Friday, April 30, 2010

it happened

it finally happened-
after all these years of homeschooling,
maybe in my heart i thought for some reason we were immune.
Neil said it was bound to happen.
But, if i'm honest, i will whisper that i had hoped it wouldn't.

One of our littles asked if they could go to public school.

So, that's what's on my mind today.
i always promised myself that if one of them asked, that i would at least consider their request - & i feel like it wouldn't be right to just say no without getting input from Neil - & asking my Father to help us make the best decisions that we can for this little person.
& so, i'll do that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

one of *those* babies

oh, baby yum...
you're gonna be one of those babies, aren't you?
One of those babies from the mythical land of happy babies -
who sleeps when mama needs rest,
who smile crazily at a gentle breeze,
who burp mightily without prompting.
Don't you hear those rumours in babyland about the squeaky wheel getting the grease?
Aren't you worried about missing out on Your Fair Share?
Don't your little discomforts merit the occasional squeak and squawk?
But Yum,
you are teaching mama a valuable lesson...
Maybe you won't remember being such a happy little baby when you grow up - but i will remember my happy little son - & the way that you challenged me to be a joyful contented mama.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Canada at the G8

i received an email from my sister this morning & it was her letter to our representatives in government regarding Canada's exclusion of abortion in it's G8 health-care initiatives for maternal care in developing countries. Her letter inspired me to write my own. Here it is in it's hastily written state. Perfect wording, grammar and spelling don't matter - having our voices heard does. Letter writing isn't my strength - especially on the fly - but MP's need to hear our voice when they're treading into dangerous waters and they need to feel our support when they're making good choices too.

Mr. Kenney,
i have written to you before on the topic of abortion in Canada & i wanted to take the time on this busy morning to write you again and say, thank you. i am one of many, many Canadians who you may or may not hear from, who are very grateful to the present government for not including abortion in the G8 maternal health-care initiatives for developing countries.
Our country has for so long been one of the ones leading the way in funding and providing abortions for it’s citizens – that for once, to be the country that has chosen to exclude that option when so many assumed it would be included for a worldwide program feels like a huge relief.
Our children, in Canada, and across this world, are our most precious resource. We need to protect them with initiatives to provide food and clean water.
Abortion itself is the disease – not children.
We will continue to pray for you & this government as you make decisions that affect us all.
paige beselt, McKenzie Towne

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


i was accompanying Cai's fiddle jam -
Yeh, i had a billion excuses to *not* do it...
i have a tiny squishy baby, a broken kneecap and i didn't have music.
i wanted to do it.
i'll tell you a secret.
These past weeks that i have been working on the homeschooling side of mamahood - i have been secretly gazing with longing at my ebony friend. My piano invites me to come play. Sometimes i push all my work aside & sit on the bench & play & sing... for a minute or two - seems rarely a full song even - & then i sigh & stand up & get on with my day.
& as i was talking to God one day, i told Him a secret....
"Father? i wish i *had* to make music... i wish sometimes that it was my JOB to play and sing. i wish that it wasn't something that i found time for when i could - but instead, i wish it was something on my "to do" list that couldn't be pushed aside for more "important" jobs."
& He heard me...
"Here." He said.
i should have been more specific about style and genre :) but beggars can't be choosers, so i said yes to the fiddle jam last Sunday - and yes to accompanying Cairo for her classical piece at her violin recital that's coming up in June.
Neil drove us there & dropped me, cai, sloanie and ephraim at the college & took the rest of the small fry (plus 2 friends) to the park. (Have i mentioned that 12 passenger vans rock??)
i was so nervous for Sloanie, babysitting my tiny fresh bun. i was going to be right there, but i was anxious about him needing me while my arms were occupied.
i made Neil buy him a soother.
Just in case.
& right before the jam started, i sat in the hallway & gave him a snack - hoping it would hold him over till we were done. It's a crowded little hallway - with metal lockers - & i can't bend my leg, so i took up too much space. i was trying to crouch in the corner & i had him all covered up with just his tiny baby legs kicking into view.
A father and son walked around the corner & without skipping a beat, the dad remarked jovially to his teenage son, "Hey son, does that bring back memories of being breastfed when you were a baby?" & they just kept walking.
& i loved it.
One person's ease with my little person's nourishing lunch acknowledged that what i was doing was perfectly ordinary. There was no flustered awkwardness that he had walked in on something shameful or embarrassing... just a cheerful recognition of a sweet little part of life.
Ephraim finished off his snack, made a powerful burp - & proceeded to be the angel baby that he always is for the entire 2 hour jam.
i rocked out to tunes like Bonaparte's Retreat, Ashokan Farewell and Tam Lyn.
& we both left that college a little bit...

