Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Barefoot Bliss

It's finally warm every day, warm and sunny and beautiful. Barefoot bliss! One of my favorite things is walking around and feeling the cool wood and slate against the bottoms of my feet. So much nicer than socks. It's free.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


My sweet, my baby, my angel - she thrives in the sunlight, like a blossoming flower...


My oldest son, the apple of my eye - lives to love and be loved, gives freely and with delight...


My singing, dancing, creative daughter... so in love with life.


He wore these gloves until I discovered him using the Port-a-Potty while wearing them. My strange, sweet, eccentric boy...

Beautiful People

Lakeland Bus show

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You are only a visitor now...

My dad wrote this on Skype - he is in our part of Senegal now, staying in the guest-home that was about 40 minutes from our village: "I see evidence of our former life all around me. A book here, a video there, a familiar tool, a piece of silverware, some coffee mugs...it's kinda eerie.
Like suddenly remembering something you hadn't thought of in years, and you wonder where it came from. Strange to be back here, yet no longer belonging. Treated as a visitor, not as someone who called this area home for 16 years. "

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shame on them.

Anyone who was brave enough, or audacious enough, to bring a Barbie doll to our school in Senegal ran the very real and horrible risk of having the doll's breasts cut off. I assume the people in charge considered breasts to be a vulgar thing. It makes one wonder the affect this hideous mutilation had on the girls, doesn't it! "Breasts are bad! You should be ashamed to grow them! Being a woman is sinful! Being a woman is downright vulgar."
What a shame. What a sad, sad shame.

Welcome, Spring!

I adore this time of year! Two days ago, I cleared out the front garden and planted 100 square feet worth of wildflower seeds that were given to me by Jonas. I SO hope that they grow and bloom!! The whole family longs to be outside and stay there, soaking up the sun and the fresh smells of earth, air and grass.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Warped Image

About the time that I was ten years old, I decided that I was fat. Shuffling in the dining hall line, I proudly announced to the older girls, "I am on a diet! A diet of bread." They looked at me oddly, and one said, "You mean all you're going to eat is bread?" I felt confused and strange, and said, "No, bread is the thing I am not eating any more, since I need to lose weight." They mocked me a little, telling me that I had no idea what I was talking about, and that if I was going on a "diet of bread", then bread would be the only thing I was eating. (I know, they were right. My wording was not correct, but seeing as I was only ten, who could blame me?)
So I dug up this photo of me when I was ten, (I'm the one on the left, wearing the blue and yellow, our school colors, the combination of which I can't stand to this day) and LOOK AT ME! There is no fat whatsoever on that little body! Did I have some sort of fun-house mirror that shrunk and fattened the image of me? Did someone tell me that I was fat?
How in the world did my self-view become so warped? I have an idea of the reason, and I'm sure that a psychologist could give a million reasons for it. But then again, what does the reason matter at all?
I see my five-year-old daughter, who sometimes squeezes her thighs and mutters something about them being fat, and I just die inside. She is perfect. I want her to know that. I want her to know that no matter how she sees herself, and no matter how others see her, she is PERFECT. But words are just words, and as I know from experience, words will not change a view of self. It has to come from growing older and having new eyes.
Some days I still look at myself and think, "Ugh, look at those thighs! That butt! The smushy belly... " And I have to realize that I am what I am, and this is me, this is my body and I should embrace it and love it because it is ME.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Own

Since I have suddenly become obsessed with quotes about sunlight, I thought I would make up my own, rather than copying random ones found online. The reason for said obsession is that I truly do need, NEED light and color in my life. If it is absent, then I get sad and grumpy. So, here's mine:
"What I crave is to fill every wall in my house, cover every floor board, every piece of slate and every hidden corner with sunlight and color." ~Bonnie C

