Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Years prayer for us all

At one point, Jack declared the night "the best New Year's ever." An early hibachi dinner at Tokyo, movies for everyone, sparklers, and LSU football. What could be better?

It was loads of fun and my sometimes skiddish Anna Grace even decided to hold the sparklers, inviting our neighbor McKenzie over to join in the fun. They had fun on the porch and in Anna Grace's room until it was time to go... and then the trouble began. McKenzie asked to take a balloon home (one that has probably been around since AG's birthday) and when I agreed that that was a great idea, AG fell apart. There were tears and protests and an embarassing display of sadness when McKenzie left with the balloon.

So Anna Grace spent some time in her room thinking about it and after about thirty minutes of talking about the balloon and sharing and giving, she decided that a family prayer was in order.
Jack, Anna Grace and I all stood huddled together and prayed for the love of Jesus to help Anna Grace happily give to her friends.

Afterward, Anna Grace said she felt better and she told me, "Mommy, I can feel the love... it's in the corner of my heart and it's BIG!!!!!"

So there you go. A happy new year's prayer for us all- that the love of God would grow in our hearts until we, too, can feel it's bigness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For this next trip around the sun

I'm not a planner.

But with the new year quickly approaching, both Jack and I have reached new heights in developing deliberate and thoughtful plans for this next trip around the sun. As we were sitting at the computer for one of our little meetings the other night, I thought of one of my favorite movie characters- my beloved Dignan.

Owen Wilson played an adorably dorky criminal wannabe named Dignan in a 1996 box office flop, entitled Bottle Rocket. This thorough criminal novice develops a "five year plan" for his trio of reluctant, inexperienced, and aimless cohorts in crime. His five year plan flows into a seventy-five year plan that Jack and I find absolutely hilarious.

The movie and Owen Wilson's character is really ridiculously funny, but I do think I can learn something from this nerdy schemer. I do want to be more intentional. I do want to live a life with a clear focus and discipline, with love guiding the choices I make moment to moment and month to month.

I've never really been big on resolutions and I don't know about the next five years, but for 2009, I'm hoping for:

1. Greater intentionality in searching out revelation of the knowledge of God, deepening in my love for Jesus and letting that love seep into the corners of my life that it hasn't reached before
2. Greater contentment and joy in even the hard things of life
3. Increased patience and wisdom in parenting
4. Deepening relationships with family as well as old and new friends- showing love at every possible opportunity
5. New running feats- half-marathon in April? team marathon in March? We shall see...

As you can see, even my list of resolutions lacks a tangible action plan. I think 2009 will be a year to step out of my Type-B comfort zone and look into training schedules- both physical and spiritual. Here's to a year of the one year plan!

Disclaimer: This movie, Bottle Rocket, is kind of like our movie... it's been years since we first saw it, but even now as we go back and look at you tube clips, we laugh and laugh and laugh. I recommend our quirky favorite with a disclaimer- not everyone likes Wes Anderson films (and I am a big fan of some and not others), but this one is a Jack and Candace favorite. Worth a 99 cent rental at Blockbuster at least.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The highlights of Christmas 2008

Matching PJ's
Gumbo and singing
Wheels and dresses
Despereaux and popcorn
Naps on the road
Choo-choo around the tree
Games with siblings
Grandparent love
Yay, Jesus! (see video)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Silly Jenny... you know we're potty trained, right?

More to come on Christmas 2008, but I couldn't wait on this one. This is Anna Grace opening up a present from Aunt Jenny, thinking she had just received a package of diapers. Little did she know that the box actually contained the most amazing size 5-6 blue satin Cinderella dress I have ever seen. Funny picture. Thanks for that one, Jenny!

Friday, December 26, 2008

An attempt

The clean-up process has commenced for the happy Christmas that was yesterday. It was a great year of fun with family and lots and lots of princess items and loud four-wheeled vehicles, but I wanted to share one of the highlights of our year- at least in my mind- and maybe even get some feedback on how your family's Christmas traditions have taken shape and formed your image of Christmas over the years.

I've talked to Lydia several times about how to do Christmas well with your children- how to teach your children about the purpose behind it all as well as defining your own fledgling family's traditions.

