Tuesday, January 31, 2012


On Monday night Kasey, Miduk and I went to a nursing home to play Bingo with some of the residents.  Actually, we don't play but we call the numbers and help them mark their Bingo cards.  Of course, I had to teach Miduk how to play Bingo first so he could help!  At lunch I drew out a picture of a bingo card and explained it to him.  We had about ten seniors playing, and Miduk helped a man who insisted on playing with six cards (he could only keep up with a couple of them!)

Miduk with a black Camaro

Miduk with a black Hummer truck

Miduk with a Mustang ("my favorite, Mom!)

Another Hummer

We were trying to figure out how Miduk would even be able to get up in a truck like this one!  It's HUGE!

Lots of Mustangs!

Shelby and Miduk with a SHELBY COBRA  :)

We took a Sunday afternoon drive to a few car lots in Grapevine so Miduk could look at some cars up close and personal.  (plus on Sundays the salesmen aren't there so that's good)  He gravitates to all the black cars, and loved the Camaros and Mustangs and Hummers.  He really wanted to see a Ferrari or Lamborghini (Lambor-genie he says) but I'm thinking we'll need to go into Dallas sometime to see the pricey cars!

Miduk went to three soccer games this weekend to watch our neighbor Ben play.  He really enjoys watching the games, and usually when we come home afterwards he heads out back to kick the ball around.  On Saturday night, my neighbors Pamela and Brian (Ben's parents) took Miduk to the championship game, then out to Mooyah for a burger afterwards.  Flower Mound won the championship game against crosstown rival Marcus High School, so everyone was in great spirits!

Miduk tried both a peach and a pear this week.  He liked the peach but not the pear!
And now I am buying two big bags of clementines (baby oranges) at a time; Miduk eats probably half a dozen of those every day!  He does not have a sweet tooth and usually refuses sweets.  But his favorite snack is a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos!

Miduk likes to make Indomei noodles for lunch (like our ramen noodles, he brought these with him from Indonesia).  I told him "a watched pot never boils".....that took some explaining!  Also had to explain to him what a "skyscraper" is, and that Flower Mound is to Dallas what his village of Aek Popo is to Medan.  He understands "what are you doing?" but one day I said "What are you up to?" and again got the confused look on his face.  :)

Song of the week was "Don't Worry, Be Happy".  We talked about not worrying and praying instead of worrying and giving it all over to God.  Not worrying about his return to Indonesia, not worrying about his dental appointment this week.  Easier said than done!  He did really well at the dentist for someone who has NEVER been to the dentist before and never had his teeth cleaned or x-rays of his teeth made.  I took him to my dentist who I absolutely LOVE.  Her name is Dr. McClellan and she is very soft-spoken and very gentle; she participates in mission trips to Guatemala with SERVING HIM ministries and as a matter of fact she and some of her staff are going to Guatamela in a couple of weeks to offer their dental services.  Anyway, all this to say, Miduk was brave although he obviously didn't enjoy the teeth cleaning and all the scraping of sixteen years of plaque off of his teeth and under his gumline (ouch).  He has eight cavities, four on each side in his molars-a couple of them pretty big.  We will be returning in a couple of weeks to have them filled, so I need to prepare Miduk for the shots of novocaine and the drill.  Maybe it's a good thing that he doesn't know what to expect!  How can he be worried when he doesn't know what to worry about?  Yeah, right-fear of the unknown!  

We had crab legs for dinner Sunday night.  Miduk eats crabs in Indonesia, but he had never seen the Alaskan snow crab legs which are much larger.  We have crab crackers (say that five times fast) to crack the legs, but he kept putting them in his mouth and biting on the hard shell!  Now that's got to be hard on teeth, huh?  His teeth are actually very straight and white, as if he has had braces.  I'm surprised none of them are broken....

Kasey and her friend Sam took Miduk to the indoor swimming pool at the community center this weekend so that Miduk could swim.  It has a diving board, and Miduk jumped and did flips off the board!  Unfortunately the slide was closed.

In church Sunday our new preacher was talking about his family still being in Kentucky.  I told Miduk that Kentucky is a state just like Texas is a state.  He said "I know Kentucky!  I like Kentucky!" And I'm like, what?  You know Kentucky?  And he said YES!  Kentucky chicken! I love Kentucky fried chicken! hahaha he had eaten KFC in Medan Indonesia before.

