Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sick

Caleb is sick today, so this is where we'll be.

 


All those things on my to-do list for today will have to wait. A sick child, his little brother, and a host of kids movies to watch on our make-shift living room bed await me...
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Random and Unrelated Thoughts

-Caleb spoke the following sentence as I was bathing the boys tonight, "I didn't want a little brother." Ummm...ok. So many things I could say. I chose, "Well, God wanted you to have one." :-)

-I love when Levi says, "yook, mommy, yook!" (yook=look) He's got a tiny bit of a lisp that I think is adorable for now, but would probably make my speech therapist friend Jessie crawl out of her skin. (Hi, Jessie!)

-We had friends over last night for Supper Club, and I cooked Mexican food. My kitchen has never been full of so many dirty dishes. I think I used every last measuring device, pot and pan. Justin and I tag-teamed the clean-up this afternoon. It took a while. But the fellowship with friends over a good meal was totally worth it!

-Justin offered to do Jakeb's (an awesome 16-year-old son of our friends Tommy and Andrea) homework for him if he came and did our dishes today.
-Jakeb turned down the offer. :-)

-The things I miss the most about Texas, besides family and friends because that is always a given, are as follows (in no particular order): my car, my dishwasher, Blue Bell ice cream, Target, Sonic drinks, and air conditioning in the kitchen and bathrooms.

-We have plane tickets to Thailand for October 16, and I'm about to go crazy with anticipation. I cannot wait to get back there!
-I love that I'm the only foreigner in my BSF discussion group. It's a blessing to hear the views on Scripture and life struggles/victories of Singaporean women.

-Justin hooked up our PC for the first time since we've been here (we've been using the laptop) and blew the breaker multiple times. We've got to go shopping for more adapters and converters. The computer is operational, but we cannot plug in the printer and speakers at the same time yet.

-I cannot get my hair straightener to work here. The guy at electronics store in Houston sold me a travel converter for up to 2000 watts. I'm guessing that's not enough because the only thing that happens is that lights flash and there is a clicking noise.

-Simon is preaching a really great series about the local church on Sunday mornings. Good stuff.

-I really wish we were going to experience fall here. I told Justin tonight that I would love to take a trip to the States for just one day in early November. Cool air, changing leaves, and fall Starbucks drinks. Ahhh. One can only dream.


-I cannot believe I'm the mother of a four-year old...



This made them SO happy!


This was the "Play-Doh room" at the boys' birthday party. My friends thought I was a little crazy to let the kids free play with play-doh, but we have wood floors so it was an easy clean-up. the kids loved it!


The kids in their art smocks they received for their birthdays (thanks, Andrea!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Anniversary to My Parents!

Today my parents have been married for 33 years. They married when they were only 18, just out of high school, and had me and then my sister when they were 20 and 23. I always loved having young parents; it was fun.

My parents took me to church when I was a week old, and we were there 3 times a week most of my growing up. I am so grateful for the faith they established in me at a young age.

I learned the importance of family from my parents. My dad worked out of town a lot when I was growing up, often for months at a time. I remember going to visit him where he was working on several occasions (a lot of those jobs were putting roofs on prisons, so Dad has some great stories!). And whenever my dad had hobbies that took him out of town, we went with him. My mom made sure that whatever we did, it was as a family.

And, just like every marriage on the planet, my parents' is not a perfect one. But when they stood before their family and friends in 1976 as 18-year-old kids and said, "I do," they meant it.

That is a great legacy to have.

I love you, Mom and Dad. More than you know.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Levi!

How is it you went from this...


to this...?

We love you, sweet boy! You have such a personality now, and you try to copy your big brother all the time. We think it's so cute when you put your hands over your ears and say, "It yowd!"

You have the biggest smile that makes other people smile, too. Everyone thinks you and Caleb are only one year apart because you are such a big boy!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Levi! You are so loved.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

Today we're celebrating Caleb's 4th Birthday!! He's getting so big.

Caleb,
We love you so much! You have such a tender heart, are quick to give hugs and say you're sorry, and you're such a good big brother. Yesterday when we were discussing your allowance and how part of it every week will go into a "giving" jar to give to others who don't have as much as we do, you wanted to fill 4 more jars for kids who need it. You make us so proud. We hope and pray that you always have a compassionate spirit and reach out to others.

We love you, big boy...Mommy and Daddy



The Singapore Post Office, Take Two

So, after I ranted on here about SingPost and my lost package, I got a really nice email from a lady at their corporate offices. She had read my post and wanted me to know that they were sorry I was having trouble locating the package and wanted to help me. After sending her the necessary information, I received emails from two more people at SingPost and two phone calls.

At the end of all those conversations, my package had still not been located, but I was thankful that several people had tried.

