Autumn Decorations

This girl couldn’t be giddier: a new home and a new blog… in the FALL!  Needless to say, I’m in nesting heaven.

I pulled the “Autumn Decorations” bin out of the attic and was not impressed by the handful of pumpkin-like-things that stared up at me. What had filled our old house “to the rafters”,  shrunk considerably in this larger farm house. Oh, I could just feel the Suzy-home-maker stirring about in my heart, but we’re on a budget, SO I decided to get creative.

I’ve officially replaced the pumpkin theme with an art theme.

Since God is busy painting the landscape with His divine brush – filling our world with color and texture – I decided to use some of our natural art supplies to inspire us similarly.

So, if you’re seriously lacking pumpkins, hay bales, and mums, feel free to steal my idea. It’s all things artsy this season!

(P.S. No doubt, you’ll spot my metal bucket full of German shoe forms down there. This is possibly the coolest thing I own right now. GERMAN SHOE FORMS! For $5, I scored the lot of them from a peddler at the Antique Machinery Show who obviously didn’t perceive their brilliancy.)

Posted in All Posts, Farm Life | 3 Comments

Welcome to My New Place!

Ah!

It feels so good to stretch out.

Ryan has spent his evenings designing this site for me, and I love it. What a guy.

Now to find a quiet moment to move in… fill in the links, spruce up the sidebar, and continue my regular posts about life, love, and home-schoolin’.

Posted in All Posts | 7 Comments

What Due Dates Mean

Maybe you’ll remember that I posted this same photo way back in February.

At the time, I was enjoying the early weeks of my third pregnancy. I was happy and content as I felt life growing and changing inside of me. Yet, I glimpsed something profound about Lia asking to wear her bathing suit for two weeks in a row, despite the 2 feet of snow outside. This is what I wrote that day:

“Why we need each other:

…because sometimes,

in the middle of winter,

when the snow just keeps coming and coming,

one of us begs to put on a bathing suit and,

smelling of last year’s chlorine and sunblock,

reminds the rest of the family that spring is on its way;

that seasons give way to seasons;

and that today is a good one to hope.”

I loved the photo so much that it instantly became the background on my computer, and has been ever since.

So, as things would go, I find myself approaching the due date of Juliette’s expected birth. The big day that we so joyously shared with countless people for 20 whole weeks, until we said good-bye to Juliette in May. Since then, October 10, 2010 (10-10-10!) has become an ache, a sigh.

And yet, it’s the craziest thing, because I find myself with something precious to look forward to on that very same weekend: a part in a musical.

A silly, childish musical. (Snoopy!!! The Musical of all things, chock full of bright songs and cartoonish jokes.) But it has been the perfect antidote as I approach 10-10-10. Who could have guessed that my voice would feel stronger than ever, my heart more expectant than ever, and my smile easier than it has been in a long, long time?

This is God’s merciful gift: that I will be surrounded by giggling children, and caring parents – not to mention singing, dancing, and simple childhood pleasure – on the very weekend I anticipated meeting Juliette. With Ryan, Vivienne, Lia, and other family and friends by my side, it will be a sweet weekend. And, in my heart, Juliette’s due date will be commemorated with a simple, local-theater delight.

By the way, I had never shown you the front of Lia’s bathing suit that barren day in February.

I will say it again: these personal, unexpected, good gifts from our Father remind me that today is a good one to hope.

Posted in All Posts, Healthy Living, Motherhood, Stillbirth: Remembering Juliette Abigail | 13 Comments

Therapy for a SAHM

Staying at home with small children has many, many benefits.

One, of which, is indulging in therapeutic spa treatments.

(You’ve just gotta know where to find ‘em!)

Today, mine came through making this play-dough recipe. We dribbled in some red coloring and sprinkled on lots of cinnamon. When it came out of the pot, all warm and smooth and spicy, we plunged our hands into it with gusto. Though Lia has never received a facial before, she instinctively knew to press the warmth against her cheek… We all indulged. Sigh. I’m not kidding; it’s a good life.

