March 3, 2012

a crazy few days

This week was massively busy. That's what life is now: Busy. And since school has officially started here in the southern hemisphere, it's probably just going to get busier. Everything else is starting up here as well: Youth group meetings, mission trips, missions meetings, weekly Bible study (continues), sports for the kidlings, visits to the slums, outreach, discipleship, dinners, lunches, teas, leadership meetings (how we ended up here, I don't know), pastor's conferences (here either), homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, cleaningcleaningcleaning, car repairs, bills to pay, parenting (which really should be at the beginning of this list)... and on and on and on. It makes me feel like we've stepped on the crazy train and won't be able to get off for a while. But this is what we came here for - to do something, not just talk about doing something.

One thing I am very excited to do is to just be able to get up early again. We love getting up early. We've really missed that since we moved to Argentina five months ago. We arrived close to summer. Summer means late nights. Many. Okay, ev-er-y. Most people (including all kids) are up until 12, 1, 2am during the summer. It's just the way it is. People love late nights here. During the summer we could often hear neighbor kids running around screaming at midnight as if it were midday. So by default, it also became normal for us. Not that I liked it, but it did.

When in Rome and all that.

So, now we have to feel the pain as the late nights continue and we attempt to drag our sleep-deprived selves out of our cozy beds by a decent hour.

Thursday we hit the ground running. Breakfast, shower, no time to exercize, math, writing, clean rooms, tweenager insists on hanging up the clothes (I wonder what the men in the neighborhood think when they see my boy doing "women's work", a strange sight for them I'm sure), read-aloud from The Hobbit (loving it), mini-lecture to kids about how we are going to be adding subjects in a little every day so buckle up chilluns, Tony visits slums, ends up in a trip to the ER (for Ceferino, not Tony, verdict back pain), sign up the kidlings for sports (free here in our neck of the woods, smile), clean entire downstairs for Bible study which took all afternoon God save me from the torture of it, homemade bread, neighbor boy stops over to play (it's so cute to hear my girl speak Spanish with her little friends), sent some evangelistic DVDs over to the church's Christian school, third day now I haven't gotten to those personal thank you emails so kick myself again argh, bath for cranky three-year-old, dinner around 8, Tony heads out to pick up a few people who are coming to tonight's Bible study and bringing their guitar (finally, a guitar and music!), night ending well after midnight. Collapse in bed at 1am telling ourselves we will get up by six.

Miguel with his guitar (not our Bible study obviously, but a missions outreach they did for years)
Trying to reclaim control over our schedule is an uphill battle here. People trickled out around midnight after Bible study... meaning the kids were up that late, too. Getting them up before 9am, especially when one of them needs more sleep than that, is next to impossible. Frustrating.

Next day: Repeat. ADD: food shopping with three energetic kids who ask a million questions and want to touch everything,  trip to the gas station where all of us had to get out of the car in case the truck explodes from the natural gas it uses (the tank being under the hood),

an interesting trip with the three-year-old to supermarket bathroom where I was glad I brought my own toilet paper,

What's missing?

This (and the toilet seat).

then all night back-to-back meetings with the pastor (to firm up what ministry direction we are headed), another meeting with leaders/hosts of Bible study small groups,
Bible study
and another with the youth group leaders (postponed until next week) to begin officially working with the young adults with the goal of doing evangelism.

Days are long and full now. And, I suspect, only going to get fuller. I marvel how life back in the US used to be all about us. We didn't want it to be but, looking back, it really was. Someone said the US is one of the hardest places to be a Christian. What a difference a move to third world missions has made for us.

Busy redeeming the days.

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