All posts by KME

Shaving with Grandad

Grandad has always been a big favorite with all the grandchildren. This began with Joshua and continues on with each child. Daniel was particularly close to my dad before we moved to Washington. I remember picking up my folks from the airport when they first came to visit us in Seattle. Daniel took one look at my dad and burst into tears. I think he hadn’t realized until then how much he missed him.

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He’s not crying now!

Often my mom will be on the phone with the children and before they even say hello they ask her, “Where’s Granddad?”. Ah, to be so adored.

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For some, a razor is optional

At some point Daniel caught on to the fact that he could have some one on one time with my dad during Shaving Time. Granddad lathers them both up with shaving cream in front of the bathroom mirror and they “shave.” Daniel thinks this is great fun. Not to fear–he uses a razor with a cover on it. After they get a clean shave both Grandad and Daniel put on a splash of aftershave.

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Expecting an endorsement call from shaving cream companies any moment, now.

They’ve been doing this for years now. This summer in Texas, David caught on to the fun of the moment and joined the Men. So of course, during our Michigan visit this October they had to make sure to get in some shaving time with Grandad. It wasn’t until some time had passed and I noticed a strange quiet around the house that I realized the Men had an extra person joining them in the Shave Time. Oh dear!

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Who gets to clean this up, I wonder?

Some moments have to be captured on film.

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Always dainty even in “manly” pursuits

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Sticky Fingers at 35,000 Feet

With combined frequent-flier miles (some graciously donated by my folks) the five children and I were able to fly to Detroit this month to join my family in celebrating my brother’s wedding. It is not an trivial matter, flying with five children, as you can well imagine. The three boys and I went to Texas in August and had not one, but two layovers. It was an extremely long flying experience (both ways) especially for such a short visit (less than a week). It did, however, result in many miles accrued for our frequent-flier memberships. It also made me very confident about dealing with a ‘short’ trip to Michigan of only 4.5 hours. Really, how bad could it be? We have this spiffy portable DVD player which makes flying much more entertaining. I traveled with Tim’s old laptop so I could watch movies or write if I desired. I even had Tim load a movie on to his MP3 player. I was set.

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Don’t they look sweet? What adorable children!

This time Tim was able to get a gate pass and accompany us to our departure gate. I guess I looked a bit overwhelmed with five squirmy, active children. They were probably so glad someone was willing to claim us and help us so they didn’t have to feel responsible. I loaded all the kids up on Dramamine before we boarded. The four older children swallowed it fine but Sarah decided to chew it. We’d learned on our last flight that it was NOT a chewable medicine (tastes awful). The other kids were all yelling at Sarah to drink her juice, take a bite of a cracker, something. It was funny. She just scrunched up her nose and kept chewing. She made a face, finished the pill and then calmly drank her juice. She’s obviously tougher than the rest of us.

As always, I dressed the children in matching red shirts, so they could be easily found if they were somehow separated from us. For some reason, Tim didn’t wear a red shirt as he accompanied us to the gate — can’t imagine that he would have wanted to distance himself from us or anything.

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… and now for the un-posed picture showing the fighting & arguing …
We were in the BACK of the plane (row 44) so we took advantage of their early boarding time — I figured they wouldn’t hassle me as they board those back rows first plus I’m sure I looked just a wee bit stressed handling back packs and lap top bags and assorted baby blankets. Thankfully we can’t really see ourselves during those moments. “Hold on to your sister’s hand. Don’t drop that bag! Wait, wait, not yet. Okay, keep walking. Don’t stop, there are people behind us.” The only thing more awkward is trying to hold a baby at the end of the walk way while closing up the stroller. I think one time I actually handed one of the children to a complete stranger while I found the clasp on the stroller. Ah, the things we are driven to in times of stress. On this night the last thing I saw was Tim waving to us sweetly as he watched us board the plane. For some reason it was very touching to see him standing there loving us.

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“Round up the usual suspects”

Joshua and Daniel fell asleep almost immediately. Rachel settled down to look out her window but David and Sarah were full of energy. They enjoyed a lollipop which was a nice diversion but gave them sticky hands. Since I’m one of those awesome, plan-ahead moms (I wish) I had some cute apple-scented hand wipes in my bag (out and ready to use). I quickly disposed of the remains of their candy and wiped their hands down thoroughly. Sarah was cheerful but a bit wiggly. I finally pulled her across the aisle to sit with me and Daniel. She was fine there. David, however, began to lose his ability to stay quiet and calm. It turns out my careful wiping of his hands had left a nasty residue on his comfort, sucking fingers. This was a BAD mistake as he proceeded to let everyone in our area know how upset he was. We were in the middle of taking off so I couldn’t take him to the bathroom to rinse his fingers. I didn’t have any water with me on hand so I was left to (very effectively) say things like, “Quiet now, David. Just a minute, honey, I’ll help you. Okay, I hear you, we all hear you. It’s okay.” Finally I just threw caution to the wind and slipped across the aisle to sit with him. He settled down fairly quickly and went to sleep.

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Joshua enjoys a well-earned respite

They all slept the rest of the entire flight. It was a nice, empty flight so we had lots of room. Daniel and Sarah had one triple section to themselves, David and Rachel another and Joshua and I the last. We could all stretch out. When we arrived Joshua sleepily said, “That was the best flight I’ve ever been on.” Ha! He must have slept just fine. We didn’t watch a single movie or read any of the books I packed. Well, better to be prepared then bored and screaming. I’m sure everyone around us would have agreed with that statement.

