Sunday, October 15, 2017

Howdy Folks from Big Tex....

Here's me and Fireman Dave and our annual selfie with Big Tex.  We also took one in front of the fountain and the Ferris wheel but my eye looked like it was doing something weird so you can't see that one.

And if you've never been to a real barn raising.... you can mark that off your list right now.  Sort of.  Because HERE is a picture of what's happening in our backyard.

This is the out building that Fireman Dave has been working on tirelessly for the boys.  The big plan is to move the old couch, the video games, ... the general loudness out there and re-claim my den for family TV viewing.  When you can't quite make a whole house remodel happen, just do a backyard alternative instead.  That's kind of the Fire-family's budget minded motto.  But it's really not my deal at all, and I'm just watching it happen.  Do I think it the most logical plan?  I'm remaining silent on that.  

In other goings on,   

First, let me say that the Walters family has had a bit of drama of late, more of the don't share on the internet type, but what I've taken away from it is that no matter what is going on with our kids, no matter where, a mom will drop what she is doing, watching, reading or even eating, to take care of that kid.  And yes, Kids 1, 2 and 3, I always will.  God willing.  The love I have for my kids when their hearts are breaking, breaks my own.  But it is in those times that I know my full purpose on this earth has always been for me to be these boys' mom.

But THE absolute joy of my week has been my friend Loyce in Uganda.  And when joy is so big, it has to be shared.  Y'all, I needed a little laugh and smile this week, and without even knowing it Loyce came to my rescue. I bought her a little gift way back in July when Fireman Dave and I went to Fredericksburg, but I waited to send it till I had some other things to send with it.  What I have learned about the international postal system is that it is not cheap, so no you cannot send yourself wrapped as a gift to anyone outside of the United States.  It is also hit or miss on when or whether your mail will actually arrive at its destination.  I mailed a package to Loyce in early August, containing her gift and two letters that I had written over the summer.  When the package didn't arrive by the last week of September, I sent her a separate letter to let her know that I still think she's awesome.  THIS week, the September letter arrived on Tuesday and the August package finally arrived on Wednesday and Loyce got to be surprised at school by our mutual friend and all around amazing person, Vornita, not once but twice.  Here are a few of those pictures.

But Y'all, it gets so much better.  I had already asked Vornita to make sure Loyce had her needs met and even beyond that, I asked for her to get a few special things for her as well.  School tuition and supplies are fun and all, but nothing compared to snacks, new dresses and new shoes.  And today this is what I got pictures of....

Surprise Loyce!! 

I tried to share a video link from Facebook with you.  Gosh I tried, but gosh, I also finally gave up.  It's a video of her getting her new dresses and shoes and she is as silent and expressionless as a statue.  But her classmates and their reactions?  Y'all.  Just Y'all. 

What I've learned about Loyce is that she is a bit on the shy side, a bit camera shy and a tad reserved.  But give a girl a new dress and she becomes a princess.  Then she becomes a superstar - how about a superstar princess?  And that smile?  No I mean, really - THAT SMILE!  How can I love this little girl so much from so far away?  I think it's a God thing.

But as I watched the video of her receiving her new things, my heart felt so much appreciation for what I have and have always had.  She was pretty silent as she opened the package - honestly I'm not sure she has ever had a brand new dress before - but listening to her classmates ooh and aah over a dress made my heart confused about whether it should break or throw a party.  Seeing how excited a child gets over  things that my own boys take for granted  makes me feel so many different things - so much so that sometimes I have to look away.  Maybe that's the biggest problem - that we have the option of looking away.

Right now I'm in a place where I don't want to look away.  I want to see her house and her family and her busy at work making brooms.  I want to see her in her school uniform  and her report card to see her grow both physically and in opportunity to better herself.  I want to keep giving to this little girl so that she can feel a hint of a question in her heart asking why a stranger all the way across the world wants to send her things.  I hope one day she knows that it was because I want her to be reminded that she is of value to me and to the God who made her.   

I think my sweet little pen pal came along at a time when I needed to give out some extra love, and I couldn't think of a cuter little girl to give it to.  God fills in the gaps in our hearts,... I've always thought so - and because of exactly that, I'm thankful for her. 

I've been quite frustrated in the mothering department lately.  Save for a few moments of surprise need by my kids, I've felt like whatever I do or say doesn't really matter all that much anymore.  And I'm not talking about the million times I tell the boys to take out the trash.  I'm talking about the importance of faith and family and looking beyond today to what each of us can do to influence a better tomorrow  - whether that be for ourselves, for each other, or for something greater than ourselves.  But the most pressing topics around here only seem to be - Do we have any chips?  Where are all the towels?  It's been two minutes since I texted Princess C and I might die soon... see how my hand is already twitching from withdrawal?  

Y'all, I know all about how families are destined to grow upward and outward, but my hope was always that when that happened, that the roots of us would stay strong.  Today I'm feeling a little sad about my roots.  So I am extending this to you, ... my thoughts, hopes and prayers for you if you are in a similar place.  And my admiration and respect if you were at one time, and made it through.  I tend to lean to toward to the lonely side of things - it's a Kristi specialty, and being a fire wife where I spend a whole lotta time alone sometimes makes those thoughts echo in my own mind.  

But when I get like this, I write to my blog.  I write to Loyce.  I plan my next adventure.  I'm getting excited about what that might be. 

post script - Did I tell you that Loyce speaks 3 different languages?  And that English is her weakest?  It is.  So we have that communication gap, along with the time gap to learn about each other.  But my commitment is to regularly remind her that she is in my thoughts and that those thoughts are of love for a sweet little girl far away.  If you ever want to join me in writing to her, her family, or would like to help another child, please ask me how.  

Would you like to comment?

  1. Kristi you rock, you are all together lovely, you are a shining star, a jewel from Heaven, my admiration. I praise God for getting to know you and connecting you with Loyce in Uganda,Africa.
    When you described Loyce on the video, lol and I'm laughing again. I'm on the bus headed to Kenya at this moment. I love this entire blog!! It's almost like you can see through Loyce all these many miles away. I wish you could have seen her and her ace Justine after I arrived home from the island Sunday.

    1. Vornita, you are my eyes and ears on our little friend, and for that I am thankful. Enjoy some YOU time - as all us moms need but so rarely get. I hope you unplug, re-charge and come back ready to immeasurably bless these littles again soon. (And tell Loyce that she and Justine should get dressed up in those new dresses and take a best friend picture together. Send it to me and I can print it and send it to her as a surprise.)


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