Tuesday, May 29, 2007

9 years ago

A Day's Worth of Sparkle

Now Jane is standing without help. The barrette in her hair struggles for grip as much as her feet.

Above you see Jane communicating: Pick me up, hug me and help me. When Jane attempts to walk she leads with her tummy which means her feet should be where her stomach is and her stomach where her feet are. In simplified language, those hot dogs and enormous servings of yogurt pull her down every time.

Sparklers bring a smile and a late bedtime. This far north it is light till 9pm. In a month's time it will still be light at 10pm.

La. She has long hair.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sprinkler Days

Relaxing after work, Ben dons his cowboy hat. He's got Texas on his mind and Baby on his lap.

Fritz, let's see what happens when things get wet. I'll put this newspaper in the sprinkler, you try that plastic thing over there.

It is just a bit cold for the sensible and those with limited fat reserves.

Emily's face is a thousand percent better than the beginning of spring. We think she has PMLE and develops more sun tolerance as the season progresses.

Last night was awards night for Awanas. Alex and Fritz with their respective leaders.

My two little spies. Don't you know spies dress in navy blue so they can creep around unnoticed at night. The last few nights Emily has gotten out of bed at some ungodly hour. I'm thinking she is not one for stealth, because her footsteps are like little earthquakes. There is a proverb that says if you bless someone early in the morning it will be taken as a curse. Perhaps during the day her footsteps sound more like butterfly wings, but don't quote me on that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

7 up

Just finished watching The Up Series on DVD. This British Documentary is fascinating. The premise is: "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." They started filming the series in 1964. It began when they interviewed 14 adorable seven year olds. They ask the children what they might want to do when they are older and what they think about marriage, children and money. Then every seven years they had a follow up interview with the original children to catch up on what has transpired. Be warned it is a series that will make you laugh and cry. If you love sitting in a crowded place watching people, this series is for you. You get to observe the same people for 35 years. You watch their weight change and their hairstyles. You see them live out the choices they have made. I have watched them grow from age 7 to 14, 14 to 21, 21 to 28, 28 to 35 and 35 to 42. I hear age 49 is now available too, but I haven't seen it.

Because Alex is seven I probably enjoyed The Up Series even more. What will he look like at 14 and 21? What will he be doing? When will he marry? Will he marry? Will he be much like he is now, just more mature? Will he have a quiver of children? Will he like his job? Will he be confident and caring? Will he be an overcomer or a victim? And a thousand other questions? I guess the series reiterates how important these founding years are in the life of my children. If I only have till age seven, how crucial it is that I am a wholehearted parent that deliberately and habitually instructs my children in the way they should go. How I must be a truth speaker and a lover of their souls. Time is so short. So even though most of the interviewees' lives were mapped out by age seven, as a secular production, the series does not take into account the ability of the Holy Spirit to change a person. Even the most unregenerate.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Three for Florida

Last week Ben's mom gave us the special gift of travel. She came to watch the little girls while the boys and I went to Florida to visit my grandmother and their great grandmother. On the airplane I got hooked on sudoku puzzles. I completed my first four. If you love logic and tolerate numbers you ought to try one. It provided me hours of mental stimulation and a whopping big headache from rearranging numbers. Seeing my grandmother after many years was a real treat. The boys swam whenever possible, watched the jumping dolphins and the manatees feed on leaves. Speaking of food, Alex and Fritz ate more meals out than the entire past year, and loved it. We enjoyed our time immensely.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Redeeming the Moment

Yesterday I was given an opportunity by the Lord to evangelize my children. For that matter, I am given an opportunity everyday. But yesterday was different because my son broke the glass in our back door. I was angry that I had another project to fix. I was angry that an apology wasn't forthcoming. I may have been "rightfully" angry, but my anger was as destructive as his fist through glass. Fortunately, Ben didn't see son 1 in the ER for hand lacerations. (The drunks all minding their own business don't seem to fair as well when glass "accidentally" shatters.)

Last night I sat with chisel and hammer loosening the frame that held the glass pane in place. It was slow and arduous work to take apart that which has held fast for almost a century. This morning I realized I could use the pane as an object lesson for my children. The sin in our life is like a big noticeable crack in glass. The secret sins might be like little bebee holes, but they are still seen by the Glass Maker. Our life is cracked with sin from birth. In our imperfect state we aren't acceptable to God. Consequently we try on our own effort to hide the sin with good works. Maybe we place a pretty chintz curtain in front of the crack to hide it. Or the more deluded among us try to cover the crack with clear tape as if the Glass Maker won't see our sin. With the awareness our best efforts are inadequate, we ask Jesus to take out our broken pane and put himself in its place. God no longer sees us and our unrighteousness; He sees Jesus and his own reflection. In this He is well pleased.

The moral of this tale is take heed from my initial folly, and as glass will break, redeem a disastrous moment into an eternal moment, a chance to evangelize your kids.