Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Random Acts of Love

Happy Valentines Day!
We awoke this morning to valentines and little gifts- left by my early bird of a husband. I'm wondering if he saw the 3 foot heart balloon in my car that will grace his office later today. Nothing like a little (or big) heart of helium to add some love to your day.

Just saw a segment of this organization on the news. Amazing how one mother, who doesn't speak Chinese, has no foreign policy experience, started a non-profit that trains child care providers to nurture and love Chinese orphans. Their name, "Half The Sky," is from an ancient Chinese proverb that states "women hold up half the sky." They are ensuring each girl can hold their own. Heart warming.

We had big plans for Lucy's kindergarten Valentine's party. I wanted to make the photo Valentine currently sweeping the internet- (like we did for Annie last year- (looks like this). Yesterday, she tearfully admitted she wanted store bought valentines, with stickers or tattoos. After 2 different drug stores, she finally found a box of Peanuts cards that made her smile. Good reminder for me to let go of the Pinterest craziness, and do what makes your kids happy.

Funny, after almost 17 years of marriage, I'd kill Matt if he bought me flowers today. I'd much rather have a plant for the garden.  Does that make me an unromantic nerd? I thought so.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Earning the "Overthrow Dictator Badge"

One of the biggest surprises about Houston is how cosmopolitan it is. Truly. Because Houston is the US hub of the oil and gas industry, folks move here from everywhere. My kids have friends at school that have lived all over the world- which makes for some pretty funny interactions.

Last Friday: my minivan is filled with a gaggle of brownies, all on their way to a field trip. The newest brownie just moved here- after her family did a stint in Libya. They were evacuated at the height of the violence, in the middle of the night. After telling the other girls what "evacuate" meant- she gave us the details.

"Libya was run by a mean, mean man. He was so mean, that if you said the "s word" about him, they'd kill you." She started.

My daughter perks up. (Any conversation regarding inappropriate language does that). "Which s-word...- stupid?" my daughter asks.

All of the brownies shake their heads in dismay.

"Don't say that Annie, that's a bad word. They'd kill you for that in Libya." her new friend admonishes.

"It's not really a bad word, you know. It just means not smart." my daughter retorts.

"No seriously. If you said that about Gaddafi, they would come to your house in the middle of the night, and use this rope thing that has a sharp knife on one end and ..."

I cut her off right there. Executions weren't exactly on our girl scout agenda for the day.

She went back to telling us about the night she left Libya.

"We were in a van, with our friends, and our dog. We went to the airport in the middle of the night. Our first flight was cancelled. My Mom was really, really upset." (I could only imagine).

"Why was your flight cancelled?" Annie asks.

"Because some guys on the ground were shooting bullets at it." she replied.


Next up on the cosmopolitan scene of Houston? Chinatown. Massage parlor. Bang for your buck, ladies. Bang for your buck.