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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Best Surprise Ever!

I was fast asleep in my bed last night when I heard someone talking to me.  Unsure of what was going on, I felt someone kiss me.  I somehow managed to open my eyes and I saw Mark staring back at me.

I was super confused, but very happy to see him!

He is here until Sunday morning, and Lord willing, we will be able to meet with our lawyer together!  I can't believe it!  He told me he was leaving for Korea but came here instead.  He really doesn't leave for Korea until this Wednesday.  How awesome is that?

The boys were thrilled to see him as well, and the girls were off the chain excited.  It's been a great day (even though Tate puked last night).

Since all the boys are sleeping I'm going to go and rest a bit, too!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Airplane Adventure

We arrived in Puerto Cabezas on Friday afternoon, and on Monday morning I left to return to Managua.  I was a little unsure of getting out of Port because it was very stormy (I jumped out of bed at 5:30 that morning because I had been rattled to the bone by a thunderclap).  I was told to arrive at the airport 2 hours early, so we got there around 10 since my flight was supposed to leave at 12.  

Just typing that made me shake my head a little. 

We got there and the check in process went smoothly.  However, because of the recent flying disaster I was not feeling confident.  Something or other about pride before a fall…I dunno.  I just wasn't feeling it.  Anyway, my friends left and I was there with the two boys.  In the distance I saw a plane land, and it seemed kind of little.  However, since we flew in on a 40 passenger plane I just assumed it was the plane to Bluefields.  20 minutes later when seats 1-13 were called I realized it was the plane to Managua, and they were operating two at a time to make (not two out of Port, but one leaves Port and another leaves Managua at the same time to make sure that everyone gets to their destination on time).  I had numbers 25 and 26, so I was happy to realize that I would be on the next flight and perhaps would make it into Managua a little bit early.  I was scheduled to land at 1:40 and it was looking like I would be in by 12:30, tops.  I figured since it took about 40 minutes to get my luggage the first time around that I would be about right. 

I turned on a movie for Tate and Theo fell asleep in the stroller without even being pushed around!  I was thrilled!  This was going so well. 

Until about an hour later when the next flight was called.  It was seats 12-24.  

I looked down at my ticket, sure there was a mistake.  There was not.  Bummer.  I talked to the gate guy and he said the next plane would arrive in another hour and 20 minutes, so we would still be in by 1:40.  No problem.  We wouldn't be early but at least we were running on time.  And I would be first in line next time!

Wrong and wrong. 

Theo woke up and Tate tired of his movie, so they took turns playing around in the waiting area.  No one seemed to mind (they were all Latinos, after all and I believe there is no other people group out there who loves kids more than Latinos).  They were playing some wretched Lindsey Lohan movie so I tried to keep Tate occupied so he wouldn't watch TV.  

Around 12:20 we all started watching the runway. 

At about 12:45 someone approached the a lady who worked at the airport (don't ask me her title-she collected the exit tax, announced flights and wanded people who failed the metal detector test) when she thought the plane would come.  She said the standard, "I don't really know, but I think in about 15 minutes or so."

Everyone else got out their cell phones and called the people who were picking them up.  Everyone but me.  I had emailed Don Jorge about the flight prior to leaving, just like he asked.  I did not have his number, though, because I don't have a phone here (yet).  I decided to say a quick prayer that things would go well and tried to quiet my unease by reminding myself that everything here runs on Nicaraguan time anyway. 

At 1:15 I really started to get irritated. 

At 1:20 Theo started pounding on the doors. 

At 1:45 the rest of us started pounding on the doors.  OK, not really but I think everyone wanted to.   Lunch is the big meal here and everyone was getting grumpy hungry.  Myself included.  

Finally at about 1:55 we were loaded up into the bus.  Having my boys, a stroller and a purse made it so I was the last one onto the bus.  Everyone who boarded before me decided to sit in the front seats which meant I had to walk all the way to the back.  Luckily there was enough room and I didn't hit anyone.  

Once we got to the runway we waited even longer for the plane to land and for everyone to disembark.  Right as we walked ahead to board it started to pour.  We almost reached the door and the pilot ran out yelling "No, you can't board yet!  Someone vomited on the way here and we're cleaning it up!!"

Yee-haw. 

That could only mean two things: 
A.  The plane ride was very bumpy.  
B.  It was going to be very bumpy and smell like puke.  

We finally boarded.  The door was in the back of the plane.  I was the last one (surprise surprise).  

As I boarded I realized that I was going to have to get past everyone in the 12 seater plane because the only seats left were in the front row.  I kid you not when I say that the row to walk was only about 8 inches wide.  I had so somehow propel myself, my almost 4-year-old, a big purse, a 1.4 year old and a stroller and a little backpack all the way up the mini-aisle to the front row.  Did I also mention the the plane was only about 5 feet tall so I had to hunch down?  Well, I did. 

I didn't know if I could do it.   After squeezing past the first seat I decided to drop the stroller.  After huffing and puffing my way past the second seat I lost the little backpack. With another seat to go I practically threw Tate up to our seats and gently tossed Theo.  My knees were literally up against the pilots seats. 



Allow me to say now that I'm not a really nervous flier, but I am afraid of heights and big bumps, and can be a little claustrophobic if the mood is right. 

As we buckled our seatbelts and said a prayer for our lives, I realized the mood was right.  The woman behind me was complaining her seatbelt was wet.  Inside I smiled knowing that she was in the vomit seat and not me.  Horrible, I know, but after huffing and puffing to get to my seat I really didn't care.  

We took off and my fears were realized.  The take off was bumpy and rough, and the plane pitched this way and that in the wind and rain.  We made a sharp turn and I was suddenly thankful that I was hungry rather than full. 

A few minutes later we "leveled off" and I snuggled the boys closer.  Tate and I prayed sincerely and he said what I believe was something like, "Mom, I'm sorry if I ever disobeyed you."



I looked out the front windows and only saw white clouds.  Enter claustrophobia.  

The good part was that I could see the instruments and tell how much longer until we landed.  I made a deal with myself that I would close my eyes and count to 100 slowly and then I could open them and see how much time had passed.  The first time it was only a minute. 

The second time rain started to pour and we started losing altitude.  And I almost peed my pants. 

When we got through that about 8 minutes of the flight had passed.  Only an hour and 12 more minutes. 

I continued like this until about 30 minutes into the flight.  Some kind of alarm started going off and the instruments started flashing.  The pilots looked at each other surprised and quickly pushed some buttons.  I wanted to knock my head against the window so I could pass out until the flight was over. 

We went through a few more rain clouds and about half way through the flight I started to relax.  Each time it rained hard I would tense up, but when the skies cleared I could almost forget I was nearly seconds away from death. 

Then the "low fuel" light and buzzer came on.  Since I was sitting right behind the pilots I saw clearly what was happening.  I saw them check some gages and flip a switch and promised myself that they had two tanks.  At that point we only had 30 minutes left and the boys were asleep so I could panic and pray by myself.  

As I saw the altitude odometer (or whatever it's called) go down, I started to relax.  When I saw the runway I nearly wept for joy.  I was the last one off the plane, and as I stumbled off I praised God that we were still alive.  Everyone on our plane was stumbling a little and feeling a little sick.  



Except Tate, who said "Mom, that little race airplane is so much fun!  Let's do it again soon!"

Yes Tate, let's.  Perhaps the Sunday after never. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wassup Nicaragua edition

**I wrote this yesterday, so we are back in Veracruz now**


-Theo and Tate have been sucking it up in the sleep department.  Until last night, when they both slept all night long!  Granted, Tate fell asleep on the couch (he doesn't like going to sleep by himself which we're working on) but they both slept until past 7.  A huge accomplishment, I assure you. 

-There was a huge rainstorm here (Puerto Cabezas) last night.  At 5:30 this morning I heard the loudest thunder I have ever heard.  It rattled me to the bones and I jumped out of bed, awake from a deep sleep.  Somehow the boys managed to sleep through it.  

-A lot of the houses were flooded this morning…but they build their houses up on sticks so the actual house wasn't flooded, just the ground below the actual house.  There's usually a 7-15 foot gap between the ground and the house. 

