Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Bible according to Sarah

Noah was reading his Bible today, and Sarah had hers open and was pretending to read it. She quoted many verses from various books, but this was my favorite. She peered into the book, moved her finger slowly down the page, and said, "Aha, here it is! It's from the Book of Sarah, chapter 2, verse 17: 'Always eat dessert first.'"


Going to the gynecologist is one of my least favorite things to do. There's the obvious physical discomfort, but just as bad is the emotional component. Every time I'm in one of those offices, it stirs up sad memories and reminders of failure and regret. And to top it all off, I'm surrounded by pregnant women. I can handle the occasional pregnant person out in the world, but being in a roomful of them still makes me cry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fire? No, just cooking...

I was making lunch, and the kids were playing downstairs. Our smoke detector seems to be highly sensitive, so almost every time I cook, it starts beeping. I have to wave something under it to clear the air. Since it's such a common occurrence, the horrible beeping rarely elicits any response from the kids. Today it was blasting away, and I hadn't had time to stop it, so after a few minutes, Noah yelled up, "Mom, are you cooking, or should we evacuate?"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Love One Another

When I went to pick up Sarah from her Community Bible Study class, she dragged a little girl over to meet me. She said, "This is my friend Ellie. I love her." Ellie and I exchanged pleasantries, and then Sarah and I left. On the way home, I asked Sarah what she loved about Ellie, and she said, "I don't know yet. I just met her a few minutes ago."
I can see why Jesus loves children.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unexpected Adventure!

I decided to take the kids on a picnic along Grandview Drive on this nice fall day. All was going well until Noah discovered a trail, and we thought we should investigate. It looked like a nice trail through the woods, and the leaves were beautiful, so we thought we would take a quick little hike. Bad call.

After about ten minutes, I was just thinking about turning around and going back, when Sarah announced that she had to pee. There was a sign just ahead of us that said "Nature Center" with an arrow. I asked Sarah if she could hold it until we got to the Nature Center, and she said yes, so we decided to forge ahead. After all, how far could the Nature Center be? Bad idea.

As we got deeper and deeper into the woods, and the trail got narrower and narrower, and we hadn't seen a single person the whole time, and I realized that Sarah was wearing crocs, I began to feel the slightest bit uneasy. I didn't really know where we were or if we would be able to find our way back, so I started discreetly marking the trail. The trail was now very rugged, and Sarah had fallen several times and was beginning to whine. Noah whipped out a little toy that he had brought along and pretended it was a GPS unit. He kept holding it up to the sky and saying, "Oh yes, we're on the right trail. Just keep going."

We came to a clearing where the view was amazing and the land was flat, so we rested. We were all sweating, and of course I hadn't brought any water, not thinking we would be going on a major trek through the forest. I started singing songs that I remembered from church camp and tried to motivate the troops (mainly myself). The trail got very steep, and I thought even if we ever make it to the elusive Nature Center, we'll never make it back to the van. I kept seeing signs for the Nature Center, but none of them said how far it was.

We crossed a rickety old bridge and climbed over a tree that had fallen across the trail. I tripped on a hidden root and went down, but fortunately didn't damage anything. That's when I began to internally freak out, thinking no one knows we're out here, and if I break a leg, the kids will have to go for help, and it's going to get dark and cold, and we're all going to starve to death and get eaten by bugs.... Externally, I was saying, "I'm in the Lord's army...sing it, kids!"

Finally, a road appeared and across it was the Nature Center. It was a beautiful thing. We entered, dirty and sweaty and exhausted. Poor Sarah still had to pee, so while I took her to the bathroom, I started thinking about a plan. My legs were feeling rubbery and shaky, but I knew I could hike back if I had to. I asked Noah if he thought he could, and he said yes. But we all knew that Sarah would never make it, and I knew I couldn't carry her. I found a map and studied it to figure out if there was a road that would take us more directly back to Grandview Drive. It didn't look good.

I found a Nature Center employee and asked her if there was a way back besides that trail. She said the trail was the quickest way. She looked at our pitiful condition and offered to have another employee give us a ride. I politely declined, not wanting to put anyone out on account of my stupidity. We sat and watched squirrels and wild turkeys for awhile. I thought about calling a taxi, or maybe Mike, or maybe my parents. Finally I decided to eat crow and take the woman up on her offer.

She called the other employee, and he came over. He seemed very tall, but maybe that's because I felt like he was looking down on me. He appeared to be smirking a little and judging me, but he was very nice and said he would go get the keys to the park van. I was so humiliated that I could feel my face burning. When he came back, Noah was standing dutifully by my side, and Sarah was....missing.

I looked all around and didn't see her anywhere. Park man smiled (a little smugly, I thought) and said, "Did you lose her?" My face turned another shade of red, and I said, "Yes, I lost her. I'm a loser." I sent Noah to look in the gift shop while I looked in the other room. We met back at the door, where the guy was still standing holding the keys. No Sarah. I didn't think she would be in the bathroom since she had just peed, but since there was nowhere else to look except outside, I looked.

There she was in the bathroom. A vein popped out on my neck, and she figured out that I was furious. She claimed that she had told me she was going to the bathroom. I bit my tongue so hard that it almost bled, grabbed her hand as gently as the circumstances would allow, and led her to the guy, who led us to the park van. He said it wasn't the first time that he'd had to drive someone back to the top after they'd hiked that trail. I told him I had no idea how long (or how rigorous) the trail was, and he said he didn't know why the park district didn't post a sign indicating how far it was to the Nature Center. I thanked him profusely, and I didn't even have to prompt the kids to thank him. They were truly grateful!

