Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Covenant Family

Today was the first "last....". For the last four years, Tuesday morning has meant going to the women's Bible study. (I really don't like the Women in the Church or WIC term. We need another name!)
At first, I was a bit reluctant to join this group. The first week I walked in, 8 months prego with the girl, Hilda yelled out my name and a "You're here!!" thoroughly embarrassing me. Already a sad that all my friends were back at school teaching and I was starting a new phase of stay-at-home mom, I didn't know what to do with myself in this group of ladies in the middle of the day in the middle of the week.

Since that first day though, WIC has grown into a central part of my life. It's been a primary means of social connection (pastries and coffee in the morning, Chick-Fil-A nuggets afterward), a respite in a busy morning with munchkins, a time of learning and growth through Bible study that keeps me in the Word and accountable, and a rich time of interacting with women of all ages and stages.
In the past year or so, Women's Ministry has been the primary avenue for service in the church as I joined the board as a communications person and then gradually elbowed my way into a role in the Bible study and teaching part. This semester, I even taught a few weeks--YIKES! Incredibly intimidating teaching to a room of women all older and much wiser than I but I also enjoyed it and thought maybe I may have even made sense a time or two. I got a reminder of myself in a role that I used to do (every day even) and a glimpse of what I may get to do later on.

So today, while I cut ribbons and punched out name tags for our upcoming VBS, I was grateful for the friendships and the connections that this ministry has meant to me. And, after dropping not-so-subtle hints to our Children's Ministry Director, she presented me with the beautiful quilt of God's promises that two fabulous, incredibly talented ladies make for new moms. I really wanted one for this little guy and even more so once I knew we were leaving. I know the picture is hard to see, but each square represents a promise of God. In the corners are depictions of what God ordained--His Word, the family, community, and the Church. Between those are pictures of His gifts--food, creation, music, and "you," the soon-to-be here baby. In the middle, represented by the lamb, is His Son, Jesus. I'm blessed to have a memento to take to Houston of God's covenantal love for his children and for the covenantal love of the Church.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

There's a first time for everything....

...including staples for head wounds.

Ben has been quite the independent spider monkey lately, climbing up and down various things like the couch arms or into his booster chair at the dinner table. This time it was a bench in the Chick-Fil-A play area. He fell and his head collided with the only non-plastic, non-rubber surface in the entire place.
Thankfully, this happened during our Chick-Fil-A Fridays. Marie and Jeff were there along with Susie, B.A., Sarah Jane, and Diane. It was Diane who brought a screaming Ben to me from the play area (we were like 5 minutes from leaving for naps at home). Someone handed us napkins, Marie grabbed my keys, Susie cleared out the passenger seat for me, Jeff took Big Sis home with him (she was completely blase about the whole thing, willing to follow Aaron anywhere), someone else got the cars in the drive-through lane to back up for us. And thankfully, Marie kept her wits about her and called our pediatrician where we were able to get in quickly and have familiar doctors staple Ben's head together instead of waiting for hours in the ER.
Ben was a trooper through the whole ordeal, having stopped crying about his boo-boo by the time we reached the van, more upset over leaving Chick-Fil-A so abruptly. He jabbered during the drive to the doctor's and while in the waiting room, choosing his sticker with care and patiently waiting for the "doctor to come back and fix boo-boo." He didn't flinch as the staples went in (I'm glad we opted to forgo the anesthesia of two needle pricks). I must have been turning shades of pale since the nurse kept asking me if I was alright. Sarah Jane had wondered what to do with a fainting pregnant lady too. All in all, the major trauma was over in about an hour and we were home for a much belated rest time.
I had thought back in February that it would be highly unlikely we could get through this transition time without a trip to the emergency room for someone. But at least it was only an emergency trip to the pediatrician (the doctor house, as Ben called it) and I had all the help and support I needed. The body of Christ is beautiful.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I know cool people too!

A shout out to my sister-in-law Sarah who ran the Boston Marathon today. She finished in 3 hours, 42 minutes, and 20 seconds. Out of 10,934 female runners, she came in at #2858. None too shabby!

Way to go!

