last.


Enough about lizards? Actually, I do have just one more picture that recently made it's way from the camera to our computer. It was taken at our rental house just a few days before our most recent move...


This is the not-as-welcomed type of lizard that made it's way into my sink one day! It's not that I was really bothered by it but it was pretty big (bigger than the picture makes it look) and if I came anywhere near it it would freak out and run around the sink like a spaz-lizard. The smaller kind we have in our home are much cuter:-)

I was going to take this opportunity to expound a bit more on the other reptiles that live in our homes here in Brazil (frogs) but this post is getting really long so I'll save frogs for another post.

Onto pictures of the dining room. These next two are really dark (probably from the sun shining through the windows) but I'd probably have to wait 'til tonight when it's dark to get better pictures so I'll just post these. The green color doesn't show up so well in these next two but you can see the color better in the picture of the vase.


Because of the darker color green I chose I left one wall for a lighter color just to make sure it didn't make the room feel too small, etc. And actually it isn't near as dark as it appears in these pictures! I'm really happy with my paint choice:-)

This next picture of one of my most prized possession shows the two colors better...

This vase has a story with it that could become very wordy but I'll try to keep it short and sweet while the last two pictures are uploading to blogger. I saw some of these handmade vases in a few stores but the price was way out of my range (R$150 which at the time was equivalent to 70 U.S. dollars). I know in the States a handmade vase this size would cost way more than 70 bucks but down here you can do a lot more with that amount of money and I couldn't justify spending it on one decorative piece for our home. Then when Karis was a baby we made a trip to the U.S. embassy in Brasilia to work on getting her American passport (she has dual citizenship). On the outskirts of Brasilia we saw a lot of these vases lined up on the side of the road! We weren't able to stop right then but I did mention I'd like to check on the prices whenever we left town. So that's what we did and although I figured these would be cheaper I had no idea how much cheaper! This one was my favorite and cost a whoppin R$45 (20 bucks!). Needless to say I was soooooo excited and talked my husband into letting me buy a smaller vase, a fruit bowl and a planter as well. I really like my vase!

This next picture shows the two colors in the dining room better than the first two...

Onto the last picture and my 2nd most-prized possession. I hesitate to describe it as a prized possession since it is something I made but if I explain how I made it then it will not come accross as boastful at all. You see, I've always wanted to be gifted in art. I can't draw, I can't paint and I am jealous of those who can (like my SIL). But when it comes to decopauge...well, I can glue napkins onto a canvas like nobody else! It's a craft I'm addicted to since it takes zero talent, is cheap and gives you quick and good results.

I have many more decopauge ideas for other rooms of the house that I will begin working on once the prior art-studio is turned into part craft-room (still working on convincing Jonathan with this idea!).

Finally, end of post.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Return to Bloggy-World

I'm back good readers! How long has it been since my last post anyway? This past week, say, week and a half has been filled with...life. It's been exhausting settling in but now that the dust has settled (figuratively and literally as we've had a few rains! Wahoo!) it will probably take us months to finish up since we're past the I-am-so-annoyed-from-looking-at-clutter stage of setting up house. One room (the previous owner's art studio) is filled with stuff that needs to be organized but it (thankfully) is unattached to the main part of the house so I can conveniently not go out there and look in the room; therefore I can also stay sane (I have wondered for a while when to use a semicolon and have been too lazy to look it up until writing this post. I was feeling insecure not knowing if I used that semicolon correctly and decided to google it...then read about semicolon's here. I'm still unsure if I used it correctly because I don't know if "therefore" is considered a conjunction? Laziness has won out again, dear people, so if anyone would be so kind as to comment and inform me to save me from another google-adventure that would be wonderful. Thank you.)

Oh, and I know that I've already learned several time when and when not to use semicolon's yet can't remember. So please don't feel like a failure, dear mother or dear English professor's at Bryan...it isn't you, it's me.

The pictures I can't wait to post are the before and after pictures of the two rooms I've painted. However the software we need to transfer those pictures from Jonathan's camera to the computer is currently being downloaded. If it downloads successfully then I may just post twice today! Then again, probably not.

I do have a few random pictures that are recent and would like to post...

This was about load 12 of 51 (ok, a bit of an exaggeration but it sure felt like that many!)



