Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No One's Home in this Hobbit Hole...

Like most mothers I wear many hats... wife, mother, friend, snuggler, cook, maid, taxi driver, boo boo kisser etc... And of course there are hats very specific to me such as Jesus Freak, Pastor's wife, Librarian, home educating parent, sewist,biblical counselor, Sunday school teacher, dance mom, lover of books and epic coffee consumer. Recently new hats have been added. Homeschool Co-op tutor, Girl Scout troop leader, Library Book Club facilitator. Sometimes I'm confident I can rock this life like super woman and other times I'm completely freaked out and wondering who stuck all these hats on my head and fearing that I will be crushed under the weight of it all. However, I know whom I serve and whose name I strive to glorify and in HIM I will find strength.

Lately I feel my God and King has been calling me to even greater service. He has laid upon my heart a desire to edify and up lift other moms who are struggling with the burdens of this life. To pass on the refreshing gift of comfort and encouragement that I've been so greatly blessed with myself. The only catch is that it requires me to leave the comforts of my house. If you know me you will know that I am very much a homebody. I frequently refer to myself as a troll guarding her bridge. A hobbit enjoying her hobbit hole. And while edification and uplifting CAN come virtually, I know as I have an incredible "Mama's Group" of like-minded, Christ-centered mamas on Facebook that is a wellspring of refreshment, encouragement and hilarity, I feel the Lord is being very specific in directing me to special women I know who need a person. Which will require me to leave my house. 

So yesterday I collected a very spirited 11 year old and we headed to the pool which offered the sweet, Jesus loving grandmother who is raising her a very much NEEDED break. (P.S. I have a horrible water phobia and I despise being wet.)  I have been blessed this way from time to time and always at the perfect time. Deep in the trenches of parenting you occasionally find yourself utterly exhausted and exasperated and then like a beacon of light an angel appears in the form of a sweet friend who has arrived just in the nick of time to steal your ornery child away for an afternoon of fun thus letting you use the bathroom in peace, shower with the door closed and complete a single thought. Providing you with the peace needed to recharge your internal batteries so you have the strength and grace needed to continue the parenting journey. At a lower volume. The beauty of fulfilling that summer time parenting obligation and going to the pool is that afterwards you return the child utterly exhausted from sun and fun that the gift is extended. Children require lots of energy to drive you nuts. :) Today I will met another friend out and about with our children to provide the gift of adult conversation that is very rare and appreciated when you spend your days with small people hunting fairies and putting on "concerts". Perhaps I'll collect an additional child and take him with me, giving his exhausted mother a bit of peace. Two birds, one stone. Except it has even more benefits since it also provided entertainment for my own child and an opportunity to show the love of the Lord for me. 

But it requires me to leave my house. And get wet. Both things I don't particularity enjoy. Likewise, do you know what I DO enjoy? Jesus' unending mercy, love and grace. I want to share that. I want to be His hands and feet and I want Him to confidently use me to bring honor and glory to His name. In Him I can do hard things. I can get wet and leave my house. In service, I will be blessed. He is my strength and for all that I've been given I want to continue the cycle of love and selflessness. (although as an innately selfish person I need lots of practice at the selflessness gig)

So despite the extremely long list of things I need to do and the house work I need to accomplish and the books I want to read.... No one will be home in my hobbit hole for most of this week. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

~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.
Inpired by the Always Lovely SouleMama

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Time flies....

...and lots of things change!

I can't believe it's been a year since I last blogged. I think about writing often and dream up catchy little blog posts that I'm sure would amuse all 3 of my readers but never quite found the time or motivation to make it happen. However, I've been realizing of late exactly how much I miss this space and sharing my thoughts so I'm going to make a real effort to get back into the swing of this blogging thing. I've debated changing the theme, tone and subject matter of the blog but for now I feel lead to leave it as a mixed bag of randomness as that best represents who I truly am.

Oh yeah...and I had another baby!!!! True story! God answered my fervent begging prayers and blessed us with another daughter whom we couldn't possibly be more in love with. She is absolutely perfect and an utter joy!

Meet Aeryn Esmeralda!

