Friday, December 26, 2008

And the children will lead them


So Glory, Elizabeth and I watched a movie last night that was a box office hit back in the '90s. Glory and Elizabeth had never seen it before. I remember it being billed as something the whole family could watch -- until those same families took their little ones to the big screen and traumatized them for life. I am sure many of those little tykes still are in counseling.

So, tonight, after the little ones went to bed, Elizabeth asked if we wanted to watch a movie, perhaps the same one. "Do you want to watch 'Jesuit Park?'" she asked.

Now, I thought the body count in "Jurassic Park" was bad enough, what with images of dinosaurs feasting on human flesh. But what horrors would await us watching overzealous priests terrorizing the bewildered natives and scientists of that same tropical island? It's too frightening to imagine.



So, today was the day after Christmas. The kids were playing with their toys, even toys they have had all their lives but didn't realize it until they dumped out the entire content of the toybox. Ulie brought his new-to-him treasure to the breakfast table this morning -- something I remember kicking around in high school. Glory tried to get Ulie to call it by its proper name instead of just a "ball."

"It's a ha-cky sack," Glory said, enuniciating the words very carefully.

"Haaapppy Sexxxx," our three-year-old said, with a broad smile on his cherubic face.

No amount of correction, albeit peppered with snickers on our part, would get Ulie to pronounce it properly. "HAPPY SEX! HAPPY SEX!" he shouted, while running and throwing the hacky sack around the dining room.

Perhaps if those crazed murderous Jesuits had a few hacky sacks around, and a few three-year-olds to tell them exactly what they were, they would not have felt the need to try to convert the world at the point of a sword.

Bill

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!


As I (Bill) write, we have at least a foot of snow on the ground, it’s freezing and light flakes are falling from a cloudy sky. After nearly seven years of living in the Pacific Northwest, the Craig family finally has experienced weather that is worthy of being called a snowstorm. Years past we haven’t had much snow, if any at all. This year it finally feels like winter, complete with everything in the community grinding to a halt. It’s as if people around here never have seen snowstorms before. Actually, they usually don’t! All this brings back many happy memories for Glory and me in Saskatchewan and Colorado of snowfalls, cold and silent nights, hot chocolate, and bundling up to go outside and play.

This year we had hoped for a slowed down version of 2007, but we found ourselves busier than ever.

Elizabeth turned 15 in August. She now is a freshman at our local home school/public school learning center. Elizabeth has taken part in a couple of youth group trips this year, had her braces removed in May, took part in a school musical in April and a community opera (“Amahl and the Night Visitors”) this month, and serves on the City Library Teen Advisory Board. She’s also in a writer’s group that meets at the library twice a month. She’s finding her niche, and Glory and I are very proud of her.

Murron will be six in February and is showing herself to be a very talented artist and little mommy. She often takes charge with her brothers by leading playtime activities and reminding them of the house rules. Murron has a very active imagination, and frequently plays with her “finger friends” who have their own very complicated world. Time and space doesn’t allow us to explain this fully. Someday she’ll write and illustrate a book series about them. Murron started kindergarten with the learning center this fall and has an insatiable desire to learn. Glory finds it challenging to keep up with her.

Uilleam (Ulie) turned three in September and started his collection of Thomas the Train gear. Don’t tell him this but he’s getting some more tracks on Christmas along with some more railway cars. He’s the busy boy and always needs to be doing something. Ulie is just about to graduate from a successful potty-training program, much to Glory and Bill’s (and their bank account’s) relief. Diapers are expensive for two kids! Ulie is a very literal boy. Elizabeth told him to watch his cup of milk when he was about to knock it over. He just held it and looked at it intently!

The second half of the Diaper Brothers is MacAulay, who now is 19 months old. He is by far the most social of all the kids. He’s learning to talk more, and is showing an enthusiastic interest in music. He’s our little head banger when more rocking tunes are playing around the house, but he can appreciate the classics, too. He especially likes accompanying his mom when she’s playing the piano. He watches everyone very closely, and is good at imitating us. Fortunately this hasn’t resulted in embarrassing moments for us; such is the clean lifestyle we live.

