Friday, March 28, 2008

Guess Who's Eating?

Well, let's see, I guess it was one week ago today that we started Matthew on solid food. (Honestly, I think "solid" should always be put in quotes in this context, because there is no way that starter baby food qualifies scientifically as a solid. Even though I scarcely squeaked through high school chemistry, I feel quite certain on this point.)

So here he is, bibbed and ready to go on the first day of spoon-feeding. Is he cute, or what?
Matthew Eating 1

We passed on the typical rice-cereal opener, choosing avocado as Matthew's very first food. Yummmm... all those good, unsaturated fatty acids, great for babies' brain development! Here's what it looked like:
Matthew Eating 2

The moment of truth... first bite.
Matthew Eating 3

Love that reaction.
Matthew Eating 4

A few bites later it didn't seem to have grown on him much...
Matthew Eating 5

...but actually, he did very well with it that day, and the next day--phew! You should have seen him slurping it down!

Pureed mango was his second introduction into the wide world of fruit.
Matthew Eating 6

Whoops! That bite may have been a little tart.
Matthew Eating 7

OK, Son, now that you've tried mango, are you still up for the avocado? Apparently so, based on this reasonably satisfied face...
Matthew Eating 8

Today we started bananas, but I didn't bother taking pictures. No very extreme faces--I think he's getting used to the whole eating concept. Plus, I mean, bananas. How can you go wrong?

So it seems that our boy is off to a good start on the "solids" front. Tiny portions so far, but hey, his stomach is still the size of, what? A walnut or something? Besides, we gotta be grateful for his tiny appetite while it lasts. All too soon, I'm sure, we'll reach those fabled teenage-boy days, when nothing in the house will be safe from our ravenous young wolf.

Ah, food... one of God's good gift to mankind! You're in for a whole lot more yumminess, Matthew. Just you wait and see.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Joseph" and the Amazing Tech-Director Dreamboat

In case anyone didn't realize it already, my husband is an amazing guy.

This Friday night, Covenant Life's youth ministry production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat goes up. ("Goes up" is theater-speak for "begins performances".) That means that rehearsals are long and intense this week, and guess who is there for all of them? That's right... Mr. David Wilcox, sound engineer extraordinaire.

(I know that Dave would want me to clarify one thing: he is not actually the technical director for this show [although he is the TD for the church, and since this is a church event, he is ultimately responsible for all of the tech support]. However, due to God's great kindness, Dave was recently able to hire an assistant TD, Ben, and he delegated the role of TD to Ben for this production. This means that Dave is free to mix this show--and do nothing else--which is great! In the past he has juggled both roles (TD and mixer), and if you can imagine mixing a musical with 20 or so wireless mics that are swapped out between various actors multiple times throughout the show while simultaneously delivering clip lights to band members and covering backstage lights with blue gels, well, then you have a pretty good idea of what Dave has done for the past four high school productions.)

Anyway, this is just a post to say that Dave is working some very long hours this week, and he has such a good attitude about it. I don't know if I've ever met another person who works so hard and complains so little. Even people who know him well rarely have any idea how much he works--because he just doesn't bring it up. He is so very humble. My husband is an extremely smart and gifted man, who (I think) could be doing just about anything he wants. Yet he's chosen to serve our church, day in and day out, doing anything and almost everything that is asked of him. And I've never heard him even hint that something he's been asked to do might be beneath him. I so want to be like him, as He is like Christ, in this way!

I don't think that those kids in "Joseph" have any idea how blessed they are. To have a guy with my husband's knowledge and experience behind the board, making sure that, when they open their mouths, they're gonna be heard loud and clear--that is just not a typical high school actor's experience. (Take it from someone who knows!)

My dearest Love, your family is missing you and praying for you this week. Thanks for giving your life (and your sleep!) away so that this show can be excellent technically as well as artistically. I can't wait to see--or rather, hear--the fruits of your labors when I get to attend the show!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Celebration, Part 2

And now, as promised, we resume with our Spring Celebration recap, which ended, as you may recall, right around nap time...

After Matthew took a nap in the guestroom, Daddy took a nap on the couch, Meg talked to herself for two hours in Nana's bed, and Mommy and Nana enjoyed a heart-to-heart, it was time to get up and get going. Dave and I hid Meg's eggs and candy around the back yard. (Part of the reason that we wanted to do this thing at my mom's is that she and Dad have a muuuuuch nicer back yard than we do.) Then we went to get Meg.

