27 septiembre 2013


So... Girumy has recently figured out that Christ is another name for Jesus.  Consequently, I have been hearing,

"Chri-ist loves me this I know.  For the Bible tells me so..."


G:  I love Christ.
Ty: I love Christ too.
G:  Yeh, Ty, Christ is the King!  (Said like a gospel choir leader.)


G:  "We can't have more gods, right, Christ?" (This is said looking towards the sky.)

A sailor?

Excuse the forced smile, but... he looks like a sailboat racer, no?  He wanted to look "guapo," but since it was hot, he didn't want sleeves.  Layers, however, are acceptable.  Here, he is wearing three.  !!!!!

A la Tigringna

I have recently found some blogs written by Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia (for example, anaggieinethiopia.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/ashenda-celebrating-the-women-of-tigray/) and have seen some Tigringna hairstyles.  I only have the front portion of it; and I know, it's not as fine, but... give me a break.  I am a farenji, right? 

26 septiembre 2013


He's working on being a tooth model, I think.

I feel as though he looks like he's just had a long day out in the fields, popping off his hat a bit for the air to flow, and about to tell me that, although the squash borers have been active, we should still pull in a nice harvest.

She looks a bit crazy here, but she's just so beautiful!  And doesn't she look so old? 

If I didn't know the truth, I'd accuse him of being an Indiana Charmer.  Look at those eyes!  Thankfully, this child is as sincere as they come.

Miss Badu

Motley crew

Here they are, jamming to a bit of Matt and Kim.

G on drums, Ty on key-tar and Mita on the dancefloor

"Take it down... downtown," says Ty.

Playing it like he means it, even though he is dressed like Grandpa Oscar.

I call it "Boats in a puddle."

We continue with our shape-based drawings.  Clearly, it is SO much fun!

The drawing hanging in the background was done by choice by Girum, after making the first during our lesson.  My plan is working!  I call it "Boats on sunny water."

22 septiembre 2013

Life, death and chicken enchiladas

At an undisclosed location, at an undisclosed time...

I'll leave this up to your imagination.

I think that this face sums up the experience nicely.

"To a job well done!"

Fun with Tita and Tito Jared


"... twenty!  Thirty one, thirty two..."  Ay!

"I'll protect you, Mita," says Girumy, as he pushes her in front of himself to be taken first by Tita Monster.

But, the Tita Monster is too fast and prefers to tickle cowards!

Jared, tuckered out from all of the playing, is put to bed by Mita, complete with the Lord's prayer and the Doxology.


We harvested this, times seven, at least!

Fried green tomatoes anyone? 

The squash towers


G's thoughts and words

So, G and I watched a few minutes of Fiddler on the Roof together last night.  As Reb' Tevya was singing, "If I were a rich man," G asked why he had a beard.  "Well, because he's Jewish," I explained.  "Is he singing a praise to God?"  "No, not here, but that is something that he would do."  I then took a deep breath and decided to explain, "Jewish people sing praises to God, but not to Jesus.  They don't believe that Jesus is the son of God."  And Girumy came back with, "Like Tato Dru?"  "What?!" asked I.  "Tato Dru has a beard, so he doesn't believe in Jesus?"  OH MAN.  So I tried to explain a bit more thoroughly, but I think that it was lost on him.  Sorry Dru.

-By the way, Reb' Tevya, I feel you.  I really do.-

Also, Girumy has taken to saying, upon being in the presence of an adult who is crying, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."  What a good practice, no?

20 septiembre 2013


So, I am learning, as I mentioned in my post on God, to reprioritize.  Let me explain.  We have a routine around here, not a strict schedule, but a nice order in which we operate.  This order of activities increasingly includes school-ish time.  At times, G is quite resistant, whining and asking why the twins don't have to read out of the special book (in which are written his syllables and short words).  At times, however, he is so eager.  For example, the other day, he asked to work on writing his numbers while I had my morning cup of coffee.  By the way, this is his way of getting out of playing with his brother and sister in the bedroom.  But, I allow it in the name of education.  :)"Sure!" 

Notice his raised hand, asking me to review his work.
Well, he just didn't want to stop.  (He ended up writing 0-20, three times each.)  The twins were definitely ready to move on to our group reading time, all snugly on the couch, but... I did not want to stop Girum.  So, I took a deep breath and let it go.  (I make it sound so serious, which may seem silly to you; but when there are three little ones, order is a very serious task.  Well, unless you are alright with losing your mind.)

Another example comes from this morning.  We checked out a very annoying-to-me book from the library, Chicka Chicka 1 2 3.  I can't stand it.  But, since we've been reading it over the past week, and they ALWAYS want to read it, G has learned to count to one hundred.  (And I'm sure it's soaking into the twins' brain as well.)  At the end of the book, 0 to 100 are written out, to practice counting.  Well, G counted to one hundred.  And then he asked to do it again.  The twins and I surely did not want to sit through that again, but how could I say no?  He ended up counting through the list four times.  Ugh for us.  Yeah for him!

We have also been working on our shape-drawings.  This week we are making trees.  I think that we'll do mountains and trees next week.

I call it "Trees in Summer."

I call it "Trees in Autumn."

Yes, I let them draw freely too... for those of you who think of me as a martinette.  :)  (And, yes, I know that martinet is spelled the way I've just written it in English; but since it's a French word, I'll use the proper French ending for myself.)

