Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Though She Had Given Much..."

From "Quiet Talks on Home Ideals" by S.D. Gordon:
"A lady was calling upon a friend whose two children were brought in during the call. As they talked together the caller said eagerly, and yet with evidently no thought of the meaning of her words, "Oh! I'd give my life to have two such children." And the mother replied, with a subdued earnestness whose quiet told of the depth of experience out of which her words came, "That's exactly what it costs!"
"Yet there was a gleam of light in her eye, and a smoothing in her manner, that told more plainly than words that though she had given much, she had gotten more, both in the possession of the children, and in the rare enrichment of her spirit."

This little story so caught my attention when I read it last night. I have been struggling with the sacrifice that motherhood requires lately. Training four children is no walk in the park, especially when one's own flesh is so alive with impatience, self-centeredness, intolerance, ignorance, and the such! Since Noah was little tiny, I recognized that children in general, but MY children specifically, were God's mighty refiner's fire for me. I have been really feeling the heat lately! Raising children, training and teaching children, unselfishly loving and caring for children really does cost nothing short of my very life. It does certainly require a sacrifice to the point of death for it is indeed my flesh that must die, so that I might live. It must die so that I might live and love those whom the Lord has blessed me with.

But how does that play out in every day life? An every day life full of laundry and dishes, sibling spats and unkind words, scraped knees and runny noses, selfish hearts and bruised feelings? I mean, dying to one's self sounds lovely, perhaps even a bit romantic, in theory. But Jesus is not impressed with theory. Nor is He glorified in romantic notions. He is waiting there, where the rubber meets the road called Motherhood. He is waiting to see if I will die to MY expectations, MY timelines, MY to-do lists, MY selfish intentions, MY lofty ideals, MY hopes and dreams. Raising these children WILL cost me! I am a fool to think it won't. But I am yet a bigger fool to think for one moment that the privilege of mothering is not worth the price I must pay.

"....though she had given much, she had gotten more, both in the possession of the children, and the rare enrichment of her spirit."

Mothers, "let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9). Oh, how I need to be reminded of that!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Bit of Rambling

Today will complete our first week of swim lessons for this year. The kids are doing marvelous, even little Hannah. The boys are learning to use their arms more and to dive and Hannah's learning to kick and float and blow bubbles while suspended in water by multiple floatation devices. Sarah has been using her time during swim lessons wisely by doing her best to walk. Oh, she's so very proud of herself and announces this by giving us a huge, cheesy grin every single time she succeeds at her small series of steps. Where has time gone that she should be up on her two legs already?

Yesterday we spent a delightful day visiting my sister in law, nephew and niece at a KOA campground near Astoria, where she and my brother are staying while he does a job in that neck of the woods. The kids had so much fun together playing at the park, swimming and jumping on this huge "Air Pillow". The weather was beautiful and the fellowship sweet. Sadly, I forgot to dig out my camera so my words are all you get! Today, I have tired kids and lots of laundry... always a good sign of enjoying life.

As a bit of a P.S. or side note, I am on the hunt for a stainless steel tea kettle. Let me clarify: I am on the hunt for an ALL stainless steel tea kettle. I had ordered a Kitchenaid that was said to be stainless steel but upon receiving it today, realized that perhaps the core of it is stainless steel but there is still a coating of some sort on the inside. This is rather unfortunate because not only are we in need of one, but this one is such an inviting shade of yellow that I'm a bit sad to have to send it back. YOU have a stainless steel tea kettle that does not have any sort of coating on the inside? If so, where did you find it?
Well, such a rambling post but it's that kind of day here! Hope your day is rich with the Lord's heart-changing presence!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Imagine with me what one young digestive tract combined with one small container of unattended play foam might look like 12 hours later. Motherhood has provided for me many moments that will forever be etched in my mind. This is one such moment!!! I'll save you any further details.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My New Project

I was visiting a blog called Joyful Noise and found this post about what the author calls a "Morning Basket". This is exactly what I've been trying to piece together in my mind, right down to the candle. This is going to be by new project and I can't wait to get started!!! Thank you, Tami at Joyful Noise, for sharing your "Morning Basket". It is truly lovely!

Birthday Girl

(Sarah's birthday celebration, several days late!)
The birthday girl, Miss Sarah Grace, eating her pre-cake dinner!

Every birthday for every child calls for a cake decorated exclusively by Daddy! It's such a special thing for each child and they anticipate seeing their cake so much. We've had Lego cakes and turtle cakes, semi-truck cakes and monster truck cakes, Nerds candy cakes and racetrack cakes. But both little girls received a sweet tiny cake on their first birthdays. Sarah's nickname is Goose, thus the little goose on her cake.

"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...."

Digging in for the first time required the comfort of Mama's arms! (Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that this child actually grabbed for the candle so quickly and neither Craig nor I could respond in time! Thank fully, she wasn't hurt but it did scare the dickens out of her. Definitely a 'feel-like-the-worst-parent-in-the-world' moment!!!)

Enjoying that cake!

All tuckered out in Mama's arms. Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A New Love

I think I'm in love (swoon, bat eyes, swoon again)!!!! My lovely and loving mother made this wonderful clothespin apron for me out of a 'perfect for me' golden mustard fabric with rust red and white cheerful little hens running about. Not only is the apron delightful to look at, but it's usefulness ranks right up there with the Ergo Baby Carrier (and many of you know how I feel about my Ergo)!!!! I love having one more excuse to wear an apron, first of all. Secondly, the convenience of just reaching down into one of my four deep pockets, grabbing a pin and hanging it on the line is marvelous! These aprons, and variations of these aprons, have been worn for generations by other line-dryin' mommas (of course, this was before it was hip to line dry!!!). Some were called clothespin aprons, but many were simply labeled a 'chore apron'. Women used the pockets for cleaning supplies, art supplies, and various other home life paraphernalia. One mom I know said this should be called the 'busy homeschooling mom apron'. I must agree with her!!!!

