Friday, April 29, 2011

Mia-two months

Mia is two months old now. She can sit when directed. She (mostly) eliminates outdoors. She is very comfortable in her crate and has learned to sleep all night alone, and take long, cozy naps while we are at work/school. She comes when we call her name. She understands Spanish and English. She really likes to chew on her tennis ball and on real beef bones from the grocery store. She loves her home-made pet food and the yummy scraps she gets. She is slowly getting used to her leash, and does well with bribery. She is growing up so fast, and so full of love and cuddles. We enjoy taking turns snuggling with her.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Abby's Birthday Celebration

Abby decided to invite the three other girls in her class out to see a movie and go to our favorite pizza place in honor of her birthday.

These girls have accompanied her for the last two years. They have gotten to know each other very well, and have a connection that I think will last for a very long time. There was a lot of laughter, playfulness, and good energy. I am grateful for this sweetness shared between them.

A note about expectations...
In our family's season of birthdays (one in each month from Jan-April) Abby waits the longest to celebrate. Because of this (and also maybe because of her age) she spends a lot of time planning...she had well over 6 or 7 different ideas for a party this year. we brainstormed, and evaluated, and thought it through over and over and over. Finally, I sat her down and told her that I thought her expectations were too high, and that maybe we should just do something simple like a movie and pizza with her three friends. She agreed.

But, after they all left, there were tears, and she said she wanted a party do-over. It was not that she was ungrateful. It just did not meet her expectations...she did not like the movie, the pizza place with loud and chaotic, and the time at our house with cupcakes was too short. She cried. I cried. Birthday party blues.

I must admit that my expectations were high too. I wanted things to be cozy and perfect. I made three different batches of chocolate cupcakes because they were not turning out. I made two different batches of frosting because something in the dye made them curdle and look terrible and taste even worse. I was hoping for a nice, springy purple tone and they looked quite grey. I RAN to get the perfect little party favors that I had seen in a store close by and there was no one there to sell them to me.

All in all, the sweet girls who came did not pick up of these feelings, but it was a difficult evening, and I now have another year to think about how to do it better.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Abby sings to Mia

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Snapshot of Colombia

An excellent summary/map of the humanitarian crisis in Colombia.

View it here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia, 2011

This year I was happy to serve on a planning committee to help organize activities for the Days of Prayer and Action campaign. In the past, most of the activities have occurred with church and advocacy groups in the United States. Many people are organizing events and offering specific prayers for peace in Colombia in these days. Tomorrow will be a National Advocacy Day for calls to the legislature to encourage change in US policy regarding Colombia.

This is the first year we really worked in a different way to promote this event among local churches in Colombia. We were blessed to have a visit from the Remanzo de Paz church in Sincelejo, Colombia here in Bogota to talk to various churches. They shared their story of displacement ten years ago, and a massacre that killed many of their loved ones. They talked about how they have come together, uniting in the perservering joy and enthusiasm so typical of the coast. They performed original songs for us that expressed their story. I heard them twice and enjoyed the music and inspiration they had to share.

It reminded me of when I was able to visit this community one year ago. I felt transformed by their hospitality, their honesty, their resilience, their beautiful and blooming land, and their hope for the future of their country. I wrote about that experience here.

"Donde está mi hijo?, Donde está mi hermano?, Donde está mi amigo que del pueblo se llevaron?. Donde está mi finca?, Donde está mi ganado?, no veo mi cultivo me siento soltario.... (Where is my son? Where is my brother? Where is my friend they took from town? Where is my farm? Where are my animals? I don't see my crops, I feel alone...)

Que reina la paz, que reina el amor, y que en nuestro pais cese el dolor. Jesús es la fuente de mi salvación, es mi esperanza. Él es mi paz. Él es mi protector. (That peace will reign, that love will reign And that the pain of this country will stop. Jesus is the source of my salvation, is my hope. He is my peace. He is my protector.)

Aquellos causantes de mi gran dolor. Jesús me dío las fuerzas para perdonar." (Those who caused my great pain...Jesus gave me the strength to forgive)

Listen to a short part of their musical program.

Friends in the north really need to know that your prayers and advocacy for the people in Colombia does make a difference. On both policy and personal levels, changes are made, and hope is reborn. Thank you for this work on behalf of Colombia.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baby Mia comes to live with us.