I want to be creative. Here is a non-exhaustive list of craft projects I am trying to find time to do...
1. Finish knitting a blanket for Lael (nearly done)
2. Create a Bunny Bed for our Fuzzy House Rabbit. I saw the idea on houseonhillroad.com used as a kitten bed and loved it! I'm painting a basket black and sewing up a pillow to sit inside of it for our bunny to lounge on... I'm excited that it will be stylish and match our bedroom, because our bunny is currently napping on our laundry basket.
3. Sew Twirly Skirts for Halle and Maia. This will be my first pattern sewing project, I have the most beautiful fabric, just a little nervous to begin. Since it snowed yesterday, I think thatgives me a wee bit more time to complete these Spring beauties.
4. Living room Painting...currently there is a large 16x20 canvas hanging on my living room wall. It is painted a cool green color and awaiting the painting that I feel God is putting on my heart for our family to enjoy. I have some ideas of what this will be, just needing time to work on it! I think because I want to spend some sweet uninteruppted time with Jesus as I paint, just soaking him up and worshiping him as he places the images, strokes and colors on my heart.
5.Picture Frames are sitting in my closet, beautiful picture frames that I am dying to put up on my walls... but which walls? And what will they be filled with? Kid pictures? Art work? The restored photos of grandparents that I am longing to display?
6.Stationary. About 2 years ago, I made a Huge batch with my favorite papers... the design comes from my buddy Allison, who is an artist and happens to be brilliant. Even though I had heaps, its time to create a new, fresh stash...
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I want to be creative. Here is a non-exhaustive list of craft projects I am trying to find time to do...
Ahh Jones... silly boy. He can't get enough of his horse costume. Seriously, we have to pry it off him, sometimes in the middle of the night after he has drifted into a deep, deep sleep. And just to put it out there... its normal for kids to climb on the counter to hunt for breakfast while their parents sleep in on Saturday morning right?
Saturday nights usually find us watching a movie together and making a total mess all over the living room with pillows and popcorn.... OR being cheesy in front of the camera and a special light/lens/technical gadget for the professional camera thing... these pictures are from the latter.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I have a confession.... this school year started out with big hopes and dreams for elaborate nature study: with visions of my children happily picnicing on dewy grass and sketching in their nature journals with the very joy of heaven.
I dreamt of them identifying birds and their calls, communicating with nature like they were sweet little decendants of Pocahontas (which they are,by the way, but that is for another post). We began well, hiking on some great trails, collecting leaves, discovering a pond and documenting all the tracks that surrounded it in the wet mud. But alas, my sweet Indian maidens have a mom who couldn't commit to the weekly nature walks on the school schedule.
Where was my resolve to be one with nature? To be intimate with the outdoors and give my children a love of dirt and fresh air and the scientific names of pincones? I have a pretty good idea that the passion I had for this kind of study froze solid right around the time the temperature dropped below 20. Ahh, the loss of good intentions...
Just in time it seems, Spring is here to redeem us! The buds and first blossoms are all around our garden and we are out each day preparing to place seeds in the ground. We are studying flowers at the moment and the picture seen in this post is Halle's rendering of the anatomy of the Crocus... pretty good don't you think? And the big bonus to my percrastination in the Nature department? We have done so much book work that we might finish school early this year and with a new baby there is nothing I am desiring more than to walk in the neighborhood, take the kids to the park and just enjoy eachother out of doors. Maybe I should just tell people this was my plan all along....
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Girl Scouts have a motto : They "build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place..." and build me into a thin- mint hoarding machine! What is it about cookies sold by sweet little girls that makes us all say, "Sure, I'd love some!" with a sugary smile? I think that as much complaining as we all do over door-to-door sales and the monetizing of girl scout cuteness, deep down we are longing for the girls in green to ring our bell.
For those of you who are disciplined enough to resist the thin-mint and other yummy girl-scout confections, props to you. I really don't know if I will ever understand you and your ability to pass up the box of decadence that presently sits on my top kitchen shelf... free from the prying glare and hungry eyes of my children. I don't plan to offer any cookies to them. I really will eat the whole box and I will miss them when they are gone. I will mourn until next Spring when the cookie sale comes again.
