I was cleaning out the pictures on my phone today and saw this one. It seems to typify how I'm feeling today. Things are going too fast. I have no control and it's spinning so fast. Yesterday the movers called and nearly begged for us to move out pack date forward because they are so swamped with work when we asked to pack. We agreed to move it 6 days earlier. As I hung up the phone I realized what I had done. We leave today for Dubai. Our second and very last get out of jail trip. We return Sunday late afternoon. Monday we pack and Tuesday morning they come. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! I'm not sure how this will all come together but I'm hoping after the pack out life will slow a little.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Ashlyn is in that standard kid stage where she says a lot of "Watch me. I can do this!" She's seeking affirmation and wants us all to know she's big like us.
Today I overheard her tell her guys, "Watch this guys. I can spank." Then she swatted Madison on the back side. It was kind of awesome. Madison just calmly asked her not to spank anymore and I had to stifle my laughter in the other room knowing my eight year old had just been swatted by a three year old.
Now Ashlyn is taking big steps around the house then small and meduim steps. I'm thinking in preschool today they must have been exploring how to move their bodies. I love that little lady!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
If you were to ask me about what kind of a kid Ben is, I would stop and think as I always do. It depends on the type of day we had what where I would start. He is often anxious about change and doesn't like to be made to do things he isn't interested in. Rarely does he fight me when I ask him to do something but I have to watch to see that it gets done because he's keenly aware of how busy I am and how many balls I have juggling at that moment and will capitalize on my busyness and avoid a chore now and then knowing I won't notice for a few hours or days or won't be able to remember if I asked him to do it or another kid. He's observant.
Ben is quiet. He prefers to stay in the background of a scene. He's smart. He is amazing reader and devours books. This year he would check out a book a day and his goal was always go finish and return it in 24 hours. He succeeded a lot!
He loves Nerf guns and could play Nerf wars with his compound buddies all day long everyday. They have hideouts and strategies and a million guns between them all which they are constantly comparing and even trading. Not much in this world could make him smile as big as a package of neon colored foam bullets.
One thing I love to say about Ben is that he's a very thoughtful, perceptive child. I once asked him if he wanted to stay in Singapore, go on another adventure in another country or go back to America when we finished our first expat assignment. He said he wanted two more adventure assignments then he wanted to move back to America so he knew what it was like to live there before he went to college alone because he was already forgetting what it was like to be in America. He was only eight years old.
Now he's eleven and we have resided in two countries, traveled a ton and are relocating to Houston next month against our wishes. (We all wanted to stay in Saudi a few more years.) I asked last night while I trimmed his hair, so his ears would show again, if he liked expat life with all the moves, disappointments, losing friends every year and other frustrations mixed within the fun, new friends and adventures. Was the good worth the bad? Ben has really taken this move hard but even with all the mess of home schooling, grieving and loss we are feeling now he said it was definitely worth it. He wouldn't have wanted to miss what he had done so it was worth the sadness and pain. He'd be willing to move overseas again after we have some time in Texas.
Monday, May 18, 2015
I've been known to finish people's sentences by singing lyrics that fit. Especially when my kids are talking so slow that I have a hard time paying attention and staying focused on them. For instance today Madison was talking slowly as she asked a question about math and I was losing concentration.
She said, "Hoooowwww doooooo I......" To which I responded in song, "live without you?"
She rolled her eyes and asked, "Is there a song to EVERYTHING?"
"I sure hope not."
I guess this home school gig is getting boring to me but maybe I should channel my energy into a stellar music class for those with minimal voice skills but ample knowledge of old lyrics.
I used to do it to Brian all the time but tell him, "You know there's a country song about that..." And there always was.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Sometimes when you use a very old notebook you find amusing chicken scratches from year ago. This one cracked me up. I assume I was talking about baby names for our fourth child and looking for patterns or something.
It makes me glad Ashlyn Anne turned out to be a girl or she may have ended up with that name.
Friday, May 15, 2015
My son Ben was told in Chinese class at the international school that his name translated as either "stupid", "notebook" or "pen" depending on the way you write the accent.
My name of course is Angie and over the phone in Singapore I got written down as the Asian surname "Ng". They assume I spelled my name for them, not said my name. When I show up a blue eyed white lady people are totally confused. I finally started using Angela for all phone conversations
Saturday, May 9, 2015
I'm healing from shingles. Slowly but faster than the Internet says I should. I think it's a blessing from above because I can't be held up with a miserable body right now. I have duties and responsibilities to home school. Most days I start with someone doing something by 7:00 am. Often we are working until 5:00 pm with someone else. Home school shouldn't take this long. And given enough time it wouldn't but we are fresh into this and there are still a lot of emotions and push back and tantrums.
My friends here in the compound that are with the same company doing home school have been so gracious and have been providing dinner every other day and bringing enough that I don't have to cook on the days in between. They are angels in my book especially because they are also swamped trying to prepare to move their own families and home school their own kids.
