Another scorcher of a day, today! Though we had a cracker of a storm this evening that cut the power over quite a big chunk of our state. Funny how many things electricity is vital to! How much we take for granted! The kids had a bowl of cereal for dinner (Hubby is out at the Army reserves on Tuesday nights) and then they did their homework just before we needed to turn on the candles for any other reason other than the novelty of it all. That done, it wasn't really late enough to go to bed, so we wandered over to the football field and the Oasis, where the older kids got some excercise and Topsy ran happily through the puddles. On our return home, we found the electricity back on, and life as we know it resumed. Really a good reminder for me though, that there are some folk right now, bedding down around the world, who never have electricity. That to me is almost unimaginable, even though I have lived without electricity for a time when I was a child. So I am extra grateful for the luxury!
My highlight of the day had to be visiting my friend Funny, who always has inspiring projects. You should see some of her Christmas ideas! Simple, but effective! I camped out at her place for about an hour and a half while the kids just pottered about.
Funny and her family come to Bible study at our place along with another family, and this year, our family is having our Thanksgiving dinner with our Bible study families, and we are also combining it as an end of year final dinner. Funny ( my friend) offered to do a real turkey for us as their family's contribution. I am so excited, because I have never done a turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas, just baked those Turkey rolls; so this is a big deal. The rest of us will do the other side dishes. We are also going to have a $2-$5 White elephant gift exchange. I grew up doing that with our mission family in Kenya, and we are looking forward to doing it here.
Hey do you guys have any Christmas traditions that you feel able to share?
Hmm, some of ours are: 1. Decorate the tree after a special Christmas themed afternoon tea, while we listen to carols.
2. The kids make and ice shortbread or other Christmas cookies 3. Go into 'big town' (10 minute drive away) one evening just before Christmas and walk around the streets that have Christmas lights.
Quote:(Warning: if you did not read the related post a couple days ago, this quote will be stone cold unfunny for you!) Today is Tuesday which means swimming lessons with the kids' instructor Mrs Lucky. As I was driving the kiddos home from school, Spindles in the front turned round to his siblings in the back and enquired: So are you ready for your swimming lessons, Brodie and Zahara?'
Roly replied quick as a whip: 'We sure are, Jacky boy!!'
After the laughter subsided, Spindles remarked: 'Mrs Lucky really wasn't very LUCKY with our names was she?'
LOL! (Though to her credit, today it was only Roly's name she flubbed up, and that is a common occurance)
This was just a great day! I don't know what it is about spontaneity but it always seems to provide our best moments! Do you find that?
Well, after church this morning, I was chatting with a friend, and I discovered that she was in town (they live almost an hour out of town) wih her family and the five kids they were minding for the weekend until 5:00 that evening, (when one of the girls finished her confirmation class). It was a stinking hot day today, and even though they thought they might spend it at the pool, I felt that 6 hours in the sun would be terrible.
So we invited them to come home,where we had a yummy lunch together and enjoyed a chat and the air conditioning! We decided that we would all go to the pool for a couple of hours a little later. Our friends also had to pop in to briefly see a mutual friend for a favour, and when that friend called to work out a meeting, she mentioned that maybe we might all like to come out to their place for the afternoon and swim in their pool.
Well, we all had a fantastic time! Such fun it was. We all (bar Hubby; Sunday is his busiest day), that is , all 14 of us, jumped into that deliciously refreshing water, and our hosts all joined us as well. And we just visited in the pool.
So simple, but it was a great day. I love days like that.
And now, I can forgo spending all the expense of a family season pass at the local pool, because we have an open-ended invite to use the pool whenever we want too. A genuine invitation! Yeah!
I guess I'd better tell the story that goes with the title first, huh? First I should say that there was a moment in this story that is probably my most panicked, most fearful moment ever, and I have had some scary moments!
Well, yesterday evening, I was winding down. It had been a hot day. We had worked hard, and I had just come in from playing out in the back yard with the kids. Hubby had just got home and had now gone out the back gate with Roly for a bike ride. I sat down at the computer and had just begun to check emails, when Diva came in. "Where's Topsy?', she asked. 'He must still be outside', I said, a little distracted.
