Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Educational Toys

"Why do you think I'm so strong, Momma?" After various promises to shoot me an elk or bear and make a rug with the head still on it, Jack dreams of being a man. He and Jane spend hours hunting game in the play room, out in the yard.

Last January we loaded all their toys into bins, even the new pop-guns. We meant to make an impression. And then they hardly noticed. Five bin-fulls. A few tears, then nothing.

Months went by, half a year, never did get around to giving the toys back.

It's dinner tonight, "My high today was playing in the playroom with Jane." It's always a game of high adventure; most times they nearly die. In the end one or another saves the day. Even Lulie knows the rules. Between of stacks books and wadded islands of blankets, high honor, valiant risk, our drab playroom transforms into a universe. They weave stories without thinking -- and play.

Isn't that where it all begins, there in the playroom without toys? They play. And almost without my noticing, a life-long learner emerges, a playing child that moves on to words and numbers and long strands of ideas, literature, physics. They play, invent the whole world.

Sort of makes me afraid to buy them any toys.

Friday, October 23, 2009


"If someone shoots you a 1000 times, then does your spirit die?" Her brow furrowed, she's perched on the couch arm.

I shift Lulie, "No. If you belong to Jesus, God breathes your breath-of-life into a new body in heaven."

"Oh." It's as if I've said, Honey, water is wet. She's already off skittering through the leggos. She's gathering details.

Later, "Did an animal give it's life for us to make this soup?"


"Did it want to?"


"Oh." Simple. She's plucked out a piece of the puzzle.

Later Jack interrupts his prayer and turns to sis, "Yeah Jane, you have to obey the REAL God."

And, "Jesus is REAL, you know," he arches his eyebrows. All of the sudden he makes a differentiation, the REAL God.

The day we harvest pole bean seeds the sun warms our backs. The children shed their shoes. Lulie eats a few black nuggets, spits them out. Jane and Jack cradle them in sweaty palms like pennies. Another piece in the puzzle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Little sweet. We've patched 6 hours a day for months now. A few weeks and we head for another check. May the Lord bless our trip.

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Decade

The man who lassos the moon again and again.

His arms reach as wide as the sky and as deep as the sea.

He leaves for work each day in a chorus, "Stay, Daddy! Daddy, can you stay home?" We wave until he is out of sight.

He makes our boy want to be a man, all courage and muscle. And our girls beg for lullaby in his arms. Daddy's long shadow encircles us with safety. And a view. Oh my. The whole world is good triumphing evil.

No wonder, a decade ago, this husband-man of mine parted the sea of possibilities.

Here's to ten years since we met!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

High Tide

"Is this how Moses stretched his staff against the sea?" Jane, poised on the dining room bench, pokes the air with Jack's bat. From across the room I wonder if she's separated the sea of laundry. {Sigh} Nope.

Anyone else stretching their staff against the sea? From juicy peaches to crooked ties and mile long laughs to debacles of permanent marker and eye make-up remover, it's high tide here for sure. My grace is sufficient for you... a sliver of strength slid between my shoulder blades.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Good Life

Grandad came for breakfast! The whole world tilts his direction, his celebrity status firmly attached to Grammie. She spoiled us all to the tips of our toes yesterday. {Sigh} Sure nice being a daughter.

Now, quarter past nine, Jane is curled up in a blanket nest. Upset tummy.

Jack is in the kitchen preparing banana slices. He dumps all in a froggie bowl, scurries for Jane's nest. All she needs is a little bell.

Lulu has explored the bananas, ate most of one trashed it, and stuffed one down the hose of the shop vac. Her face is rather dusty.

I'm eating a blueberry poptart.

Life is good.

Monday, October 5, 2009


3.44 cm and growing. Another little one. Ten weeks and a tiny pomegranate seed of baby has sprouted already to strawberry size. Heart pulsing 160 beats per minute, all the hope and possibility of a person unfurls. Arms, legs, hands, feet. Lead violin sounds high A and in a small concert hall just behind my belly button, the symphony begins. That drum of a heart beats on strong and clear, a metronome of life. The whole body encircles it.

Janie and Jack swear they can already feel the little kicks.

Favorite name: Snoopy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Anyone else wake up to the melodious strains of, "MooOOoomma! Wipe my POOOOOP."?

Mary-Sunshine, Jane, greets grumbly me en route, "Momma remember, 'Do to others..'"


And also, was it before or after breakfast that the children converted a half-full toothpaste into a fire hose? Apparently between the three they can siphon water from the sink. Oh, and any comments on an appropriate amount of toothpaste to ingest?

And all the while my life sleighs along past pit stops and toothpaste puddles. I lean over to Jane, "Think about the BEST thing in your day," I whisper. Camera poised, I hold my breath. And before I can capture her dewy face or still spirit, she leans around my camera. Her arm across my shoulders, {squeeze}, "THIS is the best part of my day."

I lean into her. For a moment my eyes squint shut. Oh Lord, may I be the woman she sees.