Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Doctor's Orders

I was gone the last couple days to a pastoral conference, but while I was away Tarren took Lucas to the doctor. He had been quite crabby for the past week or so. Crabbiness is not terribly uncharacteristic for this almost three-year-old boy, but the level of his crabbiness was uncharacteristic. We wondered if it could be allergies or an ear infection or both.

Here was our logic: In the past a rise in crabbiness had often indicated that he was suffering from an ear infection, so we wondered if maybe sinus congestion from allerigies had led to an ear infection, which in turn would lead to his crabbiness. Tarren had been giving him Claritin from time to time.

Anyway, Sunday was the kicker for my wife. Lucas was especially uncooperative in church and later at the church picnic, so we decided it was time to go to the doctor.

The doctor indicated that his ears were clear and that he may be suffering from some minor allergies, but he strongly suggested that we stop giving him Claritin, as they can lead to behavioral problems.

Then, interestingly, he proceeded to give Lucas a short lecture about listening to his Mom and Dad. Lucas cowered but didn't cry. He wondered what we did when he misbehaves. Tarren told him that we put him in timeout. How long? For three minutes. Not long enough, said the doctor. Put him in his room and make him stay there for thirty minutes.

Tarren's conclusion: I really like this doctor!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sunday School? No Problem

This past weekend Lucas had another first: his first time in Sunday School. He was excited about going, especially since he knew the other children that would be there (though cousin Sarah wasn't there due to illness). He was the youngest one in the class; not actually three just yet with a birthday coming up in the couple weeks. But his teachers reported that he did well. He wasn't at first interested in sitting with the class as they went through their lesson, but eventually he joined them. Several times throughout the class he commented that it was "time to go see Momma now," but he never became upset when told that she would be coming in a little while to pick him up. All in all it was a successful endeavor, and of course we relish the fact that he is beginning his formal education in the truth about our Savior Jesus and the salvation he provides. We pray that he will continue to gladly hear and learn the Word!

Just look at this smile of anticipation and joy before Momma dropped him off for class! You may notice that he's standing in front of his father's bookshelf (Lucas' Great-Grandpa Prange actually bought this bookshelf to hold his pastoral books). Now this bookshelf holds, among other things, several multi-colored volumes of Luther's Works (Lucas' Grandpa Prange actually bought these back in the day and gave them to me when he retired). It will interesting to see whether or not Lucas ever has any interest in having me hand any of these things down to him some day.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Other Pictures

Here are a few other pictures for your enjoyment, the first three of which are from our visit to the Z-O-O last week.

Motherly Concern

Tarren is worried that those of you who look at our blog will be so enamored with the video of Grace that you'll fail to notice my blog entitled "A Father's Love." So after you watch the video below, make sure to scroll down further and read my other entry from today!

"Punka" Video

Here's a video of Baby Grace, or "Punka" as I call her (short for "Pumpkin Pie"). If you can view the video, make sure to have the sound up on your computer, so you can hear the sounds she's making these days! You'll notice that she's also rolling over, though Momma has to give her a little help in this particular video.

A Father's Love

Lucas made his first purchase last night at Barnes and Noble. We had gone there after dinner so that he could play with the Thomas and Friends trainset that they have set up in the children's department. Naturally, they also have their display of Thomas trains for sale right next to the trainset. When there was no Thomas engine available for play, Lucas noticed with excitement that there was a Thomas available in the box. His father played the part of the ogre by telling him that we couldn't take Thomas out of the box because we would have to pay for him first. Besides, he already had a Thomas engine at home.

Within a few minutes it was time for us to leave, but before heading out of the store I decided to stop off for some Starbucks. As I was putting some half-n-half into my coffee, Lucas noticed a penny on the floor. He picked it up and ran to me with a bright smile: "Look, Daddy, now we can play (sic) for Thomas." Tarren and I looked at one another, realizing that his penny wouldn't cut it, but reluctant to undercut the sheer joy of his "good fortune."

We went back downstairs to where the trains were, and he selected an engine by the name of Salty. We escalated back upstairs to the cash register, Lucas proudly plunking his prodigous penny on the countertop with profound pleasure. When papa provided his "two cents worth," Lucas was the proud owner of a new Salty engine, and he had a nickel's worth of change to spare! What a deal!

On the other hand, when one considers what our heavenly Father has graciously given us, there is no comparison. Besides freely giving us everything we need for this life (all things, from the food we eat to the air we breathe to the life we live), he also graciously bestows his greatest gifts of forgiveness from all sin and eternal life, purchased and won solely by the precious blood of his only Son. All these things he gives us, though we stand before him completely penniless, empty-handed, spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and destitute. "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4,5).

I became twelve bucks poorer to purchase a train for my son which will give him hours of joy and happiness. Christ Jesus surrendered all riches for you and me (2 Corinthians 8:9) to purchase and win for us an eternity of bliss and freedom from sin and death.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ... This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins: (1 John 3:1; 4:10).

A picture of Lucas and his new engine Salty: