Friday, November 12, 2010

{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, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early November Daybook

Outside my window... It is cold and crisp and we're waiting on a bit of much needed rain.

I am listening to... Casting Crowns. I'm so not the girl who longs to listen to Christmas Carols all year, but I felt the need to start early this year for some reason. Christmas music it is.

I am wearing... Layers. Lots of layers. Still having furnace wars with friends- you know- who can go the longest without turning the heat on? You're allowed to have the heat on if a baby comes to visit or if it snows. :) Whoever lasts the longest is the winner.

I am thankful for...

The chance to just stay home every day all week long, even though I worked

Ezra's morning cuddling
a few of the most beautiful words I've ever heard "I cleaned my room just for you"
the hard work of my husband

flowers on the table in November

I am thinking... about a friend's words: "We ask God to teach us to be patient or to trust Him but then we get mad when life suddenly gets difficult- isn't it just God giving you opporunities to be patient and trust Him?"

I am reading... The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (almost done!), a few knitting books stcked up on the night stand, and continuing our family read-aloud of Peter Pan.

I am creating... Christmas gifts and Bible study plans in the evening hours, lesson plans in the early morning.

Always learning... We finished up our study of Asia and we started reading about Australia this week.

Around the house... we were finally able to replace some very leaky windows last weekend and the difference in our heating is already tremendous. Now to replace the trim on the doors, re-paint . . .

I am planning... for Advent. I'm very much looking forward to the season.

Towards a growing faith... Brian and I are continuing our reading in the New Testament, still in Matthew. I'm reading more John Piper on my own.

I am praying... for my boys. Always for my boys.

One of my favorite things... desert for breakfast. Mmmmm...

A few plans for the rest of the week... finishing out the week in the studio, working on the house, and hopefully lots of artwork and knitting time this weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In This Place

"Mama, I'm glad you're here."

Sticky fingers wrapped around my neck, and he sniffled as he tucked up against me. He forces his fingers between mine to hold onto me.

Little colds seem to hunt this child down- never serious, but just enough to knock him back a little. His usual "go, go, go!" attitude slows just enough that I can actually catch him and hold him for bits of time here and there throught he day. He still smiles, because this boy always smiles. From the second he wakes up in the early hours to the second he goes to bed, his ear-to-ear grin accompanies him everywhere.

He smiles even while his nose runs, cuddles close and settles in.

My thoughts immediately jump to discontent: wishing I could just be home with my sweet boys all the time, wishing for better work for my husband to make that possible, then it disolves into the kind of detailed discontent I easily find myself stuck in: If I stayed home full time I could cook the way we'd like, homeschool exactly how we'd like, keep the home exactly how we'd like...

Bad habit revealed. I find myself recently with this ugly habit of discontent that I justified for too long as things that were "good" to desire. But the truth is that God has me in this place for a reason, and He doesn't call us to have a heart longing for places we are not in. Our heart is meant to be devoted to His service right here in this place. Finding joy, purpose and grattitude in this place is virtually impossible while longing to be elsewhere.

So re-training begins. Taking thoughts captive, re-focusing on praise and thanksgiving, pealing back the longing words in my mind to get to the heart of the matter: trusting God. Lord, I know what is in my heart. Continue to teach me to trust You in the place I'm in, not where I think I should be.

It's a long process, this thankfulness journey. Sometimes 10 steps back before a tiny toe forward is made, but oh! That toe forward leads to contentment and peace, right here in this place.

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Ann Voskamp invites us to write about giving thanks. You can visit her at A Holy Experience.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Handmade Christmas

I'm still hard at work over here knitting for Christmas.

This scarf has grown quite a bit thank goodness, but I've been a bit stalled for the last week. I was knitting 2-3 of the 16 row repeats every evening and feeling pretty good about that progress until I hit a serious snag on Thursday night. I would knit a lace row and end up off by 1 stitch every time. Fortunately I'm only knitting across 49 stitches so it isn't too bad to rip back, but when you have to repeat the same row 4 times before you can move on that gets REALLY old. I finished only half of a repeat that evening and ever since then I've been knitting on Ender's Christmas sweater.

The lace pattern really is pretty and when it's going well it's a fun and interesting knit. I returned to it last night and made it through 2 repeats without any trouble. Only 9 repeats left before finishing the edging and completing it!

I don't have current pictures of Ender's blue sweater, but I finished the body up to joining the sleeves and I cast the first sleeve on on Monday. I'm currently "ribbing like mad" as Elizabeth Zimmermann puts it in an attempt to keep him in the sweater all winter even if little boy growth spurts attack in the next few months.

Still to work on for Christmas?

:: A pair of slippers for each of the boys (knitting)
:: Ezra's vest (knitting)
:: new pajamas (sewing)
:: drawstring bags (sewing)
:: the prayer shawl for my mom (knitting, and also probably not going to be finished by Christmas, but she knows that)

The current plan is to cast on Ezra's vest as soon as either Ender's sweater or the Kernel scarf are finished and next after that is the slippers.

I have a few days off coming up and I've already blocked time to sew on those days. The sewing is pretty easy so it shouldn't take much time, but now that I've just written those words I'm sure it will take twice as long as I expect. Isn't that always the way?

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Curious Art

Ezra has been interested in shapes for several weeks now, so I've been drawing various shapes for him to cut out or color lately. About 2 weeks ago his shape obsession evolved into something else- he started drawing his own shapes!

It's the next part that is so curious to me though: He draws a circle-ish shape and then very carefully colors over the line he made:

And after about a week of that, he has spent several days drawing shapes and then filling them in with patches of color:

I've never seen a three-year-old do this before! We have never had any kind of conversation about "staying in the lines" or anything even close to that conversation, but he has arrived to his own "fill in the shape completely" conclusion.

He takes this project very seriously and when he starts to work on one of these pieces of art he is completely focused for about 20 minutes. I think I can safely say it's the longest he sits still for any one activity!
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