Went to Market


Ezekiel is old enough now that when I go downstairs into the basement to put canning jars on shelves or to start a load of laundry, he knows that I haven't mysteriously disappeared but, instead, I've descended into a wonderful place from which we bar him.  He lingers by the door and tries to wrap his chubby fingers around the doorknob, to no avail, and babbles to himself, no doubt trying to solve the Conundrum of the Closed Door.   Sometimes on my way back up the deep-shadowed steps, I pause, his toes at eye level, and watch him move back and forth in the light.

Road Trip

My brother Pete and sister-in-law Sarah welcomed their fifth son into the world five months ago, and until recently, we hadn't met him.  FIVE MONTHS AGO!  Due to their grumpy, broken van, I haven't seen Sarah or Ezra for any recent family gatherings, but, howdy-doo!, they invited us to their new mansion, and we scrammed.

We took Debbie with us, because all children and adults like Debbie.  I took this picture when I was supposed to be packing the van.

To preface these snapshots of their mansion (snapshots which will annoy Pete, because he's trying to be cool about the whole thing), let me give a two-sentence background.  

1.  Pete and Sarah have lived in a little house in town for the last who-knows-how-many years, and with the expectation of Ezra's arrival, they began drafting plans for a bit-bigger home, even buying a plot of land on which to build it.

2.  At the last moment, God upset their plans with His largesse and gave them this beauty, closer to Pete's practice, larger by far, fancier by far, and less expensive by far.

How gorgeous is this house?!

I could not believe the open spaces, high ceilings, and nooks and crannies hidden all over the house.

The previous owners left much of the furniture there and sold it to them for pennies, and I think Pete and Sarah's decorating style, spare and serene, perfectly reveals the beauty of the house's bones. Pete made fun of me for all of my superlative gushing, but, Pete-- IT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE THAT MAN HAS EVER BUILT!  NO OTHER HOUSE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE WILL EVER SURPASS IT!

What?  You think the living room should include a window seat large enough to float an entire family?  


The ceilings should stop you in your tracks?


The owners should leave behind the cabinets the Mister had built to fit the space perfectly?


These are only some snippets.  Do you understand why I gushed?

Moving on:
Debbie admires Sarah's beautiful artwork. 
Chocolates on the pillow.  (Like a hotel!)

As if all this wasn't enough, one of their neighbors has chickens (to chase!) and a tree fort (with a pulley!).

Oh, yes.  We drove to see a baby instead of a house, huh.  I cooed over Ezra, stroked his skin, admired his sunshine self, and only took two pictures.  Dummy!

Sweet, sweet baby.  I'd take him over the mansion any day of the week.

But the mansion has a two-story barn!  And a secret backyard garden!

 (Ezra's still better.)

I include this picture because one can see the garden gnomes cautiously emerging. 

Just be glad they're wearing underwear for once.

Walking through their home, I felt such gratefulness for the Father's provision, which was far beyond anything they could have ever imagined or expected.  There were many parallels to the unsought path that opened before John and I when we bought the old homestead here, and it made me feel grateful and guilty and happy, all at once.

Bah, enough about the house.  As Pete says, "It's just a house."  
He's right.  On to the people!

Oh, the Beautiful People

-During Story Log time, Haven strikes us dumb with his beautifully crafted poem-- the one he wrote with furrowed brow at the kitchen table while asking, "How do you spell...?" His soul shines golden.
-Gussie's laughter bursts out of him unannounced without abandon or a hint of warning
-Simeon's bum. Oh, Simeon! I don't even know where to start with you.
-Henry, elf-like still, tears around like a madcap
-Sweetest Ezra. Soft skin.  Sunbeam baby.
-Sarah's cooking! She is the best cook. (Superlative!)  Sally from Ohia?  She IS superlative!

Humbug.  Who needs words?  Here are snapshots, instead.

Simeon remains obsessed with all things "so little and cute."  He and Debbie play with the little, cute man made from John's pipecleaner.

Old school parks are the best (IN THE ENTIRE WORLD).

 Four becomes

five becomes

eight becomes


The lake ten minutes from their house is gorgeous, and, best of all, isn't manned by cantankerous lifeguards who tell you to leave your snorkels at home.  (It isn't manned by any lifeguards.)  In fact, early in the morning, John saw a man in full diving gear rise dripping from the water, headlamp beaming.  Now that's a lake.

Zeke appreciated this fact, as he was able to swim to the opposite shore and back without anyone shouting at him.  Here he is resting in the sand after his long swim.




Pete and his doppelganger in miniature:



Aunt Sarah brought juice boxes!  JUICE BOXES!



Here's an Elfling (or Henry, if you're so inclined).



Debbie and I were trying to lure Simeon to each other by telling him that the other person's ears were cuter than "a tiny gingerbread man who lives inside a tulip" or "an iiiitty biiiiitty bunny you can hold on your finger," and so on.  He ran back and forth between us without tiring, and we were able to successfully distract him from telling us secrets, a.k.a. burping in our ears.   His ploy drips with earnestness:  "Oh, no.  I don't want to burp in your ear! I just want to tell you a little seeeecret!"


Sand angels in the making:


Cousins everywhere.  Yippee!


Gussie converses with Annika's head.

Gussie and Lu relax in the handcrafted bathtub.


John and I relax...on the living room couch.  (I'm so sleek and chic here-- not a bit frizzy. John is so handsome.)

We brought Haven's birthday presents from Grandma and Grandpa.  I don't know why everyone's so fixated on this one.  It's just a giant bag of candy, for Pete's sake.


An abrupt end. Lucinda, unaware of me, dances through to the rhythm of live music from the next door neighbor's party.


And because my one snapshotting regret is not stealing a picture of Sarah, sister-friend and hostess extraordinaire, here's one I post in her honor.  I caught Luci doing this, too, Sarah.  I can't be certain, but it looks like Sally from Ohia (not Hawaiah) has been hanging around.


And Then There's This Schoolhouse, See

...which, granted, is only a schoolhouse, but it's for sale, and I can peek over Pete and Sarah's hedge and see it next door, plus it has ceilings even taller than theirs, and its interior hides a blackboard stretching 40 feet across a wall, and it had a fire escape that featured a slide on which one could whoosh to safety in the event of a fire.

I love older houses-- their architecture, their mysterious, little crannies, their jaw-droppingly high ceilings.  I hope someone comes along, pours a few pennies and love into the place, and fills it to the brim with children.

Can you tell I was taken with it?  Right before we left, I ran over and snapped a few pictures, so you can be taken with it, too.