I know I said I wasn't going to post pictures of myself 'til the desired amount of weight came off but since every good weight-loss adventure needs a good before and after shot I figured, what the heck, let people see me in one of my 3 fitting t-shirts. Even though this picture was taken weeks after my sugar-free diet (that hasn't been so sugar-free, I must confess) it is still before any real progress has been made. I guess it can be considered a before picture.

But progress has begun! No lbs have been lost but discipline has entered my life (thanks to a very disciplined girlfriend here). This Wednesday my life took a turn as I began waking at 5:30am in order to walk at 5:45am with a friend here (we're just starting to get to know each other, but I'll tell ya, I like her...even if she does leave me sore and feeling decrepit at the end of our hour-long walk).

I found out on Thursday that we do share a common motivation for waking while it is still dark (did I mention that she has 4 children, the youngest being only 6 or 7 weeks old? Her discipline really puts me to shame). Anyway, perhaps she only told me this to make me feel better about my non-disciplined ways (I was telling her how impressed I am that she gets up so early while still getting up throughout the night to nurse her little guy!) but it turns out we both have brothers getting married in December who's weddings we will be attending! Hallelujah for rich and very generous brothers (I don't think I've mentioned it yet that my soon-to-be-wed brother bought tickets for Karis and me to come back for a few weeks in December?). I also found out that MJ (my walking buddy) is actually going to be a bridesmaid in her brothers wedding. I wasted no time in shouting out another Hallelujah for having a brother who didn't asked me to be in his wedding! Then again, I'm sure most girls don't want their future SIL's taking up 4 bridesmaid positions. Either way I'm grateful that I can enjoy the ceremony from a pew:-)

Onto other pictures...

Our new house came with a pool (it's about 3 1/2 feet deep).



I've never wanted to own a pool (so much work, etc) but now that we have a pool I think it will give us some great opportunities around here! The previous owners were so generous with their home and ministered to so many people. This is actually the pool that Jonathan was baptized in back in 1990! We've pretty much kept it closed and covered due to the dust during dry season and the cold water. We hear that the water will heat up as we enter rainy season.

But we have let Karis swim twice since living here, as she is completely unhindered by the cold water and would stay in there all day if we let her! With her floatie swimsuit she can jump in and swim around by herself.


Karis' footrest is our new dog Moof (or Moofy, if you prefer) that came with the house. Actually, we have been planning on adding Moof to our family since April not knowing that we'd get to keep his house, too! He is an awesome dog. He is the 1 out of 3 pets we've acquired since returning from furlough that is a success story. I'm sure I'll have a post dedicated to him at some point.

Now that home-life is beginning to resemble something normal around here I'm thinking/praying/pondering what kind of schedule to bring into the Kroeker home! There are so many different opportunities to pour our lives into yet I know we can't say yes to all of them. I almost feel lost after having (what felt like) a year of non-stop chaos! I'm excited though, to see where the Lord is going to lead us and what opportunities He brings our way.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Boring post without pictures.

Our old camera has issues (I guess you could call it "my" camera) and it kills batteries within the first 20 seconds of life that those batteries bring. Our newer (translated "Jonathan's") camera is missing software so I can't get pictures onto the computer. So I say to myself, how am I going to be able to keep my 15 loyal readers if I don't have posts with pictures? I probably won't (if you're reading this Princess, feel very, very sorry for me....you and your 200+ hits a day).

Oh wait, I do have 9,542 older pictures of my almost-3-year old child...I can dig up a few of those!

Even though this paragraph is going to be rather boring to most of you (just skip it) I feel like I must include it since the real reason I blog (haha) is to have a journal that we can read 10 years down the road and remember. We are settled enough to live (I think I'm going to have to start cooking again!) but not enough for things to not get on my nerves. How does the daughter of Don Weso not have the ability to handle clutter? It totally clutters up my thinking and tends to make me grumpy...this is a good "character-building" phase in my life. I think as therapy I'm going to ride into town today and buy a few flower pots. Ok, end of boring paragraph.

Oh, and just so you know that little quote that the Princess left on her blog on Sunday....
"You are not what you think, but what you think - you are."
D.A. Carson

made it so that I can't use clutter as an excuse for being grumpy. So now I'm grumpy that I feel I have no right to be grumpy. Actually, conviction is a good thing and I cannot get that quote out of my head! (Remember, I thrive on guilt.)

