Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Morning

This morning we went to the flower coolers to pick out something perfect for a birthday flower delivery order.

On our way home, we got some ice cream cones.


After ice cream cones, 
Moira took a tiny nap & the rest of us did flower work.

Gillian made her own "b-rangement"

And, I made an arrangement, too

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why Don't We Go Hiking More Often?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Do Hard Things

We have decided, once again, to begin the process for an international adoption.
We are excited about it.
With all the blessings we pray for this to be, we know it will bring hard things, too.

If you want to learn about adoption in a nutshell,
read this really excellent post at Rage Against the Minivan.
I've been meaning to share it with you all.
It is a great summary.  It made me think a lot.
It reminded me that along with so many blessings in life,
come hard things.

What about the hard things like
pregnancy, labor, mothering a newborn
& then parenting every day ever after?
Those are all really hard things.
And, I am so glad we decided to do those hard things.

I can't imagine missing out on the blessing of my children.

My marriage is my greatest earthly blessing.

But, marriage is not just a walk in the park.
It is hard work, sacrifice & selflessness.
And, the blessing is oh-so-sweet.

There are other hard things that bare big fruits of blessings.

My sister knows about the blessings that come from
working crazy hard to get your body in shape &
from the hard sacrificing of many tasty foodie treats.

If we were to avoid hard things & try to take the easy road,
can you even imagine how much we would miss?

Good food.

What else?  What hard things have you reaped great blessing from?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Consumable Christmas for kids - Play Dough

When I posted my Consumable Christmas idea, Melissa had a super valid question,
 - what about the wee ones?
Although little tikes can appreciate a fun outing as much as the rest of us,
opening a piece of paper with a promise written on it
doesn't translate very well.
So, what to give the little ones & not just give tons of stuff that turns into clutter?
I'm still thinking about it.
I do, for sure, want them to be able to have things they love.
This won't be a ban on presents.
We still love presents.

Here is an idea that could be made for little kids.

Peanut Butter Play Dough

  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • Nonfat dry milk or milk plus flour
  • Cocoa or carob for chocolate flavor (optional)
  • Edible treats for decoration
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding enough dry milk or milk plus flour to reach the consistency of bread dough.
  2. Add cocoa or carob, if desired.
  3. Shape, decorate with edible treats, and eat!

This one is not literally supposed to be consumed.  But, it won't kill 'em.
And even if they don't eat it, it won't hang around cluttering forever.
Playdough gets old & gets to be thrown out.

Homemade Play Dough

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour.
  3. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand.
  4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pass It On

I am grateful for the way I was raised.
I am grateful for my mom & my dad.
I am grateful for the church of my childhood.
I want to be diligent to pass on the godly heritage I have been handed.

A big thing I am grateful for, when I look back at the way my mom mothered is,
her eternal perspective which was so visible in day to day life.
My mom didn't usually let things of little consequence bother her.

She didn't get all mad & stressed out if the house was messy.
There are things more important.
Not to say she just neglected the house.
She had a lot of housework that had to be done.
And, she taught us to contribute to the running of the household
by pitching in with the work.
But, life will still go on if the floors don't get mopped.

She cooked food from scratch & tried to give us healthy food to eat.
But, she didn't get her panties into a bunch about us eating junk food sometimes.
It's okay.  It is not the end of the world.
Not to say she didn't care.  She worked hard to feed us well on a tight budget.
And, she generally didn't buy junk food or prepared food.
(I've don't think I've ever tried hamburger helper or rice-o-roni
or whatever that's called.
I had no idea what a pop tart tasted like
until a friend "forced" me to try one when I was in my 20's.)

She has spent most of her days, for a good part of her life,
staying home with her children, teaching them.
This is not to say she has had no social life.
She is a very outgoing person & has many friends.
But, through a lot of my childhood, I remember her encouraging friends
& offering counsel to them over the phone.
While she nursed her young babe.
Or while she helped her older children solve math problems.
She spent her days caring about people.  In her family & out.

She opens her home for hospitality,
in order to love, be generous & enjoy fellowship.
Not as a way to show off her homemaking skills.
People are invited into the home, whether it is clean or not.
People are welcomed to the table,
whether the food is plain or whether is is fancy.

She treats her children as blessings & not burdens.

I want to pass this on in my own household.
I want my kids to be able to see what matters most to me.
And, I want that to be Jesus.
I don't want to be a woman who gets snappy when
the house is a mess.
Who is embarrassed when the dinner is plain.
Who neglects to listen & listen well,
because I am always harried.
I don't want the "to do list" to dictate.
I want a home that is others oriented.
I want to keep my eyes on the main thing.
Loving Jesus & showing that in the way I love others.

Something I think my dad taught me well, in his fathering is,
that sin is sin & why.
I remember the deep dread of getting in trouble with dad.

Not because he yelled at me.  He didn't.
Not because he beat me.  He didn't.

There was usually a simple question involved.
Something like, "Why did you do _______?"
Then there would be a painful silence that seemed to last forever.
I knew that answering "just because" or "I don't know" were not okay answers.

