"Momma," Janie leans her chin out over the cutting board, "I'm wondering, how did the baby get in your tummy?" She tilts her head and squints.
I chop cucumber spears into tiny cubes and scoop them with my knife into a clear glass bowl. "You remember," I begin, "how I told you that when you're married and you lay together in a special way, Jesus takes a little bit of the mommy and a little bit of the daddy and puts a baby in the mommy's tummy?"
I scoop a handful of cherry tomatoes, pile them on the cutting board and slice them down the middle one by one, half, quarter, wobbly wedges. "It was like that."
She watches the wedges of tomato roll onto their flat sides before I sweep them together and swoop them into the bowl. "Do you and daddy know how to lay together in that special way?" She creases her forehead.
"Did you do it on purpose?"
"Yep." I scoop the last cherry tomato, toss it on top, and gather basil leaves into a mish-mash stack.
I chop the basil into thin strings of green then rotate the knife and whittle the basil down to tiny specks. Jane watches me crumble feta, sprinkle basil, and grind pepper. Cucumber and basil fill the kitchen.
"Jane," Jack calls from the back door. "Jane, wanna go outback and play?"
The moment fetters and slows, then plunks like a stone in a stream. "Ok," she says, and with that skips off, a whole pebble of new knowledge rolling around inside.
1249. The cross sticker Lucy expels from her nose when I tell her, "BLOW," before I dab her bloody nose.
1250. Sister-in-law's grace when two of our children traipse over to ask forgiveness for lying to her.
1251. How a couple from our church celebrates their 20th wedding anniversary by smuggling Bibles into China.
1252. Picturing tomato bisque and rosemary artisan bread as art and worship, the creation of nourishment, instead of duty and long hours.
1253. Learning to draw: the one line drawing.
1254. A note from Jane: to mommy, I like everything about you. I would not want anything to change. from: Jane.
1255. Pulsing babe in my womb, 3.5 mm and heart beating. "It would take seven of your babies stacked end to end," my doctor says, "to make an inch."
1256. Jane's tight hug when I ask her, "You feel that good feeling you have inside right now? That's the reward for working hard. No one can take that away from you."
1257. The bounce of her curls as she skips out to play.
1258. How Craig blanches 40 lbs. of peaches out over the barbecue so that we don't make the house so hot canning.
1259. Quarts and quarts of peaches. And dilly beans.
1260. Craig's cheerful, "Chill out girl-scout," when I huff and puff over Lulie's sheets still in the wash.
1261. A fabric sidewalk.
1262. A floppy orange zinnia in an old tiny brown extract bottle.
1263. Blueberry pancakes, peaches on top with a cloud of whip cream.
1264. The long drive up north to my cousin's place, miles and miles of forest and farm.
1265. Laughing to tears with her while husbands visit and our children play long into the night.
1266. Fresh garlic.
1267. Pizzas made by hand, salad gathered from lush garden rows, huckleberry ice cream, walnut brownie chocolate ice cream, pink strawberry ice cream all made with cream fresh from the cow.
1268. How our mouths gape and eyes widen when we make to load children and head for home under a wild starry blanket of sky. How those stars, that Milky Way, really need no introduction when you see them for real.
1267. How Lucy sings, "And God can hold the whole world on two fingers or one." And how Jane adds, "Or he can even hold it on one fingernail, Lucy."
1268. How my brother explains the difference between fission and fusion and it's one of the most engaging conversations all week.
1269. Baked potato soup bubbled to creamy perfection and dinner with brother and sis-in-law and a whole rabble of our kids.
1270. How in all the joyful rumpus we carry on long trains of adult conversation woven in through and around the children's please, thank-you, and excuse me.
1271. My parents 35th wedding anniversary and how we still all watch them to see if the marriage template they gave us is really all it's cracked up to be. And it is.
1272. Lavender honey ice cream and the hands that made it.
1273. Good doctors who care for Jane and Lulie, limbs swollen with bug bites gone wild and who see to Great-Grammie's health as she recovers from infection in the hospital.
1274. How life is just a little more dear every time I set foot in a hospital.
1275. The growing peace and rest I have each day in my Savior.