Thursday, October 30, 2008

peekaboo

Greta is teething pretty hard today and so has had a few more sad moments than usual. Do you see the little tear on her cheek? Sweetie heart. I was trying to snuggle away her woes on the couch, and she found the curtain that hangs behind. That was the end of the sad moment. Curtains are so fun to play with. Expecially if you like peekaboo.

Where's Greta? Where did she go?


Peekaboo! There she is!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In Miniature

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Holiday preparations have begun ...
... at least in Minnie's shop. :)

(Minnie was at home having tea while I took some snapshots of her cozy place.)

I've loved miniatures for as long as I can remember.
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The crystally things in the bowl on the mantel are ornaments for her tree.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Favorites in Brown

My dearest two people. Caleb was teaching Greta all the tricks of running his truck. She loves that steering wheel. :)
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The little brown coat on Greta has been my project of the last several days. I am very pleased with how it turned out. There is a matching hat and a pair of mittens too that aren't quite finished. I saved the buttonholes for Olivia, and she did them today after piano lessons. (I don't love buttonholes.) :)

impromptu

Have you ever gotten to the end of a french braid and realized that it's been much too long since your last trim, and really something must be done about those long wispy ends? This afternoon found me in just such a predicament. I wanted to look fairly decent and respectable this evening, but the end of that braid was looking anything but respectable. I don't own a curling iron or hair dryer, much less a set of curlers, so "the old lemon commenced to throb fiercely", and the end result was a dash to my little collection of vintage spools of cotton thread. They were the perfect size. They worked like a dream. Yes, indeed, I went around the whole afternoon with spools tied to the ends of my braids. They worked very nicely, I think.
Simmering on my stove this morning~
Pork chops with apples, onions and lemon thyme, all of which have been browned to carmely loveliness before adding water.
It smells SO good.
The rewards of actually starting dinner on time so we can have something decent are really worth it.

Mashed potatoes are definitely in order.
~*~

Monday, October 27, 2008

Morning time

These early morning times of contented playing before her breakfast are some of my very favorites. Probably the majority of little videos that I'll have of her will be from these times. :) Still in jammies, but with a dry diaper, and toys to get out of her basket and play with again. She talks and smiles--so precious.

video




Breakfast time!
Can you believe a face can be that cute?

Sunday, October 26, 2008



We got our first snow of the season today. Usually it's easy to miss the first snowfall, but not today. The wind is gusting strong from the northwest, and we've had little mini-blizzards all day. On our way to church this morning we could see the flakes falling and blowing across the road almost horizontally.

It is a particularly good afternoon for tea. Earl Grey. Hot. We had some with our late-ish dinner. I am so thankful for my warm home.

Caleb's grandma went home to be with the Lord this past week. It was a bit of a surprise to us, but she was ready. I am glad that I was able to know her for a couple of years. Burying loved ones makes one think about life. It's so short--fleeting, fragile. Eternity is so very long in comparison to our few short years. We aren't guaranteed a tomorrow even.

This afternoon I am thankful for Hope. For hope that gives meaning, purpose, sparkle to the silverware in my dishwater. For hope that gives a warm dinner with my little family happiness. For hope that I pray will forever be causing my heart to overflow with praise to My Father for His grace. For hope that I want to get out of my own self for the sake of, and give to other weary, wandering, lost souls in this vapor of life. For hope based on the only thing that is firm and true.

'The Son of God is not a vapor. He is solid reality, with no beginning and no ending. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday and today and forever. He looked His disciples in the eye and said without irony or exaggeration, "Before Abraham was, I am."
But what about us? Once we were not, and now we exist? With the conception of all five of our children, that stunned me. Suddenly my wife is pregnant. A human has come into being. For how long? Forever. Either in heaven or in hell. There is no going out of existence. For that would not be joy for those who love God nor punishment for those who don't.
You exist forever. There is no use protesting that you did not ask to exist and would not like to. That is not an option. You and God are both in the universe to stay--either as friends on His terms, or as enemies.
Which it will be is proven in this life. And this life is a vapor. Two seconds, and we will be gone--to heaven or to hell. "As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone" (Psalm 103:15-16).
Jesus Christ came into this world--this fleeting, fallen, fickle world--and did the greatest thing that will ever be done. As the perfect Son of God, he died in our place, absorbed the wrath of God, paid the penalty for sin, provided the righteousness of the law, and rose invincible from the dead--all in a vapor's life of thirty-three years.
Because of that, we have something firm to grasp. "Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:7-8).'


