Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Spicy!

I want to be just like my seven year old cousin when I grow up. 
Linda not only shares one of my names (my middle, her first...and we are not sharing it with you) she shares my love of science. 
However this is not why I want to be just like her. 
She is confident, fearless, and according to her...spicy!
I met Linda for the first time yesterday. She walked into the house stepped right up to me, stuck out her little hand and said, "Hello, my name is Linda, you must be the daughter" 
After introducing herself she went right into bossing everyone around. She had the whole house doing what she wanted in less than 30 seconds. She is my kind of woman! Here are a few little things you should know about Linda

1.) Linda loves dressing up and wearing high heels ... especially the ones that are in my kind of girl! She also loves being stylish. According to her, anything in my closet is stylish, so as long as she is dressed up she is good to go!
2.) Linda's favorite subjects are reading, math, science, and ignoring brothers (her words, not mine) 
3.) Linda loves being spicy. Her favorite food is salsa and it goes on everything. Tonight instead of spaghetti sauce, she used salsa. 

Yes this girl is my favorite. She is kind of a lot to 
handle, steals the covers, and said I looked just like Miley Cyrus (to her I guess that was a compliment) but how can you not love this little spice pot? Did I mention she loves cowboy boots?

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'll make it all better

I took care of my Christmas shopping list in about two hours. I wasn't willing to fight the crowds. Well, in truth I get kind of freaked out when there are two many people and it is just me. Despite the gobs of people in the stores I become very withdrawn and almost lonely. I become very aware of myself and what I am doing, how I am walking and the decisions I am making. Most often this is avoided because I go shopping with someone else, but it couldn't be helped this week...
Today however I was out at Old Navy with a friend and while I felt the urge to become withdrawn I fought it off with valor. While I was standing in line waiting to be checked out, I was practicing my favorite hobby. People watching. Post-Christmas is a wonderful time for my hobby, people are everywhere and they are two busy to pay any attention to a boot-clad, skinny jean wearing, 5'11'' brunette. 

Today was no different. I was blending in rather perfectly watching a five year old girl entertain herself while her mom waited in line. I watched her gaze pass over the pajamas and slippers, slide over the jewelry before it got caught on a bin of multi-colored soccer balls. I knew this was my kind of girl when she passed over the less-important stuff for the soccer balls however this theory was even more solidified when i saw what she pulled out. She dug for a while through the balls, passing over the green with blue spots, purple with yellow stripes, and the solid pink balls for.... a stethoscope. Yes she did. My kind of girl. Sure it was plastic and probably didn't work, but the fact still stands that she picked the stethoscope. She pulled it out with a huge grin on her face and yelled for her mom. She turned around, smiled at me, put the stethoscope in her ears and listened to her mom's upper thigh. She diagnosed her mom then told her not to worry, she could fix her. 

This christmas I got a stethoscope for Christmas. Probably the best gift my older brother has ever given me. I'm not in a position to say that I can fix it, but I'll listen (especially to your heart) as long as you will let me!

I was standing in a ridiculous line at Old Navy today, partaking in the after Christmas sales. When a little girl came up to 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I skipped out on Church last Sunday. Okay, you can judge me, I'm a heathen.... Granted I was in the middle of a fifteen hour coma brought on by three weeks of sleeping less than four hours a night and running my body ragged, so maybe that judgment can be withheld a little. I don't like attending church at home. It just isn't the same as the Well, unfortunately it couldn't be avoided tonight. It is Christmas Eve after all, and my mom had to go to see Nathan Chan play his violin. His in first grade and his feet don't even touch the ground. So I pulled my cynical self together and made it to church on time. After laughing through the thirty minute pre-service music with the siblings I finally turned my attention to the service. It was as expected...

They played the usual christmas music which normally I love, however they played it with a false contemporary attitude. One that says, "i'm hip" while still wearing the cardigan and polyester suit. The pastor stood up and the five minutes I payed attention to were of Ana and waiting to see baby Jesus. Nothing was mentioned about the hope brought by the birth of this baby or love or sacrifice, just living 84 years to see a baby. Granted this is a pretty big feat when the average life expectancy was only 30 or something like that...but still no HOPE?

I wasn't listening. It's not that i'm cynical and find it hard to listen to a pastor that is hypocritical and a control freak (I do and he is....but that wasn't the problem tonight) Tonight I struggled with the lack of noise. The last service at Jacob's well that we went to, we were given bells to help us rejoice. I was wishing with every bone in my body (206 to be exact) to hear the sound of those joyous bells while i was at this service. Despite my desire there was nothing. Only the sound of the preacher's voice, children being shushhed, and a semi-drunk homeless man reciting the Gettysburg address.

