Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I am tired.  So so tired.  I know that not one of you is surprised, but I am.  Everything was going so well!  Preschool, laundry, meals, animals...then I crashed.  It has been coming for a while, but yesterday it hit me, and I let it.  I needed to.  I had reached that state of grouchiness where you can't say ANYTHING (cuz if you can't say something nice...).  Nothing.  I sounded like the mom in a Bill Cosby sketch.

So, I read, slept, sat in the sun, ate really good food, drank water, and fell asleep at 9:15.  I don't feel normal yet, but I am going to keep resting until I do.  Therefore...I might not be raining down the wisdom per usual...but I promise a few awesome links and pictures.

Starting to really like this girl...wish I knew her:

Sunday, February 26, 2012


We had a great time with the grandparents this weekend.  There were sleepovers, swimming, playing, visiting, eating cupcakes for breakfast and no sleeping...none...sigh...

So glad to be home.  Tomorrow I hope to break forth with a solution to your laundry problem.  Get excited!  Actually, I don't have a solution, I just have a game to make laundry funner...but I don't want to talk about it right now.

I also don't want to talk about getting up early.  Or how much chocolate I have eaten in the last two days...So night night...

Since I clearly can't face the upcoming week, I will revel in last week:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Little fun for mama

Big kids are at Nana's and Ollie's asleep, so mama is twisting some awesome wool into little knots. Eventually after miles and miles of yarn this will be a sweater for Luke. It is the second take on his sweater, and I dearly hope it fits!

Hugs to you all! I hope you a minute for yourself this weekend.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Via Soule Mama

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ash Wednesday 2012

Hard to think of these little ones as dust and ashes, but maybe Momma needs them to participate in this seasonal rhythm because I need to have someone to follow.  Jesus said that the kingdom belongs to such as these.  Laine was terrified to get ashes on his head, and even as I assured him that it was safe and didn't hurt, I wondered if I shouldn't be just a little terrified myself.  To hear that I will return to the ashes I rose out of is not exactly the warm fuzzy message you look for at church.  This Lent, I am going to proceed with caution.  This is no ordinary observance.  This is no ordinary life.  I am asking God to change me.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thoughts on God...

My fabulous, thoughtful, insightful, well-educated handsome husband restarted his blog.  Check it out.  Thoughts on God...

Dust and Ashes

Laine 2009...I swear.

Ash Wednesday is one of those bizarre Christian days.  I saw about five tweets about me being dead, ashes, dust, or dusty.  Wanna join our party?

Probably not.

You know that day right before spring when you feel compelled to rake out from underneath bushes?  Or that day right before spring (or finals) when you tear everything out of your closet and put back just what you want where you want?

This is that day.  Our day to return to our disciplines, to engage in meaningful practice, and to not eat chocolate (not me people...I don't want to become murderous).  People all over the Christian world are remembering that they came from and will return to dust.  Little ashen crosses marking that today we begin our journey toward Jerusalem and Christ's death and resurrection.

The disciples should have been ready.  They were warned.  Jesus told them repeatedly that they would watch him die, but that he would return.  They journeyed next to Christ and were still shocked by the brutality of God's love for us.  We run the risk of not only being unprepared, but of missing it altogether.  If we do not engage, we will miss the resurrection.  Of course, I mean figuratively, but I do not want to miss the poignancy of the journey, the drama of the Passion, and the joy of the resurrection.

This year I am giving up sleeping in and will try to cling to my schedule to carve out a few minutes for personal (haha) meditation (HAHA).  Follow me on Twitter to see how I'm doing.

Also I am giving up Diet Coke.  Might want to stay away until the D(C)T's wear off.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waging love

Sometimes it takes love,mean mean love to get through the day.  My children, of whom I am so proud, were awful today.  Yes, awful.  Like biting, hitting, stomping, screaming awful.  It came to me as I was sniffling in the bathroom: this is my life, and I am not going to give up for even one day.  All kinds of things were flying through my head (threats, deportation, running away) but the thing that blossomed in my mind was that God gave me these particular children to raise, but through baptism Luke and I have returned them into God's hands.  That means that I am just a steward and these are God's children (God can deal with them...haha).  God knows me and still wanted me to raise them.  That means that God wants me to raise my kids as me and not as or like anyone else.

So, I threw off the weight that was entangling my day and embraced me.  God wants me; called me; loves me.  I don't have to find a better personality to be a mom, I just have to focus on being God's creation.

Then I sent the kids to bed 52 minutes early.

Been living on this song today.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some ideas should come with a warning

I am probably a nut, but there are some mornings I wake up just sure I have stunted my children by not allowing them to do the creative, explorative things that I see on Pintrest and various mommy blogs.  On those mornings I pour over internet ideas and pick one that seems the most likely to repair the aforementioned damage and springboard my kids into self-actualization.

