Monday, February 25, 2008

I have taken over 800 pictures but it takes 10 minutes to upload one picture so when I get home I will up load a ton.

Feb 25th

Another good night sleep last night. That was good for me. My sister and I acted like children today and laughed all day long. Like giddy little girls with no worries. First thing this morning Laura and I walked to the bakery and I ordered the baguette myself. I was so proud. We had a slow start and then went to see the archives were my parents work. The cute old men there laughed a lot and tried to speak to us. When we understood him he would get so excited. After this we walked by the river Garonne and it was a beautiful sight. The funny thing to me was that there was a skate park right on the waters edge.
We then met the missionaries for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. One of the Elders is being transferred to a new area after being here for 7 ½ months so my parents offered to take them out. The food was slightly French and yummy. We also went shopping at what they call the Lidl. It is a German owned market and that was interesting. We then went to downtown Bordeaux. Here we saw the Opera house and a statue called the Statue to freedom. It was dedicated to war heroes. We walked through one of the largest outside shopping malls. We didn’t make it very far because so many people kept blowing there smoke at us. What we found after this was one of my new favorites. It was VERY hard to find but so worth it. It was old Roman ruins that date back from what they believe to be the time of Christ. It is in the middle of the city and just pops up unexpectedly. I loved this.
During all the driving we either sleep or laugh so hard we need to stop to pee. Today I was making faces and I asked my mom if she had a long tongue. Her response, “Oh yeah and I wore it last week,” For some reason we laughed so hard we had tears. As I say this I realize how goofy it is that we laughed so hard but that is just shows how we have been today.
Right now we are hanging out at McDonalds so that we can research what to do tomorrow. We are planning on traveling kind of far and then spending the night in the town of Toulouse or Carcassone.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Feb 24th

Today was nice and relaxed other then having to pinch myself for three hours while trying to stay awake during church. What was neat for me while at church was the neat feeling I had while they sung the songs and passed the sacrament. Even though I could not understand a word that was being said I could feel that these people were worshiping God in his Holy house. It brought tears to my eyes and I felt gratitude for this moment.
I recognized the songs and tried to think of the English words as I tried to sing along in French. I am sure if anyone could hear me they smiled inside. We met all the cute people my parents have made friends with. They were so lovely. They would try to speak to us in their broken English and we would just smile. The gift of tongues is not something I currently employ. I have learned to just smile and nod. When we first got to church my parent’s good friend the DeFranchis came up to us to say hello. They have four girls and they all came up and kissed our cheeks. I was surprised at first but got used to it rather quickly.
Then we came home and ate a quick lunch of leftovers and took a nice nap. Sundays are so great for that. With all that we have been doing it has been nice to do nothing. We are wearing out my parents and I think they appreciate the break as well.
My sister and I have really felt closeness on this trip and it has been good for me. Since she doesn’t live near by we don’t spend enough time together and I do really love my big sister. Oh I wish every woman can experience the close bonds that come with sisterhood.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Feb 23rd

