Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Have a Nice Day!

Moody. That's what I am. Well I guess I'm not moody today. I'm in a yucky mood. I would use a more colorful term to describe it, but I don't want to offend. I do have to say, though, that some good hiphop music and some dancing lifted my spirits some.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brian, funny Brian!

I was cleaning out my email folders when I came across this email from Brian. It was sent to our team here. I thought it was funny so I wanted to share it with you. He was responding to a comment in a friend's email. She said that "I knew I would love you guys, but the fact that I like you too is just gravy." Then she went on to explain that "gravy" meant "icing on the cake". Ok...now here's what Brian said...

Just a point of clarification. Those of you from the South and even some from the pseudo-south (Kentucky is a borderstate.) need to know that the phrase "it's just gravy" is actually a verbal regionalificacious transcendentaliteration of the Californian phrase "That's groovy." The phrase was regionalized to what was more important in the central and southern states. I can't blame it on the southern twang that I myself have developed. Californians tend to to put importance on being cool, calm, and collected. Those from the middle and southern states tend to put a larger emphasis on food stuffs like grits and gravy. Those of you that have been on the team for while know that I've adapted well to the grits and gravy lifestyle myself.
So, what can I say other than I think it's groovy that our team is gravylicious.

Makes me laugh everytime!

We'll be home for Christmas!

It's official. We are coming back to the states for Christmas. We arrive on Dec. 15 for a glorious three week stay in Texas. We will be in Houston the majority of that time, but do plan to make a trip to Waco. There have been several people who have requested an audience with us and we will try to accomodate everyone...wow...that sounds so official! We should be at church on December 16 if we make all our flights. We do have a really quick plane change in Munich that could pose a problem, but hey it's an adventure. And nothing could be as bad as the last trip we took to the states for Christmas...missed flights, throwing up kids, and a crazy taxi ride through New York City. A normal trip might even seem boring! I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends and the nice waitstaff at Pappadeaux's!

Monday, October 29, 2007

October 27

I know, I know...it's not October 27. I just wanted to share with you what October 27th means to me. It's not my birthday. It's not one of my kids' birthdays. It isn't a day filled with big celebrations. I don't even remember my first October 27th, but the first one is what makes the day significant. I actually don't remember any of the October 27ths before I was an adult. I'm sure they were mentioned, but I guess I didn't see the significance in them at the time. What is so important about October 27th? It was the day my parents got the call that they could come and pick me up from the adoption agency. That's right...I am adopted. My mom got the call in the morning and then she called my dad at work. They picked me up later that day. October 27 was my first day as Natalie Frances Owen. My first day of life was August 4th so by October 27th I wasn't a newborn anymore. The adoption agency/baby home where I lived for my first 2 months and 23 days of life called me Anna. That name was chosen by my birth mother. She was 17 and unmarried. She chose to have me at a christian center and give me up for adoption. I am so thankful she made that choice. Abortion was illegal at the time so my odds for being born were pretty good. Every year my dad calls me on October 27 to tell me how much he loves me. The conversation is the same every year.
Dad: Do you know what today is?
Me: Yes, I thought about it earlier...or...Oh, yeah. I hadn't realized it was today.
Dad: (this year) 38 years ago today we brought you home.
Me: I know. I'm getting old!
Dad: Well, think about how old I am.
And then he tells me about how he and Mom talked about me at breakfast. It's so sweet. This year when the phone rang Erica answered it. While she was talking I told the other kids why Papa was calling. Anna Grace said "awww, it's your adoption day." I told her that I was pretty lucky. Not everyone gets to have an adoption day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I was looking back over my blog and the word randomness came to mind. I can't really say what my blog is about. It is so random. Life in Turkey, thoughts on life in general, crazy things my kids do, crazy things I do, just randomness. But I love it. I heard a line from a song that said I'm trying to tell you something about my life...maybe give me insight between black and white. I think that is what I do. By writing what goes through my mind it helps me process. Just saying...


