Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Doing What We Can

It is hard for me to admit that we are tired. Somehow, I feel that if I do that, I am complaining, and therefore not truly appreciating the tremendous three gifts God has given Steph and I. What I am realizing is that my tiredness does not in any way diminish the blessing that they are. Many difficult growth experiences in the Christian life are deeply tiring, yet we do not see the blessings of them to be diminished...

This week I had a long but good week. Saturday and Sunday were day shifts coupled with a social gathering for me on Saturday, and church on Sunday night. By the time I reached Monday (my weekend is Tuesday/Wednesday right now), I was tired. However, Steph was in pain! After Wes was born, one of her teeth broke, and she had gone a couple of weeks after Wes was born to the dentist to prep for a crown. After the drilling, the pain worsened, to the point that by yesterday, Steph could barely function. After going to the dentist, she learned that her tooth was infected and she would need a root canal. Antibiotics and pain medication were prescribed.

Tomorrow morning, I have a meeting at TJ's, and then I work a 1-11 shift. Steph told me earlier today that she felt that she had been robbed of a weekend with me. I feel the same way, though I had a great time taking the kids to McDonalds for breakfast this morning. (On a separate note, how can McDonalds now claim to push for children's fitness and then put Nintendo Game Cubes in their play area?) Also, I took Corrie and Jack to the playground today.

My hope is that by next weekend, all four of them will be back to normal. so we can enjoy each others company. Right now, Steph and I have been enjoying Season 3 of "House" on DVD, but that is about all we have had time for.

Sometimes I wish we could date more often, but then I realize that, though it would be nice, it only is a couple of hours. The together time we have is loving and molding our children. Wesley is a delight, because he is in the stage where all he really wants is to be held. Parenting is a marathon, and we are learning very well how important it is to pace ourselves :). Right now, we are on mile 2 of 26, and are grateful for the training we received before we started running.

Friday, September 21, 2007



Billions of women have preceded her. There is nothing unique about what she is doing. But none of those other women have been my wife, and let's face it, things hit home when they are close to you, especially this close.

She is adjusting to having three kids. When one of them is having potty training reversions, one of them needs to eat almost constantly, and one of them is getting increasingly stubborn, there has to be some culture shock. What I appreciate is that while she can be honest about things when it is not easy (yesterday we had tornado warnings, and she had to camp out in the basement for awhile, so everything was exacerbated), she is so joyful about the kids in spite of that. She knows the tremendous gift they are, and whatever happens, I never see that realization leave her. This makes parenting, with all its challenges, such a joy and adventure.

And with all that, she is also, as they say, easy on the eyes :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


A Couple Things My Sister Will Appreciate

This first week back to work was a good one. But as always, coming to the end of it has great rewards. Yesterday, we had a fun day together, as we took the kids to Wild Rumpus, a bookstore that I discovered with my sister. It is in an idyllic part of Minnepolis that I am sure we will be visiting a lot, as it has draws for both us and our kids.

Here are some photos from our excursion:

Jack spying on the chicken-the book store practically is a live zoo.

Corrie holding up her books.

The "kids' door".

On a different note, I have been hearing the TV show "ER" literally in my sleep. The other day, I scored a 10.99 copy of the series' first season at a used DVD store. Since Steph is up late nursing, I have been on the look out for videos to help her pass the time. The show first came on while I was in college, and my sister was a huge fan. As I don't involve myself with TV programs for the most part, I never watched it (or any other show for that matter.) Anyhow, I am impresed by the show. It is quite good: fine acting, good writing, and everything that it had been cracked up to be. I have heard that the show now is only a shadow of its former self, and isn't that always the way? Anyhow, it's fun to have it be so fresh, and to see Chicago portrayed as it is. I wouldn't appreciate so many little details of the show without having lived there. It certainly is dated (mid 90's), but the power of the best art is its ability to both be of its time and yet timeless. The other thing that's odd about the show is how much it reminds me of my job. True, the stakes are infinitely higher in an ER than at Trader Joe's (though I have had a couple situations of serious injuries in stores where I have to think differently), but the pace is familiar to me. Steph is watching a lot more than I, but I have managed to watch a few episodes.

All in all. I am very happy as I settle into life with three kids. Time for a bike ride.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Get Ready for a Syrupy Post

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Today is my last day off. Tomorrow, my primary role will once again shift back to income winner. I comfort my self by remembering that I still will have so much time with my family...weekends, vacations, etc.

When I returned to work after Corrie and Jack were born, it was hard, but this time its different. As I left my wife and infant son napping on the couch moments ago, I know that this time of our life is almost certainly over. I will have no more 3 week olds of which to speak. I will never again have the privilege of sleeping with such a tiny creature stuck to my chest, and having it be my child. I won't see the look in my daughter's eyes again that she had when we showed Wesley to her for the first time. I won't again hear my two year old boy stumble over trying to pronounce his little brother's name.

Of course I know that anything can happen. But the point is that Steph and I think this time of our life should come to a close. We have had such a great time welcoming these three lives into our family, and now, for the first time, we think we have a picture of what our family will finally look like.

