Thursday, June 30, 2011


I woke up last night to use the restroom.  While up, I decided to check if my kids have a blanket over their bodies.  It is often that I find them curled up in a ball,  ice cold from the cold that settled in after the warm bodies of their parents left to go sleep in their normal bed.  On my way back to my room with my eyes half closed,  I noticed someone going through my husband's belongings in his truck.  I woke up my husband.   It seemed like thousands of thoughts were flying through my head.  It was 2:30am and I was wide awake.  Has he been there a while?  What was he able to take so far?  Did Peter forget to take out his wallet again and if yes did the guy already found it?  Should I call the police or scare him away?  At that moment I decided to flick the light.  The sleazeball saw it and ran to his beat up older what looked like red Accord or similar and with loud acceleration got away.  

"Should I call the police?" I asked my husband.  (Smart thoughts often follow actions)
"Its a little late for that don't you think, " he answered.

He came down the stairs to see the verdict:  a staple gun, a framing gun, two finish guns, sawzall, electric planer and a tool bag, his work folder with important signed contracts, camera, his gym bag, all missing.  I am thankful that his wallet was at home and that the garage opener wasn't stolen.  His other expensive tool was there too; maybe he didn't get to see due to my brave act of flipping the light.

So, there I lay from 2:30 am until the sun rose over Portland at about 5 am wide awake thinking about whether we should have called the police instead and playing the image I saw over and over again in my head, wondering how long it would have taken the police to get up our hill in the middle of the night and whether they would have made it here in time.  I lay there feeling violated, tricked, with my little safe heaven world shattered.  I've had this feeling before when a car we had when we lived in apartments about 8 years got stolen and totally stripped off its panels, seats, everything.  Even though we didn't have theft insurance and had to pay for everything out of pocket , this feeling was numbed with time.   And now, not having a television for nearly 5 years and not watching the daily news of robberies, homicides, rape, kidnapping and such as made us relax a bit and pretend that we live in this safe, little, culde-sac where only neighbours or good people drive through who would never do us any harm.

This was a good reminder for us to get our act together and start checking and double checking our cars, doors, windows and such.  I don't want to be paranoid about it, but I think there was a reason why I happened to wake up at the very same time that the theft was happening.  It would be a responsible thing to do.

When my husband gets home from work tonight, we will file a police report.  I went on last night (ya know, I had to occupy my self with something while I stared at the ceiling) to check crime in our area and confirmed that we do live in a safe area with theft and other violations rarely happening.

So lock your cars.  Lock your cars.  Lock your cars. Lock your cars.  There.  Maybe we'll remember now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dinner Plan for This Week

So, I got a mean little email from Mint reminding me that we, er, went over our food budget a bit this week.  With a b-day, our 10th anniversary, celebrating the end of the school year, Father's day and a cabin getaway, lets just say we got a little off track with our menu plan and our budget in general.  Looking at my semi-decent components in the fridge, I think we can stretch the food we have until Sat.  No, I challenge my self to.  I don't know but this word challenge is sometimes attractive to me and makes me get my act together and raise up to whatever it is that seems difficult at first.

But, I decided that it is more realistic to me to plan for dinners only.   All three of my kids like to have different things for breakfast (I know, its sounds like I spoiled them, but with one kid only eating cereal and another making her own breakfast, I am only left with one to cater to) and we are out and about often during lunch that planning exact thing we eat for lunch has proven not to be realistic.  But dinner, I can do.  So here it goes:

Russian kotleti, pasta,  tomato salad.

Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, corn.

Chicken Fried Rice  (with left over chicken from Tuesday)

Breakfast for dinner: eggs, potato tots, fruit smoothie

Tempura shrimp, cucumber, and philly roll sushi

You might notice, that the menu above is not exactly vegetarian, in fact, its lacking a lot of fresh vegetables.  Part of the reason for that is that my fridge is lacking vegetables, but I am well stocked on fruits, so we'll be making up the vitamins from fruits this week.  I am sure my children won't mind that.   Another reason is that due to certain circumstances, I started eating a little more meat.  I still stay away from it whenever there are other options available, but I eat a little if there aren't.

Whats for dinner at your place and how do you reconcile children who don't share your taste for veggies?

Friday, June 24, 2011


It is almost the end of June and its been a week since the beginning of my temporary work free life aka Summer.   Wow.  I remember going back to work after summer thinking, it's only September.  Summer is sooooo far away.  Apparently not so.  I haven't written much about work this year.  I haven't written much about anything, really.  Maybe because there was too much on my mind this year and it was hard to articulate it all.   I could have written about how hard we prayed for mom's healing.  But then I would have to write about how he didn't heal her and discuss a lot of why questions.  I could have written about the struggle I have  understanding and separating God's will and person's choice and how lifestyle of a human does or does not predestine his or her longevity.  But, that I will leave that for another time.

Back to work.  2010-2011 was a great year.  I had sweet students majority of whom genuinely cared about learning and about improving their English.  There wasn't a day that I dreaded going to work this year.  I looked forward to every lesson and seeing every student.  Wow, I cannot believe I just said this because God knows there were plenty of times in the years past that I did not feel this way.  It seemed like they enjoyed my classes too; we worked hard, but had fun while at it.  There was chemistry.  They got my jokes, I laughed at theirs.  They felt sad for me and expressed their condolences when they learned that my mom in-law passed away.  I accepted their sympathy. 

I taught two Advanced level ELD (English Language Development) courses and one ESL math class.   All classes were considerably small (math had the most at 18 students) which allowed for many one on one interactions.

Working with these students and getting to know them gave me hope.  In an era where everyone is plugged in to everything and teenagers are as rebellious as ever and cyberbullying is at its peak and economy does not promise those graduated jobs, there are still good kids out there. God knows I didn't have this fuzzy feeling about my students nor did I think that many of them offered hope.   It is true that I had bad, even rotten kids before whom I unfortunately were not able to help and they eventually were "weeded" out.  I wrote about these kids on this blog and what a difficult time I had with them.

Though I've lost a lot of kids and felt like I failed them, a lot of them keep stopping by my room and chatting with me.  Many of them asked to be my students aids and I have seen them change from a crazy freshman to a mature, college bound senior.

As I think about the upcoming year and the difficult classes I am supposed get I need to remind my self of the only weapon that works for these kids.  That weapon is all forgiving, all enduring love.  The crazy class of 2008-2009 year was transformed and became teachable (which was a huge progress, trust me) only after weeks of pouring love on to them despite their wild, disrespectful, inappropriate behavior.

So, it is bittersweet for me to say good bye to my good kids this year.  I look forward to summer, but I also loved teaching them.  I never know what next school year will bring, I only know that I will most likely be there for half of it the reason for which I will discuss in my upcoming posts.  It it surely a good reason :)