This is my friend, Shawn. We met Shawn and her family our first summer in Turkey. We had been in country for about 4 months and were attending the annual 4th of July celebration at the military base in town. Shawn and Greg had 2 boys at the time (a third child (a girl) has been born since then) and their oldest is Will's age. Our families really hit it off, and we've been friends ever since. She's one of those moms everyone needs to be friends with. She plans the fun parties, spaghetti eating contests, scavenger hunts, water fights, and many other events that my kids get to participate in. I think about how much planning those things take and how much of a mess I'll have to clean up later, but Shawn thinks about how much fun the kids will have. I'm glad my kids have friends with such a cool mom. Shawn also heads up the children's program at our church. She does such a great job at making sure things are top notch. Just wanted to share her with you...she's great!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Anna Grace

Anna Grace got her haircut, and it was her idea. That is news! She decided she wanted it cut short, and I'm so glad. It's really cute! Here are a few photos from her most recent photo shoot!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


After telling Anna Grace to clean her room more times than I can count this is what I saw when I peaked in. She said she cleaned half of it and was taking a break. I'm pretty sure she hadn't done anything by this point! Mentanna...this is the picture I took when we were on the phone!

We had a get together and I had to take a picture of us girls because we were so color coordinated. Brian said we looked like a praise team!

Of course the guys had to break out the wii!

Lunch with Mike and Mary. Notice our Turkish cay (tea). Yummy!

Brian, Mike, and Mary all got this dish. It's called beyti. Basically it's a long meatball wrapped in a tortilla and covered with tomato sauce. This restaurant also puts a little cheese and some pistachios on top. I have to say it the best beyti I've ever had...almost a little Italian flavored. I didn't order it this time...I just had cheese pide which is basically cheese pizza with no tomato sauce. It was also good, but makes for a boring picture!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The List

Today I randomly decided to see if Brian had any interesting books on his bookshelf in our room. I glanced through much that didn't interest me and then I came across a spiral notebook. This notebook was mostly full of blank pages...something that excites me beyond measure. There was writing on the first three pages which could be easily torn out and disposed of. I glanced over what had been written just in case it was something important. Page one had a grocery list in my handwriting. Page two had some notes on the 5 dysfunctions of a team in Brian's handwriting. And page three had a list. This list baffled me. It was written in my handwriting, but why would I make such a seemingly absurd list. It makes no sense to me. It made me laugh so I thought I would share it with you. And if anyone has any answers to the questions or ideas listed I would love to hear them.

1. Mom always said...
2. New Hip Hop song title
3. What Aunt Jemima said to Mrs. Butterworth
4. What is hidden in Michael Jackson's basement?
5. What's wrong with you people?
6. How did you do that?
7. Where have you been all my life?
8. Describe yourself.
9. Inappropriate name for a sandwich
10. Why I won't bathe
11. How I broke my nose
12. $100 gets you what?
13. What I bought at a garage sale
14. Where in the world IS Carmen Sandiego?
15. Phrases of frustration
16. The ingredients in these cookies

And there you have it. Why on earth would I make such a list? I don't remember making it. I have no idea what any of those things have to do with each other. They sound like the journal topics my 10th grade English teacher wrote on the board, but I can think of enough things to write about these days without having to have a list like that. Please...share your insight and answers!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Few Words

Feeling full...not sure what to write...logged in several times today and just sat here.

Quoting a line from one of my favorite songs...

Blank stares at blank pages no easy way to say this...

