Good Friday

Yesterday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter, today is Holy Saturday. If you live in our house it’s more like dance class/band practice/birthday party #1/eye doctor/birthday party #2/wedding reception day.

Last night while sitting in church I heard something I hadn’t heard before. Judah was sitting next to me singing his heart out while reading the words to the hymns. He was singing words like scorned and visage and transgression. I knew he had no clue what he was singing, but he was concentrating on reading each word and singing along. I smiled through the entire worship service, as his small voice echoed in my ear.

We sat in the front row as requested by the kids. Josie was excited as she was eyeing the “snack” that we would partake of. When I attempted to explain what communion is and what the cracker and the juice symbolize, I quickly realized what a poor job I was doing. How does one, after all, explain the meaning of words like symbolize and represent to a 4 year old? She responded with, “Gross. I’m not drinking blood.”

“No honey, you’re not actually drinking blood…it’s just a symbol…it represents…oh, never mind. We’ll have a snack soon.”

After church was over Judah asked if he could have one of the devotional books our pastor was offering for people who were new to the whole idea of Jesus. My first reaction was, “No, save those for the people who really need it. You’re a pastor’s kid for crying out loud.” And, there might be words like scorned, visage, and transgression. Nah.

“Please Mom? I really want one. I promise I’ll read it.”

What am I saying? He wants to read and learn more about Jesus. Why would I discourage this? What’s wrong with me?

“Ummm…go ask your dad.” He is the pastor, anyways.

Long story short, two of our kids went home with devotionals and couldn’t wait to dive in. I felt like a dummy for even thinking twice about allowing it.

For anyone who might be thinking we have super spiritual kids, our evening ended with Judah and Josie stuffing their faces with all the leftover crackers and drinking every last drop out of each little communion cup left behind. I guess Josie was okay with the idea of “drinking blood” after all, as long as it tastes exactly like grape juice.

As a writer…

I’ve always wanted to say that, write that. See, I read a small number of blogs written by women who are great writers, in my opinion. They make me laugh, sometimes want to cry (although, I try my best not to because I don’t like to cry), and they cause me to think about things. Some of the things they write about I agree with, some I don’t. But that’s beside the point.

Every once in a while they talk (write) about being a writer and all the ups and downs that go along with that. This is when I play a little game inside my head and pretend I am totally relating to any emotions or obstacles these writers may be facing. It’s kind of a fun game for me because it transports me to a world where I sit at a little desk, with a cup of coffee, typing away on a small laptop (one that isn’t broken, or isn’t the size of a TV). I take a break from furiously typing, take off my glasses with a quick sweep of my hand, scratch my head, and gaze off into the distance for the perfect words…

Then I quickly must put my glasses back on because I can’t see further than 10 inches in front of my face without them. And I have to plug in the laptop we affectionately refer to as “the beast” because it’s battery life lasts approximately 3.2 minutes. Next I am faced with attempting to upload the high quality photos I took on my phone, instead of a DSLRaslkfj;alkhfwieuh;k camera…whatever.

All that to say…as a writer. I can now check that off my list.

I’m ruined

I’ve never really been one to care about technology. I should say I never really used to care about technology. I am now ruined and I blame my husband, who is a self-proclaimed nerd when it comes to anything technical. Before I met him, I had no need for such a thing. I didn’t own a computer or cell phone.

When I bought my first brand new car in 1996, I refused the upgrade from cassette player to CD player. I remember driving it home and my younger brother looking at me with complete bewilderment that I stuck with the cassette player.

“You are spending thousands of dollars on a new car and you can’t pay a few hundred dollars more for the upgrade? You’re going to regret that.” He laughed at me.

“Pssh, yeah right. I’m perfectly happy with my cassette tapes. Who knows how long CDs will even be around.” I’m sure I rolled my eyes thinking what does this punk know?

Well, I was partly right. Who buys CDs anymore? Maybe I was a little off track in thinking I would still be blasting my Alanis Morissette cassette while cruising in my Honda Civic, which is now long gone.

