30 abril 2014

Music Man

Around here

The children have been posing:

I've been wishing, oh wishing!, that I had spoken, from the start, with distinciOn with the kids.  Spelling seriously would be so much easier.  Sapatoz.  Oy.

I cannot sing.  Well, I cannot sing well.  And, although my singing friends disagree, I don't believe that it's that I don't know how, but really that I can't.  Anyways, during school time, we sing, and I like to begin with Do-Re-Mi.  But, my voice cannot sing Do-Re-Mi.  Then, it hit me... genius!  G's annoying recorder!  Now, everyday, I play the scale on the recorder as the kids sing along SO well.  Their musicality won't be destroyed by me after all!

God is still blessing me with the amaryllis' beauty:
Just when I think that I certainly canNOT handle playing another game of Cinta, in which G and I roll a tape roll back and forth, I tell myself that he is not going to want to play Cinta with me forever and then I am able to agree rather happily.  Thank you, God, for now.

And, when I just can't take it anymore, we play Burrito BebE.  :)

27 abril 2014

Praise, wafting up from the basement...

... and filling the house.  Thank you, God.  This life is a fight, for sure, and we have chosen to call in some reinforcements and to step it up and fight back with Your words, Your works, Your promises, Your everything.  You're everything.  You.

23 abril 2014

What a morning!

This early morning was rough and so I decided to skip "school."   I made a cup of Easy Now Tea, wishing that I had a gallon of it, instead of just one last tea bag, and I told the kids to get ready to go outside.  They needed to "run the stink off," as a friend says.

The doorbell rang.  Yay!  Perfect timing.  A persimmon tree, another kiwi vine, three currant bushes and a Fuki plant had been delivered, almost in time for Earth Day.  And then to make the treat even better, there were two blueberry bushes in the box!  I had ordered them last fall and had figured that the order had been long lost, but here they were.  I'm making a Blueberry Hill, because of my memories watching Happy Days where the orange-haired boy whose name I've forgotten used to sing, "I've found my thri-ill, o-on Blueberry Hi-ill."

So, we headed outside.  Girumy suggested that I plant the new arrivals before working on his Nature Journal page.  "Great idea, Son."  I happily set to work, whilst the kids played.  Finally it was time to do G's lesson:

After, I decided to water in a few more of the plants when I saw:
Oh, uh-uh.  Two dark little eyes were watching me from that hole and I knew that there were many more under there.  (We had just read a book about conejos this morning and here we had a conejera in our own back yard!)  I grabbed a stick and a bucket and prodded out the first little Nibbler of Lettuce.  And yes, there were more.  I freaked.  Thankfully, my Knight in Blue Cotton was out, a few yards over, so I called to Sir Ron to rescue me and my greenery.  In the end, we caught four, one having escaped under the fence to another yard.  Sir Ron said that he'd take the bucketful of Diagonal Chompers "for a ride."  I didn't ask and I don't care.

I know I seem harsh.  Maybe if I had a bit more than a postage stamp size of a yard, I'd be more generous to the Destroyers of Cambium and their Friends and Relations.  Maybe not.

(Oh yes, his name was Richie.  Richie Cunningham.)

Thus end the morning adventures in the garden.  Not bad, huh?  The kids ran around as kids should, fruit plants were added to our growing orchard, Girumy did a Nature Observation in the rays of the energizing sun, my garden was protected (for now) and the kids saw a real conejera, lined in fur and everything.  Not bad.  Now if only I had some more of that tea!

22 abril 2014

À l’école

Numbers 6 and 7 are still a problem for some reason.
For both of the twins, the names of colors aren't sticking; at least, however, I can see by this activity that it isn't because they are color-blind.
Making stick shapes and working on their names
Girumy has been randomly spouting off math facts for a while now.  For example, at lunch, he will just, out of the blue, say, "Tres y seis son nueve."  Interestingly, he didn't enjoy this activity.  I guess that he wants to do math on his own terms.
Remembering to count by fives, instead of tens, for the minutes is tough right now.
Seat work.  No, that coffee isn't G's... although he would totally drink it if I offered it to him!

20 abril 2014

A new favorite snack

Pickled garlic scapes... Mmmm!

The yarden!

A huge sigh.  Oh!  Do I feel better!  The clothes are drying in the fresh air, green is popping up everywhere.  Another huge sigh.

Operation Carry/Snuggle/Treat Ty to Obedience

This set-up was good for all involved: Ty couldn't get into any trouble and he had a lot of body-contact time; plus, Rob really got a workout.

BubU BebE, happily being snuggled

Life is always better in a robe with a latte, no?

18 abril 2014

One of my favorite compliments ever

Recently, a visiting friend from S____ said, "Wow.  It just seems like we're in another country at your house."

"Shukran!" say I.

Out of the mouths of babes

"I like fwinkoes on my tortillas," said Mita.  (She meant sprinkles.)

Mamá:  ¡Ese papá, ese papá!
G:  Sí, ese papá es muy...
A very intrigued mamá:  ¿Cómo?
G:  ...distinguido.
(That wasn't what I was going for, but G's answer is better.)

Mita, upon seeing papá's new jeans, said so sincerely:  Those are very, very cute.

