Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Road Tripping

We are planning our day tripping vacation for summer 2012.
Most days, we won't drive more than 30 minutes away from home.
But I am still trying to plan a little bit of road trip fun.

There are a bunch of printable road trip games here, like this one.

I am hoping we can bust out a few of these really clever 
coloring cases, made by upcycling DVD cases.

Source: tipjunkie.com via Erin on Pinterest

I am wanting to get into the bento box lunch craze.  
So, I ordered some simple boxes & a package of critter food picks.  
We'll pack our day trip treats thusly, and hopefully the children will be delighted.

Listening material?
We've been listening to Ramona audio books this summer. 
Gillian & I are totally in love with them.  But even our Peyton & Mo listen pretty well.
We also found Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in the audio version at the library.
I heart Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

Have you been on any road trips this summer?  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fingerprint art inspired

We're doing some fingerprint art, inspired by what we've been listening to lately.
I did mine based on the Sunday's sermon about money.

The irony of the art vs. the message is, 
I chose bees, because they are pretty simple to make.

Gillian is working on something much more complex.
Her piece is inspired by Wind in the Willows (by Kenneth Graham)

Toad is on the bottom of the paper.  She is working on mole next.

We are listening to an audio version right now, 
whenever we spend more than a few minutes in the car.

As a kid I loved Toad & his pals.  But, I only had seen film versions.
(That is usually my story.  If there is a choice to watch the movie in 2 hours, 
or spend a month reading the book, I probably chose to watch the movie.)

When I was pregnant with Gillian, near the end, in pre-labor & early labor, 
Scott read me the book, Wind in the Willows aloud.
I fell even more, totally in love (with both he & the story).

Now Scott has been reading the story to the kids.
Plus we listen to an english accented guy read it to us 
from the CD set we are borrowing from the library.

I asked Gillian which critter she thinks she would be, if she lived in Wind in the Willows.
She figures she would be Mole, because he falls & get scraps & owies a lot.  
And so does she.
She figures Peyton would also be Mole, because Peyton is "so sensitive about games", 
so says she.
We agree that Moira would be Toad.
I personally identify with Rat.  And I am married to a self-proclaimed Badger.

How about you?  
Would you be the wild & impulsive Toad?  The domestic Rat?
The sensitive Mole?  Or the justice-loving Badger?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Convicted by...

...this, heard from the pulpit yesterday.

“To see a man humble in prosperity
is one of the greatest rarities in the world.””
Bernard of Clairvoit

Source: ffffound.com via Shayna on Pinterest

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Busy, Busy {what is busy}

It is rare for me to go out in public with my kids & not get comments from strangers.
Most of the time people say, "Wow!  You have your hands full!"
I just smile with an eyebrow raised & answer, "Yep!"
It's true.  I have my hands full.  My life feels full.
Full, but not busy.
When people comment, "My aren't you a busy lady!" 
I don't give the same answer of agreement.
Recently I was asked how I was doing and I think I gave the notso brilliant answer, 
"I'm good."
Descriptive right?  So she asked what we've been up to.
I said, just having regular, nice summer, with nothing interesting to report.
She listed off a bunch of things that one does when they are parent & said,
 "See, you've been busy.  You are always very busy!"
I think she wanted me to know that my time was not being wasted.
She seemed to be trying to encourage me, as if I may feel worth more if I were busy.

The truth is, I don't feel busy.  I don't see our life as busy.  
Loud?  Often.  Chaotic?  At times.  Full of worth?  Yes!

Did you read the NYT article, The Busy Trap?  
(It's a few weeks old.  I'm slow to mention my thoughts.  
What can I say?  I'm just slow.  It is not because I've been too busy.)
And my bloggy friend Annie wrote some good words about the Irony of the Busy Trap, too.

When you ask most people how they are doing, what do they usually answer?
"Busy!"  Right?
Is that good?  When most people say "Busy!" they don't sound too happy about it.
They sound a bit harried.  The tone sounds like it wasn't what they want for themselves.
So many are so busy.

What do you think of busy?  
The good, the bad & ugly.

I see busy as harried & cluttered movement.
I think of "busy" as stress that outweighs the purpose of it all.
Busy may look like too much good stuff going on that we can't be present in any of it.
A busy life seems like a life that has no leftover space in it.

We may have some craziness around here with 4 little kids,
but we still have space for rest.  
Not just on a rare occasion.  Every day we take time to rest.
We usually get a fair amount of sleep.  
Scott & I have time of rest after the kids are in bed.
We have time of rest as a family, all 6 of us.
We sit in the yard & watch the birds.
We play marble run.  We bake cupcakes.
We eat dinner at the table.
We read books.  We take walks.  
We hold babies on laps & snuggle bigger little ones, too.

We also break up fights & calm crying.
We repeat the same exhortations again & again.
We clean spills & messes (& sometimes we let them sit a while.)
It is common that I don't wash the pots & pans until they are required for their next use.
We eat Subway for dinner sometimes.
Sometimes I do get stressed & freak out.  I am short with my kids.
I brush aside their chatter so I can get my stuff done.

Mostly I think that life feels busy & hard to do,
when I fail to keep some leftover space.
We need space leftover for all of the unknowns.   
All the stuff we can't predict & control.
Space for the other people we are living our lives with.  
Space to just be.  Space to rest.
A blank space on the calendar.

Last summer my bloggy friend Sarah Bessey wrote a piece about 
Leaving Space in the Margins, as part of her Practices of Mothering series.
It is very worth a read by non-mothers, too.  I think it applies to all of us in our lives.
(And while you are at it, her entire Practices of Mothering series is worth a read.)

I know I haven't been blogging much lately.
(And I'm not sure if what I just blogged made a speck of sense.)  
I haven't been too busy.  I've just been doing other things.
No big summer trips.  Just a few fun outings so far.
We are hoping to get a little vacation of sorts in before school starts, though.
Even when we have been taking it easy this summer, 
it still seems like time goes by quickly.  Right?  
Once you start seeing the end of July it feels like, "wait!  where did summer go?"

I hope you all are finding time & space to enjoy your life right now!
Tell us about it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Strybing Arboretum

Very few things will get my husband motivated to drive in San Francisco.
But, a salvia plant sale at Golden Gate Park was able.  
I was glad.  I'll take pretty much any reason to go to S.F.

We came home with some awesome plants & had a great day out.

P.S.  But I should not neglect to tell you that we were there for an actual plant sale.  You are not permitted to unearth plants & take them home.  They are fixed with GPS devices.  If you remove an unauthorized plant.  They will hunt you down & find you.

Also.  you should remember to get in the shots - Embrace the Camera

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Boys are Sensitive, too

Since no one is interested in chiming in on the last post,
 I guess I need to move on with my life blog.

My little man with his lovely sensitive skin received his horrible sun burn
#2 this last weekend.
It cannot compare in anyway to his first horrible sunburn.
Behold his nose, 3 days post exposure.

Poor boy.
See boys are sensitive, too.
They don't all have thick skin.
And that's okay, right?
I just wish I took better care protecting it.

But even sensitive ones can heal.

Friday, July 6, 2012

{Sex} Relating or Mating

The pastor was preaching on Proverbs 5.
Do you know the chapter?  It's about sex.
So, as you may expect, the sermon was about the same subject.
One of the points pastor made was, "Sex is more about relating than it is about mating."
My husband gave my hand some squeezes & nudged my shoulder with his.
My whole self felt like shouting out, "Hallelujah!".
But I've never done any thing like that.  I probably never will.
Instead I turned to give my guy a cheek kiss.

This isn't just a rhyming, easy to remember and a little bit cheesy sermon point.
It may be those things.  But, I think it is really profound, too.
I've had it on my mind for the last couple weeks,
thinking about how vast the implications of this statement really are.
Sex is knowing.
To know & be known & still be loved & wanted is what a beautiful marriage is.
Remember the basics of sex?  (Love, honesty, vulnerability, trust, selflessness...)