Anyway, the point it,  I have never been one to care about the latest, greatest gadget. Like they say, if it ain’t broke… So here’s the thing…

I didn’t have an email account until I met Andy. I was fine with communicating through my land line and letters. Now I have three different emails and I prefer emails and/or texts (which I’ll get to later).

I held out on getting a cell phone for awhile because why would I need that? People have been getting around just fine without them. I’m not so sure I want people to constantly be able to call me anyway. Do I sound like a grandma yet?

I gave up the fight in 2002 after Coleman was born. I don’t even know what kind of cell phone it was. The kind that just makes calls. No photos. No texts. When it was time to upgrade our plan a couple of years later I said to the man at the mall kiosk, “I just want a plain phone. I don’t want a camera.”

“Uh, ma’am, they don’t really make them without cameras anymore.”

When Andy first showed me how to text, I said it was ridiculous. Who wants to spend 3 minutes trying to type a sentence? But slowly, I started to come around.

I wasn’t totally ruined, though, until the iPhone entered the picture. Andy got one soon after they came out. I didn’t even understand how to make a phone call on that thing, let alone do any of those other things smart phones do. Less than a year later, Andy was ready to upgrade to the next iPhone, whatever number it was at the time. He suggested that I try out his old one.

“No way. I have no idea how to use it. I just got the hang of texting on my phone. I won’t use it and I don’t need it.”

“Just try it,” he said. “I bet if you give it a few weeks you might like it.”

I reluctantly agreed. I had that phone for two weeks before I dropped it in a parking lot and shattered it, not just the screen, but totally busted the phone altogether. Oops.

“No big deal,” I told Andy. “I have my other flip phone. I told you I don’t need an iPhone anyway. I’m good.”

I lied. I was already hooked. I tried texting on my old phone and was instantly annoyed. I wanted the iPhone. No, I needed the iPhone.

And on it goes. Andy upgrades. I get his old iPhone. I say I’m fine with the one I have and I don’t need anything else. I eventually learn the phone’s new features and decide I can’t live without it. So here I am, checking email, texting, taking photos, instagram, twitter, blogging…all on my phone. The phone I said I never needed in the first place, but now can’t seem to live without.

I’m ruined.

Blue Mansion Hotel

We are back home now and still jet laggin’. Some of us are still waking up at all hours of the night and some of us can’t get out of bed in the morning. In reality, Andy wakes up early, I can’t get up in the morning, and the kids are all adjusting just fine.

Other than the sleep thing, I am cold. Andy is cold. The sun has been out and I’ve been hearing people talk about how nice the weather has been. It may feel warm when you’re sitting in the car and the sun is beating in through the window, but the second you step outside…cold. I’m whining, I know. I loved the warm weather. I loved the humidity, the heat, and yes, even the sweating. I miss it. Slowly the reality is setting in that we still have four more months until it really gets warm.

Okay, I’ll stop. The northwest is beautiful, the air is clean, I’m thankful…blah, blah, blah (as Josie would say).

I really wanted to write about one last part of our trip that was one of my favorites.

We stayed one night at the Blue Mansion Hotel in Penang. This mansion was rated one of the 10 best mansions in the world and was rated number one best (and only) mansion I’ve ever stayed in. It was built 133 years ago for a man who owned four other mansions in Hong King, Singapore, Indonesia, and China. No big deal. I never have and never will stay in such a magnificent, historical place.

The kids were as much in awe as we were. Although, I think they were most excited about the mosquito net surrounding their bed and their “sarong party”. The latter was a boys only activity, much to Josie’s dismay, since it involved nakedness. Just hearing their squeals of laughter was pure entertainment.

This place was beautiful and grand and had so much history. Words are hard to explain, but photos help.

Serious sarongs (Josie’s doing her best in the back)

There were two of these just sitting in the hallway. I was really hoping they were complimentary souvenirs.  I was wrong.
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