Only 60 Shopping Days Left!

1761 1761_ () 1761 1761 It is a perfect Fall morning as the boys and I walk into Lowe’s. There is an entire month until Thanksgiving, and we are here to look for a few Fall decorations.

Instead we are greeted to a barrage of Christmas decor.

Oversized inflatables hover just below the rafters, shiny red wreaths line the aisles. Stuffed animals serenade us with high-pitched carols, and even a flying pink pig offers to usher in the season in our front yard (for only $88!).

Me, overwhelmed: Wow! Ohmygosh! All the Christmas stuff is already here.

Elliott, inhaling deeply: Finally. 1761″


Now With More Humility!

1760 1760_ () 1760 1760 Weekly column

My dad’s first job out of college was as a biology teacher at Pacelli High School in Columbus. One day, in the midst of an overly-ambitious science experiment, my dad’s students looked on as their young teacher created an explosion so violent that it took out power not only to the school but several city blocks as well.

That story came to mind one recent Saturday as Paul and I were getting the boys loaded up to head out for the afternoon. Our sons were outside playing, Paul was brushing his teeth and I had just walked into the bathroom to tell him something.

Just as I began to speak, a shockingly loud BOOM! pierced the air. The room went dark and we heard the screams of two young boys. Paul and I flew to the backdoor.

Arrrggghhh,” was all one boy could get out.

“What! What happened,” we yelled and immediately ran outside to search for the source of the explosion. In my moment of shock I also calmly counted heads and made sure no one was lying on the ground with a severed hand.

I began counting: five boys, ten hands, fifty fingers, no smoldering scalps. Thank you, Lord.

“Whatever it was,” I told Paul, “it blew out a breaker.” I went back inside to assess the damage. A quick tour revealed power was out in the entire house, not just the bathroom. I came back outside to see one boy pointing to a spot on the roof as Paul squinted in that direction.

“And I was throwing the football at that,” the boy explained, “and then it made a noise over there.” The football, it seems, hit an exposed wire that blew up the transformer, where liquid was now dripping to the ground.

At this point, I noticed a few of our neighbors were also outside, coming to see the source of the terrifying noise. They also wanted to know why they no longer had power. It was then I realized that my sons had taken out power to our entire house as well as several neighboring homes.

I called a friend up the street who works for the power department, to see what we should do.

“So that’s what that loud noise was,” he said, telling me who to call and what to expect. He also drove down a few minutes later and explained what would need replacing.

Because we were meeting up with family that afternoon, we proceeded with our plans, and apologized (again) to all our neighbors as we pulled out the driveway. Surely, I thought, it will only be an hour or so and things will be back to normal.

Four hours later, as the sun was setting and we were on our way home, I got a text from our neighbor across the street. He had been in the shower earlier that afternoon when the terrifying boom left him in the dark.

“Do you have an extra lantern,” he asked. Of course I laughed because no way was the power still out. “Ha!,” was my reply. He was serious.

We came home to find our section of the block still in the dark, one neighbor gone while the others were down the street with those lucky enough not to live next to us. The worst part, when I really got nervous (and embarrassed), was when I noticed the elderly couple across the street who had their front door open, desperately soaking whatever ray of light the yard might offer. I took a big swallow and went over to apologize.

Our neighbors do love us, of this I’m sure. They loved us a lot more once the power was restored a few hours later.

It ended up being a nice bonding experience – all us neighbors sat outside together and watched the power company replace the necessary parts. I thanked the Lord for protecting my boys in the midst of this adventure and for the kindness of folks who won’t hold these antics against us. 1760″>


When Boys Play Dress Up

1759 1759_ () 1759 1759 The big boys were hard at work on a project the other day, and when they finished they excitedly dragged Henry into the office to show me.

They were laughing hysterically, so pleased with their efforts. The best part was how Henry sauntered around, like he knew how awesome he looked. He actually reminded me a great deal of E.T. when Drew Barrymore has him all decked out.
Henry stayed in his get-up for a while after this, just wandering around the house like a little weeble wobble, casually drifting through the front room and the kitchen, showing his brothers just how fine he was looking.

1759″> ?


Child Labor

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Over at Faith and Family, I share a theory about why I found Henry pre-treating some laundry today. (p.s. Can you spot three of my favorite things in this picture, those two human beings excluded?)
UPDATED: The three things I had in mind: bleach, Mrs. Meyers, and little boys’ leather sandals! (The sink and washer are pretty awesome too, I agree.)