Thursday, December 25, 2014

Best Christmas ever

I had a great Christmas. Really, really great. Though there were a few heartache moments and my father in law was too sick to join us.

What made it great:
Giving gifts people liked. Always my favorite thing.
Roast Beast and mashed potatoes. Ok, actually this is my favorite thing.
Becoming aware of those moments when the destroyer is trying to steal my joy and being able to fight back and win.
Solomon behaving better as the day grew older. Nearly inconceivable.
My husband's very thoughtful gift to me. I loved it. Loved it. I can honestly say this is by far the most thoughtful gift he ever gave me. I cried when I got it.
Marley. Always. Her behavior is sometimes easy to ignore because she's so consistent in her eagerness to please and in her kindnesses.
Family. I'm so blessed by my parents, uncles, in laws, sisters and their families. It's good for man not to be alone!
Sage! Wow! Up till ten, three hours passed her bedtime and she was so very, very reasonable and it helped that Bobby and she are so good together. He was a great help to me.

Jesus. All day long there were loud visual reminders of what Christmas is but it was the gentle whispers I appreciated. My God is alive and His rescue plan is accomplished.

Pictures to follow... soon.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

& a

Sometimes I pray for things and then I wonder if I'm supposed to feel confident I will be answered in the affirmative, if I will "receive" what I asked for.

One thing in particular for years. Back and forth in whether I am supposed to feel confident that God will give me the desire of my heart.

But recently I realized I needed to quit feeling unsure; I needed to examine what I know about God. Then I could decide whether I should be wondering or just waiting.

1.God will give us the desires of our heart if we love him (because our love will place his design and our desires in alignment).
2.God does things in His own way and in His own time.
3. God has tons of time.
4. God can weave events and peoples together in a design so complex and beautiful that we cannot dare to hope to plan anything so fine for ourselves.
5. God wants to give us a future and a hope. To prosper us.
6. God loves me.
7. God loves the members of my family.

So these things I know. And now I will ruminate on them and feel joy. Future and hope!

I'm so joyful to be waiting and not having to wonder.

Praise Him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Things I ask myself

How long a needle do I need to get all the way through this baby's head?

Should I stain Todd Frazier's chin with coffee or tea?

How do I carry a 55 gallon drum down two flights of stairs silently?

What's that burning plastic smell?

How can I use the hot glue gun and hold the baby at the same time?

Where is my coffee?

Did I eat my cereal this morning or just lose the bowl?

Where did his pupils go?

Should I attempt to finish what I'm doing now that the baby is awake and will that require something extreme like turning on PBS which, as far as I can tell, only ever plays Dinosaur Train?

Seriously, where is my coffee?

Is that burning plastic smell acceptable?

Am I dizzy because I didn't eat my cereal; because I drank too much coffee; or is it because the burning plastic smell?

How many toxic fumes are too many?

And that was just today.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

While I'm here.

No peace
No joy
No quenched thirst
No thirst at all because
No life
Without Him.

...

I'm thankful that I have people to eat cake with. That they're just here and I don't have to call them. I hope that if anyone I love ever does need a cake eating buddy they'll call me, because I also love cake.

...

Creek water rushing around my ankles
Sunshine turning icicles into glitter
Wind making the lawn (that's in need of a trim) sway and swirl
The week that magnolia trees bloom and flourish
A brush of nostalgia, a lesson learned
When the car brakes work too well to be believed
Fruit
A baby smiling at you
Kind words in time
A breeze that finds its way in the window
Cooking smells
When the car is still warm when you leave
Unexpected understanding.

It all whispers His name.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Here and there

This last month has found me really longing to relive some of my childhood moments. Not to change them but just to feel that way and see those people again. I have really missed my grandparents the last few weeks. The grandmothers I knew, the one I didn't, my  grandfathers...

With the loss of my last living grandparent I can't help but to be aware of the slip of time we are given. My life a flower soon lost to frost.

It sounds sad but I'm not intending it to be. This life is... hard, beautiful... but the world we live in is sick and redemption is on the horizon. Whether it's my personal horizon or the whole world's; it's there.

So this Christmas, though it will be without my grandpa with us for the first time, will be the best Christmas ever. Because he's beyond pain, beyond the despair of the human body as it ages. He's with my grandma and he's with Jesus.

And I'm here, surrounded by people who love me with a purpose that He's given me. And someday I will be there, surrounded by most of those same people. Together worshipping God for the complex beauty of His creation and for His grace.

Thank You Father.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mary Ann

What just happened to me is so amazing... I can't even...

I'm making dolls for the darlings.
So I'm measuring, measuring, cutting, sewing, cutting, pressing, sewing...

I have a pile of fabric, fastidiously measured and cut into circles with 14" diameters. Some pressed, some not, some waiting to have the hems marked, etc.

My fingers hurt, I'm forced to work when the baby is asleep, and no one is looking and in a place where it's flat and safe for an iron. So pretty much 10 minutes here, 10 there. It can be frustrating.

