Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can I Take Your Picture?

I'm not a big fan of big government (see yesterday's post) but I will not complain that they want to give me a "return" on my taxes. I will gladly take the money and run. And this year it is not going towards a vehicle or a new baby; sure we will be responsible with most of it but who wants to be responsible all the time?! Luckily I have a husband who understands that sometimes as a parent all the responsible-ness gets to you and you start to go a little crazy...wait, you don't? So we set aside a little as "His & Her Monies" and mine is already spent. I have dreamed for years of being the owner of a Canon Rebel camera; for awhile I would have been happy with even a 35mm (that's how long I've wanted one) but now I'm going digital; the XSI to be specific. I stop and pause when I walk by the camera display at Costco or Fred Meyer and think, oh it would be nice. I know just owning a nice camera does not a photographer make, though I'm sure it helps, but I'm hoping the wonderful people that I am privileged to call friends who are also very talented photographers will share a few secrets and tips. (Hows that for buttering them up?) In a few short weeks said camera will be on my doorstep and I eagerly wait in anticipation for all the frustration of picking up a new hobby.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Whom Shall I Fear?

"The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
The LORD is known by his justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
The wicked return to the grave,
all the nations that forget God.
But the needy will not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.
Strike them with terror, O LORD;
let the nations know they are but men."
Psalm 9:15-20 (emphasis mine)

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell....'Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.'"
Matthew 10:28 & 32a

I am not very politically minded but I do believe that government has too much control and sometimes that scares me but no matter what you believe about government or nations we should be reminded that nations are but men who cannot ultimately harm those of us that acknowledge and love God and who have accepted Jesus Christ as his son who speaks to the Father in our defense. 1John 2:1-2

And our hope in God will never perish for God is the God of hope and he does not change. Malachi 3:6

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Crusades, part 1

Erik and I have been cleaning the church every week for about 5 years now and there are some weeks that I just hate it. I don't want to do it and I go with a rotten attitude, dragging my feet and wishing to just quit. But that little bit of extra money does help out every month and there are times that I do enjoy it and today I realized something; whilst my children are safely ensconced in the nursery watching a movie I get an hour or two to think, uninterrupted. I like that.
Today if you had innocently asked what was on my mind you would have been entreated to dialogue with me on the Crusades. I've been reading The Crusades by Zoe Oldenbourg during the day and dreaming about the Crusades at night. It is an interesting read and I found myself wondering why I can't get it out of my mind. I've been so long steeped in Robin Hood and tales of Knights and I've read most of the Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters that reading a history of the Crusades was slightly disappointing at first. I hadn't realized how much I had romanticized this "Age of Chivalry" and I find myself oddly feeling the need to immediately make a judgment as to the right or wrongness of the Crusades. There are so many questions and thoughts reeling through my head that I'm not even sure how to put them all down. This may be food for thought for the next few weeks of cleaning or at least until I finish book; I'm only on page 120 of 600 or so. So stay tuned to see if I can make heads or tails of this muddle.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Commentaries and Literary Discussions

Last night Miss Moddy came into the kitchen and climbed on a chair so she could watch me make dinner; when I noticed the purse I had to take a picture:
Clayton loves to watch movies and for awhile one of his favorites was "Narnia" but it's been a little bit since the last time we watched it so I was surprised when he pulled it off the shelf yesterday. I sat down on the couch to watch the rest of it with the kiddos after our walk last night and laughed at inappropriate times due to Clayton's commentary:
When Aslan died, "He died!? This is stupid one, I don't like this movie."
When he came back to life, "He didn't die?! Wow, I like this one."
During the battle, "Bang! Crash! Boom! They fighting."