(John Piper from Life as a Vapor, "A Word to the Reader")

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hungry Planet

Another book from my library stack: Hungry Planet. By Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio. It has been a real favorite for a while now. I was introduced to it in the usual way that I find my favorite books--Mama bringing it home from the library. We've really enjoyed an earlier book by these same people, Material World, but enjoy this one even more. This time around I am reading it straight through from the beginning, reading every word and drinking in the pictures of these different families. It gives perspective to see what life is like for people in other places. To see the facets of culture and tradition, to see the pattern of life and work and the family table, to see the glaring contrast between the little that some live on and the excess that others of us think we need. I hope and pray that I will live my days so very thankful to God for what I have.


Rice Bowls

rainy morning



This load of diapers got caught in the rain yesterday before they were all the way dry, and it doesn't look like they'll be getting dry today either. :) I suppose I'll have to go rescue them so they can be put in the dryer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

afternoon tea


With Mama and Livi and Ben after piano lessons ~'::
Chatting, sipping, snuggling Greta, enjoying my library books :)
~
I am loving my new teapot and cups that my man got for me when we went shopping last!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Treasures

Favorite Picture Books
from this week's library stack
by Harriet Ziefert
illustrated by Anita Lobel
I've been wanting to check this one out for a while. I remember it being in the stacks of books that Mama would check out from the library for us. It's a beautiful picture of one mommie's resourcefulness in taking care of her little girlie, all the while providing wonderful experiences as Anna watches her coat being made--from a sheep's fleece to the tailor's shop. I love studying the pictures in children's books like this. The illustrator tells so much of the story.
by Rebecca Bond
This is a story about a little boy who lives with his artistic multi-generational family in an apartment in the big city. As he watches his family in their different lines of work that they love, he discovers his very own talents.
Again, I get lost in the colorful illustrations. There is so much inspiration to be had in children's picture books for creating a warm, happy, learning-filled, safe home for a child.
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Linnea's Almanac
by Christina Bjork
illustrated by Lena Anderson
Linnea has been my friend ever since I was little and Mama and Daddy bought me my very own copy of Linnea's Windowsill Garden (which was very inspiring to me). In this Linnea book, she takes you through the months of the year and gives wonderful ideas for nature projects that are easy to do (even in the city!) I like to look at this book to get my imagination going about nature projects a person can do in the house in the winter (and that Greta and I will do together in the future!), and it makes me want to take good care of the plants under my kitchen window. Hhhmm... I might even need to plant some cress this winter in the shallow pottery dish that I use as a bird bath in summer. :) Mostly I like it because of good memories of pouring over my copy of Linnea's Windowsill Garden. I learned a lot of helpful things from that book.

Snow Company
by Marc Harshman
illustrated by Leslie W. Bowman
This is definitely cozy picture book material here. A snowstorm is coming to town. Mom is making chili and the boys are doing their chores and drinking cocoa. The snow gets bad, and stranded travelers stay for supper and swap winter stories.
I was wishing for this one the other morning, sitting next to the warm wood stove with Greta and wanting to read her a story. So I went online and ordered it through inter-library loan. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Before Frost

The weather prediction for my town said 32 degrees for Wednesday night. We have been having a pleasantly warm autumn, and this would be our first frost.
I have been letting my herbs and peppers soak up the last bits of sunshine and rain, and now it’s time to bring them indoors. Usually we let the peppers die off over the winter, but the habaneros are just now beginning to flourish and have so many lovely little green peppers hanging from their branches that I couldn’t bear to see a frost hit them. I went out with pots and a shovel Tuesday evening after Greta was asleep and dug up my beautiful thyme and oregano and sage plants to add to my kitchen greenery. They’ve grown so beautifully since I got them! Greta and I rescued three of the best-looking habanero plants before dinner and put them into pots. The rest of the beets had to be pulled, and the tomato plants checked for any last ripe ones. There were a couple of tomatoes with a blush of red, so I picked them. Hopefully they’ll ripen a bit more on a windowsill. If I were Ma Ingalls I would pick all the green ones too and make something delicious out of them, but I’m not and perhaps that can wait for another year! Now there is sage hanging in bunches from a line in the downstairs bedroom to dry, and the dehydrator is full of more cayenne peppers to dry. The house smells sweet and spicy because of the drying peppers. It’s a lovely feeling, being snug in the house with a fire in the stove, chill winds outside, and cheerful green reminders of summer in the corners. (Ha. I even stuck a pail of sage and thyme in my bathroom. Now my bathroom is not what you could consider roomy, but it improves the whole teeth-brushing experience a great deal to be tripping over some happy herbs. In my opinion at any rate. My Handsome Dude is probably rolling his eyes.)

