Dec 29, 2013

Uncle John and Aunt Rachel got married!

Can you tell he's happy?
Rachel was gorgeous!  And her little helpers are pretty dang cute, if I do say so myself!
My heart is so full, so there's probably more to come.  Most of you know that my brother has had to deal with a lot, and most of you know he's handled it so wonderfully.  And most of you know that I'm crazy about him and I think he's just the very best.  He's so great, and Rachel is awesome.  They suit each other so well.  They seem so happy together, they keep each other on their toes, and they make one another laugh.  They both are believers and they both are counting on God's strength to make this marriage work.  I'm SO very happy for them!  Sharing their happiness yesterday was a pretty special blessing. 
P.S.  Lucy was a flower girl for the first time.  She did pretty well, but there was no time (or inclination) for napping in all the hustle and bustle of getting there and getting ready (and she's usually a bit off her game without a nap).  She walked down the isle with the adorable Silas.  She was pretty preoccupied with him all day.  "Where is my boy?"  "Have you seen my boy?"  "Let's go find my boy."  She made it down the isle, but then got really disinterested as the preacher spoke about love, so she wandered around the stage a bit and then said, "I'm hungry!" several times (loudly and urgently).  I did some whispering/bribing about cake, and she just collapsed into a puddle of white dress and pretty hair and wailed.  Yikes!  I directed her to Nana, so she wailed on over and got a little comfort and a little space and seemed fine.  I saw her throwing elbows to get back to the isle to walk up again with her boy.  She rushed our there and grabbed his hand and strutted proudly back up the isle.  Thank goodness Rachel is a gracious and laid-back bride!  

Dec 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Card (that you didn't get)

My JoyBelle.

My big girl at the candlelight service.  Very special.

Dec 18, 2013

beauty in adoption

I have thoughts swirling around about adoption.  All the time.  Every day.

Adoption is a gift in so many ways. 

If you've even glanced at this blog, you'll know that I consider my Lucy a precious gift from God and that I'm blown away by how very much I love her.  She's such a joy.  She makes every day more special, more sweet, more full of sparkly wonder.  I am so thankful for her.  She IS the gift of my adoption.  Getting to share my life with her and be her mom is the gift.

There are other baubles of beauty in adoption, though, aside from the obvious one (my daughter).

One of these is a gift of awareness.  I think almost everyone delights in their children.  But with adoption, the delight is deepened into a joy and a gratefulness that is hard to describe.  Ordinary moments, like Lucy giving her Uncle high-five kisses and hugs through the car window, squealing with happiness on her Pap's shoulders, and huddling in with Nana, making giggly plans, shout to my brain, "It is good!  She is cherished!  The dangers and hurts looming large over an orphanage crib have been covered, filled, overwhelmed with love.  Not just my love but a torrent of love from friends and family.  It has been made right!"  I honestly believe it's a taste of heaven.  Where all our tears will be wiped away and the broken things restored and the love of our Father just overwhelming us.  What a precious thing that adoption has brought into focus for me.

Every time I take her to the doctor all pitiful and come out with medicine and hope that she'll soon feel better, I am deeply grateful.  Every time.  I think about Mamas in Ethiopia, where there is 1 doctor for every 37,000 people and I wonder what they do when their precious ones get strep and the 40 minute wait doesn't seem so bad.  I see how beautiful it is to have access to health care and I literally thank God for it.

I generally dislike cooking, but seeing my daughter chomp down berries and chicken and sweet potatoes and tomatoes (her favorites) causes that grateful feeling to well up again.  I can feed her just what her body needs to grow and be healthy.  Fresh, healthy foods are available and, this is key, I can afford them.  I think about a sweet boy from Ethiopia and how his birth mother couldn't feed him and chose to let him live by giving him to a family who could, and I am so desperately grateful for red tomatoes and blueberries and endless isles of groceries.

These small moments of perspective and gratitude are part of me now, crashing into my normal days.  They have changed how I see myself and God and the world.  They are (another) beautiful thing that adoption has brought into my life.