Literary Discussions:
I've been reading the Little House on the Prairie series with Hannah and we've just started "By the Shores of Silver Lake". It's been awhile since we've read a book without many pictures which I think causes her brain to react more to what she is hearing causing many questions related to words. This is good except that it sometimes requires me to be a walking dictionary or sends the conversation in interesting directions. We had just started the book when this conversation occurred:
Me (reading): "..and Baby Grace...."
Hannah: "Grace, what's Grace?"
Me: "Not what, who, Grace is a baby."
Hannah: "But Grace sounds like it has to do with God, it's not a name."
Me: "Sometimes people use it as a name, God shows us grace but it is not necessarily one of his names."
Hannah: "But what is grace?"
Me: "Grace is getting something you don't deserve."
Hannah: "What's deserve?"
Me: "It would be like if I went in the kitchen and put a bead in your chore jar right now without you having done anything to earn it..."
Hannah: "That's deserve?"
Me: "Well it would be grace."
Hannah: "But I thought we were talking about deserve."
Me: "Um...yes, if you earn a bead for your bead jar, you deserve it...if I give you one without you earning it, that would be grace."
Hannah: "Oh, but I think Grace needs to be a boy name because God is a boy."
Me: "I don't know that I've ever heard of a boy named Grace, can I continue reading now?"
Hannah: "Yeah, but I still think grace has to do with God."

Yes Hannah, it does. Please remember that always.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.

Friday, March 19, 2010

All the Fullness of God

Often I find myself forgetting just how big the God of the Bible is and I relegate him to an understandable size of "God is big, huge, big huge, God is big, huge....he's bigger than suburbans or those new ford excursions" Knowdaverbs . Sometimes this is all I can handle at the moment but often in doing so I elevate myself and my agendas to improper heights of importance. When I get my thinking rightly focused on God the cares of this world and the fears of this world no longer hold sway over my life. Often times my thinking must be adjusted frequently throughout the day.
Lately I've been reading The Confessions of St. Augustine and I only got a few pages in before my brain wanted to explode. For St. Augustine has this to say:
"Where can I go beyond heaven and earth, so that there you may come to me, my God, who have said, 'I fill heaven and earth?' (Jeremiah 23:24)
Do heaven and hell therefore contain you, since you fill them? Or do you fill them, and does there yet remain something further, since they do not contain you? Where then do you diffuse what remains of you after heaven and hell have been filled? Or do you who contain all things have no need to be contained by anything further, since you fill all the things you fill by containing them? The vessels that are filled by you do not restrict you, for even if they are shattered, you are not poured forth. When you are poured upon us, you are not cast down, but you raise us up; you are not scattered about but you gather us up. You fill all things, and you fill them all with your entire self. But since all things cannot contain you in your entirety, do they then contain a part of you, and do all things simultaneously contain the same part? Or do single things contain single parts, greater things containing greater parts and smaller things smaller parts? Is one part of you greater, therefore, and another smaller? Or are you entire in all places, and does no one thing contain you in your entirety?"
The Confessions of St. Augustine
Book 1, chapt. 2-3

This Great God who contains everything and fills everything fills us!
I was reading a devotion put out by The Institute for Creation Research this morning and the verses today were from Ephesians 3:
Ephesians 3:16-19 (emphasis mine)
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
And I'm put in my place (gratefully, willingly and humbly) knowing my worth comes from the love of God, this great and mighty God who created me and fills me with himself when I trust in him.
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved....For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Eph. 2: 4-5, 8-9

For God is big! Huge! He loves us and He fills us with himself!
Somehow that pile of laundry, the sink full of dishes and any fears of the future can't darken my skies today.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Support of Sorts

Don't tell my carpenter husband that his wife was cutting cedar boards braced on adirondack chairs in the front yard with a handsaw having marked them with an Omni-grid plexi-glass quilting ruler. Or yet, do tell him, maybe I'll get my own tools out of it!
Yesterday I "prepared" all the pieces of the bean and pea trellises for the garden and when Erik came home from work I shamelessly coaxed him into putting them together for me. These are based off pictures of the trellis my dad made for my mom last year. I know I've mentioned the trellises before but it's hard to contain my excitement. This is the first year that the trellises are up before the vegetables that are suppose to be climbing them. Usually it's a last minute "Uh-oh, the beans and peas are falling over! What do I have that they can lean against?!" but not this year. Oh no, not this year.
The boys came out to "help" this morning and spent most of their time swinging in the hammock.

