Big Day, Today

It's crazily weird how close camp is. The horses arrived yesterday and we drove over to the barn after church to see them. They were standing in the dark, sleeping and gave us strange looks as we scoped them out. I think there is a pony this year. There is also a white horse. Usually they mean trouble: Do Creme and White Fang ring any bells for you old-timers? I don't know if my beloved horse Gandy (short for Gandalf) is back, though.

The arrival of the horses is big. That means camp is really, truly here. Wranglers arrive this morning and my program posse (Scott and Myles) arrive today. Please pray for us as we make final decisions and plan our training week stuff. Also exciting is this morning: Johnny and Aubrey have check-ups this morning. I've never taken them both together, so we're in for an interesting and new experience at least!

I love this time of year. The air is full of promise, my adrenaline is pumping, so many exciting things are happening at TL and it's still a bit cool outside--oh, and the garden is green! If there is weather in Heaven, I wish it were always spring.


why I am behind on program, housework and life!

Oh, last week was a week! My last post was early Wed. morning. After I finished posting, I got off and it was three am. At four o'clock, I still wasn't asleep, so I ate cereal and watched the Princess Diaries. I eventually fell asleep and got about two hours. WednesDAY (not early morning) I spent the entire day cleaning the house and preparing for Tuan's birthday surprise: baby-sitters and a date! It was marvelous and wonderful--being out in Jackson without small children. Granted, we adore our children, but sometimes a break is nice!

Thursday morning, we got up and I was dragging, but providentially, Johnny and Aubrey and I all went down for three+ hour naps! I woke up disoriented and confused because I was supposed to be in Mt. Olive at the very time I woke up--oops. After a quick lunch, I loaded up my kids and went to Granny's house to help my mom, sister and Aunt continue to clean it out. Mom, Melissa and I worked until 1:30 in the morning. We got so much done! Tuan wanted me to stay at Melissa's instead of driving home. Bad mistake. Johnny woke up in the transitions between Granny's and Melissa's and refused to go to sleep. I think we were up for two hours. He fussed in the pack and play and I was lying in bed groaning and wondering why we didn't just drive on home. We finally fell asleep only to have Aubrey and Johnny wake up at seven. Talk about tired! There's a saying I dispute: "No rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need any." Hmm . . .

Once we got home, I had to finish decorating Johnny's cake and clean the house, then we had the party the next and a wonderful sabbath rest on Sunday. I love Sundays. Tuan lets me take a long nap (until we have to leave for Mt. Olive, but we didn't have to yesterday!). We picnicked and napped and it was altogether wonderful. I actually feel refreshed today which is very good because I have two weeks until staff training starts!

This is a very selfish and self-absorbed post, I know. I'm not sure what I meant by it all only to say that I have to really get cranking on camp in the next two weeks. It's not too bad, although I am usually way ahead of my current state by this time. One more drama must be written and the adventure planned, lots of lists made, props gathered, supplies ordered and hand-outs made. Next week, Scott and Myles are coming out to work which will be so fun as we are going to be able to work on our program videos! I'm finally getting excited--truly excited about camp. I don't have baby-sitters nailed down, yet, but am going to trust that it all works out.

Lastly, I wanted to say how excited I am about my garden. We work on a budget--it's not our yard really--but I'm having some good successes. With very little cost in the three years I've lived in this house, I've gotten the soil in our beds much healthier and richer. Ruth K. and Marion G. have inspired me and given me some plants and this year things are really picking up. We started spring with lots of perennials: Irises, Daffodils, Spider lilies and the like. Now, my chrysanthemums are just going, some miniature roses that we just stuck in the ground are blooming beautifully and our mint and the mystery asian herb that smells like fish have returned. We've also got ginger lilies, cannas, vinca, verbena, gomphrena and aspidistra hanging in there. It's come a long way from when we first moved in and the only thing in our yard was a gardenia and a row of tiny pittosporum. This is by no means Southern Living, but I'm excited that my thumb is beginning to develop a hint of green. If I have time I'll post pictures, but program and housekeeping and children are calling right now.

Hope you all have a great day!


It's dangerous to blog when one can't sleep. In the tiredness of it all thoughts that shouldn't be written can spill out onto the page like so many grains of salt from a defunct salt shaker.

