Friday, January 29, 2010

Tea Anyone?

When my grandma moved to assisted living I was given the opportunity to take a few of her things that meant a lot to me, I choose to "inherit" many of her tea cups. She had quite a few and when we were younger we were allowed to choose one to drink from when we visited. They are all different and all very pretty. I've always had a fascination with tea and tea parties. But for years now the tea cups have sat on a shelf, while looking very pretty they just sat there gathering dust but for the one time a year when we put on a "Lady's Tea" at church. In my recent spurt of cleaning out the house I decided that if I didn't really use an object it needed to go but I can't bear to part with these teacups, what was I to do? Why use them of course! Now at least once a day I make tea in an actual tea pot and if I have the luxury I sit at the table in the kitchen, or if not I stand at the counter and drink tea in a real bone china teacup. Most times the kids join me, even the boys. (They have their own tea cups for now, when they're older I'll let them choose one of mine). This morning I made my coffee in my smaller teapot and drank my coffee out of a teacup. Erik said I was almost being heretical but oh well, I don't think it's the kind of heresy that will shake the earth's foundation.
I was reading in 2 Timothy this morning and came to chapter 2 verses 20-21:

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Instead of sitting on a shelf gathering dust, maybe I should get up and cleanse myself and be prepared so that the Master might find me useful. (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 6:10-18, Ephesians 4:17-32)
But what if I break? Isn't bone china a little too delicate for everyday wear and tear use?

2 Corinthians 4:6-7
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (emphasis mine)

My tea cups may get chipped and dinged and maybe a few will get broken but what good are they sitting on the shelf looking pretty. They need to be used for what they were intended and if a few happen to get chipped while they are being used it's better that then having them collect dust until the shelf collapses under the weight of all the cups and all the collected dust.
(This is not a commentary on my housekeeping skills...but I do really hate to dust.)
Oh and by the by, I have plenty of tea cups so if ever you want to stop by and join me you are more than welcome.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Singin' In The Rain

We finally got tired of our small collection of movies and signed up for Netflix. Our second selection was "Singin' in the Rain". The kiddos and I watched it today and Hannah immediately asked to watch it again, I said probably not right now but maybe Daddy would want to watch it later. What do you know? At the dinner table tonight Erik asked the kiddos if we should watch it tonight. After confessing to him that we had already watched it Hannah piped up with the suggestion that we just watch it again. She loved the movie but was slightly disappointed that the girl didn't actually sing in the rain. The movie also afforded me my new favorite Ivan quote, or rather conversation. This happened during the wind/white scarf dance during the Broadway melody.
Ivan: "Why do the guys always hold the girls?"
Me: "Well, the guys are stronger and that's just the way it's suppose to be."
Ivan: "Does Daddy ever hold you?"
Me: "Um...yes, but not like that. Your Daddy doesn't dance."
Hannah: "But one time he danced with me!"
Me: "I know Hannah, you are a very lucky little girl. But Daddy doesn't usually dance like that (insert pointing to the tv screen here)."
Ivan and Hannah together: "Oh."

As You May Well Have Imagined...

That title there is specifically for MamaGriffith. It's the phrase used in our pilates video that makes us both cringe every time. I'm not sure exactly what it is but it just rubs my eardrums the wrong way. I do have a confession to make, I am a slacker without a workout partner. MamaGriffith has been gone and though I have the pilates video at my house, my bed is just too comfy in the morning and I am really good at making excuses.
I like excuses. This blog post for instance is just an excuse so that maybe someone might stop by my blog and notice that I redecorated my site. I love the "country quilt" background from shabbyblogs, it makes me want to pull out my fabric and quilt. I did pull out my fabric yesterday but for the purpose of giving more of it away. Missionaries that our church supports in Mexico just started a quilting group and have asked for donations of fabric because they have more and more women coming and less and less fabric available so I decided that I should stop hoarding and send some along. I sent along two brown paper bags full and yet my fabric tubs (yes, thats tubs, plural) are still mostly full, anyone want to come learn how to quilt?
I thought it was suppose to rain this week but so far only sprinkles so the kids and I have been playing outside. I even ran a rope down our property line all by myself. This is quite a feat considering the back half of our property is overgrown wetlands with not just standing water, but moving water. I'm excited to get outside and work on the yard, even I am not immune to cabin fever.
I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Promise of Things to Come