-My suitcase zipper bit the dust this morning as I was packing.  It's lived a nice long life accompanying me on many journeys including China, Honduras, Mexico for our honeymoon, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua (several times) and Panama.  I'm sad to see it go.  It lived a long life (10 years!  I got the luggage for my 16th birthday) so I know it's in suitcase heaven.  Since it bit the dust in Nicaragua, I'm confident that it's going to live a second life as something awesome.  I mean, haven't I shown you the school buses?  

-The weather has been much cooler here lately so it's been a nice change for us.  I'm not sure how the weather is in Managua so I dressed for the heat.  Today I was even contemplating not taking a shower because I knew the water is cold.  However, I decided that I'd rather be cold than dirty (shocking, since according to my husband I don't bathe much-but that's kind of a long story). 

-I really enjoyed my time here in Port with my friends.  I feel rejuvenated a bit from my exhausting trip down here, and I'm ready to pour into my kids at Casa again.  It's like going home. 

-I have no idea what's going on at home.  I haven't watched the news and to be honest, I really don't miss it.  As much as I value knowing what's up at home, I really don't miss dreading bad news and waiting to hear how every little thing is going to be politicized.  I would say that the majority of people here are working to live or somehow better their situation, and don't spend the time or energy worrying about every little political thing happening.  It's refreshing.  As much as I like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, it's nice not looking at everything through political eyes. Even things such as the oil spill, why is that so political?  It's a national and environmental disaster, we don't have time to worry about the political ramifications of what happened, we just need to spend our time and energy fixing the problem (OK, now I'm stepping off my soapbox). 

-I ate lobster for dinner one night here.  It was amazing.  I have nothing more to say about that. 

-I haven't taken any pictures of the airport here (the national one, not the international one) but it's pretty po-dunk.  We take a microbus through gullies and trenches out to the runway once the plane lands.  It's a fairly efficient operation considering the conditions, but still not what we're used to.  

-One of my favorite things about Port is that there are caged/screened in porches.  The kids can run around and I don't have to get up and get them.  It's like a big cage. 

-My parents come a week from tomorrow!  I'm excited to see them and I know the boys will be thrilled. 

-Mark leaves for Korea on Wednesday and I'm ready for him to go get this show on the road.  He's been working like a maniac and I'm ready to get the ball really rolling so we can experience this and be together again. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nicaragua Day 1

Ugh.  Today was looong.  But I'm here, safe and sound.  Not that it was easy getting this way.  I will go ahead and admit that today was the most difficult trip I've made to Nicaragua yet.  That's saying a lot because I've had some crappy flights and such.  But today took the cake.  By far. 

We started off at 3:00 am which really wasn't bad.  I slept for a solid five hours so I actually felt pretty good.  Being excited, I got out of bed after one snooze-amazing!  We ran around trying to get ready and getting the last minute stuff together, really it wasn't bad.  We were out the door before four am.  The boys were up by 3:45 so I was confident they would sleep well on the plane.  Big mistake. 

We got to the airport at 4:30ish and went straight through check in.  I dreaded saying goodbye to LT Wonderful, but tried to keep it together for the kids.  They have no idea how long he'll be gone and it's not like I want to traumatize them anymore than they already are, you know, being up at that hour and all.  I did shed some tears though.  I'll admit that.  Mostly watching Tate hug Mark.  It's going to be hard for him once the time really sets in.  I made it through security OK, it took a while because I've got two kids and such, but we made it through unscathed.  When we got to the gate we heard that they were offering $200 vouchers to change flights.  We offered to change since we had a 6 hour lay over in Houston (which I had apparently blocked because I forgot all about it.  Or I never realized it.  Either way, I dropped the ball).  It was looking promising (as in everyone else had boarded the plane and we had signed the voucher and were being transferred to a plane that left at 10:45 instead) when they realized that they weren't oversold and I could go.  So we ended up in the middle and aisle seat on a completely packed airplane.  We were the last ones on and they had to move people around for us.  I tried to ignore the glares people were sending my way, incorrectly assuming that I was holding up the show when in fact I had been willing to sacrifice for the greater good (or some crap like that).  The especially negative people I made sure to smack with my bag "accidentally" as I walked by.  I'm sure you can picture that.  I got to my seat and was immediately nervous, and for good reason.  The seats they had for us were next to a young guy, early twenties.  He had the look of a total partier and his look when he saw me was enough to make me want to scream.  I could tell he was, ahem, less than thrilled to be sitting next to kids.  

