Chronicles of China

CHAPTER SIX

You communicate using hyperbole, and it’s a problem.

As the words left his mouth I felt my face grow warm and the tears well up.  Who is he to tell me how I communicate?  I don’t talk with him often enough for him to judge me.  Who does he think he is?  I felt outrage and embarrassment.  As he started to throw example after example into my face, I felt trampled on.  Beat up.  I felt misunderstood.  I felt like, if given a chance, I could explain.  As my tears spilled over, the chance never came.

Later, as I read this:

Hyperbole (/hˈpɜrbəl/hy-pur-bə-lee;[1]Greek: ὑπερβολή hyperbolē, “exaggeration”) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.[2]

I felt justified.  I felt that my use of hyperbole was really quite creative, and he was taking it way too literally.  So it was his problem. Not mine.  As I crossed my arms and let out a “harumph”, a ball started forming in the pit of my stomach signaling to me that I was about to have to admit I was wrong.  I was going to have to be humble and look inward to see the dirty, ugly parts of me that need to change, but it could wait.  Wallowing in my self-righteous, you hurt me so I hate you, attitude is okay for a little bit.  Right?

I woke up the next morning still feeling sad.  Still feeling trampled on, despite an email that apologized for the bluntness and delivery of said criticism.  In my mind the only things I could remember from every meeting I have had here, with him, was that I left feeling like I should just quit.  That this life wasn’t really the one I was called to live.  That, obviously, I wasn’t good enough.  That I wasn’t accepted as I am, but that I had to change to be who these mere men wanted me to be.  I spent the day in a funk that almost cost me an opportunity to shine my light.  The light that I had successfully hidden while rolling around in my self-made pity party.  The party that was serving up dishes of selfishness and pride with a free flowing pitcher of hyperbole.

Then I realized it.

He was right.

My Father put this man in a position that is harder than most I can imagine.  He has the responsibility of relaying to us the things HE tells him to say.  I know, without a doubt, this leader of mine is closely attached and holding firm to the life-giving Vine.  I know the things laid upon his heart that are meant to mold me into the image of the Almighty aren’t his own ideas.

It must be hard to deal with someone who cries every time you give suggestions of improvement.  It must be hard to see the tears and feel hearts break.  It must be hard to be obedient when doing so brings hurt and causes doubt of the very One who gave you the words to speak.

It must be hard to be MY leader.

I am prideful.  I don’t like it when someone criticizes the core of who I am.  I don’t want to be told that something I do regularly needs to be evaluated because it may not be glorifying to the One who gave me life.  I’d rather be comfortable and live in my bubble of perfection that closes out anyone who doesn’t like me.

But I can’t.

As I worked through the initial emotions and dismissed the voice of the evil one who wants me to run away, I knew, deep in my heart, in the places no one can glimpse, that He had spoken to me.  It wasn’t a mere man.  It wasn’t criticism…even if it felt that way at the time. It was my Father, who loves me more than I can fathom.  Who died for me even though I am a filthy, no good, rotten excuse for a daughter.  He wants to change me into a beautiful creature, inspired by the Holiest of Holies, in order to bring the Most High the glory due His name.  And you know what?

I am honored.

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Oh, Praise Him!

Wednesday evening my neighbor friend, whom I have been meeting with every week for a couple hours, came over with her 8 year old daughter to play.  They speak no English, and since my Chinese is super limited, we usually have a very interesting time together.  Ha!  This time her daughter and my girls played a dancing game (this girl has some moves!  She rocked it out and blew them away.) while we chatted on the couch.  Before she left she asked if she could watch my girls for me the next day, while I was in class, so all the kids could play.  I have such a hard time letting my girls go with other people because, well, because three kids are a lot of work!  And really, I just never know what Ellie is going to do…  Knowing they were just 3 floors down, I agreed and the plans were made.  Well, noon Thursday rolled around and I hadn’t seen or heard from the girls since they left at 9, so I texted my neighbor that we were done and they could return home…but they never came.  This could very well be because I texted her in Chinese, and my language is incorrect a LOT.  Misunderstandings happen frequently.  So, about 12:10, I headed down to get them and see what was going on.  Turns out they had been spoiled all morning and had no desire to ever leave…

