Monday, December 31, 2012

Broken Toes, Cadbury Eggs, and Christmas

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

We managed to have a pretty good one despite me falling down the stairs and damaging my big toe (I think braking it).

Evidently Santa got his holidays mixed up because I got Cadbury Eggs in my stocking.  Or the stores are just crazy enough to run Christmas/New Years/Valentine's Day/Easter all together.  Say it ain't so!

Oh well, I got Cadbury Eggs.

The girls' favorite gift has been the doll house Justin and I made them.  Due to illness, it lacks a bit being finished, but they've been playing with it regularly, so we haven't taken it to finish it up yet.  The stairs and edging are waiting to go in though.

Justin built, painted, and stained the house, and I bought the furniture from a woman who used it as a child herself.  I papered, floored, and made mattresses and bed linens.  The girls were with me the day I picked the paper (and each actually chose the paper for 'her' own bedroom, not knowing what it was for).

Nate's favorite gift has been Duplo blocks.  My sister got him a set for his birthday and he enjoyed them so much he got more for Christmas.  My parents got him a large set of blocks and we got him a fire station set.  They have been used every day.

Here his men are putting out a fire in a house I built.

The kids favorite gift they all got were little foam dart guns.  Nate got a bigger one and the girls and Justin each got a smaller one for defense.

They like shooting at the walls to see them stick.

My favorite gift of the year was The Jesus Storybook Bible.  We've been reading from it every night.  I love the wording and the illustrations.  It is beautiful.  I'm not affiliated with the company and don't get any money from it, but I highly recommend this book--I caught it half off at LifeWay, which was a great price and I've been told they run that special quarterly or so.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


My Daddy was the third of six children. There were two older girls and my father is the oldest of the four boys.  Many years ago, when I was in high school, the oldest, my Aunt Carolyn died.  Yesterday, his younger brother David left us too.

My Uncle David loved the littles.  He would cuddle a baby, toss a toddler, or press a squealing child up against the ceiling in my Grannie's living room.

Napping with a baby Gabby

Hanging out with Nate

He was a kind man, who enjoyed a lively debate with his brothers.

He was married to his wife, Cyndi, since before I have memory.

He was a husband.  The father of a teenage boy.  A son.  A brother.  An uncle, great uncle, and great-great uncle many times over.  A Boy Scout leader. A coach.  A friend.

In loving memory.

Monday, December 17, 2012


(Alternately Titled A Loose Screw)

What goes up must come down and in this case what went in must come out.  Kate's broken arm was repaired by the placement of a screw to hold the dislodged bone with the growth plate to the rest of her bone.  Hardware obviously doesn't belong in our body and in this case, with the rapid growth of childhood, the screw was best removed before the bone grew over it and it could not be retrieved.

Kate had surgery a week and a half ago to remove the screw.  This time we just went to an outpatient surgery center (there was no room in the inn last time, so we were at the hospital).  She took Beary, the teddy bear that I fixed up with a sling and gave her after her first surgery, with her.  When she woke up, the nurses had wrapped Beary's arm to match hers.  It was very sweet.

This recovery (as promised) has been much easier.  Well, except for one thing, since she's not in pain, afraid of movement, and immobilized by splints much of the time, it is harder to get the incision to heal.  At her one week follow up, the surgical glue was peeling horribly and the incision was weepy.  The nurse fixed her up with steri-strips, we were given a script for an antibiotic due to some redness and a bump at the place the screw was extracted), and we were sent on our way.  Discharged from care unless she has a problem!

The next evening, as I was making dinner (one of 10 or so evenings Justin isn't home for dinner a year), she announces one of the steri-strips was loose, so she pulled it off.  I fed the littles dinner and headed out to the pharmacy to buy more steri-strips.  I wasn't even sure I could buy them, but thankfully they were there.  She's patched up with 'tape' yet again.

We'll have to watch her arms as she grows, but the doctor is confident that the growth plate was not damaged and it is obvious that her movement is not bothered at all thanks to all the physical therapy.

And that (loose) screw, it now lives in my curio cabinet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not Fair

Back at Kate's birthday I got her a journal to pass back and forth.  A place to write me questions so I could take some time and think out true, meaningful answers.  I wouldn't ever share what she writes to me, but here is a note I wrote to her.  One that is true for anyone who might wonder why life isn't fair...

Dear Katie,

You are right. Life is not fair. You remember at the very beginning of the Bible, Adam and Eve sinned, right? Ever since then, the world has not been fair.

I’m sure you’re thinking of things like someone getting more cookies or extra time playing. And those things, daddy and I try to keep fair. They aren’t equal—you and your brother and sister are different ages and sizes, you all will have different things you like to do, and sometimes different things will just happen to be available.  

Here’s the truth of it all though—that’s not what is really unfair. Do you know what is really not fair? We messed up. Do you know what should happen to us because we sinned? We should be separated from God forever. But in the biggest not fair thing ever, Jesus, who lived the perfect life, without any sin, died like we should have—all because God wants you to be with Him. It was not fair. It was the most unfair thing ever. 

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you will not get what you want. Sometimes you won’t get what you deserved. And sometimes, sweetheart, that is a very good thing. I’m sorry you don’t live in a perfect world, but because you have Jesus, who loves you more than Daddy and I ever can, some day you will get to go to heaven and everything will be right again.

Here’s a Bible passage to look up too. (Matthew 20:1-16) I’ll help you if you can’t find it. We’ve read it with Daddy before, and maybe you’ll remember that the workers all got the wages they agreed to. They all got the same pay, even though some of them worked many more hours. It isn’t equal to the hours they worked, but Jesus said it is fair. It helps us understand we all get to go to heaven, even though some people have been Christians since before they remember and others didn’t love Jesus until later—we all loved him and all get to go because He loves us and died for our sins. Isn’t that wonderful? Aren’t you glad that everything doesn’t have to be fair?

Love always,

It is scandalous.  Truly.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Funnies

When Kate was two and Gabby was new, my parents got them a Little People Nativity set.  They have been a favorite of every December since.  The animals have been taught not to eat from the manger, the holy family has ridden in a pirate ship, and the baby Jesus has been stolen.

This year I pulled it out to a chorus of glee.  That was short lived as both Gabby and Nate wanted to have exclusive rights to all of the people and animals we had representing the stable of Bethlehem.  After a day or so of turn taking, over seen by Mama, they finally got to the point they could play together.

Gabby, talking for Mama Mary, as she is called at our house, says, "Kiss me, you are my husband."

Nate, taking up a growling voice to represent Daddy Joseph, answers, "I wanna knock 'em all over."

Ah, the differences in how little girls and little boys play!

*     *     *     *     *

As I was putting lotion on Nate, "My legs are so boo-tiful and bright!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In Hot Water

On Friday afternoon I piled all the kids into the van, which is parked in the driveway instead of the garage because of Christmas surprises.  I slide into the driver's seat...and I see water gushing from under the garage door.

Oh dear.

I opened the door and found that hot water was rapidly escaping our water heater.  I eventually got the water turned off and stopped the hemorrhaging   Justin spent his Saturday replacing the water heater and Sunday trying to catch up on all the work he had to put off.

So, I'm thankful for a husband who is willing and able to fix things like this, and I'm very thankful for a nice hot shower!