Dec 12, 2013

Lucy tells the Christmas Story

Part 1
Part 2
I'm so proud of this lovely girl and her sweet heart.  Merry Christmas!

Dec 8, 2013

The Official Christmas List

"Lucy, what do you want for Christmas?"

"Books!" she answers with a smile.  "And sun.  And trees."

This is my daughter.  :)

Dec 2, 2013


Today Lucy and I decorated for Christmas.

Her first Christmas, we had a tiny tree, and the Christmas before that I hadn't bothered with one.  Last Christmas we had a big tree, which I decorated while she was napping.  I knew that this year would be different.  My big helper had big plans about decorating.  In fact, as soon as she woke up this morning, she told me, "I dreamed 'bout decorating our tree.  In my bed!  I did!"

(Then we played a game she invented (on the spot) called Odananulu (?).  She graciously explained the rules for me while she got it set up.  "You get your basket and you bring it over and you mix it up...."  Basically, you dump out and take turns throwing the contents of your basket of panties at each other.  Fun times first thing in the morning!)

We set up the tree, and I got breathless oohs and aahs as I added each section of the tree and real joy at turning on the lights.   She helped decorate and really favored one section, which is dripping with bling :)

We put up the Nativity scene, and she scooted up her rocking chair right next to it and the tree and just sat admiring it all and doing some "reading".

We were putting other little decorations around, and I noticed a cute manger with a missing leg.  I asked Lucy if it had broken off.  She was  a little evasive, and finally suggested, "I don't know what happened.  Maybe you should ask the wise men."

When someone asked her what we'd done today, she replied excitedly, "We Christmas-ed!"

When we were getting ready for bed, she sighed happily and said, "We had a great day today, didn't we Mama."

I could not love her more.  She is such a blessing from God!

Nov 29, 2013

black Friday shopping surprise

We did two rounds of Black Friday shopping (well after the craziness subsided).  Lucy is such a good little shopper.  She has a great attitude and never demands to receive things.  She's such a little blessing.  And I get to see the kindness in others and the joy that she brings, because we're always getting comments on how sweet or beautiful she is.  (And I agree :) ).
At one of our last stops she acquired this little Styrofoam cylinder that she was playing with (from the stuffing inside some shoes).  She called it her "treasure chest" (although it didn't open) and clearly prized this new possession.
I was trying on boots, sitting on a long bench with a man waiting on his wife in the dressing room.  I noticed that Lucy's pants were unsnapped.  "Come let me snap you up,"  I said to her.
She started digging, and (tadaa!) pulled this cylinder out of her pants!  "It's okay, " she said, as I cracked up and this stranger totally chuckled out loud, "I need it open so I can put my treasure chest in."

You just never know.

Nov 27, 2013


Lucy has been telling me about what she's learning in Sunday school.  She broke the news to me gently--"Weeeell, Moses was died."   And she told me about how Joshua was a new leader of the Isrealites (yes, she talks about the Isrealites).  And how Rahab protected them, and about how they blew horns and the walls of Jericho fell down.

While we were out doing some Christmas shopping, she saw this Disney Princess castle, and was mesmerized.  "Mama," she asked in a hushed voice, "Is that JERICHO?"

This precious child!

Nov 18, 2013

taking care of Duckie

I love to see her being so sweet.  She tucked Duckie in once before I got the camera out and she put her head on the pillow and put her hand on his forehead (like I do with her) and sang "Sweet Duckie Joy" to him (I sing "Sweet Lucy Joy").  Love this sweet girl!

Nov 11, 2013

singing with a microphone

Lucy loves music and LOVES to sing! 

Her favorites are these Seeds of Worship CDs that are verses set to music.  They kind of say/sing/chant the Bible reference at the beginning (which is why her song starts out shouting numbers).

