Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween, Padnuh!





How fun it is to dress up our little ones. Cowgirl Anna Grace and her little horse had a great time at our church's trunk-or-treat event. Yee-haw! video

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The dreaded yellow cup


I hate making myself a glass of water. It probably has to do with the ice dispenser being broken and the small stream of water slowly coming out in a trickle from our refrigerator. But I need to drink more water, so when I do get a glass, I try to find a really big cup to maximize the effort. I just hate having to go through the ordeal to make myself a big glass. Sometimes I just eat dinner without anything to drink. I really do.

So I ask Jack from time to time to do it for me. He usually obliges without any protest, but he always returns with a grin on his face... he's duped me again. I balk at the dreaded yellow cup as he laughs and laughs. I never saw it coming, he muses. You see, the yellow cup only holds half of what I need, so what's the point? I guess it really gives Jack something to have fun with. Good for him.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkin Shine on Line (Ave., that is)

Shreveport's best fall tradition is the pumpkin shine. At our neighborhood park, schools and churches enter their creative renditions of pumpkin art. We got our small group from church together and enjoyed the beautiful weather and the pumpkin fun.

Thanks, Rupps, for introducing us to the kickin slide show...


Sunday, October 28, 2007

More like a life line

Our little girl was watching "The Lion King" today- a much sought after birthday gift from "regular Kathy" (see post 9/27/07). As we were watching it, we came across the concept of death. We've been through this before with my daddy, Mamaw Thelma, and Bizzy, but when Mufasa (the daddy lion) was breathing his last, Anna Grace looked concerned.

I had to think about it.

I'm trying to re-shape my own worldview (props, John Harrigan) and correctly teach my little one about why things are as they are from a biblical perspective. Our culture says that death is part of "the circle of life," but this inadequately lines up with what God says in His word. In the beginning, God created and it was all good. Death wasn't in the picture. That didn't happen until man eschewed the authority of God and sin entered into the equation. Death was not a part of life. Adam and Eve and all the animals in the garden were vegetarians. For real. In Genesis 3:15, God promises a Deliverer that will set things right again.

So we paused the movie and I told Anna Grace that the daddy lion is dying, but that God doesn't like death and when Jesus comes again He'll make everything better.

"Okay," she replies. No problem, no question.

She sang and danced through "Hakunah Matata" and had a great time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Inside the lines and everything











Anna Grace needed artistic direction this morning, so her daddy graciously jumped in. But long after she had lost interest and retreated to her room, Jack remained at the dining room table, enjoying the crayon assortment and re-discovering the joy of coloring. It was quite a sight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My little birdie

We went to dinner tonight with Jack's parents. As we were leaving the restaurant, Anna Grace stood on the edge of the parking lot curb. As she looked back, she quickly got the reprimand and warning to be careful and come back to her parents. With a smile on her face, her ponytail blowing on the wind, and her arms out wide, she replies, "But I want to see the world! It's the world out there!"
My heart responded with emotions ranging from warm fuzzies to terror. It does speak to a desire in all of us for adventure- a longing for the world as God created it and the abundant life that He created us for. But yikes. This world is not yet as it should and will be. I don't think I'm ready for her to fly the coup. I think I'll keep this little one safely in our nest for a little while longer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For your viewing pleasure

I get to spend 12 hours over the next several weeks with this guy.

To get my continuing education hours required for my PT license, I opted for the at-home DVD version of Clinical Electrical Stimulation: The Principles of E-Stim. This way, I can fold laundry and play with a baby as I catch up on the latest research regarding application of TENS units. Multitasking at its best.


When Jack came home for lunch, he sarcastically remarked about how lucky I was to receive this beating of a neurophysiological review. But I really hadn't thought about it like that. Actually, Giovanni De Dominico, PT, PhD is quite the expert and enjoys international renown for knowledge in his field. With his Australian accent and systematic teaching style, I was actually enjoying our time together. There's really something to be said for being thorough in your pursuit of knowledge in your realm of expertise. And this guy is definitely thorough.

Not only that, but he has macular degeneration and is now legally blind. He can't drive and has trouble reading but despite this states, "I depend on the grace of the Almighty..." His determination to press on is admirable. Something for me to remember when I feel bogged down with all my own worries and seeming hardships.

