Monthly Archives: September 2008

In Albania we have 28 shopping days until Christmas

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I sent this e-mail to my husband tonight:

You have 28 shopping days until Christmas. That gives you four weeks to plan, shop and order and a 1 week window for shipping to Oklahoma before Amy and Wopsle come to Albania.

Was I subtle enough?

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Have you done any fireproofing lately?

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I am really excited about the opening of this movie today.  Have you heard about it?  From the creators of Face the Giants, Fireproof: Never leaver your partner behind, is about what God can do in our marriages if we submit ourselves to Him and ask Him to teach us how to love our spouses.  Since I started reading Cindy’s blog and hearing her story, I have been more aware of needing to watch the health of my marriage and doing more to “fire proof” it.

I was really hit by this today since I watched the trailer it after I sent my hubby off for two days to a church leadership conference in Durres.  I confess I was not super nice to him before he left.  He was interrupting my day, ya know?  I had things to do and I just was not very helpful.  I was tired and worn out from the week and all the catch up we are still trying to do after being sick.

Then I was listening to the words of this song from the movie:

Love is not a place, To come and go as we please
It’s a house we enter in, Then commit to never leave
So lock the door behind you, Throw away the key
Work it out together, Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter, in a raging storm
Love is peace, in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave; May God send angels to guard the door
No, Love is not a fight, but its something worth fighting for

My smallest actions impact my husband.  And I have to fight against my own selfishness to help meet his needs as a part of my commitment to love Him the way God wants me to, not just with my own interests in mind.  The boy’s scripture memory verse for this week is “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”  Phil 2:3.  Hello.

Then you know what happened?  Yup… he called.  He was praying for me and just wanted to make sure I was okay.

Sigh.

I am blessed.

Lights out!

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Our first power outage of the year 2008 (1.5 hours) caught us a a little by surprise today.  We’ve had 24 hours of power with a 5-10 minute outage here or there for the last 9 months.  Compared with the electricity blues of our first year (5 hours without electricity or water each day), we praise God every day that do have electricity for the WHOLE day!

But today that praise was amidst the:

  • “Oh, ouch!”
  • “Don’t move.”
  • “Where are the matches?”
  • “Do we have candles down here?”
  • “I know where the flashlight is mom!”
  • “Where’s the flashlight?”
  • “Do these emergency lights work?”
  • “Why aren’t they plugged in?”
  • “What do you mean they’re not working?”
  • “Where did you say the flashlight was?”
  • “Stop moving.”
  • “Ouch you stepped on my toe!”
  • “Can you shine that light over here?”
  • “Do we have more batteries?”
  • “Don’t we have gas lanterns somewhere?”

Sheesh, you’d think we’d never seen a power outage.

You know you’ve have a good rain when….

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You find 10 worms in the hallway.  Enough said.

(Yes, I did return them to their natural habitat.)

Snuggle, Snuggle, Toot, Toot!

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Never a dull moment around here.  Yesterday was a day of catch up.  After all that yucky sickness over the weekend, most of it spent in bed, I could not sleep through the night Sunday night.  I woke up a little after 4am Monday morning, not exactly bright and shiny but certainly with the fog lifted and not a yawn in sight.  So, rise and shine!  I had dishes to catch up on, laundry to fold, lunches to make, etc…. By 11:30 I was beat and so was Jadyn.  We ate a little lunch and took ourselves upstairs for a nap.

Phone rings… her nap continues but mine was interrupted by the things of life….

I finally was able to make it up to my bed and wouldn’t ya know that Jadyn woke up just 5 minutes after I laid my head down on the pillow.  Sigh. I went to get her and she laid in bed with me in that post nap, sleepy phase.  She closed her eyes, teasing me with the notion that she might fall back asleep.  I couldn’t even close my eyes.  She was a vision!  Have you ever had those moments when you are so tired but then sleep doesn’t come?  As Jadyn was snuggled in my arms, I just looked at her sweet face and counted her little eyelashes.  She would occasionally open her eyes and look at me.   She smelled like baby lotion and I just breathed the scent of her and finally close my eyes.  The sound of her breathing and her finger scratching on her little security blanket, lulled me to sleep.

