Friday, April 22, 2011

The Deep Theological Questions of a Four Year Old

Did God kill the dinosaurs?

Does Jesus have lips?

Is God here with us right now?

Did God build our house?

What does crucified mean?

Does Jesus still have our sin with Him?  Yes?  All right!!  That's awesome!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Good Day of Fishing, Baseball, and Battle

I love taking pictures, of the boys, Leslie, flowers, and just stuff in general.  But, there are days like today that overflow the brim to the point that there is not enough time to capture it all on film (or what counts as film these days).  The day was to start with a family fishing day at the lake behind my office.  It's a very nice location, but only open for fishing a few days a year.  This was the first year that Max actually tried to fish on his own.  So first we had to buy him his very own Star Wars fishing pole that was about half as tall as he is and a dozen night crawlers to go along with it.  The pole he loved, the worms not so much.  Between buying a pole and getting it wet however, we stopped for a quick breakfast at our favorite donut shop...Daylight Donuts, yum.  Max has found that he loves a glazed chocolate cake donut and Briggs is a constant consumer of the glazed twist.  This is a treat that we take in once or twice a month. 

In fishing trips past, Briggs has always been bored with cork fishing so this year I let him use a lure.  He didn't catch anything, but he sure had a blast casting and reeling in from all around the lake.  We spent a couple of hours fishing.  Max did well for the first 30 minutes but soon grew tired of his new toy and instead found an awesomely cool fire sword (a free broken stick from the woods) to play with.  I caught one small mouth bass, but that was the extent of our fishing luck for the day.

That night Briggs had a baseball game.  At the time we were 0-6 in wins/losses.  Fortunate for us we were facing another 0-6 team, so someone was going to leave a winner finally.  Thanks to a great team effort the boys walked away with their first win of the season and Briggs came home with the game ball.  He finally got to move from the outfield to third base, where he played great, and he got a hit every time except once where the catcher caught a foul tip.  During all of this however, Max got into a little altercation with some hooligan five year old that was picking on a pair of three year old twin girls.  According to Leslie she glanced around to find Max doing his best kung-fu moves, a flurry of tiny punches followed by some blur of a spinning kick, in the direction of our young bully.  None of the glances landed, I'm not sure he knew they even needed to, supposing perhaps his opponent would be so overly impressed with his sheer mastery of martial arts skill that he would not dare to proceed any further and would most likely turn tail and run.  When Max finished his display however the other boy merely kicked Max (with contact), causing him to cry for a moment.  In Max's recollection however, it was an epic battle between good and evil.  When asked what happened he says he saw the other boy being mean and said to him "It's Time... to Battle." at which point he commenced with his best impression of what he imagines his lego Ninjago toys must do when he's asleep at night.  He doesn't remember any of that being kicked and crying nonsense, only that on this our Lord's day, good triumphed in the face of mortal danger, and damsels in distress were freed to return once more to their loving homes.  To leave the post on a graceful note, we did practice a possible response the next time a "battle" is brewing.  I think we convinced him that inviting the other kid to play and be friends was a better solution than doing air kung fu on him, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  Nevertheless, the boys had no problem going to sleep tonight.  Briggs I'm sure is dreaming sweet dreams of playing third and Max will most likely kick the covers across the room reliving his glory day of being a Ninja Knight in shining armor...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

You're My Best Friend

90% of the time the boys these days (8 and 4 years old) do GREAT together, really, it's a beautiful thing.  The other 10% is filled with the likes of "AAAUUGGH Max just kicked me in my ear! (how does that happen?  he's not a ninja, yet) ---- Well Bwiggs just took away my blue Lego piece!!! (of which we have like a MILLION)"

I'll not dwell on the 10%, I just chalk it up to boys being boys and them learning some of the necessary stuff siblings must work through as time goes by.  The 90% though, is really really neat to observe as a parent.  Briggs likes to teach Max, and usually Max listens.  Max wants to do and play whatever Briggs does, I can already tell though how Max really is starting to show that he wants to do those things in his own way, which is fine.  They do everything together and are usually so complimentary of each other.  From time to time Max has taken to telling Briggs "You're a GENIUS!" for what seems like a trivial thing to me and mom.  But to Max, big brother Briggs is like some sort of Lego-building, super-spy-ninja, homeschooling, scripture and Jabberwocky memorizing Einstein.  And Briggs' affection for his little brother is just as strong.  As we were getting out of the car the other night, Briggs asked Max to carry something and Max said "sure Briggs!" and Briggs said "You know Max, I sure do love you...", "Yeah" says Max.  "And you know what Max?  You're my BEST friend too!", "I knoo-ow" comes a mild mannered reply...


