Sunday, January 22, 2023

...except in cases of rape, incest...

As a child, I firmly believed that every human being is willed and created by God.

But there were challenges to this belief throughout my teenage years, as I learned more about the world, and just how horrible human beings could be to each other. Namely I learned about the existence of rape, and the worst of all, incest.

How can a good God allow such horrors to be done to people? 

How can a good God permit people to commit such horrors, when they once were little wispy haired toddlers that just wanted the joy of splashing in puddles and eating applesauce?

That is something I still do not have the answer to. Other than I know that God suffers with every human's suffering.

Then the arguments for abortion came, and I had to make sense of it. How could a woman who was raped carry the rapist's child? How can a girl carry a child conceived in incest?

The question is like a punch to the gut. Its horrible. But its edges are blurry. From a burning hot core to each layer emanating from it, retroactively absolving all abortions.

But lets go to the core, because at the heart of the core is where the real question is.

Peeling pack the layers to the white hot core, let us observe the most outward layer of "non-ideal" conceptions. Adultery. 

Adultery is a betrayal, to the beloved, to the children, to the God you sword the oath to.

But there is a difference between an act, and the fruit that God makes from it. As Joseph being sold into slavery, but then saving all of Egypt and his own family too. What men meant for evil, God making good out of. That doesn't mean it was right to lie to their father, and sell their brother. Doesn't mean it was right for Potiphar's wife to lie and get an innocent man locked up for sexual assault for years and years. Didn't mean the ropes, the beating, the slaveblock, the lack of trial and unending years of incarceration were illusory or really not a big deal. They were terrible. But God brought good out of it.

Adultery is a betrayal that God sees as such a big deal that He even prescribed death penalty for it. Then He spared that woman telling her "Go and sin no more", and took the death penalty on himself, to pay her debt. Adultery, like all our sins, cost him blood and slow suffocation on the cross. God does not minimize adultery, or the suffering that it causes all those betrayed. And yet. He sometimes conceives a child even in the midst of that sin, an innocent and holy child, given to the undeserving, as undeserving as we were when He gave us baby Jesus. 

Because God brings good out of even our worst sins. He saved Egypt and Israel. This did not mean that Joseph's brothers did the right thing to beat and strip their brother and sell him to a slave cartel.

And that holy child, conceived in adultery, is from God, is pure innocent good, like the Christ Child coming to a screwed up and undeserving world.

Or to that holy child, conceived in a petri dish by scientists making money or trying to create a clone army (as I think will probably happen). That child is not the property of the scientist who sinned so greatly in exploiting human life. The situation of that's child conception was sin, but God breathed the life and soul into that little zygote, struggling in the petri-dish, with all the other zygotes, as the scientist randomly picks one to sell, leaving the others to be experimented on. God who called Jacob's name, called the names of each of those little ones in the dish, the names only He knows. And He has breathed souls into them, and they are His.

Now, concerning rape. This is worse, because it is not just betrayal, but a violation, a blasphemy on what sex was created to be. Instead of vulnerable love, there is violent devouring. By the time the question of aborting the pregnancy comes up, the woman has gotten away from the violator. She is deeply traumatized, and needs help, and then finds there is a human growing inside of her. How do we comfort her, how do we make this horrific situation right? We treat the child like it is the rape, or at least, the rapists spawn. If we can just delete the "rapists child", it will be on some level, as if we are erasing part of the rape. But are we? No one would say, that if a man has 2 yr old child, and then goes out and rapes a woman, the woman's family may find and kill his 2 yr old child in revenge. But as long as we cannot see the child, as long as it's face is hidden from our eyes, we can feel it is purely the "spawn" of another human, that must be erased.

And then the blasphemy of love gets kicked up a notch, in cases of incest, which is an abomination before God.  This, because it is a blasphemy of all that makes life worth living, is too much to think about. Even thinking about it feels like breathing in smoke, we want to break a window and get out. We want to help get the girl out of the situation as soon as possible, forget it as soon as possible, and act as if it had never been. And abortion seems the fast way, to make it as if it had never been. 

But that's desperate lie, as we desperately claw about for a solution.

You can't undo the horror of rape or incest.

You can't undo it by killing a small human. That sacrifice is not enough to undo that great an evil. Only the blood of a God can wash that away.

Violated women have lived through the "solution" of abortion, and described it as the second rape. Abortion cannot undo the horror that has happened.

We hate that. 

We rage that there is no way to make it as if it never had been. 

The little one is not the abomination. The abomination has happened. The little one is the like the Holy Child, sent to a screwed up horrific world. We may ask God what the hell is he thinking, sending a child to a deeply traumatized girl, to gestate for 9 months!?

I don't know. I have asked Him. He has his reasons. 

All I know is sometimes healing comes in strange ways.

