Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Daddy love

Just another little shout out to my hubby without whom I would be not be able to do all this.  Really, read up on it.  No babies...but anyway, loving the extra time with my sweet man.

I did it!

I am sitting on the couch.  I deserve it.  I have no other option.  I went to the:

  • Post office
  • Thrift shop
  • Children's consignment shop
  • Department store
  • Children's Center Emporium in Brevard, NC
  • The park
  • The grocery store
Now I am dead.  Everywhere I went, people made comments: how busy/brave I was, how many children I had, how cute my kids were.  You know, if you asked me four years ago how many children comprised a lot I think I would have said five or more.  Apparently in America three is a bundle, herd, flock, gaggle of children.  Whatever our culture says, I had a pile of fun with my kids today.  Annabel made airplane arms in the swing while we were at the park.  Laine told stories and sang songs (loudly) in the grocery store.  And Oliver was awesome.  All. Day. Awesome!

And now for silly pics with the Lingles...the part of the show where I show you some silly pics of Lingles!

Annabel with her bum in a box

Real baby bump...real men wear babies! (That suspicious upper bump is Oliver's head...but I thought it was priceless)


What would you do with a traffic cone?

Laine: "Ok dad, let's play knock me down."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent One

Happy Advent.  Finally, the start of the new year!  Time for a fresh start.  Time to reset.  Time to get those things done you might have meant to do last year but didn't.

Ok, for those of you who are not Christian year aficionados, Advent is the beginning of the new year.  So, welcome one and all to Year...dum dum da duuummm...B.  We need to work on the nomenclature.  I love the church year.  Just like the seasons keep me rooted to the land, the church year keeps me mindful of the Kingdom of God.

Here at the beginning, I have all kinds of hopes.  What this year will bring, how I will be more dedicated to my disciplines, how I will seek the revelation of God in my life and respond with joy.  Maybe I will write down some goals, but so far this Advent (all three days of it) my major struggle is to keep Advent about preparing for the birth of Christ in my mind and my children's minds.

This year we are trying a few new things to try to reclaim Christmas.

  • Instead of doing presents on Christmas morning, we are going to exchange gifts on Epiphany (January 6th).  This will separate Christ's biggest competition from Christmas day.  It will also give us a chance to do our shopping/crafting/baking after Christmas.  This will give us a chance to celebrate the season of Christmas.
  • During Advent we will look for those in need around us and make plans to share the joy of Christ's coming with them in a new way.  I am looking into a dinner.  Not sure...still working on that one.
  • Also, I hope to have some major crafting days to make some pictures/paintings for shut ins from our church and go visit them.
Hopefully, if I am not working on a flurry of presents, I will have more time to notice those around me who are lonely and broken. 

It is terrifying how quickly children learn to associate Christmas with presents.  How easily we cheapen the gift of Christ by diluting it in a maelstrom of giving and getting.  God gave us his only child, and the celebration of that gift has to share billing with foot spas, perfume, ticklish puppets and iToys.  I confess that I love presents.  I love getting them and picking them out.  I really love nailing the perfect gift for someone, and it secretly really thrills me for someone to pick out something that means they know me too.  And that's what Epiphany is for...let's all dress up like wise men and drown each other in gifts...but Christmas is the celebration of Christ.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Livin' it

No post today...snuggin' a babe.  Tune in tomorrow for Advent 1.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Slow and Simple

My children have taught me many things, and, by the time you get to the third, you would think the basic lessons would have been learned.  And, it is true, this time when Oliver's cord was gross, I didn't freak out.  Also, when they discharged me from the hospital, I wasn't terrified.

But it has taken me three children for a very basic concept to sink in.  Having a baby slows you down.  Seems obvious, right?  Not to me.  I can clearly remember nursing Laine and putting him in a swing to fall asleep while I returned to tasks.  I would be utterly frustrated to find that my dearest darling would not slip quietly to sleep while I crossed things off my over-zealous todo list.  I felt like I just could not get anything done.  When Annabel came along, I had the same frustration, but I was also trying to put everything I owned in a box, so there was a great deal of desperation included.

Oliver, sweet, simple, dear child, you have taught your mama to slow down and notice the sweetness of your little milk faces.  Did you know if you sit quietly with your baby after nursing and rock them to sleep they will rest nicely for long enough to start diapers or load and unload the dishwasher?  