My attempt was a star treasure hunt. Someone (I can't for the life of me remember who) put a seed of an idea in my head about following the star like the Magi. So after the last present was opened, Anna Grace had clues to follow that led her to the best present of all- Jesus. We read John 8:12 about Jesus being the light of the world and we revealed a string of pink LED lights to illuminate her bedroom in the dark.

She took it all in and at the end, her thought was: "So I don't have to be afraid anymore? I can sleep without my light on?" (She has slept with her lamp on at night for as long as I can remember). Yes, we assured her. Jesus is her light. He keeps her safe.

I don't know if it was all that exciting or effective, but it's feeble attempt at a start. And next year, maybe we'll do a outdoor play swing set/play house. The Lord is their fortress, right? I'll try to keep the creative juices flowing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The mystery and wonder of it all

My little sister sat at the piano tonight and sang the most beautiful blessing over our Christmas celebration. Thank you, Karen, for sharing, and thank you, Joy Williams, for sharing beautiful revelation on the mystery and wonder of Christmas.

Here With Us
by Joy Williams

It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reaching in the night/ Were the very hands that measured the sky

Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Son of God, Servant King- Here with us
You're here with us

Still a mystery to me/ How His infant eyes have seem to gone with time
How His ears have heard an angels' symphony
But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep

Heaven's love reaching down to save the world

Son of God, Servant King- Here with us
You're here with us

Jesus the Christ born in Bethlehem
A baby born to save the souls of man

Heaven's offering sent down to save the world
Son of God, Servant King- Here with us

Oh, Hallelujah
Heaven's offering sent down to save the world
Son of God, Servant King- Here with us
You're here with us
You're here with us

Monday, December 22, 2008

His cheeks are like beds of spice yeilding perfume- part three

There's been quite a theme of joy spoken to me this season. From the quiet places and the small things to the loud places and the big gatherings, the Lord seems to be speaking to my heart about His joy in a hundred different ways.

I've been thinking for a while now about the heart of Jesus- his emotions, specifically, and what it is that He feels and expresses to us and through us.

So as we were gathered last week in our weekly circle in the third grade classroom that doubles as our Sunday morning Bible study venue, my husband presented a question to the group that really struck my heart:

How do we think that God really feels for us? Is He mostly joyful? Is He angry and disappointed? How do we think about Him?

When most of the room kind of sheepishly admitted a somber, maybe disappointed view of God and His heart, I realized that I probably had that same view. Do I really see who He really is? Do I really know His heart of joy?

Our group had been discussing an Ortberg book and, specifically, his use of a G.K. Chesterton quote:

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
He then poses a question about what the act of creation would have been without overflowing joy. What would a Genesis, chapter one, look like without God's abounding joy, with declaration after declaration of the goodness of creation? Could it even have been possible?

The fact is that Jesus is mostly joyful. It is His personality. He knows sorrow and suffering and pain for sure, but because He knows the beginning from the end (Rev 21:6), because of the joy set before Him (Heb 12:2), because of the anointing of joy He has received from the Father (Heb 1:9), He is overcome with joy and rejoices over us (Zephaniah 3:17), even today in the midst of our weakness.

I'm willing to bet that when most of us picture Santa Claus, we think of a rosy-cheeked, jolly old guy who is absolutely bursting with joy. Santa is not a major theme at our house, but we may do well to glean an understanding from Santa that can serve as a reminder of the heart of God. Just as St. Nicholas' heart was joyful generosity to poor children (an impartation of the Holy Spirit to be sure), we can look at the ubiquitous Santa Claus images all around us this time of year and remember the joyful and generous heart of love that our God has for His own weak and broken children.

Maybe it will change our image of the God that loves us so much, remembering that His cheeks showcase a joy unspeakable- coming from the overflow of His heart of love.

