Saturday, December 24, 2011


What an incredible day!  Miduk was invited by Ben to come to soccer practice at the high school.  By the time we arrived, practice was about over and players were leaving the field.  Miduk got to go down on the field ("BIG!" he says) and kick the ball around with Ben and his friend Alec for about an hour.  He was not timid at all and I could tell he was really, really having fun running around and kicking the ball with the boys.  It was one of those feel good moments that just warms your heart.  And did I mention it was FREEZING cold?  My friend Pamela (Ben's mom) and I lasted as long as we could, then we all went to lunch at Panda Express.  According to my fortune cookie, I am soon going to inherit a great sum of money.  YIPPEE!  :)

As if playing soccer with the guys wasn't enough, tonight Ben came over to our house and brought Miduk a Christmas present.  His first gift to open!  Just imagine Miduk's excitement when he opened a pair of Adidas soccer shoes!  Shocking yellow and purple!  With a power band from his favorite soccer team, Barcelona! Miduk was clearly touched, and kissed the shoes and put his hand over his heart as if it were beating out of his chest! haha!   Ben had written out a note to Miduk, translated into Bahasa, which Miduk read out loud and then hugged Ben and said "Thank you Santa Ben!" He tried on the shoes (with his Santa Claus Christmas socks on) and they fit perfectly.  So hey, if you see Miduk around town wearing his new soccer shoes, do not be surprised! He may never take them off!  THANK YOU SANTA BEN!  You are so thoughtful!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Miduk with the Amaryllis we planted a few weeks ago.  Will it bloom by Christmas?

OK well Miduk noticed that I finally wrapped some gifts and put under the tree.  I casually mentioned that there might be gifts with his name on it, and he was on a mission to find them.  Seriously!  He crawled under the tree and pulled out each and every gift, looked at the name tag, and then shook the gift, smelled it, listened to it, squeezed it, and tried to guess what it was.  He was very persistent!  He told me he does not plan to go to sleep on Christmas Eve at all, because he will be waiting and watching for Santa.  I guess this means we need to leave out some milk and cookies too?

He has decided that he KNOWS what is in this package from Kasey.  He thinks it is a car magazine.  I said "how do you know it's not a coloring book?" to which he replied, "Kasey know I love car magazines!"  (she has brought him a couple from time to time)
And wouldn't you know he guessed right!  We saw a Lamborghini last week parked in a parking lot and he asked me to pull up next to it so he could get a closer look.  Miduk is a car fanatic!  He calls it the "Lambor Genie", haha. 

He is literally DIVING under the tree.  He is relentless!

Betcha can't guess this one!  He is stumped by the round box.

Some of our neighbors came by caroling this evening.  They were so cute and sang really well!  Miduk couldn't figure out why someone would ring the doorbell then stand there and just sing....  This is Mia, Mattie and Trey.

Drove out to look at this tree in a field, covered entirely in white lights!  It was awesome!

My poor attempt to take a photo of Miduk with the white tree in the background.  I am not one for night photography, obviously.

Yesterday Wes took Miduk to see the movie "Sherlock Holmes" which Miduk says he liked and Wesley says Miduk slept thru half of it!  He has been staying up late and getting up early as usual!  This afternoon he went to Christian's house to meet Christian's family and to play video games with his brother Andrew.  He was all smiles when he returned home.

Yesterday we received a Christmas card in the mail addressed to Miduk.  It was from someone we don't even know, someone who has been reading Miduk's blog, a friend of a friend who lives about an hour away from Flower Mound.  She sent the card to Miduk, wishing him a Merry Christmas and included a bible verse for him (my favorite!  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future") Miduk was so thrilled that he received some mail addressed to him!  He loves to watch us open up Christmas cards that arrive in the mail every day, so it was neat for him to receive his own card.  And neat that it opened up an opportunity to talk to him about God's plan for his future after he leaves Texas and returns home, that God brought him this far and God will continue to reveal His plans to Miduk.  Then Miduk got out his Indonesian bible and read the verse and bookmarked it.  Which led us to reading the story of the birth of Jesus in our bibles and how we celebrate the occasion with much joy and anticipation. I'm not sure exactly how much Miduk truly understands, but I suspect it is more than I think.  He attends a Catholic church back home in his village of Aek Popo with his mother, although not regularly.  And he is the first person in his family to own a bible, which Linley gave to him when she went to pick him up in Indonesia. He prays out loud at the dinner table in Bahasa for us, which is neat to hear although we don't know exactly what he is saying - but he is saying it with meaning!