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She wanted us all to go eat lunch together.  I have to admit my hesitancy here.  My neighbor is very well off…and she is picky.  She doesn’t eat like most people here.  She doesn’t eat like anyone I know.  I mean, she doesn’t eat locally because it isn’t hygienic.  She doesn’t eat city chicken because it has hormones added.  She doesn’t eat beef unless it is Japanese beef.  She pays almost $1usd per egg because they are healthier, and her grocery budget for the month is nearly $1600usd.  We eat out daily in restaurants that are so small you can’t really call them restaurants.  They are dirty.  Roaches have been seen in most of them crawling on the walls or floors and Cam watched the owner’s wife of one of our most frequented places stomp on a rat in the kitchen (don’t worry…she killed it).  I did NOT want to take her to the food street on which we normally eat.  So, I told her we would go but that the places where we usually eat are a little bit dirty (understatement there).  I wanted to prepare her, you know?  Well, looking a little nervous, she said she wanted to treat us to hot pot instead.  Ummm….well…I knew my girls wouldn’t like it.  It is an acquired taste that I have yet to acquire, even though I really really want to like it!  It is basically a pot of boiling chicken broth with some spices in it that you boil meat and veggies in.  We had mushrooms, ham (like the kind that comes in a can…you know, the kind that looks like cat food), quail eggs, potatoes,meatballs that were still red in the inside and that you don’t really know what kind of beef they are made of, strips of beef that were curly, tofu, tofu skin, and baby fish.  Luckily, the squid she ordered didn’t make it into the pot!  Because my girls weren’t eating, I had to eat A LOT.  And y’all.  I was gagging inside.  Did I mention the honey covered rice cakes and tortilla-like bread?  I ate the bread…gluten and all.  I think it saved me more than once.  When it came time to eat the fish, I asked her how to eat it.  She looked at me like I was crazy and said to eat it.  So I did.  I bit it.  In half.  Ummm…I ended up with a mouthful of bones that I had to pick out.  She decided to demonstrate the proper way to scrape my teeth down the spine of this little fish to get the meat and not the bones.  Apparently my aptitude for fish eating is nonexistent because I got even more bones when I tried it her way.

She kept apologizing to me because my girls barely ate.  I kept threatening and bribing my girls to eat so she would stop apologizing.  They tried.  They really did.  They tasted everything and didn’t make noticeable bad faces at anything.  I was irritated that they couldn’t suffer through it by eating a little more and proud of them for giving it a chance all at the same time.

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Finally the meal was over and we headed home. I was breathing a sigh of relief and thankful I had on stretchy clothes because I ate double what I normally eat.  By this time, my head felt like it would explode from trying to pull up all the Chinese words I have ever heard in order to converse with my friend, but it wasn’t time to call it quits quite yet.  While I was gathering my girls bag from her apartment, her daughter disappeared.

I found her in my house.

So, I called my neighbor back and asked her if she wanted to go ahead and come over for tea since the girls wanted to play more.  Keep in mind that the girls can’t really communicate.  She speaks Chinese to them and they speak English to her.  Neither understand the other, but they find common ground just being children.  It’s quite amazing really.

So, my neighbor came over and my tutor happened to still be at my house (her fiance and Cam meet to practice language, so she stays too).  Turns out Father had arranged this time long before we knew it would happen.  I introduced the two ladies and they were off!  My neighbor told my tutor that my kids were really well behaved and my tutor replied that she thought it was because we are believers.

The doors were thrown wide open with hinges crashing through windows and barriers turned to ash.

My neighbor said that her daughter is anxious and she wants her to have peace.  She desires for her to believe in Father but she doesn’t know the Way.  At this point, my mouth wanted to fall open and tears started to form.

This is the reason.  This is why.

It makes every single sacrifice worth it.  It makes the hard days worth it.  It makes the trials seem trivial.  And it was happening on my couch, in my living room, with two people that I have come to love in such a short amount of time.  Seeds were planted over the next hour, and I am hopeful with a hope that comes from above that there will be a harvest in due time.  While we are waiting, please join me as I “water” my neighbor’s seeking heart with petitions to the Throne.

It was certainly a praiseworthy day, fish bones and all!

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Gluten! How I miss thee.

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If you’ve known us for long, you know that Faith has issues with her tummy.  All sorts of issues that she has had most of her life.  Since we have moved here, her complaints have stepped up a notch and some new symptoms have appeared.  In light of this and lack of a doctor that I feel that I can trust and believe (not that there aren’t good doctors here…we have adequate medical care), we have decided to test things on our own.  So, for the next two weeks, Faith and I are cutting out gluten.  I naively thought that we don’t eat a ton of gluten as main parts of our meals, so really, I only had to give up the hot rolls, breadsticks, and desserts.

