Food For Thought

I have begun keeping a personal CommonPlace book. This is space where I compile worthy thoughts, quotes I want to remember, precious excerpts of literature or commentary, etc. My space is just a Word document where I can easily copy and paste. I love having a “common place” where I can go for refreshment, encouragement, and inspiration. I think I might like to share them on here from time to time and I will post them under the tag Food for Thought. Here is today’s entry:

We don’t need to try to convince the secular world that having a large family is easy, because it’s not true, but a better argument is that easy isn’t the goal. We need to work hard to convince young women and men of the next generation that life is worth the struggle. A life that is hard doesn’t have to be miserable. It is the struggle to do what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it, cheerfully and with a generous spirit. This struggle is present for all Christians, regardless of family size or vocation, and it is in this struggle that we are sanctified.(MaryAlice at Building Cathedrals blog- entire post found here)

Endless Gifts 2012 Week 2

22.)The way the light catches in her barely there hair
23.)The way her voice gentle forms soft vowels and rolls a melody all her own and how I lay in bed and listen long to that sweetness in the secret, in the dark and how the coos now start to sound in all her play. I love.
24.)A hint of wonder coming back into our school days…
25.)His chosen verse for our year on our wall (Philippians 3:12-14)… to forget, forget the things that are behind and PRESS in to what lies forward- indeed to strain- put all the force of thought and energy- FORWARD. I love a verse for a year.
26.)The way the rain waters the earth in January. Waters the earth and the rich colors pop… rich red earth and hints of green still tucked in pockets here and there
27.)The rainbow that called us all, all out on the deck. Me with camera vainly trying to capture the illusive waver of light and color and the rain drops and the sunlight and we marvel at how the purple shines. The mountain mist swathes white like a chiffon scarf. It weaves the way only that mountain misty cloud can. “Up in the mountains, people give special names to clouds. One is called the “banner cloud.” Another is called the “boa cloud.” From Tomie DePaola’s The Cloud Book. And the banner cloud looks like a pennant waving out from the peak and the boa looks like a scarf laced round her neck. Those “boa clouds” swirl round our every day.
28.) A Hot shower…having the twins has made me appreciate a shower in a whole new way. The warmth, the rushing water, the …”being entirely alone”…
29.)she bounces with her arms (A)
30.)she bounces with her legs (M)
31.)He spies a thrush camoflauged in leaves. How? He walks by and she rises up. Brown on brown. We laugh.
32.) We stare up together at the dark, dark night. The stars shine bright but far. White clouds cover chunks of black sky. And he says, “I’ve never seen stars like this before…” and he answers, “You’ve seen stars before.” And I say, “We’ve never had this night before.” We glance quickly, together.
33.)a flock of grey/brown doves
34.)how they can all basically load themselves into the van…all by themselves.
35.)a little pointy tongue, peeking (A)
36.)how he goes out into the bright January sunshine with such a leap in his run… and he bounds in lengthening three year legs up the drive… up the drive to five year old brother- who draws him close with his arm. Two brothers together in bright January sun. And the child-like joy of being in the sun, in the freshness. To run.
37.)new blogs in my feed for a New Year and it is all good.
38.) how they play “The Lion and the gazelles” and There is a Big Lion and two little lions. All the rest are gazelles. He carefully helps the littlest lion make his way down the mountain slope.
39.)a phone call with a bestest friend and I laugh and laugh. I laugh at all the ways I hear the “northeast” twang in her tones and I laugh at all the pictures her words form in my mind. And I really felt almost like I was there with her- with her sage wisdom and practical ways. I can’t wait til we are together again round her table.
40.)savoring Scripture. Savoring… 4 Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:4
41.)YMCHE meeting… being refreshed and renewed and how the talk turned to Endless Gifts- and we were even given a sweet gift pamphlet.
42.)How they bicker and they fight and it steals the joy and I think- how can I turn the Light On in this darkness because that is what it is all about… Turning On The Light.

holy experience

6 Months Old!


6 months old.
A look back through the blur.

Now that I have fully made it through their birth, the surgery, the high blood pressure, the healing, and the first and second three months…
I can, perhaps, reflect a bit.

Where we are Today…

Today, on their six month birthday, Todd begins his late night shift that will last several months. So, today, we once again, feasted breakfast round our table. Today, we awoke to a light, lacy layer of snow. Today, I went in to little Aymee after putting her to bed last night and hearing not a peep- and found her quietly watching, blue eyes a spark in the darkness. She slept all night. Today, Melodee tried to sharpen her rising little tooth on me. Today, I shined my kitchen and marveled at my son shovel our porch, pristine. Today, I breathe deep and feel within myself, a total healing from the C-Section surgery. Today, their biggest brother will take one or the other and press their soft little cheek or soft little head against his cheek. He will close his eyes and love. He will carry them and help me with them. I am never alone. Tonight, they will eat a whole, little bowl of Beechnut Oatmeal, water and white grape juice warmed and mixed. Melodee will scrunch her little body deep into my chest and rub her face into my shoulder and give her girlie squeal. Aymee will jump in my lap.

