Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Vote...

...for the BeeBo Bra from my family.

Meg: Mommy, I can see your belly button.

Me: I know.

Meg: It feels squishy!

Me: It does, doesn't it? Squish, squish! Your baby brother is pushing it right out.

Meg: Yeah. When people see you walking by, they'll say, "There goes Cara Wilcox's belly button!"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ol' Whatshisname... and Today's Weather!

Me: Who remembers one of the jazz musicians we learned about?
Meg: Oh! Peter Parker!
Me: Mmmm... yes, well, Charlie Parker, right?
Meg: Oh, yeah! He played saxophone!
Me: Right, he was a saxophonist. Now, Peter Parker...
Meg: Yeah, he's the guy who picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Me: (giggling) No, that would be Peter Piper.
Meg: Oh, yeah!
Me: Peter Parker is the guy who turns into Spider-Man.
Meg: Oh. Right.

* * *

And in other news...


In October! The picture above doesn't do it justice--right now it's really coming down out there! David said this morning, "This is like Michigan!" (Of course, we won't have anything like Michigan accumulations, but still... I don't think I can ever remember snow before Halloween around here.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Mommy's Quiet Time

Last night at a small group meeting, I opened my journal to record a friend's prayer requests. There in front of me was a poignant reminder of the moments I spent with the Lord earlier that morning. This is what I had written:

Thursday, 27 Octo

And (as my oldest daughter entered my bedroom just as my pen rounded off that second "O") that was the entirety of my morning devotional.

Pretty rich stuff, eh?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Funny Man at Dinner


Our boy cracked us up at dinner last night. There were at least three times when he piped up with an unexpected quip and made us reconsider our words in light of how a four-year old hears them. Unfortunately, I could only remember two of the three exchanges by the time I sat down to capture them, but here are those two, for your reading (and our remembering) pleasure.

Matthew: Mommy, do you wike milk?
Me: Mmmm, not really, buddy. Not any more. Not to drink.
Matthew: Oh.
Me: But I do like milk in things, like...
Matthew: Wike a cup?

Daddy: What did you do in math today?
Meg: We played a game!
Daddy: Cool! How did that work?
Matthew: Not so good.

For the record, the math game was fun and worked fine, but I guess Matthew just saw the opportunity to get in a funny and went for it. It really did make us laugh; here is Dave, expecting an explanation of the game's rules, and Matthew immediately interjects in this VERY somber voice a blanket condemnation of the whole thing. After we had our chuckle, Matthew looked around the table with a very satisfied smile.

"I wike making people waugh," he said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Esme's Words


I wanted to capture some more of Esme's vocabulary at this stage, mostly for my own benefit. (For the rest of you, there are some cute pictures from the last three months or so, which is the period when her speech really started to take off.) This won't be an exhaustive list, I'm sure, but at least I can get down some of the frequent and/or memorable words and phrases.


blankie = "gankie"
cute = "coo"
bok-bok (the sound a chicken makes) = "ba-ba"
Mommy, Mom, Mama
Daddy (or sometimes "Maddy")
Meg = "May" (I think sometimes she also uses this sound for Matthew's name)
me (This is a brand new one--she identified the pictures in this post as "Dah me?")
I want
I don't want any
excuse (she's supposed to say this before leaving the table) = "cooz"
one more = "muh muh"


that = "dah"
yes = "yet"
my, mine
dress = "dess"
bottle = "botty"
What are we doing now, Mom? = "Wa-wa do now, Mom?"
sock = "da"
diaper = "buh-buh"
play = "pay"
I don't know = "dun no!"


home = "hone" (She is constantly asking, "Daddy hone?" Sweet.)
cracker (or cookie, or rice cake, or granola bar) = "kah-kah"
snack = "na"
please = "pea"
thank you = "ga gee" or "tank ee"
vitamin = "bi-min" (short i sound)
night-night = "nie-nie"


kiss = "muh"
hug = "huh"
cake (or muffin) = "cay"
spoon (or fork) = "poo"
Dora = "Do-ah"
Boots = "Buts"
Elmo = "Melmo"
Word World = "Wuh-Wuh"
ow, owie
hand = "han"


Nana (also what she calls Aunt Lena, and sometimes Grandpop)
read = "wee"
God = "Gah" (She's always pointing to people in our picture Bible and saying, "Dat Gah? Dat Gah?")
Bible = "Bie-buh"
all = "ah" (When we say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, she always chimes in for the final word.)
outside = "die"
come on = "mon!"
doggie = "goggie"
glasses = "ga-ga"
nose = "no"
pony tail = "puh-puh"


This is our third time watching the miracle of speech development, and I have to say, it is no less fun and delightful to Dave and me than it was with Meg or Matthew. Mmm, how can I treasure these precious baby days enough? It's just not possible!!!

