Monday, June 28, 2010

I Promise ... (Burning Down the House)

... to try to do better about blogging and taking photos.

Let me just say that the last week - week and a half I've been in some "drug-induced stupor" related to sinus/allergies/funk and the ensuing antibiotics and STEROIDS.

If you don't have to take steroids ... don't. I am now so cranky I cannot stand myself -- and no one else can either. Joshua asked me today why my hands were shaking as badly as they were. Steroids. I'll be fine and then WHAM, I feel all jerky and jittery and feel like I haven't eaten in six months and that I will pass out unless I eat EVERY.SINGLE.THING in the house IMMEDIATELY. Then I feel nauseous, then weak, then angry ... blah, blah, blah.


Sunday the family went over to the Y to swim -- it was like a mini-"staycation". Ellie had a BLAST in the water this time. She talked about going "wimmin'" all during church. Josh had some "girl" friends who were there, and, while he says he wasn't, I'm nearly certain I saw some flirting going on. What happened to "Girls have cooties???" He has become a bit over protective of Ellie as well. As with any public environment where there are a lot of kids, many kids will run wild and crazy. Ellie tends to be a bit more quiet and laid back when she's in a new environment. So, surprise, some kids were a little too rough around her and one came off a froggy slide and knocked her down and kept going. I literally thought I was going to have to pull Joshua off. We literally had to send him to sit outside of the pool because he was so upset with this little kid. When we finally got him calmed down, he told us that we just "didn't do enough" to take care of her. Well, thanks, glad to get the memo there, son. We tried to explain to him that we were right there and that as parents we understand that sometimes kids have to learn to "fight their own battles" as it were. Ellie wasn't hurt and she needed to learn to get back up and keep going. I would never let anyone hurt her or run all over her, but part of life is learning that sometimes we get knocked down -- be it by accident or on purpose -- and we have to get back up and keep going. Part of being a parent is understanding when to let that happen. I love the fact that Josh loves her so much. He said, "But she's a GIRL". So caring, so sweet, but so overboard sometimes. I feel sorry for Ellie when she starts dating!

Dee'Anna is back and Ellie is back tearing things apart with her BFF Addie this week. They are so funny and cute together. Ellie waited patiently this morning for Addie to get up and then when she came in to the room, she went and got her toys, opened them up and shared them with Addie. Then she said, "Addie, RUN???"

Potty training went ... ok, I suppose. We are a long way from there, but I'm SO not in a hurry. We are reminding her, using pull-ups and taking her. She will learn, I'm sure of it.

Ellie has really begun talking ... A LOT ... lately. She is very determined to get what she wants by using her words now. " 'Mon, mama" seems to be one of her favorite phrases for C'mon mama. It is always said while pulling me somewhere. Her personality develops more every day and she is such a fun loving little girl who laughs a lot and loves every new thing! Today she told me she wanted, "DORA FLIP FLOPS MAMA" (everything is adamant with her). I said I didn't know where they were. She said, "TRUCK! GO! FLIP FLOPS! C'MON MAMA!!" When I (finally gave in because she wore me down) got them, she wore them for about two seconds and was on to something else. She has discovered an interest in baby dolls and her kitchen as of late. I'm so glad she's enjoying something "girlish" to play with instead of cars and balls. She's also discovered Josh's Toy Story and Toy Story 2 movies from when he was little. She'll say, "Story, mama!" I think she might just be able to sit through Toy Story 3 soon. She's very fond of these movies.

Josh is in the throes of FIREWORKS. I really hate this time of year. It's a never-ending battle for boys this age wanting to shoot fireworks from the day the places that sell them open until the day they close. Today, he and Braiden went through 288 bottle rockets in about two hours. I won't mention (yes, I will because I NEVER want to forget it and want to make sure I remind him of it when he has kids!!) the fact that as I was sitting at the kitchen table working, I saw a plume of smoke go floating down from the second story followed by a loud POP and then followed closely by my VACUUM CLEANER EXTENSION flying down onto the deck!!! Apparently, he thought it would make a good thing to shoot them out of and WOW, what fun to shoot it from the second story window. A long discussion ensued about how that was really not a good choice and how dangerous it could have been and how it could have burned our house down.

