Thursday, September 16, 2010

Worship 24/7

"I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work--one's work for God--consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day--the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it."

-- Annie Keary, quoted in Elisabeth Elliot's Keep a Quiet Heart

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Sampler

Here are a few highlights from our crazy-wonderful summer:

Uncle Allan and Aunt Christine visited with cousins Daniel and Fiona. Aren't baby feet the sweetest?

Iain turned 4! We had a party at the park and Mama made a firetruck cake for the big day at home.

We camped at Yellowstone and drove through the Grand Tetons. I got to see my Uncle Greg on that trip!

Iain played T-ball for the first time and LOVED it!

We traveled, swam, went to a baseball game (Elinor's first!), visited with friends, enjoyed fireworks, and...

painted the house!

It was a full summer, rich with blessings.

Quiet Days

I have the blessing of having my husband home during the summer. He is a teacher so although my kids are still too little for school our life runs by the school calendar. Summer is a bit of chaos. We cram in travel, visits, projects, and enjoy a bit of spontaneity, albeit with a well-stocked diaper bag in tow! Throwing the routine out the window can be a little slice of heaven, but it is only enjoyable for a season.

So while I'm a bit wistful for summer's joys, I'm welcoming a return to quiet days.

I've been enjoying my new breadmaker quite a bit. I got it at a yard sale (another summer delight!) and it has proved invaluable. The house really does smell amazing when it is baking and everyone loves the bread. Somehow I was under the impression that a breadmaker was a complicated device. It isn't.

Last week I managed to get all of Brian's shirts ironed for school, as well blueberry pancakes and muffins frozen for breakfasts.

Of course today is Monday and it looks like a cyclone has hit the house. I'm beginning to learn that this isn't a failure on my part, but just the nature of life. Things move from order to disorder. And there is something fulfilling about being the person in life who brings order from chaos, and leaves the places you have been more pleasant and homey than before you were there.

So now it is time to be off. Time to tend my crying baby, tuck my oldest in for naptime, and tackle the mess. Today my heart does it with it joy. Some days, I plod along, crying to the Father to help me keep plodding. Each kind of day is a sacrifice of praise.

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 8:6-10

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

So, how has it been with you?

Iain has turned four, and is going through a marvelously funny phase. He is trying to figure out the world and his interpretations are often just a bit off. After playing in his room for 10 minutes, he will come up to me, and in all sweetness and sincerity, ask "So Mommy, how has it been with you?" I love this fledging effort to communicate and to show interest in my life.

Other favorite words of mine:
wegular (regular)
'tend (pretend)
stunk (skunk)-- it is surprising how often this word comes up when you're talking to a boy!
mooshy (kiss)
El Nor (Elinor) I think this sounds like her luchador name. 
Nowa (Nora)
popiskles (popsicles)
passage (package)
kirch (church)
guhl (girl)
dinostore (dinosaur)
andimals (animals)
tached (attached)

His best little stuffed buddy, Henri, has become Iain's son, as has Piglet. Piglet wears on of Nora's old onesies that reads "Mommy's Wakeup Call". Currently Henri is wearing a plastic bib and we have been told to be careful how we hold him, because he just ate.

Iain heard a knock knock joke recently and got a big kick out of it. Then he made up his own:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Iain who?
Iain Douglas.

We both thought this was pretty funny, but for rather different reasons.

He also enjoys singing loudly to his sister. I think it is sweet that he wants to soothe her, and though his technique is a little unorthodox, she seems to like having him yelling in her face. His favorite song to sing is "Noly Boly Alice" which is a corruption of my cheesy nickname for her, "Nora Borealis".

Lately he has been having regular conversations with Daddy. They usually start out with "So, what should we talk about?"  Recent topics have been firetrucks, ice cream, airplanes, mountains, trains, and the river.

Elinor is now taking formula in addition to breastfeeding and has also been eating baby food. She finished an entire jar of peas in one sitting at lunch today, which is a first for her. She is small for her age, but is finally putting on some weight which we are very glad to see. She loves people and her absolute least favorite thing in the world is to watch someone (especially Mommy!) walk away from her. She knows her own name, and the words mommy and daddy. She can sit up by herself for (very) short periods of time.

The biggest news in Nora's world is that she can move herself purposefully now! She has a funny little inchworm crawl that I'm sure will very soon morph into full-on crawling. I can't believe she is mobile already. Look out world!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gratuitous Baby Photos

Most of these are quite old. Time to do another photo session!

Spring in the Foothills

A few weeks ago we went for a nice little walk through the foothills to Camel's Back Park. It is so nice to see spring coming! I love living in a place where I can enjoy the turn of seasons.

The trees are all budding, and a few in our neighborhood are even starting to blossom already! I must find time to finish pruning our fruit trees here in the next few weeks.

Three brave adventurers! A baby is such a fun conversation starter. Everybody wants to know how old she is, and if Iain likes being a big brother, and tells us how pretty Elinor is.

We took the Red Fox Trail up the hill. Iain did a good job keeping up-- our boy is getting very big!

In the photo above you can see the Capitol dome in the distance. I love Boise. You can walk in nature within sight of downtown.

Still snowy in the mountains! After we climbed over the Camel's Back, we descended to the park and played on the playground for a bit, which of course made it all the more fun for Iain!

The struggle for order

Being a homemaker is a challenge for me. It really takes a lot of skill to do it well, but it is a job with little training, few incentives, and little respect. As someone who thrives on the approval of others, it can be a tough row to hoe. Maybe this is one way that God is starving that human-pleasing side of my personality.

With a new baby life seems especially overwhelming at the moment. So in a grasp for sanity, I created a home organization station on the side of my fridge.

I'm hoping that this will help keep me on track. No more losing the calendar or not looking at it for days, no more scraps of paper with "to-do" scrawled in crayon, buried under a pile of old mail. Since it is in itself a giant to-do list on display, I wanted to pretty it up a bit to encourage myself. The elements of the organization wall are pretty simple. My calendar, some scripture verses, a daily to-do list, a weekly to-do list, and our menu plan for the week.

I created a master to-do list of things that I find myself writing down on my lists every day and added things that ideally should be done each day. I know that I won't get everything done, but it gives me a goal to shoot for. I'm hoping I will fall into a routine and that things will run more smoothly, but if it doesn't work, I'll change it. Motherhood is teaching me to be flexible, and learning to keep house teaches me to keep experimenting with things until I achieve some level of mastery. When I first got married, I quickly became frustrated when I discovered I didn't have the skills of a woman of 50. Now I know that housekeeping is an art and a skill, and like anything else, you get better with practice.

I used magnets to keep the list on the fridge, and I taped down a piece of scrapbook paper I like to serve as a frame. I printed it front and back, so I reduced my paper waste. I put check boxes next to each task, and also added a section for Iain's chores.

I got some coordinating card stock and choose Bible verses that either encourage or exhort to display in this clear magnetic photo frame.

I found some pretty magnets to coordinate after a lot of hunting around.

This is my weekly menu plan. This is a tried and true household tool for me.

Here are the things that should be done on weekly basis (if not more frequently, but hey, we're taking baby steps here).

Domestic bliss. I hope so at any rate!