Sunday, December 18, 2011

Six Years!

Six years ago at this very moment it was a Sunday evening. My parents, brothers, Grandma and Aunt and Uncle had all just said good bye. My husband was asleep on a hospital cot across the room from me. And beside me in my hospital bed lay the sweetest, most precious bundle with glow in the dark orange fuzz atop his head. He was all of 4 hours old. I was exhausted. Physically warn out. Emotionally spent. And I couldn't make myself go to sleep. Who can sleep when the most delicious little boy is sleeping beside you? Why not stay awake and feel skin so soft your hand slides off of it? Why not stay awake and smell breath so sweet it can't actually be human? Why not stay awake and praise God that labor and delivery is O-V-E-R! And think about all the tomorrows? And hold the now so close and so tight you think it will never end. But it does end. And time slips by faster than a little boy racing his bike down the street to a friend's house. And before you know it....he is six. And the glow in the dark fuzz is a mop of strawberry blonde hair framing a face with teeth of alllll shapes and sizes. How does it happen? I can't answer that.
We had a little birthday celebration yesterday with family and a couple of Ezra's friends.

I will warn you that there are some disturbing and graphic shots in this post. My pictures are not uploading in the order I you never know when the disturbing photos will show up. They all involve Jacob. And Jeffrey. Two good reasons not to name your child a "J" name.

Ezra requested a figure 8 race track cake for his birthday. He could not be persuaded to let me make it in the shape of a 6. I promise, I do know how old my son is turning.

Any guesses as to what happened? Make up your own captions...I'd love to hear them!

Ezra's birthday is over Christmas break...but his teacher allowed him to celebrate at school last week. We took some cupcake treats to share with his classmates.
Standing in the place of honor between the two "singing leaders" he chose.
His lovely and energetic teacher.
I love their matching fake enthusiastic faces : ) Thanks Uncle Jake and Aunt Emily for driving all the way over to celebrate with us!
Happy Birthday to my six (six???) year old Ezra. It's so fun to see you change and grow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Emmanuel--God With Us

"God with us." What does that mean? For God to be with us--He had to come to Earth. To come to Earth He had to become a man. God, man. The Creator becoming a helpless babe.
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Come down to earth He did. And no matter what time of year it actually happened, it is beautiful to consider. Six years ago when I was "great with child" and ready to deliver I considered it daily. I gave birth to my tiny son a week before the celebration of Christ's birth, and as I would stroke his soft little head I thought a lot about Mary and how she must have felt. The awe consuming her soul. She knew He was holy. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35 She had a mother's love for her firstborn, but also the love of the created for her Creator. She knew He was more than her baby. The perfect baby. I've often wondered about that.
There are so many beautiful Christmas carols to listen to this time of year. The words are sacred and thought provoking. Some of my favorites include:
"O Holy Night"
"O holy night....Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices. O night, divine, O night, when Christ was born."

"Silent Night"
"Silent night, holy night/Son of God/Love's pure light/Radiant beams from thy holy face/With the dawn of redeeming grace/Jesus Lord at thy birth/Jesus Lord at thy birth"
"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing"
"Christ, by highest heav'n adored/Christ the everlasting Lord/Late in time behold him come/Offspring of the favored one/Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see/Hail th'incarnate deity/Pleased, as man with men to dwell/Jesus, our Immanuel!/Hark the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn King.
Hail! The heav'n born prince of peace/Hail! The Son of Righteousness!/Light and Life to all He brings/Risen with healing in his wings/Mild he lays his glory by/Born that man no more may die/Born to raise the sons of earth/Born to give them second birth/Hark! the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn king!

From "Mary's Boy Child"
"Oh My Lord
You send your Son to save us
Oh my Lord
Your very self you gave us
Oh my Lord
That sin may not enslave us
And love may reign once more."

I could quote song after song. It is wonderful to turn on the radio this time of year and hear praises being sung. Often, the singers do not know the Lord as their Saviour, but think of the testimony these holy words bear! He was born a Babe so that someday He could cry out "It is finished!" and we, His creation could have entrance to Heaven--to be with Him. Emmanuel--God with us. Wonderful.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Were Thankful, I Promise!

