18 abril 2015

Out of the mouths of my babes

G: And when we go to that party, I'm going to wear Prada.  (Ah!  My child said that?!  Yes.  You see, Rob has been wanting a new cologne, so for his birthday I bought him a sampler.  G really likes the Prada.  Oy!)

Ty: MamA, when will you go spend a lot of money and bring me some green sandals?  (What?  After much questioning, I figured out that he wants me to go get a pedicure so that I can bring him those flip-flops that they give you so as not to smudge your paint.  Wow.  I have done that once in his lifetime, and... wow.)

Sophie: You are a beautiful flower.  (This she said to our church's choir director when we saw her at a coffee shop yesterday... an odd, but nice, thing to say.)


So, we had an unusual start to our relationship with our Saudi students, as they dropped off their stuff and went to the East Coast for a long weekend.  However, over the past two weeks, we have been progressively connecting.  We were able to convince M to come to GranniOna's house two weeks ago, we've been hanging out in the yarden together in late afternoons, and two nights ago, I had the boys up here showing me how to make the Saudi national dish, al kabsa.  I love that our kids get so excited every time we are with them, "Y!  Y!  Look at this!  M!  M!  How was school?"  And I really love that, for my kids, these Saudi names are normal to them.  Thank God for that!

Ty has been continually praying for them, aloud, in front of them, that they would love Jesus.  And G opened the door for them when they came home from school yesterday, saying, "See!  I am serving them so they know Jesus."  Praise God!

Y, reading The Three Little Pigs to the kids

09 abril 2015

Labor of love

My annual opportunity to read verses in Amharic at church is upon me.  Ooo!!!!  Every year when I begin, I am shocked at how difficult it is.  Right now I am thinking that there is no way that I will pull this off; but I have before, so I am sure that I will again.

I start with the verse in English, this year it is Romans 5:8, then find it in my Amharic Bible and copy it down in fidel. Then I pull out my syllabary and match sounds to my chicken scratches.  I listen, MANY times, to the chapter on the Amharic audio Bible till I can pick it out.  Finally, I write down what I hear, compare it to what I had written and correct any mistakes.  And then I listen to it probably hundreds of times till I sound just like the guy on the audio Bible.  In about a week, we will go have dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant and I will try it out on them, getting correction where necessary.

I LOVE this work!  It makes me sad that I didn't stick with my Linguistics major.  It makes me really, really sad.

05 abril 2015

The cheesecake girls

What an Easter!

We began celebrating on Saturday.  I know that was early... but God is over/outside of time, so I figured that it was alright.  We had a wonderful brunch with our dear friends, another mixed (their word, not mine... I haven't decided which adjective I prefer) family.  With them, we had a great talk about race.  It is easier to talk with them for a lot of reasons and I am thankful that we could have such a frank discussion.  God, bless them!  God, help us all!

Then we moved south for a maternal family gathering and we took this historic (GranniOna is one of my daughter's namesakes and... well, I am sure that GranniOna NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS thought that she'd have a relative that is as beautiful as my daughter.) photo:

We also took the following, of Birukti and her "adored" Loriqua:

And then... and then began the late-night preparations for the gang of today:
So, after another amazing, AMAZING church service this morning, Colombia, Oneida, India, Ethiopia and Korea came to our house.  What a blessing!  We shared a lovely meal, played at the park together and just hung-out.  Thank you, God!

My soul was fed today.  Beginning with the church service and continuing with fellowship... Thank you, God!

P.S.  So, sometimes I think that I really can't speak Spanish anymore.  I mean, I studied in Spain nearly 20 years ago!  And now, all I really do is give orders in Spanish to my kids all day long.  A few years ago, pre-kids, I had a nice conversation with someone from Paraguay, but... well, that was a while ago.  In the airport in Frankfurt this past fall, I had a short chat with a Colombian lady who worked as a cleaner.  But today... today, I was reassured that I really can still speak Spanish.  My new friend even told me that she clearly heard Spain in my accent.  Wahoo!  Really, my soul was fed today.  Thank you, God.

01 abril 2015

Olfactory trips

Sniff, sniff.  The furrowed brow of concentration.  Sniff, sniff.
Heavy cologne and tobacco!  A favorite combo of mine.  (Seriously.)
And I'm back in Barajas, 23 years ago, wide-eyed and in love.

Clip, clip.  Is that straight?  Clip, clip.
Soft-ish green lines and the scent of box.
And I'm back in the gardens of the Alcázar de Sevilla.

My farmer-missionary son

So, Ty.  That kid... I have said for a long time now that he is going to do something amazing, with his fearlessness and energy.  For a while now, he has said that he wants to be a farmer-missionary.  "Perfect!" say I.

He always asks me, when we study the map, if a lot of people in certain countries love God or not.  And then he prays for them, right then and there.  He has declared that his favorite book right now is I Heard the Good News Today.  He loves to hear the different ways in which we can show God's love for us.

He too, like Girumy, is always lifting up his hands to the heavens and belting out praises to God.

Well, yesterday evening, during our first dinner with our international students, Ty said, "Excuse me, Y. and M., do you love Jesus?"  Just like that.  My baby!  The guys laughed a bit and politely said, "Yes."  In response, Ty solemnly nodded his head.  At bed time, I clarified what they meant and re-explained our work, to which he solemnly agreed.  

Stay tuned...

Girumy has gone around the sun six times!

As usual, the day's festivities began with chocolate chip pancakes.  (Notice the lingering photophobia.)
I actually thought that Rob was more excited about this card than Girumy was going to be, but it turned out that G loved, loved, loved it!
How cute is he?!  He opened one of his presents right away in the morning.  His first LEGOS!  The first thing that he built was a birthday cake.

Post-Pizza Shuttle (after 8PM... YIKES!) cheesecake
More presents

Girumy.  There just aren't words.  But, I shall try.

The child continues to live up to his name, which means "amazing."  He is THE most loving, thoughtful, aware and responsible child.  Oh, and generous!  (He is always saying that he has too much money in his piggy bank and that he wants to give it to so-and-so, which we happily oblige.)

He wakes me up every morning with nose nuzzles and "You are the best mom ever.  I am so glad that you're my mom.  You aren't pretty... you are more than gorgeous, like Clair Huxtable."

The child half-prepares breakfast everyday, and would no doubt do everything, if I let him.

He is a whiz at school, constantly surprising me with what he can remember or figure out.  He has begun reading silently during his rest time, so that when I get to the next chapter in a longer book, he says, "Oh yeah, I read that already."  Ha!  Frequently he just blurts out math facts or spells words.  "H-a-p-p-e-n-i-n-g."

Girumy loves his brother and sister.  He always wants to hug-wrestle them and kiss them before bed.  He prays for them and includes them without prompting.

He belts out praises to God all of the time throughout the day, being a missionary to the neighborhood.  He prays for places like Somalia and Vanuatu... that they would have Bibles and love God.

Girumy, much like me, gets so frustrated when God doesn't heal us when we ask for it.  He has cried over this so many times.  And I don't have the answers for him.

He gets sad when he thinks about Ethiopia.  He is always telling me that we should go grocery shopping, pack it up in suitcases and take it all to our people in Ethiopia.  

This child is a gift from God.  Beauty out of ashes.  My son.