Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The BEST part of {Christmas} cheer...





If any of you who missed Janie's rendition, it's HERE!

And, may the savior himself, {Jesus}, bless each one of you with joy and strength.


{GLORY to God in the HIGHEST!}

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gonna be a MAN




How is it that this sweet boy





wakes up one morning





suddenly a FORCE to be reckoned with?





Watch out world.





He's a BOY.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Simple Pleasures










Take it slow. The moments pass so quickly.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas is Coming!




Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat!





Pleased to put a penny in the old man's hat.





If you haven't got a penny, a haypenny will do.





If you haven't got a haypenny,





then GOD bless YOU!

God bless you, gentleman,
God bless you.

If you haven't got a haypenny,
then GOD bless YOU!


(Anyone else hear Miss Piggy singing this as a kid?)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lunch. With. Company.





Ok. It's a lovely lunch, company and all seated around the table. Everyone visits, nibbles peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Smiles, laughes, no one careening off the bench. Lulie leans over and kisses my shoulder, little sweetie. She grins, hands behind her back. I mean who wouldn't soak up the attention? Then in a stoke of one-year-old genius, she decides to really impress everyone. I glance down just in time to see pudgy little hands now showing the whole table a handful of poo. Yeah, poo. Company. at. the. table. How long does this stage last?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmastide

In those days...
Luke 2:1-14
video

Saturday, December 12, 2009

10 Years, My Honey





Ten years ago today. That's when Craig started courting me. Cold and icy and December wind, it was a day like today. He said he'd have none of this dating business. Dating is for the birds. Could he please court me, he asked.






Court. It seems strange now, we spent that whole time, days, weeks, a couple of months, not so much as a kiss. Just miles and miles of words, jokes and questions, belly laughs and stolen glances. We ate at Perkins, had "our" table. We knew the servers names.





On his birthday he asked me to marry him, held my hand and lassoed the moon. Held my hand, a first. And asked my daddy.





It doesn't take so long to plan a wedding. Don't we just buy a dress and get a church, I asked? It was all so simple, like how we hiked up a waterfall one afternoon just for the fun of it. Our faces wet, the view stretching on and out a million miles, simple.





And all along, he held my hand. Here and there at first. Then lots. Encyclopedias of conversation, atlases of adventure, and he held my hand.

A kiss and a wedding. Three kids, four. Ten years. I couldn't be a richer woman.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Surgery





January 13. Surgery. A pinpoint incision in the new year. Each day closer. A long tether of faith pulls me, encircles the fear I expect. Cataract surgery. On Lulie.

"The hearing ear and the seeing eye
the LORD has made them both."

I'm finding submission more and more like the deep breath of an athlete.


Ready or not





here we come.

Janie pats my shoulder, "Momma." I'm half-listening. "Momma, I'm trying to be patient with you." She's on tip-toe, "Momma, I'm trying to be patient with you. I don't know if I can, but I'm trying to." She circles me like a tether ball.

"Momma?"

Janie grabs my hand, "Can you read me a story?" A pile of books at the bottom of the stairs. A hand to hold.

A leash of love.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Honey-Dog

"And everything that is precious to us I would lock in there." Jane nuzzles a little closer to our English Setter. Sprawled out in front of the fire place, I'm not sure who is queen of the dog bed.





"Like our Bibles,"' Janie says, "I would lock our Bibles in the gated off spot." She rubs the soft curls on Honey's head, "At least I would try to get the Bibles and lock 'em in there." She's imagining a room just for Honey, the kind you can hide in if bad guys break into your house.





And if we had an extra Bible," she raises both eyebrows, "I would maybe give it to the bad guys so they could become Christians like us." She hugs Honey-dog, whispers something in her ear. "Then they could read it and maybe go to heaven like us." Heaven, it's settled.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life




I round the corner. Lulie, alone in the tub, blinks big doe eyes at me, "Poo." Lots.




Janie pipes in, "Momma, I was laying right by her because I didn't know she would poop in the tub." Yeah, hair wet. Wet floor. Wet rug, towels, children.




Bleach. Lots.


In other news, Lucy dismantled and ate raw garlic. Jane talked Jack into letting the dog out because she lost her boots. Lucy tried to eat baby Jesus, and only almost has a black eye after cavorting down the stairs. Oh yeah, we also smashed another pretty red Christmas ball.

Ah, it's a wonderful life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's a ...








GIRL!

Turns out all this time the good Lord's been growing a sweet little baby GIRL in my belly! And all along I was CERTAIN: It's a BOY. Ha-ha, a splendid surprise. One more GIRL. So there you have it, another little sack of sugar to add to our line up. Blessing upon blessings.





And a little button nose too!

Any tips for a house full of girls? Neither Craig nor I had ANY sisters growing up! Hee-hee.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blood Clot




It's in Momma's foot. It's the shape of a Flinstone chewable vitamin. Doc said it won't kill her. Hope it's the only one.

Ya'll had such splendid advice on Anemia. Ma is completely revived thanks to a combination of your words of wisdom. So, blood clots? This is her first one. Being that you only get to have a few "first's" in life She's trying to keep a sunny disposition 'bout the whole thing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lulie's New Tricks



Pouty lip.




Tidy nose. (Also doubles as, "Shhhh.")




Little sack of sugar.

Monday, November 23, 2009

For a Little While





"Herod is dead! HEROD is DEAD." Jack's hollering the morning in with a dramatic re-interpretation of the Christmas story. "He's dead! I killed him." All three-year-old gusto he thunders down the hallway. Our bedroom door rattles. None of this pansy Santa stuff.

