losing internet, sometimes my mind, other updates

this is a rambling, wordy post. may be our last for a while. losing internet next week: have to give the modem back if we don’t want to pay the bill while we’re gone. trying to get a blog post up. so much going on. too many interruptions. not enough time to pay attention to punctuation.

EDIT: since i wrote this yesterday I realized our son’s passport expired LAST WEEK, fought a two-day migraine, lost all our birth certificates, found them, changed plans about five times regarding when and which route to drive the 15 hours to Buenos Aires, sent an emergency email to the US Embassy in Buenos Aires to try to figure out how to expedite renewal of his passport, and got a few more gray hairs. now back to our story…

men’s meeting in the slums saturday went great. tony showed the grace card – they loved it. several new guys showed up, young guys who scoffed and said “i don’t need god” were the first to get teary-eyed during prayer. tony hasn’t taken pictures yet. i still haven’t had time to download the ones on his cell. you’ll have to imagine it in your mind, i guess. such is life. never enough time.

speaking of our projector – it’s been such a blessing. we use it all the time. showing movies has been a very effective tool in reaching the lost for christ here. sometimes the only thing that really works in a given situation. thanks again, you know who you are. thank you to everyone who has ever participated. missions is a group effort. god has really blessed this venture. we have also been able to rent our projector out weekly as well to someone who used to pay $300 pesos for rental elsewhere. we charge $150 (US$40). it buys milk and eggs. it blesses us, it blesses them. we’d love to give it for free, but it’s very expensive to live here and tony only works one day a week at a paid job. relearning to barter here is good.

showing movies at the boys’ home is great, too. tony tried doing bible studies and writing verses for a while, but often falls back on the movies because many of the kids are just not literate enough. they need literacy and writing classes before tackling a bible study or writing a verse. they always ask for more movies. we haven’t exhausted our supply yet and have even been able to find some christian movies here at the only christian bookstore in the city. god provides.

birthday in the boys’ home: crisitian turns 12

we got out the other night – first time in a while as an entire family. a long while. slowly reentering society. ha. friends invited us for dinner. i stood, very cranky, at the stove at 7:30pm eating some reheated pasta out of a skillet before heading out. i can’t eat at 10pm unless i want a migraine. i also have a growing boy who is often “starving”. i {crankily} said i would only go if tony called and made plans for an early dinner. i did not want to eat at 10pm (standard dinner time here). so we all agreed eight (ha ha) and we arrived at 8, stupidly ready to eat. i should have known – the fire was just being stoked up on their barrel grill – the meat not even on yet. i sighed inwardly but smiled outwardly, and thanked god i had the sense to eat something before we headed out. the awesome sweetness of this couple quickly put me in a good mood, the kids had a snack, then played in the dirt with the other kids. our friends, who i love dearly and haven’t seen in a long while – the sweetest couple ever – live in the slums. they are the nicest, happiest, most genuine couple. cracking jokes, ribbing each other, ribbing us, laughing easily. it used to be a toma (slum) where they live (well, still is), but now has running water and electricity service. streets are still dirt – huge potholes after this weekend’s unusual and torrential downpour. kids were playing soccer in the dirt street when we pulled up. got close to running a few over as they chased the ball in front of the van and never looked up.

we ended up having a great time. nothing like good friends to lift the spirits. dinner was served sometime after 10. kids played in the dirt yard until after midnight. our older kids loved the television reception and sat glued to the simpsons in spanish. i no longer care – or at least have ceased to fret over things i used to. like my kids watching the simpsons. i realize how legalistic i used to be. i can’t be that here. christians aren’t either, it’s nice. and their kids still grow up to know and love jesus.

last night at our boy’s basketball practice, in talking with the coach about late dinners, eating as it relates to exercize, why boy gets tired and dizzy and the like, the coach said, “you know what time i eat dinner? 11pm. i come home 6 or 7, have a snack, go for a run, when i get back the kids are already picking a bit at 10, i shower, sit down to eat at 11, then go to bed.”

i will never understand this. never. but, hey, i didn’t grow up here. and neither did my kids. i explained to him, “you know what, martin? at the end of the day we are american. we can’t eat at 10. we just can’t. we get cranky.” he smiled. he already knows how very american my boy still is, he’s been coaching him for a year now. lol boy likes everything in nice, neat boxes. yeah, good luck with that in argentina.

