Archive for November, 2010

Koen’s birthday pictures

Monday, November 8th, 2010

It was an evening party, and the whole flash photography thing just doesn’t make anything especially fetching. All the same though, a first birthday is special and there are pictures to prove that we did have a little get together for the big Koen William one year old.

Photo of Auntie Lydia taking a cellphone snap of Koen’s first bite of cake (or fourth bite?). My camera was up and in action, handled by about four individuals as my hands were always busy helping another young one or lending a little aid in the kitchen.

At the gift opening around Diederick’s train table. Koen just sort of walked around and tore into everything. Way to be, baby!

Darren and I laughed at the diffence in our first and third son’s, “birthday party”
For Diederick’s there were party decorations, a store bought cake, and two parents all too eager to take pictures. There was one problem, no guests. Not one child to help unwrap gifts or in anyway add the need birthday excitement. No older child to snatch birthday gifts away for themselves to figure out while birthday baby is left to watch then immitate the other child later.


Now with the third baby being celebrated we had friends over, family members this adding up to five children between the ages of five and fourteen months, and 13 grownups (uncle seth through daddy darren, including two sets of grandparents). The kitchen was so busy on Koen’s birthday that I didn’t get to be the one to hand him the cake or stand up front for the first bite of cake picture. As you can see, my picture is of auntie taking a cell phone picture. What a great evening!


(Aunt Sarah and Cousin Claire with Birthday Boy Koen)

It’s true that I could feel a little guilty that for Koen there aren’t carefully planned activities centered on him as there were for Diederick. Diederick was in music class at this size and was a regular attendee of the library story time and a local playdate group, Koen has a whole different thing going on. He’s never lonely or dependant on his mom to provide fun. In the world of early childhood education Koen’s life might be called an environment that nurtures a sort of emergent curriculum–life happens and the child adapts. He’s vivacious and just fun. His habits are adorable, and what a pleasant baby to be with.

Happy birthday, Koen from a fortunate mommy and you everyone who loves you. :)

My Creation Framework

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

In writing this I am going to assume that all of us who claim to be part of the church have grown with the view of Creation occuring as a miracle by God’s hand. A perfect world all in six days; all that, everything breathed into being. What a wonder, the detail, the vastness. I always loved the word, “Firmament” it’s spoken of in Gen 1, Psalm 19, Psalm 150, Eze 1 and 10, & Dan 12. As a kid I’d think that this Eze 1:22 says, “And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature [was] as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” Wow! Isn’t that cool? Dictionary.com says that it’s the vault of heaven.

In an honors class seven years ago I heard a speaker when I was in collage who explained an idea that was new to me, the Framework Theory. Simply put, he said there’s a loop hole in the explanation of Creation. There could have been, must have been by the eye of science, an inmeasurable length of time (even a million years) in between figurative days. And Adam? That guy who I always believed to be the first man–the fellow who fell asleep only to wake finding that he had a rib magically removed and mega sized the warped into the shape of a woman who had life God breathed into her, talk about a wild dream–that guy was also figurative. Who could think such a thing?? Wild out of the sails to be sure! What a heart breaking perversion of the wonder of God’s making all things of nothing in the space of six days and all very good. God resting on the seventh day as an example of humankind requiring rest from all their labors. God doesn’t need sleep nor does he need time to carry out any plans. He speaks and it comes to be.
I want to shout from the highest peaks of God’s mountaintops that this whole idea is rubbish. Yet sadly, I really have no idea how long God chose this period of bringing the world to be to span. All that matters is that he did do it. I could believe this Framework interpretation to be real, but from where I stand now I can only see that as an erosion in my Biblical principles. It would be to bring God in a fashion like unto man. Man can create beautiful art work from his imagination, but it can’t take a moment. I write this, risking that some of you might embrace this philosophy and that someday I may be brought into it as well. I am human and thus, swayable by wind of doctrine. That’s in the Bible too.

Humanistic thought is everywhere, it’s not so much that it’s there it about whether I let it prevail in my heart. And from there I come to my title today.
I live in a framework, but not a hopeless one since God is there. Every Monday is an eternity, coming back as strongly as ever before. I’m working the same day as far as the eye sees like some irony of fate. Heaps of laundry, struggles to manage my children’s annoying Monday specific behaviors, and then there’s the coffee beans that for no explanable reason just wont wipe off the counter. Just when I feel that I’ve beat Monday, the hour is midnight and I realize once again that I haven’t accomplished anything beyond survival. Once again Monday will be back for me as far as my eye can see. Each day of the week is wrought with stresses and struggles, but nothing like Monday. You may feel that too, with or without children. Monday is an eternity, and needs Tuesday to pick up the pieces. It’s framework, right. Timeless framework.

Babies are beautiful, and brought into the world with pain (that’s in the Bible too), weeds grow in the garden, and mess is everywhere. Babies cause sleepless nights, and toddlers need be poppy trained, preschools challenge their parents and as I understand, unique to age battles continue. But it’s worth it, and supposedly the time goes by as if it were a blink in retrospect. In the meanwhile, the space of that blink that feels eternity sometimes, I do wake up each day, ready and happy to take it on. Because I know that God wont give me anything that he doesn’t provide me the tools to handle. I am armed with that hope and it’s carried on in my day month after month. There’s nothing to fear or doubt. Besides, my kids are pretty darn cute, even when they’re disobedient.

