Thursday, July 31, 2008

Retail Therapy

Well, Justin just left for Portland to visit his dad for a long weekend. They spend a weekend together once every summer, and take turns being the one to make the drive. This year was our year to commute. Thanks to Trey and Dana for loaning us their Volvo so that the boys and I are not totally housebound!

In preparation for his leaving, I took off last night for several hours of Retail Therapy. Reuben cried and begged to come with me. I thought to myself that he and I would probably have plenty of each other this weekend, thankyouverymuch, and I better go off on my own for a while.

Off to the thrift store, then, where I spent a blissful 2 1/2 hours. Yup, two and a half hours. I closed the place down. And no, I didn't look at everything I wanted to.

Want a sneak peek of some of my treasures?

Here's a tiny cast-iron skillet I bought for Cole to cook his eggs in every morning. We've been working with him on making his own breakfast--which is a bit of a task, since we don't do the typical bagel/muffin/cereal kind of thing in the morning. I love that this skillet is just his size.

(Karissa: here's a cast-iron I bought for YOU! ...if you still want it. I will clean it up and get it seasoned and ready for you!)

This is a stack of five matching stoneware bread-and-butter plates for the boys to use when they set their table for breakfast, snack, or lunch. I think they are BEAUTIFUL.....but they cost me $.49 a piece, so I won't be too heartbroken if one gets dropped and shatters.

And last, but not least, is a simple little navy blue ceramic pitcher so the boys can serve themselves their own tea or water. I'm still trying to decide what to do about cups. We've been using regular drinking glasses, but I like the idea of the boys having their own special cups in their dish cupboard. I'm thinking about giving them some Japanese tea cups I have stored away....

Oh, it's so much fun. All this plus an armload of new clothes for Mama, all for the bargain price of thirty dollars!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We Love Indiana: Dead Or Alive

Quote of the Day:

"I put my special legos in this box. My guy, the grandpa and the whip are in there so that I can play Indiana Jones. The skeleton is in there so that I can play Indiana Bones." --Reese, age 4

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Heard Around The House

Cole: "Reese, did you know that you are an animal?"

Reese: "A what? An animal?"

Cole: "Yup. And do you know what kind of animal you are?"

Reese (thinking): " octopus?"

Cole: "No. A person."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Heard Around The House

Cole: "I just love to close my eyes. Then I can daydream all I want about Indiana Jones."

Reese: "Reuben, are you a Nazi?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Cole!

Cole celebrated his 7th birthday on Friday. Eeek! I have a seven year old.

So, you ask, what does one buy for a seven year old on his birthday?

What does every seven year old that shares a bedroom with two of his younger brothers need?

Why, a locking treasure box, of course!

And a treasure box cake, complete with gold chocolate coins and candy jewels....

And his very own copy of Nacho Libre!

(he's nacho average hero)

Can life possibly get any better than this?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Deterioration Of A Day seen through a two-year-old's obedient responses:

Morning: "Yes, momma!"

Lunchtime: "No-yes, momma."

Afternoon: "Yes, poopies."

Evening (whispering): "yes, poopies."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Egg!

in case we weren't on enough of an emotional rollercoaster Sunday after discovering our lost chicken, the next day swung us in the opposite direction...with the buzz of finding THE FIRST EGG!
(sort of appears we had high expectations on our first day of egg collecting, with that big basket, doesn't it?)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And Then There Were Four

The raccoons took one of our chickens last night.

We spent the holiday weekend with Colleen and Ron, and were stumped when it came to deciding what to do with the chickens. We've never left them overnight before. They roost every night in their little henhouse, and Justin goes out sometime after dark and locks their door so that no predators get in, and he lets them out first thing in the morning. So---what to do, if we're not here? We weren't sure. We decided to leave extra food and water and hope that they stayed safe during our absence.

Off we went to enjoy the 4th of July and our extended family. Ron and Colleen took us to the parade, fed us extravagantly and loved on us for two whole days. We arrived back home yesterday afternoon and were relieved to see all five ladies milling about the yard, happy as can be. Wow, thought we, they did just fine. Guess they don't need to be locked up after all....

And then came this morning. We lay in bed and talked about how nice it was to not have to race outside first thing and let them out. We gloated about how happy they must be to not have to wait on us but to be able to wander outside any old time after the sun was up to go on the hunt for bugs. We felt so proud to have such strong hens that could defend themselves against the roaming neighborhood cats and coons.

Justin was in the shower when I realized I needed something from the car, something I forgot to bring in yesterday. I walked out past the coop barefoot, still in my jammies, and stared dumbly for several minutes at the scattered pile of feathers next to the Volvo. I couldn't figure out how the boys could have gathered so many feathers, and why they would have left them next to the car. I kept trying to remember what we had done yesterday evening and when it was that they played outside (they didn't). By the time I finally glanced over at the coop and saw another pile of feathers, outside the fence, my head was just starting to comprehend what I was seeing. I ran over to the fence, ducking to catch a glimpse under their building, calling them, scanning the yard. Four chickens came to greet me.

Back out to the car, where I finally saw a trail of flurried feathers leading through the parking area and out into--and all around--the front yard. Every six feet or so was another pile of feathers. My heart sank. I ran inside and yelled for Justin, and we went back into the yard.

What a way to wake up, right? And how could we not have heard anything through our open window? The trail led into the bushes, out to the street, and stopped at a neighbor's tree. By then we were finding evidence that our chicken wasn't so much what you might call "alive". We stepped back and shielded our eyes and searched the treetops for any kind of visible den, but those trees are so tall, and raccoons are so good at hiding. We couldn't see a thing.

It's a bit melancholy around our house today. It seems silly to be mourning the loss of an animal that we planned on eventually killing ourselves anyway. But we weren't ready, and it feels, rightly, like a life has been stolen. And there are still lessons in little moments like these. As we came back in and tried to compose what was left of our morning, and distract ourselves with making breakfast, the Lord brought to mind the parable of the shepherd, who will leave his flock of 99 to find just one that is missing. I feel a twinge of understanding, searching for the one that was lost. And I'm thinking: How much more, then, does Christ care for us, and long for our restoration?


Here are some photos from our weekend.

Doesn't Reubsy look handsome in his momma's glasses?

waiting for the parade:

justin and doug and (a few of) the boys:

lollys with gramma:

reuben, sam and sophie:


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shelfy's Long Swim Home

I have several friends who are in a season of waiting right now. They have all individually petitioned God for something and are waiting anxiously to see how it will all play out. In honor of them, I want to share something that happened at our house last week....

At Cole's 3rd birthday, his favorite gift was a stuffed trout that he received from Michael and Kristin. He named it Shelf. That was four years ago, and though different stuffed animals have been favorites at one time or another, Shelfy has always been in the top three. So around the time Sean was born, when I realized that I hadn't seen Shelf for awhile, I was worried. When Cole said that he hadn't seen him for awhile either, I was even more worried.

We started praying every night that Shelf would be found. Sort of trivial, I know, but this is spirituality at a six-year-old's level. Cole's friend was lost and we were grieving. We hoped that he would be returned safely, so we prayed. And prayed, and prayed, and prayed.

Months went by. Then, a few weeks ago, as I was tucking the boys into bed, Cole said, "Mom, I'm almost ready to give up hope for Shelfy. I'm starting to believe that we're never going to see him again. I don't think we should pray for him anymore." Knowing that their bedroom/playroom is an abyss and that there were still some places we hadn't uncovered, I told him, "That's okay if you want to give up on Shelfy, but I'm not ready to lose hope yet. I still believe that we'll find him someday. So you don't have to pray for him anymore, but I'm still going to..." Cole agreed that we should continue asking God just a little bit longer for Shelfy's safe return.

On Father's Day, Justin was talking to his dad in Portland and got online to send his dad a photo we took of Justin holding all four of the boys at once:

...when Justin's dad received the photo, he emailed us back....and lo and behold, at the end of his email, he said, randomly, "we found a stuffed trout at our house, and thought it might be Cole's..."

I was absolutely beside myself. The last time we were in Portland was August. It has been nearly a year since Shelf was home. After all this time, God answered our prayer! I began stalking the mailman until the fateful day that an oversized envelope appeared in our box. Acting nonchalant (but frantically pulling out my camera), I tossed it to Cole and told him he had a package....

God absolutely heard our prayer. All of our many, many prayers. I'm so thankful that we didn't find Shelf right away, and that we were forced to wait all those months, because I know now that Cole will never forget the day that Shelfy came home. He has surety now that the Lord heard him, and answered him.....even though the answer didn't come quickly. And I am so blessed, at my deepest core, that he has this foundational truth within him now. I can't imagine that he will ever ask in faith for anything the rest of his life, without remembering this moment, when his God heard him.