Well, five minutes passed, and Topsy had not come in to see me, so I got up to find where he was, obviously engrossed in something mischevious.
Just then Diva came in, all trembly. 'Mummy, a lady has Topsy! She says she is bringing him to you, but she is going in the wrong direction.'
Knee buckle moment #1!
I raced outside, and there in the church driveway was a lady holding my child. I swung a split second glance at the gate. It was wide open. Then I looked back at the lady who had my Topsy. The first thing that ran through my mind was to humor her and play along, anything to get my little guy back in the arms of the right woman (ME!). And the second thing was that she so definitely matched the description of a drug addict who beat up an innocent lady at the butcher's across the road . So I was terrified.
Me, holding out my arms: 'Was my baby near the road?' She, not relinquishing him at all, but striding furiously towards me: 'Was he near the road? Ha! @##$ #%^&**, he was near the *&*@ road!
She was close enough now that I could smell the alcohol on her breath. SHe shouted and ranted for a bit, till I began to cry, and then that seemed to shake her out of it and she handed him back to me, trying to comfort me a little.
Praise God. And thank the Lord that she was there, really, so that he never wandered out to the road. When Hubby and Roly got home, we all 'discussed ' the open gate. Our entire back yard is fenced in up to my eyeballs (like literally, up to my eyeballs!), so when that gate is shut, we are safely locked in, but that was sure a wake up call.
The Title? Well, I just now came back from the shop next door, and the owner asked how our baby was. She said that the lady had intercepted Topsy on the sidewalk, and had brought him in to the shop to see if anyone there was missing him, then she had decided to take him back to the pub (bar) to see if anyone there owned him. but as she left, she met Diva, who claimed him, so she came back into the shop and called out: 'It's OK, Vicki, I think the church owns it!'
Ayayayay! So anyways, I will probably have nightmares for several days over that.
Well to end on a lighter note, here some pics of the gingerbread house I helped Diva put together so she could decorate it. And do you know what, we forgot to leave any of the gingerbread itself showing! LOL! It looks like the whole thing survived some record blizzard. I have put it way up on the fridge till Diva takes it to school (we will makie another one for our family later), and now that Topsy has seen it, he spends a great deal of time with his hands outstretched beseechingly, trying to says as many pleases as he can, trying to think of how he can have it given to him. Poor baby!
| View Show | Create Your Own I just made my first batch of homemade ice cream too (two tubs of thick cream *whipped* and two cans of sweetened condensed milk, beaten together), so I will show you a pick of the finished product when it is frozen.
And I will just for once break my thing on revealing the kid's real names so you can appreciate what I will tell you next. Okay in order of age, we have Bodie, Zachary, Kara and Flynn. But sshh, don't tell anyone! Bodie has an unusual name and as a result he is often called Brodie. He rarely corrects the mistake if he does not know the person. So I found it rather hilarious when at their swimming lesson, the instructor called Bodie, Zach and Kara, 'Brodie, Jack and Zahara'! LOL! that is some kind of record! Specially as she had the list of their names, right in front of her!
Oh, and all the Thanksgiving food on your blogs looked so fantastic. Hope you all have your feet up.
Posted by michelle ::
1:44 pm ::
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Yes my friends, the hot days are here again, for our part of the world at least. Yesterday my parents endured 41 degree heat (105.8 F!) and we were not far behind. Methinks the gentle spring is nearly over. Monday I went to a friend's place (Inken) to see how to put together my gingerbread house. She has already done hers and we will be doing ours on the weekend, and I need all the help I can get. Roly was home sick, so when Topsy fell asleep, I went over alone (do no be alarmed. Hubby was in the home office, and I only went across the road.) Anyways Inken had made an absolutely stellar cheesecake. Just looking at it bloated me. And she made us the most refreshing iced coffees. Mmmmm good. Our other friend was a little late, and we got to chatting, and my but by the time Roly phoned to let me know that Topsy had awakened, an hour and a half had flown by, and no gingerbread demo in sight!! LOL! So this weekend I am up the creek without a paddle. I will have to photograph the results as they are sure to be funny. It was a fun catch up though.
