Friday, September 26, 2014

Highlights (September 2014)

Some fabulous highlights... speaking of fabulous...
I was able to spend a few days with a wonderful lady. I have found in my life there are some people with whom I am confident our time will be spent around an absolutely fulfilling fellowship. Dawn Spryn always encourages a conversation that is not only worth while but also encouraging and positive. So when I glanced at her calender and saw this little entry I was totally charmed by its perfectly "Dawn-ness". I hope she doesn't mind me sharing. And I hope she has an absolutely "fabulous" anniversary!

So after taking these photos...

I figured it might be time to give this little man a trim. I kept having to remind myself that it was actually okay to cut Ittai's hair. What with Rogers persistent objections to my wielding any form of sheers within a yard of his head, I was pleasantly surprised by my perfectly compliant little pal.

First hair cut at 5 months old. Looks like I'm gonna get enough practice. Maybe one day Roger will let me cut his hair too! 

This week I really dove into my latest book selection. I am constantly amazed by how C.S. Lewis can delve so deeply into a topic until it is perfectly flushed out in ones understanding. It may take you a repeated perusal of his writings to truly grasp all that he says but the effort is entirely worth it. Here's a quote talking about appropriately placed appreciation.
" Say your prayers in a garden early, ignoring steadfastly the dew, the birds, and the flowers, and you will come away overwhelmed by its freshness and joy; go there in order to be overwhelmed and, after a certain age, nine times out of ten nothing will happen to you." C.S. Lewis

Grocery shopping is always exciting with a toddler in toe. Grocery Shopping at Walmart is a positive adventure. A few weeks ago we were hiding from the man in the "Cracker Jack" costume. And to be honest if I were I not an adult of 27 I might have been under the blanket with Aria. No amount of free chips could make that terribly conceived costume even slightly approachable.

 Last time we discovered something that in one moment seemed deliciously glorious and disturbingly unnatural. Honeycrisp apples the size of Arias head! The picture doesn't do them justice but I'm pretty sure fruit like that only belongs in the Promise Land guarded by armored giants.

After a fantastic girls trip to Ikea I came home with 10 cushions in need of covers. That's right...10. 4 pillows down 6 to go!

And what better way to end my lovely week then a tea party with my little lady. I can't express how excited I am to know that I have the rest of my life to enjoy these precious moments with my beautiful girl. Right now she talks about her our favorite flavors of cookies and the squirrels she can see running on the telephone wires. One day she'll talk about boys, clothes, and dreams. And some day we'll sip tea while talking about her own children. Perhaps as they beg for cookies just like she does now.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Levi Wallace. Truly a "Borrowed Angel"

Writing has always been cathartic to me. And I have so say it has taken me quite a while to sort through the pain of losing someone who was the closest thing I've experienced to having a little brother. So many wonderful things have been said and I know that I lack the words possible of expounding upon Levis undeniably Christ-like character. So this I suppose is for the sake of my own comfort if nothing else.

I wrote a poem "Borrowed Angel" just a few months after Aria was born. I remember experiencing something that I wasn't prepared for. Something that no one warned me about. It was an inexplicable undeservedness. God had reached down and handed me a treasure from whom an awe inspiring light had just barely begun to show. Even at this tiny glimpse of splendor my heart was won and God gave me a love that I had never known before. As I held this tiny beautiful life in my hands I was abruptly over whelmed with the realization that my hands were utterly too small and feeble for such a treasure. So I found myself clutching my child to my chest in the natural, while simultaneously thrusting her into the hands of God with all my heart, mind, and soul.

This is the great conundrum of being a parent. Going against the very fiber of our natures that scream “Protect! Keep! Shield!” and every single day placing your child in the hands of God knowing that by doing so you are also giving your heart into His keeping. The day that Levi’s precious light had grown too bright for this world was the day that God caught him up in His hands and took him where all of God’s treasures deserve to be. However by taking Levi God also took a piece of the hearts of everyone who loved him. For those who loved him the most, the void is greater. For his Father and Mother, it may be unimaginable.  

There is a song we sang at Arias dedication called “Help you find your wings” and these are the lyrics.

Its only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I'll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I'll want to know
You're walking in the truth
And if I never told you
i want you to know
As I watch you grow

I pray that god would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more he memories

Its not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer as you fly

I truly believe this is how Bruce and Mendy raised Levi and the countless stories of his Christ like character are testament to that fact. Levi was walking in the truth and heavens plans unfolded for him exactly as they were meant to.

