Saturday, December 30, 2006

Visiting the Hospital: What's Hot and What's Not

The following post is brought to you by Christine Wright (my mother-in-law.) Please feel free to pass on this information to anyone who might find it helpful. If you think of any additional suggestions, those are welcome, too!

Hi. I am Danny's Mom. As you may know, I have undergone several major surgeries during the past year; the most recent one was several weeks ago. I would like to offer a few suggestions that will help when you're visiting friends or family recovering in the hospital.

1) No matter how long it takes you to drive to the hospital, park, and find the patients room: ONLY STAY 15 MINUTES per visit. Remember, the patient is there to recover and heal. They may have had several visitors prior to yours. This is by far the most important point.

2) Many patients are on special diets. I was on ice chips for a solid week....which leads to my second item: Don't bring food or candy for the patient unless you have been asked to do so. If you don't want to go empty handed here are some suggestions: chap stick, SOFT tissues, toilet paper (enough said) hand sanitizer or lotions.

3) Don't talk about your past illnesses or someone who suffered from the same thing the patient is going through unless it is pertinent or positive. I actually had one person say to me, "My mother had the same thing you have and was comfortable until almost the very end when the pain finally got so bad before she died...."

4) Don't bring children unless they are family.

5) Remember the spouse of the patient. Maybe you could have them for dinner or run an errand for them while they are spending so much time at the hospital.

6) Don't visit if you or anyone in your home is sick. The thought of coughing is terrifying to someone with stitches....on this I can speak with experience! On that same note, be aware that laughing can hurt too, so be sensitive to body language.

7) If the patient appears to be in pain or very tired ONLY STAY 5 MINUTES. You can always visit them later when they are home or feeling better.

8) One of the sweetest things people did for me was to offer a short prayer before they left. It was a real comfort.

The knowledge that people are praying for you and care about you is unbelievably comforting. Hopefully this list will help you as you carry out the important ministry of encouraging those laid up in the hospital.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

So Long, And Thanks for all the Fish

So, a couple of things about our Christmas weren't necessarily what you'd call "expected."

It was really a wonderful day overall. We had breakfast, opened presents in our PJ's, and spent several hours figuring out how some of them worked. Later in the afternoon we drove to Ma & Pa Wright's house, where we had dinner, hung out and opened more presents. We had the kids in bed by 9:15, and watched "A Christmas Story" - the best Christmas movie ever made - for the 86th time. All in all, a best-case scenario. However, there were a few interesting elements to the day. . .

To begin with, none of our stomachs are accustomed to heavy fare in the morning, so the special breakfast I got up early to fix (french toast with strawberry topping and cheesy scrambled eggs) left all of us feeling a little sick. (A sidenote: I looked over as I was making breakfast, to see that Kari Bou had torn a page out of my magazine - the page with the recipe for the french toast - and was happily eating/shredding it. She must have known in advance that she'd never want to eat this meal again.)

Then there was the silly string I picked up the day before Christmas, thinking it would be just the coolest stocking-stuffer ever for both Rach and Zekers. I wasn't prepared for the tragedy that ensued when Rachel sprayed it and ran out the living room holding her nose and crying hysterically. I was really annoyed with her and her hypersensitive sense of smell, until I got a whiff of the stuff. I didn't know it was possible for silly string to give off such a stench. (The really great thing about it is when she's not cooperating, I just aim the can in her direction and she becomes amazingly obedient.)

One of the best parts of the day was taking down our tree. That's right - we got rid of our Christmas tree on Christmas Day, and we haven't suffered even a moment of remorse. I'm sure I've forever ruined any good opinion of me that remains out there, but even so, it was well worth it. See, I've discovered something about myself in recent years: I have exactly four weeks of Christmas spirit in me. Not a day more.

I'm always SO ready for the Christmas season to come. This year I began listening to Christmas music the week before Thanksgiving. We cut our tree the second day the farm was open - 2 days after Thanksgiving. We did all our decorating - indoor and out - that same day. I threw myself into shopping, mailing out cards, wrapping gifts, making cookies. We took the kids to a local mall so they could ride the "Christmas trian" and of course, saw loads and loads of lights. I took such delight in all of it. Until December 18th.