You may be trying to figure out the connection between the quote and my grumpiness-excuse convictions...I guess you'll have to go read her post (and add to the 200+ hits that she gets a day! You're welcome, Princess.)

So now I'm going to add a few convicting quotes of my own and from the SAME book that I've been reading for WEEKS. Here are some provoking thoughts from good ol' George...

"Truly, it is worth being poor and greatly tried in faith for the sake of having such precious, daily proof of the loving interest which our kind Father takes in everything that concerns us."

"All that we possess in God as His partners may be brought down into our daily life and be enjoyed, experienced, and used. We may make unlimited use of our partnership with the Father and with the Son and draw out, by prayer and faith, the inexhaustible fullness in God."

I can hear that sweet little voice talking to herself in the other room which probably means it is time to wrap up this post. I went in to get her up the other day and she said "mommy, I want some dirty eggs for breakfast". I asked her if she just wanted eggs but she said "no, dirty eggs". I have no idea what she meant by that. She does make me laugh...

Oh, here's a picture from last month in the rental house...since she could sit up she find it comfortable to sit on top of mommy or papai's stomach (What can I say, she likes soft surfaces.)





Saturday, September 13, 2008

Everything you've never wanted to know about ME.

It's been a crazy week, folks. Moving houses began as a gradual process but soon picked up when we realized, oh wow, we only have a few more days to clear out the rental house! It's been tiring, it's been exciting, it's been exhausting, it's been...oh, never mind. Today we finally got the last little thing brought over, so hallelujah, I see the light! And even though the only room that is set-up and ready is the living room (where I spend all of my free-time so that I don't have to see everything that needs to be done) we are both just excited to be here. Once again, we're so blessed!

I am looking forward to the day I can post some pictures of our new homey-home but since that will be a few days (at least) I think I'll take this opportunity to post about myself. And lest you think that this was MY idea then go see Meg's blog here. She was "tagged" on her blog and then passed on the love and tagged me. I think I've been tagged before but didn't know what that was. Anyway, I guess there is an A-Z thing where I get to share details about myself and my life to whoever has nothing else better to do than read about ME. And lest you think I'm bummed that Meg chose me to tag, please know that I love talking about myself and I won't hesitate whatsoever to take this opportunity! The cool thing is that I can go on and on about myself and if my readers become bored/annoyed, etc, I won't have a clue! Like if I were telling them these details in person I would know right away when they lose interest. Their eyes would wander, their "uh huh" 's would become fewer and farther between, and so on and so on. This way all of my faithful comment-leavers can read a few letters and still have plenty to leave in the comment box (but don't worry, Meg, I didn't do this when I read yours. I found it very interesting!). I guess I'm also supposed to "tag" 5 other people but I think I'll just tag Kim at this point, since she's the only one I can envision taking the time to post about herself (I think she'll enjoy it almost as much as I am going to!). So you can link to Kim's future A-Z taggy-thingie here.

Ok, here goes...

Attached or Single? Attached. For 7 whole years (I can hear the "oh's" and "ah's" already!).

Best Friend? Nope, but lots of good ones (I'm so thankful to have awesome sisters as well as an awesome cousin, sister-in-law and many non-related awesome friends:-)

Cake or Pie? Which one's chocolate?

Day of choice? Probably Friday night. I love having the weekend to look forward to but by Saturday it already feels like it's coming to an end!

Essential item? hmmm....oh wow, well, this one doesn't really have much to do about me so I'm gonna skip it for now and if I think of something I'll come back later.

Flavor of Ice-cream? Depends on where I'm living. If we're in the States then it's a tie between chocolate and Snickers. Oh wow, I can taste it already. If we're here, well, I guess lime.

Gummy bears or worms? Worms, I agree with Meg.

Hometown? Tallahassee, FL. I really love Tally! I really miss the oak trees with the moss hanging down...that's always the first thing I notice when going home...Old Bainbridge road is the best! (too bad I don't know how to spell it.)

Indulgences? Chocolate ice-cream or any other food item that has chocolate and sugar combined into one dish.

January or July? Definitely July! I don't know how some people can handle (cough, cough, Meg) being cooped up inside for months at a time without decent amounts of sunshine? I get depressed just thinking about it.

Kids? Yes. I enjoy being one myself and I own one with the hopes of owning 10+ more (if you're reading this grandma and granddaddy, don't freak out! It isn't going to happen anytime soon!).

