Tuesday, March 28, 2017

London

David is back. And we are sooooo glad. 

For most of the time, he was attending a conference a bit outside of the city.  But, he spent a night in London so he'd have time to take a little stroll down memory lane.  In college, he spent a semester studying there.  Life has changed a bit since those days, and it was good to go back and remember. Here are a few pics.  (Thanks to Evan for sending some over...hubs isn't exactly a selfie-taker:) 











Obviously, we couldn't fail to mention that, as a city, this has been a tragic week. The marks of sorrow were very present.  


Pressing into that real hope of peace on earth.


Monday, March 27, 2017

home

Hubs is due home in a few hours and we are ready!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Better


Can you tell that hubs is away? These boys are keeping me busy! We are lovin' Spring!

Hubs is actually in London, and was downtown during the attack.  Thankfully, not nearby. This is one of those week when I have been particularly reminded that life can change dramatically in just a fraction of a second. Yet, even in that uncertainty, God numbers our days aright. We are kept.  Even in a crazy world.

One of the ways I've been digging into "recovery" from the upheaval of our past year, has been to pick up a more intensive Bible study than I've done in a while.  A friend and I have been going through Jen Wilkin's study of Hebrews, which is entitled Better.  The workbook is available for free and you can pull her old podcasts and listen along to the audio.

To write that it has been good for my soul would be an understatement. It has been restorative.

How, you might ask, have you been managing this with language classes, that crazy driving course, and all these boys to feed and chase? The answer is, honestly, I didn't think I would make it through this year with diving in deeper to the Word.  Spiritual anemia is a real thing.

Practically, I've given my compulsive personality a little break on this one.  Don't tell Jen, but I didn't even print the workbook. I answer the questions in a small notebook.  I don't do the word underlining because it stresses me out.  Most of the time, I do the whole chunk of the week on one or two days during the weekend, when our schedule isn't as tight.  It's not ideal, but it worked for me this semester.  And I'm so glad that I just did it.

These promises we have, sister, are rich and full.  Live in them.



"If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. " 
Hebrews 11: 15 (ESV)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits





1. Yesterday was the dreaded driving "teoretica" exam.  Thirty tricky questions about random driving laws. I felt about as nervous as I did when I took the ACT at seventeen.  Thankfully, they posted the results last night.

 I passed.

This is good, good news.

2. The bad, bad news is that Phase II of Operation: Get My License is the practical driving test.  Thirty minutes driving through city streets in the car with a grader.  They'll fail you for crossing a tiny bit over a solid white line into the bus lane.

You have two minutes to parallel park wherever they ask you.  I cannot parallel park.  I blame this on my poor depth perception. It's a real problem, folks.  Heretofore, I have parked using my six-year-old as an out-of-car guide.

However, he is not allowed to come with my for the driving exam.

Once, Jude and I worked on a spot for around eight minutes.  Scoff if you will. I do have persistence on my side.


3.  Spring has sprung.  It is beautiful. We hiked on Saturday and the earth and sky are just stunning at this time of year.  


I am having heat-anxiety though.  It is not hot now.  It's very pleasant.  In fact, for six months, it's been pretty pleasant.  But summer is coming and I don't know what to expect.  I tend to do this in new environments.  I keep thinking about the no air conditioning factor.  I had air conditioning in India.  It was still 110 degrees in my kitchen every day of the summer, but at least if I started to melt, I could go to the bedroom and turn on that little unit. 

Here, that sea breeze rushing through my windows is supposed to be my A/C.  The people who actually have air-con say it's too expensive to run it anyways.  Ihave my doubts as to the sufficiency of this method though.  Come July, I suppose we'll find out. 



4. Hubs has his first out-of-town meeting this week and I'll be flying solo a few days with the boys. I'm sure McDonald's will see us soon!!!

Happy Tuesday to you. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pinch Me?



This St. Patrick's Day, I had a very funny playground conversation with an Irish "mum." She was so excited that I was all decked out in my green pants and matchy necklace that she rushed home to get green balloons to share.  I assured her that Americans just love St. Patrick's Day.  

And then, another American mom and I talked about how we were scrambling this morning to find a bit of green for the kids to wear.  You know, so they wouldn't get pinched.  I expressly told David that, with those Irish kids at the school, they'd surely get pinched without green on. 

The Irish mum was baffled. "Get pinched," she asked? We went on to explain the no-green = pinch me concept in the US.  She'd never heard of it. 

People.  The Irish only wear green.  They don't pinch each other on St. Patrick's Day. I still feel shocked.  Someone's been tricking Americans all these years. 




We had green pancakes for lunch and watched the highly informative St. Patrick's Day Veggie Tale.

Ok, to be honest, Jude and I had green pancakes for lunch. Silas and Asher thought that was taking things a bit too far.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

city life

The pictures on my phone this week feel like a little montage of our city life.  I thought I'd give you a peek into a few of the differences in our life here.  


Even though we lived in a city of 10 million in South Asia, we were on the outskirts.  There was green just below our apartment.  Now, while the urban metro population is around 4.5 million, we're right in the heart.  We have to walk two blocks to find grass.  On the upside, the sidewalks are big and the playgrounds are fantastic. 


We walk....everywhere. And we're pretty much like a walking circus on these streets.  Not many people have three little boys trailing them.  They are so worth it though! 