Without warning, it hit me: the "Bah-Humbugs". I was party-ed out. I was sick of watering the tree and the poinsettias. Sticking a fork in my eye sounded more appealing than doing five more minutes of shopping. I thought to myself, "If I hear 'Have Yourself a Merry Stinkin' Little Christmas' just one more time, I will spontaneously combust." I began having nightmares in which I endlessly rolled out cookie dough and frosted horrid little snowmen and reindeer cookies, while Rach and Zekers shoved handfuls of dough into their mouths and got flour all over their faces, hair and clothing, and I began yelling incoherently . . . Oh, wait a second - that wasn't a dream.

Anyway, one of the highlights of Christmas for me was finally getting my living room back. It looks HUGE after the holidays, without a 7-foot tree taking up half the room. I'm sure that, come next October, I will once again be chomping at the bit to welcome the Christmas season back into our lives, but for now - Adios, Navidad. I'm ready to get on with my life.

As for Zekers, "Santa" (alias = Grandpa & Grandma) granted him his greatest wish. Not only did he receive a spiderman costume, he got his little dog for Chrismtas. "Sparky" hasn't been out of his sight in four days. And the best part is that the dog is off-limits to Kari Bou!

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Cuppa Christmas Cheer

November and December have blown through our house like a whirlwind - crazy weeks full of Christmas festivities, time with friends, church involvements, and cookie-baking sessions. Consequently, family time has become an endangered species at our home.

So it was wonderful Wednesday evening to finally take our much-anticipated annual trip to see the Christmas light display, set up throughout the park in a nearby town. Even the drive there was beautiful; we admired house after house adorned with garland, bows, lights and candles. Driving through the park, we ooh-ed and ahh-ed over jumping reindeer, candy canes, stars streaming with light, little Christmas houses, a tunnel of lights, the 12 Days of Christmas, and even a beaver cutting down a tree. The only 2 things that dampened the evening's excitement were 1) the steady rainfall, and 2) Rachel stating flatly on the way there that she's tired of Christmas lights and just needs a break from them. On the way home, though, even she had to admit we'd had fun and that she'd changed her mind.

THE highlight of the evening was getting to sit with Santa - well, at least for Rach and Zekers. For some obscure reason, every one of our darling children, upon seeing Santa "in the flesh" for the first time, has immediately burst into frightened tears. The crazy thing is, our kids aren't afraid of anything else - not of vacuum cleaners or thunderstorms or the dark or large dogs. No, nothing strikes fear into their little hearts like the sight of a jolly old man dressed in red and white. Go figure.

So, what could have been a lovely portrait of our three children with St. Nick instead became a snapshot of Santa awkwardly holding a screaming, wriggling Kari Bou while the other 2 looked on. After the picture, I relieved him of Little Bou, and Zekers actually got to sit on Santa's lap and share with Santa his lifelong wish to own a dog.

We had hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies in the "Christmas Cabin", which all three of them enjoyed immensely, although poor Zekers has never encountered a cup of . .. well, anything, that didn't end up all over the lower half of his face. I'm so afraid his future wife will be forced to carry wet wipes in her purse to clean him off after every meal out.

My favorite part of the evening was the drive home - Danny & I just sitting in the front seat, smiling at the little conversations and songs going on behind us and talking about nothing in particular; relaxing and enjoying each other's company. Reflecting on the little baby sent to offer us life through his death - God in the flesh. I hope that in coming years, admid the shopping and decorating and lights and festivities of the holidays, that we can somehow instill in our children the wonder of the miracle of Christmas. And I pray that your Christmas is filled with wonder and awe at the greatest gift of all time.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Naked and Proud

Kari Bou has a new hobby (in addition to destroying everything in sight, and stealing her siblings' toys): undressing herself. She's never in her life kept on a pair of socks, so that's nothing new. But she has recently decided that wearing shirts is way overrated. Several days ago, she wriggled out of her onesie during her nap (and then walked around the house for an hour, half naked), and today, her favorite pasttime appeared to be pulling her arms out of her sweater and yelling in frustration when she couldn't get the rest of it over her head. I found out last week that she is in the 85th percentile for head circumference, which may explain some of her difficulties.

The second picture was added for cuteness' sake (and, of course, I'm completely objective when it comes to evaluating the cuteness of my kids). Also, it may be the last shot I ever get of her in clothes.

Ah, the memories we're making . . .

Toddlers and Handbells Aren't as Bad a Combination as I Once Thought

It wasn't easy, but I managed to get a couple of snapshots of the handbell craziness. Below you will see exclusive footage of Rachel and Zekers in their musical debut.

