Starting Five

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared photos of my grands.  I’m still amazed that five grandchildren have graced my life in the past two and a half years.  Since I have writer’s block and can’t think of anything to say, I will default to my little team of kiddos.  There’s always something to say about them.

Here’s my starting five line-up:

Hudson, AKA Hud Bud.

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He is our starting center, because, well, he started it all and he’s used to being in the center.

Strengths: Tall, most experienced, smart and in-charge.

Needs to work on: Passing the ball and not beating up on teammates.

Elijah, AKA Eli.

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This guy is our power forward.  Don’t get in his way.

Strengths: Size, strength and having his own personal gym.

Needs to work on: Not crying when he gets fouled.

Eleanor, AKA Ella.

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This little lady is a force on the court.

Strengths: Enthusiasm, spirit, and determination.

Needs to work on: Control.  And how to dribble while holding three purses.

Charlie, AKA Charlie-boy.

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He’s our speedy point guard.

Strengths: Quickness, especially if there is a dog nearby.  And well-defined muscles.

Needs to work on: Being a little more aggressive.  In a nice way.

And last but not least, Evie, AKA Evie-girl.

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She rounds out the team by being the other guard, but she’s secretly holding out to be replaced so she can become head cheerleader.

Strengths: Always looks good on the court.

Needs to work on: Lowering the decibel of her screams.

There you have it, folks.

It looks like a good season.

Opa and Nonnie are cheering them on!

Four Babies

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This morning my daughter Katie and I thought it would be nice to take a walk around our town square.  We talked about packing up the kids, stopping at the coffee shop, and then strolling into a few of our favorite shops.

But there are four babies at our house.  What were we thinking?

By the time Eli and Ella were fed and dressed, Hudson was getting up.

By the time Hudson was fed and dressed, Eli and Ella were falling asleep in their swings.

Then Charlie needed to nurse.

Somewhere in there, I changed three poopy diapers.

By mid-morning, Hudson was ready for a nap.

Then Eli and Ella woke up and I gave them each a bottle.

When Hudson got up (he didn’t really sleep), Charlie was nodding off in the swing.

Then Eli and Ella spit up, so I changed them into their second outfit of the day.

It wasn’t long before Hudson was hungry for lunch.

About then, Charlie woke up and just wanted to be held.

Eli rolled over onto his stomach and couldn’t get back over, so he cried.

Ella rolled over and smacked Eli, so he cried louder.

Then I changed some more diapers.

After lunch, Hudson really needed a nap because he didn’t actually sleep before.

Then Dan, Anna, Kelsey, Sam and PB walked in and played with the babies.

Katie and I took a nap.

Maybe we’ll try again tomorrow.  Maybe not.

How many chances will I get to hold four babies in one morning?

An iced caramel vanilla latte topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup can’t compare.

Not even close.

Meet Charlie

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May I introduce you?

Everybody, meet Charlie.

Charlie, say “hi”!

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He’s a honey.

How many times can one Nonnie fall in love?

Apparently over and over.

Although I’m here to help my daughter and her husband keep the household intact during this transition to a family of four, it’s clear that my main function is to be Hud Bud’s buddy.  Today, I woke up extra early so I could jump in the shower and get my make up on before Hudson woke up.  I sure didn’t want to scare the little guy.

We had a great morning.  We played with toys, we tickled and laughed, we sang “Twinkle, Twinkle” dozens of times, and read the first page of ten different books.  We went outside, picked up rocks, and tried not to get all wet in the sprinkler.  I had a blast.  By then it was 7:30 a.m.  I could have kept it up for at least another couple of hours, but a trip to the farmer’s market sounded like fun, so we packed up the diaper bag and took off.

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There was lots of beautiful produce….

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and delectable baked goods…..

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Someone was handing out suckers as we strolled along.

Hudson has never had a sucker.

Big brothers should have some privileges, that’s what I say.

There’s got to be some perks,

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Hud Bud knew instinctively what to do.

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He really liked it.

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Dad, you’ve been holding out on me for 18 months.

Thank goodness Nonnie came.

My Royal Grandson

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Kate is going to have her baby soon, and  I’m not talking about the Duchess of Cambridge.

I’m referring to my daughter, Katie, who happens to have the same due date as the other Kate.

I expect thousands will be gathering outside the English hospital to await the royal news.

PB and I will be gathering by the phone, waiting for word from out west that the baby has arrived.

I suppose there will be great rejoicing in the streets of London when the church bells ring out.

PB and I will do a dance right in our living room, with peals of laughter and cries of joy.

I’m sure the regal birth announcement will be all over the TV and internet for the world to hear.

PB and I will be calling and texting and tweeting and facebooking our little corner of the world.

I presume there will be 101 gun salutes heard across the English countryside.

PB and I may set off a few left-over firecrackers in the backyard in honor of our new baby boy.

Little man, you may share a birthday with a prince or princess, but you aren’t in anyone’s shadow.

You aren’t the first-born, you aren’t the first-grand, you aren’t a twin.

You are different from all the rest — may your light shine.  Soon.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9

Milk and Honey

He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Deuteronomy 26:9

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Over twenty times, the land promised to the Israelites was referred to as “a land flowing with milk and honey”.  Now I know why.  They were a new-born nation — babies in their relationship with God.  They needed milk, with a little honey added in for sweetness.

Back in the desert days, the people yearned for their old Egyptian fare.  In a classic case of selective memory they wailed, “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost.”  (Sure, food was free — but they weren’t.)  “Also, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.” (I can understand them missing the taste of fresh melons, but leeks and onions?)

God didn’t entice His new nation to Canaan with the promise of pickles and garlic.  Oh, no.  Milk and honey was on the menu because God knew that’s what they needed.  It wasn’t a land flowing with steak and potatoes, burgers and fries, or beer and brats.  Wholesome milk with a touch of honey — perfect for a young community.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Psalm 34:8

Milk

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow up in your salvation.”  1 Peter 2:2

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Newborn babies have one thing on their minds — milk.

They crave it, they cry for it, they live for the next feeding.

When they are hungry, their miniature mouths open wide as they frantically search for the source, then land it and guzzle like there’s no tomorrow.

They suck with all their might, jaw muscles pulling, drawing, tight and strong.

Milk is what they desire — milk is what they need.

Without it they would die.

So they cry out every few hours for more and more and more.

Elijah and Eleanor inspire me.

I watch their single-minded intensity and I am envious.

To want something so desperately and to be so completely satisfied by the nourishment it gives —

they are teaching me how to love God’s Word.

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They also are reminding me that newborns require regular feedings and must be treated with gentleness and patience.

Neediness, dependence and messiness is to be expected.

Developing into a grown-up takes time.

May we give those newly born into faith the same kind of nurturing care.

Baby’s Breath

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Eli and Ella fit like puzzle pieces.

They smell each other and feel comforted.

They feel each other’s breath and rest peacefully.

“How good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell in unity!”

Psalm 133:1

Holy Week

There I was, thinking about how it’s already Holy Week…..

and I hadn’t even given it much thought.

I hadn’t contemplated the bread and the wine….

I hadn’t kept watch in the garden….

I hadn’t walked the Via Dolorosa.

There I was, thinking that Easter was creeping up on me

and that I might miss it this year.

I was wrong.

I have been experiencing Easter Life to the full.

Here I am, witness to life bursting forth from the dark womb.

Here I am, staying awake into the night to watch and pray.

Here I am, washing the feet of my daughter, serving her needs.

Here I am, holding in my very hands life — downy soft, sweet smelling life.

Indeed, this has been the holiest of Holy Weeks.

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