Friday, February 29, 2008

A child from Belarus

Today I mailed in our application to host a child from Belarus this summer. Lance & I had little to no hesitation that we should do this, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to get our application in (okay, I know why: we're procrastinators).

I'm really looking forward to it! I was involved in several international exchanges when I was a teenager. And I loved it. I think everyone should have the experience. Especially when you grow up in a relatively small suburban city that is not very diverse.

I know I was impacted profoundly by the realization that "different" doesn't mean "not as good." Had I traveled and stayed with a group of American teens, I don't think I would have benefited quite as much. I had to be thrown into a foreign home by myself, to feel the isolation of being the one who was a minority.

This summer we will host a girl, probably around 10 years old. She will have studied English in school, but most likely will not be able to communicate with us very well. This will be our major challenge, I think. I hope to be able to use the computer and some sort of free translation site to communicate with her when I feel we need it. I would like to learn to speak some of her language, but mostly help her speak English better.

I remember feeling very far away from home when I first traveled overseas, and I was much older. I pray that we can be warm and loving and welcoming enough so that our little Belarus girl will not feel sad & homesick. There are others at our church who will also be hosting, and I am very excited that the children will be able to hear a familiar word when we go to church.

To read more about the program, and why it exists, see these sites:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hello real world

Since Noelle has arrived, Lance has been the one who takes Connor to movies. Monday, however, I talked Lance into letting me take Connor to a movie. I was looking forward to spending time with Connor & to seeing a movie in a theater (I can't remember the last time I did that). I was in for a few shocks!

First of all, since Lance normally pays for everything, I had some serious sticker shock at the ticket counter and especially at the concession counter! I had to ask the girl to confirm the prices a few times because I could not believe how expensive the popcorn and drinks are. What a scam!

Okay, we got our (small yet still expensive) popcorn and water, and settled in to watch The Spiderwick Cronicles. The theater is full of children, mind you. At one point in the movie, the dad says to his son "I love you." During the brief silent moment that followed, someone in the audience yelled out "Bull sh**!" I could not believe it! With all the kids sitting around. What can you do? Only watch movies at home, I suppose. (We would save quite a bit of money that way.)

Connor was well behaved and seemed to enjoy the movie. There were many times I thought he might be scared, but he wasn't. I enjoyed the outing with Connor, although next time I think I'll take him to a playground.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Delicious blog

I have just discovered the most delicious blog ever - Full Bellies, Happy Kids! There are lots of tasty recipes along with gorgeous photos! Check it out!

My son speaks Binary?

I don't know where he got this, but Connor has started speaking in Binary Code (kind of). Instead of responding to a question with yes, he says 1 (or holds up 1 finger), and instead of no, he says 0 (or makes his hand into a zero). We were acting a little confused as to why he was answering with either a 1 or a 0, and Connor explained to us (in the tone of voice a teacher would explain something), that 1 means yes and 0 means no. We asked him how he learned that, and he said he just thought of it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Paisley and Pepper

My cousin Hallie is so creative and talented; she has an online boutique where she is selling hand-painted baby gifts and personalized children's art.
"I have been painting personalized art for my family and friends for years. I have always been encouraged to market it- so here is my offering. After selling art in several local boutiques, I decided to start my own online store. God has blessed me with a steady hand and and an eye for detail. I cannot wait to see where this road takes me. All my artisitc inspiration comes from my two beautiful children. I have always loved creating art for my babies and for their rooms as they grow." - Hallie
I am so proud of her! Here is a link to her site:

I am also going to keep a link in the right-hand column of my blog.

Friday, February 1, 2008

To be a kid again

Connor was watching a cartoon where the grandpa was temporarily turned into a kid again. That started me thinking about how cool it would be to be turned back into a kid - or even a teenager - again, with our current level of mental maturity and knowledge. To be given bodies with no arthritis or backaches, with super energy levels, and no real responsibilities! Oh, the things I would do. I would apply myself in school more - just for the sheer pleasure of learning. I would soak up the time with my parents - I know I did not do this when I was young. I would not waste as much time being upset about trivial matters.

I know it's impossible, and if you really think through it, not a good idea. But still, it's kind of fun to think about being so young again. What would you do?