I am happy to report that I won the bet Danny & I had going. He said Zekers wouldn't ring his bell, and I said Zekers wouldn't stop ringing his bell. Although I will say the little man could have exhibited a bit more excitement; most of the time he looked like he was about to fall asleep right there on stage.

Rach did great. She paid attention and didn't pick her nose once! What more could a parent hope for?

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Rachel has decided she is now a movie producer. Her most recent production, still untitled, involves sword-weilding mice and a "Tower of Evilness." Apparently, shots were fired from said tower at the mice, who feigned death to avoid more shots. They are still working out a plan to kill the ruthless monster in the tower. She actually scribbled out "notes" on a stack of little notebook pages, spread them out on the floor, and acted out the story for me. I have no idea where she came up with all of this and am a little disturbed that her "film" includes so much violence. But it did make me laugh.

In other news, Kari Bou has started saying more words, including "Hi" and "Zekee" and "down" (actually pronounced "Daaaaaan"). She was up to her usual antics today. While making a batch of Christmas cookies, I found her on the kitchen table, playing in the cream cheese filling I was about to use in a pumpkin roll. I believe she may be high from all the sugar she's ingested this week.

And Zekers . . . well, he's been talking quite a bit, too. Today I sent him to the bathroom to get a Kleenex for Kari Bou, and I heard him muttering in the hall, "That makes no sense." I started laughing, thinking I must have heard him wrong, and went to see what the problem was. He was standing by the bathroom door trying to get it open and saying, "I can't get the door open, Mommy. That makes no sense." I don't even think he knows what that means!

I'll try to get a good pic of Rachel and Zekers playing handbells tomorrow in the morning church service. I can't believe the guts of their teachers, having about 10 or so 2 & 3-yr-old boys play bells along with the older children. They must be teaching the kids really well, though, because Zekers showed me today how he rings his bell and when I asked him how he gets it to stop ringing, he answered, "I hold it against my body, like this." Not bad, for a 2-yr-old.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Maybe Someday I'll Laugh About It

. . .and the craziness continues . . .

I'd been looking forward to this morning all weekend. A friend, who I've gotten to know through a Tuesday morning Bible Study this fall, recently began attending our church. Having given birth to her first child about 2 months ago, and having left the denomination she was previously a part of, she was in dire need of a new wardrobe - and fast. So another friend, Jessi, and I planned to take her to Kohl's this morning to help her pick out some basic items. The PLAN was to leave from our house at 9:30AM.

We had to drive separately, due to "Dora" (our Explorer) being filled with munchkins, and Jessi bringing her two adorable little boys, ages 2 and 11 months. They headed out to the van to wait for me, and the fun began.

As I attempted to scrunch three little bodies into their coats, I noticed a horrific smell - and knew right away it had to be Zekers. Well, I thought, better here than at the store. After all, it would have been really strange to actually leave the house and have no one poop as we headed out the door.

As I began to dispose of the offending diaper, I noticed the trash can was extremely full, and decided to just quickly take the bag out to the dumpster so the house wouldn't smell like trash upon our return home. Of the hundreds of times I've taken out the trash, I have never actually gotten into a fight with the trash bag like I did this morning. All my pulling and tugging and yanking, and even threatening, did no good. (Rachel did come into the kitchen, though, and ask, "Mommy, why are you yelling at the trash?") Finally, as I was getting ready to just dump it all, including the trash can, into the dumpster, I gave one last mighty yank - and the bag came loose. Very, very loose. Trash went everywhere. The top of the bag was already in ribbons from my previous efforts, which didn't help.

Now, a little trash isn't so difficult to pick up; however, I'd forgotten about the glass dish that broke last night, the fragments of which were now all over the kitchen floor once again. Of course, at that very moment, Zekers and Rachel both came running in to see what the noise had been and tramped through it, luckily with their shoes on. I got them herded out finally and cleaned up the mess. It was about this time that I realized I hadn't heard from Kari Bou in a while. That's NEVER a good thing.

I ran all over the house, yelling her name, to no avail. I checked the bedrooms and even the basement. Nothing. I remember thinking to myself, How on earth do you lose a child in a 1,000 square foot house? The one room I didn't check was the bathroom; I had closed the door 15 minutes ago so she wouldn't go in. Which is why it makes perfect sense that's where she was! She apparently wandered in before I closed the door, and was having the time of her little life. I found her in the sink, of course, "brushing her teeth", with my brush, hair dryer, makeup and other various feminine products covering the floor and stuck to her clothes.