So for now that will be it. What a post.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dance Fever

Dancing. I've mentioned it in several blogs recently. I love dancing! It comes and goes with me though. Right at this moment I am listening to The Right Stuff by New Kids on the Block and tapping my foot. I'll resist the urge to get up and dance so I can finish this post. I've always loved dancing. In high school I was on the drill team. We were dancers...not cheerleaders. I loved it! Then we moved and I didn't dance for a long time. I went to school dances for the social aspect only. I didn't dance. Now I feel like I missed out! Ok...now Hot Blooded by Foreigner is playing. I don't know how long I will be able to resist! I do find it funny that people are amused or surprised by my wanting to dance. I would love to take some dance lessons. And I imagine that I would love the show Dancing With the Stars in the states. Watching movies that have dancing in them...Dirty Dancing, Shall We Dance, Save the Last Dance...inspire me, move me, make me move! I want to learn how to do those dances...move like that.

A friend who is a new blog reader told me yesterday that she has learned things about the Dixons that she never knew by reading my blog. I guess that would be true. I am an open book on here...for the most part. Take it or leave it.

Getting up now...Mr. Roboto...where's Jacob when I need him?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jacob - take 2

After the fun I had dancing with Jacob last night I decided to do a video of him dancing. He was being silly when the cameras were off, but got serious as soon as we were rolling! Here he is with his take on a robot alien.

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Sunday Lunch

We are in the habit of going out to eat on Sunday after church. Today we went to El Torito. This time I made sure to bring my camera. Here are some pictures and a couple of videos of our experience.

Chips and salsa. Let me rephrase that. Taco flavored Doritoes and salsa. See Brian's thoughts on this subject below.

Brian showing just how little salsa is given.

The soft taco plate

Adam pondering the experience.

Jacob loving the hat!

David...not knowing what to think.

And now for the videos. Enjoy!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Movies and games

Today Jacob got to watch the third Lord of the Rings movie. Brian told him that he could watch each movie after he read enough books to equal 400 pages. And last week he finally reached the 1200 page mark. He had to wait until today to be able to see the movie because the other rule is that Brian has to watch the movie with him. Now that he has received the full reward I wonder if he will still be as diligent at reading. We'll see.

The other thing we did today...during a movie break...was play a game. Anna Grace, who is not allowed to see the movie, was begging for someone to play a game with her so we all decided to play the Top 5 game. Today's questions...Name your top 5 favorite movies. Anna Grace's answers...High School Musical 2, High School Musical 1, Phantom of the Opera, Lord of the Rings (which, again, she has never seen), and The Wedding Singer (which she saw once 3 years ago). Jacob's favorite movies were all three Lord of the Rings movies, and Pirates of the Carribean 2 and 3, Brian's answers were Spiderman 2, Lord of the Rings 1 and 3, Pirates of the Carribean 1 and 2. My answers Fried Green Tomatoes, Notting Hill, A Walk to Remember, The Truman Show, and The Wedding Singer. I had too many to choose from and not enough time to decide. We also asked the questions Top 5 favorite foods, and Top 5 hated foods. Jacob had too many that he liked and couldn't think of anything he hated. He said there were things he didn't like, but he would eat them. He didn't hate anything. He did decide that he didn't like beef tongue. He has never had it, and I told him he would probably like it if he tried it. Brian agreed but said he didn't want to taste anything that could taste him back. Anna Grace had no trouble coming up with food she hates and I could only come up with two...bananas and maple flavored anything. Brian said things like onions, but I eat them, and ucuz stroganoff which is beef stroganoff with hamburger meat and rice instead of beef strips and noodles...but again he would eat it. All the food talk made us hungry so we had a snack, and Jacob finished his movie. Nice quiet day at home. Note: Will was at a friend's house and Erica was with friends watching the boys' volleyball team from school play a game. They missed out on the fun.

Another funny thing...tonight Jacob asked if there was anything for dessert. I hadn't planned on anything so Jacob used the following sentence to bribe me. "If you make something for dessert I'll dance with you." I gave him some chocolate candy and we danced to I Don't Feel Like Dancing by Scissor Sisters. Again...fun times!

Breakfast, anyone?