Viewing sex as a way of relating more than a biological act will mean:

The hotness of your body does not equal the hotness of your sex.
After the birth of my first child, when I was trying to take it easy
& let my body heal, I made a poor choice in reading material.
Have you heard of the book For Women Only?  I don't really recommend it.
More on that another time.
 But, I also really don't recommend it for reading directly postpartum.
It pretty much fed into all my fears that if men are visual,
 then my less attractive body was going to cause our marriage to take a hit.
I shed more than enough tears over stretch marks & flabby bellies.
I felt a bit of jealousy over prettier women and their mere existence.
I started to wonder if I had to shelter my husband's eyes from other females.
I was already a grieving woman.  I was full of postpartum hormones.
And now I had read a book that made me paranoid about the "visual" nature of men.
I'm not one to keep stuff like this to myself.  I told Scott all about it.
He asked me, do you really think I married you for your body?    
Do you really think you have to be the most gorgeous in the land to keep a hold on my heart?
Do you think my attraction to you is dependent upon you keeping a certain figure?
The answer was & is, NO!
(Did you read the link I shared earlier this week, Beauty vs. Sexuality?  Check it out.)

Realities of life don't have to be an obstacle to your sex life.
Are you worn out?  Stressed out?  Sad?
Do you figure that doesn't make for good sex, so why bother?
I don't agree.  If sex is more about relating than mating,
then you can have a good connection even when
you may think you are in the wrong mood.
Husband & wife should be able to come as they are
& connect with honesty, relating to one another.

Your baggage doesn't make you unworthy.
We all have our own issues that we bring to marriage.  That is reality.
Some may come with heavier baggage than others.
Have you heard the illustrations that are given to Christian youth
in an effort to motivate them to save themselves for marriage?
Things about chewed pieces of gum, a lollipop licked by everyone,
 or a rose with all its petals removed.
I don't like that.  I do believe that virginity is worth saving for marriage!
But the thing is, there is redemption in Jesus.  Forgiveness.
And there should be the same in a Christian marriage union.
Relating well to one another means forgiveness.
Again, come as you are.

Your sex life will not be dependent on your hormones.
Meaning that a desire for connection & unity can be motivation enough.
I know hormones can make you feel more or less interested in this kind of stuff.
But if sex is about relating more than a biological urge for mating,
then your heart & soul can be excited for connection,
even when you hormones may be telling you a different story.

A sex life that is about relating more than mating will contribute 
to a connection outside of the bedroom.
Relating to your spouse with honesty & vulnerability,
giving & receiving love,
sharing secrets between only you two...
How can this not overflow & impact the rest of your relationship?
I remember a moment years ago when I was at breakfast with a dear lifelong friend.
We were single twenty-something young ladies.
She told me what a young married friend had said to her about sex.
"After a little while, it's nothing special.
It's just something you do before you go to sleep at night."
Our virgin selves found this disappointing.
Now as a married woman, I find it heartbreaking.
It sounds like a case of mating, without relating.

What do you think?  
What other implications do you see in the relating vs. mating mindset?

Monday, July 2, 2012

About the Web - Male & Female

Beauty vs. Sexuality  - Hugo Schwyzer
"If a man claims to be able to “look” without lusting, he’s too often accused of denial at best and rank dishonesty at worst. If a woman says she believes men can gaze without carnal desire, we call her foolishly na├»ve. A self-fulfilling prophecy is created; if men are taught they can’t separate a delight in beauty from a longing for sex, they won’t."

On Being a Kind-of Feminist - by Annie Jones
"It's far more important, to me, that we understand that strength and integrity and boldness and security and sureness of spirit and mind are not masculine, but human, qualities, and that we teach that truth to the women we love."

The Kitchen is Feminine  - Ed Cyzewski
"God wants men to stay out of the kitchen.  Women are the unquestioned authorities in the kitchen...  Who baked the bread when the three strangers stopped by Abraham’s tent? It wasn’t the father of our faith. He didn’t kneed to make the bread since Sarah was around."

Does Chemistry Matter? - Ally Vesterfelt
"I realized that the “chemistry” I felt with certain people said more about me than it did about them, and more than it did about our relationship."

{male & female}

Check out these links & tell us what you think.
Especially link numero uno, y'all.  I think he is so right on.  
I'd love discussion.

(photo source)