Friday, July 10, 2015

The Power of Words

In the last couple of weeks I have noticed quite a bit of graffiti showing up around our neighborhood. But nothing bothered me more than the offensive word spray painted on the overpass near our home. Every time I drove past I would see it and wonder when it would be painted over so I wouldn't have to see it any longer.

Today I was at the Dollar Store and saw some motivational posters and duct tape. I called the city to make sure it was OK to cover up the foul language with some more positive words and they gave me the thumbs up.

I kind of love the new look.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Random Thoughts

It's LESS THAN ONE MONTH before I get to see this smile in person again!

Every time I hear the opening for Ice Ice Baby on the radio I get super excited to sing along and it's always actually Under Pressure instead. That song is such a cruel trick. So I turn off the radio and just bust out Ice Ice Baby acapella. Take that, new-fangled mashup!

Lines of songs that move me every time I hear them:

-The players tried to take the field/The marching band refused to yield

-Something has changed within me/Something is not the same

-Scarce to be counted/Filling the darkness/With order and light/You are the sentinels/Silent and sure

-You say you'll give me eyes in a moon of blindness/A river in a time of dryness/A harbor in the tempest

-His hands/Tools of creation/Stronger than nations/Power without end. And yet through them/We find our truest friend

-Eviscerate your memory...I look at her and I see the beauty of the light of music

-An angel come to save me/Who didn't even know she gave me/Something to believe in

I don't know how to put into words what a good song can do for me when sung at full volume! Music is like therapy. When I feel like a connection is loose somewhere inside of me that needs to be fixed,  music is a means of repair. Music feels like breathing when life's held me underwater for too long. When I sing a song that's right in my range with words that flow together like poetry, expressing my thoughts in a way that words alone never can, it's like I've come up for a breath of fresh air. Pretty cheesy, I know. But man, does music soothe my soul.

I subscribe to emails from a store called Anthropologie, which sells clothes that I love. Long, flowy dresses in beautiful patterns and shades and blouses with lace details and floral pajama pants andandand. The likelihood that I will ever actually purchase something from there is slim to none because I can't justify paying $498 for a dress or $188 for a blouse and feel good about that, despite how gorgeous they are. But somehow seeing FREE SHIPPING in the subject line of an email from their store triggers some kind of happiness endorphin for a millisecond and I'll think, "Maybe there's something in the sale section I could afford! And the shipping is free!" But then I go look and no, the only thing I could afford in the sale section are dish towels that cost $19.95 a piece. I can't wear those.

I obviously need to go through and cancel some of my email subscriptions.

One day this week during dinner, Little X did something that made Julia laugh. She inhaled some rice as she started to laugh and then suddenly she was struggling to breathe. Time sort of froze as she spit out her food but was still choking. She ran to the sink, struggling for breath that wasn't coming. Somewhere in all of this my mom instincts took over and the next thing I know, I'm doing the Heimlich on her. Repeatedly, as she's trying to breathe. And then finally, I see a grain of rice come flying out of her mouth and I hear her suck in some air and the world starts turning again. I didn't realize how scared out of my mind I was until the moment passed.

Man, am I ever thankful for all those years of first aid training for Young Women's camp!

Also, I miss Young Women's camp. I am going through withdrawals. (I will write my annual camp post soon. Promise.)

Whenever Allen is out of town, the kids all sleep in my room. They climb into bed with me and pull out mattresses on my floor and I sleep better knowing they are all close to me and I can hear them breathing. And talking in their sleep (5 out of 6 kids that slept with me talked in their sleep), and grinding their teeth and... I actually kind of love it.

5 little monkeys sleeping in my bed... one rolled sideways and kicked me in the head, one kept me up with all the talking in his sleep ("This spaceman is mine", "Where the heck am I?", "I have FOUR!"), one wouldn't stay under the sheets, one kept asking for me to sing a song, one was grinding his teeth all night long.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another Z Library!

A few months ago my friend Brenda asked me if I would like to have a second little branch of Z Library in Kenya. How could I say no to such a thing?! I went through all of the books we had on hand for Z Library and went and purchased some from local thrift stores as well. I asked for donations and had a few friends donate an impressive number of books. Brenda had some friends who donated books as well. Brenda traveled to Kenya earlier this month, along with a group of youth (with an organization called YouthLinc) and they brought the library with them in their luggage.
When Brenda sent me these pictures of Z Library all set up at Kathwana primary school I just straight-up cried. This makes me so, so happy.