Then today it showed up at my door! I have no idea where it's been, since the original date they wrote on the box was 14 August, but I'm thankful to have received it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Long-Awaited Arrival

Look what appeared in our mailbox on Wednesday...
I thought it was going to be a package from my mom for the boys' birthdays (and that one will hopefully arrive soon), but it was the package Lisa sent us!!! It has been found!!!

Lisa, you are such a blessing! My boys tore into those Nutri-Grain bars right away! Thanks so much for loving us. :-)

The tortillas are past their expiration date by a little while now (the package was sent on August 5!), but don't think that's going to stop us from eating them. No mold, no harm. ;-)
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Things Levi Says

Now that Levi is talking more and saying things we can actually understand, it's only fair I share his quirky sayings. I'll act as translator.

"Umm me, Mama. Bible down." (Come with me, Mama. Put The Bible down. He calls any book I'm reading The Bible.)

"Kayla do that." (Caleb did that. May or may not be true!)

"No sho, Daddy." (No, sir, Daddy.)

"Boo saksy." (Blue taxi.)

"Wowwy, Kayla." (Sorry, Caleb.)

"No, I walk." (He refuses help most of the time, even on stairs. Mr. Independent, indeed.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Read This

If you're a mom of small kids, go and read Jenn's post. I could have written it myself because it's exactly how I feel.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

On 9/11/01, I was living in Thailand. It was surreal to be living outside the United States when something so horrific was happening on our home soil. Everyone we met wanted to talk to us about the World Trade Center in their broken English. I'm not sure what they expected us to say.

It's surreal to be living in Asia again and thinking back to that time. So many lives lost. So much pain.

Today we remember.

Last week Justin and I had the opportunity to host 4 sailors from the USS Chosin in our home. Their ship was in port here for a few days, and we were honored to share a meal with them. We got to learn about their life in the Navy, hear about their families, and provide them with a warm, flavorful meal (something they appreciated!). We thanked them for what they do every day to protect our country. For their service. For being willing to do what we have no desire to do.

Thank you to all the service men and women who willingly lay down their lives for our freedom.

And to the families directly affected by the events of September 11, we will never forget.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Singapore Post Office

My sweet friend, Lisa, emailed me several weeks ago and said she wanted to send us a care package and wanted to know what things we'd like that we cannot get in Singapore. So sweet of her! I sent her a list, and she went shopping. Then she mailed the package.

Well.

They tried to deliver it on August 15 (a Saturday), but we were not home. We found a little card stuck in our door, brought it inside, and never saw it again. I don't know if we accidentally threw it away or if one of the boys got it and hid it. Both possibilities are highly likely. The card had a tracking number on it, and without the tracking number they could not tell me where the package was.

I've been calling and waiting and checking for over 3 weeks for that package. I've been put on hold with the PO for 20 minutes, and my call has been disconnected a jillion (or maybe 10) times. I was at a post office today mailing a package to Texas and asked the lady what to do about my missing package. She asked me my address and said I needed to go to the Tanglin Post Office. This is the first time that someone has actually told me which post office I needed to go to! So, I went, gave the woman behind the counter my address and off she went to locate the package. Only, she came back with nothing. She asked me what color the card was that the delivery person left at our door on August 15. I said, "beige." She said beige is the color of the reminder card, and after 5 days of receiving the reminder card they send the package back to the sender. I have NO IDEA when/IF we received a white delivery card! GRRR.

I'm so sorry, Lisa! I hate that this happened, and I'm so frustrated with the Singapore P.O. that I could scream. Maybe I will...I'm the only one home now.

*Very Annoyed*

Ok. Rant Over.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Signs

"Urinating in the lift is an offence. Fine $1000."


When Justin and I saw this one the other day in an elevator, we had to get a picture. Andrea has been collecting pictures of funny signs we see around here, too.

And, no offense to the men of the world, but might I just say this sign was not put there because women have a problem with this sort of thing. :-)

Paint The Town...err...Walls Red!

Look what Levi did while I was drying my hair.

The "artist" posing by his work (this pic was taken long after he was punished for coloring on the walls...because he wasn't smiling when I scolded him and sent him to time-out!)

Me, scrubbing the crayon off. (It will all come off, but it's going to take a while.)

Apparently he thought our bare white walls needing some sprucing up. He colored on all 3 walls in the hallway.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Quiet Time with Small Children

A sweet friend emailed me today and said it had been a long time since she'd had a quiet time, especially since the birth of her baby. She was asking my advice on how to start spending time in God's Word again. I thought I'd share my answer here because I know that the two of us aren't the only moms of small children struggling to find quite time with God in the midst of dirty diapers, cranky babies, and toddlers who don't stop talking from sun-up to sun-down. I surely don't have all the answers, but in the almost 4 years I've been a mom of small kids, I've learned some things from other moms, more seasoned moms, and from my own struggles...