Friday, April 17, 2009


That this is the only book I've read this year.
But it was sooo good!
I bought it with a Christmas gift card (thanks sis-in-law) and started it back in late January or so but then just didn't have the mental or emotional energy to read during so much of the ups and downs of our life over these past four months. My mom got the book way after me and finished way before me.
But if I was only going to read one book the first half of the year, this was a good choice. I first heard about it on NPR's book review series that has a reviewer pick three books with some kind of connection. This was part of a Shakespeare series. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle has, at its center, a Hamlet story. Set in a rural Minnesota of some years past, its also a beautiful Americana story, in love with its setting. The Sawtelles are a close knit family of three. Edgar is his parents' only child and also mute. The family breeds Sawtelle dogs, a fictional but amazing dog, and stays cloistered in their family and business. The beginning is a bit slow in parts but necessary as it builds to the action. Part of my reluctance to really get into the story though is the beauty of their family life in the beginning since I knew tragedy would come a'knockin' courtesy of a jealous and emotionally distant brother.
Wrobleski handles his plot source carefully. The Sawtelles' kingdom is idyllic though sinister forces of people and inner demons arise. And while you can make direct connections from the Shakespeare characters and plot devices to ones in this modern tale, the story is enjoyable and rich on its own. I especially liked Edgar's coming-of-age escape into the wilderness--a portion of the original play that we don't see. Wrobleski also continues the existential themes of Hamlet--fatalism, destiny, purpose of life. And he also handles the supernatural well, not neglecting those pivotal moments.
And update on the TX house: everything is progressing smoothly. We will close, pack, and move the week of May 4th. (I get a house for Mother's Day this year). Keep praying that the FL house sells and sells soon!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Could it be...

that this is where I'll live?

After two rollercoaster weeks of negotiations, stress, Plans B through ......, we have a contract on this home in Spring, TX. It is not the house we originally picked out. That one, amazingly, we walked away from once we could no longer reach an agreement with the owners. (Can you believe that in this market?! They let us get away!) These pictures were taken in December (hence the red bows on the exterior lights) so I'm trying to picture the lawn greener, the trees leafed out, and the sky not so dreary. Oh, and the rocks in the front beds don't stay with the house.

This house, on the same street no less, I have not stepped one foot in. We drove by it when I was out there but I don't remember much. So I have put my trust in God, my husband, Internet slideshows and told D "Yes, make an offer." CRAZY!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My sweet boy

We had a rare experience in our house this week.

R spent two nights at her grandparents' in Titusville while her only girl cousin was in town for Spring Break. That meant B and I had one-on-one time from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. And really, we hardly saw R Sunday at all once her cousin arrived. Those two were stuck on each other.
B was a trooper and accompanied me on all the Monday morning errands to church (where we ate snack with R's class and B showed off his alphabet flash card abilities. I did not make him, let's get that clear. It's MC's fault.), the OB's office, Publix, and the mall. All after waking up at 5:30 AM to get Daddy to the airport.
There's such a difference between these two kids of mine. (Duh, I know). But having B alone reveals that much more. I worked for quite a while in the kids' closets one morning while he played at the train table in the playroom out of sight. R would have been at my elbow the whole time. His tantrums were short and mild. And though I figured I would have to do Moe's Monday for some company and conversation, he kept up his end pretty well. I'm amazed all over again at how kids learn to talk and at what he wants to talk about. We snuggled, read Curious George stories til I lost my voice, vacuumed (his favorite activity lately) and consumed scrumptious banana bread warm from the oven. (New recipe from the King Arthur Flour people--sooo good!) He's also becoming a bit of a neat freak--not in that he doesn't make messes as much, but that he insists on getting mess off of himself immediately. Which mostly means he spreads it around more or brushes all the crumbs onto the floor. But he also insists on lining up his shoes and he's putting things away better, lining up his cars neatly too.
In other news, we did not get the house we put an offer on. After an agonizing week of back and forth with the owners, we finally just threw up our hands and walked away. With 9 1/2 weeks to go until Baby, I can't believe we don't have a place to live in TX yet. And in this economy, knowing what we do about the owners' situation, I can't believe they let us walk away! So D looked at more houses yesterday to buy and/or rent and he's at two more today--on the same street as the one we bid on. And it just may be that I will have to trust my husband to choose our next house--just as I've trusted him with the job, the move, a church, a neighborhood.
See, I'm growing! (and not just my belly!)