I had the first night of good sleep since Sunday. Boy did that feel good. I am back to happy me again. We got up at 7 so that we could drive to a city called Sarlat. It is about 2 hours from Bordeaux. We got there around 10:30, just in time for the open market. One thing that is interesting here in France is that all the stores close down between noon and two for lunch and then they open back up for business. The restaurants are only open at that time. So everyone eats then. Even the schools break for two hours to let the children go home for lunch. The first thing we saw was a stand with what they call Paella. It is a mixture of mussels, shrimp (whole), sausage, huge pieces of chicken, rice, peas, onions, I think it also had bell peppers, and saffron. It was a sight and we had to get that for lunch since I knew I could pick through the meat and eat it. We got one big plate and shared it between the four of us. We didn’t even finish it. There was this big long skinny red thing I could see and wondered what it was until my dad picked up a shrimp and it was the antenna. SO weird. Oddly enough it tasted very good. It is nice that we are so close to the ocean and they eat a lot of sea food. We then walked around the market. It was very fascinating. It was an old town full of shops. Then on Saturdays, in front of the shops, people come and set up little stands full of their goods to sell. While there I bought things to bring back to family in the states. I bought something for my SIL Sarah for helping Emma with school while I was gone. And a beautiful scarf for my MIL for helping Jared and Sarah with school. I bought something for Ryan that I think he will be excited about. I did buy myself one little thing. I don’t need to buy myself much as my pictures are all I really want, but when I found these cute nesting dolls I had to get them. I got red ones so that I could put them out at Christmas. I enjoyed the slow pace of the day and just walking through this old village with modern shops. After this we went in search of a Chateau with gardens. This was harder then we originally thought because it is the tourist off season and nothing is open. Once we realized this we looked on the pamphlets to notice which ones were open. We found one close by called Marqueyssac. It had mazes made out of evergreen bushes and it had an amazing view. The actual Chateau was closed and we could not get inside but they did have one window open so we could look inside. The Chateau, or castle, was on top of a huge hill and you could see two other castles from the gardens. One of the castles was so large with a huge walled city that we realized we just had to make our way over there. The Chateau was called Beynac. I think this was my favorite place we have visited so far. The inside of the castle was closed (we have yet to see inside a castle) but the city that surrounded it was so intriguing. As we walked down the narrow streets that were surrounding the castle it was silent and I could just imagine what it would have been like to live in the 12th century when this was built and have my horses go through these narrow streets. Up at the top you could see the river and overlook the vineyards. As we continued to walk down through the streets to the bottom I realized that people are still living in these houses. In one of the yards I saw a tricycle. The town below was so tiny with not much more then a small bakery, butcher, and grocery store the size of our quickie marts. There were a few restaurants that were for the tourists. I felt like I had traveled back in time and there was something so serene about the quiet stillness of it all. It made me want to take my family and move to some remote location so that we could experience this wonderful slowing down pace. We bought bread at the bakery as it was closing down and ate yummy sandwiches made of Mexican tuna salad from a can and avocados. If they had this stuff in the states I would buy stock in it. Again I will say yum! We headed for home around 8 and I think I feel asleep right away. When we got home I woke up just enough to walk inside, get undressed, and conk out. I had another goodnight sleep and when my mom woke us up for church I was so excited to realize I had slept so well.

This is me in the Marqueyssac.

And here we are leaning on the wall at the castle in Beynac.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feb 22nd

