Thursday, June 25, 2009

I like taking pictures. Apparently we've trained our son to make the post of picture opportunities as well. This evening at one of his first ball games, he was clearly instructed to run to first base.
I whipped out my camera and once he saw me, he slid to a stop a foot before the base and gave this really funny pose like he was playing an air guitar.

I put my camera down for a second in shock. I was wondering what on earth he was doing. In that second, I missed the shot.

I was lucky enough to get the shot above. While he was practing his moves on the diamond, his sister was kicking a ball around with us. She's far more focused.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

This week we took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge. There is nothing like running head long for the first wave with your toddler only to realize that she is freaked out by water. Oops. Eventually she warmed up only to the big kid stuff. She wanted the Tornado Slide (S'ide PEEZE!") and the Sports pool with the basketball hoops. We forced her screaming to go down the kiddie slide a few times before she thought that was fun.

She also was sucked in like a bug to a light by the arcade. Riley's highlight was the CHEEZE-EE story time and Wiley the Wolf. He loves animals and adores the Easter bunny over Santa Clause. I saw him posing with Wiley several times even though we were no where nearby to take a picture.

Reagan, of course, loved the food opportunities since her love language is "Share your food" and I think she's part Italian. Initially when she HATED the entire idea of water all together...I took her to Cub Pub and we bought a corn dog and shared it together. That seemed to warm her up to the whole place.

We made it home in time for Riley's very first baseball practice even AFTER being pulled over for my first speeding ticket since 2002. Ugh. I pulled out to pass a slow car and sped up to 75 in a 60. I actually did think it was 70 since the speed limit had been 70 a few miles before that. The officer wrote the ticket down to 65 in a 60 for $93, but still. I am SO, SO, SO careful about the speed limit that I was mad at myself. Then we drove home at 68 (because 60 in traffic going 75 is dangerous!) while everyone else flew past me. I think the officer pulled me over for looking guilty since I really did at that moment speed up to pass and then slow down and I saw him right as I did it.

I'm the kind of person who goes 35 in a 35 because I've really gotten pulled over for going 37 in a 35. Sean laughed as we pulled away because he knows how serious I am about not speeding.

Oh well, we had a great time with the kids. Now for Sean to find a job.


Monday, June 15, 2009

I don't think I caught any good pictures from yesterday's party, but it was one of those parties where I was so amused by my kids that I didn't exactly stop them from doing anything they were doing.I should be running right now, not sitting here typing on my blog. At least I've been working this afternoon, responding to request. I actually admitted to a host family that I asked my husband for information about La JOL-la and he laughed at me and said, "you mean 'La HOY-ya?' I thought that was really funny. My host family did not, I guess. Oh well. I've been known to do that to a lot of names in Southern California and since I'm from North Carolina and Sean is from Palm Springs, he gets quite a kick out of it.I digress. Quickly.So I have not been blogging at all. I check everyone in awhile to see if anyone comments and I think about blogging, I just don't have time. I don't know why. I've been busy doing nothing or reading or researching or whatever. I've been contemplating law school and feeling overwhelmed and talking to a lot of people. I've also been busy throwing parties for people. I set up a friend of mine who's been single for a long time who is a fantastic guy. I threw a birthday party for one of my bestest ever friends as a cover party to introduce two people and it turned out that the birthday girl had the perfect platform to introduce the new love of her life to her entire family. It was a huge event and it turned out gloriously for everyone.I have to admit I continue to struggle with the reality of whether or not prayer is powerful and not just a manipulation, advertisement, opportunity to gossip, or self promotion. I've struggled with this for a long time - maybe since the 90's. The internet is a new venue, but it's not a new issue for me.This weekend as my husband and I stood in the driveway and watched our last guests pull away, I had this rare sense of purpose in those thousands of minute by minute choices you make to do the right thing, to be faithful or obedient in the little things, to be out of your mind for the sake of Christ. I could see all of those decisions colliding into a perfectly weaved tapestry of a bigger perfect story that was so beautifully put together that I could have never done it myself. At the time, those decisions seem so insignificant or small, but they are so powerful and purposeful. It was one of those moments that made all the hardships of life seem worth it to be who are, where we are - to be available to the people in our lives. It made me incredibly grateful.Over the past few months, I've become more actively involved in obedience to what God is calling me to beyond my office space. I recently had a yard sale to intentionally draw out other moms in the area, collected phone numbers, and set up play dates. I started and Tuesday Morning Activity Group in our area with 15 other moms that starts tomorrow. I hosted this party this weekend to set up my friend that went off amazingly well. It's hard to find time to blog in the midst of all of this, but I see God at work and that has been motivating to me and moving. We've given away very good stuff we're not currently using, cleaned out our garage and our closets, made time to attend more parties we wouldn't usually have gone to, spent more time outside, and made new friends.We've also had 26 straight days with no rain. Maybe when it starts raining I'll be back to blogging more.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Memorable Experiences...

