Saturday, March 28, 2009

Still Folded

Back when there were only two of us, back when Joe and I were at the mere tip of really getting to know each other, we sat up on a rooftop overlooking the University of Tennessee's campus. He told me, in not so many words, that he knew I was the one.

If I'd have him, of course.

I told him, "Whoa, buddy!" while my heart told me, "Yep, he's right."

The time between that night and a cool, February one about a year later needed one thing to get us through.

Our napkin.

Let me explain by sharing something I just love.

*Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!'

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes! In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table.

For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, 'I'm done'. But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because... The folded napkin meant, 'I'm coming back!'

Once upon a time, I shared through a favorite song, this message with Joe. That's why he later handed me our napkin, folded, and we waited for God to complete some of the works He had begun in us in preparation for marriage. In preparation to spend, through His strength, nothing short of our lifetimes with one another-- no matter the ups, the downs, or the in-betweens.

That is, as we've learned, what promises are all about.

And so during this Easter season, I am reminded of how grateful I am that Joe held his promise. Even more so, I am reminded at how grateful I am that Jesus holds all of His.

Because of them both we can hardly wait to share two little baskets with two little miracles, in Sunday bests, one weekend real soon.

May your Easter Sunday be a day of renewed promises and joy unspeakable!


*I recently received this in story form as an e-mail, so I know not who to give full credit.*

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Update: I wrote this post at the end of last week hoping to join in the party. Now I've decided to go ahead and post it with the hopes that we can all remember to pray like crazy for their precious little boy! To have this kind of faith in a situation this hard is an inspiration; may God heal their miracle child yet another time!
Now, this looked like some fun. Let the free therapy begin!

I'm pretty sure I would never attempt to hurriedly vacuum our stairs with one baby on my hip, while the other not-so-baby had the kitchen counter and a step stool to herself. It's a good thing I didn't do that, too, because if I had I just might have walked in to discover this.

A little Parmesan cheese for her pa-sketti, in case you couldn't tell.

Boy would I have learned my lesson. So, of course, later on I would never ever knowingly let my same toddler pry graham crackers and tortilla chips out of the pantry just so I could finish a telephone conversation. If I did, I would certainly make her mind her c's and c's, by not leaving Gretel-like crumbs everywhere.
Afterwards I would not secretly be glad, as one who doesn't like to waste food, that my nasty cardboard attempt at healthy graham crackers were finally (finally!) gone. I mean those delicious (choke... gag!) treats were not a splurge at over three bucks a box! Are you kidding me? Not at all!

Please, I am definitely not pointing to such a mess with a red finger. If I were, that might mean I was using nap time to furiously spray paint a thrifted tricycle for one eager rider. Said thrifted tricycle, with such cute potential in my mind I might add, could not now scar even a two year-old should she decide to take it for a spin.

I would never exaggerate on something so serious.

I would surely also never be so ashamed that I would show only the back end of such a salvaging nightmare, especially since spray paint is usually such a faithful crafting companion! What next, my glue gun???? But I digress because... no way, people! Not me!
And lastly, on my way to not scrub the dickens out of my hypothetically red hands, I simply would not die of embarrassment for you to know I spotted two pregnant laundry hampers at our house. That would mean our children were like a step or two away from being naked! Yet, we still didn't go out to play instead of inducing labor on those babies.
Sheesh. This is getting crazy!

Just what kind of mother would you think I am then?!

I cannot officially end this post without for real thanking a wonderful neighbor who came to my thrift-store-gone-bad rescue by giving us her kids' outgrown trike! Hope won't need some therapy of her own, after all, especially after I made up with my spray paint. The basket on the front wouldn't have been the same without you, old friend. :)

and a 'lil something extra for my uncles...

that's right, boys...


--xoxo, of course--


Monday, March 16, 2009

Moments with Maddie- Month Eight

I used to whisper to a tiny Hope that she was my favorite doll ever. Little did I know, God would let me borrow two of His dolls. Eight months of rocking, dressing, feeding, and loving on Miss Maddie Cakes... it's been one beautiful blur.

Joe often says he doesn't know what God was thinking giving him two little girls. Images of little boys coming to call for them, sending them out into this big world one day (he's already trying some brainwashing, I mean encouraging, about going to a local university), and perhaps giving those hands in marriage are just a few that can send him over the edge. I remind him that forty is just a bit on the strict side for some things.

