Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Am Shameless

Today, during my encounter with a distant relative, it occurred to me that I got absolutely no shame! Out of all places, I did not expect to see this person at...a second hand store. When I saw her shopping the same deals I was, I did not even blush or appeared preoccupied. Yes, I used to blush and appear preoccupied when I first discovered the place and would get discovered by other people. You see, in Russian culture, shopping at at thrift store is considered something a newcomer to this country or someone who relies on welfare for income does. Most Russians don't consider shopping at thrift store a choice, but rather a necessity. Thrift store shoppers are considered the needy. I have overcome this stereotype a while ago and am now completely comfortable there.

So, when we met, we exchanged our love for this store and bragged about some super deals we've been getting here. She blurted out many brand names she used to get for full price at Nordstrom which she now gets here for 10 percent of the price. In fact, she showed me the cutest girl gladiator Steve Madden summer shoes she had in her cart. I was bummed I did not see them first! She confined to me that she has been getting a lot of her kids clothing there. Her kids always look great. I do not know why I acted surprised! Maybe because I know that they go on many vacations a year and do not have a lot of debt so I sort of assumed that they shopped retail. I do not know why I would think so as many people who are well off choose to spend less on clothing and save the rest for things that matter more.

I heart my local second hand store as well. Value Village, to be exact. Their $.99 deals ROCK! I have gotten a lot of compliments wearing stuff I bought for less than a dollar. I don't buy adult shoes there though. It is just not worth the risk to me. But, I will consider buying just about anything else there, no shame attached!

Friday, January 22, 2010


The past few days I find myself waiting, waiting and waiting. I've been checking my email more often than usually. I anticipate getting the mail in hopes to receive that which I am waiting for. My patience is slowly growing thin, I can hardly wait to receive the following:

1) The answer to my grant application from an organization. This grant has a juicy sum attached to it. I'll let you know if/when I get it.
2) An email from a lady who is supposed to tell us if/when we are getting our temporary 4th child. No, we are not adapting or taking in a foster kid.
3) Checks from my husband's clients who haven't paid him yet. We REALLY need those checks right about a month ago.
4) A reply from our mortgage company regarding the modification of our loan. I do not have high hopes that this will happen. I only pray to God that it does.
5) I applied for another government grant through the Department of State to do a 2 week teacher exchange program in a different country. Nationalistically, I chose Russia as my first preference. I do not think I will get it. The application called for experienced presenters. I.Am.Not. A presenter. I write much better than I speak. And I do not write well. This is a challenge I wanted to take on.

It is not surprising that the things listed above have some kind of financial benefit attached to it. All of it also required an incredible amount of paperwork that have consumed a lot of my time and energy. I would be disappointed, to say softly, if filling all of it out turns out to be wasteful. The answer for all items but #3 will be either yes or no. There are days when I am ready to receive AN answer just to get over the anticipation.

I live in a "I want it now!" society where delayed gratification is rarely taught and admired. A kid in me, wants to scream "Give it to me now!" The adult in me with head hung low in humility, arm stretched out with open palm is forced to say "PLEAAAAAAASE have mercy!"

****While searching for a picture to put up for this post, I found this cartoon and just had to share it with you. Though a bit off topic, this is too funny not to share.

Thank God I don't have to deal with these kinds of waits!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Bad News For Mommy

I received some sad news on my way home from college. I no longer have my beautiful wedding ring and band to put on my finger. Here is the story. Jane is me.

Jane decides to clean her rings.
Jane puts the rings in the cup with soapy water in the kitchen.
Jane forgets about the rings.
In the morning, husband sees a cup with dirty water and dumps it in the sink.
In the evening, while Jane is in school, mom cooks dinner and washes dishes. Yes, she turns on the disposal.
Mom pulls out my rings. All banged up. No diamond.
Jane comes home and is handed an envelope by daughter labeled" A bad news for mommy" with the things in side.

What can I say. At least it was a group effort. Initiated by my stupidity.

Jane (holding pieces of precious metals): Well, now you know what to get me for Valentine's Day.
Husband: Yes, another disposable ring.
Jane: Right. I sure deserve it.

On the other hand, if I ever get to crash the Novyi Russkiy (New Russians) or United Arab Emirates party, I will be completely honest, when while contributing to the conversation, I will add that I too, have thrown diamonds down the drain.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Here We Go Again

Its over. My short lived wonderful time away from school, work, weekend homework time, coordination of care for my kids while I am busy studying, is OVER.

It has been so nice having a whole month off from school. For a whole month, the stress cloud that hangs over me while I am multitasking was not existant. The sun shone through and made me think about how nice it would be when I am all done with my master's degree. I am officially 1/3 done with it. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but by this time next year, I will be almost done with the whole thing. And when I am....I would like to for a while, for a loooooooong while, not set my foot on college campus to take classes. I love studying, if its the ONLY thing I get to do. I do hope to come back to a community college though. This time as an instructor of English as a Second Language to adults. It will probably be wierd at first. What do you do for 3 hours if you don't have disapline issues to deal with? I am beginning my practicum this term. I will probably post my reflections here when I do. So.....Let me summarize our current craze, shall I?
  • I signed up for 2 courses and my husband is signed up for 2 classes.
  • I am back at work, part-time.
  • My husband has been asked to lead our church choir(though we are not sure if this is going to be permanant. I pray that it isn't, but don't tell him that).
  • We are about to become parents of 4 (No, I am not pregant and we are not adopting. I will write more on that when/if it happens).
  • Our mortgage went up a bit, which only means that my husband has to work even more.
  • Spring has been traditionally the season of colds and flus over at my place.
Do you know whats the most frustrating part of this whole thing? It is that we have NO one but ourselves to blame for it all. WE create these responsibilities and WE are the ones left with ten gallon heads at the end of the day.

It is fair to say that we are not living in the present, but rather the future. Which is kind of sad, really. We are working towards a better, brighter future. But what if things don't go as planned? What if future never comes?

I sure hope it does.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Best of 2009

Over the last few months, I have probably written more blog posts in my head than the total number of posts for the year. 2009 was filled with many happy moments. There were several very fun days spent outside of home. I did not write about our fun sand dunes trip, or our short beach vacation. I did not write about our wonderful trip to Lost lake where I caught a fish by dragging the line from the water with bare hands. I've also wanted to write about the Mt. Hood cabin stays generously given to us by my husband's client. I really wanted to write about our Hoodriver Mt. Hood railroad trip and give fellow parents of small children the advice of NOT taking their kids on this trip. This and more I wanted to write about, but for some reason or another did not get to.

It took me FOREVER to put this together because the Windows Media player would not cooperate with me! If you ever had problems (and later solved them) with downloading music to your albums, PLEASE let me know. The music here is all I had that would download. Sorry if you find it annoying. I also made an editing mistake when I made this too :)

Any comments made about how beautiful my family is are appreciated! But really, I would be honored if you take a look at this.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Sometimes, especially around the holiday time, I want to be my husband. Because then I could

1)not be there when my wife is frantically cleaning the house and preparing to host family for a few nights
2) leave his wife and his friend's wife at home to prepare gormet meals for the evening celebration, and to take care of 5 children ages 6 and younger and solve baby drama
3) attend a calm and festive evening church services while my wife is at home putting the house back in order and setting it up for the party
4) come home to a clean house with a ton of food ready, entertain guests, relax, and go to banya while his wife is serving guests, cleaning up, and putting the kids to bed.
5) Stay up until 5am and then sleep in until noon the next day.

Sometimes, I want to be my husband. But then, I would have to work 12+ hour days and deal with a cranky, naggy wife. And that would not be very pleasant.

Happy New Year, y'all.