Thursday, June 26, 2008
These are some things that made me happy today: Naya's little punk hair and her fascination with "shoe-shoes," as she calls them. She insisted on wearing these and this coat for hours. I mean, can you blame her, there is glitter on those toes.
The handy work of this little artist. And his bedtime prayer that went like this, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for Marlow with her beautiful long hair. Please,help me to obey and thank you for ice cream too. Amen."
Small glimpses of the master Artist.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Happy Father's Day to my dear husband. He's done his share of diapers and late night walks to lull sleepless babies. He's worried and prayed over sick kids. He's worked hard and sacrificed for them. He understands that the moment you become a parent selflessness takes on a whole new meaning. He's been delighted at their happiness and saddened by their tears. He disciplines them well and makes them laugh often. And I am just so very grateful to have this man to partner with in parenting. We have no illusions of being the perfect parents; as a matter of fact I think we tremble at how easily our baggage, and issues and sin can and will hurt our kids. But we trust that God gave us these three little people for a reason and that he will be our strength as we try to live what we teach. So we strive together in the best way we know how to help them be passionate about God, and learning and people, and nature and beauty.
I'd be amiss not to mention how immensely thankful I am for my own sweet dad for giving me life,and love and so much of what I now hold dear.
On a side note the above pictures were altered on this strange Japanese website. You download the photo, then click the blue box and voila! Your pictures look like vintage newspaper clippings. I'm just a little addicted to it at the moment.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Ella, my almost-three-year-old has been rebelling against the afternoon nap these past several months. I was dismayed at first, as that hour or so of quietness while the girls slept gave me just a little time to get done house work or have a little reading/rest time with Juden. While caring for and nurturing three little ones all day, those little breaks also just helped me keep my sanity and patience. I was even more dismayed when each night at dinnertime, Ella would set into a overtired whining that didn't cease till bedtime. In my desperate attempt to cling to that hour with one child instead of three, we have developed a new routine.
Ella now sleeps in a big girl bed which happens to be a full size bed someone gave us, and I might add she looks like a pea-sized little princess in it. I somewhat reluctantly decide to lie with her and push aside the thoughts of all the other responsibilities that are piling up. I figure that if I sing to her and rub her back, surely she'll drift off and I can get back to my housework and one-on-one time with Juden. So there we lie while she fidgets and squirms and rearranges her bears and lambs and I'm patiently hoping she'll remember how tuckered out she is and how oh-so-comfy her bed is. I glance around her bright, feminine, little girly room, and I think it's nice just to have these few moments to slow down. My eyes stop on this painting that my dad painted.
The painting is full of tranquility and simplicity. A couple in a canoe, a man reading on a park bench, a family feeding the ducks. The brush strokes are soft and muted. I look at the scene through his eyes and I wonder, is it England? Have we been there? Everything about it is so...him, and I miss him. I wonder why I'm missing him again so much lately. Was it when I was sitting behind the girl who gently leaned her head on her father's shoulder during church and I felt that ache in my heart. Was it sitting outside last night and watching the strange sky before the storm? I've always loved to watch storms- all the green-grey light, the noise and power of them. Remembering the thrill of summer thunderstorms when I was little, sitting on his lap with his big arms around me. Maybe it's the fear of the sound of his voice growing fainter. Maybe it's Father's Day coming up, or maybe it's marveling at these little grandchildren of his that I wish he could see.
My eyes close as the thoughts pass and I feel a restless Ella's soft little fingertips tracing my lips and brushing across my eyelashes, and I think to myself, at least one of us is being lulled to sleep. My thoughts turn to how ridiculously much I love this little bug. I love the dimple on just her right cheek, how funny she looks with her crocs always inevitably on the wrong feet, how she talks out of a side ways mouth. Heaven help me the day someone makes her cry, or teases her. Maybe some day she'll question where her worth is. Maybe she'll wonder if she's skinny enough or smart enough, or if the guys she's dating is right for her. Maybe she'll fall prey to messages of false securities. Maybe she'll doubt what she believes. Lord, give me grace for those times but for now I bathe this little one in prayers of strength, purity, wisdom, and love for this precious daughter. May she always be held by your grace. While my sleepy prayers give way I realize the desired result has come to pass... at least for a few minutes.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
It seems like summer has taken it's cue from the arrival of June because all of the sudden it is hot. Time for sundresses, sprinkler's, popsicle's and pool days.
We recently got a membership to the nature center. I like this kind of outing with the kids where we can wander around, have a picnic, and look at animals. Here they are in a little "whoo, whoo..." chorus with the owl. And here is Ella striking a pose.
The kids are in vacation Bible school this week so we took Naya out for a breakfast date. I am enjoying the lovely quiet mornings with Naya all to myself.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Anniversaries are good times to reminisce about how we met and what a surprise it was to end up with someone so different from me but how it made so much sense too. I like to go back to how we got engaged and the day we got married. To our honeymoon of white sand beaches in Jamaica, and a garden that seeped with unfamiliar scents of tropical trees and hibiscus where our little cottage was. A little missionary woman owned the gardens and would bring us lemon cocktails on her porch. She would tell us stories in a part British , part Jamaican accent like we where her kids. Her porch was shrouded with flowering vines and suspended colorful glass balls that used to be the floats from fishing boats. She'd have fresh breadfruit and flowers put in our cottage daily. I love to remember the rustic castle in Negril we stayed in for 35 dollars a night with no hot water and huge arched glassless windows to where all you heard at night was the crashing waves on the rocks below. Everything about the place seemed enchanted magnified I'm sure by the afterglow of new love. The word honeymoon has long been one of my favorite words and ours surpassed all my sweet expectations.
I was also pensive about the reality of how hard marriage is. How it can come under attack and how difficult it is to let go and learn selflessness. I could reflect on times of disunity when there was a loneliness deeper than I ever knew when I was single. As I think about these last nine years of marriage I am so thankful to have grown so much with Josh, to be past some the tumultuous drama that came with marrying young. It truly has gotten better with each passing year. There is a quieter solid contentedness that has grown. Marriage has been both the most intensely difficult and intensely beautiful of human relationships. We are humbled by our flesh but overwhelmed with gratitude that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
We talked about some of these things over a very nice anniversary dinner and then he handed me my card. I have shared lots of things I love about Josh but thus far, I've not mentioned his adorable habit of giving me the most creative cards. When we were dating and he studied abroad I filled a box with his creations, everything from his face on David Hasslehoff's body to letter's written entirely in a spiral so you'd have to keep spinning the paper. Some would make me laugh out loud and others would melt me with thoughtfulness. As we talked into the evening I really felt overwhelmed with thankfulness for this man that I want to grow old with. He is a blessing to me every day.