Friday, December 26, 2008

Dishwater Song

Completely Undeserving
of clean water from the faucet,
of soap that cuts through grease and grime,
of turkey scraps floating in bubbles.

Thoroughly Undeserving
of life-giving children who play and fight,
of thoughtful friends who share a meal,
of a roof that protects us from rain.
Utterly Undeserving
of a kind husband who sits at the kitchen
table building K-nex with our boys
patient. loving. did I mention, patient?
Oh yes, I am undeserving.

It isn't because of
where I live
what I do
who I hang with
what I read
how I act
why I react
when I act or neglect to act.

I am not entitled to these blessings because of
how much I pray
what I read
what I write
how I think (or don't think)
where I worship or
what doctrines I believe.

It is grace. Good, crazy, I'll-never-understand-it-fully
Grace.
The grace of a loving Father who delights in giving.
So I'm humbled and more than thankful-
I'm undeserving.

Movie Makers

The boys spent half an hour this afternoon making up this scary movie. Elijah directed, of course, Isaiah's main role was to call for help, and Micah was the monster slain. Make sure your sound is all the way up. Isaiah is supposed to see the monster and yell to Elijah, "Spearo" at the very beginning. He forgets what to do every time though, so Elijah tells him, "Scream Spearo" and Isaiah yells, "Scream Spearo." They had fun!
video

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas in KY






It was a warm Christmas here today- 65 or something like that. We had a relaxing day opening gifts from Mommy, Daddy, Uncle Garth and Grammie. This is the perfect age for enjoying Christmas gift giving. The reaction to every gift was, "awwww, this is awesome!" Elijah is thrilled with his MP3 player, Micah loves his flying toys and remote control truck, and Isaiah plays with everything that belongs to everyone, but his main gift was Black Hole from Planet Heroes. No one got up until almost 8:00am, so we even got to sleep in a little. We read the Christmas story and ate a big Christmas dinner complete with turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, scalloped corn, roles and cookies. Our friends are coming over tomorrow evening to help us finish off leftovers. :) We hope that you, our friends and family, had opportunity today to celebrate, remember and rejoice at the miracle of Jesus birth.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holidays Day 1

Everyone was home all day today (except for either myself or Eric). I worked early this morning buy came home to work because there was no heat in our offices- BRRRRRR- so Eric went to work instead. I decided it was a good day to go "unplugged" because the boys had enjoyed lots of weekend TV for 2 days. We turned off the TV soon after I got home and I told them there would be no TV or computer for the rest of the day. After minimal whining (from Micah mostly) they were fine with that.

Then, predictably, the fighting started. It is a regularly occurring phenomena with our children that after several days of heavier than normal screen time (2-4 hours I'd say) they have forgotten how to interact with one another. I'd compare it to what happens to me when I drink 3-5 cups of coffee every day for 5 days and then go a whole day with none. And it's not your normal kind of fighting either. It's the kind of fighting that has no reasonable cause. It's the kind of fighting that makes me wonder what savage beasts invaded the brains of my intelligent sons.

To illustrate this point, picture the following scenario. I'm folding laundry in our bedroom, and I can hear Elijah in the spare bedroom, screaming at the top of his lungs, "It's a tree! It's a tree!" (Pause) "Ahhhhhhrghhhh, NO MICAH! IT's a TREE!!!" This continues for several minutes.

I let it go for a bit, hoping they could resolve on their own. But again, "ARRRGHHHH! MICAH, It's MY TREE!... You're making me REALLY REALLY MAD Micah. ....(Pause, calm words from Micah that I can't hear) ARGHHHH, I REALLY want to PUNCH you right now!"

OK, time to intervene before I end up cleaning up blood or bruises. I walk into the room, "What's going on?"

I'll pause here briefly to describe the scene. Elijah is stretched out on the bed. There is a quilt on the bed that has leafy, flowery print, and he is covering as much of the design as possible with his skinny 6 year old body. Micah is curled up at the top of the bed, sitting with his arms wrapped around his knees.