So, to the sender of the Christmas card to Miduk, I say THANK YOU!  Thank you for sending the right card at the right time and for making his day!


Shelby and Wes took Miduk to the gun range on Wednesday and taught him to shoot skeet.  He only took a few shots, but hit the target on his first try!  He wasn't ready for the 20-gauge shotgun to kick back into his shoulder!  :)  If you click on the videos above, they're not really videos but photos instead and they are probably sideways.  Shelby thought he was taking photos with my camera but accidentally had it on the video setting the entire time!

Early this morning (like 4:00am), Shelby and Wes went duck hunting with my brother-in-law Brent and my nephew Ben.  Miduk did not go with them this time, but didn't seem to mind.  (shoulder is probably still sore from the skeet range!)


Wes took Miduk to the Athletic Center to see if he could lift some weights and work on his upper body strength.  At first Miduk was like no thanks, but then he really got into it so they went again the next day.  I think it would be great if Miduk has some muscles to show his big brothers when he gets back home!

Kasey's friend Christian had dinner with us tonight.  Miduk kept punching Christian's biceps and saying "BIG!".  The next thing we knew, Miduk whipped off his shirt and was showing us his guns; haha!


Miduk loves playing around with Sugar!

Monday, December 19, 2011


This afternoon we had an appointment at Scottish Rite to pick up the "body cast" that was custom made for Miduk at our last visit.  Kartika met us there to help with the translation, which was really helpful.  We wanted to make sure that Miduk knows that wearing this cast is not going to help heal his hip in any way; it is simply a diagnostic tool that will simulate what it would feel like to Miduk if he had the hip fusion surgery.
The orthotic fits his torso pretty snugly, with a bar down the side that restricts the motion of his hip and fastens around his thigh.  I think it's pretty safe to say that he wasn't crazy about it.  It was very difficult for him to sit down (as it would be if he were to have the surgery because the hip would be "fixed" at a particular position permanently).  They also placed an orthotic in his shoe, giving him an additonal 1 1/2 centimeters of length on the side where he walks on the ball of his foot because it's shorter than the other.  This also is an attempt to simulate what it might be like post-surgery.  Right off the bat we could tell the difficulty will be in sitting in a chair (at the dinner table, for example) and sitting on a toilet seat or squatting, tying his shoe.  At home in Indonesia they sit on the floor to eat, to watch TV, and to sleep.  Miduk continues to tell us that he has NO PAIN ("Sakit", our new buzz word that means "pain" in Bahasa)at all.  Even after walking the entire outlet mall for close to four hours, no pain and not tired.  He said his hip actually feels better here than it did back home.  We wonder if it might be because he is now sleeping on a bed with a mattress, as opposed to sleeping on the floor back home? And sitting on cushioned chairs and sofas instead of sitting on the hard floor?  Just a thought....

Miduk was a trooper at the fitting today.  Kevin the orthotics guy was very patient and did some shaving on the cast to make it fit as best as it could, but explained that he can't make it "comfortable" because that would not give Miduk an accurate feel for the limitations he would have if he had the hip fusion surgery.  I think at this time Shelby and I tend to lean towards not having the hip fusion surgery. Too many negatives that will impact Miduk's future in the long run.  But we will continue to explore all available options.  We plan to let Miduk wear the cast as long as he can stand it, daytime only-we will give him a break when he sleeps.  But we also agreed not to start having him wear it until after Christmas.  I want him to enjoy every minute of Christmas and not be frustrated or aggravated with the cast.
And notice the emblem he chose for the chest piece - a cross!  At the last visit he looked through a big book of lots of different symbols he could have put on the cast, and he immediately picked the cross and never considered anything else.  We told him he looks like a superhero!