I remember watching a video about a girl in Africa, 13 years old, kidnapped, abused and impregnated by the LRA. She was rescued, gave birth to a little girl. She named her Grace. I wish I remembered the name of that documentary. 

But I remember the face of that child-Saint smiling, holding her little Grace. Her eyes looking at us, over her little Grace's shoulder, through the screen into us. She spoke of forgiveness. 

She must have even forgiven God.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Things i really want to do

 

Draw spartans n brutes with Isaiah on a lightboard.

Embroider the girls plain jumper dresses, with the girls.

Make self watering planters from the old Rubbermaid containers and plant lettuce and carrots with the kids.

Go on a date with Josh, dawn walk through the bird preserve, holding hands.

Caroling around the Christmas tree. Atleast 12 carols, with harmony. And holding candles.

St. Lucy's day celebration with the kids and mariam wearing a crown of candles, and hot cross buns.




Make a plain dark dirndl, and embroider it. 

Go to adoration, work things out with God. Have a sacramental communion. Possibly a prayer vigil.


Thursday, November 3, 2022

October in Phoenix

The very end of September is when the insane rush of summer hints it is weakening, maybe, just after Bilbo's birthday. You still are wearing thin cotton short sleeves and shorts, outside, after sunset, to go outside.

October....comes in on triple digits and refilling the ice cube tray, and on the last day, leaving with grey skies, rooting around in the kid's room for their long sleeves and boots, as desert-born babies cry about needing mittens in the frigid 60's. 

 One month ago, October first, the kids clustered into the tiny pockets of shade created by my pathetic shade tarps, torn by the wind. They clustered, like bees around the water-spigot in the Phoenix street. Groups of living beings huddled together in the small patches of relief, provided by a little bit of frayed fabric flapping between them and the relentless face of nuclear reactor that lights our world. 

Now, November first... the shadows lengthen far beyond the height of the structures that created them. The shadow of the house falls across the entire middle of the backyard, a solid dark coolness, barely skirting the trunks of the citrus trees on the edge. Peter fig struggles to get enough sunlight, his little green figs stuck in stasis, as I scramble to find a new place to plant him. The shed turns the back corner into a deep shadow, damp and cool. 

Suddenly, the sun is no longer an enemy, trying to burn you into retreat. It's glimmer peeking over the eastern horizon no longer threatening, but cheering. Rays that touch your skin feel friendly, warming. Long-forgotten socks need to be hunted down and matched, suddenly no longer the unwanted refugees offloaded from laundry basket to laundry basket and ending up stashed behind hampers in the laundry room. 

All those ranger boots and cloaks, worn only by proud and overheated 8 yr olds in front of the mirror for 10 minutes, before they were shed in sweating desperation.... are now suddenly practical. A fire seems like a real thing, not an expensive way to toast a few marshamellows as we cosplay "camping" for the kids, before retreating into an air-conditioned building. 

So November is Ranger month. When things like long sleeves, cloaks, fire, and boots are suddenly no longer ornaments and props from a different world... but real.

We are the prisoners of the sun, released. Our ship has docked from the deserts of mars, into the realm of Arnor.

We are rangers now, under a grey sky.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Goals for June and July 2022

 For June, July, August 2022


Big Goals

Category 1. Learn how to draw my strength from God. Learn how to drink in His beauty,, His presence through worship,, through looking at Him. To see nothing without Him in the picture.

Its the only way I'm making it through this life.

Category 2. Spend more time with the kiddos. Because they won't be kiddos much longer. Savor the time. Enjoy *being with them.*

From babies to toddlers to teens in the blink of an eye.

Time with them, sacred, unrepeatable.

It's a precious gift, running like water in a river, unrepeatable, fleeting as the sunlight shimmering on that water.

Category 3. Family Adventures. Camping, hiking, water-fight.

Category 4. Share my now-ancient hobbies with the kids. (Gardening, painting, drawing, sewing, Leather-work, etc)

Category 5. Make significant progress in homeschool. Because while overrated (see category 2.) education is somewhat important.

Category 6. Chores & cleaning. Because its hard to enjoy life when there are no clean spoons or clean underwear.

Category 7. Home and garden improvement.

Category 1. 

  1. Spend 10 minutes with God, first thing in the morning. Set a timer if you have to.
  2. Really pray at family prayer time in the evenings.
  3.  Pray at breakfast. Read them Bible at breakfast.
  4. Put on worship music at 5pm, every day.

Category 2.

  1. For the littles, have reading time in the brown chair
  2. Isaiah read to me 3 Bulla books, and discuss it.
  3. Teach the girls how to braid their hair 2 braids, braided top bun.
  4. Rock and sing to the girls after prayer-time, Thursday night.. One song for each girl.

Category 3. 