She set up her "music chair" in the kitchen door this morning and did some adorable singing/song-leading.  I asked her to do it again, trying to catch it on video.  The second time around, she got a little more sassy and a little more shout-y, but still pretty stinkin' cute.

I love the innovation when she can't figure out how to do hand motions and hold her microphone :)

Nov 10, 2013

hair follow-up

Victory!  We've made serious progress with our hair!  Tonight, after a mid-week touch up, we washed, detangled and styled in 35-40 minutes, with no tears (and 2 suckers :) )  I'm so thankful that we're able to keep her hair healthy and do it pain-free (and drama free).  And even though it's a bit of work, I LOVE her hair!  It's beautiful!!


Nov 6, 2013


Oh my!  My little "doctor" and her buddy, Minnie Mouse, had a lovely Halloween.  They really got into it this year. 

Favorite moments:  Laney saying "more" after the last few houses;  Lucy knocking on strangers' doors, calling out, "It's me!"

(Thanks Angel, for the pics!  My camera said "battery exhausted" as soon as I took it out!)

Oct 26, 2013


Read these articles, please.

One is the story of an abandoned four year-old, adopted by loving, faithful older parents through the foster care system, told by the man who lived it.

One is the story of a 15 year old boy who went to a church recently to ask for a family.  The thought of the guts it took to do that, and the thought process through which you get there (I am alone, I need a family, I may not get one if I don't speak up...) just hurts.

God, give us wisdom.  Help us to see the world as it is, as we'll see it one day.  Speak clearly to us through your word about what's important.  And what's not.  And help us be brave...

Oct 13, 2013

belly dancing?

I heard a giggle from the back seat. 

"What's going on, good girl?" I asked.

She had her arms spread wide and was staring down at her stomach.  She looked up and said (in a kind of bemused amazement), "I'm dancing with my belly button!"


Oct 11, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

You just woke up a big 3 year old!

A hand-me-down gift--my little people house circa 1985.  You LOVE it :)  Especially the doorbell!

A birthday trip to the zoo.  Which you sweetly thanked me for as I strapped you in your seat afterwards.  You were full of "thank you"s today, which makes me so happy for you.  I hope you'll remember that being thankful is the best outlook and that God gives us all good things!

We saw lots of special animals from Africa (including a Giraffe named Lulu who was having a birthday too!)

Train ride!  You whooped out the highest pitched "All Aboard!" that may have ever been whooped :)

I love you so very much!  You are my best gift from God and I'm so thankful you are you, and you are THREE!


Oct 1, 2013

more prayer: both casual and questioning

So, Lucy's prayer life....

Casual mode:  Sashaying through the living room, imaginary phone to ear.  "Heeey Jesus!  Watcha' doin'?"

We have these wonderful CDs called Seeds of Worship, which are Bible verses set to music.  Lucy LOVES the one called "Word of the Lord."  During the song, they sing the words, "He spoke and it came to be."  During a long road trip, Lucy repeated, incredulously, "Smokin' in the beat?" several times.  I explained each time that they were saying SPOKE, not smoke, and how that meant that God's SAID something and it happened, ie., God is in control.

I thought I'd cleared things up, but tonight before bed, her prayers started out a little rhyme that her sitter says and then took an unexpected turn. 

"Thank you for the birds that sing, thank you -- God?  Why you smoke?  You smoke, God?"  Then a little quieter, "That's not very nice."

Sep 28, 2013

a real prayer from your sweet heart

Lucy, tonight you prayed your own prayer from your own heart.  I've never prayed these exact things, so I know they're yours.  I loved it and I love you.

Dear God, thank you for mama and Uncle John and Pap and Nana and for they love us.  Help me a' be strong like you, God. (In my lap, facing me, you did your "strong" arms from the song.)  Help me a' learn Bible verses for you.  Help me a' follow you.  Amen.


Sep 25, 2013

hair hallelujah!

Yes.  It's true.  Not the hair help! I begged for as she turned one, or deep thoughts about hair after learning a bit more (or the scandalous confessions of a hair hypocrite just weeks later).  Today, we have a hair hallelujah, people. 

