Good evening dear friends and family.
It’s long overdue, eh? I think of many times in my head when I thought, “Oh … so and so would find that funny, I should blog about that.” Or, That would make a great topic to blog about…. or, “I wish I weren’t so tired… I’d go blog.” My three words for today. Tired. Exhausted. Hungry.
First a few shout outs. There is a dear couple living somewhere in NY. They sent us financial support to purchase shirts for the boys. We were able to buy shirts for those who needed them, along with several packages of socks and underwear. We also had enough left to purchase two packages of socks for the ‘little boys’ at the other end of the dorm. I need this couple to know how much it means to us to be able to purchase such items. I don’t want to go into what little these children have. I want to be gracious and thankful that there are people out there, 2,000 miles away, who care. Please, know that we are so grateful to have these items. I do become sad when I know families are asked if they have clothes. I wish I had the wherewithal to start a clothing ministry here. They do have a small ‘thrift store’ in a house basement here. There are clothing items, books, shoes that get donated. We have made use of what we could as far as pants and some clothes. A lot of what’s down there though is adult clothing, which is fine, too. I found a shirt in there I can wear! So, one of our students mothers is a weaver. We bought a Navajo blanket from her and mailed it to the couple that has so graciously and generously supported these boys. Eventually, Carol, if you’re reading this, we hope to purchase one for you as well, for all your prayers and cards you’ve sent. Weavings have special meanings to the Navajo. I didn’t think to ask if the pattern was of any significance. Really though, we appreciate prayers. I would buy one sooner, but sadly in the past two weeks enough donations didn’t come in to the school to make payroll. While we do have Daryl’s small pension to fall back on, about $28,000 a year, it still is hard when neither of us got a paycheck this month. If you think it’s hard for us, can you imagine the young people here struggling? We have just enough to cover our mortgage back home and our car payment… but I have a new appreciation for missionaries who live solely on donations! What an act of faith it must be to know you rely totally on the prayers and generosity of others. Coming here was an act of faith.
Speaking of coming here… we have to decide very soon whether we’re staying on another year. What a decision! On one hand it’s such a beautiful area. It’s a dry and barren land, yet despite that, it’s amazing. Even after being here 8 months, I scarce can take it in. We went to the Grand Canyon two weeks ago. I’m not sure if I blogged about that! I can’t even remember when I last blogged. No pictures, no words, can describe the majesty, they glory of God, of the Grand Canyon. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I can’t wait to go again. It was definitely much, much more expensive then I anticipated. Speaking of money… here’s how God works things out. We really wanted to go on a vacation to Florida for a week. A whole entire week of just relaxing… no kids, no office, no anything… so when our request for time off was turned down, we were crushed. I was really angry. However, when we got our taxes back this year, in stead of the 3,000 we usually get, we only got $300! HOLY COW! That was a HUGE shock to the system. Not only that, but we actually had to PAY IN for Arizona taxes. Apparently NY is no longer giving child care credits. And, Daryl forgot to claim our foster kids. Although I”m not sure we had them for 6 months and one day… it would have been close. But I guess it wouldn’t have mattered with no NY child care credit. So praise God we didn’t make plans to go to Florida! We would have been in some big debt. There’s a huge difference when you’re expecting $3,000 and you get $300… and most of that will go to AZ taxes. Then, the administrator here announced there wasn’t enough money for payroll… yikes. So God really was looking out for us.
We may be able to save a few hundred between now and the end of April and at lease drive to Phoenix or maybe back to the Grand Canyon for a night or two. It’s good for us to get away. We’ve headed in to the 4th marking period. We’re almost done! I think the kids are getting a bit stir crazy, the weather is warming up by leaps and bounds… and we’re just ready for another long break. Daryl has been struggling with one boy in particular. Me, I can shut the doors and turn the tv or computer on. There’s no cable, but we can watch a movie and drown out the noise! Funny! I really do feel bad for the boys when they act up. They are just not taught any better. I see kids in stores, and they just run all over the place. They take toys apart, destroy food products, they’re loud, rude… foul mouthed… but their parents are young, inattentive, and just seem to have no idea how to parent. How much easier is it to ignore the behavior than deal with it… It’s really hard to stay on top of your kids. But we have to. We are called to as parents! I honestly think some people just don’t care, and some just don’t know how. They are young themselves. Ah, I don’t want to ramble on about parenting. I think we all see the condition of the world. We just need to provide loving guidance when we can.
Christian children can be just as bad. We at times tend to think more highly of our own children than we ought. Ethan is a great kid, but there are times when I’m told he’s done something. It’s hard to think he would do anything, but he’s still an 11 year old boy. We recently had an incident where some Christian children being brought up in a Christian home, I know this for a fact, where making nasty racial remarks to me and a student here who is biracial. I wasn’t ‘hurt’ or really offended for myself, but I felt just awful for the student. That hurt me deeply. Then today I was reading a story on the internet about a young lady who won Miss Navajo. She is biracial. Her story is pretty amazing. You can read about her here. Miss Navajo Link
I read her story and was really impressed at this girl’s courage.
