Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Social - Milly

Oops! Never posted this one from last Sunday:


Next one down on my siggy line...

Anne,
Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (1)
Bella(14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Felice in Hong Kong
Eun Hae in South Korea
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...



...is Milly.





















Milly was our very first exchange student. She came to us back in August of 2004 all the way from Taiwan. She was a lonnnnng way from home but she quickly fell into the groove of our family. I was immediately impressed with her level of maturity, and with the degree of respect/obedience to her parents. I can remember her getting all dressed up to go to a school dance. She was wearing heels when she left, and she was wearing them when I picked her up, though all the other girls I saw coming out of the school were barefoot, holding their heels in their hands. I asked her, didn't she take her shoes off during the dance, to get more comfortable? She told me her Mom had said she should keep them on all night so that she could get used to wearing them. And so she did, even though her Mom was literally as far away across the world as she could be. Wow.

Milly was a wonderful big sister, a good friend to the girls and boys she met while she attended our school, and a terrific daughter. She was an excellent cook, too. She invited friends over for her birthday party, and single-handedly cooked several amazing dishes, icluding two of my favorites that she made, sesame cold noodles and pineapple shrimp. I believe she was turning 17 that year.

She came back to visit a year or two after she left. She is now a grad student, and doing quite well. Straight As all the time, of course, then and now. We keep in touch through Christmas cards and Facebook.

Her picture is still up on the mirror in my kitchen, along with pictures of our other students and our kids. I sure hope our paths cross again someday.

She's my Milly.....

Sunday Social - Eun Hae

Next one down on my siggy line...

Anne,
Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (1)
Bella(14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Eun Hae in South Korea
Felice in Hong Kong
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...



Is Eun Hae.
















Eun Hae (pronounced Oon Hay) was our second exchange student. She was 16 when she came to us; an extremely shy, quiet little girl all the way from South Korea.

I don't believe she really wanted to be an exchange student, but entered the program out of duty to her parents.

She was unfailingly sweet, and always willing to please. Bella bonded with her instantly, and became Eun Hae's little security blanket.

She became very close with another exchange student, Felice from Hong Kong who joined us later in the school year (more on her next week), as well as a student from Taiwan that lived about a mile down the road from us, but didn't make too many other close friends.

She enjoyed singing in the school choir and became close with her music teacher. This teacher's husband was pastor at a church near the school, and Eun Hae came to love that church. She's a very spiritual girl, that one.

Eun Hae had a few quirky mannerisms, which we loved her for. One was her efforts to keep out of the sun. Apparently, in South Korea, pale skin is sought after the way tans are sought after here in the good ol' US of A. Eun Hae had what she considered to be dark skin. Too dark. She hated it and fought the sun like a vampire. If she were in the car with us, she would often wear sunglasses, and put a piece of paper under the sunglasses to form a mask over the lower half of her face. We tried to explain to her that the windows were tinted and she would not get any sun through them, but she wasn't taking any chances. Or for example, if I were to take all the kids out to the shoe store or something, when she got out of the car she would hunker down in the parking lot in the shadow of the car, desperately trying to keep out of the sun while I got the kids out of the car. Funny girl.

But she was a good student, a wonderful big sister and daughter. Saying goodbye to her at the airport was a miserably sad moment. In her life and in mine.

And do you know that poor little girl, in every communication with me since, has not gone once without berating herself for not being a better daughter? She says once she got home she realized how great she had it with us, what a wonderful family we were, and how she did not join in enough, or show us how much she appreciated us.

Here's an old email from her:

Hi it's me. EunHae.

it's cold. isn't it... i got a cold.

did you have a wonderful christmas and New Year. in korea, we have new year's day on January 1st but we celebrate it February.

