Thursday, January 26, 2012


The sky is blue.
The day is deep and possible
With heartbreaks yet to be and
Wounds still uninflicted by
Man and earth and all that is fallen.
And yet.
The sky is blue.
And I,
I am hopeful that this day
In all its glory bestowed by God
Will prove beautiful
In the end.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Annie Pie!

We have this unusual tradition in our family.
Jonathan's Mom's side of the family does it.
It's a tradition I was happy to adopt.
It's quirky. It's harmless. It's lots of fun.

When it's your birthday, you get butter on your nose first thing in the morning.
Now tell me that's not fun!?
Okay. for the first few years of our marriage, I did not think it was fun.
But now I do.
Annie turned 4 on December 9, 2011.
We made our own construction paper rectangular bunting.
But tailors are cheap and fabric is beautiful and one day I will have real bunting to strew about the house!
We set the table with pretty flowers and bright table accouterment.
And we celebrated with a blue flower cake.
Originally, Annie wanted a cake with her, Lily and Ada on it.
That sounded like decor way above my pay grade.
So I steered her toward the blue flower and we were both happy.
I made her a doll house out of a cardboard box and she got some vintage fp little people and she was happy as a clam.
She also got this cool t-shirt from the cotton expo.

It has Hello Kitty on it.
On Saturday we celebrated Annie's birthday with friends at a climbing wall in town.
Rather, at the climbing wall in town.
Lots of friends came and climbed the wall...

and ate doughnuts,
And hung around,
And had their faces painted by Gabriela, the face painter extraordinaire,
And stripped off their shirts...
er...that was actually just caleb.
He gives Lils a run for her money in every category--sass, stripping, sweetness, every category.

Thanks Keli, for hanging out with the babes.
Ada and Hannah are 2 weeks apart!
There she is. Painting faces. With all her graces.
Even the Iverson Fam got in a couple of climbs.
Here Daddy coaches Annie.
Lils may or may not have cried the whole 2 feet off the ground before she let go and swung on the rope.
The stash.
Annie got her first Barbie, a really precious Cinderella t-shirt and an Anne of Green Gables Book! Score!
The spread.
Note: The doughnut cake.
Gift bags.
No, you cannot get brown paper sacks here.
Yes. I made them out of brown paper.
Daddy's Girl
Lighting Annie's doughnut from her doughnut cake.
She really did have a good time. Despite that face.
Did you see her t-shirt?
She is 4.

Sweet Kishor who belayed all the kiddos and adults for this event. He was a real trooper and really helped the kids with their confidence. And maybe the adults too.
Happy Birthday Precious Annie.
4 went by way too fast.
You are a treasure and a joy. What a privilege it is to be your mamma.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This nifty little chick loves to play with plastic animals. The little ones. The little ones you remember from your childhood. She stacks them and lines them up and I find them in the most imaginative places. The other day, we heard her playing with the rhino and the tiger. Of course, Lils was narrating:

Rhino: Come here Mr. Tiger!
Tiger: Okay, said he.


Our friend Jason came and visited us back in November and with him he brought the New Amplified Pilgrim's Progress. "What fun!" I thought, "I'll read it to the girls." So a few nights ago, while J was gone, I thought I'd give it a try and we three of us sat on the couch and began to read. It went something like this. (Mind you, this version has a few little sketches, maybe etchings, which I thought would help the young attention spans.):

Me: In my journey through the wilderness...
Annie: (referring to the picture of Christian on the opposite page): Is he alive?
Lily: Is he dead?
Annie: What is his name?
Lily: Does he have a mommy and a daddy?
Me: Well, girls, let's keep reading so we can find out. Let's see, ah, In my journey through the wilderness of this world there came a time when I found myself caged up in a very dreary dungeon. Now how...
Annie: Is he in jail!?
Lily: Is he dead?
Annie: Does he have food in jail?
Lily: Are his mommy and daddy in there mwif (with) him?
Annie: Are there other bad buys in the jail?
Lily: Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
Me: I'm not sure. Let's keep reading. (faster now) Now how I came to be in that place, and what befell me there, is not for me to relate in this little book. What is for me to tell is the story of my dream. For you see, while I was shut up in that most loathsome place surrounded by profligates and felons, I seemed to breathe the very atmosphere of heaven. Yea, 'twas there that I laid me down to sleep; and, as I slept, I dreamed a most wonderful dream.
A: Mom, did that guy dream the dream?
L: Is he dead or alive?
A: Why does he have a beard?
L: What is he reeeeeeeeeading?
A: Can I sit on your lap?
L: No I want to sit on your lap!!
A: No I asked first!
Me: Maybe we'll read this another day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Genesis 15:5-6

And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

9 Days Is a LONG Time

As any good friends of ours will tell you, Jonathan and I have an arranged marriage, AND a love marriage. While he was living in Sri Lanka, doing relief work after the 2004 tsunami, his grandpa and my grandma decided we would like each other and they introduced us over email. I lived in Virginia and for five months, we corresponded via email and telephone with one brief meeting in July. In early Jan we got engaged. In lat June we were married. In total, we spent about two months together in person. It was a great fit for our "courtship" if you will. But that's beside the point. All of this to say, I know how to do long distance.

When I was early pregnant with Annie, J went back to Sri Lanka for 2 weeks with his uncle. That was hard, but not too big a deal. I did a road trip and saw friends and family and we rendezvoused like old times in the Dulles airport. That was fun.

Right now, Jonathan is in Rwanda at a conference that is vital to what we are doing here. He has to be there. I know that. But today marks the half way mark and I haven't even been able to think about it or talk about it or do a paper-chain countdown because guys, this is really really hard. I don't know how you military wives do it for such long stretches! And wives of traveling business men where they're gone for weeks each month! I HATE it. Please pray for me. I was really unkind to our children yesterday for doing really normal, children things.
  • Fighting and bickering
  • Not obeying right away
  • Disobeying directly
  • Painting with their hands all over their clothes...
You know. Normal children things. All of this to say, J has been gone for four days and this afternoon will be the halfway mark and I can finally think about it! Our friends here have served us so graciously, coming to hang out for long afternoons so this extrovert does not get depressed. We even have a family of four coming across town tonight to bring US dinner! I've got my plan and my pocket comb and we are certainly not in dire straights, but somehow, my attitude conquers all in these scenarios. Even if everything goes wrong and is horrible, if I have a good attitude and thank God continually, things are better. And vice versa. Even if things aren't bad, they're just normal, and I have a bad attitude, things get dark fast.

So. Pray for me. And pray that Ada will sleep better than she has the last five nights. Waking. Almost. Every. Hour. *

We have a lot more traveling going on this month and next. So I have to put on my big girls pants and act like a mom. But I know I really can't do this without Jesus. He is so gracious to use my own family to change me and work out my sins. But whew! It's tough! And ugly. And fickle and freckled...praise Him.

*(I've never done that period thing, I don't think. I don't really like it, but it seemed appropriate in this context. It feels like blasphemy for an English major. What to do?)