That’s what Ezra calls something when he doesn’t know what the right word is: Booga.


And ever since he first used it and we all laughed about it he has used it again and again with glee. It’s part of the family vocabulary now- we all use it. Now if we want to say that someone is being silly we say they’re being a Booga.



When my youngest brother was 3 years old he announced to everyone he was changing his name to Coo-ee. And he wasn’t three, he was seven-and-a-half. (A very important half). He stuck to it for an entire year and absolutely refused to respond to his given name. So we all called him Coo-ee for a year and now make sure to bring it up in front of his girlfriend every once in a while just to see him turn shades of red.


It’s the inside things that bond a family and knit you together so that when you live far apart 25 years later you all come together with the commonality of the shared home life, the jokes, the re-telling of stories.


I have a large family; I am the oldest of nine. Only four of us live within an hour of home, and everyone else has gone away to follow work, a spouse, or a calling- a missionary brother in Utah, a brother in Nebraska, one in Kansas, another away at college, and my baby sister working with children across the ocean in the Philippines. It is only 5 weeks til we get to see each other again, but now it’s so much more- wives, husbands, a fiance, a new baby- all coming together for Christmas.


We try to explain to the “extras” what it was like to grow up together, how the family dynamic worked, but there just aren’t words. It’s in the way that one brother calls another “Albert” (even though that’s not even remotely close to his real name), the way the brothers argue over the Risk board even as grown men, the sisters knitting together and eating pie while the boys aren’t watching, everyone coming together to sing, to be still for Christmas and know the moment for what it is.


Remembering Faith.


Family together.


Prayers for babies, the ones already with us and the ones to come.




Only five short weeks.

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