Yeah.  I was wrong.  And I have a new appreciation for my friend Cathy, who can’t eat gluten.

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There is gluten in everything!  And to make it even more challenging, Faith has decided she doesn’t care for eggs.  And we have to force her to eat her chicken.  She is pretty  much only eating rice and fruit, oranges to be exact, and those aren’t good for her acid reflux at all.  Since we live in a country that uses a language I can’t read, I am not at all able to read labels, and even if I could, they don’t have the kind of regulations America has that makes them be upfront and honest.  I have tried a few new recipes that make me crave bread stronger than ever.  The first was banana pancakes…using only bananas and eggs.  I should have known it wouldn’t be good, but I remembered the banana nut pancakes my Grandma makes, and thought that maybe, just maybe, they would taste like that.

Wrong.  I had to gag them down and Faith just scraped the syrup off the top…

Then, tonight, we had chicken gyros.  The best part of that meal is the naan bread.  I could eat my weight in it.  But, due to the flour it takes to make them, the meal had to go without.  So, I substituted the naan with a delectable (but I can think of a much better word) cauliflower bread.  It was pureed cauliflower mixed with eggs, salt and pepper.  Again, with those simple ingredients, I should have known.  They were, ummm…well, I couldn’t taste them if I piled on the jalapeno hummus super thick, but I wouldn’t want to just eat one with butter.  Ever.

3 days down, 11 to go.  Part of me wants her to be healed by cutting out gluten, and the other part of me doesn’t wish that on her at all.  I ordered some special ingredients that should blow the top off the possibilities for meals, so I am hopeful that we will get to eat some cake next week.  For my birthday.  Because life without cake isn’t really worth living…Image

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They aren’t in High School anymore…

There is a group of college students that used to be high schoolers (I know.  Stating the obvious), and when they were high schoolers, we spent a lot of time with them.  They were the first ones we “graduated” out of youth group.  They are the first ones that tugged our hearts in a different direction because we couldn’t imagine youth group without them involved.  Little did we know, they would always be “ours”.  

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With a doorbell surprise, we received this box we knew nothing about.  It was beat to pieces, but hanging on by a thin thread.  Inside were the most lovely things…

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Oreos.  Tea.  Mayonnaise.  Brownies.  Cake.  Pajamas filled with love and memories.

 

 

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And then there was this.  Tucked deep inside the box was an envelope made of brightly colored duck (duct?) tape.  Instantly, Gracie’s eyes lit up and she knew.  It was from her best friend, and I just know, as tears filled my eyes, that her heart was pounding and she was indescribably excited.  Her sisters stopped what they were doing to watch, and Gracie gently lifted its flap…

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Oh the suspense!

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Looks like Molly made some gifts for all the girls!  And the smiles abound!

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I’m certain this is not what Molly intended it to be, but this is Ellie…I believe they are actually bracelets.  Gracie got a friendship bracelet (that I failed to photograph) that matches Molly’s and Kelsie’s bracelets so she can be connected to them from across the ocean.  She wears it everyday, and I know she misses them both everyday with a longing that most of us can’t even understand.  Forever heart friends don’t come about often, and I pray that these girls will continue to hold onto their bond regardless of distance.

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My most favorite part of the box were the letters.  Gracie got a letter that she devoured and Joni wrote us all a letter, a really long handwritten letter that blessed my soul.

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Thank you so much for continuing to love us!

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An opportunity like the one I miss most

My girls get a gigantic scholarship.  

Titanic-sized.

In order for them to receive this, we have to agree to volunteer at their school for a gazillion hours every semester.  An opportunity came up for me to be a part of the middle school girls bible study every Monday afternoon (and it counted as volunteer hours!), so I jumped on it.  Since I would be there and could take Gracie home, this also allowed Gracie to participate every week with her friends.  Double score!  The first week, as I observed about twelve girls (80% being Korean) with a smile on my face, I realized how normal it all seemed.  Before we left that first meeting, the lead teacher said I could lead the next week…

Oh.  Okay…I thought I would just be a helper, but sure.  I can do that!

I prepared my game, my lesson, and chocolate chip cookies (of course), and my heart got super happy at the prospect of teaching youth again.  For the last couple years, as I taught my favorite group of youth girls in the universe, I don’t think I truly appreciated the opportunity…the chance to be a part of their lives.  While I always loved it, I didn’t recognize it as a special treat for me.  

Now I do.  