Here she is with Daddy, getting coats on. (Dave is rebelliously making a nasty face. I told him I'd have to put the picture up just to show people how difficult my husband can really be...)
Spring 23

"Got your basket? OK, let's go!"
Spring 24

It was really special to have my whole family home and involved for this part. In addition to Mom and Cubby, who were there all day, Lena had made it home from school by this time, and Dad had the afternoon off of work. As Dave led Meg around to the back of the house, she turned around to look at all of us, as if to say, "Um, it's really fun to be outside together, but why are you all following me?"
Spring 25

She caught on fast. Here was the first egg...
Spring 26

She immediately headed for Cubby to show him her big find.
Spring 27

"Hey, there's candy in here! Yum!"
Spring 28

Spring 30

"Hey, Meg, what's at the top of the ladder?"
Spring 31

Well, whaddya know?
Spring 32

In between each and every find, she ran (and I mean ran) back to Cubby to show him the latest and greatest, excitedly yelling, "CUBBY! I GOT EGG!"
Spring 33

Nana helps Meg break into the chocolate...
Spring 34

...which Meg then sported for the rest of the afternoon.
Spring 36

My one sort-of artsy shot... probably taken accidentally.
Spring 35

Daddy had to lead Meg to the Holy Grail of all egg-hunts...
Spring 37

...the chocolate bunny!
Spring 38

Showin' the bunny to Aunt Lena.
Spring 39

Nana, Lena, and Meg.
Spring 40

My adorable sister, looking like a JCrew model or something...
Spring 41

...and, when the hunt was over, showing Meg her pix.
Spring 42

And one last shot of my best friend, making up for that first picture by looking dreamy in this one.
Spring 43

All in all, we could not have had a more beautiful day for our Spring Celebration. We enjoyed it so much, and I am very grateful to my dear Nalle family for hosting us and participating with us. Having you guys involved makes it even more special for Meg! She loves you all so much... oh, and, by the way, so do we.

Oh, Happy Day!

I truly hope that you all enjoyed Easter yesterday. For me, every year of celebrating Christ's resurrection is better and sweeter than the last. I think that this is because every year brings me closer to the reality of death, as those around me die or experience the death of loved ones. But Christ's resurrection shows that those who trust in Him need not fear death. Every year brings me more familiarity with the realities of sin--my own first and foremost, but also the sin of a violent and depraved world. But Christ's resurrection shows that He has triumphed over sin, and that ultimately sin will be put away forever. Lastly, every year, by God's grace, brings me more knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ. And Christ's resurrection points to the reality that, one day, the Savior will be exalted above all.

The Wilcox family had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday, despite a bit of a rocky start. On Saturday, I went to bed very late, slept badly from midnight to 4:00, fed Matthew, and then around 5:00 finally fell into a deeper sleep. I had set my alarm for 6:20, but since I forgot to turn it on, I woke with a shock at 7:37 a.m. Realizing that Matthew was screaming (his monitor was turned all the way down), I bolted out of bed to go feed him and tried to figure out how I was going to get all of us out the door in only 40 minutes. (Answer: I didn't. But I did manage to do it in 50 minutes, praise the Lord, and thus we still made it to church on time!)

Meg stayed in "big church" through the singing, so I got to hold both of my babies and sing songs of rejoicing with them. Our choir did a roof-raising rendition of "Oh, Happy Day" and I prayed with all my heart that my little girl and boy will one day sing along with me:

Oh, happy day, (Oh, happy day)
Oh, happy day, (Oh, happy day)
When Jesus washed all my sins away!

I spent the rest of the service in the infant care room, feeding Matthew and holding him while he slept as I listened to CJ, our founding pastor, preach an amazing message about death and resurrection. My husband, as usual, spent the entire morning serving his heart out so that the congregation could worship without distraction. And all of his tech teams--set design, sound, video, lighting and lyric projection--did an outstanding job. I benefitted personally from their humble, hard work, and I know that many others did as well.