My friend Angel found this Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care blog.  It is great and goes into a lot of details.  This girl has some crazy intricate styles which are super intimidating, but she also gives a lot of ideas for the basics.

Where we are with hair:
  • Lucy has beautiful hair.
  • It's getting longer now (and tanglier) so if I'm at the commit-to-upkeep-or-cut decision again.
  • Girls usually want longer hair.
  • A boy told her she has "boy hair."  She has not forgotten this.
  • I love her hair big and crazy.
  • If I let her hair stay big and crazy for long, it becomes difficult to detangle and care for well.
Sooooo, this week I thought I'd try some new tips.

REVELATION #1:  Water and oil are the best, most natural, and cheapest things to use to keep her hair moisturized.  I've started using a combination of olive oil and coconut oil (yes, from the pantry).  I spritz it with plain water at night and then use a pretty generous amount of oil.  It has been softer and healthier.

REVELATION #2:  Keeping her hair in some kind of protective style will... protect it (from getting tangled and then the damage I wreak de-tangling it).

REVELATION #3:  Taking good care of her hair will be an investment of time.  An investment of time with my daughter.  Time spent in close physical proximity.  Time spent touching and talking and laughing.  Time when my actions and my words can affirm to her that she is beautiful and special and the top of my priority list.  I am choosing to see what a blessing this time with Lucy is.  And it has been lovely!

REVELATION #4:  Suckers last a looooong time and keep us pretty happy.

We're just dipping our toes into these new "hair hallelujah" waters, but here's our progress so far.

I sectioned her (badly tangled) hair into 5 sections.  Over the course of 3 days, I detangled her whole head.  It took a little over 2 hours all together.  BUT, the lovely part, she didn't scream and shake and cry.  There was mild exasperation on her part, and we got close to tears a few times, but overall we were both calm and pleasant.  This is big, people.

After I got it detangled and a little stretched (banding the sections after they were detangled) I was a stumped... what to do with it?

This is simple and just a start, but we were both so pleased!   I just divided it into 3 sections (a larger front one and then two in the back) and put in puffs.  Then we got a little fancy and I sectioned an asymmetrical section in the front and did a flat rope twist (I think that's what it was).  Basically it's twisting and adding hair like a French braid.  It ended at just the right point to add the hair at the end to the side puff.  The parts aren't perfect and it may not be tight enough to last, but we were both pretty pleased with the result!  I felt good--and "I can do this" kind of euphoria that can only be appreciated if you've detangled hair for hours.

My beautiful girl:


Sep 22, 2013

while I was out...

This weekend I went to a Biblical Counseling conference at my church (which was WON-der-ful).  I dropped Lucy off at her sitter's before school on Friday morning and then didn't see her until Saturday evening.  Yikes!  This was the very longest I'd been apart from her (except for that whole 6 week visa wait... but things are different now.  We're tight.).  I had some surprisingly intense anxiety about leaving her (including a nightmare a few nights before in which I was stuck in Egypt on her 3rd birthday and sobbed and sobbed.)

We both fared well, fear not.  I called her Friday night (at a break in my sessions which lasted until ten o'clock on a Friday night!?!  I'm shocked that I wasn't passed out and snoring!) and got some chat like this:

"We went to Crackerbarrel and it was sooooo fun and I'm in Nana's car and we're going to have ICE cream and sing to Pap!"  (Friday was his birthday--happy birthday Pap!)  So I knew things were good.

The next morning, I called before my first session and she didn't want to talk.  Nana said she'd been up and talking and singing most of the night.  They snuggled in the big bed, and Lucy said it was "SO FUN!" and finally at 4:30, it was "Toast Time!!"  Uh-oh.  The care-taking crew and the little one were seriously sleep deprived.  I said a little prayer.