Yesterday I went outside to shake the water out of my just washed paint brush (I've been doing A LOT of painting) and I glanced over at my messy flower beds and noticed daffodils starting to push up through the tangle of weeds. I gave an involuntary sigh and thought, "Oh! The promise of Spring." Now, I love fall and winter and the chill and heck, I even love the rain but I'm finding, as a mother, that I really enjoy a little less rain now and again because I do not love housebound children. Yesterday was not raining so the older three went out and wallowed in the mud in the backyard and Miss Moddy was stuck watching at the back door...that's not what this post is about though, I digress.
The promise of Spring. The promise of beautiful things to come, of new life. I went back to my painting with these thoughts circling around my brain:

Ephesians 1:13-14
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession- to the praise of his glory. (emphasis mine)

Oh how I love this! Not only is the Holy Spirit given to us as the comforter, the counselor to remind us and teach us of the Father (John 14:15-27) but it is also the guarantee of the future inheritance of the kingdom of God; the promise of glory and of heaven!
I look forward to that day, praising God that while I wait I have the promise living in me to guide and comfort.
The promise of spring, the promise of new life!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Scrap-booking and the like

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha. The insane laughter you hear emanating from this general vicinity is due to the freeing of my life from junk and unfinished projects. Do you know how wonderful it is to finish projects that have been hanging over your head for a very long time? The other day I took a deep breath and dove head first into the mountains of pictures that have been accumulating for the last 10 years and I tossed, yes threw in the garbage pictures that I have no need of. I have often fancied myself a budding nature photographer, or at least that is what you might gather from the many pictures of scenery I have tried to take over the years. Those got tossed; honestly they were quite bad. I have scrap-booked our wedding album and so all the extra prints got shredded and tossed. ("OH!" you gasp, "What if your children want copies someday?" Have no fear, I saved the picture c.d.s) I pared down the pictures from my missions trip to St. Vincent my junior year in high-school, I couldn't remember half the names of the people I took pictures of, so why keep the picture? I kept the ones I could remember and pictures of the work we did. And, the biggest thing, I pulled out my half-finished Ecola scrapbook and after 8 years, I FINISHED IT! I know you're wondering how I managed to do this with four small children running around, it was no small feat but when the youngest two were down for their naps I cut and pasted as fast as I could and Hannah and Ivan found it absolutely fascinating:
"Mommy, what are you doing?" "Do I know them?" "Is that Jessie?" "Is that Bridger's mom?" "Can we go to Bridger's house?" "Why are you dressed like a boy?" "Why is that boy dressed like a girl?" "Why do you have red hair?" "Why is that boy wearing a dress?" "Why is your hair sticking out all over your head?" "Is that daddy?" "What are you doing?"
So it is done and the rest of my pictures are organized and ready to be scrap-booked in the near future...which could mean next month or within the next 8 years looking at my track-record.