Today I picked oil and water bottles and button sorting.

I was just sure that was what my children were lacking.  I thought after a good hour or so of thoughtfully pondering why the oil and the water in the bottles were not mixing, my children would sit at the table earnestly sorting buttons and engaging in spirited discussion about nuclear fission.  All the while I could clean the accumulated dishes and periodically offer pithy interjections.

We started out pretty strong.  Laine requested that we turn his water green and we did so using blue and yellow.  Annabel asked for "boo," and we were off!

The kids vigorously shook their superglued bottles (I'm not crazy), asked for different colors, threw them on the ground a few times then sprinted off totally uninterested.

Undaunted, I pulled out my muffin tins and buttons dreaming of firing synapses and beautiful blog posts.  I explained to Annabel that I wanted her to sort beads into colors and Laine that I wanted him to match the buttons together.

Then Ollie woke up.

I was gone for maybe twelve seconds.  Maybe.

You can get a lot of stuff down an floor vent if you work together.  So, I guess that part of my plan worked...

Maybe I should have tried the toilet paper and glue modeling clay.    

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Planting celebration

A host of golden daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Sow True Seed, a open-pollinated/heirloom seed company (means you can replant harvested seeds without getting all cherry tomatoes) based in Asheville, NC told me (personally, via Facebook) that it is time to plant your peas when you see the first daffodils blooming.  Now that is a tip I can use.  I don't have to count backwards from the last frost date and multiply my birthday by my favorite color and divide by my college GPA.  Just look for those nodding, yellow bells.  That and the huge flock of robins I saw in my yard last week sent me running to the garden this weekend.

To be more accurate, I sent everyone else running to the garden while I sat on a yard quilt and dandled my sweet Ollie.  

Shovels were flying as my dad, mom and husband wondered aloud why we have to double dig.  The man and the hardware store used a tiller on his.  I threw out some heady garden-y words like tilth and permaculture but finally settled on it just being gentler.  We must be thankful for this earth we eat from and handle it as gently as we can.  When we are digging a quarter acre, we can reassess.  

What we planted today:
  • Peas...54 seeds...54!  Annabel LOVES peas but will not eat them from the grocery store. *happy sigh*  I bought every variety.
  • Beets
  • Carrots...I am trying "Little Fingers" this year...'cuz duh!
  • Broccoli (under the soda bottles to ward off frost...will let you know if this works)
  • Chard...Rainbow (so excited)
  • Lettuce
I know I have mentioned this, but I love this dirt.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


We went on an awesome adventure looking for treasure.  We can't tell you what we were looking for.  It's a secret...for now.  We had a few surprising attendants. Happy adventuring!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Luke's Good News

Gotcha...not my Luke...the Gospel of...hehe

Luke's kids (Laine's name for our youth group at church) and Luke and I are reading through the gospel of Luke right now.  Want to get a cold bucket of reality in your face?  Read Luke.  When I was in college we loved to sing really touchy, feely songs about Jesus.  You are the air I breathe...Hungry...All in All...but what about the Jesus in the gospels?  This guy might not even be welcome in our churches!  He is crazy.  Really, really crazy.  Want proof:

  • Luke 10:3 Go on your way.  See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
  • Luke 9:24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.
  • Luke 6:30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.
  • Luke 12:15 And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions."
Put that on a commercial and sell it.  In our world where we are told to look out for ourselves, Jesus's words echo down through the millennia urging us to change.  Value beggars.  I am afraid of beggars.  Don't watch out for yourself.  Who's going to?  Share everything.  I hate sharing.

Still want to sing love songs to this Jesus guy?  Yes.  Yes I do, but not because his words make me feel good.  Jesus is fierce, but he is tender to children and the broken and the outsiders.  I am overwhelmed by Jesus's fierce love for me. 

Sappy love songs won't cut it here.  This is fierce love.  Tough love.  Hard truth.  Grace is free, but discipleship will cost you everything.  

I am going to value beggars.
I am going to share.

I hate sharing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Digging in

Broke ground for my first garden square.  It's about 3' by 3'.  Don't judge, it's all a mama can double dig with the help of a three year old and a almost 2 year old on a cold day during a 3 month old's nap.  (That's a lot of prepositional phrases...and I don't care)  Therefore, the upper garden will be a series of 3' by 3' squares. Luke will clearly have to dig the big garden.   Laine gleefully fed all the grubs he could find to the chickens while Annabel and Luke burned brush in the fire pit.  We are getting ready around here!