Funny ole' God (try Him to see if He doesn't have a sense of humor) showed me later that night when I did catch the pan in the oven on fire and couldn't remember what would put it out! I was cooking a London broil (my first, by the way) and the butter in the pan caught afire. I was NOT about to lose my dinner so I was blowing and puffing and opening and shutting the oven door. I finally called Kevin who said Baking Soda would put it out. WHO HAS BAKING SODA HANDY??? I just shut the door, turned off the oven and decided it could just burn out while I waited with my cell phone in case I had to call the fire department. I'm pleased to report the meat was NOT ruined, the house did NOT catch on fire and the pan was NOT even ruined. Too much excitement for one day, though. That steroid induced hunger was good for the family tonight though as I (not only cooked but cooked a lot) fixed London broil, squash casserole, mac and cheese, green beans, corn muffins and a blackberry cobbler. Josh's friend Braiden was over and all of us ate SO MUCH there were hardly any leftovers.

I'm sure there are a thousand other funny things I could report about the goings-on around here, but it's nearing midnight and little girls wake early these days so I need to get some shut-eye myself.

If you have a moment, pray for Kevin's job. We are SO SO thankful he has one, but the drive is wearing on him and he would so love to have a job where he doesn't have to drive three hours a day. I know God has our family in His hands and we are blessed beyond measure. It seems embarrassing to ask for more.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pure Bliss

So this is what pure bliss looks like:

We went BACK to MeeMee and DeeDee's house on Monday and Ellie had to play (again) in her tub. Girl LOVES her some water!!

And THEN it got wild as she discovered that the hose pipe would SPRAY people and get THEM wet too. Look at the absolute JOY on her face. See MeeMee's wet shorts???

Have YOU had this much fun this week?? If not, find a hose pipe and a tub of water!

Worship and Music

Our church just hired a new Minister of Music. He and his family are originally from Lousiana, but are currently in Texas. They hope to be moved here by the first of August. He was here with his family last week and lead the worship service. I cannot say that I have been this moved by a worship service in a long, long time. I literally felt the Holy Spirit in the room and my arms were tingling. Since then, I've had this keen appreciation for music to PRAISE God. The last few days there have been a couple of songs that have truly MOVED me. One is a Hip Hop Christian praise song by Mary Mary called, Shackles. As soon as I heard it I felt that same spirit move through me and immediately felt a strong desire to pray for my bloggy friend, Lori, who has been through so much this last year. I want so badly for God to "break the shackles off her hands" so she can praise Him. She has been the model of God carrying someone through the fire.

The video for Shackles is embedded below. While I realize it's not what a lot of people consider "Christian" music, I think any music that allows us to worship and praise God and our Lord and Savior is Christian music and I'm so glad that there are so many methods to praise Him for all He is.

I spent a lot of time looking for a version of this video that I thought captured what it MEANS to me -- how I feel when I hear it. I couldn't find it. It's so much MORE than this captures. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the song and could listen to it end on end. I love the line, "With all creation I sing ..." It reminds me of the verse in the Bible tha reminds us that if we won't praise God, even the stones will have to cry out to declare His glory.
Luke 19:38-40.
38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"[a]
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

Praise to the King of Kings!

Here is another BEAUTIFUL version by Kari Jobe, worship leader at Gateway Church in Texas. She has such a beautiful, pure voice!!

I cannot wait until our new Minister of Music and his family arrive. I suspect I will enjoy praise and worship even more with his leadership! I'm also looking forward to getting to know his wife and children as they have a daughter who is Ellie's age, along with two other children a bit older -- two of whom were adopted!! I suspect we'll have lots to talk about!

Josh is Gone to Camp

I'm SO out of order on my posts this week, but I want to capture a lot that's going on -- even if I can't seem to do it on the right day!

Monday Josh left for 4H Camp. He was really excited. I know he was glad to get out of the house and get to go do some fun stuff instead of being "BORED". Apparently mowing the yard and cleaning his room isn't providing the recreational entertainment he was hoping for this summer. *smile*

As an added bonus, Kevin is taking some vacation days and is volunteering a couple of days as a counselor. I'm not sure if HE is considering it a bonus, since the temps are hovering around 100* every day, but I know it means a lot to Josh to have him there for a few days. Since he's not with Josh the entire time, I'm sure it's nicer for him. Lord knows we don't want to embarrass him. *smile*

He would only allow one picture of him -- pulling his luggage to the car. Apparently, Kevin tried to take a photo of him today in front of the Black Hawk helicopter that came for them to see and he told him he did NOT want him taking a picture of him. Smart Kevin got his camera phone out and is snapping pix of him while he's not looking. Man, have I got a great husband or what??? Hopefully, they will turn out.