When she’s not trying her hand at being Supermom, Glory stays busy with other hobbies. She continues her work with our church worship team and leading worship for the annual ladies retreat in Winthrop, Wash. In June Glory's song "House of Love" was recorded again by her sister’s band. Glory recently reconnected with lots of long-lost friends via Facebook, some of whom have become fans of her music page. Glory also has shown off her culinary skills by providing meals for a four-day child passenger safety class of 15 people that Bill hosted in July. Glory was able to travel with Bill in Olympia in June for a Safe Kids conference, providing them both with much-needed couple time, which they rarely get anymore.

Bill has had a busy year that began in January with being sworn in by the mayor to the City Library board of trustees. Also in January Bill assumed the role of coalition coordinator for the local chapter of Safe Kids Worldwide. In fact, most of Bill’s travels this year involved Safe Kids. In February, Bill took Elizabeth to Washington, D.C. to get interviewed with Safe Kids about the family crash back on Nov. 25, 2003. You can see our story at www.skagitems.com/safekids.htm. While in D.C., Bill and Elizabeth toured the Capitol Building and the White House, too. It was fun for Elizabeth to see our nation’s capitol for the first time. Bill traveled back to Washington, D.C. in October for a week-long conference. Bill also became an elder in our church this fall, increasing his responsibilities that he takes very seriously as a family and church leader.

As a family, the Craigs have stayed busy by opening their home regularly for church game nights and during the holidays, too, to families that don’t have places to go. Folks enjoy our home, and we’re glad they do.

We didn’t get to visit our beloved coastline much this year, but managed to squeeze in a visit to Ocean Shores, Wash., on Mother’s Day. We flew kites and had a blast.

The highlight of the year was the annual Craig family vacation, this time to Saskatchewan and Wyoming, visiting family. This year marked the first-ever Funk Family reunion. All 1,000 of Glory’s relatives were there. We also got to see Bill’s mother and a sister and her family in Wyoming, for the first time in more than six years. Along the way we logged more than 3,000 miles in our van, and got to see Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and a HUGE Ukrainian Easter Egg in Vegreville, Alberta. We were dead tired when we got back home, but were glad to have been able to see everyone again.

All we can say about 2009 is that we’re planning a trip to Colorado in July. Stay tuned for details. Who knows what else the new year will bring?
We’re trying to slow down and enjoy the holidays now. So, from our snowy home to you, we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a blessing that God grants you peace and joy.

Love,
Bill, Glory, Elizabeth, Murron, Ulie, Aulay and Thumper (the rabbit)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

See? We told you they're evil!

This is dedicated to all the dear old imposters who just can't seem to win over the tots who can sense the deception, the manipulations, and the outright LIES!!! Nice try, Santa baby, nice try...

This picture proves that this phenomenon isn't a recent one. Kids have been scared of Santa for a long, long time.

This guy looks like a poorly disguised terrorist! I'll bet he's packing all kinds of heat under that beard...

And this guy looks even more scared than the baby. Are the parents gone out to a movie? Are they coming back? Where are the PARENTS?!

Dad, would you get the kid off Santa's lap, already???

Was he plotting an abduction?

And...our personal favorite: Ho Ho HORRORS!

More Holiday Terrors to view.
Glory

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Big Family

Bill and I have four kids. It's not a lot, to us, but sometimes relatives or friends we haven't seen in a long time chuckle, "Wow, you've been busy!" We generally smile and say, "Uh huh!" because, well, we have been...as we should be, right? Even passersby will raise their eyebrows in surprise when we march our little troop along sidewalks or store aisles. I've been tempted to say, loud enough to hear, "Now, let's find your parents, sweetie!" Bill has 5 siblings so he understands a bit of the "big family" stigma. I, on the other hand, have 14 siblings so I understand more of the "BIG FAMILY" stigma. The funny thing is that, as a little girl in school, I wondered what was wrong with these folks who couldn't manage to have more than two, three, or four kids. Poor diet? Disability?

Anyway, there are a few families in our church who have four or more kids, even young families. It's kind of nice being in company with people who understand what sheltering, feeding, clothing, and managing a little brood is all about. It takes a lot of patience and prayer. Bill told me that the first thing he expects from me when he comes home from work is that the kids are still alive. So far, I've been consistent, though there are days...like today, when I discovered that our normally well behaved little girl embellished her dresser with a dark furniture stain marker. A friend said recently, "That's why God made them cute." She was obviously just cute enough, and it helped that I could remove all traces of her artwork (it was very nicely done art, by the way) with nail polish remover and cotton balls.

