Living in an Underground City

I live in sorrow

In an underground city

Where people look down

At me with pity

Under in Underground City

No light of day

Where’er I play

Down in Underground City

Up there is a world

And how would I know it

Where there is fresh air

And children inhale it

Imagine fresh air in this city!

I sit down here

With a frown on my face

Waiting for someone

To show me some grace

Here in Underground City

To show me the world

Up,up above

To give me some happiness

And lots of love

I don’t like Underground City

How glad I would be

All filled with glee

Out of Underground City!

By Lael E.

I wrote this for my creative writing.I like to write poems!

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Life as an MK- observations by Squeaky, age 10

I love being a missionary kid.  You get to do tons of cool stuff that normal kids don’t often get to do.  You get to meet lots of friends from all over the world, are you’re more excited to meet an old friend because you don’t get to see him/her very often.  Also, when you live in a remote province then you are more excited to visit the city.

But sometimes you get sad when you think about your friends and relatives back in your home country.  And when people ask you, “Where do you live?” or, “Where are you from?” you have to think about it.  Here are the troubles and differences about each question:

1.  Where do you live?

If you lived in a remote province, that’s what you’d say.  Because it’s true.  But if you think about it, you feel like your true, true, true home is in the place you lived before.  Because it’s true.  That is your home country.  That is your home country.  Your home.  But where you live is the province, so you that’s what you say.

2.  Where are you from?

You would say, “I’m from Canada,” or “I’m from USA,” or whatever country you’re from.  Because, that’s where you’re from.  Now, if you were in your home country, and people asked you where you’re from you would say, “I’m from Toronto,” or “I’m from Chicago” or whatever your town or city you’re from.

If they lived in your home town or city, you would say, “I’m from Birchstreet” or “I’m from Lilypad Lane,” or whatever street you’re from.  That’s what you’d say if they asked, “Where do you live?”, too.

So that’s the difference between the questions.

It may be hard and it requires a lot, and I mean a lot of patience with the kids around you.

But being a missionary is FUN!!!!!

Squeaky’s Haiku

Tornado
the spinning wind tube
while we huddle inside, scared
makes trouble outside

Turtle
the turtle ambles
along slowly into the
water, flip, flop, SPLASH!

Jellyfish
the jellyfish bobs
up, down, squishing, spreading, squish
don’t come too close, fish!

Leopard
Leopard waits crouching,
sees his prey then he pounces!
seizes his next meal.

Birthday
Happy birthday, make
a wish, blow out the candles
eat the birthday cake

Sister
Sister’s legs run as
fast as they can trying to
catch up with the rest

S is for Squeaky

In our house, S is for Squeaky.  Squeaky just turned eight last week.  I don’t think I know yet how to parent an 8 year old- after all, I’m only three days into it so far.  But something about “eight” seems so much older than “seven”.  I don’t know why.

There are so many things I love about Squeaky.  She is so creative.  She loves to make up stories and plays, write and illustrate books, design activity sheets and magazines.  She dreams about opening a bookstore and a restaurant.

It is fun to see my little baby girl turn into someone I can talk to.  I enjoy talking to Squeaky and finding out what she’s thinking.  She’s a thinker!  One day recently Squeaky and I had a serious conversation about obedience.  I was talking to her about how sometimes it seems like she takes a really long time to do whatever I’ve asked her to do.  She grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled a little picture to help illustrate her point of view.  This actually was really helpful!  It made me understand her in a way I never had before.

She explained that in the first picture she is standing by her bed and laying her jammies out on it.  Then comes the command, “Put on jammies.”  And the last box is what she really wanted me to know, “I want to have fun while obeying.”  🙂  I thought this was a great insight for a 7 year old to have about themselves.  It has been helpful since then.  I’ve been able to tell her when she just needs to obey for the sake of speed or safety or when she has time to have fun while obeying.

