Beautiful and Delicious Chicken Stuff

I think my friend Amy would be proud to know that this is how Alosa described her pulled pork. It sounds like something on a Chinese restaurant menu, doesn’t it?

We are continuing to settle in and more or less find our groove with each other. I realized that we have lived together for eight weeks now, if we include this summer’s hosting. (A little needy here. It’s as if I’m in high school again, wearing a maroon uniform jumper and making up anniversaries with a swoony boyfriend. Maroon is, as a rule, an extremely challenging color to rock, I might add. Particularly when you’re a winter.)

Nastja has a job! As of today, she is officially an after-school fetcher of one very tiny five-year-old girl. Excellently, said child’s after-school program is–literally–across the street from our apartment building. Better yet, the bulk of the babysitting can be executed at our apartment, so I still get her for the ever-crucial dinner hours (soft wavery bounce of teenager-adoption-independence-attachment tightrope).

We are winding down from a five-day school vacation for Nastja and Alosa (some Christian school conference plus Columbus Day). I’m counting it a win that they were Busy Enough for all of them, at least in my opinion. (That little nagging fear that my opinion/impression is wildly whacked out and in actuality they’re miserable? Always there. Just like herpes.)

We inaugurated a Family Movie Night tradition this past Saturday evening. First flick was Step Up (the original), after which we immediately agreed to watch all four. Can someone tell me why the formula for all those dance school movies mandates the harming of a young sibling? I felt like I was watching Fame all over again.

[Sudden burst of words among siblings.]

Julia (who gets facial tic-y at missed movie dialogue): “Can you pause it? There’s a lotta TV talking happening here.”

Nastja: “With three kids, it happens.”

Alosa: “Welcome to your life.”

So then yesterday during church I look over to find the 11-yr-old wearing this:

Ask yourself, “What would Jesus wear?”

“I can see you through my skepticals.”

(We didn’t bother to correct her. There are so few of those moments left anymore.)

I’m the owner and protector of these Euro-chic boy feet now. He selected those shoes himself.

In other news, we’ve been going to this Russian Baptist church lately. I decided it would be a nice touch for the kids to connect with God in their semi-native tongue. It’s a very small congregation. I’m convinced the pastor’s wife has a direct line to God and they play some kickin’ music. I don’t think I’m really a Baptist at heart, but the majority of the service happens in Russian, and everyone really likes my cookies, no matter how slice ‘n bake (hydrogenated shortcut baking is again fueling my world).

Yesterday I decided to do an instant replay of communion at dinner (Nastja had a headache and Alosa had gotten mysteriously skipped over during church). I bought a bottle of grape-intensive kid champagne and a loaf of bread, though at first I considered these.

Jesus loves me, but still would not authorize these for communional munching.

Here’s a bite of childhood, per my Latvian daughter. Wonder if that cancels out the calories? I’m so in if that’s the case.

If they served ice cream at communion, everyone would go to church a whole lot more. Just brainstorming here.

Meet Useless, Uselesser and Really Freaking Useless.

They get no stars. Ever.


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