I have missed both him and Kevin a lot, but Ellie and I have enjoyed some sweet one-on-one time. Nana came today and got to play with Ellie the whole day while I worked. Ellie kept Nana cracking up.

When I talked to Josh tonight, he was hoarse. Apparently, they spend the day screaming -- who knew?? I'm sure when I pick him up on Friday, he'll be exhausted, cranky, hot and hungry. My boy will be back!!

Potty Training and "The Funk"

Combining posts to save time. I'm tired. Apparently I have the "funk" that I get twice per year. Sinuses blocked, potential strep (from Ellie, of course), head ache for a week, ear infection, funky cough, blah, blah, blah. So Monday I gave it up and went to the doctor and got an antibiotic shot, a prescription for antibiotics, steroids and a decongestant. Taking the meds however has a bad side effect -- I can't SLEEP. Last night I saw every hour -- but I was too tired to get up and DO anything. I hate nights like that. And, since Kevin is at 4H Camp with Josh, I'm the sole parent, so it's a bit harder. Hopefully, by the weekend the funk will be gone.

In addition, I got the wild hair to start potty training this week since Dee'Anna is on vacation and Josh was going to be at camp. I figured I'd have more "one on one" time with Ellie. So we started out Monday morning with some Princess panties, a potty seat and a sense of determination about all things potty. Early morning pee-pee went really well. Then she peed in her panties twice and we reverted to a pull-up. After she pooped in those, I pretty much gave up. Then Tuesday afternoon (after pictures at JCP in the morning), she was back at wanting to potty again. Today, Nana has been here and Ellie has been very interested in pottying with only one accident. One of the funniest parts of it has been when she pee-peed in her panties, she took them off, said, "NASTY" and threw them in the trash. I think she might not have the idea down pat just yet.

So, we are making progress. I am hopeful that this weekend will give us some more time to get the pee-pee part down. I'm suspecting the "poo-poo" part might take a while longer.

Ahh... the joys of toddlerhood.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ellie Goes to MeeMee and DeeDee's House

Saturday afternoon Kevin, Josh and I were really excited to go see the movie: Toy Story 3. We "grew up" with Josh watching Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I could have repeated every word in Toy Story to you when Josh was young, we watched it so many times. I don't know who was more excited about going to see it, but I suspect it was me.

Because we thought it would be really crowded, we decided not to take Ellie to this one. We also wanted to see the 3D version and knew that she would never keep on glasses to watch it, so we asked if she could stay with MeeMee and DeeDee. MeeMee didn't miss the opportunity to take a lot of pictures of her activities while she was there. Just looking at all of them made me tired, so I can only imagine how tired they were when she left. Apparently, she had a blast!!

This was my favorite picture from their "session".

One of our family friends (whose granddaughter and her husband are currently serving as missionaries in Kyrgyzstan), brought Ellie these Asian dolls. She LOVES them! I've not seen her have interest in any dolls like she has these.

She enjoyed "helping" DeeDee on the computer:

She had DeeDee try on her hat.

She rode her trike.

She got her picture made (isn't this CUTE???)

She giggled -- A LOT!

She took time to "Smell the Flowers".

Then the REAL fun started when MeeMee got out the tub and bucket and water. Tea anyone??

She wore some of Josh's training pants from YEARS ago (he would be mortified!!) and had a blast soaking her hair in the water,

and putting the bucket on her head,

and helping MeeMee water her plants.

Finally, she grew tired and got her "bankies" and sat in my rocking chair from when I was a little girl.

Apparently, they all had a blast. I'm tired just looking at the pictures! Thanks MeeMee and DeeDee for having her over while we were at the movies.

Movie Review: Then She Found Me

Those of you who know me well know I really like to sleep. It's an indulgence that I have gotten less of in recent years, but as Ellie has gotten older and slept better, I'm pleased to report that I DO get more of it. However, I have "funkitis" and cannot sleep. It's 5:15 in the morning -- not early to some, but an UNGODLY hour to me and I'm just wide away and coughing up a lung. So, instead of flipping and flopping in the bed with disgust at my inability to sleep, I thought why not update the ole' blog with a post that doesn't have photos -- since my memory card is in the car?

