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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Heart Has a Brain!

I absolutely love being in the car alone with Annsley.  In the quiet of the car, she and I will often have some of the best conversations.  Yesterday on our way to gymnastics, her questions turned to the spiritual side. A topic that comes up quite frequently is Nani, my grandmother and her great-grandmother, and heaven.  I was reiterating again to her that because Nani accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior that she is now in heaven.  So then the question progressed to how her body got to heaven and angels and all the other little things that goes with  a 7 year old's thinking.  I said that it was Nani's spirit that is in heaven--the part that was inside of her. 

Annsley:  So, where is the Spirit inside of you? 
Me:  Well, where is Jesus?
Annsley:  In my heart.
Me:  So that is where the Holy Spirit comes to live--to help you.  He's in your heart.
Annsley:  So, it's kinda like my heart has a brain!
Me: (I'm thinking that is a pretty good analogy!):  That's right.  (And because I want to impress upon Annsley and Kennedi that they are made righteous through Jesus Christ I continue...) And because you have the Holy Spirit in you, you have been made righteous in God's eyes.  When we have Jesus in our heart, the Holy Spirit makes us perfect.
Annsley:  But Mom, why do I still mess up sometimes?
Me:  Because you still have a fleshy body.  It's not perfect and never will be.  It's your spirit inside of you that has been made perfect--not your body or your brain. But Annsley, when God looks at you, no matter what you've done or haven't done, who does He see?
Annsley:  Jesus! 
Me:  (Amen!)  That's right! He only sees Jesus!  (I give myself a little silent high five for the day!) 

My high five for myself was short lived.  I decided take the opportunity again to remind Kennedi that God loves her so much no matter what, so I had the same type of discussion with Kennedi this morning.
Me:  Kennedi, where does Jesus live?
Kennedi: (pointing to her heart) In my heart.
Me:  Yes, and do you know that makes you perfect in God's eyes--no matter what?
Kennedi: (nodding)
Me:  Do you know that God only sees the inside of you?
Kennedi:  (Her little eyes getting big) "You mean He can't see my arms?
Me:  No--
Kennedi: My legs?  My tummy?
Me:  (I can tell this is heading South in a hurry.  I'm not quite how to proceed from here, so I lamely say): He can see all of you, but because of Jesus in your  heart, he only sees you as perfect.
Kennedi:  (Motioning in a circle on her chest): He can see my grinder.
Me:  Your grinder?
Kennedi:  Yes, I've got a grinder in here.  It chops up my food. 
Me:  (So much for our spiritual conversation.  I ditch that idea and decide to find out more about this so called grinder.)  Who told you about this grinder?
Kennedi: (shrugs) I don't know.  I just learned about it.
Me:  And what does it do?
Kennedi: (again circling her chest) My food goes down to here.  My grinder chops up my food.  Then my food goes around here. ( She makes a snake around her tummy and points to her back.)

How we progressed from God to the intestines, I'll never know.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Little Red Pen

Annsley and I checked out this super cool book from the library the other day. She absolutely was enthralled by it.  (We're working on Fancy Nancy words---can you tell?)  It's about the thrills and skills of grading papers that mirrors the "Little Red Hen" story and Toy Story movie. By the way, have I told you how much I love libraries? I should have been a librarian.  I was such a geek growing up.  I'd spend hours at a time during the summers at my hometown's tiny library.  What kind of junior high kid takes great pleasure in walking to the library just to browse or check out my favorite book yet again?  I needed therapy even then.   And imagine my glee when I first stepped into my college library! (You mean you have a separate floor for just the microfilm????) I'm sure I asked the assistant librarian, "Is this heaven?"  I'm sure she looked over her out of date at the time wire rim glasses and scowled, "No, it's Northwestern."  (Yes, I borrowed from one of my favorite movies, Field of Dreams.)

(Get back on track, Shelly.) 

This is the cutest book.  Maybe I'm partial because I am an ex-English teacher, but it is loaded with teachable material.  Personification...character analyzation...cause and effect...fantastic and contrast... Houghton Mifflin even has a great resource kit available.  Even if you're not into the schooling thing, it is a precious book. 

(Disclaimer:  I write for pure fun on this blog.  I take off my English teacher hat, but I know when I have a big, fat run-on sentence or dangling participle.  I just don't care to fix the sloppy at this time...)

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Full Wrapper

Since it is not the custom in Easter Europe to circumcise, we, of course, brought home a little boy with 'a chocolate kiss with a full wrapper,' to quote his father.I have no idea where Doug came up with that, but nevertheless, he has referred to his uncircumcised body part as a full wrapper for the last year.

We had been debating on whether to have him circumcised for nearly a year after asking our pediatrician about it upon bringing him home. She said he'd have to be two before anything was done about it anyway, so we've had a year to debate both sides.  I don't know if that is just her philosophy or the urologist's or what to delay the possibility until he was two, but I had decided that I'd defer to Doug on that decision as I don't have that part on my body.  Doug visited with several of his friends who had to have a circ later in life for various health related reasons.  I didn't visit with them myself, but I can say I don't think that could have been very fun.  I just kept thinking about Abraham and a big, sharp rock. We live in a part of the country where circumcism is the norm still, and after discussing the pros and cons with our pediatrician at his 2 year check up, Doug opted for it and scheduled the consult with the referred urologist. 

