Sunday, August 21, 2011

and hey, just so you know, despite it all, I was made for such things as these.

my pulse quickens, my heart swells-I LOVE these kids, and loving them is my calling...for this year, and maybe longer.

PBA-Early Learning Center

People keep asking me how my first week back was. I'm sure it's crazy, they say, with all of those kinder and pre-k'ers.

And...yes, yes it is. But the craziness that they are thinking about, and the craziness that actually IS, is very different...

You see, my school is the school that all the refugees (or most, anywho)in the area, get funneled into. There are more languages spoken in my school than I can count.

And, we don't operate under the typical arrival/dismissal procedures, as 95% (give or take a little) of our students are bussed. Yes, even the 5 year olds. Even the 4 year olds. And this year, because of our large numbers (1200), and the opening of our "Early Learning Center" to accomodate such large numbers....even the 3 year olds. Yes, the 3 year olds will be bussed.

And I guess it's easy to judge a mommy who would put their three year old baby on a bus...but sometimes there just isn't any other option, cause you might not have a car, or a license, or speak english-to get either of those two things.

So yes, arrival and dismissal are the most mind-blowingly chaotic part of my day. I have had nightmares about it every day since I started. I have been to the point of tears at the end of the day...cause...these are children. And I certainly don't want to LOSE one. Especially one that doesn't speak english. And with TWENTY-ONE busses serving our school, it is definitely easy to put the wrong kid on the wrong bus. And that is terrifying.

And if that alone isn't difficult enough...there's also those kids that appear (on one of our 21 busses), that may or may not be registered, that...won't tell you their name. There they stand, those little kids, not saying a word. So, you take their backpack and search it. say, two custard pies from the Asian Market. You look the kid over (cause sometimes those burmese and nepali kids are difficult to tell apart), and you might see a faint hint of a yellow powder on their face. AHA-you are off you take the child to the nearest Burmese para. And the boy still doesn't talk. So you try the Nepali para anyways, just to be sure. And still....nothing. Soooo he becomes your special friend for the day. Blink, you might call him, cause...well, that's all he does.
But you never learn his name. And if you don't know a child's are you to find the right bus to put him on at the end of the day?

Or...suppose you discover, after the second day of school that 2 (or possibly 3) burmese children have all been wrongly identified-have been assigned the wrong identity. Some poor teacher heard a snippet of a name, saw something simillar on their roster, wrote the kid a name tag...and, come to find out, it wasn't that kid. The injustice of it all.

But who do you get mad at? The child? No, how silly. The teacher? How can you? The parents, for not walking him in? No...there is no one to be mad at. And as bad as it is, and as much as I want to blame someone-the administration-someone-it is no one's fault, it just sucks. bad as all this mess is, the whole lot of it, no other existing school has programs in place to care for these students like Place does. out there, you should start one(a school, that is.) Cause...surely there is a better way.

In the meantime...pray I don't lose a child. And pray no one loses my babies from last year...there was already a close call with Prajawal, and that child is a dear.

Friday, August 12, 2011


My junior year at CCU I was obsessed with the image of myself carrying the yoke of christ.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”NLT

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Love these verses....loved them that junior year cause I was very weary and worn out...and I look back on these words now as I consider what Christ meant by "taking his yoke".

Discipline...I desire the discipline of his yoke upon me. Not moving unless he moves me. Plodding on (in a good way, not in the connotation of this word way), tirelessly moving forward in my journey with/towards Christ-in my journey bringing His Kingdom here. How I desire my master's yoke to be binding me to his every move.

So, his yoke I will pursue. And my first step will be rediscovering what it means to be disciplined. And not just in spiritual things-but in all ways-disciplined.

So, I am setting small goals for myself. Easy ones-that are easily accomplished. So that I may FEEL accomplished, feel good about myself, feel successful, and then move forward and create a bigger goal.

And I am excited.
feel so connected to burmese people....

want to love them, join their fight, spread their struggles.

i picture a different future for myself than I once did. and sometimes that is weird, and frustrating, and scary to me. but other times it is so right, and moving, and IT.

and i don't know what that means.

but i like it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

becoming a storyteller...

"stories move in circles. they don't move in straight lines. so it helps if you listen in circles. there are stories inside stories and stories between stories, and finding your way through them is as easy and as hard as finding your way home. and part of the finding is getting lost. and when you're lost, you start to look around and listen."

"Story is learning, celebrating, healing, and remembering. Each part of the life process necessitates it. enriches the individual, emotional and cultural development, and perhaps ultimately, the more mysterious development of the soul".

(the importantance of answering a question with a a parent, to teach my kids deeper levels of thinking, reflection, etc.)

(what are the key details that will help the audience appreciate the moment of change)

Super, super excited about this storytelling workshop. Loved the prep reading-totally resonated. Can't wait to see how this unfolds in my future...

G is for Green Grass

...which we don't have, cause we decided to turn the sprinklers off about...a month ago, because we're cheap. =)

But what we do have is weeds. Forests of weeds that grow in our back (and now, front) yard-thick and tall and stubborn and strong.

