Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quote of the Week...late

With Kevin and Patrick both gone last week, you'd have thought I would have had time to give you my quote of the week. Not so! But, in an effort to relieve your anticipation (I'm somewhat delusional, aren't I?), here it is...better late than never.

As a mom to four busy kids and a husband whose schedule borders on insane, I live a pretty sedate life. For the most part I do the same things over and over without much fanfare. When Patrick sees great fruit in his ministry, I feel rewarded that somehow I might have contributed to his work. When Alyssa receives a glowing job review, I smile, happy that the whole world can appreciate the beautiful young woman she is growing into. When I see pictures of Kevin feeding tiny Haitian babies, it's almost as good as being there myself. When Hannah wins a ribbon at her first horse show or Victoria dances as Clara in the Nutcracker, it's better than if I had done those things myself.

I don't always relish the shadows. Occasionally I wonder who I am, who I'm becoming and will I even recognize myself once the kids leave the house? I sometimes (not often mind you) long for a little excitement of my own; something out of the ordinary to break up the monotony of my days. Well last Friday, I got just that...and my quote of the week to boot.

About 3pm the phone rang. The phone is rarely for me these days (unless it's my husband or kids) so it was no surprise when it was for Patrick. The caller proceeded to inform me that the burglar alarm at Carenet was going off and that the police were on their way. I thought great...just what I need in the middle of Friday afternoon. My mind quickly scanned the options available to me, but I knew I was it...I needed to meet the officers there. After getting my niece and nephew situated, apprising my kids of the situation, I headed out the door.

I arrived to two police cars in the parking lot but no officers to be found. A crowd mingled next door near the pawn shop (which the police frequent), so I surmised they were taking care of a bit of business there and would emerge momentarily. Hearing the alarm blaring and not seeing any officers, I proceeded to open the back door and enter the code to shut off the alarm. About the time I turned away from the wall I heard my quote of the week being shouted, "POLICE" as they burst into the back room with guns drawn. Thankfully by this time the alarm had quieted, and they realized I was the good guy...whew...and just in time, too. They informed me that someone had left the front door unlocked and that they had not finished clearing the building. With my heart beating out of my chest, I suggested I just wait outside while they finished their duties.

I still haven't found out who it was who left the door open, but I do know this: Excitement is a bit over-rated. Three cheers for monotony!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lessons from Haiti

I don't have much time to update this blog. So while I have lots of thoughts stirring in my head, they will have to wait for another time. I do, however, want to give you a glimpse into Kevin's trip to Haiti. From what I have gathered, the guys on the team helped roof a couple of houses and hauled off countless wheelbarrow loads of mud that flood waters had moved into and around homes. They built benches to help bring some semblance of order at Jubilee, the place where they feed a couple of hundred kids each day. May God bless the missionaries who serve these kids, day in and day out. I pray the team was a blessing to them.

Kevin was most struck by how much joy and zeal for life these children have. Physically they have nothing. These kids are the poorest of the poor, many without parents, yet they have a contentment and love about them that reached beyond the language barrier. I do believe Kevin came back richer for having been there (as we knew he would). It seems Kevin made a special connection with one little guy, a boy named Marvin who lives with Emory and Mary (the missionaries the team stayed with). Apparently Marvin needed a bit more "Kev time" before the team left. When Kevin awoke at 3am the last night , he discovered the little guy had crawled into bed with him.

Here is the team plus Kevs, the Haitian boy our friends are trying to adopt and Mary (in the pink) who lives in Gonaives, laying down her life for the people God has called her to help.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trying New Wings

The house is quiet. Well, maybe not exactly quiet, but certainly quieter than normal. Kevin left Sunday morning for a short term mission trip to Haiti and won't return until very late Saturday night. It's amazing how taking one child out of the equation changes everything. Victoria is trying out his bed and has decided she loves having her own room as well as his bed (though she does say it has a "boy" smell). Hannah doesn't have anyone to tease her, and Alyssa has lost her history/literature partner in crime. Strange indeed. So, while we lament our loss...what is Kevin doing?

Sounds like he's working hard and getting sunburned. Floods move earth were it shouldn't be and hurricanes eat roofs for lunch. The guys on the team are trying to reverse the destruction by moving mud OUT of houses and putting roofs ON. The girls passed out iron pills to little Haitians who need them, and they all help feed rice and beans to two hundred children who wouldn't otherwise have a meal that day.

He was able to call yesterday and he updates his facebook status every now and then. He posts on his friends' walls but never his mom and dad's. I'm trying to decide if I should be hurt, insulted or -- thrilled that he's trying his wings and they seem to be strong.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quote of the Week

These are exclamations uttered by all four of the kids over the previous week at their great-grandmother's house: How DOES she do that? I think she cheats. She can't just be that lucky! And like gluttons for punishment, Let's play again!

The "that" in the first sentence is beat, whip, cream, slaughter, (you pick the verb) all of us at euchre. The kids grandmother and great-grandmother taught them to play bid euchre over Thanksgiving, and we played game after game last week during our annual visit with Grandma Aurel in Florida. It didn't matter how we paired the teams, hers won. If there were only two other people willing to take the beating and everyone played individually, she would have won if her two opponents scores had been combined into one. It was uncanny how much better she was than all of us combined. I guess it's been a long time since my card shark days on the school bus.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Even angels get scratches. " Kevin's declaration on seeing Caitlyn's (my niece's) first boo-boo.

Her crawling is still a little unsteady and she fell into or dived on to one of Matthew's tractors. Poor dear. After it happened, Hannah immediately picked her up and screamed, "She's bleeding!" That brought everyone running. I was relieved it was only a scratch, but feel horrible none-the-less.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quote of the Week and more

So, if I'm going to begin the new Quote of the Week feature, I'm going to have to give my Pooh brain some assistance. I remember hearing something that I thought would fit the bill for this week's quote, but when I went to retrieve it from the remote recesses of my brain, I couldn't recall what it was. From now on, I'll type it up immediately or jot some notes on a piece of paper. Not to disappoint my one reader who gave the nod to this feature, I have a quote for this week...but it's not original to us (thank heavens).

Despite never being short of political and sociological opinions, I don't often delve into them on this blog. And I won't start today...I think this quote speaks for itself. It needs no commentary.

On our way into Wal-mart we spied a table of Girl Scout cookies being manned by Girl Scouts (duh - who else?). We resisted the temptation to overpay for an item we didn't need and walked right on by. Of course, leaving the store, we had to pass those Thin Mints and Tagalongs once again. It was then that Hannah overheard it...this week's Quote of the Week: Grown woman asking Girl Scout, "Do you accept food stamps?" I'm now going to sit on my fingers and avoid the diatribe just itching to be typed.

Now for the "more" part promised in the title. Most of you have heard that Kevin is heading to Haiti in a couple of weeks. A friend, who also happens to be one of the girls' dance teachers, is down there already working at an orphanage. You can peek into life in Gonaives, Haiti at her blog here.