Last night, we put them both in their exersaucers, pushed right up against each other and watched. Aymee gnawed on Melodee’s hand and Melodee squealed a happy squeal at Aymee. Aymee tried to connect “eye to eye” with Melodee and smile right in her face. Melodee looked away. 😉 Aymee smiled at Mellie and Mellie squealed at Aymee. I watch with wonder. These little twins, buddies through life, a bestest friend one for the other.

Sometimes, lately, one or the other, or both, will go to bed and sleep all the way thru- but sometimes one will wake at 1 or 4 or 6 or 7 😉 to nurse, then back to bed.

And so, how was the first six months…?
It was hard. It was blessed. It was blessedly hard. There was a “look” about some of my youngest children that hurt me hard the first few months. They looked “mommy-less” and that was because- I was not there. So overwhelming are the real demands of newborn twins. I spent all my time feeding and caring for them. I am glad we have sailed safely through that time and I am once again connecting heart strings with my other little ones- although we still have a way to go in rhythm and regularity. My body has hurt in an entirely new way and I still sometimes(rarely) take Tylenol or Advil.

And so, how was the C-Section…?
It was hard. It was blessed. It was blessedly hard.
I think Todd and I are distanced enough from it at this point… but for many months- grimaces of displeasure would surface from both of us at the mere memory of it. It is a shock to have a surgical birth after six so very easy, uncomplicated ones. It took so long to heal and feel any kind of normal. I also think this is due to nursing two babies. The whole post-partum has been upped many, many notches this time around as far as my physical body is concerned. This is the first time I have really felt- well, my body will never be the same. It truly went through “something” with the twins and I will bear the marks in some form for the rest of my days. And, o, o yes, they are so very worth it.

It does cause one to ponder. And be thankful. Thankful for the provision of the C-Section. I cannot deny a little shudder will run through me. Plant me back a century or two. What would have happened? I walked around a month at 6 cm dilated. Finally, my water broke on the 13th around 12:30 or so a.m. And baby A was entirely, complexitly breech. And the look of worry and concern on that labor nurses face when she checked me and felt whatever she felt… well, at least I knew. I knew she was breech and I knew where we were heading. We had waited til the last possible moment. But because, I live in the time that I do, I was prepped carefully for a sterile surgery with a doctor who took me into her heart. Into her heart enough to be the one to hold me still during the spinal I feared for months. Who, handled the surgery in such a way, to protect me from blood loss complications- I was one of her “complicated” patients- with breech twins and blood antibody issues- even surfacing more at the very last minute. And blood pressure was literally sky-rocketing…And I give thanks to God- who answered every prayer. His love is evident to me in the grace of those days.

In everything they do and are, I give thanks. So very healthy and normal development they are and so precious and sweet- and o- the girlness of it all. I am abashed at the generosity of this gift from the Lord. It is like a lavish feast presented before me and I feel shy and awkward. As if I enter the feast and place my hand on my heart, “For me?” I ask- all wonder. And daily the delights are new and I enjoy and love.

Happy Six Months, my Twins.
Happy Six Months to us all.

The Things They Say

Little Ones play long with lincoln logs…
They are buying and selling, trading and building.

Conversation is animated. Suddenly,
“Mom, once you’re poor can you become rich again?”
“Why, yes.” Says Mom
“O” girl is suprised. “Okay.” Discussion resumes.
Then, loudly,
“I’ll TELL you what rich is…” says my boy with great inflection on that tell, “rich is when you have TONS (tons rolling off his tongue) of money.”

Girl ponders quickly. Then, “We are not rich or poor.” She sums it up, matter- of- factly.
Ha!

I peep into the room. Apparently one small brother is hoarding logs and selling them at a high price to the others.

The Things They Say.

Harmony ArtMom

This blog post brings tears to my eyes. I have just recently subscribed to HarmonyArtMom also her Handbook of Nature Study blog in hopes of truly bringing more CM principles into our school this year.

I have read this, now, twice and misted both times.

It is my hope and prayer that the outcome of our school days is the one she shares here and O how I can relate to little boys side by side on my couch now stretching longer and how their hearts thrill to heroes. I still have a ways to go… but this is a blessed result.
…that they would want to be better men…
Yes. My heroes.

The Irony of Homeschooling:We think we are the teachers

Two Habits for 2012

Two Habits for 2012-

Continue to count Endless Gifts… take the Joy Dare (my own modified Joy Dare because I just can’t be confined to hunting for someone else’s specific assignments)

Practice the Presence of God (as found here)…

hoping this will become very part of me like Endless Gifts has become a very part of me, shaping my heart. (because even I have fifteen minutes tucked somewhere every day- well- almost every day)… the key is the same key I established in Endless gifts- throw off the legalism and the expectation- just make it a habit as best I can and just keep on keeping on. Really. One day- those tucked fifteen minutes don’t line up all together. Begin anew the next. That’s it.

