Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

One block at a time

A good friend and I are doing a block of the month quilting class. I love it. I get creation in the quilting. I get knowledge in the learning. I get friendship in the doing of it. Three of my favorite things all rolled into one. Stay tuned to see what I'm accomplishing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


A song my children sing says:

Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day.
Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayer each time I pray.
Faith is like a little seed--if planted it will grow.
Faith is a feeling within my heart. When I do right I know.

I've been thinking about faith this week. Today, I would rewrite the song for me to say:

Faith is getting up each morning, day after day after day.
Faith is falling to my knees, even when I don't want to pray.
Faith is planting little seeds, and watering them, too.
Faith isn't something I think or feel, it's mostly something I do.

I've been struck by how much faith it takes to get up day after day and go about life--to feed the kids and clean the house, to invest in relationships and sacrifice for others, to let go of good things to make space for better things, to continue after tragedy. I am surrounded by faith every day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Today's creation:

A reversible witch hat.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Goodbye baby

Today Young T did his best to convince me that he's no baby, he's a little boy.

~He escaped when someone left the front door open. I didn't know he could go so far, so fast.
~He opened the fridge to get some eggs. When he couldn't get the carton out, he ripped the side of it off to get to the eggs.
~He grabbed the table cloth while in the high chair, pulled it close enough to get the applesauce and spoon on it, and dug in.
~He continued his climbing expeditions. Neither tables nor chairs are safe from him.

It's time to baby-proof yet again and raise the level of supervision that boy gets.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's been almost fifteen years...

Tonight we took the kids to the local high school football game. We snuggled up in blankets and had snacks. "Next time they catch a pass you can have a skittle." "Look, they got another touchdown. Here's an M&M." "Find number 15. We know him." The Professor had the baby sleeping in a sling. Young M liked climbing down the bleachers and counting how far he'd gone. Miss E kept telling me, "I'm cold. I'm hungry." Young A was getting a play by play from the Professor and greatly enjoying it. Miss M was alternating between interested and bored. She is now considering being a cheerleader in high school. They were quite impressed with the costumed Harley riders who threw shirts into the crowd (the mascot for the Rival University and someone we called Chewbacca.) Our team was beating the other team badly, so we could happily leave in the middle of the third quarter. As we left, the other team finally scored. I was glad for them. We had fun. If only my baby would go to sleep now that he's woken up from his lovely "nap," I could retire as well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My expensive exercise program

Today I went to the case lot sale at the local grocery store. (Twice a year, canned goods are sold at great prices with lots of stock, so they don't run out.) While I put away the soups and beans and juice and peanut butter that our family will use for the next while, I carried 11 loads down two flights of stairs. Then, since the basement was open, I carried 6 more loads of stuff to the storage room (although those were only down one flight of stairs). I thought that having a house with so many stairs would be a built in exercise program. Today, it was. I'm totally counting this as my twenty minutes of walking for today.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The parable of the drink of water

(From something I learned a year or two ago.)

As a mother I am often asked for a drink of water in many different ways.
~My one year old will pull on my pants, repeatedly demanding. He will get louder and louder until he gets what he wants.
~My two year old will walk up to me, crying. She will cry, "I'm thirsty!" and proceed to throw a tantrum.
~My four year old will holler from the couch, "Get me a drink!"
~My six year old will whine, "I'm thirsty."... "I need a drink."... "Mom!"

I would love to hear, "Hey, Mom. May I have a drink? I'll get the cup."

I realized that I do these same things to the Lord as I pray.
~There are times I act like my baby. I pray over and over, demanding to get what I want. The only acceptable answer is now.
~There are times I act like my toddler. I begin to be upset that he isn't giving me what I want before I ever ask for it. I expect the answer to be "No," and a tantrum ensues.
~There are times I act like my preschooler. I pray with little thought for what I'm asking, expecting the Lord to magically take care of everything. I tell Him just what to do and when.
~There are times I act like my oldest. I whine. I beg.
~And there are times I don't even ask, afraid that what I'm asking for will be wrong or make someone upset.