I've started doing a new job -- well, technically, it's just an addition to the job I already have. Now I'm reviewing other inspectors' work -- quality assurance -- who work in Florida on an account that the company for whom I work has (somehow, grammatically, that sentence looks wrong, oh well ... you'll remember it's early and I've not had coffee and I AM on medication!!). Because I can do this from home, it's a blessing, but because my mind requires multi-tasking, I've found that something good has to be on the television while I work or I just get bored out of my mind. With the recent technology of Netflix, we can stream movies to the TV instantly and I have literally thousands of movies and television shows at my disposal.

Last night, while Kevin and Ellie graciously agreed to go get my medicines, I decided to get busy working and watching a movie. I chose a movie I had never heard of called Then She Found Me, starring Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler and Matthew Broderick. I'm not sure if this movie went directly to DVD or if I just have wandered around in la-la land because I'm certain it would have caught the attention of my adoption radar if I'd heard of it.

The description of the movie calls it a "comedic tale about a put-upon school teacher in the thick of a mid-life crisis. It starts with a messy divorce, the death of her adoptive mother and a reunion with her eccentric birthmother. But things only get more complicated when she begins dating a man who turns out to be the father of one of her students." The description doesn't really do the movie justice, honestly. While I had some issues with some of the language (probably one of the reasons it is rated R), the movie concept and story were beautiful. It explores the desires of a woman (Hunt) who is about to turn 40 who goes through a series of emotionally heart-breaking events including losing her adoptive mom, how she wants a child but is getting a divorce, discovers a real relationship only to find she is pregnant with her ex-husband's child, loses that child to miscarriage, reuniting her birthmom, who is less than honest, but terribly funny. The movie explores the relationship between her and her birthmom (although not in an in-depth/heavy way), the feelings of Hunt regarding being adopted versus her brother, who was not, Hunt's feelings toward adoption versus having a "child of her own" and her attempts at in-vitro. It comes to a "tidy" closing with the ends wrapping all up neatly -- unfortunately, not like real life always is, but in a way that movie viewers will appreciate and with a bit of a surprise. I saw many parallels to my own life in it, ironically.

Watched with a light air and taken for a comedy, it's a wonderful movie. My understanding, from reader/friend, Jeanne, is there is a book. I might just have to try to find it and read it.

If you have the time and inclination, check the movie out.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Coming Attractions

SICK!! Coming soon to a blog near you, photos and posts (so I don't forget what I want to write):

Father's Day Updates
Ellie's Time at MeeMee and DeeDee's House
Josh Goes to Camp
Mama Goes to the Doctor and Has "The Funk"
Ellie Plays (Again) at MeeMee and DeeDee's House
Movie Review: Then She Found Me
Movie Review: Toy Story 3
Potty Training: Day 1

Can you see why I don't have time to post?
Tomorrow -- maybe. Nana's coming Wednesday and I HAVE to get Josh's room cleaned up for her. Those of you who have boys know this MIGHT take all day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Get to See This EVERY Day!!

I am so blessed that I get to see this sweet face every morning!!! I'd also post pictures of the other sweet face but I usually don't see him until up in the day!! :-)

From June 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Kyrgyzstan killings are attempted genocide, say ethnic Uzbeks

Fractured demographics and economic success of minority underpinned volatile country, say those targeted by mobs

Luke Harding in Osh

It was early afternoon when the mob surged down an alley of neat rose bushes and halted outside Zarifa's house. The Kyrgyz men broke into her courtyard and sat Zarifa down next to a cherry tree. They asked her a couple of questions. After confirming she was an ethnic Uzbek, they stripped her, raped her and cut off her fingers. After that they killed her and her small son, throwing their bodies into the street. They then moved on to the next house.

"They were like beasts," Zarifa's neighbour, Bakhtir Irgayshon, said today, pointing to the gutted bedframe where she had been assaulted. A few pots and pans remained; the rest of the family home was a charred ruin. Zarifa's husband, Ilham, was missing, Irgayshon said, probably dead. Only his mother, Adina, survived the Kyrgyz-instigated conflagration that engulfed the neighbourhood of Cheremushki last Friday.

The scale of the ethnic killing that took place in Osh – as well as in other towns and villages in southern Kyrgyzstan – was grimly obvious. In the next street were the remains of another victim. He burned to death in his bed. Not much was left, only a jigsaw-like spine and hip. Nearby, Uzbek survivors were retrieving the bodies of seven small children. They had been incinerated, together with their mother, while cowering in a dark cellar.