I'm reaching for the fabric that will be my niece Katie's doll's circle skirt. I'm thinking, "Ugh it's flannel, it's already fraying. I'm going to have to add water to the iron to press it..."  Not that much more work but daunting in the face of an already long to-do list and limited time.

I'm trying to add special elements to everyone's doll and outfits but in this moment I was tempted to cut the corner. Just get it pressed and hem it and let that be enough. Katie's young, she won't notice if I don't further embellish hers and it will still be special... excuse, excuse...

But no. No cutting corners. Cut corners in sewing get punished and if this is going to be an act driven by love, I needed to focus on love, not time damnit.

So I go back to the scrapbox. I need something purple. The options are limited but I know that there is fabric leftover from when my grandma made us Goodridge girls little throw pillows with our names embroidered on them. My sister had salvaged the fabric from grandma's things after Mary Ann passed away.

I put my hand on it, resigned to my fate. Then I unfolded it and there it was. A perfect circle with a 14" diameter, the edges already pressed.

I was shocked. Shocked.
I ironed out the tiny wrinkle in the middle it had from being folded and now it only needed to be stitched to the flannel to create a pretty lining. The iron releasing the smell of my grandma's house.

This circle of fabric that didn't make it as a throw pillow for a granddaughter will make it as a skirt for a great granddaughter. I don't know if Grandma got frustrated at the time when she was working with this fabric, or if she was just practicing to insure that the final product was better. But it serves as an excellent reminder that God works all things together for our good.

Thank you God for your mercy. For Mary Ann as a grandma and for a perfect scrap of fabric.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sage. Sage. Sage!

Marley is singing to Sage.

"Sometimes there is so much light you won't understand it. Sometimes there are so many hugs, you won't be able to stand it..."

Sage stood on her own again today. She pushed herself up from a shoebox then pulled the shoebox into the air with her upper half, wielding it wildly for a second before falling back on her butt.
...

While trying to nurse..

Me: OW. Why are you biting me? Do you have something else in your mouth?
Sage: Gum!

No lie. She really did actually say gum. Marley and Solo almost died laughing.


Also I almost put her to bed tonight before realizing she had while coffee beans in her mouth.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The true desires of our hearts

God,

Be in the space between me and everyone else. Stand beside me, before me, behind me. Stand with me and stand with my children, so that as long as I'm with You, I'll be with them.

Romans 8:38-39
I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God's love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can do that. Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can do that. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God's love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kids

Marley: I'm the Queen. You hold the end of my dress as I walk.
Me: You're the Queen, not a bride.
Marley: I'm the Queen. I do what I want.

...

Me (to Marley): I found your ladybug bracelet.
Solo: Actually I found it.
Me: No you did not. You weren't even there.
Marley: Yeah, if you found it, how did it get on mommy's wrist?
Me: Yeah!?
Solo: *laughter*
Me: *hands bracelet to Marley*
Marley: Hey! You found my bracelet!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gross

Solo: I have to poop.
Me: You have to hold it.
Solo: I can't hold it. I'm sitting down.

...

Sage made her first distinguishable sign language sign today!
... two days later, Sage started waving at people. I guess girl found her hands.

The human condition

Me: Go find your book bag.
Solo: I couldn't find it. You need to buy me a new one.
Me: No way. You have to find yours.
Solo: Oooh but I love my new book bag.

The picture is off Solomon wearing his 12 month old pants.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I stabbed the sewing machine

Me (in the shower, ranting): Ugh. It's not one problem! It's many problems. Each problem is confounded and made worse by the solution I come up with for whatever issue I try to fix first. I'm sooooo frustrated! What an I supposed to do!?!?
Marley (brushing her teeth, toothbrush in her mouth): Maybe try not to think about  your frustration. Try to focus on what you're doing.
Me: ...
Marley: Don't let yourself get so worked up.
Me: ...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ugh Daniel

Sometimes God uses angels, sometimes dreams, sometimes he sends prophets... And SOMETIMES, he uses PBS kids.

I'm going to speak generally for a moment by saying that I've experienced a certain problem in my life for many years. Through the years I've used many different methods of dealing with it. Denial, anger, sadness, psychology, mathematics, academically developed approaches, etc. Recently I tried again to deal with the problem. I just wanted to take control over something that I had no control of.

It took three days for my newest try to fail twice. Then, yesterday Solo was laying down, sick with a fever, watching Daniel Tiger on PBS. Daniel is based on the old puppet neighborhood from Mr. Rogers and the target audience is preschoolers.
It teaches life skills such as potty training and about how to be polite.

The theme of this episode was solving your own problems. Example: When you can't find your shoe, you should go find it instead of asking your mom.

The reoccurring song was something to the effect of solving your own problem and you'll feel proud. Needless to say it was a simple song and very catchy and by the second time they sang it, I was singing along while I was busy doing whatever it was I was doing.

Then BAM ton of bricks!

