Friday, July 25, 2008

Lemon Throwing

Old pictures, but ya'll needed an Oce infusion!

*I make cute kids...*

So we've known we were going to Samoa for several months now. I've mentioned it before, but the short story is this: We work for an organization that has a medically equipped ship. The ship travels through the Pacific Islands every winter (non-typhoon season) and offers free medical care, as well as dental, optical, and when they can - eye surgeries for cataracts. After Joshua died, our director - Jesse - asked if we would mind them naming this outreach season (Winter 2008) the Joshua Outreach in his memory. Jesse found it fitting "Be Strong and Courageous"... makes sense right?

So every time a team comes on the ship (4 since April, we're the 5th and last) it's explained to the team about Joshua, about "Be Strong and Courageous", and it's been really special to us that in a special way Joshua's legacy lives on. For me it's been really special to know that specific children are helped this year - my mother (who lives on the ship with my father and little brother) tells me the stories about people she meets, how their lives are changed, and it means a lot to me. She says she sits with the Fijian and Samoan grandmothers and shows pictures of Joshua. Like my mother said to me several months ago - the parents in the Pacific cry just as much as we do, when they lose their babies.

Until 2 days ago the plan we for Havalah to stay here and be at the house on her own. She wasn't too excited about that. She's 19 and just starting to get used to being on her own. She doesn't do well when she's home alone - so she wasn't looking forward to the next two weeks. But then she got a temporary job (poor kid's been looking for over a month) for the next 2 weeks, up in Auckland. It's good for her in both respects - $$ and people. But we weren't thinking about being gone for two weeks without a "housewatcher". So as of two days ago we started "the list".

*Must finish leftovers
*Must finish milk
*Must all laundry (Two week old cloth diapers...*YEEEERRRRGGG!*)
*Must dry all laundry, or leave in a dryable location.
*Must clean entire kitchen
*Should dispose of months and months worth of recycling
*Should change sheets (it's been wayyyyyy too long)
*Should vacuum (especially since Andrea's popcorn is all over the floor)
*Should do a final blog
*and on and on and...

See? Must get done. Not that I'm complaining, but my hands are still bothering me since my dumb-dumb hair coloring moment - so washing dishes isn't on my "Yay List". I'm hoping that I can convince Matti that he'd like to do it. I can - but it's gonna frustrate me. And of course there's the "We're going on a two week trip in a 100 degree climate with a two-year-old so we better pack carefuly since we have to carry some medical supplies to the ship and take a few blankets and two packs of diapers in 40kg of luggage).

I'm losing it. Stop laughing you dork. Your husband/boyfriend/parent/kid is looking at you from across the room saying "Please stop snorting".

On that note.

Yes, today's going to be a bit of 97 subjects FYI.

Snorting. I went to college with a girl that snorted. I didn't like to sit with her a meals because other people sat with her in efforts to make her laugh and snort. (Oh, that an she burped like grungy old man, which she's proud of). Anyways. I never used to snort. Note the used to. Yeesh. Just recently I've noticed that if it's really funny - particular on TV when I'm not thinking about who's around me - I snort.

AK! I SNORT????? You've got to be kidding me.

I've noticed lately like Mrs Hub has been doing her "Dessert for Dinner" routine once a week in efforts to build a special fmaily tradition. I like the idea. While I'd love to pull that at our house, I don't know it will float at the moment - but I also won't be copying. I like the idea though - spoiling our kids for the sake of "Special" - not to create brats. I can assure you - from what I've read at Mrs Hub there's no detrimental spoiling going on - only lots and lots and lots of love. And that I love.

This morning Oceana asked for "Pop'orn". At 7:00am. And you know what? I gave her the nearly empty container and let her finish it (and spread it on the carpet, see above list). I know it's not on the list of Balance Foods for Breakfast - but she had fun. And I had fun watching her. she's not bouncing off that wall (like I said, it was nearly empty, since her auntie and Mommy made SHORT work of it last night). But I like doing things like that every once in a while.

