Where do they learn it?

That boy of mine, Brady, yet again amazed me. He and Halle both love taking the cushions off of the couch to play various games. (Are they alone in that?) This is constantly happening, and I have grown tired of putting the couch back together.

So, as is becoming the usual, I asked them to put it back together before we did anything else. Brady says, “Halle, I will do it, because I took it apart.”

I stopped in my tracks. Did he really just say that?

Before taking care of the couch, though, he then disappeared into one of the bedrooms. He emerged a bit later, calling me into Halle’s room in order to show me how everything has been picked up by him. Stunned, I looked towards his room, only to be told “Don’t look in there. I haven’t cleaned that yet.”

Moments later, he led me by the hand (with my eyes closed, of course) to a grand reveal of his room and how wonderfully it had been picked up.

No sooner did I overcome my disbelief that I found that he had somehow managed to put the couch back together, too.

So, I will no longer hesitate to ask him to clean up. Nor did I hesitate to give him a treat tonight for doing so much without being asked.


I live on a street and in a city that doesn’t exactly tend toward the younger demographic, so I can’t say that I was surprised to see an ambulance just across the street this evening. What did surprise me was the response I had and also what my kids ended up saying.

I was immediately contemplative. That’s my new favorite word because it’s not accurate to say I’m sad, but I’m certainly thinking — deeply. I’ve seen ambulances on the road since October (and pray for the person and their family every time I do), but this is the first I’ve seen one parked on my street. It really hit close to home (pun intended). In less than a year, three times I had seen those lights flashing in my driveway as I struggled to make sense of what was happening at the time. I couldn’t help but anguish to see them again, even though it wasn’t for us this time.

Was it the same men across the street who so feverishly tried to help my wife? Would they remember me or my wife or my house if they looked over and saw me standing in the doorway tonight? I certainly wouldn’t know any of those faces in a crowd. I can’t imagine what it must be for them to have those possible reminders of what they witness in their line of work. “This is the street/That’s the house where such-and-such happened.”

Brady was awake and aware of the first two visits we had, so he also knows the ambulance in the driveway, and he thought about Mommy tonight, too. I’m not sure what he or I said that inspired Halle, but she somehow got excited thinking “Mommy come home!” No, Dear, she’s not coming home. She went “Home,” but she’s never returning home to us. And once again, I was reminded that it’s harder for me on their behalf that their mom is dead than it is for them that their mom is dead. And it crushed me that Halle was thinking about her coming home, even if she doesn’t really understand what she’s saying.

Thank God for the ambulance and the paramedics who help so many people.

Little Helper

No, I don’t mean “Santa’s…”. I speak of my son once again. He still continues to amaze me. Last night, while I was up in the late hours trying to stuff my Christmas cards, he woke up with a coughing fit. I suspect his allergies are yet again to blame, but that’s besides the point. After some cuddles, he asked for juice and eventually an apple, which I peeled and cut up for him, leaving the peel, peeler and core in the sink. I was pretty tired by this point and laid down with him on the couch, falling asleep pretty quickly as long as his coughing wasn’t keeping me up. He asked for an orange at some point, but I must have fallen back asleep and not gotten it for him. I don’t know how long he was up, but it was at least a couple hours before we moved off the couch.

This morning, I made my way into the kitchen to notice the step-stool by the sink. Peering in, none of the peels were there and I found the peeler put away looking clean. In the living room, there was an orange with one or two missing pieces along with little chunks of its peel on the table. His pajama pants were on the floor. When he woke up, I asked him about it. He did, in fact, clean the peeler, wash the apple peels down the drain and peel himself an orange by hand. While cleaning, he apparently got water on his pajamas and needed to change them, so he did that as well. Now, he’s my firstborn, so I don’t know when kids learn these things, but this sounds to me like something that you pray that your six-year-old might do if you ask him, let alone of his own volition. Brady, on the other hand, is always trying to help. Most of his sister’s anger towards him is because he is taking something from her that she is not supposed to have or that could hurt her. He’s usually trying to protect her and help me.

I know this is entirely how God made Brady. And I don’t think the timeline for him doing these things is simply because Stephanie is gone. I am thankful to God for that timeline and that Brady is such a sweetheart to know that it would be helpful to me. I thank God for who He made Brady to be. And I am just so proud of that little boy and thankful to God for all His wonderful blessings. I’m sorry if this comes across as bragging, but so be it. I just had to brag on my kid.

Peaceful Home

Stephanie’s dream for our home was that it would be a place of peace and rest for people. She wanted all who entered to leave feeling restored and at rest in their spirits. And she wanted that for all of us. Her kids would grow up in a warm, safe, and peaceful home where they could take refuge from the world. And I would be able to come home from work and shed the burdens of the day and be ready for the next day. This was one of her many missions as a housewife. She made such a godly pursuit out of creating a home for us to live in. It was so much her life dream and she did everything to attain that.

Some of the women in our families have done similar, and I know she learned so much from them. In addition to them, I have learned so much from Stephanie. Because I’m not Stephanie, though, I pray so hard that I can maintain that air of peacefulness and rest in my home. It’s easy to be afraid that I might not live up to what she has created for us. She had that sensitive spirit that could really feel the Holy Spirit, and I don’t have that the way she did. It was her spiritual gift to be able to discern spirits, and I miss that. I depended on her for that so much. But I just hope that I can use what I do have to keep our household just as she kept it.

I do pray that people would be able to come to my home and feel that rest and peace. It’s something I always wanted along with Stephanie, and it’s certainly something I will still strive for constantly.