Well done, Giovanni.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Marvelous night for a moondance

With the days getting shorter, I've found it difficult to get my run in before the moon and the stars make their nightly appearance. I try to avoid it as best I can, but today, the last bit of my run tonight was moon-lit. And there it was- in all its glory. Of course, it's not often that I get a chance to marvel at this creation
and it was a good reminder to me of the bigness of the Creator. The One who - literally - hung the moon loves me and created me for relationship with Him.
Amazing.

Psalm 8:3-4 "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Three years of Anna Grace






It's hard to believe that it was three years ago that we were in a hospital in Kentucky trying to get Anna Grace to leave her cozy spot in my belly, but we celebrated her third birthday today with gumbo and cake. What a great little life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Push and pull

This is Zeke's best effort at mobility thus far. He's getting there. I'm trying not to catalyze the effort too much despite the fact that he's starting to get really upset that he can't get from point A to point B. Instead, I'm trying to continue to focus on the convenience of the "I can put you down and you can't get into too much stuff" phase. We'll see how long that lasts... video

Saturday, October 20, 2007

We gave birth this year. What's your excuse?


This is the slogan Karen came up with for our run today in the Autumn Classic 10K. She's a saucy one. It was a beautiful fall day and in true Louisiana form, we enjoyed the Johnny's pizza and coke they provided as post-running refreshment. Where else would you get such crazy post-race nourishment? My little sister really saw me through it and I was so glad to get to share the experience with her. Fun times.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Late One

Jack's parents went up to Lexington for the UK/LSU game last weekend and they brought us back a six pack of Ale 8 One- a Kentucky soft drink that's kind of like a zingy gingerale. We loved it when we were Kentuckians and Jack and I called it "Dr. Nutt" a la Confederacy of Dunces. Good memories.

It's been over a year and a half since we made the move from Lexington to Shreveport, but when I closed my eyes and took a sip of my cold Ale 8, I could almost see the rolling hills, the white fenced horse farms, and the rich fall colors along the Kentucky River.

Thanks, Barbara.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fighting entropy

As I was dropping off my enormous load of button-down plaid shirts at the drycleaners today, I thought about how much of my day is spent trying to redeem, restore, or renew. Getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist, changing dirty diapers, assembling a meal, educating a young mind, making a bed, pulling together a meaningful collection of words...
It can be tiring.
I stop to think- am I just spinning my wheels? Is there meaning in picking up dirty shoes or folding tiny pants? YES. Because I don't want to be this guy. ---->

More importantly, to the extent that I realize that what I do in the here and now is unto God is the extent to which the insignificant in life takes on significance.

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

It gives me new perspective for those little things that add up to fill my day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Harmonica Vigor

The tambourine shaking denotes the end of the song.
These are Anna Grace's harmonica rules. Her little friends Gracie and Haley gave her some musical instruments for her birthday and it was a hit. She LOVES her harmonica.
*Sorry you have to watch it sideways. video

Monday, October 15, 2007

He is able

When I picked Zeke up from daycare today, I walked into a sweet scene- my baby smiling and laughing at the kisses generously lavished on his cheek by his amiable Ms. Evelyn. It was so good for my heart. You see, I worry all the time about him while I have to work. That he's not getting enough sleep, enough attention, enough love, enough kisses...
On Sunday, our small group from my church got together and studied the account of Abraham obeying God in offering his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to the Lord (Genesis 22:1-19). There is a lot to unpack from the story, but one of the things that really struck me from it all was that my children are not ultimately mine. I know this, but I forget it all the time. In this "me"-centered, humanistic world, my normal inclination is to rely on myself as the person who can ultimately provide for my children. But this is not so. Zeke is ultimately God's child. He will take care of him while he's away from his momma. And because God is good and faithful and all-powerful, I need to remember to trust Him to take care of the precious little 8-month-old that He has given me to raise. He can handle it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pure toddler bliss



We think that this past Saturday may very well have been the best day of our little girl's life. We had a birthday party early because her cousin Cavett and her friend Benjamin were in town. Good decision. It was big fun. Playing and games at Gymboree, cookie cake and pizza, a good nap, new books and toys, running around at the park with her best friends on a cloudless, cool day, and a picnic and ice cream on Nana's screened-in porch all added up for one big day for our little one.

