Today it wasn't raining and it wasn't snowing. We took advantage of the balmy 40 degree weather and headed for the bike trails for a winter walk. Alex and Fritz rode their bikes, and Emily and Jane rode in the stroller.
We had gone a mile and a half and I got a "brilliant" notion to race Alex. He easily beat me, but I foolishly persisted. I actually pulled ahead of him at the start, but it would have been better to have remained behind. He clipped my legs with his bike and I took quite a spill. My jeans now look more expensive with a wear hole and my hands are still stinging. I was thankful Ben was with us to dust me off. Fritz immediately prayed for Jesus to heal my hurts. And I am very thankful I could walk the next mile and a half back to the car. On the way back we saw a deer about three feet away. It was the closest I've ever been to one. The deer stared at us for what seemed to be an eternity and then it crossed the bike path. If Alex had clipped the deer instead, it would been a bizarre story and mighty akward. What would you do with an injured deer?
Fritz's velveteen rabbit needs nourishment.
Jane pondering why the baby doesn't finish her bottle.
Emily enjoying the fresh air.
Oblivious to the bow on her head, because she plans to eat the paper. She is salivating at the mouth.
Look what God has made. He crafted such detail on something so little. Aren't they gorgeous? Before Fritz was born, Ben and I and some good friends climbed in the Guadalupe Mountains. When we almost reached the summit, we saw a tree that we thought was covered with red berries. When we got closer we realized "the berries" were thousands of lady bugs.
Peek-a-boo. A child's hands are precious.
Emily loves lady bugs and wears them whenever possible (even in her hair).
When outside Emily crouches down and looks at all the bugs on the ground. She likes to watch them move. Like Alex she seems to be incredibly observant. She knows hot pads are for opening ovens. She attempted to show me six months ago. Around the same time, she began brushing her teeth with toilet water and helping herself to snacks out of the pantry. Thankfully, Emily now has matured and is using the toilet in its designed manner and if she gets snacks, she gets some for her brothers too. Being always hungry herself, she is every considerate of their potential hunger pains. She deposits a handful of crackers at each of their places at the table and then says, "Dinner time, boys." "Dinner time" can be several times a day. She will make an excellent mommy, because meal preparation comes quite naturally.
Another humerous Emilyism, she has confused "the end" with "amen". When she finishes looking through every book she proudly says, "amen." She has the makings of a charismatic, food-loving entomologist.
Alex had the honor of taking Sparky home from Awana this week. Throughout the year each clubber gets the chance to take Sparky home and record Sparky's adventures in a journal.
I have been reading through the journal and it is so funny. One entry says, Sparky speaking, "I hung out in Julia's bedroom wearing a sparkly purple dress- boy, did I look good!" Another entry says, "Sparky brushed his teeth and ate a pop tart with me. On the bus, he almost jumped out the window for a piece of Starburst candy, but I caught him." And still another clubber wrote, "Sparky held the pail while the calves drank their milk. He even had a ride on a calf. Then he had a ride on a fluffy chicken. He said she was soft. He sat on Joker, the cat. He sky-dived down the clothes chute...Sparky rode on the ceiling fan, ate ice cream and tapioca pudding- which he decided he liked." Lastly, "On Thanksgiving day...Sparky stayed home because he was afraid Grandma's dog would eat him. Over the weekend, Sparky watched us cut down some trees in our yard. He watched from my bedroom so that the trees would not fall and flatten him!"
What will Sparky do at our house that can compare to any of that?
FYI: Awana is a church club where kids do intense Scripture memory, play games, sing and listen to Bible stories. Last year I knew nothing about it when I signed up to be a leader...but it wasn't long before I realized what an incredible program. I love it! I hope all my kids will get a chance to go through it.
Fritz is a Cubbie. He also is responsible for Scripture memory. He looks forward to the club award nights when Cubbie Bear comes and gives the 3 and 4 year olds hugs. (It is a man dressed up in a teddy bear suit, a few timid children are scared. However Fritz goes up there and high fives the bear and wants a big hug. I need to remember my camera.)
