What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, May 02, 2016

4 Months : May 2







The faces just get better and better these days.

Ineke weighs in at 17 pounds, just four pounds shy of her 19 month old cousin.  She looks an awful lot like the baby grinch, but in the most adorable way.

At around 7:30/8:00 every night she gets fussy so I get her all cozy for bed and I start nursing her.  She lingers a bit and I let her.  I wrap her snug in her blanket, tight but with atleast one arm out; her Papa gives her a kiss and a whispered bedtime wish.  His beard tickles her and her eyes and nose twitch.  She wakes up again.  I take her over to her cradle and give her my own sweet-nothing whispers and kiss her chubby little cheek- and she gives me the sweetest, brightest, most joyful grin  in return and then she lays down and eventually falls back to sleep.  In the beginning, I was always so afraid that when she woke back up that she would fuss and need to be rocked to sleep but it never happened.  Her cradle is in the living room and even in the midst of living room noises, she sleeps.  We had a game night last night in which there were 8 children and 6 adults downstairs goofing around and still, she just laid there quietly, in the midst of the noise and chaos, until she finally fell asleep.  She is an extraordinary child.  

Since her head is bigger, her hair looks smaller and she is getting more bald.  And the darkness of her newborn hair is turning lighter.  Her eyes (so far) remain blue, but not a light, bright blue like I think of blue eyes but more the dark blue of stormy seas, churning and engulfing before the lightening strikes.

She loves sucking her lower lip and has just the sweetest voice when she talks.  I need to videotape it~ I don't ever want to forget that sound.

She is almost sitting up by herself already and she has entered the phase of the horrible, awful neck ligament pinches that do.not.end until you pry those little finger vices open again.  Ouch.  She has started playing with toys and laughing at her siblings' antics- and she doesn't cry as often when Judah kisses her.  

She still loves being held in close with my Moby wrap although after a while, my back doesn't love it. 

Four months old.  Oh, it's so great. 



The Month of May : May 1


I fully intend to *try* to post every day in May though, since today is technically May 2nd, I'd say I haven't started off too well. ;-)

 I can rarely be found on the computer on the weekends which may make blogging hard so blogging on the weekends may not happen.  Or maybe I will schedule posts?  Or maybe I will double up on days to make sure a post happens FOR every day but not ON every day?  Really, how serious do I want to be about this blogging in May bit?  That has yet to be decided.  However, for this month at least, I can assure you I will be blogging more than the previous practice of once every week or two. Anything is an improvement on that!

I also have quite a few other goals for this month.  Here they all are, out of my head and onto a screen for others to know.  That ups the ante a bit.  See Mattie?  Totally serious this time.  ;-)

~ Kettlebells/Exercise Monday thru Friday and a walk/jog once within the weekend

~ low carb eating all month for me and the Mister

~ NO gas station stops or fast food, not even for drinks  (on shopping days we are uptown for hours and though I pack lunches for the children, we always inevitably wind up parched and heading to a drive-through for tea (me) and waters (children).  And fries have been happening more than I care to admit too.

~ create a meal plan for every day of the month to make supper happen more smoothly and the low-carb eating to actually happen.

~ Are you sensing the fact that I need to  lose some weight?  yeah.  Thought so.

~ Blog daily

~ Photo document the days more creatively.  I've become a quick snapper and lost my artistic eye.

~ Write a letter (or two) on Sundays

Also to-do this month:

~ paint puppet theater
~ paint rocking chair?
~ make baby gift
~ sew some sunbonnets
~ garden work, Oh, the garden work.
~ sort/price books for upcoming homeschool book sale
~ Paint bunkbeds
~ help Matt stain/poly boards for boys' room
~ drop off clothes to sell on consignment
~ finish my stained glass project
~ keep scouting around for cheap canning jar pantry, daybed and rocking chair on Craigslist/yardsale
~ design/plan summer dresses for girls, gather supplies
~ sew a shirt for myself that flatters and is easy to nurse in

There.  That should keep me out of trouble!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The End of April























 








We had a wedding to go to this past weekend and it was located several hours south of us, making the trip a sort of spring-opener for us.  Leaving the gnarled fingers of our own bare-branched trees and slowly reviving grasses behind and winding up where flowering trees were all gussied up and glorious was pretty amazing.  The drive home, pinks and greens turning back to brown and crusty was less so.   The wheat was already knee high in places and there was a mustard field just outside of the church where a family kindly took our picture.  Oh, the bright yellow of that field can't help but make a girl cheerful.

I do have a few little things here and there popping up, now that I took some time to clear the flower circle out of winter debri and dead leaves.  I even spied the true heralder of spring- asparagus!  Unfortunately, every one of my garden beds is entirely covered in dandelions and grasses so I have some serious work cut out for me to prepare beds.  This is what happens when you are lazy in the fall, great with child be darned.  The dandelions are not dandy to me this year, but depressing.  There are more in the garden than in the whole yard!  And the strawberry patch I believe is going to have to be entirely redone.  There is so much to do outside to prepare for the growing season.  It is slightly overwhelming.   But it will all work out in the end.  (I repeat in my head, over and over...)

Speaking of trees, ever since the last one, these cutting boards have been my go-to couple gift.  I gave one as a wedding gift this weekend and one as a Christmas gift to Matt's brother at Christmas.  The latter one being extra special because Matt actually made the cuttingboard instead of me just drawing on a storebought one.  Isn't it beautiful?  I like the concept a lot but I do admit that my trees need some serious work.  I need to study the composition of trees more thoroughly to make my tree sketches less wonky, the branches less stubby and the trunk more natural.  Perhaps allotting myself more than a hasty 15 minutes to sketch and burn the design into the wood before having to wrap it up would help with that too. But will that actually happen?  Doubt it.

