Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Had This Idea...

I was going to do a wonderfully detailed account of 2008 as a year in review type thing. What I discovered is that it takes a long time to recount an entire year! Instead, I'll just hit the highlights.

February (what day, I'm not sure)- Edwin and I decide to pursue the IMB and look at doing mission work. This is just when we decided to start the application process. We weren't entirely sure that the timing was right, but God made that abundantly clear in His time.

March 21- Ella entered our worlds, making DeLaynie a big sister. I was a little unhappy about having a C-section, especially after pushing for 2 hours, but she is healthy and happy. What more can you ask for?

DeLaynie's actual reaction to seeing her sister for the first time. It didn't take long for them to warm up to one another, though.

July 24- I start this earth-shattering blog. Edwin gave me a digital SLR camera (oooooo, ahhhh) for my birthday, so I thought that I could use this blog to show off my budding skills as a photographer. I'm not so sure about skills, but I certainly use this blog as a way of posting pictures of my beautiful subjects (a.k.a- daughters).

My main intention was to use it as a way to chronicle the missionary process. By this time, we were completely confident that we were meant to go overseas, though we were still unsure exactly how it was all going to play out.

November 7- After attending the conference for potential short-term missionaries, Edwin and I discovered an intense desire to head to Nicaragua to serve the people there. We've never been there, but the people of Nicaragua are already planted into our hearts.

December 15- We pack up and move to Alabama. As difficult as it was to leave the people of Middle Creek, God gave us a peace in knowing that we were following Him. He is so faithful to His children! Here we remain for a little while.

December 29- It was a mere two days ago that the single greatest occurrence of the year struck! Okay, not really, but I needed a transitional statement. I got my haircut, and apparently this is news. In order to make the sweet commenters happy, I am posting photos of my hair as it is now.

I'm not sure why, but having your photo taken by your husband for the purpose of showing the world a new haircut, that isn't even dramatic, is a bit awkward. My brother was sitting on the couch, and he was admittedly uncomfortable. And it wasn't because of a loose spring. Anyway, there you go. That's the way to end the year with a bang! To close out 2008, here are pictures... of me? You can't say that I don't give the people what they want.
Have a wonderful, safe New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Gotta Haircut... (and other, random things)

Yep I did it, and I liked it too. I'd been wanting one for a long time. Ever since moving here, I'd tried to call the salon where I had my hair done in high school. Apparently, they're closed for a little while. I couldn't handle it anymore.

B. Wal, don't freak out. It was just a couple of inches. Edwin and my mom could barely tell a difference, but there is one. Most notably, there aren't nearly as many knots as there had been.

Moving on from the ever-so-exciting subject of my hair, I would like to say that I got six shirts from Kohl's for $.22. That's right. Twenty-two cents. Not dollars, cents. My mom gave me some Kohl's bucks that she got after shopping there. They were free to her, so I'm not counting that money toward the total. If I did, it would be a little over $23 dollars, due to tax. Either way, that's some darn good shopping if you ask me.

All of them are short-sleeved. Due to the insanely warm fall Alabama is currently experiencing, I saw no need to buy sweaters just so I could buy short-sleeved stuff later to take to Nicaragua. It's hot there... really hot.

Finally, I would like to give Los Cabos Cantina a shout-out. We went there yesterday for lunch, and the place was very close to empty. This concerned me, but the food was very good. I want to keep these people in business, so if you're looking for a good place to eat in Montgomery, I recommend Los Cabos Cantina. There are lots of Mexican places, but this one is in the old Cucos location. There's a new bowling alley in the old theater there that will open in January, so make a night out of it.

Finally... A New Devotional!

So I've been neglecting writing the Bible studies as I had been. I haven't quit; I assure you. It requires quite a bit of thought and time, and those have been in short supply lately. I have now updated The Dwelling Place, and I will do my best to get back on schedule with it. I love writing the studies, so it's not that the desire is lacking, just the resources of time and mental capabilities.