Mind the Gap

Hannah has lost her first tooth. Monday night she was allowed to stay up after her brothers had gone to bed so she could continue wiggling her tooth loose. Erik then coaxed her into letting him pull it with pliers and out it came. The one next to it is also loose but she's in no hurry to lose it; maybe because we haven't told her about the tooth fairy yet. I don't think we were quite prepared this soon to have to make a decision regarding the tooth fairy. Hannah knows that Santa Claus isn't real but she also knows the story behind him; how did the tooth fairy come to be?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HaPpY bIrThDaY!!

My little Miss Marilyn is 1 today! We had a party on Sat. when all the grandparents and Aunt Michelle were here so I don't know that we'll do much today but today is the day. I love my active little girl. She's walking a lot now and still climbing every where. Her favorite "seat" at the moment is the middle of the kitchen table. She's silly and curious and all around wonderful. We've just started giving her real food (instead of just nursing; Yay we made it to a year!) and she loves it. Out of my four little blessings she wins the "Cleanliest Eater of Birthday Cake" award; she still needed a bath but the kitchen did not require a thorough cleaning as well. Happy Birthday Miss Moddy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Music Celebration

Hannah had her very first violin recital this weekend. Both sets of Grandparents came for the event and much fun was had by all. Hannah played "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Hot Cross Buns". She played well and didn't look too nervous but she didn't look too happy either. She had a very serious look on her face the entire time and kept glancing up at Erik and I, so it's a good thing she almost has her songs memorized. We will have to work on her bow; you'd think having an actress for a mother she'd at least know how to bow but it completely slipped my mind to teach her so the audience got a head nod. Hannah is doing a wonderful job reading music and is really enjoying playing. She even sometimes tries to teach Ivan how to play and tells me she's practicing teaching for when she grows up.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What's a mom to do?

What do you do when you're in a parking space far away from the entrance to the store, you have just latched the final car-seat seat belt (of four) and are just shutting the door to go put the cart away when you look back to see a pained look on your little boy's face, his legs crossed in desperation whispering, "Mom, I really gotta go." ? In my own desperate desire to avoid a wet van and/or clothes I told him to hop out and aim for the shrubbery. I immediately regretted my decision (it's a parking lot!) but not immediately enough to change it; he was already obeying. Then to my mortification I noticed an older lady getting into her car a few spots down and I'm sure she noticed the little white bum hanging out. I felt my face get all warm and red and I quickly reached for my purse to look for something in it, all the while curious to know if she had actually witnessed my failure as a mother. I should have visited the bathroom before we left the store or surely I could have unleashed four children under the age of 6 from car-seats and sprinted to the store bathroom and made it in time, couldn't I?
I'm not against little boys peeing outside if it's absolutely necessary, and sometimes with little boys it is, but a parking lot? Oh my, that feeling of mortification will undoubtedly jolt my "take the kids to the bathroom before you leave the store" memory for a long time to come.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am enjoying this boy oh-so -much. Last night I took just Clayton with me to the store and he talked all the way there and all the way home but played shy and flirted with the girls at the store whilst ignoring Uncle Dan who works there. He talks a lot. It's my favorite when he looks at me and says, "Just think about it."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Garden Gate

This year I have a gate for my garden. I'm sort of proud of it. I built it entirely out of stuff we had lying around the shed and backyard. Well, okay, I had to buy hinges. I pulled apart a wood pallet we had lying around and I used extra 2 x 2s. Even the posts are recycled from our gazebo we tore apart a weekend ago or so. Eventually Erik and the kids are suppose to build birdhouses to sit atop the uneven posts and I will reattach the garden sign to the trees. The hammock is hung in the garden and only a few of the 2 x 4 frames for the garden beds are set but Hannah and Ivan helped me start some seeds inside today. Oh and we also have a few trellises to build for the pole beans/peas. But my garden is coming together and it's coming together earlier than usual. I'm really, really excited.

