Anyway, while I have been busy and not had time to say much of anything my husband wrote a blog that is worth a read. You should go read it on his MySpace or facebook. BUT if you can't get over to his I wanted to make sure you could read it, so I am copying it here! ENJOY, but don't forget to go and leave Clark some love on his page for writing such a great piece!
AS WE GRIEVE
by Clark Mason
We, my family and I spent 4 years of our lives in South Korea. My oldest daughter, so far, has lived most of her life in Korea. My younger daugher was born there. As we've been following the news of Monday's tragedy, we've been in disbelief that the gunman was Korean. As that news came out, Michelle and I had the same reaction: That is so un-Korean. I've spoken with a number of Korean friends, mostly through E-mail, and they are all terribly broken up over the fact that the shooter was one of their own. Watching the ticker at the bottom of one of our news channels this morning, it came across that top officials worry about a backlash against the Korean community. As we mourn those taken and pray for those left behind and surviving, I want to take a moment to say that Cho Seung-Hui was very un-Korean in this. This act and the nature he apparently displayed, is not representative of the Korean community. Some of our dearest friends we found while in Korea.
We found that once a Korean lets you in thier life, you're there for good. You have friend for life. They are outgoing, loving friendly and generally amazing and beautful people. We love Korea and Koreans. I don't want to take attention away from our grieving or our prayers at all. I just wanted to take a moment to say don't let there be a backlash. Don't let this one person speak for Korea or Koreans. Please remember that anyone from anygroup of people could have done this. As we mourn and pray, please mention those Koreans who are shocked and horrified over what they've seen.
After chapel, we visited with some of the students and then Clark drove us home. After the crazy week/weekend we had just come out of a house in desperate need of cleaning and a HUGE pile of laundry awaited me today. I am a neat freak and the house has been driving me nuts! It was good to get it clean, but a sinus headache followed stirring up all that dust! YUCK! I am ready for some medicine and bed now. I am not quite finished with the laundry or the cleaning, but I am almost out of the stage the Fly Lady calls CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrom). I hate when my house gets that bad...but in the craziness of late nights and early mornings preparing for special events and having people in and out of the house just brought it on this time. I don't let it get this bad often, but I think it probably happens to everyone once in a while. By this time tomorrow you can be sure the house will be back in it's normal, please stop by anytime, stage! :-)
As I cleaned and Melisa did her school work I couldn't take my eyes off the news and the tragedy in VA. My heart goes out to the families who are suffering such loss. Working on a University campus daily really makes this hit home. As I have been cleaning I have been praying for the students, their parents, and the staff/faculty of the school. It is such a tragedy to have so many young lives lost! They are just beginning to step out from under the shelter of their parents wings to fly on their own and now their lives are gone. It brings tears to my eyes each time I think about it. Please take a minute to say a prayer for all of those affected by this tragic event.
Now, let me go from that sad moment to the comedy that has reigned in our house this evening. Misa and Cali have been FULL of it all afternoon. I think they could tell that I was down and they stepped it up a notch to make Mommy laugh. As I was changing laundy over, the snuck in and got one of my shirts and one of Clark's shirts. I knew it was way to quiet as I heard Melisa whispering to Cali. They came out arm in arm in our clothes pretending to be us. Melisa was Clark and Cali was me. In a deep voice Melisa announced "HONEEEYY, I am going to work today, give me a kiss goodbye" and the she kissed Cali on the cheek. Cali just followed along giggling and doing what ever Melisa told her too. They must have put on a 10 or 15 minute show for me! It was the funniest thing I have seen in a LONG time.
If that weren't enough, my little comedian struck in her school work too. As I was grading her math book I looked where I had written "AWESOME" on one of her papers last week. Under my "AWESOME," Melisa had added "Thanks Mom, I already knew I was Awesome!" That little STINKER! Then on her writing assignment she was supposed to write about what she would see on the drive home from church. Here is what her paper said "On the way home from church I see the restaurant Applebees. I also pass my favorite restaurant Raisin Canes. We also see many cars. Once I get home I got out side and DECK THE HALLS WITH BELLS OF HOLLY, FA LA LA LA LA!" She is such a NUT...you gotta love second grade humor!
