Monday, January 28, 2008

Close Encounters with "R.U.S."

Okay, I know I blogged last night and it is very unusual for me to do this again so soon, but have I got a story for you all.

First of all let me give you the parameters of our home ... small ... very small. Samuel's room is the size of a small walk-in closet (remember that info) and is right next to our room. There isn't a whole lot of room in the rest of the house either. (not that I'm complaining, but it is important for the story)

Last night I finished my blogging around midnight and went to bed. Andreas had already been asleep for a little while. At 12:45 I hear Samuel come out of his room to tell us he had to go to the bathroom. Like a good mommy I got up to make sure that he made it to the toilet. Like a tired mommy I then directed him back to his room and up into bed (he has a loft bed, or as he puts it he, "sleeps in the sky"). I turned on his music, told him he had to sleep and closed his door. I didn't hear any crying so all was well. I went back to bed.

Around 15 minutes later I hear his little voice cry, "Mommy, MOmmy, MOMmy, MOMMY!!!" This was followed by a small squeal. By the time of the squeal I had just opened his door in time to see something on his bed hopping away from him. I squeal (Andreas is right behind me by this time) and rip the tent off that covers most of his bed, thus allowing me to get to him. It is obvious by his grip and his frightened little voice that he had seen something also.

Then came the questions. Samuel explains in his little, very excited voice that something was on his leg and in his bed. He told us it was a frog and it hopped, which corresponded to the black little figure I had seen. So we put Samuel in our bed and go into his room (remember the info from above about his room). We are only armed with a flashlight and questions of how a frog could have gotten in Samuel's room at all. Andreas looks through the bedding, and the stuffed animals and finds nothing. So he then gets down on his knees and looks unders Samuels bookshelf. He comes up very quickly with dread in his voice (insert scarry music in the background), "it's not a frog... it's a mouse!" (insert music of dread). That brings us to the name of this post "R.U.S." (Rodents of Unusual Size) For anyone who has seen "The Princess Bride" you will understand. For those who haven't... rent it, it's funny.

Yes, you read that correctly, a mouse was ON Samuel IN his bed. That is even worse than having the roaches in our bed in Jackson, Mississippi. So now armed with a plastic bucket, a poker (which was the handle of a swiffer) and a towel, Andreas and I are trying to outsmart a mouse at 1:15 in the morning. Samuel is giving us a running commetary from our bedroom. He still thinks it was a frog that wanted to sleep with him and is in no uncertain terms telling us to be careful with the frog. He is also starting to tell us that there is a "frog" in the kitchen, but he keeps changing his story so we are unsure of what exactly he is talking about. I am sure if we were not filled with the dreadful thought that a mouse was on our son, the whole scene would have been quite funny (Darcy, I need you to tell this story).

So the plan is to trap the mouse and get it outside (the thought of squishing it was too gross for that moment). Needless to say we were outsmarted at every turn and there are a lot of things to hide under in Samuels room. There was one point when the mouse ran directly at me and I paniced, screamed, and did everything I could to get my barefeet on top of some furniture - injuring myself along the way. If you get the chance to speak with Samuel he will gladly re-enact my scream for you.

After my scream Samuel started to become alarmed, so I went into my room to comfort him and let him know why I screamed. I calmed him, turned on a nightlight, and closed my door. I was knocking on Samuel's door to see if Andreas needed me to come in and help, when I saw the second "frog". So now to recap... we have one mouse in Samuel's room and another in the kitchen/family room area.

Andreas is getting frustrated because he can't find the mouse in Samuel's room and comes out to help me catch the mouse in the family room. (we closed Samuel's door as to not let two mice into the family room). The mouse in the family room is not nearly as bright or as fast as his brother, but we are getting more savy and after a few laps around the family room Andreas accidently squishes him in-between some trim work we have yet to fix. I am sure this was a funny site also. I am on top of the sofa with a broom, Andreas has put his big rubber boots on and is holding the trim piece with his foot and screaming for me not to look! Andreas is getting a little queezy as the mouse riggles a squeeks his last. It is now 2:00 in the morning. One down... one to go!

Andreas re-enters Samuel's room and I go to Samuel to let him know that everything is okay (at least I hadn't screamed in a while). Samuel is still giving his running commentary, but by now he knows it is a mouse.

I knock on Samuel's door only to hear, "Oh gross!" from Andreas. I then had to find something to clean up two dead mice in (apparently the swiffer handle made a really good poker). I am thankful that Andreas did the nasty deed of death and clean up. All I had to do was put one little mat outside. This mat was handed to me with the comment, "we probably need to throw this one out." Blahhhhhh!

