Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I don't know what possessed me to do math in the shower yesterday morning. I decided to figure out how many days I have been a parent; i.e. how many days Iain has been on this earth. The answer? 746. This really does have a point. Stick with me.

It's not like it was a big day: 1000 or 500 or even 750. But I found myself thinking about that number all day, and thinking that we should celebrate day 746. Why? Because it was day 746, of course. That day will never come again. Let's live it fully, enjoy it, pay attention to it for goodness' sake. It's so easy to lose the days in the busyness or even the sameness of life. But when day 746 is gone, it's gone for good. Let's SEE it while it's here!

So, what to do to celebrate an importantly ordinary day? Go to the park, of course.

Swing high:

Climb up the slide:

Slide down on your tummy:

Meet in the middle in a delicious brother collision:

Wait for your brother to slide again, and giggle when he does:

Climb a rock wall:

Play at the general store:

In his book Breakfast Epiphanies, David Anderson makes the wise point that you can't really live each day like it was your last, contrary to the pithy quotes we've all heard. It's impractical: if it was your last day on earth, would you do the dishes? Take out the trash? Would you continue to save money, or would you write one big fat check to your favorite ministry or charity? Would you spend time checking your email or would you buy a ticket for the other side of the world? You get my point; it's impossible to live a responsible, or even sustainable life if you are truly living each day like you would if you knew it was your last. It would also be an exhausting way to live: cram it all in, get it all done, don't stop until you literally drop. Can't keep it up, friends.

We must remember that life is often found in the details, in the ordinary. When it is your last day, don't you want to have spent it doing what you were supposed to be doing, and what you had been doing faithfully every day? Isn't that a more meaningful way to spend your last day than frantically doing all the good you can in 24 hours? I think it is more, better, if it's a long-term, steady faithfulness than if it's a desperate chase to the end.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I don't think David meant that we should literally count the days, as I did yesterday. But every once in a while, maybe it's a good idea. It helps keep life in perspective. It makes me remember that each day is a gift. It reminds me to be faithful in the day-to-day.

So with that, I'll add to my list of 1000 gifts:

17. day 746 and the lessons it brought.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Trip to the Park

Iain slides like a pro:

Cory wants to run:

Iain loves the big boy swing:

Cory likes the baby swing pretty well:

Iain climbs the "mountain" all by himself:

He finds graffiti at the top and points out the letters. Don't worry though, abouth the content. This particular graffiti artist (?) apparently had nothing to write about. He literally just scratched the alphabet into the plastic. (Here's an idea: if you want to do graffiti on something, have something to write about!)

Iain is fascinated by his shadow:

A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

His Name is Boz the B-O-Z!

For his birthday, Iain got Boz the green bear and his music cd from Grammy and Papa. He LOVES it. I hear requests - "I want some BOZ!" - many times a day. Sometimes, Iain calls him "Bah!" which makes us laugh.

His favorite song is called Hoop-de-Hoop. He sings the whole chorus
"Hoop-de-hoop, hoop-de-hoop,
More fun than flock chickens coop
Holler hoop, hoop-de-hoop,
Makin' noise rock-n-woll goop."

At least, that's Iain's take on it. So we looked up chicken coops on line, because he kept saying, "what is?" and "chicken coop is?" and now he knows they are little houses for chickens. He loves to sing this song as he jumps on the trampoline especially, and he grins when it comes on.

It's a great cd to dance to, both boys agree. Iain's dancing is mostly jumping around. Cory's is bopping. See following video (and tell me they're not the cutest!). Iain is holding Boz as he hops.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Iain also likes to sing the song that talks about fruit being yummy, a rainbow in my tummy. This boy is singing up a storm these days. And I think we'll be hearing a lot more Boz in the future!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Gifts

(Iain's birthday cake. Thanks for the picture, Lauren!)

12. vanilla coke
13. really funny rounds of Catch Phrase that make you laugh until you cry
14. color. I really love color.
15. a wise application of the story of Ananias and Sapphira today at church. Pastor Joel said that they told God they were giving Him everything, but really they held back. How often do we do that with our lives - not just our money, but everything?
16. Iain making it past that critical two-hour mark in his nap. It makes all the difference.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Thousand Gifts

Inspired by Phyllis, and one of her favorite blogs A Holy Experience (which I also am liking more and more), I am joining the gratitude community and making my list. I need a little more perspective when I am up to my elbows in dishes and diapers. I need a dose of contentment when Kelsey goes to China again. I need to be more awake and aware of the many gifts the Father has given me here and now.

So the idea is to create an ongoing list, eventually reaching a thousand, of gifts - not ones you want, but ones you have. I loved the quote from George MacDonald on the Holy Experience blog: "No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best...when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things."

And John Milton: "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."

Care to join me as we begin seeing the goodness of God in daily life (after all, that's where life happens. If we just wait for the big things, we'll spend most days waiting.)?