  1. Make family dinner a big deal. Ready ON the table at 6pm (start getting ready at 5pm, worship music!) We will SING HYMNS sitting there until Josh shows up.
  2. 7pm to 8pm, family outside time. 
  3. MINGUS MOUNTAIN!! Plan 3 trips. Streamline camping supplies and packing.
  4. Make singing hymns at family prayer-time a big deal. 3 hymns a night. Have them sing. 
    1. How great Thou Art
    2. O the deep deep love of Jesus
    3. Be Thou my Vision

Category 4. 

  1. Work on a camping kit for each kid. To carry: a waterbottlesleeve, snack pouch, flashlight pouch, handkercief [knife], sword loop.
  2. Drawing lessons: Teach Isaiah how to use the light-board. Draw elites, grunts, brutes, or Spartans
  3. Home Improvement...with the kids???
    1. w/Kids Shade structure for playset. 
    2. w/Kids Sand and paint the picnic table
    3. w/Kids Finish front planter, transplant roses there
    4. w/Kids Clean the back yard (mulch moved, dirt pile into berm-walls, couch trashed)

 Category 5. 

  1. Have at least 1.5 hrs of MORNING homeschool time for the 3 big kids. 3 Rs. 
  2. Family reading time: finish Taharka, start Hittite Warrior
  3. Isaiah read me "Sword in the Tree" and "Lion to Guard us", and discuss it.
  4. Have daily time with M and S and A, working through the phonics book how to read.
  5. For preschool: have M teach numbers/math, K teach letters/reading, and J teach Hebrew, and Isaiah teach history

Category 6. 

  1. Praise them!!! That they will know YOU CAN MAKE THE WORLD BEAUTIFUL
  2. Frequent After meals, and before dinner. 4x a day. 
  3. CHEERFULLY with them.Wheat in a cows stomach. Try no guilt and no yelling. Go from kidbto kid, teaching them techniques. Gentle voice, giving my tips, always positive. 
  4. PUAYA. Put away after your activity. Build habits: Tidy becomes their new baseline. Where they hang their coat up without thinking about it....

 Category 7. 

  1. Finish setting up toy-room
  2. Finish setting up Isaiah's room
  3. Set up family computer in LR for homeschool
  4. Shed 2 organized
  5. Organize girls room. 
  6. Set up Hyrule Castle
  7. w/Kids Shade structure for playset. 
  8. w/Kids Sand and paint the picnic table
  9. w/Kids Finish front planter, transplant roses there
  10. w/Kids Clean the back yard (mulch moved, dirt pile into berm-walls, couch trashed)
  11. Washing machine Freezer?
  12. Insulate girls room, top off white and yellow rooms.
  13. Toilet flusher in master bedroom

********************

Ideas for aug sept

Category 2: Hold a meeting with the 3 big ones where you field their questions before homeschool time----- 

Category 4: Start the Crafting Rotation, Sew 2 calico critter clothes for/with each girl over 2. 

Category 7: 

  1. get ibc containers and drums . 
  2. Prepare for veggie garden, start sprouting from seed, etc. Plant in ground end of September. Tomatoes, okra, spinach, kale, chard, micrometers, beets radishes carrots, cucumbers, squash etc.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Goals for April and May 2022



Big Goals

Category 1. Learn how to draw my strength from God. Learn how to drink in His beauty,, His presence through worship,, through looking at Him. To see nothing without Him in the picture.

Its the only way I'm making it through this life.

Category 2. Spend more time with the kiddos. Because they won't be kiddos much longer. Savor the time. Enjoy *being with them.*

From babies to toddlers to teens in the blink of an eye.

Time with them, sacred, unrepeatable.

It's a precious gift, running like water in a river, unrepeatable, fleeting as the sunlight shimmering on that water.

Category 3. Family Adventures. Camping, hiking, waterfight.

Category 4. Share my now-ancient hobbies with the kids. (Gardening, painting, drawing, sewing, Leatherwork, etc)

Category 5. Make significant progress in homeschool. Because while overrated (see category 2.) education is somewhat important.

Category 6. Chores & cleaning. Because its hard to enjoy life when there are no clean spoons or clean underwear.

Category 7. Home and garden improvement.


***********************

I will set a tangible goal(s) and a habit for each category, every 2 months.

For April & May 2022

Category 1. 

  1. Really pray at family prayer time in the evenings.
  2.  Pray at breakfast. Read them Bible at breakfast.
  3. Put on worship music at 5pm, every day.

Category 2.

  1. Rock and sing to the girls after prayertime, every night. One song for each girl.
  2. For the littles, have reading time in the brown chair
  3. Isaiah read me "Sword in the Tree" and "Lion to Guard us", and discuss it.
  4. Teach Jenny and Keziah 2 new hairstyles

Category 3. 

Still recovering from childbirth. Try Saturday morning picnics in the park. 

