Can it really be a month since we moved? So many times I have wanted to sit down to write about our new little house, the joys of unpacking, rearranging, the new sights and sounds of our neighborhood. It just hasn’t happened, though.
As I sat on our front porch Saturday morning, sipping my tea and flipping through an IKEA magazine with Elsie, Matthew came running home from his 14-mile jaunt, looking like the front windshield of a car after a long drive. Gross! Knats splattered all over his face. His bright yellow shirt was drenched in sweat. Just last weekend he ran his first half-marathon with his brother, Will. What an awesome experience! He is often up early, with his blinking hat and reflective shirt, running on dark roads while we are still dreaming. It’s not always easy for either of us, this disciplining oneself to stay in shape. Saturday morning it plain stank. I missed having breakfast with him, and lazily tumbling into our day. But, I know it means so much to him, and there is something to be said for the fact that he is the healthiest person in our family. When everyone else is plagued with colds and coughs or throw-up bugs, he seems to stay immune—even though his immune system is “technically” the least sound among us all! So, I’m proud of him and want to be his best encourager! Go Matthew!
At 25 weeks, baby is making her presence known multiple times a day. Whenever I sit down, my tummy does a funky little move as she kicks and squirms and lets us know she’s in there and growing! The ultrasound showed her to be a girl, “unless she’s a boy”. So, with that assurance, we are excited to find out in January!
Elsie has the ongoing personality of a pretty little mudpie. She is beautiful, but often getting herself into something dirty. She loves her “hair tut” which basically means putting anything into her hair. She often ends her sentences with an “oh, sure.” Or she starts her sentences with, “I not,” or “I do it.” The love of her life is shoes of every kind. She knows the difference between crocs, flipflops, sneakers, and sandals. She also loves panties and some days I think she conspires to wet her pants just so she can try on a new pair. She knows almost all of her colors and likes to talk in a sing-song voice to her babies. Today she was saying, “Jesus loves me, this I know,” as clearly as can be. As if she were still going over that thought, later I overheard her saying to herself, “Why, why, why? I don’t know, know, know. Yes, yes, yes.” And I think we all would agree that for reasons we don’t know, Jesus DOES love us! Yes, yes, yes!
Jack is a swashbuckling dude with a never-ending appetite. This morning he came downstairs without a shirt on and three belts slung across his shoulder. When I asked him what they were, he said, “They’re Squawky belts. They don’t hurt, though. They don’t hurt pirates,” insinuating, of course, that he is indeed a pirate. He is doing pre-K at home this year, in the same cyber school as Nadine and Elijah. He colors very vigorously, breaking his crayons in half in the process, and then energetically blows the crayon dust away. He loves to collect things, especially shiny “scarfily” (sparkly) things. His collections are either stuffed in his pockets all day, or into a sock and carried around swash-buckler style. A couple days ago he was with Matt and said out of the blue, “I think I’m ready to become a Christian and go to heaven.” Then, a few seconds later he said, “So, when are we going to Home Depot?” So we keep praying for his heart to want Jesus.
Elijah is reading so well in school and is doing excellently. The other morning he came down to inform me that, “Today I am going to be wise.” And he really was! All day he kept reminding himself to do or not do certain things. It’s so fun to see him growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. Of course not every day is wisdom-filled, but neither are my days. He tells elaborate stories, and likes to narrate movies and give away endings. Tonight when I tucked him into bed he told me, “Mom, do you like my space suit?” (meaning PJ’s) Then, “Watch out for where you’re standing! You’re in space!” So I had to get out of there pretty fast, until he tossed me a space helmet. I love his imagination.
Nadine thinks about ten steps ahead of what is actually going on around her. Don’t know anyone else like that. She likes to know “how many minutes” or “how many nights until…” If I can stay up as late as it takes her to get to sleep, I love to look at her sleeping face, and enjoy the stillness that I rarely see in her active, growing body. She loves to rake the leaves of our swiftly changing tree out back, and sweep the patio with all her might. She’s a strong worker and helper when she puts her mind to it. Her 8th birthday is coming up October 5th! Her biggest wish is for a date with daddy, and “no clothes”. Sounds like her mama! We love watching Nadine run. Just tonight she told us that she can run “as fast as she can wish.” Meaning, if she imagines her legs going faster, they just do. It wasn’t said with pride, but rather with a fullness of joy at the thought. Like Eric Liddell, I think that when she runs, she feels God’s pleasure.
Some distinctive things about our new house are the sounds. Instead of the highway, there is sporadic traffic on our street, between two stop signs, that makes it feel like a city, but so much quieter. Three times a day there is a Catholic church one block away that plays hymns with bells. I always feel like I am at the camp where I met Matthew, listening to the bells. I also love the wind-chimes Matthew hung on our front porch. There is a beautiful garden waiting to be carved out of the backyard. Every week we give the trash men a run for their money with all of the clippings as we slowly craft it back into the little piece of heaven that it used to be. I’m so excited to see what surprises will pop up in the spring!
Matthew’s last ENT visit showed much less inflammation in his sinuses, and it seems like the last round of infusions have helped alleviate the latest flare-up of Wegener’s. A few more months still until he gets more bloodwork done. At church we have been going through a series called, “30 days to live.” When we live life through the filter of what matters eternally, a lot of things get nixed out of the picture. These little souls will never be nixed.