24 December 2008

the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight

Sometimes I see biblical characters through rose-colored glasses. I think about my own failings and wistfully imagine what it would have been like to be a Super-Christian, those who just had a smidge of extra holiness, an unavoidable effect of having lived in such proximity to the Messiah. While I get caught up in hooplah over trappings and commercialism, or worry about temporal struggles that can make Christmas tough to celebrate, I can easily assume that this kind of attitude would have been foreign to those saints gone before. Celebrating the Incarnation (at its appointed time and thereafter) must have been without the crippling worldliness and difficulty that we experience. Wouldn't that be nice??? And yet they were sinners like me. They worried about paying their taxes to corrupt governors, travel that could be hazardous, persecution, providing for their families...on and on. Human nature being consistent as it is, I suppose they had to consciously focus their thoughts on the joy of 'God become flesh' and not let their own flesh (or anything else) distract them from the pursuit of celebration. And though it must certainly have looked different, they celebrated the same things that we do today. Salvation. Adoption. Freedom. Life. And its that one Life that leads us to life eternal that I consciously choose to meditate upon today. Immanuel! Our God is with us!

For all those who live in the shadow of death,
a glorious light has dawned!
For all those who stumble in the darkness,
Behold! your Light has come!

~Michael Card

23 December 2008

let loving hearts enthrone Him

The Magnificat -- Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said,

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever

21 December 2008

all is calm, all is bright

Today was a busy Lord's Day, and 4th Sunday of Advent, and I haven't had a chance to sit down and decide on something to post. But I thought I'd quickly share that in church this morning, during our annual Christmas program, the SlaughterHouse 7 sang "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus", the song that I have been teaching the kids during the Advent season. They did such a wonderful job, singing out so loudly and confidently that Dave and I got many comments afterward from people wondering how we get our kids to do that. That struck me as so funny, because our kids have loved learning the carol and were excited to hear that we'd sing it as a family. Its nice when others notice my kids doing something well or right, and I hope that it can also be a blessing to others. And of course, any time I don't look like a slacker Mom is just a bonus for me.

20 December 2008

soon it will be Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men!”

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864

19 December 2008

Jesus, our Emmanuel

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(Oh weary, weary was the world,
But here is all alright.)

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make thee bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber, kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy does leap
My lips no more can silence keep,
I must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle song.

~G.K. Chesterton

17 December 2008

Son of God, love's pure light

Jesus, Lord, we look to thee,
On this day of thine own Nativity;
Show thyself the Prince of Peace;
Bid our jarring conflicts cease.
Let us for each other care,
Each the other's burden bear,
To thy church the pattern give,
Show how true believers live.
Make us one of heart and mind,
Courteous, pitiful, and kind,
Lowly, meek in thought and word,
Altogether like our Lord.

~Charles Wesley

16 December 2008

our God is with us

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government
or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

~Isaiah 9:6-7

14 December 2008

until the Son of God appear

Prayer for the Third Sunday of Advent:

Stir up thy power, O Lord,
and with great might come among us;
and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,
let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost,
be honor and glory,
world without end.

13 December 2008

a human baby bearing undiminished deity

"If Christmas means anything to you, then it must mean everything. It is a beginning and an end. It is a time of darkness and inexpressible light. It is a time of blessed relief at finally seeing all God's promises come true in one person. It is a time of tension as well as we look ahead in the life of this dear little one with a kind of historical omnipresence because we know how it all will end, on earth anyway. As our family gathers around our faint, flickering candle to read the Christmas story, the loneliness of the stable reminds us of the loneliness of another place on a hill outside Jerusalem. The rough trough seems almost as cruel a place as a cross. The infant cries we hear coming from the stable seem no less desperate than His final cry, and no less forsaken".

~Michael Card

12 December 2008

a thrill of hope

I'm sorry for my lapse yesterday...the long day provided no time for posting. Hopefully I'll be able to have something here for these last 13 days of Advent! I hope that your celebrations have been as meaningful as ours in the SlaughterHouse. For today, a quote from a precious saint:

"When I think of Christmas Eves, Christmas feasts, Christmas songs, and Christmas stories, I know that they do not represent a short and transient gladness. Instead, they speak of a joy unspeakable and full of glory. God loved the world and sent His Son. Whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. That is Christmas joy. That is the Christmas spirit".

