A meeting with the Natives.

Dear family,

A couple weeks ago I went to a mom’s home school meeting. It was more of a Christmas get together than a meeting and I was the odd lady there of course! Me- the only mom with a baby (monster) in tow. Any other babies stayed home with their older siblings. Hmm… maybe I should feed Morgon miracle grow. ūüôā Well I call River a monster cause he is at ‘full time training’ stage. He only wanted to open all the presents that were right in the middle of the floor, he knocked my glass of water over, he did Not want to sit in my lap or play with his toys and he cried when one lady who offered, held him while I got my food. I sat there awkwardly, what do you say when people ask ‘Why did you move here’?, ‘Are you looking for a church’? hmm… yes- the church, no- not ¬†a building and service to attend… ‘Where are you from’? ¬†hmm… pick an answer… a cult, the people of God, Tennessee, a community of people… well, the story is pretty long…

Anyway, afterwards while I drove home, I thought about always wanting to go live in another country. That is when I realized, ‘California IS another country’!! I just went to a meeting with Native Californians and I don’t speak their language, wear their war paint, (I probably wear more clothes than they do). So, this is what it’s like. Nothing is familiar at all. David was quick to point out to me that usually the natives are less civilized than the missionary is and in this case they were¬†definitely up to date¬†¬†with civilization. Wow, this is not exactly what I imagined as another country, but God knows that and I think He’s actually getting a kick out of how awkward I feel.

Well, it was sweet of them to tell me they have a nice church. There are a lot of nice people here but I’ve already been to several churches since we’ve been here and realized that if it were left up to me I would never go to church. I like the singing, but why would I want to listen to a pastor after all I’ve heard and seen is real life¬†experiences¬†with God, or God speaking real words of encouragement through people, or Shammah teach! I would rather stay home and read Shammah’s ¬†blogs. They have more meat and are more real than church. The only thing that is missing on his blog is his smile that takes you straight to his heart. Oh, and his hugs! ¬†He gives real, honest to goodness hugs and I like them. He folds you up and you feel¬†completely¬†loved! Shammah’s just that way, though, real, and does things completely or not at all! ¬†I like him, can you tell?! ¬†Hmm.. I wish people knew how to give real hugs. I hate those sideways, ‘I don’t want to infringe on your personal space’, or ‘I’m not sure what you will think of me hugs’. Either hug like you mean it or don’t hug at all! I do think some people just shouldn’t hug, they should work on people feeling safe with them, then hug. But, by all means, don’t hug unless you mean it! Great! Now I’m on a rant about hugs. ¬†Where was I?..

Well, I did meet one lady named Cindy. She and her family of nine kids live about 5 or 6 min away from us I think. She gave me lots of practical information about homeschooling here and invited me to stop by after the holidays. She said I was the first one to come to those meetings that lives on her side of town, (the not Well- to do side of town). So, here I sit twiddling my thumbs and wishing the holidays would go away.. not really, the most thumb twiddling time I ever have is when I blog, and you see how often I’ve done that!..

Oh, and I can’t leave the subject of church without saying that we did go a couple times to a¬†Presbyterian church that Shammah found up in Auburn, CA. It was the most like home. Banners hung from the walls and their slideshow¬†presentation kept messing up and not syncing right. Everyone smiled and tried again till it worked¬†. One guy almost lit his hymnal on fire over a candle while singing in the choir and the pastor ran up and helped him out. They didn’t have it all together and that is a good sign from what I have seen. Just a picture of their church though… one Sunday morning David leaned over and whispered¬†in my ear trying to point out a certain guy he and Shammah had met with. “See the guy over there with the gray hair’? I burst out laughing (out loud) and quickly covered my mouth (in the middle of the sermon!). We were the only ones there without grey hair!

I have to go to bed so will write more later. Good things are happening.

1)Cut River’s hair today, we can now see his cute face again!