It's hard to get a handle on everything, too. Like potty training our 3 year old who still hasn't managed to tell us before and not after he has to go potty. Who cares if he's still wearing diapers at 5 if I'm going to homeschool him anyway?!

So, it's nice when I get a little pat on the back from church friends who are taking the same journey with me through cracker crumbs in the sofa and doorway jungle gyms. It's like having a big family to come alongside us and nod their heads in genuine understanding. Of course, because they really do know what it's like to peel playdough off their best jeans and grapple with a squashed tube of lipstick before heading out on a rare date. Just make sure to tell me if there's a banana sticker on my backside before I leave, okay?

Glory

Monday, November 24, 2008

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is upon us again.

It's a time to be thankful. I know that for many that is a hard concept because of the state of the economy, what's happening in the world and in our country and all that. But, being thankful is what we must be because God gives us plenty of reasons to be thankful, starting with that He died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day defeating death and hell. How thankful I am because I have access to God through Christ and can rest in knowing that I will be with Him one day.

My 11 other reasons to be thankful:

1. My wife and kids are with me and love me, and like me most of the time, too.
2. We are alive and well and healthly despite our various aches and pains.
3. I have a great job that at least through 2009 has been spared the budget-cutting ax.
4. We have a roof over our heads.
5. We have a great church where we worship freely and can exercise our beliefs without too much trouble.
6. We have family and friends.
7. We have food.
8. We have clothes.
9. We live in a good and safe community.
10. We have enough to share with others.
11. Despite our country becoming increasingly wicked, we live in a mostly-free country where we don't have to fear that thugs with a military junta are going to plunder my home, hurt or kill my family and basically cause me to fear for my very existence.

Remember on Thanksgiving that many, if not most of us, have it so good. Let us be grateful for that and gracious to others this week by sharing what you have by opening your home or helping out with feeding the homeless at a local food bank or church. You'll be even more thankful for doing so.

Bill.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Give US A King

I am not ashamed to admit that I voted for McCain, but I have to admit that we were given, yet again, two poor choices. It's unfortuate that our temporary problems with the economy caused people not to look at what our new president really stands for. But, seeing that he is going to be our president, we should pray for him as we're commanded to. Perhaps his heart can be changed on issues that destroy our country's fabric, like abortion.

But I also will say that the Republican party did not give people a reason to vote Republican. With that, I am reminded of the account when the Hebrews stopped wanting a theocracy and demanded a king. They were given no reason to stick with the status quo:

"Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."
But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
"Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king.
And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint [them] for his own chariots and [to be] his horsemen, and [some] will run before his chariots.
"And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day."
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us. (I Samuel Chapter 8).

Yep, we've got our king. And it's our own fault. But, following history, Israel and Judah had a few good kings. I pray that despite our wickedness as a nation, God will move in the hearts of those who represent us and things really will turn around for the good in the USA. But it has to be God who leads us because people will just ruin our country, just as people have taken this country down the toilet during the past eight years, and just as people have ruined every other country that has graced the face of this earth.


Bill

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

See ya at my funeral

So a coworker told me today of one of her dad's coworkers who dropped dead yesterday at his desk. The event gave the dad some food for thought. One, life isn't guaranteed tomorrow, so one needs to live it well. And second, perhaps the grudges he had been holding against a relative isn't all that worth it. Perhaps a phone call to his brother he hasn't spoken to in two years was in order.

My sentiments exactly, I told my coworker. Grudges are evil and waste of time.

Too bad too many wait until it's too late.

I guess for them I just have to give them an invitation to my upcoming funeral. Too bad I won't be able to hear anything they might have to say. But for them, I hope the wait was worth it.


Bill

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lies, lies, lies

Yes, it's lying, er, election season. Thankfully all will be over soon, but until we wake up next Wednesday and prepare for life with Barack or John, we have to keep hearing more lies than a five-year-old can tell why he wasn't the one who robbed the cookie jar and played in the mud in his new clothes while eating those cookies and then tracked the mud and cookie crumbs in the house right into his bedroom.

While the evidence is obvious with sneaky five-year-olds, so too is the evidence of a sneaky former community organizer and his associations with left-wing hooligans. Funny how one person can tell bald face lies...and people believe him! Funny, too, how people will buy hook, line and sinker a politican's promises that he will give tax breaks to those making less than $250,000, or, sorry, $150,000, oops, less than $100,000, and smile, thanking the Messiah for the help. And what lies wouldn't be more attractive than FREE health care, FREE education, MORE teachers to provide that education, less taxes to pay for all this stuff and the promise of every chicken in a pot (oh, sorry, that was another liberal who said that).

Yes, I love election season; promises and bribes for votes. Don't get me wrong. I know my friends on the right are just as guilty. It's called vote-getting. But, I think when politicians pander to desperate people, focusing on current, but short-term difficulties while their real positions on welfare expansion, killing the unborn and increasing our government's power of intrusion in our lives gets ignored, it makes me really question the priorities of my countrymen.

Turning to the Bible, are we capable of selling out for a bowl of soup, like Esau? Are we willing to sell out for a leader who will take more, use his people and steal what's not his, like God warned what their king would be like when they demanded one instead of being ruled by God? I believe we are. We're no different than these.

We'll believe the lies if they make us feel better. But I have a sneaking suspicion that should those lies propel a certain Democrat into the White House, none of us will be feeling well in very short order. And then, like the Hebrews who sold out in the Wilderness, those who bought the lies will be screaming that they've been duped and they finally see the light. Too bad it will be too late.

Bill

Monday, October 27, 2008

Atypical Date

It was a spontaneous idea but that's what made it exciting and special. Bill had to make a trip down to Seattle and I decided I wanted to go along for the ride. We make good road trip pals and it's always good to get in some coupletime sans kids. So we pleaded with our friends to help out and, by 3:30 p.m. Bill and I were off.

We were on a mission, though. Terry, Bill’s boss, has had a relapse and now has end-stage leukemia. This also means he has to have a bone marrow transplant. At the stage he's in, the odds are not in his favor, but still, we know God can heal. At any rate, Bill was tasked with bringing fresh flowers and a care package filled with magazines, snacks, game books, and other things to help Terry, his wife and daughter, and other family caregivers pass the time more comfortably.

Terry is 55, is married to Beverly and has four grown children. He has been Bill’s immediate supervisor for about two years now, but he has worked with him teaching CPR for more than five. In fact, most of the material Bill presents in his classes he stole from Terry. I got my CPR card from Terry five years ago this fall. We have enjoyed many family meals or holiday meals at the office with Terry and other coworkers. We even spent Easter Sunday at his church this year with his family.

Bill and I arrived at the U of W Medical Center, where Terry's being treated via IV chemotherapy. It was Terry's daughter who greeted us and I hugged her gently. She is young, perhaps 20 or 21, and looks a lot like her dad. She informed us that Terry was a little feistier than usual, which makes him more aware of his pain, and might be testy and snappy with us. That would be his signal that he was done with the visit. Soon afterward Beverly, his wife came into the room, whom I hugged as well. It was my hope that my presence, another woman, would comfort them and help these brave ladies feel more at ease. I think it had the desired effect as they conversed freely with us.

He's in a lot of pain, deep in the large bones of the body, where the cancer cells are multiplying. It is amazing how rapidly this is happening. Just a month ago we were celebrating his remission. Terry does know the Lord, which is good. We just continue to trust Him for his healing, but if that's not what God will give, then we pray for comfort and courage for Terry and his family. Beverly handed us a written log of people's visits, a small beautifully designed booklet with the word Believe on the cover. Bill wrote first then I wrote of how blessed I have been that Terry has shared an office with Bill and, in made ways, has had his back. I wanted to be personal and I hope it has meaning for them.

After spending more time at the hospital than we expected, which was good, we made our way home. We talked about our lives, mostly about Terry and his disease, but also about what we believe God has called us to. It has fallen to us quite often to minister to people in these kinds of dark and uncertain moments of their life. We stopped at a Subway for a hot sandwich, chips, cookies and soda. As we continued on home Bill asked me how I liked our ministry date. And, honestly, I would rather do this than see a movie or go out to dinner. Those things have their place, I am sure, but this is when Bill and I see each other's best selves, when we are about the Lord's business, and serving together.