Monday, April 26, 2010

the language of love...

He hugged me - almost crushed me -
& i looked up at him & whispered...
"i need words..."
He burst out laughing... "Words? My favourite!"
They're not his favourite. But, he stumblingly put together some sentences - & i realized that i should have just taken what he gave me in the first place.
Words are secondary - when he already gave me his heart...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

pledge my life to heaven

i had an insecure day the other day -
o alright -
i had a bit of an insecure week.
(But, i'm remembering my B vitamins now :)
Friends wrote & commented on my blog & encouraged me - like good friends do -
but i still felt the pang of my own inadequacy.
So, after getting up in the middle of the night to evaluate my work, i put my restlessness to good use, and made plans for the next year, for successfully finishing out this year. i organized my homeschooling receipts, and filled out a summary of our year. i poured over curriculum catalogues and websites and prepared an order that would help me better meet my goals for the next year.
By the time my littles got up, i was wild eyed, on my second cup of coffee, determined to shake off the doubts that had been nagging at me all night.
People say, "just do the best you can & that's all that can be expected of you..."
But that's like implying that you could live your whole life in a full out sprint... (providing you don't trip on the asphalt & break a kneecap or something... just sayin'...)
You just can't. You take breaks - you let the dust collect on the tops of the picture frames, and the fingerprints cover your chairs. You sit down when you could be working - and stay up when you should sleep.
The trick is surrender.
Surrendering your own flawed self to the Creator - & surrendering the ones you would lay down & die for - to the One who did.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

gone to paris...

why do these last 2 just melt me? i think somehow a tiny bit of his personality is captured in these shots - his easygoing nature - gentle spirit - sweet softy self...

Friday, April 23, 2010

resilient children & spools of childhood

A friend lent me a book - The Glass Castle. It's a memoir of the author's horrible, messy childhood. i like reading someones *story* - it gives me more perspective - & tendrils of understanding.
It struck me in reading her account - how we're all familiar with the idea that children are so resilient...
But, we all carry our childhoods into adulthood.
Some of us have our spools all neatly wound with even thread...
Some of us have become a tangled mess - who can only dream of being freed from nasty snarled knots...
i was talking to a foster mama this week -
"There's a reason those children are taken away..." she said.
& after hearing the stories of the unravelled threads of childhoods - my heart burned with frustration & compassion for the tiny helpless ones, poisoned in their mama's womb... forever bearing the consequences of their parent's addiction. & when i asked her - a woman i had never met before - "Do you think you can make a difference?" i wanted her to shout, "YES! Our adopted sons are making leaps and bounds! The fetal alcohol syndrome doesn't seem to affect them at all, because we loved them so much."
i wanted to know that those tangled threads could be salvaged, not snipped off like we so often do with a knotted mess, and tossed aside.
She paused for longer than i wanted her to -
& then she responded, "i guess, in the sense that they won't get hurt anymore..."
& as i exhaled... i felt a dissatisfied twisting in my chest.
Oh, but the Master Weaver sees those knotted bits of discarded thread...
and the weary load that those who choose to step into the fray and *love those wounded children* bear...

Oh, God - soften our hearts towards the very least of these.
Give strength to the beacons of love and light -
Give comfort to the motherless -
Give compassion to us all.

& gently, silently... He takes those threads of broken innocence - and weaves them in their place... & gives us the faith to believe that one day, we'll see more than just the underside of His masterpiece...

