Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Truth about the Tooth

September 2009, all her teeth in tact :)

The morning she had the tooth removed, little clown! This was about an hour after the tooth was pulled!

Several people have noticed the cute little gap that now graces Miss Hannah's smile. When she first visited the dentist, we noticed some transparency on one of her front teeth. Further investigation would confirm that this particular tooth was damaged and she had severe decay just at the root. Honestly, we are surprised that she did not have more pain, the dentist thinks that perhaps it had been this way for a long time and the tooth was pretty much dead. However, we ran the risk of an absess. We all agreed, the tooth would need to come out. Our plans were quickened when the tooth broke as Hannah chomped happily on a pretzel. It was jagged, rough and the top surface had cracked off.

I did a double take and then another and was slightly panicked when I realized that this expedited things considerably. Just before Thanksgiving, Hannah had her tooth pulled. She was a champion...the dentist was a champion...me? Not.so.much! Hannah has taught me many things about life; she is a brave survivor and though this is the story of one little tooth, it represents a host of beautiful character traits in Hannah.

When it was all done. She came home removed the packing herself (oh yes she did!) and demanded a soft pretzel! When said pretzel was inhaled, Hannah gazed adoringly in the mirror and said, "There, now I am pretty like Emily." As much as I dreaded her having that tooth removed, I realize now, certain things are necessary to move us forward, give us strength, increase our trust.

For the record. Hannah has been back to the dentist twice since the extraction and has no fear at all of her beloved Dr. G!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Play on Words

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Ephesians 3:20

With the whoooshing of the winter winds, along came the return to school this week. I get a bit melancholy when the children return to the routine, but this time, it was relatively seamless, for which I am grateful. Emily has struggled a touch this year with some medical concerns. The interruption of normalcy is sometimes greeted with resistance on the part of our fiery redhead, when asked to go back to the "way it was". So, I was tentative and optimistic when Monday morning rolled around. Hopeful was my heart that nary a nerve would be there.

Things were moving along peacefully, just as they should. We were even early getting into the car and heading for school. Traditionally, I pray with the girls on the way to school, but my mind was cluttered and my spirit preoccupied. As the girls ran to the car, Hannah insisted with great determination that she wanted to play with Emily and that she would miss her. I agreed. Hannah again visited the idea of playing with Emily. I explained with great detail all the reasons why they could not play together this week. On and on, I indoctrinated them with multiple theories on why school is so important...poor kids. Hannah sighed heavily and shaking her head, muttered about Mommy just not understanding.

Hannah is many things, above all of them, she is tenacious. Her "get what she wants" attitude often needs to be calmed and reasoned with. The Lord had laid on my heart to pray with the girls, but Hannah kept up her diatribe of begging to play with Emily. As long as it was this important to her, I conceded, and finally said to Hannah, "FINE, go ahead play with Emily. You have a few minutes before she gets to school."

With that, Hannah bowed her little head, folded her hands and followed with "Dear Lord, please protect Emily today. Stay with her God and help Mommy and I not to be sad when we miss her. Amen."


All along she had been asking to PRAY with Emily. She was right, I simply did not "get it!" I never cease to stand in awe of what our children will teach us. Maybe we need to listen a little closer, hug a little deeper, walk a little slower to be sure we are "hearing" our little ones. Emily was genuinely touched by her sister's thoughtfulness...a thoughtfulness that is buried some days in the depths of a heart that has taken literally two years to soften. But, on this, first day back, Hannah carefully searched her own heart to bless her sister. A nice way to begin a new year, don't you think?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Visions of Christmas

Could it possibly be that another Christmas season has come and gone? I sit here staring at the twinkling lights that illuminate a dark and very windy evening on this second day of the new year. Though I know I should be dismantling those twinkling lights, I can't help but remember why we put them up in the first place. Yes, they look pretty and yes, it is tradition. Today, though, I was reminded that we choose to light our homes, our trees, our lives with the light of Jesus, the very reason we celebrate.

I will admit, I entered this Christmas season with a bit of a bah humbug attitude, dragging my heels and unsure of why it was I felt so glum. I may never pinpoint my scroogified self, however God has a way of placing things in order so that if we choose to, we may see the very things He wants us to see.