April is about over and May is fast approaching.  May is one of my favorite months of the year.  Maybe because it is my birthday month or maybe because it is when the lilacs begin to pop or maybe it is just because I come out of hibernation, stretching and yawning into the bright warm sun.  Whatever the reason, I am eager for May to make way.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Mending Pile




The grass is officially green.  And though the night temperatures still get below freezing, I know that spring is now officially upon us.  I am very much aware that the supposedly 'slow' season of winter, the one in which I have a bit more time to do little creative bits I don't have time for in other seasons, is fading and we are fast approaching 'busy season' with its' frolicking and gardening and swimming and berry picking and canning and weeding.

 I don't feel like I ever actually enjoyed any of the slowness that is supposed to accompany winter.  Where did it go?  Was it because of a certain baby girl?  Was it because the winter was so mild that I never felt huddled up and hibernating?

So in these last slow days of spring, I have been trying to eek out little moments to do some of the winter things I enjoy doing.  Mostly sewing....



I had a whim to make a dress for Ineke like this one to match her cousin.  Of course, because it was a whim, I didn't bother to look at the instructions/print the pattern and it turned out to be a shirt, not a dress and with armholes that were too tight.  FAIL.  She wore it once.  (But looked pretty darn cute doing it!)



Then, Matt's work jeans got another tear and needed mending.  They are his Frankenjeans because, even though he has other pants he could replace them with, he just won't give the darn things up.  It's bad.



Since I was mending...

I started mending other things that have been waiting for too long to be repaired...


... including undies. 


 Not to be too personal here but... have you ever thought about repairing undies instead of tossing them?  When I stretched out the elastic on all mine at 9 months pregnant, I thought I would have to toss them and start fresh.  Then I looked at just how expensive underwear is.  WHAT?!!  Yeah.  No.

I replaced the well stretched (and holey)  lace with elastic for pennies on the dollar.   Probably everyone has thought of this before and I am the last one to arrive at the party- this was one of those 'duh' moments for me and I am glad I finally had it.



At the bottom of the mending drawer I found a quilt that I started oh.....when I was pregnant with Adele.  ADELE the seven year old.  Yeah.  It was done entirely except for the binding.  Binding a baby quilt apparently takes 7 years.



I do love the fabric though...even if seven years later some of the colors have run.

I made a simple drawstring bag to store fort-building supplies that have been shoved inside a nasty old cardboard box.  Yes, I know that drawstring bags take only minutes and aren't that serious of sewing projects...



...but those few minutes were hard to etch out so it totally counts as something to be proud of.  Besides, I had been wanting to do that for over a month.  So I feel very accomplished with that little drawstring bag.


I also discovered a skirt that I have been saving (for, ahem, years).  It was one of those wildly inappropriate mini-super-short PINK skirts that  look more for a sleazy cheerleader than an adult.  It was given to us.  I thought about trying to sell it on consignment to the local sleazy teenager store and then thought something like "I like the fabric.  Maybe I could do something with it?  And besides, wouldn't I be perpetuating the sleaze by offering it for sale to the cesspool of scantily-clad self-depreciating teen girls out there?"  (or something of that nature.)

this is it, inside out.
So instead of doing that, I decided to redeem the fabric into a wholesome and sweet little Ineke ensemble.



See?  Wholesome.


Sweet. 





A Perk for the Work



When one goes about bringing children into this world you can expect a lot of things- but one thing I never anticipated was the amount of things UNEXPECTED.

Children add so much humor and fun to life.  

Like when they walk through the door, talking casually as usual but with hair flipped over in a backwards ponytail and some reading glasses and you turn around from what you are doing, take a double/triple take and then just bust a gut.

Or when you discover in the midst of entertaining company that, even after the frantic 'get the house in order for company flurry', there is a measuring spoon taped to the doorpost.  

Why is a measuring spoon taped to the doorpost?   One doesn't ask those sorts of questions.  



I have erased from my memory so many of those wonderful things that pop out of childrens' mouths because I have intended to write them down but never did.  Here are two that are fresh enough for me to still remember:
~~~~~~

Me:  doling out a handful of those hard, crunchy Cheetos to the children.  A rare treat.

Judah, ever curious about what he is eating: "Mama.  Are these tiger bones we are eating?"

~~~~~~~

I am working with the children on memorizing the books of the Bible.  Thanks to this cd (song #12), we've got the New Testament downpat.  We were working on the Old testament a while ago and it was Adele's turn to recite.  Genesis.  Exodus.  Leviticus.  Letters.  

(Guess she got her letters and numbers mixed up.)

Children make life so much more fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yarn Along





I made a sweet little pinafore for Ineke a month or so ago.  When I first made it, the dress looked so tiny and sweet.  Then I blocked it.  It got so much bigger!  I was worried at first but it has turned out to be a very good thing indeed~ this girl is growing too fast!

My current project is an offshoot of a $60.00 pillow I saw on a certain bridal registry.  It isn't the exact same pattern but I am hoping that soft, bulky and textured ivory meets pillowform will be close enough for her liking minus the pricetag.  ;-)

As for reading~ I have little stations.  If I am nursing on the couch I am reading Loving the Little Years.  If I am in bed, it's The Narnia Code.  And if I am in the middle of a cleaning project (and by the looks of the house that hasn't happened in a while!), I am listening to A Tale of Two Cities on audiobook.

You yarnies out there- still going strong or are things starting to wane now that the weather is turning spring-like?