Growing up in a household of twelve children has been a very interesting experience. I've decided to start sharing some of these experiences on my blog with a post dedicated to this once a month. Let me know what you think. :)
I was cleaning the kitchen one afternoon, singing as I worked, (as opposed to whistling while I work, since I'm not a dwarf, though my brothers would argue that point.) when my little sister Grace came in. Grace looked at me and said "Amber, sing in Germany."
"Sing in Germany? But, I'm not in Germany." Was my puzzled reply.
Putting her hand on her hip she gave me that exasperated sigh that little girls are so well known for. "No, sing in Germany."
"Buy me a ticket and I'd be happy to go sing in Germany."
"Grace, I don't get it. I don't even speak German."
By this time my then eight-year-old sister was getting frustrated with me. "No, Amber. Sing like you do with Melody, when you sing different. Sing in Germany."
My brain searched every plausible possibility of what she was trying to say, then it finally dawned on me. Harmony. She wanted me to sing harmony.
"Oh! You want me to sing the harmony part?"
"That's harmony, not Germany, Grace. Germany is a country where Hitler was."
The homeschool teacher part of me came out as I tried to teach her history, geography and vocabulary all at once, to which she replied, "Ya, whatever. Close enough."
In honor of my new little brother and sister, here is an old favorite that I was reminded of this week. :)
When Life Gets Stinky
By Amber D. Schamel
Of course we've all heard about every little thing that can go wrong in changinga diaper, but have you ever heard of the struggle of throwing them away?
Growing up in a family of eleven children, I have changed many diapers in my career. But until that fateful night on Sept. 25, 2007, I never thought disposing of the diaper could be so difficult.
My family has one of those nifty little Diaper Genie canisters that are supposed to keep the smell down, and has those special little bags you buy for them. Little did I know, changing the canister, would be a nightmare!
There I was, about to change my little brother's diaper when I realized Ben (my younger brother) hadn't taken care of the last one he had changed. But as we tried to push it down into the can, it wouldn't budge. "Of course," I thought, "it's full. All we do is simply empty it." The problem was, my mother was out of town and I didn't know how to do it. "It can't be that hard. I can figure it out." I was thinking while I tried to remember how mom had done it. I now understand the importance of Titus 2:3-4 which instructs the older women to teach the younger women!
First I tried unsuccessfully to cut the endless bags so I could take out the ones being used. I did finally get them cut, but that was only the beginning of my tussle. After that, I proceeded to pull the dirty bags up out of the canister. I hadn't realized how many diapers can fit into such a small can!! As I pulled diaper after diaper after diaper out the canister, Ben began to laugh hysterically at me. That's when Josiah began yelling "Amba, boo-poo! Boo-poo!" When I finally got to the last one, someonehad put more than one diaper in before twisting the bag to keep them all in a row. The last pair was stuck and wouldn't come out! That's when I noticed the latch on the bottom of the pail. "I think you’re supposed to take them out through the bottom" Ben managed through his laughter. I opened the bottom and peered in. BIG MISTAKE! I recoiled at the overpowering smell that met my nose.
After recovering from the suffocating gas, I then began stuffing all of the diapers back into the can. With that done, I pulled all of the diapers out of the bottom this time, and thought that I was finally almost done. Wrong again. During my struggle getting the diapers out, the canister had somehowdisassembled itself. Now I had to figure out how to put the thing back together!
I started by latching the bottom, and then tried to put the top part back together. You see there was this little white thing that is supposed to fit into this other little white collar thing and then is covered by the green little bags. (It didn't make sense to me either!) There, all done. I put the diapers that had fallen out of the used bags during the struggle into the canister, and began to twist. But the thing kept unraveling!
That's easy to fix," I thought. "I'll just smash a little piece of the bag in between the latch and that will hold it still so that I can twist the little white thingy with no problem."
Once again battling the baby-gas-chamber, I began to pull the bag downward so I could fix the problem. AGAIN another problem arose! The bag wouldn't come down! I opened the top again. "This doesn't look right. I must have done it wrong." I said to Ben, [who be the way was still laughing at me and calling the (almost) endless string of diapers ‘sausages popping out of a machine!’]
So I once again took the silly thing apart and tried again.
After fighting with the diaper canister for thirty minutes (Three-Zero, 30 minutes of my precious life!!!!) I finally managed to get it right. "I am the champion!" I thought to myself. "Wait, of what? The diaper canister?!" By now I was laughing at myself almost as hard as Ben was. “Boy, I sure feel like an idiot now.”
So if all things have a reason, and a lesson... what is the lesson here?
I am reminded of Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Even if life gets messy and very stinky, in the end, we win. Because Jesus already played the game, already bore our struggles, and already won the victory. We are truly champions in life because our Champion paid the price.
Thank you Lord, for using stinky diapers to strengthen and encourage me!
© 2007 Amber D. Schamel
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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, home-schooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses. Amber is a multi-published author and currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO..
(c) 2013 Amber Schamel