Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Dailies, #6

Ummmm.... are you home yet? Oh, no, you're stuck in Louisville awaiting a flight that's been delayed till 11:50 p.m. Stink! You were supposed to be snuggling up to my zonked self in bed by then. Oh, well. Just try and secure some Mountain Dew for your drive home, OK? No falling asleep at the wheel, puh-lease!

Meg's first utterance when she cuddled up in my arms for bedtime prayers was, "Daddy...?" She said it in this sort of shy, wondering way, as if she was hoping it was really true that you'd be home tomorrow, but she wasn't quite sure. I assured her that, yes, she really would get to see you sometime tomorrow! She can't wait! And me neither!

This morning when I pulled up the dining room shade at breakfast, Meg's comment was, "That's so beee-wul!" (Beautiful.) Her pronunciation made me chuckle, as did her choice of adjectives, since it was drizzly and gray out, but I'm glad that she seems to appreciate our view so much!

Guess what we have? A beach house! Asher and Jacque went down to OBX this weekend and found a place in Duck--sounds like the northern part, but I'm not sure. Mom and Dad secured the rental yesterday. I have the link, so you'll get to check out the pictures tomorrow if you like. Spruills thought the beach access was very good, so hopefully Cub and the kids will have an easier time of it than last year. Exciting!

Meg and I looked at some of our beach pics from last year over dinner, and when she saw a close-up of herself with the brightly striped fabric of a beach chair in the background, she said that she was sitting on "a kite." I thought that was interesting. I told her that it was actually a beach chair, and when she saw the next picture, she correctly captioned it as "Meg and Daddy sitting on beach chairs together."

Matthew seemed fine today and is sleeping well so far tonight. Hopefully last night's fever was just a flash in the pan. Sweet little guy. His high temperature sure didn't seem to affect his temperament. I brought him downstairs for a few minutes to see if I could get some juice into him, and he was just crawling around in the kitchen like he always does, big smiles and happy coos as usual.

God was very near to me today, helping me to cry out to Him more frequently and use self-control in anger-prone moments. Still far from perfect, but I was encouraged. I re-listened to part of Josh's Mother's Day message last night and was literally talking out loud to myself throughout, trying to get a fresh hold on truths that I don't always seem to believe.

Josh: The outcome of your parenting is not dependent on your efforts.

Cara: No? No, it's not.

Josh: It is dependent on the grace of God.

Cara: Yes. YES.

Some quick pics, and then I'll be finished for tonight... and finished with this series of "Dailies", God willing!

This first shot featured one of my favorite Meg dress-up ensembles ever. It consisted of her onesie, the bloomers that matched the dress she had been wearing (said dress was discarded following breakfast after absorbing about a half cup of milk), and her pink winter hat. Gotta love a two-year old's fashion sense. Actually, it doesn't look much more bizarre than some of the get-ups that come down the runways in Milan and Paris.

Your wife and your son...

...and your little girl, jumping off the end of the twirly slide.

Before you know it, she'll be jumping into your arms... we can't wait to welcome you home, Love.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Dailies, #5

Hey, Love. Is this our longest time ever away from each other, or does it just seem that way? Not that I'm complaining--I was thinking today about all of the military families who spend months and even years of their lives apart from each other--and they do it knowing that they may not see one another again. I'm so grateful for their sacrifice. It makes our little six days apart look pretty trivial, doesn't it? But I do still miss you. :)

As I texted you, we did make it home in one piece today. It was a little later than I originally intended, but we made it. And the only things I left at Mom's (so far as I have discovered) were a couple of food items in the fridge and freezer. (Including the lettuce for the Dabb's meal. Whoops! But I think they already had some.)

We need to remember to go to that park by the Dabbs' house one of these family days in the near future. What's it called? Ovid something Wells or something like that? Anyway, the playground there looks really fun. Meg was excited that we got to see it it twice. (Once when we drove in, once when we drove out.) Only imagine her joy if we should actually get out of the car and play on it!