Now i'm studing hard like i did before... and i'm sorry that i didn't contact with you for like 1or 2 ( or more than that ) month(s). i wonder what's going on there.

everytime the life here is harsh and unbearable, i think of the time i stayed there.

it was like heaven. and so comfortable.... so i want to say thank you again.

so how are you doing???? and how kids are doing???? i wonder what's going on in America.

now i'm going school and i went to some tranning center from church last week.

it was so awesome and great. the pastor was great and his church was one of the most largest church in korea (or maybe in the world.. ) it was really huge and great....
and when he lectured, i sometimes slept but i think it was good and nice that i didn't regret going there.

i think my life is changing.. i'm studying really hard( i think) and i will follow what my parents and pastor say..

and i think most of the students in our church were changed.... .... i'm so glad... ....

now i'm leading praising part in church. it's kind of hard, but i'm trying to do my best.

miss you, love you so much.... and those old days...

i regret that i dind't give you many things which i can give... and i didn't do my best there.

i once again want to say sorry to you and have a good day..

see ya..

miss you love you
from South Korea EunHae


I surely hope she learns to develop more confidence in herself along the way, because she's really a great kid.

She just doesn't know it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Farm Friday - Pam! Kick it up a notch.

I went out to the barn the other night with Rosie. It was her turn to close things up in the barn, but we had gone out to dinner for her sister's birthday and it was after dark. She doesn't like to go out there on her own after dark.

Because of the rats.

Yes. Rats. Buhahuuuueehhh. Ew.

Because rats, you see, go part and parcel with a barn. A barn is quite simply a haven for a rat. Dog food, chicken feed, water, bits of hay, lots of good hiding places.

During the day they stay hidden, but if you go out there at night you're sure to see one. Or a gang.

Anyway, so brave and compassionate Mom that I am, I accompanied her to the barn, and rats we saw. But they scattered, and we forged ahead with our work. She got our farm dog Annabelle squared away for the night and I went in to check on the chickens. They were all roosting save one. One of our Buff Orpingtons was still all hunkered down in her nesting box, which is where she had been hours earlier. I'm figuring she's blocked.

So I went to the house and got me a can of Pam. Back to the barn I went, and this time I took along Cindy, our Rat Terrier. The rats had stayed hidden, though (probably b/c I had left the lights on) so she didn't get to do any rat hunting.

Anyway, I picked up Goldie or Puddin' or Big Mama, not sure which Buff it was, truth be told, and sprayed her nether regions down with some Pam. I did a little external palpation but nothing felt unduly amiss, so I put her back in her box and hoped for the best.

I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever used Pam in that particular fashion.

Maybe I should call them up and let them know? Kind of like the endorsement Crisco got in The Help?

"Hello, Pam Operator? Can you connect me with marketing, please?"
I really think it would make a great commercial:

"Pam. Keeps your eggs from sticking in your pan, keeps your eggs from sticking in your chicken's ass. Buy some today!"

Anyway, the next day she was no better. Still sitting in her nesting box, still looking morose, still no egg.

I sprayed her down again and when about doing my business running kids to the orthodontist and play rehearsals and whatnot.

Then in the evening I decided it was time. I was goin' in.

So we brought her inside, nesting box and all, and placed the whole works in a dog crate. I got out a heat sock, which I warmed up and put in a ziplock, and I got out the mineral oil. I turned, let's call her Goldie, upside down and tucked her under my arm, with arse forwards (hers, not mine). I coated her liberally with the oil and put her back in her crate on top of the toasty heat sock.

So now I've got chicken, and oil, and heat. Good thing we already ate dinner.














































We never did get her to produce an egg, but she seems better this morning somehow. She's moving easily, eating, drinking, clucking. Being a chicken.

Fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Social - Daniel

Next one down on my siggy line...

Anne,
Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (1)
Bella(14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Felice in Hong Kong
Eun Hae in South Korea
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...




Is Daniel.




















3rd child to come into my family.
6th in birth order.

My only redhead.

My baby.

MY BABY.

Oh I love this kid.

Funny?

Oh my.

He's also creative and, uh, unique. I never know what this child is going to say next.

His Christmas wish list last year? It included a Tempurpedic mattress and a poncho.

He has a penchant for wearing hats of all sorts. And boots.

