What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Snow Days







I forgot what it was like having a toddler.  Funny how that happens.

The messes that big kids make at least make sense.  They play with Playmobil and Lincoln Logs and railroad pieces all at once forming the most amazing miniature town sprawled across the living room floor and there is a maze in which you must hop over hills, valleys and roads to get into the kitchen.   Crayons and markers scattered atop the table along with a bazillion pieces of paper is a mess- but it is one that has been made in the name of some serious artistic creations.  These make sense to me. There is some form of productivity happening.

But TODDLERS.  They carry markers around without coloring, they dump baskets full of play kitchen food that they never actually 'played with', they empty kitchen cupboards of all canning jar lids and food storage containers just because "LOOK!  It's right at eye level!  I can REACH it!"  They put cups in toilets and have a splashing good time (at best) and try to quench a thirst (at worst).  They unfurl all 1000 sheets of toilet paper.  They fling anything they can reach to the four corners and for no other reason than they CAN.

It's pretty amazing how much of a disaster this house can get into without the least bit of productivity with an Ineke on the loose.  The productive days are exponentially worse.  My in-laws popped over one day during the homeschool day and all I could do was laugh at the total hurricane that we called home and said "See?!  Look how productive this day has been!"

Sometimes I wonder, incredulous, at how older people seem to have forgotten the needs of children. How can they forget?!  Don't they remember what it was like with THEIR children?  Can't they cut me some slack here?!?"  And yet- just five years ago I had a toddler and even I have forgotten.

I wonder how many other things I will forget when I have left the seasons that I am living in right now?  Will I forget the laundry mountain-high?  Will I forget the trailing ducklings at the grocery store?  The growling bellies and eager eaters every mealtime and the huge portions of food I once had to make?  Or the wait for everyone to catch up or come with or get ready to leave.  It is always waiting...waiting...waiting.  What it was like to always have someone to talk to- every second of the day?   I hope I remember that.  I hope I don't remember how many times I have to wipe muddy footprints from the floor.  `On second thought, I hope I do... so that when I am old and walking into the homes of my grown children with their childrens' muddy shoe prints leading a path to the kitchen I will know just what it was like to have trailing children coming and going constantly throughout the day.    So that I will give grace (maybe even help!) just like I wish for grace myself these days.

One thing that I know for certain is that one day I will be sitting in a clean, freshly mopped very organized house with every little thing in its' rightful place and I will be very, very lonely.

One day I will miss this.

I noticed the other day that the last time I had blogged was Feb. 1st.  That is 21 days since my last confession.  (har har)  I can hardly believe it!   There has been sickies and stories, schooling and snacking, Valentines, birthdays and enveloping it all~ plenty of snow and ice.   By the end of the week it will be about 60 degrees (!!!) so now is a good time to be posting February snow pictures.  Maybe this will be the end of winter snow?  One can only hope.

Already the view has gone from winter white to MUD.  I've been longing for COLOR.  So we bring out paints, I buy a few flowers and I scour the seed catalogs- I'm getting an order ready.  We weave red paper hearts and hang them in every room.  I bring out the frozen blueberries and take pictures with all due respect and admiration for the vibrant root vegetables we are eating for supper.

Matt got me the book The Things We Couldn't Say for Christmas.  I forced myself to wait to read it until I finished my last book which was hard but now I am ready.  I've been devouring it every evening.  I stay up WAY too late every night with it- reading by twinkle lights so I don't disturb Matt.  My Oma and Opa were a part of the Dutch Resistance during World War II and I can't help but feel I am reading them in between the letters and lines of the page.  I feel close to them when I read it, and my admiration and astonishment for the strength and bravery and faith they (and all those like them) showed during that time is revived.

On the crafty side of things, I've been working on woodburning a sign for Matt for his birthday.  It was pretty time consuming and took me several days to complete.  I also knit him a hat with some yarn he had bought me at Christmas.  It was a dark blue yarn with white specks and I used an army green to make a small stripe in it.  I started to knit a hat for his twin brother using the same pattern but with inverted coloring~ green with a blue band but I wasn't able to get it done before the party.  Thankfully, it was to be in addition to another gift so we still had something to give him.  I can look at it like I failed in giving him his birthday hat OR I can look at it as I already have a head start on Christmas crafting!   ;-)

I am learning that joy can be found pretty easily...
it's all in how you look at things. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

the month that was: January

(a monthly update on my yearly goals:: because accountability and revisiting my goals each month seems like a pretty great way to keep myself on task this year.)

For a look at my complete list of 2017 goals go here. I posted my goals nearly halfway through the month, so I can't pretend to have a full months' work under my belt.  Even still, with just a few weeks of focus, I am really happy and grateful for some already marked improvement.

