Archive for March, 2009

Tonight was the hostess supper at Thomas’ school. I was a hostess again this year. I have had some interesting experiences being a hostess.

In my kids’ school, each set of parents get two fund-raising jobs. This year, my jobs were 1) the soup supper and 2) the hostess supper. Some of you may remember how my soup supper job went this year. If not, you can read about it here:  http://the-heits.com/blog/?p=432

I did no better on my hostess duties. A hostess job isn’t difficult. The Head Hostesses divy up the names and phone numbers of folks they think might be willing to come to a fund raiser. The hostess calls each person on the list and tries to coerce them into coming to the event. The hostess has to divy up the food among the attendees at their table so that there is a full meal at each table. It is always interesting to call someone and say, "Would you like to be my guest at the hostess supper and will you cook a potato dish for 12?"

Anyway, I have been a hostess for the past three years. Here’s the short form of my scorecard:

Year 1) I didn’t quite fill my table. Rather than a table for 12, I had a table for 9. I My husband was gone to Florida and I was home alone with the girls. We had been home from ET for just three months. I had called a set of parents who don’t speak English as their first language. The mom accepted my invitation, but I wasn’t sure what she was bringing. She told me, but my Spanish is entirely inadequate and there comes a limit to how many times one can politely ask for a repeat. So, I didn’t know just what I needed to prepare. The meal is usually divided like this:

  • 2 couples bring meat for 6
  • 1 couple brings potatos for 12
  • 1 couple brings salad for 12
  • 1 couple brings dessert for 12
  • 1 couple brings a vegetable and bread for 12

Since I only had 4 couples and me at my table, and I didn’t know what one of the couples was bringing, I ended up making dessert, meat and vegetables. I cooked a seasoned pork roast. As I was packing to leave the house, the glass pan exploded in the oven. Since I didn’t have another option, I picked out the shards, put the roast in a different pan and prayed nobody would eat glass. When I finally got to the hostess supper I found out that I had agreed to pick up the couple with the unknown contribution. I guess I am just so agreeable, I am happy to say "yes" to anything said in a language I don’t understand!

I drove to their home, picked up both them and the feast they had prepared and headed back to the supper very late. This couple had made homemade tortillas, several different seasoned meats and all of the fixings. I definitely could have left my pork roast at home, but since we were late, it was already half gone. 

Year 2) Last year, I was on a business trip to Washington. I did fill my table, but I wasn’t there to cook. Steve was holding down the fort at home. He was forced to act as hostess. He picked up his mother, together they picked up chicken and did their best to put it all together.

Year 3) This year, I called the first 10 people on my list and they all said "no"! I don’t know if they heard about my bad hostessing over the past two years, or if it just was bad luck that they were all busy. I couldn’t bring myself to call the remaining two names on my list. Eventually, the "Head Hostesses" demoted me to a guest and told me to bring a vegetable and rolls for 12 and sit at someone else’s table.

We showed up tonight and had a great time.

Since I did such a stellar job with my two responsibilities this year, I wonder what the future will hold!

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Poor Shega. We took the kids to see "Monsters vs. Aliens" on Saturday night. During the movie she began to complain that her ear hurt. After the movie, I gave her a little Tylenol and put her to bed. She woke up in severe pain in the middle of the night and crawled into bed with us.

I took her to urgent care in the morning with a ruptured ear drum and a full-blown ear infection. We’re giving her the first doses of anti-biotics she has had since she’s been in America. She has an amazing immune system.

I did laugh a little bit about her reaction yesterday. She said, "Can you please e-mail my teacher and tell her that I have an ear infection?" She continued with, "When I get to school, I’m going to go right to her and ask: Did you get my  mom’s e-mail?"  Then she looked at me and said, "So don’t forget to e-mail her."

She continued thinking about it and said, "I’ll bet she will say, "Oh, you poor kid! I bet that hurt!"

She then proceeded to mention all of the other kids she was going to tell at school. I think it made her feel very well-loved to be sick. I hope this doesn’t start a pattern!

