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Archive for March, 2007

Sophiecdotes

I’m home this week and next and have been enjoying my time immensely with this little funny girl of mine. She’s getting more verbal every day, although we don’t always understand what she’s trying to get across…

Just the other day, she mumbled something that both Isaac and I didn’t understand, and then she started to crack up so hard. When we asked her why she was laughing, she said, “Sophia funny!”

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Well, if that was her first joke, then here’s her first “understandable joke”: she finds it extremely funny to call us by each other’s names. For example, when I ask her to comply with whatever it is I’m saying to her with a “Yes, Mama”, she’ll say, “Yes, Papa” and start to giggle. She does the same thing to Isaac by saying “Yes, Mama” to him.

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But, with her increasing verbal skills, she’s also able to express more sorrow and dismay. Like the other day after we went to tot-swim in town and then visited Isaac at the school for lunch, we turned onto the main road heading out of town, and Sophia said, “No home yet!” Poor thing – she just didn’t want the fun to end.

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ABC, easy as 123

This girl sure does like her letters. Just last night she and Isaac were showing me a game they made up, where he asks her which letter she would like, she tells him, and then he hands her the letter.

I got to play, too, but every time it was my turn I would say, “May I have the “Q” (for example) please Papa?”, and then he would hand it to me. Soon, Sophia was saying, “My have “M” peeze”. They learn so fast… It’s so encouraging that they pick up on good habits, too, and not just the bad ones. 🙂

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There is snow once again, and Sophia is happy to venture out in it. Just last night, while I was planning to do so anyway, she asked if we could “Go side”. It is a pleasure to know that she is enjoying being outside again, after all of the horrible, cold, windy days of February and early March.

It was starting to look a little odd outside, too. What, with the ice and snow disappearing down to the dirt and gravel of the roads that surround our house – but with the bitterly cold wind persisting – I felt as if something was just out of place. The snow has brought our temperatures up to the 20s and 30s, and has provided a new base on which we can pull Sophia’s sled through the neighborhood – while she scoops up the snow and piles in on her lap, forming a mountain of powder to delight in.

With the turn of the weather, I can’t help but think about Sophia’s first weeks home after her birth. On those days where she seemed inconsolable, I could always trust that a jaunt out in the fresh air would calm her down. Whether it was the crunch-crunch-crunching of the snow beneath my boots as we ventured about, her in the front carrier, or the cool air on our breath, it always seemed to do the trick. It’s hard to imagine that my once tiny babe is now big enough to climb out of her sled when our walk is over.

I started reading a book yesterday that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas called Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss. I came across some words that made me think of my little girl:

Where does all the love come from?
If I had had her always I do not see how I could be more fond of her.
And do people call it living who never had any children?

Above all else, I am excited for the time when I will get to spend each day at home with her. Being away, though, gives me a chance to think about her and everything that makes her unique… On more than one occasion, especially lately, I’ve wondered if, when I’m with her all the time, I’ll still have those chances to think about her as much as I do when I’m away. I’ve wondered if I’ll have reasons to write about her as much as I do now. I can only hope that I will.

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A Fairytale Love


Introducing Little White Riding Hood


…and her big bad Papa-wolf who loves her “to death”. 🙂

(Thanks Sheila for the pictures!)

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1989

No year stands out more to me than 1989.

In school, we learned about the fall of the Berlin Wall. 10 years later I would live with a family in Germany whose lives changed dramatically when that wall came down. Without the ending of that separation between Ost and West, I probably never would have come to know and love my German family.

My parents got divorced. We were living in Northern California at the time in a tiny town called Platina on a 20-acre plot of land my parents had bought way back when. My dad loaded the 4 or us kids up in our orangish-brown Ford crewcab, threw some bags of clothes in the back, and we made our way back up North to Alaska.

And on this date, in 1989, the first in the group of our nieces and nephews was born: Kenneth James Kramer. My sister Patty flew to California to visit us that year and show off her new baby boy. For weeks afterward, everytime we’d see a plane fly by overhead we’d wave and say, “Bye Patty, bye Kenneth”.

11 years later we would have to say “bye” to him for real. But we never would have had that chance if he hadn’t started his journey in the first place. So I want to recognize that gift God gave us on March 20, 1989: the day when his Mom held him and knew that nothing in this world will ever compare to giving life.

Happy Birthday Kenneth!

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Movie Recommendation

Heart of the Game
Just the other day, I commented on Sally’s Blog that if she hadn’t done so yet, she needed to Netflick this movie. Partly, because one of my family members stars in it (my brother-in-law Bill Resler), but mostly because it is a powerful documentary film about teamwork, sacrifice, and going against the grain when it matters most. You can read more about this movie here, which is also where I got the pics for my blog. (Plus, in the extra features, the narrator – Ludacris – compliments Bill and even takes time to hang out with him, which alone makes the movie worth watching!)

When Sophia was just about 7 weeks old, we went on our first family trip – to Seattle – to see U2 and to let Auntie Sherry and Uncle Bill watch Sophia for an evening. At some point during the trip, Bill took the opportunity to tell us about this upcoming documentary film he was in, so of course we were completely beyond ourselves with excitement when it was finally released on the 28th of last month.

We watched it one more time last night before having to return it. I think we may just have to buy a copy.

And I think you all might just have to check it out.

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Of Advice and Time

You know how older people (no matter how old you are, there is always someone older) are always telling you tidbits of advice they’ve gathered throughout the years? Like to “not worry about the little things” and to “take time to stop and smell the roses”, and other things to that effect? And you know full well that they are trying to spare you heart-ache, and trouble, and lost years? And you listen to them and nod and are completely well-meaning in wanting to heed their advice and learn from their mistakes, right? Fast forward, X-number of months/years later and it suddenly dawns on you that what you actually learned from your lost years and your lost chances is that you need not “worry about the little things” and that you should take time to “stop and smell the roses”. What I’m saying here, is that advice is great, but for me, it has only really made a difference in retrospect. In those moments where a light bulb turns on upstairs and I realize all of a sudden what my uncle was talking about nearly a decade ago when he told me that it is important to marry someone who believes in God the same way that you do, is something that I look at now and say, “Yes, Uncle Fred, I know.” Because I ended up marrying a man who thought NOTHING more important in life than that I know Jesus as my Lord.

Right around the time Isaac and I were married, I received so much advice from friends and family about how to have a good marriage: take time for yourself every once in a while, encourage him to do the same, respect him as the leader of your family, encourage each other in your endeavors. Then little bit, by little bit, over the course of 3+ years, more light bulbs have started to turn on, and this advice comes flooding back.

I sat in the front pew at church today, which I don’t think I’ve ever done. We usually sit toward the back (mostly so we have a quick exit for a Sophia emergency). But today, I sat up front to hear my husband preach a sermon. He is not a preacher, but was asked by our pastor to take the place this Sunday morning. It was hard for him to say yes, and I saw that, so I tried to justify him saying no, letting him know that it would be completely reasonable to do so. In the end, though, he agreed to do it. I sat there this morning and listened to his words, and I laughed and cried and nodded my head countless times as he spoke about physical light that was created by God, and the metaphorical light of the Savior, and then related stories of his own experiences in being a light to the world around him. All of a sudden, the biggest light of all was turned on. I thought if I could go back in time to give myself any marriage advice, I’d tell myself to “encourage my husband to let the Lord work in him”. I’d tell myself to “allow each other to take chances for the Lord”, and to “be a light to this world through Jesus our King”.

Not that it would have done any good, anyway, but I’m glad to see it now.

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