As for the shingles the medicine has been great. The shooting pains across my body are gone and I'm left with just a terrible itchy feeling and an occasional pain in my side where the pants hit my waist. But I'm counting it as fantastic news that I'm in pants at all! I wore dresses and loose flowy skirts for over a week to minimize anything touching my torso.
I've been semi-quarantined here. Most people have already had chicken pox or the vaccine but in this very international community not all have. I'm pretty safe with Americans but no body else is a given as okay. I will take tomorrow off of teaching poetry because the younger kids that I know haven't had it will be in the school house but resume my class on Wednesday for the next regular session.
A friend is in need of a baby bed rail so we moved Ashlyn's bed against the wall and took one of hers off to give away. It's white so of course it's grungy from years of dirty hands. We took it outside to scrub it with some soapy water and it didn't take me long to realize it was HOT in the blazing sun. Ash had gone out barefoot and declared she needed shoes because it was too hot for her feet. We got her shoes then moved to the shade to finish the job. We don't expect it to take long to dry so we can deliver it to its new home.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Mom: "Jacob will you take some salad and pass it to Ashlyn please?"
Ashlyn: "I don't want any salad."
Mom: "I know but you have to some cucumber."
Mom heard: "I don't want a que number."
Ashlyn meant to say: "I don't want a cucumber."
I will miss little kid speak in a few years from now.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
I remember a day my sister Kristie was with me and Brian driving home from Lake Powell together. She was driving and I was co-captain manning the tunes. The Mask of Zorro was kinda sorta a recent movie and it had a great song "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You" and Brian had the soundtrack from his birthday. I put it on and hit "repeat" because it was such a good song and chatted with Kristie while she drove along those vacant desert roads. I was absorbed in the compelling conversation. I guess she wasn't. About 30 minutes later she finally asked me exactly how long the song was because it wasn't changing.
I did it again tonight and I can't stop giggling because it reminds me of all the fun times we have had together over the years. I found a song called "See You Again" and the music was nice so I clicked a version on YouTube to listen to while I surfed Facebook. After 14 minutes I asked Brian if it had switched yet because it seemed to still be the same song. He checked. It was the same some set to run for over an hour.
I love it when random things remind me of my family.
It's only 6:53 am. Madison is in tears because I asked her to bring over the weather chart she's been keeping for a week so we could plot the temps on a graph. She had written that four of the last six days were foggy. It's been clear as it could be with visibility for miles all week. She's sobbing now because I tried to discuss what fog was with her.
Just a typical home school day at our house. Though it's rarely her that's crying. More often it's the boys.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
As this expat season of ours comes to an end we got a little curious and wondered where we had the good fortune to travel. I was amazed my the number of places we had been in this beautiful world. We will sure miss the chance to travel!
Here is where we have been as of 2015 with most of the travel occurring between 2011 and 2013.
Lived in USA, Singapore and Saudi Arabia
Ben age 11
Madison age 8
Jacob age 6
Lived in Singapore and Saudi Arabia
Ashlyn age 3
Visited by all six of us:
United Arab Emitates
Angie, Brian, Ben and Madison visited:
Angie, Brian, Ben, Madison and Jacob visited:
Angie and Brian visited:
It's been a wild ride and we honestly hope to do it all again real soon.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
This is what the back of my counter looked like two months ago.
This is what it looks like today.
And the pain med and itch cream aren't even in the picture because they are upstairs in my bathroom. Needless to say I'm not feeling my best these days. The main troubles are my knees and then more recently shingles. I had no idea what shingles were but I sure do now. Random, perpetual pain shooting up my torso or side all day long and intense itching. This is horrible! One week down. One to five more remaining. The first set of scabs is nearly healed but the foreshadowing pain has migrated to my back and I'm scared for how much worse this is going to get.
Now that I know what it is, I accidentally exposed a bunch of people to it and thus the chicken pox. So I had to tell everyone. I feel really bad. And kinda stupid. But now that everyone knows a bunch of ladies have organized dinners for me every other day. For a week. Today it was so nice to stop moving and stay still on the couch while I corrected the home school papers and worksheets. Every movement I make seems to make it itchy. The less I move the better I feel.
And I hired a teacher to do writing with Jacob. He positively won't do it for me. And I'm done fighting. It's time to outsource which is odd because he isn't one I would have thought would do that for me. I thought he'd want to please me but I was unequivocally wrong on that assumption.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Six year old Jacob had been making up unbelievable story after unbelievable story explaining how the ear piece on his glasses frame got snapped in half during the night. None made sense. This went on for three days. Then we were reading scripture as a family and it happened to be about a story where God condemned liars in one way or another in Mosiah. We didn't say a thing to him at all but after family prayer he says, "Reading that scripture made me VERY uncomfortable tonight." Brian and I burst out laughing. Yep. It oughta make him squirm!