The Weaver

My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

3:30 am

It was at 3:30am that sunshine boy awoke with a start & started calling for me.
i got up & snuggled with him for a few minutes & he settled down again.
i crept back to bed & maybe 10 minutes later, he was crying again, so i went & brought him into our bed to snuggle between us.
i hoped that i would be able to go right back to sleep, but apparently since it's 5:21 now, i couldn't.
3:30 am, i have found, isn't the best time to go over in your mind your failings as a mother...
"oh, man - i need to make them floss more..."
"is that growth curve normal?"
"worst case scenario: her writing never improves... will she be ok?"
"would they be better off in school?"
"is that character flaw something i should point out gently? Or should i just watch it & try to encourage change..."
"why did i do so much of X with that child - & not do it at all with that other child..."
"if i had spent more time helping them, they wouldn't be struggling now."
i tried praying over each one in my head - asking God to help me be the best mama that i can be for each of these little ones as they grow - but i couldn't turn off that little list that kept ticking off the areas that are weak.
& so it went until i was so full of angst that i just gave up & left my room with the 3 boys in it sleeping peacefully & made my way down to the kitchen to eat an apple & blog my insecurities.
i don't have a magical solution for mama guilt.
i sure wish i did.
i'd take a huge dose myself & then share it with all my friends.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

fo' realz

(So fun that you can type things you would never say...)
i'm so over having a straight leg. (8 more days)
i'm allowed to take off my zimmer to shower, but not to sleep or anything else. (For another 8 days.)
But i take it off sometimes just to look at my gnarly leg, scratch the flaking skin off, enjoy the greenish hues and the roundness of my knee (still swollen for crying out loud!) in contrast to the rest of my leg that is so skinny, i'm tempted to eat my weight in burgers - till i see my dimply thigh on the other side & am.. comforted? *ahem*
As i was saying...
Last night i took it off & experimentally tried to bend my knee... just a little.
i can't.
i can't bend my knee. i felt panic well up in my chest... "Neil, if i can't move my knee now, how'm i gonna walk when i get this thing off? (In 8 days.) How do i get better? How can life be normal when i have my freedom (in 8 days) if i'm still limping like i am now? That's it. i need to quit wearing this thing. i need to get my leg working now, i need to start to bend it so that i can walk sooner, start recovering, stop limping!!"
Frantically, i told my brain to make my knee bend - & it refused.
i looked at Neil.
He looked at me.
"When you talk to me about your knee, it makes my bum tingle..."
Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

pools, perogies & pupcakes...

It was Mollen's 6th birthday yesterday. We have never been much for birthdays... but we made tiny cupcakes for her to take for her kindergarten class & preparations for a little party in the afternoon when she got home.
Beautiful that the sunshine decided to join us.
We bought her a tiny blow up pool and a big bubble blower - we set up a party table outside & made perogies for her birthday feast.
A tiny celebration for our littlest girl. When she declared it to be the 'betht day ever' - i was happy with our efforts.

& so another day passes, another year passes, another child passes out of those preschool years...

She grinned at me when i hugged her goodbye the night before - our family tradition - & shouted from her room that she would be sailing for Paris in the night & our new daughter would meet us in the morning...
& when i pounced on her bed in the morning & demanded to know who this stranger was in the place of my darling 5 year old, she smiled - wiggling her one remaining front tooth with her tongue.
& in my heart, i wondered about the little one who had made the long journey to Paris in the night... & even though i know that we just made up that funny little farewell and greeting... i felt just a little pang of sadness knowing i'll never see her again.
& i vowed that 6 wouldn't be quite as fleeting as 5.
Happy birthday Molls.

Monday, April 19, 2010


i seriously caught about 3 sentences of the pastor's message...
Baby E didn't really feel like settling in - & it just wasn't happening for us last night.
i have been going to church so infrequently since i fractured my patella, it's a good thing that God's not stuck at His house - we are his house - & so He met with me during these weeks...
but back to last night...
As i tried to sit down with Neil and my wiggly, grunty baby at the end, the pastor mentioned in passing the story of King David's undignified dance in front of his scorning wife.
Love that story...
& as the pastor shared how he was challenged in reading the story to allow himself to be made a fool in man's eyes in order to give glory to God, i looked at my own life.
& i kind of laughed as i imagined my undignified dance of motherhood.
The undignified waddle of late pregnancy, the undignified milk that lets down when you talk about your baby, the undignified way you leave the room to tend to your tiny ones, the clothes with spit up, the homeschooling house, the 12 passenger van...
Lacking the dignity to wrap up having babies at a dignified time in your life...
& with a wicked little smile on my face, i whispered to the One i Love...

