Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gracie's Buddy

Last week, Gracie messed with the wrong snake and ended up with swelling in her leg and hip. Jeff dropped $215 at the Animal Hospital after x-rays, lancing and draining.  This morning the abscess was back, filled with fluid. Jacob and I took her back to the vet where she underwent another lancing and draining.  Poor Gracie.  

While waiting for the doctor to come in, Jacob soothed her with the obligatory belly-rub, all the while telling her that he loved her.

The wait for the doc was very long but Gracie seemed to be enjoying the coldness of the examining room floor.  Jacob was very empathetic and would not let her lie there alone. They're such good buddies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Horsin' Around

After Jacob jumped off Neal's shoulders several times, he insisted that Nana have a go at it. Jeff captured the fiasco on video.




Saturday, June 20, 2009

Third Trip to Monterrey

I've been trying to write this blog, off and on for several hours.  How do you describe this kind of experience?  It's very hard to put into words.  Each trip is better than the last.  We got home late last night from a very productive, very inspirational, very SAFE trip to Mexico.  This was my third trip to Monterrey and Santa Monica and the progress of the church building is coming along....slowly but surely.  There were 43 in our group (Sand Springs and Ft. Gibson) and around 40 others from Plainview & Ft. Worth, Texas and Nixa, Missouri.  As you can imagine, a ton of work was accomplished.  But even more satisfying was the growing friendships we're developing with our brothers and sisters in Mexico, as well as with each other.  Every trip is a new experience.  I learn more and more about building, resourcefulness, the talents of my fellow workers and the tender hearts of my fellow Christians.  I'm surprised at what I am able to do physically, and a little frustrated with what I CAN'T do.  I continue to work on my Spanish skills and feel more confident with each trip.  Here's a brief photo journal of our week in Mexico. 
We were greeted enthusiastically by the children in Nuevo Laredo when our bus pulled up to the church building Sunday morning.

After worship, Neal hands out beanie babies to the children.  

Work in progress: 

It's always good to learn a new skill.

Favorite part of the day!  Lunchtime!!!!!

Highlight of the week.  Joveta has been visiting the congregation in Santa Monica for about a year.  She was baptized on Wednesday at an Event Center across the road from where we are building.  The pool was very "icky" but with 100+ temps all week, there was no shortage of volunteers to do the baptism.

Last day--clean up (with baby wipes), a fresh shirt and some last minute photos before leaving.

Ramiro and me. 
He couldn't speak a lick of English, but we communicated quite well.  He always had a smile on his face and was ready to help.

"The Sand Springs Eight"

Me and my hubby, on the second floor of this monstrous building.

Sand Springs and Ft. Gibson
Time to leave....but not ready to leave.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Life with Jacob

Jacob spent the day with me on Wednesday.  He found the Magnetic Dress-Up Princess I bought for Lauren at a garage sale and wanted to try it out.  Sorry Jacob, this is yet another post for which you will curse me when you're 16.

It was hysterical to listen to him talk to himself about which crown, flowers and shoes she should wear with this gown.  When the ensemble was complete he held her up and said, "Does she look fablious?"  "Yes, Jacob....fablious."  Then, (sort of to himself), "and she's hawt."  Me: "She's hot?  What does that mean."  Jacob:  "It means she's beautiful."

We have a box full of beanie babies to take to Mexico, which provided hours of entertainment for Jacob.  He picked out several "beebee babies" that he wanted to adopt, and one for Piercen, one for Baylor, one for Garrison and a few for Lauren.  There were about six kittens, which reminded him of when I had kittens two years ago.  You mean he can remember things that happened when he was barely three?  Yep.  He reminded me, "you kept them outside...and they were Yankee and Sox."  Gasp!  "How did you remember their names?"  "Hmmm....maybe God told me."

Of course, we had to go for a swim.  Really my first time this year to get in the pool for any length of time.  I actually did much better treading water.  Don't know if it was all the great lessons from Terri last summer or just that I have additional fat this year that's helping me stay afloat.  Some people would think it such a waste for someone with a fear of drowning to own such a beautiful pool.  But as long as I have my noodle or kick board, I'm good.  Jacob dug the tropical fish out of the chest for us to play with.  The trick (for me) is to swim to them while they're still floating on top of the water.  Piece of cake.  But he threw one out too far and I watched it begin a slow descent into the deep, dark watery grave at the bottom of the pool.  "Go get it, Nana!" Now I have a dilemma.  Do I show fear to my grandson, who I want desperately to become a great swimmer, and leave that bright plastic fish on the floor of the pool, or do I bravely dive down and heroically rescue the fish, showing him that Nana is the bomb.  Here goes nothin'. Deep breath....dive straight down.  But alas, half way down, I begin to panic. I start thinking, "what if I drown?  My poor almost-5-year-old grandson will see his own grandmother lying at the bottom of the pool...lifeless...he'll start crying...then she'll start bloating and float to the in the face...he'll be terrified!"  Thank you, God, for nets on long poles.  