Of course, it was great fun for her parents to see her enjoying herself so much. There's something about watching your child have fun and interact in love and joy. Upon each child's arrival, she gave the little friend a warm greeting and a hug- I was so proud of this little thing that she remembered to do. I'm sure we will continue to deal with the trials of toddlerhood, but it's fun for us to see her, little by little, grow in consideration and love for others.
Just tonight, as we were putting her to bed, Jack commented that he couldn't understand how it is possible, but he loves her more and more everyday. And it's true. She sang a little prayer the other night singing, "Good morning, God, this is your day. I am your child, show me your way." Endearing.

On another note, we had a great time visiting with the Harrigan family. Baby Samuel and Zeke are just three weeks apart and were cute as ever together. Anna Grace often talks about Benjamin being her groom (she's fascinated by weddings), so of course, she was happy to see him. John and Lydia are really special friends and it was good for my heart to laugh and share around the table after the kids had gone to bed. The Lord has really knit our hearts together in friendship and we treasure these precious friends.

We also got to meet cousin Kendrick for the first time. Holding a six week old baby that looks just like my sister- red hair and all- was special. I just couldn't stop looking at him.

So it was fun times for the Chaney family this weekend. It made Sunday afternoon kind of sad, but we'll see what fun is in store for this week...

Friday, October 12, 2007

On riding around the sun


Here at the Chaney house, we love the seasons. Especially fall. From the first chilly fall morning to the reds, yellows, and oranges tones that color the trees to college football to birthdays and fall festivals- it's all fun to us.

Jack especially likes to "celebrate the seasons." He always keeps an eye out in the grocery store for the pumpkin ale, the summer brew, or the dark winter lager. He has CDs and even certain songs that he brings back in its appropriate season. Today, he was encouraging me to bake as much pumpkin-flavored baked treats as possible- before the season passes.

Of course, we have our Creator to thank for the setting the tilt and orbit of the earth around a huge ball of burning gas, providing a cycle of the springtime and harvest and allowing us to survive on this terrestrial ball. It's a nifty idea. We're enjoying the ride here at our house.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thirty years and counting

This little number is courtesy Rendi and Josh in honor of my birthday. I call it my Bling Barney.
Love it.
Overall, the day was great. I did have to work, but that was off-set with a chilly nip in the air on a cloudless day, flowers at work, a good run, babysitting (thanks, Nana!), and shrimp buster followed by bananas foster with good friends and lots of laughs.
On my run with my newfangled i pod (Jack did very well this year), Matt Redman's song, "You Never Let Go," allowed me to reflect a little bit on God's goodness, His patience, and His faithfulness to me over the past thirty years. Every high, every low- He was there. He was always there and He never let go. He has been steadfast and resolute in his love for me. It's amazing. And it's been a great 30 years.
video

Check it out

Pawpaw Zeke is at it again. Check out the front page of the Baton Rouge Advocate here.
We're so proud of him! Congrats Pawpaw!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The best present ever

We were saying prayers tonight after a long, eventful day. "Thank you, Lord, for all the fun things that You gave us today. For dance class and music, for the parade and a picnic in our front yard..." Anna Grace interrupts and very softly, quietly adds, "and thank you for mommies."

Talk about melting my heart. My birthday is tomorrow and I consider that the best gift she could give. Her love. What sweetness.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Interment and cow herding


Pawpaw Zeke's mom, Thelma Dunaway (Jack's great-grandmother), had a birthday today. It was her 95th. But instead of gathering for cake and ice cream, the family gathered to celebrate her life and lay her earthly body to rest until the Lord comes back. After the funeral, we gathered at a tiny baptist church in Salem, Mississippi, for sweet tea, fried chicken, and a smorgasbord of homemade casseroles made by sweet little ladies who waited on the sidelines in case we needed anything else. As we prepared to eat, Pawpaw Zeke put it best, praying, "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice- even in these circumstances- and be glad in it."

It was an interesting experience bringing an almost three-year-old to such an event. We explained that Pawpaw Zeke's mommy had been sick and that she had died and was now with Jesus. She was pretty quiet, taking it all in, and really didn't ask anymore about it. That was perfectly acceptable to her. She enjoyed her grandmother BB's beautiful voice at the church service and ran and played and chased the cows along the fence during the burial. She didn't ask about the coffin. She just enjoyed the company of family and was there for the party.

Hopefully, Anna Grace will continue in the steadfast hope that comes in knowing Jesus. Hopefully, she'll pick up on the example of a loving son putting his momma to rest while praising God. Hopefully, she'll view the world through the lens of the hope that we have in Him. These are all teachable moments.

