Monday, December 19, 2011

All Souls Christmas Gift

You all know how precious our All Souls community is to us. This Christmas we wanted to do something special for our pastors and elders (all five of them--we're a small crew, still!). This idea for this came from one of our amazing friends there. We collected a word or phrase from as many people at All Souls as we could and handed them off to three very talented poets in our church. They took those and crafted this incredible reflection of All Souls that we were able to share with our leaders last night. It was beautiful.

On this journey of life

Between suffering and glory

Between salvation and resurrection

Between ruin and redemption

Our souls need a resting place

A gathering space to witness the mystery of transformation

A place to be enveloped by the warm care of community when we are wearied by winter

So take off your shoes, for you are standing on sacred ground

God has built us a house of healing from the holy rubble of our lives

It is here that we will be encouraged and refreshed

It is here that our doubt and despair can be destroyed by love and desire

So come, we are eagerly awaiting your arrival

The welcome mat has been rolled out

And the door lies open for travelers worn from the road

In the name of Jesus, we say

“Welcome Home”

It is spacious here

There is enough room at the table for you

Love is freely offered in the breaking of bread and passing of the cup

If you hunger

Come sup with us

And you will feast on hope, freedom and authenticity

If you thirst

Have a drink with us

And be warmed, awakened and inspired


We will help you hear the voice of Jesus


Bloom into the real you


And find hospitality, restoration and shalom


And take the peace of Christ

For you do not have to walk alone


Be known

Be understood

Be listened to

Be artful

Be open

Be free

Be beautiful

Be warmed and filled

And take off your shoes

But, most of all

Be at home

For this place has been set aside for us

The fire has been prepared

And it is burning with great anticipation

Eagerly awaiting the arrival


Your Soul


All Souls

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Birthday Morning

I just love Henry's birthday. It has just started and I am already buzzing with joy!

We started things a little early. I have a notoriously bad habit of not being able to wait until the appropriate holiday to give away my gifts. Andrew knows I make up the most upsurd reasons to make him open presents early.

So, on Tuesday, we let Henry open one of his gifts. This was my facebook post the next morning:

"I had a watershed moment in parenting last night. We let H open an early birthday present and it was one of the greatest things I've ever experienced. Watching him get SOOOOOO excited and be filled with such joy was breathtaking. 2 Lessons: 1) I now understand the temptation to go overboard for holidays. What a rush! 2) I once again have a better glimpse into how much God wants to give me good gifts!"

Last night, Andrew and I worked on decking the halls with birthday decorations. This included me blowing up 45 balloons and tying them around the kitchen, but leaving most of them in a large pile on the floor for Henry to find when he walked down the stairs.

After waking him up and telling him that he couldn't wear his tractor shirt because it was dirty (if he could wear that shirt every day, he would!), Andrew got him dressed and the three of us made our way downstairs.

He was so thrilled to find all of those balloons, jumping in them and tossing them into the air, exclaiming, "Mama, Look! Mama, Look!"

I made some special pancakes this morning and then we were off to school.

Sometimes I wonder how much God is involved in the details of our lives, until things like this happen. On our way to drop off Daddy and go to school, we saw the following:
  • a trash truck
  • a mail truck (two, actually)
  • a tractor trailer
  • two dump trucks
  • a police car
  • a tractor hauling dirt
  • a school bus
  • a big bus (a U.Va. bus)
  • and a jeep

Henry couldn't call my attention to one before another AMAZING vehicle was passing us.

What a perfect way to start the day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snowman Hat

Or, as Henry likes to call it, "Noman At!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Brown Eyes

The greatest lullaby I know is also extremely special to me. Brown Eyes is a tradition at Furman and is a precious connection for me to those days, Furman Singers and my dear, dear friends, the Herrings (Mr. Herring's mom was the reason the song became Furman's song).

I have sung that song hundreds of times to Henry. It's my lullaby of choice when I put him to bed.

Tonight, after he was fresh and clean from his bath, Henry climbed up into my lap for his new favorite story (see post below about Aunt Jane's latest gift!).

After we finished the book, he turned around to snuggle up to me. I wrapped the blanket around him. He wiggled a bit, dropped his head onto my chest and declared in as deadpan a voice as I've heard:

"Brown Eyes!"

I was shocked and totally tickled. I tried to start singing but I just burst out laughing. And then he started laughing.

There we were--it was supposed to be bedtime and we were a complete bundle of giggles.

Finally--and I mean fiiiiinnnalllly, we calmed down enough for me to sing. Brown Eyes, of course.

Who knew that all of those times I sang to him he was actually enjoying it?!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bathtub conversation from last night

First, I have to tell Dad that Henry loves his "'puter." We customized it so that is calls him by name and read him "emails" from Mama, Dada, and Grandpa. Great gift.

And Aunt Jane, you should know that Henry can't get enough of his pop-up counting book. He wants to read it several times a day. It's a winner. Thank you!

So last night in the tub somehow we got on the topic of motorcycles. Not sure how it came up, but we ran with it.

Henry: mama's motorcycle!
Daddy: Mama has a motorcycle? Does Henry have a motorcycle?
H: yeah!
D: you do? What color is your motorcycle?
H: red!
D: wow. What shape is it?
H: green!
D: cool! Tell me more about it.
H: [quizzical look]
D: is there anything on your motorcycle? Pictures of anything?
H: animals!
D: oh! what kind of animals?
H: horsies. Piggies. Cows.
D: Neat! Henry, why have I never seen your motorcycle? Where is it?
H: at work!

The kid is hilarious.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Good Ole Song

One more quick video.

In honor of an amazing 2011 football season.

By the way, anytime Henry now sees the V & sabre logo, he's shouts, "Go shoo, Go!" (Instead of Go Hoos, Go. But its close and we are very proud of his enthusiasm!)

Makin' Pot Pie

We had an amazing time in Texas for Thanksgiving. We came home to a wild weekend (UVa vs VT for the division championship) and then went straight back to work. So hopefully, this weekend we'll report back more about our time.

In the meantime, here is one of my all-time favorite videos. Nana and Henry are making Henry's favorite: pot pie!