I arrived in Germany on the first few days of fall in the late 90’s to be an au pair for a family with three small children. I had flown overseas many times before, but never alone. As I left Munich, I had very clear instructions to take the S Bahn to the Munchen Ost Station and where to change platforms in Freilassing. With all of my luggage for the months ahead, I trudged through the train stations trying to make a two minute connection and anxious to meet my awaiting host family.As I stepped out of the Bad Reichenhall Train Station and tried to figure out how to make a phone call using a Deutsch Telecom Phone Card listening to German Prompts, I knew I was already in over my head.Let’s skip the fact that I did not know how to cut vegetables correctly. I’m from the Southern US afterall and aren’t vegetables meant to be fried? I arrived confident in my childcare and housekeeping skills only to find I was aided by the processed market of America. (God Bless the USA!)I didn’t think twice one morning when my host dad said he wanted to me make a pumpkin pie. I’ve done that a hundred times! As I searched for the Libby’s Canned Pumpkin, I wasn’t prepared to be handed the pumpkin gourd that had been growing off a vine on the roof.I was left behind for the day with my schedule and the pumpkin. As I finally tackled the task ahead, I was mostly proud of the results. My family had (thankfully) saved a recipe from an old Libby’s can from their last visit to the states. Whew!As I happily produced the finish product that afternoon, never mind it looked a little light for pumpkin pie. I had accomplished something successfully. We served our freshly baked pie with the afternoon coffee on a cool crisp autumn day. Everything was picture perfect. Well mostly. Then my host dad said, “did you cook the pumpkin first?”“Why would I cook it?!” I responded surprised. “We’ve never cooked the pumpkin first when making a pie.” I wasn’t even flustered. It sounded like a such a ridiculous suggestion. Then my host dad pointed out that canned pumkin comes cooked already. Sure enough, my too light pumpkin pie was stringy and light because it was still raw pumpkin.I could only laugh at my rookie mistake! I can also say that while I’ve become an expert at making soups and cutting vegetables, I’ve never cooked a pumpkin for a pie since.Being an au pair in Germany was one of the most difficult and yet rewarding experiences. It was at first lonely and I had culture shock trying to adjust to a very different way of life. Did I mention it was a very different way of life?As my husband and I have been preparing for a move in the near future, we’ve been sorting through old keepsakes. One of the things I came across was a picture of my host family taken from my place at the breakfast table. All of their smiling faces are looking towards me. It’s the way I remember my host family. While I couldn’t have realized then, their family has become an integrated part of my life. My time in Germany changed my perspective of the world. It changed how I approach every day tasks and my family taught me to live life to the fullest.It’s hard to look forward and anticipate the future in that situation. I never thought I’d see my host family again. As I look back I see how our lives came together during that time to provide a memorable lasting experience. An experience which I’ve continued to learn from in the years that have passed since then. I couldn’t have realized then that I would be there after one of the host children had a life threatening illness or that my host parents would be at my wedding or that I would return with my children years later o explore the alps together with my former host parents and their children who are nearly all grown up and certainly now taller than me.The Bothell/Woodinville AuPairCare au pairs make lasting life experiences. Coming from foreign lands, they are welcomed by host families and host children to a long lasting life time of experiences. While providing excellent childcare, they have the opportunity to experience the American culture in an American home. While there might be difficult moments settling in and adjusting - I’m sure it’s an experience that continues to give back for many years to come.


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