Glory

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Car Seat Guy

With the recent hubbub surrounding Joe the Plumber, I know that there are some stories that are, unfortunately, being relegated to the background. One such story being quite nearly as remarkable yet understated. It is a story that began not long ago and very close to home, actually, right in our home.

Bill the Car Seat Guy.

Yes, Bill has been working tirelessly right here helping kids get into car seats and parents comply with the law. He has sought support from such a wide variety of sources that his trip to Washington DC was inevitable. He is flying home from this venture as I write this.

He considered going for the conservative interest but realized that he might be selling himself short, so he pondered the liberal bleeding hearts, but even there he met with limitations. So, he decided to go where angels fear to tread: the middle ground. His strategy in this was ingenious.
He attended a dinner, a very special dinner, an exclusive event to be sure. Even the food was beyond anything his wife at home has ever attempted to create.

Then he simply introduced himself as Bill the Car Seat Guy to these fellows right here, and the rest is now history in the making. And, so far, his story checks out, his certification and income taxes are current and up to date!

Glory

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gutless Wonder

Just look up wimp in Webster's Dictionary and you'll see my name as a reference. This isn't a statement of self-deprication, it's a wry reality.

The truth is, goodbyes just aren't good to me. The word hangs in the doorway like a cheap tattered grey shawl. Just skulking in the corner with a sardonic grin while I pry myself away from the window pane, and force my hand frozen in mid wave down to my side. It doesn't leave when I throw laundry into the washer. It loiters while I fix meals or sweep floors. Goodbye is the lingering reminder that someone is gone. It's here and present right now as I type.

Bill kissed and held me early this morning while most others would have only just yielded to a deep sleep. He was dressed and heading out the door to catch a shuttle to the airport. His carefully selected cologne hung in the air around me like a cloud lulling me back to sleep. When our boys came charging into the room several hours later the scent was gone but his goodbye had stayed behind. I am accustomed to Bill returning the blinking tots to their beds for another few moments of rest, but it was left to me to clumsily perform this unwelcome task. Mornings aren’t very cooperative with me, as it is, so I am often picking my battles with it.

And what a cowardly warrior I am.

Someday I might properly defy loneliness by increasing my productivity. That would, of course, take quite a domestic form such as mending clothes, small household repairs, and taking stock of food and sundry items. I would rally my troops – aka kiddos – and get out of the house, take walks, and explore the territory. Later in the day we would plot more effective strategies of combating boredom and avoid the obvious questions, “Where is Daddy?”, “When is Daddy coming home?”, or “Why isn’t Daddy here?” I would plant enticing diversions, videos, coloring books, and yummy snacks throwing off the scent of sighs, groans, and huffs. Then the goodbye brazenly draped at our home’s entrance wouldn’t even get a second glance.

But, oh no, I couldn’t be that brave, that stalwart, or heroic.

I had to succumb to online meanderings between guilt trips to the sink full of dishes. I sheepishly ducked behind my cup of Market Spice tea, Bill’s favorite, and sucked on a cinnamon candy. I have even left the family room in overwhelming disarray. But, most shameful of all my failed attempts, I surrendered to mail-order shopping with Yves Rocher. And I’m entirely convinced, now, that the goodbye has moved from the doorway and is holding the remote control.

Glory

Friday, October 10, 2008

Early Snowfall

This morning was chilly when I woke up. Our boys had already left their room so I turned on our furnace and let them huddle beside the warm register. When I opened the door to their room I just sighed deeply and blinked slowly. They have developed a new strategy of making me go out of my mind. I have no idea when they concocted this diabolical scheme of theirs but it seems to be working. Let's say it looked like they were in a giant snowglobe that had toys, clothes, and diapers instead of lovely white snowflakes...and someone shook it up really hard. I would get to it later, I decided.

So, I proceeded to make oatmeal for breakfast and thought that today would be a good soup day. As I stirred up the oatmeal I wondered if our little girl would be eating any. She's been sick for the past four days with a fever and upset tummy. I called the girls down for breakfast and my intuition was correct. Having one less eater in the morning meant that I had leftover oatmeal. Reheated porridge sounds hardly appetizing so I thought it'd be a good idea to make bread with it.