~Corrie ten Boom

10 December 2008

here we are, as in olden days

Every tradition grows ever more venerable -- the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe. Is this ill or fine? If the accumulated wisdom and the tested habits of the ages accounts for naught, then surely it is ill. But if such things afford security and sanity, then it is an auger of great good. Sense and sensibility should sway us toward the confident latter and not the impetuous former.

~James Gleason Archer

09 December 2008

a man of God's own choosing

During the month of November, I taught my kiddos the words to "Come,Ye Thankful People, Come", as one way of preparing our hearts for the celebration of Thanksgiving. They loved it, and still run around the grocery store singing it at the top of their lungs...nice! So for the Advent season I wanted to pick a song that they don't hear as often in our Christmas music (mostly because we listen to John Denver & the Muppets Christmas album and Harry Connick, Jr's 3 masterpieces...but I digress), but also a song that would be "singable" for short folks. I thought that "Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus" was a good choice (and a personal favorite of mine). We sing it before each meal and during our nightly Advent reading, and so far they have memorized the first verse and about 1/2 of the second. Not surprisingly, last night Carrie was singing (uh...yelling?) it loudly in Walmart. Interestingly enough, the Maryland shoppers were less than amused...but I digress again. These are powerful words that Wesley wrote over 250 years ago, inspired by Haggai 2:7, "And I will shake all nations, and the Desire of Nations shall come and I will fill this house with glory".

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born and child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

~Charles Wesley, 1744

08 December 2008

who but God would condescend for us?

“How can God stoop lower than to come and dwell with a poor humble soul? Which is more than if he had said, such a one should dwell with him; for a beggar to live at court is not so much as the king to dwell with him in his cottage.”

~William Gurnall

07 December 2008

God and sinners reconciled

Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent

Merciful God,
who didst send thy messengers the prophets
to preach repentance
and prepare the way for our salvation:
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer;
who liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
~from the Book of Common Prayer, 1789

06 December 2008

its that time of year

While at times the "secular" trappings of Christmas can seem to become a distraction from the intended focus of the Nativity, we need to remember that God hard-wired our brains to work within our memory. Some of the ways that we show our joy of the season may not be inherently "Scriptural" and yet nonetheless they manifest the celebration going on in our hearts better, at times, than our vocabulary can accommodate. A wiser woman than I could ever be has already expressed:

"There is something about saying, 'We always do this', which helps keep the years together. Time is such an elusive thing that if we keep on meaning to do something interesting, but never do it, year would follow year with no special thoughtfulness being expressed in making gifts, surprises, charming table settings, and familiar, favorite food. Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts".

~Edith Schaeffer

05 December 2008

hail, hail the Word made flesh

How proper it is that Christmas should follow Advent. For him who looks toward the future, the manger is situated on Golgotha, and the cross has already been raised in Bethlehem.

~Dag Hammarskjold

04 December 2008

the Glory of the nations, a Light for all to see

The implications of the name "Immanuel" are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting because he has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know.

~Michael Card

03 December 2008

how great our joy

Blessed Babe! What glorious features
Spotless fair, divinely bright!
Must He dwell with brutal creatures?
How could angels bear the sight?
Was there nothing but a manger
Cursed sinners could afford
to receive the Heavenly Stranger?
Did they thus affront their Lord?
Yes may'st thou live to know and fear Him,
He who deigned to incarnate earth's days;
So go and dwell forever near Him,
See His face, and sing His praise.

~Isaac Watts

a glimmer of a day in the sun

I'm running way behind, but I have this fabulous friend Jen, who tagged me to post my 8th picture from my 8th folder, and since we've been friends for 1/2 of my life, I obliged ;-) I was hoping for one with all of us, but here's what I got, and now I'm sniffling in my morning coffee, remembering how little Liam was...still a baby. I think I'll be sniffling for a while.