By the time I got her cleaned up, Rach & Zekers had, of course, removed both their coats and their shoes. Suffice it to say, this was not one of the more sanctified moments in our house.

I'll spare you the details of our time at Kohl's. It was pretty much what you'd expect from five kids under the age of five. As long as we kept their little mouths stuffed with a constant stream of crackers, raisins, and peanut butter cookies, everything was mostly tolerable. (As we left, we discovered a cookie stuck to Zeke's rear. Why eat a cookie, after all, when you can just sit on it?) But we found some really cute outfits for our friend, so at least the morning was productive.

By the time we finished eating lunch at Fazoli's Jessi and I had pretty much decided to send ALL the kids to boarding school. And I was feeling really guilty about all the trees that had to die just to supply us and our messy offspring with napkins for one meal. We were completely exhausted, and it was only 1:30.

Of course, the kids were all out cold about five minutes into the drive home. And Rachel woke up the second we got home, so I spent most of the afternoon making cookies and playing "Hi-Ho Cherry-O." (which she always wins)

My newest project is figuring out a way to survive Mondays. . .

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

525,000 Moments So Dear

"How do you measure . . . a year?"

Now comes the part where I will try my best to boil an entire year down to a few dismally inadequate words. The problem with once-a-year letters is that they highlight mostly the "major" events - the accomplishments and the big transitions and the things that look good on paper, when in reality it's the everyday moments that make us who we are; it's the small "uninteresting" things that I think are really worth writing about. I love the letters we receive at Christmas and I pour over every word, because they come from those we care about and I truly do enjoy reading about the major happenings in their lives. But I often wish these missives came with a second page that expressed in vivid color the ecstasies, the challenges, the opportunities, the growth, the changes, the longings that have left their mark on each person's soul.

But enough of my philosophizing . . . I do get carried away sometimes. On to the topic at hand, which I'm truly looking forward to. After all, there's little else I enjoy more than talking/writing about my family. (The above was one of many, many unsuccessful attempts at a family Christmas picture. I included it because it made me laugh, and because the expressions on the munchkins' faces - and the kicking legs - are so true to life.)

What can I say? At 15 months she looks a lot different now than she did this time last year! Our little Kari Bou began walking in July, at 10 1/2 months of age, and hasn't stopped moving since. She's about as mischeivous as they come and NOTHING is out of her reach. Her most recent escapades have involved climbing: into the bathroom sink, onto the kitchen table, up flights of stairs, you name it. There's "child-proofing" and then there's "Karis-proofing" - two totally different things. What saves her, though, is her extreme cuteness. When caught, her favorite tactic is to smile or laugh - and she does so with her whole body - eyes sparkling, hands waving, feet moving, head thrown back. You can't help but join in. Dancing is one of her favorites, too - she'll bee-bop to just about any tune.

She loves baby dolls. Often she falls asleep with one in each arm. She's recently added the word "baby" to her vocabulary (along with "NO!" and "bye-bye" and various animal sounds). She has a little tuft of hair sprouting out the back of her head that, no matter what I do, always manages to look like bird feathers. It does suit her squawky little personality, though. She's a clown and will do anything to make people laugh (This could be scary later on). She's tough. She has to be, with fairly non-gentle sibs and a penchant for bruising her face and cutting herself up. I have a feeling we'll be pretty familiar with the ER by the time she graduates.

On a side note, her name has degenerated from "Karis" to "Kari Bou" to "Poo Bou" to "Poo Bear" to "Pooberry Muffin" since last Christmas.

Call him "Zeke", "Ezekiel", or anything else, and you'll get the same reply: "I'm not Ezekiel - I'm ZEKERS!" (accompanied by furrowed brow and indignant voice) He's also my Budders and his Daddy's Mr. Beef.

His favorites include: being read to, playing with trains, building with blocks, playing house with Rachel, giving Mommy & Daddy a kiss or a hug, and then "nudder kiss" and "nudder hug." He's our snuggler; he just seems to melt right into your arms when he's tired, and he loves getting into bed with us in the morning (which is good, since he wakes up around 6-6:30 most days). The really great thing is, he'll play by himself for hours at a time, just creating little make-believe scenarios with his farm animals. If you ask Zekers a question, you'll get the answer in a complete sentence. I can't recall him ever answering with a simple "yes" or "no." (This makes my nerdy English teacher heart burst with pride, but I can't take credit for any of it.) He can be a man of few words, but when he wants to talk, he's quite articulate.