Lately we've been having "Picnics" on the living room floor when we get fish and chips. We unwrap the newpaper and spread it out on the floor. We plop our food in the middle and pour our ketchup in puddles across the paper. It's a fun family meal - I'll have to take pictures next time we do it. I like things like that.

For me it's up there with snapping bushels of green beans when I was 12 while watching Sound of Music on the living room floor.

Like the first move I went to at a theatre on Christmas Eve 1993 (Mom needed to wrap presents so Dad got us out of the house).

Like the Hardees Chicken and Golden Corral stops on the way home from long 12 hours drives from NH to VA.

Like taking 2 weeks off school to go to Disneyworld for the first time in February 1999.

These are the things I remember.

The exceptions to the rule.

I wonder if Oceana will remember eating popcorn for breakfast, or flying to Samoa, or sailing on a ship.

I hope so. I hope the exceptions to the rule continue too.
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  1. Travel safely & I can hardly wait to read about your journey.

  2. Isn't that the only way to eat fish and chips? Seriously. I've naver eaten them another way.

  3. You know it...I needed an Oce infusion!! Thanks for the cute definitely do make cute kids! Joshua has such a beautiful face a beautiful porcelain doll. We're excited about your trip to Samoa...and what God is doing on the Joshua Outreach. We'll be looking for news on the Marine Reach website. Wish I could be there to share the fish and chips...sounds like fun!

  4. Hello, I have been following your blog for a very long time but this is the first time I have left a comment. Firstly hugs to you with Joshua, what a dear wee boy he was, very special. x I love your posts! You write so well and always make me laugh even with the day to day stuff. I am a kiwi living in Australia, but NZ will always be my home. xx

  5. I love the way you put your view - an exception to the rule. It's perfect, just perfect.

    I know that your Oceana and any other children you may have will have a wonderful childhood(s). How could they not with you and Matt as parents!

    That popcorn IS really addicting, isn't it!


  6. Much agreed. Many of my favorite childhood memories where when we got to do something normally "forbidden"... like staying up late watching movies or Sunday's ice cream for supper. It was more exciting & special that way. :)
    And how cute is Oceana?! Adorable!Yes, you make very cute babies!
    Good luck conquering that list & happy travels! We'll all be waiting for you & your stories upon return.

  7. Praying for your trip.
    My hubby and girls have been doing picnics on the Living room floor too.:) and yes my daughters have been allowed to have leftover popcorn for breakfast. At least it is a whole grain,;)
    Rachel in PA

  8. Love the lemon photos! My 15-mo-old keeps throwing them and saying "bah." And since we have five lemon trees, she's got lots of balls to play with.

  9. Have a safe trip. I love the Oce pics. She's way too adorable.

  10. I love the picnic idea! Maybe we'll start that at our house too if you don't mind me stealing it :) My boys would love it!

    Have a fantastic trip! I'll be praying for you that all goes well.

  11. It isn't the expensive toys they remember, it is about the memories created. I can remember one summer, we were not able to go on vacation...My mom packed up the camper and locked up the house. We camped in our back yard, had a fire, the whole 9 yards. I also remember that being the best camping trip ever!

  12. We don't always necessarily have "breakfast food" for breakfast either! My husband thinks it's crazy to have leftover pizza for breakfast, but me and the kiddies love it!

    Have a safe trip!!

    South Louisiana, USA

  13. Dear Susie, 23 years ago i had a son with an encephalocele...... but before i get into that, please don't get a tattoo! The risks far outweigh any fun. There's HIV and Hepatitis B thru G you could get. i am sick with Hep C (i'm an old nurse from the pre-glove, safe needles, and a little blood in your eye is a badge of courage era.) You know life is too precious to gamble like that.....and with a husband & daughter..... i feel like an old fart here, but i'm done.

