Monday, July 24, 2006

little boys

Jack is covered in bumps, bruises and little scrapes.

I've forgotten how little boys manage to get hurt at such a young age...this little dude is into everything! He still only crawls around on his belly, pulling himself with his elbows and pushing off with his feet. Yet he manages to get all over the place like that.

Last week he fell out of the cradle. He stood up and went over the edge. Thankfully he was OK, other than the bruises.

And he is in constant motion. After Emma and Kelli, I am used to the constant conversation. But I'd forgotten how little boys need to move and climb and jump and wiggle...while they learn to talk, while they nurse, while they cuddle!

He's such a sweet boy. And I was really hoping for another boy to be able to enjoy. Trey was such a rude awakening for me as to what a boy was like. Clay seemed to almost get lost in the shuffle of having 3 babies in as many years. I am so thankful to get another chance to enjoy a little boy...even if I am shocked by how he manages to hurt himself!

Monday, July 10, 2006

being a "farmer"

I posted a few weeks ago about joining an organic farm here in CO. It has turned into a great time for our family. The kids love playing outside, chasing kittens, feeding scraps to the cows and chickens, and getting really dirty. D and I have been doing a little work in the fields as well as packing all the "shares" for the non-working members.

It is really an interesting thing, too, how much we are saving at the grocery store. I bought a couple of pieces of meat this week. But we have vegetables coming out of our ears! It is wonderful! My kids are wondering why we have to eat squash yet again, but it keeps appearing in new and unusual ways so I don't know why they are complaining. We've had zucchini bread (2 different recipes), zucchini oatmeal cookies, summer squash Mexican cheese soup, sausage stuffed zucchini boats, summer squash bread and stuff we call "succotash". The last one is actually zucchini, yellow squash, corn, tomatoes and onions cooked with bacon. Great way to use garden leftovers! There are still all kinds of things I want to make with my squash...

Tonight we will have green beans, beets, potatoes and turnips so we will all get a break from the squash. But it will be back on the table tomorrow I'm sure! LOL

So that's enough of the menu updates. I hope to post about our "broken" life later tonight.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

a reason to smile

Jack E's first tooth has emerged!!!

He has those telling little ridges on his gums. D will be feeding him steak soon! LOL

Monday, July 03, 2006

family meals

I am starting to see my grandmother in myself. Not the one who took me to church, but the one who could cook...anything and really well.

When D is home and we sit down to a meal as a family, it is an event. We sit in the dining room...that's the only table we have all been able to fit at for quite some time now. There is a table cloth to protect that table. There is abundant food. There are 8 mouths to feed, there has to be a lot of food! We all talk about our days or what we want to do next. There is rarely any arguing. It is a moment where we can all be together and get along.

Thankfully we don't have very picky eaters at our house, either. My boys especially will just devour what is on the table. It really is a joyful time.

That brings me to my grandmother. We knew she was thinking of us when we sat down to dinner at her house and our favorites were on the table. For celebrations, when there were several of her children and grandchildren around, that meant she could have done a lot of cooking. She loved it. It was her way of showing us she cared for us.

I see that in myself now. I want to make a big meal so that we can all sit down to dinner and have time to really connect with each other. We can talk, we can share, we can plan. Often there is a song from a little one. Yesterday the talk of was about the school bus. Emma has been very anxious about riding the bus in the fall. The three older kids were talking about which of them she could sit with...who will take care of her on the bus. I am just amazed at my kids and their love for each other, but that is another post.

I'm so thankful for those just connect and be together. I love facilitating that for my family.

is it all about me?

The other day at church many of us were sharing out thoughts throughout the message. I started to think about how many of us are either "repenters" or "redeemed".

I know we are all redeemed and should all be trying to turn away from the wrong we do, but it just struck me how we view our relationship to God. Do we think of ourselves as repenting and therefore worthy of God? Because we walk away from the evil and sin we do, we can now approach God? Like it's up to us to go to Him.

Or do we see ourselves as redeemed? He has sought us out in our filth. He picked us up and cleaned us off and because of that we want to stay away from the dirt from now on.

I remember when I was working hard at my repentance and first heard the idea that it all started with God. I think I was a little offended. How could He not need me to get it right before He would take me in? How could God be the originator of my faith? Didn't it have to come from me? Wasn't I the one who chose to seek out God because I was failing miserably on my own?

Or was it something inside of me that knew there was something bigger all along? Not just the God I heard about at my Grandma's church, but the Creator of this world, the God that seeks to redeem what He has created, the God who was the ultimate sacrifice so that all could now be redeemed.

I don't feel like I am a religious scholar. I try to see the spiritual around me. In fact, I am often amazed at how I see God working in my family's life. (Who knew you could feel ultimate love and safety and comfort and peace from a little worn out crocheted blanket?) But I think I am beginning to realize that it isn't about me and the way I try to make myself presentable to God, how I posture myself before Him. Maybe it is all about recognizing that I have been redeemed...that He continues to redeem me...and will continue to seek me out.