July 29, 2009

a bit of this and that

:: baby should be here soon—in the next week, and it feels that the days are crawling by. we only make plans on a day by day basis, trying to pass the time. soon!

:: need a boost about how truly awesome God is? watch the ‘awe factor of God’ video at this website and then listen to a song about how indescribable He is! our family was inspired to praise—the heavens declare the glory of this God!

:: after having some most enjoyable times with my children, my husband & I went out last evening for some alone moments. wow, I forget how great it is to eat dinner without the need to serve seconds to anyone, calm sibling squabbles, or teach manners to little ones. sitting by the river, feeling peace-filled & content…very nice.

:: I’ve updated the ‘enjoying’ section of my sidebar…totally random, but worth noting I guess.

hoping that your week is full of activities that bring joy to your spirit!


July 23, 2009

to the One who loves

{The primary purpose of this blog is to share joy and highlights, but today I feel the need to remind myself of His consistency to me in hard times, though I've not always explained them in this space. So I write…}

In the stillness of late night or perhaps it is early morning?—all the household hush with slow rhythmic breathing and the gentle whirring of ceiling fans…

I awake.

I am drawn to old journals, words scribbled on bound paper, some written in haste, some with more deliberate thought :: whispers and cries of my heart in the past year. I reflect and review this season of time, this slice of history that has molded my character, seared itself into my memory…becoming a part of me forever.

And I remember.

It has been a difficult year, these past twelve months :: reminding me of summer’s intense heat that threatens to scorch and burn away the good as well—times of great memories mixed in with the messiness.

Both laughter and tears are my companions as I read. I wonder about and wander through page after page, thought after thought, lament and praise from one set of lips. And He reminds me of the greatest of these, the one hope forming a foundation for these scraps of utterance written on paper…

He has loved me with an everlasting love.

And I have made feeble and often faulty attempts at extending that love into situations and people around me, rather wanting to protect and shelter my own emotions from the storm. Still…You loved me Jesus.

Unconditional, steady and fervently passionate as You embraced my joy and sorrow—this mix I could not at times understand, but just needed to accept.

My friend, the One and only, the Lover of my soul…I thank You. Once again with scraps of words that will never adequately express how I truly feel,

Thank you for this love. I would have been completely undone without Your presence and steadfast mercy. Therefore, my heart rejoices and gives praise,

to the One who loves.


July 21, 2009

a cooking party with my girl


The last of our special parties for the kiddos around here!

In my mind & heart was to organize a sewing time with my 10-yr old girl, knowing that she’s been missing this activity lately and secretly I was also hoping we could make a simple little quilt for the baby—she would love that. A day of sewing….perfect!

But when explaining to her my idea, I could tell that there was a bit of hesitation on her part. “Sure Mom, we can do that, sounds fun.” But no real enthusiasm was there; I admit I was a bit crestfallen. After a some sleuthing to figure out what was going on {a true art when dealing with girls!}, it was apparent that she had another idea in mind.

“Mom, do you think…well…could you help me…um, make dinner for the family? I’d love to cook with you for our special time.”

What? Cooking—one of my passions—instead of sewing, something I’m not actually very good at? Baby girl, you don’t have to twist my arm, let’s go!


We started from the very beginning, letting her decide a dinner menu, figuring out the ingredients needed, writing a list and then grocery shopping. I offered bits of advice here & there—‘you may not want a green veggie along with a green salad, adding a different color would be nice’ and she both accepted and rejected my various thoughts (ahem…I took it all in stride!).

The menu? Parmesan Chicken, Carrots sautéed in butter & parsley, a Caesar salad, and some bread. A homemade punch she really wanted to try and a store-bought dessert—cannolis, that wonderful sweet cream-filled pastry (yes, I had a bite).

DSC_0031DSC_0036We made adjustments for the food allergies present in our family and cooked the afternoon away. As much as possible, my girl did most of the labor and as time went on, I helped towards the end to bring it all together. She was so very proud of her work. Naturally, I was proud of her too.

I’ll take cooking over sewing almost any day of the week, it was a wonderful & special time.


July 16, 2009

right now

I am…

enjoying :: being still and sipping a cup of hot tea. on a fairly humid day, but tea calms me.

thinking about :: our homeschool year and the plans, structure we will need to help two elementary-aged girls, a preschooler, an infant and one Mama all stay sane. It’s coming together as I release some expectations and adopt others.

looking forward to :: this book’s release in just a few weeks. (like I’ll really have time to craft anything in the next months, but still!)

listening :: hopefully bit by bit this week and next to Crazy Love, July’s free download from Christian Audio; and to my husband’s sermon from Sunday—not allowing life’s ‘weeds’ to choke out the fruit God wants to produce in us (Mark 4, the parable of the sower). I was there to hear it live, but just need to keep it before me…and really, he IS my favorite preacher anyway!

writing this week :: our women’s ministry newsletter for church and a few devotionals to be submitted by late August for publication consideration. exciting!

wondering :: about the baby naturally. when we’ll get to meet this new one, how much bigger this belly of mine can grow before that time, his or her temperament (and praying for a calm one!)…just little thoughts floating through my mind.

And you? What are you enjoying right now?


July 14, 2009

a messy party for my boy


The chief complaint of this little boy’s sisters is that…

“Josiah is messing up my room!”

“Mom, he is making a mess while I’m trying to do a craft!!”

“He is throwing grass into the kiddie pool! Please make him stop!”

Sigh. It’s all true and he’s been guilty of creating unwelcome messes more times than I would like to admit. So when thinking of a special activity for this 3-yr-old and I to share in, the ideas came rushing. Freedom to explore and enjoy the messiness :: without his sisters around.

