Tuesday, November 15, 2011
It is hard to believe, but my Abigail Joy just turned three! Where has the time gone? I can so remember the misery I was in during my last trimester with her. She was my hardest pregnancy at the end, but she was worth it!!! Lauren and I enjoyed shopping and putting together a cupcake theme for Abbie Joy's birthday. After Annagrace's purple themed party last month Abbie Joy really wanted a PINK party. Thankfully the cupcake theme was very accommodating to her wishes. :) Lauren made the cupcakes and decorated the dining room for me. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have a daughter who likes to bake and decorate. With all I have going on it is nice to be able to hand some of that over to her. You can see in one of the pictures where Lauren was leading Abbie Joy into the party room; so sweet! We are very thankful for Abbie Joy and all the life she brings to our family. :)
I hear so many speakers/authors talking about the importance of the family table these days. My understanding is that with our crazy busy culture many families rarely even sit and eat together anymore. Because of this many speakers on family issues are encouraging people to rethink their commitments so that they can prioritize the family meal time. Meal time is a time for sharing and fellowship. Now I will be the FIRST to say that meal time is not a relaxing time at our house. With lots of little people it is more chaotic than anything. Even so it is my desire to work toward that goal of meal time being a haven; a time where the family gathers and gives thanks and shares about our lives and about the Lord's faithfulness. Author/speaker Sally Clarkson talks a lot about creating atmosphere in our homes. She encourages small steps such as lighting a candle or playing classical music. Sometimes little efforts can go a long ways in communicating that meal time is special and important. When our children are grown I hope that they always look forward to coming back to the family table and sharing times of togetherness. As I said, we have a long ways to go in this but I do think it is important enough to work at. These pictures show a recent attempt I made in this area. I just used our glass dishes instead of paper plates and added little pumpkin cut outs from the dollar store. I also lit a fall scented candle.
Friday, November 11, 2011
We have been busy at home this fall. These pictures reflect some of the sorts of activities especially my little ladies have been busy with. Abbie Joy is a busy little girl, and so I try to keep her engaged with hands on activities as much as possible. It helps keep her out of trouble, and she likes to work on things. We sort most of our manipulatives in plastic shoe boxes. Often times she will ask for an activity box, and we will set up something for her to work on at our little preschool table. Lilly Faith is even aware of where we keep the boxes and is showing lots of interest as well. One fun thing we recently did was make homemade holiday scented play dough. It was messy, but it did smell good. It had all the holiday spices, and the children used pumpkin cookie cutters to cut out pumpkins. My little girls love to make things, do crafts and do learning activities. The more I can keep their hands busy the smoother things seem to go. Thankfully my older two are learning to branch out some on their own with some of their studies. It is helping that I do not have to sit with them for every subject. All of it is a juggling act and I am always tweaking, but I do feel good about giving the little girls fun things to do with their hands.
Today Abbie Joy turned three years old. Her Daddy was gone and she was sick. Lilly Faith is sick too. I thought some herb tea would be good for the girls, so we had an unplanned for birthday tea. Abbie Joy thought it was fun that Mama joined the party at the little table, and then we decided to bring over our singing tea pot that the girls have had so much fun with. It was one of those special moments that happen with no planning involved. Just for the record Abbie Joy enjoyed her first peppermint tea tonight, and Lilly Faith had chamomile tea. Mama added in a little honey for their coughs. Hopefully tomorrow Miss Abbie Joy will have a really fun birthday party as we celebrate with Daddy. The other special thing we did today was purchase the Bambi movie and let her watch it for the first time. It was cute to see her watching it with a smile on her face.
Monday, November 7, 2011
It has been a while since I last did a Seven Quick Takes so here goes........
1. Yesterday I tried my hand at crocheting again. I am currently working on a black and white dish rag. So far so good. Although I like knitting I do think crochet is easier.
2. This is a conversation I had with Abbie Joy today.
Me: "We are going to eat lunch."
Abbie Joy: "I don't like lunch."
Me: "We are going to have good food."
Abbie Joy: "I not like spinach." Where in the world did she get the idea we were having spinach??? So silly!
3. I am currently reading the book of Job. It has been a long time since I read much in Job, and there are some really profound and also some humorous things in that book. One thing is for sure, the book of Job sure puts into perspective the magnitude of the Creator in comparison to the smallness of the created.
4. What's cooking tonight? Potato soup in the crock pot. I love this time of year when I can do a lot of my cooking in the crock pot. It works out so much better for me to cook in the day instead of in the craziness of the afternoons.
5. Surprises? Gabriel started throwing up yesterday morning and has continued into today. You just never know around here. I was up and ready for a blessed day at church and had no idea that was coming. So far there are no other victims. I hope it stays that way.
6. Bible Study: I am currently working through the Elizabeth George Bible Study, "Loving God with All Your Mind." I just started it. One take away so far is that the way to combat negative thoughts, emotions, etc. is by focusing on what is true.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Phil 4:8 ESV We need to USE the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" -Eph 6:17 to help us defeat anger, fear, and negative emotions. That has been a good reminder to me.
7. Blunders....well, I totally ruined a good soup last week by cooking it in the crock pot when it should have been prepared on the stove. I could have cried. It had ingredients like corn starch and tomato soup that just could not handle the simmering all day. I felt so disappointed but a lesson was learned. Have a great day, everyone!
