Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The "H" word

"Nooooooo!!!" The wail ripped through the crisp autumn night air, followed by passionate sobs, punctuated with "No! No! No!"

A scene from some scary movie? Nope. It was Caleb, as he learned that his darling pumpkin would rot after we cut it into a Jack-O-Lantern. This fact of life seemed dreadfully unfair to his three year old mind. "I don't want my pumpkin to rot!! NOOOOoooooOOOO!"

Can you see the puffy eyes and heaving chest as I tried to get a before picture? Caleb was truly upset and did not want his pumpkin to rot! After a conversation about Christmas trees, burn piles and compost piles, Caleb calmed down enough for us to carve his pumpkin. He greatly enjoyed the gooey "guts" and in the end seemed to be okay with the fact that his pumpkin has a limited shelf life.

I have to admit that for much of my Christian life, I have met Halloween with just about the same enthusiasm Caleb did his rotting pumpkin. Most years, I have simply ignored Halloween's existence, only making note of it after the fact as I bought up clearanced candy.

I have never been comfortable with the spiritual darkness of Halloween. While most of the modern traditions are just good-hearted fun, Halloween still has some dark uses and connotations that should not be ignored. According to the Bible, witchcraft, sorcery, etc., are to be greatly avoided and are nothing to play around about.

That being said, this year, I have not been able to ignore the H-word. Caleb has embraced the idea of dressing up, carving pumpkins and doing the Halloween-thing. He has asked me daily for about two weeks, "When is Halloween again? I want to be a shark, no a cow, no a builder, no a fireman, etc." (Much of this I owe to the Froggy's Halloween book. Not to mention, Caleb running around singing about showing people his underwear as part of Halloween. Greeeaaat.)

So for much of these two weeks, I have been thinking about and praying over just how our family is going to deal with the H-word. So in all this thinking, praying and talking with other moms, God led me to a really interesting article on the topic of Halloween. This article mentions that as Christians, we should think of ways to redeem Halloween for good.

Redeeming for good that which is not good? Sounds just like something God would do...

I pondered this idea as I went to bed a couple of nights ago and came up with the idea that we could redeem it by taking Halloween goodies to our neighbors, instead of the traditional trick-or-treating. David reaffirmed this idea by mentioning the next morning at breakfast that he thought we should take candy to our neighbors on Halloween. (Great minds think alike, especially when God is at work!)

So, that is our plan so far for Halloween. Caleb will dress up in whatever costume he finally settles on and we will go take goodies to our neighbors. (Hopefully not showing his underwear to any of them.) We might even hit up a local trunk-or-treat, but that is yet to be decided.

How about you? How are you redeeming the H-word this year?

Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out.
John 1:3-5 The Message

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin' Pickin'

Last Friday, we spent our morning at a local pumpkin patch with a group of people from our church. It was a lot of fun and Caleb has already put in a request to return next year!

Both boys had a blast and smiled a lot, although they look so very serious in this picture. I think they just wanted me to put the camera away, so they could get back to the pumpkins!

Nathan was in awe at all the big orange balls and did his best to pick them up and crawl all over them...

We were excited my mom got to go with us too. After a cute storytime, we all took a BuMpY hayride. Caleb quickly announced that was his fAvOrItE part.
It was a great way to spend a beautiful fall day and a fun time had by all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wanted: Personal Assistant

One of the kids at my alma mater has earned his 15 minutes of fame this week by advertising his need to hire a personal assistant. The kid is a sophomore in college and has decided he needs to outsource some of the more mundane things in life (like laundry) so he could focus on the important things (partying schoolwork). (Read all about it here.)

Got me thinking...what if I could advertise for a personal assistant? What would that look like?

Wanted to hire: Personal assistant for a busy, fun-loving mom. Needs to be able to cook great meals, clean toilets and do anything else I might think of on a given day. Must enjoy vacuuming, dusting and mopping. Hours will vary and be long and tiring. Also needs to be able to work for next to nothing in pay-make that nothing in pay. Come work for me, do the things I do not want to do and do it all for free!

Now, who would pass up the opportunity for a job like that? They would be take the job that is!