Last movie seen in the theater? Don't remember but it wasn't very good and was a complete waste of time.

Middle name? Marie...just like half of the female population in the U.S. :-)

Number of siblings? 8...5 brothers and 3 sisters (all younger). They're the best! I love my siblings.

Oranges or Apples? Definitely oranges...I couldn't live without my O.J.

Phobia or Fear? Not to get serious all-of-a-sudden but in this day and age I'd have to say my only fear is the thought of my little girl being taken from me or anything like that happening to her. I don't think it's an unhealthy fear but it does make me super careful when we're in certain situations!

Quote? I have a book full of quotes that I've written down from books I've read. They keep me challenged and inspired but since that book happens to be packed away somewhere in one of the 150 cardboard boxes laying around here...just check out the cool K.P. Yohannan quote on my side bar. It's a good one!

Reason to smile? I have been redeemed and am loved by the Savior of the world! I also have a very funny 2-year old that keeps me laughing.

Season? Spring, all the way!

Tag 5 more. Ok, this was where I was supposed to tag more people but I'll just leave it to where Kim is tagged up top.

Unknown fact about me. hmmmm....if you've you've given me any time to talk about myself in person then there probably isn't much left to tell! Ok, well, being a very non-violent person I did have one violent streak when I was a teenager. My brother (who is wonderful to me now) did something cruel (can't even remember what) and I guess that was the last straw because without even thinking about it I pick up the nearest item (which happened to be a full container of wet-wipes) and threw it as hard as I could at him! I will NEVER, I repeat NEVER forget the shocked look on his face. Oh, it was glorious. I can still get a good laugh about it now when it comes to mind.

Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? I am such a hypocrite because if I had to slaughter the animals myself I'd become a vegetarian real quick-like (only you Tenneasseans will understand that saying).

Worst habit? Being way too focused on the one task I'm trying to get accomplished...when I worked at a restaurant as a server (it isn't waiter or waitress anymore, don't ya know, we gotta be politically correct here) they called me "Spaz" because when I was focused my eyes would be pointed down, I'd be hunched over while running around like a crazy-woman. After trying to break that habit for 5 years I still drive Jonathan nuts...his favorite thing to say to me when I'm like this is "calma!" (that would be Portuguese for "calm down"). Anyway, that was way more than anybody wanted to know, I'm sure.

X-rays or Ultrasounds? I don't think I'll answer this one...it's a strange question that I don't understand.

Your favorite food item? Cheese/Chocolate or any dish involving one or the other:-)

Zodiac? I think I have a friend who was prescribed that medicine and has to take it daily. Ok, just kidding...I don't know the answer and wanted to come up with a better question but am too worn out...I'm also doubting that very many readers made it to the end? Unless some just skipped to the end to get some comment material?

Either way, good night good people! Maybe Monday I'll have some fabulous pictures to post of our new homey-home...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wollybops

Here in Brazil if you buy something at a store and they don't have change they'll ask if you'll take a few pieces of candy or gum instead (even though they ask you usually don't have a choice or a say in the matter:-) Tonight the cashier gave Karis a "wollybop" (lolly-pop) which made my semi-deprived-of-sweets-child ecstatic. She doesn't call them lolly-pops because until last week she didn't even know they existed...until somebody (not her mother) gave her one at church on Sunday...one of the kiddos told her what it was and so this week she hasn't stopped talking about wollybops. I guess I can't keep her naive forever. At least she is sitting next to me eating an apple right now which makes me feel better knowing that she will have her 2nd wollybop tomorrow (although she better realize that I am not going to buy them for her:-)

We are busily moving into our new house. It is already so homey! We spent our first night here last night and since neither of us could sleep (you know how it takes a few days to acclimate to new surroundings) I kept thinking throughout the night "is this real? is this REALLY our house?!". We are so thankful and blessed. I can't wait to post some pictures! If our rechargeable batteries weren't on the fritz and would give us more than 20 seconds to take pictures and upload them before they die I might have already (then again, maybe not).