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Daniel, the world-weary jet-setter

Of course, it was 3 in the morning WA time and David and Sarah were not so thrilled with being awakened. David cried and cried. I held Sarah but couldn’t get through the aisle with the two back packs on my shoulders. David was weeping (fairly quietly at this point) in front of me. The older kids had long since walked ahead of me. Finally the nice college-aged man behind me offered to carry one of the bags so I could at least make some progress forward. David cried the entire length of the plane, on the walk way and up until the doors of the check-in gate. At some point Grandad picked him up and carried him. The next time I caught his eye, David smiled this innocent, content smile. Argh! It was wonderful that Mom and Dad were able to meet us at the gate and help with all of our carry-on’s.

A successful voyage!

Whew. We’ll see how the return flight goes. This blog (which was intended to be a short little paragraph) has grown quite lengthy. Hopefully the cute pictures make things bearable.

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A New Home

We’ve decided to rent a house in Lakewood for the next year or so.

Here are a few pictures of the house we’ve selected:

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The front of the house (picture cleverly doesn’t show how close the neighboring houses are).

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The fenced backyard was a major selling point, with a basketball court and lots of room to run around.

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The kitchen is always an important part of any house — this one seems roomy enough.

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With a three-car garage and square footage around 2400 sq. ft., this four-bedroom house should be a similar fit to our existing space.

We’re both relieved and scared about making this change … it will certainly be a much shorter commute for me, and I seem to want to hang onto this job for a while. But moving (even locally) will be non-trivial.

When we talked on the phone this morning, Kathy said to me, “Do you think maybe this time we could actually declutter?” We both had a good laugh at that.

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Star Status

This week a visiting dignitary graced us with her presence. Rebecca Anne from Leavenworth flew into Sea-Tac Monday morning. Her arrival was greeted with great flourish and fanfare: fans screamed her name in delight while carrying large banners welcoming her to Washington. Her motorcade caused traffic snarls for hours as it made its way south of Seattle. Thankfully security was tight and everything proceeded smoothly.

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Here Rebecca poses with a member of her welcoming committee

RA, or Becca as some family members call her, was escorted to her exclusive lodgings. As is expected for such a high ranking visitor, her accommodations were decorated in bright colors and strewn with luxuries. The air was filled with the fragrance of fresh flowers hand-picked from a nearby garden.

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While she has not yet granted any interviews, it is rumored Becca is here to celebrate her birthday. She is apparently spending part of her time in the city, enjoying the cultural delights, and the remainder at a fashionable bed and breakfast at the edge of the Olympic National Forest. The staff at both locations are attentively waiting on her every whim as she relaxes from a strenuous year of school and work.

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RA resting on some of the landscaped grounds near her room

Becca’s first several days were spent opening presents from family members far and wide. Many packages were mailed directly to her vacation spot. She even received gifts from overseas. This one here arrived on her birthday all the way from Korea.

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Among the crowd was a young onlooker. Rebecca graciously welcomed him to her side as she opened gifts from grandparents.

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Included in this gift box was a special letter that Becca read with careful detail causing much speculation on its form and content. Rebecca was careful to keep the personal letter confidential although there were many attempts to see it.

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It’s obvious by this picture that onlookers even attempted to sneak into Rebecca’s private gift opening time. The life of a celebrity is difficult and taxing. Privacy is a rare and precious thing. Thankfully Becca shows grace and charm at all times, acting as if she doesn’t notice the interloper.

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After the birthday celebration, Rebecca was hurried out to the country for the next part of her visit. Traveling incognito with a caravan of mini vans, she made it safely to the Olympic Peninsula. Fans have since spotted her playing games, going on hikes and even mingling with some of the locals during her time in the Duckabush. One fortunate person was treated to special attention as Becca worked with him on a piece of creative writing. As part of the spa accommodations there have been many gourmet meals. It is whispered that Becca has even deigned to spend time in the kitchen herself. Her skills as a cake decorator and chef are widely known. The paparazzi managed to get some pictures of birthday cake.

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Star-struck fans gather around the famed visitor as she poses near her cake.

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Today Becca was invited on a private picnic soiree down at the water. The sights were breathtaking and the company delightful. This evening several select friends and family gathered for an entertainment extravaganza featuring a movie presentation of The Mouse that Roared.

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Photo by Rachel

Becca is certainly in high demand here in the country but the duties of her public life call to her and I fear she must leave us tomorrow. She heads back into the city first thing in the afternoon for a performance of the Jesus of Nazareth Passion Play. There is some hope that she will be signing autographs along with the cast after the event.

Further reports forthcoming.
Staff Reporter
The Celebrity Gazette

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Poor in Spirit –KME

I did an intense study about being Poor in Spirit this evening. Much of it was filled with passages sharing how God deals with those who are broken before Him. As I was looking up some of the scriptures I stumbled upon a sermon on true Christianity. The study focused on Galatians 2:20 and Philippians 1:21. In my reading I was convicted on the idea of laying down my life before the Lord, of dying to myself and surrendering to Him. How petty and selfish I have been lately. It shames me to think of my prideful attitude. I have been dealing with a relational problem for several months now and if I’m not careful I let it consume my thoughts and my conversations. I’m afraid I forgot my own place of brokenness. I forgot my own unworthiness and helplessness before the Lord. I forgot that the Bible tells me to put other people before myself. I should be thinking more about how I can serve the Lord and how I can love Him and hunger and thirst for Him, and less about myself and my troubles and the ways I’ve been hurt.

Some Inter-Varsity W&M friends on graduation day

Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

We sang this song often in Inter-Varsity when Tim and I attended the College of William and Mary. Tonight the words spoke to me anew. Jesus loved me so much He was willing to die for me. The life I live is in Him. I must come to Him emptied of my self, of my selfishness, of my own pride, even my own ideas of how life should go and be filled with Him. He offers true life, true bread and water, and a promise to always be with me.

This changes my perspective on many things!

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