Monday, March 31, 2008

Yes, I'm a Mac Now

A Greencard and a Mac in the same month??  Feels like Nate & I just got electricity and running water--woohoo welcome to the 21st century!  Seriously, anytime I wanted to check a blog or my e-mail you would've thought I was trying to hack into the CIA the way my PC reacted.   "THIS SITE DOES NOT HAVE CURRENT SECURITY CERTIFICATE--DO YOU WANT TO CONTINUE?  WEBSITE NOT FOUND>>ERROR 23123  @#$%!   
I check these sites multiple times a day--well you get the picture.  So today the Fed Ex man delivered my new Mac Book and I'm flirting with .Mac.  I have to admit, I feel like I'm in another country--even plugging it in was strange.  Strange & genius at the same time!  You have no idea how cool the plugin system is!   Don't worry, I'm not trying to brag or convert anyone. I guess I'm just getting more comfortable with the being an artist. Now it's time to work like one.  Tips appreciated! Will be interesting to see if anyone notices a difference?   
(I promised Nate I would actually read the instruction manuel--but I don't have to--it has these really cool tutorial videos! )

Friday, March 28, 2008

Got Greencard?

We do! My husband Reounodji Nathanael Ndjerareou (Nate) Chadian citizen, began his application process for Permanent Resident (Greencard) in 2002! Thanks to his company(EDS) the US government, and an act of God--we received notice last night that he had been approved! It only took SIX YEARS! Our prayers go out to the thousands of families who are attempting the painful (and expensive) process of legal immigration. For those still waiting, you're in our hearts and prayers. For those of you in the Cedar Rapids area, stay tuned for celebration information!
Thanks also to everyone who has joined us in prayer during this ordeal, it has tested every bit of patience and faith my husband's ever had. I can't think of anyone who deserves it more! (Of course--I'm slightly biased :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Good Kangaroo is Hard to Find. . .

All of us want to pamper our children when their sick. I'm no different. Sophia LOVES the Winnie the Pooh, 'the Heffalump movie,' she had a fever and a runny nose and all she wanted to do was curl up on my lap with her sweet little blankie. "I yuve it, Pooh mama!" (this is her favorite phrase at the moment. During lunch, not long ago, she said 'I yuve it chips mama, don't you yuve it chips?')
So how could I refuse her Pooh?

Of course, I realize how many times we've watched it when she looks up at me and said
"No Mama, that's a Pooh Bear!" I thought she was talking to me, until I heard it echoed a half-second later from the TV. (my two-year old is quoting movie lines?)

In my defense, we don't have cable and get very poor PBS reception so if we're going to watch TV we have a hand full of videos.

But I realized that I had watched this sweet, adorable movie WAY too many times, when I caught myself thinking: 'Where's Roo's father? Is he in Australia? Wow, Kanga is a really great single-parent. I wonder who Roo is modeling as a father figure? '

Seriously people--I spent the next several minutes trying to decide which character was the best father figure for Roo. 'Would Christopher Robin count? Could the whole group of animals really take the place of a good dad? Tigger seems to care about Roo, but he wouldn't be a good partner for Kanga?'

Now I know why people watch soap operas, I hadn't understood it until this moment. After hours of children's songs, toys, conversations and movies, a women just wants some adult conversation. It doesn't matter if it's not real conversation, if all the men talk like women (really catty women) every ones beautiful and every things clean, and you don't see a single children's toy . . . ever! Hmmmm anyone recommend a good soap?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sarah Kay-0 Flu-1

I don't know much about the origins of this picture--but it seems to sum up cold & flu season around here. Thursdays news was all about the sky rocketing flu rates, I guess the number of types of strains are up, (4-5 at present) and the number of sick has doubled. It was like a foreboding message from above. Sure enough, by the end of the day I was in bed with the flu. Friday, I was ready for Jesus to come. Saturday, was a blur of NyQuil and fever chills. Sunday brought a little light at the end of the tunnel--I got up, had a meal, and took a bath, then decided to call it a day.

The only thing worse that getting the flu is seeing your little one get it. Sophia made it through today before the big bad Flu monster gobbled her up. At least, I know what she's going through. When their little figuring out what hurts is the hardest part. Makes you feel so helpless.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sunshine Days

Well, 40 degree days may not seem balmy to many of you. But, coupled with a little sunshine it's a reason to celebrate around here. The first day after a series of gloomy gray ones and I determined we wouldn't let anything keep us in doors today.

Sassy was full of spring fever and wasn't having anything to do with a coat--that was until she'd been outside for about a minute and a half. Then she made sure I zipped her up and pulled up her hood. What can I say? Experience is the best teacher and I simply let it play in my favor.
It's been fun to introduce Sophia to the great outdoors again--even though not all the snow has gone away.