So...who to tag? Who won't ignore me, and will obey? Hmmm...I'm gonna go with Kim May, Steph B, and Annie (yes YOU, sister).

02 December 2008

let every heart prepare Him room

"Most sensible people say that adults cannot be expected to appreciate Christmas as much as children appreciate it. But I am not sure that even sensible people are always right; and this has been my principle reason for deciding to be silly -- a decision that is now irrevocable. It may be because I am silly, but I rather think that, relatively to the rest of the year, I enjoy Christmas more than I did when I was a child. My faith demands that such be the case. The more mature I become the more I need to embrace the joys of the incarnation. The more mature I become, the more I need to be but a child".

~ G.K. Chesterton

01 December 2008

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

The Advent is precious. And it is not only precious to me, but to the whole of Christendom, including the saints gone before, who learned to embrace the celebration of the incarnation. Yesterday was the first Sunday of the Advent season, and I had hoped to post beginning then, but will be attempting to post something most days throughout. This is more a reminder for myself to meditate and reflect, but I certainly hope it can be a blessing to you as well. For today, this great quote:

"The true Christian religion is incarnational and thus does not begin at the top, as all other religions do; it begins at the bottom. You must run directly to the manger and the mother's womb, embrace the Infant and Virgin's Child in your arms and look at Him -- born, being nursed, growing up, going about in human society, teaching, dying, rising again, ascending above all the heavens, and having authority over all things".

~Martin Luther

27 November 2008

Come, ye thankful people, come

Our SlaughterHouse Thanksgiving Day was wonderful, and here are a few tidbits to share with y'all. After several weeks of Dave working long hours it was so nice to have him home for the day. The kids were thrilled and didn't even seem to mind that we spent a majority of the day in the kitchen preparing quite a spread. And when I say "spread", I mean "tons-o'-food". While I blog this, I'm sitting on our couch, contemplating a comparison between me and a pig. Or cow. Or both. I ate so much that I mused to Dave that maybe I looked pregnant, but don't worry, its just a food baby...I had a big dinner. This morning while I cooked, Dave prepared a perfect addition to our dinner, some family worship time centered around Thanksgiving, even making up programs for each of us. They were beautifully done! I'll include the text of the program at the end so you'll be super-impressed with my husband. So at the end of the day, despite each of us missing celebrations with our families, we were able to feel truly grateful for the blessings abundant in our lives. I hope that your day was equally blessed.

I forgot to take a picture before we cut up the turkey, so here it is partly demolished. I will add that I was surprisingly impressed with the turn-out. No dry meat!!

Our lovely table, with name cards designed by Molly and Dave, and thankfully it was cold enough to have a fire.

Finally ready to eat!

Slaughter Family Thanksgiving 2008

Giving thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for His mercies are new every morning and His grace that is unending.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 46

Hymn: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Litany of Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all His gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea,

We thank you, Lord

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ

We thank you, Lord

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,

We thank you, Lord

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,

We thank you, Lord

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,

We thank you, Lord

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,

We thank you, Lord

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,

We thank you, Lord

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,

We thank you, Lord

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; To Him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.


Thanksgiving Day Prayer:

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labor of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Thanksgiving Day Feast

Oven Roasted Turkey

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized onions

Fresh Snapped Green Beans

Stuffing with sausage and apples

Sweet Potato cranberry bake

Raspberry Jell-O salad

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Pie

Buttermilk Pie

Eggnog lattes

Christmas Blend Coffee

Sparkling Cider


Expression of Personal Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day Charge

A Prayer for our vocations and ministries:

God has so graciously placed us in different vocations and areas of ministry as so we pray this prayer:

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you: through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

18 November 2008

it just may be a lunatic you're looking for

The Warren clan (my family) keeps a blog for the amusement of others, and though it is largely ignored for months at a time, we occasionally pop in to post pictures of the kids or share funny stories. In a concerted effort to get the blogging-ball rolling again, the 9 of us offspring have been working on a list of "Warren-isms", including our own strange vocab and odd phrases that have no intelligible meaning if you haven't been around us long enough. If you're so inclined, head on over to Yours Mine and Ours and see what's already been posted. I'm sure more will be added (semi-) regularly, so y'all check back now, you hear?

