Thursday, December 13, 2012


I love this kid.  He is the first of four to be born after we weren't sure we wanted to keep having children.
His name means, 'gift of God', and he has most certainly been that. 
He turned seven last week, and we got to go out to lunch, just the two of us.  He is a delightful little boy. Look at the life in his eyes.

You know, I have tried for years to get my children to stop growing at age five, but they just don't listen.  *Sigh*
He now has a mouth full of holes.  And you know what that means...those big square cracker-teeth are just
around the corner.


Isa 30:15For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

This is one of my all time favorite verses.  In all of the stuff of life under the sun, I absolutely love rest.  Not necessarily a nap or vacation, (although some days those are quite welcome) but the rest that is deep, thorough, healing.  The rest that can only come from the One who said of His work, "It is finished!".

True rest does not come from our outward circumstances.  There is happiness for sure when things go our way.  But that peace that passes all understanding, who can truly wrap their mind around it? It is too awesome for words.

The rest of God is a place I want to dwell.  Through the storms.  Through the quakes.  Through the doubts.  There is a place under the shadow of His wings that I love to go. He knows my frame, and does not chide me when I want to hide in Him.  He calls me there.  Again and again. He knows it's what I need.

What a wonderful Lord we serve.  He offers us rest all through the journey.  He sympathizes with our weakness and knows how to truly strengthen us for the days ahead.  He is for us, with us, ahead of us. I find it a privilege to rest in this wonderful, mighty God.

Santa Baby and the Photo Op

I have a new respect for baby photographers...

To the Gingerbread Village

My 11 year-old son, Thomas, was born ready.  He has never really cared much for all this kid stuff.  He has ideas, and he wants to see them through.  So, last week, when he said we should go to the Gingerbread Village because someone had given him a postcard about it, I slumped inside, thinking one more Christmas activity was not what we needed.  But, he kindly persisted.  And planned.  And reminded.  And so we went.
Such a happy group at the Nativity.  And isn't Eliana just the cutest little donkey?
And such a serious one at that.

The Village really turned out to be wonderful.  It was put on by joyful, solid Christians
who made it a special day for everyone.  Here, Tommy and Nat are making a craft
to earn a sticker toward their prize.  Natty didn't really want to do the craft,
but he did it anyway.  Because of the prize, you know.
My red-eyed Sarah Elizabeth...She had this lady paint
a pretty red ornament on her cheek.  Afterward, Natty not-so-quietly
wondered 'What in world did she get a BOMB painted on her face for?!'
You know, boys just aren't...girls.

Many smiles came from Sarah and Eliana at this gingerbread
exhibit....Do you see 12 little girls?  In two straight lines? 
And do you see Miss Clavel behind them? 
If you don't, then you need to come to our house
 and snuggle up on our big purple couch with our little girls, and read Madeline!

All through the building, there were things to do and listen to,
 to get your stickers for your prize.  The storytellers were fabulous.  Each gave
interesting bits of history, along with scripture and the love of God.
This woman was the Candymaker, and she explained the story
of the candy cane. 

Emma and Ellie listened on and waited for their candy canes!

This darling girl held on to every word.

We ended up spending about two hours there.
Everyone finished their stickers and got their prizes.
And I thoroughly enjoyed my children. 
 I was glad my son planned such a good thing for us.

And in the words of my mother-in-law's great aunt Ethel, 'A good time was had by all!'
But please don't look at Emma's socks...Christmas cheer is I guess what she was thinking...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grumpy Pray-ers

I absolutely love family prayer times.  I love them because the older boys aren't always here every night, and I see I must now not take them for granted.  I love them because they draw us closer as a family, quiet us down (hallelujah!), and focus our minds on others.  And I love them because of what comes out of these kids' mouths...Here are a few pretty revealing prayers that still make us laugh.

Emma: Dear Lord, please help Danny not to be rude and not to glare at me like he just did.  And I love you. Amen.

Sarah: Dear Jesus, please help Sammy to not just go around getting mad at people when he has a bad day.  

Emma:  Dear Lord, please help Hannah to grow up.

Thomas as a younger boy: And Lord, I ask that you would crack the neighbors hearts open. (I think he was parroting his Dad's prayer about directing their hearts...)

And although not so funny, by far the most popular prayer in our home over the last 15 years...
Lord, give Mom grace to handle the little children, and everything she has to do, that she would not be grumpy or stressed.  
And how many times have we tried not to laugh through this prayer, as a little ones cries out right in the middle of it???

AMEN! What wonderful children I have!

How the Sargents Do the Tree

First, we drive to Costco to buy the tree.  No day in the mountains, no home-grown tree farm, working hard to pick just the right one and chopping it down with our own axe.  We get our tree from a warehouse in the city. From the back of a truck. And in our circle of friends, that's just very un-Christmas-like. 
But, it's what we do.  At least we get a Noble.  And it's from our home state even.  (Go Ducks!)

Then when we get home, we recruit a teenaged boy or two, somebody who wants a nice hot dinner and clean clothes.  And we show them to the van, and let them unload, saw, trim, and set the tree up straight.

Then, we find a bunch of really cute children.  Children who LOVE Christmas.  And we hand them strings of lights and see what they do.

Pretty good job so far.  I think we'll keep them.

What is it about these innocent young faces that make Christmas so sweet?

After the lights are on in a decent way- you know, not too heavy on the top, not all bunched together in the middle, we open the ornaments box! And we slowly unwrap each one, reminiscing as we go.
I used to buy the children a special ornament each year, but that has since gone by the wayside.  How much time can this mother spend, finding just the right ornament for each of her ten children?  I'm thinking of waiting to start again when they're married...
Anyhow, this box is full of good memories.  I get to hear lots and lots of, 'Oh Mama!  Remember this one?' and 'Hey! It's my special ornament from (fill in the blank)!'

And all the while, this little man is oh-so-quietly getting into things as we're occupied with memories and trying to keep all 50 ornaments from being hung in that one low spot in the front of the tree (the only place a 5 and 3 year-old can reach).
Here he is...unwrapping some cords and lights to chew on.