Witnesses said the attacks by the Kyrgyz population on the Uzbek minority were attempted genocide.

Luke Harding: 'It looks like ethnic cleansing' Link to this audio

The violence erupted in Osh last Thursday evening, possibly ignited by a row in a casino. But much of it appeared co-ordinated and planned, Uzbeks said. The attacks took the prosperous outlying Uzbek areas of town unawares.

"It started on Friday lunchtime," said Rustam, an Uzbek lawyer. "It came in three distinct waves. The Kyrgyz entered Cheremushki district driving an armoured personnel carrier. This paved the way. Several of them were wearing army uniforms. At first we felt relieved. Someone had come to rescue us, we thought! Then the BKR opened fire and started shooting people randomly.

"Behind them was the second wave. This was a mob of about 300 Kyrgyz youths armed with automatic weapons. Most were very young – between 15 and 20 years old. The third wave was made up of looters and included women and young boys. They stole everything of value, piling it into cars. Then they set our houses on fire."

According to Rustam the official toll from the riots – 178 dead and 1,800 injured – is a woeful underestimate. In reality, around 2,000 Uzbeks were slaughtered, he said, as the pogroms quickly spread from Osh to Jalal-Abad, 25 miles away, and other Uzbek villages in the south. Rustam said: "I carried 27 bodies myself. They were just bones. We are talking here about genocide."

With the violence largely now spent, and only the occasional gunshot disturbing Osh's evening curfew, survivors debated who was to blame. Some suggested Kyrgyzstan's ousted president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was behind them – describing the violence as a premeditated attempt by him to take revenge on the new leadership. Bakiyev fled the country in April after bloody protests in the capital, Bishkek. His supporters remain in control in much of the south. They dominate Osh's monoethnic Kyrgyz police and power structures, and also control the local mayor's office.

Few believe the riots could have taken place without the local administration's connivance. But it is clear that other grievances are at play. Ethnic Uzbeks make up 15% of Kyrgyzstan's 5.6 million population, and dominate the towns of Osh and Jalal-Abad. These settlements near the Fergana valley ended up in Kyrgyzstan by accident – when Lenin dumped them there in 1924.

"We're hardworking people. We were never nomadic like the Kyrgyz. We never lived in yurts. For the past 2,000 years we've built stone houses," Rustam said. He acknowledged that the town's Uzbeks were usually better off than their Kyrgyz neighbours. "Since the Silk Road, we've been involved in commerce and trade. We are successful. The Kyrgyz are jealous and resent this."

In the centre of Osh, Uzbek enterprises were in ruins. Shops marked with "KG" for Kyrgyz had been spared. Oktam Ismailova managed to save her home from the flames by sloshing water on her roof. A brick thrown through the window hit her father on the head. He survived. "We can't believe what happened. We are in shock," she said.

When the trouble started, thousands of Uzbeks fled to the Uzbekistan border, just three miles from Osh. Not everyone made it: one witness described how two Uzbek youths drove into a Kyrgyz mob in the centre of town. "They pulled the two Uzbek boys out of the car, and killed them in less than five minutes using sticks and knives. Then they dumped them in the Ak-Bura river," said Maya Tashbolotova, who watched, peering over the fence of her guesthouse.

So far, tens of thousands of refugees have crossed into Uzbekistan. According to Unicef, 90% of them are women, children and the elderly. Today, Uzbek guards sealed the border, a 5ft barbed wire fence. Nearby, Uzbek refugee children were washing in a stream while an old lady beaten in the face was being treated. The mood was one of anger, disbelief and betrayal. Many of the girls arriving at the border had been raped, witnesses said.

"Why did I train to be a surgeon? Was it for this?" said a 35-year-old Uzbek doctor, who declined to be named, crying quietly in the corner of his temporary surgery. The doctor said that many victims had been shot in the face and head. A nurse showed footage on a mobile phone of an Uzbek man who had been doused in kerosene and set alight. His head and arms were blackened stumps. He had no eyes. But he lived for several days, dying two days ago in agony.

"We have been discriminated against for 20 years," the doctor said, referring to the ethnic riots that took place near Osh in 1990, just after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Recently, he said, Kyrgyz chauvinism had grown, fuelled by the weakness of the government, and by a fear that the Uzbek minority was becoming too strong and was prone to secessionist-minded leaders.

