Thursday, July 29, 2010

Random tidbits from our summer

We've discovered that our neighborhood pool is AWESOME...and vastly underused and FREE for us AND our guests.  Anyone want some pool time?!?

Adeline has made HUGE strides in "pool bravery."  Instead of insisting that we hold her hands while jumping, she is now taking a true "leap of faith."

We really do love when our friends swim with us...

Adeline keeps asking when Miss Tammy is going to swim with us again...

We received a last minute invitation from the Gravitt's to a Fourth of July celebration at Fort Dietrick.  The girls both looked adorable in their festive attire.  Adeline enjoyed her first cotton candy...

Camille loves all things rocking, just as her sister does.

She likes it less when Adeline helps...

What is so exciting out our window?  That would be daddy mowing.  So sweet.  They watch him forever.  Oh, and isn't the back of Camille's outfit too cute?

That's all for now.  I need to upload pictures from various sources before more tidbits can be posted.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More fun from our weekend at "home"

The weekend we were able to see my sister, we had a few other fun things planned.  On Friday, Patrick and I had lunch with some dear friends.  You can read more about them here....sorry if you were anticipating bigger news.  We aren't heading to India or Pakistan or anywhere else "exotic" at this time.

Later that evening, we had a cookout in my parents' beautiful backyard.  Unfortunately, the Angerts weren't able to join us.  I invited Lee and JJ and their kids.  A lot has changed in the 10 years since Nancy met them...including three kids and a move back to the US.

Nancy and I really bonded during our travels.  We still keep in touch, but not as often as we should.

I had to include this sweet picture of the other bubble girl Emma, since I didn't get any good pictures of her at the wedding.

Camille is forever charming her grandparents everyone.

This may be my favorite picture from the day... 

...but this one is a close second.  Adeline found this hat decorating my mom's garden and decided it would be fun to wear.  None of us saw her do it, and we all had a good laugh.  With her blueberry pie stained lips, she just looks like summer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Internship in Pakistan

 During my senior year of college, I wanted to do an international internship (preferably in a third-world country).  Nancy Blake was my internship coordinator.  I didn't know if she was a Christian or if she would understand the type of "mission project" I wanted to do.  I set up an appointment with her, and told her my idea.  She thought for a minute and said, "How do you feel about Pakistan?"  Nancy IS  a Christian, and she knew the Angerts, who were missionaries in Pakistan (they're now in India).  Barbara is an occupational therapist working with handicapped kids in the villages.  So, a plan was born, and I ultimately spent a little over two months in Pakistan.  Nancy made plans to go with me for the first two weeks of my trip.  Since I had never flown by myself and never traveled internationally, this was SUCH a blessing.  My cousin, Lee, and his wife, JJ, were missionaries in Hong Kong at the time, and I decided to add a month long stay with them into my agenda.  It was cheeper to buy two round trip tickets instead of three one way tickets, so Nancy agreed to add Hong Kong as a layover on our way to Pakistan (it's complicated)....just know that Nancy graciously agreed to travel several extra hours to accommodate the wallet of a poor college student.

I remember being so excited about some of the pictures I took, and now looking at them, I wish I had the luxury of digital photography at that time.  sigh...

After 26 hours of traveling, Nancy and I arrived in Hong Kong where Lee and JJ hosted us for a few days.

Nancy and I sent our measurements to Barbara weeks before our trip, and she had Pakistani garb waiting for us when we arrived in Pakistan.

Here are a few pictures of the villages where we worked.  I remember having a sort of out of body experience as we sat in a market bargaining for bamboo to make parallel bars for the boy below that wouldn't burn his hands in the hot sun like the metal ones he had.  I saw myself sitting in the crowd...How did I get here?!?  I'm in a market on the other side of the world bargaining for bamboo!  Is this really me?  Am I dreaming?

This was another boy who suffered from Rickets...a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency.  He was walking on these legs.

I lived with the Pakistani family below for two weeks.  The man, Rehmet, was the only one who spoke English.  He ran three rehab centers, and every day, he arranged somewhere different for me to go.  I spent time in all his centers, a school for kids with mental handicaps, a regular school, a hospital, an eye clinic.  I never knew where I was going each day.  These weeks were the hardest by far, but were also an amazing experience.  The first night I was there, Rehmet said, "Do you want to go to a party?"  Turns out it was a wedding!

Their girls were adorable, but they had a hard time understanding why I couldn't speak to them.  They would speak slowly and loudly in Urdu, and I would just shake my head.  I played my flute for them, and music seemed to cross all cultural borders.

Rehmet's nieces spoke some English (they enjoyed practicing with me), so we spent a lot of time with them.

