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2007 June » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

Lost opportunity

30th June 2007

Lost opportunity

Last weekend, during our garage sale, we had the opportunity to meet our new neighbours. They had moved in just ten days before and, despite repeated reminders to myself, I still hadn’t gone over to meet them. The wife came over to make a few purchases and then returned again to buy some more things. My kind of customer!

Close to 10:30 in the morning, during a lull, she came over again to ask if we wanted a cup of coffee. Considering the freezing wind was  cutting through my jacket, even though I was inside (!) I said yes,  please. She brought over a cup and chatted for a few minutes before going back to her side of the fence.

The next day, Sunday, we were back to clean out the house. She came over just to see how we were going and to offer her moral support. Later in the afternoon, after Handsome had left to take a load of stuff to his parents’ house, I went outside to give the grass one last cut. As I started to get the mower going, my neighbour returned and said that she would mow the grass for me. She said that I had enough to do and her garden would still be there tomorrow. I should mention at this point that this woman is probably 60 years old. I realise that’s not old, but that is twice my age :) I nearly cried out of gratitude and I graciously handed over the mower to her.

I told Handsome later on that day that I wish our new neighbours had moved in a year ago! They would have been fantastic people to have around. This morning the girls and I dropped around some fresh-baked cookies as a thank you for all their help last week.

But this all has gotten me thinking. We had other equally nice neighbours, but for some reason we never did anything about it. We never really went out of our way to get to know them or anything. We smiled and said hello and we looked after their houses when they went on holiday, that sort of thing. But we didn’t really get to know them (except I know what kind of underwear they wear because I saw it hanging on the washing line day after day!). What a waste. Here we are, called to be salt and light in the world, and all we did was say hello.

I am determined to not make the same mistake again. I don’t want an opportunity to go by, something that I’ll regret for an eternity.

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

30th June 2007

My phone

I have had the same cell phone since just before Precious was born, nearly four years ago. It’s been a faithful phone, despite being dropped and washed in the washing machine. It’s nothing fancy. I don’t wear any jewelry, except for my wedding ring, but every morning when I get dressed I stick my phone in my pocket. Here in New Zealand text messaging is very popular and it’s how I communicate with our family here in NZ.

Now that we’re facing our move to the States, Handsome has been doing some research on phones. He’s a bit of a geek. Anyway, he keeps telling me that I should get one of those Blackberry things. Because I’ve always got a list going on a piece of paper, I could keep it on my phone instead and then when I’m at the supermarket I’ll never be without my list. I’m not convinced. I tend to be a bit of a luddite - I always prefer pencil and paper over something electronic.

So, readers, do you have a cell phone? What kind? Do you use it a lot? Do you love/hate it? Reveal all. Enquiring minds want to know.

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

30th June 2007

Golden Syrup

Dear New Zealand readers,

What do you do with Golden Syrup? I have a huge tin of it that I think I’ve had for about four years and I’ve only used it once, to make anzac biscuits. I would love any other ideas. I might just have to give it away.

posted in Kitchen stuff | 4 Comments

30th June 2007

Pseudo-names

Up to now I have avoided using real names for my family. Part of me is paranoid. This has probably been fed by my paranoid husband, who has every kind of safety thing on our computer that we could possibly have. But once he explained to me (and demonstrated) how easy it is to find out information about people, I finally understood.

But it’s also very annoying to keep writing “my oldest daughter” or “my middle daughter”.  A bit tedious.

So, my husband and I have been discussing this issue. By the way, have you checked out his blog yet? He wrote a funny post about a cultural mistake I made when I first moved to New Zealand.  Anyway, we’ve been discussing what to call the children and each other in our blogs. This is what I’ve decided. I think we both decided, but I can’t remember.

My oldest daughter, age 3.5, will be called Precious

My middle daughter, age 22 months, will be called Cutie

My son, age 3.5 months, will be Buddy.

My husband will be Handsome :)

Although not original, it will do the trick.

And one day I might figure out how to post pictures and actually show you a picture of our lovely family. But I’ll have to run that one by the paranoid police first.

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

28th June 2007

Cooking Light

Since we’re housesitting at our friends’ house I’ve been reading all of her magazines. WOW! Have you ever read Cooking Light? What an amazing magazine! My friend obviously brought them with her when she moved over from the States. I’ve been making a list of the recipes that I want to try. Fortunately many of them are on their website I’m already mentally making menus for after we move to the States. I can’t wait!

