Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Atticus in His New Jean Jacket

In the new jacket my mom sent...

Atticus Splashing

Wrigley Field Trip

Last weekend in honor of Brad's Birthday (coming up May 1st) we traveled down to Chicago to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Friday we relaxed at my cousins' Lisa, Jason & Ian Carriere's in Bartlett (a north Chicago suburb). Brad, Atticus and I drove over to a small zoo on Friday afternoon. Atticus walked by himself everywhere.

Then we came back and played with the boys...Ian and Atticus got along very well despite poor Ian getting a yucky flu which kept him and his parents from coming with us to the game on Saturday. Everything came together for Ian and walking this weekend. We got to be there when he took off walking across the kitchen and then spent a lot of time practicing. It was so interesting seeing what different personalities our two boys have even as tiny people. They play differently and approach situations differently. You can almost see them thinking differently. I love the variety God builds into us.
Bekah drove over Friday night for supper and to hang out and see her nephew.

Saturday morning Lisa & I went to a nearby town to look through a neat bookstore and have lunch at the attached deli/coffee shop. We had fun leaving the boys at home and having long uninterrupted stretches of conversation. (-: When we arrived back at the house, Bekah was there ready to go and we all headed to Addison for the ball game. On our way we got caught in a horrid traffic jam caused by the seriously wrong Illinois toll system -- due to work on the toll booths, traffic was reduced to two lanes and for what seemed like about two weeks we were stuck inching along. Meanwhile Ian threw up in Lisa and Jason's car right ahead of us. They pulled over and decided to abort the mission -- headed back home to get Ian cleaned up and in bed. Bekah, Brad, Atticus and I continued on our painfully slow way. We got to Addison around the second inning of the game, took a shuttle over to Wrigley. Bekah had fun with the sunblock in Atticus' hair. (-:

About five minutes after sitting down, a bird pooped on Bekah's head -- down the back of her hair and shirt. I went with her to get her cleaned up and made it back in time to see a home run hit.

Did you know that there are REAL people inside the Wrigley Field score board?! They change all the numbers and names manually. Isn't that cool. Do you know what isn't cool? The entire game I thought I was following so closely (as closely as you can when you get there late, you leave for an inning to help your sister get bird droppings cleaned off her head, and you are trying to maintain the happiness of your 11-month old son), only to find out I was reading the "hits" not the "score" the entire time. Well, anyway, the Cubs totally won 6-0 against their rivals St.Louis. Brad was happy even though he had a guy from St.Louis on his fantasy baseball line-up for the week.

The game day was so fun. They weather in the 70's. We left end of the 8th and had fun riding the bus back to our car -- I'd never been to that part of Chicago -- it is SO CHICAGO...super thin, tall houses with like 3 feet in between them -- no lawns. It was like a cross between Sesame Street and maybe Big Fat Greek Wedding in some undefined way. It was very festive with all these people celebrating the game on their front steps, in the streets, on roof tops.

Sunday. My handsome Bradley....We went to church at Lisa & Jason's church -- College Church in Wheaton. It is also where my friend Jeff Wencel and his fiancee, Emily, are members. So we were able to meet Emily (for the first time) briefly (she had a previous commitment she needed to leave for) after the service. And then our friend Anna Englert drove in from Dekalb and we all had a long lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Monday, April 23, 2007

We Love Liz & Eric

Here is my lovely, laughing friend Liz Soon-to-be-Berget at her wedding shower...This post is part of my continuing realization that I have not shown my dearest Minneapolis friends on this blog. Liz and I met this winter when she returned from Sudan where she taught ESL for a semester following graduation from Northwestern.

We were going for second grade cheeseball smiles.

Eric Berget & Liz -- they're both in our small group from church. Eric is also in Brad's fantasy baseball league this year. Both these guys Victor-sit for us from time to time.

Can't get a smile from Atticus )-: He always misses his morning nap on Sundays.

Playing at the Millers

Atticus playing with the big boys, Calvin Miller & Sammy Rodriguez....

Handsome Isaac

Drunken Bee Redux

Just a few more photos from the spelling bee we had awhile back -- and a close up of the trophy -- which still hasn't been "engraved" with the Champion Miller's name (-:

Two Little Friends

Our friend Isaac Miller: His mom entitled these two photos Dr.Jekyl, Mr.Hyde...Fantastic!

Our friend Coleman Groh (from Rockford, IL) -- Kaylene & John Groh's little boy. I adore this photo she shared with me. I think he looks just like a little Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn....

