Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's no place like home

It was Anna Grace's idea to go with a Wizard of Oz theme this year, mostly because we have a little black dog that works perfectly in the role of Toto.   Even though we borrowed the movie to watch, we never really got all the way through it which is just as well as flying monkeys might have been a little on the scary side for my crew.

But what I couldn't stop thinking about was that iconic Wizard of Oz line, Dorothy's ticket out of that wacky flying-monkey world.  You know it:

There's no place like home.

Waves of grief have come and gone like they tend to do this time of year.  Tomorrow, it will be ten years since I paced my floors in Kentucky, crying and confused, trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my dad was in a car accident and just like that, he was gone.


There's no place like home.

This past week over Skype, Kathy prayed over me and my mom and my family- for the Lord to be with us in our grief as we embark on this 10 year anniversary of the accident.  As she prayed, all I could see in my heart and mind was my dad. Not the rotund, jovial, 56-year-old dad, but the handsome, slim, radiant young David I only knew from high school yearbooks.  He was radiant and happy and WITH THE LORD.

Today I received more news of death's cold, hard sting, but as I did, I remembered that as hard as it is for us who GROAN as we are left to wait for our turn, there's no place like home.

I'm glad my dad is home.  Truly home.

There's no place like home.

 "Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:2-8, emphasis added

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What to do when you have to make 13 Halloween treats for 2-year-olds

 When you get a little sheet of paper reminding you that you need to remember to make 13 Halloween treats for all the little friends in your 2-year-old Mother's Day Out class, this is what you do:

You wonder what in the world is going on and you think to yourself that two year olds need an overabundance of candy and treats the day before Halloween like they need a hole in their head.  You think of the irony of enrolling your child in a Mother's Day Out program so that you can get stuff done for a few hours a couple of days a week, only to have another thing added to your list.  You grumble and are bitter about such a ridiculous request, but because you know better and particularly because you've memorized Philippians 2:14 with your children, this is what you do:

1.  You recognize your bitterness for what it is and turn from it.

2.  You find the clear plastic bags you have left over from your daughter's eighth birthday.

3.  You get out the butterfly and flower tatoos you have lying around the house.

4.  You get rid of some of the candy from the Valentine's Day, Easter, and various parade stash that you won't give to your kids because, frankly, they just don't need it.

5.  You tie it all up with a combination of ribbon you have around the house leftover from various projects and you combine textures because you've come to appreciate a good texture combination from your photography studies.

6.  You laugh in the face of Pintrest and you rejoice at your resourcefulness.  You did it!

Now, I totally understand that some moms really enjoy little crafts like this and it can become an expression of love, but it's just not one of my gifts, so I have to rely on my six step process.  It's how I cope.

Crisis averted, bitterness dodged.

This mom + Jesus for the win.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Imperfect us, sufficiently graceful Him

Our weekend:  a first haircut, pizza night with Nana, breakfast with BeBe and Pop Pop, dress up, new recipes (the quinoa sliders were incredible!), play with light and toys, a mini photo session with my sister, an outdoor market with my mom, and warming ourselves and our marshmallows around a campfire.

It was good.

I don't want to misrepresent it.  It wasn't easy and laid back- all chill and peaceful and perfect with nobody ever complaining or throwing an enormous fit or making a huge mess.  No, no, no.


But even so, it was good.

Our love is imperfect, but His grace is sufficient.

Thank you, Jesus, for your light, your grace, and for the warm, all-consuming fire of your great love.

One boy, one girl, both adorable

This is my little man and little friend from Sunday school. How cute are they?!?!
This sweet little girl's momma snapped this picture of them this morning and I just can't stop looking at it.  Maybe it's because they look alike or because they're such friends... I don't know.  Now if she can only teach Asher how to use the potty...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Well played, Jack

As a woman, you don't necessarily need your husband to come home with beautiful flowers for you every now and then, but man...

it sure doesn't hurt.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Shining... again

 {Somebody} said that he was done going to the Pumpkin Shine.  It was just too hot and too crowded and too uninspiring.  He said he would go again in 2032 and bring a grandbaby, maybe.

How dare he?

My case for the Pumpkin Shine:

1.  The kids.  They LOVE it.

2.  The hamburger pumpkin.  It's there every single year and I am strangely enamored by it every single year.

3.  Your children's hard work.  Zeke's class did small mouth bass pumpkins.

 Anna Grace's pumpkin with pizazz ended up as the tail of a snake.

3.  The fun of picking out your favorite display.  I really liked the octopus pumpkin.

4.  The friends.  We've gone together every year since they were babies.  

 5. The creativity involved.  I mean... there are pumpkins that are so creatively displayed that you're not even sure what they are.

So I don't know about SOME PEOPLE, but Lord willing, I'll be there again next year- braving the heat and the crowd with my crew in tow.

It's worth it.

Maybe {somebody} will change his mind.  (wink, wink)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a WILD time

Eight is great.  

That's what we're saying around our house these days.  There has been much celebration surrounding this latest birthday of ours: 
a cookie cake
a gymnastic party
singing with windows down and volume UP
a (small) slumber party
a Labour Day in New Zealand celebration (Did you know October 22nd was Labour Day in New Zealand?  Anna Grace has known ever since I put up the calendar on the fridge.  She skipped ahead and discovered this fun fact at the beginning of the year.)

a trip to the zoo with Anna Grace's great-grandmother and birthday buddy

and to finish it up, there was the birthday dinner with her grandparents and family.  

 Eight is great, my dear, and you are well loved indeed.  

But at this point, I'm with the lions.  

I'm exhausted!

Happy birthday, Anna Grace!  May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.  We all love you dearly!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Every year about this time, orange and white cones block off our street for about an hour or so for the C.E. Byrd High Homecoming Parade.  This year wasn't much different from all the other years we've experienced this somewhat anti-climatic event.

There is waiting involved, so you play in the dirt while you wait (if you're in the two to five year old range).

 If you're a bit older, you do cartwheels and do that hand-slapping-sing-song thing with your neighbor.

 You wait some more in whatever outfit you could come up with after having been in your school uniform and then your pajamas.

 You can actually see the start of the parade a block away, but you wait some more because our house is at the very end of the route.
 You amuse yourself any way you can.  (I didn't even know Asher knew the word "moustache,"  but he came up with this and told me to look at his moustache, so there you go.)
 And then, the sirens and lights get you really excited- pumped up even- for the big parade.  It's here!

 You get a little bit of candy for your paper bag.
 You go a little bit crazy (if you're in the five to eight year old range).

And then, as suddenly as it came, it's gone.

Kind of like life.

Lately, I feel like we're blazing through all the stuff of life like some kind of comet family burning through the night sky at lightning fast speed.  But I guess if it's not gonna slow down, at least we can zip through this thing together.

Just a few more homecoming parades and we'll be Homecoming for real.

For real.

It doesn't seem like a happy blog theme, but nevertheless, it's my blog theme as of late.  And it is happy.    Counterintuitively happy maybe, but happy still.  Because what's fleeting is all the brokenness of this age and what is to come is all of the brokenness being made right again.

“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."  Psalm 39:4

Homecoming: it is good.