Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolve


























 I am not a New Years resolution kinda gal.
I know myself too well.
Now if there was like, a "New Weeks" resolution
or maybe a "New Days" resolution....
We might be on to something I could successfully accomplish.

I have nothing against resolution, in fact they're kind of fun way
to get ones motor revved, but follow-through?
Not so easy after the first glow of motivation is gone.

Here is something else to consider.
You know that calendar you are looking at?
Those days and weeks and months.... they don't exist.
I'm sorry to break it to you, but the year ahead is a bit of a fiction
and when depended upon for the next chance at something
has the potential to rob us of a victory today.  Right now.  This minute.

I know we are to plan ahead and look ahead to some degree,
but watch out!  -Especially we mommas who feel like we're sinking
barely treading water.
There is hope for tomorrow
but all we can give to the Lord is what He's gifted us with today.

Personally I find that a relief because it helps me to evaluate and adjust my
heart and attitude this minute, to glorify Him.
And to be a right representative of who He IS,
to my family and anyone else in the vicinity.


**************************

When talking with my children about all this today,
I asked what things they might like to accomplish in the upcoming year.
Here are their answers:


Zachary Christian
*I want to draw plans for a PT boat
*I want to learn how to Trick Shoot (like Roy Rogers).


















Clayton Praise
*I want to build a tree house... with a roof.
   ...and sides.

















Susanna Glory
*I want daddy to teach me to shoot.
*I want us to finish our Bible time line.
*Next year I want to eat 100 peanuts.
  ....and go fishing.


















Olivia Honor
*I want to learn to read.
 .....and do more Math.























Carolina Truth
* I want to catch a frog.


















Bryce Endurance
(he didn't tell me this, but I can see it in his eyes)
*I want to learn to walk, run, jump, and follow the big kids into the great world!



















After this conversation, we discussed what things would bless the Lord the
most, and we identified that our Character is of greater worth than our physical accomplishments.
Some of the children were very perceptive in seeing their own weaknesses and knowing what
changes they wanted to impliment:

"...Not to threaten to tattle..."
"...Not to antagonize by invading other people's space."
"...To stop whining..."
"...To obey right away..."

Good stuff - plenty for me to digest too.

As for Yours Truly,
I aspire to get through this day first.
Then tomorrow
Then the day after that...
and so on.

Truthfully, I DO have some goals for the coming year,
but they are hidden in my secret heart to cherish and work toward.
Without fanfare for their completion or defeat,
but with hopes of growing closer yet to my Lord.

He is faithful and He WILL do that good work!
(And I think I might just join Susanna in her resolve -
eating 100 peanuts seems do-able ;-))


Take heart my friend - for the days ahead,
and remember this:
RESOLVE to seize this moment!



Lovingly,

Momma Bug  
(last day of December 2010)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Home: The first frontier!

It has been about 7 years since I had a one-year-old boy in the house.
I had forgotten how much FUN it is!


































This one especially, likes to explore his world.  I know that's natural for most any child,
but after Carolina had such a slow start it does my heart good to have Bryce getting into so much
discovery type mischief.

Today, for instance,
I removed ornaments from the tree.
He removed the wrapping from a Candy Cane and indulged himself in some candy-licking good times.

I loved it.
I don't remember loving messy antics like that so much in the past.
Am I growing up?

I admit that our family is one that  doesn't experience a lot of hair-raising, child-raising shenanigans.
Such things as crayons on the walls, or ink pens on the couch cushions.
Scissors on the hair, or beads up the nose.
Torn books, broken windows, chipped plates.

Because of this little fact of life in our home, I might be freer than some of you to enjoy things like
the removal of all the silverware from the silverware container, or sticky hands and face and shirt
because of pilfered Christmas candy.

This being said, I realize that I have now jinxed myself to the fate of
cleaning toothpaste out of my keyboard... or worse.

But... until the day he does something that really makes me want to cry,
I'll enjoy cleaning up after my small man-in-the-making and follow the tiny hurricane behind him!

-At least at my house there's no fear of removing the toilet to replace wax seals! ;-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WHY are they in such a hurry to grow up?!


I don't know where to start with this one.
December 28th.  
Clayton Praise arrived quite fast - 9cm when I arrived at the hospital fast.
I actually smiled when they told me that 
because hey, 
almost over the hard part and on to the baby-holding!
AJ said we aren't doing that again - the driving while in trasition.  
I think I can agree with that plan. 
  :-)

Clayton is 
Generous
Friendly, outgoing, at ease with people. 
So thoughtful of others
Darling!
Has a booming voice. 
There is no "low" volume on this child and it makes me wonder...

What are HIS plans for you child?
I can see them unfolding before my eyes and am quite sure I am watching live
as He moulds you to His image and glorifies Himself through your life 
every day!

