November 10, 2012

Settling in and Managing Without Daddy

The day after Ted left to go to Estonia for 13 days for a NATO exercise we lost power at the house for several hours.  As it approached dinnertime and grew harder and harder to see, I decided to pack up the kids and drive to the mall to buy flashlights and batteries plus grab some food.  (Ironically, McDonald's.)  JUST as I was about to leave the house the lights came back on.  Whew!

The internet guys had been at the house for a couple of hours before all this happened, and I couldn't tell if we were the only ones without power or if it was a neighborhood thing.  Turns out it was a neighborhood thing, so I needn't have worried, but not knowing what to expect, I confess I was more than a bit nervous!  Especially since the gate to our driveway had gotten stuck and wouldn't close!  God graciously sent some help in the form of American neighbors, who helped me call the landlord and communicate the need for the gate to be fixed pronto!  (The landlord speaks pretty much no English at all.)  He arrived after 9 p.m. and finally found the problem.  I went to bed feeling that the day had been nearly a complete waste as far as "accomplishing" anything, but very thankful that my true source of Power--AND my protective refuge--was with me all the time.

Ted was kept busy in Estonia with 16 to 18-hour work days, so we typed to each other a few minutes each night (I think Skype only worked a couple of times) before we both crashed.  The kids and I did great, honestly!  We drove to and from the Support Site for AWANA, Bible study, park play times, and Charis's youth group meetings, squeezing in grocery shopping trips around those events.  One evening we went to the R family's house for dinner and fun, since Tanya's hubby was also away.  (We did a kid exchange during the day after Bible study, so I simply returned her boys and picked up my girl!)

We unpacked, broke down boxes, hung stuff on the wall, sorted, organized, sorted and organized some more after the 7 wardrobes were delivered, and generally settled into a fairly good routine.  We did math lessons, Rosetta Stone language lessons, and science experiments.  We read about World War I, light and color, and the Gilbreth family (from Cheaper by the Dozen).  We made homemade bread, pizza, and snickerdoodles.

We worked hard to convince Lucan that he really does want to be potty trained...but he still thinks differently.  We worked hard to convince Zaden that he really does want to walk...but he still prefers to have a death grip on someone's finger at the very least.  (Still, he's close!)  We also worked hard to convince him that he really can go down the stairs by himself...but he still prefers to have someone helping him.  (He did gain confidence just being around the stairs and crawling up them, and I gained confidence in LETTING him crawl around).

All in all, the 13 days passed fairly uneventfully...although there was that one night at 10:30 pm when I went to arm the security system only to have my nerves jangled by the ear-piercing shrieks that erupted, echoing off the walls and tile floors so that I was fairly sure Ted could hear us in Estonia.  A few eternities (or maybe just moments) later, silence again reigned, but my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking!  The door on the third floor balcony had blown open during the big windstorm, and I didn't see the indicator that something was open when I put the key in to enable the system.  At least we know the alarm works!

Ted arrived home last night in time for dinner, greeted with many shouts of joy and hugs and kisses.  We are thankful to be reunited again and look forward to putting the finishing touches on our home together!

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