Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Should you call me crazy?
It's a reasonable question. Since I have embarked on the crazy do-it-yourself project to end all projects.
I decided to make our Christmas gifts this year.
All of them. (well, talk to me on December 24th)

See, Dyami and I were really imacted by a speaker at the Presbyterian Global Fellowship Conference we went to this summer. He's a pastor at a church in Houston that decided as a congregation to spend less and give more for Christmas, and donated the proceeds to dig wells in Liberia. They ended up sponsoring enough wells to give a whole region access to clean drinking water that did not have it before. They're calling the movement they started Advent Conspiracy and I think it's pretty awesome.

I've also been thinking about the gifts I buy, the packaging, the production, the capitalism that goes into all of it. Not that capitalism is the Next Great Satan, but it has its limitations, you know? And I think there are better ways to be a good patriot than to be a great consumer.

So rolling all that into a crafty, do-gooder ball, I'm making things.
And man, I've already started. Because I know it won't happen if I save it to the last minute.

Some observations on the process:
--Don't use an ivory crochet needle to turn out a stuffed cat's tail unless you want one end to be part of the gift.
--Making things out of duct tape in someone else's house is sure to set off alarms in your host's mind. ("Wow, I knew Dyami started his own business, but I didn't realize they were that hard up!"). Plus they will question your taste. As will you.
--Yes, one can feel self-conscious going to the fabric store three times in three days because one does not make a list. One wishes she weren't so noticable with the slightly noisy, slightly rambunctious toddler in tow.
--Ask your seamstress mother for notions before spending money on them. Please!
--There is very little chance you will find decent-looking fabric at the thrift store, but it can happen. It will be cotton canvas, and striped with pale green.

Monday, September 22, 2008


We go to church on Sundays. And, often, we help lead the singing (I sing, Dyami plays bass). Lucy loves this time. "Singing? Practice? Church?" she asks, every day. When it is finally sunday, she rejoices.
Once on the way home from church, I did a little Theology lesson. "So, Lucy. When we sing at church, we sing about God. God is our Dada."
"God. Dada."
(Me: am I needlessly confusing my child? How do you explain the Immovable Object to a toddler?) "He's everyone's Dada."
"God. Dada."
"And we love him, so we sing about him."
"God. Singing."
"And we pray to him, too."
I thought about mentioning Jesus, and throwing in the Holy Spirit, and then I decided I'd save that for next Sunday. Or maybe later, like when she was six. Or thirteen. Because my mind was boggling. ("See, there's God the Father, and he's also his own kid, and sort of a Ghost, as well. Can you say "incarnation?")

Conveying faith to a child seems hard. No, actually: conveying theology to a child seems hard. Faith, I imagine, gets transmitted in the daily stuff we do, like worship, and prayer, and fellowship and worship. But the ideas about God, well, I still haven't figured them out for myself, much of the time. And theology is so confusing, even if it's really important to know what you believe, and why. Because ideas make a difference, even if they don't transfer to a felt board very well.

So I was pleased, and surprised when Lucy mentioned church yesterday.
"Singing. Church. Jesus. Lord."
Well, yes.
Maybe this indoctrination thing won't be as hard as I thought.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hello, Dominos?

Do we not feed her enough? Because recently, Lucy has taken to ordering takeout.

L: Picks up the phone. Dials. "'Lo. Taaacooos. Cheeeeese. Poppers*. Saaalsa. Chicken. Bye-bye."


L: Picks up the phone. Dials. "Papa**! Ham, butts***? Cheese. Sammmwich. Apple, bar*****? Bye-bye."

No, we barely ever order takeout. So no idea where she got this from. I guess this girl knows food.

**Dyami's dad.
***Okay, so D's great-uncle Caliri always used to say he was getting ham by saying, "I'm-a gonna go get some porka-butts!" So I said that, in jest, to L the other day, and it became "butts", and then when I explained it was another name for ham, and please call it ham, please, pretty-please? it turned into "ham, butts". With a comma because it takes her a while to say two words strung together. And a question mark because that's her two-word intonation.
****The Lara bar, "Apple Pie" flavor, with the two-word intonation. This was a snack we gave Lucy once, about 6 months ago. One. Time. And which she remembers every day and asks for. Every. Day. And has started singing songs about. Along with the ham, butts?
The song is kind of a "My Favorite Things," from the sound of music. It goes something like this. (Piano playing). "Apple, bar? lalalalala. Tacos. lalalalalala. Lalalala. Ham, butts?"

Hopefully she doesn't learn a real takeout number anytime soon. Cause I think they would be confused. And perhaps a little offended.