Monday, December 29, 2008

::Beloved Trappings::

There are times when I feel I am being stripped of all of my beloved trappings. I can never point back in time to the precise moment it all begins to fall away, I simply wake up and feel bare.
I am living in that place right now.
No pictures. No posts. No paintbrush.
My camera didn't break. My computer is up and running. I haven't been robbed of my art supplies. I have simply been robbed of any desire to put them to use.
I suspect it's God's way of holding my chin in His hands and turning my gaze towards Him.
Stare into my face for awhile and know me.
When the things that keep me playfully distracted are no longer palatable, and I'm twiddling my thumbs and staring up into the sky, it's Him I will ponder. I will ask; now that I see the core of me, it's looking pretty bleak. What do you want me to put on?
Maybe He will show me how to search for Him in the scriptures EVERY DAY. Maybe He will show me how to truly be attentive to my children every time they call. Maybe He will take my breath away with moments of revealed wonders.
But will I be listening?
Lens cap is on. Monitor is dark. Paints are dry.
I am listening.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So, this blog ain't pretty for nothing.
It's pretty because my eyes are happy looking at it. In truth, almost all of the blogs to which I subscribe are beautiful.
You guys out there are not going to appreciate this, but the ladies just might; if you read subscriptions via Google Reader, check this out:
Since you must be there now look up in the top right corner of your screen. See the "Settings" button? Press that. Now look for the "Goodies" button. Now drag that NEXT button up into your Bookmarks Toolbar and start using it!
You click it and the latest blog post pops up on your screen in all of it's true beauty. No more bland white Reader screen.

Friday, December 19, 2008

::Being There::

Twenty little people standing at the front of their classroom. Shifting from foot to foot. One wearing a red Santa hat. Many in red and green. Small hands holding an assortment of musical instruments. Mine is looking a little nervous. I can tell he is fighting an inner compulsion to place his thumb in his mouth. He's looking around. Trying to see through the mess of chairs and parents and siblings and coats. The hope and expectation is etched all over his face, making me desperate to get his attention. I am up on my tiptoes. I am waving. I finally call his name.
And then he sees me.
And his face lights up in a way that makes me grin. He grabs the sleeve of the friend next to him. I see his mouth shape the words, "my mom is here." I keep grinning in an attempt to keep back the tears. Because his adoration for me is so striking and beautiful. And his pleasure at my presence is so transparent. I am his mom. And being there is what I do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

::Merry & Bright::

Christmas prettiness

Friday, December 12, 2008

::Advent Calendars::

I have loved this idea ever since I spotted this *"Hats and Mittens Advent Calendar"* by Garnet Hill in Country Living Magazine. Should I knit myself 25 tiny hats and mitts? Or should I do it like Martha and just string together some cute finds:

*"Baby Sock Advent Calendar."*

All of this is just superfluous cuteness. We already have a lovely advent calendar. But can't we have countdowns all over the house?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

::Monday Twins::

On Mondays, I am the mother of twins.
For about two months now I have been taking Elyssa as my own while her Mom gets a good work day in. And for that one day I get to hug and cuddle, care for and FEED two little ones very close in age. This means twice the fun; twice the challenge. When one cries, the other cries. When one wants up, the other wants up. When one eats, the other must eat. . .
And so the spoon goes in one mouth, then the other.
{And, yes, they seem suspiciously prone to being sick at the same time.}

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

::Been Crafting::

I've been crafting. . .
See what I have been up to *HERE*

Sunday, December 07, 2008

::Wine Tags::

Yesterday we hosted the annual St. Nick's gift exchange at our home. Forty family members milling around, many of whom came with bottles of wine. Having predicted as much I first went and bought a dozen new wine glasses to add to my three. Next, I conscripted the kids to a craft. I cut 15 lengths of silver wire and hooked one end. I dumped a handful of assorted beads onto a plate and the kids strung the ones they liked onto the wire. I looped the last end and forms these beautiful wine tags! Each ended up completely unique, {which is the point}. And they proved to be incredibly helpful last night. On several occasions I had to scan the counter tops until I found my Red & Green tag.