And now I'm going to tell you a story about a goat. The goat that Reggie is desperate to acquire. The other day Reggie went with her daddy to visits an elderly couple from church who happen to raise goats. Reggie loves to go over there because they usually have a baby or two they're bottle feeding right there in their kitchen. Well she got this wild hair that we should get a pet goat and she came home bound and determined to make it happen. She has made a bed and play area for the goat, collected grass, weeds and flowers for its food and emptied the contents of her piggy bank into a mason jar which she took to church to give to Mr. Ben for a goat. Also she's begged me multiple times to take her to town to buy her goat a collar, leash and toys. My husband thinks this is hilarious and is absolutely encouraging this dream. This is the same man who said no to a pet dog.... y'all I may end up with a pet goat before I can say "three billy goats gruff" three times!

Friday, April 4, 2014

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.
Inpired by the Always Lovely SouleMama

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Music of Childhood.

What does childhood sound like in your home?

well besides the giggles, screams, screeches, whines or crying.... because we've all experienced those sounds as well.

Does the rhythm of your day have a soundtrack?

In our home we are striving to be as screen free as possible in regards to Reagan. We're not perfect but it's a goal. It helps that we do not own a television set which frequently comes as a shock to people. Yep, we gave it away. Now we do have computers and a Nook tablet and she has discovered the joys of Wild Kratts and Dragon Tales and like every other small girl on the planet she is walking around singing the Frozen sound track on repeat but we try to keep that at a minimum. Ideally we would have it at once a week (or not at all) but some weeks are better than others.

Not having a television set does not mean our house is silent...or even quiet. Our household residents include a 3 year old and a rather vocal parrot. If you team that up with our abundance of musical instruments the sound in our house can range from fun and whimsical to down right chaotic.

What I have found that helps our daily rhythm is music. I thought on how in an adult music can have a powerful impact on our emotions and I figured the same would hold true for the wee ones as well.

Using Spotify (a free streaming radio thing on the internet) I complied a playlist for our day that I titled Reagan Radio. I included our favorite artists such as Kira Willey, Elizabeth Mitchell, Bob and Ziggy Marley, Willie Nelson and Jerry Garcia. All of those artist have folksy kids albums that are a lot of fun. Now before you think I'm some sort of super mom who only exposes her daughter to quality, age appropriate music keep in mind she also knows Rhianna's entire hook on Eminem's Monster track.  Thanks teenagers at church :) Got to get variety in there somewhere. Also her favorite song is currently Avecii's Hey Brother...which she sings to Sami our parrot.

We play music most of the day but especially in the morning while she (is supposed to) engages in "free play". Typically she spends this time making art but occasionally she will build blocks or take care of her babies. I think that the right music promotes a peaceful and enriching experience for this sort of activity.

In the afternoon our soundtrack typically switches to spiritual songs and Broadway soundtracks which help focus her mind on the Lord AND train her to be a theater geek!

And of course there is no shortage of self made music around here between made up songs we sing to many impromptu jam sessions where daddy and Reggie typically debate over who gets to play the ukulele. Good times for sure. This is what our music set up looks like. It's always out and ready to go. Most was either gifts or acquired relatively inexpensively.

We also have a small purple guitar not picture because it needs repairs and a piano.

What are the ways you use music in the rhythm of your day? What are some of you and your childrens' favorite songs? Let's discuss!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Not a Knitter.

As I sit in the children's section of the library (where I now have a part time job) on a cold, snowy Saturday on the first day of February it occurred to me that lately my brain seems a place for brilliant albeit ambitious, unrealistic and sometimes utterly frivolous ideas to fly in and get trapped. They just keep buzzing around in there until either a better idea comes along and gets stuck or I take action on the I have several ideas whirling and swirling around in my head which has lead to a slightly frantic, almost manic feeling and also lots of little, quickly jotted notes littering the surface of the circulation desk. Because frankly, sometimes it get so crowed in this brain that even good ideas can be suffocated and die.