We spent the rest of the day at my mom's house, along with a few other guests. We cooked, feasted, talked, and did a little bit more singing. We also tried beginning a new tradition--that is, reading the story of Easter week from the gospels and hanging ornaments on an "Easter tree" as we read. I won't explain this in great detail, as our version still needs some refining. (Maybe next year, when, God willing, I will also remember to take pictures.) At last we came home, exhausted and grateful, put our babies to sleep, and fell into bed ourselves.

And this morning, I read an excellent post on the Girltalk blog, which reminds me that Easter isn't over for the year--because of what Christ has done, it goes on and on and on! Oh, happy day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.

Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,
Crown Him the King to Whom is given the wondrous name of Love.
Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

-Matthew Bridges

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Celebration, Part 1

This year Dave and I decided to try something new. Easter is coming up, as you probably know, and we do want our children to have the the fun of things that our secular American culture associates with Easter--eggs, chicks, flowers, candy and all of that spring-like sweetness. On the other hand, and much more importantly, we want to make sure that our family's Easter Sunday is truly a celebration of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection. So, after much discussion, we decided to take the more spring-related stuff and do it on a separate day, thereby creating... a Spring Celebration! (This really was not our idea, by the way. We got a lot of it from the Mahaneys.)

We chose the Monday (Dave's day off) closest to the first day of spring. In case it's unclear, that was this past Monday, March 17th. Which also happened to be St. Patrick's Day. But being neither Irish nor Catholic and therefore having no plans to honor good ol' St. Patty, we overruled shamrocks and leprachauns in favor of bunnies.

So it is now my joy to present to you... a photographic tour of the Wilcox Family's First Spring Celebration! (Photographic might be an overstatement, since that would seem to imply that I consider myself a photographer. And I don't. I'm more of a snapshotter. But anyway.)

First we had breakfast. And what better way to begin a Spring Celebration than with oh-so-nourishing Cinnabunnies?
Spring 1
(It's a bunny made out of two Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. And assorted other ingredients for decoration.)

Most people like to eat the cherry-noses off first, it seems.
Spring 2

This was absolutely the most sugary and least healthy breakfast of Meg's life to date.
Spring 3
Yes, those are Froot Loops. Having been raised by Nancy Nalle, I shudder at the mere thought of this disgusting "cereal," but to other people (like that guy I married) it's a real treat. Meg seemed to like it too.

Froot Loops Man himself, looking bright-eyes and bushy-tailed. (And who wouldn't, in the midst of such a sugar overload?)
Spring 4

After breakfast, Meg wanted to hold her brother. And Matthew wanted to touch her face and pull her hair.
Spring 5

Fast forward a few hours to egg-dyeing time at Nana's house. After explaining to Meg that the little dye tablets were not to eat and consoling her for this immense disappointment with something she could eat (grapes), we got set up for the dyeing.
Spring 6

Then Daddy explained the process.
Spring 7

Cubby watched and my mom took pictures while...
Spring 8

we got started.
Spring 9

Spring 11

Spring 10

Spring 12

Spring 13

Meg was terribly excited by this most unusual event.
Spring 14

"Are you sure I'm not allowed to drink this fantastic looking stuff?"
Spring 15

Dyeing eggs with a two-year old does result in a little bit of splashing... but the clean-up is really rather lovely.
Spring 16

After we finished the eggs, it was time for lunch. When asked if she would like soup for her luncheon, Meg replied, "No. Eggs?" Quite naturally, she assumed that she would be able to sample her own handiwork immediately. So immediately, in fact, that she didn't want to wait for the peeling...
Spring 17

"Hmm... seems a little, uh, crunchy."
Spring 18

Watching Mommy peel...
Spring 19

Her first taste of hard-boiled egg in a long time...
Spring 20
did not go over well.

Matthew apparently agreed with her assessment.
Spring 21

Speaking of Matthew, here he is with his mommy (that's me) and my mother's beanstalk--um, I mean, amaryllis. My sister Jacque gave it to her last year and it didn't bloom. This year, it has apparently decided to make up for last year's dormancy by not only preparing to bloom, but by being the tallest amaryllis ever. So there. We took this picture with the plant next to the people so that Jacque could gauge exactly how tall this thing now is.
Spring 22

OK, so this concludes the first half of our day. My next post will cover the afternoon, a.k.a., The Egg Hunt and The Second Sugar Overload. Fun, fun, fun! Stay tuned...