So...I decided to mow on Monday. Mark and I try and switch off with the Elders, but they usually end up mowing more because....Mark and I hate it so much and will let the yard turn into a jungle before we do anything about it. Since that is not at all fair...Monday I decided to give it a go.

(i am still sore today, and unable to raise my arms above my head...)

Turns out, in case anyone was wondering, that I am still unable to turn a lawn mower on by myself. little arms are just too short and too weak to pull that string (which somehow got ripped in two, so mark tied it back together...who are we-ghetto). Nick had to come turn it on for me. And everytime it died (and believe you me, it died a number of times) I would attempt a time or 10...then sulk back to the house and ask Nick to turn it on for me. Lovely.

Also realized that I am not able to push the lawn mower by arm power alone. I let the handlebar lean against my torso so that my body is what's really pushing it.

That's so pathetic I thought everyone should know.

I told Mark that and he said "you do know it's a self-propelled mower, right".

It is, and always should be-a mans job to mow the lawn. Period.

Beet Sliders and Kohlrabi Fries

On Monday evening Mark and I decided to try a recipe he discovered on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Holy Cow-amazing!

We've been getting a number of beets through our vegetable share, and weren't really sure what to do with them. (actually, not sure if I've ever tasted a do people normally eat them?).

Anywho, long story short, we made them into little beet burgers. And if I had been blindfolded...I would not have known I wasn't eating beef. Sooo freaking amazing (and sooo much healthier-win win!).

We also had the great idea to make some more Kale chips and turn our Kohlrabi into french fries.

Totally yummy meal. And definitely evened out the cherry cricket meal we'd had a few nights ago calories wise....

Monday, August 1, 2011


There's this thing with me and health and beauty services... it is a struggle...always always a struggle. It seems that no matter what I am getting done, I am confused about how to act. The time in-between the services offered has wiped my mind totally blank about the normal procedures-the basic protocals.

Example #1: Some time ago (a long time ago...around senior year), my mother got a new hair stylist that she absolutely adored. After hearing her rave and rave about this hairstylist, I scheduled a cut. I arrived and said my typical line "I don't care what you do..just blonder and cut, but not too short". As she took me to the sink to wash my hair, I got perplexed. Maybe I was tired, maybe I was nervous, maybe I had washed my hair in the sink one too many times, but I did it-I went into the chair on my stomach, slouched my neck and head into the sink. There was a moment of silence and then dear, sweet Shauna said "no, you sit in the chair". Even though I was mortified, I could not wipe the smile off of my face.

Example # 2: From the very get go the optometrist and I struggled. That fateful day in 5th grade when I entered his office and he asked me to read the letters I turned a full circle-completely unable to see even a poster. Over the years I began to dread those eye doctor visits-always a failure, it felt, never could read those damn letters. And don't even get me STARTED on the eye puffer (mr. pufferkins)...not a time has passed when I haven't nearly fallen out of my seat and moved my arms towards my head to protect myself. Both the doctor and I laugh every. single. time. One especially trying visit left me all worked up...I was asked to read the letters and the first was an "O"...which I called zero. Oh, I threw myself for a loop. I said, "oops, not a zero, I'll start over". And then again, "zero".
The next letter happened to be a "Z" which I called a seven. I read "zero, seven". Then I got very worked up. "no, no", I said. I knew I was wrong...but there was no turning back. Numbers instead of letters, numbers instead of letters all the day long. Finally, my kind optometrist decided I should take a break-calm myself down.

Example #3: Around 4 months ago I went to get my oil changed. I don't recall it being an unusually early Saturday morning, but I must have been out. of. it. They asked me to pull of those deals where you gotta get both tires on a metal rack thing...I started in, the man pointed to the left. I proceed to turn my wheel, hand over hand over hand, all the way to the left. I pull forward a little more. The man points to the right. I turn my wheel all the way to the right-as far as it can go. This happens, back and forth, at least 3 times. He was so annoyed. I didn't get what I had done until a month later... HILARIOUS. (today I got my oil changed, and with the last experience fresh in my mind-parked it perfectly and quickly).

Example #4: Last week Mark and I went to get out annual check-ups. Confusing for sure-I hadn't been to the doctor in years! When given a robe and toold to change out of my clothes I was immediately alarmed. Which way did the opening in the robe go? I had no idea...I tried it on front ways, I tried it on back ways. Both felt I text my dad. The opening goes in the back, turns out.

Example #5: I have always thought of myself as someone who has a high pain tolerance. Mostly, that idea has been in my head because of all the compliments I have gotten while at the dentist/orthodontist. I'm not even kidding-I have the biggest head about how brave I am, how much pain I can handle...I have even bragged (on more than one occassion) about my pain tolerance and blah blah blah. Well...come to find out, it's all been a hoax. I have now realized (after a horrific display at the dentist last week), that the reason the dentist says things like "you're so brave" and "you're one tough little girl" is because I am so pathetically hurting they feel like they need to encourage me. Seriously. Multiple times at the dentist office last week, multiple people patted my shoulder, gave me hugs, told me I was "brave", even gave me a BLANKY to snuggle under when I got cold.

I now fear childbearing.