Last Sunday in church each family was given $10 of the church's mission funds, with instructions to use it to bless others with God's love, either by sharing it, combining it, building it, whatever!  A lesson in "Risk-Taking Generosity".  We have been throwing around some ideas of what to do with the money to help others.  Believe me, there is not a lack of ideas!  Kasey is in a class at school called Money Matters and her suggestion was to invest the money, watch it grow first, then donate it later.  Shelby jokingly suggested we buy a $10 gift card, then throw it on the ground for somebody to find (see previous post about Miduk finding a gift card worth $62!) Miduk didn't have any real suggestions other than give it to someone who needs it.  I was thinking maybe about donating it to Linley for her work she does in Indonesia.  She is not a non-profit organization and funds a lot of the work she does herself and relies on donations.  (By the way, is there anyone out there who might be able to help her set up an NGO?  A non-profit organization that she desperately needs and wants to do but needs help from someone who is knowledgeable about how to do this!  Let me know if you can help!)
Anyway, I can sense that we need to do something concrete and tangible in order for Miduk to understand what the money is used for.  So we decided to take the $10 from the church, add some more, and go to the grocery store and buy canned goods to donate to the SOUPER BOWL OF CARING.  This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday and at church we will be collecting canned goods with the goal of filling up a grocery shopping cart to overflowing.  I think that's something Miduk can see how it's put into action, especially since he's been to CCA to help in the food pantry and saw all the thousands of canned goods.  He told me he wants to buy tuna fish!  He tried tuna fish at lunch today and loved it.  Why didn't I think of that sooner?  He even stirred some tuna into his Indomei noodles! (ok yuck, but he loved it).  Gotta put that on my list of things to send back home with him b/c he said he's never seen a can of tuna before.  Also on that list is Williams Chili Seasoning packets since he loves chili and can use it at home with chicken or whatever meat he has.

I talked with Linley at length last Friday about preparing Miduk for his return home and discussing with Miduk about what he might do when he returns-preparing for his future and getting a job, knowing he has some options.  Miduk and I have been talking about that lately anyway, about things he has an interest in and things he seems to be good at.  About the fact that since he doesn't go to school he needs to think about what he might be able to do to take care of himself.  Something that he enjoys and something that hopefully he can sit down and do, rather than farming.  Linley told me she plans to be in Houston in a couple weeks, and will come to Dallas to visit us and plan for Miduk's return shortly thereafter.  So we are looking at a possible return for Miduk the end of February or early March.  I discussed all this with Miduk, he seemed to understand, I told him we don't have a definite date yet but a general time frame.  He seemed fine with it but then went silent on me.  For the rest of the evening!  He refused to talk, sat outside in the dark, laid on his bed.  We went to dinner with Kasey and a couple of her friends (Shelby was out of town) hoping to cheer him up but he wouldn't talk and wouldn't even look at any of us!  It was PAINFUL to say the least.  Then out of the blue he said "Mom, March too long!  I go back before Wesley birthday". (which is February 16).  And I was like, what?  You want to go back SOONER?  You don't want to stay until March?  All along I was thinking he was quiet because he wanted to stay longer, and here he was telling me he wants to go home!  Kasey said he has been telling her he misses his friends, and I know he is ready to see them again and be back in his familiar environment.  So I got out the calendar and explained to him that he can't go back until Linley is there in Singapore to take him back to his village.  She also wants to spend some time with him first, kind of helping him with that transition.  I know it won't be easy for Miduk no matter how much he might miss his friends.  In the expat community we call it "re-entry burns" when it's time to go back home.  My impression is that Miduk has mixed emotions about going back home and that was his way of dealing with it. "Just take me home now and get it over with" kind of attitude.  By Saturday he was better, no longer silent-and by Sunday he was back to normal.  He must have so much on his mind and so many emotions he's going through right now.  And really nobody except us to talk to about it!  We have tried calling his brother and mother several times this week but can't get through so we'll keep trying.

