Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seeing Grandma Wilcox

One of the greatest highlights of our time in Louisville was getting to be with Dave's Grandma Wilcox once again. This special lady lives in a beautiful assisted living facility just a few miles from Dad and Jan's home. It is always such a joy to go and visit her there. Grandma always welcomes us with a huge smile and open arms, and I know that seeing Meg, her first great-grandchild, makes the time we share extra precious to her.

Here are some pictures of our various visits to Grandma last week.

Meg cracks Grandma up--just by being herself!
Grandma Wilcox 2

Grandma with her grandson and great-granddaughter:
Grandma Wilcox 4

Dave and Grandma chat over dinner, recalling memories of a trip they took to Morocco when Dave was 12 years old:
Grandma Wilcox 3

Our annual "Four Generations of Wilcoxes" portrait:
Grandma Wilcox 1

Monday, May 28, 2007

Safely Home--Well, Three Fourths of Us

Meg and I made it back home yesterday evening and had the joy of my mom's welcome at the airport. To me, at least, there's really nothing like having my own mommy there to greet me after I've been traveling.

Another blessed flight: for the most part, Meg hung in there, although a few wiggly moments turned into thrashing, whining moments when she realized Mommy wasn't going to let her down. Where was there to go? It was my lap or nothin'! Of course, as one of the check-in ladies at the Southwest desk observed, my lap is shrinking rapidly these days! Baby Brother is asserting his existence, feeling free to take up more space just as he pleases. I don't know that I would have wanted to sit on the remainder of my lap for an hour and-a-half if I was Meg!

For all of us, I think, the period when we were circling BWI, waiting to land, seemed eternal. Normally I would enjoy flying just a few thousand feet over the Chesapeake Bay on a gorgeous day when the sailboats are out in force. But. With an understandably antsy toddler on the edge of my knees and an unborn baby exerting enormous pressure on my extremely full bladder, all I wanted was to feel the jolt of those giant wheels touching down on the tarmac. And, praise the Lord, it finally happened.

Reading back through my Louisville Zoo post made me remember an "overheard" moment from that day that cracked me up. We were getting ready to leave the zoo, passing back by an animal called the addax. I don't know if you've ever seen these addaxes (addaxi?)--they are evidently a type of gazelle. They look rather like very skinny, white cows with gigantic, curvy, black antlers. So we're walking by this thing, and a little boy near us stops and leans over the fence to call to it, as it is facing away from him. "Adddddax!" he hollers. "Addddddddddddddddax!" Observing no response from the addax, the little boy wheels around and stalks away from the fence. "Dumb animal," he mutters disgustedly.

My David is still in Louisville, plugging away at finding the perfect audio mix at New Attitude. They are in a new room this year--a room that presents some acoustical difficulties. But my hubby is the right man for the job! I know that he won't rest on his laurels until he has exhausted all his options for making it sound just right. Darlin' Man, if you are reading this, know how much I love and miss you. I am counting the hours until you arrive back at home safe and sound.

Today is Memorial Day. I would wish all of you a "happy Memorial Day," but I'm not totally sure whether or not that makes sense. I know that we Americans like our holidays happy, but is Memorial Day really supposed to be? A grateful day, yes. A sober day? Perhaps.

I saw a young man at the airport yesterday. He had a close-cropped, military haircut and wore military fatigues and boots. He seemed to be coming home rather than shipping out, as he was waiting in the baggage claim. For whatever reason, there was no one there to welcome him, and he was standing all alone, unnoticed by the crowds all around. Then an elderly couple walked by, arm in arm, and as they passed him, the old lady turned to the young man and said respectfully, quietly, "Thank you."

I don't know exactly what the appropriate emotions for Memorial Day might be and, especially in a time of war, Americans may disagree on this point. But I know that this day is reserved for saying, "Thank you"--to those who have given their lives and to those who have lost their lives. I never want to forget how many have sacrificed to make this country a place where I can live and worship with freedom.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Louisville Zoo

Thanks for praying for us! We arrived safely in Louisville on Tuesday morning after a very decent flight. Meg was losing it in the BWI terminal while we waited to board our plane, so we were not at all sure how she would do once we got to our seats. But, thanks to God's grace through a couple of secret weapons we were saving (one lollipop, one DVD), she settled down and did very well. This was much to the relief, not only of her parents, but of all the people waiting to board behind us who had the chance to observe Meg crying and repeatedly throwing herself on the floor of the airport.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Kentucky so far. On Wednesday morning, we went to the Louisville Zoo and saw as much as we could before we had to head home for Meg's nap. This was our little girl's first zoo trip, and she is just the right age to begin enjoying all of the animals! Here's a recap of our outing:

