Monday, September 24, 2012

This is a picture of my mom and dad on my dad's 60th birthday this past January. They were up here visiting on his actual birthday so we took them out to Wise Acres over in Tangletown and then later had chocolate cake together. Thinking of you tonight, Dad. I love you.

Last night, when I was exhausted from a long week and a long weekend, and a terribly long Sunday (which usually feels like a separate part of the weekend what with church morning extravaganza and whatnot), I found myself looking at the prospect of 9 pm (or later) bedtimes for all four kids (Dietrich took a FOUR hour nap! Wha????). And I was teetering on despair. Then I took a short bath (which is weird because I am shower person) -- not a by myself, relaxing bath, a bath with the shower curtain closed and Atticus sitting on the toilet writing a story asking me to spell words. Then I came upstairs and looked around at my kids -- my wonderful, exhausting, delicious, infuriating, brilliant kids. And I felt thankful. Thankful to be needed. Thankful for all the life in my life. Thankful for all the activity/DOING-ness-induced mess in my house. And I sat down on one of the kid chairs around the play table in the living room -- our little (cozy, I say -- not cramped!) living room and suddenly every kids wanted to draw. And wanted me to be there affirming and commenting and oohing and ahhing and hearing stories about the drawings and cooling tempers when something didn't work and getting new paper and.... Two hours, People. TWO hours later I had been given a dream night. And you know what? 1. At 5:30 earlier in the evening I found out that our babysitter and I had miscommunicated with each other and that Brad and I would have to have our date next Sunday night. Bah. 2. I thought right about then that I couldn't make it until 7 pm without escaping off to sew or draw or take another walk. 3. I felt like for about 32 reasons, this was a day that was going to end with me feeling punched in the face. 4. I was wrong.

God gave me a big exhausting jolly surprising holiday right in the middle of my living room. And it didn't happen because I took "time to myself" (though there is nothing wrong with that in itself and Brad has taught me the extreme value of when to walk away for a little bit or why I just might need a couple hours drawing over at MCAD or riding my bike over to write and read for an hour at the coffee shop). But this time, I think the difference was just this rising tide of thankfulness that He has filling in me -- sometimes I don't even feel it in my immediate emotions of the moment -- do you know what I mean? But that thankfulness is there always in the wings -- and it's quicker to seep in now. Even when I am bone-tired and drained from the neediness around me. Especially when I am in that place. It's like I take a step and another ("Do the next thing" Elisabeth Elliott used to write -- meaning when you get confused do the next obedient thing right there in front of you...and God will get you to the right place) and He comes inside the dutiful obedience and fills my hands with joy. Sounds kinda cheesy, maybe? I feel cheesy writing it. But that is what it has been unfolding like. And it is good. And I want to live inside this more. More cultivating the faithfulness while I am "dwelling in the land [of little people-filled mothering]".

Okay, now I have a first grader to pick up from the bus. Hooray and Amen!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Look what Thea Belle built! She's been building blocks so often...I find her by herself quietly, happily making things like this. First she told me this was a animal-feeding machine (but I think that was because Lincoln came in and told her that she should call it that). Later after he left, she told me it was a sewing machine. (Many things built or drawn lately are called sewing machines -- I wonder if it is because my sewing machine is still gone three weeks after it's sad topple from the sewing desk -- still no word from the Viking Repairman -- aarrgh!)

Scary Apple Love

A few weeks ago the boys found a picture of a Halloween Apple Craft where you decorated apples to look like scary monsters using candy and such. They had me put it up on the refrigerator as a dream craft. So last Saturday when our friends Artena and Dana came for dinner it seemed like a perfect night to give it a go! (Artena and Dana are just the sort to not only be sports about such a thing but have fun with it too!) Please forgive the blurriness on so many of the photos -- it is the normal trouble with my camera but usually I try to edit out the many duds -- this time there were too many that showed fun stuff happening so I just let them be!


"Take a picture of mine, Mama!"


"One more, Mama!"

Dana and Atticus Team!

Brad with funky hair -- but a good smile! (Not Brad's sort of craft-activity but he came up with awesome teeth fangs!)



Taking it seriously...


Mmmm...Monster Love!

Mine was seriously evil...I don't know what happened...I just kinda hit upon a nasty formula of demon-ness!

Atticus kept going with his -- adding crazy marshmallow hair...


And another blurry gratuitous photo of Lincoln and Thea Belle...

Thea did this to her apple after watching Atticus...

"See, Mom?!"

An Object at Rest

Does anyone remember Beakman's World? It was a frantic science show from the 90's. I actually never watched it -- I watched Mr. Wizard as reruns from the 1950-70s and occasionally Bill Nye the Science Guy. So I actually did like nerdy science shows but I didn't watch much tv in the 90's because school was pretty intense for me in high school and college. BUT Brad loved Beakman's World. Well, a couple weeks before school started for Atticus I found this show on Netflix. Atticus loved it. So now each school day when he gets of the bus at 2:20 pm we walk home, grab a little snack and I sit on the couch and read my Bible while we watch Beakman's World. It is a good transition for him and it's a good time to "steal" a half hour for some "devotions". It is just like when Atticus was a toddler and loved Sesame Street so much. While Dietrich was taking his morning nap, we would sit together on the couch for his show and I would have devotions. It was a sweet time to be together, to know what he was watching, to have some time with God too. I was sad when that era was over, but now we have this together. And I do love a good science show!

We have done all sorts of experiments from the show...this one Atticus had been planning for a couple weeks -- saving up the toilet paper tubes and reminding us regularly. This one demonstrates the first Newton law, the law of motion: An object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

The Broom

Pulled back to flick the folder out from under the tubes/eggs

Well, two out of four is pretty good -- The kids got the idea and no coffee mugs were broken. So: a success! (In case you couldn't tell what happened: The broom flicked the folder forward disengaging the eggs from the toilet paper tubes, but because nothing was pushing the eggs forward, they dropped straight down into the cups (the only force acting on them being gravity. Neat.)

Friday, September 21, 2012

For Monica

Monica! These are the two Ace & Jig fall collection pieces that I think would be so lovely on you. Right? The entire collection is here.

Matt might prefer you wore a top with this one -- at least when out in public.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Water Lilies and a Handsome Gorilla

A week and a half ago before Dietrich and Lincoln's preschool started, we headed over to the Como Zoo. It was cool and sunny and perfect. The water lily pool was glorious. And our timing was perfect at the ape house -- It was feeding time and every single group of apes was eating next to the windows. The male Gorilla was magnificent and only about 2 feet away from us with the glass between. He was bigger than I even remembered and his face was so expressive and human -- such a beautiful animal. We watched him for a long time. I was delighted that the kids were so interested and absorbed.