So it’s Friday night and Daryl has gone with the older kids to a Camp Meeting. There is a revival up in Leuppe ( not sure of the spelling but it’s pronounced ‘loop’). It’s for kids/teens so they took the older kids up. It’s a good hour drive. So, I have some quiet with Ethan. I don’t know if Ethan was expected to go or not. Either way, he’s been sick with a nasty raspy cough. Today he was running a fever but the dr is so booked up I can’t get him in until Monday morning. Daryl will have to take him because I’ve been teaching Healthy Living (aka sex ed) first period to the 7th and 8th graders 5 days a week. I teach the 4th to 6th graders Healthy Living two days a week after school. I am so tired by the time I get back to the dorm. Even backing off from helping Daryl as much with the boys, I’m still involved to some degree, I DO live here after all, so my days sometimes seem to never end. Today was women’s BIble study at 7 am, then right to 8:30 Healthy Living, work til 3:30, then come home and work on the boys’ never ending laundry, then went to the store to buy yogurt, then home for dinner. THEN a quiet movie with Ethan. Now, I decided to finally update this blog!
Busy, busy days. I wish I had more downtime! I wish the boys did! They really need more toys to play with. I’d love to buy them a couple marbleworks playsets or even a racetrack and some cars. There aren’t really any toys here. They do play with Ethan’s Playmobil once in a while, but these kids don’t have a huge concept of PLAY. Relax and PLAY.
They get up around 7 am or so, breakfast is at 7:55, back to the dorm to brush their teeth, make their beds, then school at 8:30. Monday and Thrusday am is Chapel days before school. Then classes til 3:30 for the little boys and 4 pm for the big boys. Come home, have a snack, homework, cleaning, study hall, or Healthy Living for the girls, then dinner around 6, then activities, such as gym, computer lab etc. Tuesday nights are prayer meetings, and Wedneday nights are kids’ clubs. Get the idea? not enough down time, and not enough play time… sometimes kids just need to be kids!
As long as I’m talking about kids, I need to add, if you’re reading this, please pray for healing for these children, and our staff too. There is a nasty bug going around and we could use some prayers for healing. Many of our staff do not have health insurance. Going to the dr. is a hardship. Everything is out of pocket for some of our staff, so this cold is especially hard on them. The students don’t always have access to health care… Being Navajo doesn’t guarantee you health insurance. Yes, they do have some, but they also have to pay. They have to get what’s called Access, which is like NY Medicaid. So they rely heavily on Arizona’s welfare system. Their Nation insurance pays some, but not all.
On a funny note, I had a conversation with a dorm parent of the little girls. I was laughing because I swear in 8 months, I have yet to have a single day pass where one of the boys doesn’t pass gas. Farting. I swear all these boys do is fart. I bought fiber gummies. The boys call them fart pills, because they really do break up the gas and get things moving. They really need more fiber in their diets. However, it’s $12 for a bottle and they don’t last long! I wish I had the money to pay for vitamins for these kids. I give Ethan two megavitamins a day, but it would cost a fortune to buy them for 8 students.
Oh, totally changing the subject, back to Miss Navajo, there is no swimsuit competition, they have to butcher a sheep. Yes, really. Amongst other things, this is a requirement. Interesting to read. While I don’t care to think about the slaughter of animals, I do like to eat meat occasionally. So, sadly you can’t have one without the other.
Speaking of eating, I have lost about 10 pounds. It’s taken me about 6 weeks. Two words, PORTION CONTROL. I was eating half a bag of chex mix and looked at the portion size one day. It was a third of a cup. wow. I was really surprised. I measured out 1/3 of a cop of chex mix, and it’s not much! I also have been walking a mile or more a day. Between portion controll and daily walks, I’m really doing well. I’ve had to totally rethink my eating habits!
There isn’t much more to say. Well, there is, but I”m honestly falling asleep at the wheel here. It’s 1:30 am in NY! But I took some cough medicine so literally nodding off. We’re out of Delsym in the nurse’s office. Pray for Delsym too. Ha ha! Sounds funny, but it’s true! Last summer and Fall we had a lot of donations, benadryl, tylenol, female items, etc. But I think once winter rolls around people have heating bills, and it makes it harder in the winter. It’s really hard to live in a place solely run on donations and the good will of others. We go without a lot. On the other hand, the rewards of working with these children more than make up for sometimes! We need more missionaries to the Native Americans. Sure we go off to Paupua New Guinea, or Africa, or Russia,but what about right here in Arizona?
AH well, let’s stay happy. HOpefully I can write more tomorrow, my eyes are closing….