But these initial weeks are always indescribable because they are so many things: momentous, quiet, tiring, confusing, emotional, fleeting. And because there is nothing else like them, it is addictive and you want it again. With Corrie and Jack, I assumed I would have it again. This time, I assume the opposite.

He already seems so big. He already isn't sleeping as much. He already is becoming his own little person. He has been baptized, he has lost his cord, he is eating well. Soon, he will smile. He will roll over. He will crawl. He will walk. Eventually, all three of these people will become men and women, and I hope that they are to able to follow Christ with all of their hearts. But there was a time when it was all quite simple. When all they wanted was milk, a clean diaper, and a person to snuggle.

I look forward to many adventures with my wife after my children are grown. Europe. Australia. New York. All the things that we cannot do because we have little children. But my hope is that when we lift that first glass of Bordeaux in Paris, that we can look at each other and realize that the greatest adventure we ever knew together was those three little ones. For however far and wide we may roam, the simple and awesome experience of holding our newborns can never eclipse any of it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Just Another September 11th

After our son Wesley was born, I mentioned how something mundane can seem so dramatic due to our persepective. I say this because the birth of another baby is hardly rare, but when it touches your own life it is no longer mundane. Today, Olivia Bryn Bascom was born in Anaheim, CA. She is our kids' 2nd cousin, and the child of my lifelong friend Jeremy Bascom. For many, the day of her birth will always remind them of something else. To Jeremy and Lori and those of us who love them and their little girl, it will involve remembering the day their little one made her first appearance on the world's stage.

Here in Minneapolis, we were able to enjoy four of the treasures of the Twin Cities:

First was the weather. An ideal early fall day was enjoyed today. The weather was in the low 60's, it was partly cloudy, and the sky was a brilliant blue.

Second were the rolls at Isles Bun and Coffee Company. These are the best cinnamon rolls in the world. Sorry, this is the best photo I could find.

Third was the beautiful Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. This lake does indeed have an island, and since so many lovely homes are situated by it, it is a scenic walk.

Finally, tonight we will enjoy the Dariette Drive-In in St. Paul. It is a local legand, serving up great burgers and classic red sauce spaghetti.

All of this was done with the company of my parents, who are in town to meet their new grandson.

A great day today...while I and so many remember the events of 2001, it is a comfort to be greeted with the beginning of new life, as well as the simple pleasures of our lives.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Wesley's Baptism

Wesley was baptized yesterday, and it was a special day. Since my
parents and sister were here, it was a small family gathering of sorts.

The more time goes by, the happier I am that we have chosen to baptize our
children. I think it takes some emphasis away from individual
experience and focuses all of us more on the fact that being a
Christian is being part of a covenant community. As my pastor put it,
our hope is that our children "will never know a day when they don't
know Jesus Christ as their Savior."

One of the reasons I value this notion is that I never had a "conversion experience." Because I
lacked this, and because the sphere of evangelicalism in which I grew
up so emphasized conversion, I was deeply troubled by a lack of
security. I hope that my children can look to their inclusion in the
covenant community from an early age as a comfort, and that what truly
matters is that they trust in Christ by his grace, not that they had an
experience of conversion. The anecdotes of the childhood conversion can
be comedic, as the child looks back to their years of debauchery
wherein they lusted after rattles and envied other kids' Elmos . The
thing I love about infant baptism is that it acknowledges that a child
can grow up in the faith. They don't need to be converted. If they
simply believe in Christ from a young age, they are indeed saved from
sin, as they are sinful at birth. But they needn't live a life of "sin"
in order to be saved from sin. Since they are born in sin, their belief
at all times in Christ as the savior from that sin is all that matters.
Just as a Jewish boy was Jewish at birth and made a part of a covenant
community through circumcision, so Wesley, Corrie and Jack can be a
part of the community. Unfortunately, that also means that just as a
Jewish boy could disobey Torah and leave the covenant community, our
children can also choose to walk outside the faith.

As we raise our children, our prayer is that they may always lean upon Christ as
their savior, and that they can say that they learned the faith from
their parents and from their church. I am deeply grateful for the fact
that Christ, by his grace, saved me before I led a life apart from Him.
I was always His, even though I struggled with sin like any other human
being. May it be said of our children as well. Thanks be to God for his
indescribable gift.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Something I Hadn't Thought Of

When we named Jack, there was a small part of me (in the back of my mind) that was naming him after Jackie Robinson. Though he is primarily named for CS Lewis, I also remembered Jackie Robinson and the great sacrifices he made for the game of baseball and for human dignity.

A few days ago, it occured to be that Branch Rickey's full name was Wesley Branch Rickey. For those of you who don't know, Branch Rickey was the General Manager for the Dodgers who decided to end the discrimination in baseball and hire Jackie Robinson. He was named after John and Charles Wesley, the very same family who our little Wesley is named after.

I think it is neat that these two boys end up not only reflecting two of our spiritual heroes, but also two baseball heroes. These two men are not only heroes for what they brought to baseball, but for the positive changes they made for baseball and America.

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