Sunday, March 31, 2013


From the Prayers of the People this morning:

"For all who have need of the gift of Easter; for all who journey from illness to health, from despair to hope, from grief to consolation, from loneliness to love; for all our brothers and sisters, that death may have no more power over us, for Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed."

God of life, we thank you for the mystery planted in us, the paradox of life from death and community from scattered disciples.  We praise you for the dying which saves us from death and for the rising which brings us life.  We pray, as we live, through Jesus the risen one, in the power of the Holy spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

maundy thursday

From the Prayers of the People:

"Pour forth on all humankind your blessings of 
life, harmony, and true freedom
through Christ our Lord."

our very plain seasonal table as it looks tonight

the washing of the feet, from this set of holy week ornaments

holy week, from the calendar "salt of the earth" given to us by aaron's mom

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

our family

our family, by isla, march 2013
i love this picture isla drew recently of our family.  she has been really into drawing people lately, and it's fun to see what details she chooses to highlight in each picture.  in this one i like how she and i have long hair, and the boys all have short, spiky hair.  i asked her why only a few of us have circle hands and she said she just forgot to add them for daddy and noah.  and why is ezra frowning?  because he's ready for a nap.

Monday, March 18, 2013

a festive st. patrick's day (week)

we appreciate any reason for celebration around here.  and while we try to focus on the christian roots of saints days, it's also fun to embrace some of the random modernizations in celebrations of saints days that have evolved along with the sacred.  so we talk about how st. patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the concept of the trinity, but we also stick lots of sparkly foam shamrocks to anything we can, just because it's fun.

isla and klara showing off their green bling

isla stamped this tshirt with various shades of green fabric paint on shamrock stamps and wore it all week


on saturday night we went to boundary bay to see the irish dancers.  (you can see a bit on the video above.)  we've gone for a few years in a row now, and it's always worth the crazy crowds.  isla loved it!  she watched in amazement as the girls kicked and stomped and their curly wigs bounced.  she says next year she wants to learn irish dance instead of ballet.  we'll see!

my red-headed wee bit of irish boy

we had a great corned beef and cabbage supper with the schwarzes.  the hempler's corned beef was amazing!  and carrie made a great bread pudding with an irish whisky cream sauce.
noah's schoolwork

i stayed home from church on sunday with ezra while he napped, so i missed the st. patrick hymn, "i bind unto myself today."  it's such a strange but captivating hymn!  i leave you with it here in its strange and lovely entirety, just to round out this week of festivities:

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.
Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

isla's easter "egg-stravaganza"

on friday night isla performed a few songs with her preschool at their "easter egg-stravaganza" concert. it was very cute.  her favorite song, that we've been hearing at home for weeks, can be heard on the video above.

i'm not usually a fan of easter celebrations before easter.  this is still lent, people!  but when it's your daughter's preschool "egg-stravaganza," what can you do?

this is what: you can dress her up all pretty in her new easter dress and french braid her hair.

and when she sings "this little light of mine," with her little light waving so bravely it's nearly poking her neighbor in the eye, you bravely hold back your own tears and fill with pride to be her mother.

Monday, March 11, 2013

under noah's pillow

sadly, the tooth fairy did not have access to a "sacagawea" one dollar coin, mostly because the tooth- note-writing happened over the weekend while the bank was closed.  i know, i know, you'd think the tooth fairy would be a little more savvy with the problem solving.  she cleverly left a "toonie" instead, but the note writer did not feel that it was the same thing and demanded the toonie be exchanged for two US dollars.  what happened to the innocence and joy of finding a simple, shiny quarter under your pillow??

