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, November 29, 2017

Sweet Relief

Surgery is over and Adele' is doing just fine.  Her Uncle John (Matt's twin) was the nurse anesthetist for her surgery so he wheeled her down to surgery on her bed extra fast for the thrill of it.  It was nice for her to have a familiar face making it seem a bit more like a family gathering than surgery prep.

We got home late last night and were able to get a good nights rest. The pain meds are pretty much awesome.  Brothers and sisters are trying not to be jealous of all the extra treats and attention broken bones can bring, including (but certainly not limited to...) sleeping in a nest of pillows on a full size bed in the Spare Oom all by herself.  Adele' has been asking for people to sign her cast- and then writing herself little messages on it too.  A dress that fits around a cast and sling. 

For all of these mercies, I praise God. 

Thank you to all who have been praying and leaving little love notes for us.  It meant the world to us.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Prayers for Bunkin

It turns out, when Adele' does something, she does it with gumption.  So- when she fell off her bed with arm tangled in beam on the night of her birthday- she didn't just break an arm.  She broke several bones in her arm.  And, it turns out, after a midnight ride to the hospital, another trip a few hours later to a specialist and many twists and turns (very bad choice of words but too tired to change them) along the way that said breaks are those that are serious enough to warrant not just a set and cast but an actual surgery requiring anesthesia.

Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow evening and so, despite the single. solitary hour sleep pre-accident and the single hour of fitful sleep I got this morning after returning to the hospital, we have another fitful night ahead of us.  I have spent the day holding things together with a brave and courageous smile with my girl and then bawled (and screamed) in Mama meltdown mode out in bathrooms and parking lots.  It is a terrible thing to watch your child in a pain that you can not take away.

My  mind has wandered and prayed over the many parents suffering those feelings in even more devastating ways today.

I am weary.  I have very little brain power left, my eyes linger shut after every word and my fingers type through water so I will leave it at this.  Modern medicine is a great and wonderful thing; I am grateful for this good gift that can help my girl find comfort in her pain but I admit, anesthesia is a fearful thing for me, particularly with the children of my heart.

The Lord wills and decrees all things and His providence is one that is good and right and I rest in this.  I know this.  I trust this.  He knits together bones and strengthens sinews, He is the Master Physician.   Would you pray for us, though, as we trust in His good, hard providence tomorrow?  For my girl and that fragileness of health that surgery so clearly reminds us of?  For her surgery and her anesthesia, that is be successful?  For myself, that I bring God the glory as much in the sickness as in the health...in the waiting as in the result, in the trials as well as the triumphs, in the waiting and in the angst?

I'd be so grateful for them.  xoxo

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eyes Wide Open

~ frosty flowers, dusted in crystals

~ making (and yes, eating) florescent marbled leaves

~ Rabbit Breeders of America hats made for old folks and discarded at the salvation army just exactly for MY boy.  

~ 11 year olds who wear said hats with pride.

~ the spills and scatters of an almost two year old

~ the many helping hands that help me clean up said messes

~ vibrant (and delicious) french bread pizza

~ crafty happenings in the Spare Oom,  glorious disasters everywhere!  

~ fresh and warm pretzels

~ honey mustard, heavy on the honey

~ the girl who loves chickens.  This summer, if she tottered outside when the door was open (when was it closed?!?) I knew it was probably to go see the chickens.  She is already missing those trips to 'her chicken stairs'.

~ My three Rosie the Riveters, me still my heart.

~ A week of feasting and birthdays and family and friends.

~ hand me down quilted black fabric and fur balls boughten for pennies after Christmas last year.  (I believe they were called 'vase fillers'?!?!?  Who would fill a vase with furballs, I wonder? )  A warm little hat for a dear girl that looks slightly ridiculous on.  But babies look even cuter in slightly ridiculous things.

 ~ notes from a girl who is old enough to understand and compassionate enough to take action when she overhears a Mama sigh to herself at the end of a looooooong day of doing and mutter "Did I accomplish ANYTHING I wanted to get done today at all?  I don't think I did..."

that girls' heart

This life is wildly full and wonderfully hard and simply sweet.  It is crazy good.

I love Thanksgiving because this is the holiday that can't get justified out in glitz or Christmas lights or Easter egg hunts or crazy costumes or reindeer or jolly old elves.  A turkey is a turkey and a feast is a feast but everyone who ever proclaimed GRATITUDE is proclaiming God as creator, maybe even without them knowing it.

No one can be grateful to anything or anyone if life is just one big cosmic accident: time and chance acting on matter over the course of billions of years. Random.  Chaos.  We are all just matter in motion.  When they say "I'm thankful for..."  you just can't be thankful for random chaos, time and chance.  Anyone sitting down at a feast and feeling grateful or having a moment of sheer delight in the world and feeling content...anyone with thankfulness beginning to creep up and out this week...is acting like a CHRISTIAN.  They are declaring the glory of the Lord, just like the heavens and the sea, and marveling at His goodness.