Andreas explained to Samuel that we were going to put the mice outside so they could go home to find their parents. We didn't feel the need to tell him that they were dead. Samuel then went on to recap the night for us (including my scream) and then comment on the apparrel or lack-there-of that we chose to catch mice in. If you ever need fashion advice for your rodent encounters please let Samuel know, apparently our pj's were not good enough.

It was 2:30 in the morning, I bandanged my wound, we were tired, and Samuel was NOT going to be put back in his bed (he was still a little scared). So we all tried sleeping in our bed. Of course sleeping with Samuel is like sleeping with a Rhino, and he wasn't tired at all. Eventually we all fell asleep. Poor Andreas had to get up and go to work this morning and I am home with Samuel, who continually is replaying what happened last night. At least in the morning light I am able to laugh at the whole thing.

We will be replacing all trim pieces today and making sure that there are no little holes for R.U.S's to come into the house through. In the Godfather movies they had the term "sleeping with the fishes", we will now coin the term, "sleeping with the mice". For all of your rodent extermination needs you can now contact us at 1-800-SCREAM. Hope you got a laugh out the story.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Getting Lighter and Longer

Hello friends and family. I am sorry for the long delay in another post. Lots of things have been happening. We have been painting, working, saying goodbye to friends, say hello to a New Year, and generally busy. This is the really hard time of winter because of the darkness. However, I was told that we get a more and more light everyday, so I search for it. Now most days I simply can't tell (because the sun is nowhere to be seen). Today however the Lord gave us sun (thank you Lord!). The sun actually didn't set until almost 4:30!!!!!!!! I know you all are thinking that the darkness has made me a little crazy, but 4:30 is amazing. I always laughed at the way Swedes acted when the sun came out, but I can totally understand it. After days of rain and grey (no one does grey like Sweden) it is almost as if life has come back when the sun appears. People actually smile and have a spring in their step. I have even noticed how Samuel's behavior has changed during the sunny days to the grey days. Come experience it with me and you will not think I am so crazy.

Today was our churches planning day. Andreas spent a lot of time in prayer and work getting his thoughts and visions for the future together for this day. It went very well. He felt like the church enjoyed the day as well as supported what was for the future. We have some that want to dive into more, which is incredible. We also brought new members into the church. Our friends John and Anneli have now become official members of the church. Very exciting, please take a moment to Praise God with me. (Thank you Lord). We are excited for what the future brings.

This next week and the month to come is packed. I finally get to see a doctor on Monday. Being in the world of socialized medicine is not all that it is cracked up to be. Sure it's free - if you can actually get in to see a doctor! However, I am thankful for my appointment tomorrow and will go gladly to it. Samuel has a doctor's appointment on Thursday for his hearing aides. I am not sure what will happen, but it is good that we are starting to get things done. I can't wait to watch his face as he hears new things. He is already so full of wonder. Please pray that he takes well to the hearing aides and that they help him. Andreas will leave for Stockholm in a week for pastor's conferences. Andreas's dad will head for India for two weeks (I am very sad that I am not going with him). However, Samuel will now have surgery on his hernia and undecended testicle on February 11. I am not doing so well with that one. He will be put under anethesia and then cut. I know it will probably be worse for me than him and it has to be done, but I don't like it. Please pray with us through this time. The instructions say for him to stay in bed the whole next day - that will be an interesting day also :).

No new news on our second adoption. We have decided officially on Thailand. We are waiting to see if we get exempted from the classes since we already have an adopted son.

Samuel has really started to pray understandably. It is very sweet and he really thinks of everyone he knows or knew in the past to pray for. He especially likes to pray for a family of friends that we have in Mississippi. So Kim, Kirket, Taylor, Alex and Sarah - Samuel is praying for you all the time. I think he misses playing with you. Among the others that he regularly prays for are Darcy, Andy, Abby and Ellie, Nonna, Popo, Aunt Judy and Uncle Marty, Uncle Enzo, Lucalas (Lucas Bowen), Farfar and Farmor, Johan, Emma and Baby Viktor (Baby is in his offical name now) as well as assorted toys and happenings of the day. I think that the Lord must love it when he prays.

