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2007 November » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

282 visitors??

30th November 2007

282 visitors??

Whoa, dude, I just checked my site meter thingy and on 18 November I had 282 visitors. My humble little blog usually gets about 15-20 visitors a day (most of whom don’t leave comments!!), so this is a huge spike. And considering that my last blog prior to that day was 14 November and it wasn’t brilliant, it’s not like I was discovered and hordes were clicking away to get to me.

So what happened? Probably some computer robot out to mess with my mind.

***UPDATE: upon further research, it appears my blog was added to something called Stumble Upon, which produced the majority of those visits on that day. Hasn’t produced any since then, so I don’t know what the deal is. Weird.

***Another update: someone from Christchurch is reading pretty regularly. actually a couple people. I know one of them and she’s fluent in French. Who’s the other??

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27th November 2007

I’m married to a geek.

This isn’t a surprise to me. And he’s a very handsome geek. And funny, too. And can sing. But he’s a geek. Right now he’s watching a TV show called Big Bang Theory. He thinks it’s hilarious. I’m listening to the intro and I’m thinking, uh, not so much. But I think the geekness of it speaks to him.

He just asked me to join him in watching, so I will. After all, many people would say that I’m a geek too. After all, we did meet on the internet in the days before e-harmony ;)

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27th November 2007

No sir, that’s not a weapon. It’s a zester.

I am in the middle of my holiday baking and just this very minute I got out my citrus zester, which I’ll use to get/make zest from 4 oranges. While I was searching for the zester in the drawer I was reminded of the last time I handled the zester.

We were at the American Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand, going through security before our appointment for Handsome’s green card. I was going through my backpack, trying to find anything that might be considered a weapon. I found the usual things - nappies, baby wipes, change of baby clothes, a few stray church bulletins, tissues, some very old raisins, and… oh look! It’s a citrus zester! Just what every mother of three carries with her. Just in case of zesting emergencies, you know.

In case you’re wondering, I believe I rescued it from being donated to the op shop when we were moving and obviously my backpack was the nearest place for me to hide it. And since I’m so fastidious in cleaning out my backpack, it was still there a few weeks later when we went to the consulate.

There is one advantage to having a bit of clutter in one’s bag or car - one is prepared for whatever might happen. Like the time recently we visited the pumpkin patch and a friend arrived in her car and asked if I happened to have an extra pair of shoes that her daughter could wear. I rummaged around and, indeed, we had an extra pair. Or last Friday night, we went shopping at the local Christian bookstore and I started smelling something I’d rather not describe coming from my second daughter. I hadn’t brought my bag o’ tricks and was worried that we’d have to live with the smell all the way home. We went out to the car and I dug around and voila! I found a clean pair of panties in the boot (what’s that called in American? The place in the back of the car where you put the groceries? Oh. The trunk) and some wipes in the glove box. She was excited to wear panties since she normally wears diapers and I was excited to not have to travel home with the offending smell. And I’m sure the sanitation worker was really excited to empty that rubbish bin the next morning. And imagine if the Consular Officer had handed us a lemon and demanded we make lemon zest or else we’d be living in New Zealand forever.  We would have confidently completed the task. Everyone else in the room would have been out of luck, but we would be zesting to our heart’s content.

I got that citrus zester as a wedding gift and I’ve carried it around (sometimes literally!)  through seven moves, across oceans and back again. I think I’ll go do some zesting and relive the memories.

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26th November 2007

Creepy crawlers

We have a creepy crawly in our apartment. He’s about 30 inches long, two legs, two arms, and is often referred to as Little Guy (which is also the name of my parents’ dog, interestingly).

Our son has learned to move. And he does it every chance he gets. He’s nearly 9 months old and over the last few days has started moving in a combination of crawling/creeping. But whatever you call it, he gets around!

This just hit home a few minutes ago when I turned my back on him and when I looked again just a few seconds later he had crawled over to the crayons that his sisters had left out before nap time and was about to stuff them into his mouth.

Although this stage is fun, I really hate the “I have to vacuum every day” stage. But it’s also the “He’ll laugh at anything, make your heart sing with joy” stage. I guess it’s a fair trade.

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24th November 2007

confession

I have been told by Handsome that I must confess to the entire internet that I am a peeker.

Yes, I peek.

I peek at presents that aren’t yet wrapped so I don’t have to wait until Christmas to see what they are.

If you could only see me you would see that I’m hanging my head in a bit of shame. I’ve been a peeker for as long as I can remember and I just can’t stop!!!!

But, I must say, he did a good job picking out my present :)

What lesson can I learn from this? Be sure your sins will find you out. 

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

21st November 2007

Private thoughts and thankfulness

It’s been a week since I’ve posted and that last post wasn’t all that edifying :) I’ve had a lot on my mind, just processing a lot of thoughts and being challenged by God on a lot of things. I started this blog in part to record some of those thoughts and see how God works in my life and the life of my family as we follow Him. So I’m just going to type and not worry too much about it being ‘good’ writing (not that I worry about that much really).

We’re going to start homeschooling Precious in January. All year long we have been working on preschool level things, just to help us get used to how it works and finding our way a bit as far as method goes. When we moved to America Precious stopped going to preschool because it was no longer free :) She has mentioned several times how much she misses kindy and I realised the other day that if we had stayed in New Zealand she would now be attending five days a week, in the mornings.

The choice to homeschool is one that we have been mulling over for nearly two years. I’ve done a lot of research - reading books, talking to public school teacher and homeschool families, searching the Internet. Handsome and I have talked about the reasons for and against homeschooling for our family. I’ve gone back and forth about different curriculum I want to use or don’t want to use. We’ve developed a budget, because of course it’s not free :) We’ve made a choice about what curriculum we’re going to use - Five in a Row . I’m still very interested in Sonlight but I think I’ll save it for a few years from now when we’ve got two to teach.