I feel so blessed by my Father who loves me and knows my heart’s desires even better than I know them.  Monday afternoons are officially my favorite time of the week.  I already love those girls and am in awe that I get to teach them and love them and enjoy their youth-filled jokes and laughter every. single. week.  

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Chronicles of China

CHAPTER FIVE

For the first time in twelve years, I haven’t cried.  Yet.  At moments, I wanted to…I felt the tears well up in my eyes and my throat start to close.  I felt desperation because I didn’t want to explain myself, and I felt hope that no one would notice the shimmer in my eyes that wanted to spillover.  I started to think about the last giggle I ever heard and the last book I read to her.  I could hear the mower in the background as I laid on the floor with her the last night she lived.  We were battling pesky stickers in our yard and Cam had a method to his mowing that almost had him victorious over the hated dried thorns.  It was a normal night that I took for granted.  I thought we would have thousands more nights just like this one.  I could feel her in my arms and smell the sweet strawberry scent of her room.  I could see her stretching and smiling and passing a little gas before she fell back to sleep after that 6am feeding.  I remembered sitting on her bed after she was gone, staring at her little basket of dirty laundry and lifting up a onesie to simply smell her one more time.  As tears made a pathway down my face, and the sun warmed my body, I started singing in a tear broken voice,

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…

If only I had known that night was the last time I would feel her heart beating under my hand and the last time she would ever feel warm and alive.  If only we would have known someone was going to come mow our lawn out of kindness and re-spread sticker seeds all over the yard, undoing the hard work Cam put in.  Maybe he could’ve spent the sweet moments of Chloe’s last night with her.  If only.  Twelve years.  As I sat this morning with Ellie in my lap, my hand went to her chest where I could feel her heart.  As it beat against my palm, the tears threatened again.  A little bit out of fear that it, too, may one day stop too early and a little bit because the memories started again.  And as the words ran through my mind,

How Great is our God…how great, how great is our God!

I wondered if maybe I don’t always believe He is great.  I know twelve years ago, I didn’t think His plan was great.  But I know Chloe thinks He is great.  And as her mama, how can I wish her away from the presence of our Holy God…the place where my soul longs to be?

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A little something special

*I may have gone a little overboard with the amount of pictures I posted*

Gracie had the unique privilege of going to camp this summer, and I am not going to sugarcoat it any…she had a rough time.  Thankfully, there was a sweet counselor named Taylor who befriended my baby and showed her immeasurable amounts of love.  In fact, she loves her with a heart the size of Texas (because she is from Texas, of course), and she emailed us the week after camp asking for mailing info because she really wanted to send Gracie some mail love.  That package came in today, after many worries that it may be lost, and Gracie was over the moon!

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Meili was just as curious as Gracie, but not anywhere near as excited.  Gracie may have been shaking at this point.

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I love this first glimpse.  I love that Gracie felt so special.  I love that someone else, whom I have never even met in person, saw something in Gracie that made her want to bless her.  I love the kind heart of Taylor and her obedience to the Father.

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I understand the smile now.  It’s the liquid crack that made us all lick our lips in anticipation of that first taste.  Lucky for us, Gracie has a kind heart that is willing to share (most of the time)!

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I read this letter and cried.  Not that is saying much because I cry all the time (if anyone has a cure for this ailment, PLEASE share it with me!), but the letter was touching and heartfelt and meant a lot to Gracie.

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I’m not sure the smile could get any bigger…and the smiles spread all around when we had family game night tonight.  The girls asked if we could make it an “every Tuesday night” tradition.  Ha!  And, the pieces are CUPCAKES!  Seriously.  Is there a game more suited for this family?!  Except that I had to break my pact to never play Monopoly with Cam again…

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I have to admit that these shorts caused my heart to speed up.  Cam said they are “loud”, but Gracie and I fell in love!

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Gracie’s box was filled with adorable clothes that really made her day.  She is very much in the “I love clothes” phase, and that is not a god place to be when you live here…which made her even more thrilled and grateful for the generosity and love from her new forever friend that she will always think of with the fondest of memories.  Thank you, Taylor!!

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Ribbon may be my love language.

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My friend thinks ribbon is pretty great too…and I think her writing on the box was even greater.  This is one of the first times I was pushing the girls out of the way.  Ha!  I usually let them have the joy of opening while I capture it, but the ribbon was beckoning me!

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This is what mail does to us.  We all go a little bit crazy and get slightly uncontrollable.