But secretly I just can't comprehend that so much time could escape us, could actually come to pass. This is cause for celebrating the little things, a cause for celebrating the here and now. (With that, have you ever seen My Best Friend's Wedding? If so, all you gotta do is sing along; I'm in one of those moods...)

Just thinkin'...

And gigglin'...

And dreamin', a hopin'...

And playin'...


You guessed it... Crawlin'!

(Are you thinking how great true lo- ove is?) :)

oh, and one smallish request...

We don't like wishing time away. Really, we don't.
You've probably gathered that in all our rants about how quickly time passes any more.

So, we'll back up a little and simply ask if maybe, just maybe, this little guy could be the last of the snow and cold? Pretty please with a banana on top?

We've missed you sun shining, soccer balling, driveway painting, bubble blowing kinds of days.

You're good for our souls!

{Did anyone else out there just say, "Amen?"}

Sunday, March 8, 2009

haaammm, haaammm...

...on the range!
Let’s avoid finishing the range's bills by dishing out some ham, we say. Since we can’t avoid this for too long, we hope you won’t mind that this month is mostly in pics.

As you can see below, Hope learned how to play hide and seek. She’s a natural, obviously.

However, she truly is a natural at something else called busting. a. move.

Roger Rabbit

What’s old school good for if not The Hammer, of course?

Our dancing queen. She made us do it.

And those babies of hers… they are always good for some hammy moments. Recently when we asked her if we could again distinguish some of them with names, she agreed! Had we not momentarily forgotten how much she loves to know EVERYONE’S full names these days, we wouldn't have been surprised when she excitedly said, "Ummm, yes... Katina Wa-nay!" (Katrina Renee for those who may not know Mommy's full name).

Katina or her friend, especially, go everywhere and do everything with us. Visits with Daddy in the square...
Pretend trips to the Hobby Yobby...
Some two year old pictures...
Do you actually need a caption? :)
Have a great start to the week, everyone!
Joe and Katrina

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not the Only Cook in the... Bathroom?

After tiptoeing around a particular issue for a number of months with all that has been going on, this past week we tried to get down to doing business. Let me set the scene for you.

I'll let your imagination do the rest. Just be sure to imagine lots of opportunities for patience,"Cabbage Patch" style dance moves, cheers, stickers, Annie's chocolate or graham bunnies, a bucket of cute little big girl supplies, and a truckload of opportunities to be patient. Oh and us gated in our kitchen, coming up with all sorts of stuff to do, while reassured by the safety of hardwood floors.

Except for that time on the stairs. Or in the bedroom. And anywhere else the truckload of patience made a pit stop...

Hmm... seems I should probably jazz up this post a bit just in case I lost some of you at the bathroom photo.

Come with me to the kitchen then.

Before we go and steal (share?) his thunder, I must show you what I woke up to on Valentine's Day.
He did that with two little girls, mind you, while I got to sleep in a little. I think it's safe to say that the fastest way to a woman's heart is also sometimes through her stomach. Especially if that stomach has had some extra zzz's.

But, he's not the only cook in our kitchen. Nope, he's not... thanks to another gift of handmade (MWA, Mrs. Neal!), we have some Mommy and Me...
and Me Too, of course... apron action going on!

Several nights ago we whipped up a new version of broccoli and cheese soup. Excuse me, baby broccoli and cheese soup (A while back Joe discovered that Hope's love for all things "baby" also works for veggies... as long as we call them baby carrots, broccoli, avocado, zucchini, peas, lettuce, etc... it's all good!) It was pretty yummy, but next time we'll try to healthy-like tweak this recipe, to see if it truly tastes like the Panera version we've been after. Me Too had herself some baby sweet potatoes just so you know she wasn't left out. :)

As for Joe's love by chocolate souffle, in all its low fat glory (yeah, right!), you'll have to try and get that little recipe out of him yourself. I can assure you after a bite or two you'll be doing some cheers and "Cabbage Patch" style dance moves all your own.

With or without a side of stickers and wherever you choose to eat it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Little of the Playground

Not much time now, but look.

Just look at what arrived on our doorstep today.

Cora, there are two little girls who will help share your story every time someone asks about these precious headbands.

We hope your playground is full of sunshine and laughter and joy.

We just know it will be.