Later Jane introduces Lulie to lipstick. It's the sort of affair that ends with jagged pouty lips, big smiles, and freak-out-Mom about the big stain on Lulie's sweater. Janie responds, "Well, at least I'm not killed, Momma."

The afternoon wears on. Jack assembles, dismantles, and reassembles two puzzles. Lulie colors a pictures, eats some green crayon, colors her ear. Jane tries to knit, rolls a tremendous ball of turquoise yarn. In the whirlwind she stops, "Momma, if I drank a bunch of water would I get a big hump on my back?"

After good night kisses, hugs, prayers, lights out, we slip back down the hall. Some nights they tallywagger over closing their door. Tonight no one gripes. Jane whispers, "Jack, do you want to close the door so we can talk to God?"

A quiet pause and, "Ok. For a little while."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surgery





The Children's Hospital. They have fish everywhere. Murals, sculptures, aquariums, floor tiles. Fish. Every room has fish. Except the testing room. A vision test, a VEP brain test, computers, electrodes, one major breakdown-fit, and a lot of data.

At a time like that don't you just love graphs? I do. Plot the points and trace the curve. There's not a lot of guess work. The bad eye can't keep up. There's really only one answer.

Surgery. In January or February one of the best surgeons in our nation will remove the lens of a tiny eye, Lulie's. He won't replace it. Her eye is too small, still growing. In the months after we will teach a one-and-a-half-year-old to wear a contact lens. She'll patch until she's eight.

And then, perhaps perfect vision.





And after all isn't that what He's offering? Vision. What a gift.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Good Life





Lulie likes my Bible.

Janie bursts into the sun-room. I'm playing piano. "Your music is so JOYFUL, Momma!" She grins. "It's fine when you don't play. But it is so joy filled when you do."





The table a jumble of color crayons and fat pencils, smudgy paper, Jack stops. "Momma, I love you so much, real bad." He says this every day. Today he adds, "'I love you real bad,' means I love you in the whole world what it means."

As the sun goes down I watch him stare through our back window. "You are the sweetest thing in the world, bud."

He hardly turns. "Yeah," he says, "God think so. That berry good."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Anemic




The doc called. I'm anemic. Boo-hoo. Although I should have guessed. I'm exhausted just looking at a load of laundry. Or dishes. Anything really.

Anyone have advice on iron supplements? A few years ago I took some and ah, well, if you've not taken them, they're a real bummer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Educational Toys





"Why do you think I'm so strong, Momma?" After various promises to shoot me an elk or bear and make a rug with the head still on it, Jack dreams of being a man. He and Jane spend hours hunting game in the play room, out in the yard.

Last January we loaded all their toys into bins, even the new pop-guns. We meant to make an impression. And then they hardly noticed. Five bin-fulls. A few tears, then nothing.

Months went by, half a year, never did get around to giving the toys back.

It's dinner tonight, "My high today was playing in the playroom with Jane." It's always a game of high adventure; most times they nearly die. In the end one or another saves the day. Even Lulie knows the rules. Between of stacks books and wadded islands of blankets, high honor, valiant risk, our drab playroom transforms into a universe. They weave stories without thinking -- and play.

Isn't that where it all begins, there in the playroom without toys? They play. And almost without my noticing, a life-long learner emerges, a playing child that moves on to words and numbers and long strands of ideas, literature, physics. They play, invent the whole world.

Sort of makes me afraid to buy them any toys.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Harvest





"If someone shoots you a 1000 times, then does your spirit die?" Her brow furrowed, she's perched on the couch arm.

I shift Lulie, "No. If you belong to Jesus, God breathes your breath-of-life into a new body in heaven."

"Oh." It's as if I've said, Honey, water is wet. She's already off skittering through the leggos. She's gathering details.

Later, "Did an animal give it's life for us to make this soup?"

"Yup."

"Did it want to?"

"Nope."

"Oh." Simple. She's plucked out a piece of the puzzle.






Later Jack interrupts his prayer and turns to sis, "Yeah Jane, you have to obey the REAL God."

And, "Jesus is REAL, you know," he arches his eyebrows. All of the sudden he makes a differentiation, the REAL God.






The day we harvest pole bean seeds the sun warms our backs. The children shed their shoes. Lulie eats a few black nuggets, spits them out. Jane and Jack cradle them in sweaty palms like pennies. Another piece in the puzzle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lulie






Little sweet. We've patched 6 hours a day for months now. A few weeks and we head for another check. May the Lord bless our trip.






Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Decade





The man who lassos the moon again and again.






His arms reach as wide as the sky and as deep as the sea.






He leaves for work each day in a chorus, "Stay, Daddy! Daddy, can you stay home?" We wave until he is out of sight.

He makes our boy want to be a man, all courage and muscle. And our girls beg for lullaby in his arms. Daddy's long shadow encircles us with safety. And a view. Oh my. The whole world is good triumphing evil.

No wonder, a decade ago, this husband-man of mine parted the sea of possibilities.

Here's to ten years since we met!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

High Tide




"Is this how Moses stretched his staff against the sea?" Jane, poised on the dining room bench, pokes the air with Jack's bat. From across the room I wonder if she's separated the sea of laundry. {Sigh} Nope.

Anyone else stretching their staff against the sea? From juicy peaches to crooked ties and mile long laughs to debacles of permanent marker and eye make-up remover, it's high tide here for sure. My grace is sufficient for you... a sliver of strength slid between my shoulder blades.