The first (and only) time I went grocery shopping without Asher and the stroller, I forgot that I would have to walk up two blocks with everything by myself.  I was feeling so excited about my solo trip that I went a little crazy on food.  I almost dislocated my shoulder with grocery bags.  I considered  leaving them on the street.  I think I took four breaks just to make it home. Lesson learned.  You shop for a day or two here, just what you can carry.  



Here we are on our walk to church this past Sunday morning. It's around 10 blocks from our house, which takes 30 minutes with the boys.  We are currently going to an international church, where on any given Sunday people from around 70 nations gather to sing in English and Spanish.  Sometimes it makes me catch my breath.  It's feels like a tiny glimpse of heaven.  




Silas, in the fashion of a true urban childhood, planted a garden on the roof of his school.  They harvested today and he brought home this beautiful "lechuga." I said, "Buddy, I'm so proud of you for all that hard work! You grew this!" He looked at me and said, "No, mom.  The teachers really did the work." Haha.  I can well imagine.  




And in case you're wondering (as was I) how on earth we can afford to get haircuts for all these boys in a metropolitan city, here's the secret:  We found the South Asian neighborhood and hit the men's parlor for 4 Euros a kid.  It comes complete with a selfie with the barber afterward.  And it totally feels like we're back in India.  



 There's your little peek into our city life these days.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Five


He woke up at 5:15 am to celebrate, and didn't lose his excitement until we tucked him into bed tonight.  This guy knows how to anticipate.  He's been faithfully looking forward to it....well, since he turned four.  He's probably asked me at least once a week for the past six months if it might be his birthday "tomorrow." Today, he told everyone we met that he's five now.  He wanted me to stop strangers in the park and let them know.  The kid is enthusiastic.  It's one of his most endearing qualities.  He just loves life.

And, boy, do we love him.

We had a little lunch fiesta with another family from school that have become our playground buddies.  Then we headed to McDonald's for dinner, where they got Happy Meals. (Because we're those parents that usually only buy Happy Meals on birthdays. It was a real moment for them:) Silas also told the McDonald's workers it was his birthday:) Here are a few pics of the excitement.













Friday, March 10, 2017

zoo day


Since last night, the school What's App group has been burning up our phones with reports of a violent stomach bug that is apparently sweeping through the class. Another kid is down every hour. I've never seen anything like it.

Ya'll.

I don't think anyone who's ever been around my kids and me for longer than 10 minutes would call me a germ-a-phob. I have this "it's-good-for-their-immunity" theory that was seriously the only way to stay sane in India.

But I h-a-t-e stomach bugs.  I head for the bleach just at the mention.

So I did what any reasonable mom would do today: we skipped school and went to the zoo.

Hello, Spring!



And to finish your week off right, if you did not see this hilarious video of the kids and ninja interrupting a BBC interview, click here.  I cannot stop laughing! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Aging Gracefully

My high school class is starting to talk about our 20th reunion next year. It made my mouth fall open.  Time flies.  My mom told me to hush.  It's almost time for her 50th.

I stumbled across a series this week entitled, Aging Gracefully at Tim Challies's site from a while back that I found both insightful and thought provoking.

"Everyday we are all building the house we will live in when old age comes. Some of us are building a beautiful palace. Some are building a dark prison. What are you building?" 

It's a long series, so pace yourself:) Links below.







Life is a breath. Breathe deep.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

chomp

The drivers test intensive continues for a few weeks yet.  Hubs is coping like a real man. 

Today I found him looking up recipes on The Pioneer Woman. 

This could actually be a big win for me. 

In other news, Asher has entered a biting phase.  I caught this little gem on camera last night. I had my phone all positioned to catch a sweet bath time moment of my babes.  Apparently, the Lightening McQueen that Silas was holding was too much for the little guy though. Go big or go home, right? 



Oh, the nostalgic memories I'm saving up for my golden years. 😂

And since when did blogger add emojis? 


Monday, March 6, 2017

The Merry Little Breezes

I have a new friend here who has great taste in books and she's introduced me to several new authors in recent months.  Her boys are just a few years older than mine so she is, gratefully, a few steps ahead of me in so many realms. Our favorite find recently is Thornton Burgess, who was originally published in the early 1900s.


Our bedtime reading these days is all about Old Mother West Wind and her children, the Merry Little Breezes. Then there're favorites Prickly Porky, Jimmy Skunk and Johnny Chuck down in the Green Meadow.  And of course, Old Man Coyote was enough to leave us trembling in our beds. I admit that it took me a book or two to get into his style and characterizations, but as the pages have turned, I've fallen more and more in love with this series.

If you're looking for something new, particularly for little men in the 4-8 year category, pick one up.  In fact, several of them are free for your kindle right now on Amazon if you want to try them out.  Click here for Old Mother West Wind.

Enjoy!



Friday, March 3, 2017

those sidelights


You are driving a motorcycle in light fog, which lights should be lit? 

A. The sidelights, dipped headlights and front and rear fog lights if fitted. 

B. The sidelights, dipped headlights and front fog lights if fitted. 

C. The sidelights and dipped headlights only, the full beam headlights, are optional.  





The only acceptable answer is....B.  

That's all we need to know right now.  That and the other 2,699 practice questions I need to study before my test.