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.


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 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.

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.

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 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 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?