Friday, March 28, 2008


We're busy with house stuff... inspections, appraisals, financing, mortgage paperwork, verifications of all sorts... ugh! I spent 2 hours this afternoon just sifting through paperwork and trying to get the right things to the right people. Boring stuff... but the good news is that everything continues to go smoothly. Our house appraised, the seller has agreed to fix the issues that the inspector found in the new house, and this house had very few issues, so it all looks good. :)

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago (before haircuts) but I don't think I've posted them. Isaiah loves to do dishes. I wonder when that will wear off?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

FIRST lost tooth

Elijah lost his first tooth today. It has been loose for a while, but he has done well leaving it alone until it was ready. He pulled it out all by himself after eating an apple for lunch today. He said when he bit into one of the apples it got really loose. I can't even believe he is old enough to lose a tooth!

Easter 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spiritual Stuff & Kids

It's amazing to me how my own interests (and probably Eric's too) of a season are mirrored in our children. For example, throughout the past month or so, I've been doing lots of reading on what discipleship of our children looks like within a family. How structured or organic does it need to be? What did God intend for us with regards to the spiritual formation of our children- specifically? We all know we're supposed to "train up a child in the way he should go" but what does that really look like? So I decided to use the Dr. House method for determining what would awaken a sense of spirituality in our children. Try some things and see what seems to work.

So, we started reading a Bible story together every morning while we eat breakfast. I usually eat before the boys in the mornings, and they are more focused and settled at this time of day than at any other, so it seemed like a good opportunity, and it is the one thing we've tried that has really stuck. In fact, Friday morning Eric let me sleep in (AWESOME!) and he got up with the boys and did breakfast. He said that about 2 minutes into breakfast Elijah looked at him and said, "Daddy, where is our Bible story. We always read a Bible story at breakfast." Frequently when I finish one story, they ask me to keep reading to see what happens next. This was especially true as we followed Joseph's journey. Joseph's story has everything a little boy could want and more- jealousy, ripped clothing and blood, a baker who dreams an unfortunate dream and dies 3 days later, a man who interprets dreams, kings, power, a lying wife, and various prison sentences. They were completely intrigued. Yet I wondered how much was really sinking in on a spiritual level. We would pray every day after breakfast as well, and I've noticed a definite increase in their awareness of what we're really doing when we pray.

Friday night we went to the Good Friday service at Southland because I was teaching and I roped Eric into helping me as an actor in the lesson. The boys came along and watched us rehearse. The glow on their faces as they watched their mommy and daddy practice teaching- daddy acting like a firefighter and mommy being animated- was hard to miss. While they usually play oblivious to the world around them while we're in the preschool room, they were glued to what Eric and I were doing- laughing and learning right along with us.

After service, as we were picking everyone up from their various environments, Elijah walked into the preschool room and said, "Mommy, hold on just a minute. I need a second to pray." He walked over to one of the benches in the large group teaching area, sat down, bowed his head, folded his hands and started praying to himself. He was too far away for me to hear him, but he was very intent for a minute or so, talking a mile a minute. When he looked up, I walked over and asked what he'd been praying about. He said, "I prayed for God to transform me... but not today, on Saturday." I laughed and asked why Saturday. He shrugged his shoulders and I told him that God can transform him any day, any time. He said, "oooooohhhh, I get it" and gave me a big hug, then ran off to play somewhere. I'm not sure what all his prayer meant, but I do know that it was one of the first times I've ever seen him voluntarily pray.

Micah has wanted to say his memory verse to me every chance he gets, and Isaiah insists on holding hands while we pray and smiles knowingly when we finish- like he's just done something completely unknown to me and wonderful all the same.

So, morning Bible stories, prayer and having Eric and I involved in an area of ministry where the kids can see us and experience it too, these new initiatives all get big thumbs up. My next initiative?

It comes from an article I read recently and I'm still trying to formulate it, so I'd love suggestions. The article was about the importance of involving children in our worship in meaningful ways- showing Biblical support for the presence and activity of children. The author talks about the fact that in Hebrew tradition, children were the initiators of discipleship. Families practiced many rituals and traditions, and these rituals weren't really to be explained until a child asked, but when a child did ask, the parents were then responsible to explain the tradition completely. Here's a quote from the article if you want to read it in his more eloquent words.

Children (especially sons) were to carry the role of triggering the narratives of God’s redemptive work in Jewish history, which were not to be told until a child asked about the meaning behind the ceremonies. Similarly, children were to inquire as to the meaning behind the “stipulations, decrees, and laws of the Lord” (Deut. 6:20),5 which would in turn instigate teaching about God’s greatness. It was (and still is) the responsibility of children to initiate conversation and storytelling that announces that “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut. 6:4). Jeffrey Tigay summarizes the role of children in these celebratory events by saying:
Children will be curious about the instructions and ask about their meaning, just as the book of Exodus expected children to ask about the ceremonies commemorating the Exodus… In answering, one is to go beyond the intrinsic value of the individual laws and explain the reasons for obeying God altogether… Exodus expects children to ask about the ceremonies com-memorating the Exodus. Here, Moses assumes that they will be curious about Israel’s entire way of life.6
Children were to utilize their natural, God-given curiosity to initiate the telling of serious and formative stories about “the essence of covenant theology in ancient Israel.”

So, I'm trying to figure out what kinds of traditions would fit into our family without seeming contrived or forced. What could we do that would cause questions about how or why or what for? This method of learning makes complete sense to me educationally, as it's pretty well documented that people don't learn unless they sense that there's a purpose for that learning. A question provides purpose. Well, long post I know, but that's what's been going on with us. I'll post Easter pictures soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prayers for Tom and Cassie

We found out last night that Tom's dad was killed in a motorcycle accident. Tom and Cassie traveled to Missouri today to be with family. Please keep them in your prayers.


Riding in the van today after dropping Eric off at work:

Elijah: Mommy, what if Daddy was so strong that he could take Jupiter and bonk Saturn over and put Jupiter where Saturn is and put Saturn where Jupiter is?
Me: Cool... maybe he could join the circus.
Elijah: What? Why?

Silly me. Rearranging planets is much more feasible than joining the circus.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Micah's first words

Not spoken words, but reading. Really and truly all by himself, he is sounding out words. We've been playing school a few days a week and "working" on some phonics stuff which I know sounds boring but he really likes it. Anyway, a couple of days ago he saw a stack of flash cards with blends on them and asked me if he could try them. I hesitated because I didn't want him to get frustrated too quickly and decide suddenly to dislike the other things that we do.

He kept at me though and yesterday I relented and taught him his first blend- "ck" as in "duck." The practice words that go with that blend are pack, quick, neck, back, lock and sock and he read them all with a little assistance yesterday and almost all by himself today. Best of all though, it has changed his whole demeanor. He is literally glowing from ear to ear and has developed a whole new level of patience with his little brother since he feels so much more like the big brother. The look on his face when he first sounded out " neck" and I told him that he was right... was about as fulfilling as anything I ever been a part of in my life- no exaggeration.


We're playing outside. I'm cleaning out a flower bed. Elijah is climbing the tree.

Elijah: Mommy, What if I could see what the monkeys are doing in South America?
Me: That would be pretty amazing.
Elijah: (Peering off into the distance like he's really trying to see South America) What if I could hear them too? I bet they're saying "ooo ah ah ah" right now.
Me: I bet you're right.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Many of you are already aware, but I thought I'd share with the others, that we are moving- but only a couple of streets over from where we live right now. Our potential new home is above. We are still in negotiation, but everything is looking pretty good. Why you ask? Good question. We're buying the house together with our good friends Tom and Cassie. All four of us will share in the ownership of the home. We'll split all of the regular homeowner costs and we'll all be on the title. We've all made an agreement that neither couple will vacate the home or stop paying mortgage payments until it resells or until the other couple refinances it in their names only if one couple decides they want to stay longer than the other. As it is though, we're all committed to being here for at least 2 more years. It quickly turned from a "ahh wouldn't it be great" conversation to reality as we researched the idea and pieces of the puzzle kept falling miraculously into place. Our current home sold before we even put a For Sale sign in the yard; anyone who has tried to sell a house lately knows how miraculous that is. Then, after some explaining and re-explaining, we got approved for some really good financing- another miracle since only 2 of the 4 of us have full time jobs and even those two jobs don't pay a whole lot. Not to mention the fact that we found a 2,900 square foot house in Wilmore that is in our price range to begin with. It just seems that God has gone before us at every step of this process.