Totally off subject but when I was in high school I got my front tooth knocked out playing basketball (root and all!). The dentist put it back in and bonded it to the other teeth but my mouth didn't accept it so it has been gradually eating away at the root. I am only telling you this because recently it has become a bit loose (we knew it wouldn't last forever) so we talked about it over dinner. I told J how much it was annoying me...you know when you lost your teeth and how yuck it felt when they weren't secure anymore? It is driving me nuts! Anyway, I guess Karis was listening (as she inhaled her tomatoes) because she just came up to me and said "If I lose my tooth I will cry and I will lose my tooth".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hmmm...can't think of a title. Any ideas?

If I were a complainy-type person I MAY be tempted to complain about the dust during dry season here. Since I'm not (or determined not to be) I won't fill a post with the woes of having to mop my floors every other day, or clean my daughter's feet throughout the day (because I am obsessive compulsive in a few areas). I won't mention what it feels like to breath in clouds of dust when you go outside or create clouds of dust when you walk in the used-to-be-grass (poof...poof...poof). I also won't take the time to mention how dead-looking everything is after months of no rain! As my positive sister-in-law wrote in her latest newsletter there are many positives to dry season...my favorite being that all of your furniture matches, since everything turns a light shade of brown!

Even though I'll refrain from complaining I will take the time to say how glorious the rain was that we received last night! Yesterday was one of the hottest days we've had since moving here (which isn't anything compared to the heat we were accustomed to living in, yet what can I say, it's easy to adjust to the weather when we live in almost perfect temperatures everyday). The smell of rain, the sound of rain...the cool breeze that comes with the rain. Oh I just love it...

Onto other positive happenings in Land of Sunny Days. Tomorrow is the big day! Or the day before the big day, if you will. The house will be unoccupied as of tomorrow morning but it will still be occupied by some miscellaneous pieces of furniture that various individuals will be picking up, hopefully tomorrow (that the previous home-owners sold to them). So most likely we won't get to move our things in until Tuesday. And how does one spend their time the weekend before a big move? Laundry, painting (Karis' bed) and packing 2 boxes. One girl at church said "oh, you must be spending all of your days packing up again!" "Nope, I have about 8 boxes packed" was my reply. "oh" she said "probably because you left a lot of things packed from your last move?" (with a look on her face that said I sure hope that's the case!). Nope, almost everything is unpacked and put away. What can I say, I'm a woman who likes to work under pressure. And because we have a limited amount of boxes to use and because I want to focus on getting my kitchen moved over first I'm waiting 'til last minute so that we can still eat every once-in-a-while (kinda funny how I can rationalize and make myself feel like a better woman by procrastinating). Once tomorrow rolls around I may have a great post to write about procrastination and how it doesn't pay...

I guess I've written a bit of sense into myself after posting the above because I'm feeling like I should go work on packing up the kitchen!

I'll leave you with a recent video of Karis. We recently introduced her to the book "Go Dog, Go" and she loves it so much that she has almost half of the book memorized! Here she is "reading" the book by herself...


video

Oh wait, before I go...you need to watch this dance (which happens to be of the cutest nephew in the world!) (cutest nephew named Dominic, that is).





Thursday, September 4, 2008

Distractions.

What is it about becoming a mom and then suddenly having issues with distractions? I've been pondering this today and have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of distractions...the good distractions (that should be classified as "opportunities") and the bad distractions (meant to keep us from doing what we really should be doing...these could be keeping us from God-given opportunities).

I've been slowly reading through the Autobiography of George Muller. I haven't found it as gripping as the biographies written by others (it's basically journal entries by George Muller) which may be because I like hearing how amazing certain people of God are and what they did. This book isn't so much about what George did through the Lord but what the Lord did in his life. Anyway, I have found myself rather convicted after reading certain entries. Last night I was convicted by this quote...



"The primary business I must attend to everyday is to fellowship with the Lord. The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord , but how my inner man might be nourished. I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit."





I would much prefer to "do" things for the Lord on my own rather than put my relationship with Him as a priority. So I decided last night that time with Him, meditating on the Scriptures and praying would come before blogging, packing, painting, etc, etc.

So, this morning I grabbed my Bible first thing...and then made a cup of coffee. After all, what good is it to read if you won't be able to comprehend much? I don't feel bad about this...I was even a good little girl and read some Psalms while I drank my coffee filled with an addictive drug that goes by the name of caffeine (ok, better not start going down this path...)

