Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Really. Truly. Cold.

Here are the facts:

Bitter cold this morning with 8 A.M. temperatures around -9 below (wind-chill -23 below) then 0 degrees (wind-chill -11 below) at noon and +4 degrees (wind-chill -9 below) at sunset (4:33 P.M.). Winds today will be from the East-Southeast at 5 to 10 mph.

We encountered our first ever frozen pipe today, which was thankfully thawed by my hair dryer. I bundled up in my coat-that-looks-like-I'm-wearing-a-down-comforter and headed off for a hair cut this morning. The traction control system on the van was working overtime, and I saw a car that had obviously skidded off the road and right into the side of our local library. I also saw kids jumping up and down to warm themselves as they waited for the school bus. I recalled being "cold" in Southern California when it would sometimes be in the 40's as I waited for the bus in high school. Little did I know what it means to be *cold.*

Friday, December 05, 2008

Mercies, Great and Small

Today we are drowning in used Kleenex, children's Tylenol, and (adult) Benadryl. A nasty cold has descended upon us. I am the only member of the household who remains unaffected, which is a tremendous blessing considering the fact that I spent the entire day with a screaming one year old glued to my hip. We were forced to ask our small group from church to relocate tonight's meeting (normally held in our home), as Wes seemed destined for a trip to urgent care. As it turns out, though, he improved quite a bit this evening and calmed down enough to play a bit and pad around the house in his Christmas jammies. I was grateful for this small mercy, and we were all happy to see the snow falling beautifully outside just before we tucked the kids in for the night.

Speaking of mercy, I ran across this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and felt it should be passed along:

"A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes - and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thankful, Thankful

Our Thanksgiving Day was quiet and lovely. Joel has been working through the typical insanity that surrounds grocery establishments at holiday times, and so we decided to spend the day at home -- just the five of us. We started the day with some special breakfast foods and a viewing of the Macy's parade. Corrie was enthused beyond measure to see Ariel dancing around on roller skates in her fantastic bikini costume during a performance from The Little Mermaid Broadway show. Jack glanced at a couple of balloons, but otherwise entertained himself by bouncing around the room. Wes, as he typically does these days, entertained himself by trying to climb on any stationary object in the vicinity.

After the parade viewing went by the wayside, we gathered the kids and had them tell us what they are thankful for this year. We started a "Thankfulness Book" with them last year, thinking that it would be fun to look back at their responses in the future. This year, the items included Mommy, Daddy, grandparents, and birds. This reminds me . . . Corrie came back from our home school co-op last week with a thankfulness tree. On each leaf she had written something that she is thankful for. I looked over the leaves, smiling at each sweet thing she had said, until I saw a leaf with "Corrie" written on it. I asked her if she was thankful for herself, and she replied, "of course." Can't say we haven't endowed the child with a good sense of self-esteem.

After some rest, and a viewing of the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, we enjoyed a very tasty turkey and some nice side dishes, including one outstanding green bean dish with a butter and white wine sauce. The children ate very little of our exciting feast, though Corrie did eat a copious amount of cranberry sauce. We had pumpkin pie for desert, and we all watched Jack as he very meticulously ate all of the whipped cream off of his slice without tasting one bit of the pie.

We always miss being far away from our families on days like this, but it was a good time of laughing with our kids, feasting together, and pondering all that we have to be thankful for.

Corrie is currently fascinated by pilgrims.
Jack enjoying his breakfast. Or is he? And can someone please explain to me why my children cannot keep their food on the plate? Notice the runaway bacon.

Wes is happy and ready to eat.
Bring on the food.