Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Daybook: 5

Time for another The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window... the sun is shining brightly! There are new shoots on the branches of the tree which makes me infinitely happy!

I am thinking... that I rather dislike Twitter feed from a courtroom. There is a case happening right now that I care very much about and there is live feed coming out of it. I seriously doubt that anyone unfamiliar with courtroom procedure (possibly including the Twitterer) understands courtroom procedure or why certain things are being said/done as they are. I question whether or not this Twitter feed is a truly valuable service to the community (or world at large.)

I am thankful.... . . that we can pray for situations that matter to us, even if we are several thousand miles away.

In the kitchen... breakfast clean-up is happening.

I am wearing... jeans and SHORT SLEEVES! Also, I'm sporting a nice sunburn from yesterday's SUN!

I am creating... a clean pantry today.

I am going... to do some grocery shopping.

I am wondering... about society's need to Twitter EVERYTHING. (Sorry. Watching the news feed despite my irritations.)

I am reading... Summer Lightning, by P.G. Wodehouse as part of the Reading to Know online bookclub!

Reading to Know - Book Club

I am hoping... to have enough sunshine to play in today! It's supposed to start raining at some point this week and won't clear up again until next weekend. Gotta enjoy the sun while it lasts around these parts!

I am looking forward to... time with a friend this week!

I am learning... how to garden.

Around the house... Legos are being built, books are being scattered about, and babies are crawling less frequently and walking with more regularity.

I am pondering... how to best tend to my clay soil.

A favorite quote for today...

I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don't know what I did before that. Just loafed I suppose. ~ P.G. Wodehouse

One of my favorite things... summer-like days with the family. Just piddling around indoors with the doors and windows open, taking long walks and finish them up with snow cones, and enjoying sunshine and breeze.

A few plans for the rest of the week: time with friends, meetings, errands, continuing to unpack boxes and put the house back in order and reading!

A peek into my day... same as last week: rather unpredictable as it involves three small children.

This picture was taken on our first hike of the season - which we went on this past Saturday. Loved being out in the woods again! Bookworm1 picked the trail which took us further up the mountain than we've ever been before which was fun.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Favorite Five

Time for another Susanne's Friday Fave Five and this time I'm rarin' to go!

We had a great week celebrating my baby girl's first birthday. She's been on the upswing of an ear infection and so was in a state of improved happiness by the time her special day rolled around.

#1 - I'm appreciative of friends and family who were able to come and join in our birthday celebration. We had such a wonderful time visiting while celebrating the life of our little girl. Super duper blessed by deep conversations and genuine fellowship.

#2 - Great books! Really, where would we be without great books?! I hear a lot of people say that they would like to read but just can't seem to find the time. I think it's important to make the time. Prioritize! Books provide nourishment, encouragement, private chastisement, and inspiration! How can one possibly live without them?!

#3 - A date night out with my middle child. All of my children are in the "I want to talk to you ALL. THE. TIME!" stage and it's hard to distinguish between their voices sometimes. It was good to get out with just the one and spend some time relaxing and enjoying him. We even went to McDonald's which is something I have never done with him before. (My children have no idea what McDonald's is.) He was intrigued. And his double apple sticks (as opposed to french fries) were a perfect delight. (Although, quite frankly, I ate one of his apple slices and I thought it was the driest, most hideous apple I had ever eaten in my life.) He was happy. So therefore I was.

#4 - Positive well-baby check-ups. Poor little baby cakes had to have some more "pokies" but she and Bookworm2 both "passed" their doctor's appointment with flying colors. Healthy children are such a tremendous blessing.

#5 - My husband. He's a hero because he lives with me (and for a few other reasons as well.) He works so hard to provide for us and takes care of so many of the details which order our lives. He is patient and steady and is the center piece of the home. We love him so much and are grateful that he is ours!

That's a wrap for this week! Looking forward to a hopeful healthy and beautiful weekend here in Oregon! Sunny (partly cloudy?) and 70 degrees. I sincerely believe that cannot be topped!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

She is One

It felt as if the girl would never be born. I was going to be that lone freak of nature - the woman who stayed pregnant for all eternity.