About 10 am, I got this in a text:

At WalMart

And about 2 in the afternoon I got this one:
At Kohl's

The poor child refused to sleep or nap at their house, but was completely OUT as soon as they got in the car to go anywhere.  Her favorite thing is to ride around in Uncle John's lap, so I've got many wonderful pics of them like this:
The Dynamic Duo (normally)
To see her just sacked out in his lap was so funny!  And so adorable!  Thanks Uncle John and Nana and Pap, for taking such good care of my sweet girl!

And thanks for this:  She slept 13 hours last night and we both had a 2 hour nap today :)


Sep 11, 2013

hypothetical v/s three year old

(Almost) Three year olds do not do well with hypotheticals.

I have prayed and thought and prepared for foster care for about a year now.  One of the reasons that I put off receiving placements was that I was advised that it may be hard for Lucy to understand that she's forever mine, while some of the other children we would love would be temporarily ours.  I thought this was pretty wise advice.

Several things that have happened lately have made me realize that she's probably able to understand this concept at this point.  So I asked her, hypothetically, of course, if she thought we should take care of a baby for a little bit while her mama "got better".

"YES!"  She cried, "Let's DO that!"  (Insert little happy dance).  "I can help you, Mama!  I'll be the sister and you can be the Mama.  I can help you."  (Insert arm gestures, one palm up, then the other her list gets ramblier and ramblier).  "I can help you with the BOTtles and the DIapers and the LOtion and the NAPtime."  

"Slow down!"  I reminded her, "It's just an idea I'm thinking about.  We need to pray about it."

Hours later, the doorbell rang as a friend arrived for dinner.  She shot to her feet.  "MAMA!!!  I think our BABY is here!!" 

During dinner, she casually mentioned, "I want to sleep in the big bed."  (The twin bed in her room.  She currently sleeps in a baby bed in the same room).  "Why do you want to sleep in the big bed?"  I asked, knowing how that little brain was working.  "So the baby can sleep in the baby bed."

Later Nana called and Lucy wanted to talk first.  She picked up the phone and announced clear as a bell, "Nana, I'm HAVING a BABY!"

Oh dear.

Sep 4, 2013

duck tales

Hi Lucy!  I am your ducky.  You know, the yellow one, with a green belly and floppy feet?  Yep, that one.  I just wanted to say a few things. 
First of all, I love you.  You're wonderful.  You make sure I get tucked in with you every night (and your mama has to kiss me, too).   You are good and kind to me, and you make sure I have bandaids when I have a boo boo and that I hear many beautiful songs.
You might not know this, but I met your mama before I even met you.  She saw me and fell in love (of course).  But she was so strange!  She picked me up, all hopefully, and then squashed me back down.   Then she circled around and drove by a few times.  (By this time, I thought she might have problems).  She picked me up, took a deep, determined breath, and finally bought me.  She said things like, "I bought a toy.  For my baby!"  Then she'd get all high and squeaky and "---I'm-going-to-adopt-a-real-baby-and-it's-really-happening-and-am-I-ready-and-I-bought-this-duck---" 
Ahh, I thought.  I now know my job.  I'll be the best, calmest, most re-assuring duck ever for this crazy lady and her new special baby.  So that's what I did.
This Mama-lady was kind of obsessed with you.  She talked about you all the time and got your bed all made up special and plunked me down right in the middle of it.  Sometimes she kind of held me like I was a baby, and she tried out one of those baby-wearing wraps with ME in it...  This was a little above and beyond the call of duty for a duck, but I went along with it.  I couldn't help but be excited, too.  If you were this special, to make this lady so crazy about you before she even met you, well, you must be pretty great.
I was really happy to meet you when you finally came home.  You were definitely a kind of celebrity.  People talked about you in hushed, reverent tones, and everything you did was scrutinized and awed over.  "Did you see how she crinkled her nose?"  "She's SO funny when she eats her green beans!"  And the clothes!  They were all just batty about your precious, adorable clothes.
I knew right away that you were very special.  You just had a delectable special-ness just sparkling along in your sparkly eyes.  I thought you were great.
I just stayed calm and reassuring.  You started to like me, just a bit.
I stayed close, always ready to lend you support.
I think it was my quiet, ducky strength that finally won you over. 
Now, not to brag, of course, but I'm a favorite.  I'm the go-to toy for bedtime and real tears have been shed when I was left at Nana's.  That means I'm IN.