It was kind of hard to leave Cubby. I know he'll be fine, but I liked being there to keep him company, and I know he liked it too. Ah, well. Tomorrow night you and Lena will both be home, and then no more aloneness for either of us!

When we walked in our front door today, I could smell our house smell. That's always so weird--to smell that smell that other people probably notice every time they come in, but I only notice when I've been away for an extended time.

I dealt with less anger overall today, I think, but I still gave in to temptation a couple of times and had to seek Meg's forgiveness. I am thankful that she seems to forgive me readily and completely. As soon as I confess and ask her to forgive me, the cloud of my sin seems to evaporate for her, and I am suddenly just her beloved mommy once more. I want to forgive like that!

This afternoon, when we pulled in to our parking space and got out of the car, Meg noticed a Honda across the street and said, "Daddy's car!" (It was a black Accord with pinstripe detailing, so she was pretty close!) She is really on the lookout for any sign your return... sweet.

After dinner and a few rounds of "Who's-Gonna-Get-You-In-The-Kitchen" tonight, Meg and I took some self-portraits, as I got no other pictures today. Here they are, for your amusement.

Our first attempts:
2Girls 1
2Girls 2

Then Meg decided she wanted to push the button. Here she is figuring out how to do it. Concentration...
2Girls 3

Meg worked hard on refining her button-pushing technique, by clicking away furiously. I worked (not very hard) on amusing myself, by making stupid faces.
2Girls 7
2Girls 8

And eventually we got one where we're both smiling AND looking in the right place! Amazing!!
2Girls 6

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Dailies, #4

Hi, David. Glad to read that the orchestra session was going well. And thanks for calling earlier today. I miss you so much.

Am very glad we've stayed with Cub again tonight. He was even more pleased about it than I expected. Thanks for helping me decide what to do.

The kids did so well in church this morning. Matthew slept in someone's arms through most of his class! I couldn't believe it--I never would have predicted it! The lady who got to hold him really enjoyed it, I think. She told me he was "a darling baby" and thanked me for bringing him to class. "Uh, no," I said, "thank you!"

Here's a cute sound-byte from one of these recent days... I forget which one. I took Matthew over to say goodnight to Meg at a nap time. "Say goodnight to your brother, Meg," I said.

"Goodnight, Brother!" she said. "Obey Mommy!" Sounds an awful lot like what you say when you leave for work in the mornings, eh?

And as I was typing this, I heard her say it again on her way upstairs to "put teddy bear to bed RIGHT NOW!" (Those last two words are a recent addition to her teddy-to-bed game--she always shouts them.) "See ya later, Buddy! Obey Mommy!"

I'm afraid, however, that Meg was not much able to take her own advice this evening. She was not obeying, and she was finding herself quite funny in her disobedience. I was not. In fact, I was very angry with her much of the afternoon and had to ask her forgiveness multiple times. Oh, my wretched sin. I am so grateful for the gospel, which allowed me to say to Meg tonight, after my third or fourth apology, "Meg, Mommy is a sinner who needs a Savior. That's why Jesus came to die on the cross for my sins. Jesus is our Savior." How I pray that God's saving grace will be magnified in Meg's eyes through her mommy's many failures.

At one exasperated moment tonight, I had the thought, "There's nothing I can do to make her understand!" (I wanted her to STOP laughing every time she disobeyed me and understand the seriousness of her own sin.) And then I had the thought, "That's right. There's nothing I can do." And when I realized afresh that God is the only one who can do what needs doing in Meg's little heart, I finally experienced the release of the weight I'd been carrying all evening--the terrible pressure I sometimes (wrongly) feel to make her obey. I think this may be the root of my anger with Meg even more often than I realize. I want and need to examine this area of my heart more.

I got only three pictures today, and one of them is pretty bad, but it will make you smile, I think, because it's a familiar scene:

And since we're covering Meg's snacktime, let's just stick with the theme of munching. Here's Matthew, doing his best to eat Cheerios...