I love you Clay.
I'm glad you're mine :-)

....at least for a while.


~momma

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

I got.






















 
And really, not to gloat because I have a few dear-hearted friends that didn't get what I wanted for Christmas:
Their own Beloved.

Mine has been traveling and will be doing more yet, but he was home for our weekend.
And a Holiday it was!  We slept in, stayed in pajamas all day, played, ate lots of holiday food we love
but are now about sick to lay eyes on  =-D

The day after Christmas Zack took this picture as AJ and I headed out on a "hot date".
We suited up and took a hike in the snow around our property and then up to our neighbors house.
It was quiet (besides all my own chatter), and just beautiful!
Not as Sunny as Christmas the day before, even dropping buckets of huge snowflakes later in the day.
What a milestone that we have chiluns big enough that I can nap babies, put on a movie for big kids, and just get outside!
That's an accomplishment for me - especially alone with my wonderful guy.

This picture is mostly for Grandmas
and to prove to the children that I once existed should anything ever happen to me.
For those of you who know me not in real life, I'm actually stunningly beautiful
- nothing at all like this picture (Ahem!)
And for those who have known me since childhood... yes. I really am getting this old.

But it's a pretty good life.
I know I don't deserve it, and when the Lord takes some of the things He's been letting me borrow,
I'll try and let them go gracefully.

He has treated me like His daughter, and there are no words to express that privilege!

It started off so calm and serene......

Sunshine, Snow, and Frost in the trees.


















































Hoodlums patiently waiting for mom and dad to get with it!


























A slight lack of posing enthusiasm, but I content myself with a photo for memory sake.

















Have you ever truly seen "light" in a child's eyes?
Here's proof:


Punch balloons are one of our Christmas morn. traditions
a bit wild,
but lots and LOTS of fun!
(and they die relatively soon so you don't have one more thing to find a home for)


video


Tic Tacs and a lantern... the way to Lina's heart, if you need to know.
She ate the whole box of Tic Tacs before the days end.


































Boys

















Erector sets




























































New pens


























New gloves (and doesn't the camo go nicely with the princess party dress?)






















Food:
We made our traditional Christmas Rainmaker Shrimp
This year we added homemade artisan bread and and balsamic vinegar for dipping
sharp cheddar
veggie tray
Martinellis sparkling cider (another tradition)
and chocolate covered cherries that the kids made






























*Sigh.....*
What a day.
Thanks LORD!  For being born, because you died for me, came to life again, and redeemed me -
I'm YOURS!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stocking Number 5

And just in the nick of time...


































I finished Miss Carolina's stocking on Christmas Eve - it's her picking Huckleberries!
She was pretty excited as she watched me work on it for the previous couple weeks.
I actually started it last Christmas season, and Bryce has one that's almost finished too,
but he didn't seem in as big a hurry for his :-)

This stocking followed in the tradition of four previous, but I changed my plan of action in
a few behind the scenes details.  These couple changes made its completion doable in time for
our Christmas celebrations, but don't show up to even the discerning eye.
Why Oh WHY didn't I make my life easier four stockings ago?!!!
But... there's more to make, so better late than never I suppose:-)

And this face.............. says it all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How one small boy makes the sun shine


Balancing near me, removing his hands from their support so he could stand alone.

"High five" is the new thing we practiced today when he stood 
- and just after, he plops on the ground in belly laugh.

Laying his head on my shoulder when I pick him up; 

he knows he is loved.

Sitting on the living room floor with the big boys, watching them play a game.  Taking it all in.

A bit later, on his tummy next to Clay pondering the potential for a winning move.

After the game, placing the flat glass beads into a jar one by one.  "Bee'"  He says  "Bee'!"

He is the spoiled one who gets to hold my cell phone.  That cell phone is very much off-limits otherwise...

....but little brother is so much like his biggest brother.  
I think they two have been the only ones interested in this all-consuming way.

Open, close.

On, off.

In, out.

Placing one thing inside of another; stacking mason jars when momma turns a blind eye,

mixing something with a spoon, in an empty cup,

trying out the echo's in all varying sizes of cups, cans, and jars.

Exploring.

Imagining.

Creating.

Moving.

Doing.

Being still and resting.

Making my mother-heart smile all the time.


Is there anything this boy can't do?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Really? You want to know?



























Yesterday was idyllic.






















There was warmth and light,
Snowfall and a Moose visit.
Candles,
Cookie decorating,
Popcorn for lunch.
Drawing and sewing projects to engage in at leisure.
Legos...
 

































I worked on Bryce and Carolina's Christmas Stockings;
and tidied here for the addition of cousins and some new neighbors for dinner.

It was peaceful and perfect and a Holiday in every sense.


