Zekers can count to 20 pretty much on his own; however, since he learned to do so through playing hide-and-seek around the house, his counting is nearly always accompanied by, "Ready or not - here I come!"

"When he is good, he is very very good, and when he is bad he is horrid." That magical age of 2 1/2 hit him full force. Zekers can be the most pleasant child in the world, and often is; but in many ways, it's been a challenging year for us with him. We're just hoping that by God's grace we'll be able to somehow channel his stubborn streak, which has grown more pronounced in the past 6 months, into some kind of good thing one day! We've learned with him that parenting isn't as cut and dried as we once thought. He's also made it very clear that he won't be using the potty until he's good and ready, which apparently is no time in the forseeable future. I guess the most important thing raising him has taught me is to just let him be who he is and not to try to make him who I think he should be. He loves routine, and he prefers being at home, and he doesn't respond well to change - pretty much the opposite of Mommy! But he can also be the sweetest little boy in the whole world.

We're still trying to figure out where he got his blonde hair . . .

At the age of 4, she is maybe the best debater in the family - and that's saying a lot if you know her daddy! She's reached the age of arguing and questioning. And she has a ready answer for everything. She's sharp and quick and a great conversationalist. This is probably just part and parcel of being a 4-yr-old girl, but it's all high drama in her world. Emotions come and go at breakneck speed. I swear she can conjure up tears on demand.

We haven't sent her to preschool - I wanted to keep her home with me for just one more year! I've been working with her several times a week, though, while the younger 2 are napping; we're going through some basic preschool workbooks, which she really enjoys. Just this week she wrote her name completely on her own for the first time.

Rachel had her first "friend birthday party" in August. There really is nothing cuter than nearly a dozen little girls playing together in full princess regalia. And it HAD to be a princess party. She is all girl and loves everything princess and ballerina and fru-fru. She is a very nurturing person and will sit perfectly still for 30 minutes at a time if it means she gets to hold an infant. She took ballet lessons over the summer, and skill-wise was somewhere in the middle, but she loved every minute of it. Another highlight is going to Cubbies and eating SNACKS! (Oh, yeah, they also do Scripture memory, Bible stories, crafts and puppet shows.)

When it comes to pain, she's just about as wimpy as they come, which makes me think that athletics, for her, will be just another social event. She gets her energy from being around people - a true extrovert. Every day, the first thing she asks me when she wakes up is, "Mommy, where are we going today?" or "Mommy, who are we going to see today?" She loves playing make-believe games with her friends and has an (overly?) active imagination. It's pretty common for our living room to look like a mini-hospital: dolls and stuffed animals covering nearly every square inch of the floor and furniture. Each is wrapped in a "blanket" - a towel or wash cloth from the kitchen or bathroom. And each is lovingly tended to according to its needs.

We've had to start being much more careful what we say around her, as she apparently has tape recorders for ears, and has been telling people that Zekers got his blonde hair from the mailman (something Danny joked about one time when she was in another room). That's our Shrum.

The Rest of the Story
This year has seen our church move into a new building and grow in size. Danny's role has transitioned from Youth Pastor to Teaching Pastor; this has brought many new challenges as well as really cool opportunities - for our whole family. It's a tremendous thing to see him doing something for which he's so perfectly gifted, and to see his heart for people. He also had the chance this summer to speak for 2 different youth camps - one outside Columbus and the other in Wisconsin. Both times the entire family was invited to come along, which made for a nice getaway. We went through a helpful marriage study this summer - "Love and Respect," and currently have the privilege of facilitating a small group weekly in our home.

I have thouroughly enjoyed coordinating nursery and 2's-3's this year and singing/ playing guitar on a worship team every third week. Both of these committments have stretched me in different ways. But what I keep thinking about is the question Danny asked at our last communion: "How have you changed to become more like Christ in the past 6 months?" It's a haunting thought - do I look more like Christ? I'd like to think so. And I guess what He's been pounding into my thick head these past 12 months is that I need to be so vigilant - on a daily and sometimes on an hourly basis - to guard my attitude and my heart. I'm learning to nip in the bud those little thoughts that lead to discontent, and worry. I'm leaning on Him instead to teach me to trust and to be completely satisfied in Him.