The Saga of the Glasses

Some of you may be wondering what’s up with Winnie’s eyes. After all, it isn’t too often you see a tiny girl sporting some specs.
It all began in February when my mom noticed Winnie’s eye crossing in some pictures I had put up on facebook. I had never noticed it. I started looking back through pictures and sure enough, it did look like her eye was crossing a little.
I had no clue about crossing eyes but I made an appointment at an eye clinic near us. Sure enough, the doctor noticed it too and also discovered that Winnie wasn’t really using her weak eye to see. It was as if her brain just turned that eye off since it was only delivering a confusing double vision picture of everything she looked at. She also is farsighted, which is not uncommon in small children. The doctor wrote the conditions on a slip of paper for me to take home:
1. Esotropia- Accommodative esotropia
2. Amblyopia, or lazy eye
I walked out of the office with a prescription for eye glasses for my little 3 year old and a sinking feeling in my heart. I hadn’t gone in thinking that she’d have to wear glasses. I don’t really know what I had been thinking, but I suppose I had anticipated something along the lines of, “Oh, she’ll just outgrow that. It’s no big deal.” But here I was, looking for glasses for my little girl and it really was a big deal.
The prices were what I considered to be outrageous at the first store we visited. They had a very nice pair of Swissflex glasses with ‘C’ ear pieces that hook around the child’s ear to keep the glasses on. They are also designed to be virtually unbreakable. Pshhh. No way was I going to fork over North American prices when Dennis had been able to purchase a pair of glasses for himself for about $65. So I looked around at all the other stores at that mall and finally found a cute little pair of yellow glasses that cost what I was willing to pay. I bought them and they were ready to pick up the very next day.
They were so cute on her but I couldn’t help thinking as we walked through the mall that my cute little girl’s face was now covered up by an ugly pair of glasses. I felt like all people could see were those glasses. It was all I could see.
The very first Sunday she wore her glasses to church someone stepped on them. They got scratched and slightly bent. That next week they started slipping down her nose. I started nagging her to push her glasses up. She’d look at me over the top of them.
I took her in to get the glasses adjusted. It took a long time and they still didn’t stay on her nose. A few weeks later I took them to a different place, not the place where we had purchased them. They took forever and a day and finally told me, “Ma’am, these glasses aren’t made of the right plastic for adjusting.” I quietly left the store but was so frustrated that someone on this earth would even make a pair of glasses out of plastic that wasn’t good for adjusting. But it was true. The glasses were no better. They slipped, I nagged.
A month later, in March, we visited the doctor again. The doctor said that usually there is noticeable improvement in as many weeks as the child is old. But after 4 weeks there was no improvement and she prescribed a patch for my daughter to wear two hours each day. Now not only did my little girl have an ugly pair of glasses but she also had to wear a big patch part of the time. At least that is what I thought until one day I was walking through the mall and a girl about 8 or 9 years old ran past me. As she passed she looked up at me with one good eye; the other eye pointing in a different direction. She wasn’t wearing glasses. I felt so badly for her and was resolved to get over my pity party about Winnie.
At her appointment in April there wasn’t any more improvement. In fact, her eyes seemed to be getting worse. Her weak eye was still not being used even with the glasses on. The doctor gave us a stronger prescription and told us to continue the patching each day. She talked about the next step being surgery to tighten the muscles around Winnie’s weak eye.
We went in and got a different pair of glasses for Winnie. By this time I had done tons of research on the best frames for kids and knew what I wanted. I also knew by this time that the yellow pair were completely huge on Winnie and didn’t fit her properly at all. Somehow in their eagerness to make a sale none of the salespeople informed me, the naive mother, that the glasses I was picking out for my little girl were nearly 10 sizes too large.
It seemed like none of the stores carried the brands that I had researched. I looked all over the place and visited so many stores I lost count. I was frustrated and finally settled on a little wire pair from a place very close to our house- an ideal place for the inevitable adjustments.
Within a few weeks of getting her new pair of glasses they were met with an unfortunate incident involving a metal swivel stool, a flight of wooden stairs and a sister. They were unrecognizable. Twisted, missing lenses and screws. I nearly lost it. I spoke quietly to said child and waited for Dennis to get home to meet out the judgment.
We put Winnie back in the large, slippery yellow glasses and laid the shards of the “new” pair on my desk, preparing them for burial. Dennis decided to take them in to the glasses store for the final verdict. Who knew that frames damaged that badly could be repaired? I didn’t. Dennis returned triumphantly with an intact set of glasses.
A day later they were in pieces again. Apparently their tragic fall down the stairs had stripped the little screw completely. We tried unsuccessfully to put them back together but once again the slippery yellow frames came out and the shards of the metal pair lay on my desk. Dennis took them in again and discovered that they make teeny, tiny little nuts just for this sort of occasion.
The metal glasses have since stayed together but now they too slip down her nose. Oh. my.
Recently we visited the eye doctor again and this time Winnie’s eyes are finally showing slight improvement. We were thrilled.
Our childrens’ doctor suggested we take the older two girls in to get their eyes checked, too. Perhaps you will not be suprised to hear that when we discovered Squeaky needs to wear glasses for farsightedness, astigmatism and a slight lazy eye, I marched right into that very first store I had visited back when all of this began and ordered the fancy-shmancy pair. Yes, I did.

Monumental Event for 2011

This is the only picture I’ve taken on our camera so far this year. Squeaky got this little game from her grandma for Christmas. It is the little triangle game you see at Cracker Barrel where you jump the pegs and see how many you are left with at the end. She spent an entire day playing with it this week and whittled her score down to only two pegs left. As you can see, she was over the moon.
Yes, that is the most exciting thing I have to report about 2011 so far. 🙂 Our life has sort-of ground to a halt due to a bout with dengue fever. Dennis came down with a headache, fever, nausea, flushed face and difficulty breathing on New Year’s Eve and is still sick in bed more than a week later. The rest of us have been battling a nasty cold so this last week was pretty much a write-off for all of us. The girls recovered more quickly than the rest of us and are ready to go- but sadly their parents aren’t.
I’m so glad this illness happened before school started up again. It made things a lot easier knowing that we were able to take the time we needed to recover. We have one week left of our Christmas break and I’m really hoping to be able to do something fun before plunging back into the language studies on the 17th!