We didn't enter this decision without much discussion, and financial aspects aside, the primary reasons for living together are as much spiritual as they are financial. We all have a desire to live simply, in community with others. We want to provide housing for international students or others in need with some of the extra space that will be in this home. If we all live on the same amount of space we are currently used to, there is still space left over to minister to others. We all recognize the growth that occurs when you live as a part of an accountable community. You learn to share, to give of what you have, to be more self-less, to appreciate the gifts and talents of all kinds of different people.

As the authors of the book Simple Living put it, "While many Americans remain attached to traditional standards of material progress, others are examining their values, their priorities, their lifelong goals, and are choosing to measure gain not by what they have, but by who they are, by how they live." OR, as my friend Cassie put it yesterday, "It's like buying in bulk."

We are so very excited! Certainly there are going to be minor conflicts as we all learn to live together, but we're all committed to making it work, we all believe that the personal benefits will outweigh the difficulties in the end. So, that's our adventure! Moving date will probably be May 1st, so if you're free that weekend and in KY, let us know! And, Olivia, can you believe our new address will be 102 Olivia Court? Crazy huh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Myth of the Perfect Parent

In a recent article from Sojourners, the author discusses how sheltering our children from all potential evils detracts from the interactions we are called to have with those who look, smell, sound and act differently. She makes some interesting points- worth the read if you have the time, the full article is linked below this excerpt.

Article excerpt:
Our desire for our children’s happiness and growth is good. (Who can argue that a calm, loving, and devoted family is not precisely what every child needs and deserves?) We do have a tremendous impact in shaping their lives, and corporate interests are already lining up to vie for their attention. But the promise of a child who does not whine, get sick, throw tantrums, or feel angry or insecure is patently false. And living as though I am my daughter’s ticket to success allows little room for grace or resiliency when something bad or simply human happens. It frames her existence with the perpetual threat of being forever stunted, or at least diminished, by every missed opportunity or crappy moment in her parents’ lives.

More insidiously, the myth of perfect parenting fosters the heresy that we get what we deserve. This is a particular variation on the health-and-prosperity gospel, itself a close cousin to the Oprah-recommended The Secret in that both insist that your life situation is the result of your own doing, even if all you have done is thought a certain way.

For the rest of this thought-provoking article, click here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Elijah's WHAT IFs- #1

I have mentioned in passing before that one of Elijah's favorite hobbies is presenting me with completely impossible "What if" questions that I MUST attempt to answer. He will not be pacified with a casual, "I don't know buddy" while I'm really thinking about something else. I've decided that I'm going to try to start recording these "what ifs" for posterity.

Riding in the van, completely out of the blue a few days ago,
Elijah: "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?"
Me: "Yes?"
Elijah: "What if Micah's stomach blew up and he floated up into outer space and landed on a meteor?"

Anyone? Anyone have an answer for that one?

Presents from Grammie

Grammie sent birthday presents a while ago, but I haven't gotten the pictures downloaded until now. The boys have enjoyed reconfiguring their mechano cars, and the fun wigs have been enjoyed by every child who visits us along with the boys. Thanks grammie! There is also a pic of all of them in their PJs from Grammie. They really like to match. Whenever one of them chooses the Batman PJs, they all choose them.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Our friend Danessa likes to take pictures and she sent some from our gathering at Tom and Cassie's last Sunday. Thanks Danessa! I thought I'd share a couple.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Elijah's Birthday

Isaiah's invention

We're calling it athletic cups for kids. :)

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.