Thursday, December 18, 2008


Have you ever heard the phrase, "the best things in life are free?" I think it's true...don't you?
Earlier this week I went to Andrew's holiday choir concert. It was surprisingly Christian-themed with songs like Going to Bethlehem and a stunning rendition of Silent Night.  It began with singing and sign, then humming and sign and then silence, with sign only.  Wow.  After the concert there was a cookie
 extravaganza with free offerings of the most scrumptious confections Howard-area moms have to offer.  As I helped remove all the cellophane and arrange the trays on the table, I eyed up a few peanut butter kiss cookies that are James' favorite...and I snatched a few for him.  After the mad-dash was over and I finally located Andrew, he had a handful of thickly frosted sugar cookies in his hand.  I was like, "whoa..." and he smiled at me and said, "Dad loves these...I grabbed them for him!"
So, there we both stood, in the throngs of teenagers grabbing and eating... standing there grinning at each other realizing we had been thinking the same thing.
Andrew's generosity is a gift.
When we got home, James and Hannah were recording two Christmas songs.  One of them was Little Drummer Boy.  Hannah was wearing the headphones and only she could hear the music.  It was very trying on her patience, because she is unaccustomed to hearing herself in that way...and let's be real...the fantasy of being a rock star is much more glamorous than the realities of recording.  She was laying down her vocal track, and this is what I heard...."the fox and ram kept...huuuu! (James says, 'it's ok....let's try it again') "the rocks an...HUHHH!...the ox and hams kept rhyme....THSK!  huuuuuuh!!!  Daaad!!"
But she looked so adorable.
She sounded beautiful to me!
Hannah's tender heart is a gift.
The following day Maddie came home after being gone 5 days, and at dinner time we starting trading jokes.  I'm watching Maddie look from Andrew to Hannah to Dad like she's watching a tennis match, and she giggles and laughs and sputters her macaroni. This just makes us all laugh harder, and I say, "well it's good to have you home, Giggle-Box!"  And James adds, "yeah, welcome back, Laugh-a-Long!"  These are our nick names for her, because sometimes she laughs so hard at the dinner table her face gets cherry red and her eyes water. Andrew's final remark was, "well at least she doesn't get up from the table in the middle of a meal anymore and go to the bathroom and start singing, 'good morning George, how are you?'" at which point we all totally lose it.
Maddie's laughter in our home is a gift
 A few nights later I was home alone with Nate. I put his high chair in the middle of the kitchen and gave him bits of this and that as I cleaned up and started baking some huge snowflake sugar cutouts.  I said to him on more than one occasion, "YOU ARE SO DELIGHTFUL!" because he chuckles and hiccups and sings these adorable scales.  His eyes glisten and are so full of expression.  I was chatting to him at one point when I leaned in front of his high chair to pick something up off the floor. I felt his warm little hand pat my shoulder and heard him say, "mama".
Ahhhh....hear me say it.....Nate's life is a GIFT.


  1. Jill,
    Andrew's part: I'm amazed at how grown up he is.
    Hannah's part: Oh, how precious
    Maddie's part: Made me laugh
    Nate's part: Brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for sharing these tid-bits from your home.