Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blessed is the man ...

Jeremy surprised me with the most precious birthday gift I can imagine. For a while, I've been checking out different recordings of the Bible from the library, but I haven't found one I really like. So Jer decided to make his own recording, using my favorite narrator - himself! He finished Psalms 1-43 and several of the shorter books in time for my birthday and hopes to record the whole Bible eventually.

Ali and Jair recorded their own special version of Psalm 1 for my birthday CD. (They did their best not to give me too many hints about their gift, but it's a good thing they had to keep their secret for only a few hours!) Their track is just too cute not to share.

Blessed is the man ... - Twango

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


One enlighting aspect of mothering a daughter and son just 17 months apart is listening to their serious conversations with each other. Here are two recent ones:

Ali and Jair were looking forward to playing at a friend's house ....
Jair: They have cars! Ali, I think they have a pink car.
Ali: No, Jair, I don't need cars. I need girls' toys.
Jair: Oh, like dollies, Ali?
Ali: Jair, there are other girls' toys besides just dolls.
Jair: What?
Ali: Like ... paper dolls!

Ali and Jair were playing with Playmobil in the great room while I cleaned the kitchen. Suddenly, Ali had a striking epiphany ...
Ali: Mommy, I figured out why you visit Aunt Alyssa. Because she's your friend!
Jair: Ali, who is your friend?
Ali: You are, Jair. You're my best friend!
Jair: Yeah, I'm your friend.
Ali: Well, God is our really best friend.
Jair: Yeah.
Ali: We love him the most. We love him more than we love people! And we'll live with him when we go to heaven.
Jair: Yeah, we don't care if we die, because we will go to heaven.
Ali: Yes, if we say we're sorry we can go to heaven.
Jair: No, Ali, if we believe in Jesus we can go to heaven.

They didn't debate the issue further, but I think they were both correct:
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Mid-air Meeting

The playset my dad designed and built when I was little is L-shaped, with a fort at the intersection of two swing sets. If you get the swings going just right, two people swinging on opposite swing sets can touch each other's feet in mid-air! My children are as excited about this as I used to be.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What They're Saying

In the kitchen after Ali practiced pouring her own drink ...
Ali: Mommy, how old were you when you learned how to pour things?
Julie: I don't know.
Ali: Well, I bet you were older than I am.
Jair: Mommy, sometime maybe Daddy can take us to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and we can play with you when you were little.

In my bedroom at 4:30 am on Sunday morning ...
Ali: Mommy, can you please come in my room so I can talk to you about something?
In Ali's room, a minute later ...
Ali (fighting tears): I've been thinking that I won't be able to do much of church because I'll have to leave for E.J.'s birthday party.
Julie: Oh, Ali, church ends at 12 o'clock, and the party doesn't start until 2 o'clock. You won't have to leave church early.
Ali (visibly relieved that the church/party conflict has been resolved, but still sad): Oh, okay. Mommy?
Julie: Yes?
Ali: I had a fun thought, but it went out of my head.
Julie: What was it about?
Ali: Boxcar children.
Julie: What did they do?
Ali: I was pretending they were different people who got very sick and went to the hospital.
Julie: What happened then?
Ali: They got better.

At the calendar counting the days till my birthday, shortly after Ali noticed my expanding midsection ...
Ali: Mommy, you'll look so fat on your birthday!

At the zoo ...
Jair: Cobra. That's a cute name for a snake!

At breakfast, when Jair wanted his cereal without milk ...
Jair: Mommy, I need air on it. I don't want any milk, just air.

At lunch, after Ali asked when winter would come and we started talking about winter activities ...
Julie: And what else is going to happen in January?
Ali: Our baby's coming!
Jair: Mommy, you will have to hold the baby when we go sledding.

At the playground, when Jair wanted J.D. to sit beside him on a bouncy lion ...
Jair: Jade can be my wife. He can sit with me.

When he sees a hairy four-legged creature ...
J.D.: Gog? Woo-woof! Woo-woof!

When he sees a small winged creature ...
J.D.: Guck? Guck? [Duck?]

When he sees a picture of Daddy kissing Jair ...
J.D.: Dada [lip-smacking sound]. Dada kiss.

When he wakes up thirsty and hungry ...
J.D.: Cup. Cup. Foo. Foo. [Food.]

When he sees a train:
J.D.: Tain. Chut-choo!

When he wants to read a story ...
J.D.: Mama, sit do [down].

When we close a door to keep him out of a room ...
J.D.: Shut do. [door].

When he toddles across the room with an obvious sense of accomplishment ...
J.D.: Yalk. Yalk. Yalk. [Walk].