2)Met a 39 yr old very nice lady at the park today with her nine yr old son-¬†Malachi. And, they live on the next street over. I didn’t even have to figure out how to tell her about the village. Morgon took care of that- ‘We have leaders, but you see, they aren’t mean leaders. They don’t just boss everybody around and tell them what to do… And of course, you wouldn’t believe the enchanted forest’!….Nothing like finding out what your kids really think! ¬† So, we’ll see, she gave us some citrus fruit off their trees and I’m going to see if they will come over this weekend. Her and I talked for about 45 min while the boys played. First sign of any kids the boys age here in this neighborhood! I told them God is answering their requests for friends out here.

good night. yours always,

Ari

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Our Mandarin field trip!

I just saw that this post was never posted! Its been sitting in my drafts folder. So, since my hand is hurting tonight, I’ll just post this and you will have to wait a day or two more for house pictures. We are trying to get as much time as possible with Shammah and Hannah before they head home next week. I’ll probably blog more often after that. Anyway, enough of that! Here is our “Mandarin orange field trip”. ……

Esther invited me to go pick¬†Mandarin¬†Oranges last Monday with her, Annie, Emily and a couple other relatives of theirs. So, we headed up to Auburn and swung by Hannah’s to pick up Manu and Leilani to go with us! We picked 3- 10lb bags, ¬†And ate all we wanted to while we were there. The boys mostly loved playing tag in the orchard when we were done picking. Mmmmh, mmm! Those mandarins were delicious, melt in your mouth, small pieces of pure, organic sugar!

Here are a few pictures of our day!

My 3 little bugs in their rugs, before I woke them up to go

The fourth little bug who likes to sleep in my rug!

The little bug woke up right after I took his picture!

At the Mandarin Orchard!

Met up with friends!

Catch me if you can!!!

Tristan didn't want to leave! I don't think he ever wants to!

A package in the mail!!

Friday afternoon rolled around and we were busy writing notes to friends and getting ready to mail a few things when a knock came at the door! A large box was dropped off for the boys! They were thrilled!! I happened to take a few pictures and wanted to share them. Thank you to all who send letters and more! It definitely adds a sparkle to our day, or in this case a few sweets!

Eager to open it!

Ohh!! It's packed with Real popcorn! We can eat it!!

Morgon reading the notes

Look! It's from my Auntie Laina and Ashley!!

Getting a tree!

Last week Chris & Esther brought home a Christmas Tree! We stayed up late to put lights on it, drink hot chocolate and egg nog, listen to Christmas music (while Hunter watched mission to mars- with no sound. That was pretty funny, watching theses space suit creatures dance and move their mouths right in time to the Christmas music!). Then we played scattigories with Chris & Esther. Here are a few pictures of our night!!

Mason & River were daddy's helpers!

Drinking our Cocoa!

Mason and Hunter with their Christmas tree!

Putting on the lights!

River, so proud he can stand!

A day with Joy!

Last week Joy was here visiting her kids here in California and she spent the day with us! She took us to Fairy tale town! The boys had so much fun! It was great to be with a villager for the day. Just being with Joy was refreshing spiritually and physically! Her daughter, her sister and a boy (Trae- her sister was watching for the day) joined us. We all had an excellent time watching just how little is really needed to keep kids happy! I really like Joy’s daughter- Jenny; and so did River by the time the day was over! Here are a few pictures from our day:

King Arthur on his royal throne!

His royal subjects seated at the 'Round Table'

In Cinderella's pumpkin carriage!

Hi Mamaw! We are inside the 'Stinky Cheese'!

River's favorite place to play!

Aren't they so cute in the leaves!?!!

For at least an hour and a half while we were there, Morgon, Ronan and Trae climbed up on top of Jack’s beanstalk and stayed up there. During that time Tristan was completely content to play imaginary sword fighting with his sticks over in the leaves by himself. River was content to eat the leaves and try to crawl around in them; that is until Tristan got bored! Then Trist delighted in heaping the leaves over River till you couldn’t see him anymore! Riv didn’t like that too much!

On top of the Beanstalk!