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We missed a call from Joe and Kendra this weekend.  They did update their blog. http://jkheits.blogspot.com/

We won’t hear from them this weekend because they’ll be visiting the site of their two year placement. Next weekend will be Easter and everything is closed for the holiday. I am so sorry we missed talking to them, but I am excited they will soon see where they’ll be living and working for the next two years.

It should really be spring next time I talk to them. Here’s hoping for warmer weather in Iowa, and cooler weather in Paraguay!

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It’s another daycare post!

Megan is out of daycare for awhile. We need some time to think about a plan for long term.

I am soooo lucky to have a former student who has just returned home from teaching in England doing daycare in my home. I can’t believe that she happened by just at the right time.

She’s looking for another overseas teaching position. She’s going back to Norway in May, so didn’t have many plans before that time.

Do any of you know of a teaching position overseas?

(After May please!)

 

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When I was 26, my  little boy was already five. Now he is 26! Wow! How did that happen?!? It seems like only a few days ago that I was 26 and he was five.

At that time, we lived in town for a couple of years. Paul loved to cruise the neighborhood on his tiny little bike with his best friend, Justin. They were two little boys with a big sense of adventure.

Justin’s mom and I would give the little boys a couple of dollars and send them to the store to buy flower seeds. On one side of the block, they planted a little flower garden in a patch of dirt on the corner. They rode their bikes back and forth for supplies, water and tools.

It amazes me now that we allowed those two four and five year old boys to go to the store unaccompanied and spend much time digging in the dirt outside our view. Amazing!

They’ve both grown up a bit since then. Paul still spends a fair amount of time digging in the dirt planting and tending plants in his job as a landscaper. Now, he has a few other hobbies as you might imagine.

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Spring is almost here! In honor of spring, we had a ittle cousin fun at a nearby waterpark. The kiddos slept well that night.

 

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We love hearing from Joe and Kendra. Last week, Joe Skyped us. He said that one of the things that tends to annoy him a bit are the many people that stop him and stare at his eyes. Apparently, folks in Paraguay are amazed by his and Kendra’s beautiful blue peepers.

I can’t tell you how many times people have stopped me to tell me how beautiful Shega and Megan’s eyes are.

I guess it’s all in the perspective!

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I didn’t bring Megan to daycare yesterday. I decided we needed a daycare break. She has been coughing a bit too. It doesn’t sound too serious but it was a good excuse to keep her home.

Just a note about yesterday and daycare…I wasn’t upset about the care Megan receives. She likes her caregivers and always has fun daycare stories. I’m upset about their business practices. When you don’t need to attract customers because there is always a ready list, you don’t need to worry about customer relations. I was glad the director didn’t have to see me yesterday. For conflict avoiders, it is nice to put some distance between the conflict and moving forward.

I did have to go to work for awhile yesterday so Megan went to Grandma’s house. I’m sure she was well-loved and spoiled there.

Last night, I took the girls to town to play in the park. There were a couple of other kids there. I know them from the after school program. They told me NOT to put my foot or let the girls put their foot in any of the holes in the ditch. They told me there were several muskrats that bite your foot, pull you down and eat your adam’s apple. They said that if their ball goes in that ditch, they just have to leave it there.

I think some big kid has a ball stealing racket going on there!

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It was somewhat good to be back to normal today. I realize, of course, that Heits normal might not really be that normal!

Shega, Thomas and Emma went to school. I brought Megan to daycare late and then went to work for awhile. I unfortunately had another daycare battle.  I didn’t want to put "another daycare rant" in the title of this blog again, but GOOD GRIEF, I am so sick of daycare!

I was not nice to the poor director today. I like the director, I just wasn’t be very nice to him today. I wish I could say, "Things must change OR we will find another daycare" BUT the daycare has a long waiting list and so do all of the other potential places for Miss M. A different option is just not feasible.

Back when I had two little ones in daycare, Donna just integrated the two boys into her family. They played with her kids and even called her parents "Grandpa and Grandma."  It was a great place for those two. If we would have had this kind of daycare back then, they would have been our only kids and the world would never have known the rest of the Heits gang.

