Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blue-lipped Mermaids and a Fritz

My three crazy children felt that swimming in icy water would be delightful. Several times Jane hesitated and comically said, "Here goes nothing." But she did indeed take the plunge. The girls had extra incentive to swim because they received mermaid tails for Christmas from Santa (the next door neighbor). After seeing his wet-headed sisters live to boast about it, Fritz also swam across the pool. The temperature of the water was 58 degrees, it was like swimming in Lake Michigan.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The sweetest story

Mary and Joseph

The angel declared the good news of great joy.

The shepherds listened.

And the wise men brought gifts...a spreadable butter tub with coins inside, a pink New Testament and a basket full of myrrh for Baby Jesus.

We sure are missing the brothers. The stuffed animals were a little less responsive.

My little birdies in their finery

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Packed and ticketed

So happy to hear that my brother and family will be boarding a plane tonight homeward bound. The airline graciously rerouted them so they would not need visas for their children (which would have delayed them in Uganda till December and incurred considerably more expense).

God acted on their behalf. Prayers were answered.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A snafu

Keep praying, here is what my brother wrote yesterday:

Well, friends, it seems as if the Lord has different plans for us. It's a long story but as we were boarding our flight in Uganda at midnight tonight, the airline told us that we needed to have transit visas for our kids because we were flying through two European airports. As US citizens, Shayna and I are exempt from those visas but our kids are still Ugandan and apparently have different requirements. It's a real shame that Continental did not tell us anything about this when we booked our flights, but this is what we had to do.

They off-loaded our luggage (well, half of it and the other half accidentally was kept on the plane on its way to Brussels) and told us we would have to stay in Uganda. So we will need to go to the Brussels Airlines office tomorrow and try to find another itinerary that is soon and then we will need to go to the Belgian embassy and try to obtain the transit visas for the kids. Brussels Airlines does not fly out of Uganda everyday so we know that it will not be tomorrow, but we are hoping for maybe later this week.

All that to say, you can take off the party hats and store the confetti for now until further notice. We will let you know when we next plan our trip home. Until then, please pray for our attitudes to remain positive. The kids especially struggled with this whole event as they didn't understand why we couldn't go home.

We trust God's good plans and remain unshaken in Him.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Forever home

Today my brother and his wife get to travel half-way across the world with their adorable children. From Uganda to Texas is a mighty journey. And I am sure they would covet prayers for patience, good behavior, parental energy and children's sleep. Tomorrow their son, 4, and daughter, 2, will step off that plane onto the soil of their new adopted country. At last, they will be in their forever home. What a joyous occasion!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Fritz and the Beanstalk

A week ago, Fritz planted a seed on a field trip. Once it popped soil, it has grown two to three inches a day. Is it a magic beanstalk?

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Grand Cookie Master and the Porcupine

These definitely say, "Eat me." If you can't hear them, lean your ear closer to your monitor and watch a couple more disappear. My husband ought to be dubbed the Grand Cookie Master. He mixes the ingredient without an electric mixer, because God has equipped him with muscly arms. My arms wouldn't last past the fifth stroke. With a measuring cup and brown sugar, he can make fatally yummy chocolate chip cookies. Last night he took his cookies a tier higher by embellishing them with pecans (which he picked and shelled in his sparse free time). I am serious. He and the kids have been gathering nuts at the park like squirrels preparing for snow. There are bags of pecans drying in the laundry room to prove it.

How do I smoothly transition from gourmet cookies to the lowly porcupine? Well, when Persistent Pants asks me for another cookie for the umpteenth time, I am going to try to smile and reply patiently. The chalk sketch is my visual reminder that I can become "the porcupine." I unfortunately know that my words and tones of voice can become like quills stabbing those around me. Best Beware. And when the voices asking for things makes the noise level deafening and I am tempted to let out a war whoop and string my bow, I am going to look over to that blackboard and realize I have a choice. Let this quill not fly.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Zero Day

Fritzgerald, Fritzsimmons, Fritzpatrick, Fritzwilliam and Felix all turned 9 today. Fancy that! The boy I love turned nine too.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Life has Droll Moments

My favorite tree dwellers in the whole world.

Two adorable things, but one makes me chuckle with her fashion glasses askew.

Tilting her head makes them look straighter.

Two little girls trying to fool me. They wanted to see if I could tell them apart. Hmmm. That's a hard one.

Maybe if I pucker my lips, I'll be harder to identify.

Jane with a prosthetic, pencil-sharpening nose.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

To hold a hummingbird

As I was carrying dishes out to the back patio for the girl's lunch, a poor little hummingbird dropped from the skylight onto our brick threshold. I began signaling through the glass door for the girls to get my camera. They couldn't open that door because the bird would have been smooshed so they circled the house with the camera. We took a few pictures and then decided to eat our peanut butter. Perhaps as we munched he would fly away.

After wiping the jam from our mouths, we inspected the hummingbird. The girls found a twig and I tried to see if he would perch on it. A no go. He looked close to death. I went inside and researched online how to care for an injured hummingbird.

Upon an internet suggestion, I made him some sugar water. Next I gently grasped the tiny fellow between my over-sized fingers. I dipped his beak in the concoction and he seemed to be drinking. He seemed to be interested in living. I let go of him to see if he would fly. Instead he fell into the water dish (a red peanut butter lid). I picked him up again and he shook his feathers dry and flew away.

The moral of the story is: Sugar revives the soul. And it might even get you to belt out a stanza of "I feel like I can fly."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Husband is...

because he is


and that makes me

because it has been

years of hard work.

(solution: he-man, board, orthopedics, ridiculously happy)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Best friends

I count myself blessed to have two boys and two girls and that they love each other so much.

Once again eldest brother extracted Emily's tooth. As the Dutch would say, she now has a hole in her dike.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A party for new parents

Celebrating with us on the eve of their Ugandan children coming home

Mysterious land, mystery man

The wind was wild

Cute cousins

The evermoving customers

A root beer float with nine straws, please. No, make that 11 root beer floats and one bottle to go.

Heat, water and little limbs

The girl who knows how to pose

Jane in the butterfly garden

Sweet baby E

The curious house

Fritz of the sunshiny disposition

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Effects of School

Not to be outdone by their uniform wearing brothers, the girls took great effort to find similar outfits.