Friday, November 4, 2011
I somehow missed this one and cannot leave it out. I love this precious picture of Anangrace, I mean Ms Patty Cake. I tell you, she is a very sweet spot in our family. She tries very hard to obey and be helpful and for the most part makes mature decisions. I am so thankful for the SWEETNESS she brings to our whole family. Earlier this week Annagrace had the excitement of going on a date with her Daddy. He explained to her that one day a young man will want to take her out, but he MUST go to her daddy and have a talk first. Her daddy plans to protect her and guide her through that process much later on down the road. :)
Here are some group shots including the silly face one with the cat! My children chose to dress up as a knight, reformation princesses, a cat, and Ms Patty Cake. We really did love the spiritual focus our church placed on the day by celebrating an incredible thing God did on that day in history.
This year we had the opportunity to attend our first Reformation Day Party ever! I have read about such parties but never knew of one anywhere near us. Can't you just imagine my delight when I found out that our very own church was going to host one? Reformation Day, when Martin Luther nailed the 99 thesis on the door of the church in Wittenberg, is on October 31st. Luther's work spurred on the work of the Protestant Reformation. What a wonderful thing to celebrate! So, my children put on some fun costumes, and we went and celebrated God's hand in history. What a fun and uplifting way to spend October 31st!
"And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds." Genesis 1:25
Living out here we have seen a lot of interesting nature. Some things we might rather not see, but there is never a lack of surprise or activity going on out here. One evening I was taking my younger girls on a wagon ride when I nearly ran right into this surprise.............BABY SKUNKS!!!
I am Still trying to catch up on months of activity here on this blog. I just wanted to share a few pics from our church VBS back in July. My children enjoyed going on a Summer Sea Quest and learning about Jonah. These photos are of the end of the week program. Lauren is in the group picture on the back row near the middle. In the other pics you can see us trying to keep little people busy during the show. :)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
In yesterday's long post I mentioned how there is a lot of training going on with a certain two year old in our home right now. I think this series of pictures will shed some light on her passionate personality. We were on our way to VBS at our church last July, and all I wanted was one sweet picture with everyone SMILING (PLEASE!) Do you even know how hard it is to get a good picture of all five of them??? Look at what a ham Abbie Joy was. She could not be still for a second. You can see in the pics that she just kept moving. Yes, definitely a LOT of training going on with this precious girl right now. She is a very determined little thing and very strong. By God's grace I pray Matt and I can shape and mold her passion and strength to be a mighty warrior for God's kingdom. If she directs her energies into serving the Lord she could do so much for His glory. I don't think she will ever be one to sit still. She is a mover and a shaker.
In downloading old pictures off of my newly repaired cameral I found these pics from Lilly Faith's first birthday. I never posted them and cannot fail to do so. Lauren has become quite the birthday party hostess lately. She has decorated and made cakes for Lilly Faith, Mama and Annagrace. She loves to bake and decorate cakes. I am thinking maybe a cake decorating class might be worth pursuing since she seems to love doing this.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
It has been a few months since I did very much with this bloggity blog. There are several reasons. Honestly I have been in one of the most intense seasons of my life. I currently have a very strong willed two, almost three year old, and a very busy one year old running around. I also have a beautiful ten year old who is growing older and needing time to talk and work through the transition from childhood to the young lady she is blossoming into. Then I have my eight year old son and five year old princess. To add to all of that Daddy's work schedule has been busy and we have had many ongoing issues with our home. I have learned that an older home demands high maintenance. In honesty I am struggling with discouragement as life feels bigger than I am. There never seems to be enough of me to go around, and I am NEVER caught up. I am physically tired and weary of battling all the behaviors and attitudes that must be dealt with when training hearts at home. :)
I have been thinking about the fact that we go through seasons in life. There have been seasons when I have felt more on top of things than I currently do. There have been seasons that have been more fun. There have been seasons when I really thought I had at least a lot of the answers. There have been seasons where I knew the Lord was teaching me so many new things and I was bubbling over with excitement about it all. I think right now I am in a season that is humbling. I am realizing just how much I don't have the answers. Only my Savior does. I am realizing the depth of my own inadequacies. I am recognizing my faintness of heart. I recognize the aches and pains of being an older mother back aches and all. It is a season that has me desperately looking to the cross. I am thinking more about "not I but Christ." I have realized that I am finding myself in a different season than early motherhood. I am half way through raising my first born. I am contemplating the season I have lived through and the different season I now stand in. There are new lessons to be learned. I am humbled before my God. "But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Cor. 15:57
So, sometimes when you are deeply humbled and beat down you just don't have a lot to say. I think I have been thinking more than writing lately. Also, my camera was in need of repair for a few months, and again just a lack of time to blog. BUT.......I do hope to begin blogging more again! I hope if nothing else that maybe my children will one day enjoy reading about our family journey through the years. I hope that maybe I can have this blog printed in book form one day, and then it will become a sort of scrapbook I don't have time to create otherwise. I also hope that in some way others may be encouraged who are also trying to "fight the good fight."
I do have quite a lot to catch up on. Going back to August I had a birthday. My dear Lauren put together a BEAUTIFUL party in my honor. I was super surprised at her ability to pull of such a pretty party without any help from her Mama. The party had the flare of a victorian tea room. One thing that blessed me immensely was what she wrote on a little name plate and placed in front of my plate. She wrote, "Mama, blessed and pure." Those simple words made me feel so honored. What encouragement to my heart.
A verse that I have been dwelling on is the well known, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Ps 46:1. Though trials and troubles abound God is our refuge!!! Nancy Leigh DeMoss so wisely said that the two realities in that verse are God and trouble. Aren't we glad that we have the former to help us with the latter!
Though some of the things I have shared in this post are personal I hope it encourages others. Sometimes when I read blogs I almost feel discouraged. Sometimes it appears that other moms have it all together or at least run circles around my attempts at pulling things together. I don't want my blog to ever have that effect on others. So, if you ever read my blog and felt like I was a supermom now you know the truth. ;) I am in the battle along with everyone else, and I need new wisdom and mercies for each new day.