Before I started on making the bread the idea of salty clear broth over gently yielding noodles wrapped my thoughts in warmth and comfort. That's when I decided to make homemade chicken noodle soup. I pulled out my family cookbook, the one with my grandma's heritage recipes. I took poultry scraps out of the freezer, placed them in our biggest pot and poured water over to almost full. My teaball that I use for the bouquet garni was missing its bottom half so I managed to put the ginger, star anise, cloves, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a coffee filter and secured it with a twist tie.

Then I made the bread. I know this recipe by heart but it's a little tricky using leftover oatmeal like this. I have to reduce the liquid by whatever amount of cooked oatmeal I have on hand. The boys watched as I mixed in the flour until I had a dough that was soft yet manageable. They love to "help" by pretending to dust flour onto the table as I knead the dough until it's just right. I don't mind their little flour-laden fingers too much.

This conjured up my inner Proverbs 31 woman-meets-Betty Crocker and I felt quite good about my productive morning. So, when all was done, the dough rising and the soup stock cooking, I sat down and started to watch the latest Saturday Night Live skit of the Obama - McCain debate. I was a few minutes into it when I thought I'd fetch my tea. When I walked into the kitchen I was stopped abruptly in my tracks like an Arctic blast of icy wind. What I saw made me want to laugh, cry, and start a rousing chorus of "Dashing through the snow..." all at once. I didn't laugh, though, or cry. I don't recall saying a word as I walked into our office, retrieved our camera, and snapped this photo. Not exactly lovely white snowflakes but my snowglobe certainly got shook up really good, this morning:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thrift Store Rainbows

Maybe it’s because I was raised on handed down clothing that I enjoy thrift stores. As a young girl I would be overjoyed when a bag of clothes, shoes, and other items would arrive to our house. My sisters and I would gather around to see what we could find and we were always thrilled to find additional things like scarves, purses, jewelry and other accessories.

Having four children, now, I am learning how to navigate thrift stores quite well. I try to steer clear of sales gimmicks like “50% off Blue Tagged Items” or tables featuring cowboy boots of all sizes, styles, and colors. Our family has a rule we strive to follow: get only what you came for. Most of the time we’re really good at complying with that rule, though there are exceptions.

Yesterday we went in with the purpose of buying church shoes for our 5 year old daughter. Given the Fall season our teen wanted to look for costume items for the upcoming Harvest Party at our church while our boys sat happily in the cart playing with toy emergency vehicles. I found two pairs of shoes; one pair looked hardly worn while the other needed a little repair. We bought both of them, along with a few other items – the exceptions.

After I finished fixing the strap on one pair, this morning, our little girl brought me the other and said, “Look, Mommy, there’s rainbows in these shoes!” There was a shiny insole that held an iridescent sheen when turned this way and that. I smiled and nodded as she went her way. I didn’t really think about what she said until a moment ago. But the profound has away of landing gently in our thoughts.

Rainbows are Gods promise to us to never again flood the Earth. It is a symbol of God’s covenant of peace with us. Raising a family can be a frightening undertaking and worry comes in like a flood, sometimes. But when I remember God’s promises to us that we will not be consumed I can walk in His peace. Like our daughter, I can wear my rainbow shoes with the unwavering confidence that God cares for me.

Guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1:79


Glory

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!



This was the last our whole family saw Dad, in May of 2007. MacAulay and I were in Saskatchewan back in September 2007 so another visit is long overdue.

Dad is the only grandfather to our children and it's hard, sometimes, that we just don't get together very often. He has also taken Bill as his son in many ways, and Bill respecfully calls him "Dad."

Dad has a kind of quiet strength and peace that our family appreciates and responds to. Lives are busy and days fly by so quickly it is so important to embrace calm. Whether it's just sitting down to coffee and conversation or reading a book to a little one (as in the above picture) Dad has always understood the meaning and reason for rest. It grounds us and makes us really think about what we're thinking about. And if you listen to Dad talk you know that he does a whole lot more thinking than most.

It's a good example that I want to follow.

