Friday, August 17, 2007

Third Culture Kids

This from my friend and colleague Lisa; a link to a Wikipedia article on children raised outside of their primary culture. I think it is very true; as an army brat and now having taken my kids to live in Egypt, the Phillipines, Indonesia and Southern California (just kidding on California,.. kind of,..) I can say that I relate to a majority of what the article states. I've always thought of myself as kind of a chameleon and remember consciously thinking about the fact when I hit the states in high school that I had to make an extreme effort to 'fit it' when I got there. That I had a choice to 'sink or swim' and I'd seen a lot of military brats like myself sink if they didn't figure it out quickly.

I was lucky to find someone naive like my hubby who thought moving around the world would be cool and was able to continue doing it. Since we are both over achievers, we have moved a little TOO much,.. (well, and the whole September 11th thing really screwed up the game plan and kind of sent us into a tail spin) and are thinking of settling down,.. for a while. Until we get a majority of the kids booted out the door. (As our friend in Boise smartly told us, "My kids' graduation present from high school is going to be a set of luggage and a one way bus ticket.") Then it's back to dreams of me looking all ethereal and giving loving children vitamin K shots in deepest, darkest Africa. Yuck, yuck. I can dream, right? But seriously, we greatly enjoyed our CRS adventure and hope to do it again, although it's tough to be an adult and say no for the greater good of the family. Two bouts of malaria, two bouts of Dengue fever, me as their teacher, friend, mother, cook, confidante, etc,.. no hot water, not a lot of power, and lots of bugs makes me look forward to unlocking that front door in Yucaipa, California again. But we haven't seen the last of the great big world.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Football Camp 2007

Man oh man. My biggest kid's first overnight camp and I still managed to go up and get a glimpse of him every day to make sure he was smiling, talking to other kids and generally looking happy. Psychotic, I know.

This was Offense Defense Football camp with all sorts of tough guy coaches from highschools, colleges and universities across North America. It was five days of eight hours playing serious wear-your-pads-because-you're-gonna-get-hit-football. I couldn't believe I was letting my baby do it!

I thought I'd gotten over my angst during his first year of football when I complained to his first coach with the Yucaipa Thunderbirds that I've spent the first eight years of this kid's life teaching him to be nice to others and now he's learning to knock people over and steal things like balls. The coach took some extra time and listed out all the pro football players who are either ministers or take up knitting in their spare time. See, nice guys. Really.

So, now my kid's dream is to be captain of the Notre Dame football team. Ugh. Not only does he choose a private school on the wrong coast far, far away from mommy, but it's football. Tennis is a nice sport. So is golf. Not many people get hurt playing golf. (Except my grandpa who, seriously, hit a ball on the fairway and it hit a tree, hit his head and knocked him out cold. We ARE polish, you know.)

So, after a lovely week of eating PLU cafeteria food (hated it), having a room mate who was not a younger brother (loved it), and proudly displaying his raw knees and camp crotch (argh! some things a mother needs a little warning for beside, 'Hey mom, look at this!'), we have these nice photo mementos:

Water break - the only week when it was above 70 degrees here in the northwest (waaaay above 70 degrees) and Jared has to play football in all those clothes.

Hangin' with the big boys.

Uhm,.. guess the cheer section needs a little work....Sabrina, the game's over here,...


Yikes, all that testosterone in one dorm.

Chuck E. Cheese

Visit to Chuck E. Cheese during Jared's football camp: (While the big brother is away, the mice will play,...)


Never too young to play skeeball!

The big game:

Baby's First Visit to the Big Cheese

Oh every baby should be so lucky as to scurry around with that bigger than life size hairy rat known as Chuck E. Cheese. While Jared was at football camp, the little kids requested a visit to Chuck E. Cheese, one of my most unanticipated restaurant visits until I realized they had a great salad bar AND served beer. Cheers to the Cheese!

Poor baby, we have to go here to slide or else use the brothers' skateboard ramps in between the brothers' trying to break bones as they 'catch air.'

Sabrina's first kissin' fella

So much fun!

Kyle's First Lost Tooth!

One of life's milestones; Kyle, our now 6 year old lost his first tooth. We didn't even know he had any loose teeth; maybe he had no idea what a loose tooth even felt like. He had grabbed a nectarine (unhairy peach as they are known in this family) and ran outside to play. He came in a few minutes later asking excitedly if his tooth had fallen out. Lo and behold, it had! It took oldest brother Jared's careful inspection of the nectarine to find the embedded tooth, which mommy carefully stuck on a napkin and put on the kitchen counter. Then subsequently forgot about it and threw it away with all the rest of the day's rubbish laying around the counter. Good thing the tooth fairy found it, brought it back to Kyle's bed, and replaced the tooth on the napkin with the dollar. Those fairies sure have a nose for teeth!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me,
I live with monkeys,...

I've been thinking all day and I don't know how to finish it. Such a nice day, however. My husband got me a dozen red roses on time, even though he's traipsing around the God forsaken Indonesian jungle. The boys made the best scrapbook ever with Grandma. I will continue to make scrapbooks for Grandparents at the holidays because now I really know how exciting it it. My oldest son made me breakfast - we'll forget about the first two frozen waffles he burnt and tried to pass off as edible,.. and he made a great chocolate chip cookie cake with Grandma, as well.

I share this birthday with my bro-in-law who is recovering from colon cancer surgery, so I was tasked with making his cake. It was requested of me to make a fire truck cake since he's a fireman. I did it, I got it up to his house unscathed! And I told him if he took enough pain meds and looked at it, it would actually look pretty decent. (I'm trying to be known as the maker of the most horrible birthday cakes ever, but I seem to be improving now that I've learned what a wonderful invention the star tip is for frosting!)

It was a fantastic day. The sun even shone here in the great northwest. About time, we all needed a break.