I was given two choices for a birth date. I chose April 18th. Our Spring baby was finally coming!

Spring has generally been an unpleasant season in our family history. We've suffered three deaths of close family members all within the first few months of Spring. While other people are generally excited about new life, we've relived memories death and its consequences. Several springs went by and our thoughts and memories were about struggling through painful anniversaries, remembering and knowing what we've lost.

Then came April 18th.

God took a season of our lives that had been filled with many tears, and gave us a cause to celebrate LIFE again! Our little spring baby - a baby that doctors had told us not to hope for.

Spring is always coming. And in Christ we have confidence in our hope. He makes all things new. Our period of mourning will fade away (although we will always be left with lingering thoughts) but the mourning will not dictate our present and the new joys will effect our future.

This little hoped-for blessing came into our lives quietly. The first few months with her were a blur not because I was sleep deprived (because she slept about 18 hours or more out of every day!) but because we spent time at home, letting her sleep while I focused on healing from her birth.

She hasn't stayed quiet. Having two older brothers encourages a little loudness. She is never bothered by their play and what would likely startle another baby, only serves to make our baby laugh. She has recently learned that she has the ability to make others laugh and she is working hard to develop this talent. She knows exactly what she wants and is not easily distracted from her personal goals. Sometimes she wants Daddy and only Daddy to hold and comfort her. Other times, no one but Mommy will do. There is no use trying to convince her that she doesn't know her own mind. She does!

She is beautiful and is learning to be kind and gentle. She is proud of her accomplishments and wears a big grin as she walks across the floor. She hates most food and I fear she'll still be drinking bottles at age five. (Not really, mind you, but it feels like it.) She loves to be wherever the brothers are and no toy is thought to be half as interesting as the one in the hand of a brother.

She challenges us. She loves us. She does indeed makes us laugh.

We are blessed beyond measure and are reminded that God does renew and transform even the ugliest and most painful seasons of our lives. Sometimes we have to wait a short while to receive comfort and peace and sometimes we have to wait a long while. But spring is coming!

Then the world was broken, fallen and battered and scarred
You took the hopeless, the life wasted, ruined and marred
And made it new

You make all things new
You make all things new
You redeem and You transform
You renew and You restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You!

You turn winter into spring
You take every living thing
And You breathe Your breath of life into it over and over again

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Ps. 94:19

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" Lamentations 3:22-24

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:2-5

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Hear the birds start to sing
Feel the life in the breeze
Watch the ice melt away
The kids are coming out to play

Feel the sun on your skin
Growing strong and warm again
Watch the ground: there's something moving
Something is breaking through
New life is breaking through

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Girl! We are beyond blessed to have you join our family - at the precise moment in time when God chose to place you into it! God delighted to give you to us and every day we delight in the gift!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Daybook : 4

Time for another The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window... it is raining. I'm glad we spent a good amount of time out in the yard yesterday!

I am thinking... that I can't believe almost a year has passed since my daughter was born. Wednesday is her first birthday! (Thanks for praying for her cough, by the way! Turns out it was all related to an ear infection!)

I am thankful.... . . for antibiotics when you really need them!

In the kitchen... there are a lot of bananas which have been being turned into banana chips, banana bread and morning smoothies.

I am wearing... slacks and a short sleeved shirt. It really ought to be a long sleeved shirt.

I am creating... blog posts.

I am going... to put together a one year old birthday celebration.

I am wondering... when we'll see sunshine next.

I am reading... a really, truly FABULOUS book on Proverbs. Proverbs: Wisdom that Works is from Crossway's Preaching the Word series. This book should not in any way intimidate a single soul by its appearance. It's hard hitting, truthful and very motivating in a convicting sort of way. (Highly recommended.)

I finished The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. I linked that to my review/giveaway!

I am hoping... to have a peaceful day at home.

I am looking forward to... a BIRTHDAY!

I am learning... how valuable real relationships are.

Around the house... books are being read, boys are playing and a baby is turning into a little girl.

I am pondering... whether or not I want to make a loaf of bread or hamburger buns today.

A favorite quote for today...