When he was about nine years old, I lost him for a few minutes in a book store. I said to the clerk,

"I can't find my son. He's about this high, he has red hair and freckles, and he's wearing an elf hat." It was not Christmas time.

He's super smart. Like, scary smart. He has an idea journal in which he has all these intricate sketches for machines of all sorts. He has big plans for how to provide desert areas with clean water, how to create a Mars colonization breather, spaceships, jetpacks, cars that run on water....

His knowledge of geography and history far surpasses mine. He is 12.

I remember taking him to our school for his Kindergarten screening the spring before he started school. He came clomping into the school in his boots and yelled out to everyone he met (and they all knew him by name, though he was not yet a student there) "I'm here for my Kindergarten screaming and I'm gonna do the best I can!"

I have had more than one teacher tell me that when they get home, their spouse asks them to share the latest from Mr. Daniel.

He is an amazing writer and if he could stick with something for more than a heartbeat, he could probably publish a novel. Like now.

He has dabbled in soccer and gymnastics, and took Kung Fu long enough to get his orange sash and then decided he had had enough of that.

He loves video games, reading books like his 40,000 page book on the universe, and drawing (he is, among so many other things, a gifted artist).

When I am not rolling on the floor over the latest Daniel-ism, I am sending him TO HIS ROOM! for, ummm, interpersonal issues with his siblings. He does not always play well with others. Because, if you haven't guessed it yet, he kind of marches to the beat of his own drummer.

While wearing his boots and a hat.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Henpecked

Big, bold Big Daddy.

Seems he's hen-pecked.

I guess that's what it is. All around the base of his tail he's bald.




















He acts so tough, but I guess he just lets his ladies walk all over him.

Yesterday I was at my milk farm. I thought to myself,

"Who better to ask an animal husbandry question than this nice, young Amish girl?"

So I sez to her, I sez,

"Sadie, let me ask you a question. I've got a rooster that's going bald all around the base of his tail. Have you ever seen that?"

And she knew right what I was talking about.

"Oh yah", she sez. "We had a rooster that happened to. Lost all his feathers right around his tail."

I brightened. I knew I had come to the right place with my question.

"What did you do about it?" I asked.

"We got a new rooster."







Sigh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Glass is Half Full!















It's all about perspective, right?

It's all about how you choose to look at the sh- I mean the stuff that happens in your life.

So here goes....

Sh - Stuff that happened:
I had to spend money that we don't really have on new pants.

Altered Perspective:
I'm down a size and my fat pants no longer fit!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
When I got back in my car, the battery light was on and my car told me that my battery was not charging, whatever that means. The needle on the battery gauge proceeded to nosedive on the drive home.

Altered Perspective:
My car started! I was able to drive almost all the way home! Who needs a speedometer or a gas gauge?!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
When I got to my mechanic, his "CLOSED" sign was in his door.

Altered Perspective:
Since he's only a little one man shop, that probably just meant he was out to lunch. Or possibly reading the paper in the bathroom. Isn't that just quaint and provincial?!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
The minute I turned off the main road onto the side street leading home, my car died completely.

Altered Perspective:
I was able to coast down the hill and make it to within about 1/4 mile from home!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
Couldn't get out of the car.

Altered Perspective:
Who needs power locks? Who needs the driver's door? Who needs power windows, I didn't want to climb out the window anyway, what am I, a loser? Now that I've lost a little weight, it's easy peasy to extricate myself from behind the steering wheel and climb over the cup-holder-storage-compartment-area over to the passenger's seat and out the door b/c that lock never worked anyway, see, isn't that a good thing?


Sh - Stuff that happened:
Triple A informed me my battery's dead and my charging system ain't workin'.

Altered Perspective:
Yay for Triple A!!!!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
Tow truck hauled Beulah up onto the flat bed and drove me and my car to my mechanic's, while I silently prayed the "OPEN" sign would be in the door.

Altered Perspective:
Wow, what a wonderful car is my Beulah. 205,000 miles and this is the first time she's had to be towed, not counting those pesky collisions! And look! Bill IS open, PTL!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
Couldn't pick up my youngest from school. Couldn't take him to his appointment.