Although we are racked with tears of both joy and sorrow as we watch you fly Levi, all of our comfort is knowing that you fly into the strong, capable hands of God and someday we will be reunited with a piece of our hearts when we see you again.    

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Off to the races again! (Arias 2nd birthday party)

It wasn't hard to choose a theme for Arias birthday this year. After she fell in love with horses during our visit to grandmas I knew I had to incorporate these apparently fascinating animals. So by adding those to Arias momentary obsession with hats I came up with a Kentucky Derby birthday complete with Hot Browns and minus the gambling and mint juleps ;). Dear Grammy, Sorry these are almost a year late!!

I wish I had gotten a few more pictures of all of the lovely gifts she was given. Needless to say she got plenty of toy horses. She loved her presents so much that she melted down every time we told her she had to stop playing and open the next one.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Conscientious Objection verses Living by Faith

When I think of memorial day I can't help to remember my Grandpa Ed. One of the fondest memories I have of him was when I was assigned a "Interview" essay in my first college history class. I got to sit down a listen to so many amazing stories and through them I learned so much more about my Grandfather.

Every once of me had to restrain myself from serious editing lest my entire day be consumed. However I let my self off the hook so long as I included the disclaimer that I was only 16 when I wrote this and I think any grammar that I had was totally directed at the English class that I was also taking at the time. So please excuse this grammatically challenged portion of my old essay.

I sat at the foot of my grandfather's chair as though at the foot of a storyteller in the midst of spinning a tale. The lovable tactics and morning trips to McDonalds that I knew him for were forgotten and a new part of him was revealed as stories of his time in World War II were related to me down to the exact  detail. I forgot to take notes as I became wrapped up in the stories he told and I saw my grandfather in a slightly different light than ever before.

Ed Daulton, Husband to Bessie Daulton and father of twelve children, was one of the many draftees in World War II Though he agreed in the countries decision to go to war, as he believed “We had to stop Hitler before he took over the world”, he simply couldn’t fathom the idea of taking another mans life. “I wasn’t a killer.” He said so plainly to me. Having accepted Christianity at the age of 26, the same age he was drafted and sent to war, his faith was new and possibly weak but in the end you will learn that it was his Christianity and trust in God that got him through the war. When I asked him what he thought about Conscientious Objectors and the ideals her answered, having already stated that he had not formally been a Conscientious Objector. “I thought they were mislead, and weren’t taught right. And if its just killing somebody when you’re put in the army, you can avoid a lot of that. And I thought, if he’s a Christian, God will take care of him.” He also believed that many of those who went in for Conscientious Objector status did so out of fear to go and fight. In 1944 Ed was 26 and married with three children when his county called him to war. He trusted fully that God would keep him out of a position that would lead him to kill. His eldest daughter, who was only 5 at the time, remembers him leaving in his uniform while her mother and sibling went to live with their grand parents until their father’s return.

Ed hit a quick barrier in his health examination. Statistics show that “One-third of the men examined by the Selective Service were rejected. Surprising numbers were refused inductions because they were physically unfit for the military service.” Ed recalls “The doctors said I’d never go to war.” But every day he got stronger and healthier and later tells that the war was the best thing that happened to him as it got him back on his feet. “I’d run when fifty would fall out.”

Finally he shipping out with 7,000 other men on a ship called the Amsterdam (an English ship) headed for the shores of Scotland. In the midst of their journey while they were on the sea a storm rose up and they learned of a submarine that was lying in wait beneath the waves. He tells of the shocking escape from their plight. “ The Amsterdam did a 180 and took off and out run it. 7,000 souls aboard and torpedo would have put us all to the bottom.”

After landing in Scotland the got on a train and came down through England and unloaded in London where they got back on a boat. “I never seen nor heard no more till I got to France and there was bombing and everything else.”

Finally after he got into Germany he was placed according to his reference and as he was a welder and mechanics they placed him in the Light Maintenance and Ordinance as a Mechanic. All the while he never told another person his views on killing, that in itself proving his absolute faith and trust in his beliefs. “I had already decided that if they put a gun in my hand and expected me to kill another human, I would walk in front of enemy fire and let them take my life. You see, I completely believed that no one could take my life unless it was the will of God.”

During the War Ed served under General Patton and Colonel Malessy. He started behind the lines guarding Germans at a water tower and as he didn’t wish to kill he told of how he held his gun ready to “Pop them under the chin”. Soon the Lieutenant came back saying they had no papers on Ed and he had to go back up to the front, hitchhiking all the way. He recalled with a chuckle his image of “thumbing a ride” in his soldier attire.

“Its a wonder where you’re put in the war, there’s place you can be put, buddy its a dangerous place”. At one point Ed was suppose to go up “Where the bullets were flying”, What he called the “Very front” to check the equipment in the last move in Austria but his name never got on the list. A Sergeant Finnigan told him, “Daulton, You know why you never had to go right out on the tenth run? Cause I took your name off the list.” Finnigan viewed Ed as more valuable in the Mechanic corps but Ed believed that it was once again, the work of the God.

From Holland Ed moved on to Manila where he was called upon to do a very difficult task, this was building the showers for the soldiers. When ordered to this task he didn’t have any materials or a single tool for the job and his Lieutenant replied “Thats why I elected you. Chose any man you want and get the job down.” Ed looked out the window at a man who was under military arrest and as punishment was carrying huge bags of sand on his bare back. He pointed and said, “Give me that man right there. He’ll work harder to help me than any soldier in this camp.” The Lieutenant said, “ I can’t give you him, He’s under military arrest” But Ed persisted “ You said I could have any man I wanted. I want him.” Finally the Lieutenant gave in and Ed got his way. They collected tools here and there and made the showers out of empty gas tanks dropped from p38s, cans, pipes, and other odds and ends.

Surprisingly, Ed’s time in the military ended, while he was in the middle of his latest chore, building and ice plant. Back home his wife took action. In 1946 Bessie  Daulton got up one morning, dressed in her Sunday best, left the children with the grandparents, and started out on the ten mile walk into town to talk to the local judge. Her struggles had become too much to bear as she was trying to run a gas station and tobacco field to support four children, he father and invalid mother, and her aunt and uncle. It was her determined efforts that brought Ed home on a hardship discharge. Three weeks after she talked with the judge Ed made it home, actually leaving behind a letter from Bessie that hadn’t quite reached him in Manlia. He returned to America without having to take a single life while on the front lines during two years of war.

After hearing the testimony of Clarence Edward Daulton, the endless filling out of status papers, qualifications, compensation, and compromises of achieving a Conscientious Objector status seems pretty ironic. After all the main bases for Conscientious Objectors is the religious beliefs that forbid them from taking a life, and supposedly make war and the loss of life during a war a direct opposition to their beliefs. But in Eds Testimony it was religion, faith, and belief that took away his fear of taking another life or losing his own. His actions prove that he truly put his faith in his beliefs knowing that if it wasn’t God’s will for him to kill then he could make it through the war, on the front lines, without having to take another life. He accomplished this with silent faith, not faith that had to be announced and claimed to all so allowing the government to direct his actions. He entered the war trusting and believing in God. Was Ed Daulton a Conscientious Objector? I guess one would have to truly define what being a conscientious objector meant. Filling out a paper until the government deemed you qualified for conscientious objector status. Or promising to yourself and your God that you would conscientiously object to taking another life and trust in him to help you keep your promise, whether on the front lines of battle, or safe on the shores of your own country.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Mamma worth celebrating.

I am brought to tears today as I see all of the families celebrating their mothers. Spending the day telling them how much they are appreciated through words and deeds. I wish so much that I could spend this holiday with my Mamma. Some years seem to fly by and in the busyness of life these special days are barely acknowledged. But as I sit here and gaze upon my beautiful children I can't help but to be so thankful that my Mamma was able to be with me as they came into the world. I don't think it matters how old you are a mothers comfort in times of distress never ceases and having her there, adjusting my pressure cuff, fetching pillows, turning off the annoying medication alarms, and scowling at the nurse to make sure she started a good IV is something that I can not put a price on.

I hope that someday I can express to my children half of the love and selflessness that you have shown to me my entire life. Thank you. Thank you for letting be who I am and believe what I believe. For never squelching me and always supporting me. I hope your day is full of love and joy. Happy Mothers Day!  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One crazy week in photos

Wishing Mommy and Ittai good luck with hugs and kisses before we head to the hospital. 

Welcome to the world my Little Man

After we asked Aria if she wanted to hold her new baby brother she very simply and very seriously stated "yes" and walked across the room to sit on the couch next to Daddy. 

 Aria was curious about Mommies new bracelets. 

She also wanted to know what happened to Mommies tummy

Such a good big sister bringing Ittai his toys


Like father like daughter.  

Daddy brought home three pounds of strawberries from Costco. Aria votes that daddy does the shopping from now on. 
Grammy getting some last snuggles in before flying home

There's nothing like freshly washed baby hair. Especially when its styled in a dashing bouffant! 

 Aria singing lullabies to Ittai. She ever does the English accent on "Your Mother and mine"

Watching cartoons together.

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The many looks of Ittai