I've chosen some of our favorite memories of this Christmas season to post here. If you can stand this picture heavy post, I promise, I will tread lightly with pictures in upcoming posts :) I have no pictures of our very favorite Christmas tradition that began this year. We filled a Christmas jar...we prayed over the jar...we carefully executed the deposit of said jar on Christmas Eve on the front steps of a family that hopefully will be blessed by the contents. It will be a tradition we keep for as long as we are able. Nothing has filled our hearts more than this simple, gentle act of kindness, which had nothing to do at all with us, and everything to do with being obedient to God's call.

We began the season at a Yuletide Celebration touring the famous AI DuPont Home and dancing amongst the fairies in the Children's Garden, the girls were most impressed with the enchanted garden and cannot wait to go back in the spring...

We were blessed to attend a formal tea again this year. After the busy fall we had, it was such a welcomed respite. Emily and I enjoyed this special day but enjoy even more knowing how very important it is to my mother, Nanny! We shared our tea and hot chocolate (with marshmallows!!)with dear, dear friends. We are so grateful to unite this timeless tradition with the warmth of love and friendship. All three families had represented three generations of Godly women.

At the end, the girls did their own rendition of the Nutcracker!

Rather spur of the moment, we took the train into the city to see the Macy's light show and get a moment with the jolly guy in red ;) We strolled through Dicken's Village, which is just the right size for little ones. It was a wonderful experience that I have been just waiting to share with our girls. It is reminiscent of the many times I made this very trip myself, as a child. When I was little, my mother always took us to the Tea Room for lunch, since that no longer exists, we dined at the Hard Rock Cafe, not quite the same experience!

Both girls participated in their school Christmas programs. The programs were bathed in God's goodness. Emily, a shepherd, star in hand... and Hannah,a typical three year old, shocked us when she boldly and with great enthusiasm sang and sang. She knew every single song, every single movement and she was so overjoyed to have her first "sing songs in church".

The trees...maybe it is my German heritage or just my complete adoration of twinkling trees, but our home is always adorned with several Christmas trees. We have a Children's tree, which has only the girls' ornaments and decorations. This year, they chose a fake tree (GASP!) because the weather did not cooperate. They love their new evergreen and are thrilled that their tree can be retrieved from the attic in just a few moments. Emily and Hannah also have their own mini tree in their bedroom. Hannah's is a sparkly lavender little number adorned with silver ornaments, Emily's is her favorite pink hue and is decorated with an assortment or miniature baubles. Our more formal tree is real (sneezing and all!). We lock it in the living room, literally, closing the french doors, so that we can see it's beauty without the constant niggling of allergic reaction! This year, the weekends were not primed for tree chopping, we set out on a Monday after school. The farm had assured us the tractor was running and we'd get our "sleigh" ride out to the trees. Well, when we arrived it was desolate and no tractor was running. We set out on foot, when the man in the booth called to us and he sent another worker so that we would get our ride. The girls were thrilled! (So were we, to be honest.)

Children's Tree

Formal Tree

Emily's pink confection

Hannah's lavender lovely

Riding out to the trees!

Hannah and Rob watched as they bundled our tree...look carefully at the sky, it was so pink and beautiful.

My sister-in-love's family has always hosted a Christmas Eve fete. Years ago, when her aunts were no longer able to plan and host the party, the baton was passed to she and my brother. They gladly accepted and our family was brought into this lovely tradition. This has always been a favorite for Emily. She loves this party.

Simply one of my favorites photos of the season...out of focus, but filled with the wiggly delight of cousins

It was late by the time we left our Christmas Eve party, perfect conditions for stealthily leaving a gift of love like a Christmas Jar. :) We missed the church service we intended to attend. So, we had to search for another, just another blessing. Then, it was home to ready for Christmas morn. The girls were so tired, they forgot to leave treats for St. Nick. Emily, did not, however, forget to leave him a note, she always asks a host of questions and as she gets older, they get better! For her privacy, I did not take pictures of her note this year. She is to an age now, where she requests I not post her private thoughts. I am happy to honor her sweet heart. I will say, she asked some really thought provoking questions!

We got to spend time with wonderful friends in addition to spending time with family. I didn't capture everything because I left my camera behind at least twice during this season of festivities! I was able to catch some of these priceless memories.

Hannah saw her very first movie in a theater, The Princess and the F*rog...Emily put on a brave face and also viewed even thought her preference was the Squeakquel. Needless to say, Em and I have a date with some chipmunks in the coming weeks!

"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now, it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

Be blessed in this New Year, may it bring so many happy surprises!


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