Sunday, August 26, 2007

On a Lighter Note

Sorry for the huge swing in emotions between posts, but I just saw this on Reegz's blog and thought it was hilarious...

I'm bad too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Our Sweet Marguerite

Where to begin? I had the idea this morning to go visit our friend Marguerite at the Christian Community Home here in town. We met her back at Christmastime in 2005 when we went to say hi and give hugs to residents. I'm not sure why we picked her room to visit, but afterwards I knew we needed to come back. And so we did. We tried to make it once a month, and we always went straight to Marguerite's room.

The kids loved her immediately and so did I. She was so sharp, so interested in our lives. It felt like we had known her forever. She saved treats and stuffed animals to give to the kids and told us her story. The wife of a diplomat, she traveled to and lived in many far-away nations. Treasures from these places filled her room and testified to a rich life (and gave me many moments of anxiety as my kids would pick them up to ask, "what's this?"). Marguerite had two children, a son who was a gifted flutist, and much later, a daughter whom Marguerite and her husband let their ten-year-old son name. The little girl adored her big brother but the family lost him at the age of 22 when he was killed in a car accident. My heart ached for Marguerite's loss and I planned on coming sometime to play my flute for her.

We began to call her "Grandma Marguerite" and the kids enjoyed trying on her jewelry (imagine Ethan in big red clip-on earrings!) and coloring pictures for her. Last Halloween I brought the kids by early so she could see them in their costumes. She loved my kids. When aides came in the room she would proudly tell them about us and how I teach them at home.
I wish we had made it to see her more often. After Cait was born it took me 4 months to visit. I learned that we had missed her 90th birthday party, which broke my heart. But I was thankful to have the chance to introduce her to my new baby girl. She thought it was good that I had had another girl because a boy would have been too much for me. The kids ran around the nursing home that day and I let them, too tired to chase them and enjoying the chance to sit and chat with Marguerite in peace. The baby nursed and we talked. It was a precious time.

That was 3 months ago. I had wanted to stop in before we left for vacation at the end of June, but in all the craziness, we didn't make it. The kids have been reminding me lately that we need to go and see her, so today I called to check if it would be a good time to visit. Her number was disconnected.

Now I'm crying. We can't go back. We can't sit in her little room and see her smile and hear her stories. I can't play my flute for her. She was an amazing woman and now she's gone. In a few minutes Brian will be home for lunch and we will tell the kids. Their sweet and affectionate hearts will be devastated.

I am amazed and angry at how such a wonderful life can slip away so quietly. I had always been afraid she would pass without my knowing, and would find myself scanning the obituaries while reading the local paper, just in case. The only information I've found is that she died on Thursday, July 5 at Regions Hospital, which means she was sick or hurt. Oh Lord, was she all alone? We were still down in Indiana then and driving home on the day of her funeral. We missed all of it. We can't even say goodbye. What should we do?

Maybe it will be good to tell the kids. Then we can cry together.

We will miss you so much, our dear Marguerite.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Must Check These Out!

Hey, you bloggers...two posts to read if you feel like a good laugh...

Go to my friend Deanna's blog, "Still Can't Help Myself" (see link at right), and scroll down to July 21 post, "If You Can't Laugh at Yourself" and June 1 post, "Prayers". Both had me laughing out loud!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for lifelong friends, goofy senses of humor, and the prayers of little girls!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blog Scrapbook Entry #4: Caitlyn

Oh, my baby Cait! One of the sweetest babes I've ever known, rivaled only by her sister in her babyhood. It's easy to forget she's even there as long as she's got a full tummy and isn't sleepy. Otherwise she just hangs out...happy. When spoken to, her face breaks into a wide one-toothed grin. Her latest feats: sitting up unassisted and waving bye-bye (we think). Cait loves the attention of her big sibs and giggles at their tickles and antics.

What a gift she is to us! How thankful I am that God sent her to us and that I get to be her mommy. She is truly a wonderful finale to the Crim Clan!

