31 January 2009

So, Anyway...

Things here are good.

Okay, I was trying to think of a sentence to follow that, and I thought, Are things really good here? I'm on antibiotics for one thing, our oven isn't functional, I've got a bum knee, and thanks to the booming economy, my husband was laid off on Thursday. We've had a lean year financially because of last year's layoff and my preterm labor and multiple hospitalizations, which makes it even more difficult to be laid off right now.

To top off all of the chocolatey goodness, our satellite is out, so we WON'T HAVE TV UNTIL SUNDAY. Things do not seem good. They do not seem good at all.

While we do not have a job or a whole lot of money or access to the Food Network at present, we do have:

A warm house
Clean clothes to wear (thanks to a dear lady from church who came to help with laundry)
Plenty of food to eat (thanks to two wonderful church ladies who brought meals, and because we have 1/4 of a cow in our freezer)
Happy, healthy kids
A healthy marriage
Lots of friends and family

God provides all that we need, when we need it. He has never left us on our own, and He has taught us through this past challenging year that He is always faithful. (Though, to be fair, I'VE GOT IT. YOU'RE FAITHFUL. I'D LIKE TO COAST ON THAT FOR A WHILE.) So, to sum up...

Things are good. Oh yes, they are.


Charis is as charming and exuberant as always. We're spending more and more time these days learning letters, numbers, and phonics in an attempt to ready her for Kindergarten. She loves going to her classes at church, and seems pleased that I am no longer her teacher. Right back atcha, kid! She says hilarious things, though her vocabulary is somewhat limited, lately, to the words poop and pee. And just today, she suggested we watch the movie about "the big green yogurt and his friend, Donkey. I like that yogurt. He's funny." Charis is well-spoken, wonderfully quirky, and confident in who she is! Sometimes she makes me want to strangle her, but she also holds a very tender place in my heart and I can get a little bit teary just looking at her precious self when I tuck her in before I go to bed. Just now, she has on her dad's big old snow boots: "I'm the Stamp Stamp Crush Woman!! Does that make sense?"

Judah is getting taller and taller and has, to a certain extent, put aside the quiet toddler portion of his personality, and seems to have embraced his inner chatterbox. He also seems to be turning into Charis in a few ways. He does put his own spin on things, though. When Charis prays for dinner, she almost always says, "Thank you for this food, thank you for this day, Amen." Judah squeezes his eyes shut and says some variation of "Thank you for Jesus, thank you for dinner, thank you for the snow, thank you for Daddy, thank you for the Christmas tree, thank you for my class. Amen." He, too, likes his classes--that is, after he has finished his mini-meltdown when we drop him off. Today, he is dressed like a bumble bee and loving it, but most of the time, he eschews costumes for his trucks and "engie fires." If I had a nickel for every person who expressed their love for Judah, we'd be incredibly wealthy. Just now, he is singing: "Here is pointin', here is pointin'. Here I'm is, here I'm is. How are you today? Run away, Charis. Run away, Charis."

Ruby is our squishable baby doll. We're all fans. When she wakes, Judah races over to his "RUBY BELLE!" Charis likes to help her "crawl" during her tummy time. Ruby can sit on her own, unattended. She does topple occasionally, but she always makes it look like she meant to do it. She can scoot on her belly, but only backwards, and is beginning to love food (namely carrots and peaches. She's not such a fan of peas). Her tear duct is still plugged, which I am OVER. I am not over waiting for teeth; at seven months, she has gone longer without teeth than either of our other kids. Maybe she doesn't have any. Time will tell.

And us? We're okay. We've got electricity to the addition, which means that instead of going down into the basement with a flashlight, I can just flip light switches on my way down. And my kitchen has 5 delightful can lights that illuminate our worksurfaces. Laaaaaaaahhhhh! Abe's mom is helping us paint the addition, which will then give way to flooring, then trim, then hallelujah, we're pretty much done. For now. And besides that, it's naptime for the kids, which means a few minutes of quiet.

What more can we ask?

22 January 2009

Hidey Ho, Neighbor

First: I got a new camera. It was a steal on eBay and will fill the gap until I win the lottery and can afford the digital SLR I've been coveting. It will be especially useful when I can find the cord that came with it and upload some of the photos I've taken. I'd like to pretend that this level of disorganization that precludes me from including more pictures on this blog extends only to my photographic life, but that would be a lie. Currently, I cannot find the envelope full of money and checks people submitted to me for Volleyball League fees, and lost forever is the receipt for the fleece sweatshirt I got for Abe's Gran for Christmas. Turns out she needs to exchange it for a larger size. I am SO in trouble.

So, you know, until I find said cord and organize my life, can you just ponder this imaginary cute photo of Ruby?

She's a doll, isn't she? I agree. Look at those browner-by-the-minute eyes, and her 25th-percentile chunky thighs, and-oh!-that smile! She's been sleeping through the night regularly, so we're all very happy. Next, check out this photo of the kids taken by Olan Mills for our church's pictorial directory:

Why did Charis feel she had to stick out her tongue? And why is Judah scowling? Whenever we say "Don't smile!" at home, it results in a huge grin--why did he choose picture day to begin following directions? And similarly, why isn't Ruby smiling? I was doing all of my best tricks--blowing raspberries, chanting "Ruuuu-by" in an embarrasing sing-song voice, telling her favorite joke ("bababababa")--but...nothing. Sigh. At least we didn't feel too guilty when the picture salesman put on his "crestfallen" face when we informed him we'd just take our one free picture (un-retouched, no less) and be on our way.

In other news, we had our first official volleyball game this Tuesday night. I was so excited about it, I went ahead and blew out my knee. I've been hobbling around on crutches ever since, and my knee is swollen to the size of a Volkswagon. I was able to put a little bit of weight on it this morning, but I've been sitting here at the computer getting caught up, and I'm afraid it has seized up again. Back to the drawing board...

And finally, the most exciting news of all: I feel that Charis is on the cusp of beginning a life with Jesus! She has been asking tons of questions about Jesus and heaven, and has even brought home a few tracts from church (which she calls her "little books") that have sparked quite a few conversations. Pray for her understanding, and pray for me as I try to make salvation clear to her.