Saturday, February 21, 2009

More Changes in 2009

We just found out yesterday that Tyler, child #3, will be going to Russia this fall.  It's always been a dream of his, and now it looks like it's coming true.

He applied to some Christian agency (I can never remember the name of it) to do short term mission work.  He'll be there for at least six months. I know it'll be a great learning experience for him, but I sure will miss him. 

That's three big changes for our family this year that we know about.  Laurel's new baby boy in August, Garrett getting married in August, and Tyler leaving in October.  Oh, and Garrett thinks he may be deployed with the Army in October.  Right now I feel overwhelmed by all these things. 

One thing I know is that when the time comes, God will give us all the grace we need to get through each thing.  I have to remember to focus on Him and His plans and not mourn the fact that our family will never be as it once was.  I wouldn't want for them to be little again.  I just liked the fact that I always knew where they were and was the one teaching them everything.

Now they're out there in the cold, cruel world, and all I can do is pray for them to have wisdom and for God to protect them from harm. It's much harder now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Morning

I've been feeling poorly all weekend but am more normal today.  So far this morning I've done yoga, unloaded my car so Gayle can take it to be detailed (my Valentine's Day present), cooked pancakes and bacon for myself and three children, washed and dried a load of clothes, washed two sinkfuls of dishes, got Darcie started on her schoolwork, checked e-mails, started blessing my house (see Flylady), had a time of worship, ate my morning piece of chocolate at 9:30, and wrote this blog.

Hopefully I'll be able to get much more done today since I wasn't very productive for the last 3-4 days.  I hope ya'll have a good week.  Take the time to notice all the colors in the world,, the softness of a baby's skin and the innocence in their eyes, the sound your breath makes coming into and leaving your body, the feel of the sunshine on your upturned face, and the warmth of just dried clothes, and the quiet that's there after the dryer turns off. 

All of these things are gifts from God and are meant to be enjoyed.  I pray that our eyes and ears will be open today to the beauty that surrounds us and our hearts and hands open to our fellow man.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thoughts on Creativity

Beginning in January, I started the Creative Every Day Challenge.  Since then, I've been creative about six out of seven days; except for this week.

Why is this week different?  Because I've been helping out lots more with the three grandchildren.  
I have a few thoughts that might help some of you younger mothers to get a long term perspective on mothering and childrearing.

Sometimes doesn't it feel like your children are sucking the life out of you?  Crudely put but true.  They take all you have to give and then need and want more.  They are our greatest creative projects.  Let me say that again...our children are the greatest and best creations we'll ever make.  

Not that we are totally responsible for their outcome.  God, environment, siblings, relatives, strangers, etc. all come together to make our children what they are.  But the mother, by far, has the biggest influence on her children.  In my case, it was especially true because I had them with me all the time by homeschooling, and their father was traveling a lot with his job. 

The thing I like about making something like a dress, pillow, framed photograph, knitted hat, etc. is that after it's made I can look at it for a long time.  The clothes I made for my children are now being worn by my grandchildren.  I get a good feeling every time I see them.

With children, you sometimes don't see the fruits of your labor for twenty or more years; sometimes never.  That's so discouraging to me, and that's why rearing children is an act of faith.  Faith that God will take your feeble efforts and make out of that child a better person than you are. Faith that God is making them into the person He wants them to be.

Parenting isn't about instant gratification.  There are times though, by the grace of God, that you get glimmerings of the person you're helping them to become.  Your heart fills with hope and love and you have an 'ah ha!' moment.  Everything looks rosier, and then they scream at their brother, push them fill in the blank, and your hopes are dashed. 

Mothers should spend a great portion of their time in prayer.  I believe that if I had prayed more when mine were small, I would have had more self-control and less anger.

You also have to become somewhat emotionally detached--in a good way.  I remember being surprised and shocked when my children did something wrong.  Was I expecting them to be perfect or something?  I must have.  It was a personal affront to me.  I knew they were sinners, but I didn't act like it, or I wouldn't have been so surprised.  

So I had to emotionally back away from them and myself and try and view them like any other children and then rationally deal with the situation.  I'm still having to do that with my adult children when they don't do what I think they should.  I turn them over to God and pray that He'll enlighten them and help them see things as they really are.

My main point, which I haven't even gotten to yet, is that when you're busy helping to create a new person, you don't have enough time or energy to do much else.  And that's as it should be.  This is your season for that.  They'll be plenty of time to be creative in other ways later.  And if you find time to do both, then praise God for his blessings!  But don't neglect your little ones to pursue your own selfish pleasures.  Your time with them is short compared to the time you'll have without them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Doing it Again!

I've decided that I'm going to do the 100 push-up challenge again.  It's surprising how quickly muscle tone is lost.   When  you begin the challenge you take a test to see how many consecutive pushups you can do.  The first time I could only do eleven.  This morning I did 35.  So I get to start this second round at week 3.  