And, let me tell you, my kids rose (or sank) to meet his expectations. 

Theo fell asleep about 30 minutes into the 3 hour and 45 minute flight.  Not bad.  He SCREAMED before falling asleep, but it was only for about 5 minutes.  Not to shabby.  I was actually feeling a bit prideful about my kids and how my seat partner would go home maybe with a better opinion of kids.  

Well, a mere 20 minutes after Theo fell asleep, Tate decided to pinch his cheeks and say, "Oh Mom, I have the cutest baby!"  Which is true, but the cheek pinching was enough to wake Theo up.  For good.  And my normally happy riser was anything but happy.  We tried toys, books, walking, singing, sleeping more, singing, FOOD, drinks…nothing pacified him.  He screamed nearly the rest of the flight.  And my beloved Tate fell asleep promptly after waking up Theo, and was sprawling out all over the happy partier.   I've mentioned before how Tate's not a great bed partner…well, that's only magnified when we're on a plane and he's sleeping next to strangers.  So I have Tate practically molesting this guy in his sleep, Theo screaming and me wanting to melt into the floor.   Then in the middle of a Theo tantrum Tate wakes up suddenly and announces loudly, (accompanied by tears) that he's peed in his pants and needs new underwear.  I swear the guy next to me burned 3000 calories between his facial expression and quick attempt to snuggle up to the window.  Since this happens often and Tate didn't actually wet his pants, (he thinks he did so he believes he needs new underwear and it's nearly impossible to convince him he doesn't, even though his chonies are always dry) I tried to reason with him.  "let's just go to the bathroom, you didn't actually pee your pants buddy."

To which Tate pulls down his pants and underwear, sobbing, saying, "Yes I did!  I'll show you."  

So now my kids are both sobbing and one is mooning the entire plane.  If there had been a parachute handy we would have jumped out.  Since the seat belt sign is on because we're descending, I have to ring for a flight attendant to OK us going to the bathroom.  Awkward.  She looks at me disapprovingly but allows it.  

So we all three went to the airplane bathroom.  I don't think I need to explain any more about that situation.  I'm sure you can imagine how cramped it was with two screaming kids. 

For almost three hours. 

At the end of the flight I apologized profusely to those around me.  My happy partier?  He looked up at me and said, "Whatever.  I need a drink."  Ummm…me too buddy. 

We get off the plane, walk to the "clear other end of the airport" to our terminal, and eat.  The food court is crowded beyond belief and as I'm ordering I turn around to see Tate rolling around on the floor.  

Yessss. 

We wash hands, eat.  And walk to our gate.  I let Theo out of the stroller to stretch his legs.  He runs to the outside of the moving walkway and proceeds to fall down.  Several times.  I remove him, set him somewhere else and he still runs back and falls.  So I take him to his stroller and he throws another major tantrum.  At this point I grab Tate and our stuff and walk away.   Theo's back in the stroller.  We walk to a quiet area and I set up a movie for Tate while I walk Theo around in the stroller.  After 30 minutes of walking/crying/screaming he finally falls asleep.  At this point we still have 4 hours till our flight leaves.  I sit down to relax with Tate.  

Then the loudspeaker comes on and tells us that the gate has changed for our plane, back to the other end of the Houston airport from which we just came.  We pack up and head down there.  I probably walked 5 miles in that airport today.   As soon as we get to the new gate, Theo wakes up.  Only 40 minutes down.  Bummer. 

I release him from his prison and he runs around for 40 minutes or so.  He has fun and I get to burn more calories.  Every time I try and redirect him, though, he throws himself on the floor and screams.  It's awesome.  Luckily two Nicaraguan boys notice Theo and Tate and start to play with them (Cheve (Jose) and Cesar Agusto Morales who work for www.futbolsinfronteras.org in Granada).  Bless their hearts they play with the boys for the next several hours.  Between them and the payphones the boys are thrilled!  I even got to chat with them in Spanish and I can tell that my skills are getting better.   It was encouraging. 

