They did it!

I am so proud of my kids! They finished their first year at Numont today. I can hardly believe it's already the end of the year. This is the photo I took of them on the first day of school in September. They both look so much younger to me, and Meg's teeth have improved with braces so much already!

Here we are, walking to school that first morning, all new and shiny.

I was so proud of them, they walked right into the schoolyard, very bravely, even though they didn't know a single soul, didn't know how the school worked or anything. There was no complaining, no crying, no whining.

really wanted to wear his cool glasses!

Nic has dealt with an incredibly difficult year courageously and with his usual good humor. He has worked his little buns off trying to learn so much, and in the face of more than a little "adversity". I pray that next year will be a much better year for him.

It has become a tradition that at the end of a term, we go to lunch at a Chinese restaurant on our block that has an aquarium in the floor. The kids love it. Here's our growing-up Meg.

And the two crazies.

Mom and Meg, sorry, we were way back lit. It's a gorgeous day today, in the 70's and deep blue sky.

Now they are watching Happy Feet again (we rented it last night.)

We now pause for a commercial break.

As an aside, seriously? Do they have to put such suggestive songs/line in kids' movies? I know a lot of kids are exposed to all this stuff, but mine are not. I really don't think my 10-year-old daughter needs to hear words like "
You don't have to be beautiful, to turn me on, I just need your body baby, from dusk till dawn.
You don't need experience, to turn me out."

And much of the mating ritual between the penguins is played up so much, sheesh. Call me uptight, but that's not the way I want my kids to think about sex. Anyway, I'm really glad we rented this first, because we won't be buying this one.

And now, back to our regular programming.



Some days I would love to be a red-head again. More than a year ago I decided to go back to my natural brown for a few reasons. One was money; even though the hair color was under 10 euro every 6 weeks, it was still money I decided to stop spending. I also thought about the environment and how the plastic bottle full of chemicals, the gloves, etc. were making an impact on the world. And I figured that since I am only a couple of years away from forty, a few grey hairs are no big deal.

Now I'm not saying that nobody should dye their hair (I am still tempted to do it again :) ) but that is the choice I made for me.

My hair is pretty stubborn though; it likes being red. So even after various attempts and methods to get it all brown again, the bottom half of it is still pretty reddish. And it taunts me. Mean ole' hair!


Being Present

I was waiting for the bus to go to community group (because the 120 bus loves me, but the 40 hates me; but that is another post altogether.) At the bus stop, there was a Mom and 2 kids who were out of control. The boy was perhaps 11 or 12, and the year 9 or 10. It actually took me awhile to figure out who their Mom was because she was sitting on the bench talking on her mobile (cell phone), completely oblivious to the way her kids were acting. They were running around through the group of people waiting, hitting and kicking each other, ripping and throwing around some brochures that they found and generally just being cheeky. The girl actually pretended to kick me as I joined the group. I didn't say anything. I was actually a little concerned from their safety because they were pushing each other around right on the edge of the sidewalk, and the street is a major one that is very busy.

After a few minutes of this, two older Spanish women came to the bus stop and suffered similar treatment from the pair of them. They were not impressed. They looked at the kids, looked pointedly at the mother, then made a few comments about the behavior of both the Mom and the little girl especially.


I adj (insolente) cheeky, insolent
(desvergonzado) shameless

II m,f cheeky person



I adj bad-mannered
II m,f bad-mannered person

They muttered about how the Mom was talking on her phone. The implication of maleducada is actually heavy on the Mom's lack of input into her kids' lives.

I tried not to pass judgement on the Mom, because I'd be a hypocrite to say that my kids always behave the right way. It did really make me stop and think though, about really being present in the lives of my kids. Sometimes it may be tempting to check out temporarily, but that's never good for the kids OR me.

I also was very grateful that I can raise my kids with God's help, and that I have a husband who is also fully present in the process.

Today I said a prayer for that Mom, that somehow things in her life would be a little less chaotic today.


From the mouth of babes

Thought I would share some words of wisdom Nic shared with me on our way to speech therapy this morning.

"I have to tell the bad boys that they are bad and that they need to change!" (He has a clear picture of who is bad and good in his class, very loving of him. Good evangelism technique there, son.

When coming out of the metro...
"It looks like a different country!"

After walking a few blocks (because we got off the metro early, because like his Mom, he finds it claustrophobic, and he "couldn't breathe!")
We're going to have to walk for HOURS!

And finally, remembering that last week after speech therapy he didn't go to school afterwards because it was only a half-day.
"I think school is over Mom."

That is all for now :)