Friday, January 15, 2010


It seems that parenting and worrying go hand in hand. Now, to some of you it may sound like I am stating the obvious and I am but stay with me. I won't say that I never worried before I had children but I thought I had it a little more under control. My favorite verse for awhile was Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. And for those of you that know me well, know that I'm pretty laid back. Sometimes though the ferocious irrational fears rear their ugly heads. Ever have those? A few months ago, I kid you not, I was driving to a friends house in the evening on a back road that was mostly deserted with all my children and without Erik and this is what started running through my head, "It's still hunting season, what if a hunter didn't know he was near a road and shot at something and missed and the bullet went awry and hit my suburban's tire and made me go off the road and crash and I died, who would find my children? What would happen to them?" I reached over and turned on the cd player because I knew the kid's praise song cd was in there and the thoughts vanished.
Last night I was laying in bed and my head hurt and my nose was stuffy and my brain started in on, "What if this is the start of some unknown disease that suddenly takes your life, what will happen to Erik? What will happen to your children? How will they cope with losing their mother?" Melodrama, oh how I dislike thee.
I'm not fearful of my death, I know where I'm going. It's the fear (and what is worry but fear by another name) for my children if I am suddenly gone.
So I lay there in bed praying why these foolish thoughts? And this is what God showed me.
It all comes down to my view of Him. I believe he is good, I believe it in my life but I need to start believing it for my children and my family. Do I believe him when he says he is a father to the fatherless? Psalm 68:5 (Or a mother to the motherless?) Do I literally believe Him? Do I believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love him? Romans 8:28
Why yes, yes I do. Now I just need to start acting like it.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, January 11, 2010

It is finally finished.

It's finally done and it only took 4 1/2 years.
Well I won't keep you in the dark:
I've painted my bathroom. I know, thrilling, right? I am actually quite thrilled. I love to paint walls and repaint walls. It is the easiest way to change the look of a room and I really, for truly, enjoy the actual work of painting. Before we moved in 4 1/2 years ago I started painting all the rooms in our house and I had this proclivity for stripes. Now stripes in and of themselves are not objectionable but an overkill of stripes, that is another story. The kid room was painted with pink and blue stripes around the bottom and yellow on top. (It is now just green) The "guest" room was painted floor to ceiling in two different blue stripes(it is now just khaki) and my bathroom had horizontal stripes around the tops and bottoms of the walls. Herein lies the problem; I painted the horizontal stripes first, no base coat. Dark green stripes. I then decided that I needed a base coat as the wall was only covered in what amounts to cheap primer (it's a manufactured home) and it could not be cleaned. So I started. I always start with the cutting in as the rolling is the fun part and I never progressed past there. In fact, I never even finished the cutting in because not only did I have the floor and ceiling and doors to cut in around, I had the mirror and the bathtub and the vanity and all those wonderful dark green horizontal stripes. Over the years I have picked up a paint brush every so often and painted a little more but the more I looked at those stripes and the more I painted around them the more I started to dislike them and finally I decided it was not worth it to continue on and I bought a completely new color and some primer and a few glass shelves and in two days, yes, two days I have a new bathroom! My new color is called "Courtyard Shadow" - who comes up with these names? I think I'd like that job...I was going for a blue-gray color and I couldn't bring myself to use a color called "sensual silver" even if it was for a bathroom. It is calming and refreshing now and as a busy busy mom it is so nice to escape to there, lock the doors and just breath for a few minutes without child interruption. Who knew that my bathroom would become my retreat (Or my little piece of denial)?!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Sun will come out tomorrow and even if it's only figuratively I'm okay with that.

Today has been one of those days. You could call it the "post holiday let-down". I skipped pilates because I was really tired but realized later I should have gone because it's a nice start to my day and usually puts me in a good mood. We made chocolate chip cookies before lunch and that was good but attitudes and behaviors quickly slid downhill after lunch. Clayton refused to take a nap and Ivan fell asleep when I told him to lay on the couch and not move for two minutes. (I was kind of hoping he would sleep...) but all four of my children decided that I needed to work on my patience today and I did not pass that test with flying colors. And at some point I discovered that I miss-buttoned my flannel shirt and was thankful that the only place I went today was Teacher Lynn's house for Hannah's violin lessons. Erik took Hannah with him when he went to his meeting at church and the boys are watching Veggie Tales Pirate Movie, so the day is ending well, and all's well that ends well, right? Tomorrow will be better? For "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."