While the world learns to do for itself, solve it's own problems, and values total self reliance, the bible teaches something a little different. We're supposed to work, we're supposed to care, we're supposed to provide for ourselves (and anyone else who needs it).

But we can't solve all of our own problems. Because it DOES lead to pride. Not to mention the stunning human examples through history of people completely sucking at solving their own problems. Self absorption, misconceptions, hatred... yeah, terrible at fixing the world.

I can't fix this problem. I cannot control this circumstance without doing additional damage. I will (try) not (to) turn my back, I will not stay silent when I should speak and even more difficult speak when I should be silent.

But God is the one who will fix this problem. And in His time. Though it humbles me, though it rails against my longing for control. I will wait on Him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Self realizing

In discussing a art gift project with Scott I came up with this analogy of my process.

I know where the pool is, I know where the diving board is, I know I'm going to jump. I just don't know if the diving board and the pool are in the same place.

I realize that this is actually my approach to just about everything.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More sleep

Sometimes in this crazy life I wonder how I've gotten where I am, then the lucidity wears off again and I sit on top of my mountain of doll heads just laughing.
...

Tonight I'm thankful for my cellphone. Because it can save me from an unnecessary 13 mile walk when I'm on my way to meeting my destiny.

Genesis 37:14-17
... So he sent him away from the Hebron Valley. Joseph arrived at Shechem. A man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, "What are you looking for?"  He replied, "I'm looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are taking care of their flocks?"  "They've moved on from here," the man answered. "I heard them say, 'Let's go to Dothan.' " So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them near Dothan.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Well than..

I don't think I've ever gone on record with this. My life is good. So blessed am I, every single day, that I feel like it just cannot last. I think about that a lot.  My brain tells me that bad and good have to be in balance. Probably this is a symptom of some psychosis but a life this good feels like it's bound to be short.

On a lighter note... is this a pun?
Genesis 26:22
He moved on from there and dug another well. But no one argued about that one. So he named it Rehoboth. He said, "Now the Lord has given us room. Now we will do well in the land."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Girls.

Note: A thirsty camel can drink 30 gallons and there were 10 camels in Abraham's servant's caravan. Rebekah must have been buff.

Genesis 24:19-20
After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll get water for your camels too. I'll keep doing it until they finish drinking." So she quickly emptied her jar into the stone tub. Then she ran back to the well to get more water. She got enough for all of his camels.

...

We were watching a show called Handy Manny and the talking hammer on the show was trying to find his "hammer family". I was cleaning and talking to myself and I said "he wants to hammer his family?"
And Marley turns to me and says, "No. Not the verb hammer. He means the noun."
So matter of fact was she.
Like she wasn't just a tiny baby six short years ago. Like I wasn't just learning about nouns and verbs myself 22 years ago (because I learned it in second grade, not first like her).

I love her!
...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just the five of us (on one mattress)

Frequently when I go out in the company of 2-3 of my children, persons who have only one child will comment about wanting more kids but worrying about the extra work, extra money, not enough time, not enough room, don't want to be outnumbered, or the ever popular fear of returning to the world of diapers.

While lying uncomfortably in my own bed last night something occurred to me.
I never get enough room to sleep in perfect comfort. That's a fact. However, there are several other important facts that accompany this statement that I think people who make statements like those listed above, should know.

1. When I was in high school and had two loving parents paying my bills and providing me with food and a private room and a queen sized pillow top mattress for my exclusive use was the last time I had enough room to sleep in perfect comfort.
2. As soon as I added another person to this arrangement... it was all downhill in the sleep quality department. I'm looking at my husband on this one. But even with the addition of a 6'3" adult man whose oversized uvula and resulting snore-decibals have amazed sleep researchers, I've found sleep comfort. Because, hey, I'm with my loving companion and we enjoy the warmth and secure feelings generated by tandem sleeping.

3. When co-sleeping with a baby (and following all co-sleeping rules as suggested by the Institute for Common Sense) my sleeping body will remain unmoving. No tossing, no turning, no minute movements that would prevent my arms from becoming concrete blocks filled with pins and needles. Is co sleeping comfortable? No. Uh-uh. But I do get more sleep and I like nothing so much as waking up to that little smooshy face.
4. Then I go and add another kid. Then there are more rules from the Institute for Common Sense. Keep the infant and the toddler apart with an implacable yet responsive barrier (re: Me) So now I have the pillow top queen size mattress (that is on the floor to help prevent the problems only gravity can cause) and it's pushed against the wall (see above comment about gravity). So, in this order: wall, infant, mom, toddler (sleeping in whatever orientation makes the least sense), and snoring man companion. Happy family.
5. Then those kids grow a little and I have the above layout except add about 70 pounds to the collective and occurring less frequently because occasionally the kids accidentally sleep in their own bed the whole night. Tired mattress, cuddles on demand.
6. But then I add that third kid. The one who tips the scales. Now there is more child than parent in the equation. But, man companion and I shelled out big bucks for a king size mattress. Not a pillow top, but still very nice. So with a new bed we have more resources to throw at the problem. The problem being "where do the 5 of us all sleep when 3 of us desperately want to be laying directly on top of mommy?"

