Monday, June 30, 2008

some welcome

i've been wicked busy since the princess kitty's birthday party and almost all of it was blog-worthy (especially the silent prince taking a hunk out of my friend's wedding cake before the pictures were taken.)

last week we spent in new hampshire at a place called camp calumet. we were all there (including the kids and mel our babysitter extraordinaire) for confirmation camp. which meant that we were there with a bunch of 12-14 year olds from all over new england. it was a great week and while there were some mishaps it went much better than i expected it to.

7 churches joined forces to teach all the kids about prayer and the kids really responded to what we were teaching. i talked about it in my sermon yesterday.

when we got to camp we were welcomed with songs, cheers, games, and an ice cream social. the next day when we gathered for our learning time we told the kids about a group of 16 year old boys who were travelling to calumet this week. there were supposed to be 10 of them from our companion synod the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. they were going to be at camp for a week then visit with some families and go see new york city before retuning to their homes in palestine.

except that only 5 boys were granted permission from the israeli government to leave their homes and travel here. there was no reason for them not to be allowed to come except that they are palestinian.

the kids we were teaching made them prayer beads, enough to give to the boys left behind and more to others living in that choas. we wanted them to know that we were praying for them.

the next day we were given an update. the 5 boys and their male adult leader had safely landed at JFK to make their connecting flight further north but had missed the flight.

because they were detained, questioned, and strip searched.

and to make matters worse there wasn't another flight for them to take until the next day, nor was their a hotel for them to stay in so they spent the night at JFK airport.

let me just contrast these welcomes one more time...

ice cream social --- strip search

sleeping in a cabin out in the woods --- sleeping on a chair in an airport

the kids at camp didn't understand at first why these boys were detained until i jumped up and got on my soap box.

it's because they were from... palestine
and most people from palestine are... muslim
and most people believe muslims are... terrorists

we could see it begin to sink in. 12-14 year olds get it. at 12-14 years of age they understand what it feels like to be judged based on how you look or how you act or where you are from or what you believe. they get it and they were as horrified and angry as i was.

and i hope they remember.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, June 14, 2008

everybody was kung fu fighting - panda style

or... prepare for awesomeness!

even though the princess kitty turned 9 at the end of may we didn't have her birthday party until today. usually we do a joint party for both kids because they are about 1 1/2 months apart. this means that the princess kitty hasn't had her own birthday party since she was 2. (her brother was about 1 1/2 months old for her 3rd birthday).

she's asked for a theme party for years now and hubby and i have avoided it up until this year. i don't have any recollection of how i came up with the idea of a movie party, but that's what we did. she had 9 of her friends (though i was expecting 11) go to the movie theatre with her to see kung fu panda.

i've been stressing about this for weeks now. first of all... it's expensive. far more expensive than putting hot dogs and burgers on the grill and asking grandmom to bring a salad while the kids run around the back yard until it is time for cake.

at first we were going to see narnia; prince caspian, but wound up deciding that kung fu panda was a better choice. this is fine except that kung fu panda just came out and i wasn't sure of the exact showing time until yesterday. i put a deposit down weeks ago and was told that i could use the party room... no problem. i even stopped by the mall yesterday to make certain that we were all set since everytime i called or went by no one seemed very on top of things.

when i arrived there today with 10 minutes to set up there was another party going on in the party room. i was livid. i had been planning this for weeks and no one did more than write my name down on a scrap of paper and assure me that they would be ready for me when we arrived.

at 1:00pm, when the party was supposed to start, they were roping off a corner of the lobby next to the bathrooms and the video games for us to use and were setting up tables for us. i wanted to be mad, but the manager was so flustered because the other party was supposed to be there the week before and changed their plans and no one informed him that we were also coming. when i asked what my discount would be he told me he wouldn't charge me for the party room to which i responded, "that's good because i wouldn't pay you for the party room."

strangely enough after that everything was great. one mom stayed and they refunded her her money for the ticket she bought and moments before we were supposed to go in to see the movie they invited us to see a 3:00 showing and took us on a tour of the projection room where the manager showed us how movies are loaded onto these enormous projectors and then cut pieces of film and gave each girl a piece.

they then ate up $30+ (i lost track) of quarters playing video games and went in to see the movie each with a box of popcorn, drink, and skittles.

the movie was great except for the 1/3 of the middle that i missed taking girls to the bathroom. and best of all the princess kitty had a blast and said her day was, "AWESOME!" which fits perfectly with the tagline of the movie: prepare for awesomeness.

all the girls had a great time. and this just makes me so happy since the kitty has been having trouble with friendships in school. there weren't any spats or fights or tears. she even had 3 girls who she desperately wanted to come say they could come at the last minute. (one family had trouble with their answering machine and called us this morning hoping they could still come.)

and now one friend who she doesn't ever get to see is spending the night.

and i feel like a good mom who was able to make her daughter's day really special.