  1. Make family dinner a big deal. Ready ON the table at 6pm (start getting ready at 5pm, worship music!) 
  2. Make singing hymns at family prayertime a big deal. 3 hymns a night. Have them sing. 
    1. How great Thou Art
    2. O the deep deep love of Jesus
    3. Be Thou my Vision

Category 4. 

  1. Sew 2 calico critter clothes for/with each girl over 2. (So 10 outfits)
  2. Teach Isaiah how to use the lightboard. Draw elites, grunts, brutes, or spartans.

 Category 5. 

  1. Have at least 1.5 hrs of MORNING homeschool time for the 3 big kids. 3 Rs.
  2. Have daily time with M and S and A, working through the phonics book how to read.
  3. For preschool: have M teach numbers/math, K teach letters/reading, and J teach Hebrew, and Isaiah teach history

Category 6. 

  1. Praise them!!! Thatvthey will know YOU CAN MAKE THE WORLD BEAUTIFUL
  2. Frequent After meals, and before dinner. 4x a day. 
  3. CHEERFULLY with them.Wheat in a cows stomach. Try no guilt and no yelling. Go from kidbto kid, teaching them techniques. Gentle voice, giving my tips, always positive. 
  4. PUAYA. Put away after your activity. Build habits: Tidy becomes their new baseline. Where they hang their coat up without thinking about it....

 Category 7. 

  1. Set up the toyroom
  2. Put bunk beds in the girls room
  3. Shade structure for playset. 
  4. 2 more Pakistani Mulberries shade trees, one more mulberry for circle of green. 
  5. contact wallbuilders
  6. Green the back wall.

********************

Ideas for June-July

Category 2: Hold a meeting with the 3 big ones where you field their questions before homeschool time----- 

Category 4: Start the Crafting Rotation, each kid a turn

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Introducing the newest Sadar

There's been 2 new little sadars in the last few years.
I just hadn't updated my blog in a while.
Little Ruhi, born in the midst of covid drama, spring of 2020. The bright spot of 2020.
Now she's a feisty little whirlwind.



And now little Irene, born almost 2 years later, also in the phoenix spring.


Her middle name means 
the glory/burden of the LORD.

She is His precious burden. And His glory. 




Little Irene, God holds you in His heart, every second of your life. May you know His heart, and His joy.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Plans to Survive the Summer Heat in Phoenix AZ

Stay outside as much as possible in the beautiful months, November, [December, January], February, March, April. Do major garden plans. Try to spend at least 2 hours outside every day. Plan local family hiking trips. Lost Dutchman, Fat Man's pass, Hidden Valley, Pioneer Museum.  Also, do outdoor home improvement and anything that involves curing concrete or climbing up into the attic, e.g. installing lights or fans, in this time.

Pioneer Museum


December and January it is still beautiful, just a little chilly. Be outside in more peak sun hours, near noon just with a hat, and make the kids wear shoes!! Put on a nice warm fleece coat for the colder months, and go outside anyways. The time to dig the earth (when its softer, don't need a pickaxe as much, and can go 3x as fast) is January and February, after the winter rains have softened it up.




By 2nd half of May, and first half of June, the mornings are still really beautiful. Get up at 6am and go outside till 8am. October is like May and June. Chase the sunrise. Get up at 5am or 6am and go out to the garden.

2nd half of June, July, August, September...are a cross to be borne. You can try to beat the sun up, but often its a warm tired world even at dawn. 

STRATEGY: 