Ben and Miduk at the bowling alley

Wes and Miduk with their Gingerbread houses

Decorating Gingerbread houses in our garage!
Kasey, Kaitlyn, Miduk, Christian and Wes

Miduk loves Kaitlyn!  She is always very sweet to him. :)

Mitchell and Miduk at the bowling alley

Miduk had a great time bowling with Ben and Mitchell!

We have the best neighbors ever!  This past weekend our neighbor Ben planned a "guys night out" for Miduk.  Ben and his friend Mitchell picked Miduk up on Friday night and took him bowling with them for a couple of hours.  Is that great or what?  I don't know many high school boys that would even think of doing that!  Miduk came home all happy-clappy with a little spring in his step.  :)  And a big smile on his face!  You just have to know how that made his day....  Lately I have sensed that Miduk has been bored.  Maybe bored isn't the right word.  Unsettled maybe?  We have been busy doing things, going places, watching movies, all kinds of holiday activities, people have given him legos and things to play with - but I think what's been missing are his friends back home.  He sees Kasey going out and Wes staying out late, and although they include him from time to time in their activities, he does stay home quite a bit with Shelby and I and does his own thing (usually playing video games or watching DVDs).  Well as fun as Shelby and I are, (HA!) we are not 17 years old nor do we have the energy of a 17 year old,  and we are most definitely not the fun that Miduk is looking for!  Last week was a really tough week.  Shelby was not home from Monday thru Friday, Kasey worked most days after school until 7:00pm, and all Miduk had was me.  And Sugar.  That is a LONG day trying to keep a teenager entertained! He is like the Energizer Bunny!  Stays up late, gets up early, and just goes and goes and goes... We played cards,made Christmas candy, spent way too much time on youtube, watched movies, rode around on the go-go scooter, looked at Christmas lights, etc etc - and I was exhausted because I am not used to planning my day around someone else.  Don't get me wrong, I am truly enjoying Miduk - but in a way it's like having a young child around again who is dependent on me for a lot of things.  For instance, we want him to let us know if he is going outside to play in the front yard.  Yes I realize he is 16 years old but I feel like I need to know where he is at all times!  So when he went across the street and knocked on our neighbors' door to see if Ben could play without telling us where he was going, that was a bit unsettling. I don't leave him home alone, and I also don't feel comfortable going to bed at night with Miduk upstairs playing video games or watching a movie on TV.  I know that's weird, but I don't know if he will stay up til 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and that's something I never allowed my own children to do!  So we have been telling Miduk that it's bedtime around 11:00pm when we go to bed, but he doesn't like going to bed that early.  "Oh, Mom!" is what I hear and I can almost catch the eyes starting to roll.  Typical teenager!  My compromise is that he can stay up in his room and read or write in his journal or do something quietly but no TV or video.  (I know, I know!)  Now that Wes is home from college for the next 3 weeks and Kasey is out of school for Christmas vacation, I'm sure I will relax on the whole bedtime thing.  This parenting thing is hard!  Not that I didn't already know that, but we are sort of past all this with our kids and can trust them to follow the house rules and can go to sleep at night without waiting up for them.  So short story long, I have been asking Miduk what he does back home every evening between dinnertime and bedtime and he told me he plays Playstation with his brother Besli. Usually until midnight or later, according to Miduk.  And watches TV with his family, or plays hide-and-seek outside with his friends.  He especially misses his best friend Donna (a boy named Donna!).  Miduk says he and Donna play everyday after Donna gets home from school.  They ride bikes everywhere, climb trees and steal fruit from the fields (pomegranates!) We had considered getting him a bicycle for Christmas, but again I'm just not sure I feel comfortable with him riding around the neighborhood and me not knowing where he is.  I just can't do it.  We decided we will get a new bike for Miduk when he returns to Indonesia instead. (shh, don't tell!)  This morning I let him call his Mom again but her phone was out of service so we called Besli instead and he talked and talked and even put Sugar on the phone and had her howling for Besli.  Too funny!  Yesterday Wes took Miduk to Bass Pro and they did the shooting gallery and walked around.  Miduk says Bass Pro is his favorite store!  Then later on they made Gingerbread houses, then Kasey took Miduk to see a giant live oak tree that is completely covered in white lights, then Miduk hung out with Kasey and some of her friends for a little while. Surely this is more than he does back home!  Miduk occasionally leaves notes for Kasey to find on her lightswitch at night - usually it says goodnight Kasey, sometimes it says I love you.  We've had a little chat about how brothers and sisters show love for one another b/c we thought he was developing a crush on Kasey and maybe hugging on her just a bit too much; and he has been much better and less touchy with her ever since.  So anyway, I've learned that teenagers are teenagers no matter where they come from.....except this teenager has yet to sleep in! :) He is up with the sun if not before...I don't know how he  does it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011