Early Morning Snuggles

Yummy. Yummy. Yummy. How in the world am I supposed to get anything done around here when there is face like that to look at and kiss and little warm squishiness to snuggle?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I had a nestingish sort of Monday. There was a good deal of dust to be gotten rid of and tired corners to be rearranged. I moved my plants so that they could sit in the one place where they can get all the good light they need and that I see often enough to notice when they get dry. :) That same window in my kitchen got a spot of color, too, from these butterflies that I taped up. I love the beauty of stained glass, and someday would love to have some bits hanging in my windows, but for now these Dover coloring book pages will work very nicely. I do like a bit of coloring with crayons! There is more housework to be done (as always!) but these corners are giving me the energy to do the rest. :)







Greta was waiting for Mommie and Daddy to take her for a ride in her wagon. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Kitchen Helper

video

Visiting Mimi & Pa

The bluffs by our river are at the height of their fall beauty this week. Sumac is brilliant red. A red you can’t even describe. Red with such depth and light that you can’t make up your mind whether there’s more orange in it or pink. The maples are at that point where finally the whole tree has turned color and stands there ablaze in bright orange with a firey red blush; in a few more days the leaves will fall in showers and leave the trees bare. Other trees send down golden rain. A few remain green. It takes your breath away to drive through. Up and over the hill, winding down through a canopy of color, then across the river valley in gold, up the other side, brilliant sumac, then it’s gone. You drive on through rustling fields of ripening corn and dry brown fields of soybeans to harvest, but you don’t forget the exhilaration of that color.
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I got to drive through that beauty on Monday on my way to my parents’ farm. My man had to leave town for a few days for a business trip, so, instead of staying by ourselves, Greta and I packed up some of our things and went to visit Mimi and Pa. It was a wonderful week to go. Their cottage in the hollow was the most warm and cozy place to be on the best of autumn weeks. We listened to new-found jazz favorites while cooking, making applesauce, doing projects. I drank in the warm autumn abundance of vines and herbs, maturing plants bringing forth their treasure of seedpods and fruit, marigolds and runner beans, bright helichrysum drying on their stems and gaillardia’s last blossoming. My siblings and I went on a search in the grove to find mosses and small plants to make a terrarium for Mama. They led me to places where the Virginia Creeper grew most abundantly so that we could pull some down and create bramble-beauty for the house with it. Dinnertime saw us starting a new book together, Leave it to Psmith, with us taking turns reading it aloud. There was a good deal of laughter reading that. Greta always had plenty of someones to rescue her when she got stuck in a corner or to snuggle her after a nap. A blessing the week was to be sure.
I did miss my man though, and am very glad to have him home. I believe we will be winterizing around our own cozy space this weekend. It will be getting cold soon.
Ah, I think I hear someone waking up from her nap now. I’m going to go smooch her…

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Monday, October 6, 2008

I just finished listening to a most Wonderful panel discussion from last weekend's Desiring God conference. The discussion was with John Piper, Paul David Tripp, Bob Kauflin and Dan Taylor.

Watch the Panel Discussion - Piper, Tripp, Kauflin, and Taylor

I highly recommend taking the time to really listen to the whole thing. They packed so much wonderful truth into a short time. The topics covered included:

:: Saving Grace
:: Worship
:: Self-forgetfulness
:: Imagination
:: Artistry
:: How to Encourage

Sunday, October 5, 2008

no nappy-time today


It is the perfect afternoon for a nap. It has been raining off and on today, but there is still some rustle to the leaves when the wind blows, and the temperature is cool. After the fellowship meal at church this afternoon we came home, and I was definitely hoping for a little snuggle and snooze time with Greta before doing a few evening things in anticipation of Monday beginning.
Does it look like she's snuggling and sleeping here? I guess maybe it's exploring time now. Or something. Alrighty then...