The giraffes were among the first animals we encountered:

Daddy and his Meg checking out the elephants:
Dave and Meg

One of the zoo's big attractions right now is a newborn elephant, only two months old. He was too cute! Especially when his mama walked away from him and he went tearing after her, ears flapping wildly all the way. Here he is giving Mom a snuggle:
Baby Elephant

One of my favorite shots of the day. This is Meg with her Grandma Jan as they looked at the camels:
Jan and Meg

When Meg got tired of sitting in the stroller, she would get out and walk with Dad for a while:
Meg and Daddy Walking

A lazy lady lion trying to keep cool on a hot morning:

This, if my memory serves me correctly (and it often does when completely worthless information is at stake), is an East African Crowned Heron. He wandered quite close to us, and Meg was fascinated.

Meg's Grandpa Don strolls a baby and still manages to look cool in his shades:
Grandpa Strolling Meg

I have never seen Meg flush in the heat before, but she sure did on this day! Just look at those rosy pink cheeks!
Meg and Me

This is a meerkat. He is small and sort of cute. That's about all there is to say about meerkats.

We got to go in the petting-zoo section, where we saw lots and lots of... goats. Big goats and small goats, black goats and brown goats, pooping goats and sleeping goats and walking goats. We got to walk right up to them, and Meg didn't seem at all scared. Here she is, petting a white goat:
Meg Pets a Goat

Right before we left, Dave and I took Meg on the zoo's carousel! So exciting for Mommy, who loves carousels. Meg wasn't sure what was going on at first, but I think she ended up liking it! Especially since her strong Daddy was holding on to her the whole time.

As you can see, it was a fun day. Thanks, Dad and Jan, for giving us our first family zoo memory!

Dave headed across town last night to begin work on the New Attitude conference, which begins tomorrow evening. I miss my love dreadfully--being away from home, separated and yet in the same city is a strange experience. But I am so glad that Dave gets the chance to serve God and all the people who attend this conference. We love you so much, Sweetheart! We know the Lord is going to use you to bless all the attendees, and we are praying for His strength to fill you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

South Bound

This morning we catch a plane for Louisville, Kentucky, where we get to spend the week with Dad and Jan. We'll also get to visit with Grandma Wilcox, who lives nearby. Please pray for a safe and uneventful trip. We're giving Meg one more try at being a lap-baby, but she's pretty active and wiggly these days, so please ask God to give her an extra measure of peace in those little limbs when we board the plane! (Thanks soooo much to the Sheffers, who have loaned us their portable DVD player--that will make a huge difference!)

Not sure whether or not I'll be updating the blog while we're away. But Meg and I return home this Sunday evening, while Dave stays to work the New Attitude conference. Then he'll fly in late on Tuesday night. I'll be sure to post an update after we're all settled back at home, at the latest.

Au revoir, Maryland--we're headed to the real south!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Play Date (by Meg)

Hi, everybody. Ever since my new friend Baby Jack was born last month, Mommy and Aunt Jess have been wanting to hang out all the time! I don't really mind of course, but they keep referring to these little get-togethers as "play dates". This really isn't an accurate description, since Jack almost always sleeps the whole time, while I play by myself! What kind of a date is that?

Finally, yesterday we had a breakthrough. Jack was still asleep when I woke up from my nap, but after a little longer, he woke up and we played! Well, we played as much as a one-month old and a year-and-a-half old can play together! Mommy and Aunt Jess had to keep a pretty close eye on me to make sure I didn't press on Jack's belly too hard or stick my finger in his eye. (Sometimes, even when I'm trying to be gentle, I just don't know my own strength!) But other than that, we had a great time together! Especially Mommy and Aunt Jess. You know, sometimes I think that these play dates aren't really about us kids at all...

