Sunday, December 28, 2008

Joy & Fighting For It

We have this list taped in-between our bathroom sinks.
Easy to glance at while brushing your teeth.
It’s a list created by John Piper, 15 Ways to Fight for Joy.
It has been meaningful to me during my adjustment to
the middleofnowhere
and I thought some of you might enjoy it as well.
Number 8 might be my favorite.
Number 1 is a superduper close second.

How Shall We Fight for Joy?
By John Piper January 1, 1995
1. Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.
2. Realize that joy must be fought for relentlessly.
3. Resolve to attack all known sin in your life.
4. Learn the secret of gutsy guilt - how to fight like a justified sinner.
5. Realize that the battle is primarily a fight to see God for who he is.
6. Meditate on the Word of God day and night.
7. Pray earnestly and continually for open heart-eyes and an inclination for God.
8. Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself.
9. Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight.
10. Be patient in the night of God's seeming absence.
11. Get the rest and exercise proper diet that your body was designed by God to have.
12. Make a proper use of God's revelation in nature.
13. Read great books about God and biographies of great saints.
14. Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (witness and mercy).
15. Get a global vision for the cause of Christ and pour yourself out for the unreached.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

High Hopes

Months ago I purchased my very own
2009 Moleskine Pocket Planner.
I have high hopes of being more organized in
Luke’s schedule
my family’s schedule
my schedule.
I publicly admit I cannot keep all three straight in my head.

Three things I am loving about my black little moleskine:
1. It does not require a battery or a screen.
2. Spectacular features that make me feel like I have my finger on the pulse of the world, such as the international size converter. Next time I’m in Milan I’ll know my dress size without assistance from the snotty sales woman. Or when I’m on holiday in Lagos and wondering how far Geneva is I can turn to my nifty distances chart (2745).
3. It is a weekly planner. A week at a time seems good. Looking at a whole month might make me retreat. I can plan for the month but I don’t want to always have to look at it.

Christmas Day

Christmas Morning Sunrise

Opening gifts at my in-laws home.
The one rip of paper Luke enjoyed.

Three people taking pictures: Cedo, Tata, and Faris

My in-laws had 18 people for Christmas dinner.
It was an intense blur of food, family, merriment, and joy.
I’m sure others took pictures of the party but not me—
I was busy helping my sweet mother-in-law, Alice, with the details.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blurry Directions

Our Christmas has been busyexhausting.
But maybe that is Christmas with a child?

So I laughed when I saw these two pictures.
They capture what I feel like at the end of this Christmas.


A lot going on in all directions.

Christmas Eve, Part 2

The one moment Luke cared about opening a gift.
The next moment he was off to explore.

Christmas Eve Dinner—can we discuss my superduperamazing
make ahead mashed potatoes?
Made them the day before but you would n.e.v.e.r know it.

Christmas Eve Pies by SaSa
One Chocolate
One Carmel
I had two slices of chocolate pie.

Christmas Eve, Part 1

Christmas Eve Day was wonderfully mild.
So of course we went outside at Papa Joe and Lindy’s house.

Stick fun with Uncle J-D

SaSa got in on the stick action

Merry Christmas

In those days Caesar 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.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:1-7

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


It was not my idea.
I only came running with the camera
when I pieced together what was happening.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Telephone Encounter

Luke used to enjoy putting the phone to his ear to hear
an eager adult sing/praise/joyfully talk/whistle/younameit
for a quick moment before he went off to play and I could return to my conversation.
Not anymore.
He officially talks on the phone as much as an almost 15 month old can.
It happened late this afternoon.
Here he is talking to Lindy.

The conversation had long since ended but he followed me around
pointing towards the phone
with his hand to his ear
begging to talk again.

So here is a video of round two with Lindy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We have done away with television in our home.
Faris says we have unplugged from the Matrix.
And I guess he is kind of right.
It’s liberating and I love it.
At first I said after the election we would get rid of the television.
But I was having fun watching news about Obama’s transition.
So I said after the Inauguration.
But I couldn’t stand the TV one moment longer
so I’ve banished it for one year.
And let’s be honest, our TV isn’t something fancy.

Don’t panic, sweet reader.
I have a plan.
My onetruelove and I will watch movies on a laptop.
(can’t you just see the cuddling?!!)
My favorite show, The Office, can be watched online.
We have an XM Radio account that allows for listening to news and other such programs online.
The disappointing show for me is Masterpiece Theater Classics. I’ll have to wait until they are on DVD.
Trust me…
I don’t need to know who the biggest loser is or who the top chef is.
I don’t need a show about real housewives, I am one.
I don’t need an American Idol who sings or dances.
I’ve got a fine View out my window.
If I’m not smarter than a fifth grader then I don’t want to know.
Martha Stewart has a magazine and the Barefoot Contessa has cookbooks.