PS: We love her curls.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grateful Today

Sunday. What a good day to give thanks to God! And how I hope that each and every day brings me closer to a life that exemplifies "rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances." (1 Thess 5:16-17)

Today, Lord, I am particularly thankful for:
-the knowledge that a ransomed people all over the world gathers this day to worship You, our great Redeemer
-a church family that continues to gather faithfully and expectantly even in the midst of challenge and uncertainty
-Your Holy Spirit, who continues to meet us in our weakness and unfinished-ness
-pastors who keep on loving and laboring during a troubled season
-the gift of beautiful, creative music that lifts our hearts up and helps us to delight in You
-a place to serve and do my small part to advance Your kingdom work
-my husband, his quiet and faithful leadership, his quiet and faithful service, and his bold vision
-a very rare weekend with my sister, her kids, Mom and Dad, and my other sissie
-a little girl who enjoys her cousins so much that she sobbed all the way home after saying goodbye to them
-awareness of growth in compassion and patience toward my children after years of working to put off anger
-growing understanding of who I am in Jesus: cleansed, hidden, united
-two gorgeous fall days in a row
-the beginnings of a show of ravishing autumn colors all the way home from church
-three children napping at the same time
-the certainty that You will provide grace for tomorrow, in whatever shapes and sizes I need

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Patent Pending?

Not long ago, David and I were getting ready for bed one evening when my darling, darling husband glanced at my abdomen. Gesturing to my baby belly, with its fourth-time-around uber-outie, he remarked, "Pregnant women need bras for their belly-buttons."

Thanks, Babe.

Yeah, would someone please get on that right away? Because I really, really feel that I what I need in this season is another undergarment, preferably something that I have to wrestle with and adjust. The lack of said garment is leaving a deep, aching void in my life, so please... please...

I'm sure that whoever invents the Bee-Bo Bra (apologies to Sandra Boynton and the hippos) is going to have a huge hit on his hands. Or... maybe a huge hit to the schnoz. (Kidding, of course. I would never actually punch anyone. But you know, I really can't vouch for the people at the patent office. You'll just have to hope that none of them are pregnant.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Pickin'









Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Man's a Guru

I just watched this video and about died laughing. I know that not everyone who reads here has been married to a church tech guy for (almost) eight years, and not everyone will catch all of the humor packed in to this brilliant little rap. But, seriously, y'all... if you've ever served on a worship team, if you've ever been a pastor or a pastor's wife, if you know anyone who has served or currently serves on a tech team, if you've ever had a conversation of more than five minutes with my husband, if you've ever attended church... EVER... then you owe it to the church-tech gurus of the universe to take 3 minutes and watch this. Soooo true, and soooo funny.

It should definitely grow your appreciation for the men and women who have so much knowledge and power (albeit a somewhat geeky kind of knowledge and power) and yet serve so faithfully and humbly behind the scenes.

Church Tech Gurus of Covenant Life Church: the Wilcox family loves you!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I Don't Want Any

I haven't ever posted much about Esme's speech development, but she is talking up a storm and just about killing us with her cuteness. Mostly.

One of her favorite new phrases is "I don't want any _____________ (fill-in-the-blank)." As you can imagine, her version is not quite as crisp and clear as an adult's would be. (I won't even attempt to spell it phonetically.) Nevertheless, she gets the point across, as demonstrated by two stories from this past week.

On Monday night, we grabbed a quick dinner at Chick-Fil-A after Meg and Matthew's swim lesson. I claimed a large booth right by the restrooms, so there was a lot of foot traffic by our table. On his way to the men's room, one gentleman tried to chat with Esme, but she only stared. On his way back out, he stopped abruptly and gave Esme a big wave and a booming "Hi!" Startled, she stared at him again, then shook her head. "No," she said decisively. The man graciously smiled and shrugged. When he was gone, Esme turned to Dave and me to declare, "I don't want any, 'Hi.'"

Well then!

On Thursday morning, I was outside with the kids during our recess, and we were playing "camping" in the woods. Esme was a little unsure about our imaginary campfire, hot dog roasting, tents, etc., but when it was time to go to sleep in our "tent," she agreed to come curl up on the ground with me. I started to pretend-snore. You know about how it sounds: "Hggggggghhhhhhhh-shoooooooo... hggggggghhhhhhhh-shoooooooo." After about three of these, Esme lifted her head from its pillowed spot on my belly and looked me straight in the eye. "I don't want any 'shoo.'"