There was not much sign of humanitarian relief today, with Kyrgyz drivers too scared to enter Uzbek neighbourhoods. Uzbeks had demarcated their territory by felling maple trees and building makeshift barricades with burned-out cars. Nearby, Kyrgyz soldiers had set up checkpoints in a post-facto show of strength. Some Kyrgyz locals blamed the riots on Uzbek youths, who they said ransacked a local casino.

Back in Cheremushki, Rustam said the events of the last week heralded a return to barbarism in an age seemingly governed by international rules and institutions. Asked who was to blame, he said: "It was the state against us. It was the whole system. It was everything.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And I Thought My Day Was Bad

I had a horrible day on Tuesday.

Ellie started running a fever at Dee'Anna's Monday, but we both thought it was likely a sinus infection because her nose was so runny. Since Josh had an appointment for Tuesday morning, I called to see if they could see Ellie too. There's a real bonus in having the same pediatrician treating both kids now!

Ellie continued to run a fever all night Monday night and cried and had trouble sleeping, waking up frequently. This, in turn, meant not a lot of sleep for mom and dad either.

Josh couldn't have food after midnight. I'm sorry to report we ALL saw midnight -- and it was HOT. Apparently, our air conditioner was on the fritz (yes, it's only two years old).

The next morning we all gathered up our stuff and headed to the doctor. Kevin called the AC repair folks who couldn't see us until after 5:00 and then only for an after hours fee. What's $20 for air when it's in the high 90s outside??

At the doctor's office, Ellie didn't feel good and was cranky and Josh was seriously nervous over having his blood drawn and was fidgety. It was a LONG time in the doctor's office. Plus, trying to remember everything I needed to for two kids while they are tearing down the room became a wee bit challenging.

Imagine, when out of the clear blue, the doctor tells me Ellie has strep throat. Well ... I didn't see THAT coming. Fortunately, Josh's blood work came out fine and there is a pharmacy IN the doctor's office so we were able to do everything we needed there before leaving. Of course, Ellie took her shoes off THREE times before we could make it out the door and the front desk lady felt the need to point out that Josh really didn't need to be eating suckers for breakfast. {Well, maybe you could provide a healthy buffet for those kids who have to be here before they can eat, eh?} Yes, that was sarcasm. It just hit me the wrong way, I suppose.

After thirty minutes of continuous fighting among the children in the back seat on the way home, I was ready to throw in the towel and consider myself "whupped".

Afterwards, we headed back home but wasn't able to stay there long because the heat continued to rise up to 87* in the house. I got paperwork together, had Josh get movies/books/entertainment and got Ellie's "bankies" and we headed out. We couldn't GO anywhere because she was contagious, but with it being nap time, I could work. And that I did.

It took TWO visits by TWO different AC men to get the air "fixed". I have that in quotes because technically it's still not "fixed" but only temporarily fixed until they can get a part they need to replace. BUT... the air is working, and that makes me happy.

And, then I came home to read about the continued fighting in Kyrgyzstan. I saw the following images and realized that I have NOTHING to complain about in my life. Things could be SO much worse. These images are just SO devastating. The riots continue between the Uzbeks and the Kyrgyz. I continue to pray.

This is a photo of soldiers helping Uzbeks trying to cross the border. If I understand correctly, some border crossings have been closed and there are literally THOUSANDS of women and children in makeshift housing all along the border. Notice that these guards are all holding babies.

This is one man's reaction to finding his home burned during the riots.
This is the most disturbing photo -- Uzbeks digging mass graves to bury those killed during the fighting.
My day just doesn't seem as bad after seeing these photos.

Interesting information from an online report on Yahoo News said, "Izzat Ibragimov, deputy head of Uzbek emergency services in Andijan district, said there were 60,000 refugees across Andijan alone and that did not include children. In the eastern Khujaobad district, Ikromiddin Valiyev, an official organising refugee accommodation on the grounds of a factory, said 2,500 refugees had arrived since Saturday. Estimates on the numbers of refugees fleeing into Uzbekistan vary, but several officials say the total could top 100,000."

100,000 refugees.

The same report used this phrase, "Bodies littered the street."

Police have arrested 111 people suspected of instigating unrest. They called the attacks, "orchestrated".

The Red Cross is reported as saying, "This is far from over." It is unclear if they mean the dire situation with all the refugees who have been displaced or with the rioting.