Finally the waiting is over and we are on the plane.  The last plane of the day.  We've had several more tantrums but I'm just past caring.  Tate's being a rock star, though.  He was fine after we changed his underwear.  We sit next to a nice lady on the plane and soon after take off Tate is asleep again.  Theo, not so much.  After another 15 minutes of a huge tantrum he finally falls asleep mid cry.  He sleeps for about an hour and a half.  It's a God send.  The last hour on the plane was long and took every ounce of my determination to stay positive, but we made it.  

As we go to get off the plane the lady behind us says that Theo screams too much and he's too young to be on an airplane.  I ignore it because I'm tired of fighting.  All of my fight is gone. 

I got through customs quickly and our bags were there.  Praise God.  I could not have handled losing a bag.  I had to get a cart and Tate had to push Theo.  I'm sure it was quite a sight.  The stroller had my purse (HUGE), two blankets, and Tate's backpack attached.  It easily weighed more than Tate.  He didn't complain though!

Once we got outside, no one was there.  That's the first time this has happened.  After a quick prayer (OK, several) I see Don Jorge walking up.  Surrounded by little boys!!!  We went up to greet them and it was wonderful.  The boys were so happy to see friends and I was so happy to not have to do all the work.  

We happily chatted all the way home.  The Vargas' commented that my Spanish is sounding really good.  I was pleased.  Maybe Spanish church really is helping!

It was so cute to see Tate and the little boys looking out the window and pointing out cars and airplanes.  Little boys are little boys all the world round.  Theo warmed up, too, and before long he was laughing and screaming out the window.  So cute and funny.  Jaciel (the director's 4 y o son) was talking to me in English.  It was really fun.  And when Don Jorge asked me a question in Spanish, and I responded in Spanish, Tate responded in English.  I was surprised that he understood what was being said!  For many of the little boys, this was their first trip to the airport.  What fun!

When we go to the Posada it was a happy reunion, as usual.  I miss Louis, one of the boys that used to be here.  He was kicked out, as well as Jalmar, another one of our favorites.  I understand and support the leadership, though.  I'm just glad I got to know them while they were here. 

Tate ran up and started playing with his friends right away.  They now have a ping pong table and Tate is surprisingly good!  Theo also got in on the action and they were playing each other (with help from their hermanos, of course). 

Now I'm in bed, happily, realizing that 6 am devotions come awfully early.  Although I was given a free pass for tomorrow…we'll see how things go tonight.  The boys are already asleep, so here's hoping for a good night!

Dios ha sido bueno conmigo. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Night Before Nicaragua

Twas the night before Nica,
and all through the Stearns' house,
everybody was running around
like a cat chasing a mouse.

The suitcases were hastily thrown by the door,
because we knew we'd be up
way before four.

Then the children finally crashed in their beds
with visions of mosquito's flying around in their heads.
And me in my jammies, and mark in his robe
he worked on fixing the broken commode.

Then on the side table there arose such a clatter,
and I jumped from my bed, knowing nothing's the matter!
Quickly I dressed, brushed my teeth and my hair
Now for the boys!  I ran up the stairs!

"Boys, time for Nica!" 
I shouted with glee.
"Up and at 'em, let's go, let's FLEE!"

We ran down the stairs,
To our trusty bus, Gus.
And soon we were off...
TO THE AIRPORT OR BUST!

"Let's visit Maricela, Teresa and Ana,

Now Stanley, now Kevin, now Juan and Zaida."

...and away we all flew like the down of a thistle

"We're off to Nicaragua,
 remember...
we'll be back in November!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prepping to Leave

I'm not sure how you prep to be away from your love, but I know how we do it around here.

LT Wonderful and I get prickly like porcupines.

We have short tempers, short fuses, short nights (no going to bed angry!) and LONG days.

Yes, folks, we fight.  It's almost inevitable.  When we're about to be separated, we always disagree. 

Back in the early dawn of of our relationship we had no idea that the looming threat of long distance was largely the reason behind our frequent disagreements.  After several goodbyes we finally began to catch on to the pattern.  I'd like to say it gets easier, and in some ways it does, but mostly it just sucks every time.

Let me clarify:  We do better and better with the being gone.  We've learned how to communicate well during absences and we know some of the tricks to help make time go by faster.  But we haven't figured out exactly how to stop the bickering that happens before. 