My goal is to work our way through 1st Corinthians. It's a pretty long book to study a few verses at a time, so it may take a while, but I think that it will be worth it. I'll change directions if and when I am confident that is what needs to be done.

Hasta luego! (See ya later.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

From the Deepest Corridors of my Heart

I'm not sure why it is, but recently people have felt the need to tell me horror stories of missionaries that they have known. So far, none of them have dealt with children. For that I am grateful.

Let me back up quickly and mention that God has been tugging on me recently. He has been working to remind me that my dreams are simply not the point of this life I lead. He has been pointing out some issues of pride and over-confidence that need to be dealt with. He has used several methods to do this, including aforementioned horror stories, this morning's sermon, and a song that I had probably heard a thousand times before, but had never really listened to.

All of this has left me feeling heavy. I'm grasping the risk that we are taking, and the possible sacrifices that may have to be made along the way. I couldn't care less about the stuff we'll be getting rid of. I'm grateful for the need to unload the junk that clutters our lives. The single greatest concern that I have is my girls. Although bad things happen everywhere, even in the grand ol' U.S. of A, it would be naive to deny the fact that by going overseas, we are upping certain risks. I have said it before, and I will say it again: anyone who wants to get to them will be forced to go through me. And I can be pretty scrappy when it comes to my babies. All the same, it is a risk.

I am completely confident in the decision to go overseas. To not do so would be disobedience on our part. That doesn't mean that every aspect of this decision makes me happy or leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy. When I think about the future that lies ahead of us, I keep coming back to one thing Jesus said.

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

Whenever this verse comes up in Sunday school, someone will usually say something to the affect of, "This doesn't mean that you really hate your family. It just means that in comparison to your love for Jesus, the love that you have for them appears to be hatred." I think that this is completely accurate statement. The command to honor and love your family members is reiterated time and again in the Bible. What we fail to do is discuss what this actually looks like in real life. For me, right now, this means accepting the fact that following Christ into the mission field may mean harm coming to my girls. He has not promised us physical safety for this adventure. It does not mean that I am not extremely careful in protecting them, but when it comes down to it, He takes precedence. If He doesn't, I am mistreating my girls by not teaching them the most important of all lessons. That being, Jesus is first!

I mentioned a certain song earlier. It's called, "The Hammer Holds" by Bebo Norman. It has seemed to me that it must have been written for me personally. In the first two verses, we are introduced to a piece of metal that is being shaped. He doesn't know what that shape is or what his purpose will be, but he is confident that he will find out. Toward the end of the second verse, he wonders whether he is to be a piece of art, and all of the pain of refinement will pay off in the form of beauty in himself. In the final verse, however, we discover that he is just a nail. Not only is this piece of metal a simple piece of hardware, he is to be used to kill an innocent man and hold Him to the cross. So often we hear that God is refining us into something beautiful, and that all the work He is doing is a way of getting to the point where He can point to us and boast in how wonderful we are as a final product. This is true in some aspects, but at the end of the day, we are meant to hold Jesus up in all of His pain and suffering. When we contrast the minor pain of suffering that we experience to the intensity of His sacrifice, it is obvious that our focus is misplaced. He is the point. If it means that I must place my children, whom I adore and would willingly endure any type of physical or emotional abuse in order to protect, on the metaphorical alter, that is His call. I serve a good God, and His goodness is not based on what He does for me. He has already endured the weight of my sin and the punishment that I deserve for my sake. What right do I have to ask for my personal comfort in light of that?

Below is a recording of "The Hammer Holds". I hope that you enjoy it, and that you are able to listen to the words. It has been a great source of comfort to remember that in this task, as in all others, my Father is the One holding the hammer that refines me and prepares, and He is the One who held the hammer that placed the nails into His own precious Son for my sake. How can I hold back my children when He refused to hold back His?