Yesterday Brian and I met some friends at a local restaurant for breakfast. We usually do lunch with them, but this time we decided to be different. The bottomless tea was the draw for them. Brian was wishing for the bottomless coffee like they have at ihop! I hadn't had a diet coke in 7 days so drinking the tea made me a little nervous. I didn't want to start the whole caffiene thing again. I was good and only drank one cup...which they thought was a little strange, but I didn't worry about it too much...more for them!

Steve is Australian and his wife, Meryam, is Turkish.

We were laughing about something, but I don't remember what. It took several pictures to get a good one!

Of course I had to take a picture of our breakfast. This plate of food cost 9 lira which is about $8. I would have loved to have had ihop as well....some yummy grits with butter, real ham, and biscuits...yum...and it wouldn't have cost that much either!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I mentioned in a previous post that we have recently bought a new dvd player. Our old dvd player would play some movies just fine and others it would spit out in defiance. You couldn't predict which would happen. We would watch a movie one day and then a few days later try the same movie again and it wouldn't work. It was extremely frustrating. Since the purchasing of the new player a week ago I have watched several new movies that I really enjoyed. Stranger Than Fiction and The Pursuit of Happyness were two of my favorites. These were movies that were given to us or purchased by us that I hadn't been able to watch because of the old picky dvd player. Now I can see anything I want! And the great thing about dvd players in Turkey is they are multi-regional. I can watch movies from Region 1...America or Region 2...Europe. I could probably watch movies from other regions as well, but I don't happen to own any. (Our dvd player in America would only play Region 1 movies so that people couldn't buy a pirated copy of a movie overseas. They are much more careful with copyright laws there.) (We don't own any pirated copies of movies except the few that were given to us...Brian would want me to say that.)

All of that to say I love movies. I love lines from movies, and these movies had some good ones. Since I have only seen them once each I can't remember what all the great lines were. All of that got me thinking about lines from movies that I love. Lines I laugh at, am moved by, and use on a regular basis for no apparent reason. Here are a few of my most often quoted favorite lines.

I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box, though. (my number one favorite at the moment...makes me laugh everytime I hear it!)

You're just a bee charmer, Idgie Threadgoode. That's what you are, a bee charmer. (she doesn't even realize that she is a charmer...I love that!)

He must have had on some really nice pants. (from The Pursuit of Happyness...a new one)

You think I'm gorgeous, you want to kiss me... You want to hug me... You want to love me... You want to hug me... You want to smooch me... You want to... (used often when I have exasperated my family)

I'm sorry, what was the question? I was distracted by the half-masticated cow rolling around in your wide-open trap. (one of Brian's favorites as well...used anytime someone is talking with their mouth full.)

Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date. That's a tough one. I would have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket. (another of Brian's favorites)

I know there are many more...my mind is drawing a blank now. I'm sure I'll add to the list as I think of them!

Happy 10th Anniversary

As we contemplate Scott and Mentanna's 10th anniversary today we thought we would share our top 10 favorite memories of Scott and Mentanna. Some of these were shared by all of us and some by some of us. And there are really too many to list just 10 so we've done 5 for Scott and 5 for Mentanna...officially...and then a few more unofficial ones.

5. Smoking Cuban's on Brian's trip to France.
4. Sharing a bed with Scott on the same trip.
3. Scott and Natalie having "the talk" in Houston while Mentanna was out visiting a friend
2. Breaking into the A/V room to get a projector.
1. Scott saying "Whaaaaat's uuuupppp?" to the slave lady at Williamsburg.

5. Women of the west
4. Watching Mentanna mattress surf down the stairs
3. Casting out demons in the middle of the night
2. The recent watching of Mentanna playing tennis on the wii
1. Watching Mentanna freak after I talked to Louie Giglio

There are so many more good memories...meeting at candidate conference and seeing each other for the first time in years, getting to see you guys everyday at MLC...even though we didn't hang out everyday, visiting Paris and making Mentanna look at the photo album she made me all those years ago, spending time with just Scott at Williamsburg and taking a picture of the guys using the outhouse together, comparing Brian's quantity of shots on the golf course with Scott's quality of shots and seeing that Brian gets the better deal, arguing over who has to share a bed with Guy, the whole traveling Europe thing, the $200 phone call, pouring an icee on Mentanna's feet, skipping school and getting caught, Mentanna dressing up as a latin lover to Kristen's spanish dancer, skate keys and misplaced kisses, u l t s w w a t...using letters to say what we are thinking, and I could go on and on! I'll save some memories for the 20th anniversary blog post!