I guess you gotta love a girl who knows what she wants. Or what she doesn't want, in this case.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Saturday Art Lesson

Around here, school is usually Tuesday through Saturday, since Daddy's day off is Monday. And Saturday is a great chance to give extra time to art and music. Today we learned about the color wheel, all the while enjoying the spectacular autumn weather.

Starting with the primary colors...

...we worked our way slowly around the circle, mixing, mixing...



"Mommy, look at my red-violet. It looks like the inside of a cherry!"

(If you want to know why my children have such enormous grins on their faces, it's because they're finding themselves very funny at this moment. Whenever I ask them to smile for a picture, they immediately give me this monotone "Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese," and a glassy-eyed, not-happy-looking, robotic stare. So then I ask them to choose something else to say. Usually, like today, they come out with "trashcan," which I think is their idea of an almost-bad word and therefore obviously hilarious. At least it gets me genuine smiles.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

First Field Trip

Last Thursday we took our first "real" field trip of the year. We are blessed to be part of a group of families who are all homeschooling kids in the K-through-2nd-grade range. We've all teamed up to plan and attend field trips together--sometimes as many as two per month! It's going to be a fun year.

This first trip was a visit to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, VA. It's a living history farm that gives folks a chance to step back to the year 1771 and find out what life was like in colonial America. We attended the Farm Skills Program, where children get hands on experience with tasks that their colonial counterparts might have performed--things like dipping candles, pounding corn, carding and spinning wool, and even playing some 18th-century games.

As we entered the farm, we first encountered the tobacco barn (Meg for some reason always tries to pronounce it to-BOK-o), situated next to the tobacco fields and used as a space for drying the harvested leaves.

This turkey greeted us as we approached the barn. We learned that turkeys were herded through tobacco fields because they devour tobacco worms, one of the greatest threats to this important cash crop.

A closer look at Tom T., in all his glory:

(Personal confession: I HATE the way a turkey's head looks. That particular texture absolutely makes me want to puke.)

Inside the tobacco barn...

And trying to get back outside the tobacco barn, as a territorial goose barred the way (almost causing my oh-so-courageous children to fall apart completely):

After our escape from the poultry, we started larnin' us some farm skills. First, Meg and Matthew and I got to dip our own candles. This station was somewhat of a disaster for my crew--an unfortunate collision of hot wax, delicate skin, very clear expectations of what a "farm" ought to be, and disillusionment. What with one burn and two bad attitudes, (mine being one of the latter), we had some rough moments, and I came closer than I've ever come before to packing my kids up early and going home. Fortunately... God to the rescue. He eventually picked up our pieces, changed our hearts, and let us move on to...

corn pounding!

Did anyone else in my generation (beside fellow Nalle girls) grow up eating the occasional bowl of cornmeal for breakfast? With a pat of butter melting in the middle? Mmmm, I want some. But I'm really glad we never had to do this before we got to eat ours.

Next we got to learn about making fabric. This lady told us about raw wool...

...and showed us how to card some until it was fine and smooth. (No picture of the process, but here's a crummy one of the finished product.)

We then tried to spin the wool into thread using a drop spindle. We failed. But we stopped and took some silly pictures instead! Does that count for anything?

At this point, my kids were more than ready for the station where we learned about colonial-style games and amusements. Meg and Matthew didn't have much luck rolling hoops or playing quoits, but they loved the section that was done up like an 18th-century playground (if there was such a thing). They enjoyed the great rope swing, crude see-saws and a balance beam, a kind of bean bag toss, and this game:

It involved a hoop suspended from a tree branch. The object was to take the "dart" (a long feather weighted at one end by a bit of corn cob) and throw it through the hoop.
(In this picture you can see the feather dart on its trajectory--it's the beige blur near the bottom right.)

This was such a big hit I'm thinking of making one for our yard.

And that was about it for our time at the farm.

Overall, though we definitely enjoyed our visit, I think my kids were a bit on the young side for optimum benefit. I wouldn't mind possibly taking them back when they are eight or nine, more inquisitive, more educated about the colonial era, and more coordinated. (And hey, while I'm describing the ideal, why not when we have Daddy with us too?) I think they would appreciate the whole event even more at that point. It's so neat that small-scale living history places like this exist, and I'm grateful for my friend Debbie, who planned this trip for all of us!