Jesus and His wisdom are dangerous like fire. It is our own folly that is dangerous like poison. That is why Wisdom says here in [Proverbs 1:22] - we hear the urgency in her tone of voice - "How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?" We do not have to tell ourselves "I hate wisdom" to miss out on it. We only have to be okay with the way we are. ~ from Proverbs: Wisdom that Works, by John C. Ortland Jr.

One of my favorite things... spending time as a family. Last night we hung out in the kid's room and built Legos, encouraged baby girl to walk (or, just watched her do it, really), read books and just generally relaxed with one another.

A few plans for the rest of the week: birthday parties, fellowship with friends (I hope), errand running, baking and cooking and restocking the pantry, learning more about gardening and a lot of resting at home.

A peek into my day... all I can tell you is that it involves three small children. What that will involve is anyone's guess at the moment.

Here is a flower that peeked up from the ground in our yard this last week. Anyone out there know what it is? I have no idea. But it's pretty!

Friday, April 13, 2012

We Rock. Sometimes literally.

The day is only half over but so far it's been awesome.

The boy's had their Friday babysitter friend come over to play for a few hours this morning. They went downstairs and I stayed upstairs and caught up on some computer stuff while baby got some much needed, restful sleep!

Our friend left and the delivery truck showed up, delivering a huge box on the front porch. I was in the middle of coaxing baby to eat, so I told the boys that they could open the door and work together to bring the box inside. This was a comical affair, as the box was really too big for them. Yet they managed!

I complimented them on their team effort.

Mommy: You did a great job working as a team! You should come up with a team name. That way when I need to call you to come down for dinner or something, instead of calling out each of your names I can call the team name and you'll know I'm talking to both of you.

Bookworm1: Ok. We'll be the "weam."

Mommy: The weam? Um, why the 'weam'?

Bookworm1: It rhymes with 'team.'

After lunch we turned on our Disney soundtrack and played The Guessing Game. (When a new song comes on, we try to be the first to shout out which movie the song is from. I usually win, unless the movie is Mary Poppins. If I pause long enough, they are quick to shout out the title.) We had a rousing group dance event to 'Be Our Guest' and Disney's Electrical Parade. Everyone was laughing and having fun.

I've just put The Weam Team down for their naps and now I'm going to cozy up and finish THIS:

Happy Friday indeed.

Friday Favorite Five

I have something to confess. The past few weeks I didn't participate in Susanne's Friday Fave Five because I was basically in a bad mood. (Well, last week I was just plain busy.) But wrapping up moving into our house produced a variety of stresses and it was hard to see beyond them. I kinda felt I ought to be participating in FFF but at the same time, well, I just didn't.

These verses comes to mind:

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

But Job replied, "You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:10

Whether good or "bad" I need to thank God for it. It is all for my good. (It's admittedly easier to say this after the fact and usually not during the trial.)

Things I am grateful for:

1. That my daughter, who has been very sick with a bad cough, does not have RSV or whooping cough. (She was tested for both.) She has an ear infection though and so we're down for the count on antibiotics. I'm very grateful re: whooping cough in particular as several of our family friends have it and it just sounds absolutely harsh, terrible and frightening!

2. I had an absolutely fantastic time with my friend last week. She came with her baby girl and we had a few extremely fun days with one another. We talked and talked and talked and enjoyed each other's company very well. I loved it.

3. Our oven works and doesn't smell like smoke! Every appliance in the kitchen had to be replaced but we were able to run the cleaner on our oven and it works! In a celebratory gesture, I made brownies with peanut butter chips. They were yummy.

4. When I was in my early 20's I bought a bunch of Disney song soundtracks. (Don't ask me why. I really don't want to confess that much about my personality.) At any rate, this past week my children have been thoroughly enjoying them. My oldest sits riveted next to the music player listening to the songs and memorizing them. My two boys together belt out, "YO HO! YO HO! A Pirate's Life for MEEEeee!" in unison. It's very funny in person, if not in writing. Apparently I made a good investment in the lives of my future children when I bought those CD's. It might be argued that they are being enjoyed by an appropriate age group now but really. . . ! Who DOESN'T smile when you hear, "You can FLY!"

