Friday, April 30, 2010

Licks And Love

My Mom loves to give and give and give some more. She bought the kids ice cream today and loved watching them lick them like crazy.

"Mommy, do you even have to take my picture in the ice cream store?"
Yes, I do, actually. It's my job to record the details of your life. I can just hear you ten years from now saying how cute you are in that little dress! Yes, I must always take your picture.

Treasuring our Mama-Love

His Reminder

Just when prayers are whispered in confession, when the darkness of my heart is revealed, when I feel I have nothing to offer such a great God, the flood of forgiveness washes over me and I am healed again.
Later the same day, when doubt begins to rear it's ugly head, my little boy climbs up beside me, all snugly and warm. He bores his head as tightly into my armpit as he can get it. He switches position several times, attempting to get even closer, to blend in with me. Finally, he looks up and says, "Mommy, I love your heart."
Grace-reminder. Period.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pioneer Girls

How many eleven year old girls do you know who still like to dress up and play house? This is a blessing that is largely due to homeschooling. We have friends who have some pretty wonderful and innocent kids in public school but with the way the world is spinning, little girls are barely allowed to act their age for very long. Meghan loves to play "pioneer girls" with her sisters, cousins and a couple of friends and today we visited the Coopers, who have a perfectly suited playhouse. Here, they enjoyed the simple "pleasures" of all the hard work the pioneers did :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Reality Of God To A Preschooler

"OH, NO, Mommy!", three year-old Oliver exclaims. "God and Jesus are getting sooo cold!"
I stride to the kitchen to see my wide-eyed boy with popsicle juice dripping from his chin.
I respond to his panic, "Why is Jesus cold, Buddy?"
"Because I'm eating this popsicle and it's going down to my heart!"

His biggest sister turns and stifles her laugh while I begin my explanation to calm his fears. Simple explanations are often the most difficult but I manage to tumble out something along the lines of the popsicle bypassing the heart and going straight to his tummy. We'll save the anatomy lesson and where Jesus truly abides for another day. For now, I soak up this time when my little one believes the Maker of this Universe is so present inside of Him that He could be frozen by a popsicle.
Oliver, may you always feel the King of Kings in the temple of your body and may you always care for your temple with that wonderful thought in mind.

Marvelous Things

292. Thankful for a friend who is recovering from open brain surgery (praying for complete healing!)

293. for a precious niece who is a beautiful influence on my daughters

294. for a great homeschool convention this weekend

295. for a new writing program that my daughter jumped into with vigour!

296. for a younger daughter who was disappointed it wasn't at her level.... she wanted to join in anyway
297. for curls on a Sunday morning

298. for a sermon that convicted

299. for a teenager-run girls' club with a focus on kindness, modesty and fun!

300. for all the children we looked after last week

301. for the smell of the earth

302. for the anticipation of my lilacs (favourite table centre piece!)

303. for girl-made oatmeal muffins this morning

304. for the excited reception of a convention-purchased kids' cookbook (they got straight to work)

305. for a toilet-trained boy!

306. for speckles of yellow daffodils all over our gardens

307. for a new amazing art site (thanks, Jeana!)

308. for a safe returning of my in-laws from their vacation

309. for the birds that frequent our feeder

310. for the rescued baby bunnies that occupied their minds during schoolwork and their hands during recess

"But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause-- Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number. He gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields. He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety." (Job 5:8-11)

holy experience

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dripping With Grace

I pass the soft-serve kiddie ice cream cones to the back seat and catch glimpses of giddy faces in my rear view mirror. There had been some tough times today but after attending a seminar on God's grace, I feel that I should practice a little of that in my parenting. Emily receives hers and licks the melty goodness already oozing onto her fingers. Suddenly she stops and finds my eyes, "Thank you so much for this, Mommy, even though we don't deserve it."
I smile at my wise five year old girl, wrap a napkin around her drippy cone, and tell her that those words make me thankful that I chose to have mercy today.

