The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Bad Day for Barbies

OK, so it's been a while since we've had a lynching around here. Things have been going along smoothly and quietly. So imagine my astonishment when I came around the corner the other morning and found this devastating sight:

No one knows for sure what their felony was, but whatever it was, they met with swift and deadly punishment. The executioner didn't even have the decency to dress them before their shameful demise.

For those who can't read the writing on the wall, it says, "Crime will Pay." And boy, did it.

Now I know what you're all thinking. "Which one of the evil brothers took those dear sweet Barbies away from their loving homes?" And, "Were their beloved benefactors moaning and wailing in grief as they watched the horrid show?"

Alas, these poor Barbies were the unfortunate recipients of the harshest of all treatment. They were given up by their own sweet female owner. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the worst of all deceptions. Sent to the gallows by their 7 year old "mother."

Don't let the sweet smile fool you. Underneath, apparently, is a murderous heart of deception. No one ever believed she could be capable of such a grisly deed. All this time, wearing the false garb of an innocent and thoughtful girl, all the while planning such atrocities in that macabre mind.

It's a dark day for Barbies, and poor Ken is donning his black arm band in memory of all of his well-endowed female friends.

And none of us will look at the 7 year old the same way ever again.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Birthday Boy

Nicholas completed another trip around the sun last Wednesday, and it was reason for rejoicing in our not-so-little family. We began the day with a trip to Krispy Kreme, Nicholas' favorite food of all time. The woman working the counter, upon hearing that it was Nicholas' birthday, handed out 3 hot from the oven donuts to Nicholas, Gabriel, and Kurt and we had a sweet and incredibly sticky ride home.

Once home, we downed some more KK, packed up our bags, liberally applied sunscreen, and loaded into the car bound for the happiest place on earth. We arrived at Disneyland at 11AM and boy, oh boy, did we have a ball. Nicholas, as the birthday boy, got to lead us around and choose which rides we went on next. Gabriel was thrilled as he was finally tall enough to ride the Indiana Jones ride. Kurt was beyond excited that he was let out of the stroller to walk (yes, he has finally decided to do that!) And the girls were ecstatic to be able to have cotton candy, something they never get.
Gustav and I just had a really fun time with our delightful children. We are so blessed to have, as Gustav said the other night, such "cool kids." They are funny and smart and keep us laughing.

Nicholas is turning into such a young man. It is really encouraging to see. There was a time not so long ago that I was really unsure whether he would be my undoing. He....and I, have matured so much since then. He's my little guinea pig. I have made more mistakes with him than I care to remember. But, by God's rich and infinite grace, he's turning out OK.
Given our absolute love of Winnie-the-Pooh, this seemed a fitting last picture as we headed home.

Just a little note: I have been attacked by much spam being posted in the comments section. As I get my in-house tech. guy on that, please don't click on any links that may appear there. Thanks!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Little Growing Up

Beginning with Nicholas some 10 years ago, all my children have had a love-affair with a blanket. At least one blanket. Lillian has three. But I don't think any one of my kids has loved his blanket more passionately, or infused his blanket with as much personality as Gabriel.

When Nicholas was about 18 months old, he began calling his blanket, a gift from an older woman at church, Na-Na (nah-nah). Well, Gretchen came along and was supplied a new blanket from Grandma and adopted the name, and by the time Lillian started talking the name had morphed into Na-Ni (nah-nee).

So along came Gabriel and he, too, was lovingly made a blanket by Grandma. And he, too, has lovingly called it Nani. His Nani could do, protect him from monsters, caress boo-boos. We have been regaled with stories of Nani's heroism, super-powers, and healing abilities. And in four and a half years of aggressive loving and heroic adventures with his little master, Nani had suffered some physical trauma. He had holes, which were stitched back together and frays which were tied off. But he had reached the end. He needed a new start. A face-lift, if you will. So one afternoon two weeks ago, Gabriel lay down for his afternoon quiet time and said a loving and tearful (at least on Mommy's part) goodbye to his best friend. I escorted Nani out of the room after a round of pictures and took him into surgery. As I was leaving and assuring Gabriel that he would have a brand new Nani after quiet time, his funny, last minute request as I was closing the door: "Maybe you could make Nani green this time."

A little cutting, folding, and stitching later and Nani had a brand new look. No holes, no frays, and some nice soft flannel around his borders. As I held the scraps in my hands, I pondered all the memories in which Nani was a part. I held memories in my hands.

Gabriel smiled when he saw him and haltingly said, "I like my new Nani."

But since then Nani has not been on any adventures. He has not exhibited any super-powers. He has not comforted illnesses or soothed bruises. He hasn't even left the bedroom occupied by three little boys. And I even heard one very tired little blond boy say, "I miss my Nani."

Ah, it's the end of an era here. Nani is no more. At least not the Nani. My little blond-haired boy has left that piece of him behind, shed like a skin that no longer fits. A little less baby, a little more man-child. But the memories will swirl about me like the faint aroma of a favorite blossom.
And I will keep tender care of them.