...and to eat mulch.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Dailies, #3

Well, my Darling, it's late, and I'm tired. And I haven't heard from you yet this evening, so my guess is that, if/when you read this, you too will be tired. So I'll keep this brief.

-Beautiful weather today; we got out a couple of times, just to Mom and Dad's back yard, as you'll see in pictures.
-I got some writing done!! One scene: Jesus and the Samaritan woman, at the well. Hooray.
-Meg misses you very much and keeps hoping aloud that today will be the day that we'll "see Daddy." We're half-way there, as of tonight! Three days to go...
-Matthew's begun eating Cheerios, dry of course, and one at a time. He doesn't quite have the pincher grasp to be able to get them himself, but he likes it when Mama feeds them to him.
-Matthew tried "climbing" down the one step into the dining room here at Mom's--head first. Fortunately, he let himself down fairly gently and landed on a cushy eye-glasses case (the vinyl kind). Not so much as a bump on his head--but plenty of wailing to make up for it!
-Watched the recent PBS version of Sense and Sensibility with Cub tonight; this explains the lateness of the hour. I'm grateful we've been able to be here with him.
-Meggy's primed for church tomorrow, as usual--I just pray that she won't freak out when Aunt Lena's not waiting for her in class tomorrow...

Funny boy, stuck at the step... he won't even try to come up, though he attempted the down today. In the foreground you can see the glasses case that broke his fall later.

The babies hangin' with Cub on the patio.

Matthew did not want to be set down in the grass today and spent some time suspending himself above it, thus:

Oh, you poor, fragile, little thing, you.

Meg's teddy of choice for the day, seated on the fence facing the yellow slide so he could "watch me go down slide."

Our daughter, the miniature movie star.

Too cute.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Dailies, #2

Hi, Love. Thanks for all of your Twitters. Your wife is following them hungrily! You need to post a picture of yourself sometime for Meg to see. I showed her the first one of the auditorium, but she didn't quite follow the idea that you were there in that room along with all the stuff.

Our breakfast conversation today:
Me: Daddy's setting up for the conference today. That means that they'll have a bunch of trucks with lots of equipment and instruments on them, and they'll bring all of the equipment off the trucks and put it together in a big room. So it'll be a long, busy day.
Meg: No. Daddy a airplane.
Me: That's right, Daddy was on an airplane yesterday. It took him to Kentucky, where the conference is.
Meg: No. Daddy take a special playground.
Me: No, Sweetie, Daddy won't be able to take you to the playground today. But Mommy will probably take you to a playground.
Meg: No... Daddy take a special playground maybe.

A few minutes later, in the middle of a mouthful of Cheerios, Meg pipes up dreamily, "Go a playground, see somebody play baseball, oh, so much fun!" I think she was thinking of this Monday's outing with a certain favorite someone, don't you?

And here's another funny comment from the day. When I pulled up the shade in the dining room this morning, exposing our magnificent view of one tree, one grassy hill, two cars and the back of a blue townhouse, Meg said, "See whole world!" Then as I climbed on one of the chairs so I could tuck the blind's pull cord up out of reach, she encouraged me with, "Good standing! Good standing on feet, Mama."

Pics from today at the playground behind the Marcs' neighborhood! This first one is my anti-vanity dose for the day.

And here are our sweet babies.




Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Dailies, #1

David's in Louisville now, so I'm posting a "dailies" series to keep him current with family life... as hum-drum as it sometimes is! Don't know that these posts will be of much interest to anyone but a loving husband and daddy, but...