The Year Stretches Out
All Fresh and New
And
With it
My good intentions
Line up
In rows-
Untidily wobbling
Veering
Peering
Who will
Topple
First?

There are more intentions- but the above two are the uttermost. The preeminence. In first place. If the rest topple, well, two layers will have been laid down deep, knit in…

First Endless Gifts of 2012

1.)Her blue eyes locked with mine (A)
2.)The way her lips tremble wide when she grins (A)
3.)Straight dark brown hair furling girlishly around her ears (M)
4.)The way she pats my arm, so gentle (A)
5.)How she comes out eagerly watching and scanning the room, Who’s there? What have I missed? (M)
6.)She lights up for her brothers. (M)
7.)How she so deftly holds baby sisters and dimples into their faces.
8.)Little thumb tucked into mouth, little hand grasping pink fleecy blanket. Tucked right up against her thumb, and her blondie hair all a-tussle, wisp-like (A)
9.)the words of Elizabeth Prentiss lived out in my every- day reality found here
10.)Bible Study ladies and a study about to begin
11.)home-made spaghetti meat sauce with fresh, crushed garlic
12.)avocado into guacamole (and fresh, crushed garlic)
13.)My own little girls and how girlishly delicious they are
14.)how he hangs sad over the sink, one little leg up, all because he doesn’t want to miss me
15.) how we play the itsy bitsy spider with our fingers and sing “Over in the Meadow” together
16.)I find him with his glasses off, gently placed to the side, kneeling in the midst of his Lincoln logs- glasses off so “my eyes can dry” – he had been crying over a brotherly conflict…
17.)how he finds Ballet Shoes streaming and delights me, so unexpectedly, I act like a school girl and blurt, “Cool!” We laugh. Did I really just say that? I did, indeed.
18.)a black felt pen that skims across journal pages
19.)winter sunlight slanting across stretching, empty tree branches; the light shines
20.)Bright and Golden January days
21.)How he makes me coffee every day. I miss him, so.(Thank you, sweet.)

We Made It!

working hard on school plans at the stroke of midnight. My mind comes alive at night!!!

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He dozed a bit- but in the end, was wide awake for the big moment this year.

This little guy didn't quite make it. 🙂

Happy New Year!!!

7 out of 10 of us greeted the New Year with smiling faces tonight.

Happy New Year (or New Year’s Eve At Our House)

New Year’s Eve at Our House

New Year’s Eve is just fun here.

Todd and I used to host a New Year’s Party every year when we were first married. We would plan all kinds of different, fun food and just open our home for hanging out. We were just reminiscing about one crazy New Year we stayed up all night- O, I was feeling it so bad the next day. Our Asher was just a wee baby- 6 weeks or so old. What was I thinking???? I was visiting with a dear, dear friend before they had children. We just, literally, talked the night away. Loved the talking- not so much the exhaustion!!

Our children are growing up- as some have so aptly said after seeing our family photos this year… and last year- we began “our party” again- but this time- within our own sweet family. Out came the party food, the hanging out, the conversation, some games, and a good movie or two.

Today was hard. It always is. This is the hardest week of the year for Todd’s job and by New Year’s Eve- I am just feeling it in every fiber of my body- and I always feel like I want to cancel it and just pretend it is a regular night. I waved the white flag and pared down our menu. I was just in “basic mode.” Discussed with the kids the bare minimum and was good to go- sort of. I brewed a second pot of coffee and was ready to drink up and begin. Then the arrival of the man of the house- who was having none of it. A party- and a full party- no back outs- we would have!

I drank my coffee and we began.

The food began to line up on the counters and around the tables.
And, O, the smells… the delicious smells… wafting through our house right now.

And I realized some things. I am going to share them here for posterity.
Nothing so happy as seeing that fully, overflowingly loaded veggie tray brightening our table
A pot of coffee really helps
Everything is better when you are not alone (aka husband here)
Excitement as trays of deliciousness line up on every spare space.
Like I said, it is just fun here and everyone is feeling it.

Drum Roll-
We have:
Loaded Veggie Tray with Dip
Bean Dip
Potato Chips
Pretzels
Tostitos
“Pigs in a blanket”
Chicken Fries
Regular Fries with “special sauce” on the side
Sweet Potato Fries
Chicken Nuggets
Kettle-Cooked Popcorn
Hot Wings
We were also going to have home-made guacamole but- the avocados are not ripe…
I won’t tell you what I tried to cut out in simplifiying. 😉 Todd went to work.

I will take a picture of all who are awake at the stroke of midnight like I did last year.

Happy New Year!!!!

New Year’s Poem

This is not a very good poem but it is what rolled out today.

The Press of Time

I can’t stop the Press of Time
I just have to flex and roll
Stretch and mold
With it.

Open arms wide and reach out
Embrace

Lay hold that Day.

See.

Cup each grace moment.
Cup and let
Time slip

Slip Through

Hands Gentled

it hurts not to grasp

Press in
As
Each Day
Presses
Onward.

Onward 2012.