Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flight of Fancy to Tahiti

For Benjamin's birthday, he decided that he wanted to take some friends on a plane ride. Where? To Tahiti, of course. (We had to limit our trip to one destination. Originally, he wanted to travel the world to Africa for a safari and to New Orleans--to give talks like Dad.) We think flights of the imagination are the best.

From the Chambers Art Studio

For Dylan (Inspired by a card from Aunt Robyn)

Benjamin's Train

For Baby Josie

We really had fun with our pictures. It's been our packing/leaving/saying goodbye to friends therapy. And it helps the insomnia. A little. I wish my photography did our little creations justice. I didn't have time to get the lighting right.

In my file of dreams is pictures of a cute cape cod cozy, but well-organized little home i.e. tons of built-in bookshelves and storage. My favorite feature is a light-filled "art/sewing room" right off the kitchen. It's a beautiful thing. We could make messes to our heart's delight. Hopefully is this dream world, the Hobby Lobby will be right down the street. I already have Benjamin and I signing up to take classes there in post-Tahiti life. And then we'll take workshops at Home Depot and then we'll build a soap box car and then...I guess I shouldn't be surprised that when Benjamin sees me getting my sewing machine out, he starts listing about five ideas for projects. I think he just might have to have his own sewing machine someday and real tools, and art supplies, and...

Which leads me to some favorite Benjamin memories from lately. I walked upstairs the other day to see that watching lots of "How It's Made" DVDs from the library had inspired him to build a factory using Dylan's balls and toys. His factory had about 7 different phases/processes. It just warms a mother's heart to see her five year old creating a simple Rube Goldberg machine out of found objects. It was very cool. He has also been saying lately that he wants to be a builder when he grows up. So the other day, I found him working with the legos. "I have to practice being a builder." He had gotten a book from the library on skyscrapers and was looking at it for ideas. He then drew a picture of what he wanted to build. And since he's perfectly five and distractable, he actually did not execute his plan. Yet.

Isaac tells me regularly that he is going to be an engineer and drive a train. "Nee Mom. The Number Five train. You can ride with me. In a car behind the engine." What I like most is when he says, "Engineer needs to go to the bathroom!"

But he often says he wants to be a builder too and Benjamin says that they will be builders together and that when I grow up I can work with them.

Sounds like a great plan!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

November 2008 Gratitude List

From Various Dinner Conversations in November


Zac the Rat
Alarm Clock (So I know when to wake up on school days) (Note from Mom...he NEVER hears it!)
Blue Bedroom
High Train
Bubble Maze at Stone Mountain
Teachers: Ms. Cynthia, Ms. Diane, Sis. Tackett
Sister Fuller
Nee Mom working in Primary
My Suit
The Temple
Wearing my suit at the Temple
Blue Puppy
New Puppy
Brown Puppy
Black Puppy
Isaac's Pupy
Bear Baby
Grand Central Station
Little Guitar

Joy School
New apron
Peach Oatmeal
Sunday Walks
Sister Fuller
The Regans
Miss Libby
Miss Sarah
Stone Mountain
My Friends
Riding Bikes with Daddy

Job at CDC
Future job in Tahiti
Chocolate Cake
Nee Mom
Family Reunion
Reading with boys

Big Brothers
Standing alone
Walking a little
Climbing Stairs

Nee Mom
Every time someone laughs
Our beautiful piano
3 Cute Boys
The Farm
Good Friends

Playing ball games with Dad-Eric
Gorgeous Fall Colors
Colors that make us happy
Playing outside
Blue Stools

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chambers in Chattanooga

Benjamin and Isaac blew out their birthday candles in February full of wishes of trains and a family adventure day. So, we planned a day trip to the Smoky Mountains to find an incline train (74% grade at the top of the mile or so run), scenic views, an elevator that descends 260 feet into the mountain (Benjamin's favorite detail/event to recount), a cave AND a waterfall. It was a perfect, perfect day. To quote Benjamin, "This city is AMAZING!" Just don't get stuck in the traffic coming off the mountain of Ruby Falls or the construction on Highway 78 a stone's throw from your own house. We were stuck so long in that barrel of problems that we could have walked home faster. Really. But that still didn't ruin our perfect day. Besides, it all ends well when it ends at Shane's Rib Shack and two for one meal coupons!

Note to self. Bottle of barbecue sauce in the suitcase to Tahiti.

Galactic Triptych

Benjamin created this portrayal of space yesterday with multiple rocket ships and planets, the moon and the earth. He was admiring it this morning with a grin on his face and then commented, "It was hard for me to draw all the planets because I've never been there."

Through Eric's Eyes

Eric attended a meeting in French Polynesia last week with everyone involved in the "project." Here is something of what he saw--a preview of our new world.

And part of why we will be going there...breeding ground for parasite toting mosquitoes--rat chewed, rain-filled coconut shell. The perfect home for unsavory things.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Merci: Chambers at the French Consulate in Atlanta

It is always a good day when dad is home AND the boys get to park in a parking garage, see skyscrapers and cranes, ride an elevator in a fancy mirrored building, go round and round in a revolving door, play outside in spring sunshine in short sleeved shirts, ride escalators, see pizza cooking in a wood-fire oven and then eat it and ride more elevators.
"Baby" Dylan

Isaac "climbing" the "mountain"--"I strong!"

Eric was just glad that the man behind the glass window at the French consulate accepted all of our paperwork for our application for visas for our entire family for French Polynesia. Important acting man behind glass with a microphone sure didn't act happy about reviewing our many documents, but he gave us that curt nod and everything should be shuffling from one desk to another to French Polynesia/Tahiti and back again and one day soon in six weeks or so, we'll have those very special stamps we need. Alles gestempelt!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Tease

On the way to Chattanooga, we smelled some strong skunk. The boys thought it was a little funny to have that strong scent fill the car.

A few days later Isaac speaks up from the backseat with a very deliberate tone, "Nee Mom, you smell like a skunk."

I turn around to see him grinning from ear to ear. That's our "joker man."

Today Benjamin was commenting on some artwork. "I guess my name is a rain cloud." "Why's that?" Because it's black and it's up in the sky where the clouds would be. And I smeared it."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Backseat Driver

While driving down the road today, this is what I heard from Isaac after a deep intake of breath and dramatic exhale, "BLOW your car down!" "Are you the big bad wolf?" I ask. "YES!" And with that all three of the boys began to blow my car down.

When it snows in Georgia...

We've had so much fun. Sunday morning we thought it was "awesome" when we looked out the window and saw not rain, but little balls falling from the sky. We stomped in the frozen ice balls. Then, much to our surprise since Eric isn't around to give us the heads up about the weather (or state of the world at large), Sunday afternoon it began to snow. It snowed and snowed and snowed. Church ended an hour early and we got home, quickly dressed for the occasion and dashed outside to enjoy the white frosted world. The snow was perfect for rolling big balls. Unfortunately, our mittens were not so perfect. We quickly had some cold hands. Sunday evening the layers of ice and slush froze and we still had lots of snow for playing on Monday. We put bags over little hands and the playing began all over again. "Roads" had to be plowed for the cars, "train tracks" needed to be cleared for the trains. We skidded down our hill and then we found out that you could pack the snow into buckets and make ice bricks that were perfect for building. So we added to our fort and gave it a paint job. Our cheeks were rosy and the snow got accolades from all of us. We couldn't ask for a better farewell party from nature before we head off for life on the island.

This weekend it's supposed to be in the 70s. Now that's my kind of winter.