Friday, December 05, 2008

::Christmas Idea Number Eight::

Wallpaper wrapping paper.
::Idea Number Eight::

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

::Getting Festive::

Glass Juice Jar filled with Red and Gold ornaments.
Berry Branches hung with tiny Red & Orange ornaments
Chandelier hung with Gold stars

It begins. . .

Friday, November 28, 2008

::Windows & Doors; Shelves & Lights::

We hung our first curtain: A tablecloth I found in Montreal for $14.00, and am now kicking myself over-- why didn't I buy ten?!

Aidan worked on the linen closet. {Currently holding more presents; less linen.} See the beautiful trim work? He did it all himself. We are going to put a door on the closet eventually, but for now I'm still rejoicing over the shelves.

The lovely reclaimed window I first mentioned *here* has finally been given it's place of honour. It has been fitted up above the firewood storage cubby. We have big plans for that space. The window is a good start. {Pictures to come}.

These carriage house lanterns, meant to be outdoor lights, now adorn our upstairs hallway. They were intended for the garage, but proved to be too small. They completely fit the decor of the house. And they give off such a nice light.

And finally, a bedroom door! It has been a long-standing joke to entice guests over for the night with promises of a door on the bedroom next time. . . Well, we've finally hung one on the boys room--no joke. It only took 15 months. This door, along with two others, came to us via the side of the road. {The same house that offered me *these*}. We should invite those folks over for dinner. They've unwittingly saved us a bundle.

Small changes.

::Christmas Idea::Number 1::

Over at Sweet Paul's delicious blog there will be a daily "Christmas Idea" posting. Since he makes everything look beautiful I am excited to see what he has in store.
::Idea Number 1::

Monday, November 24, 2008

::The many faces of success::

Tomorrow I am off to the fair.
I would ask you all to pray for my heart. Pray that the experience will be a blessing, no matter what form that takes. The hope, of course, is that my *Alphabet Letters* will fly off the shelves. But, still chastened from *last year's experience,* I am very prepared for the possibility of many compliments without many sales.

I have had a lot of fun putting together my display this year. Last year, I did not enjoy the preparation. It was an assembly line of drudgery, and my children were neglected while I rushed to get everything done. This time around, my little ones were tucked in bed before I even picked up my paint brush! Every morning they would awake to see a new set of pretty painted letters added to the display.

I have also learned much about unrealistic expectations. After my one year of crafting, I have become aquainted with the ebbs and flows of demand. I have also learned that marketing is a very powerful tool; one that a mother of four has no hope of harnessing while keeping her family the first priority. And so, I have settled into the slow and easy rhythm of creating at leisure, while accepting the small successes with grace and joy.

Another very specific prayer request: May my display shelf stand firmly. May it not tip over on top of an unsuspecting peruser, possibly eliciting a law suit.

Thanks to all of you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

::Pushed from the Nest::

Like fluttering birds
pushed from the nest.
so are {the children of Congo}

Let the {children} fugitives stay with you;
be their shelter from the destroyer.
The oppressor will come to an end,
and destruction will cease;
the aggressor will vanish from the land.

In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
one from the house of David—
one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.

~Adapted from Isaiah 16:2-5~

::Big Picture::

Thursday, November 20, 2008

::Tiny arms. Big Tears::

Tears streaming down my face I read the last words. "Mommy, what's wrong?" Caelah was peering into eyes, her lips already trembling in empathy. "It's just so beautiful, sweetheart. It's about Jesus."

I was so caught off guard. I hadn't even paused long enough to look at the cover. If I had, I would have noticed that the story was by Oscar Wilde, and the true meaning of the story would have made itself evident to me far sooner. Instead, I read it through purely for my children's little ears. I used my voice as a tool to make it come alive. And then, well, the story made me come alive. That light-filled presence that seems to gust through us suddenly to get our attention again.
Beautiful Jesus.