Father, in my life, i'll become even more undignified than this... & i will give glory to the One to whom i owe everything.
My undignified dance is for You.
All my worship,
all my praise,
& even my daily dance of motherhood.
Let me do it only with a mind and a heart to serve You.
Nothing hindering this passion in my soul.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


i don't know how i would have gotten through this past week without my mama.
While Neil was gone, she took many, many steps on my behalf,
she drove whoever needed driving,
she did laundry, sweeping & dishes...
Mollen slept with her & with her tiny pummeling feet, gave Granny an awesome abs workout.
Gagey gave her a work out by making numerous trips to the potty.
Charter had the pleasure of beating her at wii.
The big girls stayed up way too late playing scrabble, dutch blitz and racko.
& of course, Ephraim was perfect...
Granny listened to Charter read bible stories, Mollen read Dick and Jane, Peyton read her "Things with Wings" novel. She took them in pairs, or solo for outings & they each came home clutching treasure.
She brought her ice cream maker & made home made ice cream every day - & when the kids kept commenting how much they *luuuuuved* it - she announced she was leaving it when she went home.
All in all, her days here were proclaimed a roaring success.
Y'know, i won't be able to pay my mom back for this trip.
She's not looking on collecting either.
She's building into the next generation, knowing that the bricks she lays will make our family stronger. She knows that any kindness meted out will bear fruit in the generations to come, & that even though she won't get paid back - her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have the opportunities to build into their future generations too.
& so we, as mama's will wipe our little one's mouths - knowing they will wipe the dear little faces of our grandchildren in years to come. We will teach them to love and serve their Father - knowing that they will need this foundation to pass on this precious relationship to our great-grandchildren. We will continue to serve one another in love - knowing that this good thing - will not be without impact.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


He's coming home soon...
i'm like a puppy right before the big storm hits -
or the baby who starts rooting at their mama...
it's like when you're walking outside & someone is having a barbeque.

i can smell him coming -

& he smells so good.
i have a billion things i want to blog about...
maybe more important subjects worthy of careful study and consideration.
i started a few posts that sit gathering dust in my drafts folder - while this one softly writes itself.
& i thought of just deleting it...
But then it struck me -
Love is a worthy subject...
& love him...
i do.
(Titus 2:4)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not your average kid...

"Don't you want them to be normal?"
um... yes.
Normal has a huge variety and range. Normal includes spicy little numbers like Mollen and intense, self motivated kids like Cai. Normal encompasses bookworms like Sloanie, rule followers like Charter and peace-makers like Peyton. Normal welcomes Ephraim, who sleeps - as well as Gagey, who doesn't.
& yes. i'm not worried about them being normal.
When people worry about kids being normal - i think what they mean is, "Don't you want them to be average?"
& no. i don't.
Average often is dragged down to the lowest common denominator - no boys can sing because there's one sullen boy in the back who has poisoned the rest into believing that singing is something that boys just don't do. Girls have to be skinny and wear make up by the time they're 13 - eccentricities, passions & differences are quashed.

So, average isn't welcome around here.
Bring on the plastic fake lips, Ephraim - you've joined a very normal family. i think you'll fit right in.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

's not fair...

i read something in a book today that was worthy of a second glance...

"So, God spare us a life of fairness! To live in a world with grace is better by far than to live in a world of absolute fairness." -A Grace Disguised, by Gerald Sittser.

What better lesson to learn & let our children learn young.
In my children's relationships - where there is often the temptation to chirp up for "my fair share" - or a sibling's "fair punishment" - what if they learned that there will always be small discrepancies, uneven portions, crimes overlooked & rules bent?
i think sometimes we get so caught up in what was owed to us - or what came our way that seems like an undeserved punishment...
That we overlook His lavish grace and love...
That abounds.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

if i could retire...

