17 diciembre 2016

More Christmas-time fun!

Rob's been baking cookies and I've been brewing chai.  The kids happily frolic in the snow, while our students take photos, photos and more photos of the Magical White Stuff.  Ha!

Ty, at a Christmas Concert for kids at our friend's high school.  He has been saying that he wants to study cello, and so he got to try it.
Dancer Sophie and The Girls.  Their class danced at a retirement home to spread the cheer.

Our house is full, and I love it!  Over the next month we will have so many dear students in and out, on air mattresses, on sofas... I am so happy to be able to share our home!  Thanks to God.

16 diciembre 2016

Catching up... again

Ach!  I am so behind!  And I feel like I need to record all of "this" so that the kids can remember their young life.

So, where do I begin?  With the theater!  Ty and I went to the theater together for the first time last week to see A Christmas Carol.  We both LOVED it!  I knew that of all of the kids, he would appreciate it the most... and he did.  However, he is having a very difficult time distinguishing between real and fantasy now.

Next up will be The Nutcracker.  I will be taking all of the little kids and one of the big ones.  Yikes!  It could be ugly.  But, hopefully, they will either pass out because it's during nap time or love it and be so engrossed that there will be no problems.

"What happened last night," you ask?  Oh!  Last night!  Well, the kids suggested a wrestling match with PapA.  While Rob was getting ready, or secretly folding laundry in the closet, the kids held a strategy meeting.  I heard Girumy say, "OK, Sophie, you'll pull his socks off.  I'll get on him because I'm the biggest.  And Ty, you get his renal insulation."  Ha!  Ty then asked me what exactly he should do with the renal insulation.  "Pinch it, of course!"  Then Rob came out...
... ready: with renal insulation protection!  Ha!
Then, the games began!

So much fun!

In the realm of books, we just finished reading Zoro, which our dear Linda suggested to us.  It was properly Colombo-fantastic... a bit too much so for me, but the kids are still forming their literary taste, so they dug it.  Then, this morning, we read a Christmas story which made me seriously cry.  -sigh-  My sweet Ty got up, fetched a hanky and proceeded to dry my tears.  Girumy went to my room to get my...
... bit of sun.  In the book Zoro, some magic helpers give the protagonist a piece of sun to protect him.  Girumy proceeded to make and give me a piece of sun, which I so desperately need right now.  
My sweet, sweet children.  I am so proud of how they, without prompt, took care of Sad Old Me.

And finally, my dear Colombian son, Cristian, has returned for a visit!!!  We love him so much and it's so good to have him with us.  God, bless him!

23 noviembre 2016

Around here

Ush.  The days pass so quickly.  It must be because I'm 40 now.  Ush again.

So, the cold and dreary has begun.  There are only a few green memories and hopes in the yarden now to cheer me: leeks, kale, parsley, lettuce and the baby garlic.  Thank God for bits of verdure!  (Can you tell that I've been reading Jane Austen?)

Somehow, pumpkin carving seems like so long ago, but we did have fun.  Rapha and Girum worked out a Mexican calavera and Carlos and Sophie stayed simple.  We had a judgment, and by a smidgen, Carlos won.
First-time pumpkin-carver, Carlos
Oh, and then, thanks to a piece of oh-so-chewy sourdough bread, we had our own little live Jack-o-Lantern!

The time between then and now has been filled with lots of...
... archery practice.  Yes, the kid made his own bow with a piece of wood and some rubber bands!  It is actually quite powerful and accurate for what it is.
And also lots of studying.  School is going quite well for us.  We are in a good rhythm and making progress.  We shall finish Term 1 of 3 next week.  I always love a new start!
Every day, at 9, we sit down and listen to our current composer (Dvorak) and then go on to read sections out of the day's books.  Quite a pile, no?  That's a hymnal (Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts), la biblia, Fifty Famous Stories, An Island Story, la enciclopedia, a world map, Our World (currently we're in the Middle East), a map of Asia, Aesop's Fables, Parables of Nature (Such a great book!), Fray Perico y su borrico, Mary Poppins and Oxford's collection of children's poetry.
They love to read a page ahead in their reading book, Coquito, so that when we get to that page, they know everything.  I love it!  They struggle together, WITHOUT me!


And, oh yes, let me not forget!  Music practice.  Oy, oy, OY!  Girumy LOVES to play his guitar (Gracias, Linda.), Ty is keeping the beat with chopsticks on his pillow drums and Sophie is usually the director, also wielding a chopstick, and singer.
G's first official guitar lesson was this week.  That's our beloved Michel, his teacher.  When he came home he was SO, SO happy, smiling incessantly.  
And, that pretty much (with the exception of that important trip two of my men took) brings us up to date.
Blooming right on time!
I have already started cooking for our big Colombian-United Statesian Thanksgiving Feast!  I've never made such a meal before, so I'm a bit unsure of myself.  It will be almost traditional... I mean, c'est moi after all!

TTFN!

28 octubre 2016

Oy!

There have been so many things that I've wanted to write, but... either I'm annoyed with technology or I'm exhausted.  Finally though, a calm morning at home, with two of my kids playing SO, SO nicely together, and here I am.

