Sunday, July 19, 2009

Am I just a bad dancer?

It is festival season here in the Basque Country!! That means lots and lots of parties, and concerts and fun things going on. Last week was the Festival del Carmen in the city next to ours and I went to two different concerts. Tuesday night my friend from school, Rebecca, went with me to see Carlos Baute. Now, Carlos is quite famous throughout the spanish speaking world. He is super cute and has some really fun songs- so even though we didn't understand a lot of what was going on, it was still a great time.

During his first song some dancers came out. There were two couples and they were doing some Latin ballroom type dances. I thought to myself, this is going to be so much fun. I was enjoying  the music and the dancing was a nice addition. The second song was just Carlos and then he moved on into his third song. This is where it got really interesting. The two male dancers came out on stage wearing silver bomber jackets, no shirt and white pants/jeans. They began this dance routine that defies description. It was horrible. They were attempting a hip-hop, break dancing routine. There were a several problems with this routine: #1- the two men were never, you hear me- never, in sync. Hello- count of 8? #2-The looked ridiculous in those outfits. #3-they were trying so hard and I think that just made it worse. At first I thought they were just bad dancers, but then I started noticing that they had great technique so I then decided they were just really outside of their giftedness and training. That got me to thinking.....

Am I a bad dancer? Is this what I look like to the Lord when I am outside of my giftedness. Even when I am trying really hard to do it right. Do I just look like a moron in a silver jacket? I think that the answer is yes. Why do we try to do things that we are either not trained for or not gifted in. For me it was an opportunity in the middle of all of those people to stop and evaluate myself and my role here. Am I operating in my giftedness and strengths? Am I doing the job that God has called ME to do in  way he has called ME to do it? There may be many of us called to do the same types of things and even to technically hold the same "job". That doesn't mean that we will all be asked to do it in the same way and in the same time frame. I was just challenged to think about that and was reminded that I want to look like I am doing something I have been gifted to do and to be completely in sync with my partner and leader
 ( the Lord). Not looking like some awkward dancer wearing a flashy silver jacket.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon and Kate VS. The Duggars

I have to admit, I have not been a loyal follower of Jon and Kate +8, but I am still saddened by the end of their marriage. Another christian family bit the dust and that just stinks! I have been a little bit  annoyed by all of the blogging, tweeting, and facebook activity concerning this family. I think everyone is so quick to judge and place blame and I haven't heard anyone put the blame where it belongs- on Jon and Kate, and maybe not for the reasons you think. I don't think we can say that it is the fault of the show, or the production crew, the media, or even on J&K's decision to continue to renew their contract every year. I believe that their biggest mistake was in choosing not to serve and obey the Lord. Some how they just lost their way. As I have been thinking about this today I was thinking about how that family is really any different than any other family I know, other than the obvious. Two parents, some kids, a house, work, church, friends, bills, etc.... BUT, we all make choices everyday whom we will serve- and I think it is clear that they chose to serve themselves and ultimately the whole viewing world and they took their eyes off of the Lord and one another. The well being of the children is only a product of their choices as the leaders of the family. Many of the comments have been about the children and the "how could they do that to the children" Well... they did it the same way WE do it everyday when we choose whom we will serve. We all pat ourselves on our Christian backs and say well of course we serve the Lord, but do we? Are we serving the Lord while we run our children all of the world for their important activities, when we put our kids and their needs ahead of our husbands and their needs? Are we serving the Lord when we stay in our "holy huddles" and only allow our children christian friends and never minister to the neighbors who don't know the Lord we claim to serve? I don't think we are, so how are we any different than J&K? They lost their way- they started to serve themselves and the public and forgot about the Lord and each other. 
Now, lets contrast this situation with The Duggers. Hear me out on this I think Michelle needs a haircut and a dress from this decade? YES! Do I think she needs to learn about how babies are made? YES! Do I think that naming 20 children (or however many it is now) names all staring with the the letter J is a little strange? Of course. BUT do I also believe that she loves the Lord? Absolutely. Do I think she and her husband serve one another and have mutual respect? You better believe it. Two families- two different outcomes. When you look at Michelle Dugger in all of her 19?? ( I don't even know what decade she is in) what do you see- calm, loving, organized, joyful, patient, peaceful. When you look at Kate what do you see? Right. She is super organized....
I am only on the outside, I know, I haven't walked in their shoes, I know-BUT I also know that from the info I have I would rather been seen as a woman living in the fashion past with terrible hair and clothes than a woman on the edge of loosing my family. Same goes for the men- Jim Duggar is a DORK and I think little Jon Gosselin is a cutie, but who cares when your family is falling apart. I would love if a combo of these two families could be out there representing the "Christian" family to the rest of the world. The sweetness of the Duggars with some of the "coolness" of the Gosselin's. 
So what does all of this word vomit mean? It means I want to: first- serve the Lord, second- serve my husband, thirdly- know that in the process my kids will be happy, feel loved, know the Lord, and feel peaceful about their family life. I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I often miss the mark and get selfish  and forget those priorities. A few months ago Ian and I decided to adopt a family motto to help keep us in check and to give us a filter by which we can sift our choices. I pray that as we do our best to do what is says God will be honored and those who meet us will be blessed by the spirit of the Living God that dwells in us.  Well, here it is: Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. 
       And what does the LORD require of you? 
       To act justly and to love mercy 
       and to walk humbly with your God.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


