Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Day in the Life.....

Taking a snapshot today of a day in the life of the Rogers household......

Jason is long gone by the time I get up in the morning. He still drives out to Battle Creek to work at Fort Custer. I have been getting up about 5/5:30 just within the last week to workout for about 30 minutes before getting ready for work. Don't know how long this will last but I'm giving it a try thanks to a co-worker who convinced me to at least make time for half an hour. Literally, this is the only time I have to workout. Working out in the evenings would mean working out at like 10/10:30pm which would contribute to my already troubled sleeping habits.

I wake the kiddos about 6:30/7 depending on the day and when I have to get to work. They eat breakfast at school so they only require some watered down apple juice and a gummy vitamin in the morning, along with some cartoons. I usually whisk Ava away to get dressed first and then usually have to bribe her with some non-breakfast food to sit in her high chair to work on her crazy hair. Yes, she is still in a high chair at almost 2 1/2 years old, but she's as messy an eater as cookie monster. This morning in particular she asked for "pea butter on poon". I am sure you can read toddler, but for those of you who can't, it's peanut butter on a spoon. She happened to grab Austin's spiderman spoon which led to a debate that only a Supreme Court Judge could solve. Austin didn't know this until Ava started flaunting it in the bathroom. All three of us cram into the bathroom so Austin can go potty and get dressed while Ava licks the toothpaste off her toothbrush. Somehow, I got them out of the house by 7:30 today.

I drop them off at school and thankfully they are both on the bottom floor now, which saves me from trucking them through all sorts of doorways and stairs only for them to putz around and get distracted by everything along the way.

I am at work by 8 today. I happen to have lost the surgeon I was working with to a no-brainer job opportunity and so I am kinda running the show until the next one comes on hopefully sometime this fall. Any other normal day where I would be working with a surgeon, this whole debacle would probably get pushed back an hour earlier at least. I still work with cancer patients and that's the part where anyone could get broken down and depressed but most of the time I feel that God put me there for a reason so I can handle what comes my way. Not always the case.

I get out of work and grab the kiddos from daycare which is more of a struggle than dropping them off. Which goes something like 'put on your coat, get your shoes on, grab the daily artwork, don't dilly dally, stop hitting each other, you don't need any more foam soap on your hands, please walk anywhere remotely close to the exit, I do SEE what you are doing in my peripheral vision, don't eat that off the floor, put the books and toys away, ITS TIME TO GO'!

We get home and on nice days have been either getting out the bikes to ride around in the driveway or get out bubbles that are basically water for the ground since they can't keep them in their designated container. Or just recently we have been heading down to the beach to play which is my most favorite! I love to sit in a chair and just relax while watching them play with the sand and throw rocks in the water, but they are stinkers, so it's not always as relaxing as one would hope.

Sometimes Jason and I are lucky enough to have something at home that resembles dinner. We are getting better at, at least planning 2-3 meals a week and the other unplanned meals involve pizza, cereal, leftovers or whatever else you might call dinner. The kids are picky these days. You never know what they will eat one day and won't the next, but I think that defines a Toddler. Thankfully they don't look malnourished so I think we are good. Tonight because they ate good, they got to eat oreos on the floor. It's special to eat them on the floor because one year I let them eat Oreos and drink milk with special straws out of old glasses for a Christmas photo shoot.

 That was 6 months ago and that's how they think to this day you have to eat the oreos. On the floor. All I remember is Austin saying to me while only eating the middle of the oreo (of course, cause who actually eats the cookie part!?) 'um maybe I need a spaceship'. My response: Sure you do buddy. Who doesn't!?

Tonight in particular we tried to go to Target. I should have taken them to Walmart because at least while my kids were screaming, we would have been considered the norm. And in fact, I would have been more than the norm because I was not wearing sweat pants. Target was a little bare of people which was nice while they were throwing fits, playing toys in the middle of the aisle and screaming just to hear the echo. I vow not to take them to a store after work for at least a month. This night scared me off from that for a while.

Jason and I have been alternating putting Ava and Austin to bed each night. Tonight I got to put peanut to bed. She grabs a glass of chocolate milk and fruit snacks Every.Single.Night. We read books and then sing songs. She loves to sing Old MacDonald where apparently the only animals that are allowed on a farm are a pig, horse and doggie. She also likes Wheels on the Bus but you can ONLY sing the verse where the people go up and down. Nothing else is acceptable. She is still in a crib but has never attempted to get out. The chunks missing from the crib rails are from her biting days. Not sure if she actually ate the crib but she sure put a beaver to shame. She snuggles a doll and is in bed about 7:45.