if i could retire one piece of motherhood, it would bedtime.
Hands down.
i'm tired,
they're tired...
We're all a whole lotta tired.
So, why is bedtime such an issue?
Especially when daddy's away.
As i type this, Gagey is in my bed talking *loudly* - so that Ephraim (in his cradle) can't quite get to sleep, so he's grunting... & out of the corner of my eye, in the dim light, i can see mollen crouched in the corner.
i told her she can go downstairs (to sleep with Granny) when she promises to go straight to sleep and not bug anyone. Instead, she has been camped out in the corner of my room for 20 minutes. i'm starting to wonder if she's gonna spend the night there.
Earlier today, i told Cairo that she was being given an opportunity to respond with grace when faced with the temptation to let her temper take control.
My words mock me now :)
But they're still true.
God, give me the grace i need to act gracefully - to mother lovingly - to discipline gently.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

it's the little things

It's the little things that water and nurture love.
Never the big things...
The tiny words spoken - or left unspoken -
the small physical gestures of intimacy - like meeting eyes, or touching hands -
the daily grains of sand trickling into your "i need" pail -
filling it to overflowing -
the way that grande gestures could never.
i'm convinced that marriages could be saved -
or made beautiful -
by daily
choosing to make your lover your piggy bank -
and putting in

Monday, April 12, 2010


He had to leave at 5am this morning for his week-long trip to bc. i heard him get up - quietly - so that he wouldn't wake the wee one sleeping beside me, & get ready to go.
Oh heart - don't go - so far for so long...
In moments he was ready - & he came around onto his side of the bed to kiss me and whisper in my ear, "i'll call you..."
As he stood up to leave - i stretched out so even just our fingertips still touched.
My selfish heart would have him never leave - always stay - at fingertip's touch.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

is it just me?

Or is potty training a cuter thing than it was a dozen years ago? When i saw my big 6'2" husband running to the bathroom holding the hand of a chubby little boy with 'big boy underpants' on... it kinda melted me a little bit.
i think that something has changed..
(is it i?)
i remember feeling like my emerging readers were never. ever. going. to. read. at. a. normal. pace....
& now... Dick and Jane completely engrosses me.
Even. at. a. snail's. pace...
i'm thinkin'...
that having babies in your 30's is a good thing. Is there more appreciation? More patience? Less hurry?
A friend & i were talking about the nightmare that the stomach flu is for a mama with a full house. We laughed because between us, we have 11 children... & you'd think at this stage in the game, we'd sorta scoff at barf. But it never gets any better... i still hate cleaning that up - if anything it's HARDER now than it was before!
i love the chance that i have been given to mother through to a different decade of my life. i'm glad that some things are different - for the better... sad that some things are different - likely for the worse & i'm resigned to the fact that there are some things that will never change.
It's interesting for me to think of the differences that Cairo and Ephraim will have in their memories of childhood.
Cairo will remember me as a young mama... Ephraim won't have that same privilege :)
Seven sweet childhoods - spanning 13 years and 5 months.
i feel so blessed to have this chance to be a part of them all.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

say it ain't so

i switched out half of Ephraim's sleepers.
i got him weighed at his 6 week appointment - which happened at 7 weeks...
& he was just over 13lbs.
The smallest of the boys :) but apparently, big enough to outgrow several of his littlest sleepers.
Have i mentioned how much i love this baby?

The past 2 nights he has slept for 9+ hours - & has woken hungry... but still smiley.
Sometimes i'm wordless - silent, staring at his little face...
Unexpected treasure he was...
Funny - the shock i felt when i found out he was coming - since now i can't remember life without him. He has become this pivotal member of our family - our precious baby - Gagey's little brother, Cairo's darling, Peyton's plaything...

& so - i folded those tiniest of sleepers,
& put them away.
& in one motion pulled out the next size that it seems to me Gagey wore yesterday & slipped them into Ephraim's drawer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

same ol'

so - after waiting 3 hours in the waiting room...
i did not get a new cast yesterday...
He wanted to get me assessed by an orthopedic surgeon...
(Maybe this is part of what i prayed for yesterday....?)
It's an inconvenience, yes...
& boy was i ever looking forward to scratching my leg...
but it's a part of life - & i'm sure that i'll be glad to have that assessment & make sure that all is healing as it should.
In the midst of being absorbed in this one tiny body part...
i find it almost humourous -
i'm sick of blogging about it... (surely anyone who reads my blog is sick of reading about it! Sorry 'bout that!) & i think,
Surely, Father - You must have better things for me to do than to wait in waiting rooms, asking sweet friends who *also* have better things to do - to drive me around. Surely Father, you want me making a comfortable nest at home for my husband - not phoning him at work to remind him of yet another job that i am unable to do.... Surely it would be best if Ephraim's routine were not so disrupted and if my other children weren't left so much lately to their own devices. Maybe you need me to play a beautiful song for you? i'd sure love to do that... - or write a pretty blogpost that will inspire my children, should they choose to read this all someday... no? You want me here? Well then, take my heart and make it beautiful in Your eyes. Take my desire to serve my family & use it for Your Kingdom. Replace the songs i would have sung and the words i would have written - with songs and words that glorify You in this new humbled state.