In fact, I found out we're supposed to get more snow later this week! Of course, I heard that only AFTER I had the car washed. I have vague memories of my little brother screaming through a carwash as a toddler and it all came flooding back when Sophia got a good look at the crazy looking machine. "I don't like it--wash!" was her first response. Followed by a panicked little cry. So I tried to translate the car wash into one of Sophia's favorite activities--a bath. 'Now the car is getting its head scrubbed! Scrub your head! See, now we're washing off the soap. Can you say bye-bye to the soap?' I don't know if they had a video camera inside the car wash? But if they do--someones trying to figure out what that lady was doing--acting like she was getting clean along WITH the car.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Fight to the Finish

"God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:10-18 The Message

Watching His Back

Events this past week impressed on me the frailty of the human condition. To date, I have intimate knowledge of my own weakness, yet somehow it's taken almost three years and the loss of a dear family friend to realize that my husband is simply a man. At home, between providing for our needs, singing his daughter to sleep, and being the loving center of my world, it's easy to see him as invincible.

Thankfully, there is beauty in acknowledging our limitations. In that moment my role as wife evolved. Not only am I a partner, commited to love and serve Him as Christ demonstrated to us. The day we gave our lives to God as one, before Him, I was given a sacred task to be his spiritual-wingman, if you will.

If my husband is a soldier, brave--yet finite, then my job is to watch his back, to provide prayer cover against the daily assaults. A part of the privilege of living intimately alongside him is that I'm witness to the tough days, when life just seems too big. This is when my mission is vital, and I thank God for the honor to fight along side such a noble, honorable man.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Every one's getting in the spirit in our house! Today, Sassy decided to share her artwork with the world and I discovered darling green "flowers" trailing down the hallway wall. It was very nice of her to color coordinate her masterpiece with the day's festivities.

Quick question? How come, when the Irish take to the streets,waving their flags and singing their songs--to celebrate their heritage & remind us that this country was built by Irish immigrants, we call it a parade?

But when the Latino community takes to the streets waving their flag, playing their music, simply asking that we value their contribution to our society, we grumble that their taking our jobs? Just something to consider while your pondering a green beverage tonight!

All I can say is thank God for immigrants--they work hard don't they deserve a party. After all, wasn't St. Patrick an immigrant himself? Forced to Ireland by the Romans? Well then--Happy Immigration Day everyone! Maybe all this green pride will get us a Green Card? Here's hoping!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Until we meet again. . .

"Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Revelation 7:16-17
Our family grieves the loss of David Lloyd, friend and soldier.

Monday, March 10, 2008


No, this wasn't something overheard on a playground. It actually came out of my mouth--and I must confess the moment it did I understood the importance of such childish boundry setting. And will also admit I was slightly thankful to be able to sum up the extent of my feelings with such effective accuracy!

Ohkay, I'm a little ashamed of myself but you weren't here. You don't know! It seemed fitting after a LONG day of toddler isms. Sophia is a delightful little girl--with a WHOLE lotta personality! After spending the better part of the morning in a hostage-like tea party. I was trying to redeem my afternoon over the vocal objections of Sassy, who thought my time would be much better spent at her beck & call.

I'm not sure if she's simply bored (still trapped inside despite the sun) or parroting my suggestions and requests for her, but the incessant focused demands of exactly where I should play, how I should play, what we should eat, when we should eat, what we wear, when we wear it and how we wear it (oh yeah I said we)--just pushed me over the edge!

So tonight it was all about tag-team parenting. Nate walks in the door, sees a crumpled and defeated looking mother, and a snotty-nosed, but adorably feisty two-year old basking in the glory of her victory over mom's defenses and better-judgement. This was definitely a bubble-bath night. Too bad I don't have a descent tub, (mine's tiny and filled with duck or squeeky turtles-not exactly a ladies luxury ecsape.) After being relieved of my duties as mommy, I settled for the next best thing to a bubble-bath. A quiet moment, a deep breath, not having to do the dishes, and getting to watch Lipstick Jungle (my guilty indulgence.) Thankfully, Sophia didn't notice much of my frustration since Daddy is so wonderful at night-time, dinner-time & bath-time. I was given a much needed time-out. After that, life seems bearable again.

Plus, I have all-night to prepare for another day of Toddler Wars! Tune in next time to hear our heroine say: Sassy, I'm not going to tell you again! We don't pour juice into Spaghetti Oh's! And NO it doesn't go in our hair thank you very much!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm A Princess!