Our Christmas trees looked in need of some origami cranes. The boys and I found directions on the web and started folding. When their birds were done they began whizzing through the air. Some did nest in the trees. When Emily saw the finished result, she had to have one too. We folded more while Jane chewed the paper ends like bubble gum. When I realized she had a big wad in her mouth, I removed it and she was disconsolate. It reminded me of when I was young (older than Jane) and my dad brought home recycled computer paper for our artistic pursuits. The paper had perforated edges with holes in them. Those edge strips were prized almost more than the paper. I, at least, remember chewing them till they were all gummy. To a six year old they must have tasted great, because I developed a chewing addiction (some years later I saved bubble gum in a little hotel soap box which I chewed off and on for several months). But back to that special computer paper… those edges also made terrific bangles for my wrists and handles for my paper pocket books which I stamped with my Hello Kitty stamp set.
The possibilities with paper are endless. My creative Alex is always surprising me with new ideas for its use. He has made double-sided GI-Joes, Spider man sleeves with a black grid and a red crayon, moustaches for mailmen, whimsical hats, towns for his figurines, magnifying glasses, swords, guns, place mats, treasure boxes, Waldo books and sweet cards for every occasion. Alex is always surrounded with scissors, glue, tape and paper. Fritz and Emily watch in awe. Tomorrow maybe we can create paper snowflakes to hang from the chandelier. That will keep little fingers busy.
Pretending to be mailmen, looking more like hobos. (Our mailman has a moustache, and as he delivers presents Alex thought he ought to have a beard like Santa Claus.)
The towel trio
A few weeks ago...when leaves were plentiful and snow scarce.
Happy 32nd (and wishing that your wife's pictures hang straighter in years to come).
Emily in a warmer land during Thanksgiving.
J stands for jolly
Between snows...a thaw?
A monster, but such a cute one.
Today it has been snowing steadily. The world is washed in blue, grey and white. To a Southerner it looks like a BLIZZARD, to a mailman it looks like a nasty trudge, to a child it looks like an opportunity to sled, to a blogger in a charming 1920's porch/ study it looks like this will be a quick post. When this porch became a study, insulation must have been considered a decadence like icecream and steak. Consequently, I wear thjick gloves and a fuzzby toboggan as I tap keys on the keyboard. I miss type quite a bvit as my hat falls over my eyes and my fingers feel strangely thick. And if my toes blacken from frostbite, my poor husband will have an increased work load. Out of consideration for his already hectic hours, I will avoid scheduled amputations and leave the computer with my toes only numb.
Did you know we have a pet alligator? He often eats once a day. And sometimes twice. In order to have a cheerful helper, I christened our exterior trash can, Alligator. Alex is pleased to feed Mr. Alligator. There is always the fear that if Alli doesn't get enough to eat he may come indoors and nibble on the children's toes. Today, I watched from the window as Alex took the trash out. I saw him talking outside. And most people would think to himself...but I know differently. Alli and him were holding a conversation. Alex said he told Alligator he brought him breakfast. Supposedly, Alligator smacked his big chompers and said thank you. Indeed even alligators have manners.
Today it is snowing. I have only a few days left to rake the leaves to the curb before the city collects them. (That is a story in itself... the city brings in tractors which push the leaves into a pile about five feet high and then scoop them up with giant salad tongs and toss them into a big mixing bowl on wheels.) Due to the current weather, the wet leaves will cling to the grass and perhaps be buried in snow. It looks cold outside and my enthusiasm for raking has grown colder still. But thankfully, I did finish most of the back yard a few days ago.
I began reading a biography called The Bride's Escape by Donita Dyer. It recounts the life of an Armenian girl in the late 19th century. Heart wrenching treatment at the hands of the Turks, but such forgiveness for her enemies and unshakable faith in God. A loom took up most of the space in her family's two room house. The rugs she and her sister wove were to ornament the palaces of Europe. I appreciate my beautiful handwoven rug so much more. Now when I walk on the vibrant pattern I can see a great artisan, perhaps but a child. What pride the weaver must have had on its completion! The book also has encouraged me to be thankful for the nation I was born in and the saftey my children enjoy...especially the future for my beautiful daughters.
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory of God." Phillipians 1:9-11
You are not here by mistake. I am the girl who was named "God is Gracious", and I am learning just how true that is. Welcome to my inside out world where being a follower of Jesus Christ, I see His story beautifully rewriting my own. I am married to my best friend and have a quiver of precious children.