Here's to more good memories and a lifetime of happiness. WE love you guys! Come visit us for Thanksgiving and we'll buy you an anniversary breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, an anniversary lunch at Dominoes, and an anniversary dinner at El Torito!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Turnabout's fair play.

Anna Grace decided today that she wanted to ask me questions video style. I guess since I interviewed her the other day she felt the need to have a chance to interview me. Here is what she got. Riveting stuff I'm telling you!

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And one more.

I can't promise there won't be more Canadian Thanksgiving pictures at this point. Those Canadians know how to celebrate. I keep getting pictures from others and I feel the need to share them. Thanks to Crystal for the ones in the previous post and to Sara for this one. I guess I should have waited a week before I posted any pictures, but I had such a great time I felt the need to share them sooner.

Two more

I had to post two more pictures of Canadian Thanksgiving.

What in the world is Brian doing? I think he must have been in an apple crisp induced coma by this point.

The whole gang minus Crystal, who took the picture, and the Canadians who invited us to celebrate.


During my Zomig induced high last night this is the conversation that took place between me and Will.

Me: Will, you want to help me unload the dishwasher?

Will: No, I did it last time, and I helped Jacob the time before that. It's Erica's turn.

Me: But, she's doing something. You're just sitting here looking at me.

Will: Well, I was going to do something.

Me: Oh. (laying my head on the table so the room will stop spinning and not really caring if the dishwasher gets unloaded or not)

About a minute later...

Will: (who has not left the room to go do anything) What will you give me if I help you?

Me: A big kiss

Will: How about a hug?

Me: You would rather have a hug than a kiss?

Will: Yes

Me: How about both?

Will: Ok, but you have to help me.

I knew he could never leave. That boy loves his mama.

Headache free and ready to rock.

I woke up this morning headache free. Yea! For the last 30 minutes I've been sitting at my computer listening to old Amy Grant and watching a cartoon on the Disney channel, because I don't feel like getting up and changing the channel. It didn't have any words...just birds, frogs, fireflies, and bats weathering a storm in an old windmill. Not exactly rockin' but hey, I'll get there!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Headache - Day 2

The headache I had yesterday has officially become a migraine today. As soon as the kids left for school this morning I took a Zomig and went back to bed. 3 hours later I woke up feeling fine. Now several hours later it is back. I took another Zomig and am now feeling somewhat spacey. Anna Grace is watching Mr. Bean and I am contemplating it. Who contemplates Mr. Bean? I must be out of it. Brian is out of town so I have to be somewhat with-it for my kids. We'll see how well I can pretend. We are having bacon, cheese fries for dinner. What? It's like a baked potato with less work. And Erica can make them...even better. This may be it for my posting today. I can't think straight anymore.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My day

I have decided to stop drinking diet coke. This isn't the first time I've given it up. I decide to stop drinking it about once a year and usually quit for a month or so. I get to the point where they don't even taste that good to me anymore. Then I go to dinner and have one here and there and before I realize it I am, once again, drinking one or more everyday. I'm not sure how long I'll give it up this time. We'll just have to see what happens.

It's cold today. 54 degrees...which isn't too cold, but it's also dark and rainy. It makes me want to snuggle up with a blanket on my couch and watch movies all day. After a few chores I may do that. There are several movies that I have been wanting to see again. Our dvd player was being choosy in the movies it would play so we decided it was time for a new one. Now my choices for cold weather, snuggle time are endless!

I have a slight headache today. I figure it is a result of the lack of caffeine and the gloomy weather. Another good reason to confine myself to my house for the day.

And finally...this is the first day I have been alone since I've been back from France. I got home a week ago and between lice and the end of the Ramadan holiday my house has had someone in it at all times. And now Brian is at work, the kids are all at school, and I have nothing on my calendar. Ahhhhhh.....


A conversation between Jacob and myself that took place on Saturday morning.

Jacob: Mom, what are we having for breakfast.

Me: How about cereal? Have you ever had that before?

Jacob: No, what is it?

Me: Let me show you.

At this point I proceeded to open the cabinet where the cereal is kept and tell him about the different kinds of cereal to be had. I walked away as he got his bowl and spoon and began pouring himself a bowl of cereal. A few minutes later this is how the conversation ended.

Me: Jacob, what are you doing? (asked because he was carrying his bowl of cereal into the living room)

Jacob: Trying that stuff you called cereal. (said in somewhat of an exasperated tone)

I laughed and let him eat in the living room...at the table of course!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My muse

I mentioned back in September that I had writer's block. I felt completely full, but nothing would come out. I hoped going to France would be a cure for the way I felt. Based on the fact that I have posted 15 times in the last week I guess I'm cured. And I am still craving the feeling that writing gives me. Even the posts that were just pictures with very few words brought me relief. I had hoped to find my muse in France, and now that it is back it is out of control. I can't stop writing. Not everything I've written has been written on this blog. Some of my thoughts weren't share-worthy. So, just to warn you, I will probably be posting at least once a day for the next several days. No pressure to read it all. It's mainly for me. I need it.

This morning

I was at church this morning and was overwhelmed with the worship songs. The words ate at me. I needed to hear them. I sang some, but more than that I listened. Here is what I heard.

Don't let my love grow cold. I'm calling out, light the fire again. Don't let my vision die. I'm calling out, light the fire again. You know my heart, my deeds. I'm calling out, light the fire again. I need Your discipline. I'm calling out, light the fire again. I am here to buy gold refined in the fire. Naked and poor, wretched and blind I come. Clothe me in white so I won't be ashamed. Lord, light the fire again.

My savior loves, my savior lives. My savior's always there for me. My God he was, my God he is. My God he's always gonna be.

When I look into your holiness, when I gaze into your loveliness, and when things that surround become shadows in the light of You. When I've found the joy of reaching your heart, when my will becomes enthralled in your love, and when things that surround become shadows in the light of You. I worship You, I worship You. The reason I live is to worship You. I worship You, I worship You. The reason I live is to worship You.

I didn't get to stay for the sermon, because I was teaching the kids. God let me have the worship time because he knew I needed it. I'm so grateful.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I feel you.

I love reading other people's blogs. Especially the ones that sound just like the person is talking. I just read a friend's blog, and the post made me laugh. It wasn't supposed to be funny, but I laughed as I pictured her ranting, gesturing, and getting worked up over the video on growth and development her son's junior high was planning to show to the students. I am still laughing just thinking about it.

That made me think about how much I love getting emails from people who write like they talk. They don't try to sound more intelligent or use bigger words than they normally would. They just start typing and let their feelings come out. It makes me feel like I am right there with them...the emotions, whether excitement or frustration can be felt through their words. I love that!

Addendum - Brian doesn't like the title of this post. He, being a guy, immediately thinks like a guy and wonders what I am trying to communicate. I choose to keep the title as is because of what I just wrote in this post. That is what I would say aloud, and I want to write like I talk.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Canadian Thanksgiving

Tonight we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with our Canadian friends and a few others. We had turkey, stuffing, carrots, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, creamed corn, and deviled eggs. We also had pumpkin pie and apple crisp. It was all yummy! Here are pictures of the attendees and a couple of videos that I just had to share!

Rachel and Seth. Rachel teaches 4th grade and is currently Jacob's teacher. Seth teaches secondary math so he gets to try to explain algebra to Erica!

