Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catching Up

It seems my "flurry of posts" has turned into more of a trickle. Nevertheless, I will get on with some of the other things I mentioned in an earlier post and then move on to more recent happenings.

Canine Relocation
This is what our yard has looked like since we returned from visiting home at Christmas:

No sign of Roxy, our friend from across the street. Well, I shouldn't say "no" sign of her. It's just that it seems she has abandoned us. Left us. Shown us the door. We didn't see her for a few days after returning and I thought maybe it was the other way around, that she felt abandoned by us, so she took off. Now I'm not so sure. I did see her one day in the empty lot next to our neighbor's house, basking in the sun, so I thought maybe she was just proving to us that she didn't need us, but I assumed once she knew we were back, she would be back, too. I even noticed that the sprinkler, a boot, and some other items had appeared in that empty lot, her surrogate home. This was a few weeks ago. She still hasn't come back.

One morning while I was out on a walk with my friend Libby, three dogs came charging at us and one of them was Roxy. She was pretty quiet, as was one of the other dogs, but the third was very vocal and seemed to have a bad attitude. My true fear is that Roxy has taken up with the wrong crowd and is no longer the sweet dog we once knew. Oh, Roxy.

This is not to say that the dogs in Wewa are any less apparent. Just this morning I had to weave around a big black dog that was laying in the middle of our road. Literally, would not budge and I had to drive part way in the grass to get around him. Unbelievable (I even said it out loud). Not to mention the cat that ran out in front of my car the other day. It was like the scenario in the movies, when a car is trying to beat a train over the tracks. I saw the cat on the left side of my car, poised, but I thought, "certainly it will stay there." Never assume anything about the animals in Wewa - the cat looked at me, I'm sure in the eye, and shot out right in front of my car. Ridiculous.

No sign of my bunny friend, either.

Hee Hee Whooooo
Lamaze classes are in full swing. We've been to three weeks and have three weeks to go. We're really enjoying them and have met some nice couples. There's even a girl from Belleville, IL in the class! The midwife we have been seeing is teaching the class and it has definitely given us some things to think about concerning the birthing process. We went on our hospital visit on Sunday, which was good, and even better now that we know the TVs in the birthing rooms accomodate Wiis. Tennis? Bowling? Not quite, but in my pre-labor optimisim I envision playing some Tetris. Maybe not? We'll see. Each new thing we learn brings this baby stuff home just a little more.

In other baby news, we'll go to the doctor again this week and find out if Addie has turned. In the meantime, she's letting us know she's in there with much purpose on her part. Six weeks to go!

Toes: Missing
This is my view down these days:

If I lean forward, then I can catch a glimpse of my toes:

This is a pregnancy milestone, right? I'm sure if I had really noticed I'd have known earlier that I couldn't see them anymore, but it hit me last week and struck me as a little funny. Just one of those moments.

I posted some new pictures last week on Facebook. Here is the link if you are interested:


That about wraps it up! On to hitch the horses up and go into town.

Today I am thankful for our neighbors (again). Mrs. Miller stopped by yesterday to see how I was doing since she knew that Sunday I was dealing with some back pain. If you ever need to duel it out in Cranium with some fun people, the Millers are it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dueling for Peace?

I know MLK Jr's birthday is over, and the timeliness of this celebration and this year's inauguration has some significance, but I couldn't help but bring to light, in all of this talk of change and peace, a bit of irony.

I was watching Special Report with Brett Baier (who, by the way, has a way too perfect coif for as young as he seems he is - strangely enough, I can't find information about his age) and he brought up a feud between "dueling parade organizers" concerning the MLK Jr. parade in Houston, TX. The phrase "dueling parade organizers" caught my attention and tickled my funny bone, drawing me into this story.

It seems the MLK Parade Foundation and the Black Heritage Society (sorry, no link) fight it out each year to host the city's annual MLK Jr. Day parade. Apparently, Houston holds firm to its one parade a day law, so each organization has to fight for its case, or, as with last year, flip for it.

I don't know about you, but I think this is pretty funny. On a day when we celebrate unity, these two organizations are DIS-unified. Or, I suppose you could look at it as them actually being unified in their quest to host the parade, but that just might be stretching it.

If you read about either of these organizations, you'll see that the 2009 theme of the MLK Parade Foundation's celebration is "The Color of Unity."

Wonder which color this would qualify for?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cold Sweet Home

Just two weeks after Christmas I flew home to spend a few days and to attend a baby shower that a few ladies from my home church threw for me, as well as one with my bunco babes. I never cease to be amazed at people's generosity, and these events were no exception.

The day of the festivities started with a get together at my friend Leah Beth's, the original Bunco Babe. Bagels, fruit, and sweet cinnamon rolls adorned with A's kept us going as we laughed and caught up.Cute, cute clothes and some great accessories for Addie from all of the girls. I miss those Thursday bunco nights and the girls that made them so much fun. I am grateful for these friendships and thankful we continue to keep in contact.

A few hours and a little bit of rest later, it was on to Belleville First to enjoy a couple of hours with a group of women who have all influenced me in so many ways. It can be overwhelming, having all of those special people together in one room, but in a great way. My mom, sister, sister-in-law, one of my nieces, mother-in-law, girls I've known since kindergarten, gone to school with, college with, some I've worked with and been laid off with (some even more than once!), some I have known since I was able to be carried into church, and women of all ages who have taught me in Sunday School, Missionettes, and many other ways over they years were there.