Here's a picture of Jack and me hanging out:
Playdate 2

Mom and Aunt Jessie conspired to get some pictures of Jack smiling--the first in existence! As you can see, they did have some success:
Playdate 3

Playdate 4

Here we are together before Aunt Jess and Jack had to go home. We sure do enjoy being with each other!
Playdate 1

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Seeing Ari

Last night we got back from our trip down to Virginia, where I met my nephew for the first time. What a cutie, and how small! It's so hard to make myself believe that Meg was ever, ever that little, or that I'll soon be holding another one of my own who's that size. Anyway, here are the pictures from our visit:

Jacqua and her new sonny:
Seeing Ari 8

Sleeping on his daddy's arm:
Seeing Ari 7

He slept almost all day, but here is right after we woke him up for a feeding:
Seeing Ari 4

He would rather have stayed asleep, of course:
Seeing Ari 3

Dave and I get to hold him for a while:
Seeing Ari 2

Mommy and Ari and two aunties:
Seeing Ari 1

Baby boy lovin' on his daddy:
Seeing Ari 5

The Spruill family:
Seeing Ari 6

Saturday, May 12, 2007

In Honor of Momma

On Mother's Day, we Wilcoxes have many cards to send, many calls to make, and much to be grateful for. We have our own dear moms who have loved us and raised us and invested more in us than anyone else. We have Jan, Dave's stepmom, who has embraced us with such kindness and warmth for the past four years. We have three precious grandmothers (Meg's great-grandmothers) who are still living--Grandma Wilcox in Kentucky, Gran in Virginia, and Margie, now here in Maryland with my parents. All of these women are worthy of honor, and we thank God the Father for knowing how much we all need moms!

(Mom holding Meg on the day she was born--also Mom's 50th birthday.)

But my own dear Momma comes to mind in a particular way this Mother's Day. I can't think about Nancy Nalle--nor can most others who know her well--without thinking of sacrificial love and service. My mom has given the last 28 years of her life to serving her husband, her three daughters and many, many others who have been part of our family's life. I can't even begin to count the hours she gave to serving my dad with his job, helping him with farm work, packing healthy lunches for her four family members, hauling us girls all over Loudoun County for school, dance classes and drama rehearsals, and staying up late to help with school work and listen to emotional teenage outpourings. And you have to understand something about my mom--I can never remember her uttering a single sentence that would call attention to her own efforts. She's not the type to say, "All day long, I work and I slave, and this is the thanks I get?" In fact, she simply says nothing about what she does.

More recently, my mom has been a counselor and a friend, a college advisor and a wedding planner. Now she's a babysitter too. Oh, and in those first few months with Meg, while we were in the throes of colic, Mom pretty much saved my life and our home. She would stop by our house and spend an afternoon running loads of laundry, scrubbing my kitchen floor, or doing one of the countless other chores on which I had fallen behind. She would surprise us with a meal or bake me up a batch of her yummy and healthy banana cake. She would talk with me and provide a voice of wisdom and humor in my baby-tunnel-visioned world. Yesterday, Mom returned from her first visit to see and care for her grandson, Ari. She was so eager to be able to go and spend even a few brief hours with Jacque, Asher and that little guy--and as is always the case with my mom, to be with someone is to serve them.

Momma 1
(Meg and my mom, last Mother's Day.)

But all of these things--though well worthy of honor in their own right--are just background for what I really want to highlight. This year in particular, my mother has found herself giving her life away in a new direction. My mom's mother, Margie to us, has been fighting cancer for several years now. For the past year or longer, as Margie's weakness increased and Cubby, Mom's father, found it increasingly difficult to care for her by himself, Mom was constantly on-call. A trip up to Pennsylvania, where Cubby and Margie have lived most of their lives, might be necessary at any moment. I'm not sure how many days and weeks of the last year Mom spent with them, caring, counseling, and ministering to the most basic needs of the two people who once took care of her.

About a month ago, Marg and Cub moved from Pennsylvania into the basement of my parents' home. (The move itself was quite a considerable project for my mom and dad!) Almost immediately, Margie suffered a complication that required an emergency trip to the hospital--a trip that lasted for more than two weeks, as it turned out. During this time, both Cubby and my mom served heroically, spending long hours sitting with Margie in her tiny hospital room, conferring with doctors and nurses, trying to soothe Margie in her moments of medication-induced confusion and distress. My mom usually took two shifts a day, since Margie needed someone by her side almost constantly. In the first few nights, when her presence was required all night long, Momma didn't sleep at all.

Now that Margie is in a somewhat more stable condition and is back at home, the investment required by my mom is scarcely less than during the hospital stay. There is much to do in making sure that Margie and Cubby are staying safe and healthy from day to day. I think Cubby pretty much summed it up when he said to me last week, with tears in his eyes, "I just don't know what we would do without your mother. She... she just never runs out."

Momma 2
(Meg, Margie and Momma, fall of 2006.)