I suspect the Lord would love to have me ask in confidence that He will give me what I need and yet be willing to do whatever work is required to get where I want to be. He would like me to trust Him when the answer is "Not right now."

As a mother, I can help my children more quickly when they ask for what they need and trust me to help them soon. When they don't, it takes so much longer. Can I trust my Father the way I want my children to trust me? or do I throw so many tantrums I can't hear His gentle answer?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No Thanks!

This summer we've been meeting with a group of neighbors to play games. In theory we play all sorts of games. In practice, we generally play No Thanks. It is a simple game with numbered cards that goes quickly. There is some strategy involved, but enough luck and dealing with others' choices that the same strategy doesn't always work. I've been surprised at how many different people enjoy the game.

The basic game play is quite simple. Take nine cards out of the deck. They are out of the game for this round. Don't look at them. With the remaining cards, turn over a card. If it is your turn, either take the card or pass by putting a chip on the card. If you pass, the next person has a turn. If you take the card, you get all the chips on the card. Turn the next card over and it's still your turn. When all the cards are gone, the person with the lowest points wins the round. Chips are negative points. Cards are the number of points on them. For consecutive cards, only count the lowest card.

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Enigma

Can I just say I'm excited for the Professor to build this? I love the intersection of math, history, electronics, and secrets. (For those of you who aren't up on your World War II history, this is an electronic replica of the code machine the Germans used during the war.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

As requested

I hadn't realized it had been almost six months since I uploaded pictures to the computer. No wonder the Professor's mother is getting anxious for photos.

This is for her.

(Young T is teething.)

I love the majestic calm of this picture.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On the way home from the library

Miss M: Fake blood? Cool. Mom, do we have corn syrup?
Young M: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...
Miss E: When a mommy has a baby in her tummy, she shouldn't eat sweets. This book says so.
Miss M: A working model lung!
Young M: 10, 11, 12, 13. Mom, what does 1 and 2 make?
Young A: On Venus it's hot enough to melt lead!
Young M: Mom, what is this number?
Me: I'm driving. I can't look. Ask Miss E.
Young M: Miss E, what is this?
Miss E: It's a six.
Miss M: It takes twenty four hours for your food to turn into poop.
Young A: Venus's day is longer than it's year!
Miss E: There are two words "can" that are spelled the same but mean different things!
Miss M: A nutrition balance helps you balance your nutrition.
Young M: 12, 4, 16.
Young A: Venus's day is 243 days long.
Miss M: A model hand?!
Miss E: Like "The beans are in a can." or "George can paint."
Miss M: Make your own edible cell? Mom do we have some candy the size of a gumball?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A disagreement in chocolate

About a month ago, Young T discovered the drawer in my nightstand, the drawer I keep my chocolate stash in. I rescued one of my birthday chocolates with two tiny teeth marks on top. Ever since that first taste, Young T and I have been having a major disagreement. He makes a bee-line for the drawer, snatches a brown chocolate paper, stuffs it in his mouth, and spits it out in disgust when he realizes it is empty. He grabs a Lindt ball and chomps it almost in two until it begins to ooze from the side and he gets a taste. Then he howls in rage when I take it away. We compromise on the chocolate bars. I let him carry them around and chew on them, but I don't unwrap them. I don't think I've ever had this much competition for my sweets.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Do it.

Important Mothering/Life Principle I've Just Figured Out #467

Do it.

I tend to get caught up in wondering how to do all sorts of important things: Family Home Evening, cleaning the house, teaching the kids to clean the house, exercising, etc. Usually, I think up some great program/schedule. Then, I don't follow it. I love organizing a plan. I hate sticking to a plan.

I'm learning that the first thing to do is to start. If I worry about how to do something, it won't get done. If I start doing it, then I will know how to change it to meet our needs. But nothing will happen until I do it.