February 2007


I don’t know what happened, but one of my friends has gone missing. I went to find her this morning, but she is gone. I don’t know how to find her, or even if she wants to be found.

Diane, I’m still here. You can email me any time. I HOPE you are ok, I HOPE you are safe. I HOPE you have someone to protect you and Mattie.

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I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about Jeana’s “Get Real” post at Laughter for Days to Come, and how it relates to my life. Jeana talks about how Sunday School began as a way to give moral training to poor or orphaned children, but has evolved into a replacement for parental training that should take place in the home, and how many, many people now rely on outside influences to teach their children how to be good people.

I am so guilty. I’ve got these three fantastic kids. They’re all pretty little, the oldest is just barely 5. I’ve always thought I would bring them up with correct moral training, a love of God and scripture, a definite knowledge of right and wrong, and the ability and desire to choose the right. Every once in a while, I give Calvin a lecture on peer pressure, treating people kindly, or some other thing, but I do not think this is enough. I don’t even practice what I preach.

“It was assumed that a child of Christian parents would be learning biblical truths at home.” It is no longer the practice of most families to learn biblical truths. And if they do, it’s more likely to be from storybooks, Veggie-Tales, or some other substitution. I, like Jeana, believe there is good to be found in many places, including books, videos, and Sunday School, but nothing can be better that a parent who studies the things they believe, and actually tries daily to live it. Children learn so young how to behave like adults they know. They mimic, they practice, they experiment until they’ve got it right. They use the same vocal inflections, the same phrases. They do what we do.

So how can I expect my children to love the scriptures if I do not read them? How can I expect them to be kind to others if I yell at them? Will they want to give service if I don’t go out and serve? What will they do when they hear me criticizing a neighbor? Will they ever want to pray, if I don’t pray with them?

I really want my children to grow up to be responsible and kind. I really want them to decide not to hurt each other because they care about each other’s feelings. I want them to try to be like the Jesus of the New Testament. I want them to be forgiving, kind, patient, loving, honest, generous, and always doing good.

I want to fill my young children’s heads with instructions, and to let their eyes see me trying to live what I believe. I want them to grow up knowing how important it is to love and respect others, even when they might not be loved or respected by them.

We are studying the New Testament this year at church, and I want to use this opportunity to have Sunday School be the supplement to our study as a family. I want to teach my kids, not just once a week, but every day about how to love others the way Christ does. I want to pray with them, to help them learn to trust their Father, and to develop my own relationship with my Father through study and prayer. I want to stop being afraid to be a Christian.

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This is a story by Calvin.

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Check out those eyes.

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Notice the door, into which Goldilocks will go.

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It’s a table. With three bowls and three spoons. And three ants. At first, it was going to be three dragons, but once he started drawing, he decided they looked like ants.

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It’s a work in progress.

Two weeks ago, at the beginning of my morning walk, I came to a path that I have taken frequently in the 14 years I’ve lived here. It’s only about 400 meters long, and has a row of backyards on one side, and part of a mountainside on the other. The day before, much of the snow had melted, leaving most of the path uncovered. I came to a spot that looked like plain old snow. I walk pretty fast, and I did not slow down. As soon as my foot came down, I realized the snow was in fact a sheet of deceptively benign looking ice. My foot went right out from under me and I crashed down on my other knee. I wanted to stay down and cry. I realized if I did this, I would soon be crying in a puddle. So I angrily got up and decided to just go back home.

I limped for a while, and the pain started to decrease. At the last minute, just before getting home, I turned and finished my 1/2 hour of walking. A friend from the neighborhood was out walking too, so she walked with me, slowly.

This morning, I went to the same path. When I came to the spot where I had fallen, sure enough, there was new ice. I’ve been there before. I know ice is slippery. I slowed down and took very small, careful steps. I remember the pain, and the bruise is still on my knee from last time, but I didn’t fall again.

You’ve been there before, too. And you decided to go home, but changed your mind. Now you know that you can take another path, or walk slowly, with small steps. And soon the ice will melt.

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In no particular order.

1. He is the handsomest man on Earth.

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2. He has dimples in both cheeks.
3. Even though he still looks 19, he doesn’t mind going around with a wife who looks 35.
4. He once told me I looked like a supermodel, right after I’d cut all my hair off.
5. He said, before we were married, that if I would always cook, he would always do the dishes.
6. He hates doing dishes, but does them anyway.
7. He makes beautiful babies.
8. He plays with his beautiful babies.
9. Frog lips.
10. He cooks for me when I just can’t handle it anymore.
11. He hates to cook, but does it anyway.
12. He gives the best back massages on the planet.
13. He tells me I’m cute.
14. He has one eyebrow, but once had the middle part plucked while we were dating, because some girl told him girls like guys with two eyebrows.
15. He goes running because I tell him to.
16. He hates running, but does it anyway.
17. He likes mysteries.
18. He reads to me when I want him to.
19. He’s getting a PhD because he thought I would want him to, because lots of people in my family have one.
20. He says he will quit playing WoW cold turkey, if I ask him to.
21. He likes my cooking.
22. A lot.
23. He swears under his breath. (I didn’t even know this until a few weeks ago.)
24. He likes making out.
25. In front of the kids.
26. He’s really, really smart.
27. He’s colorblind.
28. So he asks me if his clothes match.
29. He reads to the kids every day.
30. He loves chocolate more than I do.
31. He looked for a job that would allow him to have more time at home.
32. He doesn’t think I’m silly.
33. Or if he does, he doesn’t tell me.
34. He loves spicy food.
35. He married me for my brain.
36. He likes to take us camping.
37. He has changed about a billion and a half diapers.
38. He has washed puked-on clothes and sheets.
39. He stays up late to talk to me.
40. He kissed me before he ever even held my hand.
41. He plays nice when we play racquetball.
42. When he hasn’t shaved for a few days, he looks 21.
43. He built a snow slide with Calvin in the back yard.
44. He mows Grandpa’s lawn with a push-mower, because I don’t want to have a gas mower.
45. He doesn’t want any pets.
46. He wants to go to Paris, with me.
47. He wants to take me to Russia.
48. He doesn’t want to go to the Philippines, but would go if I asked him to.
49. He laughs at my jokes.
50. He makes the kids wait, so he can talk to me for a while every day.
51. He is a hard worker.
52. He keeps talking about when we will have a maid.
53. He yells at me if I complain about my body.
54. And reassures me he likes it just fine.
55. He bought me ruby earrings last Valentine’s Day, because he knows I am opposed to the atrocities surrounding the diamond trade.
56. He doesn’t wear cologne.
57. He helps my grandpa and his wife with their computer problems.
58. He took a ballroom dancing class so he could dance with me.
59. The first time we went dancing, before we were even dating, he wore tennis shoes, even though I told him not to, because he didn’t want to look silly.
60. When he goes on trips, he calls me every day, sometimes lots of times.
61. He said, about his first time eating sushi, “This is like a religious experience.”
62. He doesn’t want a motorcycle.
63. He fixed Calvin’s Superman video game.
64. When we got married, he thought a menstrual period lasted “like an hour or something.”
65. He said he would give me $10,000 for every kid I made.
66. He said 3 is enough.
67. He built a sandbox in the backyard.
68. He is my soul-mate.
69. He sometimes takes Calvin to work with him, even though he can’t get anything done with him there.
70. He bought the Golden Eagle Pass.
71. He likes me.
72. He sympathizes when I complain.
73. He says his favorite movie is “The Fugitive,” but the one he quotes from the most is “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?”
74. He has the most beautiful green eyes.
75. He once called the women’s organization in our church “the sisters’ quorum.”
76. He wants to be a Christlike parent.
77. He makes cracks all the time about how other guys can’t keep their eyes off me.
78. He likes holding my hand.
79. He likes teaching Calvin math.
80. He knew what I was when he picked me up.
81. He liked it that I did the initial pursuing, but he still did the proposing.
82. He comes home to me every day.
83. I trust him.
84. He runs after the kids when we go to family parties, so I can talk to everyone.
85. He gives me nights, weekends, and holidays off.
86. He can identify lots of spices by taste that he’d never even heard of before we were married.
87. He questions my sources whenever I come up with some new social or environmental cause to be passionate about.
88. He makes telephone calls for me because I have phone-phobia.
89. He thinks phone-phobia is silly, but he does it anyway.
90. He likes my relatives.
91. He tells me he loves me.
92. He doesn’t think I’m the big baby that I am.
93. He gave me a love-note for a wedding present.
94. He gets teary-eyed during the sad parts of books and movies.
95. He still goes to church, even though we never learn anything there because we’re too busy trying to keep our kids from driving everyone else crazy.
96. He agrees with me a lot.
97. When he doesn’t agree with me, he tells me so.
98. He drives because I don’t like to.
99. I can’t live without him.
100. I don’t want to live without him.
101. He rubs my feet when they hurt or when they’re cold.
102. He doesn’t care if I shave my legs.
103. When he has a cold or allergies, he asks me if I want him to sleep on the couch.
104. He washes the plastic bags.

Was I supposed to stop?

The past 6 years have been the best of my life. Happy Anniversary, my love.

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