 In fact, the last week (and hopefully the next) are represented by this serene picture.

I tried an Artisan bread recipe that actually turned out















And we built a gingerbread house.























































Some critters discovered the Nativity


































And others snuck into the house to play where it's warm.


But before you think you'd like my life,
I should probably round out your perspective a little bit.

My beloved husband and best friend has had to travel a lot lately.
He has provided for us in every necesity, but being our first Winter in the mounatins
and living more rustic than those living with conventional power and plumbing...
it's been a daily adventure of learning the quirks and techniques,
and also all the little hang-ups of Winterizing.

















I mean,  firewood is a good start,
but what about discovering which pipes need insulating against freeze?
Well now we know.
How's our custom composting toilet working out?
I will spare you the details, but we've learned something about that one too.
There's more,
but I won't digress.
Suffice it to say, we've been learning a lot of these lessons without our capable dad.
Uncle Char- my "little" brother is near at hand, but I save him as one hoards a Wild card -
to be used only when in dire straits.


















Many of these days start by going below the house to turn on a water valve
so I have water in the sink.
For the last 5 or 6 weeks I've been without hot water except what I heat on the stove.
And if the pipes have frozen (as was the case again today)
I have to fill pots of water (or I use my Wild card for that) outside and bring them in
for drinking and for dish and hand-washing.
I will impose on my brother up the hill once or twice a week for a shower,
but since it involves leaving the kids at home
(because I am not willing to drive up a curvy, unplowed, driveway), that's often enough
and then at night, and I will walk back home.
In the dark.
Singing Christmas carols with gusto!
(And trying not to slip and slide back down the hill).


































There IS a cookie under there...... somewhere.







































Before bed, I stoke the fire,
Shut off the generator which I sometimes run late in the day
to power my computer, a movie or two, the internet connection...
and Christmas tree lights.
Then I turn that water valve off,
remembering to flush water out of the system by yet another valve
before turning in.


























 That's mostly it,
but just those couple unusual chores add a unique twist to my daily life.
And it sometimes feels like a lot when my hero isn't here to rescue his damsel.
Distressed or not,
I am frequently in need of rescue ;-D

But then again,
it's amazing to find out just what I'm capable of,
to find out how much my children pitch in,
and to train and correct my perspective
so that I can embrace even harrowing experiences as...
well,
as adventures, and memory-making.

And they are. We are having a GREAT time,
being together
laughing
(occasionally crying - and it's mostly me who's the cry-baby)
...and making memories.

SO.
You can have a piece of this pie if you want,
 Just remember I didn't fill you in on the "IN-House Outhouse"

This life is a mixed bag that any of you gals could handle,
but would you WANT to.

As for me,
I have chose my lot.
And I am exceedingly content and fulfilled in it.
If you want a piece of the warmth and candlelight;
the snowflakes, moose visits, and mountain quiet........


























You'll have to get your own.

I'm not trading.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

She Reads!



video

                                         The dear girl wouldn't cooperate for the candid camera.
Every time I tried to capture her reading, she'd show me her favorite picture.
But as you can tell...
She knows how to entertain her audience!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peeping through the window



































Peeping through the window 
is a good way to grow seeds of love for your children.
Of course, there are times when you will see things you'd rather have missed ;-)
But that's not what I'm thinking of here.

I'm not sure what Clay was working on when I spied him above.
I think he was snow-carving again with that machete of his.
But I just so enjoyed watching his industry through the window.

Unfortunately for me, I often forget to see the messes, the missing pencils found under the stove,
the scissors left out, the cat food bag left open, the door left ajar...

...as evidence of a rich life full of children.

Children being just that - children.

Last night I opened the fridge to find my post-it note pad attached to the inside of the door.
On another occasion I might have been frustrated.
Obviously this is not where I store my post-it notes!
But my son had borrowed them to create a treasure hunt for his siblings.
It's like him to be forgetful.
And it's possible he'll outgrow forgetfulness,
but regardless.
He's going to outgrow childhood,
and that,

I will miss.

So last night, that post-it note discovery made me smile.
Just like peeping through the window.
There's a lot of work to being mom,
but what a privilege!

If I can just remember that more often:




I have evidence of a rich life.


FULL

of the blessing


of children.
.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Versatile All-Season Gear

video

And while the paparazzi did not follow these daring young sledders,
there are pictures to document
the beginnings of a snow fort.



Which consisted of rolled snowballs
artfully sliced into blocks with a machete.

Once again I marvel at the versatility of a machete!


And just a little later.... 
this:


A good way to get tostied up again,
and Susanna exercises her blossoming reading skills
on her sister's willing ear.

What joy to a spying momma :-)

A Proud New Accomplishment for my Little Guy!