On to other news….

After daycare, I took the three youngest to the pool for awhile.  I can’t believe we still have winter. (Maybe the winter weather contributed to my unkind daycare conversation.) The pool is a good option for a little "outdoorish" activity. In addition, an after school swim meant dinner preparations were out …..so we picked up $5 footlongs and ate them at home. I guess the trip wasn’t all about the exercise!

Later Steve and I went to a Katelyn’s Fund adoption support meeting. The meeting was all about attachment. It was a great meeting. The information was great and the fellowship was great too. It is so much fun to hang around with other people who "get" adoption. You can read more about  attachment here: http://katelynsfund.org/blog/

If you keep watching the Katelyn’s Fund blog, there will be a follow up post about tonight’s meeting as well.

If you are in the area, we would love to have you join the group at Katelyn’s Fund! Just peek around the website for more information.

PS….If you love your daycare provider, give those folks a big hug and a RAISE! Good daycare is an AMAZING blessing.

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I came home from a short business trip tonight. Megan was very happy to see me. In fact, she sat on my lap for the majority of the time between my arrival and her going to bed.

Awwwww! Somebody definitely missed me!

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We had great company for Ethiopian food on Saturday night. The dorowat and injera were delicious but the company was even better. A family from our church knows an Ethiopian college student. This family picked up Yeabsira and her two room mates and brought them out to our house. We also invited a family who is leaving for ET soon to pick up three of their kiddos to add to the four they already have. Head over to their blog. They leave in a few weeks.

It was a bit intimidating cooking Ethiopian food for an Ethiopian. She was very gracious and I’m sure she wouldn’t have said so if she didn’t like it. However it was fun to get a thumbs-up from her. Her friends and our other guests seemed ok with the food too.

Steve had picked up 20 lbs of chicken and it made a LOT of dorowat.  Megan calls it doro-lot which was really appropriate this time. We made another batch for the next day and still had left overs. I called home from a business trip on Monday night and Thomas said, "Shega hogged all of the left-over injera!" This from my non-Ethiopian kid who had eaten injera for the past two days straight. Needless to say, the food was a hit with the whole family.

We had a great time thinking and talking about Ethiopia together. Megan loved Yeabsira and sat on her lap for a long time. We hope to see her again soon.

We get our ET recipes from Tressa’s blog. Here’s a link to her ET recipe collection.

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Don’t you love those new lyrics to the national anthem sung by Megan in the previous post?!?

I’m not sure what Miss Megan is saying early in the piece, but she finishes with these touching lyrics:

She’s the last.. last… last girl

and the grand finale, sung several times for effect:

Put the girl in TIME OUT!

Man that baby can sing!

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Yay! I have spring break!

My students have a week off. I have no classes for a week, which will allow me to catch up on some other kinds of work.

I am keeping Megan in daycare. I don’t have any "free days" left, so I decided to bring her to daycare for part of every day.

For those of you not up on daycare lingo, "free days" means that I don’t bring Megan and I don’t pay for the time she isn’t there.

I used all of my free days at Christmas. Now I have to pay whether she’s there or not. There are quite a few college kids that work at the daycare. The staff wanted to play to see how many of those kids could take time off during spring break week. They e-mailed me about three weeks ago asking if I would be keeping Megan home for the week. I replied that I would if I could have some more free days. Apparently, that’s not how it works. Soooo if I had told them she wouldn’t be coming, and then I had wanted to bring her there for part of a day during the week, I would be charged a $3.50 per hour drop in fee.

Isn’t that strange?!?! I would have already paid for the week when she wasn’t there. And then, if I decided I did need daycare after all, I would have to pay again.

Weird! I decided to keep her enrolled for the week. That way, I can keep her home or send her to school as the day plays out.

Flexibility is good.

Daycare rules make me behave in strange ways sometimes!

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Hey! I had a comment on my blog!

Apparently, for some reason, my blog wasn’t accepting comments. I just figured no one had anything to say (or that no one was actually there!)

Now, I know, there was some errant button pushed.

Comments are now allowed…or encouraged…or…whatever…

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