In short, I love you, too, Lucy.  Thanks for the good times :)

Aug 31, 2013

things I love from today

Things I love from today:

A camp chair pulled up to the shower I'm in and little brown toes sneaking in under the curtain.

Many hand gestures, usually winding around and then opening into a palms-up shrug, as she explained some important things.

How three different books were "my favorite one I ever saw."

Another reference to "our parents" (which apparently are Nana, Pap, and Uncle John).

This conversation:  "I'll be Uncle John, you be Shosh." (Josh--his friend)
             Then she says, in her squeaky-high voice usually used for mamas and
             babies,  "Hi buddy! You wanna go to a movie-show?"
             Followed by a lot of "yeah, buddy" and "I love you, buddy!"

Hand holding and praying during that last drink of "milky."

What a precious gift she is!

Aug 15, 2013

I love, love, love my sweet girl

Oh, how I love this child! 
Thank you Jesus for having the BEST plans for us.

Aug 13, 2013

time out

While I'm a firm believer in a good spanking (or 5, you know, if we're having a rough day) I think time-out has been a really successful discipline tool for Lucy, too.  I do it like Nanny Jo (on SuperNanny) does it, and it really seems to help her switch gears.  In fact, when she's a little overwhelmed, she often puts herself into time-out (which kind of cracks me up!).  But I think it's awesome that she can tell that she needs a little space and it does help her re-boot a little.

It's been SO successful that I'll hear her putting her little ones in time out, especially when they're rowdy in the tub.  They get time-out in the soap dish.  This night, the frog and the 7 got time out.   She puts them up there pretty strernly, usually for "not listening to me" and then after a bit will have a falsetto voice saying "sorry" (the offender) and she'll say that it's okay and hug and kiss.  It's pretty funny!


Aug 7, 2013

side by side

God works in funny ways.  In very cool ways.
My friend Angel and I had classrooms next door to one another.  We talked adoption dreams in the 5 minutes of hallway chaos between classes while we kept an eye on things, broke up almost-fights, and parted passionate couples who appeared to be devouring one another.  She was so cool because she'd adopted a wonderful boy already, about 10 years earlier. 
I thought it was just dreams.  Just fluff.  Just things you chat about and hope for, but don't really expect to see happen.  Like winning the lottery.  Or losing 10 pounds.  Or being on So You Think You Can Dance.
Just inside the classroom door, my dear friend Mattie found me during lunch one day and mentioned that she was anxious about her trip to Africa alone... and I volunteered to go...
I blinked, and it's three years later. 
Our classrooms are no longer side by side, but our daughters are.
God is so cool.

Aug 3, 2013

good hearts and tiny giants

Last night I prayed that Lucy and I would have good hearts, hearts that loved God and loved others well.

When it was her turn, she prayed "Help mama's nose a' be good, her butt..."

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

This morning, I asked if she had any dreams.  "Yes," she replied seriously.  "I dream 'bout GIANTS."  Her voice got squeaky-high.  "Liiiiitle-bity, tiny giants." 

Aug 1, 2013


Lucy has been using her imagination, which thrills me to no end!

I was cleaning up the kitchen and noticed that she was playing tea party/restaurant.  I tried to sneakily get it on video, and I was amazed that she just played and played.   Here is 15 minutes or so of tea party/restaurant play (squeezed into 30 seconds).  Notice that she appears to be still for about 1 second :)  (Also, I don't know if you can tell it, but she's wearing her pajamas and her white dress shoes.) 

Here's my favorite little bit:  (sorry for the dishwasher noise in the background)

She told them as they were eating that it was time to eat lunch and then they'd all take a nap.  So after they finished, she lined them all up and tucked them all in.

