Monday, April 30, 2012

Giving Oliver to God

In Laine's words, we gave Oliver to God yesterday.  He was really worried that he would be out this longed for brother when we started discussing baptizing Ollie.  We explained that although we give someone to God when we baptize them, God gives them back so that we can teach them how to follow God.

Our wild and colorful family stood around the baptismal font with our sweet Oliver Trotwood yesterday, and each of us scooped up water and participated in giving Oliver to God.  Laine seriously dabbed his brother's head, Luke doused him with jubilation, I dripped a bit on myself hurriedly so as not to miss out on the moment, and Annabel, Annabel baptized Oliver by scooping up a generous handful of water and slopping it on her own blessed head.

She is an amazing child.  I hope she reads this someday when she thinks I don't understand her or that I don't want her to have fun.  I love her...down to her toenails.  She can be spicy and she has opinions, but I learn so much from her.  Yesterday she showed me that it is not enough to abstractly remember our baptism through liturgy, we must immerse ourselves in the depths of baptism and covenant on a visceral level to cloud around the baptized and refuse to let them go.  We must be willing to get caught in the runoff, not to be re-baptized, but to be con-baptized.  To come along side.  To encourage.  To join in.  We must be foolish enough to believe in the power of the water and the grace.  Oliver, I have great hope for you because you have a sister and a brother who believe in the power of your baptism enough to join with you in grace and love.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tips From a Lifelong Messy

Triage of motherhood.


Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to attend to first. When one kids is dumping cereal on the floor, one kid is crying to be picked up and one is asking to be wiped: what do you do first?

Attend to the crap. Always. Unless someone is choking or bleeding.

As always.

You're welcome.

Friday, April 27, 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.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweet Annabel

Two years ago, we joyfully welcomed you into the world!

You have delighted us with your gentle beauty,

Amused us with your spunk, 

Taught us to dance in the rain,

And shown us the love of a child.
We love you Annabel Grace!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Being Mama

What being Mama means today...

Getting up early to make baked oatmeal with fresh strawberries...then not crying when my little critics say yuck.

Giving them granola for two meals a day.

Wiping lots of noses.

Smiling as a tired and overstimulated toddler melts down at the grocery store.

Making her smiling and laugh.

Napping when the kids nap.

Playing camping under the covers.

Listening to the best audio book ever with one earphone while I drive.

Reading a book on making the most of the toddler years while nursing my infant scooter.

Singing and dancing with a stupid headache.

Scratching backs and singing favorite songs during the thunder.

Not giving up.  Ever.  Even when they fuss.  Because we are doing this well.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Abide in Me

I am getting really tired of John 15.  Go ahead and read it.  I will wait right here.

Ok, see what I mean?  I am tired of this Jesus who freely offers abundant life and growth.  I am tired of this Jesus who requires just one simple thing: to love others with a love that lays down life.  Cripes...that's all huh?  And then Jesus has the boldness to say that he is saying this so that we may have complete joy.  Really?


Cuz, I was kinda thinking that I was wanting Jesus to live in MY life.  You know, come fill up MY life, in MY house, with MY stuff.  Like painting the walls a lovely and calming Jesus-green.

Jesus, come live in my heart, over here...where I am comfortable.

John 15

Go back and read it again...

Did you catch it...Jesus didn't ask to live in our hearts...he asked us to abide in HIM.

He doesn't want to come to me, he wants me to come to him.


And love like he loves.  The lay down your life kind.  The rearrange your budget...ok MAKE a you can responsibly feed the poor kind.

Big girl panties time.

It is pretty paint though.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tips From a Lifelong Messy

I am going to start a Saturday tip post. This will be titled: Tips From a Lifelong Messy.

To avoid leaving things out, do not put them down until they are in their proper place. Ex. When you use scissors, do not use what you have opened until you put the scissors away. Definitely don't put the scissors down on the table or counter.

You're welcome.

Friday, April 20, 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.