Blog Scrapbook Entry #3:Karin

Karin (a.k.a. "Totty" after a character from a Wallace and Grommit movie) will be 3 in a couple of weeks. We adore her cute yet awkward speech patterns that yield sentences such as "we's had fuds bows an showboat" which translates "we have fudge bars and sherbet". She is still the most cuddly kid I know, and her daddy is often seen soaking in a big hug with a contented smile on his face. Karin is taken with Disney princesses and with the movie Madeline (pronounced "Madeyine"). She finally will allow me to fix her hair and loves to dress herself in interesting combinations. Her favorite color is purple and her favorite foods are brownies, beans, sherbet, popsicles, and fudge bars (her answers!). Every night she still goes to sleep listening to her "Bubbles" CD and often asks us to sing the "Captain Vegetable" song on our way out of her room.

She has her 2-year-old moments, however, and is gradually learning to speak instead of whine, say please instead of demand, and ask for a turn instead of throwing a temper tantrum. She adores her baby sister and loves to help in any way she can. And hopefully we'll be saying goodbye to diapers and hello to princess underwear very soon.

We are so thankful for our sweet Totty!

Blog Scrapbook Entry #2:Ethan

Ethan is Tigger in a 5-year-old boy's skin. Full of boundless energy and squirrelyness, he keeps us on our toes. E loves to ride his scooter, play PS2, color, and tickle and/or jump on people. He is looking forward to Kindergarten this year, but has already been learning lots by "doing school" with his big brother. Ethan also really likes bugs. His favorite color is blue and his favorite food is watermelon.

Just a few weeks ago Ethan prayed and asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins and be his Lord. And even though he has much room to grow in areas of self-control and obedience, I have since seen a greater responsiveness in him to correction and teaching. He is also better at sharing with others than any kid I know. He has a big heart and is tons of fun!

Blog Scrapbook Entry #1:Jay

I was just planning to put a recent photo of all my kids for anyone who hasn't seen them recently (or ever), and then got the idea to do a short summary for each of them. Starting with Jay...

Now 7 1/2 years old, Jay is a lover of all things Star Wars. He just finished up his first grade year at the Crim Academy for Gifted Students (that's what my mom calls our homeschool), where he learned to read independently and enjoyed arts and crafts the most. He loved playing soccer again this spring and asked me yesterday if he could take rock-climbing lessons. Hmmmm...I'll have to think about that one! Favorite color: green. Favorite foods: pizza, strawberries, carrots with Ranch dressing, salad, meatloaf, and cotton candy, strawberry, or chocolate-cookie dough ice cream.

My favorite thing about Jay is his tender heart for Jesus. Recently when his little brother prayed to receive Christ he sat across the table from him and virtually cried with joy. It is amazing to see God's work in him as he learns and grows in his faith. What a joy he is!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

10 Years!

Brian and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary. I can't believe we are that old! Seems just yesterday we were skipping down that aisle as naive youngins and now we have 4 youngins of our own.

To mark the occasion, we booked a room at a 4-star hotel in Minneapolis ($70!). We had dinner at the nicest restaurant I will eat at this side of glory--Ruth's Chris Steakhouse--where the filet comes out on a plate at 1500 degrees, sizzling in butter. We toasted our first decade together and imagined what the next will bring.

I am so grateful for this man. What a rock of steadfast love and faithfulness he has been! Marriage is not an easy road, by any means, but I am thankful that he has been the one by my side through all of its twists and turns, summits and valleys. He is my love.

Oh, and by the way... in the photo he is showing off his new wedding ring which we picked up on the way to the hotel to replace the one that went missing last August in the St. Croix. I was glad to get that puppy back on his hand to let everyone know that he is taken!

My Once-A-Year Sunrise

On our vacation down in Indiana last month I got up early one morning to go run a 5K with my sister-in-law. Getting up before the sun is not something I do, even though I wish I was the type who did. Glorious. That's what it was. These were a few of the shots I snapped in the perfect morning light...