He's nine months now, our Ridley boy. Our little guy has shown his mama how to give thanks in any circumstance and how to rejoice always - just with his smile. Ridley is the son of his father and the brother that makes his sisters big. With him, we are a family of five.
People say that they don't know how I do it, what with three kids under the age of five. I don't pretend to have an answer but I do jokingly admit that I thank God that he's so easy. It's the truth. God knew we needed a baby like Ridley and that is exactly what he gave us.
Ridley has the sweetest temperament and he's getting ready to explore. His hands can grasp little bits of food that he loves to stuff in his mouth and on the sides of his seat. He thinks Obi and Lu Lu are so fun to touch. Obi obliges, Lu Lu usually does not.
His sisters make him laugh the most.
It's this belly laugh that is pure sunshine on any cloudy day. Right now, he is perfectly content grasping the mane of their ponies and Barbie's as he sits on the floor of their room, surrounded by pillows, watching them play. He'll be making his own mischief soon enough but right now, he's just fine where he is.
The older Ridley gets, the more his name suits him. He looks just like a Ridley - with his fair skin, round cheeks, and bright blue eyes - it's obvious that he's my boy, the grandson of my dad, and the nephew of my brother. Even though his looks favor my clan, his last name is strong and hard working and wise and kind. May he understand as he grows up what is means to be Ridley Price as he becomes a boy with a courageous heart.
To bless him as a child of God, we christened him three Sundays ago.
Our pastor took him from my arms, and graced his white fuzz with water that is holy. Ridley looked at me, and I smiled and nodded that this was good. Maralee was wrapped around my legs and Adeline held close to her father, and they got to be first hand witnesses to the dedication of their brother. Later, they had lots of questions, the one most prominent being, "Why did we not get the water too?" in which we responded with the story of their very own christening almost five years ago.
Ridley won't remember all the family that celebrated his christening with him over brunch, but it was a time to gather our people together and give thanks for this precious baby boy. We served up a brunch with fancy salad, chicken and waffles, sausage and hashbrown casserole.
The room was filled with the aroma of hot apple cider and sweet pumpkin dip. We ran out of fruit but our sweet tooths were satisfied with petit fours and decadent chocolate brownies.
The work of preparation was worth it as I heard glasses clinking and silverware tinking together on the family china plates.
Family is a gift and each child is indeed a blessing. As we approach the holiday season, may laughter and smiles wash away the exhaustion and frustration and mess of living daily. May we praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Recipes below for Spiced Lemon Apple Cider and Fancy Salad:
Spiced Lemon Apple Cider: Paula Deen
1/2 gallon apple cider
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
Mix together and serve warm
3 boxes of mixed greens salad (enough to serve twenty)
1 1/2 boxes of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped into small cubes
1 Sour Green apple, chopped into small cubes
2 cups roasted pecans (season pecans with cinnamon, Landry's seasoning salt, garlic pepper, and sugar and roast pecans in oven at 350 degrees until brown)
2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups Cranberry walnut bread croutons (cut bread into cubes and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in oven at 350 degrees until toasted, stirring occasionally)
Raspberry Walnut Dressing (just enough to cover the greens but don't drench them!)
Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately
Till next time, let your light shine!