Saturday, July 28, 2007

Swimming, but not surfing yet.

Well, still no internet yet, so I'm just checking in. VBS is finally over, and Hubby took Friday off so that we could all just be a family for awhile.

We've been swimming, one place or another, every day this week, and the kids are getting better and better at enjoying the water. Zaya even discovered he could put his head underwater, and is like a little fish now. Ok, so he can't actually swim without his floaties, but he enjoys trying. He jumps off the side and goes down the slides like a champ. Mim's still such a Mommy's girl, but she actually went down the slide in the kiddy pool today, which was a first.

All in all we're enjoying our summer. I just wish we could enjoy it while being connected to the internet. Oh well.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

On a brighter note...

Zaya has been lots of fun to watch these last two weeks as he learns to interact with his peers. He's been in my group both times, so I've been able to keep an eagle eye on him.

He loves singing, and really gets into the dances and actions of the songs. He especially loved the music from last week's VBS, and still wants to listen to the CD every day at home. (I'll give more details about that VBS, later.)One of the songs starts with, "He's powerful - He healed the leper..." Zaya was singing it with the CD the other day, and I heard him saying "He's powerful - He is a leopard." I guess that makes more sense for a three year old, if you think about it.


Once again, I remember with startling clarity that my spiritual gifts do not lie in the realm of children's education. After two straight weeks of Vacation Bible School, with only one evening off between them, I am nearing the end of my admittedly short patience-rope.

Last week was fine, because my parent's church has a much different (and shorter) style of VBS. Except for the travel, I could've done that for awhile. It's this week that is kicking my tail. I'm watching the "Pre-K - Kindergarten" class, and shuffling them around from activity to activity. There are roughly 25 kids, ranging in age from 3 to 6, because we have the kids who aren't going to pre-k yet, the kids who will go to pre-k next year, the kids who just finished pre-k and the kids who just finished kindergarten. Surprisingly enough, I'd be hard pressed to tell you which age is the most obnoxious. They all have their special gifts in that area. At least we have lot of helpers this year, so the grief is spread fairly evenly over a wide range.

To top it all off, Mim decided that she was not going to stay in the nursery, so I've been carrying her around for all two hours of VBS every night. Tonight, thank the Lord who saves and delivers us, is the last night, and I am anticipating that sweet feeling of relief when the last sticky little children toddle off with their parents.

Oh yeah, and I'm losing my voice already, and I'm the lead female singer for worship team Sunday, and also singing with a quartet for special music. This ought to be lovely.

If any of you guys have a little extra love and patience this week, you could package it up and send to the Babystepping household. Hubby and I could both use some, as well as our long-suffering toddlers.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hanging on...

I'm really so amazingly far behind on my blog reading that I don't know how I'll ever catch up. This no internet thing is wearing on me. My husband teases me for being addicted to the internet, which just isn't true at all. It's easy for him not to be frustrated by this delay, because he is on the internet all the time at work. He hasn't had to be without it at all, so he doesn't realize, I guess, how frustrating it is to suddenly have no access to my online community of friends and relatives. It's getting hard not to be a bit down about it, although I really am enjoying life in our new home. The kids love their rooms, and are having fun running around with the neighborhood children.

There aren't so many local kids anymore, really. When I was young in that house (we bought it from my parents) there were about 13 kids on that street, 12 and under. We spent countless evenings and summer days in our own imaginary little worlds. I was always the one who went to everyone's house and asked if they could play, then we would meet in my family's backyard and spend the next few hours on desert islands, other planets, medieval kingdoms, and war-torn countries. I wish so much that my children could have those same imagination-molding experiences, but the street has aged. Now there are only my children and one other little boy on the street, as well as two soon-to-be 7th graders, who were the last babies of their families.

It will be interesting to see what they do with their free-time, now that the dynamics of life in general are a bit different. For instance, we didn't have a computer until I was in high school, and we didn't get a TV until I was about 10 or 11. The backyard was a lot more magical when I didn't have games I could be playing inside, and books were much more alluring when there was no television to entertain me.

Now I've got my blogging, Puzzle Pirates, the news and weather, and all sorts of high-tech things to keep me busy. I suppose I need to take advantage of this forced sabbatical from all things webby, get back my imagination, and maybe help my children at the same time. I do miss all of you, though, and hope to back around soon. Please don't give up on me.

Friday, July 13, 2007

So it goes

Well, we're still without internet, but Hubby has been working on it. It may be a bit, but hopefully sometime soon. I have been getting lots of stuff done, because I don't have blogging and puzzle pirates to wast...err spend time on.

I'm so far behind on my blog reading that it'll take me days to catch up when the time comes. Sorry to all of you who are faithfully stopping by. I'll return the favor when I can, really.

I liked QTpies idea for getting the internet connected. (See comments to previous post) I might have to give that one a try this weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

D I all Y

My husband is a very skilled worker. Although I wouldn't call him a perfectionist, exactly, (which is a dirty word, to me) he is definitely particular about his own handiwork. He has decided to do every last bit of work on our house without the help of "professionals", and I think he just might be serious about it. I've begged and pleaded to no avail.

"Please, honey, what if we just hire a plumber to come put the pipes through in the back."

"You know, dear, there are people out there that do electrical work for a living."

"I'm pretty sure they sell trim at Lowes, my love, pre-cut and everything."