For that and many, many more wonderful and blessed ironies, I give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you folks who have stuck by my long-winded and photo-heavy rants, even as they have been coming fewer and further between lately.   

I am grateful for this space, for the listening and encouraging ones that come out from behind the screen and the people who help me to really see.  

Monday, November 06, 2017

Eyes to See


~ hilarious signs on the boys' room
~ last bouquets from the garden
~ those precious five minutes that a cleaned up living room stays cleaned up
~ gingerbread scents that come from the oven, not just candles
~ a yearly trip to the pumpkin farm with my sister, snuck in by the skin of our teeth
~ pilgrim babies
~ cousins, with arms entangled, refusing to let go of each other
~ impossibly big kids against the same growth chart sign that used to tower over them
~ little ones tucked into the big
~ warm food, plentiful and good
~ a boy in a rabbit breeders of America hat- and feeling totally confident about it
~ silhouettes in sunsets
~ frost on the pumpkins
~ paper.  Tons and tons of paper.  Sketches, drawings, math work, to-do lists.  Paper, paper everywhere- drowning in it.  And then the thought of Lewis and Tolkien sharing receipts to further their craft. 
~books, books.  Tons of books!  Fiction, non-fiction, worn and smelly, new and crisp, borrowed and owned.  And then the thought of Abe Lincoln walking those miles to borrow just any book he could find.
~ weekly Lord's supper.  Because, kisses never get old.

Having eyes to see the bounty

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Handmade Halloween 2017


"Why is there a fire in a pumpkin, Mama?"

And now you know what I've been busy crafting lately...

Ineke's lost sheep costume was based on this free pattern- but I converted it (on a wing and a prayer) to crochet because I am much faster at that.  For the whole ensemble, I used about four skein remnants left over from other projects- so they are different yarns and different thicknesses.  Some were shiny, some were muted, some were thick, some needed to be held double...but all were almost the same shade of cream so it worked.  (And I used up little bits and leftovers!)  I ran out of time to crochet the ears so I just used black felt.  (I'll probably make crochet ears later.)

Adele' was Bo-Peep, obviously.  Doesn't she just fit the part to a tee?  The dress we've had for many years.  The shepherds' staff we borrowed from friends and the hat I made using an el-cheapo straw hat from the craft store (with a 40% off coupon it was $1.50)  I cut the back sort of like so:

and then trimmed with ribbon and hole punched two holes on the sides to tie it up.  And the curls were a must have.

Andrew was Zorro- bless his heart!  A simple mask, head scarf and belt of black fabric (which I have now used up all my plain black fabric- it was a close call!) were all that were required for him outside of church clothes...and a spiffying up with spray paint of his wooden sword.  It shines with silver and gold once again.  That sword has seen many Halloweens and the sword brandishing boy looks a bit different too.

Corynn was a Genie in a bottle.  Or rather, OUT of a bottle.  The smoke was spider webs and sadly, I never got a picture when it got a bit darker- she had twinkle lights in there too that looked SO AWESOME in the dark!  We had to shorten her pirate vest a bit and I bought special green face powder for the occasion but it was pretty simple to put together too with an old black skirt.  I had only to buy a bag of spider webs at the dollar store and the face powder.

Judah wanted to be an astronaut, which took the most work.  I covered an old pair of footie pajamas in white duct tape and electrical tape and paper-mached a helmet.  We taped on some decals from NASA's google images that I had printed and made rocket torpedos in the back using soda bottles.  (Now you know how the 2017 soda ban went in October.)

Mental note #1: Make sure the footies are spacious fitting and not nearly too small when doing something like.  The duct tape makes things without as much give.  (The poor boy could barely sit down)

Mental note #2: Paper mache requires several layers and many hours of drying time.  Do not start a paper mache project the day before you need it.  ( I tried to speed up drying time by putting in the oven which made it dry too quickly that it caused huge cracks and curls in it.  Oh man- I was able to get that done by the skin of my teeth, a thick layer of duct tape and not a little bit of stress.)

Mental note #3: Not all trick or treating is conducive to jetpacks.  Country trick or treating is not the same as city trick or treating.  Our kind involved hopping in and out of the car to get to neighbors' houses, visiting a bit with each person and getting pictures taken at each one- then hopping back in the car to drive to the next house.  It takes like four hours to visit 8-10 houses.  A rocket fuel jet pack is a great idea for city trick or treaters who just keep on walking from door to door- but there are some things that country trick or treaters just can't do.  That jet pack pretty much got squished and sat on so many times, pretty soon it didn't resemble anything but garbage hanging from Judah's back.

The children all enjoyed the evening, the neighbors all enjoyed the visit and I am going to try NOT to enjoy the entire canner full of candy that is in my kitchen right now.

Says the girl with the least amount of willpower In.The.World.