OK now fast forward to today (Tuesday) .  To make a long story short, we are having to have our hardwood floors ripped out and replaced because of the water damage that the leak caused.  It may be limited to the front entryway, but there's a chance they may have to remove all the hardwood flooring on the first floor of our house.  Today they came and checked the moisture level under the flooring and went to town ripping out the floor.  It is a disaster!  We are down to concrete in some areas, and have ten blowers and two humidifiers going.  Those guys were here for six hours today!  I was trying to explain all this to Miduk about the floors, and how they may end up taking all the floor out which would mean moving our stuff out including ourselves for a week or more.  But I don't really want to even think about doing all that while Miduk is still with us.  Too much hassle with workers here and us moving out and dealing with the mess, etc.  So I told Miduk we wouldn't do it while he is still here-he will wait until AFTER he goes back to Indonesia to get the new floor, and just leave it stripped down to concrete for a while.  Well when I mentioned "when you go back to Indonesia" he grabbed onto the door frame and said "I not go home, Mom.  I stay here!" and pretended like someone was trying to drag him away and he was holding on tight.  I said "I thought you were ready to go back home!" and he said No Mom I stay here, I not go back to Indonesia.......  Yep, mixed emotions here we come!  This could really be tough.  I've got a lot of mixed emotions myself these days.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Check out that form!  :)

Miduk picked up a lot of spares

Scoreboard after first game:  Miduk 117, Tim 106, Tracy 100

Scoreboard after second game: Miduk 121, Tim 106, Tracy 91

Miduk reading an Indonesian comic book.  He likes to lay on the floor in his bedroom where the sun comes shining in

Miduk and I went to Sprouts to check out all the produce.  We picked nine different varieties of apples for a taste test.  While we all were watching American Idol, I sliced each one and we all gave each apple a thumbs up, thumbs down, or so-so.  Overall the favorite was the Fuji apple, Red Delicious(Miduk's favorite), and Honeycrisp.  Red Rome and Golden Delicious were our least favorite!  Miduk tells me they have "Indonesian Idol" back home!  And back to apples - I nearly sliced the end of my thumb off today while cutting apple slices with a paring knife.  Shelby recently got a new electric knife sharpener at the gun show, and has sharpened every single knife and every pair of scissors in our house!  It made me so dizzy I nearly fainted and Miduk couldn't figure out what was wrong with me!  Good thing it wasn't my bowling hand, huh?

Goofing around at Kohl's and trying on a "suit"!

I had forgotten just how attractive bowling shoes are!

On Wednesday afternoon, Miduk's favorite soccer team Barcelona played Real Madrid and it was on ESPN3 online.  Thanks to a tip from Wesley, we were ready and waiting at 2:55pm for the game to start.  Miduk was SO excited and yelling for his team!  I could hear him shouting all the way out in the garage! haha 

Miduk picked out this shirt at Kohl's today and told me he wanted to wear it to the dance show tonight with Kasey.  Some of her friends are in the Rosettes, the Flower Mound drill team, and have become friends with Miduk.  As they came out onto the dance floor to perform, Miduk said, "HELL-O,  LADIES!  Those are my girls!" hahaha

Miduk selected an 8 pound ball.  Love that orange color!

Miduk and I went bowling this morning with our friend Tim.  Tim is a friend from church whom I have known for a long time, and he is the one who accompanied Kasey and I to the airport to welcome Miduk when he arrived in November.  Tim is also in the Wednesday morning Bible Study group, and was glad when Miduk came along because he was the only male in the class!  We had lunch with Tim at Dickey's BBQ on Wednesday after our class, and Miduk devoured an entire plate of smoked sausage, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. He never leaves anything on his plate!  I think Miduk relates well to Tim because Tim is hemiplegic, meaning he has some paralysis that affects one side of his body. He has had his share of challenges the past few years and has such an amazing outlook on life! Tim is very outgoing, funny, laidback, and fun to be around.  One of those people whose glass is always full.  I can see why Miduk would enjoy his company!  He is a great role model and doesn't fret about his physical limitations.  Rather, he talks about how blessed he is and what a great life he has.  Miduk and I talked about that on our way to the bowling alley.  I pointed out that Tim is happy because he has a good attitude and a positive way at looking at life, in spite of his injury.  I told Miduk he could be that way, too-he can decide to overcome his physical limitations and live a happy life like Tim, or he can choose to dwell on his displaced hip and be miserable. That it's a choice only he can make.  I am just so thankful for Tim and his positive example for Miduk, and I know God is definitely to thank for planning that out! Anyway, we decided to bowl using the bumpers on the lanes today, and good thing we did!  I am embarassed to report that I was beat by both Tim and Miduk in both games!  Miduk was really on fire with picking up the spares.  And Tim even threw a strike without the ball ever even touching the bumpers!  Yep, they both put me to shame....and I don't have any excuses!