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Let me just tell you about this nail polish.  The girls have designed a whole play area around this polish.  They now own and operate a “spa” located in the Fabulous Faith’s room.  I went tonight to experience the goodness they proclaim, and it truly was a fabulous experience.  They washed my feet and rubbed my legs, then they massaged my feet and painted my nails.  All while I lay on the bed reading them a book.  I told them I would be a daily customer 🙂

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Check out their list of colors…they now have numbers to coordinate with the colors and bottles…it feels very authentic in this spa.  So authentic, in fact, that I got a surprise bill at the end for more than we agreed upon!

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Ellie.  That girl.  She loves blueberry muffins…so long as they are not homemade.  I made these on Monday morning and when she came into the kitchen asking me what was for breakfast (I told her muffins), she said, “You didn’t make them homemade did you??”  With a complete and utter look of disgust on her face.  I felt super loved and appreciated.  And she felt super thrilled to stuff her face with Martha White muffins.

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Meili got a toy too..and she was just as excited as we are about gifts!  She wouldn’t let it go, and it has taken the place of her rubber chicken as favorite.  Luckily she isn’t big enough to actually squeak the squeaker 🙂

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A glimpse of Hobby Lobby in China.

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Veribest has sent only the most special of things once again.  We are so thankful for clubs who have our back and who continually seek to encourage and lift us up!

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I always seem to cry

Yesterday was one of those days that I wanted to crawl under the covers and pretend that I wasn’t home.  

The day started out fine…my tutor was ill and wanted to have class in the afternoon, so I got in some good listening/study time in the morning.  My spirits were good until lunchtime.  We had a meeting that left me more discouraged than I’ve been since we got here…through no fault of the people who called the meeting.  I just had this overwhelming sense of failure…that I couldn’t do it…that I was doing it all wrong…that I wouldn’t ever learn the language…that I just don’t learn easily…that my memory isn’t working…that my failure will result in us being sent home.  I was not in a good place, and it was the middle of the night back home so there was no one to call to complain to (which was good because my quiet time this morning was about a complaining heart and boy!  was I convicted).  So, again with the self medication (not sugar this time), I turned to good old American tv in order to just forget that I lived here. Never underestimate the power of the One we serve and His ability to use anything to speak to us.  In the show I was losing myself in, a song came up…a song that spoke to my heart and caused a few tears to fall…from the Nashville soundtrack..

Speak to me Your promises

Resurrect Your Word

’cause I can’t win this battle on my own

No, I can’t win this battle on my own

I’ll rise up and be Your voice

I made my choice

This is my story

Your songs are stored inside my heart

So break me apart

It’s for Your glory

Let it pour out of me

Let it pour out of me

It’s for Your glory

I am here for His glory and I want, more than anything else, to glorify Him and for Him to pour out of me in all I do.  Even learning language.  Especially that.

Of course, I am too stubborn (remember that trait I passed to Ellie) to actually change my attitude that fast.  I held on to my disappointment and my discouragement until about midway through my class today.  

When I started bawling.

The dam was busted wide open and the tears wouldn’t stop.  I kept apologizing, and my tutor was gracious, but I knew she didn’t know what to do with me.  We pressed on, and a little after the storm had passed, she sat me down and made me listen.  She told me that I am under too much pressure and that I need to realize everyone is different.  I will learn eventually.  She also told me to go make friends because the best thing to do is listen and try to have relationships.  I told her today I was planning to knock on my neighbor’s door to ask if we can meet to practice Chinese.  It was spoken…now I have to do it.

This afternoon, instead of sitting on the couch with earbuds in listening to frustrating recordings, I went out.  I went with a friend (American friend) to meet 3 Chinese people that she practices with.  I was more a wallflower than a participant, but that took all pressure to perform off, and I could just enjoy the knowledge that I could follow the conversation and jump in when I wanted to, not because I had to carry a conversation.  We were there for almost and hour and a half, and I left with a bounce in my step encouraged for the first time in a long time it seems.  

Then, because my Father is bigger and better than all the other gods out there, He made my next step easy for me.

Sometimes my vanity shocks me.  Today was one of those times…I was in the elevator messing with my hair and totally forgot to push the button for the elevator to actually move. Of course, I was so focused on the mirror, I didn’t even notice the elevator wasn’t moving until it started moving after…ahem…a short time.  It was going to pick someone up on the 4th floor and since I didn’t want to ride it back down to the first then up to the 7th again, I decided to hoof it up the stairs.  When I got out, imagine my surprise at seeing one of the neighbors I had planned on going to see today!  Just an answer to a plea yet to be spoken.  I almost missed my opportunity so focused was I on admitting to her that I forgot to push the button on the elevator when she asked why I was using the stairs (I am getting real used to being laughed at)…but, thankfully, He smacked me upside the head and the words came out in halting Chinese, asking her if she would be willing to practice with me.

