We experience God's grace when we see Him go beyond what He has promised, to give us gifts that we could never have created, earned, or deserved. Our children are two of those gifts of grace.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Meredith!

Last Thursday (June 16) was Meredith's 4th birthday! It was a great day. Here's the evidence...

Before her party, Meredith got a phone call from Grandma and Grandpa and told them how excited she was! She's wearing a special birthday pin she got from Oma and Opa too, and a new dress...my favorite yet!

Since Meredith's birthday was on our usual night for church small group at our house, we just invited the small group and a few others to share in the festivities. Our friend Sarah made Meredith an amazing cake...

...and she loved blowing out the candles!

Her friend Marin came over and they enjoyed their goodie bags.

We had very little in the way of "activities" planned for the evening, but the one thing Meredith and I had talked about was that she could do a bit of a concert for us, and maybe have us participate with instruments too. She embraced the idea at the party, and so after handing out all her instruments to everyone (and naming them all as she looked around the room making sure everyone had one) she led us in singing and playing three songs (Wheels on the Bus, 5 Little Ducks, and He's Got the Whole World In His Hands). Her leadership was infectious: "OK everyone!! Let's get ready for the show! It's time for the performance!". We call this activity "family band," and I think we'll do it again!

And of course there were presents. Here is a sampling of photos from the gift opening time (and FYI, neither of the babies below is Lucas, in case you are confused --they are Lucas's friends Elijah and Owen. Lucas was running around all night and I don't think he's in too many pictures!).

In these pictures, the backdrop of our TV with a slideshow of her growing up makes these photos extra special.

Bedtime was marked by wearing her new guitar PJs! The shirt says "Rock Star in the Making". Perfect!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Composition from Meredith

Meredith has really become a little songwriter lately. I have three videos to share, but I'll spread them out so that you don't get overloaded with delight all at once.

This one is a good example of her "songwriting"...she tries some lines out, then repeats/rephrases them. She fills in some of the tune with gibberish to keep the rhythm how she wants it. Usually by the next day both the tune and the lyrics are more solid. She still remembers them several days later, too!

Before you listen, please accept my apologies for the badly out-of-tune ukelele. We try to get it to sound better in the "open" position (though you can see she is also experimenting with the idea of fingering some chords too -- not that she knows any!). She is still holding the uke backwards, but everyone we've asked has agreed that there's no reason to change it. For what it's worth, she also bats left, but eats and writes right. Just one more fascinating thing about our Meredith!

This song is called "You Take Away My Sins". It is pretty theologically correct and almost makes me wonder if she is getting part of it from elsewhere, but it's not any song I know. I've posted the lyrics (with "..." where I can't understand her mumbling) below the video.

you take away my sins
forgiving grace
I know Jesus up in heaven
I know that Jesus up in heaven right now
He comes alive again

you take away my sins
forgiving grace
Jesus is up in heaven
I know that Jesus up

you take away my sins
Jesus up in heaven
Taking away your sin
Coming back again

you take away my sins and you
you take away my sins

Friday, June 3, 2011

"I'm a Lover, Not a Fighter"

This post is about the most affectionate person in our family: Lucas.

I decided that the best way to demonstrate this was to simply keep track of things that he kissed over the course of a week or so. Here's what we've got:

1) his medicine syringe
(he had his 3rd double-ear infection in 6 months - good thing he likes the medicine a lot)

2) a chicken drumstick (real)

3) a picture of a caterpillar that I drew on the Magna Doodle

4) a dirty spoon that he snagged from the dishwasher when I was loading it

5) the picture of a baby on the Huggie's diapers box (for what it's worth, he is much cuter than that baby, but you knew that...)

6) the top of a drinking glass (to be fair, it had Piglet on it from Winnie-the-Pooh)

7) the door of the kitchen cabinet in which he plays (he actually waved to it first, then kissed it, multiple times)

8) the china cabinet in the dining room (again coupled with a wave)

9) the maple leaf on the Canada shirt he was wearing today

You might wonder what these kisses look like -- well, you are in luck. Here is a video in which Lucas takes a look at a baby in a book and then gives a baby doll a nice kiss. He is sort of "set up" in the video (it's hard to catch it happening organically) but it's always the same open-mouthed kiss with a sort of dramatic "muah" even when it's spontaneous. Enjoy!

Before I go, let me just leave you with a trivia contest: if you know where I got the quote for the title of this entry, leave it in your comment!
Hint: It is from a song, but is spoken in the middle of it. Full credit requires the name of the speaker, the person being spoken to, and the song itself. First person to get it right gains the acclaim of all the others. (You know you got this, Anita!)