Monday, March 28, 2011

I've Taken a Big Swig of THIS..

I am in a serious funk, so I've been ignoring the blog. I've lost the focus, and I'm feeling very uninteresting at this point in my life. I'm completely NOT enamored with China and I feel ordinary--ordinary in a way that makes it hard for me to think about what to write about. I feel like I've been nipping from the bottle.

I am seriously over China. I'm hiking here...

Instead of hiking here...

Seriously, 1 billion people is a LOT of people. And they are every. single. place. you go. I love a certain hustle and bustle...Christmas shopping. Disneyland. But I feel like you can just never get away from anything here. People who throw trash, who poop and pee and spit all over. ICK. There's just too many people.

Instead of looking at this...

Or this... I get to look at this...

I have moments where I wonder how I'll react when one of my kids announces they have some strange lung disease from breathing the putrid air.

I don't have a home. Or family nearby. My friend in Bangladesh had a tough parenting week and asked me "are we doing the right thing?" and I answered with a resounding "YES". But the life we've chosen means we are cognizant of what we've left behind. We know we made a choice, which means we may have chosen wrong. If we had stayed at home having our parenting fails on familiar turf, we wouldn't be aware of what that "other" really is. It's not something we imagine--it's a real life with real people. And we miss that.

I'm so lucky to be a teacher. I spend my day with fantastic kids at an outstanding school supported by incredible colleagues. I am blessed to be able to do something I love to do, instead of something I have to do. But right now I just don't want to be a working person.

And I worry. I worry far too much. It passes the time, but accomplishes nothing. It eats away at me, and not one single thing is better because I've worried about it. Here's a sampling of the playlist...

*I'm not satisfied with my church and if I'm just lazy because I won't drive into the city to see if there's a better one.

*How I'm going to pay for the college I know Cameron's going to choose. Actually, it won't matter what he chooses--in-state tuition doesn't exist for us anymore.

*Where we're going to live this summer. And next summer. And the summer after that.

*Why I lack discipline. I fall asleep while praying all the time. I canNOT exercise. I cram my Bible study in Monday and Tuesday nights instead of working a bit each night. I excel at watching American Idol and Glee, though. And Red Vines.

*What will happen with Noah--are we doing too much? Should we be letting him fail more? Are we doing it wrong with the best of intentions?

*What in the world are we gong to do after Beijing? Because I canNOT be staying here much longer.

And now it's time to stop. Because I'm ungrateful and whiny. And I can go on to list all the amazing things in my life right now because there are so very many and I suppose if I had any discipline or the right sort of outlook, I'd be listing those instead of these. But it's where I'm at this week or month. I'll do a list of all the great things about my life soon. Probably soon. Soonish.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What We've Been Up To...

I think this might have been the longest I've neglected the blog. There are so many reasons why...that will come later. But the truth is, we are a busy family, like so many others. A quick run-down...

Three band/orchestra concerts. None of my kids sit in a place where I can get a picture of them actually playing, though...All the concerts take place in the same week, all of them involve kids from 6th grade through 12th grade (and, for the orchestra, groups that start in 3rd grade) so it's a tiring week. Watching the beginners play, and ending with the high school groups really shows how much progress kids make each year!

The truth is...we are not a singing family. Oh, we sing around the house...we just don't sing well. Ava especially seems to like singing and has really loved being in choir. Funny the worst singers (me) are the ones that sing all the time--the better singer (Ava) rarely sings in front of anyone on her own!
One act plays. The one-act festival is fantastic. Students write their own plays or direct already published works. Students are responsible for recruiting, auditioning, and directing the play. Some of them include original music (score and lyrics) as well. Cameron was in three plays this year and is considering directing one next year.

Noah always surprises us. On a whim (actually I think it was because of the coach, who is completely cool) he decided to play volleyball. He did a great job learning a new sport and had a great time. He's moved on to contact rugby, one of just a few 6th graders on the team--again, fantastic coaches--seriously, they are worth their weight in gold in terms of building a kid's confidence and inspiring a sense of fun!

What little girl doesn't go through a love affair with horses? It must be an especially painful thorn in Ava's side that I actually did own my own horses and I could step out my back door any day of the week and just ride (and I did!). Ava has read every book, watched every movie, collected every statue--really, the child needed the chance to ride. Am I jealous? You bet--I always wanted to take lessons and ride in the Olympics. Maybe it's Ava's chance...