Friday, February 26, 2010

Libby's Prayer

Revelation 21: 4
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Yesterday, I threw away some flowers that had died in the vase. One of them was Xander's and he asked me not to throw it away. I told him I needed to, and in true Xander form, he responded with "otay, mommy." But his sensitive big sister could tell he was disappointed and she did her best to lift his spirits.

"Xander, I really hope that you can love Jesus. Because if you can, if you can love Jesus, then when you die you can go to heaven to be with him. And in heaven, it's great! I won't be bothering you anymore, you won't be bothering me anymore, there will be no more sickness or sadness or tears, and flowers will live FOREVER."

I am daily impressed with the ways our God uses my kids to encourage and sanctify me. He is a great God! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas does not, in fact, come but once a year. At least, not this year. Christmas with the Lammers family came mid-January. And I was SO excited for one particular gift for Xander. It was a train table that I bought for him used. I had told mom in the months before Christmas that I wanted to get him one, but that I wasn't real crazy about the paintings on the table tops of several that I'd seen, but it seemed a shame for it to be plain and boring. . . her solution: ask Tara to paint something for him. (Tara is Uncle Mason's girlfriend...) Brilliant!

So, she kindly agreed to take on the task and I anxiously, anxiously awaited our second, no, third Christmas. . .

The evening the family arrived we unwrapped (unveiled) her work, plopped the panels into the table, set up the display and eagerly anticipated the kids' coming out to the living room the following (fake Christmas) morning.

The close up pictures show you some of the amazing detail work that Tara did - I am almost teary eyed every time I look at it, it's just so phenomenal. Each time you look at the table you are likely to notice something new, a local landmark, an animal, a mountain range, a big X in the alphabet. . . a landing strip. . . anyway, you get the idea.

I took a couple so you could see some of what I mean, but I should devote some more time to more and better pics. Needless to say, the whole family has really enjoyed the train table, which is made so much more special by Tara's incredible talent. When the kids have long outgrown this piece of furniture, the art will remain a special family heirloom. Thank you, Tara!!

(you can't necessarily see from this pic, unless you click it for a closeup, but she has marked Paxton, and Omaha on the map, and then drawn the dotted line down to Bonita Springs, Florida, where Aunt Brett is soaking in the sun as we count down the days to spring. . .

there are many good reasons to have this guy as a dad. one of them, is that he will use your track to build a ramp for your trains. pretty sweet.

sitting up

okay, so it was a few weeks ago. and i'm behind (but see how i'm trying?!). but phoebe pie is sitting up in her bumbo seat, which provides a whole wealth of new entertainment for her. one evening, she was introduced to xander's trains. he was thrilled and she didn't seem to mind one bit.

big brother

if phoebe pie ever wants a moment to herself, a moment alone, bless her heart... SOMEONE will have to totally redefine how he expresses love. . . :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

love letters

most of you probably know about my lovely libby and how she loves to write. and draw. naturally, one of her favorite pastimes is writing books, cards and letters. One morning, i found her in the den and she had illustrated a "book" for aunt brett. she dictated to me and asked me to write it for her. (often, she writes them herself, but this day she said she would take to long to write it all out, and she knew i'd be faster.) SO, here it is. it was so heartbreakingly sweet that i had to photograph it page by page before we put it together and mailed it to brett.

and, it's in reverse order. twice i have tried to correct this and start the post over and i'll just suffice to say that blogger is not cooperating with me and/or i am not understanding what it wants from me - so, dear readers, you need to scroll down a bit and read up. :) sorry.

1. Aunt Brett, I will always love you. I will love you indoors and I will love you outdoors.
2. I will love you by a butterfly's wings flapping by.
3. I will love you in the sunshine, I will love you in the moonshine, I will love you when it's raining, I will love you when it's foggy.
4. I will always love you, bunches and bunches. Love, Libby

If there's one thing we are pretty good at in this family, it's expressing our love for one another. :) It's a skill, and we work on it, and we enjoy it. "bunches and bunches" is an expression libby borrowed from xander and i, as we express our love in bunches. libby, on the other hand, has a more sophisticated expression of her love --- each night as i kiss her for bed, she tells me, "mom, i love you sooooooooooooo much. i love you all the way to heaven and back, counted by eyelashes, laying sideways, three hundred and fifty sixty nine times." (the number can change, but is not aaaalways sensical. :)

she's precious.