After a few Psalms I need to use the restroom. I don't feel bad about this either since this is just what happens sometimes (maybe there should be a third category of distractions named "necessary"...those distractions that aren't really good or bad, just necessary). However, while washing my hands in the sink I happen to look up and take a glance in the mirror. Ah, how nice and clean the mirror is since I took the time to wipe off the 3 coats of dust yesterday. How clearly I see my reflection. Wait, is that? Yes, it is....ugh, another long, white stray hair sticking straight out from my chin. I tried to complain about this on one of our ladies nights one time lamenting how I now have to do a chin-check every 3-4 days. Ugh! But then my friend who goes by the name of G*** told me I have no right to complain 'til I have to do a chin-check several times a day (I'm assuming that my friend G*** wouldn't want everybody to know she said this since we can only assume she does have to do a chin-check several times a day). Poor G***, I am glad she said this though as it does make me feel better. Every time I am feeling sorry for myself while performing a chin-check I will think of her and remember that she has probably had to perform 15 chin-checks in-between my 2 chin-checks. Thanks again, G***.

What was I saying about distractions? Oh yeah, I have a really strong tendency to let myself be distracted by the bad distractions and annoyed at the good distractions...the ones that could be great "opportunities". Like if I'm cleaning my floors and a friend calls who needs to be encouraged I would much prefer to finish the floors and get to a nice stopping place before talking. However this is a good distraction...an opportunity to be a good friend (I guess Lea would call this friendin'). And please don't hesitate to call me if you do need to talk to a friend...or feel the need to ask me if I'm cleaning my floor before you share your heart.

I'm watching Karis play on the floor as I write this. Does anybody ever wonder what a semi-deprived-of-toys-child does in her spare time?


Well if so, then now you know...the semi-deprived-of-toys-child builds houses and towers with her books (the one cluttery item her mom doesn't mind supplying her with). This has been Karis' main entertainment this week (I'm just so glad it switched from last weeks activities that involved marbles....marbles, marbles...everywhere I go I find marbles...maybe I helped her just a bit to switch activities by disposing of marbles as I found them.)

I must interupt this post with a good distraction...brb...

That was a distraction that I implemented into my day on purpose (started today). It is an idea I got from Nancy Cambel at one of the women's retreats that I attended a few years ago and now I'm wondering why I waited 'til today to implement this...it is already transforming the atmosphere in our home! What we do is set the kitchen timer for 45 minutes (Nancy said 30 but I prefer 45 since I can get one coat of paint slapped on Karis' bed during that time). Once the timer goes off we have to stop whatever it is we're doing, find each other and spend 1-2 minutes thanking the Lord, praising Him or praying for somebody. So far the timer has only gone off 3 times today but Karis comes running all excited! What a great way to keep mindful of the Lord throughout the day. So far Karis has wanted to pray for Albert each time, a native missionary from India that we support. We support him through Gospel For Asia, a mission founded by K.P. Yohannan. Let me tell you (as a sidenote...perhaps a distraction but a good distraction, I think), if you're ever feeling complacent in your walk with the Lord or you realize that your life has become too comfortable, too....American...you need to pick up and read asap a K.P. Yohannan book. It will change your life! I'd recomend "Road to Reality". This book changed me so much that I purchased a ton of these and sent them to almost every believer on our mailing list. You won't be the same, I guarantee you!

A necessary distraction has come along...we need to run to our future new home and speak with the owners to work out a few more details. I'm sure I had more thoughts about the whole distraction thing but I've dun run out of time (and this post is long enough!)...thanks to distractions...


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lady's Night!

I love how a different side of a mother's personality comes out when her children aren't around. It isn't a better side but it's a different side. When a mom can talk freely without worrying that little ears will repeat whatever it is she just said to the wrong person at the wrong time (and I don't mean gossip...I mean, the girly talk that is meant to be share with...well, girls, don't ya know). Or how goofy a mom can get in front of other ladies because she knows the mom sitting next to her isn't going to build off of her goofiness and become out-of-control in the goofiness dept. (like kiddos are so good at doing).

For about 6 weeks now we've been having a lady's night on Monday nights organized by Gina.

Everybody say hi to Gina…




Gina (as well as her husband) are really laid back kind of folk. The kind that anybody can hang out with at any time (I love this about them!). I think I owe them like 13 suppers or something since they've had us over numerous times during our "moving" phase (hey, maybe we'll get a few more suppers out of them with our new move scheduled next week!) The first time we finally invited them over for supper at our house was last minutes so that she already had pizza in the oven. And being the nice/laid-back people that they are they invited us over to their house for supper (Note to self: If in dire need of a great supper cooked by someone else invite Gina & fam over around supper time).