Here's what happened today:
-Meg ate an entire half of a PB&J for lunch--bread included! (In the past, most attempts to give her bread resulted in her licking off the butter/honey/peanut butter/jam and discarding the bread.)
-Matthew ate small pieces of avocado for lunch (unmashed) for the first time. I think he sort of like this "chewing" (gumming, more accurately) thing.
-Poor Megger has a yucky diaper rash again--I think it's the cantaloupe this time. Poor muffin loves her summer fruit, but her body doesn't love her for it.
-No late afternoon nap for Matthew today. He positively screamed for the whole half-an-hour when I tried putting him down, despite his eye-rubbing beforehand. Other than that though, he was such a cutie today. He followed me around the first floor while I was dusting and tried to climb on me, "talking" loudly the whole time.
-I learned that Les Mis is coming to Wolf Trap at the end of the summer! I'd love to see that again some day... it's been since tenth grade. It might be the week of Ronae's wedding that it's playing though... probably a little pricey too. (Hey, maybe Latricia could get us discount tickets for that too! [Yeah, right. I wish.])
-I talked with Cub this afternoon. He came home a day early to get back on his oxygen machine at night. We're still planning to head over there tomorrow evening. Cub's proposed Wendy's salads for dinner. :)
-Meg seemed to grasp the notion that you were on an airplane today. She mentioned it several times around the dinner hour...

Here are the daily shots of your cute babies. It only took me five minutes to get Meg to stand still enough for this:
forDave 1

Look, you can see his little teeth-stubs! See 'em?
forDave 2

Things To Remember, Part 1

I had the idea today for a continuing series of posts in which I note things I want to preserve in my memory for some specific future use. These will be letters to myself, exhortations to the future me to recall the me of today. Are you ready?

To My Future Self:

This morning you were sitting here, at the computer, while Matthew took his nap. Meg was in the "playroom" (or the section of our living room so designated), playing happily, quietly, and peace reigned. Then a little voice called out, "Mooooooo-meeeeeee!" And you stopped reading whatever-it-was on the screen, and you smiled, because even though it would have been nice to keep reading, your little girl was calling you. Calling you. Calling you. By name.

I imagine (and pray) that there will come a day when there are multiple little voices calling your name. I imagine that sometimes they will all call at once, or perhaps cry at once, as they all believe that they need something from you right away. I imagine that, at times like that, you will roll your eyes--or do something worse--at the sound of your name. I imagine that you will take it for granted someday that there are little people who love you and want you and call you by that sweet and short-lived title: Mommy.

And at times like those, you silly, sinful Self, I hope you remember that there was once a time when a call for Mommy sounded sweetly to your ears. I hope you remember that, even after you became a mother, it took a long time for someone to start calling you Mommy. I hope you remember that you once thought, "I've waited all my life for someone to call me Mommy. And now it's here!"

And more than that, Self, I hope you remember that God didn't have to make you a mommy. You certainly don't deserve this gift. But God gave it anyway. And since He made you a mommy, He is giving you grace to respond to your children's requests and demands with joy and peace. So stop reading. Take a deep breath. And smile... because someone is calling your name.

Very sincerely,


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sending Daddy Off Again

Today we're packing Dave up for New Attitude, which is in Louisville again this year. He flies out tomorrow so that he can be there bright and early Friday morning for load-in and set-up. He'll be back next Tuesday night, I think, late.

It's always a joy to release my husband to serve at this conference. He does such a great job of mixing, and this is one of the few occasions where he really gets to concentrate on this particular skill. Plus, this year's conference brings a fun challenge--adding a 20-something piece orchestra to one or two of the sessions! (Hopefully I'm getting the details right.)

However--and this is a big however--the man of our family certainly will be missed. Not the least by this little person:
Reading to Meg 1
You should see her on Mondays lately. She is all Daddy's girl on his day off; you can tell how much she misses him during the rest of the week. On Mondays, Daddy is Meg's playmate, personal chef, chief book-reader, pillow, snuggle-buddy, and slave. Anything that is to be done for her must be done by Daddy. Anywhere that she is to go, Daddy's gotta take her there. It's pretty cute.