Altered Perspective:
Yay for my friend Theresa! She was able to pick Daniel up from school and deliver him all the way home for me!


Sh - Stuff that happened:
I will have to pay through the teeth, with money I don't have, to repair my ancient jalopy.

Altered Perspective:
Maybe I can make it all the way to 300,000 miles! Go Beulah!






Sh - Stuff that happened:
I begged and pleaded with you on a daily basis to vote for me in some stupid blog contest.

Altered Perspective:
You voted! The voting is all done and you got me into the Top 25! In fact, I'm like next door neighbors with the Duggars on this list! Raise the roof!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Social - Julie

Next one down on my siggy line...

Anne,
Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (1)
Bella(14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Felice in Hong Kong
Eun Hae in South Korea
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...



Is Julie.


















5th in birth order of my kids.
6th in order of when she came into my family.


She is funny.
She is vivacious.
She is beautiful.
She is helpful and kind and loving.

I cannot imagine my life without her.

And yet, I resisted the idea of becoming her mother.

If you are not familiar with the story, I will tell you that eight years ago, my husband and I decided to bring a little girl into our lives through adoption. That was Bella, I wrote about her last week. While we were in Kazakhstan doing our two week visitation with Bella, we met a little boy, named Borya (wrote about him a few weeks ago). We fell in love with him and learned years later that we could adopt him, too. Only catch was, if we were to adopt him, we must also adopt his younger sister. On this the authorities would not budge. Although we weren't sure if we had grit enough to parent "virtual triplet" preteen girls, we decided to go for it.

But I wasn't happy about it; it was not something I chose to do. I felt my hand was being forced.

And so we travelled to Kazakhstan once again, thrilled at the prospect of being reunited with our long-lost son, yet trepidatious about meeting our new daughter, whom we knew next to nothing about.

And then she walked into the room. And my heart melted. And I was her Mama.

She told me, years later, that on that day that we met, a messenger child came into her classroom and asked her to follow him. Dutifully, she got up, walked down the stairs and through the hall and into a room where she was introduced to two Amerikanzas that were to be her new Mama and Papa.

I thought I had taken a leap of faith agreeing to parent her. But this child? This ten year old little girl? She agreed to join our family when she had never met us, never heard anything about us, and had probably never given more than a moment's thought to the whole concept of adoption her entire life. Got courage?

She folded into our family seamlessly. Within two hours of being home, still fresh off the plane, she had a teeny-bopper poster hanging on her bedroom wall.

The rate at which she learned English was nothing short of staggering.

When she first joined our family, she was my shadow. My velcro child. I could not turn around without accidentally elbowing her or stepping on her foot. When I came out of the bathroom, she would be right there outside the door waiting for me.

Now? She's gained a bit of confidence. She no longer has a look of terror on her face if she turns around and I'm not where she thought I was. She's starting to get that she is with us for keeps. Hard concept to learn when you were placed in an orphanage at the age of three, and your brother was transferred to another orphanage two years later without warning, without a goodbye.

To look at her now you would never know she had any insecurities. She is a typical 13 year old girl. She texts, she chats with her friends on Facebook. She has sleepovers and does her nails and rides her bike and listens to her favorite music on her ipod. She dances, she gets silly, she's loud. She gets obnoxious, she gets grounded, she pouts.

She loves school, loves her teachers, loves her friends. She loves horses, but is afraid of them. She has a hamster and a cat. She eats non stop and is growing like a weed and is all angles and knees, and yet all grace and beauty at the same time. She will probably be taller than me by the new year.

She is younger sister to her two big brothers and two big sisters. She is big sister to her little brother. She is a niece and a cousin and a granddaughter.

She is my daughter. And at one time, I did not choose her.

Shame on me....














Almost into the top 25. 2 spots away.
Please click this pink button, scroll down to my blog, then click to vote.
Voting ends tomorrow!
Thank you.....

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