Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life is Full

Our life is filled with things that need doing, plenty to occupy us. Still, there are times that seem to have a larger helping of busy things. April was definitely that for us. It started with Easter, and built up from there. There was two solid weeks of me being sick, during which we helped with the fire departments auction, attended by over 7000 people. It was a bad time to be sick, but the event came off pretty well. I am so grateful for the numerous people who have been doing this longer than I have and know how the show runs.
Once I recovered from being sick (and that took a while), I headed on a five day trip to Colorado with my sister, who is newly engaged and taking a massage course in Fort Collins. She asked me months ago if I could accompany her down there and I was delighted to go. Five days away from home, husband, and kids was a relaxing, and a big pile of books, though not without it's share of drama. Almost losing a dog, tracking down a key that seemed to play musical houses, and getting lost were some interesting highlights. Oh, and I left my wallet in a dressing room and had to run several blocks to get it back before the shop closed. Never a dull moment!
If you are ever in Ft. Collins Colorado, go to The Chocolate Cafe. It was amazing!
I got to have the second air travel experience of my adult life, this time without small children in tow. While that made for lighter baggage, I still am a novice at navigating airports and the one in Denver is equivalent of a small city. Then there was the flight itself, turbulence and sweaty seatmates. The fresh air and relative quiet of the Seattle airport was a welcome layover. Then flying over the dark terrain home and falling into the eager arms of my darlings.
Surging masses of people and confines of sealed airplanes made me seek the nearest quiet place. That happened to be a bookstore in Seattle. Browsing familiar and new titles was just what I needed between flights.

There is a special kind of magic in coming home.The barrage of hugs and kisses from those you love. All the dear and familiar objects that you chose for the space you inhabit, the contentment of knowing exactly where you will find the most your toothbrush and pajamas. The humor attached to moment you realize your husband left the front door wide open when he left to pick you up.
My dandelion picking ballerina.
Within a few days Roman left for a military training that was kind of a last minute surprise, but we hope will bring some good things in our future. So now it is time for life as solo parent, and I feel like I am trying to find my rhythm. The days are warm enough that we spend the bulk of it outside, but still there are tasks that need doing indoors. I am trying to gear up for the last summer before I become an official homeschool mom, trying to prepare my heart and mind for a new stage of motherhood. In the meantime, I had better get a few more dishes washed.
Discovering bugs and tiny flowers is his forte.

I'd have a calendar with this guy on it. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Acknowledgement (or how to be humble)

My barista was learning how to make the milky leaf and had her first success on mine!

As a voracious reader from an early age I have tackled a lot of challenging reads. Books that many consider boring, too long, or advanced I devour at rapid rates. I could read hard stuff! Except for the Introduction and The Acknowledgements. Those were BORING! My childish mind thought,"What is the point?" (I also hated the credits in movies.) If it's not part of the story I was not interested! 

These days I  read the Acknowledgments. They are not exciting and generally sound the same in every book, but that does not make them of less value. In my opinion, they might be the most important part on any book (and that roll of credits might be the most important part of a movie). Somebody put time, energy, emotion, love, and skill into the book I hold in my hand, and it is not the work of someone all by their lonesome. No, they had teachers, loved ones, publishers, etc, etc, all allowing that creative act to be in my hands. The author chooses to give credit to some of those people, so in my small way of reading The Acknowledgments I will give them that credit as well. 

For the same reason, if I am not particularly pressed for time, I sit through movie credits. I can't read them all (speed reading on a screen is hard), but all those people were a part of creating the film I just enjoyed, not just the actors and directors. This is what acknowledgements are about: noticing what someone has achieved or created.

Those who create, whether it be great art, music, and literature, or the food we sit down to eat deserve an acknowledgement. Only God creates from Nothing, but as His image bearers we are give the chance to create every single day.  So here is my Acknowledgment Manifesto:

I will say Hello and Please and Thank You. 

I will pay a fair price for goods when I can, and leave tips.

I will compliment achievements of those I know.

I will write thank you notes.

I will applaud generously.

I will read your name in the back of books and the end of movies.

I will praise God for the gifts that He bestows on those around me.

To those of you who read this post, Thank You! It means a great deal that you took the time to view my small act of creation.

What will you do to acknowledge those who create today? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March Celebrations

I like March for a lot of reasons, winter is ending, we can take (almost) daily walks and of course the celebrations of the month, including my birthday. With Easter being in March this year the days ahead look to be full of fun planning.

Before those of course is St. Patricks Day.

Roman and I are both fascinated by the stories of this early church missionary, so much so that we named a son for him. The writings of St. Patrick are truly beautiful and Ethan is thrilled to hear any stories about his namesake. We also enjoy a good pot of corned beef!

This year the Spring Equinox and Palm Sunday fall on the same day. I usually use that time to dye eggs, and since every time I make hard-boiled eggs the kids want colored ones, I am going to be putting that on my calendar. Last year I did these Cabbage Dyed Eggs.

One week after St. Patricks Day and falling smack in between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is my birthday. I have no particular plans this year, but I will find something to mark my 27th year.

Finally we have Good Friday thru Easter Sunday, this year falling on the 25th through the 27th. It is right before the Creston Auction for us, so we will be mentally gearing up for that big event, and probably stay a bit low key. 

