Monday, September 9, 2013

friends.

The girls had a BLAST with a few of their buddies today...which means I got an hour to sit and relationship with all mamas--win win.
 there are no shoes.  in the world.  that Sofie does not want.
Lily, Nata and Katia making soup.  And, once Sofie dumped out their water, a salad :)
Jefte is just a few months older than Sofie and turning into such a BOY!
This is the kid's "swing", which they were all better at than Sofie, who I was worried was going to hang herself :)
They were all having SO MUCH fun.

Halfway through, Lily yells, "MOM!  Sofie's speaking Creole!"  I came over to see what she was talking about, because she uses lots of Creole words with Noel and Gertha, but I've never heard her speaking phrases.  And she WAS.

"Geyen banan?" she asked Nata, directing the soup making.  "Do we have plantain?"

"Geyen zonion?  Cawot?  Mesi!"

SO GREAT.  When you're with Creole speaking friends, you speak Creole.
There's nothing better than watching your children loving and being loved by other children, all aware of what they are doing together and oblivious to all the differences that never mattered to Him.

Then, to watch them all while chatting and laughing and encouraging and testimonying with friends?

A great afternoon.



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

friends

Yesterday when Lily woke up for her nap, Noel was sound asleep on the couch (our trip to Baron the day before almost killed her :).  Lily snuggled up on the other end and before long was fast asleep again...too cute.  Both girls sure do love No-No, and No-No sure does love them!

Gotta love this girl.  She is so full of life that she makes even the monotonous things of everyday fun :)


Friday, August 30, 2013

girl updates

leaving Grandpa's house, to the airport for Haiti.

Lily: Big Sigh.  "Welp.  I guess my vacation is OVER."

Grandpa: "Yep, now you really have to get back to work, Lily!"

Lily: Big Sigh.  "YEP."


Upon arriving in Cap-Haitien:

Lily: "Well, that was not very fun.  But now it's fun!  Except we have no suitcases.  And your toe is still bleeding."



Tonight, taking her bath.

Lily: "Well mom, you had a really big day today, didn't you!"

Mom: "Why yes, Lil, I guess I did, huh."

Lily: "I bet you're tired now."



Matt, drawing stick figures for Sofie...:  "Look, So, it's Daddy!"

Sofie:  "No, Daddy.  That's a big chicken."



Now, both girls are absolutely OVER THE MOON for Ethan and Haylie, our newest neighbors.  Haylie is endlessly patient with them, playing dolls and doing art projects, and Sofie has become her little shadow.

I had NO idea that 13 year old Ethan would EVER take any interest in the girls, but he is SO GOOD with them and has spent lots of time each day playing with them.  Yesterday, I even found him packed into the girls playhouse with them, happily taking way-too-much direction from Lily and adding his own sense of humor to their games...sending the girls into peals of laughter frequently.

They beg to play with him, sit with him, and follow him, and after days of telling me "I want to play with that BOY!", Sofie has finally learned "ETAN."  Lily kept getting in trouble at church on Sunday because she and Ethan were doing all they could to crack each other up :)  Two hours into the service...at least they were happy :)


The happiest moments for me as mom lately have been watching the girls thrive in their cross-cultural, bi-lingual lives.  As we were loading up the cars last week for staff retreat, we were piling into our truck when Lily said, "Couldn't I please ride in the van with my friends?"  Her "friends" were all of the security and kitchen staff at EBS, driven by Abel.  I couldn't believe she would actually be brave enough to ride away from her whole family, but she darted into the van and settled into the back next to Paulcine and Kesner, and was happy as can be.

She was also quite sad to learn that Azi and Gideon won't be going to her school again this year.  When I told her, she started to cry, and said, "NONE of my friends are going to school with me!  I'm going to miss Azi and Gideon and Asheline and Alexandra and Madame Nata...."

I cut her off, and explained that it was ONLY Azi and Gideon who won't be at school this year, and that her other friends still will be.

Immediately she returned to happy chatter.  "OH!  Well, I will miss Azi and Gideon, but as long as my other friends are there, too...we're gonna have FUN."

I wasn't sure how to breech it to her that she will be the only ONE foreigner in a school of 600 Haitian children, and now realized that that thought not only hasn't crossed her mind, but ISN'T an issue for her.  She's four.  She cares that she has FRIENDS at school, and upon learning that she does, she is counting down the days.

I LOVE that.  Her childlike understanding of friendship and differences is the way I desire MINE to be.  People are people.

Sofie is growing like a weed...well, at least up.  She's still a bony little thing, and as ornery and cantankerous and cute as she can be.  Everybody seems to have a special spot in their hearts for Spicy Sofie...we're always attracted to trouble makers, aren't we :)  Seeing Sofie recognize and love those around her, Noel...Micheline...Gertha...Thaliya...Granny...the EBS staff...some of the students.  It's GREAT.

The girls continue to be unaware that they don't have any family within a 1000 miles.

Because they do.

Friday, August 2, 2013

the funny things they say (and wear)

Lily: "Mom, who IS she, in OUR family?" (pointing at Great-Grandma).

