Tenderheart: “snapshot”

Tenderheart proves his name. I start to feel twin pregnancy more. I strive around the house. He notices. He sees. He always notices. He rises to the occasion of his own accord. He starts taking initiative around the house in ways he has never done before. Suddenly, he manfully hauls a large bag of trash out all by himself. He carefully sweeps under the kitchen cabinets after being asked the night before by me at dinner. No reminders needed. I forget. He remembers. He does it. He does it well. We all work on laundry together. He helps the little ones with their towels. He puts away all the socks even though I asked Micah to do it. Suddenly- they are gone and he is the one who scooped them up and put them away. Then- he hauls the big sock bucket back for me. All by himself with no fussing. He sits down next to me companionably on the couch. He is careful of me. Sweet boy. Tenderheart.

For posterity- I still have the precious bunny picture he drew for me all on his own when I was so very, very sick with Joshua’s pregancy (first trimester). He comforted me.

Precious boy,
I love you.

The Things They Say: Tall Son

Tall Son comes in from a Trek outside. He is clad in denim and a cozy, roomy, grey hoodie. He stalks in mysteriously with the hoodie half hiding his face and covering his mouth. His eye peeks out solemnly.

“What are you doing?” I ask. He grins and pulls back the hood. He says, “I was pretending I was Mr. Underhill.” (Frodo from The Lord of the Rings which we are reading together right now.)

Mr. Underhill.

The Things They Say

The Things They Say: Little One

Joshua asks for a certain vitamin the big kids eat that he can’t have until he is three.
I shake my head. He stands up in his high chair ready to wash up. He raises hands high over his head.
He grins wide. He says, “I can have one when I’m a big kid, when the twins come and I’m three!” He proclaims. He put that all together all by himself. I smile, surprised. “When I’m a big kid, the twins come and I’m three.”

Last night he happily eats a Rice Krispy Treat snack. Hands sticky, mouth messy, he says, “These are delicious and nutritious!!!” He shouts it at me, eyes twinkling, happy. (mouth full, too.)

Delicious and Nutritious… he is two.

The Things They Say.

The Things They Say: Little Boy

The Things They Say

Little Boy and I- we stand alone together in a darkened Great Room on a Sunday Evening Family Night.
He reaches up and places one small hand on a belly covered in pink (yes bright pink fleece) and it is mine.

“Why is your belly so puffed out?” He asks, shy smiling.
“Because the twins are in my belly!” I say. And grin.

Blue eyes wide. “They are in your belly?” He asks wonder and yes he has been told this before.
He laughs.

Why is your belly so puffed out… The Things They Say.

Winter Into Spring

Winter Into Spring
(and I think it is time for the George Winston CD by that name…)

Crisp, bright sun smiling.
Soon- new life will be swelling,
Swelling.
Reaching out from bare stark
Branches.
Even now
Winter
Dormancy
Is
Changing.
Still dormant
(Yet
There is a sense of stirring
That belies the senses
And the logic:
It is still
Only
January.)

Winter tries
To
Blanket
Us
But
These
Southern Mountains
Cast her
Off
Cast off
Like
A woollen mantle
Too scratchy and too heavy
To wear for long.

Spring’s rising.
Rising.
Soon.

Endless Gifts

Endless Gifts…

It is the little things, the little things… that bring my heart lifting in gratitude and joy. The things that ease and relieve the little cares and discomforts of life-
and my heart lifts up its thanks…

Thanking God for the convenience of peanut butter on Lender’s plain bagels. My heart does not forget the fear of those bagels (reaction when son was small) not so long ago… and can hardly breathe relief enough at the ease of this peanut butter lunch. Awed thanks that peanut is not part of our burden. Also thankful for all these small food conveniences… the bagels, tortillas, natural lunchmeats, etc. The Safe food.

For water we can drink safely from the faucet and for ice in my glass again. For no worry over bacteria- no more boiling water, buying water, saving big coolers of water. Really appreciating the convenience of our water! And so so happy to have my gigantic glass of water and ice again. Realizing that being here in Franklin has helped me to REALLY APPRECIATE little things…

For the dear ladies at YMCHE who give perspective and encouragement and help me see another side of the story… hoping when, if, this big snow comes tomorrow- I will not clench my gut, my teeth, my mind- but instead- enjoy it happy and warm and safe in our home. I also do hope poor husband will NOT have to hike up. I really, really do.

For the testimonies of health and safe happy baby deliveries from Franklin friends…

For peace in home school curriculum decisions and joy in the future plan. Thankful for the joy… there really is such a sense of joy. Grateful for how the Lord always, always confirms the path to me and confirms it with His Joy.

Thankful for our productive school days this semester and the forward progress of all…

For the church friend who is loaning us their year old twin infant car seats for a year. Provision! Their baby boy twins are 16 months now and onto the next size car seat.

For the roll and swim of little baby twins nested in the womb.

A large dinner made yesterday- that everyone liked- quantity enough to serve again today. Thankful.

The discovery of a new blog that soothes the mind, lifts thoughts, and offers gentle encouragement in the spirit I most enjoy. (Disclaimer- I have no desire to forsake modern conveniences- nor do I ever feel a pull toward a more rustic, old timey kind of lifestyle- but I do enjoy the colors on this blog, the gentle encouragement, the bookish insight, and the Charlotte Mason inspiration..)

Sometimes I find so much respite in these gentle blogs…
I Take Joy
A Multitude of Mercy
In the Heart of My Home
A Holy Experience
Lanier’s Books
Thoroughly Alive
Bookish, thoughtful, some large family mothering, others just so insightful, encouraging…
Truly “MotherCulture” per Karen Andreola

Thankful for being able to find a quiet place in my heart and mind… to be still, to find my “center” again, to begin to “see” with eyes of joy and grace once more….

holy experience

Delicious Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Flakes (dairy free!)

This wonderful creation came to be- just because I didn’t have quite enough cocoa powder to make my normal recipe. It is a new favorite. The dark chocolate flakes add something really special and it is so simple to make.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Flakes
2 ounces unsweetened Hershey’s Baking Bars
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
a little under ½ cup Hershey’s baking cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups water
2/3 cup oil (olive, canola, etc.)
1 TB pure vanilla extract
2 TB white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking dishes. Hint- can use cocoa powder(to “flour” pans) in place of flour for an even more delicious outcome.
Melt chocolate in large glass mixing bowl- 30 seconds at a time until completely melted.
Stir thoroughly. Add flour and sugar and stir together. Add cocoa powder and baking soda. Stir.
Add water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix thoroughly until blended. Beat by hand until smooth. Batter does not have to be perfectly smooth.

Pour into two round baking pans or one large 9 X 13 baking dish.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until cake is gently pulling away from sides and baked in the center.

Frost with white or chocolate frosting.

Simple White frosting
4 TB margarine
2TB water
3 cups (more or less to suit preference) confectioner’ sugar

Mix. Frost cake. If use more water, can pour this over the cake and it is also delicious (only recommend this option for the 9 X 13 cake).