Monday, March 8, 2010


When I was little I wanted to be Laura Ingalls, right down to the skirts and bonnets she hated most. I remember wearing a lot of skirts in 6th grade, and not only skirts but layers of skirts. A little later in middle school I even made my own hoop skirts out of wire coat hangers and wore them under a full jean skirt to church. I also borrowed some of my mom's dresses from college and wore them with aprons when I felt like learning to bake. I love the feel of skirts around my knees and ankles, I like the swish, the movement of air, the freedom of movement. Somewhere along the way though I lost the love of skirts and I think it was due to the overwhelming desire to fit in and be popular; for awhile it trumped the desire to be myself and wear what I love and little house on the prairie skirts just weren't popular in the 90's in my middle/high school. I've grown up a little since then and now that I have a daughter of my own who wears nothing but skirts I feel that old tugging to layer on the skirts. My mother laughed at me the other day when I told her my goal in life was to wear more skirts and aprons. I understand, it sounds kind of odd. It's not THE goal of my life but in general I would like to wear skirts and aprons more. Every time I see a picture of a lady wearing a skirt and apron and rubber boots heading out to her garden in a magazine I pause and think, "Oh, I like that, I could do that." And with my new found love of hanging clothes on the line to dry it seems a little more practical; cotton skirts dry faster than jeans.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Adventures in Schooling

I was looking back over my recent blogs and suddenly shouted out loud at my computer (inciting strange looks from my children), "How did I miss blogging about that one!"
HANNAH IS READING. We've been working on our short vowel sounds and last week we blended some sounds together and wah-la! a word read entirely by Miss Hannah. Then another and another. Hannah is getting better and better and faster and faster everyday and really liking it. Ivan is attempting and can do it if he decides he can but most mornings he decides it's too hard and gives up. I'm not pushing him though, he's 4, and I'm just letting him work as he wants. I want learning to be fun for him. He does really enjoy and has been playing on there reviewing his letters and sounds. We've also been playing around with learning the Alphabet in sign language. Clayton is even trying to join in the fun and sing the phonics alphabet song though it usually ends up as "A, a, apple, b, b, ball, a, a, monkey, a, a, noodles, b, b, cat". I'm quite impressed though, he can almost count to 10.
I'm finding schooling more enjoyable every day (well, everyday that we do it). We still take a few days off every now and again but usually the kids are asking to do schoolwork, my only rule is that I get a few minutes to myself in the morning to check e-mail, facebook, blogs and drink my coffee. Some mornings I drink it slower than others and this morning it is now gone so I must get to work.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yard/Garden Work

My brain is trying to motivate me to get outside and work in the yard some more but my body is begging to just sit in front of the computer while the the youngest kids are sleeping. It's finally light enough to jog in the morning again and so I started last Thursday and Friday thinking I would have the weekend to recover (it's been a while) but alas it wasn't raining to much on Saturday so we started in on yard work. For the first part of the day we made the kids work picking up pieces of the hose the dog chewed up (this was their punishment for being exceptionally naughty Friday night) while Erik demolished the gazebo and I pulled nails out of the salvageable wood. Then I dug post holes (wet sand is really heavy) and started to re-fence the garden. Then we came in and had lunch and hot chocolate and played Chutes and Ladders, Ivan won, and then headed back out for more work. The kids learned how to hammer nails into scrap wood and built a "bench" and we got the garden re-fenced and 2x4 boxes built to be my garden beds this year. Then I did a little more work Sunday afternoon with getting the boxes set a little ways into the dirt. Needless to say, my body is sore today and just wanting to rest. I am very excited though to be working on my garden earlier than normal. Usually it gets to the end of May and I realize, "Oh wait, I should have planted already." Not this year, this year I'm actually planning ahead. I'm also trying new things in my garden, like potatoes. I read a great article on growing potatoes in hay and I'm excited to try that, only everyone I tell about it nods their head and says, "Oh yeah, I knew that" or "Of course, that's the way I do it" and I'm left wondering why I only just found out about it. So am I missing anything about spinach or cabbage or onions?