I drank some iced coffee before bed and I've been laying in bed since 10:30 drifting in and out of consciousness, fretfully obsessing over Johnny's birthday cake. His birthday party is this weekend--he's turning two! We are having a Cars themed party. Our boy loves the Pixar movie Cars. I'm glad because we do too! In fact, I downloaded the soundtrack so I could listen to it and thought I would put it onto a CD for Johnny to listen to during play time--bad idea! As soon as he heard Sheryl Crow begin singing "Real Gone" he ran to the TV and perplexedly clamored at it only to retreat in confusion--he could hear Cars, but couldn't see it--what in the world was going on here!?

We avoided videos for as long as possible and still only try to use them infrequently. They surely do come in handy when it's that twilight time of the day: Johnny needs to go to sleep but it's too late for a nap, too early for bed, or I need to cook/care for Aubrey and need him to not be so involved in everything. We did sort of resolve to only give him videos that we like. None of this Barney and Friends, or singing neuter gender rainbow haired people spouting positive self-esteem junk:

"you can do anything that you set your mind to--doobie, doobie, doo--
we're bestest friends, you and me
you are special come on with me
on a magical journey--ooh, ooh, whee--
with your best buddies Adam and Steve!"

So far, we've stuck with the two Charlie Brown Christmas movies, Disney's Robin Hood, an occasional Mary Poppins and Cars. I can handle hearing Vince Guaraldi's jazz or Allan-a-Dale's folk songs over and over. I think we could also go for some Thomas the Tank Engine, but don't yet own any of those.

Johnny's major interests right now are toys with wheels, trains, and animal crackers. He thinks they are cookies. I used to baby-sit for three kids who thought saltine crackers were cookies and felt sorry for them. Now, I see the genius of it all. Johnny also loves to be read to. We have quite a repertoire: Go Dog Go (I am always in suspense as to whether the boy dog will ever like her hat), Tuesday (we add our own sound effects to this mostly picture book), The Little Engine that Could (my childhood favorite), some Thomas books, and SkippyJonJones.

Johnny is a big SkippyJonJones fan thanks to Uncle Sonny. It's about a siamese kitten who thinks he is a chihaua (sp?). When he is sent to his room, his thoughts take him down a long desert road far, far away in old Mexico. . . . there he becomes Skippito the great sword fighter and meets up with Don Diego (the biggest of the small ones) and his gang of Chiahauhas and he conquers the villain who has been stealing their beans. SkippyJonJones is big around our house, we even have a CD of the books being read aloud which Johnny often asks for at Naptime ("JohnJones" he pleads). Sometimes, if the CD player is near the bed, Johnny will repeatedly press play so that it plays over and over and over and he knows how to up the volume. The other day, I was trying to grab a nap while he was in bed and was in that awful state where you are so tired you don't want to deal with the very loud SJJ playing incessantly, but it aggravates you so much you can't sleep. I lay on the couch with my head covered in pillows wishing that Johnny would go onto sleep and the story would stop and finally got so aggravated with it I had to keep myself from rushing into his room and throwing the cd player through the window!

Johnny likes to sit with me during my "quiet" time in the mornings, so I've incorporated him into it. He sits in my lap and we read Proverbs, a Psalm and are working our way through Daniel. He then holds my fingers and we pray together. It's very sweet and I'm glad for that time. He is so funny about prayer. After he gets in trouble, we pray together and after that all is over and well and the sun shines again. Now as soon as he gets a rebuke and before I can remind him of the "why" he grabs my hands and says pleadingly, "pray, pray."

As for Miss Aubrey Sue (I often call her Aubrey Jean, which sounds like "Aubergine") She is just a darling! If she could speak, she would say, "love me, world and I will return the love!" She is such a social butterfly and any bit of attention lavished on her is returned with smiles and coos and adoration. She is ticklish and we love to hear her giggle. She has been a good, content baby so far. We are getting into a routine with her that works well. Aubrey naps around the house in the morning and goes down in the afternoon in her bed. The evenings between seven and nine thirty are her big awake times, which works out perfectly since Johnny goes to bed between seven and seven thirty. She gets a lot of loving and adoration in the evenings, then goes to bed for the night around 9/10 and sleeps until five or six. What she does with her time between that feeding and Johnny's awakening is beyond me as I go back to sleep after that feeding. Now that she's sleeping most of the night, I'm more tired than ever!

And I'm really going to be tired after this post! I'm going to try and grab an hour or two of sleep before Aubrey wakes up. Thanks to all of you who read the blog--it's encouraging to know folks read it even if they don't comment!