The Deed is Done...Mostly

Today, Ryan and I groomed Lucky. We did it without drugging him. I straddled him, and held his paws with my knees while he screamed like he was being murdered and slung slobber all over the place. Ryan did most of the cutting. Finally, there are no dreadlocks on the dog's penis, underbelly, or anywhere else on his body. He used to have dreads on all of his legs, between his eyes, under his chin, on his neck, on his rear end, and covering the end of his... well, you know, I already said the word once, for Pete's sake. We used electric clippers for most of his back, belly and thighs.
We did let him run outside about half-way through, where he promptly vomited all over the deck. What a drama queen!
The worst, most disgusting part was cutting the dried-into-locks-shit from his backside. We never did figure out a way to cut the beard or the hairs on his snout, but we are devising a plan for that!
So here we are, Ryan and I, victorious and covered in dog hair, spit and probably some other bodily fluids that I would rather not think about. (Including some of my own blood, but not Lucky's...)
We bonded over this fiasco. We made a great team. Our muscles are in spasms, and we're shaking a bit from the exertion, but we won the battle! (You know, the battle to NOT have to take the damn dog to a groomer's and pay out the wazoo to have him put UNDER in order to be groomed. Yeah, that battle.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

What did I do?

What did I do today? Well, first I went hunting for the LAST blueberry Pop Tarts that I had hidden. I hid them because everyone was eating them so fast, and I hadn't had even one. I had planned on savoring them for my breakfast. I know, very childish, but what's a mom to do? I looked on the shelf that holds the baby food, because that's where I know I had put them. They were not to be found. After tearing my kitchen apart, I came to the sad realization that *someone* had found them and eaten them! How very tragic!
Later, I dosed the dog with such an amount of drugs, that had it been I who ate them, I would be comatose for at least a week. Did it have any affect on him at all? NO. I am not even going to list all of the meds that I gave him, since it makes me feel slightly like a very bad pet owner. Suffice to say, it was a cocktail of several different things that I had lying around. The damn dog seems to be even more excitable now than before.
Once Ryan got home, we trussed the dog up with rope, put the muzzle on him, and I grabbed the clippers - he freaked out so badly, that we had to just give it up.
On to other things. I found Willow with a mouthful of mud. She was not happy with me at all for removing it.
I listened to both babies cry themselves to sleep for their naps - I can't stand the crying, but it had to be done. While waiting for them to be silenced, I downed a handful of Motrin for my headache. It hasn't helped.
Sahara fell asleep on the way home from school - I didn't have the heart to bring her in and wake her up, so I unbuckled her seat belt, opened the van door, and left her sleeping. She stayed asleep for two hours! Around two o'clock, she came bouncing into the house, grinning and talking a mile a minute.
I read to my girls, "Green Eggs and Ham", which felt like some sort of sacrifice, since I have a book that I would love to curl up with for hours alone... that never happens.
I did not make dinner. I did not wash the dishes. I washed and dried a load of laundry, but did not fold the clothes - in fact, they are still waiting for me in the dryer.
Actually, I couldn't say what took up most of my day, since almost nothing has been accomplished... And here is the weekend coming tomorrow, during which the house tends to explode into a giant kaleidoscope of toys, books, shoes, backpacks, dishes, socks, dirt, leaves, dust bunnies, half-finished drawings, and random things pulled from my kitchen cabinets.
Maybe Monday will bring something fresh...

Keep in the Sunlight

"Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight."

~Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, March 4, 2010

All Mans are Good

We were almost home, and Sahara noticed a hitch-hiker beside the road - "That man wants a ride, mom." I said, "Yes, but I am not picking him up."
She wanted to know why not. I told her, "Because, babe. I don't know if he's a good man or a bad man." She was quiet for a minute, then said, "All mans are good, mom. You should give him a ride!"
I asked her how she knew that all "mans" are good, and explained that some just aren't. She thought some more, then said, "Well, if the man is carrying a bunch of gadgets, then you probably shouldn't give him a ride. He might be a bad man, and he might have a gun."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Forth!

The only day of the year when everyone should know exactly what they should do!
On this day, every baby should be birthed, every soldier be deployed, ever missionary begin their journey to whatever country they are setting out to "save", every person go outside and walk five million miles.
Everyone who has ever dreamed of a road trip should set out to find themselves, every child verging on walking should stand up and stomp around, every person confined to a chair with wheels should rise and run this way and that.
Every pet should find a way of escape and be free in the world, every sick person should become magically well, everyone who is sad and withdrawn should become happy and go out and meet someone new.
March Forth!! March FORTH!

