Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cute as a Bug





Gabriel is a sweet boy.
Now 15 months old, "outside" is a word we do not say out loud, but rather spell out,
otherwise, one cute-as-a-bug blond boy will grab your finger and proceed to drag you to the door,
which he can open by himself, much to my disapproval.
  Our yard is not exactly baby safe:  ditches lay uncovered, the porch does not have a railing, and mud everywhere.
But, he was emphatic about being outside,the mud was calling his name.

We also don't dare say "walk", or he will get his tiny little mud boots and bring them to you.
He is an avid outdoors man, for sure.

Must be in the blood.
He does generally get taken on a walk everyday.  The bad part is when he has to come back in, which is always too early, and he lets us know it. Although he seems to be plenty smart, he calls me "daddy"  with great enthusiasm.
  I'm really not sure if this is a sense of humor, or what, since none of our other children had any difficulty in saying MAMA!

Gabe loves books, and will sit down and leaf through a chapter book with apparent great interest.
His favorite books are those that have music, either electronic or the kind I have to sing,
like the "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" book.
He likes to do a little dance to the Baby Einstein music book Grammy got him.  It is very cute.
His newest enjoyment is feeding himself, which, probably qualifies as a hazardous sport.
Then, since he so sweet, he thinks he should feed me too.
I don't think so.
I am enjoying the last of his babyhood, it all goes so fast.
Blink and they are bigger than you and doing algebra.

Feeling feminine


My daughters and I enjoy dressing in skirts, and making outfits that match our personalities and moods of the day.  I thought the girls were so cute I would share some of their favorite outfits with ya all. Perhaps it will inspire you to share with a young lady that could use some encouragement to dress in a more modest feminine way, I hope so.  Our family shops largely at thrift stores, and finding something lovely to add to our wardrobes is the thrill of the hunt!

  Here are Rose and Anna in what I would call spunky outfits for spring, which we thought was here, until it snowed today.  It can be difficult to find shirts and blouses that cover everything we think they should and look feminine too.  When we go shopping we pray that God would provide for our family the things we need. He is ever so faithful.  I cannot recall the times, over and over, that a particular item was needed and found thrifting.


Long flowing skirts are my personal favorite, but I am an incurable romantic.  In summer, we like to take a long barefoot walk, even in the rain, in our long flowy skirts.  Quite picturesque.  Finding beautiful clothing that does not scream SEXY is not always easy.  If you are having problems finding appropriate things, try to find someone with the gift of shopping.  They are around and would most likely be overjoyed to have an opportunity to help you.  We have made jokes that Shopping could be a spiritual gift....more likely someone who loves to shop has the gift of encouragement or giving.  In either case, they are the kind of people who really would like to give you a hand at something they are good at.


These are more of a going to church or town look, a nice change from the everyday denim (dead ringer for a homeschooler).  This was entirely too much fun, almost as fun as re arranging furniture, which I am about to do next.  I know we just moved, but not everything is perfect yet, so I must make some improvements you know!
Dressing modestly is fun and exciting.  It is the right thing to do to protect our brothers in Christ, to not be a stumbling block to them.  Modesty is a joy, a way to express our uniqueness and feminine appeal at he same time.  Some things we do to make sure our clothes will not be revealing are:  bend over in the mirror to make sure the neckline of the top does not lend a view.  Sit down to check skirt length(some skirts look fine when standing, but when sitting show more leg than we would like.  When wearing pants, sit, stand, walk, bend, to assure no midriff shows, we also do this for tops- lift arms, bend, lean forward while sitting, etc.  The layered, long tops that are now popular are really helpful for this, especially if you have a long torso like Rose.
Hope you enjoyed in our fun!

Friday, March 19, 2010

O Faithful God

We sing a song at church titled, "O Faithful God," a Sovereign Grace tune.  It is on my Favorites list, and I would love to add it here, but I am not sure I know how to do that.  I'll have to ask my daughter for help if she has time. :-)  But, in light of the Dole family situation (Thousand Hills Farm blog), I was thinking of how we can totally trust God, even when we don't understand because He has our best interests in mind, and He is GOOD.  He has good things planned for his children.  He is faithful and will not forget us.  Sometimes things may look pretty bad, but God has a plan, as Tracy shared on the KXLY interview.  We don't know his plans, so we trust in his character and his word.  If we don't know his character and his word, then how can we trust?  It is so important for us as Christians to KNOW God and His Word, and to teach it to our children, so that when these crisis times some along, and they will, not only we, but even our little ones will be able to rest in God's perfect plan. 2 Thessaonians 3:3 says,"But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you and keep you from evil." Psalm 89:1 "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever:  with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all  generations."
Human reasoning tells us that bad things are terrible, horrible, and to be avoided at all costs, like having a baby who has severe medical problems.  God tells us that these difficult circumstances are blessings.  The world says, your house burning down besides is truly awful.  But a biblical understanding says, hmm, God is up to something, something so big that I cannot grasp it yet, but He is good, and I trust his plan.  Perhaps in heavens eyes, such a family is doubly blessed.  I am not saying these are not hard times, but it is through just such times that one can feel  the comforting hand of God.  If everyday was easy and smooth sailing, how many of us would understand our need for a Savior or the intamate involvement our loving heavenly Father has for us?  Trials are character building opportunities, my husband always says.  He is a man of great faith.
So in the end, we should not pray that those we love would not have trials, but that they would see clearly the handprint of God moving in thier life through the trials, and become more in love with Jesus because of it.  When the difficult times come, we can perk up and surmise:  God is up to something here, and be confident that it will be bigger and better than what we can possibly imagine.
"It is good for me to draw near to God:  I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works."  Psalm 73:28
Often times, because of the trial, we long for heaven and for complete communion with God, and our soul reaches out, saying: "As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you, O God."
It is in the trials that we come to the end of our own strength and discover that God's strength is eternal.  His love is empowering, His Fatherly affection is our comfort.
Blessed be Your name, O Lord, when times are good and when times are bad.  And Thankyou for your great love through both.
"The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in him, and I am helped:  Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise him."  Psalm 28:7

