Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

1000 Gifts: The little things

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms."
Psalm 95:2

The Creator's creativity and the beauty of His design

changing seasons, cooler temperatures, open windows, gentle breezes

the soothing sound of raindrops falling right outside my window

a simple game of hide and seek... and the joy of being found

schoolwork taken outside... no shirts or shoes required :)

old friends, new friends... friends

itty-bitty fingers and the places they explore

a sleeping baby and a tummy feeling well once more

our church service via the internet as I stayed home to mend

his love of markers and the determination required to use every single one before his project is complete

a phone call from a special friend, just to say hello

"Oh, Mom! Don't stop there. Just one more chapter... pleeeeaaaase!"

an "I love you, Mommy," completely out of the blue

an offer to help, a gentle word spoken, a strong-boy hug, a tender smile

warm blankets, clean dishes, fuzzy socks, favorite shirts
winter coats, brand new sneakers, market produce, time together

a kind word from a stranger and the opportunity to pay it forward

Four tiny babes who flegded from this home
the endless care of a mother, fully committed to raising her young
and this perfect nest, carefully built by one as she fulfilled her God-given role~

and my list goes on...

holy experience

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The big 5

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Big Man,
Happy Birthday to you!

Big Man, oh, Big Man... no longer are you my favorite 4-year old in all the earth.
You're now officially my favorite five-year old!

My favorite wild & crazy, strong & mighty, pint-sized superhero...

whom I love with all my heart~

Happy birthday, sweet boy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A new hair-do

No, not for me. For Bub.

Yep. That's a mohawk.

And I know, I'm still in shock myself.

So here's the deal--> just like our maps, Bub wanted to try something new (I guess we're in that sorta stage now :) So at his request, I buzzed away and laughed hysterically as his lovely golden locks fell to the ground (I know, they weren't really locks, but this is my story and I'm gonna exaggerate on this one little detail). We reminded each other that his hair shall grow back. It shall grow back. It shall grow back. Unless, of course... mohawks become the new in-thing... the new I-gotta-have-it-ma look... the new Bub. Ouch.

Lollipops' reaction: As one would assume, she wasn't sure what to think. She just touched his head. And then she grabbed what little hair was left. And then, she too, smiled broadly and joined in the laughter.

Noh-man's reaction: the morning's third round of hysterical laughter (that seemed to be the thematic response yesterday... until, of course, the youngest of the three musketeers awoke).

Big Man's immediate and very honest reaction: "Oh my gosh. I hate your hair."

Just keeping it real... evidently :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

1000 Gifts: A Kaleidescope of color

Think of a beautiful diamond ring and how it sparkles every time you look at it from a different angle. Or a kaleidescope and how its shapes and colors keep changing and glittering as it turns. Understanding the beauty of God is a little like looking at a diamond or gazing into a kaleidescope. The longer you look, the more beauty you see.

-- Joni Eareckson Tada

My gratitude list continues...

a few last flowers, blooming in grandma's garden

itsy-bitsy cherry tomatoes, still growing on the vine

God's tiniest creatures, busy about their work

snow boots in September... because he thinks "they're cool"

best buddies, constant companions, faithful friends... and the joy they daily bring

my niece & my nephew (and of course their mom & their dad :), celebrating their very first birthday

fun places to play... and the chance to be a kid!

sibling generosity... and the opportunity to witness it every single day :)

Wonderful grandparents... who love their grandbabies!

And a great-grandmom, too... who delights in her great-grandsons' visits every single time~

"Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

Psalm 34:8

And my list goes on...

Join the gratitude community:

holy experience

Friday, September 18, 2009

Geography... the yummy way

Maps. Maps. Maps. We love our maps, but I gotta tell ya, sometimes the same old thing gets sorta dull. Sorta ho-hum. And extremely boring. After all, my two oldest boys have labeled a gazillion maps over the last few years-- maps of Egypt, maps of Mesopotamia, maps of Africa, maps of Europe, and on and on and on. And now that we're tackling the ever-growing young American nation (think late 1700s to the early 1800s), one more traditional paper map just didn't hold too much appeal.