I love it so very much that I had to make one myself! I found this very cheerful stripey fabric (I do so love stripes! They're so....clean and symmetrical. They entertain my more perfectionistic tendencies!!!) at our local sewing store. It was a very fun apron to make and I do believe I will have to make a few more! Of course, since I already have one, this one is up for grabs on my Paisley Tot Etsy Shop.

Thanks for letting me share about my newest love! And thanks, again, Mom, for my clothespin apron! Perhaps I need to make one for little Hannah now....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kind Words

Andrea of Flourishing Mother had such an excellent post about speaking kindly to one another, especially our husbands and children. It really is worth reading: Speaking Kindly.

I am surprised at myself that this is something I struggle with. I compare myself to the teenager who LOVED to babysit, who soaked up any opportunity to be with children, and who never, ever felt tired, exhausted, irritable, impatient, etc. at the sweet little ones that I watched over. What in the world happened?!?!?!?!

Some days it is a constant battle to reign in my tongue. Sometimes I win the battle, by the grace of God, and sometimes I lose and must come to my children and apologize for speaking to them with the same attitude that I often chastise them for!

I am considering purchasing the book, "Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit" by Teri Maxwell. Have any of you read it? I was blessed to hear her speak on this topic at a homeschool conference and found her to be humble and honest about her struggle with this very issue. I think her book would be pretty appropriate!

I want to tackle this weakness in my life! I want the stranger dropping by at any given moment in my night or day to see through my behavior that I recognize that my husband and children are treasured gifts from the Lord. I want my husband and children to know my love and respect for them simply by the way I speak to them. But most of all, I want to honor the Lord with 'the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart' at ALL times, even in moments of exhaustion, irritability, frustration, etc. Jesus absolutely faced times of exhaustion, irritability, frustration and host of others much worse than I will ever experience in my life and yet an unkind word never escaped His mouth! I must not be happy with anything less in my own life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh, How Can It Be?

How can it be, that in a blink of an eye, this wee little scent of Heaven....
...became this precious little girl?

Happy Birthday, Sarah Grace! I cannot imagine life without you. You are evidence to me of God's perfect grace and love, a delightful display of His kindness to us! May you know always how loved you are by us and the One who sent you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

True Patriotism

A thought to ponder during this election time, from the far reaches of the early 1900s:

"A father and mother living together with their children, tender in their love, pure in their lives, strong in their convictions, simple and orderly in their habits, do infinitely more than presidents and governors, legislators, educators, and clergymen can do in making a strong nation." ~S.D. Gordon in "Quiet Talks on Home Ideals".

Do we really embrace that, as Christian husbands and wives? Do we really fathom the scope and significance of what goes on within the four walls (ha! Who just has four walls anymore?) of the home? Do we really comprehend that the schoolroom of 'one country under God' is the very place where we hang our hats and don our aprons, bath our beauties and scrub our floors; where we read "Make Way for Duckling" 14,ooo times and sooth a sorrow 14,001 times?

The choosing of our president is important, as is the choosing of our teachers and pastors.
However, it pales in comparison to the importance our family life has on the health of our nation. Oh, how our enemy would like us to think otherwise. Daddies and Moms, Husbands and Wives, patriotism comes to true fruition in the place of priority we give to our families. Do not minimize or discredit the labor of your hands and hearts today; you are impacting a nation both today and for generations to come!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Quick Thank You!

A few friends were kind enough to share some of their breakfast ideas and for those who might be interested, check them out in the comment section of this post. Thank you very much, Leanne, Sharon and Rebeca, for passing along some breakfast favorites. I am incorporating them into my menu and shopping list today and looking forward to giving them a try! Yumm-O!!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Slippin' and A'slidin'...

The above Slip and Slide surpasses all! It is about 40 ft. long and 6ft. wide and the kids had an absolute blast running up the hill and sliding back down on the 4th of July! We had a few tired kids on our hands that evening!!! Good and tired...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!

Today, as Americans, we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and our independence from Great Britain. But as Christians, may we also celebrate our independence. According to Mr. Webster, independence is the "quality or state of being"......"not influenced or controlled by others; not depending upon something else; not relying on another for aid or support; not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction".

John 8:36 says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" .

Romans 8:2 says, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Galatians 5:1 says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

What a reason we have to rejoice!!!!!!! Praise the Lord that today and every day we may celebrate our freedom!!!!!!!!
Have a blessed 4th of July...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal is one of our favorite breakfasts. Here is the version we like best:

Baked Oatmeal
3 c. oatmeal
3/4 c. evaporated cane juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk (soy or rice work just fine)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. grape seed oil or coconut oil, melted (butter, margarine or canola oil may be substituted)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
*We love to add dried cranberries to this. Other fresh/dried fruits are delicious as well. You can also add coconut, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, etc. The sky's the limit!!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Stir in your yummy additions. Spread into a 9x13 in. baking dish. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Present with cream to hungry husbands and children and enjoy!!!!

I would love to hear of some of your favorite breakfast menus. Would you mind sharing, pretty please?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hannah's Ergo

Hannah came to me today with her brother's camouflage helmet strapped to her back. "Mom?", she said. "Would you put my baby in my Ergo?" Such a little mum she is!

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