Her "dad", her baby, Duckie, her "mom", and Lucy, all tuckered out from their big restaurant outing.

Jul 29, 2013

special delivery and the sweet aroma of ketsup

Lucy and I headed to Chik-fil-a.  I was kind of desperate.  I had just spent an hour in walmart and I had a head-ache and felt like I'd been submerged in a pit of grimy despair.  (I kind of hate walmart, especially the one closest to where I live) (And I hate that the lines are so ridiculously looooong!)  You see my frame of mind, and why (after long check-out delays) I just threw in the towel and suggested a rare treat--eating out, just the two of us.

Oh, how my Joy-Belle can turn things around for her grumpy mama!

We had a lovely dinner, during which I got lots of ketsup-py hugs and lovely conversation.  She noticed the small vase of flowers on the table (nice touch Chik-fil-a!) and leaned in to "mell 'em!"  She smiled dreamily and declared, "They 'mell like ketsup."  Like it was just the best thing--ketsup-smelling flowers.

We finished and then had to play a bit.  There is a play-land where she can climb up, go in a plane or a car, and then come down a slide. 

She was in the plane, and she called for me.  "Mama!  I'm getting my baby!"  I was confused and pointed out that her baby was with me.  "No, another baby!  I'm finding my baby!"  It hit me.  "Where are you flying to?" I asked her.  "E FI opia!"  She slid awkwardly down the slide, careful not to jostle her imaginary baby, held gently in her arms.  She brought the "baby" over to me and gently deposited her in my arms.  "Now she needs a sister!"  She headed back up.

A child after my own heart.  Let's get some more babies around here!!


Jul 26, 2013

a date!

Lucy and I had this conversation on the way home from church on Sunday.
 "I want to go on a date!"
 I repeated it to make sure I heard this correctly.  "A date?" 
"With who?"
"Mama." (with an "isn't that obvious" tone).
"Where should we go?" I asked.
"To a farm to see animals," was her quick answer, "Maybe we can go tomorrow!"

So, we had a date.  Monday rained, but on Tuesday, we were ready for our date.  We went to the creation museum to walk the garden paths and go to the petting zoo, which did have farm-ish animals.  She was so excited about our special time, and I was, too. 

Thank the good Lord for almost 3 year-olds and the wonder that they bring to a Tuesday.


Jul 23, 2013

Lucy reads Pete the Cat

We've been to storytime quite a few times this summer, and Lucy (and most of the other little ones present) LOVED Pete the Cat and his Groovy Buttons.  We saved up our storytime dollars and bought it, and she loves it!  I love it too, because it has a little math, a little singing (more like rapping), and a message:  stuff come and stuff goes... do we cry?  GOODNESS, NO!  (but Lucy still answers, "Yes, we do" most of the time). 

Here she is "reading" it, which I think is pretty precious.  (The sound messes up at the end, but you can catch most of it.)

Jul 15, 2013

from the mouths of babes...

We've been listening to these wonderful cds with Bible verses set to songs.  (I know, you're imagining something horrible, but I promise, they're catchy!).

Lucy has been singing (instead of "there is no commandment greater than these") There is no commandment greater than ME.  To tell the truth, I struggle with that one sometimes, too :)

Also, she was asking for the "Pirate Song" from that CD.  I don't think there are just loads of biblical references to pirates, so I was pretty confused.  Finally, I realized that she wanted the song that
says Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.   I'm proud of that brain--making pirate/treasure connections at 2 and a half!

This morning I was sitting on the couch with Lucy thinking about what we needed to do today.  I started to jump up, thinking that I'd forgotten to switch the laundry (with the clothes I wanted to wear today) to the dryer, then sat back down, realizing that I'd switched it before I went to bed.  Lucy just saw me say, "Oh!  I've got to..." and then almost immediately, "I already did it."  She nodded with understanding, and asked gently, "You poopied in your panties?" 