That's it, for now. Our year in a nutshell. I thought I'd close with a good picture of our family since the first one had some disturbing issues. Enjoy the Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You're Only a Day Away

OK, this week has not gone according to plan. We sent Christmas cards to out-of-town friends and family with this blog address, telling those near and dear to us to come here for family updates (shameless blog-pimping, I know). My brilliant plan was to do a big update post the day the cards were sent out, so everyone could "catch up" with what's been happening (and because I'm too lazy to actually send out a Christmas letter). But, as is so often the case, the weekend and first couple days of this week have been downright crazy, and I've had no chance to write about the fam. (My profound apologies to everyone who instead got to read my way overly-opinionated post on Christmas lights.)

So stay tuned. Within the next 24 hours I will, Lord willing, of course, post a full update on everyone, complete with pictures. Love to you all!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yuletide Acne

This article appeared one year ago on the Carnivorous Caribou website as a guest post. The article possesses a certain sentimental quality, since it was my very first post, and played an instrumental role in the launching of my own blog. I've modified a few things, but my feelings on this subject have not changed since last December. So, without further ado, I give you "Yuletide Acne."

It was a magical evening. Our little family drove through the wintry twilight to take in the lights, the elves and reindeer, the nativity scenes and the softly falling snow, as Christmas sang in our hearts to the tune of Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. It’s a tradition we hope to continue for years to come. Rachel & Zeke shouted excitedly from the back seat every time they saw "Frosty the Snowman." Danny & I held hands in the front and lost ourselves in the joy of the season, while Kari made contented sleeping noises from her infant seat.

But the magic ended suddenly as our starry eyes fell on a hideous sight. The front bushes on an otherwise respectable-looking house were covered with a garish little grid – rows and rows of neon pink, blue, green and yellow lights. This monstrosity covered the front part of the bushes, and ended abruptly in a perfect line about halfway across the last bush.

It was then that I realized: Net lights are a zit on the face of Christmas - an angry red blemish marring the beautiful face of the greatest holiday known to man. As early as October I begin counting the days until Christmas – for this?? I am convinced that every time another net of neon nastiness is thrown onto a poor, unsuspecting bush, an angel actually loses his wings.

The charm of Christmas lights lies in their imperfections; somehow when they wink at you in uneven rows around an evergreen they seem more friendly, more inviting. Not so with net lights, which have all the personality of a giant waffle. Don’t get me wrong – in certain settings, when done well, white net lights can look very nice. But the colored ones are just downright offensive. I understand the need to save time, but I have to say that generally I would rather see no lights at all than those of the net variety.

My personal favorite is net lighting draped on fences, or stretched out and hung from the eaves (After all, what could be more charming than little diagonal rows of neon icicles?). We’ve even seen it marring an entire rooftop. What will they think of next? Net lights for Christmas trees? Net ribbon to grace wreaths and garlands? How about nets full of cherubs? People, the insanity must stop! Let’s start taking some pride in the way we decorate for Christmas!

Coming soon . . . the evils of gargantuan inflatable santas.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Is there anything sadder . . .

. . . than Kari Bou pouring over the pages of an empty photo album titled "Who Loves Baby?"

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rant or Review?

I was reading several movie reviews today, when I came upon this article in which the author gave the movie Nativity Story 2 stars out of 5. It wasn't the numbers that caught my attention, but the manner in which the review was written. It doesn't take an exceptionally intelligent person to discern that the author's critical and sarcastic comments weren't directed so much at the film as at the biblical account itself.

He makes the following statements throughout his "review":

Without faith, then would a movie like this make any sense? What does it tell us about a loving God who murders little children in Bethlehem?

Unless you are of faith, the plot holes stick out like a sore thumb. Why would Joseph have to go to Bethlehem for the census? Why would Aunt Liz know about who Jesus is going to be and not Mary's parents? Or even worse, why would the Angels, who are screaming to the local shepherd that JC is born, not warn the parents of all those little kids that Herod's troops are coming to kill them?

I want to have a conversation with this man about prophecy fulfilled; I want to talk with him about God's sovereignty and His amazing plan extend grace to the undeserving people He created. About the fact that in this fallen world not everything makes sense (to us) - innocent people suffer and injustice seems to take the upper hand, and yet somehow God is glorified in the midst of it all. How I wish I could encourage him to find a Bible and actually read the account(s) of the nativity, and related passages. He obviously has a bone to pick with God, and I pray that He finds some resolution, and some answers.

I can't help adding that I also find it ironic that he does enough emoting in his review to make up for the alleged "lack of emotion" in the film; and I wish I could (nicely) ask him to refrain from writing "reviews" until he can take a more professional approach.