The Tale of Lucky

Almost three years ago, we got Lucky from the pound. He was not a good indoor dog, and we had nowhere for him to be outside. We gave him to some friends from church, who gladly took him in. He lived with them until very recently, when they offered him back to us now that we have our own home and a fenced-in back yard. One of the problems with Lucky is that he is terrified of being groomed. When our friends had him, they took him to professionals, who knocked him out in order to groom him. Both times, his heart stopped, and it was very traumatic for everyone. I do not have the desire or the money to take that rout, so I have decided to try to groom him myself. First, to cut the hair away from his eyes, I muzzled him, and had Jonas hold him for me. It went okay (okay being, he didn't try to bite me!) for awhile, with the dog whimpering the entire time. The last snip sent him into a frenzy, though, and we were finished with him for that day.
Today, I decided that his dreadlocks really need to go. I thought, "What if I drug him with some Nyquil? He'll be sedated a little, and I'll be able to groom him myself!" Well, HA. First, I offered him the Nyquil on it's own. He sniffed it, then trotted off. Then I put it into his food dish, and threw some food in there with it. He came over to inspect it, and decided that I was trying to trick him.
Next thing I knew, there was Willow with a mouthful of Lucky's dog food! She spit it out, but it made me very nervous. So, out went the dog food, along with the Nyquil.
My next try will be to truss Lucky up like a roasting-pig, and include the muzzle in the mix.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Tale of Hair Fun and Lost Eyebrows

Okay, so I've been having a blast changing my hair with the Splat line - It's gone from my natural color of boring old brown, to purple, to blue, to blue/purple, and today I wanted it to be pink. I had to soak my head for a long time to let the blue and purple go away, and then added some lightener to my head. Once it had been rinsed out, it turned into a strange hue of very light purple and pink... I threw in the pink Splat, and Ta-DA!!! PINK! Okay, but the problem is this. While I was lightening the hair, I decided that it might be fun to also lighten my EYEBROWS. They now look non-existent. Gone. But they are still there, just... basically the same color as my skin. Looks like they're shaved off. Oh dear. Good thing hair grows back!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

What she lacks in age...

She makes up for in madness.

Our weekend in Lynchburg

The mission that we grew up in is finally being held accountable for their vicious inaction and horrible treatment of the kids at one of their boarding schools in Senegal. The GRACE team has been hired as a Third-party investigative group to hear everyone's story, and to make sure that action is finally taken on our behalf, and that we can find resolution. The group is amazing. They all have PHD's in one thing or another - there are 2 former child sex abuse prosecutors, 2 psychologists and a pastor.
The thing that affected me the most was this huge love and acceptance that they showed us all. There was no judgment of us, there was no looking down on us. They just embraced us and loved us no matter who we were or what we looked like. That is something that I personally have NEVER experienced in my life coming from a group of "adults"... It was powerful.
Our interviews went very well. They listened to us intently, they shuddered at some things that I had to tell them, they were righteously angry at other things... they asked each and every one of us what we recommended in regards to NTM. They wrote it all down, and they promised that the things that they recommend to NTM would be carried out. They told us that they would not just go away after giving their final report, but that they would follow up with NTM and make sure that the recommendations were implemented.
One of the GRACE team took my hand as we were leaving, and very quietly but firmly said to me, "we are not going away. we are not quitting. this will be resolved, I promise."
What an amazing team of people they are. Their desire over the weekend was to make all of us as comfortable as possible. When I walked in for my interview, there they all were, all these "adults" looking at me - I said to them, "Wow. This is very intimidating!" They all got very upset and wondered how they could make it less intimidating... they didn't realize that for us, from our past, if we ever had to sit down in a room full of adults it was only because we were in trouble. I explained that, and they were sad...
I came away from Lynchburg with a feeling of being valuable - something that I have never before experienced. Ever. What an amazing gift to receive.
Please, if you have any questions, ask and I will share with you. For more on our stories, you may visit http://www.fandaeagles.com

My 5-year-old

She's got her daddy's eyes

In Africa,

When I reached the age of eleven, my mom and I formed a coded message for me to send her over the CB radio if I were to get my period while I was away at boarding school. The day finally came. I was twelve. I scribbled on a small scrap of paper my message to be delivered to my mom. "We should have named the dog "Marmaduke" on Sunday." She heard about her daughter's first period over the radio, with all of the other missionaries listening in. Do you think they knew what the message meant?