December 29, 2011

While I was driving . . .

On a normal, average day, a trip from Seattle/Tacoma Airport to our home on Whidbey usually takes two and a half hours. Today it took us four.

Of course, we did make a side trip to the Northgate Mall. And a stop off at the Smokey Point rest area. And then the drive-through at Panda Express for dinner. And then there was all the traffic in between those stops.

Apparently, one should not expect to drive quickly on a major freeway during rush hour. I'd forgotten that.

Driving through the big city was fun until the sun went down. We listened to music, called Daddy to ask him what he wanted for dinner. Caleb told me stories about his green Red Robin ballon we'd got at lunch. We both agreed on how much we missed Grammy and Grandpa (already). Then the sun went down. Everything got dark. Nothing fun to look at except tail lights. Nothing to do except count down the exit signs between where you are and where you want to be. 48. 47. 46.

Somewhere around Stop #2, I was ready to be home. Turned on loud keep-me-awake music. Chanted to myself "Raviolis and a nap! Raviolis and a nap!" (Inside joke: if you are not familiar with the work of comedian John Pinette, look him up on YouTube or Netflix. You'll thank me later.)

Chanting got old after a while, so somewhere between Stop #3 and home, I wrote a musical. A Christian 80's musical. Complete with off-the-shoulder sweaters, tube socks, and funky hair. Featuring the music of Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Brian Duncan, and other such big 80's singers. Oh yeah. You should have seen me blocking the choreography in the car. Running lines with Caleb. It's gonna be a big hit on Broadway, let me tell you. I can see the neon lights from here.


Ok, so it sounded like a good idea at the time. While I was driving. Bored. In the dark.

Where does your mind wander to when you're driving?

December 28, 2011

Twas a few days after Christmas . . .


Bedding tumbles in the washer downstairs, Caleb giggles to the antics of a very curious monkey, and the back door opens halfway to usher in fresh rain-washed air.

Can I tell you how good it feels to just sit?

And maybe munch on a milk-chocolate-with-caramel-latte Ghirardelli square? Ooooo yeah.

There is entirely too much chocolate in this house. Hershey's kisses, See's Candy, Ghirardelli, MnMs. You name it and we probably have it in a variety of flavors. Heaven help us.

I blame Christmas. Darn candy-filled holiday. Halloween? Psshhh. We accumulated more candy this month than the last three Halloweens combined. And I have no idea what I am going to do with it all.

Eat it? Bake with it? Use it to stucco the walls?

In other news, we had a happy Christmas on Sunday. We opened presents here with my mom and step-dad (who are visiting from CA), and then spent a couple of hours with Jason's family at his parents' house, doing Christmas all over again. I felt like I'd run a marathon by the end of the day, and the living room still has not recovered.

But hanging with family is always merry. The Neuhauser men taught Harry how to play cribbage. I got to ooo and aaahh over my adorable nephew. Caleb ran around, sipping everyone's sodas and stealing cribbage pegs.

Oh the joys of the season, eh? :) Children bring such a spirit of curiosity and hilarity with them wherever they go. I sit and watch and laugh and count myself lucky that I get to be the audience for my son's antics. He's such a goof ball.

And now for a moment of randomness: my hands smell like celery. Probably has something to do with the chicken soup in the crockpot. I've decided I really like the smell of the celery. Bath and Body Works needs to come out with a celery fragrance. I think it'd be a big hit for them.

Anyway, that's about it for now. Mom and Harry are sightseeing down south today before heading back to Cali tomorrow. I still have presents to put away and homes to find for all this chocolate. If I don't post before the New Year, I hope you all have a fun, safe weekend, and a bright 2012!

December 6, 2011

In those days . . . along came a dinosaur

"In those days Caeser Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register."
Luke 2:1-3

Our own Joseph and Mary have been steadily traveling through the house as they make their way to Bethleham. And they've picked up an unexpected companion. See?

Forget about a star shining so bright. Yesterday Caleb decided the dinosaur would show them the way. And when we told Daddy about it last night, he said

"Well, the bible doesn't say how they got to Bethleham. Who knows? Maybe they had some help."


What has made you smile today?

December 2, 2011

His first prayer request...

I heard Caleb pray for the first time last night.

It was dinner time and I was in the kitchen.

(Dinner time is not my favorite part of the day)

Caleb was hounding me for food. Literally. Begging and whining and crying. Because I never feed him anything. Of course. Duh.

He'd already had snacks. Snacks (plural). As in more than one. He wasn't starving. But the tears and the whining had to stop. So I sent him to his room on time-out.

(Not my favorite part of the day. Have I mentioned that?)

I continued to cut vegetables for a salad while a pot of water boiled merrily on the stove. Then, from his bedroom down the hall, I heard:

"God? I want a banana. Pweese!"

It took a moment to register. I poked my head around the corner. Did I really just hear . . . ?

"Caleb, did you just ask God for a banana?"

Teary, snuffily sounds. "Uh-huh."

I started cracking up. Quietly at first. Then louder. I couldn't help it.

What's a girl to do?

Caleb heard me chuckling and came padding back to the kitchen.

"Oh sweet boy! You're in luck. God just changed Mommy's heart. You may have a banana."

How was I gonna say no after that?

Caleb happily sat down to munch his banana. I stirred the pot, still chuckling.

The banana was quickly gone, but then Caleb wanted crackers.

"No, Caleb. I'm making dinner. You need to wait."

"But but but, I want to ask God!"

Hey, it had worked for the banana. Why not try it again?

I paused to stifle more laughter. He wasn't going to give up easily, was he? I wanted to encourage his desire to pray, but at the same time let him know prayer was not some magical way of getting whatever you want.

"You can ask God for anything, sweetie, but that doesn't mean the answer will be yes."

"But," the tears were coming again, "but I want to change your heart!"

Oh my. Ooooohhhhhh my.

Well, he didn't get crackers. He sure prayed hard for them, but the Mommy's heart was unmoved. I sorta feel to blame. We've been asking God for snow all week. Apparently, Caleb wanted to see if "asking God" worked for other things too.

Jason and I had a good laugh when he got home. Then I called my mom and we shared another good laugh.

It's just so precious to see a little boy learning about faith and how things work. It blesses my heart. Truly.

Merry Christmas, friends! Happy December 2nd!

December 1, 2011

In the Beginning

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning."
John 1:1

Happy December First, everyone! Caleb and I started our 24-day advent calendar this morning, and John 1:1 was the verse of the day. See our snowflake? Caleb put it in the mitten pocket and found three MnMs waiting for him as a reward. :) Guess who will be eagerly waiting by the calendar tomorrow morning?

Mary and Joseph also started their month-long trek through our house today. See the happy couple? They're hanging out on Caleb's jungle gym downstairs. Tomorrow we'll move them to Blue's Clue #2 on a nearby window sill.

Eventually, they'll make their way upstairs and on Christmas Eve, finally arrive at the stable!

What's with the Blue's Clues you ask? Well . . . it's one of Caleb's favorite shows and he's always on the lookout for clues. I figured the paw prints would be a good visual way for him to see where Mary and Joseph are going. Plus, he helped me tape them around the house this morning, mapping out a route and picking places for them to go each day. Including the freezer and the back porch. :) We had such a blast! Originally, I was going to do all the prep work myself, but I'm so glad he was part of the process.

Well, that's what we're up to today! What are you up to this December 1st?