Do I have more room now?  No. Despite the addition of 18 more inches of bed, I am still usually in a body position that looks like a particularly difficult asana at yoga. Example. Last night my infant slept through the night, in her crib. My 6 year old slept on her own (queen sized pillow top) bed all night. My son, post night-terror, landed in the middle of my bed. So? The of us. I should still have about 2.5' all to myself right? Nope.
Wall, body pillow for keeping the baby from hitting the wall when she comes in in the morning to nurse, me, pillow to keep me from getting kicked by the child who spins like a can opener all night, pillow to protect man companion from said child, man companion. And beside the bed, the dog licking himself noisily.

What is the point of this patchwork dissertation of digression and musings?  No matter what resources you have to begin with, you'll use them to make your situation work. And that isn't just having enough, it's thriving. It's success, it's winning, it's overcoming. It is love and it is worth it. Believe you have the wherewithal and you will. If you're a survivor, you'll roll with the punches. ETC!

...
As for the whole hating diapers thing, I can't really help you except to quote Paul Reiser when contemplating the alternatives, "Thank God for diapers."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Journey

Genesis 12:1
The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country and your people. Leave your father's family. Go to the land I will show you.

It's easy to skim through Abram's story. Through the whole chapters dedicated to travel and genealogy. Those parts of the story are the journey and the brain may be tempted to coast as we skim them. We must be careful not to do that with our own lives. We must be present in the everyday grind of logistics and survival. Must not become so focused on a point distant on a map or calender that the path set before us each day by God becomes only a means to an end. It demeans the value of each day, something we can't afford because none of us are promised a tomorrow.

It isn't the way we act at their high school graduation, it's the attitude we have driving them to grade school each morning. It isn't what we feed them for dinner,  it's the spirit with which we offer them food. 

And it's hard. When you're running late, no energy, anxious about something, anxious about everything. Even you have legitimate powerful heaviness on your heart, it's difficult to treat these least of days the way you should. God help us! Jesus have mercy on us.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I hate water.

He's promised us and His other creatures. My jaded, overly processed mind almost fails to appreciate the beauty of this imagery, of the significance of His intent. My immediate reaction is to dismiss this as incidental because of the specificity of the message. But, it is beautiful to know something further of God. This is something He chose to do and then chose to never do again.

Genesis 9:10-11, 13-15
I am making it also with every living thing that was with you in the ark. I am making my covenant with the birds, the livestock and all of the wild animals. I am making it with all of the creatures that came out of the ark with you. I am making it with every living thing on earth.  "Here is my covenant that I am making with you. The waters of a flood will never destroy all life again. A flood will never destroy the earth again."  I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living thing. The waters will never become a flood to destroy all life again.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Love

Our family went and visited with Granny and Popop and Aunt Jenny and James. And I am happy to say that when my little overachiever decided that she was going to pull herself up and stand on her own, I wasn't the only one watching. James and Granny saw it too. So, The milestone master continues to run ahead of schedule just to keep me on my toes and watchful for bad bouts of gravity... seriously, not even seven months old and she stood for the first time?! ? !

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

If you can find nothing else to be glad about, just be glad you were not around for Genesis 6.

Genesis 6:5-6 NIVUK
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
...

Lately I've been working on laying out the goings on in book two, working on logos for the business, and working to determine the best possible method to get glitter onto the ceiling in the entryway. Also... I painted Sylvester Stallone on my steps.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Quotable Boy

Me: I love you. I don't know if you remember this but you're very, very special to me.
Solo: I'm still not going to give you my pizza.
...
Solomon (yelling): I love this guacamole!!! Me: Those aren't guacamole.
Solomon: Well what are they?
Me: Olives.
Solomon: Oh yeah.
...
Sage is the fastest learning baby I've ever seen. She sees you eat a pancake on Tuesday and she's a pancake-eating master by Wednesday. ;)
...

I finished doing the first major edit on the first book in the ZipCity series. I'm working on the timeline for the second and third books (by far the hardest part of the process for me). Trying to keep the ideas for the next book series idea at bay.
...
Had an interesting conversation with my mom today. I was trying to decide if it was a big deal if I killed someone... fictionally speaking. Not sure if there's a right answer for that one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Easy

Genesis 3:6 NIVUK
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

It's easy to malign the Hebrews for their whining in the desert, or Samson for his selfish self absorption, or the crowd that cheering sent Jesus to the cross. It's with disapproving self-righteousness I wonder why Eve had so little self control.
But how easy it is to be tempted by something that tastes good, that looks good, that promises me knowledge and status. I choose to eat at restaurants despite the hungry and poor.
I preen before a mirror though vanity and pride will lead to death.
The pseudo tolerance taught to me by my culture sneaks into my life. Teaching that I should deny all religions rather then believe one that may result in the exclusion of others.
Sin is easy. Judging, even easier. God, help me to deny myself both of these in my daily life. Though the flesh is weak and anything that denies self love is out of fashion.

