Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One thousand gifts: January

"I try to mind-memorize all this wonderful - the faith and the falls and the fully living" Ann Voskamp

A portion from this month's thankful list:

39. Early morning gardening
40. Gifts from afar
41. Lego all over my floor
42. New music on my playlist - Boy and Bear
43. Short fringe on a little lady

44. New sparkly stud in my nose
45. Husband home for a day
46. Finding inspiration to do something spontaneous
47. Ringlets at the nape of my girl's neck
48. Zeb using his whole hand to stuff noodles into his mouth
49. Conflict that reveals my motivations
50. Time that passes and refreshes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

She grows, she grows, she just grows

Last week, Elara made this library bag to take to school. 

(Grade one girls don't need their Mum's help quite so much any more)
She picked the fabric. 
Used the foot pedal.
Guided the fabric through. 
Stopped to take out pins.
Reversed at the beginning and end.
And was so proud of her first sewing project.
Twenty-five years ago, I went to my Grandma's house and  made this pencil case to take to school. 
I imagine that I felt just as grown up, 
just as proud, 
because I have kept it all these years.
Not to be outdone by big sister, India had a go too.
She used the propped up foot pedal and took out the pins.
I guided the fabric and helped her reverse.
(She's not quite as independent, yet, you see)
Oh please stay, I like it that way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A regular mum's home tour

At 4 o'clock on a holiday day, I thought I'd take a wander around my house and document my colourful, creative and chaotic life at home with kids.

...the colour...

...the creative...

...the chaotic...

I love it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A small renovation

I've found that it takes about 3 years for the walls in a house full of kids to be in dire need of a repaint.
So too, a dolls house.
We bought this 3 years ago for $40.
We painted and wallpapered it, and it came up looking sweet
The girls loved it, drew on it, ignored it, loved it again, and pulled the plants out many times.
It needed a renovation.

New wallpaper and some miniature artwork.

 Some bunting just like our house.

 Brand new planter box with flowers.

A coat of paint. White interior and green exterior.

 And some roof tiles. 
I wasn't keen to cut out a ton of squares for the tiles so I used paint swatches and modge podge!

I'm really pleased with it, and the lalaloopsy dolls who call it home, love it too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Summer colour and sewing

A bit of holiday fun,
making bright pillowcase dresses for Elara (who is now a beginner sewer!) and her friend.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Refresh my joy

"Isn't it here? The wonder? Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it? Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be affronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognise grandeur? The very same surging magnificence that cascades over our every day here. Who has time or eyes to notice?" - Ann Voskamp

1. My daughter's thick hair
2. Zeb kissing my saggy belly
3. That I cannot remember off hand my favourite pancake recipe, so every Saturday morning I have to flick through my beautiful 'Apples for Jam' cookbook to find it
4. How India asks for 'lemon and pepper' on her pancakes
5. A fresh washed babe in a bath towel

I have begun a journal of one thousand gifts. 
A recording of the graces God gives.
Yes, those ones that I often overlook, in my desire for a fuller life.
It won't make the holes (the cravings, the memories, the unmet requirements) close over or disappear.
It will allow the holes and turn them into seeing-through-to-God places.  
And I believe that will return some joy to my tired life.

It's Ann Voskamp's thanksgiving project.
You can join or read about it here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Refresh their night time routine

"Can't you just lie in my bed for 2 minutes?"

I'm so tired from the day that I forget how meaningful this time is, to a child. 
It's the saying goodbye time.
Then the alone in my bed time.
And the waiting till 'good morning' time.

While their sleeping bodies are protected by our home and our presence in it, their minds and hearts are open. 
Open to thoughts. Open to worries. Open to loneliness.   

I want to refresh my night time routine with them. 
After dinner we clean teeth.
The girls each choose a book to be read to them on the couch.
Then into beds.
Blankets on.
Cups filled with water.
Kisses and Cuddles.
A prayer.
"I love you"s.
Lights off.

All this is fairly normal on a good night. I want to add two more things: a silent prayer for all, asking for dreams of God's kingdom and plans for their lives; and a silent prayer for each (for Elara: rest, for India: peace, and for Zeb: health).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Refresh my morning routine

Fluffy hair, dry skin and now wrinkles (let's say 'laugh lines')?

Even in my pre-children days I've never been someone who puts much time into their appearance. I guess I have just always had things I preferred to spend my time on. But I knew, at least, that I could look nice if I put in the effort. 
And I occasionally did.

Fast forward ten years and it is much harder to get to that place.
Perhaps I'm out of practice?
Perhaps there are so many 'wonder' products that I'm just overwhelmed?
Perhaps I'm just ten years older and three kids saggier?

My second 'refresh' resolution is to choose some skin/hair products, and to take ten minutes every morning to use them. And since that is about nine minutes more than I currently spend, I'm going to have to plunder that time from somewhere else. 
I may have to leave the dishes till later.
I may have to require that the girls make their own toast.
I may have to arrive at school a few minutes later than usual.

It won't make the wrinkles go away.
But I think I'll feel good and confident when it I have established it as part of my routine.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Refresh my song

The hope of achievement wasn't there at the beginning.

Last year I started my 2011 blog year by sharing my hopes, dreams and goals for the coming year. They were all about embracing things which I wanted to make more important in my life: outdoors; discipline; dinner; crafting for charity; and photos with my kids
At the close of the year I reflected on my success. 
And I started to stress. 
Did I achieve them? 
Did I do enough?
Did I absolutely reach all my goals?  

But then I remembered. 
These were just things to set my eyes to.
To look to.
To look forward to.
To focus a small amount of time on and enjoy in the rhythm of life.

Because simply trying harder only results in tiredness and bitterness for me.

Which brings me to this year, 2012.
I want to refresh some tired aspects of my life.
First on my list: time to sing some new songs, literally!
It's been a long time since I invested in new music, and my ipod selection is old and uninspiring. So each month, I'd like to discover a new artist or buy a new cd.
Please I'd love some suggestions!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Singing a sweet song 2012

Woke up this morning, smiled at the rising sun
Three little birds by my doorstep
Singing a sweet song, a melody pure and true
Singing, this is my message to you:

Singing, don't worry 'bout a thing
'Cause every little thing is gonna be alright
Singing, don't worry about a thing
'Cause every little thing is gonna be alright

(Lyrics by Elizabeth Mitchell, and originally Bob Marley)
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