My parents came for a visit last week and stayed four days.  We stayed busy with shopping and Miduk was able to keep up with us!  One night we went out for Mexican food and afterwards went to downtown Grapevine to look at the Christmas displays.  They have a giant tree with lights that are choreographed to Christmas music which are really cool!  Just a really quaint atmosphere downtown.  :)  Grandma and Grandad brought gifts which they put under our tree.  Miduk was pretty excited to see one with his name on it and kept saying WOW!  Did I tell you about the pickle ornament?  Every year we hide a pickle ornament on our tree (old World tradition), so we explained it to Miduk and let him put the pickle on the tree.  Guess who can't remember where he put it?  haha we may never find that ornament!  One night we took Grandma and Grandad to a Hibachi restaurant which was fun, I think Miduk enjoyed watching the chef do his tricks at the table for us.  I asked Miduk if he liked it and he said "I very very like it".  On that note, today it was thundering and lightning outside and he said "I very very no like thunder!" haha  I introduced him to YouTube videos the past couple of days, trying to keep him busy and entertained indoors.  I think I have created a monster!  He is having the best time looking up everything from Hummers to funny animal videos to music.  He plays the same Indonesian rock music so much that now I can sing along.  We are competing for the laptop these days so I  haven't posted on this blog in over a week!  I did take him to the movie theater to see "Arthur's Christmas" earlier this week, he liked the movie and I have to confess I enjoyed a light nap too!  This particular theater has a butter bar where you can put your own melted butter on your popcorn.  He was pretty fascinated with that!  Another day I took him for lunch at Taco Bueno.  After we finished eating, I said "That hit the spot" and he looked at me with the funniest expression so I had to explain myself!  Half the lights on his Christmas tree would not light up, no matter what I did, so we decided to take them off and put a new strand of lights on.  As we were taking the old lights off, I found an entire roll of Mentos that he put on the tree branches.  We had sampled Mentos at Sam's Club last week and the lady liked him so much that she gave him the entire roll!  I guess to him it was pretty special and he placed it on his tree.  I have to admit, I was clenching my teeth and not too happy about having to take the lights off with the ornaments falling off too, but to Miduk it was a lot of fun to decorate the tree twice!  I looked at it as an inconvenience, but to him it was a great time! :)  And he kept singing "Feliz Navidad", which we have heard on the radio repeatedly...This past week Miduk has helped me with stuffing our Christmas cards and putting stamps and labels on the envelopes. He wrote a letter to his parents and we mailed the card to Bryan in Medan, who will hopefully deliver the letter to Miduk's parents the next time he goes to their village.  It may not reach them until after Christmas, but better late than never, right?  Miduk has learned a new sport and it is bowling!  Kasey and her friend Zach took him bowling last Sunday, and said he was a natural at it!  Rolled strikes and spares one right after the other, not even needing the bumpers.  I wasn't even sure he would be able to take the steps and throw the ball, but he did!  And outscored Kasey and Zach, who were very impresssed! Is it beginners luck?  We are going to find out!  He wants to go again soon.  When my parents left on Monday, they gave Miduk a $10 bill.  Ever since Wes and Kasey were young, my parents always give them a couple of dollars at the end of their visit - "Coke Money" they always say.  When my mom handed Miduk the $10 bill, he wouldn't take it and kept saying "No Grandma".  Well she kept insisting (my mom ALWAYS wins these kinds of battles!) and he finally took it and put it in his pocket.  Later that day I told him it was his to do whatever he wanted - to save it or to spend it.  He told me he put it in his bible. To put it in perspective, $10 is what one of his parents would make in five days of full-time work!