Yesterday it was cold and rainy so I made chili for dinner, one of Miduk's favorites.  When I commented that it was "chilly" outside, he was so confused!!!! hahaha

We went to Lowe's looking for a Lazy Suzan for my dining table.  Miduk was like, What?  Lazy who?  We know two Susan's and neither one of them is lazy!  :)

And for those of you who asked, YES they finally repaired the leak under our house and put back the mountain of dirt on the side of our house.  Yippee!  :)

Monday, January 23, 2012


Taking a break from soccer!  We had a beautiful 78 degree day in Flower Mound on Friday and spent the entire afternoon outdoors, raking leaves and kicking the soccer ball around

Went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant Saturday night. Miduk was all smiles after eating some pork satay, spring roll, and a huge bowl of Tom Yam (yum!) noodles.  He was sitting SO close to Shelby, it was kind of funny because Shelby kept moving over a bit (Miduk was invading his space)  and then Miduk would move over too and always had to be touching him or leaning on him.  Makes me wonder if he does that at home with his own dad?  I get the impression that his family is not very affectionate with one another, at least they don't show it. Miduk says they don't really hug each other.  We are making sure he gets plenty of hugs while he is with us!  Shelby went out of town for four days last week, and Miduk's Nintendo DS was in the backseat of Shelby's car.  When Miduk realized it, he said "4 days, no Nintendo".  So when Shelby returned home Thursday night, I fully expected Miduk to run right past him to get his Nintendo out of the car.  He surprised us both by coming into the kitchen first to give Shelby a hug and tell him he missed him (AND his Nintendo!)

Watching Ben's soccer game from the press box at Flower Mound High School on Friday night with Ben's sister Mia.  Flower Mound won, 2-0! Miduk loved watching the boys play on the big field, and wanted to play with them! He is also wearing the Flower Mound Soccer shirt that Ben gave him.

Just can't beat Domino's pizza!  Miduk likes pepperoni and mushroom

Miduk goofing around with our reading glasses and thought Sugar needed some, too :)

His latest chalk creation on the path behind our house, written vertically "I LOVE DALLAS"  The other day he ran a few errands with Kasey, and when they pulled up in the driveway he got out of her car and yelled "I LOVE DALLAS!"

Surrender, Sugar!  Surrender is one of Sugar's best tricks.  She is happy to comply with the request because it always means a belly rub for her...

Practicing some soccer tricks he saw on YouTube

Remember "Santa Ben" who gave Miduk some soccer shoes for Christmas?  On Thursday afternoon Ben took Miduk to Dick's Sporting Goods and bought him a brand new soccer ball.  (somehow Miduk's ball had gone missing).  Miduk is SO PROUD of his new ball!  After he plays with it, he brings it back inside and puts it back in the box.  Not only that, Ben and Miduk had dinner together at Panda Express, a favorite! 

On Saturday morning Shelby and Miduk went to get haircuts.  I've never gone with them, but Shelby reports that when he sits in the chair, Miduk closes his eyes and grimaces the entire time.  The ENTIRE TIME!  As if it hurts!  We asked him about it, and he said getting haircuts hurts.  OK really?  Are we being a little dramatic here!  They didn't even use the electric clippers, just scissors.  Miduk said that he used to have very long hair (he pointed to about halfway down his back) that he wore in a ponytail every day.  I'm trying to picture that!  He also said that usually his brother Besli cuts his hair, but one time he got a haircut from someone else and then he slept for two days. SERIOUSLY! 

Miduk talked about fighting with other kids.  I can understand if he is fighting to protect himself, but I was bothered because he acted like he really enjoys fighting and punching other kids.  I asked him if other kids tease him because of his hip and walking "funny" and he said sometimes, but he just fights them.  Oh brother.   I tried to talk to him about not fighting and how it's not a good way to solve problems, but I am quite sure it went in one ear and out the other.  He seems so quiet and mild-mannered to me!  I can't imagine him hitting and kicking other kids, but he says he does.  Gotta work on that one before he goes back home!