Via Soule Mama

Let them eat cake!

I was wondering today...why do we worry SOOOOOO much about what our kids put in their mouths and yet put all manner of strange food in ours?  If I ate like my kids, I bet I would lose 10 pounds almost immediately.  Why is that?  I am not advocating for children to eat processed, sugary, corn-based food, but I am pretty sure that I shouldn't either.  Now, I have been on a multi-year vendetta against all things processed, and have made great headway, but...

Oh Well!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Girls Only...

I am so excited about the new homemade shout I whipped up two days ago.  If you have ever talked laundry with me, you know that I am just bad at stains.  I can never get them out even if I remember to try.  Enter Jillee, writer of One Good Thing.  I love this lady...she spends time reading about how to make things like shampoo or deodorant so I don't have to.  She has a recipe for "Shout" that is changing my life.  Not only does it work, it leaves no trace of the stain and doesn't distress the fabric (like scrubbing fruitlessly with a toothbrush).  Not that I am a lunatic, I haven't bathed my children in it, but now that I think about, Annabel's head does always smell blonde.  Ok, so I think this mix is awesome.

Clever segue to new laundry routine.

(Sounds of subsiding laughter...boy, that Andrea, she is a wit)

Ok!  The big idea.  The system that makes my laundry piles disappear.  The genie in the washer.

Not happen' ladies (I assume all curious men are now gone).  Laundry is laundry is laundry, and in this house there is a lot of laundry.  Three kids, two sets of cloth diapers, cloth tissues, cloth wipes, cloth paper towels (made the break over two years ago...not nearly as hard as you would think) adds up to about 12 loads a week, but I did find a way to make it less overwhelming.

Picture this: You dump a washer full of unsorted laundry into the washer.  Process in your preferred way. Put the dried clothes into a basket and walk to the kitchen napkin/washrag/towel drawer then fold the clothes and put them away into that drawer with out piling up in-between.  This has changed my life.  Truly.  I have a hamper or bag and a day for each type of laundry.  Linens in one, kids clothes in another, and another for adult clothes (come on...Luke and my if I have any of those that fit).  When I am done with that type of laundry, I quit (or do diapers which I also put on a schedule...thanks Jenn).  So. Much. Better.

I don't keep up.  I pretty much never get it all put away, but at least I sometimes feel like I have finished something.  That is worth a lot in my world.

My Laundry Week:

Sunday: Nothing
Monday: Linens and diapers
Tuesday: Kids
Wednesday: Linens and diapers
Thursday: Adults
Friday: Nothing
Saturday: Diapers and ironing

There it is!  I do two or three loads per day.  I still start the first load the night before and let it soak.  Then I chase it for the rest of the day.  Leave a comment if you have a laundry routine that works for you.  Mom, you could leave a comment and then come see if your idea works.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Life is Hilarious...and News

So, Laine is not the most visual kid.  He is a lyrical genius (ooh-la-rah) but when it comes to visual stuff, he just gets silly and dances off.  So...I have been doing simple addition and subtraction (and a few algebraic...cuz I'm that mama) problems orally.  He does really well with this, but every once in a while, I pull in a visual just to see where we are.  Tonight, while seated on the throne, Laine was playing with an abacus (if I knew why, I probably wouldn't be so crazy), so I took that opportunity to go through some problems with visuals.  He did really well for three problems; slowly and accurately counting the beads.  Then he indicated to me that he was done:

Me: If there are three yellow beads and two red beads, how many beads are there all together?
Laine: Caterpillar!

Also, I am developing a new theory.  The brain maturation and skeletal development that occurs in toddlers and preschoolers demands a huge amount of vitamin D.  Therefore, children of this age are compelled to strip naked in order to maximize their production of said vitamin.  Or they are allergic to clothes.

Said naked preschool started fussing today for me to turn off my beloved attic fan because he was cold.  I chortled maniacally and told him through a hormone-induced sweat that he could put some clothes on.