Cali had to get in on the action too. When Clark got home from work he brought me a special treat, some Sams Indulgent Trail Mix...my favorite. I got a little bowl of it and Cali climbed up in my lap t share it. I would get a hand full out and before I could start eating it she would start picking at it. She would pick out one thing she didn't like and put it in my mouth and then find something she did like and put it in her own mouth, then I would get something else she didn't like and she would get something she did like. It was hilarious! At least she was sharing, right? I almost choked on it because I was laughing so hard.
So, there you have it, my day was filled with chapel, cleaning, and comedians. Gotta love it!
Speaking of the rain, it has been something else today. It was POURING all morning long and has been drizzling with more downpours every once in a while all afternoon. The lightning was popping everywhere and tornados were spotted all over town. The University looks like one big pond. At least a foot of standing water all over the place. One street in town has 3 feet of standing water! I knew the news was building this storm up, but I should have paid more attention, it was a BAD one!
Anyway, now that I have that random tangent out of the way, on to the title of my post. Last night as we finished up the display board and worked out the last of many other work related "emergencies" we were ready for bed. Clark noticed that my entire neck was broken out in a rash. I looked AWEFUL! It didn't itch or bother me at all, but it looked bad. We tried to figure out what could have caused it and the only thing we new to chalk it up to was stress. I can't believe I was SO stressed out by the activities of yesterday and all that is to come that I broke out in a rash.
Well, I put some lotion on it and crashed. I slept until the alarm clock went off and thankfully it was much better. It was still present but almost gone. The event went so well this morning that by the end of the conference/meeting I was finally relaxed and my rash was gone.
Now, onto JUST what I needed. Since it is raining and yucky outside and I cleaned the house yesterday. My only chore today was laundry while Clark worked on masks for the chapel. My LOVING husband told me to leave the laundry alone for a few hours and lay down. Cali saw me lay down, grabbed her pillow, asked "night night?" and curled up with me. We took a 2 1/2 hour nap together this afternoon. I woke up feeling like a new woman and am ready to face the pile of laundry and the next 3 events! God is SOOO good to give us JUST what we need, even if it is only a 2 1/2 hour nap.
As I was sitting here editing the blog I posted late last night, Cali had an extra cute moment and since I was already logged in, I had to blog about it, LOL!
She talked in her sleep for the very first time. She had woken up about 30 minutes ago and then falled back asleep on the couch, so she is out here with me. Just a minute ago she (sound asleep) pointed up at the ceiling and yelled "Nooo, It's MIIIINE!" She repeated "It's mine, it's mine, it's mine...NOOOOO" In a quiet voice I said, "your right Cali, it's yours, here you go." and she got the cutest little grin and dozed back off into a sound sleep. I just wonder what in the word she was dreaming about. I can almost guarentee it was either a car, a doll, or a horse and her sister was the one to take it...hmmm, think it happens often around here? LOL. I just love it when they really start to develop their personalities through words.
On that same note Cali's new favorite saying is "Nooo, Mom!" ha ha ha. If I don't get water in the cup she wants it's "NOOO, mom!" If I don't get the toy out that she is wanting it is "NOOO, mom!" If I tell her to wait until I am finished it's "NOOOO, mom!" It is just too cute. I may have to get it on video so you can hear the cuteness!
I know I have been quiet for the last few days and I wanted to stop by and let you know that we are alive. I will probably be quiet for the next few days as well though. I knew this month was going to be busy, but I didn't realize HOW busy it was!