  1. Homeschool. 
    1. Kids can't play outside, so may as well get school done. This should be the core of our homeschool, the most intense part of it. Try to cram in 2/3rds of their curriculum here. 
    2. Prioritize "Mom's reading time" to the kids, and pick Sonlight-esque historical novels to read to the children, every day. Try to get through at least 6 historical novels with the kiddos every summer. Maybe we can illustrate them too, in their art portfolios.
    3. Do 3-4 week chunks of intense school and as a reward, go on a weekend camping trip up to Prescott or Mingus Mountain. 
  2. Manage outside time with care.  
    1.  Best times are the one hour centered around astronomical sunrise and sunset. So with a dawn of 5:30am, that would be 5 to 6am. Sunset at 7:30pm, that would be 7 to 8pm. 
    2. MUST be inside 8:30 to 4 pm. UV index is high then (even till 5 in June)
    3. AFTER 4pm IN THE SHADE. Get everyone wet first, and make them drink water right afterwards.
  3.  OUTSIDE WATER TIME
    1. Every Friday, no matter what, get some way to incorporate water into our lives. 
    2. GET A WADING POOL and fill it up once a week. Let the kids play in it 3 days and then dump it into a tree berm. Make little channels or something. Have a "Family Wet night" and hose everyone down and give them squirtguns, maybe after dinner every Friday or Thursday.
    3. Waterfights after 4pm
    4. In May/June try to see if there are pools and maybe go out to them on the dollar family nights. Aim to go to the pool maybe 6 times before the lightning weather hits.
    5. Indoor Movement: 
      1. Indoor "Gym": This is also the time to focus on HIIT exercises indoors with the kids. And maybe lifting weights, resistence bands, and working toward calisthenics.
      2. Dance: Put on the music that makes the blood pump, and get the kids to dance. Do the Breath of the Wild Gerudo music with the scarves, Learn Irish music dance, Teach them English Country Dancing with Hobbit Music, Ballet moves.
      3. Sword-fighting: get serious about using the sword-fighting textbooks, and teaching them the different positions. 
    6. Crafting:
      1. Teach the kids how to sew: Elven cloaks, Hobbit Dresses, calico critter clothes
      2. Teach the kids how to craft: Headbands, earrings, wirework, metalwork. Make BotW stuff with them.
      3. Learn leatherwork with the kids. Make cool Ranger Gear for our camping trips!! Make bracers, leather armor, sheaths, straps for carrying things, pouches. Turn old thriftstore purses into cool pouches and beackpacks.
      4. Book-making: Calligraphy, sewing together folios, bookbinding. We can start with binding our art portfolios. The dream is one day for each kid to make and illustrate their own leatherbound Gospel....
    7. Art
      1. Teach the kids how to draw. Use the lightboxes, the "Draw 50" series. Illustrate stories. Pick a theme ("Rangers") and have everyone draw a picture, and make a portfolio
      2. Each kid have an "Art Portfolio". Pick a theme every week, or illustrate from whatever Sonlight book we are reading.
      3. Learn how to watercolor with the kids!! (Claudia Nice, and youtube)
      4. Illustrate the Woodcutter and the Wolf-king
      5. Smock everyone up and do Acrylic paint with the kids. Finish those icon sets I wanted to make long ago. 
    8. Start the Garden.
      1. Start the tomatoes indoors, everything that will go into the ground when the monsoon comes. Set up 2 muligs with LED shop lights in my room.  Wrap in aluminum covered posterboard or windshield reflectors.
    9. Indoor Home Improvement (that does not involve the attic[!] or setting concrete)
      1. Painting
      2. Plumbing
      3. Flooring
      4. ?scraping popcorn ceilings?
      5. ?some LED lighting, from the inside?
      6. Updating Bathrooms
    Home improvement with toddlers


    Recap:

    Beautiful Months

    • November
      • December (with ranger coat and boots, shoes, cloaks, coats)
      • January 
    • February 
    • March (start the hot veggies) [Kids wear hats]
    • April (pick grandparents citrus) [Kids wear hats]
    Chase the Sunrise, outside around sunset
    •  May

    Survive, School, and do Indoor things, start from seed indoors.

    • June
    • July
    • August (harvest olives at the park)
    • Sept (finish olive harvest at the park)

    Chase the Sunrise , outside at sunset 

    • October [Kids wear hats!]

     

    ********************

    Note on UV indexes

    Roughly, equinoxes are March 20th and Sept 20th. Solstices are June 20th and Dec 20th. So from a UV exposure perspective, the danger zone is April through September. Since the kids are inside from 8 to 4 June through September, the "danger zone" is really March & April, October. This is when insisting on hats is very important.

    Chart when UV index hits 3, and comes down from 3

      hits 3 down to 3
    April 8:15 4:15
    May 8:15 4:45
    June 8:15 5:00
    July 8:15 4:40
    August 8:15 4:40
    September 8:30 3:45
    October 9:30 2:45
    November 10:15 1:45
    December 10:30 1:30
    Jan 10:30 3:30
    Feb 9:45 3:45
    March 9:15 3:45


    Full chart, including when it hits 4




      hits 3 hits 4 down to 4 down to 3
    April 8:15 9:00 3:45 4:15
    May 8:15 8:45 4:15 4:45
    June 8:15 9:00 4:30 5:00
    July 8:15 9:00 4:15 4:40
    August 8:15 9:00 4:00 4:40
    September 8:30 9:00 3:00 3:45
    October 9:30 10:15 2:15 2:45
    November 10:15     1:45
    December 10:30     1:30
    Jan 10:30     3:30
    Feb 9:45 10:30 3:00 3:45
    March 9:15 10:00 3:15 3:45
































































    Monday, September 6, 2021

    Greening the Desert

    We bought a house! (our first house ever!)


    And we live in the desert. So this is the backyard, when we moved in.


    Now it has 7 struggling saplings that I planted in the first month when we got the house. After a brutal desert summer (one week solid 115's) and some near deaths, all teh little saplings are...still alive....still alive.

    Not grown at all, but alive. 

    I've discovered Geoff Lawton's "Permaculture: Greening the Desert" videos about Jordan, and after seeing their before and after shots, I have hope. Jordan also gets annual rainfall between 5 and 10 inches, and looks, well, like my backyard.

    Permaculture is full of hope. Of man working within the created order to make the earth better.... where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow....

