The two kidlets (2, 4) moan and groan during their dreams. Their parents are out late so the grandkids might as well sleep across the room. I get up a few times to check that they are ok when they shriek out ... before they become fully awake. They pop right back to dreamland. Whereas Grandma ... well, it's not that simple for me. They sleep a solid 10 hours; my night is about 6 1/2. Not bad, actually.
For breakfast, I cut up a banana and a few Trader Joes 5-Grain Almond Bars. Almost health food. I water down their OJ the way they're accustomed.
They tell me stories while I pop forksful into their mouths. Soon they've had their 200+ calories. Plates are empty. Everyone is happy. They find their monkey blanket, truck blanket, and pillows and toddle home - upstairs - after 7am. (It doesn't get better than that, having them nearby when we're here.)
And then there are those experiments that don't quite turn out the way you'd expect.
My hair dyes redder and darker than planned. I tried the same old color number, but am using a new brand ($3.99 at Grocery Outlet - who can resist?) Colouring roughs up my fine hair for a bit of texture.
During my visit to Martha's this week, I liked the layers her daughter Hannah had cut into her hair. Aha, so that's what is missing in the trim I gave myself on Monday? I need an upper layer.
After rinsing out the colour, I pull up the top layer and chop away. It can't be too short: I need as much volume on top as possible. The best thing about cutting your own hair is that it's quick. And you can keep working on it until you like it. I don't miss those long trips to the salon for an unmanageable mystery cut. Let's admit it - whether at the stylist or at home, some cuts are better than others! haha
But the color. Ugh. Good thing hair is a renewable resource. In the Bandung sun, this pinkish tinge too shall fade.
Today is packing day. By evening, my suitcases are weighed and sorted. I'll repack of course. I need to take out some weight to bring a friend's request. However, a gal who commutes to Bandung has promised to bring my overflow later. (Amazing, right? Who commutes from Seattle to Bandung every month or two? What a long way. My flights take 24-31 hours from Seattle to Jakarta ... before the 3-5 hour car ride to Bandung. Mind you, with that many air miles, she's fast asleep in first class, not sitting in coach. On two flights not three. Still. Wow.)
At night, I am restless. The flights, luggage weights, and to-do lists are swirling through my dreams. And I haven't found my Canadian passport, despite combing the shelves and emptying out purses. At least everything is tidy again. "God, you know where that thing is," I pray.
At 1, the family comes for lunch. We squish around our glass table: two of our four kids, their wives, and three grandkids - plus Dad and Mom from Chilliwack. Dad once again drives the 2 1/2 hours+ there and back; Mom reads the Bible on the way. Our nephew Lem snags a ride from the university with Jer and Rebekah. He's almost done with summer coursework. Soon he'll be off to Europe where his dad (my brother) lives.
I cook and combine goodies from the fridge and freezer. Marinated flank steak, romaine lettuce, dried cherries, and pretzel pieces? (Steak salad) Butter chicken mix, chicken breast, frozen vegetables, and pie crusts? (Butter chicken pie) Mom peels the yellow potatoes and we roast them with olive oil and spices. Blueberries, mangos, and fresh apples? (Fruit salad) Brussel sprouts. And more. Mom has brought red cabbage, German style. She baked a cranberry coconut cake. Delicious.
Kinsey masters the art of selfies, taking our family pictures.
"We have an extraordinary family," Dad says as he leaves. It's true. We all get along, even when we disagree. He and Mom created a culture of acceptance, encouragement (occasionally a "push"), and spiritual life that propelled each of us into the world. I still count on my parents and brothers to temper and balance what others tell us and how other people live.
Brandy and I make our Sunday night call, checking in, bouncing ideas, and clarifying direction. I have come to love this young woman - a sister of the heart. She pours out herself with a passion for Jesus, love for people, and an artistic temperament. As usual, I come away with a smile and counsel for the future.
Timothy combs through our famiy documents after I have a quick look. Nothing. Timo finds the passport I'd put away - in an envelope with other things. It's right there. "Here you go, Mom."
After replying to emails, I drive to the Social Security office to update my status.
"Excuse me, I need to check your bag, ma'am." A young man in a uniform takes a quick look inside my tote. "That way for a number. Then wait until you are called to a window."
I'm barely into a Dick Francis novel when my number comes up. "Looks like you have all your documents ready."
"May I read? I don't think I'll finish this book otherwise."
The lady smiles and says, "Read if you must. This is an interview. You will be recorded." I smile back and read until she asks a question or two.
I'm done in 5 minutes and back out the door. That wasn't so bad. I've put this off because friends said they've waited for hours. I'm in and out in 20 minutes.
"Good day," says the polite security guard. Standing behind the office table, he looks bored but available for action.
I gas up the car and drop off library books, the Dick Francis unfinished. Oh well. One more quick stop - Grocery Outlet for the smoked salmon that our Indonesian friends love plus a few snacks for the flights ahead. I'll have to leave some of the salmon behind: I'm at luggage capacity.
Then it's time to put the documents away and repack. My lunch is a weird mix of battered fish, fake chicken, cold Brussel sprouts from yesterday, and a mango popsicle. Tastes good though! (Guess "you have to be there" to enjoy it.)
*Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. Genesis 26:24
*Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
"--so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55: 6-11
*When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. Acts 4:13
Moravian Prayer: Lord our God, thank you for providing us with all that we need, for the many gifts that you have entrusted to us, and for your protection and presence throughout our lives. Guide our futures so that we may faithfully serve you. Amen.