Seriously, it is easy to wish away the mundane things in life or to find ways to get out of doing the things we do not enjoy doing. Still, it is in those mundane tasks that life takes root. Good meals made at home, eaten together as a family, require someone to cook them (and wash the dishes.) Fun times laughing and rolling around the living room floor, requires for some amount of vacuuming (Not very much though, as one might see by looking at my floor.)

Life is full of mundane tasks that we would all like to outsource, but our faithfulness shines through when we fulfill those tasks.

If you're honest in small things,
you'll be honest in big things;
If you're a crook in small things,
you'll be a crook in big things.
If you're not honest in small jobs,
who will put you in charge of the store?
Luke 16:10 The Message

Guess I won't be putting my ad in the paper anytime soon...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shuffle Shuffle Thump

That is the sound of Nathan as he started walking this weekend! He is still tentative with his steps, but is gaining confidence and skill each day. I imagine it will not be long now till he is running down the hall and around the yard with big brother. Man, where did this year go???

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hokie Football

Last Saturday, David and I took a rare break from the kids and enjoyed each other's company while cheering on our favorite college football team, the Virginia Tech Hokies.

We had a fabulous time! Do you ever have those days when you just feel like God is hooking you up with all kinds of goodness you do not deserve and that He is really enjoying raining down blessing after blessing? It was definitely one of those days for us!

While the weather earlier in the week was forecast to be cold and rainy, the day turned out a surprisingly pleasant temperature with just a couple of spotty light showers early on. The sun even broke through during part of the game (which is a rarity around here these days!)

On the drive there, we were guessing how much parking would be, $10, $20, etc. But, we found FREE parking on one of the side streets, not too far from the stadium.

Being an early game, we were going to try to eat a little something before kickoff. On the way to the stadium, we walked by a tent where they were giving away FREE food and it just happened to be the restaurant David had planned to eat at! This was no skimpy meal either- they gave away a huge sandwich, chips, pickle and a drink for FREE!

We took a few moments before the game to visit the memorial for the Virginia Tech shooting victims. We had never seen it before and both of our hearts welled up with sadness at the loss of life and pride of the heroics that accompanied that fateful April day. It is a very moving place, especially for anyone that has ties to the Hokie Nation.

Back at the stadium, we went to our seats and were surprised at how well you could see from them. We had got a pretty good deal for the tickets on Ebay, but you just never can really tell how good seats are till you get there. The seats were EXCELLENT considering the the price we paid for them AND the seats next to ours were empty (a RARE thing at Lane Stadium) and those seats had seatbacks which we were able to use for the entire game. (Much more comfortable to sit on the seatback than the hard metal bleacher.)

AND the Hokies DOMINATED Boston College which was the perfect end to a great day!

I am truly thankful for the fun memories I made with David this weekend! A huge thanks to Nana and Papa for keeping the boys, to David for making it all work out and of course to God for His abundant blessings!

Go Hokies!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rainy Day Fun

Who would of thought running in circles would be so much fun? This is how we spent most of our morning. How do you spend your rainy, car is in the shop, Mondays ?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Das Not Funny Friday: Bear Hands, Big Lights and Tetonic Plates

Its Friday! Woohoo and YAY God! It is time for this week's installment of Das Not Funny Friday! Make sure you click on the picture above to read some more funny stories.

While clearing out the garden last weekend, Caleb started talking about how much work he was doing and how strong he was.

Caleb: I can move all this dirt and fill in these holes with my bare hands.

Daddy: You must have some strong hands.

Caleb: Yeah, bear hands, with claws and everything. I have bear hands that are super strong.

Overheard during the same gardening work:

While David was pulling out a rebar tomato stake...

Caleb: Pull Daddy! Work harder! Pull as hard as Bob does! Pull hard and fall on your butt like Bob does! Can you do it? Yes you can! (OK I added the last part, but knew it was coming for all you Bob the Builder fans, you know what I mean.)

and later...

Caleb: Wow, Daddy, that is a big, deep hole. I think I can see the tectonic plates!

Daddy: Nope, that is just dirt, but impressive vocab boy.