(also, does anyone have a good source for sacagawea dollars?  just so i could let the tooth fairy know?)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

isla lou, four and a half, and isla-isms

isla louise is four and a half!  today, or yesterday, or tomorrow... it's hard to tell exactly since february only has 28 days.  but now-ish.  we do like to celebrate half-birthdays around here, so we will have cake with her birthday buddy autumn on monday, and isla will get a little half-birthday gift that day too.
in honor of this lively little girl, here are a few photos from lately and some of my favorites of the things that have come out of her mouth in the past little while (that i have been quick enough to write down.)

working at the flower shop in school

skuuting on the whatcom creek trail

throwing rocks into the creek 
trying out snowshoes in whistler

here are some isla-isms from the past little while.  prepare to laugh!
  • isla, in church before we go up for the eucharist: "are we going to get the christ stuff now?"
  • isla: "did you give the library workers a email that i really wanted the cinderella movie?"
    me: "yup."
    isla: "what is email?"
  • isla: "don't touch me!  i want you to hold me..."
  • isla: "every day i think, who built all these houses?  i think about it all day long.  who made all these houses?  workers?"  (walking around the neighborhood)
  • isla: "i wish aven's doggies were died."
    me: "why do you say that, honey?  she loves her doggies." 
        isla: "WHY would a kid like dogs??"
  • isla: "i don't ever want to leave mexico.  i want to live here forever!"
  • isla: "mama, did you have the same voice when you were a little girl?"
  • after reading "how the grinch stole christmas":
    "mama, our hearts are just the right size, right?"
  • isla: "i don't like those kind of cursive jumpy castles."  (re: jump around fun zone.)
  • isla: "mama, i know how they make marbles."
    me: "how?"
    "in a factory.  the first person puts the pieces of paper on the [conveyor belt], then they go to the next person, then they cut them in strips, then they sell them in a shop!"
  • after eating a sample pulled pork sandwich at the grocery store: "i love meat."  (sigh.)
  • isla: "mama, our lives are different, right? because you like stuff that I don't like, and I like stuff that you don't like... but some things we like both, because we both like broccoli."
  • "mama, you're doin' screen time!"
  • "mama, there was a tomato nut stuck in my tooth, and it just blasted out into my belly!"
  • working in the living room on a puzzle and singing: "oh god, we lord.  oh god, we lord.  oh god, we lord."
  • "mama, this puzzle says '4 plus.'  that's good, because i'm 4 and noah's plus!"
  • telling me that she counted in her head to place the numerals next to the pumpkins: "i just did it with my voice.  in my heart."  (putting hands to her heart.)
  • isla: "somebody wrote in my new notebook.  somebody scribbled in there!  and i said to myself, 'whoever wrote in my new notebook, if it was a grown-up, they should go in jail!'"
  • isla: "mama, at nighttime my preschool is called 'catch the moon.'  [it is called "catch the son."]
    me: "that's a funny idea, honey."
    isla: "me and noah solved that mystery!  me and noah realized that."
  • Isla:  "mama, we don't need any more kids in our family, do we?"  me: (laughing) "no, i don't think so."
    isla: "anyway, if we had more we would have to give one away.  and you don't want to give me away, because you love me, right?"
  • isla: "i'm hungry for meat!"  (after seeing a friend eat some steak her dad had made on the grill.)
  • isla: "did god die?  because he's in heaven?"
  • isla: "i think we should get noah to stop talkin' because he always interrupts me!"
  • isla to rosa, at her little kitchen: "would you like some caffeine?"
    rosa: "no thanks."
    isla: "but i would."
  • isla:  "i like our house.  we never should give this away."  (after vacuuming)
  • isla: "mama, did god make people?"
    me: "yup."
    isla: "but does god have any hands?"
    me: "um, i'm not sure."
    isla: "i think he does, to make people, to make babies."
  • isla: "mama, when i grow up i want to be a mama.  and a dancing teacher.  a dancing teacher mama."
  • isla: "mama, i love packin' up things in boxes!"
  • on too-big pants from a friend: "i guess we have to put these in the blue bin, until they grow into me."
  • singing in the car on the way home from camping: "kate is kind of my friend, kate is kind of my cousin"... then, "people can't live without trees, we need the trees..."
  • when isla is done eating, instead of asking if she can be excused from the table, she says, "can i be full?"
  • isla:  "you can spell my name, 'e-r-a-q' or if you don't want to do that one, you can spell it 'i-s-l-a.'  i have two pairs of letters."
  • on riding a pedal bike for the first time: "my bike is wanting me to go wibbly-wobbly!"
  • on seeing a rainbow in the sky.  "i've never seen a rainbow in the REAL REAL sky before!  only in books!  it's prettier than i could even think!"
  • "is this the meantime?"

preschool picture, age 4