Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Spot In The Woods

One of the things we have enjoyed about our new house, is space for the children to roam outdoors and use their imaginations. We don't have much land but the bit that we have has already provided hours of playing in the woods.

The girls love to make trails and houses and uncover the beauty amidst the brambles and bushes. I love that they love it. It brings back many happy memories of my own childhood and the hours I spent doing the same.

Several days ago, my imaginative ladies surprised me with something
 very special - 
My own little spot in the woods!

They are constantly begging me to "come look at something",
So I thought nothing of it when they said they had something to show me. In fact, to my shame, I was too busy to go look at it until a day later.

It's hard to take pictures that 
do the little spot justice.
Under a low hanging tree, they cleaned out a spot and cleared a path to it. Then they provided me with a woodland seat.

Across from my perch,
they wove vines to make a little wall.

Over my head there is a lovely roof of green leaves with delicate, white flowers blooming profusely.

My nine year old didn't stretch it a bit when she gushed, 
"It's just like a dream!"

I think I like being a mom.

PS. If I go missing, I might have decided to just move to my hideout.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

For Real

We talk about social media and how it paints everyone as perfect. We sigh about how it places unrealistic expectations on mothers to make the Pinterest worthy cakes and birthday parties because, evidently, that's what all the competent moms are doing. We shake our heads at the pressure it creates to have picture perfect houses where everything matches and all the chippy, shabby chic decor is cool DIY projects that the good moms somehow find time to do.

Like this picture, you have no idea what is really behind all the 'perfect' things you see.

I don't know if my blog has ever made anyone feel the pressure associated with social media but I'm guessing it might have. I try to be honest and real here but it's just a fact that it's more fun to share the pretty side of life. If it is ugly, I want to have some tidy little lesson to tie to it that makes it all beautiful again.

Well. I'm here this morning to show you the real side. I'll probably still end up trying to tie the lesson to it because I need a lesson this morning but this is reality and I'll prove it with the pictures I took this morning:

This is how my basement looks. Remember when we moved, how we just brought the essentials and planned to slowly move the rest? Here's all the nonessentials that are finally coming over. Seriously. How do we accumulate so much stuff??!

It's not even funny. It makes me want to vow I'll never go to the Goodwill again! Except I know I would break my vow.

This is how my kitchen sink looks.

And this is how my laundry pile looks.

I could give you reasons for those piles but then, there are things that just always look this way and have nothing to do with any excuses except being real.

Like my son's bed.

And my daughter's bedroom floor.

And this rug that belongs inside the basement door but is constantly thrown in the corner on a heap.

And this child's cars that he has way too many of.

We are real people in this house. We make messes and hurt each other's feelings and don't feel like saying we're sorry. Sometimes we spend too much time trying to keep everything looking good and we forget to enjoy each other in our messiness. We get grouchy and say we love each other but forget to act like it. We are real people around here.

I like to have a clean house and I enjoy DIY projects and creating beauty. I like doing special things for my family and making memories together. Those are the things I tend to grab my camera/phone and take pictures of but the truth is, we are ordinary, common, messy people. I just wanted you all to know that this morning. I also wanted you to know that God loves us, mess and all. He loves you too, don't ever forget it!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Risen!

I slipped out on the porch this morning,
and was greeted by a
spectacular sunrise that 
I wasn't even looking for!

The Lord Is Risen!

Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus my Saviour.
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord.

Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus my Saviour,
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord.

Death cannot keep it's prey,
Jesus my Saviour.
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord.

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph
O'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the
Dark domain,
And He lives forever
With His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah, Christ arose.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In The Morning, Look Up

"My voice shalt thou hear
 in the morning,
O Lord;
In the morning
Will I direct my prayer unto thee,
And will look up."
Psalm 5:3

What do you do when you wake up in the morning? Does your mind immediately start going over the list of things to be done? Do you sigh wearily and roll over, sure that you will fail today before your foot ever even touches the floor? Do all the worries and cares of life come rolling in with the opening of your eyes and all you wish is that you could just close them and go back to the one place of complete rest?

Do you ever Look Up 
first thing in the morning?

 I confess, when I open my eyes in the morning, more often than not I have a strong urge to roll over and close them again. It's not just because I was up too late the night before or because my night got interrupted by children. It's because anything I'm worrying about and all the things that need to be done immediately come rolling in and I don't feel like facing it all; I'm sure I'll fail before I ever start! 
What a poor way to start a day.

I want to learn to intentionally 
Look Up
first thing in the morning.
Even if I don't take the time to have a full fledged devotions first thing,
Even if I don't crack open my Bible right after I crack open my eyes,
Even if I don't have time for long, intercessary prayer,
taking the time to intentionally Look Up can make a big difference
 in how I head into the day.

I am not a shining example of this.
But I want to learn.

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

Friday, April 7, 2017

Birthdays And Other Things That Make Me Smile

The birthdays at our house cover every month from February to June, then take a jump to September. We just celebrated two, eight days apart - Jennifer,
who turned nine March 30 
and Charles,
 who is four today.

Jennifer got her much longed for
Birthday party 
which her mean mom
(or is it more of a lazy mom?)
never let her have before,
and a lamp to put beside her bed.

Tea party
(except it was Apple Cider and
Hot Chocolate...)

And pie in place of cake.

We celebrated Charles in super simple fashion last night because little boys don't care so much how big the celebration is, as that it is about them and that they are the center of attention

The picture showed a yellow bus cake but he wanted Blue,
so Blue it was...

He got a book and some candy
wrapped in brown paper
and he passed out candy and
re-listened to his book with 
whosoever would
and thought it was all amazing.
Little children are so 
easy to please.

Things tumble around in my brain these days but they are the kind of things that only seem thing-ish when they're in my mind, so I will leave them there to tumble and churn and develop and show you some light, surface-y things that make me smile.

This view never gets old.
Before we moved into our house, I thought I would like it best when the leaves were on the trees and I was hidden away from view. Now that we're here, and I'm looking out at this every morning, I'm not so sure.

There was snow in the air this morning; some of it even had the audacity to stick to the ground. But Spring is here! I love watching the green creep into the landscape on my drive to and from school every day.

I'm having fun slowly turning 
our house into a cozy home.
There's something about putting pictures on the wall and making a space yours that just makes my heart happy.

I'm loving this canvas for 
the boy's room!

But then, I'm also loving these plates
in their wonky little cluster.
Maybe because I've had them tucked up in my cupboard for years and they deserve to be seen after all this time.
I picked up the two small ones years ago at a yard sale and the other two belonged to my grandma.

I need to run along and take
 care of mundane things like 
laundry and dishes. 
I hope your weekend is full of little things that make you smile.
Like a child, it might be the smallest gifts wrapped in brown paper!