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 12 birthdays

Ben really enjoyed his 6th birthday with Papa, Nanny, Uncle Terry, Aunt Janet, the cousins, and the rest of us.  He was asking about opening presents at 7:30 in the morning, but he held out until the dinner party, although it may have been the longest day of his life.  We are blessed by his great smile and loving hugs and kisses.
 
All the little boys had a great time playing with the new toys, even Gabe, who was very enthusiastic about the whole event.

The great thing about birthdays is left over cake for breakfast, or in this case, after chores are done.
Ben got to share his birthday with a new friend, Annalise Elizabeth Melotti, who was born at 1 am on this day.  She weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and is a beautiful and wonderfully healthy baby!  Congratulations to her family, what a precious bundle God has given you!  Great job Liz!!!

The quiet basket and pics

The loaded quiet basket

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Swing and Peek-a-Boo"

Because we have 12 foot ceilings with log girders supporting the floor joists above our heads, we have the ability to tie a rope around the girder to hold a swing in our living room. Ours is hanging under the stairs, and there is nothing obstructing the swing's path. It is in almost continual use.
Here is Rose with Gabe enjoying a game of swing and peek a boo. Whoever is in the kitchen gets to peek a boo with Gabe as his swing flight carries him out of view behind the wall. He thinks it is hilarious.

This is us doing school work. Science at the time. Many people have asked if we were planning a school room in our new house. Although I like the idea, I didn't feel it would work well for our laid back style of school, which happens with much preschooler chaos, amidst cooking, puttering, and baby care. Everyone has their favorite spot to work alone, but when we are reading together, the cozy, cushy living room furniture is our preference.

We have always done our school after morning chores, then leave our afternoon for play, naps, or projects. Some days getting schoolwork done before lunch just doesn't happen, but we roll with the punches. I can be quite a control/schedule freak, but in my advancing years, LOL, I am learning that balance is the key to sanity. :-)
With the snow softly falling, and work on the master bathroom planned for this afternoon, I think a pot of stew will be perfect for dinner, and I will try out the cornbread in the dutch oven on the stove top.
The possibitlity of hot running water AND two functional toilets is amazing. This is the life!!!

You might be quiverfull if: your original maternity clothes have come back into
style.
You might be quiverfull if: you have been shopping for a diaper bag
with a 15 year warranty.
You might be quiverfull if: you have to make
reservations to use your bathroom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Building in Vain?


On my morning walk down the driveway and back,
I often ponder upon the goodnesss and greatness of our God. 
I had been thinking about how our heavenly father has, in his great mercy, bestowed upon our family a multitude of blessings during our lodge building process.
Likewise, God has been building for our family a large spiritual bank account during this time. 

The Psalmist said, 
"Unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain who build it, unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen stays awake in vain." (Ch 127:1)

That has always been a puzzlement to me, until we began the lodge. 
It then became clear to me that it must be God's building plan for our families, and nothing nothing else. No "Jesus plus."
God's building plan is NOT: take our family to church, period, end of spiritual life...until next Sunday. God's building plan is NOT: homeschool, so our children do not have to go to public school. Homeschooling is not a means to and end, 
and will not cause your children to turn out right.
Or have a different mindset than the world.
God's building plan is not: "Do what I say not what I do."
Nor is it: Love Jesus AND follow all these rules so that you too can please the (ever hard to please) Heavenly Father.
God's blue prints are clear in the Bible, and if we do not follow them we will indeed labor in vain, having spent our parenting years for naught,
as our children turn their back on our convictions and walk with the world. 
This seems so obvious, but I believe far too many have bought 
the LIE; that rules and regulations, along with church attendance, will produce godly children.

I have noticed that children will tend to be just like their parents.
When I see outstanding children, I perk up and think, 
there is a godly parent lurking behind the scenes here, someone who has done their homework about God's Truth and discipled their children just as Deuteronomy 6:4-7 commands, or Proverbs 22:6.