Isn’t it an amazing wonder how God has set out my framework. Discipline a child in the way that he should go. A child raised properly will stand up in the gates and praise his mother. Pretty motivational.

It’s time now to begin Sunday. The morning that my kids anticipate for the Sunday School but not for the 45 minutes of sitting still. Koen still goes to nursery but the others have to sit on their bottoms and face forward, what a chore. Poor babes. After they’re tired. And so it goes.

It’s my creation, my reality and how blessed I am to have it. The laws of God, the forgiveness of God and by his grace, a piece (no matter how small) of his strength.

Friend or Foe?

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Friend, of course!

Recently I’ve been struck with the stark reality that not everyone in my life is up to docking up any stupidity in conduct to lack of sleep or any of those things umbrellaed under the mother-to-the-young life stage in which I reside.
I say untimely things. I haven’t the physical flexability to stick my foot in my mouth, but metaphorically speaking, age has not stiffened the magnetic connection between the two. Seems wisdom and tact do not yet come with age for me.

Please, if I offend you: Talk. To. Me. About. It.

No yelling allowed, no swearing, no aggregating. If I’ve hurt you in the past, don’t use bring those things up as an argument technique (tell me about it later).

The best that I can do is apologize for exactly what I’m did wrong; you have to appriciate my effort and accept it if you will.

Please, if you hear something that might hurt another, contact me–not whomever it will hurt first. Recently, I found this article. I don’t know anything about author but found it an interesting read.

I know we can’t all, “just get along.”

Because someone resents, someone despises, someone feels strongly and the other feels oppressed. There’s righteous indignation and raw hatred. It’s not always this dire, to be sure. Rise above the tendancy to hold to egocentric entitement in one form or another, that’d be nice.
There’s war on large scale, death and sorrow…in smaller scales, it’s emotional maybe never seen.

In the mean while, friend or foe.

Today for me the scripture passage is Proverbs 15. I should write almost the whole thing out somewhere where I can see it often during the day. Right now, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. … A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit. ”
I need to own up and conduct myself wisely, speaking in good season and be a tree of life, an example for my kids on how to love a neighbor. Diederick asked me today what it means to “love your enemies” (Luke 6:35).

Turns out, Bob the Tomato can handle that one better than I can if left to my human nature.

Another quotable is “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things honest, whatsoever things just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if any praise, think on these things.”

I’m brought to think about the public situations in which we either trust or don’t trust others around us.
Do you assume that every stranger in Walmart wants to or poison you? Likely not. There are times that I surprise myself on where I’ll go with this. Most recently, on our time at Deception Pass. I was about a foot from reaching the top of a long staircase with Koen in one arm and Carly’s hand grasped in the other hand, while trying to carry a bag with children’s travel supplies. The stairs were wet with a recent cold rainfall and Carly was hours beyond a missed nap.
After a few parties come and went without an offer of help, a couple came along who spoke with a thick accent pleasantly offering help. They jestured to me, “May we aid in the caringing of your young child?” Then to Carly, “Little Miss, would you come along with us?”

I needed help.

My group wasn’t in sight, and my arms were giving out on me–Carly pulling back and my other side numbing up and sliding on Koen’s slippy rainsuit. Without a yes or no from me he took Koen and went ahead of me. Momentarily I envisioned that rainy afternoon to be my last time seeing the 1-year-old ever again.
I captured the moment and sadly thought of the likelyhood that she’d remember me 30 years from now if this were it.

On the other hand, a very real here-and-now other hand, I couldn’t stay there forever or even know if my family was within earshot. The man carried Koen to the top of the stairs and a few feet further then set him down, disappearing as quickly as he had appeared. He had a little bow before whisking himself away, and that was it.

Carly slumpted down on the pavement, even laying her head down after being released; I guess when you gotta nap, you gotta nap.

I called out for help, and shortly my father in law appeared and called to Carly. She didn’t come, and once again assuming the goodness of public courtacy, I left a child behind. I walked across the parking lot toward Dale with Koen inarm-handed my baby over then walked back for Carly. When the two children were in the van I buckled them just before Grandma Cora appeared with Diederick out of a restroom. I wondered if he’d gone in the mens room alone.

A friend of mine in Vermont brings Purell in her purse and has people rub it into their hands before allowing them to touch her baby. I don’t, and why? Because some stranger who wants to touch my baby’s hand might think poorly on germaphobe? It’s my baby.

Do you call your child by name at the park? It really isn’t safe to do that. Once again, assuming the goodness of the public.
Naturally child abductors stay out of parks full of young children being urged to get in the car and go home, right.

Each child refuses, arguing that just one more time sliding down the play structure is a fair deal. Names are yelled out enough times for a pedophile to remember and track, knowing even where the parent intends to take their child after leaving the public park. Even perhaps hearing, “Come on, Joey, we only live two blocks from here, you could come back any time on your way home from school.” Yet parents call their child by name, full name sometimes.

Friend or foe?
I forget that someone could think ill of me, maybe even want to find insufficiency. It hurts, a lot. But it’s true, for me. And, it happens to you too.

I laughed at a Quote of the Day yesterday. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain said that.

postscript: It’s back to the regularly scheduled series of cute pictures and trifling thoughts. I do not enjoy drama, I believe life’s too long for hurt feels. It’s about trying to do my best for honesty and resolve amidst my many short comings.
for tomorrow: pictures of koen with pudding all over his face.