I did steal that "note to self" idea from someone's blog...don't remember who's.

So anyway, Gina has been wonderful to put the time and effort into organizing this Monday night event. Although she does get help from Jenny.

Everybody say hi to Jenny…



I don't know about you but it makes me quite sick how photogenic these ladies are. I wondered how the whole "hey Gina, smile!" or "hey Jenny, smile!" thing was going to go. But what do you know, they both looked at me and smiled (I never do this if someone points a camera in my direction. If I ever change my mind and try it you'll soon figure out why I don't. Pure vanity.) So these two girls organize something for us each week so that we ladies can have a few hours "away from it all". It's a wonderful way to end a Monday evening. This week we made Chai tea mixture stuff (that goes in tea, although I don't know what flavor of tea...today I put the Chai mixture into Chai tea and it was good so I may just stick with that!). We also decorated our Chai mixture cans with Jenny and Gina's gazilion creative memories supplies. It sure does pay having friends with cool stuff (and making them feel extra special about their cool stuff so that they'll continue to share their cool stuff). Here's a picture of the gang from last night contentedly working on their chai cans....




Since many of us women just moved over here there are a lot of us ladies who don't know each other well. This is a great opportunity for all of us to get to know one another (and leave the munchkins with the men. ha!).

Last night was my night to bring snacks. I over did myself by making two types of pop-corn. Garlic and Clumpy-Peanut-Butter were the flavors. I, of course, didn't each much of the clumpy-peanut-butter because it has processed sugar and I'm doing pretty well on my whole diet change. I mean, I'm onto day 2 already and feelin' great... I was feeling a little insecure about my clumpy-peanut-butter pop-corn 'til Gina sensed my insecurity, I'm sure, and spent half of the night reassuring me by eating my clumpy-peanut-butter popcorn. Thanks, Gina!




And yes, she did know I was about to take her picture. She had no problem stuffing her mouth while I stood there with a camera in her face. What a woman. Although, I guess she was already aware of her ability to stuff her face with grace while getting her picture taken, otherwise she may not have done so (that's my assumption, anyway).

So we spent a lot of last night talking, joking, praying and decorating our cans. Gina was feeling especially creative last night when she decorated her tub....




Did you happen to notice the huge clump of peanut-butter popcorn in the bowl next to the incredibly creative tub of chai mix? Yep, they both belong to Gina. Hey, you'd be even more impressed with her decorative tub if you saw her first attempt. She let Jenny get a little too close and Jenny is the kind of friend who has real depth to her...the kind of friend who is not going to let you take home a halfway pitiful looking chai-mixture-tub from our lady's night...and so Jenny ever so quickly stripped Gina's tub, leaving it bare once again. But we all see that practicing tough love pays off as Gina's tub (decorated with a flower ribbon and dragon-fly stickers) ended up being a one of a kind tub. Way to go Jenny.






I was having a hard time being creative myself. It just wasn't coming. I have to say the end result for me was just fine, though. The ribbon up top is still annoying me as it is crooked and doesn't really match the rest of the can but maybe I'll fix it the next time Jenny and Gina bring out all of their cool creative memories stuff to share with us.




This is turning into quite a lengthy post! I guess I better wrap it up. Oh yeah, the whole reason I began this post about the mom-goofiness thing was because the ladies (starting with Gina) were calling me Cogumelo all night (mushroom). I have to admit I tried really hard to find the humor in this and wondered if these ladies need more ladies nights to "get away from it all". Poor, sheltered ladies. Then at the end (or was it when I looked at the pictures on my camera?) I noticed that this is was what Gina was taking a picture of (yes, that is my back. Is it just me or does it look a bit thinner after two days of hardly any sugar?)


If you aren't finding the humor in this then perhaps you need to spend a majority of your time with little children and then "get away from it all" by spending a Monday night with us! I found this rather hilarious (and I have a feeling many of the children who weren't there would have enjoyed it as well).

I love goofy ladies....







PS. And we do have a serious time as well on Monday nights where somebody shares and we can pray. Last night it was Jenny who challenged us in the contentment department!


PPS. I have no idea why the text is all messed up in this post. I can't figure out how to fix it without writing it all over again...