Friday, February 25, 2011

Merely a matter of mathematics

{potty trained}

Congratulations Ingrid. You are such a big girl.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Horror Movie

At times during this last week I have felt like I was in some kind of horror movie. Every time I walk around a corner I'm confronted with a bleary, teary, red-eyed child. Children afflicted with pink-eye are quite the spectacle. Multiply times three and it is truly frightening. Eliza especially makes a horrific impression. She has a hard enough time keeping tears out of her eyes on an ordinary day (definitely our most emotional child), and you can just about imagine what her face looks like with pink-eye added to the equation. Also, Ingrid has a habit of night-waking, which only gets worse when she has any kind of ailment. She scares the living daylights out of me when she silently appears out of nowhere (and with red, crusty eyes) late at night when I'm home alone.

This week has been trying to the utmost, but there is an end in sight. Theia is completely over it, Eliza is greatly improving, and Ingrid seems like she won't be as bad off with it as her sisters were. They didn't all catch it at the same time, so it has been a long, drawn out process.

We usually like to make a big deal out of Valentine's Day, and Jessie had gotten the night off especially, but our plans were hijacked by the attack of the pink-eye. The girls also never got the chance to pass out the valentines they made for their friends at church, since they would have been spreading a little more than love if we'd attended. I feel so bad for them. It's hard on everyone to be quarantined for so long.

It hasn't been the greatest week, but these times are bound to come, and they do pass. We are always to "...take hold of the hope set before us" (Heb. 6:18) and low circumstances serve as a good reminder.

Friday, February 11, 2011

lots of glitter = lots of love

the vision

the process

the reality

I am too wimpy to embark on activities involving glitter, glue, and four children by myself these days, so I enlisted the help of my good friend and lifesaver, Bev.

If you want to make your own singing heart valentines, just cut up a few cereal boxes and some sheet music, then water down some glue and decopage the music to the cardboard. Decorate with hearts of whatever materials you have on hand. We used cut-outs from felt and construction paper, and some cute wooden heart beads that I found at an epic yard sale last summer. Glam it up with glitter or other sparklies (I think I preferred the plain style, but our audience was 4, 3, and 2 year old girls, so glitter was required). Write "You make my heart sing", or "You put a song in my heart", or whatever other cheesy sentimental musical phrase you can come up with on them. The writing will stand out more if you use a colored gel pen, but I didn't have one :).

The girls actually did turn out some pretty cute ones (and Bev and I managed to make a few without toddler assistance), but aesthetics tend to fly out the window when you break out the glitter. This age group does not understand the "less is more" concept. Just remember:

lots of glitter = lots of love.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

True or False?

Boys love getting kisses from their sisters.
I'm gonna say false.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

favorite of the week - custom narnia art

Since I'm kind of on a Narnia roll with the last couple of posts, I thought I'd make my prized custom-made Narnia art the subject of my fave of the week too. You got a glimpse of one of them last week in this post, because our lovely state lizard (okay, we might not officially have a state lizard) decided to hang out with the only other reptile in the room for awhile when he somehow made his way into our living room last week.

I have this little sister who is practically my mini-me, only cuter, more talented, and with greater overall panache. One of her many talents is illustrating stories (another is writing stories, check out her sporadically updated story blog). Since we are both literature lovers, and Narnia fans, I knew it would be easy to get her to do a series of pictures for me as a wedding gift. You can get her to do anything as long as you only ask her to do things that she wants to do.

Between us we came up with an idea to make the art to look like pages taken from a book, with the illustrations surrounded by text. She surpassed my expectations when she presented Jessie and me with this series of four drawings taken from the following books:

"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

"The Magician's Nephew"

"The Last Battle"


"The Horse and his Boy"

I love them, and I love telling people where they came from.

I have reason to believe that they may be joined by a fifth in time, since I informed Aunt Rachel that Emeth would really, really like an illustration of his namesake for his birthday.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Emeth Garrison - Truth Stronghold

Let me tell you about the only other person I know named Emeth. He is a character in "The Last Battle", which is the last book in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series by C. S. Lewis.

I wish I could just tell you to go read it for yourself and then come back and tell me what an awesome name it is, and how Emeth just might be the new Darcy (I hope you all are Austen fans). But I guess I'll have to make a feeble attempt at summarizing what this character means.

Emeth is a young warrior from the pagan country of Calormen (anyone familiar with Narnia will know that Calormen is a neighboring country which lies across the great desert southeast of Narnia). He travels to Narnia with a detachment of soldiers whose mission is to enslave Narnia by means of deceit. He has served his pagan god with ardent devotion all his life, but has always sought a high and noble path. His sense of honor is repulsed by the methods that his captain is employing, and he is incensed when he perceives that the captain has no fear or belief in his god. When the captain and his conspirators devise a plan to further instill terror and loss of heart on the Narnians, Emeth confounds him by insisting that he be allowed to enter the stable that had been prepared as a trap for the Narnians. Emeth wishes to enter because he believes the god he has served may be within the stable, and he would see him at all costs. When he enters he meets not the false god that he desired, but Aslan. When confronted with the Lion, he immediately knows that he is the true being worthy of all honor, and worships him. Even though his joy is great, he is terrified because he knows Aslan will know he has served a false god instead of Him, but all the same he says "better to see the Lion and die, then to be [emperor] of the world and live forever and not see him." However Aslan welcomes him and tells him that "You would not have sought so long and so earnestly had your desire not been for me. For all find what they truly seek."

C. S. Lewis gave the name Emeth to this character because it is actually Hebrew for "Truth". He saw Emeth as one of the gentiles described in Romans 2:13-16 who " that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them." (Romans 2:15 NIV) God created each of us to have the truth written on our hearts. The Hebrew word for truth is quite different from ours. There is no "your truth", "my truth", "his truth", or "what I personally believe to be true". There is simply "Truth". The word is also sometimes translated as "Reality".

Obviously, we don't wish for Emeth to grow up heathen. But we hope he will seek the Lord earnestly and with his whole being, and that he will despise taking advantage of the weak, as the Lord does.

We chose Garrison because we thought it sounded cool. But then we delved into the meaning of that word, and found that it pertains specifically to a troop of soldiers whose job is to defend a stronghold, or fortress.

We really like those two meanings together. One who knows the truth, and defends it as a stronghold. We pray for Emeth, as we pray for all of our children, that he will know the truth, accept no counterfeits, and cling to it as a stronghold in his life.