In other news, my baby saw fit to give me 9 straight hours of sleep on Wednesday night. i love that smiley little guy. It's amazing how different babies will be...
i'm sure grateful for such an easygoing little person. His fussy times are few & far between - his smiley times are generous and frequent & he likes to sleep in nice long stretches.
i may just have hit the jackpot.
There is so much to be grateful for... it would be a great sadness to ignore it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

half way to who knows where...

Today i'll get this old cast exchanged for a new one. i'm gonna scratch that spot behind my knee, rub my calf & then let them put on the new one.
i'm nervous about recovery - seems i have spent so much time as of late recovering...
i forget what it feels like to be recovered.
i have been asking God lately to please restore my knee to complete health - with no residual pain & no limitations on my activities.
Healing is such a funny thing - we've talked about it a lot in my family - from my nephew's epilepsy, my niece's hormone deficiency, my sister's 4 month straight bout of illness...
& then there's our little ones who, though we begged God to let us raise them -
were taken home early...
i don't know what God thinks when i ask him for this small miracle -
complete restoration.
But i do know that He's my Father,
He loves me,
& that it's ok to run to Him, and tell Him what i long for & to ask Him for what i know He is able to give.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


i'm slow getting around these days...
& sunshine boy decided that it's time to start announcing every bodily function that has occurred, might occur, is occurring RIGHT NOW or may occur in the near or distant future.
i'm gonna be honest here & admit that Sloanie has been bearing the brunt of the potty training duress that seems to have begun. i just can't whip him up in my arms & make a run for it - so instead, at his first mention of that word, "poo?" i holler for Sloanie (who is my arms & legs) & she deals with the mess, or the wait, or the success, or the... (you get the idea).
Tuesdays though, my big 3 have violin lessons - & while i was at home with the younger 4, suddenly Gage came up behind me & suggested in a calm voice, "poo" - like he was mentioning a book he had just read - or a symphony he thought i might like...
i spied Charter & as i jumped up & grabbed my crutches & started hobbling, i told him to grab his brother & put him on the potty....
When i arrived i saw Mollen howling & pointing, "you got pooooooo on the toilet, Charter!"
& indeed, he had pulled down the pull up & without noticing it's soiled state, had obediently put his brother on the toilet.
This is when it got funny.
Mollen was completely nonchalant... like, 'Yeh, i see that poo, it's not gonna bite me, mom'll clean it up... it's kinda funny... ok, it's hilariously funny...'
Gage was a little more concerned, 'um, can someone bigger pulleeze take over this situation because this is obviously getting out of control...'
But Charter...
Sweet Charter...
He was undone.
i walked in & when he saw what he had done, he grabbed his head in his hands & cowered back by the sink, shaking in horror, squeezing his eyes shut, sounds of revulsion escaping his clenched lips. i thought for a minute he was gonna dry heave.
i sent him out & decided he's off the hook as far as helping with potty training goes.
Either he can't take it...
or he's an evil genius who discovered how to escape the worst job ever...
Whatever it is, i say he earned his freedom.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

what kind of a friend...

What kind of a friend gives you a fabric remnant because she knows you love it & you might wanna use it for something?
like perhaps covering your black vinyl piano bench...

Or something like that....
i like friends like that...

Monday, April 5, 2010

i caught you...

Ephraim has the funniest habit of grinning like a mad fool at people who aren't looking at him.
i keep catching him - because, it seems that no matter who i'm talking to, i can't take my eyes off of that soft little boy.
He has a dent in his tiny perfect chin.
And one dimple on his right cheek.
It all starts out with him looking out at the world with his dark, piercing eyes. They're so full of intelligence and attention - he's beautiful.
Suddenly, his sweet face will be flooded with warmth - (how do tiny babies do that?) His eyes almost dance - & even though the corners of his mouth haven't turned - you can tell that he is *happy*.