So, there are dishes in my sink, toys on my floor, leaves on my lawn and the laundry is barely managed, but I love his milk faces.  I am also finding that Laine and Annabel are way more impressed with a read story than a completed todo.  

Balance.  I know I have to get some of those pesky tasks done, but I thank my little Oliver for teaching me that the most important things I do each day are hugging and cuddling and loving.  It takes an effort to quiet the task driven voice that demands that each moment be used "productively," but I just have to remind it that determining productivity is dependent on what one wants to produce.  Right now, I am hoping to produce bright, interested children who know their mother respects them, so I might just have to be satisfied with letting those dishes go once in a while...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sick days

Apparently we need a little rest because we seem to have come down with a nasty virus. Snuggling in and resting. Hopefully full steam ahead soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011


We were going to have dinner by the campfire last night.  The kids were excited.  I had a great campfire dinner packed in a box.  Luke started the fire.

 Then Annabel started to whimper.  Then moan.  Then wail.  All out, full-blown unhappiness.  My reaction was something along the lines of, "Hey, what can possibly be wrong?  I am being fun momma!"

Then I looked at the temperature.  Apparently, Annabel does not dig 35 degrees.  So, we bailed.  We had our cook out dinner inside, and you know what?  We still had fun.  Who doesn't love hot chocolate with dinner?

And the fire pit will wait until we get accustomed to the cold.  Maybe next time we will cut a bit more wood.  And have a little more hot chocolate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall and Ideas

New routines.  New faces.  New patterns.  New ideas.

I know, I know.  This is not the time for new ideas.  But I wouldn't be me without too many new ideas.  Sew, Mama, Sew isn't helping.  I am determined not to start anything until the day after Christmas (more on that later).  

But what is really niggling around in my head are all the new garden ideas and sites I want to start for the spring.  Maybe it is just the fact that I can bend over that has me convinced that we can do anything, but I am starting to turn the critical eye toward every sunny spot in our yard.  

The chickens are doing their work to expand our current garden.  The bare patch behind the tractor is where they plowed last week.  Clover is coming up, and the compost is breaking down.  The soil is getting ready for next year.  So, I am is expanding and I am sinking my fingers into this soil.  

Because I don't know how long I will be here, I am reminded that I do not own this soil, but am merely its steward.

Then because I had a baby eight days ago, I shelved my ideas, raked up a pile of leaves and we had some fall fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Epic Battle

Today I told Laine we were locked in an epic battle between practicality and creativity.  He protested that it wasn't "an EPIC BATTLE," but I think I am going to pull rank on him.  My whole personality is a battlefield.  I know that if I let my children mix the granola, I will have to clean up a major mess, BUT it is such a joy to watch them engage in cooking their own favorite food.  I love hearing them ask if they can taste each ingredient.  With a level of seriousness that would impress a supreme court justice, Laine tastes each and every ingredient (except the oil and honey...I'm not crazy).  He declares that he likes some (coconut) and that some are too spicy (cinnamon).  Laine's mix was pretty close to the recipe while Annabel's was a bit low on the sweet ingredients.  


I started with a recipe from The Food Network, and adjusted it to fit my pantry and taste.  This is my best guess.  Technically I use whatever nuts or dried fruit I have on hand.  What is important is to get the dry/wet balance so that the mixture is moist but not wet.  

Course: Breakfast

Cook Time:
1 Hr 25 Min

Total Time:
1 Hr 25 Min


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 14 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 34 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 14 cup brown sugar
  • 14 cup honey
  • 14 cup vegetable oil
  • 34 teaspoon salt
  • apple juice add until you get the right consistency
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar).
  3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (honey, oil, juice and salt). Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.
  5. You can adjust flavorings to suit your taste.
  6. Recommended combinations:
  7. Vanilla and dried blueberries
  8. Apple juice, cinnamon and raisins
  9. Cranberries, orange zest and orange juice

Monday, November 14, 2011


I have a confession to make: I fall dreadfully short of my own ideal.  Some days I can maintain vision and provide a space for my children to explore and grow.  Some days I lean into our moments and truly cherish my children.  And some days I tearfully wonder how I am going to make it to bed time.  I started out strong today, I really did, but somewhere along the way life began to get bigger than I could deal with.  So, I took a swing at the "baby blues."  I got out our happiest napkins, made our favorite easy foods, and...
We had a picnic in our living room.  
With lemonade.
And, yes, I fed my kids popcorn, quesadillas, carrots and cranberries for dinner.  They seemed happy, and my tears were forgotten.

