28 February 2011

Arkansas

The only reason I have ever gone to Arkansas intentionally is to visit my friend Micah. I was fifteen the first time I set foot in Arkansas. I was home-schooling that year (by my own choice), and my parents took me on a month-long tour of the southwestern U.S. to visit family friends. It was wonderful! Our furthest stop East was going to be in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, but I encouraged my parents to visit fellow missionary friends in Arkansas, so we drove a few extra hours into Arkansas to see our friends. They’d left Nigeria almost five years previously, so it ended up being a nice reunion.

hazy Ozarks

The thing I remember most about Arkansas, though, is the way I felt driving through the mountains. It was a late wintry afternoon, with the sun barely above the horizon, and the Ozarks were hazy, as though covered in a blanket of mist. I’m a sucker for mountains, and these took my breath away. They were that gorgeous. Although this is not my own photo (http://arkansastravelnursingjobs.com/regions.html), it is exactly the way I remember the Ozarks.

So thank you, Micah, for living in Arkansas – for a couple of great visits and for introducing me to the beauty of your home state.

14 February 2011

Lots of babies – a plea

First, let me say that I am so grateful for MOPS in all three locations I’ve attended – for wonderful people like Christine, Marcie, and Paige. They are all wonderful women of God, and I am so blessed by their leadership. It was through MOPS (and library story time)in Visalia that I met my dear friend Heather. And here in Hinesville it’s been a lifesaver with play dates and all.

I am really grateful for MOPS!

So when I found out that a young lady at my table here is having quadruplets this spring, I really wanted to help somehow. I’ve let her know I want to help in all the conventional ways – babysitting her toddler, bringing meals, buying groceries, etc. But I wish I could think of unconventional ways to help. I am open to suggestions.

Needless to say, I can’t even imagine how stressful it must be to have quadruplets, nor the pain and inconvenience related to the pregnancy. It just isn’t within my realm of comprehension. I’m having enough trouble with my two kids; what would it be like to have five kids ages two and under?

I know I have a lot of friends out there with babies, so you can relate to my feeling of being at a loss.

I know we’re all hurting for cash these days (well, most of us), so can you imagine having to buy diapers for four babies at once? We’re talking about forty diapers a day, at least at first. Uh huh. Forty.

So I am sending out a plea for coupons. I know many of us can use diaper coupons ourselves, but imagine how much this friend needs them. Would you be willing to donate one or two coupons if you receive them?

And I’m starting to collect other things, too – clothes, bibs, white onesies (all sizes), preemie clothes, etc. – so if you feel burdened for this friend of mine, please let me know. Let’s rally around my friend and make this time less stressful for her, even though you don’t know her!

Oh, and by the way, all four babies are BOYS!

10 February 2011

Arizona

Grand Canyon 1998.bmp  I have lots of memories of Arizona, mostly because it is right next to California, so I’ve driven through it many times, both as a child and as an adult, although more as a child, I suppose. I’ve had great experiences and awful experiences in that state. My highlights include ice-skating when I was 15, eating at Chretin’s Mexican Food (YUM!), seeing a full rainbow over Tucson, tubing down a creek, and watching a game during Padres’ spring training when I was 11. On the other end of the spectrum are my memories of getting stuck for a week when my car broke down, getting my first and only ever traffic ticket, getting dehydrated while on a forced hike to build “teamwork” during orientation for a mission trip, and being sick at my mom’s cousin’s house. Oh yes, lots of wonderful memories.

But I think my favorite memories are those when we were camping at the Grand Canyon.

I’ve never hiked the Grand Canyon, as my sister has, but I have enjoyed it from the top.

Wow.

God certainly has an artistic flair.

When I was 18, my aunt and uncle took me camping on the North Rim, and I remember hiking along the edge one afternoon by myself, listening to a tape (yes, a cassette tape) of Christian contemporary music. It was one of those afternoons you never forget, between the scenery and the meditations…and calling my pseudo “boyfriend” in Nigeria only to have him “break up” with me on the phone.

I am laughing about it now. Oh dear. What a sorry little sap I was as a teenager. I am so thankful for God’s grace – and His sense of humor!

So yes, I have fond memories of Arizona.

at the Grand Canyon 2008.bmp

(The photos were taken in January 1998 on the South Rim. The stuffed lion, TJ, went with me everywhere. Can you see I’m wearing a Wheaton sweatshirt?)

05 February 2011

Alabama

What a difficult state with which to begin! Although I’ve been to Alabama several times, I don’t have any memories that are really worthy of a short memoir, unless you count going to the playground after dark when it was in the 40s F, without winter clothes on. That was definitely exciting.

But no, after this past Thanksgiving, when I think of Alabama, I think of my first full football game.

Granted, I did see bits and pieces of a football game when I spent Christmas with my friends the SIngers in Delaware my first year of college. But at the time, I was trying to avoid the game, concentrating much more on the people I was with.

This time, I actually tried to pay attention to the latter half of the game. Alabama was playing Auburn, and my uncle and cousins were watching the game on DVR, after our having been out all day doing Black Friday shopping.

I know zero about American football except that it’s brutal to the body and takes FOREVER. Most of the game is time between plays, which drives me bonkers. I’m of the opinion, as with real football, that games should be continuous. There should always be something to watch. But anyway, there I was, watching my first football game. I even asked a few questions as I tried to figure out what was what and how the game worked. Not that I really care, but I had nothing better to do, since Timothy was in bed already.

So I’m afraid that is my Alabama memory. In years to come, I can say I saw my first American football game, featuring Alabama, on Black Friday 2010.

And no, I will not be watching the Super Bowl!