Mom, if you’re reading, think magazine subscription for Christmas!

posted in Kitchen stuff | 4 Comments

28th June 2007

Crying over spilled milk

In an effort to help my son sleep longer (he woke three times last night!!!) I was trying to stuff him full of milk at 7 pm tonight. All that achieved was an overfull tummy. I sat him up to burp him, he looked at me as if to say he didn’t feel very good, gagged and spewed probably 200 mls of milk all over me. So instead of going to bed with a tummy pleasantly full enough to help him sleep at least 8 hours, he went to bed with a practically empty tummy and I’ll probably have to get him up before I go to bed to give him another feed.

Whenever my babies have spewed a lot of milk I get the same feeling as when I have to throw food away because I’ve forgotten it was in the fridge and it went past it’s use by date. I think to myself “What a waste.”

Oh well, I’ll make more.

posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

27th June 2007

Daily Breadcrumbs

 Updated: I fixed the link so it should work now. Don’t ask me why it didn’t work before!

My husband has been quietly blogging for the last few weeks and he’s given me permission to out him. Please go have a look at Daily Breadcrumbs. He’s much deeper than me. He doesn’t talk about vomit and recipes. Not to be confused with vomit in recipes. Oh gross! I should edit that, but I won’t because it made me laugh.

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

27th June 2007

Update on the green card

Thanks to those of you that were praying for us today. The interview went very well and we had all the documents they wanted, except for the police report from PNG. We explained that we’ve done everything we can think of to get it and they said that we must have it. So, we’ll try again. My father-in-law rang the lawyer again and finally spoke to him. Found out that he’s written three times and visited the office once. He’s going to visit again tomorrow. I pray that he has success.

The only other hiccup is something that we did not anticipate at all. When they did the security check on me, the petitioner, a flag appeared on my name. What this means is that the petition must be approved by the Department of Homeland Security in Bangkok. This shouldn’t take a long time, it’s just a matter of clearing my name. The reason there is a flag is that it was a security check specifically for the Adam Walsh Act, which has something to do with crimes against children. I’ll admit that I’m occasionally harsh with the children, but I promise you that I’ve done nothing that is considered criminal. The only thing we can think of is an incident I had when I took my oldest daughter into the United States for the first time. She was five months old and I hadn’t gotten her American passport yet, so she was travelling on her New Zealand passport. Big no no. We were detained at least an hour while they whispered with each other and finally let us go through, reminding me that I must get her passport. Yes sir, I promise I will.

So, this is what I think flagged my name. They say it will take less than two weeks to clear up and then it’s all okay. Assuming that the police report comes in quickly, then we’ll be on our way as planned.

Please pray specifically that tomorrow our friend in Papua New Guinea will have success at the Police Commission and will walk away with a copy of my husband’s clear police report.

Pray also that my petition is cleared through Bangkok quickly so that we can continue with our plans to relocate as quickly as possible.

posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

26th June 2007

Journey to America, part whatever

Updated to add: I started writing last night but didn’t finish it until this morning. This is the reason for the change in verb tense.

I’m too tired to figure out what post this is supposed to be.

We have moved out of our house and are housesitting for friends that are on holiday for four weeks. They return 19 July. Today we finished moving our stuff out and cleaning the house. At this very moment my husband is still at the old house loading stuff out of the garage. It’s always at this point in the moving that I just want to torch the place and walk away. While I was feeding the kids dinner (a wonderfully nutritious meal of pancakes) I was feeling really guilty about not being able to help him finish up, so I rang up one of our friends and asked if anyone at their house could go over and help him, so the man of the house is headed over to help finish up.

Today will be spent getting the final paperwork ready for our interview at the American Consulate in Auckland on Wednesday. This is THE interview. The really important one. I would appreciate if you could please pray for us. Pray that traffic will be light (we’re going to downtown Auckland, which is predictable in it’s unpredictableness); pray that we won’t forget anything that we’re supposed to bring; pray for a calm spirit for both of us; and please pray that our baby son is settled tomorrow! And please pray that the consular officer that we get for the interview is kind and understanding. :)

I’ll update you tomorrow on how it went!

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

23rd June 2007

Where do you shop?

I have another really pressing question before I go to bed.

Where do you do your grocery shopping? Please tell me the region of the country/world you live in and let me know where you do your main shopping. I have no scientific reason for wanting to know, I’m just curious. I’ve already decided where I’m going to do my shopping when I move. Well, I’ve narrowed it down. Really depends on where we end up living in the town. It will either be Food 4 Less or Winco. But I’ll go to Vons for double coupons. Currently I shop at Pak N Save.

My 3yo defines all the stores by their brand colours. Pak N Save is the yellow one. Countdown is the green and orange one. New World is the red one.

What colour store do you shop at?  (is it allowed to end a sentence in a preposition now? or is that still a no-no?)

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments