Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Graham is a literal sort of kid. So it shouldn't have surprised me when we had the following conversation a few minutes ago:

"Graham, why are you standing on those books?"

"I'm not standing on books."

"What are you standing on?"


"What's the plastic wrapped around?"

Mischievous grin, "Books."

Monday, November 16, 2009

When He Grows Up

Graham kept saying, "I the conductor" during rehearsal for Sunday's Primary Program. He's so cute!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Going Public

As I was washing dishes, I was thinking about how well this week of flying solo has gone. So many blessings have come. I mentioned in a previous post that I've learned the importance of getting out with the kids, but there's another thing I've learned to do: let people in.

Tuesday, Cami had a friend come play after school. Wednesday, another school friend of Cami's & her mom came over & had supper with us. That same afternoon, a friend volunteered to take Graham home with her, so each of the big kids got to do something special. And yesterday, a pair of friends spontaneous came & spent the afternoon/evening with our crew. (We grown ups splurged & had yummy fondue -- perfect for a rainy & cool Thursday night -- while the kids got a treat of fish'n'chips.)

But even without the emotional strength I find in having friends over, I think I would have survived pretty well. For one significant reason: I'm back on meds.

Growing up, I saw the effect that misapplied mood-altering drugs can have. So I resolved that that would never be a part of my life. But as a missionary, depression hit hard. I was angry with God that I could feel so awful when I was "doing the right thing." And when medication was prescribed, I didn't want to take it.

But one afternoon, I went to a private place to pray. A very simple, "Am I supposed to take medication?" with a very simple reply in the affirmative. I walked out of that room & down a stair case. Another missionary, someone I respect a lot, came up to me & asked how I was. I gave some generally positive answer, & she said, "You look happy. I haven't seen you look that way in a long time."

A few years later I learned that Cami was going to be joining our family and I went off the meds. That was almost eight years ago. I've either been growing or feeding a baby ever since. But Rose weaned recently & I'm back on the meds. And parenting doesn't seem so impossible anymore.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Single Mother Survival

When I was nineteen, I took care of three little boys for a week. I was "not the mama" to a six year old, a four year old, and an almost two year old while their parents were in Cancun. I learned a lot in that week. The most important was that I would NEVER do anything to become an unwed mother. (I still think caring for someone's children would significantly reduce teen pregnancy rates.) Single parenthood is tough!

I find myself back in the position of taking care of a six year old, a four year old, and a sort-of-almost two year old by myself. It's again just a week. But the same most important survival technique remains: do something away from your house each day.

I have a list up in the kitchen. Cami read it this morning & thought it was the list of everything we were going to do today. It's my "what to do when Jason's gone" list. She was so excited to read "library" that we were out the door by 9:45 this morning. A walk through the park, some little errands on the way, & twenty minutes in the book borrowing facility made my life so much easier. I need that outside time. And the big stack of new books kept Cami pretty happy when Rose was napping.

When Rosie woke up, outside we went again. It was just a run to the corner store for some soy milk, but at 4:30, it's pretty dark outside. That made it a grand adventure. So, with imaginative dragon-slaying along the way, the kids had fun.

Now, the other single mother survival technique is adequate sleep. It's only 9:15, but that's pretty late for me. Good night, world.

P.S. Jason I hope your flight went well. I love you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just a Walk

I've been jittery the last twenty-four hours or so. I'm not sure if it's because I'm so tired that my body is wired or something else is going on. But stretching didn't help (although I learned I can still do backbends with ease), reading didn't help, tidying up didn't help.

So, I took a walk all by myself this afternoon. Here are photos of things I saw that I liked. All within 15 minutes of where we live.

This is a 400 year old barn that's for sale. I so wish we could live there.

I just liked the stone arch with the gate.

When I tell Jason I'm going "by the cows" he knows I'm heading to these fields. There were only one or two cows out today -- sometimes there are many, many more.

I lay on my back on a big stone that juts out of the hill above the river. I spent some time there trying to be. To really experience the coolness of the stone beneath me, the sound of the river below, the blue of the sky and the clouds passing. I'm still feeling jittery, but I think I'm less sensually starved now.

Halloween Hijinx

Graham was running a fever on Halloween, so the Second Ill Child Halloween Candy Hunt was enacted. The Candy Hunt happened around 1:30 in the afternoon, but the kids' decided to wear their costumes all day long. Take a peek.

(The bag he's hold was his self-created costume for when he was a "Goodie Vampire that kills Baddie Vampires.")

Cute Cami

Grinning Graham

Ramblin' Rose

Can you guess where she's sitting?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

They Will Not Take Our Freedom!!!

Cami is bouncing between the kitchen & the living room, yelling her Halloween-induced battlecry, "STARBUUUURST!"