One particularly insane and ambitious idea that I'm currently taking action on is that I *must* knit my dear mother in law a scarf for her rapidly impending birthday. What's so insane and ambitious about knitting a scarf you ask? Well for one thing, I'm not a knitter... nope, I'm a fiber hoarder. It even says so in my Ravelry profile. Sure, I can cast on, knit, purl and bind off but that doesn't actually make me a knitter. Simply knowing *how* to knit does not make one a knitter. There are lots of attributes that do make up a knitter and generally somewhere on that list the words 'Likes to knit' will be found.

Let me clarify, I am not one of those crafters who crafts because I find solace and refreshment in the slow, rhythmic process. I don't create for relaxation, I create because I HAVE order to stay sane and be allowed in public with out a straight jacket and a scrub wearing escort... I create for the finished product, to see something I dreamed up manifest into a usable item. Don't get me wrong, once I get in the groove I do relax but my "relaxation" looks a lot less zen and a whole lot like me dancing around the room and singing loudly. Out of that chaos productivity will emerge.

So why and I attempting to knit a scarf again? Because the idea flew into my head and inspired me to do so....sometimes it's just fun to hop aboard the crazy train just to see where it's going. Also because I know my mother in law will love it. She probably won't wear it but she will hoard and treasure it beyond measure. She once had a little table quilt I made her professionally framed. So really it's not such a bad idea unless you factor in the non-knitter thing....oh and her birthday is in 12 Tennessee. Now I really wish I hadn't dropped the hank while winding it and ended up with a tangled mess.

All aboard..the crazy train will be traveling at warp speed.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Crafty Goals 2014

The other day I shared with you some of my general goals and plans for next year and today I thought I would share with you some of my creative and crafty goals and plans for 2014! I always get super excited about these.

* Pinterest project with M. My best friend and I have a couple joint Pinterest boards that we share mostly inspiration for sewing for our girls, knitting projects and nature tables. The clothing inspiration for our girls is the big one. The Fall/Winter inspiration board alone has 240 pins! We've decided that instead of just collection ideas we're going to start putting those ideas into use and making stuff. Making stuff is my favorite thing to do anyways. Each month we're going to pick one pin from one of our clothing boards and jointly recreate the outfit. Since neither of our girls actually needs any clothes we'll alternate who gets that months outfit. We're actually pretty geeked about this so of course I will show you what we make here on the blog.

*Personal sewing. This is another joint idea with M. We like to motivate each other....and also fuel and encourage any and all grandiose ideas and intentions. We've decided that once a month we're going to make ourselves something to wear.

*Improve my photography! Thanks to Snap Academy this won't be impossible!

*Get caught up on Reagan's scrapbooks. This is a legacy that I've had on my heart to leave her so I need to really get crackin' on it. The only way I'm going to make it happen is to purposefully set aside time each month to work on them. My plan has been to make one for each year of her life. I take A LOT of pictures. My husband is able to write such beautiful and heartfelt letters to her for when she grows up. She will be able to tell his character and feel his love just by reading his letters but when I tried that it didn't work out so well. It wasn't really my style however I feel I can express myself better through pictures, journaling and creativity.

* Improve hand sewing and embroidery stitches. This is something I want to be good at but I'm not....and so far I've not be motivated to get better but  hopefully that will change in 2014.

*Knit and crochet more. With the goal of improving, building confidence in these skills and actually finishing a project or two. Also to justify the amount of hand painted yarn I own....

*Get the Sewing Pit of Doom cleaned and organized AND maintain it. I'm currently up to my elbow in this project. I've pulled all 6 million and 42 yards of fabric out of the fabric closet so I can refold, purge and organize it. And by "I" what I mean is *I* bribed a couple teenage girls to haul all 6 million and 42 yards of fabric out of the closet. The shelves where started to collapse so I got some zip ties to reinforce them. This is a huge project that's going to take some time to be completely finished...time I'd rather be using to make more stuff but creating until it's finished.

*Decorate Reggie's bedroom. I need to make some wall art, throw pillows and a quilt.

So those are my goals for 2014 which really means my giant To-List! What are you hoping to accomplish this year?

I'll be back tomorrow to share my spiritual goals for the coming year. See you soon!