Love Caddie Woodlawn

Lydia and I just finished another book that found its place in our Top Five. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink written in 1935. A fantastic book about a little pioneer girl growing up in Wisconsin during the Civil War (we just can't seem to get away from that era). Caddie is a tomboy and it vexes her mother very much that Caddie doesn't seek to do lady things like make quilts and cook jam, preferring to romp in the woods with her brothers or sneak off to nearby Indian camps. Sounds a little like someone we know.

Caddie got into a bit of trouble. She pulled a prank on her prissy cousin from Boston and got switched good by her mother and sent to bed. After tossing on her bed all day (without supper of course), her dad came to talk to her. And here is a speech every Father should give his daughter ... I love it so much that I am RETYPING it!

"... Perhaps Mother was a little hasty today, Caddie. She really loves you very much, and, you see, she expects more of you than she would of someone she didn't care about. It's a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's. ... I don't want you to be the silly, affected person with fine clothes and manners, whom folks sometimes call a lady. NO, that is not what I want for you, my little girl. I want you to be a woman with a wise and understanding heart, healthy in body and honest in mind. Do you think you would like to be growing into that woman now?"

Love Caddie. Love her daddy.

God is my sponsor

Here's a video testimony featuring Stan's brother, Scott. We taped this to use at church to feature the recovery program at Cross & Crown Mission. He did great. There's so much more to his story than our five minutes would allow but hopefully this gets his message across ... "God is my sponsor!" It's an incredible journey of recovery.

Who is this boy?

I have an ode to Grant coming. He's been SIX for a whole week, and we've had a pretty wild week with illness, projects and such.

But just a glimpse of our little dude.
In a brunette household, Grant is the golden child. Blond blond. And hair that needs a haircut, but it's pretty wild and cute right now.

He wandered through the room yesterday with his long blonde hair, Michigan State hoodie and ripped jeans singing ...

"little red corvette."

It was a little mom moment. Who is this kid?

And the mom is glad he doesn't know the rest of the words to the song. And that always leads me wondering whether I "heard" the words to the song as I sang along on the radio when I was also SIX ... plus ten.

Gone Country

Apparently we are the only ones out there who do not watch LOST, but we do watch Gone Country.

Maureen McCormack, Carnie Wilson, Bobby Brown, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Julio Iglesias, Jr., an American Idol girl, and a rapper are in Nashville, competing to become a country music star.

Hilarious and bizarre. I get teary every episode, right along with Marcia.

The Twister

One of Grant's favorite radio stations is 101.9, The Twister. Yes, it's country. Might as well admit it.

The point is, that is what his temperature registered before I quit holding the digi thermometer under his armpit. He didn't want to hold it in his mouth and the other option is not an option.

Pit checking also cuts down on germ spreading perhaps, since Giles is down with it. And I'm spending lots of time at the sink scrubbing temperature taking devices between uses. They are following their father who was down with the ague last week.

One of our favorite books we've read together is Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls. It's an excellent living book (the movie just doesn't compare.) We loved it, and if you're from Oklahoma, the book is even more special because it's setting is in the north eastern part of our state.

Anyway, the main character's sister, Daisy, loves to be a nurse! So anytime her brother had the slightest ailment, she would don her Red Cross nurse uniform and start taking "care" of him which her brother loathed entirely.

My mom sewed Lydia a Florence Nightengale costume and she is about to put it on. It's she and I against the ague today.

Grant is a pretty good patient so far. And gratefully, he doesn't have much experience as a patient. What a hearty and healthy kid. What a blessing!

I haven't checked Giles' temp yet, but I think we're double in for it. We have beds made on the loveseat and couch, with bedside tables for tissues, snacks, juice, tea and water.

Maybe we'll be able to finish our current excellent book today. Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder. It's historical fiction set in Virginia right after the Civil War. It's a fantastic book about respect, honor, courage, principles and family.

Circle Time

Last Sunday night at Cross & Crown, Paul tried something a little different for worship time. It was Superbowl night, so when I got there the game was on, but the crowd was a little thinner than usual and not many were watching it anyway. Eventually the TV went off and he had us move our chairs into a big circle and Paul sort of opened the floor to let people speak their hearts. I sat between a non-English speaking mom who is still grieving the loss of her stillborn baby, and a homeless man who will NEVER let me take his picture, although I tease him about it every week. Next to him was one of the youth group teens who's pregnant and was kicked out of her house because of it. On around the circle was "R". No one had seen him for a few days. Turns out he spent ten days in jail. He got out and then got beat up. He was banged up on Sunday night and drunk, but he was there.

I should have written about all this last Sunday when it was still fresh on my mind, but I hoped the professionals might post about it and would do it better. I guess it really doesn't matter if there's duplication anyway.

One man wanted to confess a sin and ask for prayers. He didn't give many details, but later I talked to him a little bit, and found out that his teenage daughter was there and she won't have anything to do with him. He was seeking her forgiveness ... not sure exactly when their relationship deteriorated ... it could have been when he went to prison (he's been out for a few months), or when she caught him smoking crack the other day. He also told me about his 12-year-old son who faces five felony charges. He said he wants to do right by his family, find a decent job (with his criminal record) and get back on his feet.

Then John shared. He's who we call John the Baptist because he lives in the wilderness of the streets (on purpose) and brings people to Cross & Crown. I love this guy. There's so much of his story I do not know, but little by little I am getting a better picture of his life. The other day, when he was helping me decorate the church for a wedding, he said he wishes the guys in Phoenix could see him playing with flowers. He said his nickname used to be something like "Smoke and Bones" because he was always smokin' dope and beating up people.

Anyway, on Sunday night he talked about Jesus and choices. He shared that not long ago he had been sucked into sorrow. Sad and depressed all of the time. He said that you can become addicted to the sorrow and almost relish in it. But instead, he chooses JOY.

John doesn't drive. He doesn't have a home. His possessions are few. He has lots of aches (from his smoke and bones days). He still gets in a few brawls. And the other day, he mentioned losing a daughter and I'm thinking that might have led to his entrance to street living back in the mid-80s. I don't see him every day like most of the staff does, but every time I see him, I know I'll get a bear hug and a story about his mom, his past or his friends. He will also take time to talk to all my kids and bless them.

I don't have a great ending point to tie this all together. As I just read back through my rambling, it occurred to me that I just typed away the phrases about a CHILD facing felonies, a crack addict trying to find his way, a beat up drunk man who calls one of the staff ladies his Mom.

It was an awesome time of worship and perspective. I'm grateful for this community of real people ... and for the reminder to choose JOY and believe in HOPE. Thanks God.

For the four of you ...

who wanted pictures!

Lydia and I had some fun with our photo booth camera. She helped pick my outfit. A little number we got at the thrift store for her (our?) dress up bin. I imagine it was a mother of the bride dress, or maybe the girls from ABBA wore it?
Here's another photo booth example. The kids have had a blast the last few days taking these shots and playing with the different feature like "fisheye," "dent" and "swirl" ...

And now from the 1970s ...

Talk about dent and swirl!