"His cheeks are like beds of spice yeilding perfume..." Song of Songs 5:13a

Fun Facets of a Monday

Ten things I loved about today:
1. An early morning call to East Asia
2. Time to catch up on laundry
3. Weather cold enough for me to wear a hat. I love winter hats.
4. Catching Ella Fitzgerald's version of "Sleigh Ride"
5. Turkey sausage and cheese balls
6. Jack's sending me to Starbucks at 4:00 after a tough day with the kids. Bless him, Lord.
7. Five more really wonderful Christmas cards in my mailbox to add to our growing collection
8. Breakfast for dinner
9. A Christmas music dance party with my little ones after dinner... even if they were going nuts
10. And this last one I mostly of hated, but it was also kind of funny... this afternoon at the bank, the window teller squinting her eyes in faked disappointment to tell me that she's sorry... she understands that I have a sleeping child in the back, but I'm going to have to come inside the bank to get my debit card PIN number changed. Needless to say, it remains unchanged.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shout out Sunday

"Game Night"

It's can be lots of fun for parents of silly children get together for a night of fireplace. Babysitting is often underrated, but can be very slimy and Edwin McCain-esque. Games are often a choice that can be very pungent . You might even learn something about your narly friends! And after spending time together, you'll be glad you took the time to jump with your gorillas.

So my shout out today goes to Nora and Jason Greer for a fun game night this weekend and a reminder of how much fun you can have with MAD LIBS!!!!!

Oh, what a night!

Just the other day, my brother was talking about how he was amazed at the things that we find to do with the kids that he just never even knew existed. I totally knew what he was talking about. Until you have kids, you just don't have any use for parks and festivals and the such. So as we were frolicking our way around the American Rose Center last night, I thought about Christmas in Roseland being a perfect example of such an activity. Not only did I not know that this existed in Shreveport, but I had no idea how much fun it would be. Sixteen dollars covered everyone's admission, a train ride, views of "20 hundred" lights (by Anna Grace's count), and the sights, sounds, and smells of hot chocolate drinking, funnel cake eating, model train watching, Santa picture taking parents and their children. I had a blast.

Anna Grace, of course, enjoyed herself immensely and as she took her little brother by the hand, running up and down the glowing sidewalks, she would stop them on every park bench for a photo-op. They would sit for a spit second, say "CHEESE!" and move on down the path. And even though I really didn't get a single picture of the duo, we got lots of precious, precious memories. How I love Christmas!

(Things to note in the pictures: 1. Yes, Zeke is in short sleeves and shorts. It was 68 degrees. 2. That's a group of singing crawfish at the top. Nice Louisiana touch.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our claim to fame

You can't even call it 15 minutes, but my two little ones have made it onto the local scene lately.

At Thanksgiving, Zeke helped me put together boxes during the VOA's Thanksgiving blessing. I had Zeke with me on a Friday morning and thought I'd give the volunteering a shot, but honestly, I wasn't optimistic about how helpful I could be with a toddler in tow. I was delightfully surprised when my little man listened, obeyed, and helped the entire time, helping me put together over ten boxes. It's one of my favorite memories of little Zeke- pushing around that metal chair like it was his job. It was just an added bonus that it was featured in our little neighborhood newspaper.

And here's our little dancer, posing for her ballet studio's Christmas card. Needless to say, Anna Grace had SO MUCH fun. When the photographer gave instructions for facial expressions, he was astonished at her dramatic interpretations. That's my Anna Grace!

Like I said, our small little fun 15 seconds of grandeur...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The salvation of Christmas

I wish I could post a picture of my cookbook, but I'm too tired. But for those of you who haven't seen the enormous mess that is my collection of recipes, it's quite impressive. I took a look through the scattered assortment of magazine tear outs, index cards, and loose leaf paper to try to find a recipe this morning and felt that the cookbook itself epitomized my feelings for the day. I was disorganized, congested (both literally and figuratively), disheveled, scattered, unfinished, and just plain disgusted. I had a headache, Zeke wanted to be held all morning, it was rainy and 65 degrees, there were still leaves all over my yard, the kitchen ceiling was still unpainted, part of the front porch was still rotted out, the laundry was overflowing, and my hormones were raging. Not my best day.

