Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Was driving last week with Mini-E, who I've taken to calling Kidlet #4 thanks to in-game chatter on LOTRO. It fits. She's #4. She's the youngest kid... hence Kidlet #4.

And "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" are taken. 

Because it does make sense - you'll have to forgive me if I accidentally change names here. I never really liked calling her Mini-E. She's such a huge personality and it was such a copy of "Mini-Me" (Which is  misnomer, really. Kidlet #4 looks more like me. But we didn't know that at the time...)

I had a reason for telling you this...

What was it?

Oh yeah. So It was the girls night at our Wednesday church.

I dropped Mini-Me off at the Youth building. (yes. Youth.) (Wow, huh?)

and it was just #4 and I in the car as we drove around the parking lot. She was noticing the cars that are just like our mini-van. 

Yup. It's pretty bland.

and she noticed the cars that are just like The Professor's car...

Then she said..

I like the Red shiny ones best. 

I had to smile. That's my girl.

Me, too, Kid. Me, too. 

Shiny. Very Shiny.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Talk of Marriage...

J-man has a very unique talent. 
It's a talent to have something to talk about - at probably the most unlikely times. 
Invariably, this conversation is deep.

DEEP, I tell you. 
We've discussed his fear of death.
Video Games.
My hair.....

okay. Not all our conversations are deep. 

But you can see why I was a little trepidatious when he followed me to the bathroom (yes, you read that right) telling me he needed to talk to me. Privately. 

I had this little lurch in my heart. I asked myself, could I handle the question?  Would I fly off the handle? Would I answer incorrectly?

"Mom, do you think that one day some girl will want to marry me?"




I had two choices. I could go all serious. 
Or I could try levity. 

I tried both.

I blinked at him. 

Slowly... I told him...


He stared at me and I smiled, "You're seven. You're not allowed to get married."

He laughed, his blue eyes lit up and the mood shifted.

"No, Mooooom. Later. when I'm grown up?"

"Yes. Someday some girl is going to LOVE being married to you."

He appeared dubious.

I nodded... "I promise."

I could have pointed out that Uncle Kick-butt finally got himself hitched -- but figured that was a conversation for another time. 

He smiled..he hugged me.


My little guy's a budding romantic.
To his future wife???

You're welcome.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Five minutes can be important

The Professor has been quietly looking for another place of employment for some time. It's a secret thing that only select family and select friends (and you) know about. We never put it out in public that he's seeking. We never put it on Facebook, either, so if you see me on Facebook remember: Mums the word about 'the search'.

In the house, it's another thing entirely. 
Every so often, tears are shed over "a move".

We've had to explain to the kids, Mini-Me particularly (Who really doesn't like surprises like moves and changes of plans).  We've been careful to say that we don't know what is going to happen. The process is what it is. We search. We ask some questions. That doesn't mean we're moving there. 

Our process is two fold. The Professor finds a place that looks like it might be an interesting place to work. Boring is not an option for him anymore. We visit a salary calculator that converts his current salary/location to the possible location and shows us what he might need to earn. It's an equal thing. What he earns here - they show the equivalent for the potential location.

We've learned that there's no way he can earn a good living on either coast or Chicago.  Just thought I should tell you.

Then we go to HSLDA to check how the homeschool rules affect the potential state. (they've recently changed this website and made it harder to see the states. I liked the color coded version they used to have. Red was harder legislation, Green was very light legislation (or none). Of course there was the middle ground.  Oh, well. I'll have to learn how to use the new map - it's neither here or there. It's what we do. Those are the two things we check. 

So then if those things are considered good in our eyes, we might go to the next level of applying for a job.

Needless to say, calling out, "How about Kansas?" or "What about Wyoming?" leads for some interesting conversations around the house. 

The kids, being the smart buggers that they are, figured out pretty quickly that 'a move' might occur. Each have taken that knowledge in their own ways. Mostly, they've gotten used to it all by now. We've been at this a while. 

Still... despite the fact that it's a possible occurrence, every so often one of the kids talks about it 'the move'. Brings it up randomly, in fact. 

One day, J-man told me, in one of those random moments, "Mom, if we move, I'm really going to miss the box man." 

The box man is our UPS delivery guy.  He delivers mostly at Christmas, Birthdays and school year beginnings. So I guess we do see him a lot. Especially if we include the random things I randomly order over the internet. 

He's got a dry sort of humor and he makes me laugh. He always has a funny thing to say to the kids. A dog biscuit for the dog. And we make him laugh and we give him food sometimes. 

That J-man would miss him amused me but I knew it was something I had to share with our box man. I told him just this week. He was floored that he would be among the people in this list of 'missable people'. 

I realized at that moment, how important five, reoccurring minutes can be. 

Five minutes over a long stretch of time can be ... life changing. 

I don't want to waste them.
I don't want to miss them. 
They might be more important than first realized.

Friday, August 5, 2011

If you don't want the answer -- don't ask the question...

Especially a kid. 