We are still trying to recover from the field trip, the planning meeting, Cali's Birthday, all the Easter festivities, and all the wonderful family visits (they all happened in a matter of 12 days with no pause). We had 3 days break to try to recover the house and ourselves. As we recover we are also preparing for the next round of craziness which officially started today. We are in the process of preparing 2 displays for the Associational WMU Meeting. We are going to be setting up a booth to let the wonderful WMU ladies know about our ministry with the International Students AND a booth letting them know all about Camp W. Carey (that we will be working at this summer). Today the girls and I drove all around town getting supplies for the boards and then a sweet friend/student came over tonight and worked with us on putting the first of the boards together. Tomorrow I have some more running around to do, the second board to put together, chopstick prayer reminders to write, AND a Korean snack (kimpap) to make for people to try. The meeting is this Saturday...talk about crunch time!
We are also getting ready for the induction of the charter members of the International Student Organization. I have been designing the invitations, getting them printed, and mailed today. Not to mention nailing down all of the final plans about location and time. It doesn't happen until the 21st, but I need to have all of the inivitations out and plans set in stone before this weekend so people can begin to RSVP. I am excited about this event, it shows just how far they have come in a short amount of time! YAY!!
As if all of that weren't enough we are also getting ready to present the missions chapel at the school on Monday. Clark and I are going to do it through drama, masked drama and interpretive movements. We are a little rusty and have been having to try to get in some practice time...you know in ALL that spare time we have, LOL!
You thought that was all we were doing didn't you? Oh, NO! We are also getting ready to represent William Carey University at the state wide WMU Conference on the 20th and 21st. Oh yes, you read the dates right...we will be wrapping up the WCU booth at the conference and loading up to make a 2 hour drive BACK home to arrive just in time for the Induction Ceremony for the International Student Organization. We love visiting with the ladies of WMU so we are looking forward to doing this...they have such a heart for missions, I just keep wondering why it all had to happen in a 10 day stretch of time!
Don't forget that all the normal work at the school and our homeschooling has to happen along with all of these extra's. SO, as the title of the blog expresses, exhaustion has overcome me and we are just beginning. I am SO tired. I know I don't normally end blogs like I used to end our prayer e-mails, but I am going to do that here. I ask that you pray for God to multiply the little sleep we are getting, to help us to manage our time well, and to do all of these events to glorify HIM! There is so much going on and we could easily get wrapped up in serving but forget the One we are serving. Please pray that we would keep our focus on HIM through each event! Pray that the exhuastion wouldn't overcome us and we would continue to have energy and excitement for what God is allowing us to be a part of. This is all about Him and not at all about us, pray that we would remember that! God is SO good to allow us to be here and to use us! May we be worthy to be used!
Thanks for letting me ramble through this post about all that is going on. Thanks for any prayers that you send up on our behalf and our students behalf! I hope you all have a blessed week!
I can't believe that I forgot to tell you how the party "ended" in the post about the day. It was classic Cali! You see, as we were opening presents I set them all in this little wagon that she got for her birthday. As soon as the last present was opened she stood up, took the handle of her wagon, and walked away dragging it behind her. She didn't look back once. She took it all the way to her bedroom and then sat down by herself to play with her new toys. Only my little introvert! It was PRECIOUS! Happy Birthday one last time my little Cali Boo!!
We had a great day! Mommom and G-doug (my mom and stepdad) are here from FL for the weekend. We woke up early this morning to see the goodies that the Easter Bunny left the girls. Melisa got a basket with a gardening set in it and Cali got a basket with a dress up set in it. The also got WAY too much candy and coloring books. While the girls played with their Easter presents we enjoyed a yummy breakfast complete with the dyed Easter eggs, LOL!
As soon as breakfast was over it was time to get ready for church. I couldn't wait to put the girls in their new dresses. They were SO precious. We got to church just in time for Sunday School. Melisa was VERY excited because that meant she was there for kids choir rehersal. At the opening of the service she got to sing and she did a great job! I was just a proud Mommy that there were tears in my eyes. God is so good to allow us to be home and in a church again so that the girls can experience things like kids choir and Easter performances. The church service was very good. There is nothing like gathering together on Easter Sunday to worship the Lord! God is SO good!