5. It is a weekend. And for that I am very, very grateful!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let's Hear it For the Boys!

I started following the MOB Society (Mother of Boys blog) after reading a post that Barbara from Stray Thoughts linked to. (It was this article on Combat. It was awesome because I like things quiet and I need to sometimes realize that quiet is not what boys need.)

Apparently every Thursday they host a meme in which we're encouraged to brag on our boys. Face it, boys get a bum rap in today's society. Whenever I mention I have two of them (and only two . . . I mean, come on!) someone usually comments about how hard I have it. When I was pregnant with my daughter strangers everywhere coo-ed and said, "Ohhh, you are finally going to get your girl. I bet you are so glad!" (I was glad. I did want a girl. But my contrary nature almost willed her to be male whenever someone assumed that having a third boy would somehow be over the top. I'd already learned that boys are quite fabulous.)

Boys are awesome!

Yes, they are louder. Yes, they do crazy, unexplainable things. They take risks. They leap off of tall things in an attempt to fly. They love to create "bad guys" to pretend fight against. Sometimes it does get a little loud, but they are still awesome.

I am not persuaded that just because a boy is a boy means that they can be disruptive and disobedient. I'm not interested in having two wild hooligans under foot all of the time. I believe that boys can be kind, loving and respectful all while being adventurous and daring.

Now that I've had a girl, I love that my boys have the built-in opportunity to learn how to treat a sister and a female. We can talk about the differences between boys and girls (because yes, there are differences!) and they are learning how to include her in their fun, and protect her from some of their own fun.

This past week my little girl has just been quiet the sick and miserable little Babycakes. (That's my hideous nickname for her, by the way.) Her brothers are feeling much better than she is and have been roaring about the house leaving her sniffling next to me. However, when she and I really need them to come and help out with her, they both deliver.

My oldest boy, age 5, is very kind and thoughtful. Today I put him in charge of trying to get her to drink some apple juice. (She wasn't taking any of it from me!) He has learned that frequently she will be more inclined to do something if she sees one of her brothers do it first. Without any input or guidance from me, Bookworm1 got out a glass of water, stuck a straw in it and drank it in front of her. All the while he was telling her how yummy his drink was. Sure enough, she was intrigued and promptly took to her own cup and straw and drank a little bit. (Not very much, but still - he was creative in motivating her and it worked!)

Meanwhile, my second born son (age 3) is a complete ham and goofball. He really likes making people laugh. Yesterday he discovered that baby likes trying to do somersaults after watching him do them. Today he did a round of somersaults and "creative dancing" all about the bedroom which made her offer up more than one chuckle.

Sustenance, laughter, fellowship, care and love is what my sons have offered to their sister today. It's been very encouraging to watch them nurture her when she is really not feeling well at all. I always wanted an older brother growing up. My baby girl is very blessed to have two. Those are some pretty fantastic gifts and blessings in her life and I hope she'll always know it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Daybook : 3

Time for another The Simple Woman's Daybook. Really, I will start posting things other than the Daybook. I am hoping that this will be the week where we start to settle back in to normal routine. (*fingers crossed*)

Outside my window... SUNSHINE (and green trees.)

I am thinking... that I have a fresh new week with no major plans in which to continue to settle back into home and re-establish a working routine.

I am thankful... for a wonderful, fabulous time with my friend last week. She's my best friend from law school and lives on the opposite side of the country. She came with her daughter and blessed us tremendously with her company.

In the kitchen... there are new appliances and an oven that is officially useable! (We ran the clean cycle this weekend to make sure it cleaned and didn't smell like smoke. Ta da! We can bake again!)

I am wearing... a shirt and slacks. (Note the difference from my usual attire. This is due, in part, to the fact that I'm meeting a friend for dinner tonight and didn't want to be wearing pajamas all day. I also did some laundry this past weekend.)

I am creating... THINGS IN THE KITCHEN! (It makes me happy to be able to cook and bake for my family again. In my own kitchen.)

I am going... to unpack a few more boxes today.