The thing that scares me the most about homeschooling (and Handsome would prefer that I call it home learning, but that’s for another post) is myself. It’s not that I’m not capable of teaching, because I’m a pretty good teacher. And Handsome is a great teacher. Some part of me thinks that I need to have it all together before I attempt something so grand. Everyone knows that my house is not ever perfect. EVER. I’m not perfectly organised. I’m not perfect. At anything. I’m a pretty great cook, though, but that’s not perfect either ;) But as I read the blogs of other homeschooling moms, I know that perfection is not required. So, it’s a fear that I have to lay at the feet of Jesus every day.

Speaking of Jesus, he’s awesome. We’re studying Matthew in BSF and every week I walk away with so much to think about. But one thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and putting into practice is the way I pray. I won’t go into detail because I don’t think it’s important, but I am remembering more where my place is in relation to Jesus Christ. He is on the Throne and I am not. And remembering that when I pray makes a huge difference in the content of my prayers.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I was at my parents’ house a short while ago, picking up Little Boy after BSF. Mom was baking pumpkin pies. As I walked through the house I breathed in really deeply the smell of the holidays. That was the smell I missed when I lived in New Zealand. As I was driving home, I had my hand up near my face for some reason and I realised that I smelled like nutmeg. I had been making a breakfast casserole for tomorrow and put it in her fridge. Nutmeg is Thanksgiving to me, it’s my mom making pies and pumpkin bread.

And finally, things I’m thankful for:

  • a husband who works so hard to support our family and study and lead our church in worship, all with a smile and a laugh
  • daughters that will give me great big hugs, even after I’ve spanked them for disobedience
  • a son that loves to snuggle, particularly in the middle of the night (!)
  • parents that are so supportive, particularly in prayer
  • but mostly for a God of compassion and steadfastness, through every storm and trial.

And just to close, something for me to remember: God doesn’t necessarily call the equipped. He equips the called.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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14th November 2007

buying in bulk

This is not one of those helpful posts about how to buy cheaply in bulk, or how to use the things you buy in bulk at Costco. This is simply to say that I LOVE buying in bulk. My heart starts to race when I get to buy a big box of diapers (perhaps it’s the $30 I have to spend to get them?) or a 6 month supply of soap. I’m crazy. I was just this very minute making out my menu for the next couple of weeks, keeping Thanksgiving in mind and extra baking that I’ll be doing for the holidays. The single thought that kept running through my mind was - I wonder if I can buy that at Costco and actually use it all up before it goes bad? How many dishes can I make with fresh spinach so I can buy it at Costco?

Hi, my name is Michele and I’m addicted to bulk buying.

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

14th November 2007

translation

Beef mince = ground beef

pram = stroller

trolley = cart

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

13th November 2007

Smashed eggs

On days that I don’t have the car, I normally take a walk with the kids, just to get us all out of the house. Today we went egg-smashing. Perhaps I should give you a bit of background?

There is a supermarket within walking distance of our house and, since we needed milk, I loaded up the kids in the double pram with Precious walking alongside and off we went. This particular store has small, child-size trollies that my girls love. They each got a trolley and pushed alongside me as I pushed the double pram. Precious(4yo)  is pretty good at it, but Cutie (2yo) struggles to go straight. You can see where this is going, can’t you?

First we picked up some beef mince that I’ll cook and freeze to add to Little Boy’s baby food. That went into Precious’s cart. We walked further to the milk case and got two gallons of milk, one in each girl’s cart. Then we got to the eggs. I bought 2 dozen and put one into each girl’s cart. What I didn’t tell you is that we almost upended a display on the way to the milk. And I was constantly talking to Cutie to remind her to straighten out, watch for others, look where she’s going, etc.

We got everything we needed and headed to the checkout. There was an older woman in a wheelchair kind of hanging out in the middle of the front aisle, so we had to maneouvre   around her.  In the process, Cutie was about to run into a fragile endcap, so I quickly righted her and turned back around, only to hear a CRASH. Her cart turned over, she fell down, and the eggs didn’t stand a chance. I thought they were okay, but a store employee quickly came over to help us and he picked up the eggs as they dripped onto his hand :( He happily brought us a replacement dozen - should I have offered to pay for the ones we broke?

We paid for everything and headed outside. It took me a few minutes to get everything sorted out in the pram so we could walk home. While I was doing that, several old women that were waiting for their ride back to the retirement village where they lived, were openly talking about me and the kids. I hate that. They hadn’t seen the egg debacle. They were just talking about how many kids I have.

People, I have THREE children. THREE. That’s not 20. Yes, that’s slightly above average, but it’s not like I have quintuplets. I hate it when people think I have too many kids, too close together, or whatever.

Then as we walked away another woman stopped me while she stared at the kids. She asked if the girls were twins. This happens all the time. Our girls are 22 months apart. That’s nearly two years. Can they see? Are they blind??

m,nnm

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

13th November 2007

Our anniversary

Handsome and I will be celebrating our anniversary on 22 December. Eight years. We don’t normally celebrate because it’s right before Christmas and we have things happening. This year his parents are arriving on 22 December to spend 10 days with us over Christmas, which we’re all excited about.

This morning, when I realised that our anniversary was approaching, I decided that we’ll be celebrating on 21 December. I have been dying to go to Olive Garden since we moved to America (can you say breadsticks??) Mom and Dad, you’ll have to babysit :) And Handsome, put on your fancy duds, because we’re going to paint the town red!

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