The Hammer Holds - Bebo Norman

Saturday, December 27, 2008

5 Years in the Marriage Tank!

That's right. Today is our 5th anniversary. Five years ago today I was getting gussied up for our wedding, counting down the moments until I would be Edwin's wife. I was nineteen. I don't recommend that most people get married so young, but for me it was the best possible decision. There are no regrets, only joy. I've spent 20% of my life married to Edwin, and it is my sincerest hope to see that number hit 80% and higher. There's only one way to get out of this marriage, and we're taking our time getting to it.

Here we are right after moving to Louisville our first summer after getting married. That would be Emma the cat in my arms.

Just before our first anniversary at Thanksgiving.

This is Christmas, 2005. I'm great with child, that would be DeLaynie, at this point.

January, 2007. Here we are in front of the White House. It was cold. Check out our poor snow baby.

Last Thanksgiving. I am quite pregnant in this picture. DeLaynie looks so young!

This year, just after decorating the Christmas tree at mom and dad's new house. We couldn't keep a clip in DeLaynie's hair, but she is a girl, I assure you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Day Before Christmas...

I know; I'm soooo original. I've come to terms with the fact that my creative writing for the week is going to lack a bit of creativity. It's been a busy day.

Micah, gotta love him, forgot the fish. What do you want from the boy? He's a teenager. He shouldn't have to think about buying fish while having a night out. (Love ya, Mikey;) This required us to find the fish today. That would be Christmas Eve. We know nothing about Montgomery as it is now days. A lot of things have changed since I lived here in high school. The last I remembered, there was a pet store in the mall, but like I said, things have changed. This meant that there was only one option: WalMart.

We were in a hurry. It's never good to be in a hurry when going to WalMart, but it is ludicrous to go into WalMart, in a hurry, on Christmas Eve. After searching for a while, grabbing something Mom needed to hang a wreath, or something equally festive, we realized that this particular WalMart had no fish! I was angry. I was not in the Christmas spirit at all anymore.

I admit it. I was running through a mental list of who to blame. There were a few good options, of which I was one, but we saw another WalMart before I could come to a conclusion. I ran in, quite literally, and found some fish. After realizing that tropical fish would require a heater, which has a price tag 4 times that of the fish, I decided that goldfish are perfectly acceptable pets for a four-month stint. Even getting that far would require some Divine Intervention. I eventually dragged an employee to the tanks to get my new best friends out, and after a matter of only half an hour or so, was able to get through the "express" lane.

DeLaynie hugged the bag, threatening to squish the fish a number of times and to pop the bag the entire time. Neither occurred. She was delighted, accept the couple of times that I took the fish away as a way of protecting them from her over-excitement.

When we arrived at the house, we put our fish, who she named Diego and Swiper (yes, from Dora), into the tank, still bagged, to acclamate. A few hours later, they were freed to swim in the 1 1/2 gallon tank that they now call home, or they would call home if they could say or do anything other than breathe and swim. There they remain, in spite of a few attempts to "rescue" them from their prison of water and plastic by my activist daughter.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chistmas Countdown!

Things are starting to shape up here at the Attaway residence. Boxes are being emptied. Clothing is being washed. Gifts are being wrapped. Actually, I finished my gift wrapping today. I just hate to change tenses in the middle of a thought.

We're getting DeLaynie (and Ella, too) fish for a part of her Christmas. "What?" you ask. "Just before moving overseas, you invest in a pet?"Edwin wants DeLaynie to have a pet because she loves them so much. She was so excited when we found a lizard in the house. She almost loved the poor thing to death before we were able to rescue him and set him free outside. Still, the timing does seem off. Well, let's face it. The fish is going to die before the move. If something amazing happens, and Flipper (or whatever we name it) pulls through, we can find a good home with someone, I am sure. Micah (my brother) would be a good parent to our yet un-bought fish, especially since he donated his fish tank to the cause. We weren't going to invest much into a pet that is more similar to a plant than a real pet, like a cat or dog. (No offense, fish lovers, but let's admit that they are more for decoration than for play.)

Edwin had the idea to get a closable plastic container for the fish so DeLaynie could carry it around. He isn't much of a realist. I don't think that the idea of DeLaynie's precious, little scaled friend dying really bothered him as much as the idea of De sitting there, staring at an untouchable pet. I tried the argument that she needs to learn boundaries, but it wasn't effective. The argument that a dead fish is sad did, however.

Micah is supposed to buy our new family member tonight while he's out on the town. He's also buying Mom a towel rack. That boy leads an exciting life, I tell ya.

I have to get back to unpacking (Montey Python's Holy Grail style "Yea..."). Happy Hanukkah to all of my Messianic Jewish friends. I have always wondered how you manage to celebrate so many holidays. Hats off to you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures Make-Up Day

Now, my card reader for my digital camera has been broken, which is why there are no recent pics on this blog. I figure I'd make up for it now that I have the card reader.

Youth Christmas Party Pre-Game Photo Shoot:
This is what we like to call, "as good as we were going to get". Sad, I know.

DeLaynie, looking pretty in her box of rice.Ella, looking all cute.

Bowling Extravaganza:

Edwin and Travis, probably laughing at my score.

Megan, maybe praying for mercy from the evil pins.

Wallaway Goodbye Special:

DeLaynie, checking out the tree.
Woodstock, as handsome as ever.
Stinkerbell and Ella. Obviously, Stinkerbell is thrilled with the photoshoot.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Silent Afternoon

My parents are at the new house, working to get things ready for the official move-in. Edwin and DeLaynie are at the playground at the church. Ella is asleep. (She, unlike DeLaynie, sleeps better here than in Kentucky. Must be the humidity.) This leaves me alone, on the computer, with only the sound of the tapping keyboard ringing in my ears.

I'm so glad to be sitting here, not thinking about much of anything, ignoring the unfathomable number of boxes that fill this house. It's a difficult task, but I am totally up to the challenge.

Tonight we are going to decorate my parents' Christmas tree. It's a time-honored tradition. Unfortunately, Edwin is allergic to the pine trees, as we confirmed last night. He carried the tree off the tree farm, and a few hours later, his arms were swollen and red. It wasn't severe in either category, but definitely noticeable, and most assuredly uncomfortable. I'm guessing that we'll put him in charge of garland to keep him away from any and all flora.

I will put one of the Baby Jesus ornaments that I made on their tree and one on our tree. Because I'm just that happy about them.

I need to finish some Christmas projects, so I'd better take this opportunity to do so. Have a fun day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Packing and Unpacking... Simultaneously

My parents are working on moving into their new house. We're working on moving into their old house. Add a toddler (who thought that a pile of fire ants was a sandbox yesterday) and an infant, and you have a very interesting situation. Interesting and messy. Messy and chaotic.

On the plus side, once it's over, Mom and Dad will be in their first (last, and only) home, and Edwin, the girls, and I will be in the pastorium, with more room than we know what to do with. Certainly more room than we have furniture to fill. We plan on living in the downstais only and using the upstairs only for the tub (for the girls) and the washing machine/dryer.

There's still a little bit of Christmas shopping to do. That includes Edwin's gift. I have no idea what to get him. I never do. I give him the item, ISBN number, store name, and door-t0-door directions on how to get there on whatever it is I want, but he's not too helpful. He never really wants anything. I'll try my best to be creative and figure out something brilliant. I know; a puppy! That's the perfect gift when you're about to move overseas. We can just leave it with someone else.

We have a small (6') tree up, with Murray the snow star on top. I never can find angels that are biblical in the least, so I reject them on the whole. (All of the angels listed in the Bible were men, and scary. Cherubs were actually the scariest of all angels, in my opinion, and were not baby-like in the least.) The stars are usually overly ornate. I found this only slightly tacky star that is in the shape of a star, but actually a snow man, with a scarf, hat, and carrot nose. We named him Murray (as in "Murray Christmas!"), and he lives atop our tree.

Well, there's much to do. Edwin's taking a well-deserved nap after a lot of hard work. I'm trying to get the kitchen knocked out today while mom's at work. We'll see how that goes. Wish me good providence.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here I Am!

I am thrilled to announce that Edwin, the girls, and I are alive and well. I'm not sick. We just moved. We are now Alabama residents once again.

My parents will be closing on their house next week (did you know that you had to close on a house that you were having built?), but due to a gracious builder, they should be able to move the big furniture in tomorrow. Then we'll all have a little more breathing room, and maybe fewer boxes. The girls have been living with boxes for a couple of weeks, and I know that they will be relieved to be back to furniture living. (Remember what I said about modular living? Forget it.)

Have I mentioned yet that it's insanely warm here? We're talking about the 60's. The town where we lived in Kentucky got snow yesterday, and we're stuck in a pseudo-fall. I feel jaded. It's really throwing off my equilibrium. I'm sure that the bitterness will subside when we get to Costa Rica for language training and realize that 60's is winter in some countries.

Hopefully I'll get back to regular blogging and life kinda-sorta as we know it soon. Back to the boxed life...

Friday, December 12, 2008

We Did It!

We actually got to bowl. Edwin was very happy. Unfortunately, Travis beat him into a cute, little, pastoral pulp. Fortunately, Megan and I were both able to get a strike. That's all I'm going to say about our game. We spent the warm-up frames (the first half of the game) taking pictures in order to distract ourselves from the situation. My card reader is broken, or I'd share the photos with you. My guy sure does look hot in those bowling shoes!

Before going to bowl, we went to The Cheesecake Factory (also spelled Y-U-M-M-Y!). This is where Edwin discovered the avocado, and where both of us discovered that it could be eaten in egg roll form. It's hard to dislike anything in a crispy wrapper and fried. After the appetizer and pasta main courses, we ate cheesecake. 'Cause you can't go wrong with cheesecake. Unless you're trying to lose weight. In that case, put down the ever-lovin' fork and get yourself a cucumber. They taste just like cheesecake. No, really. They do.

We had a great time with the Abraham's. They're a fun couple. We always enjoy our time hanging out with them. I don't know when we'll be able to double-date with them again, but I hope that it won't be too long. God has always been faithful in providing wonderful people in our lives. I don't know how that's going to work in another country, but I know that even if we are lonely, God is still God, and He is still good.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We tried to go bowling for Edwin's birthday a few weeks ago. Sadly, we got there too late on league night, and bowling didn't happen. We still had a good time hanging out with B. Wal and her hubby. Edwin was disappointed though. He loves bowling. He owns his own shoes and bowling ball. They haven't gotten much use in the last few years.

I am a terrible bowler. For years it bothered me that I was so terrible, in much the same way that miniature golf causes me to have Dr. Jeckyll to Mr. Hyde-like transformation. Nothing brings out the red-head in me quite like a game of putt-putt. I can bowl now without emotional trauma, and usually without sin. I think that I might could pull down a game of putt-putt, but I'm not going to try that one yet. The first (and only) time that Edwin took me to play, it was a low moment in our young relationship. I was hoping that we'd be married before he saw my temper. Why I agreed to that silly game I will never know! (It should be noted that my temper has been dramatically reduced at this point. Living with Edwin has limited my ability to express anger in traditional ways. That's mostly a good thing.)