My heart broke to hear the parents quieting their children and to see the "deacons" of the church escort the homeless man out. As a church we are called to love, can we not let the children praise the Lord in their own way? Or love on the homeless man who has nowhere else to go? When did it become acceptable to turn your back on these people? How ironic is it that the very people Christ came to save are being escorting out of the church?

The second problem I had was the invitation to communion. The pastor said that the table is for those who have been purchased and who Christ paid the price for. That is the truth, I very much agree with him however he made it sound as if it was exclusive and elitist. No invitation for those who haven't been purchased. No talk of hope for what Christ can do.

It was a cold, lonely christmas eve service despite the fact that the heat was working in the sanctuary and there were at least 25 families there...

on a brighter note...
The entire family is here and I have finally realized how crazy and disfunctional we are. But man is it good to be able to laugh at lame comebacks and ridiculous stories.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's about time...

So, I promised many of you that I would blog to keep everyone updated. As you can tell, the blog has kind of been pushed on the back burner. However, I drank coffee and hour ago (9 p.m. smart right?) and have a lot of time to kill so here it goes.

So for the past two weeks I have been working at the White House (no not the real one...) in Shreveport Louisiana. It is a house owned by the Common Ground Community and they use it to help build relationships with their neighborhood of Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove is a predominately black neighborhood that is pretty rough, but is kind of like a precious gem that just needs some good elbow grease. So from Monday through Thursday, my friend Krysten, and I hang out with neighborhood kids at the White House. We are there from 12:30-5:30 and keep the kids busy, out of trouble, and give them plenty of attention and love. Though we are trying to teach them how to act and be good people, i've learned a lot from them. Here's a few things that have caught my attention....

1.You made me a cake?
Today was Damekio's 11th birthday. Last night Krysten baked him a cake and this morning she iced it and wrote, "Happy 11th Birthday Damekio" At 12:30 when we went to pick up the kids, he wasn't going to come because his Grandma wanted him to spend his birthday with her, but he was convinced with promise of cake. When he crawled into the already stuffed car, he said, "You made me a cake?" He was flabbergasted that we had a cake for him. Then he said something that broke my heart. His father also gave him a cake, but his father not being in the picture very often, spelled his name wrong. Damekio laughed but behind his dark eyes there was a lot of hurt. His face when we gave him the cake almost made me cry. He was so excited about this cake, he wanted to share it with everyone.

2. You're related to him too?
We typically have at least ten kids with us all day, but whenever anyone new comes into the house, it takes about five minutes for them to go through the "initiation" process. This includes listing off all siblings, cousins, friends etc. that the others might know of. Typically someone went to school with an older brother, or they are long lost cousins. Krysten and I didn't get to participate in the initiation process, but I'm pretty sure we are considered part of their family.

3. Why are you doing this?
This question hasn't really been asked since I've been in Shreveport. It was however, one of the top questions while still in Wichita. I didn't have a concrete answer when i was first asked, other than this is what Christ has called us to do. Now, however there are ten more reasons...

4. Can you turn it off?
The kids got a photography lesson the other day and then got their own disposable cameras. Kevin, who has stolen my heart and is also affectionately called Stank, asked me to turn it off. It of course doesn't turn off and that was hard for him to understand, but i was thinking about it and applied it to my heart. Despite the hardships we have to go through with these kids, I love them and I can't turn that off...

5. Can I go with?
We pick up kids about ten blocks away everyday and often others want to go with for the car ride. When they are behaving they are almost as persistent as a shadow. It's hard to tell these kids no, so we ride in the car a lot together. Even though it is only ten blocks, that is usually five minutes of one on one time I get with one of the kids. They usually don't get anything like this other than at the White House. I've had some of the best conversations with kids on these trips, which will probably inspire more blogging

6. that house isn't green, it's clear!
We went the other day to the greenhouse in the backyard to pick out ceramic pots to paint which will ultimately hold plants. The kids followed behind us and Krysten and I were talking about the garden and the greenhouse. Toby, a future third grader and a huge troublemaker, said, "This house isn't green, it's clear!" So obviously our explaning fell on deaf ears, but they have painted pots!

So we are drawing up on the end of the blog. I'm worn out by the end of the day and afraid that no one will come the next day, but always the kids are waiting for us, expecting hugs and activities.

More will come soon, including pictures!