By the end of the day, I was able to find redemption in some small ways, but I still long to find a strength to endure and triumph even in less than ideal circumstances in greater measures. So here I was, at the computer procrastinating when I was given a gift- a reminder that what we were about to celebrate- the incarnation- was going to save me and saves me now even in the mundane mire that can be so deceitful in turning thankfulness to hopelessness. So, with a thankful heart, I'll remember that Christmas saved me- that God taking on human form in an act of love so profound and so unfathomable is what I celebrate year after year. Even in the middle of my headache, my weakness, and my mess of a house, joy is mine for the taking. And all because of this gift of God in coming and saving His weak and broken creation. It may take minute by minute meditation on the truth of it all for me to stay focused, but I don't want to take it all for granted. I don't want to lose my temper with my little man who may just need a hug or snap at Anna Grace when she wants to wear her pink sequenced shoes with a red dress or lose my temper over something as fleeting as a over-filled clothes hamper. Christmas has come. Joy to the world. Joy to my heart. The Lord is come.

Thanks for the reminder, Monica.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An annunciation of joy

A great testimony of joy was given at church yesterday.

My friend Rendi was asked to share what the joy of new life meant to her this time of year since she had given birth to her firstborn just last year. She eloquently shared from the heart of a joyful mother, and drew deep from her heart to share the source of that joy- pointing us to the unfathomable joy and expectancy that Mary must have felt. Certainly, there must have been some degree of holy fear in the whole process of angelic visitations and immaculate conceptions, but what joy there must have been, too!

Jack and I always talk about how the day that your little one is born is just the best day ever. Everyone smiles all day and wants all the stats and details and everyone wants that first glimpse of this new life. And then there's the holding and the gazing and the smelling and the love that seems to flow like warm goo over everyone who enters the room.

How much more joyful was that first Christmas day? Can I even imagine it?

Like the angel said, "good news of great joy for everyone!" (Luke 2:10)

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
-Charles Wesley

Art by Henry Ossawa Tanner, entitled "The Annunciation." I love this one.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For their first 12

It was corny and cheesy and silly, but it was fun toasting my brother and his fiance at their engagement party last night. And we are Dents... how can we not do it in song???

A sweet treat

My little artist had a blast constructing her very own gingerbread house- and of course, having cousin Cavett there was doubly sweet! Thanks, BB!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The ol' bait and switch

Zeke is a terrible eater. I know at 22 months, we should be well beyond baby food, but at the moment, alternating bites of cookie and pureed veggie is the only way I can get something nutritious down his gullet. Maybe when he's 12 he'll decide that a green bean is okay...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Literacy Thursday

My sister has a children's book review thing going on, so here goes...

Talk about reason for the season, Kate DiCamillo's Great Joy puts the point of it all in the limelight in a way that many other children's books can't. This powerful book about a little girl's heart for a homeless organ grinder and his monkey is sweet and sad and good all at the same time. It ends with a culmination of Christmas spirit at the church, when the stage-frightened little girl unfreezes and remembers her rehearsed line, proclaiming tidings of great joy as she watches the organ grinder step into the back of the sanctuary. She then proclaims it again as the book ends... "GREAT JOY!" I tear up every time.

Bagram Ibatoulline's illustrations are nothing less than breathtaking and say so much without saying anything at all. Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo's story is so inspiring, I can't wait to see the movie adapted from her book, The Tale of Despereaux. I give Great Joy four golden winged angels (out of four, of course). And thanks Barbara. This was a St. Mark's book fair find- and it was a good one!

Christmas Sing

It was such a quintessential experience this morning at the St. Mark's Christmas Sing. I never thought I could enjoy a preschool Christmas program this much. I was that mom... down in the front on my knees, videoing and smiling and waving!
This one's for the grandmas who couldn't be there. She sang her little heart out!

Psalm 30:4 "Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sweet moves

This is a good one, but I have six other quite amusing clips from Anna Grace's parent observation night at ballet. She was kind of tired tonight and really was kind of dazed for a lot of the night's performance, but she muttered through and has definitely improved from last year. To compare, I was looking through some posts from December 2007 and came across this one. I'm telling you... technology is such an amazing thing and I'm so glad I have the TLLOM to help preserve some of our memories!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What is she seeing?

Anna Grace took this picture of me the other day and I thought it was just kind of funny... seeing a little glimpse of life through her eyes. I know every expression and nuance of my child's appearance and it makes me realize that she probably notices the same things about me. A good reminder to watch the "exasperation eye roll" or the "annoyed grimace".