So we're going to give bowling another shot tonight with the Abraham's. They're a fun couple, and I know that we'll enjoy the time together. I'm just hoping that we actually get to bowl. I don't know if Edwin could handle the disappointment of another lost opportunity to bowl. I'm going to be the worst bowler there tonight. I can handle that. There's no shame in it. "I'm Hannah, and I couldn't knock over a pin with a bat." Well, someone has to be the worst, and I'm jsut the girl for the job.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Good Team

I had this theory that the putting the girls' beds on adjacent walls was the cause of our lack of sleep. There's a situation that I had pictured in my mind:

DeLaynie: "Hey. Ella, you there?"
Ella: "I'm here. What d'ya want?"
DeLaynie: "I know it's my night to keep them up, but I was hoping that you could fill in for me since I did such a great job the night before last... and you barely woke them up twice last night."
Ella: "Huh! I don't think you realize how grumpy Mommy was yesterday because of that performance you gave. I let them sleep for our own good. But... okay. I'll fill in for you, slacker!"
DeLaynie: "You're the best, sis. Can you believe that they still don't think that we can talk?"
Ella: "You are good... Enjoy your night off. I get a full night of sleep tomorrow night, you got me?"
DeLaynie: "No prob. Go get 'em!"

Recently, however, we moved Ella from the adjacent wall to another. Yet, we're sleeping less then ever. I guess that it's possible that my theory was incorrect. And I thought I'd had it all figured out...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Packing... Part 2

We've been a-packing. The really fun part is that DeLaynie is in toddler heaven because there are boxes everywhere, and the only furniture is our beds. I keep hearing her say, "In fox!" "Out, Daddy, out!" She prefers to say fox to box. She can say the "b" sound in other words, but she doesn't care for it in reference to a box. I don't know why she'll only ask Edwin for help getting out of boxes. I think he may be gentler in yanking her out.

On the other hand, we're packing. We have some wonderful youth gals coming over this afternoon to help. Thank goodness for teenagers!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Miraculous Occurence

I know that you were all on the edge of your seats about my stuck drawer. After months of pulling on the goofy thing, I decided to give her one more try. And it opened! I don't know if there were prayers involved, but I just wanted to let you all know that miracles really do happen. Some of them may be even bigger than a drawer opening.

Packing... Part 1

Today we have begun the tedious, though not altogether unpleasant process of packing. There's a certain part of me that enjoys the emotional aspect. It helps in reaffirming what's happening. It's also nice to get everything organized. I can't wait for Saturday night when all of our house will be packed into nice, neat boxes. It's no way to live long-term, but for a short period of time, it's kind of relaxing to be all modular.

There is one major issue. My nightstand has a severely stuck drawer. The middle drawer simply will not open. Something must have jammed the silly thing shut. We tried shaking it, pulling as hard as we can. Still stuck. I've been wondering for about a year now (since I discovered it) how the sticky drawer situation would resolve itself. I'm not totally sure that it will now that the time is upon us. We may just have to store it with the drawer snugly closed. I still have some hope that the move will shake whatever it is that has jammed the drawer shut to move out of the way. There's always hope. Even for drawers.

I should probably get back to the task at hand. DeLaynie is ornery. Kind of like a bulldog with lipstick, just without the lipstick.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

DeLaynie and the Nativity

The church was decorated for Christmas today. DeLaynie, like any two year-old, got very excited at the sight of all of the shiny, bright things that covered the sanctuary. She was especially drawn to the nativity scene. She kept wanting to play mommy to Jesus. She would say, "Look at the baby; such a sweet baby." I tried explaining that Jesus is a special baby. We didn't get too far on that concept, but she did try to say Jesus a few times.

After seeing how enamored by the nativity she was, I decided to pull ours out for the first time. I received it as a gift last year. It's very pretty, but it's high-shelf, no-touchy pretty. It isn't the one that I want to use for explaining the Christmas story to DeLaynie and Ella because I want them to feel free to interact with the figures.

So I started looking for a nativity scene that was kid-friendly and attractive for decorative purposes. Not an easy task when you don't want to spend a crazy amount. There are some that are toys, and aren't intended for any kind of display. There are others that make Mary look like a four year-old. Not a good message. Then there are the crazy expensive ones. And I have yet to find one that has a non-white holy family. One of the wise men may (or may not) be dark complected, but Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are always as white as Wonder Bread. And um... Jesus wasn't white. I wouldn't mind one that was a little more abstract, like an unpainted set, where the race isn't addressed.

