Friday, January 28, 2011

Nursing Shirt

I don't usually post about giveaways unless I really, really want the featured item. This is one such item. It's so cold to nurse in the winter so I've wanted one of these for a long time and now Mama Chocolate is giving one away.

Breakfast Meat

So this morning I put pork into our scrambled eggs (anything to make them more interesting!). It was left over pork chops from dinner and I cut it into strips. Joshua poked a piece onto his fork but to him it wasn't just meat adding flavor to an otherwise boring breakfast dish. No, it was the tongue of a wolf that had been trying to kill him and Lucy. So he killed it and ate it for breakfast. Apparently it was trying to kill them because I killed one of its babies. Each piece that he and Lucy ate came from a different part of this big bad wolf.

Oh, and just now he made me turn off my Grooveshark station (you know, the one with the Proclaimers) so he could listen to Saint Saens' third symphony in C minor.

I love my boy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Esther is supposed to be sleeping right now. I've been giving her naps on my bed so the kids can do their "quiet time" on their beds and I can rest on the couch in my room. Today Esther went to sleep a bit early so she's awake already. She keeps looking over at me and I keep saying the same thing: "Go back to sleep, Esther." Then she rolls back over to rest some more. A minute ago I noticed she was breathing funny, kind of loudly and irregularly. I realized, she is fake snoring. So cute!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Esther's Learning

Yesterday while Esther was playing with this sorter and stacker toy, I noticed that she was actually sorting the colors! If a red shape was on the blue peg when she went to put a blue shape away, she would stop and move the red shape first. And if she grabbed the green shape she would hover over all of them until she found the green peg. It's so fun to watch babies learn!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making Plans and Accepting God's Way

I have a list of things I would like to do every day. It has things on it like walk with the kids, read both some fiction and some non-fiction, do school and read aloud with the kids, practice my harp that's just sitting there (in the way) getting out of tune, read the Bible. I want to do them every day (-ish) but they're mostly non-essentials that tend to get pushed aside. Most don't take long, but all together the list adds up to four hours of activities. Where can I fit four more hours into my day? Between the dishes and the laundry, the meal planning and grocery shopping, the diapers and the phone calls, the spanking and the napping? I know, if we just quit eating, I'd have time... And this list doesn't even include the projects I'd like to work on such as pictures, knitting, or image work for Exodus.

This morning after sitting down to write these things into a list I began buzzing around the house in an attempt to, you know, get more done. First thing to do was clean up the kitchen. But then, not two minutes after writing up the list, I went to throw away the bag from the loaf of bread I'd made into French toast for breakfast and forgot all about the shards of broken pie plate I'd put in the garbage last night. Slice! Thanks to Lucy's injury last week my medicine container is now quite stocked on bandaids. I pause. I take a minute to staunch the blood and slap a bandaid on my pinkie. I thank God that yes, I can make lists, yes, I can try to get more done, but in the end, He's in control. Man makes the plan, God directs his way...

Motherhood involves a lot of to do lists, a lot of fitting life in between diapers and dishes. But then you have a moment in the midst of it all when you pick up the baby and rock out to "I'm Gonna Be" by the Proclaimers. The fact that you're both still in jammies makes it all the more special. Let me tell you, that's what motherhood's really all about.

Getting some fresh air today. A little rain never stopped us!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Making the Baby Laugh

Lucy and I were washing the dishes when I began to realize that there were peals of laughter coming from the other room. We went to investigate and found that the amusement resulted from lack of space, abundance of stuffed animals, and some very exuberant bouncing. Of course Lucy was done with the dishes. She wanted in on the fun!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Little Helper

No, she's not really all that helpful, but when you're standing there with your hands in yet another pile of soapy dishes and she independently scoots a chair over so she can get her hands in it too, you just smile and make room at the sink.

Today I determined to attack the pile of mending/alterations that had been growing in my closet. After sewing on a couple buttons I found two blouses that just needed to be ironed. Well, they were sure waiting in the wrong pile! Then I pulled out a couple more projects and made the happy discovery that the bottom half of the bag was full of the leftovers of a project long finished. Fixing and altering still took all afternoon, but it was much more manageable than I first thought!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

School and Band-Aids (with pictures!)