07 November 2008

you're not to blame, it always ends the same

Liam, this morning after finishing his breakfast: "I'm all done, Mom. Eggs all gone. Want more eggs, peeze!"

Who told him he could talk? I mean, I didn't teach him that. I still speak annoying baby language to him in hopes that it will slow down his development (aka - growing up). So, if my son is speaking to me like this, guess I have to stop calling him "The Baby"? Yesterday I called him "Baby" and he said, "No Mom, I Wee-um!" He's against me. They all are.

03 November 2008

you're the top, you're the Colesium

Yeah, we are just the luckiest. Today the UPS man handed me a precious package, containing two more original paintings from my oh-so-talented father-in-law! When Mom and Dad were here in the summer, on July 4th we headed to the Antietam battlefield in nearby MD, the sight of the deadliest one-day battle of the Civil War. As we drove through the different areas, we took some time to get out and walk around by the Burnside Bridge. Dave was instantly taken, and after shooting a few pictures he mentioned to his Dad how awesome it would be to have a painting of the bridge (of course this was not coercion, but merely an offhand remark. I was there. I know, ok?). Now, another time during their visit, I was admiring the work of Dad's already on our wall, the painting of Mt. Hood and the other of Multnomah Falls. And I thought, here we have representation of Dave's childhood environment...wouldn't it be way cool if we had something to contrast it from my childhood?? Granted, I grew up "everywhere" and don't have the same attachment as Dave, that stems from spending 18 years in one place. But Texas is still home (or at least has always been "home base"), and if I could have one thing on my wall to reflect my roots, I choose bluebonnets. Fortunately Dad was receptive and immediately started looking for inspiration, searching the internet for pictures of the flower. Wow! I wasn't ready for what I saw this morning, and blinked back tears as I soaked it in, recognizing the love that went in to creating this perfect painting. **sigh** I love it, and now am trying to tackle the problem of where to hang our new additions in this tiny house. But that's a pretty good problem to have, in my opinion. And of course I have other ideas tucked back in my mind of potential works of art that I can see added to my collection, but I figure that I'll give Dad a respite of sorts and allow him a few months (I mean a week) to rest before I drop the bomb. Thank you're AMA-ZA-ZING!!

01 November 2008

there's someone else I've got to be

After more ridiculous blogger issues, I was finally able to get some pictures loaded of our annual Halloween fun. This year in attendance was a soldier, power ranger, Venom spidey, Cinderella, and the cutest little dragon you have EVER seen (and for those you keeping track, yes, the boys recycled costumes from last year...this is what happens when you have a bunch of kids without the Halloween budget to match). Plus, they were joined by cousins (and neighbors) Erin, as Sleeping Beauty, and Judah, as Robin Hood (or Peter Pan...take your pick). Of course they had a blast amassing levels of candy approaching illegality, and showing off their costume finery. And here I am shaking my head that I, in all my motherly concern, had finally thrown away the last of the candy from the Independence Day parade, and here we go again. I imagine I'll throw away more to allow for one or two candy-free weeks before Christmas stockings. AAAAHHHH!! I'll never win the "make-my-kids-healthy" fight, so I might as well quit trying.

Don't you want to take this dragon home? I know! Too bad he's ours.

The SlaWel kids, ready for the bounty.

Hi. I'm the neighborhood candy pusher. Don't worry kids, every kid is eating this stuff. Don't worry, just take it.

I could squeeze and kiss Jude all day. He's so fun. This was Liam's suit from last glad its seeing some action again!

Liam's fun pumpkin decorations came from his super-cool Aunt Beth. He looooves it, and points, saying, "Kuh-kin!"

The SlaughterHouse 5 with their hard work. Or maybe it was their loving Dad's work. Can't remember.

Pretty nice, eh? We had parents of trick-or-treaters stopping to take pics of Dave's handiwork. I made sure to tell them that the talent was solely a Slaughter trait. Warren traits are more of the "intangible" variety. Hehe.

07 October 2008

oh sympathy! where have you gone?

