Tuesday, December 16, 2008

(Silent) Stars of the Show

So the "Wee Ones" sang some Christmas songs in "Big Church" this week, and two of mine were given rather prominent places. Too bad they never even opened their mouths!! You'd never believe it, but we had actually practiced standing and singing that song like 5 times at home. Oh, well, at least the other pastor's 2 kids were equally close-lipped... Good thing they're cute! Notice Miss B and her friend in the way way back, performing their little hearts out!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trimming the Tree

The Ringmaster came home from work tonight with a tree over his shoulder. For the three older kiddos, this meant a time of unbridled Christmas enthusiasm and joy. We pumped up the Ella Fitzgerald, unwrapped a bin full of ornaments, and had a room full of giggles and shouts of delight.

For Jake, however, it was training time. It's tough to be nine months old at Christmas, with a family who insists on placing a huge, shining, sparkling Source of Temptation in the middle of the most-used room in the house.

The Touch

The Slap

The Indignation

Merry Christmas, Jake!

Meanwhile, the others merrily set about decorating the tree. In our house, the very last thing we do is put the star on the tree. Year after year, this is the coveted privilege, and last year it caused--well, let's just say it proved the reason we all needed a Savior! This year, bracing myself for the worst, I asked Nathan, "Who should put on the Christmas star this year?" Big blue-eyes answered sweetly, "Julia should." Gasp. Did I just hear that? "No," says Julia, "Nathan should get to do it this year." As Dave and I tried to recover from shock, they both stood there, smiling angelically, and I could almost hear the heavenly host singing... or was that Ella? Truly this is a season of miracles.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where a dad can be a kid (again)

On Friday we made a trip to the "sort-of big city." Facing a two-week deadline to get all of our Christmas shopping done (we're celebrating early this year), and with very few local options, we headed out to Topeka and spent an entire day dashing from store to store. The kids were such good sports that we decided to rock their worlds and take them to Chuck E Cheese! It was a first for five of us, the Ringmaster being the only CEC veteran among us, but he was more than happy to show us the ropes!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Miss B's way with words

"Dear Lord, I praise You for being very righteous and shiny."

(After I had been encouraging her about the fruit I've been seeing in her life) "It was so much easier to not sin when I was four. Now that I'm five, it's way harder."

Mama: "What was the name of the ship that took the Pilgrims to America?"

Miss B: "The Cauliflower!"

Miss B: "Satan was trying to tempt me the other day, but I hid from him, and he couldn't."
Mama: "Oh? Where did you hide?"
Miss B: "Behind the basketball hoop."

Monday, November 10, 2008

The month in review...

So I kinda dropped out of the blogosphere for a while there. Consider this my re-entry into the world of virtual communication with unknown recipients! First, a quick pictorial month-in-review. In October we...

discovered the wonderful world of K'nex and quickly became obsessed...
...spent lots and lots and lots of time in the dirt...

...escaped to Ventura for a little getaway...
...became soul mates with Grandpa's new dog...
...made new friends...
...charmed all the neighbors...
...celebrated a big birthday...
...decided remote-control helicopters are way cool...
...and treasured our brief together times.

And now we're back home where, after rearranging our entire bottom floor (don't ask), we're starting to feel settled. There's no place like home, there's no place like home...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beach day!

Since Dave was visiting us in Burbank for a few days, we decided to rent a van and do some fun, vacation-like things and take advantage of our exile in California!! We spent a day in Malibu and had a picture-perfect time!

Nathan, dodging the waves--he was pretty brave and had some mean body-surfing moves!

The ringmaster, enjoying the surf

Yeah, he had that much fun. The beach is no place for a super-mobile, crawling/cruising/everything-in-the-mouth baby!

Ammo spent the day making sure she looked just right.
And avoiding all contact with the waves!

Miss B, after reading "The Rescuers", has been obsessed with messages in bottles, and has spent the last week or so composing dozens of SOS notes and sticking them in every recycle-bin item she could lay her hands on. Imagine her delight when we told her she could actually throw this one into the sea!

She quickly realised that it is harder than it looks to actually get the waves to take the bottle OUT to sea. So she got to practice her sidearm for quite a while. Finally, she just left the bottle on the shore, and made up stories about the kids who would find the note... You've never met a more imaginative kid. She's a little Anne Shirley.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Days at the Park

We've been spending our days at the many parks in Burbank... here are a few recent pics!
Miss B, our monkey

Ammo, who has recently discovered the joy of slides

This kid has become a serious dirt magnet. If his face isn't properly smudged, it's a sure sign that it's been a rather dull day.

Fun with friends!

No longer neighbors, but still great friends!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Bubble

My allergist at KU Med said that if you put an allergic person in a bubble, she can go about life like everyone else. So am I actually going to wear this thing? Well, if that's what I have to do in order to go outside my home, yes. You may laugh now, but just think: this mask, coupled with the decade-long shelf life of my "special" food, puts me in very good shape if we're ever nuked! Maybe some of you should consider investing in a nifty pink mask...

Look Who's Mobile!

6 months old and he's on the move! This kid is as strong as an ox (he pulled over the ironing board a week ago) and NEVER STOPS!!! He tries to feed himself with a spoon, holds his own bottle, and sits up to play. YIKES!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Well-said, Watson

"Though we should be desirous of doing service here, yet we should be ambitious of being with Christ. We should be content to live, but willing to die." Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Daddy Workout

Who needs a gym membership when you've got kids?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Miss B's first day of school!

I don't care if she didn't actually go anywhere, we took first-day-of-school pictures anyway!! We figured that since August is such a hot, muggy stay-inside-a-lot month, we'd go ahead and knock out some of the required 180 days a little early! That way, we can take some guilt-free time off when guests come to stay, or we just want some time off. Ah, the beauty and flexibility of homeschool.

Our day, by the way, looked remarkably similar to every other day of our life: Bible reading and memorization, time outside, art, reading good books together, poetry, singing, gentle math games... I'm a big believer in letting kids be kids when they're 5 years old!
Her sibs, of course, want to be right where she is, doing whatever she's doing. Apparently when you're in Kindergarten, you've really arrived.

Vacation Report

We're home from Idaho! A quick week-in-review: Lots of...

quality time in airports

lap time with grandparents
best-friend-becoming with cousins competitive card games

amusing bowling moments

tasty concoctions when the kids took over the kitchen (with Aunt supervision, of course!)

new friends made and old friends visited

and, of course, many memories to hold us over until the next time! Thanks for having us out, Mom & Dad!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The best toy is a cardboard box

When I look at this box, I see trash to be collapsed and recycled. So far, my kids have seen

a boat

a car

the belly of a whale

a fiery furnace

an oven

a jail

a house

a badger cage

a tank

a fort

a helicopter

a straw, then stick, then brick, house

Tarzan's tree house

Don't you wish you had that much fun with the recycling?

Monday, July 7, 2008

No 'Bread and Jam for Frances'!

Now I don't know about you, but when I think of a badger, I get an image of a cute and cuddly children's storybook character. So when Dave came in from work and announced with a hint of alarm in his voice that we had a badger in the front yard, my first reaction was, "cool! Let's take the kids out to look!" which shows just how much I don't know about the local fauna. Apparently badgers are ferocious little devils who will defend themselves viciously, attacking much larger animals when they feel threatened.

This little guy was cuddled up by our front porch, making himself right at home, and causing the neighbors to gather a safe distance away and collectively bite their nails.

The local Animal Control dude had closed up shop for the day, so lucky for us, we have friends in interesting places. Dr. Dorsey (a vet) came out and captured our furry friend

and took him far away from our tasty little kiddos. (Apparently he's used to such things--just ask him about the time he got the call about a lion in a basement!)

Good thing I didn't spot the badger first and take the kiddos out to pet him... =)