Ramblings of a tired mom

Living on Guam has it's challenges. Add in 5 children, homeschooling and your own business and you'll find me rambling nonsense interspersed with some wisdom. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Sunday Afternoon at the fights

I don't know why, but everytime I try to have an afternoon nap, my children decide it's time to have all out screaming fights. When we query them on what they are fighting about, it's usually really silly trivial things.

Cassie has an ear-peircing scream that can set your teeth on edge. She's still unable to communicate verbally so tends to use grunts, screams and gestures to indicate her wants. She has learned that wonderful word "no" so at least we know what she doesn't want.

Eric refuses to answer to his name anymore and has officially changed his name to Mario. His screaming usually involves this fact. "I'm not ERIC, I'm MARIO!!" The other day Les took him to the wedding coordinator office - Les is a pastor for Island Weddings and performs wedding ceremonies for Japanese tourists who want to experience an American wedding. The office has wall to wall mirrors (the better to show off wedding dresses to prospective clients) and Eric eyed his multiple images in the mirrors and tearfully lamented his having blonde, not brown hair - like Mario. Les thinks the best birthday present we can get Eric would be to dye his hair brown for him. I question letting his "fantasy" take over his life at the early age of 4, soon to be 5.

Stephanie, though so much older than the little ones, contributes her share of screaming to the Sunday fights. She wants to read her books or play her video games without the harrassment of a little brother and sister. Her way of dealing with them is to yell at them to leave her alone. Sigh.

The only quiet one is Adam. At almost 16, he lurks in his bedroom hiding from it all, usually with earphones on while he plays his keyboard, oblivious to the fighting going on in the living room.

I suppose it is good that 19 yr old Kevin has already moved out, or I'm sure we would hear his bass tones added to the cacophony of sounds.

Guess I should give up on napping and go deal with dirty dishes, laundry and...oh yeah time for more coffee!!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Brutal awakening

This morning I was brutally awakened by a charley horse in my left calf. This is always a sign that I need to take my calcium supplements. I don't like milk. In fact my mom tells me I quit drinking it when I was 9-months old. I can tolerate it on cereals and add chocolate to it...well who can resist anything chocolate? But in general I don't drink it very much. So supplements is the way to go for me. I really need to figure out a way to remember to take my vitamins. If I ever figure that out I'll let you know.

In the meantime....I wanted to share the "cream" story of dinner the other night. My husband, Les, used to be a logger in B.C., Canada in the cedar salvage industry. He described a "creamer" as someone who would cut up all the nicest pieces of wood and leave the rotten stuff for the next person. Since they were paid by "piece-work" this meant that the creamers usually made more money as they didn't waste time trimming rot off their shake blocks as they only picked the wood that was rot-free!

This explanation is necessary for you to understand what happened at dinner. My three youngest children - Stephanie, Eric and Cassie were eating stir fry. Eric liked the broccoli stalks so "creamed" them from his plate. Stephanie liked the tops of the broccoli so stole Eric's leftovers and "creamed" them. Cassie would eat whatever was tossed to her. And literally this is what happened. The three kids were leaning over each other's plates picking out what they liked best. Eric wanted the meat and "veggables" (translation = carrots). He dislikes anything "red" so the red peppers were given to Cassie who eagerly slurped them down. Stephanie picked out as much broccoli and cauliflower that she could find. Cassie got the leftovers. Between them all they managed to eat all their food, with only a few scraps leftover for the cats.

Another dinner in the Smith household.

Well, work calls me (and so does the coffee!)

Blog you later.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sunny Skies

Well, Typhoon Chaba did more than just threaten us. The eye passed north of Guam between Tinian and Rota, two tiny islands in the Mariannas Islands. We had winds of between 50 and 80 miles an hour. Lost power for a day. No real damage, Thank God. I have heard that Rota, Tinian and Saipan sustained major damage, especially since the storm was upgraded to a Super Typhoon as it passed over, with winds up to 175 miles an hour and gusts clocking over 200 MPH.

I cleaned my children's room the day the storm was coming, a task I had been procrastinating on for several months. Finally we can see the floor and the kids have some place to go play besides my bed!

And speaking of children and their play. Eric and Cassie were incredibly cute last night. I wish I had batteries for my digital camera so that I could share the picture here. Better add that to my to-do list. Eric has been going through a "Mario" stage - from "supermariosunshineworld" a X-box video game. He is no longer "Eric" but insists on being called "Mario". I suppose that's better than "frog" or "buzz" or any of his other pseudo-names he's gone through in the last year. Four year olds have such an imagination. Anyway, he dressed himself in a white t-shirt and beige overall shorts and then dressed Cassie in a smiliar outfit (her overalls were maroon). Then he named her "Mario" as well and the two ran around the house until Midnight playing their "mario" game. Cassie was exceptionally cute as she attempted to copy everything her big brother did. At 21-months she is finally trying to talk and loves to copycat her idol, Eric.