Pray, please, for peace.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly Recap

Much like my friend Mayme, I think I might have to go to weekly updates on my blog. While it makes me sad because I LOVE to blog, we are just running 1000 miles an hour lately and I just can't seem to find the time to get it all done.

We had VBS all week at church. It was SO MUCH fun. I worked in the crafts area, which was a lot of fun because I love crafts and I got to see almost all the kids that way. If you want to see some awesome pix of the week, visit this Facebook page. There are even some cute ones of Ellie there!!

Doesn't she look pouty???
VBS ran from 8:30 - 12 each day so most of my day was filled with that. Josh took his friend Jarret to VBS and spent a couple of afternoons with him swimming and playing video games while I worked.
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights we had our last three baseball games. We won two of the three. Why is it they decided to come on strong on the last two games but couldn't pull out a win throughout the season? I don't know, but I will certainly tell you that this has been the absolute longest baseball season I have ever endured and would ask Josh to give up baseball if I had to endure another season like this one. I won't go into details in order to spare the feelings of those who might read the blog, but I will say it was the absolute worst baseball season we have ever had. Josh played well, don't get me wrong. He had two out of the park hits, one of which was a grand slam. He learned to pitch and could have improved substantially had he had more game time practice, but did well, nonetheless. Other than that, well, not so much. I'd like to say we'll look back on it and laugh. I doubt it. I am awaiting pictures from trophy night as *surprise, surprise* my battery died after taking ONE picture. I asked another mom to take some and as soon as she emails them, I'll post them. When I don't even feel like taking pictures, you know it's bad.

Saturday was a BUSY day for us. We met with Hotdog and her family for a mini-playdate as they passed through town on their way to vacation. After that, we went to our friend Cooper's first birthday party. It was outside and HOT HOT HOT. We didn't stay long as we had to move along to my grandmother's "Senior Prom" at the nursing home. We actually had a lot of family time fun there. I left the house around 10 that morning and never returned until 9:30 that night. I'm hopeful that this next week will not find so much activity.

Here are the photos from Saturday's fun:

Have you ever seen such a happy boy??

The kids all got cool Shrek watches.

I love this kid!!

The $1 princess ring/earring set was the hit of the party. Hotdog LOVES jewelry!

Isn't this sweet? He put earrings on all the girls' ears.

Look how serious Ellie is about this!

These two became FAST friends. I think they could be "T"rouble if they were together too long *smile*.

A lot of play leaves a lot of tired little bodies (lying around):

We were sad to see them leave because we LOVE visiting with them and watching the kiddos play, but they had several more hours to travel until their next stop.

I'm hoping to "steal" a few pictues of Ellie and the birthday boy from my friend's Facebook page, but she hasn't uploaded them yet. Stay tuned!! Did I mention how HOT it was there?? :-)

After the birthday party we headed over to my grandmother's where they were having a "Senor Prom" for all the residents of her nursing home. Other than the fact that it was INCREDIBLY HOT (see a theme here?) inside, we had a nice time. We helped grandmother get dressed and then went down and had snacks and let the kids play and watched the residents dance at their prom. They even had a King and Queen of the prom. Sweet!!

Grandmother's "pretties":

We figured out that MeeMee and Ellie wore matching outfits so they must be each other's "Date". Here they are delivering a book to Ms. Kay.

Grandmother looking all pretty:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture of Josh and my mom.

Kevin and Grandmother (who looks like she's trying to go to sleep, I think!)

Group shots:

(Oh, it's time for post placement visits, can this be one of our "family" shots?? *smile*)

And I LOVE this picture of these two going out to see the birds.

MeeMee giving Grandmother a smooch:

Prom decorations:

Play time while we waited for the Prom to start:

Learning to "snap" her fingers:

Patty-cake with Daddy:

Pattycake with Bubba:

Giggles with Bubba:

Dancing with her prom date!

Snacks -- YUM!

Grandkids acting silly with MeeMee:

Prom King and Queen:

This cracked me up. All night long, Ellie wanted to ride in MeeMee's cart with Josh pulling her. She looked like a piece of luggage that Josh was rolling around!

All in all, it was a great day! This week brings preparations for Father's Day and preparations for Josh to leave for 4-H camp for a week. Ellie's babysitter is going on vacation for a while so the week Josh is gone for 4H, Ellie will be home with me, Kevin and/or Nana through the week. We are going to hit the potty training hard that week. I'm hopeful for a sedate/slow week this week!!