I am in the kitchen, doing something domestic-ish, and trying to ignore the loud screams, thumps, and shrieks that I hear coming from somewhere upstairs. After a few minutes of me wondering if I should go check, since someone clearly wants to send the message that they are in pain, I see Warren meander into the kitchen and sit down to draw at the table.

Me: hey dude, what's all that racket?

W: mean the jumping?

Me: yes, plus the screaming and shrieking

W: oh, its just Henry being a baby

Me: so any clue why he's screaming??

W: Mom, its just that werewolves are chasing him, and he doesn't like it. he'll get over it.

Ok, cool. I'm down with that. I think we'll watch "Annie" instead of "Harry Potter" for the next Family Movie Night.

06 October 2008

you're dangerous, cause you don't know what you want

(by the way, blogger finally allowed pics when I uploaded only one at a time, and my average upload time was 8 minutes. not joking. be appreciative.)

I'm a couple days late, but didn't want to miss giving birthday props to the SlaughterHouse baby prince. Liam is 2, and no, don't even try to figure out how that happened. I tried, and this is what I came up with: William Halsey arrives at 2:24 am on 4 Oct 2006, happy and healthy, born on Mom and Dad's bed, then hogged by Granny. Then, some idiot came in and sped up time, robbing us of 2 genuine, for real, 365-day years, which were replaced by 12 minutes. Nice, huh? And I do not need to hear you make any comments about another baby. Really and truly, please don't say it. (hmmm....hmmmm..nanana...lalalala...I can't hear you!!!!) Seriously, the time between the first 2 pictures below is approx. 4.6 seconds. Give or take 2 seconds. Well, I can't go back and reclaim those days that someone vindictively stole, but I can wish my little man a happy birthday (celebration to come in TX next week) and hope that he will happily survive 2, which is already off to an "interesting" start. I love you, Peanut!! Thanks for making fools of us 2 years ago ;-)

about 2 hrs old

at Antietam Battlefield

my poor little man after a nasty spider bit his eye

his favorite food to eat or wear, feijoada (black beans and rice)

the boy plays hard, and then drops

after a hike in the Smoky Mtns of Tennessee

sporting his new hat and cotton candy at Dollywood (geez, he's as cute as his father)

02 October 2008

listen to what I'm putting down

You've given up checking, haven't you? Admit it, you thought I'd never post again. For some of you that may have caused some temporary aggravation, and then for others maybe some relief (please don't tell me if you fall in that second category, lie to me). Its probably better if I go ahead and admit that in the month following vacation I lapsed into behaving like a pathetically emotional brooder, trying to recover from homesickness-based inertia. That was so much fun. Ask Annie. BUT, in the month since, Blogger decided that (presumably because of my woe-is-me lack of posting) it didn't like me. Now, taking into account my 32 years of relationship building, someone rejecting me isn't exactly a completely foreign concept. (go ahead here and contradict that, claiming that I'm extremely likable) So for right now, and the past few weeks, I can post, expound, discourse, and in all other ways offer you my verbiage, but not with accompanying photos. Not only did I have vacation pics to show, but quite a few other SlaughterHouse summer shots, mostly of some short people who happen to be really cute and do silly things. I'm frustrated!!!! I want to show you my pictures!!!! I'll keep trying, won't give up, will persevere. But I can only go so many posts of seeing little black fonts without any eye-candy, and then I give up. I think that since its finally fall (and I am consequently happy again) that I will attempt to be a more faithful blogger, but I refuse to commit. I have commitment issues. Or else I'm lazy, can't remember which. And as for the elusive pictures, for those of you that are on Facebook, you may see some of them there (that is, if you are my friend on Facebook...and why wouldn't you be???).

Happy First Week of Long-Sleeves!!!! ( in VA at least)

30 August 2008

and the distance doesn't care

Yes, we've been home from vacation for almost 2 weeks now. And yes we did lots and took lots of pics. And if any of you are right now thinking something like, "Kristen hasn't posted because she's melancholy and missing her family, and too depressed to post", well....shut up, because you'd be wrong. Completely. Terribly. Horribly wrong. Probably.

07 August 2008

take my hand, we'll make it I swear

Yes, that title is a Bon Jovi reference, and if you knew that, I am your friend. If not....well, I'll still be your friend if you don't slam Bon Jovi. So really, are you surprised at another blogging lapse?? Hopefully those of you that read this have come to accept that you can have absolutely zero expectations of me other than that I am highly unreliable. The lapse is due to.....(hang on, give me a minute...), uh, see....hmmmm. OH WAIT! I have 5 children.

Did anyone else notice that its August? That is crazy. I wasn't as good at posting summer happenings as I had hoped, but I'm going "bullet" a few things to make up for it (which of course doesn't) and move on:

  • we are SO leaving for vacation in 5 days. You don't even know!! If you haven't yet heard, the Warren tribe is actually crazy enough to put all 27 of us (do you want me to list all the names? probably not) in one cabin together in the Smoky Mountains of TN. for a week. the hooplah that will ensue will be of monumental and legendary proportions, and a few of us will most likely post some pictures and highlights to document the fun (but in reality its more that we'll be trying to make you jealous).
  • Dave the Babe finally took me to see Dark Knight! He paid CJ to fly out here and babysit. no, really he did. for realzzzzz. ok, so please don't tell me something like "oooh, I don't really like comic book stuff". this one was as phenomenal as the last, and topped solely by a ridiculously A-MA-ZA-ZING Joker interpretation.
  • hmmm....ever have a talk with your pre-adolescent daughter about "sensitive" stuff. I finally did. your daughter wasn't as funny as mine. trust me.
  • after at least a year of coveting, I finally have Keens (courtesy of the Babe's early birthday present to me!). I am now happy.
  • inspired by my sister Annie (along with some sage advice from fashionista blogs) I got rid of most of my clothes. at this point I'm mostly glad that I read an article about what you can't wear anymore after turning 20-10, and what you need to have in your wardrobe. I was breaking rules. frequently. my closet is a lot leaner, and I have many holes to fill, but it feels good to not have junk (that I hated anyway) cluttering up my view. the point is, if Shelley would wear it, I probably have no business.
  • I've been trying to read more and so far this year have completed several books. but an impressive favorite is Wild Swans, which Mom bought me almost 2 years ago. it sat on the bedside table, I read maybe 1 chapter and forgot. oh man, I don't know why I didn't know how great it would be, but I'm so glad I read it. WOW! go read it.
Most likely I won't be popping my head in here again until after WarRusSlaWel Convocation 2008 (Dad really named it that), but will try to be more regular about filling you in on SlaughterHouse happenings after that. So, here's hoping that your summer didn't seem to disappear as quickly as mine.

19 July 2008

its a sunshine day

Last night was party night here at the SlaughterHouse, and according to the looks on my newly 4-year old's face, it was a good party. Carrie really wanted a butterfly cake, so thanks to this really great book, I was able (with Annie's help frosting) to make two that passed the test. We had a good group, with Erin (of course! along with her Mom) and the Alexanders, so it was a fun evening and made our princess happy.
This is her face when she saw Granny's present, a doll in the Barbie Mariposa line that she is currently digging, big time. She also got a Pucci pup (doesn't everyone carry around a cute dog in a purse like Paris?), and a "for-real" microphone, because have mercy, that girl L-U-V-S to sing, night and day, day and night. Now, she's bona fide. Add in a Barbie Wii game and some new "jewels" and her life is now complete. Little girls are something else, and while ours is thoroughly predictable, we just love it that way.