Reading to Meg 2

Your doting family will be praying for you, my David. Thanks for using your gifts to serve the Lord... and thanks for always coming back home to us. We love you so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ari's First Birthday

Two weekends ago, we went to Virginia for my nephew's first birthday celebration! Here are a few (not very good) pictures of our time there, especially for those friends of the Nalle family who are now far away.

Ari's first birthday dessert was his momma's strawberry shortcake, with freshly picked strawberries (courtesy of Dad, Lena, Jacque and me). Make a wish, Ari!
Ari's BDay 1

First tentative bite... then he went to town!
Ari's BDay 2

Jacque enjoying her little boy's delight.
Ari's BDay 4

Opening the first cards...
Ari's BDay 5

...then presents. This is Jacque as she opened our gift, which included a jar of bubbles. Right after she made this face she said, "It's very wet... and sticky." Uh-oh.
Ari's BDay 6

Well, after we cleaned up that mess, we got to see Ari open Nana and Grandpop's present--a talking, Elmo, shapes-naming, wheel thing. Ari was giddy with joy.
Ari's BDay 11
(For the rest of the visit, the three kids all played with this thing together, while the adults rued the day it was invented.)

Here's Lena, modeling a tissue-paper kerchief. Very stylish, very green--we Nalles are into creative recycling.
Ari's BDay 8

Ain't she a cutie-pie?
Ari's BDay 9

This last one is Meg, eating her strawberry shortcake and looking... startled? Guilty? Like a deer about to get hit by a Suburban?
Ari's BDay 10

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone even thought to get a single group/family shot, or even one of the three kids together. Hopefully next time...

We love you, Spruill family! Thanks for opening your home to us and allowing us to celebrate with you. We are grateful to God for adding Ari to our clan... one whole year ago.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eight Months Old (by Matthew)

Matthew8Mos 1

I can sum up my eighth month of life in a single word, folks. It's spelled M-O-B-I-L-I-T-Y. Yes, that's right--shortly after I hit the seven-month mark, I took off crawling. And life will never be the same.

Matthew8Mos 3

Meg is the special beneficiary of my new skill. Since I practically idolize my sister, I am happy to follow her anywhere she goes. She thinks this is great, and loves to walk from room to room saying, "Coming, Buddy! Coming!" (She means "come here.") Then when I start plodding toward her, she shrieks with laughter and says, "He gonna getchoo!" Then she moves on to another spot and we do the whole thing again. It's our own primitive brand of tag, and I am always "it".

Of course, me being mobile means that I have the capacity to make my sister very unhappy as well. All I have to do is head for a toy that belongs to her. Or a toy that she thinks belongs to her because heretofore I have been too little to enjoy it. So Daddy and Mommy have begun to navigate the wide, wide river of teaching us to share and prefer one another's pleasure to our own. It looks like it'll be a pretty long voyage.

Crawling means that I can express some of my preferences better than I have before. It means that I can choose where I want to go, what I want to see and touch. I'm very drawn to things that spin or rotate, things like fans, our desk chair, my sister's doll stroller wheels, and her sit-and spin.
Matthew8Mos 4
I like to find a seat under the chair or beside the stroller and see if I can get my fairly uncoordinated little hands to make stuff start rolling.
Matthew8Mos 5
At times I remind Mommy of a miniature auto-mechanic, particularly when I'm under the desk chair. It's sort of like when they crank a car up on those big jacks at a tire shop and the guys stand under it.

So far we've only had one major, crawling-related accident. This is how it went from Mommy's perspective. We were at Nana's house one day last week, and the door to Cubby's basement apartment was open. Everyone (all six adults, plus Meg) was distracted for a moment, and no one noticed me taking off toward the door. After a moment, Meg approached the stairs, laughed delightedly at something she saw further down, and bounded after it. Noticing this, Mommy suddenly realized that I was nowhere to be seen. In the split second that followed, I was heard crying, as if at a distance. "Where's Matthew?" cried Daddy, who was closest to the door, and raced down the basement stairs. Somehow, I had made my way down the first four stairs to a landing, then down another seven or eight stairs to the second landing. Only then did I begin to cry, and even then I stopped as soon as Daddy snatched me up. Just a little confused, apparently, or frightened--not hurt. Thank God that those steps have nice, thick carpeting! (Ever since then, when we visit Nana's house, the door to those stairs always seems to be closed...)