(Quotation marks are for you, Jack. I know how you "love" to use them).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

His cheeks are like beds of spice, yeilding perfume- part two

I am loving this Christmas season- the sights, the sounds, and the smells of it all. This year seems like it's a year for me to try and take it all in- to breath deep the season of Christmas and to let it infect my heart with passion to remain watchful and expectant for when Jesus will return again.
So I've tried to be intentional this year in connecting with the Lord when I can easily be sent over the edge in to-do lists and schedules full of frenzied activity. I've been trying to listen to the voice of the Father, trying to gain knowledge and greater revelation on the character and heart of this Beautiful One whose birth we celebrate with such gusto. And it's hard. There are so many distractions, so little time, and so much to do. I'm so weak at pressing into the greater things of God and yet I yearn so viscerally for the knowledge and love He imparts. It's a good thing we serve a God who loves mercy and imparts undeserved favor, speaking through all the noise of our daily lives. And this year, this season, he's used my nose (of all things) to teach me about this beautiful Savior born in great humility that very first Christmas Day.

This morning as I sat in the pew of our garland-strewn sanctuary, all the thoughts and meditations of my heart of the past couple of weeks seemed to come together and, even as I write, I am cloudy on the message imparted. But even so, I am impressed this year with the fragrance of the Lord in all its mystery.

The choir's anthem this morning was printed in bold in the order of worship. They sang,
"Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing, stealing our senses all away? Never the like did come a-blowing, shepherds, from flow'ry fields in May. What is that light so brilliant, breaking here in the night across our eyes? Never so bright, the daystar waking, started to climb the morning skies! Bethlehem there, in manger lying, find your Redeemer, haste away. Run ye, with eager footsteps hieing! worship the Savior born today." arr. Wilberg

I had Song of Songs 5:13 on my mind: "His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume." What did that mean? What is this fragrance of the Lord?

The message from Ephesians 2:14 followed:"For he himself is our peace..." He is inherently good.

The scripture Jack taught on this morning ended with Mark 1:18: "At once they left their nets and followed him." Jesus must have had something that attracted followers. The wise men sought after him, shepherds left their flocks, the teachers at the synagogue marveled at this young boy's wisdom, crowds gathered for His teaching, and even now, 2,000 years later, I myself am drawn to know the heart of this Son of Man.

The fragrance of the Magi's incense came to mind, and the perfume that Mary of Bethany unabashedly poured out on Jesus (John 12). These fragrances have symbolized so much, prophesying His priesthood, His death and burial, the offerings of His heart that went up to please the heart of the Father...

It's all still sort of mysterious and I haven't sorted it all out, but I do know that this Christmas, every time I catch the fragrance of a freshly cut Christmas tree, or a newborn baby swaddled and sweet, or Christmas cookies baking in the oven, I'll have a little nudge in my heart to stop and think and ponder the fragrance of Jesus- the peace, joy, and love that exudes from His presence that draws me to Him.

As I detect to aroma of Jesus in the love and joy around me, I'll remember His self-sacrificial heart that created this thing we call Christmas.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God."

Song of Songs 5:13, "His cheeks are like beds of spice, yielding perfume..."

(This one's for you, Nora! :) Here's to even obscure and random anthems bringing forth words that cut straight to our hearts! Hee hee!)

To the ballet with my ballerina

Oh, what a memories we made last night!

My mom and I took Anna Grace to see the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker at the Riverview Theater. Although she was spooked at first and buried her face in my sweater, watching the first act with only one eye, Anna Grace perked up and clapped with big eyes watching the Sugar Plum fairy dance in the Land of Sweets. Her face lit up with pure glee! How fun!

Music, munchies, and munchkin mania!

Just a little clip of our little impromptu SEC championship get together on Saturday. It features none other than our own pregnant Elizabeth Farrell singing Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" with Jack on guitar, Chris on bass, and Jason on drums. And don't forget to note the beautiful ballerina dancers, Madeline and Anna Grace. Awesome.

