Monday, February 20, 2012

Today’s Projects

First I made play dough for Jube. Soon before we went down to the beach, we set Jube up with a rolling pin, little cookie cutters, and clay. Since then he’s gone through about three sets of store bought clay (it’s cheap) and I was thinking that I’d like to see how he liked home made play dough. So a while ago already I had Dru buy me a bunch of salt for the project.
Today Jube was looking at pictures from when we were at the beach and came upon one of himself playing with his clay. He promptly came into the kitchen and pointed to his clay and said, “I want that thing.” I gave it to him but it was starting to dry out on top of being dirty and hairy. So I made him some play dough. I hadn’t made it since I’d made it when I was in labor with him over two years ago. But it turned out beautifully and he is very impressed. He didn’t complain at all about throwing the old stuff out.
And I tackled the flower bed project. I know it’s not level and I know that I didn’t have enough of the top bricks to go around. Tomorrow I’m going to go out and switch those two at the right to be around the back so you don’t notice them so much. But it’s still fun and pretty. And I did it all by myself except to have Dru come put the petunias up there. That is a very heavy flower pot.
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Do I need to turn to petunias to a more flattering angle?
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Dru likes these a lot and so do I. I hope they do well.
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I have a sneaking suspicion that I won’t really be the one to enjoy these flowers. I’m wondering if they won’t be at their most beautiful while I’m in the states.
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All of these new flower I planted so we’d have something we could pick and put on the table eventually. My dear son was picking the begonias and the impatiens now and then, so maybe this will be a better option.
Havilah and Jube were very helpful as I was doing this. Jube threw scoops of dirt in the air in an attempt to do it like was and Havilah wasn’t content until she was allowed to sit right in the middle of the project and be worked around. Then she proceeded to taste various dirt clods.
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I’m also going to mark my “pat grapaow” as holy basil so that it doesn’t get mistaken as weed and disposed of by the family who will live here while we’re in the states. So now you don’t have to ask me about the weed I’m carefully growing—I’ve already told you, it’s not a weed. I do need to cut it so it branches and gets nice and bushy now. Maybe I’ll root the cuttings and plant them too.
Dru could have done a way better job at taking these pictures, so maybe he’ll take some for me and post them himself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Picture post…

Wow, two posts in one day!
Just to avoid confusion, keep in mind that captions are above the pictures. Enjoy.
First strawberry.
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I was on my way out the gate with my bike the other morning when I handed Jube the keys and told him to take them to Daddy. Instead, he stepped out the gate and dropped the keys in the gutter that runs along the road. I was gone by then but he ran inside to tell Daddy that he’d dropped the keys in the water. After much scooping and slopping and some prayers, Dru finally found them.
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Yes, he’s still in his pajamas.
The Guilty Party
Doesn’t Dru look disgusted?
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Now this is truly disturbing. It was brought to my attention that a rat had been visiting my kitchen. One evening, about a half hour after setting a sticky trap, said rat was heard squealing  and hissing. Several days after the death of the rat, Dru spotted two young rodents, such as you see below, scuttling across the floor. They seemed to be slightly unhealthy and sluggish. They were found to be living in the old air conditioner, which was soon hauled out the door. The next day I spotted this fellow about 2 feet behind Dru who was sitting at his desk studying. He was calmly washing his whiskers among the children’s toys. Also seemed to be tired and ill. I am disturbed looking at this picture. And last of all, there was a small rodent of the same size as this, in a bucket outside the door the next morning. Only this mouse was lively and fit as a fiddle. And cute. He, I must admit, was cute. The rest were mostly disturbing. And I think I’m all done with rodents in the house now, but you can never be sure…shiver.
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Mae Wahn  took us to the Ratchaphruek Garden. It was the wrong day to bring blond farang babies to such a place as this. A lot of the people there came from different provinces and were not as familiar with farang children. I was a bit upset that they were so rude and would not leave Jube alone. He was rude and they still wouldn’t let him be. One man wanted to hold him! Everyone wanted to take pictures of or with him. We couldn’t walk 20 feet without our children being bombarded by cameras at one point. Below Jube and I are running…away, away from the paparazzi…for a couple of minutes, if we’re lucky.
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Below, the children with a monk. Just one of the many, many people who couldn't pass up this golden opportunity to be in a photo with farang children.
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Jube is very easily overwhelmed by people, whites and Thais alike, when they come in crowds and demand his attention. He wants to be left alone. He wants to explore the territory at his own pace. Additional coaxing will only make him less personable. Part of me wants to train it out of him. Part of me thinks it’s probably not possible at this point. All of me is sympathetic to his plight. There are people he must be nice to. But I don’t think it’s necessary, or even safe, for us to make him be friendly to every stranger who comes along. Our good friend George would, when his children were at our stage, tell the adoring fans that it was “Paugh laow,” or enough, when the hoop-a-lah had gone on long enough. It’s nice to know that that is okay if I ever find it necessary to do so.
Orchids below.
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Last but not least, pictures of last Saturday when Arlin’s came over and helped put in a walkway, and a fire pit. He did the fire pit alone, but Dru put in a good part of the walkway until he was done with that. So credit goes to both Dru and  Arlin. Arlin ordered pizza in exchange for labor. Done deal! Pictures tell their own story here.
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This good looking man is making hot dog sticks.
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The fire pit is wonderful! Thanks Arlin!
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A Blog of Blabbers

I’ve decided that the best way to deal with the mom guilt things is to simply admit that I’m a bad mom and then let the grace of God fill in the gaps. That’s not a cop-out because I’m not copping out. I’m doing a lot more praying about little things again. I’m quicker to notice when Jube’s too lazy to obey. But there are still gaps.