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Two Generations of Fun

It's fun to see Ali, Jair, and J.D. enjoying the playground my dad built for my siblings and me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We put our house up for sale last week. The pictures our realtor took seemed worthy of inclusion in a family scrapbook, so here they are.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jair is "free!"

Our Jair turned three years old last month. He has grown up so much in the last year, although he still can't pronounce the initial th sound. I love his special way of speaking and, to be honest, will be a little sad when he can pronounce every word correctly.

Jair's special day followed the usual pattern: breakfast in bed, a cookout with Polish sausage and baked beans for lunch, then cake and presents, and a baseball game followed by fireworks in the evening. For several months, we had been saving Mater and Lightning decorations to put on top of Jair's cupcakes. True to his looks and his breeding, he is a chocolate lovin' boy, so the cupcakes had to be devil's food with chocolate buttercream frosting. Jair chose "Birthday Bash" ice cream. (Toy Story characters adorned the carton - which was placed strategically at child's eye level - although they made no appearance in the ice cream.)

Jair was thrilled with each gift, which was to be expected since all but two were vehicles of some kind. The only non-car presents were a Noah's Ark set (just like Ali's!) and Pooh and Some Bees, a story Jair loves. His renditions of Pooh's made-up songs are nothing short of absolutely adorable, in my humble mother's opinion.

This year Jair was old enough to be excited about his birthday cards and any cash contained therein. Before carefully placing the bills in his ceramic basketball bank, he shared some with his sister and me. When he wasn't looking, I slipped my portion into his bank, with a prayer that - even when he is old enough to drive a real car and pronounce every word with precision - his heart will remain just as tender and generous as it is now.


We enjoyed a visit with my mother-in-law for a few days last week. She enthusiastically recommended the book she was reading, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. I found another copy on our bookshelf. We received it as a wedding gift over five years ago but have never read it.

Last night I started reading it and came across a quote worth sharing right away. It's from the first chapter.

But what both of us [husband and wife] crave more than anything else is to be intimately close to the God who made us. If that relationship is right, we won't make such severe demands on our marriage, asking each other, expecting each other, to compensate for spiritual emptiness.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Something Special

My younger brother and sister experimented with some new software to create a slide show with some of our photos. They used Erin O'Donnell's Hold on to Jesus as the soundtrack. The final result is beautiful. Take a look!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It Can Be Done

Our mini-van needed brake work the same afternoon I had promised to deliver a meal to friends with a new baby, so Jeremy and I swapped cars. Just in case you've ever wondered, it is possible to install three car seats in a Mercury Sable.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Promise Kept

The ticker in my sidebar says I'm 14 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Every few days Ali or Jair remarks, "Mommy, your tummy looks bigger. Our baby is growing." They faithfully remind me not to eat too much ice cream, because "It isn't good for our baby."

I'm glad to be in my second trimester. Now I can think about something other than surviving until my next nap! I'm eager to update you all on our summer, which has included such major events as taking a family vacation to Chicago and putting our house up for sale plus the usual assortment of pictures, stories, and quotes from the little ones.

But first things first - I have a promise to keep. Friend and fellow mommy-blogger Alyssa tagged me over a week ago. I froze for a while, but finally I'm responding. First, the rules of blog-tagging:

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (If you're a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Now for eight random facts/habits about myself:
1. I eat peanut butter by the spoonful. Any kind will do, but natural chunky is best.
2. As a small child, I had three front teeth. A dentist extracted the middle one.
3. Also as a small child, I put my hand on a storm door's glass pane and shattered it. The resulting scar on my right wrist has come in handy, since ...
4. Sometimes I am directionally challenged. My only car accident occurred when my navigator said "Turn right." and I turned left. If only I had remembered to look down at my wrist for the scar ...
5. I can't remember the last time I had a true desire to watch a movie. I will gladly watch a worthwhile movie with a friend, but I have absolutely no movies on my "must see" list.
6. I feel the same way about the homemade salsa I just made as I do about peanut butter. Garden fresh tomatoes and plenty of cilantro are a must.
7. I played defensive tackle on my flag football team in college. I'd forgotten, but my husband remimded me just now. I don't remember much except that one glorious sack ...
8. My husband's boss spreads the myth that I am a gourmet cook who offers a menu of restaurant-quality items every night. I have no idea how I earned this completely false reputation .... although that salsa could beat the best from any Mexican restaurant.

Now I'm tagging:
1. Chris and Mandy
2. Tara
3. Mark (To make this more challenging for you, I suggest you post eight non-random facts about yourself.)
4. Grace
5. Kyle
6. Danielle (Will you still be my friend even though I haven't called you yet?)
7. Kelsey
8. Melissa

And finally, a warning:
This is the last time I'll be tagged. As stated clearly in the founding post, I am neither a meatball nor a minute, and this blog is not about me.