Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On a roost

As I watched this creature out my laundry room window the other day, I felt as though he oddly summed up the nature of our January. Like we've settled in on our roost for the winter, in a crock-pot meals & pajamas-all-day kind of way! Only moving when necessary and keeping one eye open for safety's sake.

Most creatures, human or animal, usually have a tendency to do this when the temperatures drop! (I know, you mid-westerners are smirking now imagining our dropping temperatures in CA.) There is something about the warmness of a cozy home, when the outside elements are cold and dreary, that I find myself slowing down and instinctively gather in the peeps like a mother hen! Making soup everyday for lunch seems like an okay thing to do, and the lack of productive activity is somewhat fine by me!

So, yeah, maybe the fact that the dreaded winter viruses are also a major factor in the day in and day out stretches of staying home and unproductive activity...but If I can keep my head above water, there is some positive to be found! :) Like finding time to read a couple books that I've been wanting to read for awhile or having the luxury of drinking a cup of coffee at 3 o'clock in the afternoon! The dirty windows don't bother me, and the yard work is basically non-existent!

Keeping my head above water though, sometimes takes every ounce of strength I have. When my sous-chef decides to "sell & transport" the ingredients he grates to "off-site" buyers, I have to consciously take a deep breath and smile or I start taking on water instead!

I pray for eternal perspectives daily. I want to foster this spirit of helpfulness while I have the opportunity, but I confess I haven't found it to come very natural for me! I can tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and finding zucchini stuck to the insides of my cabinet doors a week later does momentarily make me want to resume my kitchen duties in a solo manner. To some of you, I know this is not a challenge. For me, I'm always challenged when it comes to food, or the residue thereof being smeared or crusted to the surfaces of my kitchen (or any other room of the house for that fact). Dirt, I've some what come to terms with...food, it gets me everytime!

So tomorrow is Febuary, and I'm feeling like it's time to get up off my roost and take flight. One of the biggest perks of living in the West is that Febuary can have an air of spring to it, and perk my motivation like only the spring sun can!

The moment I pick up my wings, I know the peeps will scatter every which way, but thats okay! They're tired of the viruses and the confines of home too! They have all kinds of boyish curiousity and creativity that needs to be released to more suitable enviornments than my kitchen! :)
So I will leave you with that and this hen is going to dig up some magazines or fabric or window cleaner...I have high hopes for tomorrow!

Monday, January 9, 2012

busy little hands

Our internet has been rebelling for the last week, and refuses to stay connected for more than 10 mins. at a time. This is a bit of an imposition to my blogging, but here is a quick attempt to show it that I'm not easily deterred!

It's been pretty laid back around here since we've returned home. The weather has been delightfully sunny and un-usually dry for January, but for all that it concerns two little boys in this house..theres nothing to complain about. It's hard to say no to a little sleeper-footed, blonde bed head who eagerly drags his boots out of the closet at 8:00 in the a.m. because the sunshine is beckoning!

The air might feel warm for a few hours of the day, but it's still winter and there are still more "inside" hours than "outside"! If your a mother of pre-schoolers, this is your official invitation to send me any and all ideas that you have to keep these little hands busy & to pass the "inside" hours in a peacable fashion.

When things really get desperate, I have been known to frantically search Pinterest for ideas! I came across this one a few weeks back and pulled it out one evening while tring to get some cooking done without the "help" of my sous-chef.

The items were quick things that I had on hand. Shaving cream, food coloring, & paint brush. Does it get much better than that? I used an egg carton, that I knew I had been saving for some thrifty craft someday, to mix a variety of colors in.

Another must have that I keep on hand is a roll of brown kraft paper that I whip out to attempt to contain the mess at least a little. A small foam paint brush was a fun tool to apply the "paint" with as well.

The project was a hit, and occupied him for a couple of hours! And, I used mens shaving cream so the kitchen had a nice aroma while he happily painted! :) And AND, I would count this one as a pretty thrifty way to mix up some paint!

I'll be waiting for your clever ideas.

Monday, January 2, 2012

full hearts and full arms

First off, Happy New Year to you all! As I sit here in the quiet of the afternoon, my heart so full of all the blessings of the last several weeks, I hardly know where to start to journal about the memories! For one, it's been so long and for two, we crossed many mile and celebrated two holidays! I've added just a few pictures, mostly of the children enjoying their time with the many cousins. This morning I found myself awake earlier than usual, due mostly to our recent travel across three time zones, but also in hopes of getting my resolution off to a good start! :) Ironically Proverbs 31 was my devotion and I was only reaffirmed that "rising while it was yet night" was indeed a good idea! While trying to study about this excellent wife, I was having a hard time concentrating as my thoughts kept pondering this New Year and all that 2011 beheld!

(We drove the short 2 1/2 hours and crossed the Indiana state line to spend a short, but sweet time with more cousins! )

I kept getting a mental picture of our 3 year old, as he is often seen, with his arms just filled with all his favorite belongings! He can hardly carry them all there is so much stuffed in his little arms! He will go about his day with them, setting them down to do various things, but usually picking them all up again before he leaves the room!

(A rambunctious group! this was one shot of about 20. the more I took, the goofier they got)

I think of all that I've learned and loved and possessed through 2011 and I feel as though my arms are just filled to the point of barely being able to see over the top of them! How can I ever remember all that I've been blessed with and give thanks for it?

("three's a crowd" didn't seem to apply to this little trio)

Gods greatness and mercy alone in 2011 is enough to filled an entire armload! The memories of loving two precious little souls are carefully stuck in and around the lessons learned from day to day living! The blessings I've received from being a wife and mother are piled on top of everything and held there tightly by my grasping fingers!
(these two poured yards and yards of concrete every chance they could get!)

Back to my little "hoarder" as we call him sometimes... a little experience he had in OH has changed his habits a little and can bring about a different meaning for my mental picture as well. Early one morning he was making his way down grandmas steep stairs with his collection of "valuables" clutch tightly with both arms.

Somehow he lost foot between steps and with no hands left free to grasp the nearby railing he tumbled down several and ended in a heap at the bottom among his scattered pile of treasures! He cried, not for his wounds, but for the disarray of the things he'd put value on!

We've all been there at the bottom of the steps before. We put value on "things" in life that we don't want to loose so we try to just "carry" it tight in our arms along with us. It might be the people we love, or the simple things that make our lives more comfortable. Maybe its not even the tangible things of life, but the hopes and dreams deep within our hearts. We start adding to our armloads and pretty soon it impairs our ability to see around us.

(some fun things to go in the empty spaces of our house:)

Life isn't a smooth roadway, and we're bound to stumble or miss a step at some point. Without a free hand to reach out and grab on to the Stability of Christ, we find ourselves aching from not only the hurt of the fall, but the disarray or even loss of the very things we didn't want to let go of!

(everybody loves grandpa)

I can't help but to keep going back to the verse that reads "Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal." "For wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matt 6:20-21

That's what I desire for 2012. To store up treasures in heaven and leave my arms open for loving those around me and to reach out and take hold of the only Security that will be stable enough to grab hold of when I stumble!

Blessings to each of you in this New Year!!

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