Our urologist is a character to say the least.  He's highly recommended by our pediatrician, and I've heard wonderful things about him through others.  He's an older guy with a sense of humor, and quite frankly, I seem to like older doctors better.  They are so much more laid back.  They've seen it all. We were sitting in his office earlier in the week discussing the surgery.  He was telling us that Andrei would be under anesthesia...they'd put a little mask on him, and after about 4 breaths Andrei would be out.  When he said that, this urologist makes a whistling noise and with his hand bangs it down on his desk like a tree being chopped.  Then he says, "And the anesthesiologist and I make sure we don't get too close to the mask or we'll..." and he makes the whistling noise and drops his hand to the desk again. 

He then asks if we have any more questions.  We don't, and then he says giddily, "Oh, this is going to be so much fun!"  I'm thinking, for whom?? He takes us up front to his receptionist and is giving her the details of our surgery appointment.  He turns around and as he passes by me, he pats me on the shoulder, and says, "Oh this is going to be fun! So fun!"  At least we know that he seems to enjoy his life's work...

We were at the day surgery Friday morning at 6:00.  I got Andrei dressed in his manly peach colored hospital gown and pants.  He hated his pants for some reason.  He kept pulling them at his ankles and repeating, "Ahhh, Ahhh" (Off, off).  I, too, agreed with his sentiments about the peach color.  Really, it's a color that only looks good on a peach.

Long story short, he did great and has continued to do so. We were on our way home within 1 hour of his surgery.  Other than Kennedi skipping around the house singing, "Andrei, I'm sorry your pee-pee hurts," we're pretty much back to normal around here. We're just thanking God for His supernatural speed in healing!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Whoop Whoop Song!

We've been studying bats around our house.  Really, I had no idea the vermin were such productive members of society.  One of the things we've been studying is echolocation--how bats locate insects to eat or how they avoid ramming their little bitty bat eyes into a tree.  I found a great Jump Start video on YouTube that the girls could sing along.  Andrei has picked up on it, and now any time he hears something on the computer, he looks at me, raises his little arms, and asks, "Whoop? Whoop?" The boy loves music!  I think he gets his dance moves from his daddy.  I won't elaborate. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hee-Bee Gee-Bees!

I found this in my Yahoo News today.  Wolf spiders are taking over in an effort to get away from flood waters in Australia.  Apparently the residents aren't too shaken up about it.  They've already escaped to higher ground themselves, and the spiders are eating all the mosquitoes due to the rain. Gag! It's like something out of those 1960-1970s science fiction movies when the rats, mice, birds, or spiders invade and you've got the dead sheriff who died while investigating the initial reports, and the town is now in the hands of the 20 year old Deputy So-and So with no experience and a few brave citizens driving beat up pickups.  Oh, and who can forget The Blob, the standard in which all man-eating sci-fi movies are judged against??!! 
Not snow....spider webs!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sub Zero Temps

While putting together Andrei's 2 year old video, I came across this picture we had taken while in Krasnoyarsk.  Nearly half of our stay involved days of -20 to -32; we would watch the weather for days near zero and plan multi-block walking for those! They had one warm up of a big 27 degrees while we were there.  HEAVEN ARRIVED THAT DAY!!  I noticed it was -2 in Kras yesterday; a warm up from their -30 of two weeks ago.   Our translator had told us that the school kids go as long as the temps are -34 and above.  Once it gets -35, school is cancelled for the day. (Or something like that. had to be unbelievably cold for a holiday!)  I am quite jealous of those who got to take their trips during the summer months!!
This is a picture of the door to our apartment complex building.  This is the interior side.  We could always tell how cold it was each morning by the size of the ice crystals.  I had always been a bit nostalgic about going to Russia in the winter, but seriously, I have never, ever felt anything that cold before.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


My parents headed to Georgia yesterday as my little sister was 3 1/2 cm dilated and wasn't expected to "make it" through the end of the week.  They bravely left Curly, their 5th child rather late in life who has more jingle on him than Mr. T, in our care. 

My girls have BIG plans unbeknown to Curly.  I'm not quite sure yet what they are, but I know they are conniving them.  As I'm typing this, Annsley comes over to me and says, "Smell here," pointing to her chin.  Ughh! Doggy breath!!  She thens turns to Curly and says, "You need to go to the dentist!" 

Momma Carol called this morning to check in on Curly and let us know that Kasey was on her way to the hospital.  I got off the phone and told Annsley that Aunt Kasey was going to have her baby today!  My daughter's reply was, "Oh shucks!  That means Grandpa is going to be coming back to get Curly!"  She wasn't excited about her new nephew about to make his grand appearance.  It's still all about "little ole' me!" 

While my girls love Curly, Andrei has a love/hate relationship with the dog.  When he's not trying to stick his little fingers in his eyes, he's either screaming for Curly to get away or chasing him down to pet him.  The girls love taking him out to the backyard and running around with him.  That's good.  It makes him tired, and the little ladies will sleep soundly. 

Annsley brings him in from the latest romp earlier tonight, and he's covered in Bermuda grass and sticks.  Have I ever told you how much I hate Bermuda grass?  Especially in the winter and spring before it turns green????? Anyway, I told her to take Curly outside and get the grass out of his coat.  I didn't realize it at the time, but she decided to use her hairbrush to remove the grass. 

We are now in the care of a black poodle with a bad afro on a humid day.  Fluffy doesn't begin to describe him.  Uhmmm....Momma Carol and Grandpa, he's gonna need a little help from your doggie stylist once you get back home!!

Lovin' Curly!

Lovin' Curly's crate more than he's lovin' the dog!

*** Edit: Congrats to Aunt Kasey and Uncle Mike!!! William is beautiful!***
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