This morning the skies are blue and sunny. We have a slight view out our back window over the valley thanks to the "defoilaging" the typhoon did for us. It looks like it will be another hot day on Guam. Better go do some laundry while the sun still shines.

But before I forget, Praise goes to our King - Jesus for saving our island from the storm.

Thank you Lord for once again hearing this sinner's prayer.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Still threatened

Well, as of 7:30 this morning we are still being threatened by the storm. I hate this uncertainty. Do we put the typhoon shutters up or not? Should we rush out to the store and stock up on candles, batteries, canned goods, water? Of course, living on Guam, I suppose we should always have this stuff together. My military friend, who just moved here, was talking about her "storm closet". I guess being in the military teaches you to be more prepared. We tend to just "wing" it as each storm approaches. Make our decisions, and hopefully find them to be the right ones.

It's not enough that I have a storm to worry about. My 4.5 yr old son woke up with a flu. So now there is hourly (and even minutely) rushes to the bathroom to deal with his sour stomach.

At least I have one happy camper this morning. Twenty month old Cassie is happily singing her "dip dip pickle pickle" song (at least that's what is sounds like to me) as she plays with some loose change and a roll-on soap body and bath paint bottle. It's amazing what children can find to amuse themselves with.

Well, coffee is calling me. I did manage to get a fairly decent night's sleep, despite being woken at the early hour of 7am. At least there were no mid-night awakenings. So off to get my coffee, assess my laundry pile and feed the cats.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Storm brewing

Woke up this morning to beautiful sunny blue skies. You wouldn't know that our island is being threatened by a storm. We've been watching the Joint Typhoon warning website and tracking tropical storm Chaba as it heads in our general direction. Thankfully the satelite images shows that it will pass to the north of Saipan. We really don't need a storm to hit our island again.

Since living on Guam (9 years now) we've weathered several storms - three of super typhoon strength. It always puts a damper on our lifestyle (literally - lots of rain!) , teaching us how to live with no power or water or even gas! Tempers flare when you have no air con or way to cool off. And devestation has a way of making it hard to pay the bills.

Besides physical storms I feel like I'm weathering emotional storms. We took a step of faith this past month and turned our part-time business of teaching drivers ed to a full time business. I no longer work as a librarian at a Christian school - my dream job. My DH no longer teaches bible and science at that same school - so a steady paycheck is no more. We now rely on what business we can bring into our driving school. DH has got himself a part time job performing weddings for Japanses tourists. He enjoys that and the pay is good. But there is a certain amount of stress involved as he has to schedule his time and I'm always being commissioned to keep him stocked in freshly laundered and ironed dress shirts.

And then there is homeschooling. With three children who I am supposed to be teaching - kindergartener, 5th grader and 10th grader - and a toddler to care for, I feel overwhelmed at times. Today I finally made plans to bring my daughter, the 5th grader to work with me at least three days a week to make sure she does some schoolwork. I need to make arrangements for the rest of the kids so that I don't burden my 15yr old son with them on a daily basis.

Daily I need to turn to the Lord for strength and wisdom. I tend to forget and try to do things on my own. Sleepless nights makes my mind fogged and hard for me to focus. I prayed last night when once again finding myself awake at 3am. Prayer for wisdom. Prayer for health. Prayer for the needs of many. My prayers are like my ramblings here - disjointed and unfocused. But my Lord understands (I hope!).

The storm outside is turning away. Hopefully clear skies will abound in the physical world as well as my own life.

Friday, August 20, 2004

In the beginning...

In the beginning was the Word....of a tired mom. Yup, I feel like I'm perpetually running on empty. Lack of sleep. What is sleep anyway? A luxury that just doesn't exist in my life. I think I actually got two hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. Though it's hard to remember. My brain is fogged.

My DH would blame that on the fact that I believe in the family bed. Meaning, currently our king size bed (it feels good to be able to say that after years of being crammed into a "full-size" bed) is the sleeping place of my husband and I, our 20-mth old daughter, Cassie, and our 4 1/2 year old son, Eric, a few cats and enough sand to fill a sandbox (or at least that's what my DH says each night!).

But I digress. I've always wanted to do a blog. Now I have one I'll have to actually think about something important enough to write about. After I get some sleep.