There are some things - if you don't want to know the answer to, you shouldn't ask a kid. 

"Does this look funny?" "How's my hair look?" "Where are my shoes?" "Do you know what happened?" 

Asking a question can be like taking ... well... it can be dangerous.

I asked anyway.

I asked - what would you like to learn about? Or learn how to do? We're on our way to becoming unschoolers... but I'm going slow and incrementally. Usually I'd dive off the deep end of things - but These are kids. I should practice first.

Mini-Me had an interesting list.
She went back and scratched some things off the list. 
She'd like to learn to be a life-guard. But she scratched that off. I'm going to remember it though. 
She wants to learn to scuba dive. 
She'd like to learn how to have a pet parrot. 
    ---- She's hoping I'll buy her a parrot. I bought her a book on how to have a pet parrot.
Violin and Piano are on the list.
She'd like to learn about Sharks and seals, too. 

I've books coming on shipwrecks. 
We'll study the ocean this year for her - and bonus - The Professor took her to the aquarium on Tuesday. 

G-man wants to learn to do things with his hands.
Carving (NOT gonna happen this year) 
Making movies.

J-man is still thinking...but he's spending LOTS of time on the 'create your own levels' on LittleBigPlanet. Each of his levels tells a story.  He'll be getting LBP2 for Christmas.

Mini-E (Bubbles) made me laugh and wince at the same time.
She wants to learn how to fold laundry. 
The girl is an artist and a dancer. I'll go with those and let her fold laundry on the side. 

So along with the core of our books....which includes math for all, phonics for 2, grammar for 1 - it's going to be an interesting year. 

Told you - if you don't want to know the answer...Don't ask the question.
Nothing says 'I love you' like research.

Except maybe brownies.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Don't Discount Hope...

The importance of hope came home to me once again. I mentioned here, at the end of the post, this:

2010 will not be my favorite year. I don't care what memories we might have - it has been a very, very hard year. 

God seemed so distant then and He probably was - it was  training time, a pruning time, a hard time -- But sitting here NOW, as I blog as I ponder,  I can point to it and say "THERE was God." And "There." 

Because it still comes down to one simple fact...

I still Believe in God.

I can't say as how 2011 has been any better - BUT - I have this statement. 

I still believe in God.

The husband is in a weird situation at work. Imagine if you will, one hamster cage. Inside the hamster cage are little hamster homes. Each home holds a group within the company.

They do not work together, yet they are of the same company.

Trust me when I say the similarities between this company and most churches (and even the body of Christ as a whole) are striking. 

The Professor belonged in one group for years. I'm trying to condense here for the sake of the story -- and it's difficult. There's sooo much. 

We'll go with this: ... suddenly he was no longer in a group. He was given junior engineer work but he's a senior. He has years of experience and knowledge - yet suddenly he was faced with having everything he did questioned by those of lesser years and lesser experience.

In July, he was given the task of going to a local air plane ... place. Where they galvanize the parts. The task was to measure and inspect the building's support beams for structural integrity. My husband, the father of my children, was given a junior engineer's job. Without support. Without help. Without regard to his safety. 

He worked over vats of acid. Under them. He had to have a spotter in several places in the building. They told him that if you feel a burning, don't wonder about it - just run for the showers. 

The foreman offered the wisdom that he might want to buy coveralls, take a shower and change clothes before he left. Oh, don't wash these clothes with your household clothes. 

Then the fun part began. He worked at night. 

Misery must have loved company because a couple of us got sick with head colds during that time. 

One interesting thing that happened was a contact from a recruiter. Someone who carefully spoke to the professor, knowing that my professor was employed. 

Professor was impressed with how the head hunter handled himself and the situation. He was impressed with the opportunity that was suddenly presented to him. It was a place that appeared to be built for him.

He told me, with vats of acid in his future, "I have hope."

This was huge for us. The professor has been looking for another place of employment for sometime now. The market in his field is ... well ... there's not many looking for his particular skillset. And he's got skills.

And if he does find someone who does want his skills - they don't want to pay him. Which actually equals to the same thing. 

I was struck by how important it was. Hope at that very dark moment. 

As we've progressed through this - we've progressed and then stalled out.
Then progressed a little bit and .....

it's like playing red light- green light.  In real life. For Life.

But there's hope. 
We can't discount hope.  Hope is what keeps us moving forward.
Hope is what keeps my husband going to work where it's obvious he's unwanted and unappreciated.
Hope keeps me knowing that while things around me are not right.... they won't always stay that way. 

I'm a fan.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

in response

I was just thinking the other day, "Self, it's August. You should really do some blogging. There's lots to talk about." 

I agreed with myself. 

Then I read this post over at The Gang's blogging hangout. I am very pleased to count The Gang's Mama as a very dear friend. So when she hinted I should read, I took it as a hint that maybe I should read. Which I also took as a hint that maybe I should blog. I mean, since I was talking to myself about it anyway, it was a natural progression. 

Then I did some reading...and I got just a bit steamed. Then I got wordy...