    The wilderness and the desert will rejoice,
    And the desert will shout for joy and blossom;
    Like the crocus


    It will blossom profusely
    And rejoice with joy and jubilation.
    The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    The majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
    They will see the glory of the Lord,
    The majesty of our God.


    Strengthen the slack hands, and make the tottering knees strong.
    Say to those with anxious heart,
    “Take courage, fear not.
    Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
    The retribution of God will come,
    But He will save you.”


    Then the eyes of those who are blind will be opened,
    And the ears of those who are deaf will be unstopped.
    Then those who limp will leap like a deer,
    And the tongue of those who cannot speak will shout for joy.


    For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
    And streams in the desert.
    The scorched land will become a pool


    And the thirsty ground springs of water;
    In the haunt of jackals, its resting place,
    Grass becomes reeds and rushes.


    A highway will be there, a roadway,
    And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
    The unclean will not travel on it,
    But it will be for the one who walks that way,
    And fools will not wander on it.


    No lion will be there,
    Nor will any vicious animal go up on it;
    It will not be found there.


    But the redeemed will walk there,
    10 And the redeemed of the Lord will return
    And come to Zion with joyful shouting,
    And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
    They will obtain gladness and joy,
    And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

    Monday, August 9, 2021

    The moving truck plan

     We rented a moving truck to move Josh's piano from his parents house. With 2 furniture dollies, and josh's dad's help, it was pretty non-eventful.

    We rented the moving truck really for its steel ramp.

    The kids loved the moving truck.

    After we got the piano moved, they held a musical programme, their joy overcoming the 106 degree weather.....sufficiently to even lure their parents out of the air conditioning,  for the performance.



    The programme was "Zelda' s theme"  and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".


    Afterwards, Jenny told me when we outgrow our 15 passenger van, we can buy a moving truck, and use ratchet straps to the walls as seatbelts....



    Sunday, July 18, 2021

    Return of the Sadars....

    Yup, we are back.
    And this post is already a year old....been sitting in my "to finish" folder....





    We got internet again, after a 4.5 year break. 
    Not having internet was really good for me, in many ways.
    But alas, the blog kinda died. 

    But we did not! And hopefully, the blog will live again.
     The best thing about keeping this blog is it made me write down more of the cute stuff they did. And I want to remember that. 

    (Also, I cannot figure out what is going on with this font size...)

    Isaiah is talking about brothers again. I think he figures Ruhi's out, and the supply lines are up and running again.

    He has given me permission to have a few more daughters, after I have enough sons.
    "how much is enough brothers?" I asked.
    "20" he said.
    I tried to break it to him, short of a miracle, that wasn't going to happen. 
    But today he started talking about how wonderful it would be if we had 20 more boys, and then 2 more daughters "...and then mom, that would be enough"

    Keziah makes up many stories. Her sisters breathlessly report them to me. Three sisters hang on the twists and turns of her plots. She has at least four different stories going. It went to my head like wine at that age, and I only had one twin in my audience. Puzz is queen of her worlds, at this point. 

    We have a laptop hooked up to the TV and have been watching military history videos that Isaiah requests. Roman naming traditions were made to confuse the casual historian.Isaiah "no mom, that was decimus junius brutus albinus, not marcus brutus" 

    Sarah Grace is a weeping wreck until she finally takes her medicine (today, mommy slipped it in with sugar-spiked juice), at which point, she's singing little songs, referring to herself as "Zelda" in the third person, and basically back to her old self. Pray her throat heals up. There's something about her little sore-throated wailing refusing medicine, going on for an hour, that lowers the collective happiness levels of everyone in the house. A baby in pain, but still with a will of iron. Her will is somewhere on par with Puzz's. That probably puts her at the 98th percentile in the stubborness department.

    Puzz remains powerful, as the dungeon master of the girl's play stories. There was an altercation about who got to wear the hair-clip with the most pearls this morning, nad I put it into Mariam's hair over Puzz's wails, because Mariam had asked first. 5 minutes later, I walked into the room, and Mariam told me to put it into Puzz's hair. I began by praising Mariam's kindness, but suddenly got suspicious and asked why. "Because Keziah said I could not be in the story until Christmas if I didn't" Mariam said, very matter-of-factly. I lectured Puzz, but I am afraid this thing happens quite a bit recently, where even Jenny will do Puzz's bidding as they earn "10 game points" to where they are allowed to expand their inventory of weapons in "the story" that Keziah dictates. Evidently being a good story-teller has its advantages.

    Isaiah actually did his grammar today. Maybe he'll get at education after all. There were his beloved history videos hanging in the balance. He wanted to make salsa, because we had a sesame street book about Elmo making salsa with Rosita's Mexican grandma. We made it, and he insisted I put a jalapeno in it, so I did. Evidently one tiny jalapeno can burn mommy's tongue quite a bit. When I said so, Isaiah asked if if there was actual fire in my mouth when I complained. I don't know if he was being literal or making a point. 

