Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An Important Message from the Circulation Department

Peyton Freshour would like to welcome her Great Grandma Burrell, her Great Uncle Brad, and her Great Aunt Sharon to Freshour Feat and Follies. And by "Great" we don't mean old, we mean Groovy. This is a momentous day for this blog as their combined readership has increased our current circulation by well over 50%!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Veggie Tales - Part 1

A few weeks ago, May 5th to be exact, I took Carter and Griffin outside and formally introduced them to Dirt. They had actually met Dirt before and had found him to be quite compelling. After all, he's able to do a lot of nifty things; fills dump trucks, lets them drive right over him, mixed with water makes MUD. In their minds he pretty much had already cornered the market on stuff to do outdoors. But this time I had much higher aspirations for Dirt.

Earlier in the week, Jeff had painstakingly tilled 400lbs of compost, 10lbs of lime, and a bucket of fertilizer into our 200 square foot plot of rocky, North Carolina clay. What a guy. I should really dedicate an entire post to his good naturedness, especially when it comes to his industrious wife and our little piece of the earth. A couple more years and he will have tilled every square inch of it. And then I fear we'll be forced to move because we simply won't be able to dig out from under all the toys anymore. But I digress. I hoed it into rows -which one might think is unnecessary and ridiculously Type A of me, but when you have two small, eager children gardening with you, it is of paramount importance that you delineate the working Dirt from the roads, so to speak.

Then I got Carter out there with the biggest seeds I could find...sweet corn.

You can see that he was very serious about his work. This because he likes Dirt and Corn and the thought that Dirt could help make Corn grow was, well, not nearly as interesting as his mother thought it should be, but at least I wasn't on my knees planting that particular row. We planted corn, sunflowers, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe and watermelon - the commonality being plants that get to be HUGE...theoretically. It's mandatory that the produce in your first gardening experience be inspiring, especially when your mom is going to make you spend a LOT of time watering and weeding. But you can see from the picture that even with all of our amendments, Dirt is still quite pitiful, so I had little hope that anything would sprout.

But two short weeks later Dirt came through...

Carter's CORN is actually GROWING! And in a bonafide row, which is equally amazing!

And so are Griffin's cantaloupe plants, but it's still kind of touch and go with them. Perhaps he mangled them with that little spade.
Stay posted for more Dirty summer miracles to come...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Where has the time gone?

Dear Mark,

We have a very little shamba this year in the backyard that frequently requires watering so that our baby plants don’t just fry in the heat of the South. Jeff and I are all about keeping the sweet corn happy. The kids on the other hand, are just not grasping the plight of the heirloom tomatoes. So the other night we were all outside in our overalls pretending to be farmers…alright, we weren’t truly wearing overalls because it is way too hot for that over here, but I would if I could because I think it adds tremendously to the whole agricultural experience.
Predictably, Carter and Griffin got a little bored and started rolling down the very short, but very steep slope in our backyard. They were giggling with sheer delight over the super cool discovery they had made right in their own backyard and, amazingly, kept up the rolling for a solid 20 minutes…which is a really, really long time for a 2-year old and 4-year old to do anything, much less together and happily. As Jeff and I watched them, I couldn’t help but remember a very long, very steep slope in Kijabe in which I, your caring, compassionate sister, used to delight in pushing YOU down…repeatedly, over, and over, and over again for hours. Okay, it probably wasn’t hours, but considering how many times you climbed up the hill for more, it felt like it. I admired your perseverance then (partly because it kept me occupied and laughing many a boring afternoon, but also because it felt like fitting payback after having cars slammed repeatedly into my bedroom door at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings), as well as your ridiculously good sense of humor about it - two wonderful character traits you have managed to retain throughout this; your three decade anniversary. I feel a little responsible for helping to plant the seeds of those good things in your life, but can’t help but notice you have never bothered to thank me appropriately. No doubt a lovely note will be in the mail tomorrow, right?

