Sunday, 25 March 2012


Today is Eden's first birthday.  We are so thankful for her and love having her in our family. 

It's seems she's gone from this . . .

to this . . .

. . . in the blink of an eye.  Happy Birthday beloved Eden! 
You have more than lived up to your name in this first year.

More pictures later of the birthday party!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Two Stories

Yesterday after church our pastor's wife was helping me get the kids out to the car.  As we walked through the parking lot, she asked Z what he wanted to be when he grew up.  He thought about it for a minute and then said, "When I grow up, the job I want to have is to be someone who has money to give to people who need money."  Barb and I were both touched by this answer, and I asked, "Why do want to do that job?"  Z answered, "Because when you give people money you help them get what they need."

Today as Eden and I walked home from Walgreens, we passed one of our elderly neighbors out raking his leaves.  I decided to stop and help, because we had never met.  As we were raking up the last of the leaves he asked me about my family, so I told him my husband's name is Nathan, we have a son named Lazarus, and this is our daughter, Eden.  "Eden," he said, "is that a Bible name?"  (He had already told me that he attends the local Catholic church.)  "Oh yes," I said, "you know, the Garden of Eden."  He kind of gave a self-conscious laugh and said, "Of course!  But that's just a material thing!"  Then he paused and said, "But I guess she's just a material thing, too.  Of course, she'll have a soul when she gets older."  I think the last statement was a bit of joke, although honestly I'm not sure.  I said something in agreement with her materiality and added that God loved her no matter how old she is.  I didn't take any offense . . . he meant it kindly.  But it is an example of the Christian tendency to be somewhat dismissive of the material things!

Thursday, 15 March 2012


Z and I made a snowman on a winter day not too long ago.

We also made a snow turtle.

Eden isn't crawling yet . . . she lacks ambition.

Contentment after a supper of rice, beans and yogurt.
Look at those beautiful green eyes!

Happiness after a snack of bread and jam.

Extra sweet kisses.

Super fashionable!

Potluck at church.

The sweetest baby I know!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


This is a picture of my grandmother, Grace Winifred Coleman Elliott.  Isn't she beautiful?  She was born in 1917 and she died this past weekend, which makes all of us very sad.  But, we have many happy memories of her life, a life very well lived.

Above you can see her on her wedding day -- stunning!  On my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary Aunt Nancy thought it would be nice if either my cousin Kara or I wore her wedding dress (we were both 17 at the time).  Neither one of us could fit into it!  However, I think we felt a little better when the manikin that Aunt Nancy got to showcase the dress also turned out to be almost too big for it.  That beautiful bouquet of roses is obscuring it, but what a tiny waist!  Her outer beauty was a very accurate picture of the inner person. 
And there is the handsome couple -- Howard and Winifred Elliott!  Together they had five daughters, and those five daughters produced eighteen grandchildren, and as far as I can figure, there are currently 36 great-grandchildren (although I've recently heard a rumor of a 37th!).

Here they are a few years later with one of those grandchildren, Caleb.

One of my favorite memories of Grammy is of the weekends I got to spend with her and Grandad at their house in Topeka.  I just recently discovered a little diary that Grammy helped me make during one of those weekend visits.  As far as I can tell, I was seven years old during this particular visit.  Anyone who knows either me or Grammy will not be surprised by anything we did that weekend!

It's hard to tell, but on the cover is one of those home labels that says "Christina Stegall."
For those of you not familiar with Elliott family lore, Stephanie was a much beloved doll who first belonged (I think) to Auntie Meg.  She was kept in a place of honor and brought out whenever an interested grand-daughter visited.  Moie (is that spelled right, Uncle Frank?) was the Waltons' dog, also much beloved.  I also remember that while Grandad preached, Grammy would always draw pictures of the sermon for me.  Very impressive!

Another one of my favorite memories of Grammy happened much later.  I believe I was in college and Grammy and I were walking through the Winchester cemetery.  We passed two gravesites that were marked with the 6 feet long, 3 feet wide slabs that lie flat over the gravesite.  Grammy gestured to those and said, "I don't like those gravestones!"  When I asked her why not she said (all those who know Grammy, imagine this being said in her voice), "They will make things so difficult on the day of resurrection!"  I have had many chuckles over that wonderful little joke in the years since then.  I love it because it's just so . . . Grammy.

Dearest of Grammies, there will be no obstacles for you on the resurrection day!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Them's Fightin' Words!

Nathan recently got out his very old Nintendo, the one he had when he was a kid, and he's teaching Z to play some of the games.  Z's current favorite is something called Metroid.  He's down in the basement playing right now, and I just overheard him make an exclamation of dismay, which usually means he died.  Then he shouted, "I'm coming after you!  And then I'll call you poopy!"