Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pillow Talk

As I was putting Graham to bed tonight, I asked if he wanted to sing songs. His selections were his two favorites: "I Am a Child of God" & "I Love to See the Temple". When we were done I asked how he felt.


"Do you feel happy when you sing I Am a Child of God?"

"Uh, huh. I wuv Heav'ly Fadder."

"You know he loves you, too? And that Jesus loves you?"

"I wuv Jesus, too."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Nation

Cami is holding the "S." (This was the concluding number done by the school choir.)

I know it's blurry, but Cami is the child with the star just above her head.

This was when I first walked into the school hall. Cami kept looking for me & got the biggest grin when she saw me. Later, when she was singing, she'd look around until she could give me a little wave & then she'd focus.

I grew up in the American midwest, in one of those towns where everybody with kids (or so it seemed) went to church. At least in my neighborhood it worked that way. Part of the routine in my public school included rehearsals for the Christmas program -- a program that included angels, shepherds, innkeepers, and a very important mother, stepfather, and baby.

If Cami were attending a kindergarten in New Jersey, I'm quite certain the Separation of Church and State would make for a rather secular Christmas program. Even in my elementary school, things would be vastly different than they were during my childhood. But leaving the States makes for a very different environment. And so this morning I watched Cami be part of a program that included that very important baby.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

As we all should be

Cami was just addressing a Christmas card to a friend.

"Adrienne will be happy for joy when she gets this letter."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This is the end. . .of the innocence

Probably not a surprise to most of you, I'm not a fan of gendered stereotypes. As a six year old (or so) my favorite, I-must-have-this-my-daddy-tracked-down-the-last-one-anywhere Christmas gift was a Jeep. A Jeep that came with a tire-changing kit (it had a jack and a spare) and an extra gas can. Anyway, despite one or two ruffled dresses & a penchant for stealing my teenage sister's makeup, I leaned toward "boy" toys.

As mentioned in a previous post, I expected Cami would follow in my hiking-bootsteps on this one. Boy, was I wrong. But, I'm ok with that. Everything balances out: Graham wanted his toes painted every time Cami had her nails done. And I obliged them both. I'm in the "I don't do gender stereotypes, but I won't condemn them either" camp which is why Cami got a "Princess Handbook" for her birthday.

But the thing that I just couldn't do while Cami explores her femininity is buy her a Barbie. She could play with them at other people's homes. Yet I knew that one day a birthday or Christmas would bring the plastic bombshell to our house. And today, the inevitable happened. . . now I'm just waiting for Graham to want one.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Million Dollar (Pound) Idea

Last year I had a friend suggest that I was so good at organization (meaning: I made reminder phone calls & emails) that I could run a small business.

As a missionary, I was told I should work in a bakery.

Today, Jason got rave reviews for three-day old cinnamon rolls. And we all know that cinnamon rolls are only really good for the first three hours after their out of the oven. But, they are a novelty here. What if we opened a shop that just sold American baked goodies? Simple menu: cinnamon rolls (although they'd get called "buns"), chocolate chip cookies, and brownies.

Basic business plan: capitalize on my husband's position. Cater to the college crowd. After all, there was a shop called "My Daddy's Cheesecake" owned by a couple of profs where I went to school. It did well, despite being too expensive to really rely on the college crowd as consistent customers. But cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, brownies? Not impossibly expensive (1 to 2 pounds) on the student pocketbook & not impossible on the production side.

The only problem I have is that I have no experience running a business. How does one lease a shopfront? How does one get a business loan? How does one market American treats to English youth? I mean, really I'm just thinking about a large-scale bakesale but with a Krispy Kreme twist: the neon sign that says, "Cinnamon buns just out of the oven."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Super Power Six

"Cami is really great at making people feel loved. It's like her super power," Jason told me earnestly tonight. Our little super hero turned six today, so here's six trivial, but hopefully interesting details about Super Loving Girl.

1. Cami was born in Tallahassee, Florida, which makes her a "Tallahassee Lassie."

2. I expected that she would be a tomboy. Surprise to me! (Graham & Rose's gift for her is a "Princess Handbook" which she loved.)

3. It is a daily struggle to get her to change out of her school uniform & into play clothes. Since it's her birthday, I didn't bother to fight with her about it today.

4. She's been identified as artistically gifted. Which makes sense because she loves drawing. She showed me a drawing of a lamp two days ago & then added three simple lines for the shade -- those extra lines made it just right.

5. Despite being well-known for wearing "red sparklies" (red shoes), she's never seen "The Wizard of Oz."

6. She had a sweet, bashful smile when she told me about Matthew, a boy at school. "We have crushes on each other. And he whispered in my ear that he wants to marry me someday."