Monday, October 12, 2015

Chinese Kids are Funny

We have two foreign exchange students from China living with us for the school year. There have been some rough days, but for the most part, it's been so much fun! Their English is excellent, but every once in awhile, they mix up words or phrase things strangely. Here are a few of my favorite things they have said:

"When you go to the store, can you buy me the cereal that reduces your risk of a heart attack?" (Cheerios)

"This Twinkie is so good! I am in parasite!"

I threatened to send our girl-crazy student to an all boys school so he could focus. Our other student replied, "You can't send him there, because then he will be a gay". 

You know, when we announced our decision to take in these boys, we were not met with the greatest support. Our family thought our life was crazy enough. Maybe it was, but it was the right choice for us. Not only do I get to laugh at their hilarious phrasing, but I have learned that all teenaged boys are the same. They are all awkward, girl crazy, and eat constantly. 

Plus, I now have a mason jar full of red chopsticks on the kitchen counter. If only I could do more than stir my coffee with them....

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hard Times

Things are getting hard around here. They are always a challenge when two out of your three kids have crazy complex conditions, but this is different. These are "normal people" problems we are facing. 

My husband is out of a job. His last paycheck comes in a couple weeks. He has been applying for jobs for months with no leads. It's starting to get scary. To top it off, everything in our home is falling apart! In June alone, the garbage disposal, garage door, oven, and air conditioning went out. Some days I want to go back to renting. The American Dream of home ownership is overrated, folks. 

I have been selling our nicer things online. The minimalist is me is LOVING this part. It gives me so much joy to purge our things. Clutter makes me feel out of control, so being able to provide for my family while keeping my sanity at the same time... love it. I will probably have a garage sale next month. Ugh. The dreaded garage sale. Love to shop them, hate to have them. 

We rent out our basement through Air BNB and it has been a huge help. We have met so many interesting people. Next week we have a family coming from Russia for a week. After that, two Chinese students move in for a year. It's like the freaking United Nations around here! And we LOVE it. For a family that doesn't have the ability to travel far because of health, it's been so awesome to bring some adventure to our home like this.

Last night I poured out my fears and wept before God. A small time later I watched my kids play. A peace came over my heart. THIS is what matters. THEY are everything. I don't want to let my fears of tomorrow rob me of today's simple joys. 

God will provide, of this I am sure. He may use our strange creative attempts to do so, but that's ok. Whatever works. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Little Sister's Promise

We were taking one of our bi-yearly trips to visit our families out of state. The toddler was asleep in the car seat. The Man was listening to talk radio. I was beginning "East of Eden". My two big girls were snugging in the backseat. Something Little Sis said to her big sister caught my ear...

"Sis, when you are old, I will take care of you".

I don't know if I have ever heard anything more beautiful come out of her precious mouth. It made this momma's heart feel so much joy and pain simultaneously. As much as I was finding great happiness in that sweet moment, the dark corners of my fearful heart wondered if that would even be a possibility.

 Would Big Sis even live to be an old lady who needs to be cared for by a devoted baby sister? 

It takes great practice to push away those dark thoughts that tend to creep up during wonderful, simple moments. It takes a lot of courage to say to your fears, "I will not be ruled be you". 

I don't read statistics and I take timelines doctors give us with a grain of salt. There were many times we were given more heartache than one can bear, more terrifying facts about medical conditions that a momma and daddy should ever have to know. 

But God is greater still. 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, let alone 20 years from now. I just want to enjoy every silly story, every little handful of picked flowers, every sweet embrace. 

I want more than anything for Little Sis to take care of Big Sis when she's old. For now, snuggling in the back seat is good enough. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

The Date That Would Not End

My husband has always been great taking our daughters out on special daddy-daughter dates, especially if one of them seems to be needing extra attention. Our younger daughter has been angry and emotional lately (both of her siblings spent time in the hospital this month, so it most likely stemmed from that), so Daddy took her on the best kind of date- the free kind.

They loaded up in the car with the plan of hanging out with the snakes at Pet Co. She really likes snakes, but due to my crippling fear of them, this is the closest she will ever get to having one. A little while after they left, I spotted them coming up to the door...with plastic sacks in tow. Lovely. So much for free.

"Mommy! Daddy got both of us girls fish!".

I cringed inwardly, but gave her my best smile. My mind wandered back to the first time we had a pet fish a few years ago, Cherry. A month after we got it, the fish jumped into the garbage disposal during the tank cleaning. We had to be sneaky and replace it. A few months later my oldest daughter was in the hospital for a few weeks, so nobody fed Cherry 2. When I found his rotting body, he had been dead for a long time. We ended up chucking the tank and all. I put off telling my daughters, until they finally asked where he was. I told them he passed away, was swimming in Heaven. I told them we buried him under the rose bush so we would think of him every time they flowers bloomed, or some kind of crap like that.

So, Daddy and the girls are putting their new fishes, Valentine and Peaches, in the tank. They seemed to hit it off. Until we found my oldest girl's fish dead the next morning. She was so upset, so Daddy took her to buy another one. She named it Cinnamon.

It died the next day.

I rushed out, once again, to replace the replacement fish. We opted to keep this death a secret and just buy a matching red fish. We slipped it into the tank, proud to not get caught. Until...

"Mom! My fish got HUGE! He must really like his food. This is so amazing!".

My husband and I shared a smile and a mental high five. We'll see how long this one lasts. Just to be safe, when I was offered the Pet Co membership card, I accepted. I guess parenting now means replacing a fish every other day.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Penis Story

I thought for the first time last night, that God's probably rolling his eyes at me on a regular basis. 

It started with my husband leaning out the parlor (well, homeschool/music room in our 1920s house) window smoking his pipe. It's too cold for him to go to the porch, and I live in fear our furniture will smell like the thrift store it came from if he smokes inside. So, we compromise and he leans out the window, pipe in mouth, and I shiver under a blanket on the recliner. So, there he is smoking and he starts gagging. I just ignored him. To be fair, he does weird things on a regular basis. Plus, I was watching "Parks and Rec" and Leslie and Ann were saying goodbye. I finally asked him if he was okay and faintly heard a "...no". Took me a few minutes to register what he said since, again, I was watching my show. 

I went into the parlor/school/music room and noticed he was leaning back in his chair, not looking right. He told me he was very sweaty and needed a cool rag. I placed one over his bearded face and turned on the light. His forehead was eerily white. I worked up the courage to pull the rag off his face and OH MY GOSH. It looked liked the corpse of my spouse and it terrified me to the core. I quickly put the wet cloth back on his face so I didn't have to look at his paleness. 

All I could think was, "Low blood pressure....low blood pressure". Considering I took first aid 3 times in high school to get out of gym, I couldn't remember a single thing. So, I did the first thing any first aid educated, level headed wife would do. 

I grabbed his penis. 

I figured, if anything could bring his blood pressure up, that should do it.

It didn't.

He quietly instructed me to lead him to the couch and put his feet up at a higher level than his head. I quickly obeyed, leaving his face covered for my own comfort. His color did eventually return and I told him he better call his doctor in the morning or else (he didn't). 

We later laughed about my attempt to save his life with the grab-the-penis technique. I imagined God was rolling his eyes and my ridiculous-ness as well. 

This experience was almost as pathetic as the time I bought my 4 year old daughter a bumblebee costume at a thrift store for Halloween. It wasn't until I saw her wearing it at her ballet class's costume party that I realized I was a juniors' sexy bee costume.

Wife and Mother of the Year Award? Nailed it!