Why I sometimes feel out of control

Who let Zsa Zsa hold the baby? Which one is the real baby? Why do they have a doctor kit out and why is Joseph wearing a skirt and dressed like a butterfly?

A short story by Olivia McBride

(As dictated at the lunch table several days ago)

Peaches, Peaches Everywhere Peaches

One time I was feeding Baby and she dumped the bowl upside down and...EVERYWHERE PEACHES. Not one single place in the house didn't have peaches. So I called my husband and I was like, "Husband Baby spilled peaches everywhere." And when my husband got home he said, "Who put the peaches all over the house?" And I said, "Audrey." And he said, "Well this is no reason to call me home. Just clean it up." And I said, "Well, I have a baby and it's no use cleaning up when you have a baby." And he said, "Okay, you give me the rag and I will clean it up. That is how I will help you." And it took us 11 minutes to clean up. Umm Hmm. Peaches. Everywhere. In the sink. In the bath. There was not one place that was not covered in peaches.

The End

See, told you

Bird nerds.

Thank you Mr. Audubon

Never knew waiting for the hour to chime would be so exciting. We've had the clock two weeks now and Joseph still runs to the kitchen every time he hears it. Studying the booklet about the birds. They are fitting in nicely to our family. A bunch of bird nerds we are.

Thankful she travels light

The benefits (to your parents) of being small.
Last week we all drove up to Orange County (L.A.) for Mike's last ordination committee exam. He passed, so in celebration we got a hotel room on AMEX points and spent the next day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was such a great day for us as a family as we headed back for a tough week in preparation for Mike's exam before Presbytery which was yesterday. He passed that as well and so ends a very long and arduous ordination process. Now for the celebrating and service!

I'll post more from the aquarium later.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support over the last year as we have been through this process. We are confident of the sustaining power of your prayers. The Lord has been faithful to us through you. Thank you.

Parenting that motivates

"We sometimes rely too much on talking to our children. Covenant identity is something they need to see modeled before them. They need to see that we love our God, that we talk with him, that we walk before him with conscious awareness of his eye upon us that we enjoy worshiping him, that we treasure his name upon us, that we admire his works, that we hope in his promises, that we listen to his Word, that we work for him, that we identify ourselves with his people, their history, and their future, and that we love righteousness and hate sin. One who is unmotivated cannot motivate. If our children do not see us moved by God's creating us and covenanting with us, they will never be enthusiastic about these things. Our being who we are will help them understand and embrace who they are."

This was forwarded to me months ago (from an OPC website I think) from a friend. I find this impossible and empowering all at the same time. Impossible because I see my own lazy, unmotivated heart and fear I will never motivate enough. Empowering because really the most that is required of me is to seek hard after the One who has sought after me and my parenting will follow suit. No magic formulas, disciplining tricks, sure things to change their hearts. THAT is impossible. But Christ. He changes us both.

Covenant love

Margaret Irene was baptized a few weeks ago while Mike's family was in town. Sorry the pictures are dark...it's difficult to get a good shot in a movie theatre from the nosebleeds. (Thanks for trying, Minna.)(I wish I had taken that dumb sling off. Every picture we take these days Greta is either riding in it or nursing under it. These are special days and I wouldn't trade them, but it will be nice not to feel/look like a kangaroo in the future.)
I tried to lighten the picture so you can at least make out what is going on. This is Steven Cooper, the Harbor Downtown site pastor. We might have to have just one more kid so Mike can baptize him/her. (This Saturday, by the way, is Mikes' last step in the ordination process. Please be praying for him as he studies this week for his Presbytery floor exam and shortens a 40 minute sermon to 15 in order to preach it at Presbytery as well.)
Olivia, oddly enough, chose not to come down and join us. She did, however, trapse down the steps as the baptism was over to put her offering in the box...at the front of the theatre.

It seems strange...

...that she often acts like a guest here...saying things like, "Thanks for inviting me for breakfast" and "Thanks for asking me to go to church with you this morning" and "Can you tell me where your bathroom is."

What I learned about sin from shaving a hole in Mike's hair

A few weeks ago, and sorry I do not have a photograph, I shaved a hole in Mike's hair - just above and slightly behind his left ear. Oh dear.