Our afternoon in numbers (a la Jenny):

6 - the number of children all ages 4 and under, running and playing and doffing/donning clothes all over the house
1- the amazingly small number of times we had to intervene with compromise and lessons on sharing
4 - how many Rockband songs played by the mommies and daddies
4 - kinds of yummy dips to snack on
5 - the number of stars I give Nora for her singing performance while holding a kid on each hip
35 - the age of our dear friend, Jason Greer. Happy Birthday, friend! Blessings for the next 35!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Go... Bama???

Our small group has been going through Andy Stanley's series on guarding your heart. The entirety of the series has been based on Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." His premise is that everything you do and say ultimately comes from your heart and we need to be intentional in rooting out the sin that inherently lurks and grows in the dark places until they are exposed to Light.

So, with a dose of humility, I say... roll tide. (And for those of you who don't know, Alabama is playing Florida for the SEC title today).
Admittedly, the only reason I would care about the game at all is because of the dark place in my heart where jealousy lurks. Hard for an Auburn fan to say, but good for the wellspring of life that is the heart!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Flowers v. worms

Another thing about Anna Grace. She seems to have some kind of heightened sense of smell. She always lets us know how we smell and it's either that we smell like handsome flowers or princess flowers (depending on your gender), or else you smell like worms.

What a stinker.

My little song leader

The other day when I picked Anna Grace up from school, one of the teachers came to the car and with some degree of astonishment, told me about the day's events. Apparently, that morning at chapel, the preschool was assembled and was engaged in some kind of congregational prayer. I don't know if it was during or after the prayer, but somehow, Anna Grace let the liturgical leader know that she had a song. So somehow, Anna Grace made her way to the front of the chapel service and led the St. Mark's White House preschool in a rousing rendition of "Away in a Manger." The teacher who was telling me all this relayed it with kind of a wide-eyed wonder, but it really didn't surprise me too much. There is no doubt that this little one is a singer and a dancer and a leader. God's little song leader at four years old. What a gift she is and what a gift she has.

A little something for the holidays

I was sitting down at my computer to kind of process my thoughts on advent- what it means to be waiting for the Savior and I saw that my brother's blog had been updated. "Woo hoo!" I thought.

So I go to his post and I get surprised. A list of holiday music no-nos from the critic that is Jonathan Dent.

Now, reading this list, you may think that my brother is some kind of pompous jerk (no offense, bro), but know that it's written with a half-grinned smirk. He means it in good humor (I think) and he's marrying one of the sweetest girls in the history of sweetness which kind of balances things out. Love that Jonny and Amber.

So enjoy the post. What would the holidays be without a bit of wry cynicism?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The way kids change your life

On a recent weekday morning, I was driving down Kings Highway when I spotted a bus in the distance- coming my way. The excitement rose and it almost came out of my mouth- "LOOK! A YELLOW BUS!"

...until I realized that Jack had Zeke and my little boy wasn't in the back.

It was quite a moment for me. I realized that utility vehicles and wild animals and mass transit may never fall into the mundane or commonplace category of my life for a long time. For now, seeing a red headed woodpecker in my front yard is going to generate great excitement. And isn't that how it should be?

Zeke Speak

Zeke is a really funny little guy. He's learning more and more all the time, but he's kind of a quiet little dude and so it's hit or miss getting him to perform and he knows way more than he lets on at first. Just tonight, he said some funny ones like, "LSU" and "watch" and he can repeat anything he hears. "A GACE" and "OH NO!" are some of his favorite words and he's pretty much getting most of the important names in his life down. And it kind of depends... names like "William" are harder than the easier ones like "Bright" or "KK." We got the Rupp Christmas card tonight and he very clearly repeated our all our friend's names in succession.
But the funniest thing is when it's a word that he can't really say yet like "popsicle" or, in this case, "watermelon." Instead of saying the rest of the word he just kind of flails his tongue around like crazy until he thinks he's got it. Love that Z man.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The top five best things about Thanksgiving 2008

1. The amazing amount of excitement that my children generated. Here they are with their loyal paparazzi.

2. Togetherness...

... togetherness...

... and more togetherness!

3. The family that came from near and far.

4. Ah... the silliness!

And last, but not least...
5. The proverbial kid table (aka the young adult table). What would Thanksgving be without the kid table?

What a great Thanksgiving...