Dave

Psalm 104:2-4, 33-34

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.
I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord .

I don't know for certain if the selection above was written by David. But other psalms that are, always make me feel like I understand David. Made special by God's love and important for the part God empowered him to play. At times brave, at times hiding in fear, painfully honest in one moment, lying the next, off and on in his gratitude for being blessed beyond his own deserving. Persecuted, conniving, poetic, practical, impractical, romantic... this man is us. This man is me. The lover, the murderer, the bold child, the sneaking adult. David always mentions God's creation with awe for the actual creativity of it. The sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, and creatures...
But God help me to not be like David the father of unruly sons.

David is by far one of my favorite people in history. (Samson being probably my least favorite character of the bible, if you were wondering.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Listening skills: nailed it.

Wyatt from PBS show Superwhy says to the television audience, "My name is Wyatt. Now say your name!"
Solomon (who has had practice at this): Solomon!
Katie: Solomon!
Cameron: Solomon!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I ramble

Genesis 3:22
The Lord God said, "The man has become like one of us. He can now tell the difference between good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick fruit from the tree of life and eat it. If he does, he will live forever."

This verse reminds me of a story my sister recently told me about her van full of kids, all playing a rhyming game. Then they started to make up words that rhymed with 'truck'. Which ultimately lead to one of the darlings repeatedly yelling her submission. A word which happens to be considered in polite societies one of the naughtiest of utterances (though she had  innocent intentions.)

She had not known. The sounds she made were only to try to keep with the rules of the game. She was happy. Then one of the worldlier children explained to her she must not use the word because it has negative associations. She discovered her word, while it did rhyme, was certainly not one she should be yelling (particularly right in front of her mother).

I don't think using cuss words is a sin. Possibly rude, possibly ineffectual, at times deeply satisfying, but not a sin. Using them to curse people surely is. My point is just that, like my niece, we discovered our sin in the garden that day. We gained some knowledge, some contextual understanding... and look where it got us.

Not happier certainly.
Should we cling to the possibility that ignorance is bliss?

No. We can't afford to. But should we be prepared for what knowledge brings here on this side of the curse? Yes. You must take care with what your mind consumes. As it says in Spiderman. With great power comes great responsibility. So to with knowledge and understanding.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heavenly father


Is this the sort of thing that God delights in? Is it His joy to see the way we experience His creation? To listen to us and hear our ideas? God is worthy of all of our praise.

The Lord God had formed all of the wild animals. He had also formed all of the birds of the air. He had made all of them out of the ground. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give them. And the name the man gave each living creature became its name. Genesis 2:19

Things to come...

Being worked on in the now-present and the then-past for the future.


“Take Woodstock for example.”
“What’s Woodstock?”
“It was a music festival that occurred in North America in 1969. It was meant to promote peace, spread awareness for disparities in social classes and harbor a personal interest for civil rights in young people.”
“That sounds wonderful.”
“That was exactly the problem.”
“How do you mean?”
“Everyone thought it sounded so great that afterward people who heard of it wanted to emulate it. Of course this was impossible and lead to what we now know as the Three Hundred Years Funk, during which, at the best of times, everyone sat around yelling at each other about how interested they were in peace and at the worst of times, worked on developing new weapons to kill each other in order to achieve a more harmonious environment.”
“So what did you do?”
The People’s Collective of Ideas for the Improvement of Things in General for All Peoples headed a small special-interest group to figure out how to resolve the issue. They determined the best way to prevent the Three Hundred Year Funk was not to stop Woodstock from ever happening as that would have resulted in several key persons never being born. Instead they altered the size of the effect the event had.”
“How did they do that?”
“They sent a Future Agent of Past Loss Prevention to assassinate Arnold Skolnick.”
“Who’s Arnold Skolnick?”
“An American artist who was responsible for designing the promotional material for the event. Without his simple yet intriguing design, the event failed to ever gain much momentum. The resulting impact was minimized and so lead only to the persistent personal unrest of the  handful of people who went. Additionally it saved the lives of two entertainers who cancelled their performance when the event failed to draw much of a crowd. A musician named Jimi Hendrix, who enjoyed brief popularity after 1969 but not long after and a hoola hooper enthusiast named Olga Fursted. After the events of Woodstock were adjusted, Olga’s performance ended up being quite a show stealer and attracted the attention of officials, who were then in power in the Middle East. She eventually became one of the wives of the head of the regime. Their resulting married bliss is credited for the peace that region has enjoyed ever since.”

Reflect

Isaiah 43:25
I am the one who wipes out your lawless acts. I do it because of who I am. I will not remember your sins anymore.
...

My house is a germ fest. Bad colds, pink eyes, ear infections, stomach bugs. I really can't help thinking how blessed I am though that this is the sickest I have to see my children. I have not had to watch them waste away or their hair fall out. I pray I never will. God, thank You for our colds! I'm so glad and thankful for healthy kids and healthy parents. Can it get better than that?
...

