March 30, 2010

ordinary days

You know…some days are just plain boring.

Yep, you read that right :: boring and ordinary.

Or at least it can seem that way to this stay-at-home Mama whose often tired of hearing the echo of sibling squabbles, or seeing the room just cleaned become a perfect storm.  Some nights I fall into bed thinking ‘I seriously hope tomorrow is better’ before drifting off into a deep sleep ::

that is, if no one enters our room at three a.m. searching for his blue blanket, which is right next to his pillow.

Of course.


Ordinary days.  Laundry, cooking dinner (that may or may not pass for a ‘good meal’), sweeping and wiping up messes, losing patience and praying for more, and the list goes on.  But ordinary can be good I’m thinking because those days remind us or at least hopefully teach us to appreciate the extraordinary moments.  You know…the ones where I don’t hear or see the children, go into a serious panic, only to find them contentedly lying on the couch listening to big sister reading aloud.  Yes.

But if I live this parenting life waiting solely for the mountain-top experiences, I’m setting myself up (and my children) for major disappointment on a regular basis.  I must learn to appreciate the ordinary and accept it as part of the experience. 

Our Master had ordinary days—times where he had to settle disputes among his children (um, disciples), clean up messes & mistakes (like bloody ears, eww) and felt exhausted…so exhausted he slept through the perfect storm.  Jesus was one extraordinary God-man whose days were filled with the ordinary of life. 

And so it is with us :: when life is boring, or plain, with nothing really exciting happening…it’s okay and not a sign of defeat or a reason for disappointment.  It’s just simply part of the experience.

Embrace it.


photo of a simple extraordinary moment:

good book, iPod humming tunes, homemaking journal, and hoping the baby on the other end of that monitor naps long.


March 29, 2010

on being twice-born

the first birth :: gratitude for

the hope of new life sustaining pain suffered,

underneath the messy coating of birth fresh beauty never seen before

anticipation settled,

joy unexplainable…


Is this how you reflect upon my birth, precious Lord? Oh, not just the first time :: years ago when I physically entered this arena for life on earth. But the second birth, the one that ties me eternally to You.

Did thoughts of new life coming to your people—the opportunity for fresh relationship—keep you from fleeing the pain of the cross?

Even in the bloody mess did You anticipate salvation settled once and for all?

~ ~ ~

Oh, how I thank you for my second birth! I pause and give gratitude for…

no longer being separated, but connected

Your sacrifice taking my place, making a way

sins lifted, grace given

joy unexplainable…

holy experience

photo of my youngest son, moments after birth (August 2009)


March 22, 2010

gratitude comes softly


it’s hard to see the good. when life’s messes flow freely and the grace always present is flooded by it all.

grace gifts can be hard to spot in murky waters.

but He who is grace, who rises above the flood, is here. and while gratitude does not always come with loud claps of excitement or with shouts…gratitude is what He deserves.


for laughter :: spouse to spouse, side-splitting, tear-inducing laughter

make-up smudges on little girl’s face from use of Mama’s things

sunshine and rain, both needed and appreciated

a girl proud of improvement in math skills

brothers snuggling together

phone calls from my sister, encouraging & uplifting

short words that sit long in my heart

bike rides long-awaited, finally it’s time

butterfly kisses from little ones

spiritual energy renewed

holy experience

photo credit


March 18, 2010

sibling love



Oh, how we’re enjoying the sunlight and warmer weather up here in the North!  Yes.  Spring is on the way! 

And, here’s a picture of little piggies in the sunlight.  Just because.



March 15, 2010

full of thanks

HomeLife.1stNikonPics 011

gratitude for the everyday ::

moments of silence, time to contemplate and ponder, enjoying the stillness

hearing of a little girl’s dreams to grow things

baby’s kisses, sloppy and wet

celebrating God’s grace, His goodness with all the saints in our church community

spouse to spouse sharing :: dreams, thoughts, past and present

HomeLife.1stNikonPics 017

for the freedom and right to educate my children

for the peace we experience in our home, even in the midst of difficulty

for better bellies! the exit of a relentless stomach virus

for the promise of spring :: all things new

photos of last year’s spring arrival


March 12, 2010

around the web

I’ve been printing off lists for spring cleaning and such around here.  Actually, I think that fall cleaning has more benefit as the efforts seem to last longer, but in our home full of little ones and full of family life, twice a year decluttering and re-organizing is very helpful to this Mama.  Besides, nothing happened this past fall since taking care of baby and staying sane was the main priority {said with a smile}!  By the way, that still is a priority, but now the baby sleeps longer!

