Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Tooth

She bit into a sandwich, and it broke off. Now she wants to keep it forever.

We call Grammie and Grandad and Gramma and Grampa. "Is Grandad there too?" she talks loud when she's on the phone.  "If you come over you can HOLD it if you want," she smiles wide, "Yup." She chatters over to the window, twirls mid-stride, the phone still cradled to her ear. And as she steps out each detail, her smile grows and her voice swings wider and wider. She's all glee.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's Your Mother Taught You?

"Little girl, what's your name?" Lucy freezes and stares at the photographer. It's the Mother/Daughter Tea in Craig's farmland hometown.

"Olive Rose," Lulie says. She blinks wide eyes and buries her face in my lap. The baby squirms. Lulie calls herself Olive now. She calls the baby Olive too. Out there on the green grass a photographer in fancy black snaps photos.

Farm wives and daughters, mothers and grandmothers, great-grandmothers, fill the small church in the small town; wheat fields spread in each direction. Long tables and chairs, bouquets and fine silver, and potluck food, good food, sunlight streams in the windows. We sit and chatter on in the ocean of women. Jane eats fried chicken and Lulie tries to lick chocolate frosting off her fingers and face.

Later I sit in a front pew. A gaggle of girls sings for us. Lulie tries to run off stage.

Then, everyone eyes the basket full of chapsticks, prizes. A woman with pink cheeks asks, "What's something your mother taught you?"

The girls jostle and giggle. One girl blurts, "To plant flowers," and picks a chapstick from the basket.

"To make cookies," says another.

"To obey right away," it's Janie's cousin.

One by one, they file off stage. Jane fidgets and watches the woman. "What about you? What's your mother taught you?" It's the last two girls. The woman looks right at Janie.

"To love people," Janie says.

"To love people," the lady with pink cheeks repeats. She hands Jane a chapstick.

There in the pew, I catch my breath. To love people. Love. People.

Later Craig's gramma wins Woman of the Year. 95 years old and she smiles like a girl of 18. All the while my heart is racing, to love people. To. Love. People. My imperfections swallowed up in grace.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Digs

Well congratulations you made it to our new blog.

Several people asked and we agreed; how could we keep our blog address with this newest addition? No clue, so here it is!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Hernia

"Daddy," Jack eyes a watermelon-sized rock by the old strawberry bed and a dozen more odd shaped boulders, "I don't want you to lift any of the heavy ones because I don't want you to have hernia surgery." Little boy leans down and tries to move them for his Daddy. Together they clear the lawn. Too bad the hernia already happened when Daddy cleared the first dozen bigger ones.

So tomorrow, 8:00 am, Daddy heads in for hernia surgery. How is that for good timing? Now we can recover together. :) Guess you can't plan getting a hernia!

We'd love your prayers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today, among family and friends we dedicated Myra Rose to the Lord. Our children smiled and waved to the crowded pews. Lulie chattered on in girlish delight and milled from hand to hand. Finally, Daddy tethered her grinning self to our side for the prayer. Jane, Jack, Lulie, grandparents and Great-Grammie, aunts and uncles, cousins, a baby in our arms -- such blessing near and far. As we stand before God and all, I smile wide. And, even with my eyes closed I feel Craig at my elbow, the best part. I know every step will be blessed. Lord, our daughter is yours.

Who knew on the one year anniversary of my half-marathon we'd dedicate our fourth child to the Lord? And to think in three short days my brother now leaves for Africa. Has it really been a year since Craig was there? I wonder what the next one-year-stride will bring.


22. The bleating cry of my baby.

23. Dirt under two-year-old fingernails.

24. My belly sinking back to normal size.

25. Going barefoot.

26. Painting fingernails with daughters.

27. Tall glasses of water.

28. Stretchy swaddling blankies, bright colors.

29. The guileless blue of my husband's eyes.

30. Little boy who holds my hand so cars won't hit me.

holy  experience

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Myra, Meet the Family

Fresh out into the great big wide world.

Wrinkled toes,

a screamin' bath,

and meet your brother.

His name is Jack.

This is Jane.

She loves your toes.

And Lulie, she loves your tiny hands.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Myra Rose

Please welcome MYRA ROSE.

8 lbs., 1.5 oz. Soft, sweet, and still smelling of heaven. Myra Rose.

(Pronounced: MI-rah)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


"Shhh Jack, Momma's singing."

My fingers feel stiff, but the old piano keys still find their place under each fingertip. An old melody threads me through quarter notes and crescendos, metered time and counterpoint.

"HOW are you DOING that?" Jack furrows his brow, his mouth agape.

Jane balances with Lulie in a tiny rocking chair, "I LOVE that singing," she whispers.

I smile. I can't even sing one note on tune. It's all in my fingers.

They call it singing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

40 Weeks

"Momma," Jane's still barefoot while we wait, "I have a feeling the baby's gonna pop out on her due date." Auntie Cerissa and I smile. Guess we're all a little distracted these days.

40 weeks. TODAY. Still no popping.


Another week of gratitude.

11. Shattered oatmeal bowl, no glass embedded in small bare feet.

12. Husband-hands that sweep up glass shards and sticky oats.

13. 40 weeks of baby curled in my womb.

14. Hospital bags packed.

15. Stacks of clean laundry.

16. Red geraniums like Gramma used to plant.

17. Awaiting arms to gather my children and their suitcases.

18. Strawberries and whip cream.

19. Cucumbers and olive oil.

20. A quiet nest of waiting before the whole world changes.

21. Another baby.

holy experience