After church we headed to the University to show my mom and G-doug around the campus. While we were up there we stopped at some of the pretty flowers to get some great shots of the girls in their dresses. I can't wait to get the pictures on the blog to show you, they turned out SOOO good! Then it was back to the house were we enjoyed a delicious roast we made in the crockpot overnight. YUUUUMMMY!!
After lunch, Cali cuddled up in my lap for an afternoon nap and I ended up dozing in and out with her. Mommom, G-doug and Melisa took off for Home Depo and bought Melisa flowers, tomatoes, peppers, and other seeds to plant in our backyard. When they got home we all spent the afternoon/evening in the backyard weeding, planting, and playing! It was awesome. The backyard looks so pretty with the flower/veggie garden and all the new toys from the birthday. We must have spent 1 hour playing with bubbles. While playing wit bubbles we learned that Chin Goo really is a GOOFY dog. She chased the bubbles and when she could catch them she would eat the! It had us ROFL! I can't think of a better way to celebrate Easter than planting flowers that show God's creation so beautifully AND doing it with family!
We ended the day eating left over and relaxing in the living room. It has been one of our best Easter Sunday's ever. I am SO glad that God gave it to us today! He really is SOOO good!
ps...please come back tomorrow and I will have some pictures up from today! :-)
The party started at 2:30 and we had a great turn out (only one guest didn't show up and that was because strep throat struck)! We had three kids from church (and parents), the boy that lives down the street, and one of the students that works in the missions office show up. Plus the four of us and Mommom and G-doug. The house was full and we had lots of fun.
We started the party by simply opening up that backdoor and letting the kids play with all of Cali's new BIG toys! Cali got a playhouse, a sand and water table, a princess lawn table and chairs, and a slide. Melisa got a special present too...she got a greenhouse popup tent with a garden set. Our backyard was turned into a preschoolers dream yard, LOL. I also brought out Cali and Melisa's plastic bats and balls and we played a little ball. I think the adults and Chin Goo (the dog) had as much fun as the kids! When things started to wind down outside we pulled out the pinata and let the kids take turns pulling the strings. Melisa got the lucky string and candy went everywhere! We have the funniest picture of the kids diving to get the candy that fell.
After the pinata we headed inside for finger foods and visiting. The adults sat around and had fun chatting while the kids had a blast in the playroom. They would check in to the adults every few minutes to get another bite. We had the wiggles DVD's playing and the kids must have danced along for about 15 or 20 minutes. It was too cute, I just wish I had gotten out the video camera!
Of course we ended the party with cake, ice cream, and presents! We had the cutest Wiggles cake and found some Dora banana and strawberry ice cream. It was YUMMY. Cali got all outside toys (by mom and dad's request). She got TONS of bubbles and bubble toys. She got sidewalk chalk, a little waggon that she can put her toys in, sand toys, a jump rope, and pull around, and lots of balls (from her Sissy). She also got some summer clothes, a DoodleBops CD, and a new movie (the Bambi Special Addition).
The party slowly died down and by 5:30 it was calm in the house again. Cali had an AWESOME Birthday and Birthday Party! It was so awesome to have a backyard at our house to celebrate in and even more awesome to have family here to celebrate with us! I think we had all the Wiggly Fun possible!
ps...know that tomorrow pictures will come, it is just too late tonight to get it done...I know, I am slacking...LOL!
Enjoy all the pictures!!
Here is a slide show of Dying Easter Eggs with Papa!
After lunch we headed home and changed into casual clothes and headed out to see if Dad could get a tour of Challenge Country (an awesome ropes course place near here). They were happy to show us around and the girls enjoyed running through the woods and playing on the playground.
Next it was off to the girls gymnastics school for the "Egg-stravaganza". They started the event with an egg hunt that was absolutely INSANE! Then they let them have free play in the gym for an hour. The girls ran themselves ragged. They played on EVERYTHING! They jumped, flipped, climbed, crawled, and everything else there was to do. I was actually able to get pictures of them in the gym today (they are still on the camera, so check back soon for them). When 5:30 rolled around they did NOT want to leave, but the party was over and it was time to head out.