"Well, I'll tell you that I don't have a quiet time every day. While that's my goal, it doesn't happen. I go through periods where I do pretty well, but I just can't seem to discipline myself enough yet where it happens every day. BUT, I have been in the Word more lately, which is a good thing. It always helps if I'm a part of a study with other people because it forces me to get my work done by the next week! I lack seriously in the self-control and discipline areas.

If you're like me, you struggle with an "all or nothing" kind of personality sometimes. It can be so detrimental to our walk with God. Let me tell you NOT to start one of those Bible in a year things. I tried to do that recently and am already behind, so that's just not gonna work right now; it just makes me feel guilty and I don't need anymore of that. While I wish I could read the Bible in a year, and hope to do so regularly just as a part of my everyday life, it's not happening right now. Since Levi got up at 6:15 this morning, every plan I had to get up early and get my quiet time done before the kids got up just went out the window. I recently started getting up an hour or two earlier than normal, and about 9 times out of 10 Levi has been up within 15 minutes of my new wake time. It's very frustrating. And the middle of the day for me isn't much easier a lot of days. Caleb stopped napping when he was 2 1/2, so there hasn't been a break in the middle of the day in a long time. Now that he's older, he can entertain himself for a while, so sometimes I can grab a little time to do my Bible study then, but it never goes uninterrupted. That's just life with little kids!

I think you and I might have to let go of the "quiet" in quiet time for a while. There's just so little time for quiet in my day, and when Justin gets home, I need to spend that time with him. A lot of times I will stay up after he goes to bed and do my Bible study, but we don't like going to bed at different times, so that's not a good option most of the time.

So, here's my advice:

1) Pick a book of the Bible. Any one. Don't stress...pray about it and see where God leads you. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." ~Psalm 119:11

2) Don't set a goal to read the whole thing by a certain date, just read some each day.

3) If you can find 5-30 minutes of retreat in your day, GREAT! If not, then just be in His Word. Read to your kid(s) as you're playing or eating or whatever. Listen to the Bible on the Internet or on CD as you go about your day. God understands our situations as moms of small children, and He wants us in His Word. That's what He wants. He doesn't want us to be legalistic about trying to have 30 minutes or an hour of quiet time like we did before kids. That is not the season we're in, so let's stop beating ourselves up about it. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." ~Hebrews 4:12

4)Just read His Word. That's it. Don't plan to read 3 chapters a day or 10 verses or whatever. Just start reading. When something strikes you, stop. Meditate on it. Repeat it. Write it down and memorize it if that would help. Think about it. Pray it back to Him. "Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this." ~2 Tim. 2:7

5) Read a little more the next day or later the same day.

6) Don't let Satan make you feel like a failure because you made a plan and fell through with it. Just pick it back up and keep going. God desires for us to be in His Word to know Him and be able to share what we know with others. It's for our encouragement and benefit. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." ~2 Tim. 3:16-17

7) Pray and ask God to help you find time in your day to be quiet before Him.

8) Don't make reading the Bible another box to be checked off on a to-do list. Ask God to help you fall in love with His Word and crave it like you do food. I want to be able to say each day, "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word...Your statues are my delight; they are my counselors." ~Psalm 119: 16, 24

9) "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. " ~ 1Thes. 5:12-18. This is the legacy we want to leave our children.


Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers. ~Psalm 1:1-3

Now I'm off to take my own advice...

Anyone out there have any more/different advice about how to stay in God's Word with little ones around?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Walking

When the kids are in school, I walk a lot more. :-) The other day I took the bus by their school and stopped off at the wet market for some fruits and vegetables. Here's the view from the pedestrian bridge over Farrer Road. All that construction you see is for the new Circle Line MRT. We are very anxious for them to finish so that we will have an MRT station within walking distance of our condo.
A view of the HDB (Housing Development Board) flats (apartments) by the Empress Market...

The stairs down from the pedestrian bridge. (There are 38, in case you're wondering. And an equal set on the other side of the street.)
The church where I attend Bible study and MOPS is just behind the Empress Market, and about a 20-minute walk from our place. On Monday morning I decided to take Caleb in the stroller (so there'd be no complaining from him!) and walk to Bible study. There is no crosswalk on Farrer Road, so we have to go up the stairs, over the pedestrian bridge, and down the stairs to get to the other side (I made Caleb get out and walk then, of course). Needless to say, the walk was great exercise, but I was soaking wet by the time I arrived and we won't be doing that again. We'll stick to the bus. But I do enjoy that walk when we don't need to look presentable, and if I'm by myself. Lugging Levi and/or the stroller up and down those stairs is not fun!

And, lastly, a picture of the boys. They were both playing computer games yesterday. Levi must do whatever his big brother is doing, which more often than not gets him in trouble, but here they were content to side side by side and play together. Siblings are so fun!


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