I have a date with her on Monday.

He is good to me.  Especially since I was planning to knock on 501 instead of 401.  He saved from yet another embarrassing moment.

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Stubborn.

Cam and I are both stubborn.

Surprised by that, aren’t you?  Seemingly, Ellie has received both portions of our stubbornness combined into one little package.  It doesn’t rear it’s head too often in big doses, but when it does…pshew…stand clear!

Wednesday was one of those days.  She woke up with excuses on her tongue of why she didn’t need to go to school.  In a chain of events that left me in tears, her strong-willed nature colored the day in an array of colors that I never would have chosen.  Cam decided he would stay in and run while I took them to the bus, so I gathered them up and headed out.  In a moment of stupidity, I left my phone on the table, thinking

I won’t need it.  I’ll be back in 10 minutes.  What could happen?

Famous last thought.

We got downstairs and noticed (because the females in our house do not practice observation skills because Cam takes care of those details for us) that it was raining.  Wonderful.  We were already running a little late because Ellie was crying and didn’t want to get her shoes on…and she wouldn’t pick up her bag…and I wasn’t willing to leave my coffee in order to carry her bag for her…and my other hand was holding the garbage that was fuming onion odors everywhere.  In a flash decision, I decided to get back on the elevator, go back to the 7th floor, unlock the door, and get umbrellas.  You know…to save my straight hair that I actually blow-dried this time from looking like I went to bed with wet hair (like usual).

I put my key in the door only to realize that when the girls opened the door (remember my full hands and preoccupation with the crying child), they left the key in the keyhole, rendering my efforts to unlock the door ineffective.  I rang the bell unceasingly, knowing that Cam couldn’t hear me with his earbuds in and the super loud treadmill going.  I left my coffee in the hallway with the heart sinking realization that I was about to have to run through the rain and headed back downstairs.

I grabbed Ellie’s bag and led the little chickies to the bus, with a still-crying Ellie lagging behind.  We were late so the bus was waiting ever so patiently for us to get on…it isn’t the first time he had to wait for us and he is so gracious…Gracie got on…Faith got on…Ellie clung to my legs and wouldn’t let go.

I wasn’t going to cry.  Yet.

I tried to disengage her from my limbs, but as soon as I got one arm untangled and went to the second, the first was back in a vise grip around my thigh.  I did the only thing I knew to do…waved the bus on without her.

Ugh.

I was embarrassed that I couldn’t make my child obey.  I was angry that she had the audacity to throw a tantrum like a 2 year old.  I was shamed because I know I do the same thing to my Father.  I was shown my pride in a glaring way that made me want to pull on my sunshades and hide under an umbrella.

Ellie and I, with her still crying, now because she knew her decision was stupid, headed back to the house to face the obstacle of being locked out.  We went upstairs with hopes of Cam being able to hear the doorbell (that we installed and is battery operated, so obviously not very loud).  Of course, he didn’t hear.  We sat on the steps,me fighting tears, Ellie’s rolling down her cheeks.  I picked up my forgotten coffee hoping that maybe that would at least be a diamond in the midst of the morning.

It was cold.

So, we went back downstairs and used the intercom to ring the house.  It is loud enough to wake the dead, but we hear it all the time so we are kind of tuned out unless we happen to be in the living room (which he wasn’t).  I rang.  I told people I had a key and could actually get in when they wanted to help me.  I stood there feeling defeated and knowing it was barely 7:30 in the morning and that I had a full day of work ahead.  When there was no answer after multiple attempts, we trudged back upstairs.  To our great surprise the door was open!  Cam had finally heard one of the bells and realized I wasn’t home and came to our rescue.  I walked in, saw Cam, and started crying.  I let him handle the discipline of our most stubborn child and went to the corner to lick my wounds.

Like any other sugar loving, semi-depressed woman, I chose to medicate myself.  I ate a peanut butter brownie with a fresh, hot cup of coffee and tried to redeem the day (it didn’t work, but the brownie was good!).  I am happy to say that Ellie now has an extremely clean and organized closet due to her own efforts and a new best friend in my tutor.  Apparently her tones are fabulous and she is really great at the little bit of language she knows.  I could see that my tutor wanted to ask me why she is so great and I am not.  Oh wait.  She did ask…

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