Monday, January 26, 2009

in the car, this morning...

Brynn: Mommy, you know my friend Lauren?
Me: Yes.
Brynn: Well, did you know that Lauren had an elephant? In her house?
Me: No, I don't think I did know that.
Brynn: Yeah. And it went stomping all over the whole house in all the rooms, wrecking everything!
Me: Oh no! Mrs. Jennifer must have been very upset.
Brynn: Yeah. Cause it stomped all through the kitchen and broke everything and ruined all their food and they don't have anything left.
Me: What are they going to do?
Brynn: I don't know! Everything is broken and there is no food!
Me: Maybe we could help.
Brynn: We should give them some money.
Me: That's a good idea. Or we could find out something that the elephant broke, and we could get them a new one, like a toaster.
Brynn: (studying my face) Mommy, are you teasing?
Me: It's not really teasing Brynn, more like pretending. Aren't you pretending?
Brynn: No! There really was an elephant! A mean one that broke everything.
Me: I like this pretending, so I know about the elephant.
Brynn: (somewhat satisfied) I think they should get a smaller, nicer one next time.
Me: You tell Lauren that.
Brynn: I will.

In other news, Katy is talking up a storm. Every day she uses new words I didn't know she even knew. Window. Backpack. McDonalds. Sunday night when Jim got home from a church meeting she asked him politely: "Daddy, fun at church?" She talks as much if not more than Brynn did at the same age. And folks, that is saying something. Crazy. And so fun.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Circle Time 1/15/09

Our Bible story today was on the good samaritan. I got some little people out and used them to act out the scene... bad robbers beating up the jewish man, priests and Levites coming by but looking the other way instead of meeting the man's need, and finally the man's own enemy showing compassion and making personal sacrifice to provide care for this victim. I talked about our Bible verse, "Do good to all people," and explained that Jesus wants all his children to do good things to our friends, our brothers and sisters, our parents, our teachers (oh yeah, I went there), and especially people who were different from us, even enemies. The children seemed more engaged than usual, probably because of the visual aids I used to explain everything. So I was feeling pretty good about getting this important message into their hearts. I summed up by saying something like, "If we love Jesus, it is so important that we obey him, and try to do good to all people, whoever they are, and even if it seems hard to try to help them. We don't want to be like those priests who said they loved Jesus but just walked by the hurt man because they didn't want to help. Do you understand?"

Sweet Hannah looked up at me with big eyes and said, "Mrs. Lori.." I hoped I would be able to answer whatever question she might ask about the story. She smiled big and said so slowly, "I have..." She lifted the cuff of her jeans. "...bunny socks!"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Holiday Highlights

(in chronological order)

1. Brynn's preschool Christmas program. We were one of many families juggling small siblings while trying to record video of our young performer (easily the cutest on stage) singing her heart out and ringing bells. We eat this stuff up!

2. Christmas at my brother's house in IL. Jenny made her famous lasagna (my favorite)--not to mention delicious sides and appetizers--and we all sat down together for a meal before letting the kids tear into the presents. Grandma got back into town just in time to join us, and it was a great night being with family. It ended too quickly. I also got to spend a lot of time with mom...dipping pretzels and rolling Oreo balls, so that was an added bonus.

3. Christmas Eve Open House at our place. I wasn't sure what to expect this year, but we had our largest attendance so far, around 27 people. Most of our Mt. Freedom regulars were there, and some new friends came by too... it was just wonderful to be with friends and celebrate the season and the hope we have because of it. We are so blessed by the friends God has given us.

4. Christmas morning. There is just nothing like it. Our girls had a ball, but we probably had even more fun than they did. Katy's favorite was her $5 Pooh stool, just like her sister's Dora one. And Brynn loved her bike (thanks Hewitts!), and is still riding it around the kitchen table several times a day. Watch out, or you will get run over.

5. Christmas with the Wells. We have a tradition of joining up around noon for homemade pizza and lots of holiday laying around on sofas. It's awesome. This year was certainly different, without Christy. I knew it would be hard, but it was much more difficult than I expected. So many times, its like I can imagine the things she would have said, the laughter, how she would have enjoyed giving her gifts and watching the kids open theirs. The silence can just be deafening. Not that the rest of us are silent, but its the space her words would have used up. Nothing else seems to be able to fill them. We went to the cemetery, and I was glad we did. As hard as that afternoon was at times, there is no where else I would have rather been.

6. Christmas with the Barkleys. We rode to PA in style this year, with a beautiful blue (rented) Toyota 4Runner. The sound system was a beautiful thing, and there was space enough that we didn't feel the girls' feet at the back of our necks. We appreciate our car (it's paid for!), but this was just a nice treat. We had a fun gift exchange with Jim's parents, and then Aunt Helen came down (or is it up?) for the big gift exchange we do with the extended family. This is always a fun time, especially for me as my family has never had a tradition like this. Jim's mom made a special Christmas dinner the next day and the Steelers shut-out the Browns... so that was a pretty perfect day all around. :)

7. Home. As great as everything has been, its so good to have the Christmas stuff put away and the house in order (well, for us). Jim had another four days off here at home, and that was really wonderful and relaxing for all of us. He's back to work today and Brynn was back at preschool... so we are slowly getting back into the regular routine, and recovering from all the travel.

Hope you all had a good Christmas as well!