One couple I know would go to the movies the day before deployments.  At first I thought it was a horrible idea, but the more experienced I get, the better the idea seems. 

The bottom line is that we know what's going to happen.  We know that we're shielding ourselves from hurt (well, trying to) and that's why we're beginning to pull away.  But now that we've got a couple of little boys watching and listening, we've got to do better.  And we will.  Knowing what we're doing and why makes things a lot easier.  We recognize that our feelings are valid (and strong!) and the key now is to stop any potential blow ups by taking a step back. 

Or three.

If you see us in the next few days and we look a little grumpy, that's probaby why.  We still love each other.  LT Wonderful is still wonderful, we're just in that pre-trip funk.  So excuse the mess.  And we're fine, I promise!!

Peace and love,
Jenni

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reminiscing


I was looking at these pictures with the boys last week.  Theo just pointed to all of them and said, "bebe" (which means "baby" in Spanish...shocking, I know) while Tate was asking more in depth questions.

Tate: "Mom, is that baby Theo in your tummy?"
Me:  "Yes, it is."
Tate: [eyes huge]  "Mom, did you EAT him?"
Me:  "No Buddy, I did not eat him."
Tate:  "Mom, did you have a tummy ache?"
Me:  "Yes, sometimes I did."
Tate:  "Mom, did you have to have a BIG POOP?"
Me:  "Umm...kinda..."


The kicker is that a couple of days later he told our friends (while I was out of the room) that I had a big tummy ache and had to have a big poop.  Mortifying.  And not chronologically true, but true in his mind. 

Oh, for the love of three year olds.

And soon we'll beginning Theo quotes.  Right now all we have is this:

Theo: NO. No. no. NO NO NO!

Here's hoping for some variety soon!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Who Says You Can't Go Home?


I'm about 10 days out from leaving for Nicaragua for two months.  It's always about now that I begin to get emotional.  (And the first three times we went I was moving literally the week we left and/or came home...so all of that emotional baggage was grossly magnified-but that's another story entirely).

I become emotional because I begin to wonder how it's going to be this time.  There's that old saying that you can't ever really go home again and that always makes me a little anxious.  Not necessarily anxious in a bad way, but I do become preoccupied with what I'm doing.  Ever since the first day LT Wonderful and I have felt that Nicaragua is our home-we've moved so many times since we got married and each place has a piece of our heart, but our hearts are firmly planted in the dusty Nicaraguan soil.  When we get off the plane and head to customs and immigration we feel peace in our hearts that permeates our entire beings...we feel home.  Our daughters live there.  Our sons' brothers live there.  In Matthew (6:21), Jesus says, "Your heart will be where your treasure is." (NCV). 

We treasure family.  Our family is there.  As Americans we treasure time and money.  We have poured both of these into the fertile soil in Veracruz, knowing that God is going to reap a bountiful harvest.  I'm not sharing this to boast in any way, but rather to reiterate that our hearts our there.  Our treasures are in Nicaragua and our hearts are there.  It's fitting that it feels like home.

But that brings me back to the nagging question...will I really be able to "go home" again?  Will it be like last time?  Will the kids be as happy to see me as I am to see them? 

When I start to feel this way I have to remind myself who these kids are: they are children who know how ugly the world can be.  They have experienced abuse, been abandoned or can't live with their families simply because of lack of resources.  The first time I realized this I was humbled and ashamed.  While I will always hope that they are happy to see me, I realize that one of the best gift I can give these kids is unselfish love.  I try my hardest not to expect anything from them because they don't need another person's expectations to carry.  They just need love...patient and kind, not jealous, proud, braggy, rude selfish or easily angered.  Always accepting, trusting, hoping and enduring.  Unending.  Unfailing.

I guess in that respect, I hope it's not like last time.  Lord willing, I can do better.  I can pour out more.   I can love with less expectation...through the power of the Holy Spirit I can demonstrate perfect love that casts out all fear. 

In 10 days I am going home again. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Confession

I have not been a good blogger this week. 

My posts have been rather uninspired and completely random.  I do apologize sincerely for that.

I have, however, been a great wife and mom this week.  I've done some major cleaning, scheduling, playing, etc and I am blessed to say that my house is a happy house.   I love writing that.  So I'll do it again, but bigger this time.  And all in pink.  Because pink is a happy color.