Joshua will be five in two weeks. This whole year, with a measure of anxiety and a bit of dread, I kept feeling like I really needed to be teaching him things--you know, letters, numbers and all that. But then I would remember, "Oh yeah, he's only four." Periodically I would pull out alphabet flash cards and when he couldn't distinguish between just A, B or C I would put them away again and wait and watch a little longer. Now, I'm not one of those educating moms who sit and play shapes and colors games for hours with their six-month-old babies. I take the wait-till-they-want-to-learn approach and try to encourage imaginative (and independent) play. But something a friend was saying about high school made me rethink some things and realize that a little challenge would be good for all of us. Even if he isn't learning much about the letters and numbers, he could be learning about sitting still, focusing and following directions. Doing some kind of schooltime would develop good habits that all of us will benefit from when the real challenges come around.

So I took a little trip to Exodus and did some homeschool mom shopping. It was actually pretty fun, too! (Spending money usually is.) So now we have magnet letters and numbers all over the fridge, crayons and pencils, workbooks, and schooltime.

Joshua has learned numbers and counting much more quickly than letters. He still only knows a random scattering of letters but he will pipe up at surprising times (like the middle of church) with, "Three plus four equals seven!" I think he's picking up a few math facts from his uncle Nathaniel, but he has a remarkable memory for them.

Joshua also has a coloring book, but instead of coloring the pictures, he draws lines to tell stories. One day, after coloring a castle orange and red because it was on fire, he drew black lines so the bad guys could be on one side and he and the good guys could be on the other. Today he found an ambulance on another page and after coloring the sirens blue he made it drive through the pages to rescue the inhabitants of the burning castle.

The magnets on the fridge are mostly used to fashion pictures of cars, rockets and creepy monsters.

Lucy wants to be involved in everything Joshua does so she has her box of crayons, coloring book, and workbook. She is not far behind him in pencil skills and letter/number recognition. I bet the two of them will learn to read at the same time.

And then of course there's the baby. But since she just likes to eat the crayons, she gets relocated to the crib with some kind of interesting toy that will hopefully keep her busy enough not to notice what's going on at the table.

If you weren't too busy admiring Lucy's adorable smile you may have noticed the butterfly bandage on her forehead.

She walked right into the open car door on Monday and got the deepest gash that I've had to deal with as a mother. Believe it or not, that is the first band-aid that I've had to put on one of my children. In fact, I had to go out and buy some because I didn't have any in the house! Sure, the kids have fallen down, they've gotten bruised and scraped, but I don't use band-aids unless there is a flow of blood that must be stanched. In this case, the boo-boo needed to be held together. It really didn't bleed that much and since we had just begun cleaning the car, rags were handy. We trotted down to Rite-Aid and, following the directions on the box, I applied my first ever butterfly bandage. Hopefully it won't scar too much!

All of the above pictures were taken with my new camera! Friends were upgrading so I got to chip in towards the new model and keep the old one. Happiness!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Compliment

My sister-in-law, Hannah, just paid me a high compliment on the state of my kitchen. No, she didn't praise me for having such a clean microwave or wonder how the floor could be so crumb free with three toddlers eating over it twice a day. She said to me, "Your home looks so cozy and lived in!"

We did arts and crafts today. If you know me at all, you will understand what a statement this is. I'm not crafty and I'm kind of a perfectionist. But Lucy's enthusiasm made it all worth it. When I told her what we would be doing she kept dancing around the house exclaiming, "Oh my word!" And about halfway through the cutting and gluing and stickering, she sighed, "This is so fun!"

Instead of washing the breakfast dishes I did things like put Esther's too small clothes away and get out the next size; sort out about half of the pile of dresses she had to pass on to the new little girl cousin she will be getting in the spring; supervise the aforementioned craft time; work on the next Exodus newsletter; change diapers; take a nap...

My house may not be winning any awards for tidy kitchen of the year, but it is indeed being lived in. For a mom of three little ones, Hannah's compliment is high praise indeed.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Baby Shower Devotional

My dear friends, Johanna and Katelyn, both recently gave birth to little girls. They asked me to give the devotional at their joint baby shower. Here's the link if you are interested in reading what I wrote: