"Why when you sleep or wear boots it makes black stuff between your toes?" Lucy wonders. Scrunched up, fingers separating each toe, she squints, picks the black stuff out, wipes it on the carpet.
We gussie up in fresh clothes, me in soft black running jersey, her in apple skirt and green rain boots.
And all of us, the five kids, me, we gallop down the block, sun on our heels and in our hair, Joey on my back. We run down around the horse track, around again, back up the block, and then pile in the car, zip off for errands together.
"So what's so great about Jesus rising from the dead?" I ask. We skitter down the main drag, kids' heads bobbing in the back.
"'Cause he raised again," Lucy bellows.
"But Lazarus raised again. Why is it so great that Jesus did?"
"'Cause he died for us," Jack says, and the others clamor and bluster. The chatter blends together, then lulls.
"But, why is that so great?"
The wide five-lane road aflutter with cars, a suburban to my right, a corolla slows, and I switch lanes, pull the visor down, piercing orange sun hidden for the moment.
Jane's voice rises from the backseat, "He died the death of a criminal so he can pay for criminals like us."
There, in that blazing orange sun, I feel her comment warm on my skin. He paid for me. I'm all paid for and clean and perfect in his sight. Oh happy day. The Lord has made us new. Jesus has made us new.
4281. "If you don't obey Jesus's instructions," Jane says, "you usually still get to the same place, just not in the same way." We trace again the life of Abraham and notice his detours.
4282. The seven of us make the four-and-a-half hour drive to Lucy's four hour eye appointment. We turn around and come home the same day. Jack makes wrestling practice. Craig and I have date night. It's the best long day ever.
4283. "Pardon me, I tooted," Jack whispers in the waiting room. "Jack tooted just now," Myra announces in full voice.
4284. Egg salad -- with bacon. Warm rosemary bread. Oven crisp chocolate chip cookies. Warm brownies.
4285. Cerissa hosts a Tuesday retreat.
4286. "I'm always gonna be a nice girl," Myra reassures.
4287. I comfort Myra after a nightmare. We pray together.
4288. Craig calls on his way home. "What kind of pizza do you want for dinner?" he says.
4289. "You're pretty," Myra says. "You're pretty with your head," she points to my long hair.
4290. Cerissa makes a big happy deal about Lucy's new reading glasses.
4291. Myra squishes Joe's cheeks like putty.
4292. Rockie gets the spica cast off!!!
4293. We all feel relief and joy, but it's palpable from her parents.
4294. The Sugar Creek Gang.
4295. Top Dog.
4296. A cup of soup, a cup of glorious steaming coconut-curry-sweet-tater soup comes from across the street straight to my bowl.
4297. "That's my stinky toot," Myra announces. "I said PARDON ME, I TOOTED," she rambles on. "I didn't poop my pants."
4298. Scented pencils. A friend gives us scented pencils.
4299. Lavender seasoning. The perfect blend.
4300. Question games, stories, laughter and play, we practice our signs with Miss Lynne.
4301. Craig's parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We throw a party. We laugh and linger and marvel. What a blessing to be in their family.
4302. Joey fusses. "Mom, Joe says him's tooth is hurt," Myra reports.
4303. Pink polka-dot shirt, all happy and fresh, cardigan to match.
4304. I decide to boycott Starbucks. As per the suggestion of Starbucks' CEO I'll take my stake somewhere else.
4305. Cerissa faces an awkward situation. She hits it head on. We all silently cheer and take note.
4306. I buy honey yogurt. The kids split wide smiles, quietly lick their spoons.
4307. Pecans on salad.
4308. Down at the horse track two Boston terriers join us. Myra spots them. "The horses are coming," she says and motions to the two dogs. They trot up, sniff us, and continue on. "Her is nice. See Lucy, her is nice," Myra says.
4309. "Tell me when you wake me up," Myra suggests.
4310. For Resurrection Day, I make pancakes. Jack grabs Lucy's hands and dances around the living room for all the joy of it.
4311. Lemon cheesecake, coconut cupcakes.
4312. Resurrection. Jesus's resurrection.
4313. My salvation.