I felt horrible. I was done with the clippers, I thought, so I had taken the guard off to trim around the edges. After trimming the top with scissors I decided one area needed to be thinned out a little more. Oh no. That is just what I kept saying over and over.

It was horrible. Greta was getting baptized the next morning. He was getting ready to go before a committee for ordination in a week and a half...I was totally forgetting it would actually grow back.

He laughed. I could not believe it. I would have been TICKED. I kept thinking of all the ways I could make up for it - but I couldn't. His hair was already too short for a comb over - though Joseph would have loved that as comb overs are his favorite. I couldn't glue it back on. I could color his scalp with a Sharpie, but really was that making up for it? And plus, they don't make Sharpie in a dirty blond color. I could not believe I had done it. I even tried to blame him a little - "You should not let me cut your hair when I am so sleep deprived."

As he went to access the damage and I busied myself in the kitchen trying to forget it, I realized how much that hole was like my sin. Now, I promise I am not trying to over spiritualize here. But I sensed this loud and clear. My whole life I have been able to make up for my sin - humanly speaking. I never did anything bad enough to ruin me (again, humanly speaking). I could cover up most things - with good excuses, lies, trying harder, smoke and mirrors. I am good at this. I shouldn't be telling it out loud, but there it is. I am.

But spiritually speaking. Eternally speaking. Redemptively speaking. I can do nothing about my sin. It is just a big gapping hole. And there is only One who can "deal" with it. Atone for it. Expose it. forgive it. And wipe it away. Forever.

I hope Mike is as thankful for his hole as I am.
(He should also be thankful for his height. Not many people are tall enough to see the hole.)

"Never there were such devoted sisters."

She can get a little carried away sometimes, but Olivia certainly loves her little sister.
She's spelling/writing from dictation now. Very fun. She will have a lot to teach Baby Greta. (or Bay Greta, as Joseph calls her)

I want my Mama back!

Or Amy. Dirty laundry fears them. Good news is all that laundry was clean. Bad news is it didn't get folded until the end of the day...and I don't iron.

Channeling Great Great Granny Olive

If we did that sort of thing. We have a ton of my great granny's "fine" jewelry that I got from my mom about a year ago because I was going to make some thing for her with it. Still haven't done that - but now Olivia likes playing with it. She especially loves the "ear screws" as granny used to call them.We cannot get a flash picture of Olivia with her eyes open. She was trying hard...

In the end - a blurry, no flash.

A growing gallery

I think she was a little over a week here. We have pictures of all three kids propped up on these pillows - I'll see if I can post them all together some time. Every time she opens her eyes the word liquid comes to mind. They are just so dark (blue) and soft and deep. She is really pretty - even if she is my own.

Getting fatter. People still say, "Look at the little baby" when they see us. But she is looking chunky to me. This was her baptism day, Sunday before last, while Mike's family was here. She was 3 weeks old, which I think is how old Olivia was when she was baptized.
Might have been throwing a gang sign here, not sure.
When Olivia was born I was all aware of everything being all girly, and loved it, but still was not looking forward to the princess stuff and all the purple and pink she would love. As it turns out her favorite color is blue and she loves baseball and snails - and the occasional princess and "fancy dress". Perfect. But seems like I just can't get enough girly-ness with Margaret. I'm sure Olivia's influence will balance everything out. But this picture is so girly and feminine. I love it.
Her heisman pose...for when they let girly girls win it. Look at those cheeks! Four weeks.


Mini me's


And Olivia wonders why we are a bit apprehensive about her "handling" Greta...
She's trying to squat down like Mimi.
Greta doing her George Jefferson impression.

Week to week

If someone would have told me we would be back here in a week (with a baby), I might have relaxed a little.


My mom had a picture of Ruth. I forgot to tell you one of the best things she did for us. After Greta was born, she gave her to me, turned down all the lights and turned off all the machines and shut the door - for 3 hours!!! They didn't move us until the shift change and she left Mike, mom and I to just rest. They didn't weigh or bathe the baby or anything. In fact, I never remembered her even taking Greta from me, but based on this picture apparently she did.

She's very thoughty

Gone are the days of the first/only child - laying them in the middle of your bed or on the couch. We put Olivia everywhere. Greta would get squashed in seconds if we left her somewhere in reach. But for a moment, upon her home arrival, she napped on our bed.