Happy Birthday, my dedicated, funny, long-suffering brother. Words cannot truly express how proud I am of you,

The sister who started it all,


Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Start of Something BIG

Tonight we had the Mbuthias, and Kiboi Njaga over for dinner. We had chicken and broccoli casserole, cantaloupe, watermelon, banana-blueberry bread, and cherry cobbler for dessert. As a matter of fact, it was delicious, thanks for wondering. We're in continuing talks with them about attempting to set up a NPO here in the U.S. in order to build an orphanage in Embu, Kenya. We've had several other meetings prior to this (with a few other mildly interested parties) and, generally speaking, I've come out of them feeling pretty frustrated - like we've just spent a very pleasant evening talking in circles, since none of us is really an expert in this sort of thing. But tonight we geniunely made progress. Not only did we decide on a Board of Directors, we actually came up with...drum roll please...a NAME. A name that strangely hasn't been taken by anyone else (please dear GOD that let statement be true when we try to register it next week). Now we just have to come up with some bylaws, register them, write up a mission statement, agree on that, convince a LOT of people to give us a LOT of their money, find a reputable builder in third world country, and about a zillion other things...but tonight, I am choosing to be delirious about coming up with a name, because for me this seems like the start of something BIG, immense really, that is going to change the lives of a few children forever.

So you want to know what the name is? The African Children's Project. Someday, you may find us at http://www.africanchildrensproject.org/, but whatever you do, don't go there tonight, or tomorrow night because you will be sorely disappointed

The Freshour Family Board Room. Where BIG things happen...and we eat dinner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Carter vs. The Chair

So this morning, mere fragments of a minute after Jeff had driven out of the driveway, I heard a positively blood-curdling scream from the kitchen where Carter and Griffin were eating breakfast. I grabbed Peyton and flew down the stairs expecting the worst. I've heard a LOT of screams of pain in my short career as a parent, but this was somehow different. A sobbing Carter was standing in the middle of the kitchen with blood pouring down his face. The entire left side of his head was completely covered with blood and his pajamas were soaked as well. Apparently, and this information was incredibly difficult to ascertain because Carter was crying so hard I had to rely on 2-year old Griffin's telling of the tale, he had walked around the side of our round table to get his booster (as he does every morning so he can watch Curious George as he dines), and slipped. His head hit one of the "ladders" as Griffin calls it, of a kitchen chair in his path and the edge of the square rung cut his head just above his left eyebrow. When I discovered the source of the gushing, it was painfully obvious that the length and depth of the gash was far greater than the strength of the two butterfly bandages in my first aid kit were going to be able to handle, so I packed all three kids in the car and headed off to the emergency room...at 7:14am. Jeff, who had just arrived at work, turned around and came to the hospital to be with Carter (as suggested by the hospital staff when they realized what they were up against) while Griffin, Peyton and I prowled the ER lobby for an hour and a half. Carter now has 7 stitches on his head, as well as a mask, gloves, a coloring book about nurses, and crayons - all of which he thinks are a lot more interesting than the stitches.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Counting for Jesus

I should begin by saying that Jeff normally puts the boys to bed each night. But early last night Griffin was slowly starting to melt down and I was the one that threw in the towel on the incessant whining first. After getting him ready for bed, I decided to rock him for a few minutes to see if we could at least end his tulmultuous evening on a calm note. We sang a few songs together and then I whispered a prayer in his ear - basically begging our Lord and Savior for a moment of peace. He was unusually quiet after I finished, so I asked him if he wanted to talk to Jesus. He nodded his little head yes. I waited wondering if I should help him out with one he could repeat after me, but then he began. "1-2-3," he whispered slowly, "4-5-6-7-8-9-10. I love Jesus, I love Jesus." He looked at me proudly, clearly finished with his prayer. "Griffin," I said, "were you counting for Jesus?" "Yes." He said happily.

Counting is Griffin's newest skill and thus far the most difficult one he has mastered at the ripe old age of 2. In counting, he had given his absolute best to Jesus. No doubt in that precious moment God felt far more glorified than when I struggle to come up with the perfect words in just exactly the right order that will turn the tide in my direction. Really, I would be better off assessing my heart and giving God my absolute best followed by an "I love Jesus, I love Jesus."