Maybe next year I might offer one or two to Josh or stash some in the kids' Easter baskets, but probably not.... I should be in the throws of guilt and shame for such obscene covetedness, but I did just have a baby ten days ago. I think I will chalk this one up to postpartum cravings and the hormonal need (read: NEED) for chocolate.
So, who is our little man? Well, he's definately a little MAN! Something in me was concerned when I found out I was having a boy after having two girls. I was thrilled to be able to experience parenting both sexes, but was honestly nervous about emasculating this little guy. Notice the pink wall in the background of this picture? This symbolizes the life of my son. Our house is full of pink and purple, of baby dolls and glitter and feather boas. What was this going to do to a boy that I want to see grow into a man's man... One that would someday lead his family, become a priest in his home, and cultivate a life of passion and purpose as a provider? Well, the inate boy things that are often hidden under the surface of so many are literally screaming out of Jones. Pink surroundings and all, this little guy KNOWS he is a man.
He embraced the joy of football season this fall, begging for ESPN whenever he had a free moment... he loves his trucks and blocks and balls. He loves to race his sisters in the backyard or in looops around the house and he loves to be dirty. Perhaps the bath afterwards inspires his obsession with getting messy because he is a big fan of splashing like a wild animal in the tub. Jones has a sincere love for people around him, he goes nuts to see his grandparents and is always up for cuddling, especially if its under a giant fort in the living room. For a two year old he is incredibly focused; he loves to read books, with someone else, or alone on his little belly. He loves to practice drawing circles and does this often while the girls are working on their handwriting or a math lesson.
I have also noticed that fear is not in any of his decision making equations. Its not been uncommon for us to find him jumping off the kitchen table or couch... or Halle's top bunk. There were times in the last two years that I wondered how he was still alive... and I am still waiting for the day when we will experience his first set of stiches or a cast... it must be coming soon, right?
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Lael Harue joined our family on Tuesday night, contributing to my lack of internet presence and future blogger slacking.... What a joy this little girl is to us! We can not even begin to describe the wonder of giving birth, welcoming her into our home and the sweet way we are spending our days cuddling and napping and cuddling some more. She is such a gift.
For the mamas out there who love labor stories... it was quick! I was technically induced, the doctor broke my water at about 8 pm after an hour of pitocin and Lael was born at 9:52 pm. I pushed for 4 minutes, which is embarassing to mention because I know that most people push for hours! God has really blessed us with short and easy deliveries, which is probably one of the reasons we keep having babies.
The kids are loving watching over their new little sister, our bed is full of everyone each morning, all of us kissing and snuggled and holding her tiny fingers and toes. There hasn't been any jealousy or squabbling, only helpers who seem to genuinely love and care for this new family member. Even Jones has adjusted so beautifully! He is already protecting her, concerned when she cries, bringing her toys and continuously looking at my belly and saying..."she out mama!"
As I write this, I am finding I am just smiling. Life is so full and so full of joy. Our house is messy (heck, we're all messy!), and I know in the days to come we will have to find a new balance and a new way of living and working together with this big change, but we are so happy and we are doing it together. I am so thankful for that.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Maia is passionate. Its what her name means and it defines so much of who she is. Whatever she does, whether it is getting dressed in the morning and finding the perfect shirt, or cheering on Jones and Halle in a race down the hall, it is done with fervor and zeal and an incredible ammount of energy.
At four years old, I have never met another child so obsessed with babies. Living life as a very pregnant lady these days, my every move is chronicled by M. She is constantly asking... " is it okay for you to eat that with the baby in your tummy mom?" " Are you able to walk that far with the baby mom?" "I need to be close to you right now mom, so I can talk to the baby, could you give us some privacy?" It is a trait that is absolutely loveable and that I know will find a special place in our home once her new little sister is born. For now, her own babies, "Pear" and "Sandy" occupy her time and attention pretty exclusively. They have scheduled nursing and nap times and are usually included on outside excursions and special playdates. We are especially proud of "Sandy" and the progress she has made in recent weeks in regards to potty training.
