Saturday, December 27, 2008


This week has been a comedy of errors, but sometimes the best times are also the craziest. Our good friends, Jason and Jessica, welcomed their third little one, Leeland, into the world. Isn't he cute? 7 lbs 13 oz and 20 inches.
Their other two kids hung out with us while they waited for the new little guy. The kids had a lot of fun, but unfortunately, they all decided it would be good to get a stomach bug too. They're dropping like flies, one at a time. I'm washing and bleaching and Lysoling and wishing we had two washing machines. At any rate, we're just hoping the new baby doesn't catch anything, and that his parents steer clear of it too. Adults seem safe so far.

We were supposed to take dinner to share with the new parents on Thursday evening, but just as we were turning the corner to their house, Justin got sick. Evan was in the car seat next to him saying, "Get me out of the car, Mommy, get me out of the car right now." Anyway, so much for our pleasant "meet the baby" time. As you can see, Justin is missing from the picture. He's standing in their bathroom getting hosed down. We left as soon as we could.

The two older boys were next (Carsten had his turn earlier in the week.) They were up during the night, so we just sort of sacked out in front of TV and watched The Love Bug today. They love Herbie, especially Nathan, our car fanatic.
I think we may be past all of this, although Megan hasn't caught anything yet. We're definitely staying home from church tomorrow in an attempt to keep all of these germs safely to ourselves.

At any rate, we're hoping to get to welcome baby Leeland properly once all of this settles down. The kids fell in love with him in just the few minutes we were over there. They couldn't believe how little he was. They're already angling for another sister (or brother). Evan says he will ask God in a "smallish voice, because God listens to a still, smallish voice." :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Austin Pics

For some reason my internet connection is REALLY slow and spotty in the morning. That's a real pain for me because early in the morning is when I get things done. Anyway, I couldn't post the pictures earlier, so here they are:

Trip to Austin

We’ve decided not to take an actual vacation this year, choosing instead to do a couple of day trips. This summer, we went to the Coast for a day at the beach, and yesterday, we went to Austin.

We had planned to leave at about 7:30 in the morning and stop for breakfast on the road. It’s only about an hour away, so that would get us to the capitol around 9 or 10. Well, the best laid plans…

One of the kids (Justin, most likely) had left the lights on inside the van and run the battery down. Bryan was able to jump start it and then went driving around for about half an hour just to make sure that there wasn’t something wrong with the actual battery. There wasn’t, so we got underway by about 8:30. Fortunately, we were going by ourselves so we weren’t inconveniencing anyone else.

The kids ate a snack before we left, and we had a great breakfast in Austin. An interesting side note about Austin: I used to love going to Austin when Bryan and I were dating and first married. There are neat shops and restaurants and parks. But we really haven’t been back since having kids. Austin is certainly NOT a city designed for big families. All of the restaurants are tiny and our family just about overwhelmed the one we stopped at. And, while in San Antonio we generally get a very positive reaction to our crew, we got several very contemptuous looks from people. I guess “Yes we can” doesn’t apply to raising God’s most precious little people. Anyway…

We had a great time seeing the Capitol building. The kids were very impressed by the grandness of it all. Evan leaned out between the bars to look down into the rotunda and nearly gave me a heart attack. You’ll see in the picture that Megan stayed at a much more sensible distance. (She did eventually take a quick peek over the edge.) There was even an orchestra performing!

We also went to the visitor’s center where they got to watch a little video about the building and dress up like cowboys. That was, of course, the highlight of Justin’s day.

When we got back home, we all chilled out for a few minutes and then Bryan lit a fire. (We had a high of 40 yesterday, so it was quite nippy.) I made a gallon of applesauce (froze half) and latkes for the first night of Chanukah and we capped off the day with some S’mores, roasting the marshmallows over the fire. All in all, it was a great day and we really enjoyed it. Now, we’ve got a couple of weeks off of school, and everyone’s looking forward to the break (especially Mommy!). I’ve got a couple of projects planned- I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Searching for Pencils

Well, this is my first blog, so the pressure is on. After all, it ought to be something profound, something that encapsulates the essence of our family. Something to pass on to future generations...

Or maybe I should just start. Yesterday morning started like any other. I got up, exercised, prayed and read my Bible while sipping a cup of tea, took a shower, and then, the kids got up. I love winter mornings when they come padding in in their footy jammies.

We try to start school at 8, and usually we're successful in that. Nathan and Megan head upstairs to do 20 or 30 minutes of independent work while I finish cleaning up the kitchen and getting the little boys ready for the day. They marched upstairs at precisely 8 AM, and then, everything came to a screeching halt, as it often does.

Pencils. There are no sharpened pencils. Not in the schoolroom, not in the office, not anywhere in the house. And the pencil sharpener is apparently gone too. Now, you must understand, I have bought pencils- a whole big box of 100 for the start of our school year 15 weeks ago. And I've bought sharpeners- 5, to be precise. Everything from fancy electric ones to simple basic ones. Three have broken (they don't make things like they used to) and one has been lost. Well, make that two. The latest is officially MIA.

Pencils, I believe, cause more stress and chaos in our home than any other item or situation. To paraphrase James, "How small a thing sets the whole morning on fire." But this particular morning, we all took a collective deep breath, and set about to solve the problem in a way that would honor the Lord. I found three not very sharp, but still serviceable pencils- one for each child who would be doing school- and we got started. (Woe to the child who chews on his pencil and breaks it in half...)

Maybe this situation is more profound than it seems. After all, it's something that seems just out of my control. At the beginning of the year, I was determined that we would never, ever, ever be without pencils. We would have pencils and sharpeners everywhere. But despite my best efforts, pencils (and sharpeners) disappear into thin air. It's a test, I'm pretty sure.

Now, I'm happy to report that I have located the missing sharpener. It was in the accordion folder where we keep all of our paper. No one put it there. It just walked there on its own. Either that or maybe the baby did it. Poor Carsten is the only one who can't talk, so he gets blamed for just about everything.

Today, I'm going to focus on trying to see things as God sees them. Inconsequential things can build character and make us a stronger for the big things that come up.