My house is a happy house.

So, excuse me if I'm not terribly sorry about letting the blog slide a bit.  I'll do better next week. 

Maybe. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2010 Craft Goal: #17 & 18

Project #17
9 Teresa Hats
Chocolate Brown, Crocheted

Project # 18
1 Teresa Hat and 4 flower accessories
Periwinkle, Crocheted


The flowers aren't sewn on yet because I'm going to sell the hats and flowers separately (I think).  I count these as two projects because each one used a skein (or the left overs of a skein).  After doing two rather large projects it was nice to work on some quick projects.  I can finish one of these hats in about an hour and a half or so.  The flower takes about 30 additional minutes. 

The flowers are either double or triple petal, meaning they fluff up nicely.

I have to admit with this big trip looming, I'm a little concerned about being able to meet my goal...

18 projects done.
12 more to go.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Lesson in Compliments

Setting:  Our kitchen.  Tate and Theo are just finishing lunch.  Theo has to be stripped down to his diaper because he (not surprisingly) made a complete mess of himself.  His diaper started to come off as he got down.  Tate sees what is happening.

Tate:  "Mom!  Look at my baby's cute little penis!"

So completely inappropriate [on just about every conceivable level], yet a really great try at putting a compliment together. 

Lesson:  Compliments about private parts are highly discouraged not allowed.*
 
*[this rule changes after marriage, but Tate doesn't need to learn about exceptions yet.]

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2010 Craft Goal #16

Project #16
Baby Blanket~Ripples
For Baby Nystrom #4
Crocheted


The pinks are more heathery than they appear.  The brown is a warm chocolate brown and I think it looks great paired with the pinky-mauve colors.  I'm thrilled to have this done, hopefully the baby will enjoy it, too!  (And hopefully she comes on the 21st of this month...that's my bet)



Thursday, July 1, 2010

That's what (s)he said

Do youself a favor.  Get a cuppa whatever it is you drink (I'm thinking coffee but if wine/beer whatever is your think, you'll find no judgement here) and sit down, relax and read these articles.  They are the best I've come across in a couple weeks and I really think you'll like them.

First up, Nathan at the Marin Foundation makes ammends with the GLBT community at PRIDE 2010.  Here's what he did and the response he got.  It's inspiring.

Christine chats with us about stuff and things.  And getting over yourself, and all that good stuff.  Also very encouraging.

And in case you get a little upset with yourself after reading Christine's post, or if you've gone too far the other way, read Kristin's post here and you'll feel better.

Did you find anything worth passing along this week?

...What Will You Do Now?

Isn't that the old question, "Now that you've ___________, what will you do now?"  And isn't the answer something like, "I'm going to Disneyland!!!"? 

I know you're on the edge of your seats, so here I go.  "Jenni, now that you finished your marathon, what will you do now?"

"Well, thanks for asking.  I'm heading to Nicaragua for 8 weeks.  I leave in 19 days!  Then I head to Korea and Thailand for 8 more weeks!"

Seriously.

LT Wonderful's civilian job is sending him to Korea for 4 months, so I'm going to Nicaragua with the boys for 2 months and then will meet up with Mark for the last two months.  This is a huge opportunity for him, and I'm thrilled but also a little eh...I don't know what to call it.  I'm not worried about the time apart.  Heaven knows we've gone much longer in much worse conditions.  But at the same time, part of the appeal of civilian life was the idea that we wouldn't have to be apart again. 

Please believe me, I'm not complaining.  Being apart civilian vs. military is a cake walk.  But still, it's two months where the boys are going to be without their dad. They'll have 75 brothers and sisters to occupy their time, but no dad.  I'm just dreading that part of it.

I'm also choosing to be in Nicaragua.  There's really no place I'd rather be.  I just wish LT Wonderful could be with me there.  We're choosing to believe that this opportunity is setting him up to do well in the future.  I believe this is an awesome chance for him to learn how to set up an office starting with nothing. 

So if I'm not around as much in the next few weeks it's because I'm desperately trying to get everything in order to be gone for 4 months. 

Easier said than done.

If only you could see my to do list...

Peace and love,
Jenni