Maia is an extrovert. She likes to discuss all her emotions and all of her ideas.We find she really needs feedback to be validated and to process whatever is occuring in her heart. So, pretty much the complete opposite personality of her big sister Halle. One thing they do share in common is a love for learning. Maia recently crawled into bed with us one early morning and cried because she is not able to "really" read, but felt she was only pretending. This began her reading lessons, which she is thriving in! She loves art and dancing and her gymnastics class. When you come to visit, be prepared for Maia to give you a tour of her room, demonstrate a song and dance number or show you all her owies.... its quite the entertainment!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
See those little lips, how they are just working sooo hard not to bust out in a smile, but be super serious? That's why I love this picture. Halle does all she can to be "grown up" but she is such a ham all at once and you have to be ready to catch the little person inside her in small glimpses and then giggle like crazy.
I seriously don't know where the last seven years have gone. All of a sudden I have a beautiful child, not toddler, not teen, standing before me each day, helping to make our home lovely, to cook, to care for her brother and sister.... her passion to have a purpose as a true helper around here is relentless. She has a hunger to learn and to read that is insatiable. Most nights we find her still awake and reading in her bed hours after we have tucked her in. She is focused in ways that I can not imagine being and has a capicty to do everything with precision and an attention to detail that I know did not come from me!
Halle is a thinker and although she loves to be with friends and family, she is an introvert .Sometimes we are just dying to enter her small world and discover what goes on behind her deep brown eyes. When she was born, our prayer was that she would be blessed to be a blessing and this has certainly happened.
These days her obsession is legos, art, and creating anything with used materials (this came about after the recycling propaganda of "reduce, reuse and recycle" hit our home). She is learning to speak Spanish, reads everthing she can get her hands on, including every cereal box or pasta wrapper and is quite the force to be reckoned with on her bicycle. Also, is it normal for kids to love math? We recently had to buy Halle a "fun" math workbook because she wanted to sit and practice math facts! Seriously, this must be a trait from Josh, because math makes me want to puke even as I teach it in our homeschool.
When she was a baby, I think I imagined seven being forever away and that my heart would somehow break with a child so old. But as her birthday approaches next month, I am so thrilled. Seven is so fun! This girl is such a joy and I have never enjoyed being her mother more than right now.
Harue. def. the warm blessing of Spring.
We have finally decided on a middle name for our little girl. Its pronounced Har-oo-ah and its Japanese. We are not Japanese nor do we have any connection or special history with Japanese culture, go figure. BUT, we have come to the conclusion that the Japanese language sums up all that is in our hearts at this time of year better than any other we've been able to find.
Lately around here you will find us outside, picking up this and that piece of yuck that has been buried all winter in the backyard, raking the peed gravel, moving firewood from here to there and dreaming about the blooms our garden will soon hold. Sunshine is peeking through our curtains to wake us each morning and it is a wonder to hear the birds outside our windows chirping away before we even have a chance to greet one another indoors.
Just a little over a month ago we had an average temperature of 15 degrees F and I couldn't let the girls outside because I thought frostbite would overtake their little cheeks (and I am pretty partial to those little cheeks). Slowly, without my ever realizing it was happening, the earth began to soften, the winds changed, life began to move in small bits around me. I began to warm, from the inside out, like a cup of hot chocolate had permanantly taken up residence in my belly. And today, I am basking in the warm blessing of spring. My daughter is due any day, and as I imagine kissing her face for the first time, tickling her little toes and curling her newborn hair in my fingertips, I imagine it all in the glow of sunshine, among the blessing of this season.
It has occured to me lately that my children are awesome. I have always loved being a mom, from the first time I smelled Halle's little newborn head, I was hooked... this is what I wanted to do... to live life with these little people, training and teaching and experiencing the wonder of family life.
Josh and I had the priveledge of a night alone last night as all three kids spent the night with some great friends (who needless to say are incredibly curageous to have added three more kids into the mix of their own brood of four!). We called to say goodnight to the kids and began to get a little misty thinking of all that they bring to our home and how much we missed them. Nothing like a little time away from the ones you love to help give you some perspective and see clearly who they really are.
So, I decided to highlight a little of who these little people are today, in March of 2008. I know they will grow and change,but I want to really reflect on what is happening in their hearts and minds right now and relish in their personalities and all their little quirks. Spring is a time to celebrate new life and gosh darnit, I'm going to begin right at home!