Friday, June 28, 2013

I'm blind!

Ibby's glasses broke -- I cannot for the moment recall exactly how...-- but she cannot see very well without them and I hadn't gotten new glasses for about four years and my prescription had changed so we went in to get some new frames.  We were quite the sight (haha, sight... oh, I kill myself) the whole time with the boys trying on everything and rolling around in the middle of the floor as is their wont. 
 I'll show off our choices in the next post!

Monday, June 24, 2013

can't keep him contained

Archie loves being outside!  Here he is with our cute neighbor.  We love them so much!  They share food with us and watch our cat -- what more could you want in a neighbor, right?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

activity day camp

So another thing that has been taking up my mental space is that I was semi in charge of a day camp for girls ages 8-12 at church.  I did it last year, too.  It was this past Thursday and Friday and turned out so well!  I guess the months of planning paid off.  Our theme was the Wizard of Oz -- Follow the Yellow Brick Road back to our Heavenly Father.  The last two years we've gotten tee shirts for all of the girls, but we decided to mix it up and make them all gingham aprons like Dorothy.  We started out with a class on Family History, had mini classes on having a brain (calligraphy), a heart (FHE kits), and courage (improvising scenarios).  We also had an original skit that was about "Dot" going on adventure and having some hard choices to make.  The second day they made a cute craft that said, "There's no place like home," played water games outside, practiced the skit some more, and finished up with a great talk about all the choices we make in life that lead us back "Home."  We all came back for a potluck dinner that night with all of the families and the girls performed their play.  Here are some pics:

::the checking in table
 ::somewhere under the rainbow!
 ::baskets for all of the girls with their aprons, place to put lunches, etc
 ::our craft
 ::all of the cute girls -- we combined the two wards in town
 ::gym set up for our dinner
 It was really great, but incredibly exhausting!  I'm afraid I offended one of the girls last night when I exclaimed how happy I was that it was over.  Not that I didn't want to be with them anymore, but there was the constant stress of what was going to go wrong!  Nothing did.  We were blessed.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Uganda be kidding me!

Well, summer is in full swing around here.  We have been keeping our goal of reading the scriptures every day for 30 minutes, but my other goals of learning Spanish, doing math, holding a cooking class, and practicing photography have fallen by the wayside.  The days are literally zooming right on by!  One kink in our schedule was that Charles spontaneously up and went to Uganda of all places!  It all started on June 7 and a ward campout.  There is a man whose wife is a member, but he is not so not everyone knows him very well.  He was sitting off to the side by himself, so Matthew decided to go sit by him.  Soon Charles, who hadn't wanted to come at all, wandered over to sit by them, too.  I had gone on a little jaunt around a lake with the littles and when I returned, they informed me that Charles was going to accompany him to Africa on June 17.  I, of course, thought they were joking and responded in the most suitable fashion for such nonsense: ignoring them completely.  I guess it wasn't a joke.  This man, Paul Anderson, has invented a stove that can be used without wood or coal.  Coal is very messy burning inside houses and causes breathing problems, among other things; and wood is the responsibility of women and children to gather.  With deforestation, they have to go further and further afield to find any and become the prey of both animals and men from other tribes.  So, his stove can use alternate forms of fuel.  This trip he is working with a group from the University of Ohio and they will mostly be working with one particular village.  He is also going to be helping this man's son, Simon, with some videography.  We have been praying and pondering for ways to get Charles to wake up, as it were, and feel like this opportunity is an answer to prayer.  We haven't heard much from him so I'm not quite sure how it is going.  Here is the one email I've received from him:

All we did yesterday was explore Kampala and today we're starting the
filming process, I have a lot of pictures and I'll tell you all about it
when I get back, I'm not very good with messages longer than text messages
so yeah..

I guess we'll hear all about it when he gets back! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

june joys

Ahhhh, school is out and it is time for summer!!!!  I love letting go of the rush, rush, rush of the school year and its constraints on our time and togetherness.  And the last week has been 90% bliss and 10% WOULD YOU STOP LAYING DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY AND JUST FINISH CLEANING YOUR ROOM LIKE I'VE BEEN ASKING FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF SATURDAYS FOR PETE'S SAKE!  So I should probably work on that.  It has been so nice for the little boys especially, to have their sisters here to play with them.

Our big news is that Eleanor got her mission call!   I am so excited for her!  It took her a lot longer to finish up her application papers than we anticipated and I feel like I've been anxiously awaiting the "where" since last October!  She is going to Anaheim, CA Spanish speaking.  I must admit that I really expected her to go somewhere foreign.  I mean, she would have no trouble with culture adaptation -- she really seemed like a prime candidate.  And so many people in my family have gone to really exotic places...  I also realized that I had truly expected her to go to Japan.  It was a hope that I have had ever since we lived there.  She had become fluent in the language after attending two years of school there, but had promptly lost it when we returned to the United States.  I knew that a mission would be just the thing to awaken the latent language hiding somewhere in the deep folds and tissues.  I know I should have had no expectation whatsoever because for my whole life if I really want something and overthink it, it doesn't happen.  Fortunately, I'm generally pretty pessimistic so it works out for me.  For instance, when I'm pregnant I always anticipate that my baby will be some freak of nature.  Every time I've thought, "This time, the baby won't be cute.  Our others are cute, we've played the lottery, and we can't possibly win again."  So, of course, each one has been absolutely adorable!  Or I was quite sure that Matthew couldn't possibly be one of the three candidates chosen for the Masters program at Dartmouth or that he'd get the job here or that I'd ever get married.  Other things that I did think for sure would happen like me getting my PhD or someday reaching my ideal weight -- nope!  Another really fortunate thing is that the Lord usually prepares me for things.  I dreamt we were moving to Japan before we found out, I knew deep down that I was going to become the RS president, and I had a dream last week about Ella's mission call.  I dreamt that she was on a floor above me behind a glass wall and opened her letter.  She called down "It's Spanish speaking!"  I yelled back, "But where?"  "It doesn't say!"  "What?  Just throw it over the glass wall!"  So she did and it was just a rough draft of their decision making process and not the final letter at all.  It was funny and I told Matthew and Ella about it.  Matthew had faith in my vision and so when we did a family lottery of guessing where she was going, he put Arizona Spanish speaking so he was the closest!  And also, I wasn't surprised or disappointed or anything when she told me.  And she is really excited as well.  She admitted that she was a little nervous to go abroad anyway.  She also has a few health issues so this will all be for the best, I'm sure.  Last week when I was getting a little impatient she told me, "Mom, it has been decided long before now so just relax."  So now we just need to get her ready and I have to prepare myself for the reality of not being able to call her -- wah!

Matthew took Charles and Lucy to a concert in Milwaukee so it is just me and the littles.  My teenagers are great in a general way, but it is sometimes nice to have them away for a bit.  They can be intense!

My stresses at the moment are my garden -- blasted bunnies keep eating everything!  My beans were growing like crazy and they just ate them down to stumps.  Same with the eggplants.  Are they stupid?  Don't they know that if they let the plant get big there will be more food?  Complete morons the lot of them!!!  They've also stripped the bark off of two raspberry bushes and a pear tree -- I have no hope for them at all.  Planting a garden is such a mind game for me.  I can picture the bounty and the harvest before I even procure the seed packets and bare roots.  I dream about the sun warmed tomatoes and crisp cucumbers.  I can practically taste the strawberries... oh yeah!  They completely uprooted my strawberry plants!  It's just destruction, they didn't even eat anything.  Mr. McGregor is my new literary hero.  Bah humbug!
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