Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Prayer Circle

Tonight the kids all wanted to sleep together in Caleb's bed, so we let them. They were all wound up and excited from an evening of buying Christmas presents for each other and for Kevin and me. When we got home from shopping, they each went in different rooms to wrap their many treasures and then enthusiastically put them under the tree.

A couple of minutes after "lights out," Kevin walked back to check on them, and he discovered Callie, Caleb, and Katie sitting in a circle on Caleb's bed--holding hands and praying together. They were thanking God for a great day and for the chance to get to buy presents for each other. They really love being thoughtful and generous toward each other, and catching them in times like these makes our hearts just swell and overflow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Christmas Story . . . Illustrated

My youngest sister Laurie just sent us a new Nativity story book. While the story is straight from the Bible, the illustrations are a little more irregular. They are great, but they very much deviate from the traditional pictures to which we are accustomed. You know, the ones with the soft glows and halos and somber looks upon the individuals' faces. The artwork on these pages consists more of simple and almost clumsy-looking characters, a Mary whose pregnant belly is very pronounced and exaggerated, and angels with hiking boots who sit and hang out with the holy family. My personal favorite depicts Joseph having to work exceptionally hard to heave this woman, very great with child, up onto the donkey's back. Oh yes, and there is a picture of baby Jesus, and, well, like most other babies, he wasn't born with a diaper on. So here were the comments I heard from my children upon their first flip through the book--

Caleb: "I see His secret place! You know, the place you're supposed to keep to yourself."
Callie: "What?! Who drew those pictures? Was it a boy or a girl?"
Mommy: "It was a girl."
Callie: "Whew. Then at least she wasn't giving away something that belonged to her!"

Caleb: "Whoa! Look at that big tummy! That's fat!"
Callie: "Caleb, you just wait. One day you're going to have a WIFE that looks like that!"

Callie: "Mommy, what's a virgin?"
[The sound of crickets chirping in the distance]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advice for Newlyweds

This is a list I made for one of my best friends just before she got married . . .

1. Pray together.
2. Serve each other.
3. Laugh as much as possible. (Be able to laugh at yourself, too!)
4. Never stop studying your spouse. Become experts on each other.
5. Learn how to argue; know each other's arguing style and needs.
6. Choose your battles wisely.
7. Be quick to forgive . . . and even quicker to ask for forgiveness.
8. Never withhold a compliment from each other.
9. Express appreciation for each other; thank each other for doing even the small, everyday things.
10. Be equally involved in handling your finances and realize that you're bringing together two different ways of doing things. Be open and listen to each other. Work together on a budget.
11. Learn how to accept loving criticism from each other.
12. Have good "couple friends."
13. Find something recreational that you can do together and separately.
14. SCHEDULE date nights!
15. Sit down and talk to each other as often as possible.
16. Take the time just to stop and look into each other's eyes.
17. Hold hands.
18. Have babies!

**There were one or two more, but you'll have to ask me about those later. :)