I had such a horrible night sleep. The first time I woke up was at 11:50 and I thought it was the middle of the night, then again at 1:30, and then again at 3. When I woke up at three I never really fell back asleep. Around 4:30 Laura went to the bathroom and when she came back we started to talk and talked until we got up at 6. Have I mentioned that I like my sleep and I don’t do well when I don’t get enough sleep? I was tired all day and slept when I could in the car. When we sat down for breakfast I got really sick and was sure I was going to throw up. I couldn’t eat my breakfast and had to have a barf bucket as my friend in the car all day.
We headed of to the bay city of Arcachon. We spent the morning waking along the boardwalk. The water was so calm with no waves and I imagine it would be perfect for small children. We enjoyed looking at the old houses and people watching. While we walked this big group of school kids came by on a run with their teacher. I was impressed with how fast they were running. With each little group came a shout of Bon jour. And through them I learned how to say it correctly. One little girl was in the back puffing and didn’t even smile as she said bon jour out of obligation. I found a ship in a bottle to bring back home to Jared while we walked through some of the shops. While we were walking and shopping I realized I was starving.
As we waited for the restaurants to open, my dad rested his feet while we people watched. This one young kid kept roller blading by and one time my sister joked that she was going to take his picture so he kept coming back and back and back. Ever time he would look at her and smile. Is that young kid flirting with my sister? So she finally took his picture and he went away. I guess he just wanted to go home and tell his friends that some American lady was so intrigued with him she took his picture. What he didn’t realize is that we thought he looked hilarious because he was so tall and awkward on the skates. The children were adorable I enjoyed watching the different personalities. Some would stare at us with no smile but they couldn’t seem to look away. Others were very shy and would look at us and quickly look away and glance back every now and again just to see if we were still watching. Then there were cute little ones who would smile and smile. I miss my kids and hope they are doing well.
We found a restaurant and settled in. I obviously could read nothing and had to rely on my parents for ordering advice. Everything was so expensive. I would look for the cheapest thing and ask, “What’s that?” It is hard to know what had dairy and meat and what didn’t. I settled on a seafood soup and I was nervous about what Kind of things would be crawling out to meet me. My sister knows some French from high school and ordered her own food. My dad made us aware to stay away from anything that said tartar. That meant raw. They eat their fish raw. Not my cup of tea. It was hilarious when our food came. Oh the presentation was elaborate and beautiful but when I looked closely at Laura’s food I had to laugh. What she ended up getting was thinly sliced Octopus with caviar and cream. She ate it all to. We were really hungry. My soup was pureed so that was nice for me. It tasted really good. I also ate some of my mom’s white fish and enjoyed it very much. The big winner was my dad’s dish. It was sea bass stuffed with mushrooms. YUMMMMMMMY. I think that was my favorite food item thus far. Our whole meal was 81 Euros €. That translates to $120. I am not sure if it was so expensive because we were along the beach or because it was a tourist spot. My mom did say that it is much more expensive to eat out here. They have McDonald’s here which seems funny. The food is not really the same and they serve 8 types of coffee. They drink coffee in little cups. They do have a big and tasty so you McDonald lovers rest assured. The only fast food is American style food but I have no desire to taste it to find out if it is similar.
After this we rested our bones while we drove through the city admiring the buildings. They were a different style here and it was neat to see. We stopped at another church and then drove on to the Dunes de Playa. We walked together to the foot of the dunes and I was the only one up for the trek to the top. It was a long walk and I realized I am very out of shape and have again decided to get back in shape when I get home. But once I got up to the top I was in awe at the grandeur of Gods creations. There was a very dense forest on one side of the Dunes and on the other side was the ocean. I took a ton of pictures but I am afraid they just cannot capture the awe inspiring wide expanse that I saw and a picture cannot capture what I felt. This was another favorite of mine.
I took so long that by the time I was almost down my sister came looking for me. As we walked down together we look over and this kid is doing front flips down the dunes. I tried to get out my camera to get pictures of him but I was too late. When he landed he looked over and saw me trying to take his picture and I showed him the camera to show him I wanted him to do it again. By the time we got to the bottom he was hiking back up so we waited to take his picture. Again I wondered if they just really like getting their pictures taken here.
When we got home the missionaries here met us at my parent’s house to feed us a traditional French dinner made with a raclette machine. While the potatoes were cooking my sweet heart called. My heart was happy. It was so good to hear his voice. I was very homesick today. He told me that Joseph told him, “Ok dad, lets pretend that Joshua and I are orphans and we will go to Reeghan’s house.” I guess he is doing ok and enjoying playing at other people’s houses. Ryan did tell me that he has double swimmers ear. Pour kid. I wish I could have been with him through this. He was so excited when Ryan cleaned out his ear last night and it didn’t hurt. Yeah for ear drops!! That makes me feel better.
Raclette is meat and cheese served over potatoes. The raclette machine sets on the table where you eat. You dish up a big plate of potatoes then cook your meat on the top of the machine and your cheese is cooked underneath. I used Dijon with my thin sliced salmon and shrimp in place of the cheese and it was good. For some reason it reminded me of a fondue machine. It was more for the experience then anything else. All through dinner I just kept thinking, “Is it bedtime yet?” When I finally did lay down it felt so very, very, very nice!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feb 21st

