Christmas Cat

Payasa really got into the Christmas spirit this year. I mean, like, really. She loved hanging out under the tree and especially enjoyed drinking all the tree water.

And then a few days before Christmas Jeff and Heather came over for dinner. Paya and Jeff have a love/hate relationship, where Jeff loves Paya and she HATES him. Hates him with the fires of a thousand burning suns. She was trying to escape from him, and wound up jumping into the fireplace. But when I looked in I couldn't see her, could only hear her growling. We concluded that she must be up the chimney, so we took a picture aiming up, and that's exactly where she was. I can only assume that she was looking for Santa.


Micah Cowell Superstar

This year Micah got to play the lead role of Jesus in a living nativity scene at Biola's Christmas tree lighting. He was onstage for only about 15 minutes, but did very well and seemed to like his manger bed, which was a lot more cushy than the original probably was. His parents and all the wisemen and shepherds were played by fifth graders, and it was really interesting to see them react to having a real baby in the manger. Instead of standing there looking bored and poking each other, they all leaned over to watch Micah and play with him, which made it seem very true to the actual event. Mary would have been just barely older than the girl playing her that night, and most likely all the visitors weren't standing around shooting the breeze, they were looking at the child. I loved watching that happen on the stage.

But I think the real highlight was when one of the shepherds went to the director and told her, "I think Jesus smells kind of poopy."


Yet another form of torture

There are certain things in life that Judah considers torture. The list includes hideous things like having his hair washed, staying in bed, eating chicken or really any meat, drinking milk without a straw, being put in his carseat instead of climbing in himself, and having to go anywhere without Lightning McQueen.

Also on the list is getting a haircut. Judah just got his first professional haircut. Usually we just shave his head every few months, but one of Nathan's patients offered to come over and cut both Nathan's and Judah's hair. She used to work at a salon that specialized in kids' haircuts, so I was all excited. She started out on the right foot with Judah by playing with his toys with him for a while, and then offering him a sucker. She sat him in a chair in our kitchen with his sucker, and all was well until he saw the cut pieces of hair on his sleeve. "What's that?" he asked Nathan. "Your hair," Nathan replied, and the screaming commenced. Within seconds Judah was a red ball of snot, tears, sweat, and hair, and the sucker was covered with hair as well. There was hair everywhere, in fact. It got on Judah's hands, and then he rubbed his eyes and it got all over his wet face and.....well, it just got worse from there. The minute he was done I rushed him up to the bathtub to de-itchify him and get all the snot off his face and hands. The bath cheered him up, and by the time Kassy left Judah loved her again, and was performing for her and showing off his dinosaur pajamas. He agreed that she could come over and play again sometime, but not cut his hair.

But he would not eat the sucker after we washed it off. It had forever lost its charm.


About as crafty as I get

I finally finished the project that I was supposed to do last summer. When we moved into our place I noticed that right outside our back gate were four stepping stones, but they were that plain pink stone stuff. I decided I wanted to make some of my own to personalize our path. So I bought the huge bag of cement last summer, but that was as far as I got because I was so miserably pregnant. When I actually got around to doing the project it was a lot of fun and way easier than I'd anticipated.

The turquoise tiles I used in three of the stones are really special to me. Back in the 1960s my church installed a mosaic window with about 14 panels of tiny tiles. In the center was a cross. The tiles all came seperately, and the women of the church spent hours and hours gluing them onto large glass panels. Both of my grandmothers worked on the project. In the 1980s, when the sanctuary was remodeled, the design crew decided to take about eight panels out of the cross window to make it narrower. The extra panels were then stored away, and I later spent years looking for them off and on. Then one day I happened to mention to my friend H.K. that I was looking for them. He disappeared for a few minutes and eventually came back carrying one of the panels wrapped in a sheet. I was so excited! I took the panel to Nathan's parents' house and my father-in-law took a blow torch to it, melted the glue, and peeled all the tiles off the glass backing, which shattered under the heat. I took the tiles home in a paper bag and then spent days hunched over the sink, peeling the glue from each tile and washing them all. I didn't know what I was going to do with them, and I was saving them for some special project some day, but then I thought it would be much nicer to work them into a lot of little projects, so that I can see them all the time. I know that my grandma Kimber would be proud. I love looking at my stepping stones and knowing that they represent a little bit of family history.

I made one stone for each person in our family. The fish is for Judah, because he loves the movie Finding Nemo, and loves fish in general. He likes to eat at The Whole Enchilada because of their amazing fish tank. The river is for Nathan because he loves fly fishing in peaceful places. The blue flower is for me and has to do with C. S. Lewis's discussion of the blue flower, which I've always identified with. And the star is for Micah, because he's my little star (and it didn't stay that dirty, I had just finished it when I took the picture and the cement was still wet).



On Saturday morning I woke up with a burning thirst. Micah and Nathan were sound asleep, but Judah was up and running around in his pajamas, so I got up and Judah and I made a run to Del Taco. As usual, he said, "We need diet coke!" when I pulled in. I got my drink, and then we drove around for a while enjoying the beutiful day and the many trains passing by (5 within about 15 minutes!). When we got home Nathan and Micah were still asleep, didn't even know we'd gone.

Later in the day all four of us were out running errands and decided to stop at the same Del Taco for a quick lunch. As we pulled in Judah yelled out, "We need MORE diet coke!" Little rat.


Early morning conversation

"Hey Nathan. Are you awake?"

"Yeah. But I'm disappointed."


"Because we didn't win 20 million dollars."


"In my dream. I was flying a really crappy spaceship with some guys from Star Trek and I won 20 million dollars and I was excited because I could afford to fix my spaceship."

"Ah. Have you ever actually watched Star Trek?"

"Not in the last 20 years. I don't even like sci-fi."

"Very good. Go on."

"And I was going to repair my parents' water tower, because it got all shot up by some guys with rifles. But then I decided to put in running water for them."

"How nice of you."

"But then I woke up and was like, Darn, we don't have 20 million dollars. I guess I can't buy that motorcycle. Or repair my spaceship."