Happy Birthday Sophia!
You're latest mantra captures your idyllic charm & personality. I'm so thankful that you know you're special! Being a princess means you're a royal blood, born of God, and entrusted to your father & I with all our hearts. We love you're smile & giggles, we love your imagination and desire to help. So many people delight in you & I pray you may always know what a treasure you are to us & God.

Look out world. . .

Here comes my big girl. . .This is a picture of Sophia's little girl room.
After sleeping in Evan's big boy bed this past week in Florida--I knew it was time to make the change. I'm sure Sophia was ready for it a while ago but I really enjoyed it when she'd play contendedly in her crib till I was ready for her every morning. As if to confirm my notion--she managed to climb out of her crib this morning and remind me that this was NOT her nap time. Well when you're up all night--mommy needs a nap! Was my reply. Poor kid she's cutting her two year molars & got a cold--she's not happy and neither are any of us. Shaun McDonnell remarked wisely that if adults teethed like kids, we'd miss two weeks of work. I don't know why we give kids $ when they loose their teeth, the hard part is getting the, Where's the tooth fairy when you need her! Sophia was taking an early nap so that we could go out to lunch with Nana & Papa for their birthday's. (Sophia & Papa share the same birthday.)
Needless to say she was very upset with me and I couldn't help but see the paralells between God and us. God, please help me trust you--don't let me pout about the things I don't understand that I may be pleasently surprised when you bless me. Please help me to realize that much of life is simply preparation for your blessings.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

To Annika with love. . .

From Katie:
"Since late 2005, four other young mommies and I have been sharing our hearts and prayers daily through email, each of us taking one day of the work week to write the email prayer. It started as a group established specifically to pray for our spouses and their needs and desires- and- of course- as happens with a group of women, spread to cover many other topics and trials throughout the years...

The most interesting part about us, perhaps, is that
Annika and SK had never met Kim and Julie, and I was the only one who knew all "in the flesh." Only God would connect these lives to know each other in a very intimate way having never heard each other's voices but only read each other's words. Only God would connect "strangers" to pray for each other's children and husbands by name, and then let us meet three years later! I'm getting ahead of myself...

One of the families got to head this way for a business conference her husband had in Juno Beach! A get-together was an obvious MUST. It was also bittersweet, though, as one of us was missing (well many were missing if you count her two children, too,) so this video is for her, to say we miss and love you and wish you were here, Annika!! "

Monday, March 03, 2008

Between a rock & a hard place. . .Sassy's adventures in a big kids bed

Staying with the big kids can be tough. Thankfully my little Sassafras is a trooper and can't wait to be a big kid. This is especially true when it comes to sleeping arrangements this weekend. The first night Sassy (a name she's earned) tried to sleep in Jack's crib she spent most of the night screaming! Since Katie & the kids were out of town, Nate & I simply turned off the monitor and let her cry herself to sleep. The second night when we put up the pack-in-play in Evan's room and you would have thought we were asking her to eat bugs! Thankfully Evan was already hoping to sleep somewhere else so he was obliged to crash with his sister. This made it Sophia's first night in a big bed. After a couple of false starts she almost had it until I heard a thump. Strike one--I found her on the floor. Much, much, later I happened to hear a little voice in the darkened house. Mommy! Daddy! Sophia had wandered out of bed and was roaming the house looking for us. Strike two.

Strike three was a little more dramatic--after napping for quiet a while I happened to walk past her door and hear "Noooooooo, mommyeeee!" Peaking in Evans room I was horrified to see Sophia's head sticking up from the side of the bed and realized she was wedged between the wall and the mattress. Stuck fast! The second I realized she wasn't hurt--well then it was too funny for words. I told ya she's a trooper--she crawled right back up into that man-eating bed and went right back to sleep!
Maybe we're ready for a big bed after all?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

This is the Life

Sophia's firt flip flops--she's not sure what to think of something between toes.

Za Plane--Za Plane
I have a wonderful husband--I knew it before but when Nate flew us down to visit friends just outside Orlando--well that's what I call love! The sunshine and 84 degree temp has been the best medicine to our souls. Even Sophia (who just started to cut her 2 year molar's) has been full more joyful. Early this morning we headed down the road to a state park that has a natural spring--We didn't plan to go swimming but we couldn't keep Sophia out of the water. So we went native-stripping off her shirt and looking like an Everglades baby. We had so much fun introducing her to sand & gecko lizards.
The best moment for me, was seeing Nate & Sophia kicking the soccer ball around in the back yard. It just melted my heart--some of you know that we tried to sell our house so that we could have a backyard. No regrets--but hearing her giggle and love running made me so thankful for this sunny escape.

Katie & Shuan's place in Apopka Florida-


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