Thursday, March 31, 2011

Busy Beavers

For a day we enjoyed the spring weather! It was so beautiful. The little guys wanted nothing more than to jump on the trampoline, have a picnic, and chase the ducks. We thought maybe we would take a stroll up to the pond and see if the beaver could be seen. No sightings but we saw the telltale signs of his or her presence.

The ice in this corner of the pond was gone, and a trio of chewed trees mark his/her doorway.

There was a new bird singing and we tried to flush it out of the brush so we could see what kind of a bird it was but it was shrewd and flew away in odd directions and very low to the ground. Maybe a wren? Maybe a wood thrush? We will see!

And this one seems to be following his sister's footsteps in dirt enjoyment ;)

"You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again." ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Believe in Spring

The winter lingers long this year, and the walls are getting closer :) So I do the next thing, knowing as the years have shown, spring will enter the scene soon. I have seen the chipmunks wake from their hibernating nests, the mallards have paired and they swim gracefully in the creek, the sun shines warm through the eastern windows. These days of *in between* I ask for grace and the simple guidance of "do the next thing" always whispers clear.

So I remind myself and stick to the rhythms of what I've known, and reap the fruit of the immediate joy and faith for the soon-to-come. I know it's coming. I believe in God's goodness.

Some of the very simplest of rhythms like:
~ drinking in His words in the early morning
~ trusting in His words
~ praying always
~ taking time to be quiet
~ confessing my sins, receiving His forgiveness
~ actually using the tools He's taught me through my mothering and homemaking years
~ enjoying the blessing of women who also share their tools and I can learn things from them
~ keeping that gratitude journal on the counter, and counting His blessings during the day

It's wonderful to be the King's daughter.

Romans 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father."

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Day in March

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." ~Charles Dickens

It's still windy and cold, but it is certainly Spring. We are venturing more and more outside...and I go too. The sun is good for all of us. Today I held Grady and we watched the kids play and gather their "treasures" of knotted crab apple wood, stones-one a fossil, and leaves. Bannon and Abby have begun a "playground" of old metal pieces and wood. It's so very cute to watch their excitement inspire them. Sophie was a wonderful big sister as she chased Bella who was doing her little wandering thing that she does. She didn't have to, because I was nearby watching. But it was a gift to observe how they were caring for one another. I'm sure you can understand.

We planted little, itty bitty seeds today in eggshells. We will hopefully watch over them well, and watch the green shoots come up soon. I have a couple of strawberry pots that I'm trying to understand how to use, and many more dreams in my head for flowers. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Little One

Grady's birthday dinner was held on March 20th, a full day after he turned one. It was postponed due to other little siblings being away visiting Grandma. Since we knew little Grady to be a flexible kind of boy, we thought best to wait for the Grand dinner of spaghetti to be held on Sunday. It was a bittersweet sort of moment for me. The time truly does pass quickly, and I can honestly say, this person is a wonderful gift to us. Thank you Lord for Grady. For his happy ways and smile. For his excitement in being alive and his curious ways of observing the world.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bannon's Spring

"Mom? Can I take the camera outside and take pictures like when you let me take pictures of the beaver?"

"Ummmmm.... well, be very, very careful with it."

"I will!"
All Bannon's pictures. No influence by me

"You get some mud in your hand, throw it in a cool drying place, like in the sun, get it as big as you want, put some decorating things like sticks, leaves, rocks and then let it dry." Bannon's mud pie recipe.

Friday, March 11, 2011

When the lion in March becomes the lamb

2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

trading in:

complaining and receiving thankfulness

Fear and receiving faith

Worry for trust

Frustration for creative solutions

Tearing down for building up

Cynicism for loving truth

Impatience for mercy

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not really sure I'm communicating this right...

I frequently think and say to people, "I had no idea how much being a mom would require me to die to myself. I don't think anyone could have prepared me for that."

My prayer life has increased tremendously because there are so many times I truly don't know what to do for "life" that happens and there are decisions and wisdom that is needed.

I read the Word to understand the heart of a Father that created mothers to raise and lead children, and how I need more of That kind of Love. A Love that made all of us in His image. A Love that sent His Son to lay down His life to give us eternity with Him.

And yesterday, in the stress of a busy day, when patience and love was waning, I cried out to God about it all. And it's often, frequently, in the very simple but crazy times of cooking with the little hands asking to stir, and cups of milk that spill, and din of noise, and children who are fighting or giving me lip, He asks me to take a long loving look at Him and remember the whys of being patient and loving. The whys of discipline and instruction.

This is my later love note to their Daddy (with some parentheses to explain my thoughts):

"It's been a filled to the brim with bustle morning. We worked on chores, some fairy tale and nursery rhyme reading, drawing, and then lunchtime. I'm tired. But I'm thankful (to their Creator and Father God) for all of their big blue eyes (sorry, I love brown and green eyes too :), helpful hands and hearts that make messes, get loud and get in the way of my business. They are all sorts of sweet and they help make me a better person. They deserve it (meaning my love and patience) even though they aren't perfect. (Abby told Bannon he wasn't sharing and he said, 'no one is perfect (sigh!).' "

God says they are worth it. He said we were too.

(A peaceful moment where I had time to grab the camera)

And have I mentioned how much my children love this blog? This living photo album? I was checking out the new banner yesterday, and Abby scrolled and suddenly stopped. Can you see why?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homemaking thoughts

A Little House
God send us a little home
To come back to, when we roam.
Low walls and fluted tiles
Wide windows, a view for miles.
Red firelight and deep chairs
Small white beds upstairs
Great talk in little nooks
Dim colors, rows of books.
One picture on each wall,
not many things at all.
God, send us a little ground
Tall trees stand round.
Homely flowers in brown sod
and Overhead, thy stars, O God.
God bless thee, when winds blow
Our home and all we know.

~by Florence Bone

(Jeremy's homefries. He is the best at making them.)

Jeremy has the claw foot tub in! The beadboard is painted white and there are tiles under the tub only, but we are on our way to remodeling the house. It is such a fun and a creative endeavor for us to imagine colors and feelings here. I look forward to thrifting to find the treasures to accent the walls and furniture.

I've found this winter a happy recipe for the dinner hour are the candles, the music, the insistence on table manners, and sitting together for talking. It really doesn't matter the food or perfectly matched sets. It's amazing how even the simplest meals (grilled cheese, eggs, salads), are all the sweetest and heartwarming with these ingredients.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Worship Him

"Graces unexercised are as sweet perfumes slumbering in the cups of the flowers: the wisdom of the great Husbandman overrules diverse and opposite causes to produce the one desired result, and makes both affliction and consolation draw forth the grateful odours of faith, love, patience, hope, resignation, joy, and the other fair flowers of the garden. May we know by sweet experience, what this means." Charles Spurgeon

For today, and every day, eyesight catches glimmers of the hope of heaven.

We see Jesus, in the Word, the fullness of God in human form.

And He lives in our lives when we ask Him, and we seek His kingdom first.

Casting cares, anxieties, concerns.

Asking for wisdom, direction, opportunities, instruction.

We obey.

It sometimes is a song.

Sometimes an action.

A word.

A jar of perfume.