That's when you start holding your breath...
It's coming...
It's coming...
There it is... a sweet smile that makes his chubby cheeks fold from the pressure.

& sometimes,
if i'm lucky...
he'll lean his floppy head back, open his mouth all crookedy and with a sharp intake of breath - produce the first syllable of a laugh - that one squeaky sound of joy...

Usually the sound shocks him & he immediately goes straight faced as if to say, "What WAS that noise??" He does the same thing if i laugh out loud while trying to coax a smile, so i really try to restrain myself.
He's such a gentle little soul...

Making the world a better place, littering it all up with smiles - not worrying a second if they're wasted... putting out joy & making the magnetic pull between his sweet babyness and my mama eyes unimaginably strong.

ephraim magnus, you are a joy...
you were throwing smiles around like they were going out of style...
& i caught you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

because He loves us.

i had a sad week.
Defeated, done, down...
but this morning i woke up & remembered...
They're new again today, aren't they -

His mercies...

Today i'm thinking of The One who sustains my hope...

Just like He said.

& it's on Christ the solid rock i stand...
all other ground is sinking sand.

Sounds cocky to even say that's where i "stand" today...
More like lying, gasping, wet and filthy and half drowned...

but held...
He's merciful - and worthy of my hope.

i love you, Jesus.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

let down...

It had already been 'one of those days'... after a heroic effort on my part to actually have a bath, the smiley, cute little baby peed all over us both... After i got us all changed, Gagey spilled a big cup of water all over me & i had to make the marathon journey up the stairs to change again... Then Gagey fell & got a horrible swollen eye.
Enough already, i thought...
But no...
Then Peyton went for a bike ride with her friend & after an unfortunate seat malfunction, she put her teeth through her lip. Her friend's mama phoned me & as she was telling me that Peyton was hurt, i looked down & my shirt was soaking wet.
It's amazing, isn't it, how our mama bodies were made to empathise, & to comfort - to protect & to love our little ones. She got a ride home & her little hurting self found it's way to my arms. i think it helped me as much to hold her, as it helped her to be held.
This world is just full of pain, isn't it? Big ones... little ones... Big lips, little black eyes...
i'm almost ready to break out the bubble wrap...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Matthew 20:28

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,
but to minister,
and to
a ransom for many.

Thank you, Father.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 14, 28 days remaining...

14 points for 14 days!
1* i have learned how to walk with crutches - despite Cai's hilarious blog post that seems to downplay my abilities.
2* i usually lose my baby weight in the first 3 months after having a baby - i've just been lucky that way i guess... i'm curious to see what my body is doing this time as i accumulate hours on the couch...
3* My littles have learned how to use me as an excuse, "Sorry! i was coming, but i got caught behind mom on the stairs..."
4* i went downstairs for the first time since my fall. "Downstairs" is the sleeping place of 3 of our littles and it's also home of our laundry room, rec room & a bathroom... i have been a little nervous - but i was pleasantly surprised.
5* Peyton gathers the laundry, Cairo sorts the loads & starts them, Charter switches into the dryer & Sloanie brings me the loads to fold & then she puts them away - quite the system.
6* My Neil is tired. He's usually pretty tired - he's got a lot on his plate... He's just the best guy... but he's more tired than usual lately - i feel really bad about that.
7* Ephraim is sleeping through the night. i can't imagine if we had a sad little baby this time, how hard this would be. Ephraim is like a dream. He goes to bed at 9pm & wakes for a snack around 4am & back to sleep till 7 (most nights).
8* i don't know how we would have made it through the last 2 weeks without people bringing us meals. i'm imagining we would have eaten a lot of pizza... mmmm pizza...
9* My family wishes i could do more of my job. i do too.
10* i'm trying to only count down the days till i get my cast changed rather than off... 'cause it's shorter...
11* i totally get why children stick things inside their casts.
12* i have hardly played the piano in the past 2 weeks - Sometimes i really wish i had broken my left leg.
13* i think Neil worries that i have left all semblance of hygiene in the past.
14* i'm worried that he might be right.


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