Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eight is Great!

My boy is eight years old today. We did present time right away this morning and watched as his eyes lit up at his shiny new bike. He requested waffles for breakfast and soon after was allowed to try his new Transformers PS2 game that his grampa got him. After lunch his best buddy called and invited him over to play. Tonight we'll go to Culver's for dinner (his choice again) and then head to the Omni Theater with his grandparents. I think it's a good day for him.

Sweet Jay, my firstborn, I am so glad you're mine. You are one cool kid. Active, smart, funny, soft-hearted. You are growing up a little bit everyday, learning how to handle life's ups-and-downs, and letting God's Spirit convict and teach you. Your faith is growing stronger, even as you bring up doubts and questions from time to time. I love how you play with baby Cait, how you sweetly listen to your great-Grandma, how you hug me and tell me I'm the best mom and Dad's the best dad. I am blessed and honored to be your Mom and have these years to walk with you and teach you as you grow, and I can't wait to see what God will do in you this next year. Thanks for being my guy. I love you!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kitty Comfort

It's been a month now since PaPa passed away, almost two since we learned of his leukemia. So these past 2 months have been pretty sad. But I have to tell you about one way that God has lavished his comfort on us...

We had wanted to get a pet for a long time, but never felt like we were at the right place to do so, due to pregnancy, finances, etc. But as Christmas approached I came up with the idea to lump together all of the kids' and my Christmas presents to each other and get a cat. I began to look for a kitty through various rescue organizations, but quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to wait until after Christmas so as not to make a hasty choice. We planned to buy all of the kitty paraphrenalia (litter box, food, water dish, etc.), wrap it all up, and tell the kids on Christmas day that we would be picking out a kitty soon.

A week before Christmas I went shopping with my dear Anushka (cat-lover extraordinaire) at PetSmart. We spent a long time gathering together all we would need for our future feline friend and were just going through the checkout line when the cashier asked if we had seen the kitties in the back. I figured it wouldn't hurt to check them out and get some pointers from Anne on what to look for, so we walked back to the room where the adoptees were.

Now, you have to understand that I was looking for a kitten, around 4 months old or so. So when the clerk pulled out of the cage the biggest cat I had ever seen, I wasn't exactly interested. "We just can't figure out why this guy's been here so long," she said, "because he is such a sweetheart!" To indulge her I took the cat in my arms and he immediately began kneading his paws into my coat. I could tell Anne was smitten right away, and she carefully started making comments about how wonderful this "Tommy" was, and about how it might be good to have a little older cat around my kids. He was very frisky, but extremely loving, and as soon as we started scratching him he rolled over onto his back to let us rub his tummy. We even did a little pull-test on his fur to see how he would react, and he actually started to purr!

Then I knew why this cat had been waiting to be adopted for so long...God had saved him for US! I asked Annie for her phone and called Brian. "Can I bring home a cat?" I asked. He said "I trust you," and Tommy came home with me.

That was over 7 weeks ago, and we are still pretty sure that we have the coolest cat in the world. We are also fairly certain that he is part dog. He runs after tinfoil balls, kicks them around with great skill, skids across the hardwood floor when he reaches one, picks it up in his mouth, drops it and starts again. He comes when you say "kitty kitty kitty", and follows us around the house. He is the ultimate "people" cat, and loves to be in whatever room we are. Besides all that he is beautiful--some kind of a mix of Siamese and Tabby, I think. He has long cream-colored fur, with orange ears, so that Jay thought he looked like a marshmallow that has just started to turn brown on the edges. "Tommy" seemed too plain for such a remarkable cat, so we finally all settled on "Caspian", which sounded more regal.

I had forgotten what magic there is in having a pet. Caspian has brought such a warmth and joy to our everyday routine. The kids are wild about him; even baby Cait comes over and bonks her little head against his to show him she loves him. We sit around and laugh at his crazy antics and love to rub his soft furriness.

Caspian has also shown an amazing trait of kitty-compassion...several times we have seen him come over to one of the girls who were crying at the time, seemingly to check them out and make sure they are ok. Another time I sat on the couch crying, and Caspian jumped up, put his furry little paws on my chest, and brought his face up to mine. And the night of my PaPa's visitation, as I sat sobbing on the floor, overwhelmed by my grief and our trip the next day on the youth ski trip, sweet Caspian got off of his comfy perch and came over to lay next to me, as if to say, "you're not alone".

Amidst all the grief of losing my PaPa, Caspian has brought hilarious joy and quiet comfort. I know that he is God's purposeful means of grace and love to us during this tough time.

Thank you, Lord!

Monday, February 04, 2008

"Caulk" Me Crazy

Have you ever gotten the spontaneous idea to start something and 60 seconds into it you wondered what the heck you were thinking?

Well, I was going to clean my tub and shower today (in preparation for Jamie and Joey staying with our kids this weekend--I mean, I can't have them seeing how we really live around here!). And the next thing I knew, all of the old caulk was pulled off of the entire tub. How'd that happen?!