The gym party may have been over, but Cali's mini party was just beginning. Papa took the girls to Chucky Cheese's and got them 100 tokens to share! They ran and played with everything in the restaurant for 2 hours! We had pizza and cake too! Together the girls (with Mommy, Daddy and Papa's help) got 294 tickets to trade in for prizes. They were just the cutest things in the world running around there. Cali didn't really run, she bounced all over! It was just PRECIOUS!
We didn't get home until after 8:30. Family from FL and SC called to wish Cali a Happy Birthday and then Cali got a bath and before we could give her a kiss goodnight she was sound asleep in my lap in the living room. Her birthday wore her out, LOL!
It really was a perfect day for her second birthday! I can't wait to get all the pictures off my camera to share them with you! It's hard to believe we get to celebrate all over again on Saturday when we have her party! :-)
Current mood: contemplative
WOW, can you believe that? It is still the April 4th here in America BUT Cali was born on the 5th in Korea and it is already the 5th in Korea...so technically Cali is already two!!
I have such mixed emotions concerning this birthday. It is SO amazing to watch her grow and change everyday. She has added a new word to her vocabulary EVERY day this week (Sunday it was "key", Monday it was "Papa" Tuesday it was "two" and today it was "slide"). She is developing her own little way of displaying "attitude", LOL! Anytime she gets mad at me she puckers her lips out and squints her nose, it is the cutest thing ever. She is coming out of her shell and isn't quite as shy as before. However, she is still a Mommy's girl if there ever was one. She will play happily on her own, with Sissy or with friends, but every 15 to 30 minutes she has to come and say "Hey Mom" to make sure I am still there...it is adorable! She follows her Big Sissy around and wants to do everything she does. She melts Daddy's heart with a squeal of delight when he gets home from work followed by hugs and kisses. She is so precious and perfect! God has truly blessed us and having the honor to watch her grow and change is amazing!
However, I hate to see the days pass so fast. Another birthday means another year has flown by way too fast and my baby isn't a baby anymore! My Toddler isn't a toddler anymore! We are entering the preschool days now! Even saying that just makes me want to ask where the time went. When I see her, I see that little blue baby who didn't cry at first. She was so fragile and helpless and it is hard to not see her the same way! I remember the first time I heard that precious cry that told me she was ok. I remember the firs time I held her close and kissed her forehead! I remember the joy on Misa's face the first time she saw her and I saw both of my girls together! I remember each detail of her face, hands, and feet. I remember the sweet baby smell! Oh, where did those days go? It is all too fresh in my mind to have been TWO long years ago!
Today, I watched her at gymnastics wait patiently as the other children took their turns. At home I watched her as she helped Papa and Sissy dye Easter Eggs like a BIG girl! Then I watched her leave me at church tonight to go play in her classroom all by herself. I also watched her tear off into the play zone at Chick-fil-a, keeping up with the big kids! She was half their size, but kept up with them! I watched her pick a fight with her Papa to get him to chase her when we got home. She ran circles around the house trying to escape his tickles and then finally collapsed in the floor in the living room and giggled the sweetest giggle ever while Papa tickled her! Then she was off again, this time to get Daddy to chase her. As I watched her I had to fight the tears as I realized how big my "baby" is getting! If I blink my eyes I think she will be 7 like Melisa (and don't get me started on how fast those 7 1/2 years went).
She is getting SO big, but she is still SO little. I see how fast the first two years have gone and have learned from them. I will treasure each and every moment because once they are gone you can't get them back! I will do my best to not get frustrated when she wants me to read the same book 100 times in a row or roll 200 balls of playdough for her. I will welcome her in my lap each and every time she wants to be held! I will eat up every moment that she is little because all too soon she will be a teenager who is embarassed of her Mom and Dad and I will be longing for just one more hug or one more cuddle. I will sieze each and every moment God gives me to be with my baby while she is little!