Speaking of going back home, many of you have asked the status of Miduk's medical procedures and what the time frame is.  We have an appointment with the team of doctors at Scottish Rite on Thursday February 2.  I anticipate this may be our last visit, unless the doctors have any other options to offer us besides the hip fusion surgery.  We want to explore any and all options if there are any, but realistically, we are also trying to come to terms with the likely possibility that he will return to Indonesia without having his hip repaired.  He and his parents were made aware of this possibility before Miduk came to Dallas.  Bryan (Linley's helper in Indonesia) has talked with Miduk's mother and she said she trusts whatever decision we make.  Miduk knows that he will probably return to his village without having his hip repaired.  He says he wants to be able to squat and sit and ride his bicycle, all things he would be unable to do if he were to have the hip fusion surgery.  Not to mention, he is currently in NO PAIN AT ALL and gets around great, can practically run with one crutch (he never ever uses both crutches), climb upstairs (and climb trees too!), ride a bike, sit comfortably, and pretty much do whatever he wants.  Hip fusion surgery is just not a good trade-off for him in his current condition.  It's such a shame that he didn't get help five years ago after his injury.....All this to say, we have started the dialogue with him about his return and talk about it frquently, as in "When you go back to Indonesia, what's the first thing you're going to do?" (Play with his friend Donna) "What do you want to take back to Indonesia with you?" (my Nintendo and my remote control car and my blanket)  "What are some of your favorite American foods you want to eat before you go back?" (chili, barbecued ribs, sausage, waffles, hamburgers, lasagna)  Whenever we make the date for his return trip home, I want it to be a fun countdown for him and something to look forward to, not something he dreads.  We also have been encouraging him to call home more often, but darn it's hard to get through and half the time no one answers. And although I have dreamed about accompanying him on his return trip and taking him all the way to his doorstep and meeting his family, I can see that's not going to happen.  So we will just enjoy him while we have him here!

I took Miduk to Braums for an ice cream cone and he couldn't believe all the flavors, and the fact that he could taste any of them.  He ended up with peanut butter cup ice cream on a cone.  "Cone, Mom?  What is cone?"

I worked with Miduk on some ESL picture cards and he knows pretty much all of them, but has trouble pronouncing some of them, such as scissors ("skizzers"), island ("izland").  One of the picture words was fireworks and he said "Katy Perry!"  He is such a teenager!  :)  Shelby says I confuse him because I ask him too many things at once and use run-on sentences (really?) and also my use of double negatives confuses him.  No wonder he sometimes doesn't answer me at all, or just says YES.  I was begining to think he was a yes-man!

On our walk last Friday, Miduk found an American Express gift card on the sidewalk and picked it up.  I told him it was probably trash, but we came home and looked up the gift card number online, and guess what?  It is worth $62.62!!!!!!!!!  You really cannot imagine his reaction when I told him.  When he realized that the card was worth money he went a little crazy!  That's a lot of money for anyone to find, but to Miduk it means so much more.  Keep in mind that his parents each make $2 per day for a full days' work as farmers.  Miduk has hit the jackpot!  He was screaming and saying OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH MONEY! MONEY! I AM CRYING! I SO HAPPY MOM! and putting his hand over his heart and making little beating motions, then he kissed the card.  We told him to put it in his wallet so he doesn't lose it.  We also told him he can spend it on something while he is here, if there is anything he wants to take back.  Or, if he would rather have the MONEY OH MY GOSH MONEY, that we would give him the cash instead when he leaves and he can convert it to Indonesian rupiah.  He was happy all day and all night just thinking over the possibilities.  Kinda like when we play the "What would I do if I won the lottery" game.  My guess is that he will take the cash and use it to buy a bicycle when he returns home.

When the weather turned warm this weekend, I offered to turn on the ceiling fan in Miduk's bedroom for him as he was getting ready for bed.  When I turned it on, the blades began to rotate and something dropped off the fan and onto the bed.  It was Miduk's wallet!  What in the world?  He said he hides his wallet on top of the ceiling fan.  Wow, what a great hiding place! haha  I reassured him that we were NOT going to take his money or the gift card he found.  He told me that at home he hides his money from his family.  Right now he has $5 hidden at home and is worried that someone will find it while he's gone! 

And last but not least, we now have an 18 foot tunnel under our house that Shelby is considering turning into a man-cave and having a poker party down there if they don't repair this darn leak soon!  And the biggest pile of dirt you have ever seen on the side of our house!  I am happy to report that they turned the water back on for the weekend, but this morning Mr. Leak Detector is back and the water is shut off once again.  Miduk to Mom:  "Oh no! Really no water? Oh my gosh again?"  Yep, we have Americanized him.  Oh, the inconvenience!  :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Miduk calls the scooter his "Red Ferrari".  Did I mention his obsession with cars?  haha

Miduk found a piece of chalk along the path and this is what he did with it.  He loves anything with a peace sign.  I gave him a peace sign sticker and he put it on his remote controlled car!  NANK is the nickname he calls his brother Besli.

Trying to outrun Sugar on the Red Ferrari

He has grown so much the past ten weeks!  I think he's up to 85 pounds now.  10 pounds in 10 weeks!  Better him than me!  :)