Archive for September, 2007

1st China post (From the land of many people, Sat AM 9/29/07)

There are more people in two apartment buildings here than in all of Walnut Shade. The people I have met are the kindest, most honoring folks. The treat us like royalty. Everything is different – the housing, the food, the bed, the shower, the language, the traffic. However, I have noted one similarity. It rains at home and it rains here. = ) We are about to begin CE, and one friend has arrived with food to prepare for lunch. It should be another great day!

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“It was a really cute wedding.”

So said Jessica upon the return of our Big Three plus A, yesterday.  They all had a grand time and they were able to help with a lot of errands, set-up and miscellaneous prep.  They also got to enjoy seeing Andrew and Jenny’s first kiss.  It must have really been something!

Today was rugged all around.  Katie leaves tomorrow for the East Coast Mission Trip, and she had loads of stuff to do.   She and Jessica also spent about 3 hours working at the AIM office.   Josiah was in a foul mood most of the day and I don’t know why.  Andrew would NOT do what he was told, so we kept piling on the consequences, in a calm and loving way, as my “Love and Logic” cassette reminds me to do.

I am tired of preparing, and I will be glad when the day finally comes to DO this marriage seminar and then be done with it.  = )

I don’t have anything creative to say, so I will stop.  Tomorrow will come early and be another full day.

Beat-HAH-vunz 9th

One of Andrew’s pieces to practice this week is two lines (one line the right hand plays and the next the left plays) of simple melody from Beethoven’s 9th symphony.  I have explained to him over and over how to pronounce the man’s name, but we still get the above.

In other pronunciation faux pas. . . I borrowed a video for Andrew from the library of a US gymnastics competition some 12 years ago.  One of the competitors in it – OUTSTANDING on the floor exercise, by the way – is named Dominique Dawes.  She was 15 at the time.  For the first three times he watched it (and yes, he has seen this flick five or six times this week), he consistently referred to her as duh-MON-ih-cue.

These kinds of things always make me remember fondly his older sibling who at about the same age called one of our former presidents James BUCK-uh-non.  = )

Answers in Genesis

I only wish the big kids had been here to hear Mr. Riddle speak.  What a presentation!  Actually we heard two:  one this morning on the age of the earth and one this evening on cloning, stem cells, and abortion.  Then we were able to go out to eat with Mr. and Mrs. Riddle, which was very nice.  They seem like super people.

We ordered the 4-CD set from this weekend and also bought a six-pack of DVDs which I hope to have all our kids watch.  I am still kind of in awe by it all.

If anybody from Answers in Genesis is in your area, please take advantage of the opportunity.

News Briefs

Thursday afternoon, our bigs kids plus their friend, A, successfully drove to Tulsa, spent the night with friends in Broken Arrow, flew to San Diego and landed, where they called us from the runway. That’s the last time we heard from them, but we’re sure they’re fine. Our children have never been “separation challenged,” and they don’t tend to call home a lot. They are in San Diego to attend Andrew (big, not ours!) and Jenny’s wedding on Sunday. Andrew and Jenny were both leaders in AIM and have been wonderful mentors to our kids.

Friday afternoon, Andrew’s friend, JM, came over. They played on the trampoline, rode bikes, and went swimming in the creek. It was a total boy event.

After taking JM home, it was on to gymnastics class, where Andrew climbed the rope halfway to the gym ceiling! He also did a back bend from a standing position (on the trampoline) and did 22 sideways leg kicks while supporting himself on the side of a balance beam. He was called down for misbehavior (“Andrew, give me five push-ups”) three times, which for him is an improvement.

This morning, Scott took Andrew on a much-anticipated “date” to the ANPAC car show, and it was a smashing success. They got to see lots an lots of shiny vintage and sports cars, and Andrew came home with a goody bag so stuffed it was about to break. They also got to eat lunch out, and somehow Scott got it for free.  Andrew told Scott, “I had a blast! It was the best time I’ve ever had.” Can’t beat that for a response when you invest 4.5 hours in something.

I spent those 4.5 hours preparing my notes for a marriage workshop Scott and I will be leading soon. I had prayed for God to really help me get a lot done during that window of time, and He was faithful. Now I have pages and pages of things all wives should know and do. I’m somewhat convicted; now that I know, I’d better make sure I do!

At least we have no chandeliers

So it’s the end of a Wednesday night Bible study. Pastor Jef asks us to stand for a closing prayer. We are seated on the left side of the center aisle, halfway back. Scott requires an aisle seat and I am beside him. To my immediate left is Josiah, then Katie. Jessica is working in the preschool class and Andrew is in Kidz Church.

Our sanctuary is roughly rectangular. If you draw a rectangle as most children would, the pulpit is near the top center and the chairs are arranged in long rows left to right with a few “top-to-bottom” aisles. The room is bigger left-to-right than it is front-to-back. The main entrances are in the back, but there are also two entrances (windowless double doors) at the “top” corners of the room. The left front entrance leads across a hall to the Kidz Church room, and the right front entrance leads back to the administrative offices.

As we bow our heads, out of the corner my eye I see the left front door burst open, and my son – the one I love, the brown one – joyfully cartwheels (on one hand, no less, because he’s carrying his Bible) into the sanctuary!!! I am mortified and torn between wanting to wring his neck and wanting to act like I have never seen him before in my life. From across the room, I shoot him the evil “get over here right now! what the heck do you think you are doing cartwheeling in church?” eye, and he, appearing confused and totally unaware that he has committed any sin, walks over to us while Pastor Jef prays. I give his shoulder a gentle rendition of the Vulcan neck pinch, lest he invert himself again.

After “amen,” I try to ascertain what exactly was going on. It seems that “they said service was over, Mom.” Well, maybe “they” did, but #1) “they” were wrong, and #2) it’s not considered socially acceptable to turn cartwheels in church even when the service IS over – especially at the front of the church. I guess our well-known and frequently called-upon family rule about no running in church needs to be amended with the following clause: Additionally, cartwheels are NEVER okay in big church, and furthermore, you are not to leave the Kidz Church room until someone with your own last name comes to get you.

Who’d da thunk?

But it was a beautiful cartwheel.

O Where, O Where Has My Little Brain Gone?

I left house at 6:45 AM and returned at 9:15 PM.

I took Josiah to see the social worker, got him a snack at 10:00 AM, drove partway back to Springfield, napped in a church parking lot, went to the library to sort essays, ate lunch at Cici’s, had a mammogram, did the Sam’s shopping, tried to visit a friend who’s in critical condition in the neuro trauma ICU,  met the kids back at the library, had supper at Wendy’s, went to church, and went home.

The brain issue came on the second library jaunt.  When I got home tonight, I realized that I left my “Route 66” bag at the library, full of books, papers, and the first draft of Katie’s book, which I was 1/3 through proofing!!!  There were some other things in the bag I’d hate to lose, as well.  I will call in the morning and see if the library staff picked it up for me.  I sure hope they did, because to have to re-proof those five chapters would be very discouraging.

How is it that a relatively intelligent and sane person can lose and forget so many things?  It’s almost as if my brain (wherever it might be) has decided that remembering things is just too much work.

I have a written note to call the library.  Tomorrow we’ll see if the brain is up to that task.