Elijah: Mommy! (Tears, angry red face, he is ticked!) This is a tree!
Me: OK, the bed is a tree. Great! So why are you screaming at Micah?
Elijah: Micah is sitting in the tree!
Me: Can't you share your tree? It's a pretty big tree for 2 little boys.
Elijah: But he can't sit in the tree. He's a duck. Ducks don't sit in trees.
Me: Micah? Are you a duck?
Micah: Yeah, but I want to sit in the tree with Elijah. He's a monkey.
Elijah: See Mommy? Monkeys live in trees and ducks don't sit in trees. They can't. They have webbed feet!

Hilariously enough, Elijah is still fuming mad at this point. Furious that his duck brother would dare try to sit in his pretend blanket tree while he pretends to be a monkey.

Me: Well, technically ducks are birds, so maybe Micah is a special duck that can sit in trees.
Elijah: No! No! No! Look Micah, you have all that water down there. No get off! (Pointing to the blue blanket on the floor)
Micah: Elijah Elijah... wait... can I be a different bird- not a duck so I can stay in the tree?
Elijah: (Immediately sits up, tone changes completely, sweet as can be) Sure. Maybe you could be a hawk. Hawks are awesome, they....

I just walked away- back to the laundry. Of course! Why hadn't I thought of that. Just be a different kind of bird so that you can sit on a flowery blanket that is apparently an anti-duck tree. Micah has already learned to deal with Elijah's imagination better than I do sometimes.

By 1:00, all fighting had ceased and everyone played wonderfully for the rest of the day. No more screen withdrawal. I wish I could recover from caffeine addiction that quickly. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter fun

Hot chocolate after sledding.
The boys played outside in our 4 inches of icy snow for almost 2 hours on Tuesday. Then yesterday, we were riding bikes in short sleeves-66 degrees. Kentucky weirdness.
I tried to get a picture of Elijah with his hot chocolate too, but he had it finished before I got the camera back to the kitchen. Check out those pink cheeks- one of my favorite things about cold weather!
The little video is Elijah on the front of the sled, Micah on the back. We get so little cold weather here that I haven't bought any snow pants or winter boots for 3 years. Elijah is wearing size 3T snow pants, Micah has 2 pairs of pants on, and all 3 of the kids wear their rubber boots with 2 pairs of socks on underneath. It works.
video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First and Last

At breakfast this morning. Micah says something to Elijah about being cool. Elijah's response:
"Micah, God's Word says the coolest are the lamest and the lamest will be the coolest."

Eric looked at me and said, "Did he just say what I think he said?" Yup! I think it's a pretty apt paraphrase. What do you think?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Isaiah Speak


Some of my favorites lately-
- He can't remember the name of Elijah's YMCA drama class on Thursday evenings so to him it's Wijah's Pajama class, and he smiles when he says it because he knows it's not quite right.

- When he changes his mind, it always starts with, "Actualllllyyyyyyyy.. I think..."

- Today he noticed the tiny rainbows painted on the carpet from the sun shining through the sidelight window by the front door. First he yelled, "Mommy, come see the rainbows!" We talked about the colors and where the rainbows came from for a few minutes, and I went back to making potato soup in the kitchen. Several minutes later, I peaked in to see him sitting in the middle of the rainbows, doing a puzzle quietly, and I went back to the kitchen. Several minutes after that, I heard him yelling from the bathroom that he needed help, so I went to help him.

As soon as I had his pants buttoned, he went racing out of the bathroom ahead of me, full speed, yelling as he ran, "I'm coming little rainbows! Please still be there!"

And when I caught up to him, sure enough, there he was sitting in the rainbows on the carpet, playing with their colors on his little fingers.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reflections


I thought I'd take some time tonight to think about these last few months. They've been a whirlwind and taking some time to reflect is never a bad thing. So what's been going on?

* I am learning to cherish the precious time I have with the boys. I've moved out of overwhelmed-and-stretched-thin (juggling a crying kid in one arm, while shooing the angry dog away from the mail man at the front door, while keeping a 2 year old from slipping out to join the mail man, while a four year old yells from the bathroom, "I need help wipingggggg!") into overjoyed-and-full. We still have our moments, but overall, I want these days to tick by one... second... at... a... time.

I want to somehow have the superpower that would allow me to absorb every word, glance and giggle. Every one of these three children has such lovely unique gifts. Oh God that I would continue to learn how to nurture them!

* I am so proud of Eric. He manages work, school, housework , being a dad and a husband like the finest of jugglers. He rarely, if ever, drops a ball and when he does he blames only himself. I've watched him catch a vision for his future, learn about his gifts and desires, and actually put words to the dreams he has for himself and our family. Lord God, continue to draw him near to you and strengthen his sense of You in him.

* Living with our Nigerian friend and our American friends, all under one roof has taught me about myself. In a nutshell, it is making me more generous. Generosity isn't giving when I have something to spare. It is giving when someone else has a need- even if it's a need that I don't see. Generosity is not in the business of judging one man's need as greater than another's or greater than my own. It simply gives.

* I like my work. I took on a few more hours in my job at the seminary this semester, and I enjoy my work there- mostly because I love the people I work with.

On the more shadowy side of life:
* I miss my family- my Canadian family. I miss crunchy snow and mom's big warm hugs. I miss my brother's smile and the smell of mom's homemade bread. I miss snowmobiles and crackling wood fireplaces. I miss conversations that are real and deep, that turn into arguments and then back into conversations, then laughter.

* I want to know our future- our post-seminary future. I want to have a picture to look forward to when right now I have the current pleasant movie playing out on ahead and then ..... nothing.... or at least something very vague. It's still a long way off, I know, but I want hope for something wonderful. :)

Enough of that. It really has been a great semester overall. I love our little family with all of its quirks and mishaps. We are learning, growing, experimenting, apologizing to each other when we mess up, but most of all loving each other through it all, and that's what life is all about isn't it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 08

Aunt Becky and Uncle John hosted the whole clan for a huge Thanksgiving feast. The kids (Elijah, Micah, Isaiah, Maggie, Gracie, Sophie and Gabrielle) all watched Kung Fu Panda on the big screen downstairs, but after it was over, we found them all huddled around this 7'' screen watching a Christmas movie. 70'' or 7'', they love watching movies.






On Friday the boys, Eric and I all went over to Maggie, Gracie and Sophie's house for some play time. They all played together with no fights or tantrums at all and the boys didn't mind playing with High School Musical figures or Barbie's Corvette and Jet.
Then, we heard them all laughing hysterically and running up the stairs. Elijah had traded shirts with Maggie and Micah had traded with Gracie. The picture is the result of that little experiment.
All of the kids had a good time playing outside and the two youngest, Sophie and Isaiah, played outside in the chilly weather long after everyone else retreated to the inside.














Isaiah after his turkey and play day. The kid has been worn out. He has taken naps 3 days in a row- a rarity for him!




Micah showing off his new $4 PJs from the crazy Black Friday shopping Nana and I did. He was in a bit of a mood if you can't tell. Isaiah got Star Wars and Elijah got the Hulk. More pictures later.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Times with Ginko






This gigantic old ginko tree on campus sheds every leaf within a 2 hour time span every fall. It's one of my favorite things about living here. Yesterday was the day. The tree goes from being a giant ball of flaming yellow to empty in less than a day. The result is a bed of leaves that is at first 2 feet thick all around the base of the tree. Then, as everyone plays in the leaves, they gradually spread out. Today, Micah and Isaiah enjoyed some time burying each other (and me) and throwing leaves around. It's like the Kentucky version of snow.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November 6th: 76 degrees






I downloaded pictures today, so that's really the purpose for this post (that and gloating about the weather). The girl in Micah's class who is completely in love with him, Raya, came over this morning with her little sister. She and Micah got on the bus together at our house. They had a great time together. I'm friends with Raya's mom and we swap babysitting every week now. She watches Micah and Isaiah on Wednesdays for a bit and I do her two on Thursdays.

Isaiah and McKenna get along well too because she does everything he suggests. He's never had power over someone like that before. Use your powers for good little man.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fave sound of the day


Elijah sings with passion, but only when he thinks no one is listening. So this afternoon (amazingly beautiful afternoon playing outside btw) I happened upon one of these moments. Me behind the van, Elijah just inside the garage, he had turned on our garage radio and was belting out a song along with the radio,
"I was made to love and be loved by you...
Everything
I would give up for you
La la la la la
Everything
I'd give it all away
La la la la la"
It did my heart good to hear him singing these words. I prayed a brief prayer that someday these lyrics would be the truth in his heart.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Micahism of the day

"Mommy, remember when I had ballerina?"
"You had what?"
"I had ballerina and I threw up all over Daddy?"
"I remember when you were sick... oh do you mean diarrhea?"
"Yeah... what's that word again?"
"Di-ah-ree-a"
"Oh... (smile) I thought it was ballerina."

"Mommy, what's ballerina?"

Ahhh, sadly, the result of a house full of men.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sabbath Keeping

Our journey toward marking Sabbath with traditions as a family is going well. We're easing into a consistent routine, and it feels GREAT. I keep wondering why it took us so long to actually keep a Sabbath. The most drastic and effective change- it may seem overly obvious and simple- we don't work. I do minimal cooking (like reheating leftovers and making sandwiches) but literally, that's IT. We even leave the dishes for Monday, and if you know me at all, you know how that would normally drive me nuts. But for some reason on Sundays it feels good- kind of like I'm sticking it to my tasky self- "Do dishes? Not today! Hah! Take that!" We play, nap, read, watch sports (well, Eric, not me), take walks, and generally enjoy each others' company.

I'm also reading The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel. He writes about time,
"There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord." I love it.

To be
To give
To share
To be in accord
These are my new daily goals for at least 1 whole day every week. Am I succeeding? Little by little. But I do know that there is greater joy in the work when there is a whole day of rest is just around the corner.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lovers of Independence

I forget sometimes how much of childhood is about fighting for independence. My job is to protect and provide; their job is to gradually grow-out of the need for protection and provision. Even though I know it's good for them to do things on thier own, let's face it. It's usually just easier, faster, cleaner and safer for me to do it for them, but I know that in doing so I rob them of the chance to succeed at something. Holy cow this is hard for me! The things they usually want to do are like mowing the grass, loading the dishwasher, driving the van, or cleaning the windows. The things I want them to do on their own- putting on shoes, putting away PJs, taking dishes to the sink, cleaning up toys- no so much fun for some reason. But there are rare moments when someone decides to exert his independence in a way that I'm excited about.

Today- It's raining outside (Hooray... we so needed rain!). Isaiah sees a stick on the windowsill of the living room window- outside. He decides he wants that stick. As he opens the door to go outside- barefoot and with no jacket- I tell him that he'll have to wait until I can help him put on his shoes and jacket. "I can do it Mommy!"

And though I know that he probably can do it himself, it's always quicker and easier if I "help" him- he's only 3 after all right? But, since he's motivated by the stick, he finds socks, rubber boots, and his jacket himself. Then he spends a full 5 minutes zipping up his jacket himself. He goes outside, gets the stick, comes back in and takes everything off. Getting ready completely alone= 10 minutes. Time outside= 30 seconds. But the look of satisfaction on his face was terrific! I love his 3 yr old language too.

"I useded my jacket for just in case for to protect me from the rain. I should have glasses for to protect my eyes when I look up in the sky at the rain falling falling down down down into my eyes. I gotted my stick too Mommy. Did you seed it?"

So, that's today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On Halloween


Micah wants to be a pirate this year. And all three boys have already been planning what they want to be for next year. Talking to Micah yesterday he asked, "Mommy, is God stronger than Superman?" To which I responded that if Superman were real, God would still be stronger. Silence for a moment and he said, "Next year for halloween, I want to be God."
Then he laughed and said, "I don't know what that would look like."
It made me smile. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cousins






What an amazing family we have. Such a mix of personalities and quirks, and yet we all make it work. The kids had a great time reconnecting. Here are some of my favorite shots of the weekend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

1000 words



Both pictures were taken at the same time. While one child spends his free time "taking a little rest" on the couch, the other is bouncing off the walls. Each is wonderful! I often wonder how two little boys who are so different can belong to the same family. I don't know if it's their closeness in age or their opposite personalities or some combination, but these two are about as close as two brothers can be. Isaiah joins in occasionally, but he is usually just as content to play on his own somewhere. Ah, how I wonder what their future will be, but I know the present is awesome.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Cousins


I found this picture recently on my cousin's facebook page. When we were in New Brunswick this past July, my cousin Matthew graciously invited us to his camp on the lake where we had loads O fun! They are all such good people. Here's to New Brunswickers and especially my family. Fall always makes me think of you all.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Just for the sake of history...

I think I should record this "bailout" in our blog, so that when my children are someday trying to pay back trillions of dollars of debt to foreign countries after an economic depression, they'll have record of where it all started. Even though we're hearing plenty of, "phewww, thank goodness politicians passed that bailout bill. Now I can sleep easier." I'm convinced that nothing is that easy. Didn't we all learn as college students or teenagers that paying off one credit card with another is just not a good idea? Here's a snippet of the side of the issue we never hear about.

"100% against it [the bailout]. It will be financed by money that we don’t have- so either we’ll print more (thus devaluing the dollar even further and giving each and every one of us an increased tax through continuing inflation) or we’ll just borrow from China or Japan like we’ve been doing to finance war, etc. Not exactly National Security to be indebted to foreign creditors. Furthermore, it’s loaded with pork- special interest money. Have a look:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10057618-38.html?tag=nl.e433

Total number of bailouts gets us closer to $1.8 trillion in commitments, added to the 53 trillion dollars (you read that correctly) in commitments when you factor in social security, the federal debt and medicare. You don’t want to know how much that equals per taxpayer.

As an economic matter, it is no fix at all, and will likely make things worse (which is what happens when the gov steps outside its rightful role). A free market system is supposed to allow for corrections and downturns as a way to punish (not reward) in this case- the Wall Street Casino Capitalism. We aren’t doing anything but propping up bad debt that needs to be cleansed from the market place. You have to ask yourself- of the economists “for” the bailout, which are intending to say “good economic policy” or rather just looking out for their investments in Wall Street? No one knows. We also don’t know a lot about the process of these bailouts because so much of it is being done without our understanding. Everyone should be deeply concerned that legislation supported by only 25% of the American people was just voted and signed into law.

The American people have been had."

Hmmmm, I'm thinkin "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." Simple yet profound don't you think?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Elijah's revelation

As Elijah has encountered school-age kids, his interest in Pokemon (and other such characters) has been kindled regularly. It started back in June really. We tested the waters for a while, bought him a few Pokemon cards (after his continuous begging), and let others give him some as gifts. He had a collection of 25 or so cards, and was continuously asking for more and more. We noticed increasingly that the way our boys played with the cards together was not constructive. It seemed to foster arguments among them more than any other toy they played with. After one particularly argumentative afternoon, we put the cards on top of the refrigerator where they have stayed for the past 3 months. I'm not completely anti-Pokemon or anything; it just seemed like now was not the right time for them to be playing with them together.

Elijah will regularly come home from school and tell us about the new cards that his friends have gotten, and for a while, he kept asking for more himself. One afternoon a few weeks ago I said to him, "You know, having more things doesn't really make you happy. You would get a few cards and then just want more and more. God wants us to be content with what we have." I assumed that my words went right over his head because his pouting continued.

But the requests for stuff have gradually subsided. He still mentions "Matthew's" cards at times, but he's less adamant about asking for them, and really just tells me about how cool someone else's are.

Skip to this morning. I'm making breakfast in the kitchen and he comes out and says, "Mommy, I don't think I really want any Pokemon cards anymore."
Me: (shocked) Really? Why not?
E: I don't think God would want me to have more.
Me: Hmmm, why do you think that?
E: Cause like Matthew, every time he gets other ones, he just wants more and more and more... and he already has like 200.
Me: And God wouldn't like that?
E: Nope, I think God is just looking down at him like, (E. crosses his arms and shakes his head back and forth with a disappointed but not angry look on his face.)
And he runs off to continue playing with his brothers. Growing up! Amazing!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nature Calls


The boys found this little critter in the yard a few days ago. None of us had seen a praying mantis up close before, so she was quite the spectacle. Elijah came running in the house saying, "there's a praying mantis in the yard." I really thought I was going out to see a large grasshopper, but sure enough, it was a praying mantis. Ahhh the things we learn from Kung Fu Panda.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Diaperless at Last?

I hesitate to write this at the risk of counting my diaperless days before they transpire, BUT as of today, we have had two whole days of Isaiah initiating going to the potty on his own, every time. He has been out of pull-ups, even at night, for almost 2 months, but I always had to bribe, coerce, semi-force him to try to go to the bathroom (mini-marshmallows and mini Tootsie Rolls). If I didn't, he would go in his pants every time.

We've definitely turned a corner. I decided to stop the coercion about 2 weeks ago and just let him figure it out on his own. After wiping up about a hundred pee spots, doing a load of laundry every day, and picking up more poo than I care to remember, I think the boy might finally have it. He went to the bathroom, on his own, without a bribe or reward every time all day today and yesterday.

Can it be? Are our days of buying diapers drawing to a close? One can only hope.

Friday, September 26, 2008

You rock!

video
The boys were thoroughly entertained for an hour last Sunday, making up songs and "performing" them. The lyrics:
"My grandma, needs a cane,
so does your grandma too,
your grandma needs a cane,
so does mine,
yeahhhhh baby!
chihuahua..."
Every song they made up ended with chihuahua! and a jump off the stage/ trunk.
I think the inspiration for this song was Cassie's grandma who had just walked in using a cane. Notice the background vocals from Isaiah and the marching beat of the smaller group members.

Never let go

video
Who ever said modern worship songs were repetitive?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Feeling

Preparing materials for a women's retreat on being sensate women and loving this section from Keila Underwood's blog a while back. There's a lot to think about here if you let it percolate.
Rizpah was a mother of sons who had lost their lives in war. Their deaths were so meaningless that their bodies were left to rot in the spot in which they had fallen. Rizpah took a stand too. She set up camp next to their bodies and protected them for the season. Her mourning and courage reached all the way to King David’s ears… and he heard. Her suffering caused him to feel again, and he was moved to gather up the bones. And then God healed their land. Keila Underwood as posted on her blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Web Parish

So I get to post occasionally on the campus Web Parish site. Here is a link to my post from today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bus Bully

Elijah (eating watermelon in this picture) experienced his first school-bus bully on Friday. It's Friday afternoon and I'm standing at the bus doors, waiting for Elijah to get off. As he walks down the bus steps, our eyes meet and he immediately starts to sob. By the time we are inside, he is too choked up to say anything- you know the kind of cry where you're choking on every word and you just can't control yourself. I start asking questions, "What happened?"
E: sob sob... yelled at me
Me: Was it a kid or an adult?
E: A kid
Me: What did he say?
E: She... it was a girl and she's like 8 or something.
Me: On the bus?
E: Yeah... more sobbing
Me: Ok, it'll be all right. Why did she yell at you?
E: She found a toy that I knew was Jacob's, so I told her, "that toy is Jacob's. You should give it back to him." Cause Mommy I know that Jacob really loves that toy.
Me: That was great buddy. I'm so glad you stuck up for Jacob. What did she say?
E: She said she was going to beat my eye until it was black if I told... (loses it again.. sobbing)
Me: (lots of hugging and consoling) You said the right thing Elijah. She shouldn't keep the toy if it doesn't belong to her, and she definitely should give it back to Jacob. You did the right thing telling her that it is Jacob's. We'll work it out. Don't worry about it OK. Lots of kids talk mean, but they really won't do anything about it. It doesn't feel good does it.
E: No...

He was really sullen for the rest of the evening off and on. Eric even asked him what was wrong while we were eating dinner, but Elijah didn't want to talk about it.

So, Eric and I talked about it later on, and we're not sure what to do. I'm thinking it kind of depends on how Elijah reacts to the idea of riding the bus after the weekend is nearing its end. His reaction will show us how severe the confrontation really was. If he's still intimidated or fearful after 2 whole days away from the situation, then it was serious enough to talk to the school about it. OR, maybe I should tell someone about it just so it's on file somewhere. I'll probably at least email his teacher and let her know, so she can be aware of the conflict.

It's such a difficult thing though, to watch your kid grow up and get hurt by the real world. If anything good does come from all of this, its that he'll definitely think twice before saying threatening words to his brothers or anyone else.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quick Thoughts

Matthew 7:13-23. My thoughts.

"Don't look for shortcuts to God." Am I following a formulaic list of tasks that I think makes me more holy? "The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time." Lord, there is no time that is not Your time. Remind me of that today. "The way to life- to God- is vigorous and requires total attention." Am I washing dishes, doing laundry, making phone calls, returning emails, watering my tomatoes, parenting my kids with attention given to you? "Who preachers are in the main thing, not what they say." Lord, help me reveal who I am today. Help me not to be caught up in how I sound; help me to just be me with You shining through. "You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important." Lord, forgive me for the times I have sought (or thought I deserved) recognition for the work You were doing. Reveal to me the times that I put myself first. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Isaiah lately...

video
Isaiah loves to do puzzles. In this video, he is doing the United States puzzle which he has learned to do completely on his own. I think this is quite a feat for a 3 year old. Micah is telling me what colors to make the sentences while I type. Isaiah says his favorite puzzle is Wolverine with Spiderman. When I asked Isaiah why he likes puzzles, he said, "Because they are easy for me." Isn't it true that we most enjoy what we're good at. I wonder what careers puzzlers go on to pursue and enjoy? Isaiah has also learned the fine art of diplomacy, probably as a result of living with his at times stubborn brothers. His whole, "you can call it a rabbit, I'll call it a kangaroo" spiel, that's regular line. He uses it on everyone every time there's a disagreement of some sort. He's become a big fan of it especially since it makes Micah furious. Micah is determined to be right at all times. "You call it this, I'll call it that" just isn't satisfying enough for him. Someone must be right!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Laughter

video
Streams of laughter from the boys' bedroom as they spend some playtime with Daddy. They play so well on their own most of the time that I sometimes forget how much they love spending time with us. Tonight Eric is the shark and the boys are feeding him marbles. The shark then throws them up and starts over. I'm pretty sure the throwing-up part is the funny part, and it doesn't seem to matter how many times he does it, they still laugh. We are so incredibly blessed!

We enjoyed another very restful Sabbath. I managed to avoid working all day and even took a nap. Elijah asked for family communion last night, and he prayed one of the most interesting prayers I've heard yet. We'd just watched the Prince of Egypt and he then prayed something like this:
"Dear God, Is it really true that Moses pushed someone off of that tall ladder?... (long pause)... Oh really? So it's not true? That's good God. I pray for Moses. Help me to be good at church tomorrow. Amen"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bedtime and Spiders



Unrelated topics, but I finally downloaded pictures. First, the boys have been doing much better at bedtimes. Isaiah has stayed in his own bed all week! I even folded up his closet sleeping blankets today and put them away- a sure sign that tonight he'll need to move to the closet again. We built tents over their beds with sheets and thumb tacks- a big hit.