It's amazing to me to see how Mom is living out God's command to "honor thy father and thy mother." No longer in the stage of life when "to honor" means mostly to obey and follow the example of, my sweet Momma has moved into the stage when honoring requires dispensing medicine to, making meals for, cleaning up after and chauffeuring her parents. So on this Mother's Day, I honor my mother for honoring her mother--with so much more than just her words.

Mom, thank you for giving your life away to your own mom and dad. You are a living example of sacrificial, uncomplaining, Christ-like service, and I know that you are drawing all of your strength from the same Jesus whom you seek to emulate. Your life provokes me, inspires me, challenges me. I can't think of anyone whose example--as both a mother and a daughter--I would rather follow. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

First Ari Pictures

We got an email from Asher today with a first round of pictures. Here's the boy:


Okay, I have to confess that my first thought when I saw that picture was, "Holy cow, he's a Nalle!" We'll see if that impression holds when I get to look at Ari in the flesh, but for now, I'm thinking he got a heavy dose of Jacque's genes. (Of course, he'll change a billion times between now and his first birthday anyway.) Here's the happy Spruill family, newly enlarged:

Happy Spruills

Preparing for Trials

Every day a portion of the time that I spend with God goes to reading from Morning and Evening, a devotional book by Charles Spurgeon. This morning's selection was based on Matthew 28:20, where Jesus promised his disciples, "I am with you always." Here is an excerpt:

"It is good that there is One who is always the same and who is always with us. It is good that there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. Let us not set our soul's affection upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures but set our hearts upon Him who remains faithful forever. Let us not build our house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world but base our hopes upon this rock that, amid descending rain and roaring flood, shall stand immovably secure. My soul, I charge you, lay up your treasure in the only secure cabinet; store your jewels where you can never lose them. Put your all in Christ; set all your affections on His person, all your hope in His merit, all your trust in His efficacious blood, all your joy in His presence, and then you may laugh at loss and defy destruction."

A few days ago, Dave and I were talking with our friends Erik and Jerusha about what easy, blessing-drenched lives we lead. Within our circle of friends and acquaintances, there are young couples who are experiencing very real pain and suffering--the death of a baby, a little boy's battle with cancer, and other encounters with grief and uncertainty. Dave and I have never had to face such trials, or anything that even comes close. The only trial we have known is the trial of prosperity--the challenge of trusting and loving God more than all of the blessings we enjoy, the challenge of enjoying God more than all of the distractions that our world offers.

But sooner or later, we all experience a degree of suffering, don't we? Just live long enough, and you or someone you love well is bound to experience sickness, loss... and, sooner or later, death. That's not morbidity--that's just the truth, and anyone who says differently is selling something.

The reading from Spurgeon this morning reminded me, in a good way, that this precious life I enjoy may not always look quite so rosy. Some day I too, will have to endure a measure of sadness--be it less or more than others I know. I want to be ready for that day, and Mr. Spurgeon has wisely equipped me to prepare for coming trials. What must I do? I must put all of my hope in Jesus Christ, who died to save me from sin and rose to secure for me a life that will be infinitely better than the one I am living now. I must enjoy and be thankful--so thankful--for the rich blessings in my life. But I must also remember that all things in this world are passing away. Nothing that I have now will last forever--not a wonderful marriage to an incredible man, not an adorable baby girl, not a healthy pregnancy and the hope of a newborn son, not a nice townhouse in a safe neighborhood, not healthy parents and sisters. None of these things can last beyond the grave, none of them can promise me, "I am with you always." None of them can support the hope of my eternal soul--and none of them is worthy to do so. Only Jesus.

Father God, may I put all of my hope and faith in your Son, who has given his promise to be with me always. Lord, You alone are eternal, You alone can provide blessings that surpass and outlast what I see before me now. May I live with the treasures of your Kingdom at the forefront of my mind and be willing to surrender everything else in its time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ari James Spruill

Announcing the birth of little Mr. Ari James Spruill! Ari (it rhymes with "sari") entered the world at about 6:10 this morning, weighing 7 lbs, 8 oz. and measuring 21" long. For anyone who's curious (as I was), Ari means "lion" in Hebrew.

Apparently Jacque had a good labor and delivery experience, and she and Asher both sound well and happy and grateful for their boy. At the time I called Asher's cell phone, Jacque was, according to her husband, "stuffing her face," so that's a good sign for a healthy new momma. (When I asked Jacque what she was eating, she chuckled and said, "Mmmm... unidentified substance." Gotta love hospital food.)

Dave and Meg and I will probably be heading down to Norfolk to take a peek at my new nephew after church this Sunday. (Yea, I am finally an aunt!) When we return--pictures!!