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was up a lot until about 5 then I crashed. At 5 I kept thinking I should just get up and write in my journal but I decided to see if maybe I could fall back asleep. The next thing I know the phone is ringing again and again. Who is calling so early? It was my dad trying to wake us up. We had slept in till 11. After a rather slow start we headed off to the Chateau du Cadillac. It was built in the 13th century and used to belong to our ancestors. Sometime after the French Revolution it was turned into a women’s prison because the nobility were either killed or kicked out. We walked around the city or fortress and enjoyed the old buildings. They were closed due to reconstruction but the grounds around it were a sight to see. There are churches in every little town, some are bigger then others. The one in this town seemed fairly big. The architecture of the ceilings are so intricate. We walked around the village and I love the buildings. In one wall there was the beginnings of a hole. Laura was feeling the wall and broke it even more. We had a good laugh. What do you think her husband would think if she didn’t come home because she was in jail? As we walked around the church we saw this cute garden. I did not realize any one lived there so I didn’t think twice when I started clicking away. In the middle of my picture taking I hear screaming. I was in the zone and my sister had to pull me out of it. This man was pointing his finger at me and yelling. I guess this guy didn’t want his picture taken. I would think if you lived in this tourist spot you would be used to it. At least he was not a red neck and didn’t have his shot gun out. After this we would pull over any time we saw a neat old building. We stopped in a town of Rions and walked through the streets. The children were just getting home from school so it was fun to see them walk into these old buildings that have become there home. I wonder how many families have lived there. I feel in love with the doors in this town. The variations never ceased to amaze me. Everywhere we have gone I am amazed at the beauty. After this we came across an old medieval Fortress. When we drove up to it, there was a sign on the door that said private property. So when a man drove up I was afraid of getting into trouble since I had been yelled at twice already. He turned out to be the nicest man and let us walk all around the grounds. The place was called Chateau de Langoiran and was built in the 13th century. The man was living in it while it was being restored. All the Castles are up on hills and this one had a wonderful view of the country side. My love of baguettes has only grown. Every day the people walk to the market to get there bread. No wonder the people are so fit. They walk and ride their bikes everywhere. I want to order it before we go home. The pastries are very good as well. They are not as sweet and I enjoy that. They have very yummy looking desserts. We have bought a few to share and they look better then they taste but they are still good. It has been so relaxing but I do miss my family. I have been thinking about my Hubbie a lot and I miss his hugs. I think I keep taking so many pictures because I want to share this experience with them. I hope they are all doing OK. My mom has been spoiling us making us really yummy food. I have liked everything we have eaten except the strawberry cereal. Everything she has made is good healthy food and I am excited to go home and cook some of this food for my family. My life is so good and I am so blessed.

Here is me pigging out on some yummy treats. We do a lot of pigging out.
This is the old Ruins of Chateau de Langoiran

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hello from France

I made it safe and sound even though we had a major change in plans for the better. We ended up flying to D.C. then to Germany, then on to France. Jet lag is more then I realized and I am anxious for a good nights sleep. We love being with my parents and look forward to sight seeing with them. We did walk around by their home today and saw some amazing sites.
These vines are growing up everywhere. My parents say in the Autumn the grape vines produce red grapes.

Can you believe how yummy the food looks? Everywhere we go you see yummy pastries, produce, and breads. I am in the right place!

How cute is my family?!!

This neat old church is only a couple minutes walking distance from my parents house.