(The picture shows a big rock where we stopped to rest. Noah is checking his "GPS". The trail really dropped off after that point. )

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Food Critic

I think Noah has been watching too many Food Network shows lately. At breakfast this morning, he said, "Thank you for an excellent meal, Chef Mom. It was very flavorful, but I must say it lacked creativity."


The kids were writing on the art easel today, where I usually write the date, along with the day's agenda. Sarah erased Tuesday and announced that she was changing it to Friday. Noah said, "But Sarah, you can't even spell Friday." She resolutely ignored him, and wrote "FIDA" on the board. Then she turned to him smugly and said, "See? I can TOO spell Friday!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Girl Day

My parents took Noah on an early birthday trip today, so Sarah and I are having a girl day. We painted each other's fingernails, read books, painted on the art easel, and went to a tea room for lunch.

I loathe tea. I have tried to develop a taste for it, just to make my life easier, but I haven't been able to do it. I can will myself to drink it in social situations, but I don't enjoy it. Sarah doesn't like it either, but she loves the idea of it. I think it makes her feel grown-up and fancy.

So there we were at the tea room, perusing the variety of fancy teas. I chose raspberry tea, thinking raspberry anything is bound to be good (as it turns out, tea can even ruin a good raspberry). I helped Sarah choose vanilla chai, because I thought it might taste more like hot chocolate than tea (wrong again).

The place was lovely, peaceful, and warm on this chilly rainy day. Sarah loved the pretty tablecloth (which she spilled on), frilly cloth napkins, and dainty tea cups. I loaded my tea with flavored creamers and several packets of sugar to make it tolerable. I even let Sarah put some sugar in hers, but she still didn't drink much.

She ordered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I had spinach manicotti, which was very good. Sarah informed the server that she was homeschooled but that her mommy really doesn't teach her anything.

Writing this entry has inspired me to write a poem, in the tradition of "Green Eggs and Ham".

Tea is not for me.
I do not like it in a bag.
I do not like it; it makes me gag.
I do not like it made with leaves.
I do not like it; it's one of my peeves.
I do not like it in a cup.
I do not like it when I sup.
I do not like it sweet.
I do not like it with heat.
I do not like it with ice.
I do not like it with rice.
I do not like its steamy swirl,
but I will drink it for my girl.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homemade pizza

Tonight we made our own individual pizzas. I set out the toppings (cheese, pepperoni, sausage, onion, and spinach) and everyone put on what they wanted. I also had set out ants on a log as an appetizer, and Noah decided to see how that would work as a pizza topping. He put one chunk of ant on a log on each of his pizzas. He determined that celery and peanut butter do not make good pizza toppings, but he actually liked the raisins on his pizza! Click on the picture to make it bigger, and you can see the pizzas on the right side have ants on a log on them. The other picture shows Sarah anxiously waiting for them to come out of the oven.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I was all settled in for the night when I realized I had to make a Walmart run. I already had my fuzzy pajamas on, so I just put Mike's nylon pants and jacket on top. I could feel softness against my skin, but looked fairly normal (although rather frumpy) on the outside. I was congratulating myself on my cleverness, thinking no one would ever suspect that I was actually wearing my jammies in Walmart. As I pulled into the perfect parking spot, I realized I was still wearing my slippers. I considered driving back home to put shoes on, but didn't want to bother, and also didn't want to give up that parking spot. So in I went, wearing my furry slippers and hoping I wouldn't see anyone I know. I was barely inside the door when I saw someone I know. It takes a lot to embarrass me, but as he looked me up and down and smirked a little, I felt a tinge of embarrassment.

Childlike Faith

Last week, Sarah prayed that she would get a new bike. As soon as she said "amen", she headed for the garage, saying, "I'm going out to see my new bike!" Now that's faith! For a brief moment, I thought wouldn't it be awesome if, by some miracle, there really was a new bike in the garage for her? But I knew there wasn't, and I hoped she wouldn't be jaded when she came back. She came right back, looking surprised and asked rather sadly, "Why didn't God hear me?" I told her, "God heard you. Do you remember the verse you memorized in Luke 1:13?" She had just memorized it the week before, so she quoted it perfectly: "Do not be afraid. Your prayer has been heard." She's too young to have to learn this, but I told her that sometimes God says no, or not right now, because He knows what's best for us. She still checks every day, sometimes more than once a day, and every time she says, "I'm going to see if my bike has arrived yet!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Thousand Percent American

Sarah said something about "back when I used to be Korean", so I explained again that she and Noah are, have always been, and always will be Korean. She said, "But I thought we were American?" I told them that they are 100% Korean AND 100% American, like Jesus was 100% God and also 100% man. They looked confused, so I launched into my whole speech again, explaining how they are both Korean and American. Hours later, Sarah said, "There's a girl in my CBS class who must be like a thousand percent American!" I asked her why she thought that, and she said, "Because her skin is really pale."

Friday, October 2, 2009


The kids drew Star Wars characters, cut them out, and taped them to straws to make little puppets. They planned to have a parade and march the puppets down the hall. The parade plans ended up getting more complicated (as all plans do, when Noah is involved in them).

Sarah was the majorette, and she started the parade by carrying a Korean flag. She also had a small bowl of candy to throw to the spectators (me).

Noah was carrying a bag of candy, and he was also playing a drum, so he decided he couldn't make the puppets march after all. Instead, he taped them to himself as he marched.

The parade lasted approximately 4 seconds, since the route was very short. They had spent about an hour getting ready for it. When it was all over, they decided to just throw the candy all over the parade route. When they got tired of that, they just rolled around in the candy.