* Daily Bible readings have happened with the exception of one or two days.  I have been greatly edified by them and wonder why I find Bible reading so exhausting/hard to do sometimes when in actuality, it makes life so much more peaceful/easier to endure.

* Been working on memorizing Romans 1: 18-25

* Hung four paintings I printed from our personal printer here around the house. (I was given permission for printing based on home education- I asked.)  They could only be 8x10 that way, not really statement pieces, but quite beautiful anyway.  I wonder what took me so long.

* Letter writing goal was to write three letters this month.  I mailed 14 correspondences, some much lengthier than others...but still!  I was pretty impressed with myself.  Way to kick things off!

* Spent at least three times I week doing kettlebell exercises.  No "workouts" (meaning: certain lengths of times working out or following some guide) just repetitions of a few moves I know.  I'd like to find a few youtube videos to watch to get actual workouts in.  But the repetitions kick my butt for now since I am so crazy out of shape.  Proud of myself for making myself find the time for these.  I hate exercising.

*  Haven't had a drop of Coca Cola in all of January.  I told Matt I feel 'soda sober' now which is really melodramatic since I only drank it a few times a week anyway.  Not exactly an addict- and yet, I didn't like feeling like I really wanted soda.  Now, I am really liking how I don't 'feel like' it anymore.

* Been eating pretty darn good ifIdosaysomyself and I started a food journal to make sure of it.  Haven't lost a pound yet though.

* Been spending time learning Shakespeare with Hillsdale College

* Made a new, more relevant budget to see us through the year.  Hopefully.  Envelope system, once again.

* Once a month shopping~  I went shopping two other times (but only wound up with two extra bags).  Once to a bread store to buy .99 bread loaves halfway through the month (I already can tell a trip halfway through the month for .99 day will be a concession to my once-a-month shopping, especially since it is the day I am already uptown for a visit to the library.)  The other because the lettuce/spinach I had bought all froze (and turned slimy) in our mudroom.  Since I am trying to lose weight (read: I am now a winter salad eating chick) I thought it was worth it.  Since I didn't lose any weight, who really knows.

* Made a food plan for the entire month of February and grocery list.  This Saturday will be shopping day.

Overall, no major changes took place to show for my efforts other than I feel as though I am shaping new habits.   And this, to me, is pretty exciting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Birthday

Ineke's first birthday came just two days before we celebrated the greatest Birth and though I am considering celebrating her "half-birthdays" in summer from now on, somehow the FIRST birthday seems to me to be one in which the baby has really, truly been with us for a whole year.

For several weeks afterward, her birthday hat went missing and I wanted to wait to take pictures of her in her birthday outfit- hence me posting December 23rd birthday pictures on the eve of February. (Though, I've been known to be late with posting birthday photos anyway.  Ahem.)

Knowing I have (Lord willing) many wonderful years of elaborate birthday cake requests ahead of me, I took this opportunity to make super simple cupcakes with super simple frosting.  Ineke was only going to smear and smash her cake anyway, right?  In fact, she very daintily put two little fingers in the icing and had a few tastes of icing and that was that.

Ineke's birthday outfit was made with the last remnants of fabric from another birthday dress.  I had hoped to make a dress for her since skirts on babies are so funny looking- with their little potbellies hanging over- but there was exactly enough to do just a bonnet and skirt.  There was exactly enough fabric with nothing to spare- and exactly enough leftover rabbit fur trim for the bonnet so I guess it was all meant to be.  Her sweater was a hand me down from her sister.  Back when I was a newbie crocheter and Adele' was just a pipsqueak.

I also made Ineke a birthday doll.  The arms are outrageously long- making her perpetually offering a hug to any who lays eyes on her and her eyes are blue-gray just like the girl who she belongs to.  I put a quick love patch on the back of her dress and a jingle bell in her hat.  I had such a hard time deciding if it should be a doll with legs and arms or a baby with a poofy pillowy body.  I somewhat regret my decision, but she seems to like it okay.  ;-)  When Ineke ripped off the top of the paper- she saw it was a baby and gave it an immediate quick hug and then unwrapped the whole thing and squeezed her hard and happily.  It was the very best reaction a Mama could wish for.  I posted all of the photos in sequence (sorry about that- one of the downfalls of reading a Mama blog) so if I scroll through really, really fast I can practically re-live the sweetness.

My girl.  I am so grateful for her.  I lament that she must grow in an age of confusion and suppression and decay, when women march with curses and crudeness and for the murder of innocents and yet I look upon that sweet face, the sweet faces of all of my children, and I see only hope.  They are the change.  They will change the world.  She makes this dark, tainted world better already with her smile, her joy.  And I will raise her to see womanhood as the great honor that it is- and motherhood as the greatest vocation- and children as the gifts they truly are.  And the world will change.  One little person at a time.  Praise be the Lord.