Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A New Baby

Our friends, Guillaume and Xavie, had their baby (10 months to the day since their wedding). Her name is Iona. Wasn't that nice of them to name her after Aunt Onie??? She is doing great and is a beautiful little baby girl, unlike my photography here. They went to a birthing center to have her naturally but after 12 hours of labor (not all of this intense) Guillaume couldn't stand to see Xavie suffering. He said that he kept talking to the midwives who assured him "this is normal". He did NOT agree (and told them that) and they opted to go to the hospital and get a little unnatural aid with the whole labor experience. I had to laugh at this, what we lovingly refer to as our "hippy couple", who caved in and went conventional on us.
Joel was seemingly impressed by this little bundle and has not stopped talking about "Baby Ona". Pray for the new family as, not only are they adjusting to being "three", they are on the brink of starting a Ten Thousand Villages store in September with Shane and Chantale.

Tuesday Night's Reason to Smile

Tuesday night is Fruit Salad Night. Mark is gone, usually, on Tuesday nights for his guitar lesson with Christian and then coffee and mentoring with Shane. At 7:30 after the kids have had their baths and finished their nighttime routine (picking up, laying out tomorrow's clothes, feeding Rocky) they come eagerly to the table for their bowl of fruit salad (or as Joel says, "loot-la-lid"). They eat while I read to them. It works well as Tuesday is my grocery day and I'm sure to have the biggest variety of fruit of fresh fruit on this night. It's definitely a practice I won't be permitted to alter or miss, I have a feeling. A fruit salad is sure to make these sweet dimples appear.

watermelon, bananas, oranges, and grapes made up last night's joy

Church Planting

These pictures are not to tell you about a trip we took. Well, actually, it was a trip--to church. This is the way our living room looks every Sunday morning (my goal is for it to look like this on Saturday night, but that is another story). Sometimes it's a little more than this, sometimes a little less, but it is always a feat to get our van loaded, the kids buckled in, and to be on our way by 8:30. Our neighbors (if they are up at this hour) must think we are crazy. In the winter there is a bag of our shoes to take (because we wear our boots and then change once we get in the building, as does everyone), Mark's guitar, the amp, the laptop, projector, the diaper bag and toys for the nursery are regular cargo, and if it is soupe et salade (once a month we all stay and eat after church) there is Joel's booster seat and a crockpot full of soup. When I teach SS (once or twice a month) there is usually a laundry basket full of my illustrations, activities, snacks, and other necessary supplies.

The kids are big helpers, and once we get there, there is a team of people who are scheduled to help with set-up. There are three rooms to prepare--the main room where we have the service, the nursery, which is really a conference room and needs a huge transformation every Sunday morning, and another conference room we use for SS. We are quite exhausted from our morning when we arrive home around 1:00 to eat lunch, but we love it!! It keeps us on our toes, that's for sure.

A Slice of Life

Just for fun, I thought I'd illustrate personalities of a couple members of the family, namely Sam and Jack. Each has a "special box" that hides itself away under Jack's bed. This is where the "treasures" go--memories, cards, collections, drawings, pictures, etc. When there is no space for something new, the idea is that the box gets a little purging so that there is room for the better, newer item. Now I realize that age plays a part in the differences between these two boxes, but I think we can also tell something about the owner of each by looking at the contents and the arrangement of the contents. Maybe not. But this will be something to check again in four years.

My dear Jack's special box
and now....Sam's

Sam reminds me a little of how I USED to be...not able to go to sleep until my room was completely picked up. I can easily lay my head down on the pillow now without everything neatly put away. What happened???

And just another little story. I'm always amazed at how one method of discipline can be completely effective with one child, and as much as I would love to think that I've found the "cure-all" for future mistakes, ends up not being the way that helps the other. Fortunately, I found something that I believe to be very powerful for Jack. He transgressed, shall we say, the other day and seemed not to be disturbed by my stern reprimand. I asked Mark to sit down with him on the couch and write in the family journal what Jack dictated to him in the way of a recounting of the events and an apology. Jack was quite dismayed by this suggestion and very humbly began. He seemed to hunch down lower in his seat with every sentence. The picture above is the "signing" of the confession, and it seemed to almost do him in. He never balked or whined or cried during the whole event, but when it was over and he was dismissed is when the tears flowed freely. He was deeply affected by this, and as sad as it was for me to see his misery, I was thankful to have found something useful to add to my repertoire.