Book one is finished. Book two has about three chapters completed and an outline in progress. Book three has some dialog and a general concept. The next books are in the works and are currently being brainstormed, and has dialog that has been writing itself.
...

I watched one of my high school best friends celebrate her thirtieth birthday tonight. I was too tired to stay past 11. Twenty year old me would be laughing hysterically at this. I'm not sure what forty year old me would think though. If I knew that I might just have the ultimate answer to the ultimate question.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sage Rage

Me: What's wrong?
Sage: Agggggh! I want to nurse!
Me: So nurse! What's the problem? !
Sage: Agggh! My mouth is doing it wrong!
Me: What? Why?
Sage: Aggggh! This is your fault!
Me: Can I look at your mouth?
Sage: No!
Me: Please?
Sage: No!
Me: Fine. But if you can't latch it's because your mouth and if you don't let me look I can't help.
Sage: Aghhh!

10 seconds of baby yelling pass.

Me: Ok just let me look.
Sage: Agggggggggghhhhhhh!
Me: Eww. You have like half a ream of paper in here.
Sage: Agggghhh!
Me: (removing spitball of epic proportions) Ew there's even more!
Sage: Give that back! That's mine!
Me: No!
Sage: Give it back or I'll never be happy again.
Me: No!
Sage: I'm so mad at... Oh look a toy car...
I want to nurse.
Me: (deep sigh)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Heaven and not yet.

"...don’t count on any remarkable sensations, either at this or your first (or fifty first) Communion. God gives these or not as He pleases. Their presence does not prove that things are especially well, nor their absence that things are wrong. The intention, the obedience, is what matters." -C.S. Lewis
...
I just read a very helpful devotional about when we feel alone or left out. In short, it suggested that when we feel alone to imagine our name written on the door in the place God has prepared for us. That's where I belong.
... 
Lying here, looking out my bedroom window at the night sky. It's mostly cloudy. The sky that can be seen is dark blue almost black. The clouds are a warm gray color with  pale linings. Occasionally lightning flashes but no thunder to mar the peace. It's beautiful. And I wonder how fair, how spectacular must the place be that would keep me from missing this?  But that place is. And there, there will be no night. 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Milestone manners

Me: Goodnight Sage. I love you.
Sage: Oh look! My thumb is in this crib.

*Three hours pass*

Sage: AGGGGGggggHhhhhh! ! !
Me: (entering room) What's wrong?!
Sage: I was asleep and then I sat up.
Me: Ok, but why did you sit up?
Sage: I need to staaaaand!
Me: (holding Sage as she plants her feet into my ribs and makes her spine straight and rigid) Right now? It's bedtime.
Sage: Staaaaaaand!
Me: (holding baby, rocking back and forth, letting her calm down over the course of five or so minutes) There you go. Goodnight little Sage.
Sage: (goes rigid) Staaaaand!

Thirty minutes of rocking pass.

Me: (gets in own bed, baby in tow) Zzzzz
Sage: (props her arms on my body and straightens lower half and sways back and forth). Yay! Stand!

Conquer

Forming habits of behaviors that are healthy for your mind or your soul or your body can be difficult.

If this is something I'm supposed to be doing, why is it so hard? We ask ourselves.

Then:
You stop flossing.
You stay up late every night to do nothing-great on the internet.
You consume social chemicals.
You lapse in reading your bible.
You forget for a time that ketchup really isn't a vegetable.

And then you feel:
Terrible.

Good things can be difficult.
Difficult things can be good.

Sometimes saying goodbye to that thing you think you love is the best possible thing that will happen to you. You have to be willing to accept that there is a future out there, for you, that you cannot imagine and that is still worth discovering.

Faith. Strength. Discipline. Love.
Not easy. Worth it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quotes and moments

For we did learn and achieve something. There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them. It is arrogance in us to call frankness, fairness, and chivalry ‘masculine’ when we see them in a woman; it is arrogance in them to describe a man’s sensitiveness or tact or tenderness as ‘feminine.’ But also what poor, warped fragments of humanity most mere men and mere women must be to make the implications of that arrogance plausible. Marriage heals this. Jointly the two become fully human. ‘In the image of God created He them.’ Thus, by a paradox, this carnival of sexuality leads us out beyond our sexes.
-C.S. Lewis after the death of his wife.
....

I think it would be difficult to underestimate the harm potential gossip holds.

James 3:9 NIRV
With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. With our tongues we call down curses on people. We do it even though they have been created to be like God.
...

Driving home from Marley's art class at Uptown Arts I glanced in my rearview while we waited at a traffic light. She was gazing out the window. Half of her face lit with sun. I couldn't look away for a moment. The perfection of her skin, the symmetry of her face, the large interested eyes, the open countenance... amazing. I do not forget that humans are works of art.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sleep. Pray.

He loves me. The one who made me, kept me, allowed me, rescued me, and forgave me. He loves me!

