Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘Snapshots of Life’ Category

Lessons

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 1 Comment »

"Dad," asks Isaac, "do you think it was disrespectful of you to leave the music playing while we prayed?" "I guess so. I'm sorry. God will forgive me." I notice the boy is wearing a big triangular colonial soldier hat. "Do you ...

The New Boy Scout

Friday, November 11th, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 8 Comments »

The thing with my 11 year-old Caleb joining Boy Scouts is that finally I can learn how to tie a sheepshank knot, and start a fire using only a fork and dental floss, and how to evade bears, and all ...

One vowel can make a big difference

Saturday, June 4th, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 10 Comments »

Yesterday it was just me and my three year-old, Isaiah John. We were cruising down the road in my truck, past bars and tattoo parlors. Yes, there are tattoo parlors in Wichita. The sun was out, the wind was blowing, and we ...

The good in them

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 10 Comments »

I didn't mean to be gone this long; the hours piled up into days and then weeks, and once again I was a negligent blogger. Sometimes I think there should be a social services hotline for blogs, to have them ...

Houston, we have a problem

Friday, February 11th, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 5 Comments »

You know you've been flying too much when you sleep through the better part of an in-flight emergency. It wasn't the exclamations of my fellow passengers that stirred me from my takeoff doze, so much as the sense that what ...

Fierce-hearted gifts

Saturday, January 29th, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 8 Comments »

As is true of anyone who is long on love and short on cash, Isaac likes to find things around the house, wrap them up in scrap paper, and give them to people. Tonight at dinner he gave me a ...

The heart’s health

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 4 Comments »

I'm trying to do sit-ups. I'm inhibited by three year-old Isaiah, who has crawled onto my chest and put his warm face against my neck. He's crying in frustration with a shirt that he can't seem to make fit right, ...

We pray the anger melts

Friday, January 7th, 2011 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 12 Comments »

I've got all four boys to myself and I'm trying to plot a course halfway across America, a course that doesn't entail careening off an icy highway to our deaths. They are, meanwhile, chasing one another about upstairs, with occasional ...

A very special Sand in the Gears Christmas

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 8 Comments »

It's the Christmas edition of Sand in the Gears, and very much like a fruitcake in that it's rum-soaked, chock full of things that likely don't belong together, and not really something you want to eat. I'm sick. I know this because ...

On the giving of thanks, stomach viruses, and giant Christmas ornaments

Friday, November 26th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 3 Comments »

Yesterday we cooked and cooked and cooked, and ate and ate and ate, and it was delightful, even the cheesy squash casserole that makes my children instinctively gag just from looking at it. Especially the squash casserole, you little ingrates. My friend ...

This is why old people are deaf

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 3 Comments »

Me to Isaiah: "Go tell your brothers to put on their pajamas and come down for a story." Isaiah, without taking a single step: "BRUDDERS!!!! PUT ON YOU PAJAMAS AND COME DOWN FOR A STORY!!!!!!" Oh yeah, definitely getting out the whiskey ...

Sing out loud

Thursday, November 18th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 5 Comments »

A recent conversation got me thinking about a man I first saw years ago, on the Washington, D.C. Metro, who sings Christmas carols. So I found this video of him. He gets on a random car, sings to anyone who ...

Speaking lips closed

Saturday, November 13th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 2 Comments »

The woman in the last booth guarding the Wichita airport parking lot exit likes my music. She has gray hair and a hardworn, windswept face, the kind you see here on the heartland plains. We don't speak, except for her ...

Selfless

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 4 Comments »

Filing off the plane with our recalcitrant roller bags, our ponderous satchels. Ahead on the jet bridge, an elderly woman stumbles and goes down hard, face first. A young woman drops her own bags and kneels beside the old woman, ...

The pumpkin patch

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 2 Comments »

I think the cook at a local eatery gave me an e coli burger because he didn't like my hat. That's the theory I've been operating under the last 48 hours. We went to the pumpkin patch as planned yesterday ...

Render thy car seat unto…

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 1 Comment »

Six year-old Isaac had a running argument with three year-old Isaiah for a few weeks, on the question of who owns Isaiah's car seat. Isaac, more than any of my other children, has seized on the God trump card in ...

Nerf war

Saturday, October 9th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 6 Comments »

A gymnasium strewn with upturned tables for barricades, a child-hearted husband and wife instigators of the fracas. Boys with single-shot pistols, automatics, rifles, rocket launchers, gathering to compare armaments. The older ones show the younger how to modify their weapons ...

Birthday boy

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 1 Comment »

Today is William Isaac Woodlief's sixth birthday. At lunch, he asked me how many days until he's seven. He likes to plan ahead that way. Isaac is full-hearted and brave, and one day I hope to be just like him.

Vacation II: 800 nights in a museum in 3 hours

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 5 Comments »

More on the Great Woodlief Vacation of 2010, which might also have been titled: "You do know it's 1400 miles to the East Coast, right?" When last I left off, I had just extricated the Big Love van from a midget-sized ...

Vacation: the dark yawning pit of destruction

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 6 Comments »

I took six books with me for a two-week vacation. Since I also took my four children, we have a clear indication that I understand neither math nor children. This may also explain why I found myself, through a series ...

Duly noted

Saturday, August 7th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | Comments Off

Isaac is standing at my hip as I make omelets. He's giving advice. "Dad," he says, "if you have to sneeze when you're cooking, turn your head." I suppose that's helpful, but I can't help but be a little offended that ...

Fine lines

Saturday, July 24th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 5 Comments »

Home yesterday afternoon. The boys drop toys and ditch bikes and jump off swings to come hug me, before I've even all the way out of my truck. Isaiah insists on being held. He wraps his arms and legs around ...

Tickle Monster

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 4 Comments »

Tonight I introduced Isaac and Isaiah to the Tickle Monster Game, which I used to play with Caleb and Eli. (And which I write about in my book. Have I mentioned the new book today?) I armed them both with ...

Attire

Monday, June 7th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 3 Comments »

Wife is gone with the older boys for a few days, leaving me with two year-old Isaiah and five year-old Isaac. We're going to have some man time, I tell them. This evening, Isaac comes to me before dinner. "Dad, ...

The upside of getting one’s head squished

Friday, June 4th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | Comments Off

Driving down the highway a few days ago, we pass a motorcycle. "Dad," Isaac says to me, "do you know why that man is foolish?" I know what he's going to say, but still I ask, "Why?" "Cause he's not wearing a ...

Enunciate, Dad

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 3 Comments »

Isaac, at bedtime: "Dad, what does 'thisino" mean?" Me: "Huh?" Isaac: "Thisino." Me: "I've never heard that word before." Isaac: "You know: Jesus loves me, thisino, for the Bible tells me so..."

Radio, radio

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 3 Comments »

Whenever I listen now to Van Morrison's "Caravan," I think of driving with Eli and Isaac in my pickup, the three of us chiming along with the horn section at the end of the song, dot dant, dot dant, dot ...

Expect to win

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 6 Comments »

Caleb has been on a robotics team. They use Lego Mindstorms equipment to overcome a variety of obstacles laid out for them in an annual competition at Wichita State University. It was his first year, and I think he must ...

Birthday boy and girl

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 1 Comment »

Monday was Eli's 8th birthday, and Wife's . . . significantly more than 8th birthday. She's always been gracious about sharing her day. And her life. And whatever's on her plate, when some hungry little boy asks to sit in ...

Fourteen

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 10 Comments »

You would have been fourteen today. Amidst the chaos of cobbled-together derby cars and robot obstacle courses and four sweaty boys we might have made a cake just for you. I would have made you spaghetti, because it is your ...