Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keepin' it Real

This morning I was helping Lily get dressed, and she looked at me and said, "Mommy, you need to take a shower 'cause you smell kindof funny." Another benefit to motherhood: It keeps you humble.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thoughts on Love

I was flipping through a book of short devotionals for moms (Matt thinks it's hilarious that I keep this in the bathroom--but hey, that is where I do some good reading, semi-uninterrupted. Too much information?) when I came upon a concise but wonderful quote from Elisabeth Elliot.

"Love always means sacrifice."

Isn't that great? It challenges my worldly ideas of love as a feeling, and really gives it 'legs', so to speak. Love equals sacrifice.

It is a sacrifice of love to

...answer the twenty-first question from your two-year-old without screaming.

...fold yet another load of clothes and wash another dish without feeling sorry for yourself.

...choose to do what someone else enjoys with them, even when it isn't your favorite thing.

...give money and time to minister to hurting people outside your family (or, inside, for that matter).

...get up early enough to spend time with the Lord even when you are exhausted and would much rather stay in your warm bed. your husband (or wife) when he is acting un-lovable.

...joyfully begin another day of homeschooling when you'd much rather spend the day alone, getting your nails done or shopping.

So, this is what I am going to focus on today. Loving and expecting sacrifice, instead of resenting its demands.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weekend Movie Recommendation

Since I seem to be on a media-blogging kick, I will spend a minute telling you about a movie I saw recently that I thought was worthwhile. I say 'worthwhile' because there aren't many movies at all that I feel are worthwhile these days. I think having a large family and busy schedule has caused me to be more guarded about my time. But, I digress...The movie is called The Painted Veil. I recommend it, but with a few cautions. It does have some scenes where there's implied hanky-panky going on. (Don't laugh at my term!) There is also a quick shot of a man's discern for yourself if this is something you want to sit through.

Anyway, I liked this movie for several reasons. The first is that it shows the ugly and painful consequences of sin. Lots of movies have you cheering for the couple 'in love' to get together, even when they're married to other people. This is not one of those movies.

Another reason I liked this movie was that it, like the book I wrote about yesterday, caused me to ponder the brevity of life, and particularly how that perspective affects my marriage. I think arguments and bitterness would all but disappear if we lived each day as if it could actually be our last.

Also, the cinematography is really beautiful in this film. So, if you rent it, leave a comment and let me know what you think. I watched this with my Mom when she was here last month, and it left me thinking about it for days afterward. Now, if I can just convince Kevin that it isn't a 'chick flick'....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

...And a Book for Moms

I am almost finished reading A Lantern In Her Hand, by Bess Streeter Aldrich. This is a fictional account of a woman's life, spanning from her birth to her death. The book chronicles Abbie Deal's young womanhood, full of dreams and plans, and follows her as she and her husband and young child move to Nebraska to homestead. Although the writing is sometimes a bit poor, this story has made me cry a couple of times. The book shows the protagonist's life through all the stages: from the weary days of caring for little ones with the hard demands of pioneer life, to the death of her beloved husband, on to the birth of grandchildren and grappling with changing times. I love this book because it has given me a glimpse of perspective about the brevity of life and the power of all our choices. The most intriguing part of the book has been reading about Abbie's later years, and then thinking of how that season will feel for me.

"What memories do you have, Grandma?"

"I have many...But I'll tell you the one I like to think of best of all. It's just a homely everyday thing, but to me it is the happiest of them all. It is evening time here in the old house and the supper is cooking and the table is set for the whole family. It hurts a mother, Laura, when the plates begin to be taken away one by one. First there are seven and then six and then five...and on down to a single plate. So I like to think of the table set for the whole family at supper time. The robins are singing in the cottonwoods and the late afternoon sun is shining across the floor. Will, your grandfather, is coming in to supper...and the children are all playing out in the yard. I can hear their voices and happy laughter. There isn't much to that memory is there? Out of a lifetime of experiences you would hardly expect that to be the one I would choose as the happiest, would you? But it is. The supper cooking...the table set for the whole family...the afternoon sun across the floor...the robins singing in the cottonwoods...the children's merry voices...Will coming in...eventide."

Books for Kids

I always try to have a read-aloud going with the kids. Keely and Noah and I are almost finished with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the fifth book in the Narnia series. We three are thoroughly enjoying it, but it's a bit wordy for the smaller ones. So, during lunch I have been reading Milly Molly Mandy to all the kids while they eat. First published in 1928, the short chapters contain sweet stories about Millicent Margaret Amanda's adventures among her little circle of relatives and friends. Even the older two enjoy listening. As a matter of fact, after reading one chapter where MMM works and saves money to throw a party for her parents and grandparents, Keely and her two neighborhood friends decided to do the same. The stories are simple, but every one demonstrates a love and respect for others, an attitude of service, and the value of hard work. A very sweet book that I highly recommend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Just One More

I know I talk about Joseph a lot, but he's so entertaining lately! Earlier I told the girls we could do a craft together and as I was carrying Joe downstairs, I asked him if he wanted to make a craft, too. "Crap, Momma?", he says. No, Joe, craft. "Crap?", he says again. No, Joe, CRAFT. "Ohhh, CRAP." Okay, whatever.

Here are some other notable Joseph-isms.

Weak-y: Shredded Wheat cereal
Pligget: Pooh's friend
And my personal favorite, the word for toothpaste: Poo-taste

Guess Who's 38?

Today is my dear hubby's birthday. Unfortunately, he's in Phoenix for training all this week. But we made sure he felt just as sleep deprived there as he does here by calling him this morning and singing/screaming 'Happy Birthday' (duhhh, Candice; time change?).

I have been blessed with the best husband: he loves and cares for us all and leads us spiritually, plus, he's funny and smart and really good-looking. How did I deserve all that?!

Happy Birthday, Babe. I love you!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

7 Lovely Weeks

Here are some new pictures of Annesley. She is really getting smiley, which is always so satisfying: A little return on our investment! :) Isn't that a beautiful blanket she's laying on? My sweet friend Jo made it for her.

Tres Chic!

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Man-Baby's Perspective

Last night I enjoyed a quick Hobby Lobby run, and when I came home, I was in full-fledged redecorating mode. Nothing too extreme, just lots of rearranging knick-knacks and pillows and candles and things. (Do you ever get in one of those moods?) This morning Joseph gathered his favorite train and car and headed over to the end table in the living room. He loves to line them up there, for some reason. However, when he started to arrange them, he noticed that I had put a frou-frou candle holder on that table, taking up much of his precious vehicle space. So, this is what I hear next:

"Take it. Take it. Momma, TAKE IT!"

I had to smile. This has got to be how our men feel when we mess with things around the house. Too many pillows, for example. Kevin doesn't get that one. Or, trying to hide the functional things in something pretty. (Read: t.v. remotes in some basket or chest.)

Of course, I removed the offending candle and Joe was much relieved. Just wait, honey, til you have a wife someday. This is just the beginning.

Monday, February 04, 2008