16 July 2008

slow miracles are the only kind that will last

I'll probably never win a "Mother-of-the-Year" award, getting a weepy spot on Oprah for the world to see and cry along with. Most likely there won't be any articles in the paper about my amazing feats as a Mom, and how best to emulate me. When people think of the "greats", it'll be Susannah Wesley who comes to mind, not the SlaughterHouse lady. And no one will be writing memoirs with me as the centerpiece, moving readers with tales of self-sacrifice and generosity. But sometimes the little stuff is ok too. Sometimes the miniature hands that squeeze your face and the legs that stretch on tip-toe just for a sweet kiss is enough. And it needs to be enough. Those little things are my miracles that take me from "I can NOT do this and when can I quit?" all the way to "what will I do when she's gone?". One day she won't need those tip-toes to reach me, and probably won't care to leave her slobbery kisses on my face. Dinnertime will come and go without a declaration that "I need a hug RIGHT NOW!". And requests for a bedtime song will be only memories. Thirty pounds fit quite neatly in my lap right now, curled up for family movie night, but ten years from now she'll need her own space. Will she still curl her hair around her fingers while she sleeps? How about when we are whispering...will she still demand that we "speak Engwish!" I can live without the hair-curling and the lack of her in my lap. I can live without slobbery kisses and frequent bursts of song. But I need to know that she's always mine. I guess I'll have to share her. And probably that's the way I'd want it if I'm honest. But right now I'm not feeling as honest as I am overwhelmed that her years will slip quickly through our home and into her own. But baby Carrie will always have a home here, the place she knew first.

Happy Birthday Sunshine!

09 July 2008

it turns me inside-out

Impossible!!!! My baby is 10. Say it ain't so ,y'all! I'm sure that I'm not old enough to have a kid that has lived for a decade, and I sure don't feel it. Where did the baby go? Well, our immersion into parenthood began with this little pistol, and she was probably a good one to begin on, not being particularly tender with us upstarts who assumed (you know what that does, right??) that we could raise a kid, no problem. She kept us on our toes from day 1, in the months where Uncle Dirk christened her "Fussy Spice" and Auntie lovingly referred to her as "Machine-Gun Molly" because of her odd, staccato cry. And then there were the years of song composing/performing (how many remember "Out of Batteries" or "Everything of Joy"??). Slowly we realized she was a bona fide tomboy, who eschewed dresses and all things pink, rejecting girly giggling and instead opting for bike-riding, tree-climbing, bug collections and animal research. And her Mom loves seeing a reflection of her own childhood in this awesome girl. We love you Molly, you are way cool!

(by the way, this pic was also to show Granny and others her new haircut, courtesy of Aunt Annie. Molly accidentally blew a gum bubble into her hair, and voila, new summer haircut!)

23 June 2008

my dreamy boy still makes me weak in the knees

We went out on our anniversary date one day late, but the timing didn't matter at all. Annie was very sweet to watch our short people so Dave and I could enjoy a dinner out at The Cheesecake Factory. As is customary at such establishments, we stuffed our faces with scrumptious food, and of course had to somehow manage to eat some cheesecake. Dinner alone is such a novelty, and way too infrequent, which makes us appreciate it all the more. Annie took some pictures of us as we headed out the door. The middle one, though unflattering, makes me laugh because it appears that I (in usual fashion) am being bossy and Dave isn't on board. But I just love any pictures of the two of us...standing by this guy is such a privilege that always amazes me.

21 June 2008

the beauty that can be when love is cultivated

Another year of happiness gone by, to now add up to a grand total of 11! As Beth would say, "Seriously?". Despite the rather pensive looks in the picture, we are madly in love, more so than on the day in 97 when we (nervously) said "I do". Of course now we know that we had plenty to be nervous about (in Dave's opinion this is namely the now-infamous Warren fertility), but quickly learned that there was more wonderful than either of us could have dreamed up ahead of time. So once again I thank my husband for this great life we have, this busy family we've made, and the anniversaries to come. The SlaughterHouse is another year blessed.

20 June 2008

I'm on a roll (I can't be bothered)

An update here for those interested (I'm not offended if that's not you): Ricki Lake, after being specifically referenced in the resolution that I linked to earlier, decided to (with her publisher) write a response to the personal attack. Click here if you'd like to read what she has say. After wide-spread disgust for the AMA and ACOG's ridiculously worded smear against Lake, the two organizations scrambled to "reword" their resolution, removing the reference to her (and subsequently blaming each other for the original inclusion...hehe). For those of you who are reading this, wondering what all the fuss is about and why some of us are up-in-arms, realize that even if you aren't (and never intend to be) a "homebirther", these two bodies would like to categorize home birth as tantamount to child abuse, and if they can do that, legislation to that effect could likely follow. If home birth is criminalized, what next?