P.S. Of course we cancelled our cable which of course they messed up and we lost internet too. So yesterday until after 12 noon today we were practically cave men.
P.P.S. Anybody having an Inauguration Party? We need a place to watch?
P.P.P.S. Faris didn’t like not being able to watch the Redskins today; thank goodness it is the end of the season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Luke the Elf

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Rainy Day

It rained all day.
All day.
What’s a mom to do in an apartment with a bubblylittleguy?
Build a fort tunnel thingy.


Luke likes to climb these days.
On a parcel.
Tongue out.

On a box of flax seed waffles.
Tongue out.

Every inch counts when you climb.

An Advance

You are welcome in advance.
Last night for dinner we had
lip smacking
Indonesian Ginger Chicken.

Thank you, Barefoot Contessa.
You might not be ready for something this good.
You might need to warn your dinner plate about this goodness.
And could it be any easier?
And it smells like Ginger Paradise.
So you are welcome in advance.

P.S. Next time I’m thinking chicken tenders.
P.P.S. Luke and Faris both loved it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thursday Encounter

As you probably know, Thursday is my grocery shopping day.
And you just absolutely have to know the funny encounter I had.
Luke and I are going about our business which involves me chatting him up about the produce or the peanut butter or whatever item they are irritatingly out of stock of which at this moment in our shopping was the Luke loving chicken apple gouda sausage.
Enter strange man with a hat.
Who launches into a monologue about how great it is that I’m talking to Luke during our shopping. Explaining to me that what I’m doing is educating him, right there in the grocery store. AND then the man proudly tells me that his own children didn’t even read until they were 10 years old.
I laughed out loud at him…
waiting for the punch line…
but he was being dead serious.
He told me it was the 70’s, the great experiment.
I said oh.
He said his daughter makes as much money as the people she lives around but that she is $250,000 richer because she didn’t go to college.
I said I needed to find the butcher and shuffled away.
It’s all about perspective I guess.

P.S. I forgot my grocery list on the printer and like a superhero remember every single item on my list. How is that for downrightawsome?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Do You Dare?

I dare you to take this away from him.
He yields it like a sword.
He sweeps with it like a broom.
He digs with it like a shovel.
He licks it like it was a tasty lollipop.
And he has even taken two baths with,
where it morphs into an oar of some sort.

Cookie Craze, Part 2

My cookies were the best.
They were.

Our host has a very fine apartment.
She collects real art and has a lovely mix of modern and antique furnishings.
My goal was to leave the party without Luke breaking anything.
Phew. We did it.


If I’d had my camera with me this morning I would have:
1. Taken a picture of the on fire car I was forced to drive by. The fire truck was not even there yet! Don’t worry, the driver was a safe distance away.
2. Taken a picture of Luke during lunch. We had Thai for lunch in Virginia and he l.o.v.e.d it so much that he made the sign for more almost the entire time.
3. Taken a picture of me giving Luke a high five. Our Christmas shopping is d o n e!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cookie Craze

I always think a Christmas Cookie Exchange will be fun.
And tomorrow’s exchange with the other women in our building
will be fun
but having to bake lots of cookies with a small child milling about isn’t so appealing.
So I called in reserves.
Actually, I should say I went to the home of one of the reserves.
I packed up the kid and cookie ingredients and headed to my mother-in-law’s house.
I baked a lot of cookies.
She played/loved/cared/changed/feed my sweet Luke.
It was lovely.
I also found out my mother-in-law has about a gazillion baking sheets so I had a rotation of 4 sheets: two in the oven while two cooled and were then reloaded with dough.
The making of Colossal Cookies.

Luke loved the cookies.

These doors have a line of slobber.

Pancake Start

We started our morning with cinnamon chip pancakes.
They were a huge hit.
Don’t you think a smidge of Nutella would make them even better?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Spinach on the Side

Sweet boy ate it all.

Christmas Tea

My dear sister-in-law, Roula, and I hosted a table at our church’s annual Ladies Christmas Tea.
It was our first time hosting and attending.
(Aren’t we brave?!)
It was SO much fun.
And not just because scones were on the table.

The hostesses

My Mom came for a spot of tea.

Our enchantingly merry table

Friday Play

Luke enjoyed playing with Caleb
and I enjoyed chatting with Kelly.
Days later and I’m still tickled
at how kindly Caleb took to Luke’s
full body hugs.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Confidential to Jenni

Happy Birthday Jenni!
Thoughts of you make me smile.
And are almost always followed by a private little chuckle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Luke’s first bloody lip.
Actually, his first bloody injury.
Mother and child handled bloody incident with calmness and smiles.

Shoe Run

Exactly how fast is a kid’s foot supposed to grow?
New shoes at the end of October are too small.
So we purchased new shoes yesterday.
Aren’t they boyish but tastefully charming?

These shoes required a trip to the mall
so to make the mall more bearable we called
on Carla to meet us for lunch!