    Anastasia continues to be her typical cheerful russian thug baby, but has discovered pretty headbands, nad you know by her little self-conscious expressions when she puts them on that she feels gorgeous. 

    That kid is beyond cute. She has this sort of unstoppable cheerful life-force that seems to radiate from her, even as she breaks things and causes injuries. 

    Jenny continues to be the moral center of the Sadar Children, although increasingly she has been disciplined as she tries to take the law into her own hands.  

    She's a frustrated  little vigilante in a rough town where the delinquent Sheriff evidently is not coming up to snuff. 

    Sarah Grace came up to me last night, with a little furrowed brow and indignantly announced "Mom, I wiww have to sleep in a yuchy underwear IF YOU DO NOT DEAL WIV DIS"
    Which meant she had pooped in her underwear. But her delivery of the information was so cute, I kept laughing.

    The other day, Sarah held Ruhi, smiling at me beatifically for 4 minutes. I was thinking warm thoughts about her nurturing heart, before she put Ruhi down, got off the couch, and announced "Mom, can I have some chocwate? I have been holding Ruhi ALL DAY". 
    (I had paid Jenny in chocolate for holding a crying Ruhi while I took a shower post partum a couple months ago, and she had remembered)

    She does have an empathetic heart, and was the only Sadar child to weep for Boromir in the family viewing of Fellowship of the RIng. But she bravely sits by Ruhi while I stretch Ruhi's tongue (post-op frenectomy directions). it's kinda awful to watch, and hear Ruhi's gargled screams. Puzz flees the room every time I do it. But Sarah, every time, parks herself right by Ruhi through the whole thing, glares at me and yells "Ruhi doesn't want it! Mommy, Ruhi DOESN'T WANT IT!!!" through the whole process.

    In other news, Isaiah saw me looking at a "how to put eyeshadow on hooded eyes" tutorial, and then pointed to the sidebar in youtube, recommending his beloved much-watched Pyrrhic war video. "Mom, click on that one, let's see how Pyrrhus does his hair"....o wait, there's a video about how Ceaser did his hair in the Gallic Wars", pointing to another of his beloved videos showing up in the sidebar. 
    I don't know if he was trying to pull one over old mom, or if he was cracking a joke. Either way, it makes me smile every time I think of it.

    Sunday, June 14, 2020

    Old Stories from 2 yrs ago...

    Jenny put a toy dragon into the toy microwave of their kitchen set. She reports that microwaved dragon tastes “like chicken.”



    The girls were doing one of their favorite play-acting, of stuffing babydolls under their shirts, and coming to be holding imaginary pregnancy test with “LOOK MOM!! TWO LINES!!!”. Keziah said “I HAVE FOUR LINES!! I have TWINS!!!”

    (I think the kids have absorbed what they hear in a lot “you've got your hands full!”
    As I drifted off the sleep on the couch, I heard Keziah jubilantly announce “My hands are full....OF BABIES!!”

    I was surprised to see Jenny and Isaiah play acting together for more than 20 minutes. Usually there is some powerstruggle at som epoint that ends things early. Even more surprisingly, Isaiah seemed to be “contwolling duh stowy” (narrating the story). Jenny came up to me, almost breathless with joy. “Mommy! Isaiah says, in this stowy, I am his OLDER sister!!!” Then she dashed back to play, as Isaiah continued to say what was happening. He is one smart kid.

    I had explained Mariam was named after Mary, Jesus' mother, in the way her full name would have been pronounced back then. The next day, when Mariam shared some of her icing with Jenny, Jenny said to be “Mommy! Mawiam is the NICEST MAWIAM! Jesus' mother was pwetty nice too. But other than that, Mawiam is the nicest”

    Keziah smacked Sarah. “Hey, don't hit her on the belly!”
    She defended herself, “But she's not pwegnant!”

    A not uncommon occurrence when we are out and about, is strangers coming up to comment on my full hands. I nod agreement, and depending on where on the spectrum between happy amusement to stressed concern their faces show, I sometimes try to discreetly hide my pregnant belly behind the the double stroller with 3 kids hanging out of it and two more jumping around. At this point the kids invariably announce, jubilantly, at the top of their lungs “AND GUESS WHAT? MOM IS PREGUNANT!!”
    At that point people usually just laugh.
    And then I get a warm glow inside, that we are doing out part as a travelling circus to make the world a more interesting place :)

    Whenever I was having a bad day, Jenny would come to cheer me up, with shining eyes, “Mom, if you are having a bad day, jus' wemember YOU ARE PREGNANT!” 

    In church thanking VBS prep volunteers “...thanks to all who sacrificed nights and weekends...” Isaiah was distraught, and said to Josh “no, no! You do not sacrifice Knights!”