Psalm 139:1-2 NIRV

Lord, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me.  You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away.

Ephesians 1:4 NIRV

God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us.
....
....
....
I'm seeking to be faithful in prayer this week. Though even right now, like a bad friend in that dark garden long ago... I'm falling asleep.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Worthy!

The surface beneath my cheek is smooth and cool, it is as glass the color of sky and clouds and like everything else, there is an intensity about it. One is given the sense that the very ground itself longs to pull closer to the one who sits on the throne above it, yet does not out of respect due it's Maker.

The reflection of the glory of the ONE who sits the throne is on the ground. This reflection is enough and not enough. It is the beauty of a wild landscape; glorious, poignant, personal, but not without some feeling of loss.

Maker, Maker I long for You.
When I try to raise my gaze I dare not go beyond the shadow Your feet cast upon the ground. The spirit within me sings. I do not know the words but they are about daytime and renewal, deliverance and relief.

The weight I was so accustomed to lifting, the fear and pride that clung to my corpse, my whole life lifted away. They could not bear Your presence.
There was no time that knew not You and no time that You knew not. I had spent my brief time shrouded in darkness and  now this face to face meeting, my reconciliation. The day that would never quicken into night.

Your reflection on the ground is golden and white. It shines like a sun though it does not exist so briefly as that celestial being. You said let it be and it was.

All of these things and more came to me and every shame and perversion, every betrayal and impurity went away. I am free of them, they are nothing.
The ONE who sought my hand and made it clean, the one who satisfied Your justice and joined us together, is with us now too.

Together, in a room that isn't a room and that can not be contained by walls or roofs. We look. There is so much good here. Joining in with the voice of the Spirit, I sing for joy.

Worthy! Holy! The creator has joined together again with His creation.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pieces

At 6.25 months Sage can sit up supporting herself with one arm easily, crawl slowly, say mama, abd respond to her own name.

Too. Fast.
.....

I broke out in spontaneous dance when R.E.S.P.E.C.T came on while I was cleaning. Marley's response?
"Let's pray she doesn't slip."
...

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians
...

I saved this post to publish later and before I came back to it a day later Sage learned to sit up any without support.
...

"There is nothing wrong with what we have or don’t have. The question is, what are we doing or not doing with what God has blessed us with?" -?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ouch little baby

Sage just fell off my bed. Luckily it's a low bed but still it's so sad. She went into the baby reflex to pain and fear by going to sleep. So of course I'm now hovering in her face. Concussion? Brain damage? Irreversible psychological condition that will make her incapable of ever relaxing in a bed? Will she become a drummer now?

Being a parent is hard. But I'm thankful that these are my set of trials.

Psalm 139:13-14 NIRV

You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother's body.  How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well.


*edit: Sage Marie has had a hard day today. She fell off a bed, got clawed, got prodded by a doctor, had two naps disrupted, has a viral rash, has ringworm and the dog won't let her hold him.*

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Poop

This conversation pretty much sums each of us up.

Me: Baby! You smell terrrrible!  Like poop!
Baby: *more pooping noises*
Marley: *breaks into unintelligible placating murmurs to the baby*
Solo: *laughing because poop*

(Bob working because we want to live indoors and eat food.)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Homework

Marley has daily homework. She had to draw five things that started with vowels. Guess what she drew for 'i'.




A: invisible man (that's his hat and beard)

The cure for pain is in the pain.

Being a writer (sometimes) means...

Being in an obsessive love/hate relationship with fictional characters, all of whom are yourself and yet NOT yourself.

Being broke.

Balancing self-love and self-loathing enough to actually DO something.

Becoming a minor expert on Croatia, coffee bean grind variations, Roman-catholic mass, and The Reid Technique to convincingly write a single sentence.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Job 35

"He gives songs in the night; when our condition is dark and melancholy, there is that in God's providence and promise, which is sufficient to support us, and to enable us even to rejoice in tribulation. " - from Matt Henry's commentary of Job 35

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Soul searching says...

I find the local news stations and sites more repugnant and disturbing than spiders.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sage conversations

Me: Sage. What are you doing?
Sage: Me? Nothing. Just using my face to propel myself across the hardwood floor.
Me: Don't do that. You'll hurt yourself!
Sage: You think so? Nooo. I'm sure I'll be fine.

One second passes.

Sage: Owwww my face!
...

Me: Sage you can't use my hair to pull yourself up. It hurts.
Sage: Oh. Well can I just chew it a little?
Me: No! You can't eat hair!
Sage: ...What about dog fur?
...

Solomon: Sage is eating the bible.
...

Marley: Sage! No! You can't eat Elsa!
...

Me: Sage do you want some yoghurt?
Sage: Oh thanks!
Me: No. You're supposed to eat it.
Sage: What?
Me: You're supposed to eat the yoghurt.
Sage: Are you serious?
Me: Yes.
Sage: Shouldn't I just smear it all over my face like this? And a little here on the dog's head? He seems to like it.
Me: I'm completely sure you're supposed to eat it.
Sage: In that case, you go ahead and keep it. And take this Elsa doll too, she's all gross and covered in my spit.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

MY FAVORITE WORDS Inspired by Lindsey

ATTENTION!

