Monday, February 22, 2010

MK Narcissism

It's hard enough convincing your small child that she is not the center of the universe. It's even harder when she is an MK.

I remember being in fourth grade, right before my parents returned to Liberia for their second term, that I walked into my Sunday School class one day and the entire bulletin board was devoted to me. AND they took up a collection that day, AND used it to by a radio for me. Talk about being the center of attention. At least I was old enough to know I was not the center of the universe.

And now it's happening to my kids, except they are a lot younger. It's missions month at our home church, and when Grace walked into her Sunday School class yesterday, the bulletin board was devoted to our family. Grace noticed: "Look, Mommy, that's us!" As if it's normal to have your family's picture on your Sunday School class bulletin board. She told me afterwards that the teacher had her show the class where Tanzania is on the map. I said, "What did you say you can do in Tanzania?" She said, "I told them you can play with toys there."

Whenever we visit someone's house (which is often these days), our family picture is on the refrigerator. Whenever we go to a church, our family picture is in the hallway. Whenever she sees gifts, she assumes they are for her. They usually are.

Oh my. You are not the center of the universe, child. But I'm sure you don't believe me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Catching Up

My brother so politely reminded me the other day that I haven't been doing much blogging. It's true. I've had blogger's block. I guess life in the States just hasn't been giving me as many topics as life in Tanzania.

We have about 6 weeks left of our Home Assignment. Time is going by fast--as it always does--but it has been productive and full. We're having a great time. Our hearts have been rested and rejuvenated and filled with love and fellowship. Here's a synopsis of our activities:
  • Presenting: Our main "job" while in the States has been to update churches and supporters on our ministry in Dar. So far, we've done about 22 formal presentations. We have at least a dozen left. We've gotten a bit tired of hearing ourselves talk, but we have to remind ourselves that people listening to us haven't heard it 21 times before and hopefully still find us interesting. We've also had lots of other informal times of fellowship with people.
  • Preparation for Presenting: Slideshows developed, prayer cards put together, etc.
  • Scheduling: See above. Each presentation takes at least 3 or 4 emails each to get set.
  • Doctor and Dentist appointments for all of us.
  • Shopping. Massive shopping. I love this, but I am a pretty big cheapskate so it's hard for me to spend so much money at once! I have to remind myself that I've hardly bought anything other than groceries during the last two years, so I'm making up for lost time. What am I shopping for? Clothes in the next two sizes for the kids, new towels, birthday decorations, chocolate chips, Parmesan cheese, pre-school activities for Grace, wet wipes, taco seasoning, school supplies (soccer balls and uniforms, graduation supplies), a juicer, a DVD player, tick repellent for the dogs, sunscreen, hair spray.... there's more, but that's all I can think of for now. Some of these things are available in Dar, but it's so much cheaper to buy them here. We get to take 12 pieces of luggage with us on the plane (for free!), and I guarantee they will all be full!
  • Traveling. So far we've been to San Dimas, Santa Clarita, Moreno Valley, Long Beach, San Jose, Redding, Concord, and Quincy. All I can say is, thank goodness for those little DVD players that attach to the back of the car seat! Josiah is not a good car traveler. Barney helps significantly.

Let's see. What else? Lots of great family time. Making up for all the time without grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Celebrating lots of birthdays even if it's not that person's birthday. (When we celebrated Grace's birthday three weeks later with my family, Grace said, "It's my birthday again? I must be turning five!") I've been taking advantage of all the extra family members around to try to get ahead (or rather, caught up!) on my MA classes. Oh yeah, and Gil and I finally started watching "Lost." Very important, you know, for re-entry into American culture.

We're soaking it all up. I struggle with the lack of routine. My kids no longer have a schedule or a regular bedtime, but I remind myself that this is just for a season and really, they are doing great. Some days are really busy, but other days are not. My husband is more relaxed than he has been in a long time. God is good. He is filling us up and getting us ready for the next season.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sweet Reunion

Gil and I had to go to Minnesota last week, since that's where our mission's national office is located. So we stayed an extra couple of days and visited three of our favorite people who are now going to college there! Aishi, Dorothy, and Bernice graduated in June and are now in Minnesota of all places. Because, of course, that is the logical place for students to go who have spent their entire lives in a tropical climate. Six months a year of freezing cold blizzards and snow and ice forming in your nostrils. Yeah. Logical. We said, "We TOLD you to apply to schools in California!!! But would you listen? Noooooo..." They don't care. They just like the cute sweaters and boots.

Anyway. It was a wonderful two days of reuniting with these girls who are such a part of our hearts.

When we asked where we could take them to dinner, they chose Indian food. Because it reminds them of home.

Sigh. We're so proud of them. All grown up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Credit for these wonderful pictures goes to our great friend Jen of CastleDreams. We just needed a new prayer card picture... but she took all the others too, just for fun! Aren't they beautiful?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ladies' Man

Last week my family came down to join us at Disneyland. We had gorgeous weather, short lines, and a marvelous time, but Josiah definitely stole the show this time.

He refused to go near any of the Disney characters. He wanted to see them, but only from a distance of about 5 feet away. That is, except for the princesses. He was definitely into them. Loved blowing them kisses.

My brother and his wife

Would he go anywhere near Mickey Mouse? Of course not.

But Minnie Mouse? Well, seeing as she is female, he wanted to give her a hug.

Daddy made sure to man him up a little bit with some sword play.

And when it got cold that night and we put him in the Tigger costume? Well, my goodness, we couldn't keep the ladies away from him. Or anyone else from that matter. We had to keep a close eye on him to make sure no one stole him. Not much is cuter in this world than a two-year-old at Disneyland in a Tigger costume, obligingly bouncing to stay in character.