Monthly Archives: December 2006

Q&A Thursday: A Christmas Memory

I was wondering tonight, as I was singing my girls to sleep with Christmas songs, if I have been making good Christmas memories for my children. This year has been a little “off.” Two weeks of sickness tumbling about the house has translated into neglected Advent traditions. Our forlorn advent wreath still has the third candle unburned and our wonderful new Jesse Tree is missing about a 1/3 of its symbols. Alas. There is always next year…

Back to my singing… It triggered a memory of a favorite Christmas Eve of mine as a little girl. I don’t know how old I was, probably 6 or so, but I remember sitting with my family around our artificial tree bedecked with colored lights and gold tinsel. I was wearing a red, polyester nightgown trimmed with itchy lace, with elbows reduced to see-through mesh ovals. We were singing Christmas carols. My dad, as usual, was terribly off-key, but continued on steadily. Afterwards, he read the nativity passage from Luke while Mom passed out eggnog. I always loved this part, because she served it in tiny ruby colored glasses. These glasses only came out on Christmas Eve. I loved the way I would sip the eggnog and the nutmeg would stay on my upper lip. I would then lick the little spongy pieces off my lip and chew them while Dad read the story.   Afterwards, Mom and Day tried to shoo us to bed, but we were so excited that they let us stay around the tree a few more minutes.  My sister and I made up this hyper little song and dance, that continued well into our teenaged Christmases.  I can hear us now…”Un-dee-li-lee, Un-dee-li-lie, Un-dee-li-lee…”  It always cracked us up.

When I remember that Christmas Eve, I breath a little sigh of relief.  The ingredients of a wonderful Christmas memory are fairly simple…family, love, carols, Jesus, a little eggnog, and a dose of silliness.  I think the only ingredient we’re missing is eggnog, and I can buy that tomorrow.  I wonder if Silknog will count.

What about you?  What is your favorite Christmas memory?


Filed under Babies & Kids, Question and Answer

My Linguistic Profile

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
20% Dixie
10% Yankee
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

I took this little test today. Kind of fun. But they left out ‘Texan’ as a category. After living in Dixieland for awhile, I can attest that Texans deserve their own category. Where else do you find phrases like “might could,” “fixin to”, and “tumpt over?”

What phrase was it, Jen, that you dogged me pointed out to me in my blog a few weeks back? I can’t even remember what I said, but I do remember not ever having thought about it as being incorrect. I’m sure I can blame it on my unique linguistic upbringing!

UPDATE: I realized later that I do say “catty corner” instead of “diagonal” when giving directions.  This is how that one answer changed my profile.

Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
25% Dixie
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern
5% Yankee

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?


Filed under Uncategorized, Words and Writing

Happy Birthday, my Sweet Little Girl

(9: 15 a.m.)

It is hard to believe that 5 years ago at this time I was holding my 5 hours old little girl. I had woken up with a contraction at 2:30 a.m. and by 4:15 a.m. she was in my arms. I’m glad I didn’t have to wait long to love on my sweet, sweet, little girl.

Last night, we were tucking her in and enjoying hugging her on her last day of being 4, even though somehow between October and her birthday she had ceased looking 4 anymore.

From time to time, I think it’s fun to come up with one word descriptions for each of my children. I marvel how God packages such uniqueness and presents them to us in such a tiny bundle. These one word descriptions can’t cover all of their aspects, but are meant to give more of an impression.

My first…a Firecracker, my second…Kind, my fourth…Funloving…but on this day 5 years ago, He sent to us Sweetness. My little balm in Gilead.


Filed under Babies & Kids, Giving Thanks

God with Us

I had one of those moments Sunday that was a pure and utter gift from heaven. And it came when I least expected it and most needed it.

You see, I was wiped out. I was bent in a left-leaning “C” from having 24 lbs. constantly clinging to my side all week, groggy from lack of sleep, irritated by my too-weak new glasses, and a little depressed over how behind I had gotten this last week.

It seemed like a beautiful respite at the communion rail, but mostly because of the chance to be on my knees. My stare was fixated on the purple altar cloth with little woven lambs and latin abbreviations when I numbly took the bread. But when the wine was tipped to me, the red color caught my eyes like a sparkling jewel, and it was a good thing I was on my knees already.