I will be continuing my search for a decent nativity this week, during the breaks from packing. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Chance of Flurries... Ha!

The news lady just came on air and said that there is a chance of some flurries later on. This is as snow flakes are fluttering outside of my window. We're talking about slight accumulation here. I'm not sure, but I'm thinking that snow might damage my moving sale's chances. People may be too busy clamoring into Sav-A-Lot to buy peanut butter and condensed soup to get a used chair and end table.

That's fine. We did really well yesterday. God has taken amazing care of us. Even with sales doing far better than I had hoped, we still have plenty of stuff to get rid of. It's a great reminder of God's lovingkindness and provision for His children.

God has been incredibly good to us. He has provided us with a church that has cared for us and loved us for four years now. Not all pastors are able to miss their past churches. It's never a good thing when a pastor isn't conflicted about moving away from his current pastorate.

Even with the sadness of leaving people that we love, we are very excited about this next move. One of the ladies who came to the sale yesterday was asking me if I was nervous about going overseas with two little ones. Her friend piped in before I could answer, "Does she look scared to you? You can look at her and tell that she is confident about this decision." And I am. I told one lady that in some ways, another country will be safer for my girls because we won't have the constant barrage of media. (I said safer, but I meant better.) She looked at me like I was insane. I might have said, "You know, babies are an excellent part of a lion's daily diet," by the way she looked at me.

My girls are tugging on me. I'm guessing that they want me to get off this contraption and be a mommy. It's nice to be loved.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Giant Playroom

We've moved everything out for the moving sale. We've sold quite a bit, I am very grateful to say. This has left our den barren. No couch. No chair. No end tables. No ottomans. Just nothing. We still have the long table that houses our television and this computer, but that and the hat wrack are pretty much the only grown-up stuff in the room.

Edwin brought DeLaynie's table and chairs in from the kitchen. Her slide is still occupying the great room, along with the single, half-full toy box that we saved. You may think that this is a depressing sight. DeLaynie would beg to differ. She loves the openness. She loves that almost everything in the room is hers. She loves that she can sit her rice box right in the middle of the room and plop down in it. There's none of that pesky furniture to get in the way.

Edwin and I like it too. It's nice to not have to worry about running into anything while trying to get to the bathroom. This idea worries me deeply. I stay awake at night thinking about it.

It would be nice to have, oh say, a chair other than the desk chair to sit in. It's worth not having it though. We're thinking about bringing the air mattress into the den. Sounds like fun to me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Delirium, USA

I went to bed at 1 a.m. I was up making signs (which aren't all that pretty) and cleaning a few things for the big sale that starts today. That wouldn't be so bad if the girls had cooperated even a little. I prayed that they would sleep later than normal. God said, "No!"

DeLaynie came bounding into our room at 5:15! A.m! She and Ella were officially up and at 'em by 5:45. I'm up, but not all that at 'em. I forced DeLaynie to watch the annoying stretching shows that come on PBS in the morning. I told her, "When we get up, we watch PBS. Since you got up early, you're watching what's on PBS." After 15 minutes of watching a really good looking Hawaiian woman stretch wearing a hot pink sweat suit and about 10 leis, I put in an Elmo's World. Yep, I caved. Who has resolve after 4 1/2 hours of sleep?

I might've fought the battle for more sleep if two things had been different. First, we're out of milk. DeLaynie really loves having her milk when she goes to bed. It's difficult to get her to go to bed without it. Secondly, they were both incredibly happy when they first got up. The last few days have been very emotional for my girls. DeLaynie was pitiful last night when she saw some of her toys (that she hasn't played with in a while) go out the door. Even Ella seems to be bothered by the situation. She doesn't care about the toys, but the lack of stabiblity seems to be effecting her. They've both been sick, and their sleep has gotten off schedule (as apparent from the 5:15 wake up call), so they haven't been in the peachiest of moods anyway.