These are my top ten favorite words (not in order of preference) (or any other order):


  1. Pickles
  2. Trigonometry
  3. Calculus
  4. Recalcitrant
  5. Carl
  6. Gubernatorial
  7. Disenfranchised
  8. Karate
  9. Gladiola
Oh, only one more until I reach my arbitrarily assigned word limit. This is so difficult! I feel I may languish from the effort of choosing. Such a didactic practice in self-discipline.
       
     10. Propitiation 



Blessings be

I'm feeling thankful for all the healthy, sleeping kids who are strewn all over my house right now.

For Sage who is recovering from her very first run in with germs (a cold).

For the chill in the air.

For a chance to watch football-opera with my husband tomorrow.

For having sisters.

For my daughters having sisters.

For a son who is a cooler version of me.

For programs that make it possible for our children to be involved in special activities like ballet, art appreciation, and cello.

For parents whose marriage is a revelation and model to look to.

That this life isn't it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

So happy to see you.

Back explanation: Solo goes to half day preschool. It's Montessori so half the kids are kindergartners who go the full day. So while a few leave at lunchtime, the rest of the kids are there till 3:30.

We went to pick up Marley at school and we walked into the building and waited for her class to get to the gym. Before her class got there, Solo's class went by. The first kid in line goes "There's Solomon!" Then every single kid in the line gets excited and greets Solomon. It made me so happy to see people happy to see my kid. I started crying. I'm such a baby!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Love speaks, love acts.

Two things I don't want to be guilty of:

1. Waiting until someone is dead to show them I love them.
2. Waiting until my kid wins to cheer.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bigger than the viola.

Yesterday, I picked Marley up from school and she set my parent heart aflutter.
"Can I take cello lessons?"

My first little dream for my baby 6 years ago, possibly coming to fruition. A cellist. Perhaps the next Zoe Keating, of whom I am such a fan.

http://music.zoekeating.com/album/into-the-trees

#blessings #beauty

No man is an island.

I'm thankful that as I get older and grow closer with God that I become more at peace with man's terminal solitude. We cannot be fully loved or understood by anyone other than the one who created us. But that isn't something that we should try to console ourselves with. It's cause for celebration.

Mankind will let you down every time. It is pure joy that it isn't on humans that we are called to rely. It's on the one who made the moon and named the stars. The lover of our soul.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Human emotions

Backstory: Solo caught a hard elbow to the nose during a game of peekaboo.
He reacted by running and hiding and crying and rejecting anyone who tried to soothe him. He seemed very angry.

*Later*
Me: Why did you get so mad?
Solo: I was crying.
Me: But you seemed really mad too.
Solo: I wasn't mad. I was hurt and I was crying and that is just how I stop myself from crying.

He tried to keep himself from crying by acting angry and pushing people away. Is he human or what?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Enjoy your soup

We've been trying to get creative with dealing with night terrors.
Nothing works every time. But some things work some of the time.

Never works:

Bright lights

Reasoning

Worked: (you always have to catch it right at the beginning).

Pick up boy and deliver him to the "secret" stash of chocolate in the laundry room and let him have one.

Fun game apps.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A check up... for your soul.

Marley had her 6 year well check and Sage her 4 month. Ok, so it's a month... or two late for both of those things. That is NOT the point. The point is this: Marley is awesome.

Before the appointment I couldn't remember if Marley had a vaccination due or not (I use to be a super mom and know that incredibly basic information) so I warned her she might but that Sage definitely had at least one coming to her. Marley and Solo both showed signs of distress because Sage would cry because of the shots.

Fast forward to the appointment and Marley is the model patient and answers all of Doc Finney's questions and then answers all the doc's questions about Sage (you know, Marley's baby) too. Marley finds out she doesn't need a shot and goes "Oh but I was really looking forward to it." Not sarcastically either. She really had been looking forward to it. Why? So she could show Sage it was ok.

It was so sweet!
Then it was time for Sage to get her shots and Marley and Solomon both start BUZZING with nervousness. I had to make them both sit down because they were flapping around the room like bothered chickens. Sage only cried for the second shot and then only for a moment.

I love my darlings. <3 I'm so blessed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First day

Marley had her first day of firstgrade on Monday.  FIRST. That's like actual school with expectations and government creepers. She was all smiles before and after. Thankful she has her identical cousin in her class again this year and that I don't have to worry about it again for three years!

Solo had his first day of half day preschool today.  I cried.  He was so excited to get on that playground.  I couldn't even catch a picture of it.  After school Ms. Morgan Hof escorted him to my car and they were both all smiles. It made my heart glad. He was so super excited to tell me about fire drills and lunch time where he had two servings of ravioli.

Sage is a biter. I couldn't decide before but I'm going with the nickname Tiger.