toddler time!

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At 9:15 every Tuesday morning, Vivienne finds her name-tag on the felt board, grabs a carpet square and enjoys Toddler Time at Schlow Library.  This week, all of her inhibitions faded away as she sang along to every song, played the triangle in a band, and took her shoes off (I’m glad she feels so “at home” in the library. My dream come true!)




A collage of our favorite story characters.  I never know when V will gasp something like, “THERE’S AMELIA BEDELIA!” in the middle of book about loud trucks or women with many hats.


Pretending to be Ms. Sharon…

jingle bells: week 19 prayers

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Weigh in: About 15 centimeters crown to rump, and weighing eight ounces!

This week’s project: permanent teeth buds are forming behind the milk teeth buds.  (Munch, munch.)

Please continue to pray that our little family would have faith that God will hold all things together.  We wait expectantly for our “big” ultrasound next Tuesday, but are resting in the fact that God already has the inside glimpse of who this little one is…

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

how do you say…?

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My most recent wonderings regarding V include whether or not we should begin teaching her a foreign language while her brain is in the glory days of malleability. Because I have minimal foreign language skills and exposure, I’d have to rely heavily on a “program,” like Muzzy. I wouldn’t mind this, but I’d want to make sure we choose an effective program… and a useful language.

Until now, my argument against employing “baby talk” programs has been the seemingly arbitrariness of choosing which language to teach an infant; how am I supposed to know if she will be living in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood, working in China for the FBI, or leading a mission in Quebec 30 years from now? After all, if she needs to know a language as an adult, won’t she be able to learn enough basics to survive? I expressed these thoughts to a dear bilingual friend who set me straight with the stats about how languages open up dormant areas of the brain and expand an individual’s emotional IQ, etc. I decided to dedicate this question to prayer and wait for God to reveal which language would be best for Vivienne.

Strangely (or not), as of now, I feel like His answer is that we are free to choose; that it’s okay for me not to choose Chinese or Spanish for practical/futuristic reasons, but instead to choose, say, French because of its beauty.

Even stranger (or not) is that as soon as I began praying about it, Vivienne began asking me about the American Sign Language she saw on our beat-up VHS copy of Christmas Eve On Sesame Street. “What’s this, Mommy?” she’s been asking as she imitates Linda’s hands about taking Christmas with you all through the year. I don’t know if sign language opens the same dormant portals of the brain as auditory languages do, but I do know that using our hands to communicate language opens portals of the heart that auditory languages don’t. Perhaps we’ll pursue a bit of both here on Hickory Road…


Do any of my five faithful commenters (or others!) have wisdom on this matter?

nature girl goes on a nature walk

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To celebrate this perfectly stunning day, Vivienne and I enjoyed a nature walk down at Millbrook Marsh. We filled a canning jar with an assortment of flowers, burs, grasses, and crab apples, learning to take a small sample with us. At one point, we both stopped to watch three butterflies flit around. I was just about to reflect on how perfect this was… how, hopefully, our entire mother-daughter relationship would be this blissful when I happened to notice the rabbit turds we were sitting in. Ah, nature at its finest. (No, I did not take a picture!)






I’m glad that for now, V is content to watch the caterpillars and ladybugs in their natural surroundings without begging for them to move into ours.








obedient thoughts

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As I lay in bed last night, I kept thinking about the times when I or one of my friends is struggling with what seems like justified — though sinful — thoughts. Sometimes, these thoughts just seem like a deserved indulgence, but sometimes they seem like a very justified part of a healing process (for example, hating someone who hurt you very deeply, etc.). Typically, I want to say, “Go for it! You have every right to feel this way!” But last night, my spirit kept breathing out one Scripture:

2 Corinthians 10:5 “…We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ…”

I made a mental note that I don’t want to counsel anyone (including myself!) that hateful, vengeful, or even obsessive thoughts are ever justified — even as “a part of the healing process”; God has shown us a more joyful — more free — Way. To aggressively capture each vividly emotional thought and command it to bow down to a Savior who died not only for the one who hurt us, but also for our sinful thought. This is the narrow part of the “narrow road”; this is the cross part. If we don’t make ourselves love our enemies when we have them, what good is Christ’s command (Matthew 5:44)? Of course it’d be much easier to love them after we’ve been through the whole healing process or after they’re dead or disappeared…but I think that would negate Jesus’ point and would keep us from becoming more like the man who, at just the right time, died for the ungodly.

We can do this because God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (read this).

hymn sing

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This song must be sung. The melody causes the life-blood to flow through the sentiments.

O The Deep Deep Love Of Jesus.

Samuel Trevor Francis (1875), Welsh melody adapted by Thomas John Williams (1890).

1. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above!

2. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!


3. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
’Tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
’Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee!

monday night

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While I went through a glorious pile of hand-me-down maternity clothes, Vivienne helped Ryan reinstall some freshly painted windows.  She would only hand a screw to him when he said, “Banana Cream Pie”.  (I made that rule up. And that’s what they’re saying instead of “cheese” in this picture. In case you can’t read lips.)

“Banana Cream Pie!”



Viv was so pumped up after helping Dad, that she danced into the kitchen, decided to try a barrel role on the rolley thing (see previous post), and landed on her head.  A minor recovery time ensued.  In fact, she completely forgot about her pain once the camera came out and she absorbed herself in the art of making a poochie face.  Honest, she did not fall out of the window.