I am wondering... about my daughter's persistent cough. (If you would, I'd appreciate prayers for it.) She had a cold a few months ago and has this lingering cough. Yes, I've taken her to the doctor. He didn't hear anything in her lungs or find any cause for concern. He said that sometimes it takes longer for the windpipe to heal an so there can be a cough that lingers. Still, I find this a bit concerning.

I am reading...The Wilder Life. I'm halfway through it. I just finished reading Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected (linked to my thoughts) and found that . . . intriguing.

I am hoping... for an unsurprising week.

I am looking forward to... watching another episode of Once Upon a Time with my husband. Fascinating show! (Great story telling.)

I am learning... that I need to take greater pains to exhale every once in awhile. Apparently there is a muscle in your neck which contracts and strains and causes you to feel like you have a growing, painful lump in your neck, when you are under some amount of stress. A week of stress and worry over the lump was revealed to be "nests of worry" by the doctor on Friday afternoon. I wouldn't mind a calm, predictable week to just settle down a bit.

Around the house... there is a great deal of Lego construction going on and quite a bit of playing outdoors. We have had some GORGEOUS *spring!* weather this past weekend and have enjoyed opening doors and windows and spending time outside.

I am pondering... the dangers of setting low expectations for ourselves and our children. Also, the possibility of getting back onto Facebook for long-distance relationships only. I like not having Facebook for locals because Facebook interferes with good conversation. But it is awfully handy and useful for staying in touch with people who live far away. Thinking through these things.

A favorite quote for today...

"God designed our boys to fight, but to fight for right. To stand up for truth. To stand alone for Christ. To battle in the spiritual realm with prayer. The ideal is to be warriors for Christ."

- From Combat, a blog post by Melanie Young.

One of my favorite baby girl's maniacal laugh.

A few plans for the rest of the week: mostly we plan to spend time catching up with people we haven't had a chance to talk with in awhile. That pretty much sums up the week!

A peek into my or two errands, some "busy work" around the house and dinner out! If that beautiful sun keeps on shining, then we'll likely get outside for a bit as well!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Daybook : 2

Time for another The Simple Woman's Daybook. It seems a good way to start this week, after another crazy, busy weekend!

Outside my window... TREES! And GREEN! (Because I'm HOME!)

I am thinking... about how on earth I will ever have the time to catch up on life with all of the people I want to spend time catching up with. I have friends getting married soon, friends having babies, friends in the blog world, friends going through their own adventures. I want about an hour to spend with each one just to fellowship.

I am thankful... to be HOME!

In the kitchen... there is a stove, oven and microwave waiting to be hooked up.

I am wearing... a t-shirt and casual pants. (This is my standard uniform.)

I am creating... Lego lighthouses. I did drop the Mighty To Do List last night to spend about 2 hours creating the LEGO Lighthouse Island
with my son. (It is so cool. It has a real light that turns and flashes!)

I am going... to try to work really hard today because fun arrives tomorrow!

I am wondering... if I can meet up with the owners of our temporary home today to collect the things we accidentally left behind when we locked up and left the keys inside! Whoops!

I am reading... Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir. It is due to be released tomorrow. I'm riveted but it has its drawbacks. Review forthcoming. (I gave up on A Prayer for Owen Meany. I have enough to think about without being depressed by that.)

I am hoping... for a calm day. (Insert wild, disbelieving laughter.)

I am looking forward to... my very good and very dear friend's arrival tomorrow!!!! She is coming with her baby daughter for a few days and we are going to stop working on the house and just ENJOY her company!

I am learning... that sometimes you need to sit down in the midst of the clutter and take time to play.

Around the house... there are children riding bikes (yes, inside the house), and learning to walk. (More steps this past weekend from the baby girl!)

I am pondering... how to make beef stew taste good when you forgot all of your cooking spices at the temporary house!

A favorite quote for today...

I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

One of my favorite things... my very clean, nice and newly organized pantry. I love it. I could stand in it all day long and just stare at it's clean orderliness. It makes me happy.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Have fun with my friend. I don't know what that will look like, but I'm certain it will be good!

A peek into my day... some more errand running (never ending), some naps (not for me), some cleaning and organizing (always and forever) and maybe, just maybe, I'll get through my Google Reader!