Right now, as I type she is laying in my lap sound asleep afer a hard day of playing. So, I am going to take the opportunity to seize this moment and enjoy just holding my big TWO year old while she sleeps!
HAPPY Birthday Cali Boo! I love you!!!!
(Her birthday party is this Saturday at our house from 2:30 to 4:30...anyone close enough to make it is invited....the more the merrier)!
On a random note, I FINALLY made it to kickboxing class at one of the local churches tonight. An old and dear friend of mine invited me and we met up and had a GREAT time! It was a tough workout but a fun one. I can't wait until next Tuesday. It did this Momma good to have a good 15 to 20 minute car ride by myself and then a whole hour of stress relieving workout. I also got to sit/stand in the parking lot of an hour to catch up and have a heart to heart with my dear friend! What a blessing tonight was. Now, a mental note to myself...next Tuesday I will NOT exercise in the morning. Those 250 squats this morning made the burn a WHOLE lot worse this evening!
Now, this almost 30 year old is going to make herself move her sore muscles slowly towards the bed and I am going to try to go to sleep because it is now 10:38 and that is getting LATE!
We are super busy and my brain is boycotting any afterhours thinking...LOL! We were in meetings all weekend. They started Friday at 7 pm and went until 10:30. Saturday morning we started back at 9:30 am and went until 9:30 pm. Sunday morning we started with worship at 8:30 and went until 4:30 pm. It was all camp planning and we got a lot accomplished, but don't ask me what because my brain can't think in that much detail anymore.
While we were in meetings Melisa spent the day (and night) with her friend Konche from gymnastics. She went over for the birthday party and ended up staying the night. She had the time of her life and didn't want to come home when she did.
Sunday after the planning meetings were over we rushed home to clean the house and get it ready for Papa's visit. Papa arrived at about 8:30 Sunday night and the girls are loving every minute of their time with Papa. Cali even started saying "papa" and that was all it took to finish wrapping him around her little finger.
Today we spent the morning doing school and looking at pictures with Papa. Then we headed out for hair cuts. We got Melisa's trimmed just a little and got her "bangs" tappered to frame her face. Cali got her bangs trimmed (I still can't bring myself to cut the back of her hair) and we can see her eyes for the first time in WEEKS! Papa got a hair cut too! :-)
After haircuts we went grocery shopping for the week. Actually we bought so much food that I think we went shopping for the MONTH! It was fun taking our time (normally shopping trips are rushed) and picking up some "new" things (I say "new" because they have been around in the US but are new to us) that we have never tried. We also got curry ingredients and then headed home.
Clark pulled up right after us and got busy on the curry. He cooked for an hour and then headed back up to the University to pick up 3 of our international students. We had 3 guys over for dinner and they were a lot of fun. We laughed and visited. They entertained Melisa and listened to all her stories. I made brownies for them and we watched (laughed at) wrestling on TV. It was a fun evening.
Now everyone else in the house is asleep but here I sit, wide awake. I really think I have insomnia. I just can't sleep! GRRRR, I am SO very tired, but sleep will not come. I want to sleep, but my body doesn't go along with the plan. It is really frustrating. So, instead of laying in bed tossing and turning here I sit at 11:30 typing a blog with no real point but to ramble about all the craziness that is our lives.
I am sure I will have lots of pictures and blogging fuel coming soon. The girls have 3 Easter Egg hunts this week. Cali's birthday is on Thursday. My mom and stepdad are flying in on Friday. Cali's party is on Saturday. Easter is on Sunday and I won't even go into all the work events going on after that! We won't slow down for 2 more weeks! AND I AM STILL AWAKE...what is wrong with me! OK, sorry for that little outburst, LOL!
Well, I am off to toss and turn a bit more and maybe, just maybe I will fall asleep before 1 or 2 am! Sweet dreams to all of you!