(Why red? We’ll be making these mini apples tomorrow!)

Posted in Early Elementary Education, Kindergarten, Motherhood, Preschool | Comments Off

Babies rarely respond vocally when we call their names. We don’t train them to, so they just don’t.

Yet, we must have a way of finding them when they scuttle off somewhere.

You know, you turn your back and, suddenly Little Sophie is missing!

You call out, “Sophie!” “Sophie?”

She probably won’t say, “Here I am!”

I’ve discovered that, when I am looking for a baby or a toddler, I find them much more quickly if I think of a call-and-response that they already know. So, when Sophie is missing, call out, “What does the cow say, Sophie?”

When you hear her little “moo” coming from behind the couch, you’ll know where she is!

Posted in All Posts, Motherhood | 8 Comments

In honor of Snoopy!!! The Musical, I present the following series inspired by one of the songs: Knowing What I Know Now.

There are certain questions that I’ve asked “Google” over the years. Now that I know the answers, I thought I’d share them on this blog in case someone else googles the same question and happens to discover this very post for an answer! Also, when your friends and co-workers are asking you the same questions, you can pipe in with, “Well, I know a woman who knows that…”

QUESTION: How to apply sunblock to a child’s face?

ANSWER:

No wonder kids are spending more time indoors these days: no one wants to put sunblock on them! It’s a chore!

(I’ll admit it: All summer long, I thought of telling you this tip, but I never followed through. Now that the sun is far away and you are tucking your empty bottles of sunblock away for the winter, I  hope you can remember it for next summer!)

Anyway, have your child stand with her back to you so that you can reach over her head to apply the lotion. She can lean against you for a brace and you’ll feel much more natural applying lotion as if you were applying it to your own face. I’m telling ya: it works!

(On second thought, I suppose this could apply for regular facial lotions that you might apply through the wintertime, too!)

Posted in Motherhood | 1 Comment

A Tattle-Tale

Tara, your request for some ideas to combat tattling was timely! We have been addressing that very issue in our home lately.

In this Raising Homemakers post, Stacy McDonald explores tattling from its root to its bitter fruit, which is great motivation for moms and dads to address tattling when children are young.

Here’s what it looks like practically in our home:

(Oh, and you Bible-whizzes will recognize that, although I said “Matthew 25″, I should have said “Matthew 18″. Sorry! Don’t tell on me!)

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Posted in Character Training, Motherhood, VLOGS | 5 Comments

Sure, it’s easy to define “obedience,” but God also tells us to “honor” our parents… and one another. The best, most practical definition we’ve heard is this:

Honor is:

1. treating someone as special

2. Doing more than what’s expected of you

3. Having a good attitude

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Posted in All Posts, Character Training, Early Elementary Education, Kindergarten, Motherhood, Preschool, VLOGS | 2 Comments
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Posted in Character Training, Motherhood, VLOGS | 10 Comments

In honor of Snoopy!!! The Musical, I present the following series inspired by one of the songs: Knowing What I Know Now.

There are certain questions that I’ve asked “Google” over the years. Now that I know the answers, I thought I’d share them on this blog in case someone else googles the same question and happens to discover this very post for an answer! Also, when your friends and co-workers are asking you the same questions, you can pipe in with, “Well, I know a woman who knows that…”

Googled: How do I get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen?!

What I Know Now: Gross. I know. This recipe works like a charm: Fill the bottom of a bowl with dish detergent. Pour in a little water so that the soap bubbles a bit. Add a large splash of Apple Cider Vinegar. Cover tightly with Saran Wrap. Poke many holes in the top with a toothpick.

‘Turns out, they can’t resist the temptation.

Oh, and for all those folks out there who are trying to find the “source” of the fruit flies: Once, on a flight out of town, I met a higher-up at Orkin. I immediately grilled her about fruit flies. She said that they nest in drain pipes.

Posted in All Posts, Healthy Living | 5 Comments