I took this picture to remind me that I never wanted to see another bottle of Coke or Sprite again!!!  In every place we visited, they wanted to feed me and give me a "cold drink."  It was either that or chai (which I love but not in the 100 degree heat!).  I had to be careful what I took so I wouldn't get sick, and soda was one of the things I could accept.  It was rude to refuse, but there were days when I was SO SICK of soda that I wanted nothing more than to pour it on the dirt.

I also spent two weeks with Debbi (a physical therapist from Michigan) at a Christian hospital in the foothills of the Himalayas.  There I saw a forceps birth, a c-section of twins, a leg amputation, and a tendon repair surgery, among other things.  I made a lot of splints and enjoyed using my OT skills.

When this trip was in its early planning stages, I remember wishing at times that I was with a process the experience and go through it WITH someone.  However, in hind sight, I think I really got to see more of the culture this way.  When you go with a team, people arrange their schedules around you.  When you are alone, you just go along for whatever is on their agenda.  I went to two weddings (one Christian and one Muslim), saw births, went to a funeral, attended a language lesson, and ate Easter dinner with some villagers.  I am so thankful for this experience.

After my time in Pakistan, I returned to Hong Kong to spend a month with Lee and JJ.  It was so fun to get to know them better and explore this part of the world with them as my guides.

There is a reason I finally got around to scanning pictures to do this post....stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When it gets too quiet...

Adeline's handiwork....and Camille thought it was GREAT!

Man she can get a grip!!!
The dry erase marker came off Camille's skin, the furniture in the playroom, and the wall with little effort.  I've tried many products on this adorable dress with no success...yet.  Oh, and note the dot of red on Adeline's adorable, smocked can see it on the top right of the second picture.  I am NOT done trying!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Pat:  Adeline, it is so late that I am only going to read you one book tonight.
A:  How about two?
Pat:  Okay, we can read two.
A:  (without missing a beat) How about three?

A:  I'm not your mommy.
me:  I hope not!
A:  You're MY mommy.
me:  Yes, sweetheart.
A:  and that other one's the daddy.
me:  which one?
A:  (thinks for a minute)  daddy.

me (reading The Velveteen Rabbit to Adeline):  "The Rabbit sighed.  He longed to become Real."
A (looking at the drawing of the boy sleeping with his Rabbit):  Is that Camille?
me:  No, honey, this story is about a boy.
A:  Why is he longing to be Camille? took me a while to figure out what she meant, but then I realized how hilarious this is!

And, although this one isn't from one of my kids, A coworker told me this story about when she was talking with her friend's two year old...

coworker:  "What does a cow say?"
2yo:  "Eat more chicken."

I love it!

Head over to Mary's for more Tiny Talkers...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Revealing my political leanings...

I know some of my friend's don't share my conservative political views, but a friend sent me this forward, and I thought it was quite humorous....

I recently asked my friends' little girl what she wanted to be when
she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both
of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked
her, "If you were President what would be the first thing you
would do? "

She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people."
Her parents beamed with pride.

"Wow...what a worthy goal." I told her, "But you don't have to
wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my
house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay
you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the
homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward
food and a new house."

She thought that over for a few seconds, and then she looked me
straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come
over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50? " I said,
"Welcome to the Republican Party."

Her parents still aren't speaking to me..

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My sister

We've had A LOT of fun so far this's not even done!  I've got lots of posts to do, but I couldn't wait to post these pictures.  On Saturday, our family got to spend some time with my sister, Lisa, at my parents' house.  We haven't been all together as a family like this for years.  It was wonderful.  

Here are a few where you can see her crazy personality coming through...

 She made a silly face and had us all laughing.  When I asked her to do it again so I could take a picture, she did!

I think the relaxing (and familiar) atmosphere of my parents' backyard was perfect.  She felt "safe" and we got a glimpse of the Lisa we all know and love.

She even held Camille and would rest her cheek on Camille's head or give her kisses.

The girls were amazingly quiet and well mannered (thank you, Jesus), and even took turns napping.  Camille was asleep when Lisa arrived, and then Adeline......well....

These were our best attempts at a family photo.  We decided to try it with Adeline sleeping because I knew she wouldn't cooperate just after waking up.

Patrick trying a creative angle...

Always the picture of cuteness, Camille would pick Grandma's flowers and then "put them back."

We enjoyed a wonderful picnic of pizza and corn on the cob....we had a cookout earlier, and this combination sounded good to everyone.

Paw paw and the girls fed the fish.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

These are two of my favorite pictures.  They bring tears to my eyes.  So sweet.