And then, “toot, toot!”  She gasped and sat straight up, surprised at her own body sounds!  I smiled. She giggled and said, “Yuck, mommy!”

Indeed.  We disolved into a sea of giggles and tickles.

Birthday Blues

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The boys birthday was a week ago Sunday.  We had a birthday party for them on Friday.  I was sick as a dog… it was not pretty.  I came back from our three day Strategy Retreat pretty wiped out, sore throat, achy… etc… So Friday morning came with all of its glory and plans for 12- eight year olds at Blur, the Family Fun center on the outskirts of town and the need to make a cake.  Was I prepared?  NO…….  Can you cancel an eight year old’s birthday party?  Not really….

So first thing in the morning, I sent Robert off to run errands: Buy butter and powdered sugar.  Sounds simple enough right?  Butter was not available at my regular shop just outside my gate, so I sent him to the apartment building down the street that has a little store downstairs.  He faithfully came back with the butter and as I started on the cake (no cake mixes here!) I sent him out to the store across town where we buy powdered sugar.  He called….. they were out.  I called Krystal…. she gave me Albanian directions to another store where she has bought powdered sugar.  The conversation went something like this:

“On the Ring Road, coming from the Lana (river)….”

“uh, huh…”

“On the right hand side, before you get to Rruga Dibres (Dibres road)….”

“okay…”

“Behind the second or third bus stop, the main Ring Road bus…”

“O…kay….”

“There is another ‘Dried Fruit” shop.  It is not the same company so the sign is not the same, but it is directly behind where the bus stops.”

“okay… I got it.  If he gets lost, I’ll have him call you!”

Krystal’s directions were great!  (Thanks, girl!)  Robert did have to follow the bus to find out where the stops were but he did indeed find it.

But… the kicker was that when I made the icing (using all of the powdered sugar) I discovered with a small taste test that the butter was bad.  It tasted more like sweetened blue cheese than icing.  Ugh! You can see the drama unfolding can’t you?  I sent Robert back out (what a man) for more butter and powered sugar and took a second go at it.

When it all was finished I managed a quick nap, made it to the school, rode across town with 12 singing eight-year olds (yes, singing… while Jadyn was saying “sshhh, stop, guys, stop!”) in a rented van with an Albanian driver who was trying to figure out who all these kids might be….

The Blur has a big play area outside and we just played on the playground, ate cake and opened presents.   I never thought about the butter IN THE CAKE!  Yes, the cake tasted like blue cheese too!  Yikes!  Despite it all… they ate it.  I hope no one got sick over the weekend.  In the end, it was a fine birthday party, but I forgot the camera, the candles and a knife.  We managed to get the latter from the Blur and a friend brought his camera for the last 5-10 minutes or so and Robert snapped some pictures.  All in all… success… I think.

Whew…. we have another year until we do it again!  Happy Birthday Austin and Tyler!

Meeting with God

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I am slower than I had hoped in my efforts to return to blogging… sorry about that sweet friends!  Amid our return to life, we have been having a host of internet problems which are fixed now (the modem had gone bad…. took several days to get the company out to get it all fixed), and a 3 day retreat for the Youth Strategy team, things are just slowing me down!

But…. in the midst of all the busyness, I have gotten back to reading The Shack, which I started at the end of of the summer.  I never really reached the main problem of the story and so I was never compelled to keep reading (I only got through the first chapter or so….).  Now, I can hardly put it down.  It is one of those books that draws you in and you feel like you can spend days reading and soaking in all that you have read.  It challenges all that I think about God, His character, the facets of His personallity, and asks all the questions I have always wanted to ask God if I were to meet him face to face.  Although, I am still only half way through the book, I can recommend you read it and allow yourself to take a look at your faith journey. Please let me know your thoughts if you have read it and I will write more when I finish reading the book!!