For those who know me well, you know that just typing the title of this post was painful. I detest Mayonnaise! I don't like to look at, touch the jar, smell, or put it on anything or in anything. I don't car how good something is, if I am aware there is mayo inside you can forget it. Well, as a result my children have never had any. We now live in a culture where mayo is loved as much as coffee and chocolate. They put it on everything...and LOTS of it. Last week when I was at the store I decided that I would not force my weird mayo hatred on my kids- so I bought some...and then I held my breath and used it! There wasn't any squirt mayo at the store so I was forced to stick a spoon in the jar...that was a little gross, but I did it. So what did I make? I made tuna salad. I know I went straight for the hard stuff, I think maybe I was secretly hoping they would say yuk, but no- they all ate it.  Then two days later I gave them ham and  cheese with mayo and they ate that too. Then another day or so later we did tuna again and they ate it again. Ian was home to eat that last tuna day and he said it was so good he wanted another sandwich. Now I am from the cooking school of "onion makes everything better", so my tuna salad had onion, salt, pepper, a bit of mustard, and just enough mayo to make it stick together. I made chicken salad on Saturday and while they didn't eat that as well, Ian loved and so did the nanny. 
All of that mayo talk to say- I may not ever eat any of that white stuff, by my kids will. And I consider it a small victory that I was able to purchase, smell, touch, and fix something with the dreaded MAYONNAISE!

They also ate little dill pickles with those nice tuna sandwiches:)

Giada says...

G: Mommy do you know how to count in spanish?
M: Yes, do you know how to count in spanish?
runs away
comes back a few minutes later....
G:Mommy what is pig in spanish?
M: Do you know pig in spanish, Giada?
G: Mommy we don't live in the Helltell anymore!
M: no baby, where do we live now?
G: in the pamartment!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bianca's new haircut!

Is this kid cute or what?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

culture shock....already???

We have been told that culture shock comes in waves and that the first wave usually hits around month 6. Well, we have been here for about 6 weeks and I feel like I am in the middle of it. I was sitting here last night thinking about why it has effected me so early in my time here and then it all made sense to me. I have  been feeling so sad about my dog and my house. When the screen saver on my computer comes on I just about cannot stand to look at the pictures when they pass across the screen... they are ALL of my dog and my kids at the house. We have been away from home since the end of  September, so that is like 8 months. I forget that we have been on this adventure for over 6 months. I am hitting the cycle right were I should be, maybe even a little late. Part of culture shock is that you begin to see your new surrounding in a more "real" way. Not in the dreamy way that tourists or visitors may see it. When you look at things as they really are, sometimes they just don't make sense. I know that things in he US are not perfect, but it is the only way I know-so sometimes when I look at things they just don't look right, or the process doesn't seem like it should work the way it does. 

Right now the big thing is that the language just seems CRAZY to me. Whoever said Spanish was the easiest language to learn was crazy. Those words are obviously spoken by people who haven't had to learn the language to survive. It is much different when you learn something for fun or for a school credit than when you need it to LIVE. So many words and forms and just so much of everything! I feel so old everyday, I just can't seem to make the info stick in my brain. Over the years I have had many people comment to me about how they could never learn to sew or how the sewing I was trying to show them just didn't make sense. When I am sewing if something doesn't make sense then I usually just change it, or do it another way that DOES make sense in my little pea brain. You can't just change a language to make it easier for you to command or understand. Really it isn't even so much that I don't understand, I just think that sometimes it is weird. Again, English is not perfect-it is just what I have known for 31 years.

I know that the day will come when I will go to the playground and I will be able to engage another mother in conversation about her child (b/c generally they only have 1!) or about her dog. I know that one day I will walk into a store and not be absolutely terrified that someone will speak to me and I will have to admit " no entiendo" or "repite, por favor". I know that I would not have been asked to come here if it were outside of my ability to do it. I know that the Lord IS going to open my brain and give me the ability to do it. I guess I just wish it didn't have to be this hard. Maybe, for me, I need the challenge to fully rely on God and not on myself and to really give Him the opportunity to show himself to me daily. On my first day of language class I was so excited- I got up early to do my QT first thing and I have been reading through Genesis so I opened up to where I was supposed to read next and what do you think it was? That's right "the tower of Babel"! Yeah, for real. That day I thought it was funny, but today as I look back on that I am thinking that the Lord was just reminding me that He did this whole language thing and that HE knows it is going to be hard for me, but that HE has got this! He can and will do this. I will not only learn but master this language with His help and encouragement. Our purpose here depends on it. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"D" is for daisy

In our morning activities I have been doing the alphabet with the girls. The little ones are doing coloring sheets and working on sounds and Bianca is doing handwriting. We also try to do some type of craft that reflects the letter of the day. Today we did "D is for Daisy" and we made daisy crowns. Adorable! I also wanted to share some of my favorite sites for any of my at home mom friends who may be looking for rainy day activites or for just some fun learning/reinforcement type things.
My two favorites are: dltk and first school

Giada is saying "Daisy Princess!!!"

Such easy supplies- colored paper for printing, scissors (I did the cutting on this one) tape and glue sticks.