Every morning, during school, we spend some time singing.  Recently, I introduced "Oh When the Saints."  I initially explained the meaning; however a few days later I asked the kids to where the Saints march, and G, with no hesitation, excitedly replied, "Sendiks!"  Oh man.

14 abril 2014


A few weeks ago, one of our pastors invited Rob to meet a few new Middle Eastern friends.  They had arranged to meet at the Culvers, down on the south side of the city where most of the refugees first live.  While Rob was en route, our pastor called and said, "Actually, no, meet me at the McDonalds on ___ St."  OK.  So, Rob redirected himself.  Once at the new location, our pastor called once again and said, "Actually, Rob, I need you to go to the Kurdish store on ____ Ave.  Tell them that you need sweets enough for ten people, that you're my friend and that I'll pay them tomorrow."  And good ol' Rob, he laughingly agreed.

So, Rob entered the store (where once my sister and I were forced to stay for a very uncomfortable dinner... but that's another story) and the corpulent owner and his friends just stared at him.  "Who here knows A.?" asked Rob.  To which the now laughing owner owned up.  Rob explained the situation, was given the sweets and sent on his way.  

Rob then called the pastor to find out to where to bring the tasty treats.  "Meet me at the apartment building on _____ and ____ Sts.," a place where my sister and I have had some unbelievable experiences.  And finally, it is there where Rob found our pastor and our new Middle Eastern friends.  They all headed into the building, shared sweets and small talk with some very newly arrived Somalis and then headed over to a different McDonalds to get to know each other.  All in all, a lovely evening.

So... when our pastor invited Rob to go visiting again this week, we had a pretty good idea of how it would go.  Rob was to meet our pastor and friends at the Language Center on the Southside.  En route, of course, he received the call that he should re-route to the Culvers up on the Northside.  U-turn!  Another apartment building, new Iraqi friends, sweet tea and small talk.  And another lovely evening.

When it was my turn to meet our pastor for a new-friend introduction, I outsmarted him, without trying.  Ha!  You see, I don't really multi-task, therefore I don't talk on my phone and drive our stick-shift at the same time.  We had planned to meet at the Center, so I showed up at the Center and waited.  Our pastor found me there and I followed him to a house, where I was quickly introduced to my new friend, pulled inside and left to fend for myself.  Ha!  It wasn't until after my visit that I checked my phone to see a missed call from Pastor A... from while I was en route to the Center in the first place.  I am just sure that he was going to change the plan on me, but he didn't have the chance.  And it made for a lovely afternoon.  

13 abril 2014


The birthday tie from Tito Jared
Some pre-church sibling love
And then Rob had to get in on the fancy action too, which morphed into an impromptu (and unsuccessful, due to G's stage fright) Smooth Contest a la Huxtable.  Rob had points deducted due to his flourishes, so Shy Girumy won.  :)

04 abril 2014

Did you know that I am part Japanese?

Ah!  Raging Hashimoto!
Calm yourself to silence,
-Jean Émarre

G's (or PapA's) work

PapA e hijo working on their first model together, thanks to MattMatt, LeighLeigh and LauLau.

G's first Nature Journal entry: a stick, from our Nature Treasure Box.  Boy was this lesson rough for me!  I know that soon though I'll be able to look back and see how far he has come.    


So, everyone picks the battles that he will fight.  Being a mother has offered me the opportunity to choose, more than hourly, about what I care and don't really care.

I have given up caring (maybe I never even ever cared) about matched socks.  It just doesn't seem as important to me as so many other things.  And I know that this is a personal choice.  To others, this is important.  That's fine.  It just isn't to my family.

An interesting point about the photo is that four out of the five of us were already wearing the socks you see, as you see them.  Only one of us (Can you guess who?) had to change one sock for the sake of the photo.  :)

01 abril 2014


Happy birthday, my son!  Thank you, God, for him!

Girumy is such a joy.  Seriously, life is tough, but he is tangible joy every day and for that I am thankful to our God, who put our family together.

He is very observant and he puts ideas together quickly.  He is full of ideas, always suggesting what we might eat for the next meal or what activity we might do after said meal.  He likes to play with others instead of alone, inviting those around him, whether he knows them or not, to join him.  He is always saying that things are beautiful.  He frequently says, "Mamá, tú no sabes cuánto te amo."  Oo!  I love that child!

So, we have been celebrating since Sunday, a bit each day.
Day 1:  Tito Jare's skillet apple crumble
"What is it?  What is it?"
So, we used to have a green recorder for the kids, but it was just too much to bear.  Kate decided that she would hide it away and just break it out on G's birthday each year... but, we could not find it anywhere.  So, Tita bought him a new green recorder, which I am trying very hard to bear.  Also, he received a new handy-dandy notebook, a guitar-shaped key hook and ring with flashlight for his new duties as Chicken Wrangler.  Yes, G graduates to chicken duty today and the twins enter the world of chores, taking over the table-washing.
A very special (It wasn't a weekend and it was Glenn's first time ever seeing this show.) viewing of the Cosby Show... and such a fitting episode: It was with Mother Africa, Miriam Makeba.
Day 2: Look at his excitement, and he hasn't even opened it yet!
Chicken wrangling gloves!
Day 3: THE hand-off
Such a grown-up posture!  This present, a nature journal, wasn't nearly as exciting as the others.  He was still quite happy with it.
And the best for last!
God, make this child yours!