Gulp. There are forty-two odd days until staff training begins. I have so much to do before then it's not even funny. Noah is our theme this summer and we are turning the TL barn into an ark. One (only one) part of my job is filling this ark with non-live animals (Matthew is taking care of the live ones, thank goodness). Tonight, I drove through the barn and kind of realized how big it is. I mean, it's huge! I hope that Scott, and the support staff are ready for what lies ahead! Please, please, keep me in your prayers. Program is a lot of thinking and planning, teaching and then executing and that has to take second place to Tuan and Johnny. Somewhere behind that is housework, etc . . . although not pre-eminently important (to me, at least)--it surely makes life nicer. There's a lot to balance. Someone was trying to get me to take on a separate project and I just had to say, "sorry, I'm swamped." It's hard to say no, when you want to seem like you've got it all together, but necessary.

So, I ask for your prayers. Please pray that I would place a high priority on prayer and seek God before I tackle these projects! Please pray that God would give a lot of grace between Tuan and myself as he is about to enter a SUPER busy season. Please pray that I would be a good mother to Johnny and that he would thrive during camp. Please pray that the staff would just embrace Noah and get the gospel message that is in it. Please also pray that the gospel would be taught/seen through all this stuff and that I would place a higher priority on that than program perfection.

It's amazing that Johnny will be eleven months tommorrow! Wow. Anna V. had her b-day party today (she's two!) and it just seems like yesterday that I was at her one year old party. Johnny is changing so much and every day is more and more fun. He has learned to say star and to point to my nose. He is also trying to walk. Wow.

Today, after the party, Johnny went down for a nap and I had intended to do some more housework (should have been doing program!), but all of a sudden I was possessed by the urgent desire to paint. "PAINT!" said my inner voice, and I frantically ran to and fro, gathering supplies and searching for a subject to satisfy the urge to "PAINT!" I found a photo of Johnny at the beach with my aunt in the background taking his picture. As I've written before, I never took painting in college and am trying to learn how to now. Today, I was very methodical (but loose, Caroline). First, I used a grid to get my proportions right and to do a pencil sketch. I wanted to focus on value, so I worked from a black and white photo. The first layer of paint, I blocked in light/dark and forms, using colour. Then, I worked on background to foreground and then began to zero in on applying colour to my subjects. As a result, the painting is very vivd and high contrast. I'm really happy with the way it is going and plan to post pictures of it on Monday after I finish it. When I took "drawing two" we did everything in pastels (which I loved) and my teacher forbade the use of black. (this, I believe is a wise thing--except in graphic design--but even now I have an aversion to using black type, I usually go with 90% or less). I love getting dark-darks and shadows out of colour combinations (particularly red/green). It irks me when people use black to do shadows.

Aren't I silly? Anyway, it was a blessed afternoon. Johnny slept long and hard and then played well while I finished up. I was able to paint for about 3-4 hours straight. Tonight, after supper, I was able to work on program, while Tuan cared for Johnny.

Oh, and in between all this, I'm reading Jane Eyre again (it's been years--and I don't remember much about it). Personally, I don't care for her as a character. She rather annoys me. I'll write more about this later when I finish the book.

Lastly, happy birthday to my dad!! He's fifty (but still cool). Dad, I thought about you all day. Hope you had a good one.


Buterflies, Pirate Patches and other La Happenings

I have recently been informed by several people that they read my blog, but don't comment. Hmm . . . I have to confess that there are some blogs I read, but don't comment on either--but, anyway, I'm glad someone's reading it!

I saw a t-shirt today. It had butterfly shapes filled with patriotic patterns. The caption on the shirt read:
Butterflies . . . . An American Tradition.

HUH? It goes without saying that that didn't make much sense.

So, anyway, we've had a crazy week and a half here in La-land. A group of ladies and myself at church stealthily re-wallpapered our church nursery and painted all the furniture black. : ) The combination of wall-paper dust, pollen and general fatigue from the previous weeks just knocked me down cold with allergies and a sinus infection. Johnny had been a bit sniffly and then Tuan came down with it. Ugh. To top it off, we had our leadership meeting for camp and a kid's program at church that weekend. I spent all of last week taking care of Johnny and sleeping when he slept. Tuan was wonderful about the lack of deep housecleaning that went on and encouraged me to rest. Things were still a bit sniffly but starting to get better when on Friday, Johnny whacked me in the eye (not the eyelid, the eye). My vision was a bit blurry, and the sun seemed glaringly bright all day and when the evening came, my eyes were so tired and hurting that bedtime was a relief.

Saturday, however, I woke up and couldn't open my eye. It hurt to even open the good one, because the light would make both eyes dilate, and as Clint Wilcke says, "that's bad." We truly thank God that Miss Dorothy was able to come up at a moment's notice to watch Johnny (literally, I couldn't) and that Craven and Bassett were able to host. We went to MEA (I was actually wearing a sleeping mask at that point, to control the pain/dilation, which probably looked suspicious to folks we passed on the road). The doctor found that Johnny had just very thoroughly scratched my eye and put a patch on it. The rest of Saturday was spent asleep, blissfully doped up with pain meds and antihistamine. Sunday, it got better little by little and today I've been able to keep my eyes open, although my vision is blurry, very blurry. A man drove by on a golfcart not ten feet away and I honestly couldn't tell whether it was Matt or Andrew--and that's bad.

Things are better, Johnny and Tuan are well, I'm getting over the crud (thanks to antibiotics that the sympathetic doctor gave me) and Tuan has a few days off coming up. Oh, and the rain has washed away the pollen!! Also, the medicine amped up my obsessive compulsiveness so I got our new kitchen designed in my head when I wasn't sleeping.

Johnny is at this stage where he learns something new every day. He's been working on Dada and saying other words. The other night, Johnny saw the stars for the first time, today, he learned to wave! That's big, folks. He's also been testing his boundaries--my parents can tell you where that hard-headedness comes from--and trying to walk. Johnny's most recent obession has been socks, but they may be soon passed by for plastic easter eggs--the perfect cheap baby toy--88c for 12.

I'd love to wrap this up with a wonderful closing paragraph, but frankly, I'm just not inspired. I hope everyone is doing well!