24 November 2008

My Girl Is So Big

Last night, we crossed some sort of line--a Charis-Is-Getting-Old line.

This fall, she began taking part in Wee Praisers, a kids' choir for 4 and 5 year-olds. Since she's not doing any sort of organized preschool beyond what we do at home with games and worksheets and projects and stuff, I've been trying to give her ample opportunity to learn how to "do" school--namely, the Sitting Still part and the Following Instructions part. Besides the obvious outlets like Library Storytime, she does several hours of Sunday School every Sunday morning, Gopher Buddies on Wednesday nights (where I am her teacher--but that's fodder for another post), and Wee Praisers on Sunday nights. I love her teacher, Mrs. Marcia, and Charis is in Mallory D.'s group. She LOVES Mallory. On Wednesday nights, I'm able to watch how Charis interacts with others and with her teachers, and I can witness firsthand how she performs the Sitting Still and Following Instructions tasks (um...let's just call it a Work In Progress.). But with the other groups, I must observe from afar, asking questions of the teachers to better grasp Charis' status and development.

Our attendance at Wee Praisers has been a little bit spotty, so I wasn't sure how well Charis would do in the first Wee Praisers performance this past Sunday night, but I was really looking forward to catching a glimpse of what she'd been learning there. We rehearsed her script in the car on the way to church, and there were several parts that she didn't seem to know. I'd start: "Psalm 100. Shout for..."

And she'd answer: "JOY!"

"To the..."


"All the..."


"Worship the..."


"No, Lord. Worship the Lord with...."


"No, gladness...."

And so on and so on. I told her that if there was any part she did not know, she should just stand still and let the other children say it for her--I could almost picture her in the mini-concert, not knowing the words, tugging the sleeve of one of the helpers: "Mallory! I DON'T KNOW THIS ONE! WORSHIP THE SEA!"

We also talked about standing still and not running around the stage. Again, I watched a video of this in my head, and it seemed an all-too-likely possibility.

During the rehearsal before the "concert," I shot a whole bunch of not-very-good pictures to document the occasion. I was so proud that my little girl was old enough to be singing about how Jesus Loves her, how All Ye Little Children should Praise Him, because God is Love. I was thrilled that there were portions of Scripture that she could recite. I love it when she hides God's Word in her heart! My heart swelled. Oh, there were funny moments during the rehearsal, like when Mallory let Charis go to the bathroom and Charis returned with the front of her dress tucked into her tights. Charis crossed the entire stage before God and everybody until some kind soul noticed the wardrobe malfunction and helped her out. But all-in-all, it went very well. I was so excited to see the whole thing during the actual service.

I saved a front-row seat for Abe and I to occupy, the closest I could get to my little girl acting so grown up. Abe asked if I really thought it was a good idea to be where she could see us. He was watching a mental video where she jumped off the stage to come say hi and talked to us during all of the songs: "Daddy! I worship the SEA!"

When she came out onto the stage, she of course waved. She was being so grown-up, so ladylike! Then the boy next to her lifted his shirt, exposing his belly. Uh-oh. We hadn't covered this in the car. Abe and I exchanged anxious glances. We knew it was only a matter of time until she did this:

That's our girl. She did not disappoint.

At one point, during a particularly long portion of Scripture--or maybe it was during the Doxology, which she didn't know (we were probably gone the week they learned that one)--she went and stood behind the girl to her right, much to Mallory's consternation. Charis considered it a game, and I considered crawling under the pew in shame. Not really. It's all pretty funny when you're dealing with 4 year olds.

But for me, the absolute highlight came at the end of the Wee Praisers' rendition of "My God is so BIG."

Where did she learn that?? Yes, Charis. Take your bow, little girl. What a joy you are to watch grow!

10 November 2008

You Were There

Like everybody, I have good days and I have bad days. On bad days, I listen to this song, and it is one reminder that I am never walking through life alone. My friend Sue sang this at church a long time ago, and I cried when she sang it. I still cry every time I hear it. Here are the lyrics--I hope they speak to your heart today.

You Were There (by Avalon)

I wonder how it must have felt
When David stood to face Goliath on a hill
I imagine that he shook with all his might
Until You took his hand, and held on tight

'Cause You were there, You were there
In the midst of danger's snare
You were there, You were there always
You were there when the hardest fight
Seemed so out of reach
Oh, You were there, You were always there
You were always there

So there he stood upon that hill
Abraham with knife in hand was poised to kill
But God in all his sovereignty had bigger plans
And just in time, You brought a lamb

'Cause You were there,
You were there
In the midst of the unclear
You were there, you were there always
You were there when obedience
Seemed to not make sense
You were there, You were always there
You were always there

So haven't I learned that my ways
Aren't as high as Yours are
And You alone keep the universe
From crumbling into dust
You are God and though we would
Not have understood You
There You were

Hanging blameless on a cross
You would rather die than leave us in the dark
Every moment, every planned coincidence
Just all makes sense
With Your last breath

You were there, You were there
During history's darkest hour
You were there, You were there always
You were the Victor and the King
You were the power in David's swing
You were the calm in Abraham
You are the God who understands
You are the strength when we have none
You are the living, Holy one
You were, You are and You will always be
the Risen Lamb of God

You were, You are and You will always be
The Risen Lamb of God

08 November 2008


Dear, sweet Ruby. I haven't posted pictures of her for a while, so I thought it was high time I gave you an update on her.

A) She's a delight. She's so easy going, it's amazing! Sure, she cries when she's tired or frustrated, but since we keep so a fairly consistent routine, I can usually anticipate her needs before she can, thus avoiding a lot of tears.

2) She will not have blue eyes. The jury is still out on whether they will be green or brown, but I'm almost positive they will end up on the brown side of the spectrum.

III) She has words. My favorite is "ugrb," followed by "eeek."

F) She cackles in delight. Just a few days ago, I let out a big breath--HUH--and she thought it was almost as funny as the cat.

5) She is teething. It may be a while before we see evidence, but the drool and the incessant gnawing is proof enough. Charis, who, by the calendar, was born four days earlier, sprouted her first tooth on Thanksgiving day, and Judah's first popped out two weeks earlier than that, so it's time!

F) She sucks her thumb. At first, she'd get her thumb in her mouth with an open hand that would cover her face. Now, she's more experienced, and she hooks her pointer finger over her nose like a pro.

vi) She is so smiley. It makes some people feel special that they can "get her to smile," but I'm here to tell you that it's no mean feat. Toast can make her smile.

M) She's rolling from tummy to back, and she can scoot quite a ways with her legs, so we have to be very careful if we put her on a bed--we surround her with a barricade of pillows, and even then, she sometimes sneaks through!

45) She's fascinated by books. I'll sit her in my lap when I read to Charis or Judah, and she sits there, mesmerized by the pictures. Hopefully, she'll be a reader!

?) She's tall for our family--at her 4-month check up, she measured in the 60th percentile for height, and the 50th for weight. She's currently perfect in most of her 3-6 month clothes, but some are a bit snug at the feet.

[) She's just about the most popular person everywhere we go. There's just something about a cute, smooshy baby.

Case in point:

Several weeks ago, we attended the wedding of Abe's cousin. My parents came in for the event, too--not to attend, but to hang out with our kids while we went. The wedding ceremony was outdoors at the bride's parents' house, but the reception, several hours later, was held at the Country Club. Still, since she doesn't take a bottle, I couldn't NOT take Ruby, so she tagged along to the fancy reception.

The bride, Abby? She is a BIG Ruby fan. Huge. She came over several times during the reception to hold Ruby, and I wasn't about to turn her down, it being her day and all. Thankfully, Ruby didn't urp on her lovely shoulder or dress.

But then, people started clinking their glasses. Abby and Doug had been at far ends of the room, and convened near the head table for the customary kiss...only, she brought a friend. Ruby. I'd say that, with the exception of the HILARIOUS toast given by one of the "bridesmaids" (he was a guy, and not only did he use the word "bedazzled" in his speech, he also sang a ditty from The Music Man. We were in tears with laughter), this moment was about the highlight of the reception. The bride and groom say that they want to wait before they introduce children into their family, but I'm not so sure.

But make no mistake: while others may borrow her, she belongs to us! And we're not giving her up!

03 November 2008

Who Is This Girl?

Another entry from the "Where'd That Come From" file:

Judah's nightlight came up missing tonight. We had speculated about where it might be, we had looked under the bed, we had looked in toy boxes and in every nook and cranny we could think of, when finally, Charis had the answer.

"Oh, I know who took it," she said knowingly. "It was those three monsters. You know, the ones that talk to me?"

We apparently looked concerned, so she assured us that "They are nice monsters." She nodded for effect.

I asked what their names were. "Oh, Hone, Shon, and Pong. They're really nice."

I'm not making this up, but I think she is...

In Some Countries, It's a Delicacy

Charis was keeping Ruby company while I put Judah down for a nap. From downstairs, I heard her say, "Ruby just urped, and I need a burp rag!"

"Okay, sweetie. I'll be right there," I replied, not sensing any urgency in her voice. "We'll get you cleaned up and put a new shirt on."

"No, mom!" She scampered up the stairs, giggling. "She urped right in my MOUTH! And I didn't like how it tasted! I didn't like it at all!"

I suspect that's an understatement.

When we were back downstairs, she looked over at her baby sister and said in a very motherly tone, "Try not to do that again, Roo."