In other news, the Lingle's have a new assignment.  We will be moving to Asheville in July!  Luke has been appointed as the pastor of evangelism at Central UMC, Asheville.  Come by and I will tell you the whole story, but suffice it to say, this has been a rather stressful spring.  I am pretty sure even my closest friend are starting to hit "ignore."  I am tired of hearing myself pontificate over the whole process.

Anyway...the ministry is amazing (more on that later), the city is cooler than I am, and apparently I am going to have to move all my junk once again.  If you come within thirty feet of my door I will immediately fill your car or arms or your pockets with wonderful things I have been moving around like empty picture frames.

I am exhausted by the emotional process.  I have grieved the loss of this new family and am utterly sad about leaving my beautiful home, but I know that God is calling compelling me to go.  So, off we go on another adventure!

Friday, April 13, 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.

Via Soule Mama

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



You know...

If you have three kids...

Cleaning out closets is a bit fragmented...

I spent a furious 15 minutes deciding what clothes...

Make me feel fabulous, sexy, young, hip, trendy, energetic, professional...

Then I realized it would be bad if I threw all my clothes away.


More tomorrow...

What to wear...

Going for full disclosure here. I need accountability. And coffee.

Every single one of those tee shirts are either hilarious or super awesome.

I think I can!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hanging me out to dry

Do you want to know something truly shocking?  I sometimes use my dryer even when it is nice out.  I know!  I refuse to buy paper tissues or towels, and I waste perfectly good sunshine by drying my clothes in the dryer.  The real kicker is my dryer is so slow it might be faster to hang my clothes on the line.  I am puzzled by this.  I love the smell of sun dried clothes.  I love the way my jeans don't shrink.  I love that my sweaters don't pill.  But I can't seem to coordinate it all.

What to wear...what to wear!

Enter my Easter celebration challenge!

For 50 days I am going to celebrate freeing myself up.  Want to spend the whole day outside?  Sure!  Want to go visit a shut in?  Sure!  I can because my life is organized and tidy.

For me I want to start with clothes.  We just have too many.  Laine has 14 pairs of pants.  14!  Now, I made 5 of them, but still, 14!  Annabel...well Annabel has lots of clothes, but most of them are beautiful hand-me-downs and her foofy dresses are so magical...ok...let's not start with her.  Ollie is fine, he only wears a size for about two minutes, so I just get him dressed in a new size every morning (I am exaggerating a little).

So, me first...and how about you?

Here are the rules:

Keep only what makes you feel good.  Even the sloppy clothes should at least make you smile.
Keep only what fills up 80% of your space.
Give joyfully.

Deeply Deeply

I have wandered far this Lenten season.  I have shed more tears in the last 40 days than in the last 4 years. Probably not true, but close.  I have been taken by the spiritual shoulders and spun around to take a closer look at the heart in the mirror.  I am trying really hard not to blink and look down, but the light hurts my eyes and I just don't want to look anymore.

Luke preached a moving resurrection sermon this morning that churned my thoughts up even more.  How can we "serve a risen Savior" without acting anything like him.  I don't think that Jesus went through the agony of the cross for us to be saved but to serve.  When we deny the immediacy of sanctifying grace and focus on the someday of heaven, we refuse to serve--demanding to be served.  Jesus's grace that is so freely offered breaks sin's hold on us so that we may be free to serve and to love and to dance and to weep.  O, Church, refuse to let Jesus be a means to avoiding hell and embrace his call to love the ugly, smelly, lonely ones.

And I do I serve when I can't see beyond the horrendous pile of laundry in my "guest room" (laundry graveyard) or my own children are beating on each other?

Jesus suffered and died and overcame death to give us freedom.

Let's use these 50 joyful days of Easter to explore how those of us who spend actual time and energy thinking about socks can embrace this call to go wash each other's feet (do baths and diaper changes count?).

Jesus's kingdom was first proclaimed by such as us...