Well, Ella's in bed for something similar to a nap, though I think it could be called a continuation of last night's sleep. DeLaynie seems like she's about ready to go back to bed too. I think I may fight the battle now, armed with milk. Pray for me...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Looking Forward...

I'm taking a break, according to Edwin's recommendation, from moving sale prep. For a few minutes, I'm going to daydream about something that I've been looking forward to.

I've mentioned my family's traditional Christmas tree hunt. After marrying Edwin, this tradition came to a hault for me. Edwin is allergic to most things outdoorsey. This doesn't bother me most of the time. I dislike the woods, bugs, and heat. (Therefore I'm moving to Central America; that makes sense, huh?) The unfortunate affect of Edwin's affliction is that we haven't had a real Christmas tree since getting married.

Although we're going to have a fake tree in Alabama, my whole family is going to go shopping for my parents' first Christmas tree for their new home. This is the first time for Edwin to go to a Christmas tree farm (I'll give him Claritin; he'll survive), and I think it's Nicholas' (my foster brother) first time as well.

I can't wait to take the girls. I bought them matching little shirts to wear with blue jean skirts and tights. It's Alabama, so I'm hoping that they won't need jackets. That wouldn't be nearly as cute. DeLaynie loves hayrides, provided that they aren't excessive in length, so I'm hoping that we'll find a farm that has them. That shouldn't be difficult.

I've had a nice break thinking about the future memories we'll make. Now it's back to the grindstone...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Budding Photographer

So DeLaynie got a hold of my camera. I thought about stopping her, but her occupational therapist was here, and I wanted her to believe that I was incredibly encouraging of DeLaynie's artistic ability.

This is her portfolio. There are a lot of pictures of her feet and my kitchen floor because it isn't that easy to push the button, so she presses it against her belly to steady it.

Look out Pulitzer!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Craziness Begins

Today was my very last MOPs meeting at Middle Creek. The gals were incredibly sweet. They had some really yummy food, including venison meat balls (I really love venison, but we aren't hunters), cheese and crackers, fruit, and a cake, plus Milo's tea. They even had a banner! One of the girls made me a Vera Bradley type bag, but in a much cuter fabric (she matched my blog style, actually, except that it was black with white polka dots.). I love, love, love it! It was such a fun surprise. We played Catch Phrase, but my team lost both times, by a lot. I think it was fixed. Okay, not really, but I hate to lose!

When I got home, we started the very long process of organizing the gigantic moving sale that we are having this weekend. I'm overwhelmed. We have to go through everything. It's amazing to see how much we own. Almost everything that we have was given to us, so it's an amazing thing to see the generosity of the people in our lives.

Organizing for this sale is a different matter from organizing from previous yard sales. It's no longer a matter of, "Well, do you think that we could use this?" It's now an issue of "It doesn't matter if it's cool; it's gotta go!" It's a good spiritual excercise for me. We're getting rid of things that we have thought of as essential to everyday living, like the absolutely necassary iced tea maker. It's freeing, actually. I don't have to think about it. I just price it.

The girls' stuff, however, is a little more difficult. I don't like stealing my children's toys out from under them. I have come to terms with this process, for the most part. As opposed to calling it "parental thievery", I try to think of it as teaching them to store their treasure where moth and rust cannot destroy. That's how I try to think of it, but it isn't always easy when DeLaynie is clinging to a toy that I'm trying to price. We are keeping several things that they are particularly fond of, and Christmas will find a few new things underneath the tree. It's not like I'm leaving my children to play with a paper plate or anything.

This craziness is just a first step toward the complete insanity of following Jesus overseas (technically, you don't have to fly over water to get to Nica, so I guess it's just out of the country). It's a good insanity. A wonderful, adventurous nuttiness that only our King could devise.