Well, while perusing various sites, distraction hit a bit and so here’s a few goodies for all~

:: first off, the cleaning and decluttering lists are found at Flylady’s site, who is currently doing a week-by-week schedule to home clean-up.  I’m not participating, but it’s seems helpful.

:: comfort soup season is probably over, but this Tuscan-style Potato Soup from Lindsay looks too delicious!  Agree?


:: the kids and I will have to try these creamy mango pops this summer.  I love mangoes!

:: I’m all about simple toys for children, especially babies; making a few discovery bottles for our 7-month old has been easy and fun.  Ours are simply glitter & water, googly-eyes and cotton balls in small plastic containers or water bottles.

:: I want to conquer the fear of sewing clothing and make a few twirly skirts for our 7-yr old.  It’s hard to find modest skirts for young girls these days, so my frustration led to a search for a simple skirt with simple instructions.  Let’s hope I can follow through!

:: As we’ve entered into the Lenten and Easter season, I’m using this book to focus on the sacrifice of Christ.       So. Very. Good.  A bit deep in parts, but very good.  I will use this in future years as well.

:: And what else?  Oh yes…I’m trying to find room in next year’s homeschooling budget to purchase a home laminator.  This is an extra, not really a necessity though it would get used often.  This ‘obsession’ has led to trying to find free history and science curriculums online so I can eliminate those purchases!  It’s all a game….

Hope you and yours are well, enjoy a blessed weekend!


March 10, 2010

homeschool update

The children have declared that I do not write as much about their schooling as I used to.  They’re right.  When we had a ‘school’ blog, much of their accomplishments and activities were recorded with consistency.  Ahem.  A few family members have noticed as well.  So I’m guilty.

Here’s a little bit of a picture update~

DSC_0096DSC_0098:: Jordyn recently took a class for 1st-3rd graders at a local art school and loved it.  She is now teaching the rest of us the finer points of watercolors, Monet, and drawing.  Photos are from the art show held for parents & family; the top~ both works of art are hers; the bottom~ the one in the middle is hers.


DSC_0017 :: Josiah working on building up those fine motor muscles with clothespins and starting a low-key introduction to simple addition (the worksheets are not for him :o).  We also use these cards (one for each number zero to ten) to line up the numbers in order smallest to biggest or vice versa. 

DSC_0023 :: Jordyn & Josiah’s recent ‘science experiment’!  Which one melts faster—ice in the cold outside or ice in the sunlight on our windowsill?  Waiting and timing the whole thing and then writing down our results.  The reason for a sudden interest in doing an experiment….



…was because big sister Janelle was busy doing her own science project for a class. 

I have to tell you that homeschooling can really stretch you :: when my child is interested in a subject—extracting DNA—that is foreign to me, well, it’s time to dig deeper!  I am grateful for the internet. 

The whole process is explained here and we really had fun figuring out how to get the DNA of split-peas out; then using various mediums to open the nucleus of the cells to see which would produce the most DNA.  Are you confused yet?  My girl knew what she was talking about though I had to catch up.  Now, I’m informed!

Sorry for the poor picture, but the stringy white stuff floating on top of the green pea mixture at the bottom is the DNA!  Watching her excitement made the process worth it.




And the littlest one is working on being cute.  Making faces, smiling, laughing, babbling. 

Good stuff and entertaining to us all!


March 4, 2010

seven things about me

Beautiful_Blogger_Award[1] Tracey over at In Word Adorning gave me a blog award (thanks!!) and asks that I list seven things about me, so here goes~

:: I am wordy. I really TRY to say it, write it, share it all in a smaller amount of words, but it just doesn’t work that way. This post will probably get longer as you read.

:: I LOVE to read. Love, love, love to read and therefore I own a ton of books, but not as many as I would like. When my children move on, their rooms will be converted into mini libraries (joke….I think.)

:: I am super passionate about several things, but mostly about children—my own and those around the globe. The care of, the education of (whatever form that is in) and the raising of these gifts from God. I hope to always be an advocate for children in some way.

:: I sometimes dream about being a doula. Or a midwife, but that’s too much responsibility.

:: I am the type of girl who will bust out laughing in the middle of dead silence at something that happened yesterday. Or last year.

:: I am an introvert and at times rather shy. I definitely enjoy being around people & having fun, but feel most refreshed having spent time alone.

:: I could be happy living in the big city or on a large farm—really. Both are appealing in various ways. I know—I’m confused.

Okay! I’ll pass this on to anyone who wants to participate!

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