Jenna and Brenda. Jenna teaches 2nd grade...Jacob and Anna Grace have both had her. Brenda teaches 6th grade and functions as elementary assistant principal. Erica had her for 5th and 6th grades, and she is currently Will's teacher.

Brian and me.

Jeannie, Leslie, and Andrea.

Beth and Crystal. Erica has Beth for Literature and Crystal for American History in 8th grade.

Hannah Lee and Eric...the Canadians. Hannah Lee teaches music and Eric is the secondary assistant principal.

Ross and Sara. Ross is the principal and Sara makes sure everything runs smoothly!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Kids

After 13 posts having to do with some aspect of my trip to France (actually 15 if you count that I mentioned going in 2 others) I decided to dedicate a blog post to my children.

This is Erica, who isn't quite as tall as me, but likes to think she is. This past week while I was in France (I only mention that because it is important to the story!) there was a lice outbreak in our school. Unfortunately Erica was a victim. The wonderful family who was taking care of the girls while Brian and I were both out of town got the great honor of picking through her hair to try to get rid of the nasty critters. I came home to massive amounts of dirty laundry and bedding packed in plastic bags on my balcony. We have been fighting the fight all week long. She was finally allowed to go back to school today after missing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thankfully she was the only one of the kids to get it. I've never had to deal with lice before, and I pray that I never have to deal with it again. It is a big job! And for those of you who have wondered how I've found so much time to blog over the last several days there's your answer. I have been stuck at home doing laundry, vacuuming, and picking at hair. I had to take a break and do something else!

I took videos of the other three so no explanation is needed. I hope I didn't offend anyone with my concentration camp comment in Jacob's video. Brian thought it might not have been in the best taste. Sorry.

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While in France Mentanna and I reminisced about the good ol' days. One of the things we talked about was our church's youth summer camp after my senior year of high school. We went to Silver Cliff Ranch in the mountains of Colorado. (I just googled them, and they are still there 20 years later!) Anyway, like most summer camps we had t-shirts made for our camp experience. The front of the shirt was standard for everyone. It said Mountain Movers with the verse, "for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20b." On the backs of the shirts everyone chose what word they wanted to use to describe themselves. Some people just put their name while others were more creative in choosing their shirt identity marker. At that time Mentanna and I had a good friend named Lisa who we shared much of life with. We decided to be creative with the backs of our shirts. After some thought we decided to use our last names to make a statement. So Mentanna Grace, Lisa Hand, and Natalie Owen became Graceful, Handful, and Owenful respectively. Ahhh...the good ol' days. I scanned and attached some pictures of us that I happened to have from camp. No backs of the shirts though unfortunately!

Me and Lisa...dancing to Sound of Music songs...maybe. It's been 20 years...I can't really remember!

Mentanna and Lisa...what can I say? Hide and Seek anyone?

Me and Mentanna...Poise, beauty, and me in a shapeless, homemade dress with a very frizzy perm. I was stylin' though!
Another one of me and Mentanna. I posted a recent picture of us a couple of days ago. Man, we haven't changed a bit...hee hee.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Birthday!

The Saturday before I left France I had the priviledge of attending a 2 year old's birthday party at the park. It was so fun meeting Mentanna's friends and participating in her life. Thankfully the two families we were with both knew English or I would have been lost! Here are some pictures and a video of that event!

Charlotte...the birthday girl

Juliette, her sister

Mentanna and Sophie, Charlotte and Juliette's mom

Wyatt conquering the climbing wall

Maya and Charlotte

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More Favorite Pictures

Will and Wyatt show off their yogurt moustaches.

Mentanna and Wyatt at Notre-Dame de la Garde.

I realized after I got home that I once again managed to avoid taking Scott's picture. That happened last time, too! I know what you are thinking Scott. Lazy... Take a good picture of yourself and send it to me. I'll post it on here and sing your praises!