Of God

Lying:  The kids were all playing, at different activities, but all within the same four square feet and I said to them, "Hay mucho espacio para todos.  SepArense.  Venga!"  HA!

Convicted:  The kids asked me to put on some music the other day and I agreed.  We always seem to listen to the same songs, so I put on something new.  (I believe that it was some dance-o-riffic Ricky Martin.)  As we were dancing around, Girumy asked me if this music was "una alabanza a Dios."  Um...  certainly not.  So I agreed that that is what we should be listening to and changed the tune.

Priorities:  I prefer that the children eat calmly, not singing or dancing in their chair to the music that we almost always listen to at mealtimes.  But, when I tell them to settle down and G retorts, "Pero estamos alabando a Dios," how can I get mad and say no to that?

Wave your hands in the air if you love God!
Priorities, 2:  This morning, G was pretending to be a Sunday school teacher.  Towards the end of his lesson, he asked the "children" to repeat after him: "God is good."  This turned into a very long and loud session of praise-chanting, but, again, how can I say no?  My quiet cup of coffee in the morning is surely not as important as telling God's truth.

Questions:  At lunch yesterday, Girumy started an interesting conversation.
G - "Ty, what is God doing right now?"
T - "He's right here."
G - "No, but what is he doing?  I think that he's trying to ignore people right now."
M - "He's praying."
G - "No he's not.  He's God."


The hugs eventually morphed into wrestling... I'll take it anyway!

17 septiembre 2013

A small dream realized

Dear Girumy

Just a few notes:

1)  Girumy is obsessed with the pjs that Nanu gave him and that don't fit him anymore.  It is getting to be too much for him to see BubU wearing them all of the time.  He keeps begging to try them one more time... "maybe they'll fit me now!"  Then this morning, he said, "Maybe when I'm like twenty years old, then I can wear them."  To which I replied, "Sure!  You know what?  Why not?  When you are twenty, you may wear them."  And then we signed a contract, so that he can't be too angry with us when we embarass him at his twentieth birthday, hopefully in front of a bunch of friends or maybe even a girlfriend!  Ooo!  (Elena, do you have plans for 01 April 2029?  You are definitely invited to G's birthday party!)

THE pjs
2) Nearly every morning, G says, "MamA.  Yo quiero verme guapo.  Me das una de las camisas con botones, por fa'?"  Sure.  Why not?  Here he is in all of his guapo-glory:

It was his idea to take a shot from this angle.  He wants an accurate record, I guess.
And 3)  Check out the happy watermelon-boy!  (I do not have the patience to remove all of the seeds, so I've been serving it whole.  The children have decided to eat said seeds and I've decided not to stop them.  How German, no?  In fact, if I allowed it, I believe that they'd all eat the rind as well.)

I think that the watermelon is winning.

By the way, this is another of his "I want to look good" outfits.

13 septiembre 2013

Llámame una gitana si quieres, pero...

... "si buscas resultados diferentes, no hagas siempre lo mismo." (Albert Einstein)

"A little bit of... in my life, a little bit of... by my side, a little bit of..." Ah, the mambo.

What is happening around here?  Well...

For starters, Mita is pregnant!  (Again?)  She proudly told me the other day that she has three babies in her belly.  And for the record, she doesn't know when they are due.  See how G is taking such good care of her.  What a good husband he'll make.

Yes, those are gloves stuffed down her dress.  She is carrying high, don't you think?
In other news, Lil' Mama Mita is progressing in her puzzle skills.  (Lil' Mama just tried to make me write "skillz."  Ah!) 

Meanwhile, the boys have been unsuccessfully working on their very fine motor skills with a precious piece of bubble wrap.  This mamA's pleasure is her children's great frustration in this case!

This is such a good activity to keep him still while his anti-molluscum cream soaks in.  Ugh. 

In the realm of religion, I will report that G and I had a teary heart-to-heart yesterday.  So, we are all sick right now.  Poor G has a break-out of molluscum all over his face and a cold on top of that.  He is very miserable.  Every day we pray for God to heal us.  Yesterday, trying to speak through his very stuffed up nose while sobbing, he asked me, "Por quE no me cura Dios?  Quiere Dios que yo estE enfermo?  CuAndo me va a ayudar, MamA?"  Ugh.  "Yo no sE, mi amor.  Yo no sE."  And then I told him that I wonder that ALL of the time as well.  I assured him that God certainly can, but... well... we live in a messed up world and God has plans that are bigger than us.  I am still shaking my head with raised eyebrows.  -a giant sigh-

On a happier note, Girumy has a new ride... a zipper car, or zipper-mobile, depending on the day.  Being inspired by Richard Scary's little A-Z book about cars, G declared that he would like a zipper car.  And Rob enthusiastically agreed to make him one.  "Wow!" say I. 

On the domestic front, we have had some beautiful harvests recently.

Grape juice in the making
And, the cooler air has prompted me to pull out Mita's unfinished quilt on which I've not been working for so long.  Ugh.  I am nearly done with the top and then I'll begin the too-tedious task of quilting it all together.  Ugh.  Yes.  Ugh, again.  But, look at what I have found to encourage me:

For Girumy?  No!  No!  NO!  Tell me not to do it.  You are not advanced enough, Amy.  You'll get frustrated and quit repeatedly!  It will take you yearS to finish!  Do not choose that pattern!