Have I thanked my Lord today for His unsurpassed grace toward me?

(photo by Meghan)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Body

His Body prays and His people are healed. His Body encourages and hearts are mended. His Body works and His purposes are accomplished. His Body wrapped their arms around me this week and I felt Jesus.
I photographed this willow and thought how beautiful and delicate each little branch is, one of my favourite shrubs. I focused on one portion to study the intricacy and I wondered if anyone else would notice this one tiny part. Unlikely, but as part of the whole, it attracts attention and is useful for shade and reflects the loveliness of its Maker. The Body of Believers is like this. I've experienced true intimacy and healing through God's people. He's designed it this way. Dependence is God's desire. The Body hugs and lends a hand and I am nearer to His heartbeat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Beauty Of Dance

One extra-curricular goal we have for our children is that they become involved in something physical and something musical. Meghan has been in ballet since she was almost three years old and this endeavour has been one that has shaped her maturity in relationships as well as kept her physically active. Competition is something she experiences in the spring and it's here she gets to use all that good stuff she's learned throughout the year. Ballet is beautiful to watch and the music is lovely. Here, she is dancing to "The Song".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Putting Their Heads Together

Homeschooled children have many perks; one of them is doing their schoolwork with their cousins (who also happen to be homeschooled). Surprisingly, they try to work diligently when they get those heads together. I think it's because they're attempting to prove they can do it so that we continue this occasional tradition. Little do they know, their moms enjoy it too (shhh).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What I Love About Bigger Ones

(see post below for What I Love About Little Ones)

They are becoming good independent learners.

They are real company for you.

They are becoming interested in things that interest you!

They need advice about their decisions.

They are venturing out and trying new things like, new flavours and foods.

They are beginning to notice you are not perfect.

They help around the house and it actually helps :)

They have more technical skills than you.

They still love to be snuggled.

They are beginning to recognize the expense of things and the concept of saving and wise spending.

They still want to be tucked in.

They want to learn about the world... it's no longer only about them.

They think about their future in a more realistic way... still so much hope and excitement.

They can tell you what time it is when you can't see the clock.

They're now telling you what looks best in clothing.

They can count your money for you at Tim Horton's.

They can make a phone call or send an email for you when you're too busy.

They sometimes still leave their crusts behind after eating their sandwich.

They still love to be read to.

They can relate to characters in books and movies and understand themes and the moral of a story.

A piece of candy still makes their day :)

They make suggestions to you for how you can become better in a certain area... eye-opening and insightful.

Their faith in God and miracles comes from more experience and has sometimes even been tested.

Gratitude #269-291

What I Love About Little Ones

  • They need their "blankies" or stuffed animals with them while they're still waking up.
  • They leave their crust behind after eating their sandwich.
  • They run for a kiss when they fall.

  • They make friends simply by asking if another child wants to play.

  • They get excited when they can reach a light switch.

  • They laugh as quickly as you can distract them from their sadness.

  • They smell and feel so good after a bath.

  • They sometimes cry when you leave them with others.

  • They have made-up names for things.

  • They love becoming bigger and older.

  • Any kind of weather means they want to go outside.

  • They make up with a friend as quickly as they fought.

  • Their trust in you is profound.

  • They wrap their arms around you when you're feeling down.

  • They grin chocolaty smiles and don't care about messes.

  • They sing at the top of their lungs in the grocery store.

  • They mimic you and want what you have... painted toenails, gum, cooking utensils, a book.

  • They can fall asleep in the middle of wherever you are.

  • Fireworks and loud noises scare them.

  • They need to climb up onto the bathroom counter to brush their teeth.

  • They don't care if they're wearing mis-matched clothing.

  • A piece of candy makes their day.

  • They care about the colour of their drinking cup.

  • They loudly announce to you (and everyone else) what they've just accomplished in the public bathroom.

  • They believe they will be able to do anything and be anything when they grow up.

  • Their faith in God and miracles is simple, sweet and true.
    Gratitude #243-268