Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Texas Talltale

Over his Cheerios, Fritz told Emily this morning that he was born at the beach. Indeed, he was born a few blocks from the beach. Then Fritz turned to me and asked, "How did you find me?"

I told him, "You were buried in the sand and inside a seashell."

Fritz very seriously and with the gullibility of a six-year-old said, "Was I really? I don't remember that."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dreamy Coloring

Conked out on her coloring book.

Her pen was still poised in her right hand.

And her left hand was stuffed in her pant pocket.

The Fire Shark

The challenge was to take this block of wood and make a car. I used the chopsaw, jigsaw, chisel, and pocket knife. All my digits are still I think the project was a success.

Alex painting his Awana Grand Prix car.

Fritz named his car the Lightning Cage. Like Alex, he was heavily involved in the design process. They race on January 31st.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Prides and joys

Wrinkling her nose is so adorable.

Without electricity for 48 hours makes one remember simpler times. People were tougher stock to tolerate the cold in winter and the heat in summer. To cook, store and prepare food must have been quite the task. And don't mention laundry for a family of six. I realize I know nothing about hardship. Reading by firelight I finished some amazing books.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Lot's Wife

Here it seems unlikely that I would be turned into a pillar of salt. Maybe instead I would be a pillar of ice. If I have lost you, let me confide that I understand the Biblical account in Genesis 19 of Mrs. Lot turning back to look at Sodom better than ever. The analogy isn’t perfect, but I really feel as if God has warned me that once we move, my heart needs to move with it. I have loved it here. Over the dozen moves I’ve made, this is by far my favorite place to have lived. The weather is flip-flopped from down south. You spend all summer outside here, but wear a bathrobe over your clothes daily in the winter (or at least, I do). Due to the climate, people still read here. The libraries are fabulous and the used bookstore with its 50 cent books will be forever missed. Of the two churches we have attended I have been struck by the maturity of the believers and the meat of the services. The downtown has swanky eateries and cool boutiques. It is the perfect size town with loads of shopping, but no traffic. And the fact that Dutch immigrants established themselves here over 100 years ago, most of the houses are very tidy and incredibly charming with their steep roofs and window boxes. The parks are a child’s paradise, because there are no mosquitoes. In 4 ½ years, I haven’t seen one roach in the house either. Don’t think I have forgotten what a tropical climate does for the bugs. They have a party. Yes, at my expense.

All said, we are moving back to Texas. I am still struggling with the fact. But when Lot’s wife was told to pack up, she was strictly warned not to look back. Okay, maybe physical destruction is not imminent for Kazoo, but economic destruction has already taken its toll. Bad government decisions, high taxes and corporate discrimination are destroying Michigan. Like Sodom, the inhabitants have brought the punishment on themselves. Now, I understand Lot’s wife who loved the comfort of her house and the familiarity of her city. Maybe she had grown hardened to the vileness around her. Intellectually I know her happiness was not as important as her holiness. God, in his mercy, was taking her out of a place that wasn't good for her. Yet it is hard to flee something you love. Once you start obeying, it is equally hard to stay the course and not glance back. My friends, I don’t want to be a pillar of ice. How tragic to be frozen in the past. Pray for me. I know God has prepared a new place for us, but even so I struggle.

Acronymic Alex

A is for Admirable
My firstborn turned nine yesterday. Born six weeks early and weighing in at only 4lbs 13 oz when brought home…how did he get to be so big? A few nights ago, I overheard Alex telling frightened Fritz, his roommate, something like this, “You don’t have to be afraid, because God will take care of you. He loves you. Fritz, you can talk to Jesus because He is always listening. And he is strong and he is good.” My perceptive Alex may tremble at times, but when it comes to protecting his brother or lecturing him on the attributes of God…well, he won’t balk at the task.

L is for Lean
His body is lean, but his mind is well-fed. He is a thinker, and rarer still a doer. “Do not merely listen to the word…Do what it says.” James 1:22

E is for Earnest
Alex is conscientious and hardworking. He will never be accused of half measures.

X is for Xtremely Inventive
Whether it is playing a spy or a cowboy, outside or in, Alex keeps his siblings entertained with his imagination. He constructs the Alamo out of couch cushions and cardboard becomes a gleaming scimitar.

Alas, I realize my time is half-gone with my eldest. What a sobering thought, but how good God has been to bear such evident fruit in Alex’s life.