My mom and dad raised 7 kids who are walking with Jesus. I know they made mistakes. Mistakes that I hope by the grace of God to avoid. But I’m sure that when I’m 50 and telling my mom about my journey raising my children and confessing my shortcomings, she’s going to smile and say, "Oh, I could have told you not to do that". So I’ve decided that if I can raise children who want to follow and love Jesus, then whether or not my children would go down for naps at 12:30 sharp when they were toddlers, really doesn’t matter in the large scheme of things.

That being said, I’m struggling again with knowing how to settle them at nap time. Havilah goes to sleep easily in my arms on the rocking chair. I used to walk Jube up and down until he fell asleep—when he was her age, that is. But I decided that I would not do that for another baby. So I taught Havilah to go to sleep in my arms within five minutes. I don’t let her wiggle, and soon enough, she’s asleep. But she wants to sleep for 45 minutes and then wake up. This isn’t enough sleep for her. So far,  I’ve nursed her back to sleep laying beside her. I haven’t really taken the problem in hand. But I’m trying to figure out what’s reasonable for a seven-month old.

Jube will lay in bed and turn and toss for 2 hours before going to sleep. If I really want him to go to sleep, I go lay beside him. He will go for a week or two, or maybe even more, and just fall asleep like a sweet angel, but then he has these spells….So how do you get a kid to stay still and sleep? I have noticed that if I’m consistently getting him to bed by 8:00, then he goes to sleep easier for naptime. But, come a busy, crazy week, I can’t always count on being able to get him down for his early bedtime. And naptime starts being a struggle. Clark blogged about reality. Reality is that I can’t always get Jube in bed on time. So then what?
I think this whole bedtime thing has been one of my greatest ongoing motherhood struggles. But I hear say that eventually, children grow out of nap times. So this too shall pass. And by the way, I think I’ve tried it ALL when it comes to putting Jube down for a nap. I seriously doubt if the whole, “Johnny go lay down and take your nap,” and then the child submissively does so, is a totally honest picture of reality.

That being said, the children a now, finally, asleep so here I am blogging. And drinking coffee. I remember the day, I was in my late teens, when my mom said, “Lisl, you're old enough now to drink a cup of coffee and go on with life.” I was complaining about being tired. It was a new thought to me so it stuck. I think of that often now. I still struggle with it like an adolescent who’d much rather go take a nap. I also get sick of taking naps and wasting valuable time. I’m not a good enough Skrivseth to be able to drink coffee without consequences. I have to drink with care, considering what food is in my system, lest I end up worse than I began. Somewhere there’s a balance between naps and coffee, but often it too, gets lost in reality of necessity--or will-power.

King Bhumibol  fell down, and so did President Obama. We’re struggling to know how to keep things hanging on our cement wall. Adhesive hooks don’t work very well. I have for a very long time been rather unimpressed with conservative people who refuse to vote yet are very deeply involved in politics when it comes to having strong opinions and words. We should speak respectfully of our President regardless of his policies. I’m having an increased amount of respect for the people of Thailand who honor their king with a passion. Granted, they may take it too far. But some of us would do well to listen up. Below where the picture of Obama used to hang and beside where the king used to be, we have 1 Timothy 2:1-3. Go look it up. I had asked Dru a couple of days ago if we should just take the whole collage down. He said no, it was a good reminder now while the Republican’s are trying to find a candidate in the US of A. So, like good home schoolers, we now have a picture of our president on display in our home. (Have you ever noticed how most non-homeschooled people talk about HOME-schoolers, while those who are home schooled referred to themselves as home-SCHOOLers? Dru was home-SCHOOLed, but I was only HOME-schooled for most of my high school years.) There, enough of that random tidbit.


I nearly killed my big beautiful begonia. I liked it very much because it reminds me of Grandma Graber. I overwatered him as I suspected—I checked the care of begonias on line, but only after I nearly killed the dear fellow. Today, I dug him out and hope his roots dry out and he revives. Begonias don’t like as much water as impatiens, I guess. Lesson learned. As a general rule, plants die if I touch them. But it’s fun trying and I do believe I’m learning something, even if I’m a slow student. The mango tree didn’t die although I was skeptical. I watered and watered and watered it. Now he’s blooming. If it makes as many mangos as it has blooms, it might bend and break branches off of itself. Alas, we shall not be here to witness this and I hope the Lively’s, who will live in our house while we’re gone, enjoy them. About the begonia, if this one dies, I shall replace him. I was growing fond of him. Dru brought him home to me one day a long with a bunch of other plants. They’re very cheap here, so I like to think that Thailand is a good place to develop my green thumb.

Okay, now that you have endured these rambles, here are some pictures. Wait, no. The pictures will have to wait. Havilah is up and pulling at my skirt. Maybe pictures tomorrow? No promises, but I do have some to blog.

Now did my blabbering blog bore you?
PS I shall post this and hope that Dru is kind enough to edit my mistakes when he reads it. I can’t edit something very well right after it’s written, but if I don’t publish now, it may never be published—which might not be such a great loss after all.