Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Day

Pride. I tried to tell her it's when you think you're better than God. Reflexively, she grinned, big. She laughed, a rolling giggle, a trickle of mirth like pebbles in a stream. She actually bent over. "That's funny that you thought you were better than God!"

Laughter, the gift of dignity. Confident, humble hilarity.

C.S. Lewis said that humility is the path to pleasure. For a moment now, I can see. I always thought that the humble were very, very good. I wonder if it is actually the distinct scent of pleasure that has masqueraded all this time as goodness. Perhaps my deepest longing is to be humble - fully, completely, myself.

The antidote? "Sometimes at night when I am feeling prideful I just think about the Bible," she said.

And then, "God, please make my heart clean in a secret way. Just surprise me with something good."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow Days

Hard to believe he loves coloring on walls with crayons and permanent marker alike from this photo. Now he sets out to conquer a world of fresh fallen snow, upon snow, upon white, white snow. It's at least waist deep on little Columbus here.

Off to the side, Daddy is raking plumes of snow off the roof.

It's demanding being a boss in clan like this. Thank goodness she has Jack and Lulu to practice on!

This girl was born to lead.

Lookin' for fun, always, always lookin' for FUN!


If you play it just right, this is how making snow angels ends.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lulie Lu Hoo

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all...

~Emily Dickinson

My friend Rose Emily takes pictures of moments you've forgotten anyone is watching. You could probably tell from the pics on this post.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An Angel

Jack has a cold. With the devotion of two years old, he rubs sanitizer over both hands, front, back, waves them in the air. "Dry Momma. Touch Lulu?"

Hands already pulling toward Lulie, he resists, waits, I nod, "Okay." He grabs her hand and leans in close-close, kisses her, lays gently on her tummy, smiles. Sigh. Guess we didn't really need the sanitizer.

Janie participated in our Christmas Eve service this year. Her four-year old stride onto stage, smile, tiny shrug, seemed completely unconscious of audience. Half-way through she noticed the angel perched up above. The angel! She couldn't look away. At one point the angel waved at her. She paused, waved back. The night went on.

Yesterday tucking her into bed, we snuggled, laughed over our day. A couple of quiet moments and then, "Mom, was that angel on stage REAL?"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Prayer

Perhaps Janie said it best:
God help me be how you want me to be.

Or Jack:
I like God.
I like Jesus.
He lub me.

Nuzzle, nuzzle.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Heart of a Child

With decidedly more than two feet of snow, the world feels more like Christmas with each passing moment.

Who knows why we went out the other day, but coming home Janie informed us that we were following a smoker. Yes, she is the bionic nose of our family. Enter, our first "drugs are bad" conversation. She was intrigued by nicotine and the idea that you can be addicted to something. I said, "It's sort of a yucky thing because if you are addicted, it means you can't be refreshed and happy without nicotine."

Long pause.

"Mom, I think I am addicted to God."

This is the little man who rubs his face in my hair at night when I tuck him in. He hugs my neck real tight with both hands. "I like your hair," he says. Hug. Pause. Hug-hug. Blink. "God made you," he says. Snuggle. Hug. Hhhhuugg.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


They requested bread. Plain, dry, boring, sandwich bread.

They ripped it to shreds and tried to eat like dogs.

I made my that-is-bad-manners face.

Janie countered with, "But Mom, it's manna!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


There is a rip in our leather couch. It came that way. The kids jumped on it. It grew. Big. After repeated scolding and correction of the most convincing kind, Janie asked, "Why don't you like the hole?"

"Because it is ugly. Ugly, ugly, UGLY!!" Yes, one of my more articulate and sensitive moments.

"Oh, what's ugly?"

Imagine, a world without ugly.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Big Brother

This is the boy that says, "Oooh, Lulie, I lub Lulu."

Most days when I make it in to roust Lucy, Jack has already been in to check on her multiple times. She sucks thumbie and watches him, teases a little smile at the corner of her mouth. Once he was actually in the little cradle with her. When you're two, a hug and a full body super affectionate tackle are pretty much the same thing. She loved it. Whenever we go somewhere in the car, Jack sits and holds Lulu's little hand the whole time. Lots of days I find a special little toy tucked into the car seat from him.

Love that boy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pumpkin Eater

Don't ya just love how kids can pretend anything? Hard to say what this pumpkin has become, but certainly not the normal garden variety. It was probably glowing last night, or sporting Cinderella in her glass slippers.

I love how the line between fairly tale and everyday life is whisper thin. Pretend is just below the surface like rosy cheeks that become full and sweet with cold winter air, like the warm steam of their breath on cold mornings that puffs out as they run. One unexpected move and the world is all a fairytale.

Makes the loveliest version of myself suddenly appear.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Warming

This is the night Uncle Jesse and Auntie Libby brought Christmas warming gifts to our house. Surprise!! I've never been too into the Santa story, but real live people dropping in with treats and fun, now there's a tradition I can grab on to. The warm smiles and laughing, Santa ain't got nothin' on us! :) After treats from a big brown bag, the logical response, of course, is a great big high-five.

Jack figured a stool could would make it a little bigger.

Lulu just nuzzled in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let's All Shout!

Here's a shout out to Daddy's Momma and Dad!
Yay!! Ya-Hoo, Yippie, Hooray for Gramma and Grampa!

Way we see it, anyone who can grow a super-hero as great as Daddy is definitely worth their salt. Hope we all turn out so well, we've got a legacy to carry on. Family, what a treat to be a part of something bigger and better that any one of us alone.

You can see that little Lulu is an excellent judge of character.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

It started with kidlets burying each other in tissue paper that keeps drifting out of the ornament box into the living room. Ended with a perfectly place soccer kick to the nose, blood dripping, tissue everywhere, crying, hugs and "It's okay, Jack, did you you pick your nose too much?" Love Janie.

It started with a head massage and new hairdo. Ended with, "Oh, that's the dog brush."

It started with letting them help decorate the bottom half of the tree. Ended in glass all over. Twice. And one half-sized, supposedly not fragile icicle that we hung anyway.

It started with friendly sibling banter. Ended in laundry scattered all over, two smiling urchins decked to the nines in too of big boxers, a head bonk, more hugs, and ... no blood!

Yes, it's a wonderful life!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Momma-Time, Daddy-Time, Jammie-Time!

Christmastime and cookie-jammie-days where we drink hot chocolate, bake outrageous yummies, and color enormous pictures. Sometimes we sleep in front of the Christmas Tree.

On days like this every story is a play.

And we ride on Daddy's back.




Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thank-You, God

Good news everyone. Doc says the patching is working!

Hooray, yippie, ya-hoooo!

Another visit to the Children's Hospital. Vision has improved!! Both eyes are now well within the range of normal for a six month old. Next course of action: hold steady with patching every other day, return in four months for re-evaluation.

Hopefully, we will continue to see vision development according to her age.

(Also, if you click on the first picture you can get a better look at the cataract. We magnified it a bunch for our doctor who was super impressed with the picture clarity. He used the pic to measure the cataract opacity ~opaque part~ and asked Craig to e-mail the photo to him. The opacity is 1.2mm x 1.8mm. As long as Lulu can learn to see through the scattering that surrounds it, the opacity should be visually insignificant. Amazing huh?)