    Now, God Bless you & Thank You so much for sharing your experience on the web!!! Its been a long time ago for me but there's always been things i've wondered about....and you've given me a measure of peace i thought i'd never find. I've only been saved for 8 years, & not in good health, so never ....... ok, wanted that badly to look for it...i know that God forgave me the moment i was saved, but have had more difficulty forgiving myself. Yes, i chose to terminate. When i saw it on ultrasound i was stunned. The doctors were not helpful or informative except to say that my baby was 1 in 100,000, that he probably would'nt live to full-term, and that if i chose to continue,it would likely kill me. With the 24 week limit on 'abortion' (ack, i said it), i only had 2 wks to decide. My son also had Down's. Worst of all was the overly-interested gleam in the doctors' eyes.....i'd seen it too many times before....that is, doctors who swear to preserve life no matter what, but its really about experimenting on the babies & inflating their own egos. The thought of the needless pain my son could go through was unbearable........ and i didn't know if i'd be strong enough to withstand the inevitable guilt-trips they'd throw me if i wanted to just hold him til he died. All that & no faith to speak of.........and still i've wished i could have seen him, held him, and buried him.
    The way you handled Joshua's problem IS superhuman....that kind of courage comes only by the grace of God.

    Thank you again...for the tears and the inspiration. You'll be in my prayers...for your family, your mission work, and your continued faith. And i am hereby naming my son Joshua.
    love, kathleen

  14. "Exceptions" are great! We like the Star Wars movies and our kids had seen the original 3 on video, but when the first one of the second set came out in theaters in 1997, we were so excited! There was NO WAY we were standing in line for hours just to get movie tickets, but by a fluke, we got some with no line, for the very first showing at midnight. This all happened after our 4 and 6 year old daughters had gone to bed. So, at 11 pm, we woke them up to go see the movie. What a surprise! They were thrilled and other movie-goers were even dressed in costumes! Really cool. But, ask them now, at 13 and 15 and they still remember getting up in the middle of the night to go see the first showing of the new Star Wars movie. Great exception! BTW, we havent' done it since, so it really was special. :-)

  15. I hope you are travelling happily and safely!

  16. so busy and so much to are blessing people left & right, including me.

    ps: love the bit about popcorn too!

  17. Can't wait to hear more.....

  18. Dear Susie,

    A friend recently passed on your blog address to me...Truth be told, your blog is only the second I've every read. The first was Bring the Rain (Angie Smith's blog about her little Audrey Caroline). Anyway, I read the beautiful story of your precious Joshua and I'm so grateful you shared your amazing journey with us.

    My family has a ministry for mothers and families who experience the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.We offer comfort, support, and bereavement materials to families and meet with hospitals, encouraging the staff to offer compassionate care, understand the perspective of the bereaved parents, and the importance of forming a precious, tangible memory...especially for those parents who barely say hello before they must say good-bye. And our blog shares our family's journey as God carried us through our losses and with His beautiful, sufficient grace made beauty from ashes in our lives.

    Our website is:

    My blog:

    Just wanted to share this with you. Thank you for sharing your heart. And may God continue to bless, comfort, and carry you and your beautiful family as you walk with Him.

    In His Grace,
    Kelly Gerken

  19. Prayers needed for this family who is expecting a baby with an encephalocele set to be born Aug. 12.

  20. Hope you are all having a great time with lots of fun and sunshine. You picked the absolute best time to be out of NZ - torrential rain and gale force winds for the ENTIRE COUNTRY! READY FOR IT TO STOP NOW (and feeling a little jealous of your tropical break!) Do good work and feel good about it!

  21. I miss you. It makes me sad that I won't see you when you come home. Unless of course you can talk Matti into stopping in the middle of the night in the ghetto with a whiny little girl who seriously needs her bed. And then there's Oshee to think about.

    Do you hate me now? Good, that way it'll make it easier to not see you cause I'll be scared of you.

    But seriously, I miss you. I wish I had your Mommy Blogger help when I'm in the kitchen for hours on my own. You wanna know the great part though? If I really don't want to... I can almost ALWAYS get around doing any dishes. WOOT FOR DTS-ERS!!!

    I love you, Hope you're having fun in sunny Samoa you brat!

  22. Miss you, girlie. Hope everything is going well.

  23. missing you guys!!!