This afternoon was the Kid's Club Christmas party. A little early I know, but we have to be sneaky, 'cause otherwise we have about 20 ringins turn up on the last day of term expecting a Christmas book. This way the faithful attenders are rewarded. We played Christmas Bingo (read the Christmas story and they crossed off illustrations on their Bingo sheets) pin the hat on the wise man, shepherd's beard relay (moisturizer on their faces and they had to dip their faces in a bowl of cotton wool and run back), Christmas card toss, and a balloon stomp. Pretty good fun. They were so excited by their Christian books too.
Now for your entertainment here is one video of Topsy jumping on the trampoline. He loves the trampoline.
Now this video captures the tail end of something I just thought was adorable. He was all on his own outside, just before bed, and I came out to get him, and I heard him chuckling away. Well, he was playing with Lucy the dog, or so I thought. when i edged closer, I saw that he actually had hold of a piece of bread he had prised out of the chicken pen, and he was nibbling it, and then pulling bits of it off to give to Lucy. So this is the end of that encounter. Yes I think they may have swapped spit somewhere along the way (gross!), but I am thinking of it as an immunization! Oh and watch for me asking him to say some words for you guys!
Ok well, over and out for this tired Mama! Have a great day. Talk soon. Oh and happy Thanksgiving all! I might post on my thankful stuff tommorrow.
Posted by michelle ::
7:52 pm ::
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It seems like forever since I last wrote, almsot like I have aged a year at least! *snort* Thanks all for the birthday wishes! Naughty Robyn for advertising it! I had a good day too by the way! My Mom came up for the week as you know, and was her usual efficient self! It was great to have her here to celebrate the week of my birthday.
Bible study was a small affair tonight, not that it is a big group when we are full capacity. But our Canadian visitor, Steph, has left on a tour around the country before going back to Canada. And then, while Funny Farm and her family showed up, our other family totally forgot that it was Monday night! *grin* So it was just the four of us adults and 7 kids. We had Indian food and Mississippi Mud cheeasecake (to celebrate Funny's Hubby's birthday) and lots of laughs. Such a fun time. Oh, and we did do a Bible study in there as well. : )
Earlier today, the kids' school called to get me to pick up Roly as his asthma is the worst it has ever been. He rarely gets asthma. Only during a cold, and then only sometimes. But he was really struggling today.
Let's see what else?
Well, the kids reports came in the mail this past week, and they were all positive. Also Roly did not get a singing part in the tryouts for Sound of Music (the singing tryouts were on Wednesday). And then he forgot to go to the general tryouts on Friday, so he has missed out altogether on seeing whether he would have made it. I guess there is always next time. I am just so proud that he had the courage to sing an audition in front of a crowd of people. Good on him.
My Mom will breathe a sigh of relief to hear this next piece of news. Topsy started saying 'Mama' today. He was a bit miserable with teeth or something, and walked in to me muttering 'Mummummumm'. (Which is probably the only word a sore-gummied child CAN utter!)
But, ever the optimist, I grabbed him up and cheered, ' Yes, I AM Mumma! Good boy! (Raising his hands in victory) Hurrah! Hurrah' Well, with that response, he 'Mummamammamma' ed his way through the entire day! Ha! Then tonight after we sang 'Happy Birthday' to Funny's Hubby, we all cried out the 'Hurrahs!" And then for the next few moments, Topsy's little voiced piped up, clear as a bell: 'Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!'
Oh and this is what I gave him over the weekend!
Tomorrow I am supposed to go over to a friend's house to learn how to assemble a gingerbread house, 'cause we are doing ours sometime this week.
I will have to play that by ear though, as poor old Roly has gone to bed wheezing and with a temperature. So that may mean the Women's bible study lunch out is going to be a no-go for me as well! Oh well, I save more money for Christmas!!
I'll go to bed now, and talk to you all soon! I actually feel like I have lots more to tell you, but I am Soooo tired, so I will write more later!
