12-09-18 Home

When we left Williamsburg this afternoon it was snowing pretty heavy and continued doing so for almost the entirety of our drive. Thankfully the roads were ok for most of the drive and we made it home early the afternoon.

This weekend was wonderful and I’m sad to see it come to a close, but I’m happy to be home with the kids again.

C decided she was ready to spend her first night in her bedroom. Up until now she has only wanted to sleep in the boys’ room. After tucking her into bed and saying goodnight we left her room to put the boys to bed. Within minutes she was up and asking if they could sleep in her room, so they’ve all moved into C’s room for the foreseeable future!

12-08-18 Cannibals

During the harsh winter of 1609-1610, the settlers at Jamestown had alienated their native neighbors to the point of making it deadly for them to venture outside the protected walls of their fort. Combine that with quickly dwindling food sources, rampant disease, and unhealthy drinking water, the remaining settlers barely clung to survival. When provisions finally arrived in the spring, only about a quarter of them were found alive. In the years that have followed, there were rumors and talk that those settlers had resorted to cannibalism to survive, but with no physical evidence it couldn’t be proven.

Until recently, when the remains of a fourteen year old girl were discovered to have violent post mortem trauma indicative of cannibalism.

Her skull and part of her leg bone are on display at a museum on the site of the original Jamestown State House.

History can be a gruesome business, as was confirmed to me while we sat through a lecture on the history of the first permanent English settlement in America. As I listened to the ranger weave her tale within the footprint of a long destroyed tavern, I wondered what kept the settlers in that unfortunate location after such a traumatizing experience. Why not pack up and go home? Why not move to higher ground?

After the talk, Tim and I explored the settlement, (quickly as the temperature hovered above freezing), walked through the museum, and took a slow drive around the island taking in so much of our early collective history…

When we were done, we were cold to our core and ready for food. We made our way to our room and had dinner. Now I’m fighting sleep, because falling asleep means tomorrow takes us home and that seems way too soon. This weekend was perfect… except for maybe the cannibals!

12-07-18 Away

When C was about fifteen months old we left her with my parents for her first overnight visit. I was pretty much a wreck as we drove away from their house and by the time we got to the cabin we had reserved, I was missing her terribly. Of course Tim and I laugh about it now, but at the time the first-time-mom in me was heartbroken.

That was the last time we went away just the two of us. It wasn’t because of that incident, but rather life got in the way. Work, kids, school, etc kept us too distracted to try again. The more kids we had, the harder it got logistically to get the time away.

But this weekend we have finally gotten the opportunity. We are spending a few days in Williamsburg, sans children. This evening we went out for a nice sushi dinner and we relished in the chance to spend time with each other. We don’t really have anything on our agenda, just to relax and recharge. This mini vacation is a godsend!

12-06-18 Goodbye Grandpa

I never knew either of my grandfathers. My mom’s dad had died before I was born. I met my father’s dad a couple of times, by he passed when I was young.

When I was 14, my grandmother on my mother’s side remarried. For the first time in my life I had someone to call Grandpa. I loved him the moment I met him, when I saw the look in his eyes when my grandmother was in the room- goodness he loved her. During her last days he stayed by her side. In the end, they were married 13 years.

Today I learned that Grandpa Floyd passed away. It happened yesterday morning. This afternoon I found his obituary. Even though I hadn’t seen him in a few years, he crossed my mind often. (He got the chance to meet both C and Big E, though I know they don’t remember the encounter.) I’m glad my grandmother met him. I’m thankful she found someone to travel her last years with, and I’m grateful that they were both believers. One day we will meet again. Until that day, goodbye Grandpa Floyd. ❤️❤️

12-05-18 Forever

“I’m scared to go to heaven forever,” Big E earnestly said to me as we sat at our classroom table this morning. “Forever.” He turned the word over on his tongue several times before continuing. “It’s never going to end. That scares me.”

I get it, kid.

In so many ways, Big E is me. I was that child staring at eternity, terrified of its neverending-ness. It seemed so vast and expansive, and I seemed so small and helpless in its shadow. Forever was scary. Forever doesn’t end.

If I’m honest, sometimes I’m that adult too. The past few months have forced me to wrestle with my own mortality, to meet it on its own turf, and acknowledge that life is entirely too fleeting and something bigger awaits each of us.

Then I look past the time and I see the person. I see God turn his back on his son hanging on the cross. I see Jesus bearing the full brunt of the wrath of God. I shudder at the thought of Christ feeling complete and utter separation from God the Father, their connection blemished, an eternity of perfect union smudged by my sin in order for me to have eternal life and have it completely. And then I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving, for I am surely unworthy, and yet I long for my inheritance. Eternity with Jesus will be a beautiful thing indeed.

I turned my attention to Big E. “Think about all the things you love about being alive,” I said to him. “What are those things?”

“My family. My friends. Playing,” he responded.

“Think about all the best parts about life. Eternity in heaven will be like that. Only the good parts. None of the bad parts!”

And then we talked about heaven and about Jesus and how eternity with Him is far, far better than eternity without him.

12-04-18 The Performance

The most recent book we have been reading together is called Tolliver’s Secret. The story takes place during the American revolution. In it, a young girl is given the task of delivering a loaf of bread with a message baked inside to a courier that will pass it along to George Washington. She dresses as a boy in order to slip though enemy lines unnoticed, and naturally every part of her journey is met with difficulty.

We finished the book last night before bedtime, however hours before then the kids had called me down to the basement to see their performance of the book. Granted they didn’t know how it was going to end, but they managed all the major plot points and even ended their play with the exact same scene that ended the book.

I enjoyed watching their energy and excitement as they put on their play. They had clearly rehearsed. They even worked Baby E into their performance, bless them.

It was a wonderful reminder that all our family book time is paying off. The kids beg for books now and will spend literally hours listening.

12-03-18 Things you should never do…

You should never take your four year old out in public when his time would be better spent napping. If you do, you may experience a few… ahem… unfortunate situations…

Like when you are in a craft store and said four year old plops himself into a pile of Christmas glitter on the floor near the check out lane and wallows around in it like a pig…

You should probably also avoid the grocery store, when said tired four year old decides to help by opening the egg refrigerator, helps himself to a dozen eggs, and drops then on the floor as he hands them to you.

You might also want to keep an eye on him in the refrigerated meat department so he doesn’t leave little fingerprints in every single package of ground beef.

In fact, it’s probably just safer to stay home when you have a sleepy four year old. He may not nap, but at least he won’t embarrass you…

Photo intentionally blurry to protect four year old’s identity. 😏

12-02-18 Lights

Christmas lights are one of my favorite things about winter. I was excited to see a huge display being assembled on the way to the shop weeks before Thanksgiving.

I did some research and learned that it was an elaborate art display that would be running for over a month. Thinking the kids would love it, I looked into the pricing for it and realized it was way out of our budget. Even so, I wanted them to see it. This evening, on our way home we took a back road around it so the kids could get a closer view of it. We weren’t disappointment! It was simply wonderful!