Also, rolling up a quilt and shaking it out is a great way to do dishes!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Better Than I Imagined

Sometimes things turn out better than you can imagine.  Our little Oliver was not a plan that I came up with, but I am totally in love with him.  I keep finding myself in tears as I watch my babies playing this week.  Luke has taken some time off from work to be with us as we focus on welcoming Oliver into our family, and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed our time together more than I could have imagined.  Even though I keep falling asleep by 10 o'clock (wondered when that was going to start happening to me) and my body is sore and weak, I will count this week as one of those special times for my family.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oliver Trotwood Lingle

Here he is.  Our littlest Lingle.  His birth was miraculous and surprising.  Just six intense hours ending in a joyful water birth.  My husband was my rock once again, and I give thanks for the nurses and midwives who shared in our tender, painful overwhelming moments.

Here we are.  Our little growing family.  Thanks to grandparents and prayers and love, we are off to a good start.  Once more plowing "full steam ahead" "to infinity and beyond!"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Minute by minute

Luke is writing a curriculum for Choose to Share Christ, and I am sneaking a peek.  One of the exercises he is including is something called a "Here I am" prayer developed by Anthony Bloom.  The process goes like this:

  • Resolve to be in prayer for at least five minutes. Do not answer the phone or allow yourself to be distracted from your goal.
  • Be seated and say to yourself, “Here I am seated, doing nothing. I will do nothing for five minutes” (or longer, depending on the time you set for yourself).
  • Begin noticing your own bodily presence—how your body feels next to the chair; how your feet feel against the floor. Relax your body. Notice what you feel inside.
  • Now notice the presence of all that is around you. Say to yourself, “Here I am in the presence of the room.” Be aware of the furniture, walls, and any pets or people in the room. Just be present and silent in your environment. Relax even more.
  • Now say to yourself and to God, “Here I am in the presence of God.” Repeat silently to God, “Here I am.” Bask in the presence of the Holy One until your time goal has been reached.

Now these are words I need to hear.  Expectation, whether of a baby or anything else, can be consuming. Certainly, every conversation we have in this house eventually turns to, if we go tonight...  These words recall me to the sacredness of the moment.

But, as we close in on the season of Advent, I am reminded that we are supposed to live with expectation.  We are called to live as those expecting the arrival of the Christ.  We are supposed to dwell so fully in every moment, day and place that we do not count on tomorrow's arrival.  

Living each day in isolation is a strange experience.  My normal week is given over to planning for today, tomorrow, next week and next month.  At this point, I have no idea what tonight will bring much less tomorrow.  All my meal plans, cleaning schedules, and projects have been laid quietly aside until my life returns to "normal."  Each day is spent dealing with only the needs of that day.  Simply.

I am pretty sure that if I spend too long in limbo land, my house and children will fall apart, but for right now (which is truly all I can deal with), I am where I am.

All Saint's Day

Today is All Saint's Day.  Certainly not as popular a holiday as the one where we get to dress up and get loads of sugar from our neighbors, but one of my favorite days because it makes me think about what makes a life matter.  To be a saint, I used to think along the lines of miracles happening when you sneeze, but the people who come to my mind on All Saint's Day are those who have simply created space in their lives for God to be present.

On Sunday, Luke preached a great sermon on worship (EUMC 9:45...) where he pointed out that Genesis chapter three is not God's opening line.  In our church culture, we tend to talk about what we are not.  About what we can't do.  About all the ways sin keeps us from God.  But God's opening was to create out of love and declare that God's creation was good.  Through Jesus, the resurrection, and grace we are free to live like God's good creations.

If you read any of these missives, you have no doubt become either tired of or curious about the Kingdom of God.  I hope that today, God will show you the way that God's saints (including you) bring God's Kingdom to earth, now.

Today I honor saints in my life:


And many many others who bring God's love to my life.

Feel free to leave the names of saints in your life.