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope... therefore encourage one another with these words." I Thessalonians 4:13, 18

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Zeke's first tailgate



Big day for the Z man. For those of you not entrenched in the culture of college football, top-ranked LSU played no. 9 Florida in a match up in Tiger Stadium last night. So Jack had his buddies, Scott and Jonathan, fly in from North Carolina for the LSU gameday experience. And what an experience it is.
We started it out with shrimp po-boys and, in my case, eggplant parm with crawfish sauce (delicious), followed by the drive through flag-flying, sticker-touting LSU traffic to the parking spot in the middle of it all. Zeke and Anna Grace rode in the wagon through all the revelry and despite the dissappointment of Mike the Tiger's absence and the sweltering temps, the kids did really well. When Zeke made it clear it was time to go, I handed him off to the guys. The little man curled up on Jonathan Hornagay's shoulder and made himself comfortable. He must have sensed that he was a daddy, too.
Of course, the win was amazing and the game was super fun for the guys, but more than that, it's good to connect with people- Jack's buddies from college, cousin Amy, Aunt Ginger, Uncles Kenny and Johnny. I really don't like the crowds and I don't know that I'll ever step foot in Tiger Stadium, but it's good to keep up with our LSU family.




Friday, October 5, 2007

Less is more


I don't know if you can really appreciate how much toilet paper is in this potty, but there's no water left. Just a soggy mess. This is how much toilet paper our soon-to-be three-year-old thought was appropriate. We found it hours later after Anna Grace had gone to bed and had a good laugh, but thirty minutes later, Jack's still plunging and shaking his head.

So here's to rookie mistakes, soggy messes, fix-it daddies and ehow.com. Hopefully we'll get this thing worked out...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Banned in China


I don't know if you all have been following what's happening right now in Myanmar (you can read about it here), but that story has really struck a nerve with me this week. The whole incident has reminded me of all the freedoms that I take for granted - going to work, going to church, and even writing this blog. I can read whatever I want and write whatever I want.

On the heels of that story, I ran into this website today. Apparently, the People's Republic of China does not appreciate the musings of the Chaney family. Now I don't know how accurate that site really is, but coupled with this past week's events in Myanmar, it got me thinking.

No, America is not perfect and we've made MANY mistakes throughout our brief 200 year history. And Yes, my identity as an American is second to my identity as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven (another post for another day). But as cheesy as Lee Greenwood is, he was right. I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free...

-jc

Brought to you by...

Jack has put some ads on the blog. I hesitated on this because I really like the blog and I didn't want to taint the blog. But for every click of your mouse on an advertised site, the Chaney family gets $0.15. So help us out and consider it a contribution to paying for recreational seminary education. Every little bit counts, right?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Whew, that's a nasty one

It's a little known fact that within the realm of physical therapy practice is wound care. It's something that I didn't realize before I went to PT school, but I got my fill of lovely pictures like this one my very first semester at Emory.
I think it began during the Civil War when the vocation of physical therapy first came into existence. Getting soldiers back on their feet also meant taking care of their boo-boos. I guess.
So now I've seen all I want to see of stage III pressure ulcers, full thickness wounds, and necrotizing fasciitis.
But I was reading in Jeremiah last night and where the prophet laments, "From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace."
Now imagine dressing this wound as if it were not serious. It doesn't take a lot of sense to know that if you just slap a band-aid on this one, you're sure to get an infection and die. Not to mention the pain and the limping.
I learned a lot about wound care from our little patients during my days at Shriners. Serial casting, decreased sensation, or surgical sites gone bad would often turn into chronic problem areas like this. There are a plethora of options when choosing a topical agent for its therapeutic effects, but my favorite was called Accuzyme. Made from papayas, it breaks down and liquefies dead tissue while preserving the viable stuff. It works really well.
Jeremiah goes on to say, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?"
It got me thinking about the wound that is on my heart and the heart of God's people and how Jesus IS the balm of Gilead, the Accuzyme, if you will, to melt away the deadness of sin and to heal us, making us whole.
Not to be cute or anything, but He's the balm. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Silence

It's an unusual but sweet sound at my house... nothing.
We had quite a time at the Revel this afternoon/evening. Between the face painting and the funnel cake, we all came home tired and
dirty and ready for baths and bed. So that's what the three other Chaneys did.
And it's so quiet. So peaceful.
A good time for a mom.