If you are reading this, you are among the first to know: Meg has uttered a real word. It's "uh-oh." Wait, does that count as a real word? Isn't it more like an expression, or an exclamation? Oh well, my sister Lena's first word was, "Booooo," so I guess we can count this. (That's "Booooo" as in, "Lena, what sound does a cow make?" "Booooo!")

Meg has now said, "uh-oh" repeatedly, so I feel confident that this one could actually stick. Coming from her mouth, it sounds somewhat like "uh-errr," but the intonation is pretty unmistakable. She especially likes when Daddy or Mommy says it first so she can imitate. "Meg, say, 'Uh-oh!'"

In other Meg-news, today, instead of choosing a blanket as her friend for the morning, Meg chose one of Mommy's maternity blouses. She picked it up, looked at it for a second and immediately put it over her head as if it were one of her own shirts. After a little assistance from Mommy, here is the result:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Guess What?

No, Jacque hasn't had her baby yet. But whenever he does come, we can greet him with the news that his little cousin Wilcox ought to be an excellent playmate for him. That's because we are having a little boy.

Yes, Friday morning we went in for our big ultrasound appointment. (I use midwives instead of traditional OB's, so instead of routine ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy we typically just have one.) Meg came with Dave and me and sat on her daddy's lap as the technician slathered gel on my belly and started probing around with her wand. On the screen above our heads we saw our baby's head, brain, face, spine, hands, arms, feet and legs, and then... "Do you want to know what the sex is?" the lady asked us. We told her yes, and, after a few more seconds of probing, she halted, nodded to the screen and looked at me with a slight smile on her lips. Never one to discern quickly exactly what I am seeing in those black-and-white, 2-D images, I looked back at her blankly. Using her arrow, she pointed at a specific spot on the screen. My eyes widened, and I heard my husband say, "It looks like a boy!" "Mm-hmm," she said, "And he's not shy."

Needless to say, we are thrilled and amazed. It's a little bit difficult for both of us to imagine having a boy after our beloved and very girly Meg, but we anticipate raising a little man with great joy. And it's so fun that he will be only about five months younger than Jacque and Asher's little guy and six months behind Jack Marcantonio! He'll also be very close in age to Porter and Tobias Gruner, the newborn twin sons of our friends Brian and Seanna, who live just down the street. You can't beat built-in buddies!

Later on in the day of the ultrasound, Dave took his family out for an ice cream celebration. We stopped by Jimmy Cone, the local soft-serve Mecca, the headed over to a small, nearby park. Here are some shots of our family time on that special rejoicing day.

Happy Day 1

Dandelion fields:
Happy Day 2

Meg loves dandelions:
Happy Day 7

No, I mean she really loves dandelions:
Happy Day 9

Daddy plays on the jungle gym:
Happy Day 6

But Meg is happiest just running:
Happy Day 8

Oh, and sharing Daddy's ice cream:
Happy Day 5

Happy Day 4

Big sister:
Happy Day 3

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I did something stupid this morning. Without fully thinking it through, I deleted some of my pictures on Flickr, from which this blog draws. So now some of my pictures are, as you can see, temporarily "unavailable". Doesn't make for a very attractive blog. Hopefully I'll get those pictures back... in the meantime, sorry 'bout that!

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Waiting Game

Today is my sister Jacque's due date. Or rather, it's her baby boy's due date. For the past week, every time the caller i.d. shows my parents' number, I'm expecting to pick up and hear one of them say, "Jacque's in labor!" But it hasn't happened yet, and so... we wait. (I say "we"... really it's Jacque who is doing the hardcore waiting.) Well, some things are definitely worth waiting for!

Actually, I, for one, am very grateful that Baby Spruill hasn't come earlier. Until this week, my mom was pretty tied up here in Maryland with my grandmother, who was in the hospital. But this Tuesday Margie was released, so now when the baby comes, Mom will be able to get away for at least a day or so to go visit Baby and take care of Jacque and Asher. That's going to be a huge blessing for both Jacque and Mom, as it was something they wanted very much. Just one more evidence that God is at work in our lives, always showing us kindness, always working for our good.

Update: Since I posted this, I have learned that the due date was actually yesterday. Sigh. I never have been able to get it in my head right!