As I slowly teach my children about the life of Christ and it's significance, I am made more aware of how beautiful each season of celebration is. It brings me such joy that my children see Bible time as a normal part of their day. They renditions of the Biblical tales certainly have some wild variations, but it is filling their minds, and as we approach the season of Easter I look forward to hearing them retell whatever details stands out in their little minds.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why the Chicken Pox Didn't Scare Me

It is a well established fact that the only sure comfort for sick children is Mom. We can make chicken soup, force the drinking of liquids, binge watch every PBS and Disney show on earth, but only cuddling with Mom is a sure way to soothe the cough-racked, fevered child.
Because of that exhausting fact most Moms try to avoid long bouts with sickness in their home. After all it means interrupted sleep, special foods, and getting way behind on normal things like dishes or laundry. Then there is the fact that the illness must run its course through the entire family. As a general rule we are a healthy family, but I do not willingly invite the flu or bad colds into our home.

In February I made an exception.

I invited The Chicken Pox over, and it has been with us for about 3 weeks.

My poor children have truly been good about not scratching at those alarming owies that showed up over night. They have downed more tea and cocoa than usual and been spoiled with long story sessions. What a bunch of troopers!

I am not against all vaccines. I have let the doctors poke my children several times (which always breaks my heart, because I hate needles myself). But I did know that I wanted my children to have The Chicken Pox as an actual illness. It is far more effective in the long to strengthening their immune systems. Thankfully, they are all quite young and so this experience, while unpleasant, has not been traumatic. 

There are so many amazing miracles that have been brought about by the study and practice of medicine in the past century. Life threatening diseases, such as typhus, small pox, and polio have practically been eradicated from the America way of life. But the miracle of the human body to protect itself against disease is one that can only be wrought by the kind and healing hand of God.
Sometimes our culture fights too hard against disease, making it look like the devil himself that can only be contained in an antiseptic atmosphere and hazmat suits. Yes, illness is hard, but our body was made to fight hard, not to hide from it. I love my children, and will be glad to stay up all night with them if they cannot sleep for a cough or sniffles. I use good medicine to make them comfortable when they ache and fight fevers. I took them to the doctor, who said all was well, they were in no danger. And I know that their little bodies are now better equipped to handle other disease for which there are no vaccines. 

As we move on with life, I am tired, but we are a well and strong family, Praise the Lord!

These three oils were amazing at relieving the itchiness of The Chicken Pox. Lavender baths for the win!

If you would like to learn more about the chicken pox vaccine go to the National Vaccine Information Center and if you would like to know more about essential oils Doterra has a great bunch of resources. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Read: February Edition

Here is where I share some of the books I managed to complete in the past month.
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson

The Fring Hours

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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Who Are You?

Do you ever notice how certain people in your life seem just like a character in some book or movie?
Like the author or director must have known this person, because it is so accurate. Have they met them?

Happens to me all the time.

I am pretty sure I have met a few characters from Anne, a Cinderella, a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Mr. Fezziwig, and a few other less well known characters in the course of my life.

The other day I found my fictional persona. It is not as flattering as I otherwise would have wished, and similarity had Roman struggling not to smile.

It's Rabbit.

It was going to be one of Rabbit's busy days. As soon as he woke up he felt important, as if everything depended upon him. It was just the sort of day for Organizing Something, of for Writing a Notice Signed Rabbit, or for Seeing What Everybody Else Thought About It.
It was a Captainish sort of day, when everybody said, "Yes, Rabbit" and "No, Rabbit," and waited until he had told them.
The House At Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne

And if I am Rabbit, my children are definitely Tigger. Incidentally, Ethan and Saoirse regularly pray the Tigger will not bounce and mess up Rabbit's garden. Why? I have no idea!

I may be a bit prone to "Captainish" attitudes, but on the bright side I can be depended on, just like Rabbit. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Winnie the Pooh and Making Poems

Reading aloud to my children is my favorite.

I pick a story and read it at naptime until they all nod off. Sometimes I keep reading the story to myself. Lately I have been read A.A. Milne's "The House at Pooh Corner." Every once in a while I run across something that very accurately describes me, how I think and function. For instance, when Piglet tells Pooh that shillings shouldn't come after pounds in his poem, Pooh responds,

"They wanted to come in after the pounds," explained Pooh,"so I let them. It is the best way to write poetry, letting things come."

That is often how I write. I let things come, ideas start and I just sort of follow it and see what fits. Sometimes I fight it, because I think it should have a different message, and maybe I am trying to make a point that really isn't mine to make. I like rules as much as anybody, in fact more than most people. But when it comes to writing poetry, I just have to let things come. It is the best way after all.

And just FYI, I have been making videos of my kiddos lately, slowly flexing my techy muscles, and I created a Vimeo channel for them. Here is the link:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016



The golden circle round your finger marks an eternity
Of pain and tears,
Of prayers and fears,
Of smiles and kisses and promises.
To have: a person belonging to you, a gift of full knowledge
To hold: taking care of their needs, small and great
For better: when the laughter abounds, and the cuddles are close
For worse: when they break your heart and wound your soul
For richer: enjoying all comforts together, brilliant or sweet
For poorer: building trust and hope and harmonious work
In sickness: the smells, the groans, the aches, the pains
In health: rest and serenity, strength and ability
To love: the greatest of spiritual gifts, constantly growing to more than imagined
To cherish: memory filled with joy, pain softened by care, a lifetime shared.
Every adventure, every trial,
Every labor, every child,
Every dislike, every delight
Every weakness, every strength
Repentance, forgiveness, the offering of grace.
Giving, receiving, savoring, embracing, encouraging. 
Two become one.