First we went together to the dollar store to gather supplies—shaving cream, silly string, water balloons {to be thrown at a target, not at each other}, and his own set of wooden spoons for making what he calls ‘mud soup’{a concoction of sand, water, grass & leaves}.


Creating this special soup of his was the highlight. We sat for close to two hours just talking…well, Mama listening to him chatter, while we stirred in more ‘ingredients’. My arm became tired and when I would pause, he would request that I please keep stirring until the soup is done. So we’d stir a bit more—stopped to eat a picnic lunch—and then kept mixing in water and grass. The soup was never really done, Mama just finally announced nap time!



The next day, while Daddy was mowing the yard and Mama inside folding laundry, our little guy decided to continue hosting the messy party for his sisters.

Without permission.

One sibling happily joined in the mud-making while the other…hmmm, not sure what she was thinking or doing. The roar of the lawn mower’s motor was stilled as I was called to come outside with the camera.

As parents we eyed each other to silently communicate & ask what our response should be. My husband just shrugged, I took pictures and we hosed down the two mud-caked kiddos. Then Daddy did firmly inform Josiah that the messy party was officially over—understood? And the day went on without event.

But oh my, what a fun time we had!


July 12, 2009

a tea party for my girl



DSC_0023 Not long ago, I decided to host a special time alone with each of the children before the babe arrives.  The main purpose would be to share in an activity that they enjoy :: and to affirm them, their upcoming role in welcoming a new sibling, and simply to just savor the moment.  It did not take me long at all to think up an idea for our six-year old…a grand tea party at an exquisite garden near our home.  She was thrilled.

This week we packed up our very finest tea ware, hot water & tea bags, some shortbread cookies we had made (I only took a few teeny bites seeing that gestational diabetes doesn’t allow for much more), and new tea stamps & supplies to enjoy—a gift originally for Mama, but one to be shared during this special time. 


The tea party skirt, as we call it, was a must for the event.  A bit of material sewn up in this style, and some precious ribbon found…um, well…at an online shop based in Portugal.  Yes, the ribbon was shipped from Portugal!  It was just too cute & I knew my girl would love it.  I was right.


DSC_0042 When we arrived home later that evening, her father asked about our time.  The reply?

“It was the BEST tea party we ever had Daddy!  The very, very best!”

I agree sweetie, I agree.


July 9, 2009

in the book bag


I’m finding myself gathering books in various places in the house for a few minutes of reading when time and little ones allow it :: some great reads so far~

Mudhouse Sabbath: this book is a gem! The author converted from Judaism to Christianity not long ago and writes of the wonderful traditions she remembers in her Jewish home; and namely how Christians can learn from those practices and their meanings. I’m loving this one.

Grace-Based Parenting: still influencing my journey as a mother & inspiring great conversations with my spouse.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: my labor prep, at least mentally! I had not read this one before and enjoyed it for the most part. Some of the information is a bit outdated as to what practices hospitals have as standards, but this midwife writes eloquently on the beauty of pursuing natural un-medicated birth if possible—whether at home, a birthing center or a hospital.

Christian Writer’s Market Guide: oh, I’ve been so tentative in this area of publication and even welcomed the necessary pause resulting from being quite sick the first trimester & beyond—a wonderful delay! And now, even with baby on the horizon, I take small steps forward once again. This book helps to figure it all out.

The Art of Simple Food: already in my Amazon wish list as one to own—I really like this cookbook! The author focuses on how cooking food does not need to be complicated in order to be delicious and how to work with very good ingredients from the get-go. Lots of great info here.

Mothers and Daughters at Home: because we love to create around here; a variety of fun projects we’ll bookmark to try at some point.

And not pictured are the owner’s guide to my camera (trying out new techniques for newborn pics) and The Private World of Tasha Tudor, which I’m waiting on from the library. Ahhh, how I love a good book!


July 8, 2009


On this day, a gift that hasn’t been fully opened or experienced just yet, let me see You.

Quicken all of my senses so that I will not miss what You want me to hear, to see, to touch.  TO BE.

May I not be distracted by anything that would cast a shadow on Your illumination of today’s grace gifts, the mercies from Your hand, and the treasures You have already set aside for me. 

There is much in store in the hours of this day, I know that is Your plan :: for everyday is a presentation of Your bounty and Your benefits. 

I want to remember each one….today.



July 2, 2009

quiet moments

Once again, my husband has arranged a time of respite for his bride.  A time where the primary purpose is to soak up some quiet, rest, and enjoy activities without the hustle and bustle of little ones.  Not that I mind them of course.

So my faithful protector packed up the children {wait, I did that!} and left three days ago for a trip up north to visit his parents.  Nana & Grandad were thrilled and big sister Jackie was surprised; all in all I’ve heard the trip has been good.  They’re due home tonight.

And me?  Yes, the quiet has been good, though being home instead of leaving didn’t quite put me in the restful mode.  Oh, I slept in & took several naps, enjoyed leisurely walks & times of spiritual reflection.  Then shopping for post-baby Mama clothing was on the list.  Also baby items needed to be washed; and our second girl goes off to her first overnight camp next week…so just a few tasks to do as preparations are made.



While extended time alone is very appreciated, I am aware of the efforts made by both my husband and myself to make sure that everyday life doesn’t become so jam-packed that we do not rest.  Our Lord commands us to make room for respite on a regular basis and in the past year we’ve made more efforts to bend towards this mandate. 

There are areas of growth needed and we keep those before us.  I am so glad however that our home life & ministry life, as very full as it is, does not overcrowd unnecessarily.  This pursuit of rest must be a deliberate choice, and it is at times difficult to tame the tyranny of the urgent.  We actually have to work at making sure there is time to rest!  But it is important to us…and to the Lord.  So we move in this direction seeking wisdom often on how to juggle it all.  He is so faithful to answer!

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