God's building plan tells us to work hard,
dilegently,
and with fear,
because the days are short,
making disciples, the first of whom are our children.
This means besides work, there is much self sacrifice.
Gone must be the agendas to get this done, or go enjoy that, 
perhaps a favorite hobby must be put on hold for a different season.
We sacrifice for the souls of our children, and if we get distracted from that focus,
we are easily ensnared and rerouted onto the fruitless and vain road.

If we are selfish, harsh, easily angered people, how could we possibly expect our children to grow up emulating God?
But, if our lives, on a daily basis, are God focused,
yielded,
and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit at work through us,
our home will be filled with good and pleasant things;

like children who rise up and call their mother blessed,
and young men who seek wisdom, because their father has taken the time to spiritually mentor them and teach them and model for them what a man who loves Jesus looks like.
This is a daddy who is blessed because he has done the hard things.
His wife is a fruitful vine,
and he is not ashamed when he goes out among the brethren.
This is the mother who set aside the things she likes to do to care for and train her children,
while loving her husband and living a Proverbs 31 life.
She is tired, because it is taxing and exhausting work, but her sleep is sweet.
She knows she is doing well for her household.

Are we laboring in vain?
It is a daily question I must ask myself.
A moment by moment decision I must make to follow God's plan and do the hard things before I sit down to enjoy my favorite past time.
A purpose to do my best to train my children in the truths of the Bible,
and model before them how to live that out in a daily walk with our Saviour.


I have a framed copy of this hymn in my bedroom, for constant encouragement:


"O give us homes built firm upon the Savior, where Christ
is head and Counselor and guide;
Where every child is taught his love and favor and gives
his heart to Christ, the crucified..O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
who always place their hope and trust in Him; whose tender patience turmoil
never bothers, whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim; A home where each
finds joy in serving others, and love still shines, tho days be dark and grim."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Settling in





It is beautiful sunny solar panel day here in North Idaho! Now that we are mostly moved, we are all in transition to the new space. Being an organizational nut, I am making new chore charts, planning a new menu for our stove top only cooking (needing a part for the oven to work), and a new daily routine. We also have high speed internet for the first time so we are delegating certain time frames for everybody to get in their share at the computer. People are always curious about how we manage our daily life, so thought I would try to provide a glimpse. So far, this is how our day works:

6am- Daddy gets up to have his quiet time

7am- kids and mama up, dress and make beds

8am-breakfast (fruit, yogurt, toast)

8:30- group help with kitchen cleanup, Rose off with baby and Bethany to wash them up, John with Ben to teach him how to feed the animals.

9am-go over daily plan with Brian, mama's walk, children play

10am-school (grades 12, 10, 9, 5, 3, and some preschool--on good days:-))

noon- lunch (sandwich or quinoa)

12:30- house cleanup consisting of: floors, some windows, vacuum downstairs, boys get wood box filled, garbage out, and whatever else looks bad. )

1:30pm- finish school and play outside

3pm- little ones naps, children computer time, big kid time "off"-meaning mama won't ask for their help.
6pm- dinner(two week menu plan)

After dinner- Anna blog, everyone else cleanup kitchen

8pm- get little ones ready for bed and read outloud (currently "Stormy" by Jim Kjellgard)

BEDTIME!!- of course, we have to run the generator in the evenings, so someone must go out and turn it on, then turn the well pump on, so we can wash dishes once the water is heated on the wood stove. Then before retiring for that sweet slumber, we stoke up the stove with a full load of wood, and turn off the generator (after we flush). Tuck all the children in bed for the night, let the old, fat dog in and climb the stairs one last time. It is SOOOOO quiet and peaceful here, especially at night.


Brian comes and goes all day depending on what he has planned for the day. He likes to study at home in the mornings. He often has meetings or appointments, which keeps his schedule from ever being the same. Nanny is giving us a large rolltop desk that we will put in the master bedroom for him to use for most of his study time. He has an office at the church, but finds it pretty distracting there, which is a funny thing to say, because our home has all kinds of noise all day long! LOL. He just likes to be near his family, which I think is pretty sweet.


There are deer in the yard in the mornings, sunshine coming in through the windows throughout the day, and lots of space for the children to play, even loudly, without disturbing others...well..that is relatively true.


Life is not always as smooth as the daily plan, but the routine does help us accomplish our daily necessities and keep our lives less chaotic, if you can believe that!


Our two week stove top menu:

Chili dogs

haystacks

tacos

chicken fettuccine

mac and cheese

soup and grilled sandwiches 2x

bbq beans and corn bread (dutch oven on stove top)

curry chicken and rice
gulosh

roast with carrots and potatoes 2x(dutch oven on stove top)

burritos

breakfast (eggs, potatoes, pancakes, sausage)


We are also planning a laundry and baking day at the parsonage for a while. One of us will go make french or whole wheat bread, sweet bread, and other goodies while washing the laundry.


On our trip back from the state wrestling tournament, we made a list of "you might be quiverfull if" sayings. Here is one for today: You might be quiverfull if you have ever contemplated taking a uhaul grocery shopping. That will be Wednesday for us, I believe. :-)