I continue to enjoy solid food, in quantities that rather startle my parents. This month I added sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, asparagus, apple sauce, winter squash, yogurt, cottage cheese, prune juice, and blueberry-and-pomegranate juice to my diet. Yesterday I got my first taste of non-pureed (or fork-smashed) food: Monterey Jack cheese! I even managed to get a few pieces in my mouth using my own fingers!

My cutest characteristic (so Mommy says) is the little dance that I do about thirty times a day. If you remember the brief head-bobbing I did in that pre-crawl video from a couple of months ago, you already have a taste of it. I'm just really into jerking my head around--sort of a cross between nodding and the head movement for the Walk-Like-An-Egyptian dance. I almost always do it when I'm happy or excited. A guy's gotta have some way of expressing his enthusiasm, right?

The very latest thing I'm doing is vocalizing--lots and lots and lots. Describing the sounds I make is... difficult. You might say that my favorite noise is a prolonged, happy sounding groan that escalates in volume until it eventually ends in a squeal. Pretty hard to imagine, isn't it? Well, I also do some simpler da-da-da's on occasion. My talking brings Mommy much delight during the day, as it is another thing that I usually do to express happiness. (Are you detecting that I am overall a pretty happy guy?)

Last of all, Mommy says she just has to boast about how good I was today. She went to Virginia for Aunt Elsbeth's bridal shower, and since she was going to be gone for a long time, she needed to take me with her. (I still don't do bottles, thank you very much.) Well, we were at that shower for a solid three hours, and I got hardly any afternoon nap (on top of a rudely shortened morning one), and all of these strange ladies were talking to me and holding me, and there were no toys or other children to entertain me. And I was an angel. I barely made so much as a squawk the whole time! (Although there was a very enthusiastic one that I managed to time just as Aunt Els unwrapped some fancy lingerie). All of the ladies said very kind things to Mommy about my behavior. This blessed her very much, because she was a little nervous about having me there, lest I be a distraction. Well, glad I could serve ya, Mommy.

Believe it or not, I am quite happy in this picture. I'm just in the middle of "talking" to Mom, and that requires intense concentration.
Matthew8Mos 2

Still not getting the whole smile-for-the-camera thing.
Matthew8Mos 6

But if someone sitting beside the camera can provide a diversion, then you might be able to capture a little grin.
Matthew8Mos 7

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From Mom To Me To Meg (Oh, Please, Oh, Please, Lord!)

Sunday we enjoyed a great Mother's Day celebration. What a wonderfully encouraging message our senior pastor preached, primarily for the benefit of moms, but applicable to anyone, everyone! And what a lovely meal and fellowship we enjoyed with my family after church. Thanks for making the food, Lean-Bean. Mmmm, salmon! Delish!

We spent some time during lunch honoring my mother for the effect of her life on the lives of her daughters. I don't think I could possibly underestimate her impact on my own path. The fact that I always, always wanted to be a wife and a mom more than anything else (even a ballet dancer! even an actor!) is something I can only attribute to her example.

My mom stayed at home with us through all of our growing up years. She packed our lunches, drove us to endless dance practices and play rehearsals, and stayed up late listening to us unburden our teenaged souls. Through it all, I never, ever had the sense that there was anything else she would rather be doing. She never communicated that her life was boring, or unfulfilling, or dull, or stifling, or beneath her, or repetitious, or thankless, or full of drudgery, or any of those things that certain feminists claim about the lives of traditional housewives. Quite the contrary! Watching Mom, I decided at a tender age that being a stay-at-home mother must be the best profession in the world. And now I am discovering--day by day, diaper by diaper, desperate-for-God's-help moment by moment--that I was absolutely right.