Posted by michelle ::
4:03 pm ::
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Hi guys! Just popping in to say that I will probably not be blogging a whole lot this week, as my Mom is up for a few days, and I can't leave her sitting there on her own!! I will be checking you all out though and commenting!
I took advantage of Mom's support today, and we went into town and got Topsy immunized. 4 shots, people! 4!! I was very stressed. Being a missionary kid, who was poked within an inch of her life, I have overly strong empathy for any one getting immunized, but it was OK. Topsy was exceedingly brave, poor mite. And it is better than getting the diseases, I know. So that was an interest mother/daughter activity! It can only get better right? :) We are off to a lunch now, and then... as Robby says, the world is our oyster! Ooops, better go, my Mom is being neglected! Talk soon!
Posted by michelle ::
12:07 pm ::
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Finally! Spindles has found the missing mouse for me! I can blog once more.
We have had Roly's best buddy R over this weekend. He slept over last night. R is the picky eater, remember? I think I told you that before! :) Whenever Roly goes over to R's place for a sleepover, they spend the whole time on the playstation. So the last couple of times, when he has come here, I have let them play more PS2 than I ever would normally. But yesterday, I decided I'd play things the way our family normally does. Hence, that evening, after dinner, when it was cooler, we dragged a reluctant R to the Oasis. Well! He loved it. They spent over an hour and a half there, running tracks through the reeds and exploring. I think it will be the part of R's stay that he will remember with the most fondness.
Diva is playing at a friend's house at the moment, and I should be cleaning out our outside verandah area, but here I sit!
Why should I be cleaning out the verandah area? Well, our home is going to become a hive of activity soon. The enclosed verandah will be turned into an extra bedroom, and a bathroom with a toilet and a big bath. Then outside we will have a paved for entertaining. Wahoo!!! They will also be moving us in a garage. we actually already hae it, but it has no walls and sits like an ugly ghost town in the very centre of our yard. So it will be pushed to the very back of our back yard. I will take pics when it all begins.
Today has been a bit blah to be honest. I sometimes feel like I don't make enough time for my friends, or at least not enough time in forging those friendships to their full potential. So I think today I feel regret. I need to take out more time for keeping up and enriching my relationships with the wonderful gals God has given me as friends. And I also really want to be active in pursuing relatinships through hospitality with the families of our kids' friends. So important.
I do know that I need to get off now and go do my quiet time (that may be 'Aussie for 'spend time with my Heavenly Father'). Having not had a good quiet time all week is certainly going to be a contributing factor to the 'blah' process.
Arrggghhhh! Topsy stole my computer's mouse. We have searched EVERYWHERE for it. In the meantime, we all have to share Hubby's work computer, so no post today, I fear! Where would my knee-high terror stash something like that?
Posted by michelle ::
12:45 pm ::
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Hi all! Hey, did anyone have trouble seeing the pics yesterday? Sorry if you did!
Boring post today really! Things seem to still be going really well for Roly, though the bullying boys are no longer trying to be buddy buddy with him. His bst friend is coming over for a sleepover this weekend. Spindles went swimming with his class yesterday. They actually drive in from the big town to our little village's pool because things were getting stolen at the big town's pool and there was a lot of schools clamouring to get in on the same day. So on Wednesdays I go to the pool to pick him up and bring him home a half hour early so he misses the trip back on the bus. When I got there yesterday, most of the kids were either still in the water, or just hopping out. Spindles however, was well and truly out, wrapped up in a cocoon of his towel under a tree. When I asked why, he said apparantly he became so cold after 10 minutes in the water, he couldn't swim, 'cause his teeth were chattering too much, and his teacher had him get out to warm up! Poor thing!
Spindles is extremely excited about his up coming birthday party on Dec 15. He is handing out the invites today, and has gone to school with a grin a wide as wide. We are taking the boys outdoor lasering. It sounds amazing. I will definitely be taking pics.
Diva has got eczema on her hands and is frequently getting hives too, so maybe more extensive allergy testing needs to be done.
She is having her old best friend over to play on Saturday, and then when we drop her off all the kids will hop in the pool at her house.
Topsy is getting to be very climby and mischevous, so now very clear boundaries are in place. He has a runny nose and a slight temp today.