17 June 2008

if you came to make some trouble, better make it good

Oh, don't get me started....too late, already did. Probably all of you who check in here are aware that I gave birth to my last 3 babies at home. Under no normal circumstances would I dream of darkening the door of a hospital while in labor, and even the thought of hospital birthing again is enough to make me need a drink ;-) Obviously I am a strong proponent of midwifery and frequently encourage low-risk mothers to consider what I believe to be the best and safest model of birth care -- STAY HOME! Some new media attention has recently been shed on the whole home birth issue, with the documentary spearheaded by Ricki Lake, called The Business of Being Born. I highly recommend it, and applaud her willingness to take on this topic in a society decidedly UNfriendly to the home birth culture. But boy did she ever scare the birth establishment! OBs and hospitals everywhere are scrambling to convince people that Lake (and the producer, and everyone in the film) are just fringe quacks and liars to boot. I love it when they get this defensive...means something is going right. So now they, in their elitist medical wisdom have passed a resolution designed for damage control in the wake of the film's success, as well as an attempt at greater future control in birth legislation. The medical establishment would never want it to get out to the masses that, shhhhhh....women can give birth on their own.

16 June 2008

...say I'm holding up for the worse

Uh...didn't I say something about injuries usually being Henry's bag? Ok, shouldn't have said that, and I'm greatly regretting. So the details are a bit unclear as to this latest SlaughterHouse incident. There was something about 2 brothers wrestling, lots of shoving, fighting as SuperVillains, and then an inevitable tumble that happened to be right into the side support of the bunk beds. To his credit, our Texas Tough #2 son didn't shed one tear or even whimper, just said "yeah, hurts a little bit". The first shot was about 20 minutes post-tumble (after icepack).

Sunday morning shiner! Not my favorite thing, going out in public w/ a kid looking like this. Thankfully everyone at church just laughed.

Day 2...looking worse before better is normal, right Aubrey??

13 June 2008

I see myself reflected in someone I used to know

In one day this week, Warren lost his first tooth (just before his 7th birthday) and also had Daddy remove his training wheels...riding like a pro already. This is entirely too much growing up in my humble Mom opinion, and I've kindly asked him to stop it. He is flying high, after finding a generous monetary contribution to his vacation spending $$ from the tooth fairy, and is showing off a bit, spinning around the neighborhood on only 2 wheels. All this, and I'm bracing for my oldest to enter double digits soon...noooooooooo!

11 June 2008

if they ask you how I'm holding up...

So far our summer has been fairly injury prone, as you can see. I'm not holding my breath that things are going to change much, though less blood-loss would be a plus. Princess here fell off a slide at our church picnic (funny: we hear someone calling "Slaughter injury!") and bled for quite some time, after which she insisted on going back to the playground and promptly fell off of the ladder, opening it all back up again. A couple of days later, we had lunch at my friend Jen's house, joined by another old friend Kim, and Liam decided to dive off of Jen's table and land on the corner of her wall. He's smart like that. Kids are so fun.

02 June 2008

summer lovin', had me a blast

Some summer pool fun w/ the Taylors. My kids are such fish, they would live in the water if I let them. Sometimes I wish I could ;-)

31 May 2008

all I want is to feel this way

As you can see, we decided to get some updated SlaughterHouse pictures and here are the results. I love outdoors family shots! A big shout-out to our friend Josh Taylor who was behind the lens -- thank you Josh (and to his folks, who donated their woods to be our beautiful backdrop)! A couple of our children are unsure about the meaning of the word "smile" and so I think I will stop saying that during pictures and just instruct them to not leave. That seems much simpler.

18 May 2008

girl, I'm gonna miss you

Beth took almost naked pictures of baby Judah

tried to turn Warren into Gene Simmons

took the kids on a picnic/hike with friends to our favorite park

conspired with Annie to pluck my eyebrows for the first time

and we're going to miss her so much!!! Thanks Beth for coming to visit, and we'll never forget that you (unlike another unnamed, yet younger sister) faithfully come keep us fussy VA sisters happy! We love you much!