Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update Part Two

Meet Morris the Taurus. lol
One of my main goals this summer was to buy a car. I have been without transportation for the better half of two years. This has become a great trial so I set out to remedy it.
I began shopping a few weeks ago and found this great car. I loved it, shopping for it, that is. My favorite part was negogiating with the car's salesman. He thought he was going to give me a run for my money, but I had done my homework and made him work hard to GET my money! As of last Saturday I am the proud manager of a 2007 Ford Taurus. What!? A family car, you may ask. Hey, it's a car. I am not going to get picky. When it came right down to it I just wanted a car that started when I turned the key and was reliable enough to get me from point A to B.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update Part One

I keep meaning to blog, but I don't know where to start. I think it will be easier for my small brain to achieve my blogging goal if I organize my thoughts chronologically.

"Long-Long Time Ago"
After my origami flower bouquet I attempted yet another homemade gift. Brandy (see candy bouquet post) went on to bigger and better things and no longer works in our office. As a goodbye gift I found a really cool idea...chocolate covered fortune cookies! Donning gloves and armed with toothpicks, tweezers, and a fingernail file a co-worker and I pried all the fortunes out of the cookies. Allow me to digress...all the fortunes were pretty much the same. It varied between maybe three different fortunes. Anyway, we had people in the office write their own messages and stuffed the cookies. You maybe thinking, Jo, that must have taken forever. You're right it did. We had to be really careful because the cookies would break easily. The unstuffing and restuffing (I know that these are not words, but they are fun) was completed at work and I took them home to finish. The end result was amazing. We made 31 with revised messages so that for the next month at her new job she would have a message from one of us. We ate the leftover 94 cookies ourselves.

She left on a Friday and that day after work I took a road trip! Thursday I remembered that Mode Camp was in progress. A friend of mine had asked me to come so I took her up on it. It turned out to be one of the best weekends of my summer. Mode Camp is a quaint little place in Illinois about three hours from my parents home. Campers stay in small cabins that may or may not have a sink with running water or air conditioning. I am not sure about every cabin, but I got the impression that not all of them had these commodities. As far as I know none of them had a private bathroom or showers. Every one used the main bathrooms that turned out to be outhouses. It was a shock, but they were the cleanest bathrooms I have seen at any camp!

We have all heard about camp food. Worry no more. Everything was homemade and served to you at your table by the young people. In the mornings after breakfast, people volunteered to snap the green beans, peel potatoes, and help the cooks in any other way possible. In the afternoons everyone would gather in the shade to chat and just spend time with each other. Topics ranged from school to child rearing and from cooking to ants. Over all, it was the most relaxing weekend of the summer. It seemed like all pressure was off. It was a weekend to "come just as you are." I could go on forever about a wonderful little place in Illinois and the remarkable people I met there, but I will spare you.

"Long Time Ago"

VBS. Enough said. I had no intention of participating in this annual event because by the time I got off work and traveled home it had already started and I was afriad my patience would be to far gone to deal with children. One night, however, I decided to drop by. After sneaking into the sanctuary conviction set deeply in my heart. There was probably 60-70 children and maybe five able adults! An older lady in our church was getting beat up in the second row by a 3 year old, one of the young people had five girls crawling all over her, and my aunt was holding down the boys side rather unsuccessfully. To the best of my knowledge we have always had plenty of help for VBS. I have no clue what happened this year, but they were definitely short staffed. I attended the rest of the week.

VBS was different in many ways. In the past we have had very well behaved, calm children that were easily corraled and organized. This year, not so much. It didn't bother me that they misbehaved, didn't sit still, or loudly announced their dislike for the story. It was the hurt, anger, bitterness, and other emotions that you could see in their eyes that got to me. I know that it all sounds cliche, but it was the first time it has effected me so much. One little girl who was about 4 or 5 sat in my lap most of the time and just wanted to be held. She looked at me one time and called me mommy. I corrected her by saying something to the effect of, "Oh silly, I am not Mommy" and giving her a big hug. She looked up at me with big brown eyes and asked,

"Then who are you?"

"I am Ms. Kim. Do you miss Mommy? Where is Mommy?" I fully expected her to say that she was at home. I just wanted to reassure her that she would see her mother soon and in a more familar place.

"In jail." came the little reply. I sat there stunned and feeling very ridiculous for being so naive. I did the only thing I could think to do, I gave her a big hug and said,"You call me anything you want!"

From this point on I saw the children so differently. As I looked at the little people around me I saw beyond their behavior and saw more of the hurt. Because of my chosen profession I am being trained to see more than the surface, but it never ceases to amaze and shame me how many times God has to remind me that there is more than the exterior.