Glory

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

For The SAFETY Of Our Babies And Kids

We're heading out on the highway in less than two weeks. Getting this in our e-mail was timely as we are setting up our packing list. This is what Bill works for. With a little common sense and a lot of prayer we will depart and return together and in one piece.

SAFE KIDS USA NEWS ALERT

Child Safety A Must, Especially During Summer Vacation



Watch the NBC vacation safety segment that aired this morning on The Today Show, featuring Alan Korn of Safe Kids USA, and the Michalson family, Safe Kids USA parent advocates.

Safe Kids USA offers these tips for keeping kids safe during your vacation:

- Properly secure all children younger than 13 in a back seat for every ride in the car. Keep children in the right type of car seat or booster seat until adult lap and shoulder belts fit them correctly. If you are flying to your destination, bring any car seats with you so your children ride safely in cars while on vacation.

- Make sure your children wear a helmet and other protective gear every time they bike, skate, skateboard or ride a scooter. Bring the gear with you if none will be available while you're traveling.

- Bring your own folding playpen rather than using a borrowed crib. If you do use a hotel's crib, inspect it for broken or missing parts to make sure it is not defective, damaged or even recalled from the market. Visit www.recalls.gov to check the model number.

- Actively supervise children in or around water. Never take your eyes off of your children. Always make sure your children wear life jackets when riding on boats or playing in or near open bodies of water.

For more information, please visit SafeKids.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diagnosis: Jonah Personality Disorder

No, I have not been called to prophecy in any wicked country. At the very most I am obligated to speak the truth in love as I have opportunity. So, most of the time, I just listen to the concerns of others and share what I have learned through my own life while expressing my convictions. Then when I hear a report about how, despite bad choices and poor judgement, people are spared disaster and suffering I say, "Oh, how wonderful for you!" just like I should. Sounds innocuous on the surface, right?

Well, I've had to confront a pretty ugly reality that lurks below my gentle nodding, my soft voice, and my soothing countenance: my inner Jonah is stomping his feet, muttering under his breath, and frowning with a clenched jaw.

You see, all of my life I believed that as long as I tried to do the right thing nothing really bad would ever happen to me. Goodness gets rewarded and foolishness gets punished. Now, I know that regardless of my own shortcomings I have never gotten what I truly deserved. For this I should be so grateful and appreciative that it wouldn't matter to me if no one else got what they deserved either. Oh, that I could be so benevolent...

Instead, I sit and stew over wrongdoing and look for any sign that God is taking this as seriously as I am.

The truth? God takes this far more seriously than I ever could. Oh, I know what I have read about His character so I've got a pretty clear understanding of His mind about sin. And that includes MY sin.

So, if anyone I know also has Jonah Personality Disorder, I'm relived beyond measure that they keep it to themselves enough to never let on. Getting tossed out of a boat scares me and sitting in the belly of a whale isn't my idea of a weekend retreat. Before any of that happens, I'm starting a treatment program in compassion and management classes in mercy. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Glory

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

WALKING....finally!

Yes, our littlest guy was a late bloomer, I suppose. I could explain it away that he had so many willing tot-toters around, or that he was too afraid that we'd make him start pulling his weight around here, or that maybe his growing intellectual capabilities were using up all the energy and impetus that might have otherwise encouraged him to walk...yeah, okay...a mom's gotta figure this out somehow, right? But yesterday he took his first truly confident steps. You know the ones that say, *I'm a big boy, darn it, and I'm aiming to prove it!" It started out as a couple of steps then he just blazed a pioneering trail between the TV stand and his daddy. Today he's getting bolder and more sure of himself all the time.

video

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Better Class of Man

© 2008 Glory L Craig

You are a man who has retained the youthful enjoyment of clean wholesome fun and wonder of discovery and conquest.

You are a man who is both fierce and tender in your loyalties to your most significant relationships.

You are a man who knows your weaknesses and your strengths but will not be stubborn or lazy about them.

You are a man who holds your blessings with open hands that are strong enough to carry your responsibilities but yielding enough to release them when the time calls for it.

You are a man who counts the cost of your time, energy, and resources and prudently considers the impact that any withdrawal from these valuable assets will have on you and those around you.

You are a man who is diligent in occupying yourself in both paid and unpaid occupations without seeking favor or reward for your efforts and hard work.

