Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Afternoon

One of Isaiah's Christmas gifts was a brand spankin' new sled.

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Christmas Morning 2007

Christmas morning for the Steeles was a bundle of excitement for young and old.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Bedtime Story Narrative

It's Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, everyone.

This is Micah writing tonight, if you're wondering.

I was granted the task of putting Isaiah to bed tonight. I didn't think much of it, until I lay down and realized that I had been given the chance to put the exclamation mark on Christmas bedtime-story season. I retrieved his toddler-bible from his night stand, and turned to the beginning of the toddler-new-testament, and read the story of Christ's birth in a way I hoped he could understand one more time. What a priviledge.

After the story was over, I closed the book, and looked at Isaiah. He smiled. I smiled back. Then, I explained in as basic terms I could what am amazing story this is. I told him that God loved us -- Mommy, Daddy, Isaiah, Naomi -- SO MUCH that he sent Jesus to be born in a manger, just like the story said. Then, I explained how, in the morning, he would wake up and open gifts Mommy and Daddy had gotten for him ONLY because God had given us such a gift as Jesus, and that the gift we've been given is the reason we love Jesus back. Then, I said, "Merry Christmas, Isaiah." He replied, in a way he never has before, "Merry Christmas, Daddy."

Now, I'm not an emotional or over-dramatic man, but I was shaken by that simple little conversation with my son in his bed. Isaiah is three years old. His concept of Jesus takes the form of what we've told him. He knows that Jesus was a gift, and that if we love Jesus, that he can live in his heart. One could say that he doesn't understand. But I also think that Isaiah's comprehension of God's love and perfection and sacrifice and grace is comparable to mine, since I'm not sure how well I can really understand it. At least I'm not sure how much it makes sense.

But I do believe it. There is no more dramatic story than the story of God, the creator of the universe and author of our lives, looking at mankind as the worst investment perhaps there ever was, then responding with the greatest investment one can imagine. In some ways, it's a complicated story, and one I continue to attempt to unpack. In other ways, it's simple. Thank God for that.

Friends, we find ourselves in an amazing story. We are so thankful for a season dedicated to one of its watershed events. Just like my prayer for Isaiah, I pray that we can all find some way to understand the dramatic depth of the words "Merry Christmas". IF WE DO, I believe that God's love and grace will become real to us in a way that will change our lives, if they haven't already.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jing Rock

This is Isaiah's favorite Christmas song, "Jing Rock," as he calls it. It puts him in the dancing mood.


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All dressed up...



Well we have another 6 inches of snow this morning on top of the other 400 million inches we already had. We were in our jammies knowing that there was no way we could get out today. Then the plow came by at 9:oo. Yay! We hurried to get ready for church excited to not be housebound again. We all hopped in the car and made it about 20 feet up our street and got stuck. Isaiah cheered and suggested that the neighbor could tow us out. We made it back into the drive but not into the garage. SO...here we are ready for church. We took the opportunity to take a family picture instead.

We miss you all in NC and wish we could be at Nana's today. Eat some dressing without celery and think of how much I love you all. I really do love you all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cookies


Isaiah made cookies and decorated them. He had such a fun time. He said the cookies were "tasty good". It was an exercise in self control for mom who did not like the flour everywhere. In the end it was great. We did it again today.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Time isn't slowing down





Our children . . . . .
are growing up.


















Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our snow man


He helped me shovel today. He did a great job.

Stuck


If you live in Dubuque and you are looking for a package it wont be there for a while. It is stuck on my street. Those UPS men can do wonders with a snow shovel. They shoveled the whole hill since the plows had not been by yet. Our neighbor helped out by attaching the truck to his truck with a tow line. Isaiah and I loved the entertainment.

Snow day...or week


Here is Isaiah in our back yard this morning. It is really pretty here but we are stuck in the house. Its kinda nice.

Updates from us


Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. The kids and I went to NC for 10 days while Micah went to Mexico for work.
Here are our angels in their holiday garb.
We are not sending out a Christmas card this year. I (Jamie) am trying to relax and remember what this season is really for. Take it all in, ya know? I just think that this year a card seems like alot of work. I will get to it next year.