Hubby has taken off for a day of army resrves on his day off, just to get away and clear his head after a 4 hour marathon of a church council meeting. 7:30 pm -at least 11:30! Stress city I tell you!
And me? Healthy both physically and mentally, and enjoying the gorgeous day, though as it is my day off too, I am now off to watch a show I taped and will save the great outdoors for when Tospy awakes!
Well this morning, I have paid for the materials and labour for our first raised garden bed. It is very exciting. I have never managed to keep any plant alive EVER, so for me this is a big venture. It will also be intersting to see how the organic method goes. One of my good friends has had a terrible time keeping bugs off their organic veggies; their broccoli crop only gave them only leaves and no broccoli; and their carrots turned out really bitter! I hope things go better for our crop!
I thought I would be in the kitchen all day today, doing Indian dishes, but Bible study has been cancelled tonight, with everyone but me bieig able to come. Even Hubby is going to be away! Weekend-wise, Hubby and I went out on Friday night to the minister's dinner. All the local ministers and their wives are invited and it is totally free. So nice. Now this is a slight diversion but related to the dinner so bear with me. I never told you this, but in the holidays, against advice, I cut myself a fringe (aka: bangs) with an old set of kitchen scissors. Well, it turned out to be the biggest fringe ever, closer really to being a mullet (aka: nasty!) But I am slowly learning to disguise it. Actually when Diva first saw it, she asked, 'Can you cut it off?' I was like: 'No, darling, that will only prolong their existence.'
Anyways back to the dinner, I think I manage to make make my hair look as purty as a disguised mullet can look for the dinner:
Here is what we had.
I dined on the chicken and Hubby ate the beef.
The dessert was AZDaisy's favorite: creme caramel with double cream on top. To die for! Then Saturday night we had a guest speaker from Compassion come to church. A pot luck was all that the kids and I attended, (Heehee), as Topsy is the very WRONG age for going to drawn-out functions where silence is necessary. He manages at church, but that is about it! I baked two of my favorite potato,leek spinach and feta cheese pies. Yummy!
Then last night I was on for cooking church dinner! We did potato works, with savoury mince, chopped bacon, cheese, corn kernels, chopped shallots, pineapple pieces, and sour cream to go on the potatoes.
So it turned out to be a very hands-on, cooking-for-crowds, or eating-with-crowds kind of weekend. It has rained for the last five days, which is great for our land. Yesterday we decided to take on the support of a little girl through Compassion.
Nagaba is Diva's age and she lives in our sister dioscese, Kigezi in Uganda. We really look forward to getting to know her better through letters.
I started the day by strolling Topsy over to Funny Farm's home. I like it so much chatting to her, I fear I may soon become a nuisance at their place. so be warned Funny, you might be in need of a giant can of BigMamaRepellant!
Kid's club went fantastically well. I had purchased some relatively healthy snacks (popcorn and apples) and then went to get something for them to drink out of the church fridge (fruit juice and soda water, perhaps?) Well it was empty of that option, and so I reluctantly made up a sickly sweet concoction of cordial and lemonade. Later as I gave my own chicklets their afternoon tea, Diva asked for come cold Milo. Do you guys have that in the States? It is a crunchy, coffee-textured choc/malt substance that you stir into milk, either hot or cold. Well there was my inspiration, and the kids all loved it. A couple of new kiddies too, which was good. We looked at the parable of the sower, and I thought that the material really explained it well.
I took the kids over the road to where we have our lwn little oasis in the drought; little being the operative word. The kids love it there, and I just sit and watch them and rescue Topsy from all his predicaments. Actually at present Topsy is pretty easy going. All he wants to do is jump. Any surface will do. It is like the whole world is a trampoline to the kid. When he finds a surface he likes, he calls to me, and holds out his hands, with this huge excited smile. He just knows I am going to go on this next jumping adventure with him. No other option even crosses his mind. His eyes are full of trust and joy at jumping with his Mommy (whose busoms are pretty much the worse for wear, what with continually defying gravity and all!) Anyways here are some pics of our tiny oasis, what the kids call the swamp!