Its been a couple weeks since I last posted. I've been trying to keep the kids and I busy to keep our minds off the long days and nights without Andy. We're down to three days to go! HALLELUJAH! Andy gets on the plane at around 9:00pm Tuesday, our time and arrives home early Friday morning, our time. I miss him SO BADLY!
He's had a good time, though, in Vietnam. He even ate a dog dinner. No I'm not kidding! He said it DOES NOT taste like chicken, but rather more like a tough old, very gamey deer, with stringy meat. Sounds delicious, right? :) Of course, you add the tasty Chinese-y sauces to it, and you'd never know the difference between that and what you ate at the restaurant last Sunday on your fried rice, huh? :)
Andy says there are more motorcycles on the roads than he's ever seen in his entire life! Well, they are actually more like little mopeds, but there's a sea of them, four lanes wide, elbow to elbow all moving the same direction. That is, until an intersection. By the way, have you ever played the game Mash Transit? Andy and I used to play it with the kids at Jr. Camp. You have a giant square marked off on the floor. You then divide the kids into four groups and place each group at one of the four corners of the playing "court". At the whistle, each corner has to strive to be the first to make it to the corner opposite them. Sounds simple enough, right? It is...that is, until everyone gets to the center of the court! It turns into a massive confused mess of each of the four groups trying to get past each other first! It really is hilarious to watch. You can add variations to the game, like having them race crab style, or on their knees, or having each group holding hands with each other. Now THAT can create quite a tangle!!! BUT! Back to my motorcycle story. At the intersection, you begin to play Motorcycle Mash Transit! Each of the four intersections begin to melt into one big confused mess....at least to our American minds. To the Vietnamese, its completely normal. Motorcycles everywhere! Then you have the pedestrians who wish to cross the road! Still not joking... They too begin to wade into the sea of wheels and bobbing heads. Andy was VERY leery about stepping out in front of a wall of engines, but his Vietnamese friend marched out into the mass quite confidently. Andy said the motorcycles are all around you and you just ease your way through a little at a time while the sea of people and vehicles never stop. He did say you have to watch out for the buses and cars. :) They're bigger, and don't stop for anyone. :) This system would never work in America, THANKFULLY! There's too much road rage, and people are in too big of a hurry to get places. Over there, they just go with the flow and not worry too much about time.
On the home front...
I took the kids up to Andy's Mamaw's house last week. They LOVED the pool! Christian, the cautious little guy he is, sat bolt upright in his little float and carefully kicked his feet every now and then, while I just about couldn't hang onto Audra, on the other hand! She's going to be a natural in the water. We had a great time!
We also drove to Dayton and spent one day with a friend of mine who was also an MK in New Guinea. We've known each other since nursery days, then grew up together in the same place half way around the world, and now live only an hour away from each other and are still close friends. Now who has a story like that??? :) That just doesn't normally happen. :) She also has two small children close to my children's ages, and is expecting their third. And her husband is a pastor of a small church. So our lives are VERY similar with VERY similar backgrounds. She's a great friend!
We've been having rain and thunderstorms every day for about a week now. Saturday was a really bad one! Christian has been spending a portion of almost every night in my bed, holding very tightly onto my finger while thunder shakes the house outside. Once or twice I thought lightning hit us. Lightning and thunder cracked at the same exact instant and the whole house seem to shudder. Ok, even I was getting a little spooked. :) That was last Saturday night. Sunday morning, after only getting about an hour's sleep, I got everyone up and dressed for church. Audra had a teething fever, Christian had a barking allergy cough, and I sleep walked my way through my morning grooming. No one touched their breakfast, and by the time we walked out the door, I realized that I hadn't even had a second to glance at my Sunday School lesson! And it was going to be a big day in class! I felt SOOO ill prepared. NOT a good feeling either, but one I simply couldn't help. We got to church and I "set up" my classroom, then begged God to get my thoughts in order. Somehow I had to get through the day and it was going to take a supernatural helping hand in the matter! I rushed upstairs to take Christian potty and start playing the piano for opening. I was real worried when we split up for Sunday School. But, you know? It turned out to be the best lesson I've taught my kids at this church so far! We had a great time, and everything went so smoothly! I rushed back upstairs, rounded up the kids, landed at the piano, then prayed for strength to stay awake during the service. I then noticed the preacher filling in for Andy was preaching basically the very same thing I had taught in my class!!! I also noticed my SS kids giving me glances and grinning knowingly at me. At least I know they were listening not only to me, but also the preacher. I also knew that God's hand was in everything said and done that day! I love it when that happens....when my lesson corresponds with the preachers. The very fact that it wasn't planned that way says that it was God's will, the very lesson I was supposed to teach. This has happened many times with me and Andy, with neither one of us knowing what the other was teaching, but when it happened with someone outside the family, well....it really made my day. Other than the fact, that it started out bad at home, and the fact that lightning hit the church building in at least three places knocking out most of the sound system, some water pipes and electrical wires, and blowing some holes in the brick and concrete, we had a great day. Someone even got saved! The devil was really fighting us all trying to keep that soul from the Savior!
Well, Christian is potty trained, Audra is doing very well walking, and she's started eating with utensils. So we've made serious progress over the last two weeks. Christian's Sunday School teacher was talking to him about all the people who work at the church. When she got to Andy she said, "Christian's daddy works at the church as well." Christian thought for a moment and replied, "No he doesn't. He works in the garage!" I love it! Andy only comment was a simple, "Oh, brother....." :) Christian has taken to calling men, "Brother". He hears folks at church being called that, so the other day while I was loading up the car after coming out of Walmart, I heard him chattering away to a fellow rounding up carts beside the car. As I was buckling Christian into his car seat, he waves at the guy and shouts, "I'll see you later, Brother!" My son NEVER meets a stranger. He's always drawing a smile from someone with his little conversations. He found a "clown" at walmart recently. An older man who goes to children's hospitals to visit the kids. He was in "civilian" clothing at the time, but Christian was pretty fascinated at the man's tales of putting paint on his face, wearing funny clothes, and making balloon animals. :)
Audra has discovered the telephone! Why is it that children are drawn to computers and phones????? I read an article the other day about "How to deal with your child's 'tech tantrum". Have you ever heard of such??? It proceeded to describe a tech tantrum. Supposedly the IPads, IPhones, and the such are replacing the TV babysitter. And they say the they are way more addictive than the TV because of all the interactive games you can get for them now. So when you go to take the said electronic device away, the child starts throwing what is called, a TECH TANTRUM! I was wondering why Audra is so fascinated with my IPhone. She LOVES swiping her finger across the screen or pushing the app buttons. I never let her play with it, and that seems to have made it way more desirable. That's the way it normally goes. :) I began to realize just how addictive and potentially dangerous technology can be for this up coming generation. It really is scary! I hope we can keep the "line" drawn between the "modern" and the "old fashioned" in that we don't loose sight of the value that good old fashioned fun can bring. Don't forget to go outside after dark one evening very soon and notice the lightning bugs. Remember catching them in jars as a kid? Remember the old porch swing? (Someday I'm going to have one!!!) Hey, keep playing those made up games with the kids in the back yard, or go have a picnic on the lake! Stay close as a family! Don't let the "modern world" steal that away from us! Hang onto it as if your very life depended on it.