Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Interview with Sharon

I would just like to let everyone know that I asked my mom's permission before I made fun of her here. She knew what to expect because she knows me, and she laughed hysterically at each post. I love my mom dearly, and would not be a Christian or a missionary without her influence, but she is a lot of fun to tease because she is such a good sport. I wanted to be fair to her in all this, so I interviewed her about each weird item, so she could give her side to the story. Read it. You'll like it...

Jessi: Lets start with the "Pet Calming Serum". Tell us why you have that.
Mom: Well, Jocko (her Cairn terrier) has anxiety attacks when thunderstorms come and I am always afraid he is going to have a heart attack, so I called my friend who knows a lot about dogs and she told me about it.
Jessi: Does it work?
Mom: It really does work.
Jessi: Seriously, mom?
Mom: It really does...well at least it helps.
Jessi: Next...

Jessi: What about the George Strait jacket? Why on earth do you still have that?
Mom: Ummm, just because it brings back good memories of your childhood, and I am the one who bought it for you.
Jessi: Good memories? Seriously? Because whenever I remember wearing it, I think about changing my name, and moving to another country. Maybe that is why I am a missionary, who knows?? Also, you should NOT have bought me that jacket no matter how much I begged. You should have been closely monitoring my dork potential and nipped that in the bud.
Jessi: What about the ugly western shirt, and vest?
Mom: That was my dad's, and it was hanging in the closet when I moved in here. He wore it as a costume too. I have a picture of him wearing it. (Background- my grandparent's had a lake house, and when they died my mom bought it and moved in. She also left a lot of stuff they already had in the house. Read closely, you will notice a pattern)
Jessi: Moving on...

Jessi: Ok, since you are no longer Catholic, why do you have the statue of the Virgin Mary?
Mom: Because it was my mother's and I just like it because the hands are so delicate.
Jessi: And what about Irish Jesus?
Mom: That came from my grandfather's house, and that is one of the few things that my dad kept of my grandfather's and that is exactly where it was hanging when I moved into this house. I never thought about it as "Irish Jesus". (Another background tidbit- my mom is obsessed with Ireland. OBSESSED! If you give her anything and I mean anything that is the color green, she will tell you it reminds her of Ireland..."hey mom, I got you a box of Kleenex to replace the box we used up." "Ok, thanks! Oh, and look its green! It reminds me of Ireland!")
Jessi: Really? The red hair and green eyes didn't make you think about Ireland?
Mom: No, The Catholics call it, "The Sacred Heart of Jesus", but I really just kept it for sentimental reasons.
Jessi: You know, you really keep A LOT of stuff for sentimental reasons.
Mom: You are right. Most of the weird stuff I have is for sentimental reasons.
Jessi: So, you are basically blaming your ancestors for all your weird crap?
Mom: No, not just my ancestors. Some of the stuff my friends gave me.
Jessi: HA!
Mom: You know the green bedazzled cross? My friend made that for me. And, Lucy was the one who told me to put the Jesus on it.
Jessi: So you just had a Jesus who was posed as if He was hanging on cross, but not actually on a cross laying around your house?
Mom: Yeah, it was in a box a pictures, I really have no idea why it was in there, but just didn't think I should throw away a figure of Jesus.
Jessi: Some of the Catholic guilt still hanging around?
Mom: I guess, I don't know.
Jessi: Alright, well, let's get to what we have all been curious about- the Buddha. Tell us about Buddha...
Mom: OK, my mother took a ceramics course when we lived in Canada. For one of my school projects, I did a paper on World Religions, so for part of the project I went with my mom to the ceramics class and we made it together...Also, I have all this oriental "decor", so I just thought it went well in here.
Jessi: HA! Mom, you're crazy, but I love you.

Here she is dressed up for her 60th birthday. We threw her a fun surprise party and her sweet friend dressed her up in all this stuff. Later my kids were playing with those novelty glasses and broke them. My mom asked if they could be fixed. I asked her if she was seriously going to keep those and she said yes, "you know for sentimental reasons." Classic.

***Sharon would like me to let everyone know that at the time of this post she is actually 59. We threw her a birthday party early since my sister and I would not be here for her actual birthday. She really has 2 more weeks until she is actually 60, thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weird Stuff Part 3

My mom is a wonderful Christian lady, so naturally she has some expressions of her faith throughout her house. She does have a lot of nice things to represent her love for God, and some that are just...well...weird...