Apparently, there are two camps in the international adoption community. I had no idea. None. That the question of fundraising or not was an issue until I read the Gang's post. I did what she suggested, I link hopped to get more information. I started with the original question, here. I could NOT believe the answer given. But I moved on -- to here where the question was open for comments. Then I followed up and Read Dawn's response to Dear Abby's question - Here.

I wanted to cheer for Dawn....but since I don't know her, I cheered from here.  Now, if you'll allow me - and you will because it's my blog -- here's what I think...I wrote it last night. It was too big to fit in The Gang's comment box. 

Opinions are like belly buttons -- here's mine.

Okay. I'm writing this in my e-mail program so I can write and read and edit. My thoughts on this topic are .... well.... categorized, actually. I was going to say they're rambling but really they're categorized. Welll...they''ll probably end up being categorized rambles...

The answer from Dear Abby is INSANELY uninformed. How wrong of her to suggest that fostering, where children come and go would fill empty arms. Dawn did a phenomenal job responding that bit of absurdity. The system is Broken!!!! and that answer is... well it's just... *snarl* ...

Then I read the comments on the Adoptiontalk blog. Where most people talked about 'fund raising' for adoption.
There were several EXCELLENT answers in the comments sections and what stuck out to me were the great mass of ... well... judgmental comments.

I could not imagine all the comments venting negativity toward fund raising for international adoptions. I was amazed at how many people laid down such VERY strong opinions on the matter. Never once did they seem to take into consideration that EACH and EVERY adoption is unique. Each and Every family is unique and therefore in unique situations.

I was struck by how many commentors offered such blatant comments, such as: "we didn't fund raise. We saved our money and didn't drive around in big fancy cars." 

Really??? That's what you're going with?? that's such a categorizing comment to make. Such a stupid biased thing to say. I'm sorry. It may seem fancy to you but maybe the family bought that big fancy car because they needed it to transport everyone at once???

It amazes me how many people can throw out those kind of extremes. Apparently, they've forgotten that there are the middle ground sort of instances.

--- The comments about "people who have to fund raise to adopt probably can't afford the children after they arrive in their home" 

*stunned silence*

Just come over here so I can slap you. I have four children. I can't afford my children now. Gosh. the little buggers are expensive!!! Clothes. Books. Toys. Clothes. Food. Food. Have you ever fed pre-teen boys??? oh my goodness!! BUT HOW DARE YOU MAKE SUCH AN IGNORANT statement as if you knew the life I was living.

That gets my sense of justice up. How dare you try to make someone else feel INFERIOR because of the choices they make???

Why not find a real problem and an appropriate soap box. Take your religious stereotypes and go away. 
(I see this kind of nonsense in homeschool circles, too. I refuse to use a certain, major curriculum because of the followers on that business's forum.) So go away... I don't want to play with you anymore.

Fund raising.

Funny thing that it creates SUCH a controversy.

How many of us buy a CD at a concert? That's fund raising and we don't mind it.

How about a t-shirt?  We wear the brand name - that serves as free advertising for the band/artist/whatever AND it's fund raising.
How about a book at an event?

How about .... donations at special events. Or Tithes. Offerings. Goodwill donations.
Donations to mission trip fundraisers?

To sit there and say that it's not as important as cancer healing or car accident aftermath shows just how strongly you quantify things. To judge someone for fundraising -- shows just how self-righteous you are. Both are limiting your perspective. Both are stunting your heart. 

You have issues? Don't donate.... but don't judge. And be sure to search your heart. How self-righteous were you in how you went about your business? Did you let everyone know how much you were sacrificing for your adoption? I ask because I know people who are like this.

I've given money to friends because God said so. ... That's Holy Spirit fundraising.

No one objects.

Here's the trick about fundraising --- it's a yes or no proposition.

If you don't want to give.... you're not being forced. It's not taxes.
And it's not your mother, there's no guilt trip involved.
Just -- don't sit there and tell my friends how to go about their business. They certainly don't tell you.

I'm having a difficult time believing that any child adopted and LOVED will ever have problems knowing that the family worked really, really hard to bring them into their lives. The trick is not to constantly put in front of the child by saying things like: "we went without sooo much to have you in our family..." The trick is to put before the child: We loved you so much we had to have you.

That works for any child.

I'm rather wondering how many comments out there on this topic are actually knee jerk reactions. I'll be more than happy to admit that I've had more than my fair share. The trick is waiting and watching. Get informed. You form an opinion and a judgement on your knee's jerk, before you know all the facts and you've pretty much made yourself useless.

You see, I come from the opinion that NO child comes at an opportune moment. Mine certainly didn't.

I see no harm in a family going to their circle of friends, family, acquaintances and saying, "Here's what we're doing - if you'd like to sow into this we would be blessed and honored to have your support."

Giving would be an act of love.

Supporting would be an act of support.
There's nothing wrong with that.
We all need love.
We all need support.

You don't think we do?

Let's have a chat.