So, we decided to try something new.
Something fun.
Something yummy.
We made one out of cookie dough!

Here's the super-easy skinny-- we rolled a tube of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough out on a baking sheet and baked it for 10 or 15 minutes... until it looked just right. Once it cooled sufficiently, we used a paper map as our guide and cut out the edges (on the right hand side) accordingly. Since we've been reading about Daniel Boone, the Wilderness Road, and the early stages of western expansion, we included the east coast states from South Carolina to Pennsylvania. We iced the giant cookie with vanilla frosting and then drew in the individual states with Betty Crocker Easy Decorator icing pens (they're awesome!).
Next, Bub labeled each state,

added a Skittle for the Cumberland Gap (a key passageway through the lower Appalachians which made the west accessible to pioneers), and drew in the Wilderness Road (the principal route used by thousands of settlers to reach Kentucky).
Then Noh-man iced the Atlantic Ocean,

and with Big Man's help, he added chocolate chunks to represent the Appalachian Mountains.

Not a perfect rendering, but a fun-- and extremely delicious-- one!

And we all reviewed our geography in the process~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lunch, prepared a little early

A few minutes ago I ran upstairs to grab the sheets off Big Man's bed... time for a spin through the washing machine. As I pulled the covers back and picked up a few random toys from the floor, I noticed a lunchbox, tucked neatly underneath his bed. Heavier than I expected it to be, I unzipped the pouch for a quick peak inside. And what did I find?? Lunch for co-op this upcoming Friday-- which he had packed a few days ago-- along with a few toys. A race car, a thumb-sized skateboard, his wallet (which held the race car and the skateboard), a super hero action figure, one of my good spoons from the kitchen drawer, a Gogurt, and a vanilla yogurt. That makes 2 very warm dairy products... under his bed... waiting for Friday.

At least he's excited about co-op!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

With a heavy heart....

I'm finally admitting that summer is officially over. The cooler temps have arrived, the leaves have begun to change color, and school is back in full swing (not to mention all the activities that come with a new school year). And for all that, I'm wonderfully grateful. The pace of life that comes with autumn, however... well, I am just not ready for hyper speed yet! Before you know it, we'll be shopping for Christmas gifts and we'll be setting up the tree-- wrapping paper & decorative ribbons are already lining the shelves at Costco, for goodness sake, along with various & sundry other holiday items... ugh.

Ah well.... summer was fun while it lasted, and before you know it, it'll be back. In full force. And then I'll be posting this note all over again, I'm sure :) Until then, here are my last few summer pics... a few of Big Man-- with his beloved water gun-- at the pool.

"Some parents say it is guns that make boys warlike.
But give a boy a rubber duck
and he will seize its neck like the butt of a pistol
and shout
'Bang!' "

-- George F. Will

Can I get an Amen??!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Lawn

This afternoon, as the Tea Party Express pulled into Washington D.C., crowds gathered on the Capitol lawn. Some news stations reported tens of thousands in attendance; others reported one million. I'm not sure how many people actually showed up, but it was a lot. I know... because we were there, and it was awesome!

History in the making-- that's what we told our boys. Because when the Constitution is threatened and when our rights are ignored... "we the people" must take a stand for what's right.

So this morning, that's what we did (and thanks to some good friends-- whom we just happened to bump in to them as we approached the lawn-- we even had a few signs to wave as we ambled along).

And I'm so glad we did~

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

-- 1st Amendment to the Constitution

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

--Winston Churchill

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

-- Ronald Reagan

There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.

-- Charles Kingsley

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

-- James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

-- George Washington

The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.

-- Daniel Webster

It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather and irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

-- Samuel Adams

Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.

-- John Quincy Adams

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned-- this is the sum of good government.

-- Thomas Jefferson