God's peace y'all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


one of the worst parts about having a child who is non-verbal is knowing how to potty train them. how do you teach a child how to go to the bathroom if they can't tell you they have to go?

this means that potty training is trip training. you just take them over and over again and hope they catch on. the bad part is trying to catch on as a parent to when they have to go so that no big messes are made.

we regularly have to clean up poop. it is G0d-awful. he doesn't understand that he shouldn't play with it and if we are in another room when he goes...

... well, like today. i was sitting in the kitchen reading jenny mccarthy's book about her son evan. someone had just given it to me yesterday and i am almost done it. the silent prince is home early because it is so horribly hot out that they had to dismiss school early.

he was fine one moment and by the time i read the next chapter i realized he was covered in what should be in his diaper. i took him upstairs, pulled his clothes off and stuck him in the tub then sat down on the toilet to read and keep my eye on him.

and don't you know that little bugger was pooping again. in the tub!!!

i pulled him out and put him on the potty. i want him to somehow get the connection between the toilet and what comes out of his butt.

and he started to pee. well, he's done that before, but then he pooped.

it's hard to understand the magnitude of something like this unless you've been there, but at 6 years old that was the first time he has ever gone #2 in the potty for me.

i know that potty training stories are typically in the realm of things you shouldn't discuss in mixed company and so be it. but this is a triumph for me, a landmark, a beacon that eventually things will get better and i had to share that.

God's peace y'all

Monday, June 09, 2008

too hot

it is currently 90 degrees out and gas prices down the street are over $4.35/gallon.

i woke up this morning with every intention of going to the Y to walk on a treadmill in an air conditioned room. it is now 2:39 and i am still in the clothes i slept in and taking a brief interlude from work to write this.

i have a visit this evening at 7:30 and i don't think i'm going to get showered and dressed until right before i have to leave otherwise i will certainly be sweaty and stinky by the time i go for the visit.

meanwhile my brain is slowly melting and the knowledge that i still have computer work to do, that i have to go to the grocery store, do laundry, and return a way overdue movie is beginning to drain out of my ears into little puddles on my shoulders.

hubby is going to have to put the ac units in the windows tonight. at least the one in the silent prince's room. we can only crack his windows for safety issues so it is ungodly hot in his room. the princess kitty has been sleeping on his trundle bed for the last week or so. (she goes through phases i don't understand) which means that she is adding to the body heat in the room.

you know... maybe i will go jump in the shower and cool off. maybe that will help me think straight.

God's peace y'all

Monday, June 02, 2008

the next best thing

i guess the next best thing to losing weight is having people believe that you have lost weight. twice now i've had people tell me that i look as though i have lost weight. of course my weight continues to fluxuate within 5 pounds. my scale also does body fat percentages and those seem to be going down. i take this as a good sign because it means that i'm turning fat into muscle. and the bottom line for me is that i want to be healthy no matter what weight i am.

we recently joined the YMCA. they give clergy discounts! (who said there are no more perks to this profession.) my fantastic uncle gave the kids and us a 3 month membership to try it out. and so far we've been taking advantage of it. going to the pool on a regular basis is wonderful, but they also have treadmills and other exercise equipment i can use when it's raining. but today was too nice of a day not to walk outside. and i am proud to say that i did 3 miles in 50 minutes, which is only 5 minutes over my goal of 15 minutes per mile.

i also bought some new exercise clothes today. 4 pairs of capri length sweats. i want to wear shorts, but i hate how i look in them. it's the baby belly and the j-lo butt that ruin the experience of shopping for any clothes that cover from the waist down. i just can't bring myself to even think aout trying on any shorts that are "in" currently since none of them pass the fingertip test. (meaning that if you put your hands to your side the bottom of the shorts falls below your fingertips.) i was thrilled when i found the capris. they're comfy, light, and look great on me. i got two pairs in 2 styles for under $60 at fashion bug. funny how i never shop there, but everytime i do i find a favorite article of clothing to add to my closet. i still have a shirt that i bought there 2 years ago that i love and wish i had gotten in 4 different colors!

hubby made fun of the pants, asking me where the flood was. he thinks he's hip and with it (editor's note: i understand that using terms like "hip" and "with it" place me in a similar category as i've just placed hubby in, but so-be-it), but capri pants throw him off completely even though the stores are now full of them. of course being that i am 5'2" most capris look like full length pants on me anyway.

well, it is now time to go make lunches and dig through the piles of clean laundry for the kids' outfits for tomorrow.

God's peace y'all!

"and vivian followed."

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