Austin watches a few minutes of cartoons. Jason and Austin like to watch some crazy cartoon called Avatar. I don't get it. Maybe it's a boy thing. Austin is in a kick of eating chocolate ice cream before bed. He even opens the freezer, grabs the ice cream, and gets a spoon and heads to the couch. No bowl required. He goes upstairs about 8pm with a glass of chocolate milk. He gets to read a book or two in the chair in his bedroom before going potty one last time and brushing his teeth. Note: We never get through the routine lately without counting to three at least once to help him move along in his routine. He gets to read another book in bed. He plugs in his Mike and Sully (Monsters Inc) nightlight and makes sure to point it above his head. He told me the other night "sometimes when you go downstairs, I play with Mike and Sully" Oh Lord! Otherwise (knock on wood) Austin has never gotten out of bed to this day. He just sings Mommy, Mommy where are you, in the mornings on the weekends when he wakes up.

I spend my weeknights editing photos, if I don't have a shoot to do which is usually about once during the week and once on the weekends, if I want to keep my sanity I don't book more than that. If I'm lucky or give myself a break, I watch an hour of brainless DVR. At best I do that once a week. I'm also lucky to fall asleep by 11pm.

And push repeat on this with the exception of a few change of details and number of meltdowns. That's it, nothing special, just a quick snapshot to look back on.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Belize: Part Five and Final Post.....For now

 Thursday morning we all rose nice and early to make it to our final destination spot, Caye Caulker Island. We got up at 5:30 (take that rooster!) and ate a quick breakfast. We packed up all our belongings and headed back towards San Ignacio. We were able to stop and meet the Salazar family for a quick good-bye. It was basically a 'jump off the bus and hand over the medication/donations and shed a quick tear' type of good-bye.

We took an hour long boat ride to get out to the island. We got our snorkeling gear and headed out for the coral reef.  The water was beyond beautiful and clear. The blue skies were an added bonus but it was also our worst enemy since we all got burnt to a crisp!
 There is nothing more sexier than snorkeling gear!
 We had a guide that brought us around to show us the reef. He clapped his hands real hard under the water to bring out an eel!! Of course Jason then started doing it and tested how close the eel would get......
 Beautiful schools of fish

 Jason also managed to find every shark in the ocean that day.

 Lobster anyone?
 After swimming around, we got back on the boat to another location to feed the sharks and sting rays. We were in 4-5 ft of water. Enough to tread water or stand, but I just happened to step on one of these guys, thankfully they didn't care.
 Not scary at all.....
 ...especially when your husband keeps going under to pet the shark or pull it's tail.

 Beauty at it's finest
 Standing on the boat, you could see the stingray come from afar to get their daily feeding
 After getting smoked in the hot sun, we headed back to our hotel. It was our day to reflect and relax. There was nothing more beautiful. After spending the week serving others and being closer to God than I have ever been, I was in awe of what was in front of me. I was in a peaceful place with people that I had just met alongside my best friend and yet shared some of the most amazing moments of my life.
 I brought my old camera and my old lens along and yet that was all that was needed. Nothing fancy and no editing required.
 The view from our room. If this island wasn't so hard to get to, I would go back in a heartbeat.
 Snorkeling definitely made us starved!!! We searched the island and asked around and found THE BEST place to get a burrito. It just happened to be the place with the LARGEST burrito. No one is surprised that Jason ate every last bite!
 Our little friend always hanging out at the bottom of the stairs.
 Oh, so I became obsessed with trying to get pictures of the pelicans. It only fit right!? We were on the Praying Pelicans mission. Again, no zoom lens so I just got as close as I could.
 Or at least as close as they would let me.....

 This is our hotel. After sleeping on thin foam mattresses on bunks, it wouldn't have mattered where we stayed. It was a bed and there was air conditioning.....ahhhhhhh.

 A few little treasures to take home. The largest rock is a volcanic rock, incredibly light so it floats. It's the pumice stone that you would see being used in a pedicure.
 We came back together as a group to worship, pray, and share our favorite moments together.
 We went out for dinner and then headed out to peruse town for a bit.
 Jason and I were still trying to find more gifts for the kids. These guys had great suggestions, no?
 We went back to the hotel by 9 and played a brutal game of volleyball. Needless to say, we still used our medical skills that night.....

I got up early enough in the morning to still capture some early early sunlight...and more pelicans

 I loved watching them dive in the water

 If I didn't have to get home to the job, kids, family, friends, yada yada, I would have loved to just stay there for a few more days. It all just went by so fast.
 Or maybe I could take a quick jog to any of these places

 Apparently these are our new adopted children. Welcome to the fam Cam and Andrew! Graham...did you not make the cut in this one!?
 Honestly, those kids from Dexter are just amazing. I'd welcome them to my home at any time. Speaking of, any chance any of you guys want to make the trip over to babysit!?

In all seriousness, this is it. The end of Belize pictures and stories. All good things have to come to an end but hopefully the spark that was lit during the mission continues to burn for a long time. It certainly let me know that my work in missions is just beginning. I honestly hope it is the first trip of many. I wouldn't hesitate to go back with Praying Pelicans anywhere.

I feel changed. We even sang that song 'Happy Day' both with the kids ministry and at the adult church service. Here is the chorus:

Oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

That last line obviously stood out to me. I feel forever changed.

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