Monday, August 25, 2014

Stuff and Bits

Got to spend the day with my babies again yesterday. Picked up momMA and Toby, got Happy Meals at McDonald's, dropped MA and pup off at dog park, took my pups to the kid park, played, ate Happy Meals, one of us had a major meltdown when we had to leave which caused another one of us to have one, too...but all in all it was a fun day and there were lots of hugs and kisses shared. Oh...and this is the last week of summer school.

 Trouble with a capital "T"

My princess

Sharing with Bubba

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sehnsucht...Life's Longings

This is the word that describes where my heart is at most moments of the day. How could I not know it existed? It is why I love Harry Potter, believe nymphs live in the trees, look for fairies in the woods, am convinced dragonflies are magic, have only one or two close friends, want to live in Shell Cottage...oh, I could go on and on. Thank you C.S. Lewis for giving me such a beautiful descriptor. It is my new favorite.
Sehnsucht is a German noun translated as "longing", "yearning", or "craving" or in a wider sense a type of "intensely missing". However, Sehnsucht is difficult to translate adequately and describes a deep emotional state. It is a compound word, originating from an ardent longing or yearning (das Sehnen) and addiction (die Sucht). However, these words do not adequately encapsulate the full meaning of their resulting compound, even when considered together.
Sehnsucht represents thoughts and feelings about all facets of life that are unfinished or imperfect, paired with a yearning for ideal alternative experiences. It has been referred to as “life’s longings”; or an individual’s search for happiness while coping with the reality of unattainable wishes. Such feelings are usually profound, and tend to be accompanied by both positive and negative feelings. This produces what has often been described as an ambiguous emotional occurrence.
It is sometimes felt as a longing for a far-off country, but not a particular earthly land which we can identify. Furthermore there is something in the experience which suggests this far-off country is very familiar and indicative of what we might otherwise call "home". In this sense it is a type of nostalgia, in the original sense of that word. At other times it may seem as a longing for a someone or even a something. But the majority of people who experience it are not conscious of what or who the longed for object may be, and the longing is of such profundity and intensity that the subject may immediately be only aware of the emotion itself and not cognizant that there is a something longed for. The experience is one of such significance that ordinary reality may pale in comparison.
"Sehnsucht...such longing is in itself the very reverse of wishful thinking;
it is more like thoughtful wishing."     ~ C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Strange Happenings

My brother's garden is starting to produce a lot of vegetables. I went out last night and picked green beans, peas, corn, green peppers, red cherry tomatoes and two green tomatoes. We already had red onions that we picked earlier in the week. I stir-fried the veggies, steamed some rice, and fried the green tomatoes. My lunch today is going to be so good. The strange part is I put green peppers, tomatoes and corn in the mix. First of all, I don't like green peppers or tomatoes. Second of all, I DO like corn but not mixed with other food. I like it all by itself. So, what was I doing, mixing it all together? Good question. I guess I'm growing up and not being quite as picky. The second strange part is...I've been drinking coffee AND tea. I don't like either of those beverages so how is it I find myself drinking two cups of coffee and three large glasses of iced tea everyday? Your guess is as good as mine. I blame momMA for the tea. She had me try an Arnold Palmer and I was hooked. It's part tea, part lemonade. I go through that stuff like crazy. Yummy delicious.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer in the City!

Yesterday I took my babies to the spray and splash park. They had a blast. They climbed around on the play structure first because they weren't too sure about getting wet. Pretty soon, MJ decided to try it out. At the beginning she was pretty cautious but toward the end, she owned that place. Bubba was a little more hesitant but he did put his hands in the fountains and tried to drink the water a couple of times. We had a picnic and sang LOTS of songs. Those kids are walking iPods. They know tons of tunes. MJ said, "Tee, I'm getting bigger." I said, "You are getting bigger." She said, "Tee, Bubba is getting bigger, too." I said, "He sure is." Then I said, "Even though you are getting bigger, will you still be my baby? Can I still call you Baby Girl?" She nodded and said, "When I am even bigger Daddy and Tee can still call me Baby." Megan said I should have recorded it. She's right. Why didn't I think of that?

After dropping off the babies, I picked momMA up and we went for a walk. She came back to my house and we played a game of Shang-hai. Here she is studying her cards with Ichabod's help. You can see he's not too sure about grandMA's strategy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Babies I Didn't Get To Hold

I almost had an anxiety attack right in the middle of summer school. I was reading a blog about a woman who had two miscarriages. One of the comments said, "You will be a great mommy. You already are." My chest got really tight and I couldn't catch my breath. My face felt like it was on fire, my hands started to shake and my teeth started to chatter. Because, you know what? She might NOT ever be a mommy, not in the way she imagines. I won't be. Ever. And the finality of that and the cruelty was unbearable in those moments before the anxiety detached its claws from around my heart. All those dreams I had about my future? They won't be happening. That little blonde girl with the brown eyes dancing around my legs, making me slow down and stop my hurrying? She won't be there. That sulky teen-ager who wants nothing to do with me? I won't be hearing her slam her door. I won't be watching her walk down the aisle or holding her hand while she brings her own child into the world. I won't be surrounded by my offspring and their families when I'm old. And I'm angry about that. I am not supposed to be. I am supposed to be leaning into Jesus. I am supposed to be letting him be the solid ground under my feet when it feels more like they are just flailing in the air, trying to find a place to land. I am not supposed to be focusing on the Why? I am supposed to be focusing on the Who. But I can't. I have so many Whys. So many un-answered questions or insufficient attempts at answers. People say, "You can adopt." Yes, I can. And I can love that child with all my heart. But there won't be my grandparents' genes in that person. My dad's smile or my mom's sparkly eyes won't be looking at me. I won't see traces of my brother. Maybe someday that will be okay but someday isn't here yet. Today is now and right now it's not okay. I'm sad and I'm angry and I feel betrayed. Physically the surgery is the best thing I could have done. Emotionally - different story. One that I can't bring myself to read for very long or tell about in depth. From that same blog, here are some reminders for me to look at when I feel more inclined to focus on Who.

Who is Jesus?
He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)
He is the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8)
He is selfless (Romans 5:8)
He is faithful (Psalm 36:5)
He is a good Shepherd (John 10:11)
He is salvation (John 11:25)
He is alive (John 20:6-7)
He is with you (Joshua 1:9)
He is love (1 John 4:8)
He is in control  (Colossians 1:15)
He is good (Psalm 86:5)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer 2014

I've had a busy, fun, relaxing, wonderful summer. So wonderful, in fact, I haven't taken much time to blog. I thought I would catch up today, while there is a lull in the action. Be warned! There are lots of pictures. 
I started the summer by having a hysterectomy. It was the best decision I've ever made. I feel like a new person. I didn't realize how poorly I felt until I suddenly didn't feel that way anymore. I stayed with momMA for a couple of weeks and received great care (already noted in an earlier blog post). Soon after, she and I went glamping on San Juan Island (also noted in an earlier blog post). My mom was finally able to take time off from work so she came to visit for a couple of weeks in July. She wanted to take it easy since I was still recovering and she'd been working so hard so we stayed pretty close to home. We went to the ferris wheel, aquarium, zoo, the fish ladder, the Locks, Shilshole marina, Fishermen's Terminal, and Mt. St. Helens. When she left, JP and I went tent camping and fishing...which ended up being a nightmare. I don't even want to blog about it. I did get some good pictures though. We have really been enjoying the "fruits of JP's labor" from the garden. We have peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and lots of flowers. Even herbs. I like going out and picking green tomatoes and frying them up in a slab of butter with just a sprinkling of salt. I think they are so delicious. We even have corn trying its hardest to grow. Well, I think that's about all. I'm back at summer school now and have 12 students. They are from Taiwan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Korea and Namibia. They are very well-behaved and I am enjoying them a lot. Time for pictures...

Mom's Visit

(Mom made a new best friend. Ichabod wouldn't have anything to do with anyone else while she was here. He was completely "Grandma's" boy.

Camping with JP

This and That
Getting some love from my boy. He's my loyal buddy.

Since I didn't get to go home this summer, I sent souvenirs for all my babies.
This is Haydn and Maddy in their "Someone from Mill Creek, WA Loves Me" tees.

Here's Jes and the girls. Notice Miss Molly's Mariners pjs? Lovely hair, too!

Fried Green Tomatoes from JP's garden

Cell phone hotel at summer school