Friday, September 18, 2009

Pronuncations and Perceptions

Driving home from school today Eli asked Moses questions about his day. He has been struggling with recess and lunch time. Problems encountered with recess include loneliness, boredom and the hot sun. It's easy to see your problems magnified when their analyzed. He sulks in the shade and feels sad. Once Sunny showed up at his recess-unfortunatley this was because she lost track of time, didn't hear the bell ring and spent some time with Moses. This made his day. He reported he was so happy to see her but felt so sad when she had to go. He was all alone. Tears came in his eyes. Cafeteria dilemmas include: too many people, a general feeling of chaotic commotion and it doesn's smell good in there. He is his father's son. No Christenson in their right mind would turn their nose up at cafeteria food-we are the ones known to visit the town hospital to visit the "restaurant" there-and that is what we call a treat. Each day recess and lunch are the low points of his day. Then lunch and recess have to happen. Mrs. Hunter makes him feel safe and loved, there is organization and fun games to play. But today great things happened. Moses made friends with Angelo at recess. He is so funny and so crazy! They laugh and play fun games together and he had hot lunch for the first time and loved it: waffles, sausage and chocolate milk-maybe that makes the smell tolerable. Eli checked in with Carolina while she read her Box Car children book looking up to show us the 1/3 portion of the book she had already read. He asked her if she hads made any new friends. Silence. Asked again. "What?" She was busy reading, we dropped it. Walking to the park last night we reached the intersection where the kids are well trained (most of the time) to wait until slow Mommy and Rainbow in arms catch up to cross together. Carolina tagged with me and told me of the book she is reading. Benny had found a clue and they were already at the Blue Bay...(Box Car Children Blue Bay mystery). I delight in her joy reading the series, I loved them when I was young. She told me, "They are are on an 'is-land' " Her reading prowess made known through pronunciation. Tonight I checked in on her as I could still hear her mulling about the room when the others had zonked out. She had a piece of tarp like fabric spread out near the heater register, three bent curtain rods, a pile of beads, rope caulk tape mangled into a ball of funtional gray clay and several clay forms: a duck complete with breathing nostrils above the beak, a snail, a whale which was smaller than the snail and a few sharpened and unsharpened pencils. Obviously, she had undergone a surgical procedure to extract carelessly dropped beads from the heater's cavity and found inspiration in that resurrection and was forced to create by the divine powers within by whatever inspired materials she could accumulate. This could not wait until morning, the magic would inevitably be gone. I could take a lesson from this girl. Stuck to her bed was one more creation: a clay sign with writing etched. I couldn't decipher the writing yet. She told me it says, "Sunny's caf." I thought I heard her wrong and asked, "A baby cow?" "No, you know the food place..., a restaurant." "Oh, cafe!" I can tell she has been reading an awful lot.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1st day of school.

They are at school. Moses just started afternoon, Sunny has been there all day. As Moses' class line followed his gray-haired grandmotherly smiling teacher, Mrs. Hunter his class passed Sunny's class. She said hi to me but I don't think Moses saw her. He was focusing on the procedure he was in. This morning we met Sunny's teacher, Ms. Mulligan, a tall, athletic blond. She introduced herself to Sunny and asked what school she had come from and what grade she was in. She told her she had a desk just for her. Then we joinied the other 2nd and 3rd graders in the library. Gabrielle, her assigned helper friend was given the duty to show her all around the library. Then the bell rang. All morning Moses has been asking, "Is it time for school yet?" Phew, am session would have been better but finally the time came. Also waiting were a pile of girls, a small blond boy with a Mohawk whose Dad had several piercings, a chubby hispanic boy. He pleasantly took his place in line and gave me a hug. No tears, no worries. What a brave guy. See you at 3:00.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh yeah, I am not guilty.

When I exit a clothing store where the greeter/loss prevention specialist cordially bids me goodbye suddenly I nervously look away, find myself slurping my own spit in nervous manner. Whoa, maybe I do need to be checked on-perhaps by someone with a slighly different expertise. Then again, maybe I am a thief and I don't even know it. Kleptomaniac. Images of Dana Carvey in Lost In Paradise. I am pretty sure in my odd nervous state I wouldn't pass a lie detector test. And I am innocent! What would I do if I were guilty? Hey, maybe I've a future...I just might be the coolest, calmest, most innocent criminal to grace this side of the Willamette. And today we had a pre-employment drug test. My warped senses rear their nasty heads again. Maybe I've breathed stale skunk-like air that had something else in it just walking down the street, maybe I ate a poppyseed muffin. You just never know. How sensitive are these things. They wouldn't let me flush the toilet after filling the specimen cup, he checked the bathroom after I left, wouldn't allow me to wash my hands unless in his presence. Senor Phlebotomist even checked around the sink piping to make sure I hadn't switched specimens. Real nice guy, very thorough, friendly manner, just doing his job but nothing like the third degree to make you think even you'd missed something.