Samuel has also grown so much. The pictures below are a sign of that. The robe that he has on was given to him by a wonder woman named Kirsten here in Sweden. She is a dear friend of Andreas's mother. Kirsten bought this robe for him in June of 2006. It went all the way down to his feet. These pictures were taken in December of 2007 and the robe now comes just below his knees. It is amazing to see how much he has grown. He is also loosing, or lost his baby look. He definitely looks like a little boy and not a toddler anymore. Part of me is really sad to see this and part of me thinks it is so exciting. What a blessing he has been for these past two years. I fall more and more in love with him everyday (even the days he frustrates me). The Lord has blessed us so greatly with him. I pray that we can be united with the other children that the Lord has for our family soon.

I would love to hear from all of you, have been a bit homesick lately.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Some of My thoughts

I am sorry to say there will be no pictures today. My virtual memory is low and it is being worked on (whatever that means). So I will post again soon with some pictures. Unfortunately my camera will be sent back to the States for a while because it is erasing all of my pictures. No, it is not the card itself, it works fine in Andreas's camera. So the pictures may be slim for a little while, but I will try my best.

Well, as expected Sweden is dark! As a matter of fact the newspapers averaged all the sun that we received in December and it only turned out to be about 39 seconds a day. How sad is that? It is affecting everyone, including Samuel. He seems to always be tired, however, this does not stop him for going crazy and being hyper. I see him sucking his thumb a lot and playing with his hair (tell-tale signs that he is tired). I think even the Swedes are having a hard time with the darkness. We are all beginning to wonder if the sun still exists! Samuel and I have made a sun out of paint and stuck it to our window so that we have a sun. The funniest thing was when Samuel asked me, "mommy where is the sun, it is all gone now". When a three year old points that out we know it's bad.

Andreas's brother and sister-in-law have a beautiful boy named Viktor. He is truly a gorgeous baby. Johan is such the proud father! Samuel wants to play with him so badly and is obsessed with his diaper. Samuel is clearly making the distiction that babies have diapers and Samuel is a big boy so he doesn't have a diaper. The funniest thing is that he keeps telling me that Far Far (Andreas's dad) has a diaper! Just to clear that rumor, even thought Dad is 65, there is no diaper involved. However, we will laugh when Samuel says it!

I will try to get some pictures of Viktor for the next post.

Today was a bitter sweet day. We went to a going away party for my friend Darcy McGowan and family. They are moving to the States. She was one of my good friends when I lived here the first time. She kept in contact with me through the years and is now moving as I come back. Drat! I will miss her dearly. Someone made the comment at the party that Darcy "lives out loud", that is so true. I think it was a beautiful way of expressing the beautiful woman that she is. Her husband is a Brit with a great sense of humor and they have 2 daughters. Please pray for there transition to the States and our transition as she leaves the womens group. Darcy, I know you are reading this and you will be dearly missed, not forgotten, not replaced, and you had better come back to see us. Although, I haven't seen Portland, Oregon and would love to do that also!!!

The sweet part of the day was that I was able to talk with my dear friend, Lynette Sykora. She is an American, who is married to a Czech., and they live in Slovakia as missionaries. I was so excited to talk with her via instant message and soon by phone (yeah, I feel a road trip in the works). The Lord has blessed me with so many wonderful friends, the sad part is that we are scattered all over the world. (Lizet Bowen I dearly miss you too!)

Anyway, I will rap up my pity party and tell you that I am thankful for each of you. I know that the Lord provides friends where ever we are and continues friendships where ever they are. Thank you Lord for the amazing people that you bring me in contact with and the privilege of being their friend.

Good night,

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A New Year

Dear friends and family,

Andreas here. Thought I would take this opportunity to start off the new year with a post of my own. I have been abscent from the scene recently and let Laurie take over the blog, which has been great. I know it's been appreciated.

This past year has been It's been a lot of things but I think overall the verdict is "fun." We are doing well in Sweden, though there are still rough spots. But when we count our blessings, which we don't do often enough, we have a wonderful home, a family, a great little church, great jobs, financial peace, and much more. How thankful we are for all of it. Why don't we rely completely on the Lord all the time?

There is much to tell and much to share...but I don't like to do it over this blog. It would take too long and be too difficult to do since it is a lot. But, I can say that this pastor thing is really nice. I like it. It is amazing how quickly I get up from sitting at Jesus' feet and start doing Martha stuff. But I find that sitting there gives me all that I need to finish the day properly and timely.

The more things settle down here the more we miss all of you and long to see you again. We pray that God in all His mercy and grace will bless your day and all the days ahead.

Love and peace,