You are a man whose manner and taste allows you to remain approachable yet permits you to be at ease in the company of the dignified and refined regardless of any differences in social class.

You are a man whose word is sound and trustworthy therefore you are not hasty to give it yet by your own principles you do what is right and honorable without the need to offer oaths.

You are a man who understands well both your strengths and weaknesses yet never exaggerates or minimizes either one.

You are a man who is gentle and kind to the smallest of God’s creations and reluctant to cause harm to anything that lives.

You are a man who proves your value and worth simply by living out your convictions and principles and thus demonstrating all that you have to offer.

You are a man who regards all things important and essential to life and living with all due reverence and solemnity.

You are a man whose eyes are fixed unwaveringly on your destination so every step and action corresponds to your focus and attention.

You are a man who transcends all that may have previously been thought as possible and sets precedent for anyone who observes you.

You are a man whose keen mind is carefully turned over, nurtured, and nourished with appropriate virtues therefore remaining healthy and vibrant.

You are a man whose sense of duty and penchant for risk coincide harmoniously so that you can perform the difficult unflinchingly both in and out of season.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Daddy, pleeeeeeze!

This morning while I was getting ready for work my oldest son, all of two years old, reached for a chocolate piece that was on the dresser. It was wrapped with foil and fitted with a little flag with a message to me from my wife. We have a hidden stash of these to leave on each other's pillows from time to time, to express our love, appreciation or fondness for each other. I told my son to put it down because it was daddy's. He put it down and left the room.

When I headed back to the room after I was about to leave for work, my son greeted me, waving and saying "C'mon, c'mon." We got to the room, where, with his left hand he was pointing at the corner and telling me that's where he put some trash. I looked at his right hand. It was tightly clutching the chocolate. I told him that he couldn't have that because it was daddy's and I took it from him. He burst out in tears and cried. I told him I appreciated him showing me that he properly disposed of trash, but he still couldn't have the candy. He cried loudly for a couple of more seconds.

Then he poured out his heart. "Daddy. Pleeeeeeze!"

I never had heard him say please like that before, and it slapped my heart around in my chest. I just stopped and looked at my broken hearted little boy.

"You said please?" I asked him.

"Yeahhhhhh," he cried.

I said OK and put the chocolate in his mouth.

I about cried.

What daddy could not fall for that.

Bill

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lost Angels: Encounters with First Nations

Paula Laureen Henderson uses her experiences with Canadian aboriginals to pose these questions: What will happen as the Canadian Aboriginal population in the prairies out numbers the white population? Will a new youthful generation be able to embrace change and intertwine our visions and goals for the survival of our nation, or will there be a power struggle that shakes Canada's foundation to the core? Will God keep our land glorious and free?



Ottawa (May 17, 2008) - The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) welcomes Paula Henderson to the Main Library on Saturday, May 31st at 1 p.m. Henderson will read from her new book Lost Angels: Encounters with First Nations. Copies of her book will be available for purchase.

Paula Henderson has a background in Public Administration. She is the founder of Gumdrop Enterprise, an independent publisher which encourages young artists with a vision. Henderson is the author of College Survival Guide: You are not
Alone.

The Main Library is located at 120 Metcalfe St. For more information please call InfoService at 613-580-2940 or visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.


For more information:
Michael Murphy
Coordinator, Adult & Readers' Advisory Services
Main Library
Ottawa Public Library
613-580-2424, ext. 32115

Paula Laureen Henderson (Reading and Signing)
Tuesday Jun 24 2008 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, McNalley Robinson Polo Park location, in the Events Alcove


A reading and signing of Lost Angels: Encounters with First Nations. Henderson's interactions with First Nations people illustrate her perceptions and concern for public policies that do not work; Instead, she observes how these policies stimulate financial burden, substance abuse, racism and culture barriers. Henderson is a public speaker from Saskatchewan, the founder of Gumdrop Enterprises and holds a degree in public administration.

Paula Laureen Henderson (Reading & Signing)
Monday Jun 30 2008 7:00 pm, Saskatoon, McNalley Robinson Art Alcove


Paula discusses her own complex relationships with First Nations friends and acquaintances in an effort to shed light on the difficulties facing our province and country as the Aboriginal population grows, but does not find equality.