    Isaiah got obsessed by the Roman Army. I was just so relieved he was off his “Mongol Heavy Cavalry” obsession, that I encouraged it by leaving Roman Army themed books around the couch. He carried one very informative but cheaply printed history book around so much that a few pages came out from the staples, which caused great emotional distress. When I fixed this with packing tape, he went over every bit of the book, prying for a weakness and bringing it back as new pages were found wanting. I think now it probably weighs twice as much as it did when it was first printed, the added mass being half a roll of packing tape.

    So on the last viewing of Pendragon: Sword of his Father, Isaiah recognized Artos's father was a Roman (Briton) and rooted for the goodguys all the way through the movie. He did not, as in former days, root for the conquering bloodthirsty Hengest, despite his growly voice and awesome axe.
    My heart was singing.

    Many of Isaiah's Roman Army books are illustrated with photos of re-enactors doing Roman military formations. I didn't realize what impression these photographs were giving him, till one night he asked Josh, “Do the Romans use coins with George Washington's face on them?”
    No Isaiah, George Washington was born more than a thousand years after the Roman empire fell”
    But now do they use coins with George Washington's face on them?”
    The Roman Empire fell more than a thousand years ago”
    Are they not still falling?”
    At which point, Josh had to break the news to him that the Roman Empire, in fact, no longer existed.
    Tears were shed. He asked Daddy if the Roman Empire would ever rise again, with their swords and shields. Josh said it might, but if it did, it would be different, and they would use guns.
    At this, Isaiah wept.

    8/3/2018
    Jenny wanted me to tell her if Daddy's character in Knights of the Old Republic destroys the Star Forge at the end of the game. I said I wasn't going to tell her. She got rather upset. I tried another tactic and said “Daddy will not like it if I tell the end, and I promised God I'd obey Daddy, so I can't”
    Jenny sensed I was blame-shifting here, and didn't accept this excuse. “But mom, it wiwl be like---A YEAR before I know.” she went on begging. Then she tried a new strategy “Mom, just tell me. I promise I'll forget RIGHT AFTER YOU TELL ME”
    Jenny, you don't know if you'll forget it”
    I wemember forgetting other things”
    How do you remember if you forgot?”
    This silenced her a minute. Then she just said “I KNOW I forgot other things”
    But you don't know if you'll forget this thing”
    Yes I do! I will forget! Just tell me!”
    I think I fled into the kitchen and tried to do something else at that point.

    Mariam likes making Sarah Grace laugh. Together, they find hilarity in things like a bowl falling off Mariam's head over and over again, or water being splashed into Sarah's face in the bathtub (?!?). Hearing repeated peals of their laughter mixed together is like peaking into the joy of heaven.

    Jenny has a sort of self imposed compulsion to “do the motions” to her VBS songs. We play the VBS cd nearly every day, and all the little girls copy Jenny to do the motions. However, if I put the VBS CD (or as Mariam calls it, the “BBS CD”) in when she's trying to do something else, she will glare at me, protest “Mom!! Not yet! I want to finish coloring!” but then will inevitably scramble over to the living room to do the motions whilestill protesting. “You can't put the VBS CD when I'm doing something else, then I HAVE to do the motions”---while doing the motions.
    Daddy, myself, and even Isaiah have tried to explain to her that she doesn't have to, that she could just listen. But to no avail.
    One day I had to get the kids up early and out of the house early for something, and we were running behind schedule, and Jenny was still fast asleep in bed. Tentatively I put in the VBS CD.
    I started to make breakfast. I heard a thump, and a drunken-stumble of the half-awake,--when I turned, there was Jenny in a daze, still with bed-head and groggy eyes, faithfully doing the motions to the song, with a grumpy face. At the first break between songs, she reprimanded me for doing this to her. And continued with the motions for the next song...

     

    Leah came over late at night, having to do some grading till the wee hours of the morning. The girls were trying to get her to come in and tell them stories. She was working at the table, when Mariam came out weeping having hurt herself. Leah was halfway to her to comfort her, when mid-sob Mariam said “I huwt myself...Tell us Dumpling and Dumpkin”
    no subtlety there :)

    jenny's dream 
    I was asleep. I woke up. There was a fairy. It was still nighttime. She made a veil that was pink and a sparkly headbandShe made a pink dress for me. Mommy came in. and said “what is happening? Go back to bed” But I said “Mom, there's a fairy that made all these things for me, thank you fairy” and mom said “now go back to bed the fairy is gone”

    Isaiah's wadded up icecream cone pieces for Mom and Dad. Saved a piece for Josh no matter what I said.

    Isaiah sitting in the back of the car, burst out, “will Jesus ever come back NORMALLY?”
    What do you mean Isaiah
    (almost crying) “Will he always come back with a sword coming out of his mouth, his eyes like fire, and white hair?!?