Saturday, August 31, 2013

Videos to Make you Smile

Do you love the feel of a book in your hands? Do get a sense of satisfaction from turning pages of print, eagerly awaiting what is in store next? Do you prefer the compactness and quantity that your device allows for avid readers? Either way enjoy this French video about The Future of Paper.

Check out this adorable video on How to be 2. With a two year old son and a one year old daughter this little video feels very familiar.

The Compliment Fairy might be a way to teach children the power of kind words. Teaching Ethan and Saoirse to be kind a daily challenge, but slowly and surely I see signs of progress. This evening Ethan was thirsty so he found his cup and got himself a drink of water. Then he brought me a glass of water too! Sometimes that boy will go out of his way to be kind!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Heroes; Knights in Shining Armor; Prince Charmings

Roman and I recently had a chance to see a performance of Shakespeare's Henry V. It is the source of the "band of brother's" quote so inspiring to soldiers of WW2.

Tom Hiddleston as Henry V
Seeing the noble character of Henry as presented by Shakespearean lore, I began to consider the of oft-condemned character of Prince Charming. This day and age is quick to dismiss them and their counterparts as relics of childhood, myths of the past bearing no relevance to this day and age. 

I used to think that such a romantic notion was impossible. Then I married Roman.
He is a true prince, with a noble and generous heart, a strong and courageous nature, tender, affectionate, utterly romantic, compassionate and eager to help everyone. Every virtue exonerated in romantic novels and ancient fairy tales is combined in him. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is not a myth!

Prince Charming, Knights in Shining Armor, the heroes of the stories were meant to inspire to greatness. And though it seems that few men take the challenge, once in a while there are Henrys and Romans who stand above the crowd and demonstrate true princely behavior.

Teddy Roosevelt
Such men often seem as giants to compared to the rest.
George Washington, often called a prince among men
They are leaders of vision, with characters that inspire.

Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria
They do not need to be in the spotlight.

King George VI of England, father of Queen Elizabeth II
They will overcome personal afflictions and rise above petty disputes.

So many truly great men have existed throughout history. I add to that list fiction heroes, whom I wish my son to become very familiar with.

Ioan Grufford as Horatio Hornblower
Series such as Master and Commander and Horatio Hornblower. And my favorite sailor/mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch. 

All the deeds of King Arthur and the knights of the round table.

Kings and Queens of Narnia, given titles that express good attributes. Throughout the series all the kings seem to come from the lowest place to be granted the highest honors.

All the characters created by Robert Louis Stevenson,  Rudyard Kipling,  G.A. Henty, and the list goes on. 

We gave our son the name Ethan meaning strong and Patrick meaning noble. As he grows we will teach him how make his name the inspiration for his character.
I want my son to be like his father, a prince among men.

I want my daughter to believe in Prince Charming and know what he should really look like.
She will not be easily deceived, since she has such a man for her father.
I believe that there can be many heroes and knights and princes in this world, when given the inspiration to follow and the opportunity to succeed!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Little Eyes Upon You

There are little eyes upon you
And they're watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly
Take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager
To do anything you do,
And a little boy who's dreaming
Of the day he'll be like you.

You're the little fellow's idol,
You're the wisest of the wise
In his little mind about you
No suspicions ever rise.
He believes in you devoutly,
Holds that all you say and do
He will say and do, in your way,
When he's grown up just like you.

~Edgar Guest

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

"I have found a direct correlation between my eagerness and ability to simplify our family life—to live holistically with our life’s purpose—with how well I’m taking care of myself. True story. And yet the terribly ironic thing is that the best kind of self-care is the simple kind."
Read the rest of this good advice: Tsh's article on Self-care

And what are a few of my favorite things?

Beautifully bound volumes of wonderful words

Running my fingers along the piano keys in simple melodies

The sweet and delicate fragrance of lily-of-the-valley

A wide ocean beach

The graceful strength of a ballet dancer.

A date night with my dear and loving husband!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Hiding Place

Motherhood has many joys, moments like these:

Sidewalk chalk with my little boy and seeing my little girl smile about food. These are good moments, the ones I would prefer to remember.  

But there are lots of moments that I would like to take a break, escape from the chaos developing around me. When they cling to my legs, and pull on my clothes, find messes I was sure I had cleaned, deliberately get into something they know is naughty, all accompanied by the constant call, "Mum, Mum, Mum!"
But I can't run away. Five minutes unsupervised and the mess increase by 10 times! And they are little, so I certainly can't leave them home alone to get myself a treat. So I tell my son, "Mummy needs to use the bathroom."

Little does he know that I am not there to just use the toilet. That tiny room with tile floors, and basic fixtures, is my small escape from the calling of motherhood. I crack open the small window and take in as much fresh air as I can. I wash my hands in the lavender soap a little longer than truly necessary. And if no child is banging on the door I might run the brush through my ruffled hair, just to sooth my equally ruffled temper. And when before the sounds outside that door mount to distress or disaster I say a quick prayer and go out to face it all again.

Occasionally, I try to hide my son in there, soaking and splashing in the tub. It works nicely most of the time. Then there is the time it doesn't. Having stuck the little ones in a mild and shallow bath, I cleaned up the cereal that had been spread throughout the entire kitchen. Then, while I toweled and PJed the baby sister, big brother puddled the entire floor (which needed mopping anyway) and dumped a large box of matches (left from Mums tub retreat of the night before) into his bath water. (Thank goodness he can't light them yet.) 

Right now I am really looking forward to the day we have a master bathroom!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chocolate Cake

Could I be callous to
His pleading request?
Oh, Mum please make
Oh, it's the best!
Lucious and sugary
And just a bit buttery
Today would be nice to have cake to

         So I measure, I stir, then I bake their confeCtion.
           Chocolate crumbs on the little lips that smAck.
    A mixture of buttercream and bittersweet blocKs.
It melts in the mouths which smile thank you to mE.
 For one little moment CHOCOLATE CAKE is perfection!

~Caitlin Mallery

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Carillon of Bells

Dear Lord,
  Faiths fingers are joyfully touching the keys of this carillon of sweet bells this morning, and making them ring jubilantly to the praise of your name!

How shall he not!
  How shall he not!
     He that spared not!
        How shall he not!

What a peal of absolute triumph it is! Not a note of doubt or uncertainty mars the heavenly music.
  Awake, my heart,
      and realize it is your faith which is making such glorious melody!

Press the tuneful keys again, for faith holds festival today, and the joy of assurance is working wonders!

~Susannah Spurgeon, excerpt from her devotional A Carillon of Bells 

He that spared not his own Son ... how shall he not with him also freely give us all things. Romans 8:23

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Times Have Changed

Roman caught this story on Fox News and we had fun going through this test for Kentucky 8th graders in 1912. While there are some answers that have changed since then, most of the questions are still relevant to topics today. What we found most interesting is that students would have had to know and write out the answers, they are not mulitple choice questions. This difference alone shows how much our current testing system is meant for the lowest common denominator. Students should be challenged to do their best work every time instead of coasting on the answers they are pratically fed. OK, enough of my education rant. Go look up the test and see how you relate to 8th graders of a century ago!

1912 8th Grade Test

Monday, August 19, 2013

An Old Favorite

Ahh I am sitting down, I have a huckleberry soda, a handful of Hershey's kisses, and a pile of favorite books. This is a refreshing way to spend spend my evening. After a couple days filled with mental and emotional stress I looked forward to this time perusing words and works that I find encouraging. Funny, what can jump out from old favorites in moments of quiet.

My mother introduced me to "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss when I was a teenager. I frequently pull it off the the shelf and browse the pages again for nuggets of encouragement. It is the fictional diary of an 19th century young woman, and covers her life from the age of 16 through her marriage and mothering years. So much ground, and relevant to different phases of life. I am sure to come back to it for many years. So without further ado, some quotes.

God never gives us hindrances. On the contrary, He means, in making us wives and mothers, to put us into the very conditions of holy living. But if we abuse His gifts by letting them take His place in our hearts, it is an act of love on His part to take them away, or to destroy our pleasure in them. It is delightful to know that there are some generous souls on earth, who love their dear ones with all their hearts, yet give those hearts unreservedly to Christ.  (My husband has such a generous soul)

Here is a sweet mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, I minister in Christs name. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mothers heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her lifelong prayers!

Happiness, in other words love, in married life is not a mere accident. When the union has been formed, as most Christian unions are, by God Himself, it is His intention and His will that it shall prove the unspeakable joy of both husband and wife, and become more and more so from year to year.

I think a mother, especially, must learn to enter into the happy moods of her children at the very moment when her own heart is sad. And it may be as religious an act for her to romp with them at that time as to pray with them at others.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Notes On A Birthday

Counting balloons, "1,2,3, MORE!"

Attempting to blow out the candles.

Hurrah! He did it!

Cousin Creed enjoyed the water balloons.

Cousin Justice dominated the squirt guns.

Sweet cousin Remember. Saoirse had a matching swimsuit, but she napped for most of the water party.

Roman encouraging some daredevil tricks.

Cousin Kindal got water spots on my camera!

Cousin Evelyn studied and watched.

The birthday boy testing the water blob.

Our neighbor boys whom Ethan loves playing with.

(See the water spots) The water blob was a big hit! And it held up through two hours of hard play. We are officially an awesome aunt and uncle!

Ethan opened every gift with a big "Ooo, OOoo!

So the birthday was a success, and I look forward to watching my little boy grow up with all these splendid cousins. Thanks for coming everyone!