AND

We found this outside yesterday.
Anybody know what kind of spider this is? Micah, Isaiah and I watched it for quite some time. It doesn't look like a brown recluse or a black widdow, and those are the only two poisonous ones I know. It is definitely aggressive though. We put a stick beside it in the web and it attacked the stick. Isaiah was completely enamored and asked to go out and see the spider first thing this morning. Micah thought it was gross.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Women and Church (Big C)

Concerning the significance of experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in our lives personally: "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." Anthony Graham- Chapel speaker at ATS 9/11/08.

Rev. Graham this morning, got my wheels turning. He spoke about the need for the Holy Spirit in our lives today, that it's not enough to have the knowledge. We must be lead by the Spirit. There was much more to his message and as he encouraged us all, men and women, to pursue our educations and become effective leaders in the church, I wondered about what the church (universal) would look like if women were as representative as leaders as men.

I feel like, from my church experiences with male pastors, the tendency of the church today is to approach the Bible from the standpoint of a scholar looking for information. How should I live? What are my gifts? How should I lead? How much should I tithe? and on and on. Who hasn't heard the metaphor that the Bible is our guidebook for life- "Life's Big Instruction Book." Ugh!

I wonder... What if women had been as accepted and encouraged men as early as... say Constantine? What if women had been trained and given opportunity to teach along side of Aristotle, Augustine, Luther, Calvin and Wesley? Would our views of scripture be different? Would the learned women of centuries past have urged, "Yes, knowing the truth about God is important, but what has the Holy Spirit whispered to your heart this week?" Would they have provided necessary notes in the chord to probe others toward a harmony that better recognizes the role of the Holy Spirit within us?

I don't presume that many men haven't been asking these questions and playing this role for centuries. But surely these men are slightly outnumbered by those who are more comfortable with a more intellectual approach. This would certainly seem to be the case from my church experiences in the last 20 years.

Maybe part of our roles as women in the church today is to be sensate. To sense the God that is at work around us every day. And not to feel too silly, weak or hormonal to share our encounters with the Holy Spirit. And it doesn't have to be "voice in the wilderness" kind of stuff. I'm talking day-to-day awareness of the Kingdom of heaven on earth kind of stuff. God is sooo here, and He has created women as the more sensing part of the Body for a reason. A picture of God that doesn't include beauty, pain, color, tears, laughter, detail and relationship is incomplete. Who better to share this perspective than His women?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Help for Haitians

Read about some of the devastation here from missionaries to Haiti, Troy and Tara Livesay.
In case you haven't heard, Haiti has been at the center or fringes of the last 4 large tropical storms and hurricanes that have swept through the gulf. With more rain than the country can handle, mudslides and flooding have been epidemic in some areas. "About 600 people died in Haiti's recent storms, according to UN and government figures, and one million were affected. The storms also battered roads and bridges," says one news report. My heart hurts for these people today.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wise Words


"Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible."
Thomas A Kempis

Friday, September 05, 2008

Quotable


Upon entering the bedroom of the three supposed-to-be-going-to-bed boys, with full intention of pulling Isaiah out (to go fall sleep in our closet since he CAN'T STAY QUIET- I know, he'll be in therapy for that one day), this is what went down.

ME: Isaiah, you've had your chance, you need to come with me.

I: No Mommy, just one more chance... please.

ME: No, you've had one more chance and you're still talking. Come on.

Elijah: Mommy, don't you remember what we learned from Jonah?

ME: What's that.

Elijah: Everyone should get a second chance.

ME: (hmmmmm)OK Isaiah, Elijah just talked your way into another chance.

Interesting how we learn to take from the Bible what suits our own interests at such a young age. AND, it does my heart good to know that with all of his "living in his own world", he really is hearing us sometimes.

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.