Me: "Well, that's MY Mommy's Mommy."

Lily: "But, YOUR Mommy is in heaven."

Me: "Right."

Lily, pointing at Great-Grandma.  "Soooo.  Well, is SHE still living?"

The look on my grandma's face while patted herself down, just to check, was PRICELESS.
Heading upstairs with Sofie and Lily.

Sofie, charging ahead: "I'm gonna WEEEENNN!"

Me: "You gonna get to the top first?"

Sofie: "Me no rotten egg!  Whoo!"
Lily, from the backseat: "Mom, which way are we gonna turn?"

Me: "We're going to turn LEFT."

Lily, so impressed: "WOW.  How did you LEARN all that stuff in your head?"

Me: "Well, I guess my mom showed and taught me a lot of things when I was a kid, and I still have them in my head."

Lily: "WOW.  You should keep putting stuff in my head, ok?"
Bedtime with Lily: "Mom, WHEN are we going back to Haiti?"

"Three days."

Lily: "YAY!  I am so excited.  There's only one thing I'm not looking forward to."

"Aw, what?"

Lily: "Elli and Dani won't be there"  and SOBBING.  

sigh.  they won't :(
Lily: "Where are we going?"

Grandpa: "To Smokey Bones, for dinner."

a few minutes of other conversation.

Lily: "Are we almost to Dusty Ribs? I'm HUNGRY!"
Watching rat basketball at the science center yesterday, after 2 minutes.

Lily: "Ah, those rats should be dead.  We kill our rats.  Let's go look at something else."

Sofie:  "Me HOLD it!  PULEEEZE?  Me HOLD it!"




We discovered it's hard to play putt-putt with Sofie.
Or really, to do ANYTHING.



Monday, July 15, 2013

reflection...

I'm praising the Lord for this summer.

Don't get me wrong...I LOVE my job.  I love heading up to the classroom for a few hours every morning, meeting with students in my office, pouring into the men and women God has placed me with.  I'm so thankful I get to work part-time at EBS.

But this summer, despite all of the traveling and speaking, has given me some GREAT time, LOTS of time, with my girls.  Lots of hours in the car.  Lots of spontaneous discipleship opportunities.  Lots of time to go on walks, not rush, wander the store, cook together, do things we never get to do, lots of time to talk.

My newest fav has been here in Delaware, where Matt's parents live in a housing development and Matt's sister-in-law has a bike with a kid seat mounted on it.  Every night, I take first one girl on the 2-mile loop around the development, and then the other.

The heat of the day's been replaced by a cool breeze.  The bunnies are out, the sky is beautiful, and best?  There is no rush, no noise, no schedule.

This un-interuppted 15-20 minutes with each of them has been PRECIOUS.  Time to talk, and best, time to just Listen.

I LOVE where Lily is at right now.  Beyond learning to talk, and onto learning to reason, to reflect, to remember, and to ponder.  Talking about her feelings, her dreams, her concerns, and her questions.  just precious.

Tonight, she wanted to know why the sun is always following her...if loving God means that she has to die like Grandma to be in heaven with Him...and sharing with me her dream.

"Mommy, I really hope my dream comes true", she tells me

"What's your dream, baby?"

"To go back to Haiti.  I really want to go back to Haiti now."

Man, what a heart wringer in so many ways.

Everything everyone says to her, she is thinking about, reflecting on.  Feeling.

It's making everything so much more heartbreaking...or fun.

Bought her new school shoes.  Has told me 10 times since..."Mom, I REALLY DO love these shoes.  Thank you SO much for getting them for me!"  Took her to the pool today.  Said three times on the way home, "That was just SO much fun, wasn't it.  That was GREAT!"
Hearing her say stuff like that just...man...makes me want to just spoil her to death :)  It's not just seeing her smile...it's hearing her be BLESSED, which is SUCH a blessing to DO.

Then there's Sofie, chattering on and on about seeing the moon and the baby bunnies, answering every question I ask with a sweet "uh-huh" or "yesh."  Telling me about swimming, and everything that she did while acting it out, causing the bike to swerve :)  Telling me about the dive show we saw a week ago that STILL has her enamored.
When we pulled in the driveway, I was panting, and I told her, "whew, mom is TIRED!"

"Whew!" she proclaimed, suddenly puffing loudly.  "ME TOO!"

They are such precious gifts, and man, just a blink ago, we were here LAST year, and LAST year, and I was pregnant, and they were BABIES, and suddenly I realize and SEE so many of the things God has put in them for this huge great adventure of their lives that has ALREADY begun.

There is just no greater ministry in my life than these two, nor will there every be.  They are one thing in this life I just can't mess up.  Discipling and loving them is one thing I just CAN'T do half-heartedly or with my left-overs.

So in awe when I realize that my girls AND I are all of that, and more...to Him.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Survivor

Today, I took the girls to the grocery store to buy all the groceries for three days of camping for 9 adults and 2 children.

When I got home, and my sister sweetly pointed out that my shirt was on inside out, I stumbled across this very hilarious, very timely post: The Grocery Store with Children Challenge.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 14, 2013