Feb 20th

We got into Germany at 6 in the morning - our time was 9 at night. We had to walk through security again because our new flight was in a different part of the airport. After taking off everything, belt, jacket, purse, and backpack I walk through and still the alarm beeps. This may not sound like a big deal but as we were in line I watched a lady get beeped. I watched as she jumped because they put their hands down her pants. At least I was prepared. I am laughing inside thinking, “This can’t be real. I am getting frisked by a stranger.” My B r a has wire in it which made her wand beep when she waved it over there. So she feels the need to feel ALL around it to make sure there are no weapons concealed. She also felt the need to stick her hand down the front of my pants even though the wand gave the all clear. So the joke the rest of the day was that I made good friends with the lady at the security guard. How’d you like that for a job? No thanks! What do you say when someone asks you what you do for a living. You humble reply, “Oh not much. I simply stick my hand down people’s pants and up their b r a for the safety of my country.”
After a good laugh again at my expense we found out where we were supposed to be and then tried walking around and looking at the shops. We realized we were so tired that shopping was not so fun so we sat down and waited. I felt like I could fall asleep standing up but I was afraid that if we fell asleep we would miss our flight to France. When they called for boarding there was no plane there. As it turns out we had to take a tram to our plane because it was so tiny. It was an almost full flight with about 20 people. Being in such a small plane kind of freaked me out but we survived.
This is when I was first introduced to my new love…. The baguette. They served us sandwiches on the plane. I had to take everything off mine except the lettuce but it was so yummy.
I was able to take another cat nap but not enough. Once we got into France we walked right in and got our bags and they let us walk right past customs.
We gave big hugs and it was so good to see my parents. It is so nice to be able to visit with my parents as though no time has past and with no time limits. They live in a cute little apartment that for Bordeaux standards is big. The kitchen comes with no cabinets or stove or fridge, just a sink. You have to furnish the rest. And it is so very small. The cars are also very small, even the mini-vans.
When we got here to help keep us awake we walked around the stores and enjoyed looking at all the different foods. They love their cheeses here and the grocery store had three or more aisles for cheese and two aisles for yogurt.
After lunch we walked around my parent’s house and looked in the mom and papa shops. There is an amazing old church minutes walking distance and I got yelled at when I tried to take pictures inside. I do love to watch the cute people here. The old couples walk arm in arm. So much love.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feb 19th

Allen, my BIL, woke me up at 5:30. I say woke me up but I had been awake just laying there again just waiting for the time that we would be on our way. We left the house at 6 and hit very little traffic. I think when we got to the airport we were both feeling apprehensive because when we tried to check in and the machine wouldn’t let us we got flustered rather easily. They have machines now that take your ticket info, check you in, then they send you to a worker if you have baggage to check. We were sent to her because we thought we were doing something wrong. Come to find out our flight to Chicago is at least 2 hours late. There goes our connecting flight to Germany I thought. A man in line told us that if it is late due to mechanical errors they will reroute us right away. We had printed out other flight plans if we missed our connection in Chicago but not in Vegas. As it turned out our worrying was for nothing. They had already switched our flight to an earlier one to Washington D.C. and we would have plenty of time to get our connection to Germany. Sigh of relief at this point. Since we were slightly flustered, the lady at the counter made some joke at our expense and being glad for us that at least we were together. We laughed and quickly booked it to make our earlier flight at 8. We really did not need to be there 2 ½ hours early but, because of this advice, we made the new flight plan. I felt very blessed and reassured that our trip would be fine and that Heavenly Father was watching out for us. I felt inspired to go on this trip and it has been nice to be reminded now and again that when we do what we are asked to do things work out.
The flights were each very long but having movies on the plan helped. Our flight from D.C. to Germany was the longest, and we thought we would sleep the whole way because we had brought sleeping pills. As it turns out sleeping pills don’t do much good if it is not your normal bedtime. Our flight left at what would have been our time 2:30. I normally take a nap at that time but I could not fall asleep. Oh well. I think I took a few cat naps, enough to not feel totally insane. When we arrived in Germany I felt like a ton of bricks had hit me and I was glad that we could get up and walk around since we were not going to be sleeping.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Feb 18th

We had a slow day. It felt like I was just waiting all day long to catch my plane. I was nervous and excited for my upcoming trip. I got into Las Vegas around 6:30. On the plane I sat between two ladies who fly all the time for work, and it was good because they eased some of my traveling worries. The one lady seemed to think that 45 minutes would be cutting it kind of close for our connection flight in Chicago. I really did not want to miss that connection as the thought of being in one city for 8 hours of our time that we could be with my parents was just not fun. My BIL had told me when flying international you need to be at the airport 2 ½ hours early so I knew we should get to sleep early but I didn’t sleep much. I did say a prayer before bed asking Father above to please help us not miss our flight.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