Nope, none of it has worked. It's not that he can't do all of these things himself. (Even if he couldn't, I'm smart enough not to say as much to him. The surest way to make a man [of any age] do something is to insinuate, or baldly state, that you don't think he can. I've used that to my advantage on numerous occasions.) No, he's perfectly capable, it just takes him half of eternity, because he's only one man; and he has a full-time job and a high-maintenance wife; and because he has to have everything....just...cotton-pickin'....right.

That's the real reason he won't hire other people to do the work. I think he suspects that they wouldn't be up to his standards. He's probably right, I suppose. His standards are pretty stinkin' high.

Oh well. That's why I married the fellow, I guess. He doesn't live a just-good-enough kind of life. He approaches everything from a "to the best of my ability" point of view, which is why he's such a wonderful friend, husband and father. I guess I'll just have to take the handyman right along with the rest of him. It's all worth it, in the end.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Happy Birthday (belated), Dad!

This is a couple of days late, but I think Dad will understand.

I was reading a book recently that said every little girl wants to be the princess who is rescued. If she is lucky, she someday finds a man who will marry her, and be her knight in shining armor. If she is very, very lucky, she will grow up with a father who is also her hero. I guess that means I am a very, very, very lucky girl.

I suppose everyone finds, as they grow up, that their parents are only human, after all. I am not blind to the aspects of my father that are less than perfect. But I remember so many times in my life when he was my hero. Dad was not a pushover when it came to the difficult decisions in our lives, but I knew he would save me, help me, when something was too much.

When I cried all the way home from gymnastics class, Daddy was the one who said, "It's okay. You don't have to go back. It's just not that important." When I impulsively switched universities one summer, Dad was the first to walk in after I read that my financial aid wouldn't be enough. I thought my boyfriend would be going away to college without me after all. I know we didn't have much money, but Dad promised me that day that I would go, regardless. He would find a way. As it turns out, he never had to pay a cent, but Dad still rescued me that day.

When Dad stood at the front of the church as both my father and my pastor, he gave me away to my new hero, my husband, who I had followed across the state, and when Dad's voice broke as he pronounced us man and wife, Daddy was, as ever, my hero.

Pickled Ladybugs

My husband's Grandma K, who has already earned a post all her own, is right in the middle of the summer harvest. I'm not talking about the wheat. That's another post entirely. No, Grandma K has fruit trees, and a garden, and we all spend the summer trying to eat as much fresh produce as possible because, well, why not? We have been stuffing ourselves with apricots, peaches, cucumbers, jellies and, of course, homemade pickles.

Grandma makes refrigerator pickles, which means they don't sit in the big tub of brine first like normal pickles, but gain their pickly goodness while jarred on the cabinet. I'm not sure what all she uses, although I know she gave me the recipe once, but on top of the jar is a big flower from her dill plants, and a big grapevine leaf. The leaf is to keep them from getting brown, or soggy, or something else that is unappealing in pickles. The exact reason escapes me.

Anyway, my point is, that you know Grandma's stuff comes straight from her garden, because when I pulled the grape-leaf out of our most recent pickle jar (I didn't bother pulling it out at first, we just dug around it) there was a perfectly preserved little ladybug clinging to the grape leaf. Now I call that fresh and all-natural. I tell you what, you can't get tiny pickled ladybugs just anywhere, folks. That's some real down-home-Oklahoma-farm-goodness right there. Oh yeah, and we've almost finished the jar of pickles.

I'm going to pull the leaf out first next time, though. Call me citified. I just want to know, that's all.

Finally, almost

Well, we still don't have internet at our house, but I finally found all of the components of my digital camera, and downloaded the Zoombrowser on my mother's computer. So, without further ado, here are some pictures of my new house. I'm not able to use my normal program, so these are much larger than I would normally use. Sorry if they take up too much space. Also, Zaya managed to get in almost all of them. I tried to put Mim in, but she was busy throwing a fit on the floor. So it goes.

Here is Zaya in his new room. His dresser and other junk are on the other side. He's quite proud of his little room, for all that it's several square feet smaller than his last one. He's especially excited to have a lot of books out again, instead of packed away like they were all this last year.

This is Mim's room. There have been cute, girly little purple curtains added since this picture, and a bit of the chaos cleared, though not all. She, too, is thrilled to have hundreds of books now at her sticky little fingertips. The crib takes up a lot of this picture, but you get an idea how it's all situated, anyway. My mother in law will be helping me make some curtains for her closet soon.

Here's a bit of the living room. It's still cluttered with boxes and etc, so I didn't include it all. And I wasn't brave enough to take a picture of the kitchen yet, because the counters are still piled with junk.

So, are we finished unpacking and remodeling yet? My answer would be a firm, "NO!"

Monday, July 02, 2007

Checking In

Well, we still don't have internet access. In fact, we still don't have the dishwasher, washer, dryer or television hooked up, so we're running on primitive here in the Babystepper household.

I'm currently getting my "internet fix" at the house of some kind and forgiving relatives. They even offered me candy bars. How much better does it get. (Snickers. Is there any other kind?)

Yes, there will be pictures and stories forthcoming. Here are some topics I plan to cover:

Pickled Ladybugs
Naked Paratroopers
DIY Husbands
and so much more.

Stay tuned, and please forgive for the delay...