Oh. My. Word.  I about lost it, people!  She's SO funny.

She followed that up tonight with what seems to be a sad commentary on my culinary prowess (and/or emotional stability?).  I've been trying to eat ridiculously healthily, and this has resulted in trying many new things, quite a few of which are not what you'd call successes.  I may or may not over-react to these non-successes, as I've spent a lot of time "cooking" them and my kitchen is trashed and I'm HUNGRY and dinner looks like something a herbivore threw up.  So, last night I made a marinade and tonight I grilled chicken on my George.  It turned out beautifully (a first for me!) and was finished just as the broccoli finished steaming and the sweet potatoes came out of the oven.  The plates looked so good!  I was so surprised at how good it all looked, that I triumphantly announced to Lucy, "I made DINNER!"   To which she replied, equally triumphantly, "And you didn't CRY!"

Whew!  What a day with my good little buddy.

Jul 1, 2013

God loves you, just as you are--our favorite books

There are many WONDERFUL books out there, but these are ones with positive messages that Lucy loves.  I also try to find books that celebrate diversity.  Anything by Debbie Anderson has beautiful pictures of children of all races (and includes children with wheelchairs) and we both just LOVE them!  And, of course, the very best books point to God's truth
I put a page on the top bar for favorite books, here.   But here's a mini-list.  These are the books we read every day:
Current Favorites  (1.5 years -3ish)

Most of All, Jesus Loves You!  (Piper)
This books is an every night favorite--a beautiful message to send a child off to bed with:  You are SO loved!

God Loves You (Bostrom)
This one is every night as well.  I hope it's message sinks deep into Lucy's heart!  It says it over and over again...
God loves you just as you are.

Jesus Storybook Bible (Lloyd-Jones)
This is WONDERFUL!  The stories are too long for her now, but we've skimmed and shortened our way through it several times.  The stories are told so beautifully--they feed my heart along with feeding Lucy's.

The Beginner's Bible
This one has shorter stories, and Lucy likes being able to read it a few times, then flip through the pictures and retell as much as she can.  We read this one or the Storybook one (above) every night with her two favorite books  (above).  It's so lovely!

I am so thankful for these books.

I am thankful for the Bible, of course.  I love that she's learning stories and that she is asking questions, and that she's memorizing (ish) verses.  (I'll share more about our Bible learning in another post.)

I love books myself, so of course, I love to read with Lucy.  But I'm realizing how very powerful words are.

The first book, Most of All, Jesus Loves Me, ties her up in a big bundle of the love her family and friends have for her.  And then reminds her of the most important part--Jesus loves her even more!  She reads this one herself (for the most part) now.  I love tucking her in after she's been so assured that her people and her God loves her.

The second one, God Loves You, is so precious.  It talks about different kinds of people... you can be messy or you can be neat.  You can be pokey or fast on your feet...  Then, it says in it about 5 times "God loves you, just as you are."  We've read it at least once a day for almost 2 years... so my precious child has heard these powerful, true words thousands of times. 

I think that important messages need to be soaked in, we need to be saturated in them.  God knows this and told us to hide HIS words in our hearts and to weave them in our conversations (especially with our children) as we come and go and do life.  I try to make sure Lucy gets the important messages about her--the truths--that she is special and wonderful and loved, just as she is.  Life gets busy and time gets short and I am so thankful that she loves these books, and that they have been a medium for her to hear me saying these words to her thousands of times.  I pray that they sink in deep and she never doubts or forgets them. 

As I look at what a tricky world it is for teenage girls, full of all kinds of sources of feedback (positive or negative) from everyone they know about every detail they choose to share, I get a little antsy...  Will these words of truths stick?  Will she know what a perfectly crafted creation she is?  Will she remember that MOST OF ALL (most  importantly of all, and far more importantly than any facebook like, twitter follower, media, or boyfriend) JESUS loves her?  I hope and pray so! 

And I say, "Let's read it again!"