Yesterday--Monday--was Dave's day off, and he christened it "Extended Mother's Day". He let me sleep in, forbade me to make his lunch, and took the family out to dinner at our fave kid-friendly spot, Red Robin. Over our burgers, he gave me two cards (one from him, one from "the kids") and attempted to lead Meg in honoring Mama.

"Meg," he said, "what's your favorite thing about your mommy?" Brief pause, as Meg stared at her food. He tried again. "What do you like most about Mommy?" Meg looked up from her plate and said in a deeply serious tone, "Woman."

We cracked up, affirmed our daughter for her correct assessment of Mommy's gender, and moved on. Obviously, Meg's not yet quite old enough for that question. Maybe next year.

But as I thought about it a little more, I decided that "Woman" might be a pretty profound answer to Dave's question after all. Now, I'm not saying that Meg even fully understood the word she used, much less that she meant anything by it. What I'm saying is that, if my daughter thoughtfully answered the same question in the same way fifteen or twenty years from now, I think I might be very grateful.

Because, really, when someone asks me, "What do you admire about your mom?" my answer is just a more mature and developed version of "Woman." What I love and respect about my mom is that she has painted a portrait of biblical womanhood for me. She has showed me the beauty, the greatness of serving others with joy and grace. She has loved her husband faithfully, raised her daughters devotedly, worked in her home tirelessly, served her church passionately, cared for others genuinely. And thought of herself infrequently.

That's what I wanna do with my life. That's who I want to be when I grow up. That's what I want my daughters and sons to say about me someday. When I look at my mom, I see Jesus Christ reflected. Could I hope for better results from my own life? Could I pass on something better to my little girl?

Oh, my Meggy... how I pray that you would someday see in your Mommy, as you will no doubt see in your Nana, the glory of true womanhood. It's the glory of a life lived in humble, loving service to others; the glory of a life that could only be because Jesus died on the cross; the glory of a life that points others to Him! That's the best definition I know of that word you used yesterday, Sweetheart. That's what it means to be a woman.

Nana & Meg

Spice Bath, Anyone?

This morning I went upstairs to give Matthew his nap. Meg was not very happy about me leaving her alone downstairs, so I guess she went looking for consolation in the pantry. And apparently, lacking the warmth of the maternal bosom, she found another kind of heat.

As I padded down the stairs after Matthew was down, I heard scrambling noises from the kitchen--usually a sign that Meg has been up to something and knows she has just seconds to distance herself from the evidence. Here's what I found when I rounded the corner.
Spice 1

That's chili powder and red pepper flakes, in case you couldn't tell.
Spice 2

I'm afraid this is not Meg's first venture into the spice cabinet; she once emptied massive quantities of oregano onto the linoleum as well. But oregano doesn't stain hands and clothes.
Spice 3
Spice 4

She tracked the fine, red grains of chili powder into every corner of my kitchen. Fortunately, they're easily picked up with a vacuum cleaner. Also fortunately, this happened before the floor mopping that I have scheduled for today!

To top it all off, my little stinker ate my breakfast of strawberries, which I had carefully placed "out of her reach" on a counter before going upstairs. This was after she had a healthy portion of strawberries for her own breakfast! And here's the proof of her nerve:
Spice 5
(Meg likes this picture. Every time she sees it, she gets a big smile on her face and says, "Traaaaawbees" [strawberries]! WHAT a naughty thing she is!)

In closing, I'd like to note that I am so grateful to have this blog as an outlet! In moments of mischief, where I otherwise might be tempted, I can't tell you how many times the thought, "Well, at least this will make a good blog entry" has saved me from an angry or irritated reaction with Meg. It gets me reaching for my camera instead of the neck of one small girlie. So praise the Lord for blogs! And more than that, praise Him for curious children, who do such a good job of keeping life... spicy.