As we celebrated Christmas, we started a new tradition of choosing a gift to give to Jesus and let Timothy pick out the first present. True to his own interests, he chose a gift of fruit tree seedlings. When the children show more understanding, we hope that the Lord will move beyond our own feeble efforts to convey the weight and wonder of Jesus incarnate to our children. I’m humbled at how wondrous and incredible the story of Jesus coming to rescue us is as we reviewed the story and Scripture with new eyes. When I became exasperated and wondered what else can go awry the world with so many awful new stories still streaming in during the last weeks of 2014, I was reminded of exactly why Jesus had to come to earth in the first place; to live perfectly and die in our place because we could not and cannot save ourselves. Behind the façade of happy pictures, the same brokenness and sin lives our home, too. This Christmas celebration helped me to experience more freedom in not trying to have it all together, and in letting Christ’s perfect work be the one to shine in my sin and shortcomings.
Grace did really well on a weekend road trip down to Portland, and continues to be a flexible and easygoing baby. She stands often and even climbs stairs with supervision. Grace wiggled to Christmas music – bobbing up and down, and shaking her arms and head excitedly to music; moves she likely picked up from her brother. One of my favorite moments this past month was catching both kids wave their arms at the same time to “Little Drummer Boy” while riding in the car one day. Grace is quite chatty nowadays and trying to form lots of words, oftentimes already “repeating” what we say. She even says “bye-bye” sometimes! She also raises her little hands to wave and reach towards people, showing us how interested and social she is lately. Her latest favorite food is nori (seaweed) snacks and she enthusiastically feeds it to herself. Her appetite for solids continues to increase and her curiosity for our table foods has as well. Grace loves her bedtime book so much that sometimes we wonder if it might make her too excited before sleeping. She’s been humming when I sing to her at night, and it’s super sweet to hear her little voice keep up with mine. Because she’s ours, we find her gentle disposition and happiness overwhelming on top of her cuteness sometimes. We continue to be deeply grateful for the gift she’s been to our family.
Timothy got to meet some friendly chickens on our trip to Portland and continues to fill our house with songs daily. He asked to listen to “O Come All Ye Faithful” repeatedly, along with “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Joy to the World”, and “Go, Tell it on a Mountain“. It was great hearing him sing carols this year and be eager about our Advent reading activities each day. Timothy had many tastes of treats from a cookie exchange and various festivities this month, and especially enjoyed the frosting off the birthday cake we had to celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning. He was quite the gift-opener as he tore through his own presents, and insisted on helping the rest of us with our gifts.
One afternoon, I overheard Timothy reading to himself the last pages of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in Chinglish, saying “Big A, little A, Big B, Little B” in Chinese. It still surprises me how many quirky things he picks up from me. We also made very incremental progress in some Spanish vocabulary this month with a new book so hopefully the novelty won’t wear off too quickly. The Rs he can’t roll right now are pretty hilarious, though. 😉
We hope your 2015 is off to a good start – Happy New Year!