She was raised Catholic, so naturally she has a bust of the Blessed Virgin surrounded by angels...

And Irish Jesus with a heart wrapped in a crown of thorns...

She also has this cross. I am pretty sure that this cross is very historically accurate. I have a Bible degree and I think I remember that a traditional Roman crucifixion included a bedazzler...

Then there is this. Yeah. It is Buddha sitting in a glass bowl. What does this have to do with Christianity? Nothing. Why does she have this? Who knows? But I have tried to throw it away before, and she wouldn't let me. I guess she feels that every house needs its standard false god...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weird Stuff Part 2

Ok, so this one is a little bit my fault. I was quite the little dork in the 6th grade. I was very obsessed with George Strait, and thought the whole world needed to know. I became a member of the George Strait fan club in 5th grade and got a little advertisement through my monthly George Strait fan club newsletter for this jacket. Unfortunately for me and my social life this ad came right around Christmas. I truly believe that if this had come say... in February, I might have wanted it, but certainly would have wanted something else by December. Instead, this hideous jacket crossed my path at just the right time. What is even more disturbing is the fact that this jacket fits me now. So, either I was this size in 6th grade, or I wore this jacket 10x too big making me look even more ridiculous. I actually even remember wearing this to church. (it is unfortunate that you cannot see me hanging my head and shaking it in disbelief and shame)

Here is the back of the jacket..just in case you were slightly blind and couldn't see the "George Strait" logo on the front it is enlarged on the back. In fact, it is so "enlarged" that I am pretty sure that George Strait himself could see the logo from Texas (even though we lived in Alabama).

OK, so it is my fault that this jacket first came into my mother's home, BUT it is not my fault that she still has it hanging in her coat closet. I thought I gave it to Goodwill years ago. Little did I know that she dug it out of the Goodwill bag, and kept it through 3, that's right, 3 moves!!! (Actually, I could do an entire series of stuff Sharon dug out of the Goodwill bags over the years)

I would just like to say thank you to anyone who was my friend in 6th grade. Thanks for risking committing social suicide by being seen next to me in this jacket. I feel that I owe you all favors, so feel free to call me to watch your kids or mow your lawn or break it to your grandma that you are putting her in a home...whatever you need.

Now, in the same closet hung this little number...

For this, there are no words...

She told me she wore this as a "cowgirl" for a Halloween costume. I know cowgirls. I myself was once a cowgirl. Cowgirls do not wear this. I am pretty sure she could have gone as Death carrying a severed human head and not been as scary as she was in this costume...

That is all... until part 3.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weird stuff at Sharon's

I love my mom. She is a great mother and a great person in general. However, she has her little quirks that my husband, my sister, and myself love to laugh at. She doesn't mind (most of the time) and usually laughs along with us.

One of her quirks is that she is a potential hoarder. Actually, she doesn't usually laugh when we call her a hoarder- it makes her mad. So, I will admit that she is not a hoarder like you see on TV. Her house is not floor to ceiling newspapers and broken 8 track players, but she does not like to get rid of things. My sister and I are constantly "encouraging" her to get rid of stuff, so she won't turn into a real hoarder. We have to remind her all the time that real hoarders don't just go out one day and buy 7,000 newspapers and an entire thrift store, come home with those things, fill their houses up and say, "There! That is the design concept I was shooting for!" Nope. It gradually piles up when the person can't let go of anything.

So, even though my mom isn't a real hoarder- she still has lots of weird and quite funny things in her house that I thought I would share with you. Here is the first of many posts of my mom's junk... Are you ready for this??

That's right! It's "Richard's Organics Pet Calm". It treats "pet anxiety and stress". You know, because when your pet works 60 hours a week and has to come home and worry about how his 401K is tanking in "this economy", he really needs something to take the edge off.

So there you go. A little window into my mom's world. Its a nice little world where your children are keeping your house clutter free and your dogs are all heavily sedated.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My precious middle child turned 3 yesterday. I can hardly believe it has been 3 years since we lived in China, and had a baby there. Crazy.

I know I already shared the story of her birth with you, so I will spare you from hearing (reading) that a second time, but I was looking through some old pictures and found these that I thought you would like to see...