The tables looked great and the cake was so sweet:

If you look closely you'll see the cutest pair of pink flip flops on the top of the cake. On each table there was a stack of brightly wrapped boxes and on the top of each stack was a cute pair of shoes. Those shoes were all gifts for Addie, from a dear friend, Judy McCullough. Thanks to her, Addie's little toes will be stylin'. The ladies really did shower us with gifts and love, leaving me feeling very blessed.

As always, it was good to be home and to be with family. Making a long story short, I ended up with the stomach flu for a couple of days and other circumstances made for an interesting trip, but it was good to be there. It was strange to think that it was my last trip to Belleville as just me. I knew it would be hard to leave, and it was, but it will be fun to go back and introduce Addie to everyone.

I am so thankful for Leah Beth and my bunco babes, as well as the ladies who organized and attended my shower in Belleville. Sometimes a simple "thank you" seems so feeble, but I really am very thankful for my family and friends who have been so generous and thoughtful throughout this time, in Illinois, Missouri, and Wewa!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Smell of "New"

A new President makes the news, but what about new CARPET?!!

We've been blessed with a houseful of brand new, plush, neutral carpet. Did I say neutral? Not that there's anything wrong with hunter green carpet, but I must say, we are now enjoying brighter days thanks to our generous pastor and church board.

I joke, but we are very thankful for this new carpet. We do feel very blessed by all that our church family does for us and we gratefully recognize all that they do, and I am sure that plenty goes on behind the scenes that we don't know about.

For myself, I am even more grateful that my thoughtful husband chose to schedule the carpet laying while I was out of town. What a guy. Not only did he arrange for it to fall during a week when I went home to Illinois, but he handled the tearing apart of the house and the reassembling of all of the furniture and everything else. When I walked in the door after returning from my trip, the house looked just the same, and at the same time altogether different. He did an amazing job. And, he had more surprises...

These were also waiting for me. Along with the tidy house (not a dish in the sink!) and flowers, Sabian had also assembled the baby's crib (pictures to come later) and he also picked up my Christmas present that arrived while I was gone and surprised me with it in the car after picking me up at the airport. Just a little bragging on my husband...

The carpet was the biggest thing that was left as far as settling into the house, but we've been taking care of smaller things here and there. Now that we've painted the interior of two houses, we feel like old pros (not really!), but the one good thing about painting is when it is DONE. We don't mind doing it, but it is a big job. A couple of weeks ago I repainted our kitchen table and chairs for the second time. Given to us by a family in our last church, the set is still going strong. In Illinois I painted it white to freshen it up, but in our move here it sustained some nicks and scratches and was ready for a new look. View my Thanksgiving post for a "before" look. After:

Coincidentally, today I was reading an article about getting things done around the house before babies arrive. How timely. For now, I think this will be the last of the painting for a while, for which we are both relieved. Who knows what the next project will be, but we hope it is far enough into the future to have forgotten how much work it can be.

Today I am thankful for our carpet, of course, and my husband and all the work he does, as well as the little extras he throws in.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Frankly, my dear...

Sixteen days into the new year and this is my first post. Technically, second, I suppose. Just goes to show how time can fly. While the first few days of the new year started out slowly and in a semi-relaxed state, the days quickly got busier and busier and before I knew it, two weeks had passed.

The short version, in no particular order:
Inaugural youth service of the new year
Addie, heels over head
That new carpet smell
The end of painting...for now
Hee, hee, whoooo
Chilly Illinois
Canine relocation
Toes: missing

I'll start with a couple and as the days progress we'll get to some others.

It is always exciting to start a new year with a youth group. While I may not be one for New Year's resolutions, there is something decidedly "fresh" about a new year and a new year with our group is especially significant to us, I guess, because in 2009 we'll mark a year of being in Wewa. Already. Hard to believe. We had a good first youth service and we're looking forward to Sabian's annual "State of the Youth Address" the last Wednesday of this month. I am excited for our relationships to grow with the kids and I'm praying to grow to know some of these girls better and better. We also anticipate our striving to live out James 1:27 as a group.

In my last post I mentioned we'd had a doctor's appointment and even showed some new pictures of Addie. As it turns out, she's currently residing in the Frank Breech position, which gives her great access to hanging on to her toes, but puts her out of game day position. We had another doctor's visit today and she looks and sounds great, but continues to stubbornly kick up her heels in the wrong direction. While we do have a few weeks for her to turn, and have learned that 95% of babies do, I'm looking at ways to "help" her as well as continuing to pray that she'll flip. We were able to catch a glimpse of her on the portable ultrasound machine and caught her sucking her thumb. Seems she could be taking after a couple of her cousins, which is just fine by me.

A Flurry of Posts...

...is hopefully about to arrive. Starting a new year, getting in and out of town, and sorting through baby clothes and gear has eaten up some time (and has been a lot of fun, too!), but I'm planning to get on the ball soon.

I am thankful that it is a few degrees warmer here than it is in Illinois!