The Millers

For those of you who haven't met our friends the Millers: I've been wanting to post some photos of them. I realized recently that for all the time I spend with my various friends here, I seldom take my camera out to get them. Leah is my longest friend here in Minneapolis. Atticus and I hang out with her and the boys a couple days a week. No special occasion to this post, I just appreciate her and her family and thought I'd show everybody our friends. The top photo is their actual church directory photo at Bethlehem Baptist. The photographer was pretty curblustered by them (-: Brad and I think they should have squished Isaac's little face into an "ooh" but, ah well, then we don't have the moxy and flair to come up with a family photo like that in the first place, so there you go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tooth and Hell

Ta-da! Atticus is finally cutting teeth. The two top front ones have broken through the skin. He is taking the whole thing like a trooper. He wants to sit in my lap and be held more and loves the teething gel -- even the tube, which he carries around and chews on. When the teeth finally come down, I'll get a nice picture for you all.

Also, just a little story: In our study/family room there are two built-in file drawers. Atticus isn't allowed to get into them. Sometimes I masking tape them shut just to deter him. This morning Atticus ripped a strip of the tape off and wadded it into a ball. Then he walked over and put it in the trash can. Then he came back and did the same thing to a second strip. It was like a perfect blend of his father's brand of misch-EVIL-ness and his mother's kind of anal tidyness. Such a lovely familial crime wedding a foible from each parent. Beautiful. Horrible. Fascinating.

Easter at My Folks: Part 2

Brad didn't ONLY sit around being sick. I found an actual video game that is freaking fun: Guitar Hero. You pick songs off this list and have this fake electric guitar that you use as the "controller" to play the notes coming up on the screen. It is SO FUN. I was very addicted to it. Brad was great at it. Here he is giving his dirty rockstar face. When I played, I got so into it, I had to stand up and shed some layers of clothes -- down to a t-shirt or tank top -- to get into my Inner Rocker. I am SO GLAD we don't own this game -- Atticus would have to raise himself or find some wolves to do the honors.

Aaron, Lindsey & Lilly arrived Friday late afternoon after a long drive from St.Louis.

Atticus immediately hugged Lilly. He just loves babies...kids...people.

I don't know if Lilly meant to hug Atticus back, but that's what it looked like she did.

My music & noise lover

My Aunt Donna & Uncle Danny drove out from Illinois to spend the day with us on Saturday.

Brad & Uncle Danny get along swell -- a bit worrying....

Later that day a couple of Jonathan's friends showed up with a three-wheeler (ATV) having just returned from a 20-hour non-stop trip to Ohio to pick it up. All the guys went out to look at it -- I love when guys are so guy-ish.

Lindsey wanted Atticus to open his birthday present from them early since they won't be able to make the trip up for his party.

A dog hat...

Electronic maracas that count in English or Spanish and light up when you shake them...

And he loved the tissue paper...

Aaron & Jonathan shoot people

Saturday night baths: Lilly gets her bath in the kitchen sink -- gettin' clean for church in the mornin'

Rebekah surprised my mom by getting work off Easter Sunday. She drove late Saturday and showed up to sleep for awhile before morning. Here she is with Lilly -- both dolled up for the Celebration. Easter Sunday morning we headed over to the high school across the street for an all-church breakfast. Then a dairy family from near Iowa City sang for the first half of the service. They have NINE children with ANOTHER ONE on the way. They ALL came for dinner afterwards and were very nice and normal, imagine that. The mom is absolutely beautiful and about as big as me (minus her baby-belly). I can't imagine the logistics, character, selflessness, and sheer work involved in loving and caring for 9 children and a husband. And a dairy farm. I quiver in humility and lowliness and selfishness.

The sermon my dad preached was from 1 Corinthians chapter 15 centering around two verses. Verse 15 "And if Christ is not risen then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty." and verse 20a "But now Christ IS risen from the dead...."
Only because of verse 20, the preaching and our faith are not empty.
We have died with Christ and now we live with Christ. One of my friend Jeff's favorite verses is from 2 Corinthians 2 -- verses 4-7:But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
Later in 1 Corinthian 15 -- our mortality is clothed with immortality -- "Death is swallowed up in Victory". and the section ends with "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

I didn't sit there entirely able to concentrate (I kept looking back to where Rebekah was following Atticus up and down the halls of the high school with half a dozen mothers and their toddlers), but still, I received encouragement to not forget the Glory and the Beauty of the Resurrection of God Himself. To remember that all things will be swallowed up in Life. That death is conquered. That all things will be made incorruptible. Entropy has been given the death blow. It will die. Ugliness will die. Pain will die. Foolishness will die. Selfishness, Cruelty, arrogance, bitterness, laziness, all sin will be destroyed. Truth, Beauty, Goodness will reign. Christ our Glorious Creator-King will reign supreme with the twin-sword of Righteousness & Mercy, Truth & Kindness. His Death and Resurrection have done all this. I don't want to forget even in the midst of typing up and downloading a blog entry. My life is deeper and more beautiful than I make the effort to remember. Rejoice, Sarah. Rejoice.

Aaron & Lilly

With Grandma & Grandpa before getting his jammies on to ride home Sunday night.