In the meantime, until that little guy shows up, this is for Jacque. Jacque, if you're reading this, I thought it might amuse you to know that yesterday, Meg took up quite an attachment to the baby blanket you knitted for her. She brought it downstairs with her first thing in the morning, and all the way until lunchtime she would not be separated from it. She had to have it on her person at all times. She started with it just draped over her shoulders, but when it would fall off, she would look at it lying on the floor and cry as if to say, "Blanket, blanket, how could you desert me like this?" So Mommy started devising ways to attach it to her more permanently. Here are some of our attempts.

The shawl (close-up):
Blanket Dayz 1

The sari:
Blanket Dayz 2

The toga:
Blanket Dayz 4
(Can you tell she was really tired yesterday?)

And later, when the blanket had finally been retired, I found it comfortably nestled in the Tupperware drawer:
Blanket Dayz 5

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dining Room

Dining Room

So last Tuesday we took Mom and Tom out to Mt. Airy, which is a cute little spot just up the road from here. Our first stop in the quaint, old downtown area? An antique shop, of course! Mom and Tom like to browse through vintage items, and Dave and I are game for anything, so in we went to "Shops of Yesteryear". It was a large series of adjoining rooms and buildings where various vendors have set up their merchandise--mostly antiques, plus a few newer knick-knacks.

I pushed Meg around and around the aisles in her stroller--as long as we kept moving, she was happy. Dave followed us at a slower pace. After Meg and I had completed one full tour, Dave caught up to us and said, "Hey, did you see that table over there?" I hadn't noticed any table in particular, so Dave led me back to it.

Some background info: Around the time Dave and I got engaged, my parents downsized from a farmhouse to a small townhouse. They had quite a bit of furniture that they could not fit in their new place, so Dave and I, who had almost no furniture, were the beneficiaries. For starters, we inherited two beautiful, matching pieces for our dining room. One was a large sideboard with hutch, the other was a smaller buffet with drop leaves. They were in a dark finish with reddish undertones and in very good shape. They belonged originally to my great-grandmother, Esther Nice, and we have always been proud and grateful to have them.

We also inherited a round dining table, which, though sturdy and completely functional, was not in such great shape cosmetically. It was made of a rougher, large-grained wood, and the top was badly scarred and stained. It had two leaves made of unfinished wood, so if we wanted to extend the table, we needed a tablecloth, preferably something very opaque, so that the different colors of wood wouldn't show through. With the table came several wooden mismatched chairs--again, functional, but well on their way to disrepair. All told, for a couple of "poor" newlyweds we had a very satisfactory dining set! But we always hoped someday to be able to find a table and chairs that would complement the nicer pieces more.

So when Dave led me to this table, I almost couldn't believe my eyes. It looked like it would match perfectly with our sideboard and buffet--I mean, perfectly. And we never expected to find a perfect match--we were just shooting for something that wouldn't openly clash!

This table is cool, too--it starts out as basically a two-person affair, with room for a single chair on either end. Great for candlelight and romance. Then it has two large drop-leaves, which, when extended, expand the table to accommodate six easily. Insert the two last leaves in the center of the table, and you've got room for eight with extra elbow room, ten comfortably, and twelve if everyone's game for rubbing shoulders. And to complete the package, the table came with six matching chairs with upholstered seats and one of those folding covers that you can lay down to protect the table when you don't care about it looking pretty. And the price was superb.

To make the rest of this story short: we returned to the store the following day with one of the drawers from our buffet to check the colors. As we had thought, the table and chairs matched our stuff perfectly. Mom and Tom offered to put this past year's Christmas gift money AND next year's Christmas gift money toward the set. That made the whole package extremely affordable for Dave and me. We decided we shouldn't pass it up.

So now, as you have known all along from the picture I put at the beginning of this entry, the table and chairs reside in our very own dining room, right in between the sideboard and hutch. We love having them here to beautify our home. We are very thankful to Mom and Tom for wanting to bless us with this gift! And we are so grateful to God for granting this unexpected blessing--a small thing, in the grand scheme, and yet such a kind piece of provision!

My Little Strawberry


That's "Very Behind on Blogging," and that's what I am right about now. It's been a bit of an interesting week with my EGTT (Extremely Grumpy Teething Toddler). Meggers needs lots of extra love and attention from Momma when she's cutting teeth, so I've not been spending much quality time in front of the computer (which is really just fine). But it does put me behind on updates, pictures, etc. I've worked on one particular post four or five times this week and never been able to complete it. So in the meantime, I decided to write up a quickie this morning.

Here are some shots of our little cutie sampling the season's first strawberries at today's breakfast. Enjoy!

Strawberry 5
Strawberry 1
Strawberry 3
Strawberry 4
Strawberry 3
Strawberry 7