We signed the kids up for school on day two today, we got there midmorning so the secretary suggested we just wait until tomorrow for attendance. We walked around the school and all felt great about the place. Moses' nerves were calmed an awful lot after seeing his enticing, colorful classroom with cubbies, baskets, books and toys. Paper apples the size of dinner plates and a welcome sign adorned his classroom door. Carolina will be in a 2/3 split. Day three will be for real.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just kidding about the first day of school.

I am a woman fairly hip around the edges with this obnoxious unraveling thread from a wool cotton blend sweater that seems to dangle and catch things in its path like a tumbleweed. Things like dry babywipes attached to misplaced spoons, a lone flax seed planted on my shoulder yearning to be back with his friends in the half eaten bag of Dave's Killer Bread and a sweet four year old's plump hand, sticky with Oregon strawberry freezer jam. Things like a tidy, well-placed office, a silverware separator free of crumbs and the ability to manage 6 loads of matching, folded laundry usually escape me. Thus, I can be a challenge for a type B personality. But at the end of the day in front of me I see (within view) 42 boxes ready to be filled with the contents of our abode for a move approximately two weeks away, the Sprint bill strewn upon the floor (that will show the man what I think about that Corporate Big Brother) a mirror with little hand prints, cards taped to the walls with Portuguese words, a barbie doll and an empty baby bottle. The things I feel ahead are a new adventure upon us-one that we are unsure and partly worried about how it will materialize. Stepping one foot into the unknown clinging, to faith that God will see us though, grateful to have apartment management skills that have allowed us security and friendships, confident the Lord gives us what we need not always what we want. The gentle muffle of The Subterranean Howling, "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" trying to get it mixed ASAP to enter a local contest in hopes of landing a spot to be the opening act for "The Killers" Portland show. Thinking of many type A activities that might help balance today's strong leaning towards B for tomorrow-turning in kindergarten shot records, signing a job offer, organizing some orders for the business, maybe sorting and packing some of these 42 boxes. But today was for memories-the day we missed the first day of school.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Squeakie's blog

Carolina started a blog today. Her blog can be found among my blogs. It is
She named her blog "Sunshine Canyon" and the url is in honor of her own given nickname "Squeakie"-the sound her favorite animal, a mouse makes. She wrote this beautiful entry. Keep an eye on her, she'll go places.

Friday, September 4, 2009


A sweet girl in our ward babysat the kids yesterday while we went to a second interview on the property of the place we are seeking to get a team management position. Having gotten accustomed to a sitter that just keeps the kids alive while we are away my expectations are pretty low. You really can't expect too much when we pay what we do. But we were surprised-She was so cute, thanking me for letting her babysit and asking about so many details. Worried about what they could eat, checked to see if they were supposed to put away their toys after playing with them etc. So we left, when we came home she had even washed the dishes they had used. Wow. When we entered the door she was down on the floor interacting with them. She had read stories, played. This morning Moses told me A played the piano for them and "She's really good! It was kind of twinkling. She changed it...And then the other side....I don't really know how. She changed it. I think Daddy should go to piano lessons. " I said, "Daddy can teach you how." "Do only girls do it?" I said, "Oh no, boys can definitely do it." "I'm gonna ask him now if he can teach me today." Way to seize the day, Moses.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moments of the day

Adrianna said "You betcha" today although I don't recall the context it was unexpected. Carolina and I escalated a power struggle before bed like no other. Water, violence, mayhem. No holds barred. Pretty. Pretty shameful. I received a rejection letter from a literary submission I did earlier this year but no regrets, at least I submitted. I forgot to write a thank you note for the interview yesterday, I still plan to do it tonight but it would have reached them earlier if I had it in the mail today. We went swimming. After 15 minutes Rainbow had had enough so I got out and dried her and rewrapped her in a towel and reentered the water standing up trying my best to keep her dry so the other kids could stay in the water longer. Carolina made a new best friend (although she can't remember her name) and she told me the game was boys vs. girls. Found some tennis shoes for Moses at the thrift store. Spent some time going through cupboards and corners trying to think minimalist. So much stuff!! Rainbow pulled herself up to a stool and used it as a walker for the first time. She's taking a bottle and loves it.