Dreading the Goodbye

We’re down to the final countdown. And, again, the most popular question is, “how are you doing, really?”

Well, this week has been jam packed and in a lot of ways, I think that has helped me.  Too busy to spend much time thinking about it, which does help a lot.

But, Big L has made it pretty clear that she’s not ready to go. “My friend said I want to go to [home country]. I do not.”

Reed and Lena are also beginning to get bummed about her departure.

(This next part is copied straight from my personal FB where I originally posted it, so sorry, Facebook friends.)

Reed: “I don’t want [Big L] to go back! …let’s send Cache [one of our dogs] instead!”
Me: “Okay, sounds great! We’ll just put him in some of[Big L]’s clothes and put him on the plane. No one will know.”

[Reed and Big L running around, discussing what Cache will wear and how they’ll have to train him to act.]

Ten minutes later… Reed and Big L approach me with fake frowns.
Reed: “We have a problem… Cache is a boy.”
Me: “I think it’ll be okay. It took you two awhile to notice, so I’m sure it’ll take everyone else awhile, too.”
Reed: “Well, he has boy… teeth.”

Ah yes, those boy teeth are a giveaway.

Lena announced to me today very matter-of-factly that she will b leaving with Big L.
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[leaping into her arms after school]

Gus hasn’t absorbed this information yet, and I doubt that he will until she’s gone. Then, I’m sure he’ll ask where she is continuously. He often tells us that people are up to rather interesting things. Like this morning, he asked me where Aaron was. “Working,” I told him. “NO! Papa sleeping.” Okay, Aaron, get back to work.
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Very hot, dirty kids.

Big L actually departs the US on Wednesday, but the kids have to say goodbye to her Monday night. Aaron will say goodbye to her Tuesday morning when he drops us off the airport and I’ll hang onto her as long as I can at the airport on Wednesday.

Please pray for her as she gets ready to be uprooted from our home and our family where we’ve seen her grow and come up out her shell a ton. Most of all, please pray that she carries with her the love that she has felt here.

Lawrence Busker Festival

We went to the Lawrence Busker Festival with some friends tonight. A busker is a street performer, so the festival fills the streets with street performers. We’d never been before, but I’m really glad we did.

We decided that we wanted to see the magician/escape artist and the breakdancers.

This guy was just finishing up his act.2014-08-22_0009

Waiting, in between performances. Big L’s lap is prime real estate.
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Still waiting. Gus and Adrian were really enjoying each other tonight, which was cute. They might end up in the same preschool, which would be great. 2014-08-22_0008

Next up, we enjoyed this magician/escape artist. He was very funny. One of his audience participants was named Olga and Big L thought that was pretty cool, that she had such a distantly Slavic name.
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The kids were pretty mesmerized with his act.
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Last up, we watched break dancers. Unfortunately, Gus was pretty well done at this point, as it was quite late. The man sitting next to Aaron had a bag of popcorn and Gus stared at it long enough that the man offered him some. Thanks, kind stranger, for keeping him quiet for a few minutes.

The break dancers were awesome! All of the kids really enjoyed them, but I think Big L in particular was shocked by some of their moves. She kept turning around to look at us, jaw hanging open.
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Adrian’s shoulders kept bopping up and down as he stared with great fascination.
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And one of the last moves, a flip over a line of several people.
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Pretty awesome.

So, Lawrence Buskers Fest was a big hit. Aaron and I are not big fans of crowds, but it was totally worth it. We were all laughing and enjoying ourselves!

A Very Merry Unbirthday!

One of the fun hosting ideas is to celebrate your host child’s birthday. Big L’s birthday falls between the two hosting programs, so we wanted to celebrate it while we could.

She woke up to find a banner saying “Happy Birthday, Big L!” in her first language, a foam tiara and a pack of birthday cake M&Ms. And a note explaining why we were celebrating her birthday today.

Her response was “when did you do this?!? Morning?!”

I told her know I stayed up after she went to bed and made it. “WOW. THANK YOU!!”

I didn’t really have anything special planned beyond cake and a few presents, but my friend Danae told me awhile ago that she wanted to take me, Lena and Big L out for manicures. The best day happened to be Big L’s unbirthday, so it was perfect.
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We had a dinner that I thought she’d like: cheesesteaks with mushrooms(which she loves), potatoes, corn and salad. Yum.

And then this happened…
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[look, it’s that elusive guy!]

Somewhere between pre-teen embarrassment and being mesmerized. 2014-08-21_0007

And lastly, she opened up her presents. They were few– a shirt, a pack of Skipbo cards and the scrapbook.
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The cover is a map of America and she’s pointing out our state.
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I think she really enjoyed her birthday. It was simple, but the goal wasn’t to make it a big deal. It was to remind her that she’s loved and celebrated, just for being.

Attacked

We had a major attack up in our house a couple of weeks ago. It had been a rough day. So, I hauled the kids outside. Lined them up. And…

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silly string.

Seriously, it really had been a rough day. We were busy, tired and hadn’t connected much at all. But, my dear friend Danae had sent us some silly string a few weeks before.

Everyone got a can.
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And it was serious business.
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Watch out for that one.

You see what I mean?
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These two definitely enjoyed it the most.
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In the end, it was a great way to connect and have fun together after a long day.
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Such much fun!!

Evening Walks

Big L loves walks with the dogs just as much as I do.

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While I’ll admit I have mixed feelings about giving up my solitude, having her with me is a different kind of fun.
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She made me a bouquet.

I couldn’t decide if I liked this photo better in black and white or in color.
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Oh yes, and the dogs were there, too.
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The river as sunset approaches.
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Big L keeps calling the river a “lake”, no matter how many times I tell her otherwise. Always makes me smile.