Monday, February 04, 2008

They Call it Yellow Dellow

The infrequency of my blogging has been affected lately by my lack of a laptop. Ours (ok...I'll admit it...MINE!!! Greedy, aren't I?) finally bit the dust when the screen went out in December and it cost more to repair than to replace it, so we decided to break down and get a new one. We went to Office Depot and bought a really cool Gateway, and immediately had problems with the wireless features. After hours of frustrating conversations with techs, we exchanged it for another...only to find that the touch pad was malfunctioning. Needless to say, we returned that one and ultimately did what we should have done initially, and that was buy another Dell.

As we were looking at them online and trying to configure the perfect cheapest laptop that allowed us to take advantage of the online coupons, Dominick jokingly asked me if I wanted a yellow laptop. Yellow and orange are my favorite colors (luckily for him Dell doesn't offer it in orange!!) and so I jumped at the chance to have a yellow one. Seeing the look on his face, I realized he had not been serious and he suggested blue. I agreed to the blue one, but kept thinking about how neat it would be to have a yellow one, and before he hit the "send" key to make the final purchase I ended up with my sunshine yellow laptop! He admitted that at least if someone walked off with it we could easily identify it. I know it is a little thing, but it really made me happy and now that I am sitting down at it actually typing, I love it even more.

We have had snow here...more snow than you can imagine. My drive back and forth to work has taken me 2-3 hours the past couple of work days, but it is truly so beautiful that even with the stress of driving on snow packed roads I can hardly complain. We've been pretty busy with flight delays and cancellations, and I have been really blessed this year with some outstanding people to work with. Here we are with this silly little job making sandwiches and pitching brownies, the pay is minimal for all of us, and yet we manage to have a blast. With Joshie and I being so ill the very first part of the season, if I hadn't been as fortunate to have such really great friends working there we would have been sunk and it could have been a nightmare. Instead, everyone pitched in and handled it for us, and I am very grateful. Having to drive such a distance each day and to do something that ultimately isn't really life altering or anything, it is so nice not to dread going to work but to look forward to a happy day spent laughing and working with folks you really genuinely like.

When I arrived home this afternoon, I not only had the surprise of the Yellow Dellow having arrived, but I had a small package from a friend which contained a book she thought I might enjoy. I am an avid reader, in large part to both of my parents, and spent my childhood immersed in everything from Popular Mechanics and Zane Grey novels of my Dad's to my Mom's Good Housekeeping and Harlequin romances, with a little Smithsonian and National Geographic thrown in for good measure. Dominick has often laughed at my literary selections after a trip to the library, which range so far afield from one another that if the FBI ever had to track my choices for a crime they would laugh their heads off trying to "profile" me based upon my reading material. So now I am looking forward to reading this new thoughtfully gifted book, meant to help lift my spirits a bit...and it served to remind me that some of my best friendships have come via the internet, a place where we can all be "real", let our hair down, and get to know one another without the pretences so common in face to face encounters.

As the winter sits heavy all around me, my thoughts are drifting lately to spring time and summer camping. I am hoping to do a lot more camping this year in our popup than we were able to do last year. Not sure where we will go, what we will explore, but we want to get away several times and I am beginning to research places online. Living in Colorado there are virtually hundreds of places even close by to go camping, places that others pay thousands of dollars to come visit and here we have it right in our backyard. I thought I would eventually tire of the beauty that surrounds us here, that the new would wear off and I would find myself missing Big City life, but here we are 10 years post-move and daily I am still so profoundly grateful that we got out of Southern California and moved here.

With the longer evenings comes more time to hang out together, and Kenny and Joshie are enjoying playing "school" with mommy. We have been reinforcing the alphabet and letter sounds with Kenny, working on sight words, and believe it or not, reading. Kenny's obvious enthusiasm for learning is spreading to Josh who has not always shown much interest in things scholarly. At the suggestion of an ESL teacher friend of ours, I got them each small wipe boards and a selection of markers for them to use, and they are having great fun writing letters and words. When I think how far Kenny has come in a mere 5 months of school, my jaw literally drops. The last couple of nights he has been really reading super basic books to us, sounding out at least a few words on each page with no help and spelling simple 3 and sometimes 4 letter words (and no, not THOSE 4 letter words!). Joshie actually spelled his first couple of words all by himself too this week, and his pride puffed his chest out at least a whole foot.

Matthew was awarded his "God and Me" medallion in church this Sunday for Scouts, and it was a proud moment for him. He has worked very hard at Scouts, and has talked since he was 4 about becoming an Eagle Scout someday. I have no doubts he will do it just as I have no doubt that even though he has only been in TaeKwonDo for only 1 session, he will stick with it to become a black belt as he has recently expressed a desire to do. I have a kid just like me when I was little, I remember my mom telling me not to worry about 20 years in the future, to enjoy the here and now, but like Matthew I was always looking ahead and it seems it is only now in my mid-life that I can take things one day at a time.

This weekend I had a special moment myself, receiving an email from a little girl who was adopted by another family along with her sister when we traveled to adopt Matthew. We all had such a good time on that trip getting to know one another, and have stayed in touch via email and ocassional photos. But this was the first time that I had heard directly from her, and it made me realize just how quickly they have all grown up, that it seems not all that long ago that we were walking into the Embasssy in Moscow with kids in tow, and now here they all are flourishing, reading, writing, growing into these amazing young people, each and every one of them.

And thus my week begins, a new Yellow Dellow, thoughtful friends, and moments of reflection. Pretty cool way to begin a week!

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