For real... Happy birthday to Joseph

Last night I feel asleep earlier then normal. About 10:30 Emma and Joseph woke up at the same time. Emma threw up and went right back to bed where as Joseph was up for most of the night. It has been a long time since I had such a small amount of sleep. Normally my kids are good sleepers. When Joseph cried and cried I felt so helpless. He said his stomach hurt and he would try to throw up but nothing. He would finally fall asleep to wake up shortly crying again. Ryan had him snuggle up with him and that made it easier for me to sleep. Then this morning when we woke up a ton of pus had drained from his ear. He didn't even tell us he had an earache until we asked him. And today is his real birthday. I was glad we had celebrated earlier. He didn't want the lunch he had picked out and he did eventually throw up. He couldn't even eat his cake and ice cream.

This little boy means so much to me. He is so in tune with me and how I am feeling. He is concerned and loving, kind and gentle. He loves to tease and make us laugh. My life is fuller because he is in it. We love you little buddy and thank God you came to be apart of our family.

I'm leavin on a jet plane.

I am trying to figure out my camera and let me tell ya... Harder then it looks. The good thing? Even in auto mode it takes better pictures then my old camera. I am loving the focus feature and I am really excited to play with the shutter speed over the next week. Speaking of that. I am getting very nervous for my trip. My stomach is in butterflies and I cried when I put the kids to bed. How am I going to be ok without them for 10 days? I am sure the girls will have interesting hair while I am gone and that they all will eat some interesting food. Ryan really likes the house clean so I don't worry about that so much. I guess I will just miss them.

I am also very excited to see my parents. I got to talk to them for the first time since mothers day the other day. It was so good to see them. It will be wonderful to visit with them without having to worry about being mom. I will be able to have real conversations and really be able to unwind. I am looking forward to not having to doing anything. To taking a nap or simply taking long walks because I can. I recognize this is a once in a life opportunity and I will cherish it. I want to take this time to set goals and think about how I want the next ten years of my life to go. I want to live more fully in the every day moments. Laugh often and love more freely. Let go of past hurts and move forward like I have never before done.

This is the reason my old camera is not functioning. Jared has become my budding photographer. He took this picture the day before it broke. The next morning he wanted to take a picture of Joshua and something broke. I don't know if it was his fault or it was just the cameras time to go. I thought it was a good picture though.
Here are some pictures with the new camera. I love the crispness and coloring.

Jared is such a cutie.

Joseph does not like to pose for the camera in the normal sense.
Usually he makes some kind of face then wants to see it in the camera.
But somehow I got close to a real smile here.

Messy babies are so dang cute.
I am excited about this picture because it shows how fast my camera is. I had to really plan to get a picture in midair with the old one.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

quick little note

I think I must crave chaos. We have still not moved in and we are living out of boxes. I leave for my trip on Monday and packing has been interesting. I have to search through the already packed boxes to find what it is I am looking for. I had to find all the school stuff for the kids and I couldn't find the box anywhere. I had to open all the boxes because we didn't label very well this time. I did finally find it. It was one of the last I looked in. Then on Wednesday I walk downstairs and see that my camera has been played with and no longer works. I cried. Right before my trip to France and no camera? Ryan has known that I have wanted a DSLR for awhile so he told me to go ahead and just get it. I did my research and found it on sale at frys. I am learning how to use it but it will take time till I feel comfortable with it. Good thing I have cute kids to practice on.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The haircut

Ryan did it. We cut his curls. He still looks cute like we knew he would be but I do like his curls better.

(Ryan had brushed all the curls so we could cut it and I realized how long it really had gotten)
Still a little cutie pie
He was so funny when he looked at himself in the mirror. "I want my hair not short!" My reply, "It will grow." Then he cried and said, "But it will take a long time." Then shortly after he shook his head and said, "I can't shake it." He was very broken up by this. I would catch him throughout the day shaking his head. Sometimes he would laugh and other times he would seem disturbed. People always compliment him on his curls so I wonder if he caught on to that and that is why he was sad to see it go? I bet in a month or two his curls will be back.