As we raked the aerated, fertilized dirt back into place, Laine announced, "Mom, we found another garden!"  Yep, we did.  Right there in the middle of a weedy, ugly place, we found a beautiful (smallish) garden.  I am so thankful that these gardens seem to be right there under our shovels.  God has blessed us with dirt and seeds and shovels.  Now I am dreaming of feeding my family and several others this summer.

Going to put my vision out there tonight.  One table; lots of fresh, wholesome, slow, hand grown food; loaves of hearty bread to break; creamy milk (from that elusive cow that I just know I can't manage right now but would really nourish some little ones!); bunches of flowers; and people.  My people, your people, hurting people, broken people, sick people, well people, readers, watchers, singers, users, homeless, heartless, alone, happy or maybe just barely making it, all around a glorious table under a spreading crab apple tree.  This dirt I play in and think about and love will feed 5000.  I believe it.

Then it snowed and got Februaryish so we went inside.

Friday, February 10, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Such a great post

That will have to wait due to DUKE unc.

Go to...carolina! Go to...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I have a friend who was a rocket scientist before she went to nursing school to be a nursing engineer.  Suffice it to say, when she talked about why things did or did not work, I considered her an expert witness.  One of the frustrations she had with hospital nursing was the lack of systems.

She explained that systems are put in place in a working environment to make it flow.  She then launched into lots of details and examples which I agreed with.  Totally.

I never forgot about those systems.  I think that as a SAHM, my workplace is every bit as complex as it was as an RN.  Not as many drugs but just as much poop.  Possibly more trauma.  With one child I could definitely input enough energy to keep up with the house without applying many systems.  With two, it was harder, but we moved twice, so I kinda gave myself (lots) of grace.  With three.  Well, let's just say I have been pondering those systems.

Enter shoe caddy outfit idea, once a month cooking (OMAC), and now the great toy crackdown.  I really like going to the toy store.  I think toys are neat.  Toys have taken over my house and won't let me play.  I am starting to get really serious about toys.  I have been paring down the toys that my children have access to for a while now, but yesterday I went Spartan on them.  I seriously only left out the amount of toys that I can clean up in five minutes.  Five.  I cheated a little.  I put the blocks inside a full size sheet and let them play with them on the sheet.  Then when it is time to clean up, all they have to do put the blocks on the sheet and put the sheet in the box.  Thank you, Pintrest.  (Although, I did resist making the cool thing with the quilting and the drawstring)  I am going to get four boxes, label them 1-4 and put them in the "crevice."  On Friday (pastor's Saturday) I will pull out the box that corresponds with the week of the month and plop it on the floor.  Then it will be like having new toys on a day that mom and dad really want to crash!  When Saturday night rolls around...away go the toys and back to five minute land.  Kinda proud of this idea.  Hope it works!

I am not a neat person.  My mom tried.  I try.  I am not a neat person, but I am not a deluded person.  I know that I can't handle much, so I am reducing what I have to handle.  So says the woman with seven chickens, two goats, two garden plans, three kids, and a 5 K planned in May (yep, you read that right).  Sigh.  I am really trying.  Imagine if I weren't!

Here is the aftermath of my cleaning:

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Look

Thanks to my hubby for the new look and new address.  If you have this blog marked somehow, the address has now moved to  Cool huh!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cheap and Cheeper

I am tired.  My head is tired, my feet are tired, my fingers are tired.  I cooked for the month today. So, instead of something witty, challenging, brilliant and life-changing, I bring you what I like to call--cheap and cheeper.


Made my own laundry powder this week.  Really really really cheap.  Not sure how well it works.  Everything seems clean.  No one is itchy.  I call it a win.

3 cups WASHING soda
1 cup Borax
1 cup Oxyclean
1 cup BAKING soda
1 bar of finely grated Fels Naptha soap

Mix together.  Use 2 tablespoons per load.  I added a sachet of rice because the internets said it would get clumpy.


We have chicks!

3 Ameraucanas
1 Black Australorp

So so cute.  Laine is in love.  He begs everyday to go see the chicks.  He is very, very gentle with them.  It truly makes me happy to have chicks in my garage.  Can't wait to see his face when he finds the first blue egg (please let one of them be a hen).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Clean up

Doing a little clean up.  Wanna join me?  I will post before and a link to yours in the comments!  Let's have a relaxing weekend, or at least be ready for that Big Game Party.  Oh, and if you want to be snippy about how messy my house is...pthhhbt!

Nursery...peaceful once more

3 kids, 5 days, 15 outfits

All those outfits...out of the tub and BAM! P-JAM!
Ran out of!  Hope you enjoyed our cleaning day.  Have a restful and relaxing weekend.