This is the sign at the registration desk at the hospital. "Enguiry" and registration. You know, in case you have anything you want to "enguire" about.

And here is my first ultrasound there. Raise your hand if you have ultrasounds of your babies written entirely in Chinese?? (Ok, so I know a few of you could actually raise your hands) But look closely at my name. Yep. "JessWica". I really liked it when I first saw it on here, and thought about legally changing my name to that, but when I went into the social security office the line was really long and I didn't feel like waiting.

So, there you go. Childbirth in China. Its full of new experiences, misspelled English words, and no medication. I won't be doing it again, but if any of you want to I suggest checking out this site. It would probably help you have a better experience than I did. And that is what this blog is here for. Providing you all helpful information for when you give birth in China. I know that makes this site an indispensable part of your life.

Your Welcome,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tribal Medicine

In recent weeks, people have been asking us a lot about our medical situation in the tribe. I guess when your husband has a cancer scare, it makes people wonder. Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that we are prepared!!! New Tribes has some great training, and one aspect of that training is "Health and Wellness". It should also be called "If this doesn't scare you out of being a missionary, then nothing will". We learned all about sick, disgusting parasites and tropical diseases. For example (did you really think you would get away with not hearing an example from me??), if you go to Africa, you have to watch out for the "Guinea Worm". If this lovely parasite makes its way into your system you have to cut a little hole at the bottom of your leg and wrap the end of the worm around a match stick and twist it a small amount each day. It usually takes several weeks before you can get the entire worm out. Yeah, so you just have to hang out with this worm in your leg... like its a dirty gross room mate that eats all your food and doesn't pay rent. Exciting! So who wants to go to Africa now???

Seriously, who wants to go? They really need missionaries.

But, anyway. Here we are in class learning how to give each other shots. We will have to give vaccines to our kids, and any other shots that will be necessary as different things come up.

Here I am about to give JMG a shot. I am sort of spazzing out, but I am sure this does not surprise any of you...

I just can't stand the thought of inflicting pain on anyone else. Even my husband, who lets just get honest, sometimes deserves it. The thought of giving shots to my own kids is even worse. All the girls had to have blood drawn to prove they don't have HIV as part of our visa applications. The big girls got some numbing cream for their arms, but my precious baby didn't. I had to leave the room, and even then I almost passed out. Luckily she didn't cry at all or there would have been some very sweet nurses picking me up off the floor. I am sure JMG will have to be the doctor in the family.

But don't worry for anything too serious the "ambulance" will come pick us up...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Where have you been?

Where have I been? Honestly, I don't even know. Things have been a little crazy around here, well a lot crazy. I can't even begin to describe it. BUT... we have decided to leave in late April or early May. JMG is now taking his medicine and it has some pretty unfortunate side effects, so we are waiting until he is on the lowest dose to leave. Our biggest concerns are the fact that he is not sleeping and that he shouldn't be in the sun a lot. Since PNG is so close to the equator, the sun thing... well that would be problematic. We are SUPER excited that we are getting so close to leaving. We have been preparing for this moment for years and are jumping for joy that the time is close at hand!!!! But, there is the other side of that bittersweet coin that we have to deal with...

We are now getting ready for a whirlwind tour of friends and family and final goodbyes. We will soon head to North Mississippi to say our goodbyes to our precious family at Pheba Baptist Church. I am tearing up just writing that. We love that church and those people so much.

Next, we will head to Alabama for the last time. (March 14th- early April) I cannot even write anything else about that. I would not like to destroy my computer with tears. Thank you for understanding.

Then we will finish our last few weeks in Mississippi. Again...can't talk about it. I find that if I suppress my emotions, it is really better for me and all those around me. Does anyone want to see an (almost) 30 year old woman in the fetal position eating her hair??

So, if you want to see the George Tribe before we leave, that is our schedule. You can call, text, facebook, email, snail mail, carrier pigeon... whatever form of communication you prefer...if you want to get together. We want to see as many faces, hug as many necks as we can, and eat as much delicious and fattening food as we can. I fully expect to put on 400 lbs and spend $14,000,000 on gas in these next 2 months. And I am ok with that.

***I plan on looking like this...except that huge belly will be filled with fried chicken and chocolate cake instead of a baby.