Let's see, where do I even begin?  The students.  It's so different having guys stay with us, not better or worse, just different.  Carlos is working on teaching the kids chess.  Rafa has taken to cooking for us once a week (This week it was pepper pie and mushroom soup, or soap, as he pronounces it.) and to having a weekly cartoon-movie viewing with the kids.  And, Milion, well, Milion works a lot, just stopping up to eat between shifts.  God bless them all with a saving relationship with Him!

After weeks of back pain, crawling on the floor and crying every time I had to shift positions, I have been healed, thank God!  Life is so much more pleasant now.  And just in time...

... as it's garlic and tulip planting time.  Ugh, seriously, I can never plant enough garlic: We've used all of this year's crop already.  Overall, I have been pleased with the harvest in general this year, even though it was a transition year.  The back steps are covered in winter squash, I have strings of drying chilis and lots of dill for the winter.  Unfortunately, we've almost used up all of the tomatoes I preserved.  Yikes!  It will only get better each year.

School is going well this year... we are almost a third done already!  The twins are reading, if belaboredly.  (Yes, I may have made that word up, but it just feels right for the situation.)  Girumy is thoroughly enjoying reading The Little Duke and Understood Betsy, although Math is a struggle right now.

Back to Fall Cleaning, but first some cuteness...

Sophie-Ona and I have been waiting so long for her to fit into that sweet Nigerian dress!

20 septiembre 2016

Some school

I never imagined the day when these two would be able to do this activity.  They can read!!!!!!!!!!!
G's current copywork

16 septiembre 2016

Around here

Breakfast, chores, park, school, lunch, school, ballet or play, dinner, bed and repeat!

Ty found this little friend outside and temporarily housed him in a jar so that we could observe and draw him.  But, once it was time to do the drawing... uh... "Where is he?"  Ah!  He had escaped and was deciding on which houseplant to make his new perch.
Paper bags?  Voila!  A knight!
Oy!  Reading lessons!  Some days I think, "It will be OK.  We can do this."  And then most days, well... Can you see my frustration coming out in pencil marks?  Ah!!!!!

Breakfast, chores, park, school, lunch, school, ballet or play, dinner, bed and repeat!

More family

Mr. Wolaitta and Friends
Mr. France, making a tasty national dinner, with an assist from the Hungry Boys
And Mr. Colombia, AKA Chess-boy, teaching the next generation

We are all really enjoying our newest family members.  God bless them!

31 agosto 2016

"Ooooooo, Sherry!"

Once, when life was totally out of control, I likened it to when I was taken on a surprise, uncontrolled gallop through the woods on a Paint called Joe.  I hated it and I held on for dear life.  (Once I was able to dismount, I never rode him again.)

Well, I'm going to say that now is more like choosing to ride Maverick, which I did over and over again.  I loved riding that horse, with all of his energy and unpredictable spirit... just almost out of control... fun, but exhausting.

So, I've long wanted to open a B&B in the south of France.  My plan is to call it Le coq aime (accent).  And we will actually have a rooster, whose name will be Robert... pronounced the French way, of course.  Well, I'm currently in training.  I love it, for sure, but I think I need to hire a bit of help.

Ding!  Duty calls!

27 julio 2016

Think of the very worst sound you can imagine.

You know, the one that takes you back to primal wounds and sour breath, keeping you awake every night for months.  The one that takes you back to death, death, death and the torturous calm before the chemical storm.  The one that takes you, without your permission, to HORROR.

Well, I snapped.
Or shall I say snipped?
Doesn't she look cute?  I know this photo looks a bit Cosmo Kramer, but... well, thank God for clips and headbands!

Around here

Camping... which, of course, ended in a water disaster
Arepas a la Linda:  She had lost a bet with me.
manicure sessions
A typical harvest as of late.  Check out the garlic hanging in the back!
Our God is awesome!

13 julio 2016

My babies!

They struck this pose themselves, and then asked me to snap it into posterity.
She is SO beautiful!
Breakfast al fresco, almost everyday now

06 julio 2016

Oooo, Sherry!

It's been a mad rush of activity around here, which I love and which exhausts me.  Yowzahs!

Standout memories have been: Saturday mornings at the Farmers' Market, harvesting bowls upon bowls of berries from our back yarden, visiting with Dear Ones from all over, resuming a strict morning schedule with the kids, and on and on...

Happy Fathers' Day!  Steak a la Amy and fried yuca!
Happy birthday, Ty and Sophie-Ona!
New (to her), sparkly ballet flats... but what really excited her was the gum!
Oh, yeh, birthday undies
G's first bike race!  He has been saying for YEARS that he wants to race.  I, quite frankly, didn't think it was going to go well: When he senses that he might not be THE BEST at something, he quits trying.  My goal for him was to race without quitting, which he did.  A success!
G's international fan club
lots of Linda-time

The reunion of the Wetzbergs!

Two peas in a pod!

And, the funniest for last:  So, Ty has long been in love with our church's choir director, Miss Lisa Kay.  But then... well, he met Bethsy.  So, last night before Rob left for rehearsal at church, Ty gave him the following message:  "PapA, please tell Miss Lisa Kay that I might not be able to marry her, because, well, I am in love with Bethsy.  And if SHE says "yes" to me, then I can't marry her (MLK).  But tell her that we can all live together in a double-decker house: Bethsy and I can live upstairs and Miss Lisa Kay and her husband can live downstairs."  OH MY!!!!!