Come join me and increase your upper body strength.  Do the hundred!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Computer Tag

A friend of mine, Katy, tagged me!  I've never played computer tag before.  I had to show the fourth picture in the fourth folder, so this is it.  I think I've shown it before.

This is the farm where I grew up.  That's my grandparents' house on the left down at the bottom of the hill. You can barely see the front of the barn before you get to their house.  We lived right across the road from them until I was fourteen.  We then moved up to the top of the hill where I was standing to take this photo.  

I never connected to the new house like I did our old one; probably because I had spent my formative years in our little one.  That's a pretty steep hill between Grandma's house and ours.  I used to be able to ride my bike SITTING DOWN almost all the way to the top before I'd fall over in exhaustion.  And I'm not talking ten-speed mountain bike either.  It was a Schwinn with coaster brakes and NO speeds.  I think that's why I still, to this day, have rockhard leg muscles.

So that's my story, Katy, and I'm sticking to it!  Thanks for playing tag with me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


"The world is too much with us.  Getting and spending, we lay waste our power" said William Wordsworth over 200 years ago.

I guess this has always been a problem in the world; trying to find the balance between solitude and going forth into the world and acquiring and spending versus being frugal.

For me, I've found my balance to be getting enough solitude so that I have something to give back when I'm with people and staying out of stores and town unless I need something.  The internet is a problem for me.  That's where I do 90% of my shopping.

I'm having an internal battle right now over whether to order a cardigan sweater that's been greatly reduced that I REALLY don't need but would love to have.  On the other hand, I'm trying not to wear anything that I don't love, which means that I've cleaned out my closet to the point that that's all that's left.  That's a lot of thats.

So the dilemma is:  Do I get rid of something I love to get another thing I'd love, or do I forget about it?  I love wearing cardigans during the winter, and this one is long and has pockets.  Perfect!  I think I'll order it and get rid of something else.  I just talked myself into it!  

I see what Wordsworth means when he says, "We lay waste our power."  I've used up way too much mental energy and actual time thinking about whether to buy it or not.  I should determine in my mind that I have enough clothes and when a catalog comes into the house, immediately put it in the recycling bucket.  Then I won't waste time looking at clothes I don't need to buy.

I find this very hard.  I'm like the cow that always sees that the grass on the other side of the fence is greener.  I think, "I might find something in this catalog that I REALLY love more than any of my other clothes and that will look fabulous on me and really suit my personality."

I'm going to have to take it to God in prayer.  I don't have the self-control necessary to stop buying things I truly don't need.  He'll fix me up and take away my sinful desires.  He always does.

P.S. Click on the photo and see if you can find the woman in the window.  She was a server in a Williamsburg tavern.  I was outside the window looking in when I took it.   If I've already said this previously, forgive me for not remembering.  I'm too lazy to scroll through all my old posts to see!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Isn't this cute?  Our kitten, Spot, likes to sit on Radar's back to keep warm.  He sure is accommodating!  We have two other kittens to give away.  This morning all three were on his back.  It's a good thing he's such a sweet dog!

I uploaded another photo of them as the first one had the lopper handle sticking out, and it bothered me.  Closer is better too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

3200 ISO Photograph

Here's a photo I took of Darcie and Prince with the super high speed film.  I handtinted her ribbon and cheek pink and the cat's eyes green.  It's really grainy.  I love it!  I have it on my wall in an 11x14.  Click on the photo to see it enlarged.  I can't wait until I get the other roll back.

The Dining Room

Today I'm showing you my dining room.  Someday I plan on writing a book about the building of our house.  There are quite a few good stories to tell and things to show.  To begin: The photo of the two pictures side by side-They belong to a matched set.  I don't know how many were in the set originally.  Funny thing is that I found these in two different states.  The left one has a caption that reads "The Farm Yard" and the right one says "Southern Fruits".   The pictures of Christ knocking at the door is written in German.  I found it in a local junk shop for $5!  It's victorian and has pressed flowers, a celluoid Jesus figure, and is stitched on perforated paper. The washstand was bought here in Statesboro.  Supposedly, it belonged to a local personality but was put up for sale in a divorce settlement.  I just love it!  The open book on the tray is an Art Masterpiece Every Day book I bought to enlighten the family; ever the teacher.  Each page is numbered with the date and a painting for that day.  I've found the grandchildren (and Darcie) giggling over a nude or two.  Kids!  The high chair, which I found in Woodstock, Georgia, is handcarved.  I only let very small children sit in it for fear they'll break it.  I have a sturdier one in the kitchen that is in use all the time.  The full size chair belongs to a set of six that my parents bought in the 60's and passed down to me.  Mama rebottomed the chairs for me with seagrass rope.  That woman can do just about anything!  I embroidered the ABC sampler and put it in a victorian frame.  More next time.