Gotta love the Volcano book Nana got us!

One night during dinner Nathan got cottage cheese on his hands. As I was trying to clean him up...

Daddy: Nathan has a curd on his hand.

Caleb: What's a turd?

Daddy: What's a Curd?

Caleb: That is what I said. What's a turd?

Caleb and David were talking about the Rodeo as we left the fair on Sunday....

Caleb: And they use really big cows for the rodeo?

Daddy: Yup. The cowboys ride them.

Caleb: But Daddy, it is getting dark. How are they going to be able to see?

Daddy: Well, they have these really big lights that make it really bright.

Caleb: But Daddy, how are they going to get the cows to wear the really big lights?


May you have a great weekend full of all kinds of fun!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ready to Push

I was ready to push. Hard.

I had heard whispers of the healings. "Miracles'" they said. "Lives changed forever," they said.

My heart swirled with the emotion of it all.

Good news to the poor...release to the captives...recovery of sight...freedom for the oppressed...

"Yes! Now! For me!" My heart sang with praise as long as His words were pleasing to me and meant for me.

"No! Never! For them?!" Anger and hatred seethed through my soul when His words revealed the truth of what He meant.

I joined the crowd that pulled Him up to the top of the town. I was ready to push, hard. I wanted to see Him tumble over the edge and to see an end to the craziness and confusion He caused.

But then, in a brief moment, Love passed by. He walked through the crowd effortlessly. Love walked on, passing so close to me, my very being was caught in the power of His pull.

My fists unclench and my palms open upward as I realize this is not about me anymore.

Lord, forgive me for being a part of that crowd over and over again~ for wanting to be amazed by You and yet so quick to turn against You. Forgive me for being jealous of Your work as if it was all about me anyways.

Inspired by Luke 4:14-30

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Fair Lesson

This weekend I had my first (and second) visit to the Dixie Classic Fair. I learned quite a bit as a fair newbie and thought I might share it with you.

1. Sheep wear pajamas. Seriously. Stripes, polka dots, purple, blue and black. One might think it is to keep them warm after they have just been shorn, but I think that deep inside, the sheep just want to be noticed as the "fashion animals" they truly are. (I didn't take this picture at the fair, but you can get the idea of the most popular sheep styles.)

2. Redheads must stick together. While waiting to ride one of the rides, a mom of this cute, little red head girl asked if Caleb was riding by himself. Since he was, she asked if he could sit with her little girl, "Since redheads need to stick together you know." Since I do not have the privilege of red hair that she, her cute daughter and Caleb share, I just had to take her word for it. Although a bit dizzy afterward, both redheads had a blast on the ride.

3. Rabbits wear sweaters. Who knew that Angora sweaters are woven from rabbit hair? No wonder they are so expensive! To think that you first have to catch the quick, hopping critters and then you have to get enough hair off of them to weave into thread. I think I will just let the rabbit keep his sweater. He looked cuter in it than I will anyday. This guy's couldn't come to the fair, but I am sure I saw his cousin.

4. Walk off your meal before you eat it. It pays to check out all the food options before buying. I failed to do that on my first visit and way overpaid for my lunch. On the second visit, we scoped out all the competition before buying and got a "fair"ly decent meal for a "fair" price.

5. The ride the you think is truly the lamest, most overpriced ride in the entire fair, will be your child's surprising favorite. Just goes to show that a three year old's view of the fair is completely different than an adult's.

6. Cows are really big. REALLY BIG. We walked by a couple of cows whose tails where above my head. No joke. REALLY BIG cows. (Which means they must wear BIG lights during the rodeo, but you will have to find out more about that on Das Not Funny Friday.)

7. Free stuff rocks(melts and squeals). I enjoyed the free stuff far more than the rides. The Swifty Swine pigs were fun to cheer on (and our friend even shared some of the Oreos she won cheering them on!) I loved watching the blacksmiths and listening to the old fashioned bluegrass music. I wish I had more time to spend in the big exhibit hall, but alas, the kiddos were tired and ready to go.

So that is what I learned at the fair this year. Too bad I am not an expert yet and will have to go back again next year!
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