Last night we wrapped up VBS with a slide show (sorry Jacob, there is no actual SLIDE at the cookout) and hotdogs and sno-cones.  Jacob talked me into letting him go home with Piercen and Baylor while we cleaned up.  Apparently the clean-up didn't take long enough, because when Papa, Lauren and I came to pick him up, he was not ready to be separated from his best friends.  Remember the footage of the little girl who's mother took her away from her adopted parents a few years ago?  The scene was much the same as we tried to pry Jacob away.  He was limp in my arms as I carried him to the car.  Sobbing, "Pieeeeercen....Baaaaaylor....
Pieeeeercen....Baaaaaylor...."  You would have thought we were DHS, stealing him away from his siblings.  Good times.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baaaad Time to Baaaaaack Out

VBS is rolling right along.  The first night, Jesus (Joe, our Youth Minister) and his disciples (Bob F. and Neal) told/acted out the story of Jesus and the Children.  *We have PEACE because Jesus loves us.*  Monday night, we had a life-size boat that the children sat in while the fog rolled in and a storm came up with all the special effects of lightning, and thunder.  The boat even began rocking harder and harder until (as teacher holds up her arms and says, "Peace, be still,") Jesus calmed the storm.  *We have PEACE because Jesus controls the universe.*  Last night was the parable of "The Lost Sheep," -- which became an understatement.  Neal had worked for weeks trying to find live sheep for the children to pet. A week ago, it was finally confirmed...we had 2 sheep!  Yesterday--THE DAY OF THE SHEEP STORY--the owner backed out.  Apparently one of the sheep chose Monday to birth a lamb and he was afraid to separate any of the sheep as it might cause undue stress.  Uh..hello...what about my undue stress???  Neal began a frantic search for more sheep, while I began a frantic search for another idea.  After all, it's a 3 minute parable and we are allotted 15 minutes for the story.  I remembered a box of beanie babies that had been donated for the Mexico mission trip and prayed that there would be a lamb.  We could play "hide the lost sheep."  Hmmm? Hmmm? Tell me that's not brilliant.  Well...miracle of all miracles...Neal found some sheep for sale and talked the seller into letting him borrow a couple for the night.  

These two were not quite as docile and "human friendly" but in a pinch, they would do.  It took several hands to get them in position and settled down.

The littlest one was easiest to manhandle, but the older ram was very protective and made sudden darting movements toward the kids to protect the little one.  Amy, one of my co-teachers was VERY nervous and had visions of Animals Gone Wild.  But there were no mishaps and the kids loved getting to pet the real sheep.  As my 3-4 yr. olds were leaving the area, I asked questions about the story.  Me: "How many sheep did Jesus have?"  Kids:  "TWO!"  Oh well.  *We have PEACE because Jesus watches over us.*

Best quote from Day 2:  Teacher:  "Who calmed the storm."  Kids:  "YOU did!"
Best quote from Day 3:  As "Jesus" makes an early exit to prepare for the final assembly--Kids:  "Where's Jesus going?"  Jacob:  "He's just going back to heaven."

Monday, June 08, 2009

Nothing in Particular

I'm absorbed in VBS this week and the Mexico departure date is this Saturday, so I can't focus on one topic for a blog.  Try to follow along.

Friday night we went out to eat with Jeremy, Trista and Lauren.  Lauren sat between me and Papa and spotted my purse (the one that I had to retrieve from her closet a couple of weeks ago).  Lauren was so excited and said, "My poyse!!!  Nana!  You found my poyse!"

Last Saturday was the Crosby Reunion.  This is Neal's mom's side of the family, who (whom?) I adore.  All of my m-i-l's brothers and sisters were there....

The three sisters were in charge of the reunion this year and did a fantastic job of organizing it. I ate way too much Crosby cooking and had my eye on a cot Nancy had set up under a shade tree. Bryan, too, was thinking siesta, so instead of arm-wrestling him for it, some of us girls went for a walk to try to burn off the key lime pie and carrot cake.  Come to think of it, I never did see anyone lying on the cot, so...once again...opportunity knocks, and I pretend not to be home.

This is Neal with his two uncles.  As you can see, there is a strong resemblance to Uncle Max. Eddie hit the jackpot and got Granddad Herb's hair.  Neal & Max not only look alike, but act alike. Max has me constantly laughing.  They were trying to persuade Bruce to shave his head and Max said, "looks like if you wait just a little longer, you won't have to."  He cracks me up.

Jacob FINALLY returned home from Roaring River on Saturday, and immediately needed to come see Nana and Papa.  I had gone to the church building to look for a VBS costume for Neal and got a phone call on my way home.  Jacob was going for a swim and they discovered that the water guns from last summer didn't work.  So Neal wanted me to stop at Walmart to buy some new ones.  When I got home I presented the new guns to the utter delight of both Jacob and Lauren. Jacob ran to show Papa the new guns and Neal said, "How did Nana know we needed new guns?" Jacob, in almost a whisper, said, "She just knows, Papa, she just knows."

I'm really excited to have Jacob attend our VBS this year.  Someone that's not so excited is Lauren.  She just knew she was going to "Bible" with Nana again, remembering our weekly Tuesday bible studies.  *sniff, sniff*  She really wanted to stay at VBS last night.  Next year she'll be old enough.