Friday, December 20, 2013

home-grown joy


"Mom, the tea kettle is like our own photo booth!"





...and when the laughter from the kitchen won over the big guy, he came to join in the fun 
(and somehow so did Vivi's camel)


We've all been sadly still grumpy on cue recently but the Lord has graciously overridden our weaknesses and our hazy skys  (our city topped the chart for most polluted in China this week!) and we've had sweet, sweet joys....  

And it's so true.  We hear so much about why there is pain and hurt and sorrow and these are hard, sad, needful questions.... but we've also got to dare to ask why joy?  why life?  why love?  The seed of all this sure doesn't come from me or any of my little ones.....  it's growing here but it's not from us.  It's all the stuff of God,  the Giver of every good gift, the One who is Love and Joy and Peace.  He plants it. And right here, we give thanks to You, Father, in laughter, tears, and nearly wet pants.  (well, Vivi's pants.... oh, never mind.)   Your goodness to us astounds, Lord.  

Lord help us tend to the gifts you've given us.....  

Last week we had two shows at home.... the girls' impromptu "we are princesses" song and dance and the boys' very well-arranged theatrical production of Sir Isaiah and Sir John.  The fearless duo fought against daddy in three scenes where daddy did a marvelous job with his quick change time:  first he was evil men in a forest, then orcs,  and finally the two headed dragon behind the curtain (starring puppet hands:  the duck and T Rex).  

Once again, I must make it clear, we are not floating flawlessly through these days... But who says we have to be flawless to be joyful!?  (Well, a lot of times I do....  but I'll preach it to myself again here:  It isn't true.)   We managed to down a whole bag of shriveled popcorn from my 5 star-worst cooking failure: Mexican Chocolate Popcorn Balls.  It's actually pretty sad/gross to think that we still ate the mess.  Let us never underestimate the alluring power of Chirstmas sprinkles.... even on pure sogcorn .

But this batch of cookies did turn out.  We are all excited with how pretty-tasty they are!  And we get to go share them in the next few days....  which makes it even better!




This snuggle love, he wasn't too interested in decorating cookies but he was delighting in this gun all afternoon.    This gift!  Isaiah and Marian saved up their "reward cards" from art school (that they attend weekly- they get cards for being on time and good effort, etc.) for months (and they didn't loose track of any of them) so that they could buy this (chincy) suction-dart gun and a pistol set for John and Vivi.... just for love.   We love this.... love these kids.  #smittenmomanddad
sumo wrestlers...  (can you see the stuffing in their bellies?)
instant belly = instant laughter





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