i think i am going through somewhat of a mid-life crisis. tony collapses on our bed wondering why he is so tired and he aches like he’s been run over by a truck. we remind each other we are now both in our 40s (oh god how did that happen!?). we don’t feel like we should be almost 41 and 44. one of the many doctors i’ve seen here said, “after 40, if you wake up one day and nothing hurts, you’re dead“. meaning something will always ache or hurt once you’re 40. the day it doesn’t, it’s cause you’re dead. lol some of the greatest one liners i’ve heard are from argentinian doctors. the best therapy session in my life i got from a doctor here. 99% therapy with a sprinkling of medical advice. how do you know so much? i asked. how did you pinpoint my issue although you barely know me? “i’ve lived many years” he said. “life is TODAY” he went on. “not yesterday. not tomorrow. life is lived todayif you’re tired today, rest. if you feel good today, keep busy. if you want to exercize, exercize. if someone asks you how you are doing and you feel like poop, say ‘i feel like poop’. don’t lie. be real, be honest. don’t keep it all inside. if you keep it inside, put a smiley face on it, and say “oh i’m great” it will boil over elsewhere. high blood pressure, for example.” he looked at me.

yep.

oh, yeah, about my mid-life crisis. i think that must be what it is. it’s hard for me to differentiate between hormones, homeschool burn out, and stress brought on from the missions life. we are both in our 40s now. can’t deny the numbers. everything irriates me lately. it’s like i have pms all month. i don’t want my kids around all the time. they drive me more crazy than not most days. then i realize we have a three year old and we are in our 40s. what were we thinking having a kid that old? no wonder my patience is dwindling. my mom was getting ready for grandparenthood at my age, not toddlers. a generation ago people our age were grandparents, with grown kids. never said we were the sharpest tacks in the box…

tony’s six pack is now gone. lol daddy belly. he held out there a lot longer than other men. i don’t care about his stomach, i find a stomach on a man quite attractive actually (i’m weird like that). i find men who wash dishes attractive, too, but tony doesn’t buy that one. thinks i’m trying to manipulate him or something. i’m not, i serously do.

anyway, i do care about my stomach. i’m gaining weight. i’m very upset about this. stupid metabolism. again, not sure if it’s stress from the missions life (or too many 10 o’clock dinners) or age. i think it’s age. and hormones. that’s why i’m cranky and getting fat. aging sucks, plain and simple. some olive garden and cheesecake in the states will put me over the edge forever. :)

sunday night’s 10 o’clock dinner. oh, and yes, it was worth the wait.

went to my boy’s basketball practice last night. which means the whole family went. can’t leave girls alone at home (unfortunately) yet. tony always takes him, so i haven’t seen my son play in a while. he’s really come a long, long way. it’s so cute and weird and funny ironic to see my oldest in a class of 12-14 year old boys running around with all their street-savvy interactions playing ball in spanish. i have a teenager. oh god i’m old. he’s not one technically yet, but the attitude is all there. i’m not allowed to write about him on the internet. his new passtime is pushing his sister’s buttons all day long, arguing with everything i say, and complaining. he’s bearable only because he’s still a really great kid and we know his heart: golden. would never hurt a fly. loves babies. offered to teach the boys at the boys home how to swim this summer. sometimes does ministry with tony, shows movies, gives us spiritual advice. he’s the reason we stayed when we were about to throw in the towel 3 weeks in to this whole venture. he encourages us and god gives him just the right words, delivered in the most matter-of-fact way. we can’t complain really. can’t. his hands and feet are bigger than mine and he almost looks us in the eye. so. freaking. tall. such a good kid, and only 12.

another young person drowned in the rivers here monday. three young women drowned last week. 21, 20, and 17. we made sure our older kids knew how to swim well before moving here. i didn’t want to worry around all the rivers and lakes. i worry anyway because rivers here are dangerous. they are not allowed to swim in them. one was sucked down by a whirlpool, the three others were swimming in a dangerous section – not sure what happened exactly. when i launched into a lecture (again) to my kids about why they are not allowed to swim in the rivers and how whirlpools form, son interrupted with a much better explanation, complete with hand movements to illustrate.

where’d you learn that? i asked.

oh, i read it in a book.

oh. {cause i know i never taught them that one. didn’t know myself til recently.}

patagonian rivers are dangerous. cold, swift-moving, irregular bottoms perfect for whirlpool formation. perfect recipe for disaster. too many think they can handle them, but too many casualties prove the no pasa nada (nothing’ll happen) philosophy can be fatal.

