Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday!  My Dad always told me when I was growing up that life isn't fair. I'm glad that he is right 'cause for some reason I was blessed with a much better Mom than I deserved.  There is a very long list of things I love about my mom, some of my favorites is her passion, her innocence, and that she is so fun to get 'riled' up.  My Mom has always made me laugh a lot and that is a great gift.

The name of the first High School I went to was the Wayne Blue Devils. My Mom wouldn't let me bring anything into the house with a blue devil on it.  She didn't want the devil to be in her house - NO WAY!  It was always fun to see Mom's reaction when we would try and sneak 'blue devil' gear into the Ostercamp house.  My Mom isn't a Duke fan either.

My Mom has a really hard time sitting still.  I don't think she has ever sat through a whole movie. It is hard for her to go two hours without cleaning something.  My room and I always enjoyed this quality of my Mom. 

One time my Mom had a new habit of filling a water bottle and then keeping it in the refrigerator.  She was real proud of her new plan and enjoyed many long deep drinks of cold water after hard days of cleaning.  I fell off the couch after watching her take in a long cold drink of salt water one summer afternoon.   My evil concoction worked to perfection!  I really enjoyed my trick for twenty-four hours.  Looking back I am disappointed in myself.  I really should have known that my coke-a-cola the next evening at supper was actually cold coffee.  

Once my Mom actually drove into a drive-in bank. 

I don't think my Mom has ever said a bad word.  Once my friend got a new dog and it was a shitzu.  It was always fun to ask my Mom what kind of dog my friend had cause she felt real guilty about saying it.  Once my Mom got her mouth washed out with soap though.  No, she didn't say a bad word, she was cleaning and thought the yellow liquid on the counter was warm melted butter.  Both my Mom and I like warm melted butter so my Mom scooped it up with her finger, but it was shampoo.  I think the taste lasted a whole day.  My Mom never said a bad word again. 

My Mom has taught me many valuable lessons.  One of them she taught me was that if you want to really enjoy life you better be good at laughing at yourself.  Life is too stressful if you take yourself too seriously.  My Mom always brings everyone a lot of joy and laughter, and she is good at laughing at herself.  My Mom has a really special gift with children.  Not many people know what my Mom does for a job; she works with under-privileged children at a preschool in her Iowa town.  Take my word for it, these children have the best preschool teacher in the nation, and I'm not just saying that because I should.  

Have you ever noticed that in life people who do things that truly matter are rarely noticed and people who do things that don't really matter are often noticed a great deal?  Jesus said it would be this way.  Jesus says caring for children, the poor, the lonely, and the defenseless really matters.  Almost all Moms do this, and my Mom has done this her whole life.  When it really matters she will be noticed for it.  I think she will be the official reader of kids books in heaven cause she is really good at it.  

In honor of Mom's birthday may we take ourselves a little less seriously, may we all do something that won't get noticed by many but will really matter to a few, and someday may we all be as close to Jesus as my Mom is. 

Love You Mom, Happy Birthday!

ps.  That should be good for one or two extra gifts this holiday season don't you think..?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chicago Snow!

Our 'Countdown To Christmas' chart actually said 'snowflake mania' today.  So we got to create our own snowstorm right here in Chicago.  I realize that it doesn't compare to Willmar's snowstorm, but we tried to get close.  :)  We are counting the days to when we get our Willmar company (Angie B. and Mallory M.) this weekend, and then when we can travel to Bloomington, Willmar, and Iowa for Christmas!  See you all soon!
Posted by:  Anita O.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

One Unique Birthday Party

Luke turned 6 on December 4th.  We invited  his 6 closest friends from his new school, and the craziest thing happened.  They all came!  It was especially crazy since they all got their invites two days before, but the craziness didn't stop there.  Five of the moms, one great Aunt, and a seven year old brother all decided to stay as well.  This made Anita a little nervous, but I thought it was fabulous!  The neighborhood we live in never ceases to amaze me and this night was no exception.

In our living room was a mom (Sherri) and her son (Ben) from Japan, and a mom (Sue) and her son (Elijah) from Korea.  We also had a mom (Aishe) and her son (Barkey) from Turkey, and a great aunt (Manita), seven year old brother (Razseen), mom (Nur) and her twin daughters (Farshene & Noshein) from Bangladesh.  Finally, there was a Northern European (Annika) and all of the Northern European Ostercamps!  

The moms from Japan and Korea had been born in the USA, but the rest are first generation immigrants.  It was a beautiful representation of the Kingdom of God.  Japan, Korea, Turkey, Bangladesh all right here together under our roof.  I never would have imagined 12 months ago that Anita and I would be hosting this sort of birthday party. :)  

It was great to get to know all these wonderful people from all over the world.  These Moms did not know each other so I felt like a community organizer of sorts. :)  What an amazing country we live in!  We really are a country of immigrants - a conglomeration of so many cultures.  Luke had a great global birthday party, and we look forward to getting to know our neighbors better in the future.

A man at Church told me that our zip code 60625 is know as the most diverse in the world.  I feel that we are blessed to live in this neighborhood for these three years.  What an experience for us and our kids.  Please pray for us as we seek to know and love those who live around us.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Love December!

Oh, I love this time of year!  I can sing my favorite songs!  The air is crisp, and the lights are lovely.  As we anticipate Christmas Day, we have put up our tree and have made our Advent Calendar.  I'm having so much fun sharing all of the wonders of Christmas with my kids. They are so grown up now, and they are just as thrilled as I am.  We put up our Chicago Christmas tree - I'm calling it that because it's not the tree we have used in past years since I significantly downsized this year.  Our apartment does look adequately decorated, and it only took us an hour to get our tree up and ornamented!  I am so glad that we can celebrate the birth of Jesus in such a festive and beautiful way!

Posted By Anita O.