My dad wanted me to face my sin head on.
I didn't just get scolded & sent to my room to forget about it.
He wanted me to ponder what I had done.
To learn to see wrong as wrong.
He gave much opportunity for my conscience to grow sharp.
It wasn't okay to make excuses or justifications for wrong behavior.
He tried to teach me to see my sin how God sees it-
"Getting in trouble" with Dad was so dreaded because
I went away feeling truly convicted for my sin.
Internal pain doesn't just go away with time.
It brings you to Jesus, having to confess before Him.
And be restored once again.
"The Law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ."

I want to teach my kids what God has to say about things.
I don't want them to just learn "house rules".
I want them to learn to obey their parents.
But, I want them to learn to obey God, most of all.
I want my kids to have a godly fear of being out of fellowship with God.
I want to teach them to be honest about their sin,
so they can rightly confess it to God.

*This post is part of a little blog carnival "Passing on the Legacy"
Check out more posts on the subject at these blogs

Joyful Domesticity
Mama Mia McMasters
Joyful Hearts and Faces
Lady Sybil
P. Andrew Sandlin
Nothing Much

Monday, July 12, 2010

Consumable Christmas

I know it is July.  But, I am thinking about Christmas.

Scott & I have been trying to de-clutter our home.
We accumulate so much stuff,
that we don't have the time to maintain it & even know what we have.
It doesn't seem to us that we are always buying stuff.
But, we are somehow, gathering too much stuff.

The reason why the decluttering brings me to think about Christmas is,
I like gift giving.
I love the tradition of giving generously & thoughtfully,
to show you love someone.
In our family, there are a lot of birthdays.
And, there are many, many gifts exchanged at Christmas.

I have an idea how to lessen the stuff,
but not the giving.
We are talking about doing a "Consumable Christmas".
That means, we give things that aren't going to collect dust on the shelf.

Ideas I have come up with so far
Baking a favorite treat - nice loaf of bread, a pie, a batch of cookies...
A special bottle of wine or other favorite spirit.
Fancy coffee 
Gift Certificate for dinner 
Labor of Love - babysitting, yard work, least favorite chore...
Special meat, beef jerky, sausages...

What do you think?  
What would you do to minimize collection of stuff in gift giving seasons?

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Time to Honor

A week from now, some of us will be writing a blog post 
in honor of our Christian Heritage.  
I'll be giving you a link list of all of the bloggers involved.  
We'll pretend that July 16th is Honor Your Father & Your Mother Day.  Okay?

It is a chance for children to show gratitude 
for the sacrifice that their parents made for them.  

And, it is a chance for parents to specify how they intend to 
"pass on the legacy" to their own children.

I hope it will be a blessing for all.  And, I hope it will be extremely practical.  
I think it is helpful to look very specifically at what we have learned 
& what we desire to teach our children.

If you want to participate in the blog "party" 
& write a post of your own, let me know!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Get Some Coconut Oil

I've been using Coconut Oil for my skin moisturizing agent.
My sister turned me on to the idea.
She told me about how Coconut Oil gives you a protective barrier
from sun damage, too.
It still allows you to get your vitamin D, unlike traditional sunscreens.
Read specifics here.
(Please note that I do not recommend using coconut oil 
for your sunscreen alternative if you are laying out in the sun for an extended period.)
I've used a little coconut oil in my hair, to control frizzies & major hair fluffing.

I made this Coconut Oil deodorant for us.

We like it!  It has been working really well.
But, truth be told, we aren't big sweaters.
And, the weather has been quite cool here this past week.

I love the way Coconut Oil makes my skin feel.
It seems like it might feel greasy, but it doesn't!
Plus, the smell is subtle & dreamy.

I've been rubbing it into my baby's eczema spots.
I've read that it may help with cradle cap.  I'm gonna try it on my daughter.

I've really fallen in love with Coconut Oil.
Scott told me that it is not a miracle cure all.
Maybe he's right.  But, it still seems pretty great.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

We finally got a flag.  
Gillian has been telling us that the American flag is her favorite flag.
And, "do you guys not like America, 'cuz why don't we have an America flag?"
We do like America.  So, we got a flag.

Friday, July 2, 2010

You Have to Stop Sometime

I've been reading & buying a lot of books.  A lot for me, that it is.
Many people read many more books than I do.
I have been feeling pressure.  Pressure to be a better parent.
Not from an outside source.  From me knowing my own failures.
I need to stop collecting more to read.  At least until my pile shrinks significantly.

As much as I want to be educated & edified by others, 
the reality is, that's not the stuff that is really going to change me into a better parent.

There is something much more important.

I need to be faithful in prayer.  For my kids.  For myself.  For my husband.

I need to be meditating.  Day & night.  On the Words of God.

Reading books won't give me more patience.
It won't really make me wiser.  
It won't make me more gracious.
It won't make me more faithful.

If I want my children to faithfully love & follow God, 
the best thing I can do is pray & be an example of that very thing.