my girl is done math for the year – finished today! THIS is how i feel as we wrap up this current homeschooling phase of our lives.

we could coast on math until august next year and still be on grade level. it’s nice to have the breathing space. she’ll probably start 5th grade in march, though. boy still hates math, but should be done 7th grade by monday. i am very happy. i so do not want to homeschool anymore. i really, really don’t. i don’t know exactly what happened to me, several factors i’m sure. i never imagined i would send them to school, but i never imagined a lot of what has happenend this year would have happened either. you never know what tomorrow brings.

this, the Year of Worst Mothering Ever. {also the Year of Worst Haircuts Ever. i cut my own yesterday because it looked so awful after the last cut i just couldn’t bare it. i miss you Miss Tracy, best hairdresser ever! i am not a vain (okay, a little), high-maintenance woman, but a good haircut is important you know.}

oh, yeah, year of worst mothering… i won’t elaborate much. i will say i have wondered if i am still a christian more than once this year. aliens have ripped my chest open and lazer beams have shot out of my eyes on more than one occasion. recently i told the kids, “don’t mess with me today! i’m cranky!”

son replies: “okay. Godzilla.”

i need more b vitamins.

i didn’t used to yell at my kids, at least often, until we moved here. i am ashamed to say i do a lot now. they MUST go to school before i lose it completely. i have said sorry and asked them to forgive me more than i’d like to admit or acknowledge. it’s not good. i suck in the mothering department right now and i feel my hormones are betraying me, too. something has to give. i wonder if there are herbal remedies for psycho mommies?

i broke down and joined a gym. walking didn’t work out. i tried. the gym is my prozac it keeps me from hurting others. and it was the doctor’s orders. it really has brought my blood pressure down to normal, and seems to keep it there. i can’t beleive my resting heartrate used to be 91. anyway, the gym is closing from dec. 29 to jan. 15. here’s the proof (if you speak spanish):

after the break it will reopen this summer but be closed for siesta for… wait for it… 3 and a half hours. imagine your gym doing that? would not fly in the states. it does here. forced vacation, folks. forced siesta, too. hope you weren’t planning on working out after lunch! come back at 6! gracias!

i love our cat. i haven’t told the kids yet of my undying love for him – i’m still trying to make sure they know he is still a street cat. i hope and pray nothing happens to him. he lives outside and is free to come and go. he mostly stays right outside the door, though. if he dies or disappears before we get back from our mini-furlough to the States, i don’t want any more crying than necessary. but if he lives, we’ll take him to the vet, clean him up, and call him our own. he’s a lover, unbelievable sweetness and gentleness. and we need love, life here is so much giving out, this cat gives to us and asks for nothing. except maybe some food. sometimes i wish i were a cat with nice owners. such a good life: eating, sleeping in the sun, getting picked up and patted on the head every day. nice.

okay, i’m rambling. blogging takes too much time. glad i’m taking a two month break. gotta get back to packing. we are spreading out our 15-hour drive to catch our flight in Buenos Aires over several days, stopping in at tony’s uncle in bahia blanca, ex-pat bloggy friend  katie’s in necochea, possibly a friends’ mom in mar del plata, then the jungle of buenos aires. ugh, ugh, and ugh. i hate that city. but it’s a necessary evil. all international flights to the states only leave from there. lord help me. make it be better than our last visit there. (i just reread this and, holy crab, we lived through that? i wrote it as i experienced it. and yeah, it was just. like. that. crazy.)
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2 thoughts on “losing internet, sometimes my mind, other updates

  1. I like your rambling posts. :) I laughed at the Hallelujah Chorus! If you find an herbal remedy for psycho moms, pick some up for me. I’ll need double doses. You know I relate to a lot of what you’re talking about (except, of course, that I don’t live in a third world country!). Jay’s scheduled to start school on Monday. How can I feel such relief and such guilt at the same time?? We definitely need to talk! Oh, and I don’t know if it makes you feel any better, but I’m 56 with a kindergartner. That’s just flippin’ nuts! ;) Praying that you get the passport, and for safe travels for all of you! xo

    • Ah, relief and guilt – the story of motherhood! Yeah, 56 and a kindergartner’s IS nuts! lol :D You’re my hero. We look forward to seeing you, Denise! hugs

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