Friday, February 08, 2008

My sweet not so little almost 4 year old boy.

We celebrated Josephs birthday today. The kids had a field trip to the wild animal park so we thought we would make that into his simplified b-day party. My MIL bought everyone passes for Christmas so we invited all the family. It is great to have built in friends. Afterward we went back to Grandmas for Mac and Cheese (Josephs birthday choice) cake and presents. His favorite present was his bag for is "stuff." Joseph is very possessive of his stuff and he likes to create bags out of anything. Examples- grocery bags, pillow cases, shoe boxes, towels, ziploc bags... just to name a few. So when he saw that he had his very own real bag for his stuff he was thrilled. Who new? It was the backpack his tent and sleeping bag came in. He seemed to have a great day.

Tim and Luke came over to spend the night tonight. We watched Dumbo, it was one of Josephs presents. As we watched the mean elephants Tim, my 9 year old BIL, stated that the ring leader mean one must be the MIL. I had to crack up at that. My MIL is not at all like that and I wondered where he got such a funny idea.

Joseph loves his cousin Ethan. Originally he just wanted Ethan to come to his party. This picture is weird for me because I can see a much older Joseph in there.
Happy Birthday to you!

Joseph was so busy opening presents he didn't even want to stop to show me.

Heres the crew.

Best buddies

Joshua was cracking me up with these deer. He insisted on chasing this little one around. The keepers were not really thrilled with it but they were nice enough about it.
What better way to end the day then in your new tent and new sleeping bad and with your bag of stuff.

I finally downloaded the pictures from our birthday trip to Disneyland.
I sure do love these boys.
I asked Buzz if he would come over and say hi.
I didn't mean get in the kids face and scare him half to death. I guess no one ever taught him about personal space.
When we were waiting in line for Dumbo Joshua decided it was taking to long and had a seat. Funny kid.
Joseph was so excited to go on the carousel and then when we get on he wanted o sit on the bench. The funny thing about this is I remember wanting so much to sit on the bench when I was little. Maybe because it was something different?

And this is us on the lady bug ride. They loved this one so much!
Funny story about Joseph. Last week a friend from church brought over a birthday invite for Joseph. She had asked her little girl who she wanted to invite and this is the first thing she said, "You know the shy little boy at church with the curls... the one who kisses me? Yeah, Joseph, Him." I was so surprised to find out he was kissing this little girl. I thought my shy boy would not be kissing girls till he was married. (See earlier post where I wrote about this) I asked him about it and he got so embarrassed that I knew that he hid his face and said nothing. Later he disclosed to me that he kissed her on the nose. Then at her party he gave her a bug hug and kiss on the cheek when it was time to go. All I have to say little girls is watch out cause this loving, sensitive little man is a keeper!

I am contemplating cutting off all his hair??? I am sure it will grow back with those same cute curls but I am curious what he looks like under all that hair.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Thanks girls!

Yesterday My two SIL's Hope and Sarah and my MIL went out for a girl day. It was so nice. We all get along great and I feel so blessed to have them.
I bought these new dinner plates and cereal bowls from pottery barn 75% off and these cute baskets from ikea.

The Invisible Mom

A friend of mine sent this to me and I enjoyed it. Although I may not feel invisible I was still able to relate.

The Invisible Mom

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the wayone of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and asks tobe taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on thephone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, orsweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because noone can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I amonly a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Canyou open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a humanbeing. I'm a clock to ask,"What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide toanswer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Rightaround 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that onceheld books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduatedsumma cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, neverto be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the returnof a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sittingthere, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down atmy out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid Icould actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic,when Janice turned to me with a beautifull y wrapped package, and said, "Ibrought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn'texactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of whatyou are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devoured - thebook and I would discover what would become for me, four life-changingtruths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built thegreat cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their buildingwas fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral whileit was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the insideof a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so muchtime carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No onewill ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almostas if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you'vebaked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that iserasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they willnever see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals couldever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing tosacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my sonto tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving,"My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she handbastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want himto want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to hisfriend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built,but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.