At night they sleep together in Briggs' bed.  Briggs has taken to wanting to read to Max, it's a treat to hear them read "There is a Bird on Your Head!".  Briggs reads the bulk of the book, while Max reads the responses.  They get such a pure and hearty laugh reading it together.  After prayers, their newest tradition is telling each other "Good night Big Bro, I love you..." and comes the reply "Good night Little Bro, I love you too..."  What a blessing.  Thank you Lord for such sweet children...

Friday, April 1, 2011

69 years ago today...

The other day while searching for something, I came across a copy of a letter that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother.  The day was April 1, 1942.  They were newly married and he had just left home for Wendover, Utah after enlisting in the Air Force for WWII.

My Dearest Darling:

I've just read your letters and I was certainly glad to get them.  I haven't had very much time lately to write.  For the last few days we have been building barracks, etc.  Darling, I just don't think that we will be able to stay together (when you come).  I don't know how long I will be here.  I have been assigned to the 306th bombardment group and the rest of it is in LA.  They are coming here or we are going down there and leave about the middle of July for Australia or Libya.  Darling, I hate to tell you that because I couldn't swear that it is true but it came from our commanding officer.  The officer said that we would finish our training in the next few months and if the British didn't move into Libya that we would go there, but you can hear most anything.  I hope that we can go to LA so you can stay with me that long, it would be a great help.  Margaret, I don't mind the fighting, it's the being away from you.  That's what I don't like.  But let's just keep our heads up and it won't be long before we can be back together and live in peace, I hope.  Darling, whether I have to go to another country or not, I'll always be true.  Darling, remember that if I am gone a year or three years, it will always be the same.  Margaret, I feel better about being here since I've found out what I'm supposed to do.  I don't think that the war will last so long, let's hope and pray that it won't anyway....  Things are so uncertain, I wish that we could go ahead and fight and get this thing over with, at least it wouldn't be the same thing over and over everyday.  Darling, I don't want you to be worried about me because I'm coming back and I mean that the work I'll be in won't be so dangerous.  There's 2000 men in my group and all we have to do is keep 35 bombers flying.  Sometimes they open our mail and censor it, so they may tear this one up because I'm not supposed to tell anything.  I think maybe I can get a furlough before July; I'm going to try anyway.  Lots of the boys have already deserted, but I don't think I could do that. 
I think I will get paid by the 15th and if I do I'm going to call you.  If I stay out here this summer, you couldn't stay with me because there is no place for you to stay.  There is only a filling station or two and a railroad yard.  I hope I can be transferred out of here.    Some of the boys down at Kessler were sent to Montgomery.  I wish I could have gone there.  I would give most anything to be at home with you- where I belong.  Sweet, when I do get home I will know how to appreciate you and everything else....I just hope the war will be over soon and I think it will 'cause when we get there we're going to beat the heck out of 'em. 
Sweet, if I could just be with you, like I was that Saturday, it seems like a year ago.  It was just like a dream... A new shipment of men just came in and they are sick of this place (already)- mostly because there's no place to go...but I've got a wife and a real sweet wife too, so I don't have to worry about going anywhere because I had rather sit and think of her (that's you)!  Darling, I mean that too!
Sweet, I feel like everything will be okay after while, so let's don't worry about it, just remember that we love each other and always will.
Sweet, if I find out anything I will let you know.  Maybe I will be stationed where we can live together yet.  Write and tell me the things that you have to tell and don't forget that I love you and I couldn't live without you, never.  And I will always be true to you as long as I live and when I fight, I'll do my best because I'll be fighting for you.  I love you darling forever and ever.

Your loving husband,

He never had to fight in that war.  He was eventually sent home because of concerns about his blood pressure.  Almost all of the men in his group never came home. 

My grandfather died when I was five and my grandmother died in 2000.  I wish I could have known them when they were young.  I have only a few memories of my grandfather,  but my grandmother could light up a room with her presence and never remembered to take the ambrosia out of the refrigerator for Sunday dinner.  She always let me spin in her bar stools and gave me my first taste of coffee.  She let me play dress-up in her shoes and jewelry and some of the best memories I have are of my sister and me playing in her yard with our cousins nearly every Sunday afternoon.  She also snored like a freight train and decorated her Christmas tree only in red silk balls and had the best sense of humor of anyone I know.  I think of her every time I use her white tea set that she gave me as a wedding present.  And even though today, I sit and drink a little tea with just her memories for company, I know that one day I will see her again and just maybe we can have a little tea party in heaven.   And that ambrosia is going to be divine.