Especially for these three little monkeys!
I did not make thankful lists with the kids this year. I didn't do very many Thanksgiving projects with the kids either. But I did have the opportunity to go into Ezra's class and read some Thanksgiving books to them and create a turkey with them. It was really fun to get my teaching fix for a couple of hours. Some days I feel like I'm falling down on the job and not doing very many fun things with my kids. Survival mode is a very real thing! But I'm trying to be realistic and focus on the fact that most of the time they are fed(although they are always hungry), clothed (at least out in public--and I'm not saying the clothes match, but the important parts are covered) and in their right (for a 5, 4 and 1 year old--which is not very "right") minds. Fun activities and blog posts will just have to be filled in wherever I can push aside necessities and create cracks for them. Too bad mommy guilt is also a very real thing. I was considering that last night. Feeling guilty over having to say "I can't read to you right now!". The things I was busy doing were necessities. There were hardly enough hours in the day to fulfill all the obligations. I don't like being that busy. But sometimes it can't be avoided. And the guilt comes along with it. How do you battle mommy guilt?
Back to the post at hand, though...for Thanksgiving we had some fabulous guests--Grandpa and Grandma Idaho! They came the Monday before Thanksgiving and stayed a whole week. How happy were we? Immeasurably. Grandma brought along her famous gingerbread dough and spent several patient hours cutting out cookies with the kids. Oh! If the kids made gingerbread cookies with one Grandma and sugar cookies with the other Grandma, that means I don't need to make any cookie cutter Christmas cookies with the kids, right?

The day before Thanksgiving Daddy decided to attempt working from home half day. He got up early to work on some drawings while the table was clear. Nora had to work on some drawings as well.

As dawn was breaking Ezra joined the party. It's easy to see why Daddy doesn't try to work from home often.
Grandma was having an actual conversation on her real cell phone. Nora thought she was having an actual conversation on her fake cell phone. I thought I'd better document.
Our Thanksgiving morning breakfast--vanilla-cranberry scones (I LOVE them), fried eggs, bacon and juice. Priming the tummies for all the eating we have ahead of us!

Not sure what that's all about.Oooh, something else to be thankful for. New two panel white doors installed downstairs. Obviously they are not installed yet in the picture : ) Thanks to Grandpa Idaho for picking up said doors and helping Daddy install them. Thanks to Grandpa Tractor for ordering said doors and talking us through all the questions.
What's Thanksgiving without a nap?
For Thanksgiving dinner we headed out to Tadd's aunt and uncle's house. Grandpa and Grandma Idaho had brought Great Grandma Froese to Aunt Gretchen's house to spend the week with her. We were all able to be together for the holiday. There was a lot of good eatin' and fun visitin'.
Cousins P and M are amazing with the kids! P helped Ezra play Wii games for a very long time whilst M entertained my girly girls in her room by showing them all her fancy lotions and jewelry. All three kids were in heaven.

Our annual gingerbread house. Oh how I wished and wished it was last year so that Uncle Brett and Uncle Jeff could be handling this mess again. They are much better at turning a blind eye to how much candy the kids are stuffing in their faces faster than the speed of light.

I guess I don't need to worry about not reading to the kids--because Tadd does often. We are very into Bill Peet right now. Haven't read any of his stories? Check them out at your local library. I think you'll love them. Ezra especially recommends Cowardly Clyde.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All He Wants For Christmas

So, he already has one adult top front tooth and the bottom two as well. But that last top front middle tooth was being stubborn and hanging in there. And you know what looks even funnier than a kid with one front tooth missing? And even funnier than a kid with two front teeth missing? A kid with one full grown adult front tooth and one baby tooth : ) It's just so skewed looking. And that stubborn tooth seemed to be getting firmer rather than looser.
But the week of Thanksgiving something interesting happened. Dead in the middle of the night--right when Mommy and Daddy were hitting the deepest darkest part of our lovely sleep cycles, Ezra wandered in and told Daddy his lip was hurting really bad. He was crying. Tadd thought he had chapped lips. I overheard and handed him some Vaseline to apply to Ezra's lips. Ezra kept crying. Tadd rubbed on some more Vaseline and told him to go back to bed. At that point Ezra turned on a light. I managed to drag my body from the bed and went to take a look at Ezra. I was rather surprised to find his face pretty well covered in blood. If I had been awake, surely this would have registered alarm. But since I was asleep it only made me perplexed. I saw that there was blood crusted around his nose. I figured he had a bloody nose but couldn't figure out why he kept crying about his lip. I tried to wash some of the blood with a tissue and led my crying child back to bed where I prayed with him and tucked him in...this time on the bottom bunk, rather than the top. I noticed two large splotches of blood on the carpet (again, WHY weren't alarms triggering????) but didn't do much more than apply some saliva so that the enzymes could do their work (that's right, you can spit on blood to break it down and make it easier to wash out of something, gross as it may be--it works). I headed back to bed, vaguely aware that I should be doing a better job as a mom. But I was too tired to do more than to ask the Lord to take care of my little boy and wonder how on earth a bloody nose could hurt a lip so bad?????
Fast forward to the next morning. I'm sitting on the couch and Ezra wanders downstairs. His lower lip is fat. As in, hanging out past his nose fat. There are still traces of blood on his face. And his top baby tooth is missing. It all came screeching together in my now awake(r) head--he fell off the top bunk in the middle of the night! That's how the tooth fell out. That's how the blood got on the carpet. That's why the lip hurt so bad! My poor boy. That's why he had bad headache...still. I hugged him, and patted his back and congratulated him on another lost tooth and tried to shove my gigantic parental failure into the back of my mind.