1. as Jeremy and I walked around Lake Lily today, there was a hint of coolness in the breeze.
2. Jeremy and I walked around Lake Lily today!
3. sycamore leaves
4. I changed Cory's diaper and then walked out of the room for maybe 20 seconds. When I came back, he was standing up, holding onto the brown chair on the other side of the room!
5. Iain's trampoline-jumping
6. seeing Iain go to bed, holding onto "just da poon" (the spoon - a plastic one he carried around before bed. Why?)
7. pickles on hamburgers
8. the way a song can carry you back to a particular time of life
9. a call from Sidonie today, from Germany
10. sleep
11. the smell of wood burning

Picture Miscellany

From our trip to see Kelsey and Haylee a few weeks ago. My goodness, these boys are water babies!

Cory's eight-month birthday and the day we put away the jumparoo. He likes it, but in such limited amounts of time, that it is no longer worth the floor space. Goodbye, big orange contraption. Hello, more living room floor!

This is his toothless face that we love so much.

The day after Iain's birthday, he got FIVE cards in the mail! What is better than birthday mail? Thanks John, Cassie, Lillie, Luke, and Isabel!

Isn't Cory cute?

Apparently Iain has no need for alternative energy sources beyond this one: his "computer" is mouth-powered.

Here's the little bookworm. What a sweet moment in parenting: seeing a little boy curl up with a book, oblivious to the world beyond the pages that hold his interest.

Iain and Caiden happily painting, while Cory chows down:

Cory, playing on his own:

Today, I heard two boys giggling. Turned around to see this:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Simple Living? Simply Living.

If you've spent more than a small amount of time in the blogosphere, you've almost certainly encountered someone whose blog is dedicated to Simple Living. I don't know if people who want to live simply blog in higher proportions than others, or if I just see their blogs more or what, but they're everywhere!

We at this household have been attempting to live simply since we got married. It's one of our core values. Usually, I don't like being part of whatever is fashionable or faddish, but living simply is a lovely way to live, and I'm happy that so many are starting to get the bug.

But now, people are starting to make RULES. To live simply, to count yourself as part of that crowd, you must:
1. make your own household cleaners
2. not own a tv, or just use it for educational programs or movies
3. never let your children play with plastic toys
4. ride your bike everywhere
5. live in a small house
...and so on.

Now none of these things are bad! Some of them I do. But the point is, why make a lifestyle all about rules? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of living simply? If I am forced to grind my own wheat for bread when I'd rather buy a loaf at the day-old bread store and use the saved time to jump with the boys on the trampoline, am I not living simply? Of course I am. It's about a lifestyle of making thoughtful, wise decisions about your time, money, and possessions. It's about an attitude of thankfulness and appreciating the small things. It's about simply living.

Now that I think about it, we humans do tend to make up rules to follow, rather than embracing a lifestyle and making decisions based upon it. Think: Pharisees in the New Testament and some churches of today. God sent some rules, but mostly He wanted His people to simply live His way. Walk in His path. He has shown us what is good and what He requires of us: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Then we come along and say, "here's what that should look like. You must dress like this. Read these devotionals. Sing these songs. Read this version of the Bible. Don't do anything on this list. Do everything on this list." You get the picture. Just as a simple lifestyle will look different for every family, so will the Christian walk. (Note: this is not to say that there aren't some hard and fast truths. Sin is sin. And we ARE told to do and not to do certain things. It's the mindset I'm after.)

As we live simply, and simply live, we will continue to base our decisions on the ideas of simplicity that we hold dear. And as we walk out this faith in the Lord Jesus, we will continue to base our decisions on what He has said in His Word, and by His Spirit, and in His freedom. I hope you do the same.


Overheard -

Iain, to Cory: I love you so much. I love you all day long. How 'bout a slinky?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iain Turns Two!

Today is the big day! Yesterday, we had a party in the backyard - family mostly - complete with a trampoline! It was a terrific party, so fun to see Iain actually understanding that the party was for him, and that it was his birthday. He had asked for ice cream and cookies, so that's what he got. He was excited about the candles, and about his new birthday super hero cape. Among the favorite presents: the trampoline, a bubble mower, a tool bench, a toy helicopter, a basketball hoop, a scooter, a potty book.

As Iain opened his presents, I understood Lauren's thoughts: gifts for the child really equal gifts for the mother. Each one bought me minutes of get-dinner-ready or read-a-book or sew-something or clean-something or work-on-the-blog time!

He's growing and developing so fast now: singing songs, reciting poems (ones he heard months ago and not since), jumping with both feet off the ground, talking CONSTANTLY, coloring and painting, just being a little boy and having fun. He's such a blessing to us - smart, creative, funny, loving.

Happy birthday, Iain! We love you!

(here comes a ton of birthday pictures!)

On his Birth-Day:(click here and here for the original posts)

On his first birthday: (click here and here for those posts)

On his second birthday (today): The fellows play with the tool bench.

Party time! (yesterday)

p.s. Lauren and I made the super hero capes for the boys. We're thinking of selling them online. Thoughts?