Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some Answers and Some Zoo

Since it's Sunday night but feels like it should be last Thursday, we're going to switch things up a bit, in honor of the chaos that is currently my life.

Listen closely! Put your thinking caps on! It could get ugly.

And it's for sure going to get confusing.

What you are about to witness is the recap of our fateful zoo trip from last Tuesday, with answers to your questions interspersed.

Let's do it, yo.

You might not know the following about me: I love lions. Well no, that's not really true. I don't just "love" them...I don't love them when they're being lazy (almost all the time) and I don't especially love them when they spray out of their behinds, but I LOVE it when they roar. There's nothing spooky-cooler. I always imagine how terrifying it would be to hear that out in the wild. (I have a habit of trying to imagine very awful things. I haven't completely ruled out therapy.) I was worried that they were going to be totally lame, but just as we were about to walk away, they put on a boomin' show.

My excitement was only slightly overshadowed by the nagging headache creeping over me on account of the blasted blackbird attack that happened only moments earlier, immediately following the feeding of the fish.

What do you for discipline when the kids misbehave? - Julie F.
Well, we do time-outs for Siley and send the bigger kids to their rooms for a bit. We spank when necessary. We enlist manual labor for Calvin. We are also big fans of finding out what the particular kid really wants and then holding it over his/her (mostly his) head. For example, from the ages of 2-4, Calvin was obsessed with wearing sports clothing. When extended family saw him in a shirt with no number, they knew he was in trouble. We also like logical consequences, i.e, Calvin has been giving us trouble for the past few nights at bedtime. Tonight, he had to go to bed early, before anyone else.

When did you become a Christian? What's the coolest thing God's done for you? - Laura
I became a Christian when I was four, although I learn more about what it means to live my life for Christ, to remember that it's not my own, every single day. My faith has grown as I have seen Christ alive and at work in me. He rescued my marriage from the brink of utter destruction about 10 years ago. He gave us first-row seats to the outpouring of his love (delivered by the hands of others) during Calvin's health crisis 5 years ago. He rescued me (rescues me again and again) from my selfish nature and unkind heart. He held our hand through our extremely difficult first year with Silas. And yesterday, when I was having the sorriest birthday in the history of birthdays, he covered me up ten times over with goose-bumps when the kids and I screamed this song on a 6 minute van ride. He's just always here. Always beside me. And he makes sure I know it. That's the coolest thing.

My nephew Colin, pretending to be swimming underwater with the wildlife.

We totally rock the "Daycare Field Trip" look when we're all together.

My SIL Jamie dressed her boys alike so she could keep a closer eye on them.

I unknowingly dressed Silas in their dress code.


Calvin took this shot of us.
(Nana, Mommy, Aunt Jamie and Aunt Lindsey.)

Of course, it started a whole "thing" and every one had to have a turn.

Q: cats or dogs? - Janie
Neither. Can we still be friends?
If it helps, we have four outside cats: Ralphie, Ed, Helen, and Fred.
I make sure they are well cared for.
But I never hold them.
Just being honest here.

I would like to see more of your pressed tin backsplash. Is it real tin or the panels from Lowe's or other home improvement store? - Lorilee
It's the fake stuff from Lowes! We love it and people comment on it ALL the time. It looks like the real deal and adds tons of character to our farmhousey kitchen. And it's fairly inexpensive. And easy to install!

If you could visit ANYONE'S home, who would that person be? - Tina Turner
Oh, these questions give me the jitters, because what if I answer and then I think of someone better later?? It's not easy, being a control freak. At this very moment, I do believe I would say that it's a tie between Silas's birth mom and Calvin's birth mom. I would love to see them, see their world, how they live, etc... I would love to squeeze them!

At what age did you begin using your "Old Timey" words? Teens? Twenties?
- Tina Turner
I was raised on old-timey words, but they are experiencing a revival in my life as of the past 5-ish years. I should start keeping a little list of the things my mom and dad and extended family say. You'll crack. up. And then you'll start to say the same things for fun, because it's positively irresistible.

Who was the first woman you looked at and thought "She's smart, amazing and cool and I'd like to be like her when I'm older." Can't be your mom or your granny.

When I was in elementary school, I idolized my older cousin, Diane. So much so, in fact, that I carried her Senior picture in the back pocket of my jeans and I wore her hand-me-down t-shirt with "Diane" airbrushed across the front. I believe it had lavender 3/4 sleeves. Dang, I wish I still had that shirt...

How many good friends have you made from blogging? Don't you call them "Crossovers"? When I first read that, I thought your Coop Friend had passed on!
- Tina Turner
My, aren't we chatty, Tina!
Well, thank Heavens, Coopy has not up and passed on. Perish the thought. I have made so many friends via blogging. Many kindred spirits who think like I do and and many who challenge my brain and heart to stretch. To date, I think I have spent in-person time with 5 or 6. I'm always a nervous wreck before I meet one in person, because you know, what if?? Mostly I fear that they'll realize how boring I am in real life and how truly claw-like my hands are. One of my happiest, most unexpected blog friendships is with this gal, who attended college with me and lived right next door to me, but with whom I never shared a single meaningful word. Now? I kick myself over time wasted and hug her whenever I get the chance.

Oh my dear. These three.
Calvin is trying to look like Toby Mac here. I'm thinking he totally pulls it off.
I love them to bursting.

Hi Macy! You are the cutest, happiest baby girl ever! You have magical powers which transform Silas into a sweet, charming, cooperative, gentle lamb. Do you babysit?

Hi, massive crocodile. I do not like you.

What denomination are you? I keep thinking you're Mennonite.... - Jennifer Jo
I have attended many denominations in my 35 years. I've run the gamut. Right now, I'm First Brethren. I love my church.

what were your favorite shows from those model loving days? - Nancy
Oh man, what was that show about the teenage girls who were somehow rescued by that very wealthy older man and became models? And why does that sound so creepy now?? OK, wait...Rags to Riches! Loved it. And apparently they were singers and not models, but still. I also liked the ill-fated Models, Inc.

Do you have a favorite memory from your visit to Korea? {Besides meeting Silas, of course} Looking back I try to pinpoint a favorite, but it's all a beautiful blur of breathing in the places and details and people that swept me off my feet and left me wanting more. My heart found a home there. Do you feel the same? - Rachel
I totally wish I could say the same. I remember mostly being cold-cold-cold. I was not properly attired. I definitely think back our visit with fondness, but we had a tough time communicating because we were alone - completely alone, on our own. Even our visits with Silas's foster family were difficult because there was such a great language barrier. Despite those things, I loved attempting to see the city and the people through the eyes of my boys, who came from a world away, from a culture so different from mine.
I would love to go back one day when it was warmer and when we were more able to communicate with the people.

After the snakes and the spiders and potty breaks for everyone, we had ourselves a fine lunch at the park.

And then my nephew Evan puked.

And I hauled all three kids across town to Vinnie's, where Silas snacked on his shoe and I snagged 7 plates for $10 on behalf of Jamie, who was unable to join us due to the aforementioned puking child.

We browsed around for nearly an hour and they did amazingly well.

The check-out lady was so sweet.

And they all fell asleep on the drive home.

I. Heart. Summer.