His blood. For me.

Really, it seems at once wholly familiar and utterly out-of-this world that the King of the universe, eternally begotten from the Father, should have literally suffered and given up his entire body for one like me that was more interested on this Sunday morning in cataloguing my minor complaints than worshipping Him (uh, that was a long sentence). That through His mercy, he still reached down to tap me gently on the shoulder and then, like a thunderbolt, show Me His love for me expressed in the cup.

Oh, how I love Him.


Filed under Giving Thanks, His Banner over Me

Is it Friday already?

I can’t believe that it is already Friday! What a week. Our house has been the sick house since last Friday. Over the course of a week, two, maybe even three separate viruses (or is it virii?) have made their way through all four children.

It never fails to amaze me how a mother can feel when her children are sick, especially when the littlest ones fall ill. My previously invincible toddler suddenly seems very fragile and a cold fear can take hold of me if I don’t keep myself immersed in prayer. Since Monday she has literally clung to me and about smothered me at night by sleeping (if you could call writhing all night sleeping) right on top of me.

They would, of course, get sick the week I have been on-call to be a doula for a couple about to birth their second baby. I was so worried! There was NO WAY I could have left my littlest with even my husband, but God had all of the details lined up. Early Thursday morning, she suddenly was able to lie flat and actually slept soundly for a little while. Her fever broke and she peeled herself away from me to play Thursday morning with her siblings. I got the call at 11:30 a.m. from the couple that “This is it!” My dear, dear, loving husband came home from work to watch the kids, and after a very quick and beautiful birth, I was back home by 4:30 p.m. Incredible. It was like a little island of relief in our ocean of woe.

The baby slept terribly again last night and my 4 y/o woke up with an earache. The party continues…

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Filed under Babies & Kids, Giving Thanks

If you’ve ever hated going to the dentist…

…you have to read Owlhaven’s blog.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Values Clarification

There is something about explaining things to children that makes them clearer. If you ever find yourself fuzzy over an issue or you think you may be taking a position on the wrong side, float it over your children, or, if the subject is too heavy, at least imagine discussing it with children.

This works especially well with controversial issues. Try it with euthanasia, for example. When Terri Shiavo’s photograph appeared every time I got online, my kids began asking questions.

“Who’s that, Mommy?” “A lady.” “Why is she like that?” “She’s sick.” “Why do they keep showing her picture?”

The conversation had begun. Children are not jaded, and they have such a fresh and uncomplicated view on things. Imagine how horrified they were to find out that people could just starve and dehydrate a sick woman to death, just because she was sick. I explained all of the ‘whys’, none of which I agreed with, and it is amazing how much clearer the issue becomes as the words form in your mouth. “Uh, her husband was tired of caring for her (I left out the part about his girlfriend).” “It is expensive to care for sick people.” “Some people think she will be better off dead.” Imagine the blank stares with that one. We ended up having a great conversation on the sanctity of life.

A friend of mine noticed this phenomenon regarding birth control and sterilization. She confided that she could not bring herself to tell her children that she had purposely sterilizied herself. As she imagined the words forming on her tongue, the truth seemed grotesque; “I surgically mutilated my perfectly healthy reproductive organs.” How could children begin to understand that? In other words, “I went to great and scary lengths to avoid more of you!” Not something children want to hear from their mom.

The same thing is happening now with adoption. Many well-meaning people have been giving us all kinds of reasons why we should not adopt, from “You already have too many” (which one should we put back??), “Your family is so nice as it is, why add problems?,”and “It is too expensive.” I don’t even have to bring these reasons up to my children, I can already imagine their responses. They simply know that they are worth it all, so why wouldn’t another child be worth it too?

I can imagine some people saying that there are good reasons why we don’t discuss complicated issues such as these with children. While I agree that some subjects may be too much for some children, I still think that people are afraid to hear what the children will say. Or perhaps their view arose from experience, when their very words stopped in their mouths as they looked into the clear and open eyes of a child. Nothing clarifies your values like a child.


Filed under Adoption, Babies & Kids, Thoughts