Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! We certainly had a relaxing and renewing weekend at home. We were blessed with time off for Daddy Oak, an inspiring experience at Christmas Eve service, so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts (and lessons learned from them), and lots and lots of food! Jeremy surprised me with an Ipod Touch! I've been spending the majority of my free time getting my hands on nearly every GLEE song ever produced and snapping lots of shots with the Hipstamatic app. For someone who has been known to claim nearly complete computer ignorance. . . I am in technological bliss. And I'm pretty certain that I've become a life long Apple customer due to amazing customer service and for the ease of which I (yes, ME!) can program the device and navigate the programs. In love I tell you. IN. LOVE!
Onto other business. . . .
I'm going to sum up the past TV free week with a few words: barbies, superheroes, family, 109837590129740 songs sung, awe at His Glory, new swords! foam ones! thanks Daddy!, bird watching and um. . . superheroes and barbies. Yep, that's our week!
The kids each received a few books that have been in constant rotation.
Being the logical, no nonsense type of gal that she is, Willow was gifted none other than an encyclopedia and a wildlife book along with an extention of her beloved Ranger Rick magazine subscription.
- the Usborne Internet-linked Children's Encyclopedia
- It Stinks to be Extinct by John Lithgow Palooza readers
On the other hand, Cedar was given this. He's a guy of little words . . . until you open up this book. He was saying words we'd never heard come out of his mouth! He loves it and is engrossed in its pages often.
Each year Daddy Oak and I each get the kids a gift. This year he purchased them the swords and I gave them this book along with some binoculars. Despite his jesting that looking at what we're giving the kids shows who's the 'cooler' parent, the kids genuinely do love this book. We spent the better part of yesterday afternoon outside feeding and watering birds (who are missing and who we hope find our bribes), laying in the snow listening for calls and becoming giddy with excitement when Willow spotted the one and only bird of the afternoon with the specs.
I'm trying to come up with some more activities to do outside for the coming week. I think we'll do the iced stained glass craft again. It was a hit last year. Willow thinks we need to make many of them to share with our neighbors. What a great idea!
I also want to make peanut butter pinecones, some popcorn and cranberries on string and a few other treats for the birdies to hang on our tree while it waits for the recycling truck. I was inspired by this post by Ginny at Small Things. Her blog always inspired my heart and strengthens my desire to be a calm, loving, and present mother.
I'm itching to make some ice sculptures. I'm pretty certain that Cedar will be enamored with this idea. Maybe it will turn his distaste for winter around :D
We're also bustling around cleaning, making room for new play things and carving out a space in the basement for a play corner that will include a swing and other fun things such as an indoor trampoline.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Two years. She was the most influential person in my life. I went through denial; for quite a while. I avoided anything about her. Her pictures. Her grave. My family. Memories. Then I pushed away anger, swallowed bitterness; I slowly opened myself up to using things that used to be hers trying not to think that they shouldn't be in my house. And now I'm finally working on acceptance. Wondering when the day will come that I'm not wondering if she heard our favorite polka on Sunday morning, or when writing out cards or invitations when will I stop addressing one for her. It will come. Peace will come. Some day; some day understanding will come.
Until then, I'll smile when Willow talks about Polka Gramma. My heart will both bubble over with joy and sink with lament when I hear a song we both loved. Tomorrow, when I take WIllow to her first band concert, I'll tell her about the woman who put the passion in me, the one who supported me, the one who would drive in a blizzard to see me play.
She is the reason I am me. And I'll never forget that or push it away.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The past week has been a joy and a challenge, but mostly a joy.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Well, gotta go on a hunt for more time to make these to 'deck our halls'! What are you 'decking' yours with?
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A few more handmade Hanukkah decorations. We spent the afternoon listening to a rocking Pandora Hanukkah station gluing strips of blue and yellow paper together to make this:
Willow and I enjoy this tale every winter. She loves the character of Jack Frost and immitates skiing along a snowy moor over and over after we put it down. It's a classic. Get it. Read it. Love it.
We also LOVE OLIVIA helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer.We are all thoroughly enjoying this new pick from a recent trip to the library. I've harbored a secret love of Olivia for a while but munchkin and monster are just jumping on the band wagon. Even Daddy Oak cracks everyone up when he does an impression of Olivia singing
Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal
Another fun read that we've had since Willow was a toddler that Cedar is now enjoying. It's a tale about a little pea and his parents. He has to eat candy for dinner every night, "candy, candy, candy!". He scarfs down his candy counting along the way until he gets to his dessert. Everyone will be yelling "spinach!!!".
Well, off to snuggle on the couch with an old afghan, some peppermint coffee (hot cocoa for the munchkins) and another wonderful book, Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren, another of our very favorite authors. Maybe I'll share more about that another time!
A year and a half and another child screaming "Dora" and chasing after a girl with short hair later, I was officially done. Granted, they still didn't sit in front of it all day and we didn't have cable, but I was looking around at my children, children who God created with amazing imaginations sitting around staring at a blue flashing screen. I couldn't help but feel responsible. Of course I was responsible. I am supposed to be the steward of these children at home while they are here with me on Earth and I was not doing them any service by allowing Dora to babysit them so I could read a few blog posts or knit a few rows.
I cannot stand TV as background noise. Sensoraly (is that even a word?) for me I can't think when it's on. I hate what it turns my children into. I hate that it becomes an easy out so that I can have a minute for myself. Shouldn't I lean on Jesus, not the Super Hero Squad?
Daddy Oak and I talked. We agreed it was best. So the first Sunday of Advent I hauled it to the basement with Willow literally holding onto my feet and Cedar pulling on my shirt. It's gone. For good. I listed it on Craigslist.
Three days later and they are back to showing me pictures they took on their digital camera (a wooden block) and defeating monsters in the mirror. They haven't asked for it once! And I am happy.
(and so are they)
I bring all of this up for a point. I promise! From now on on Tuesdays I will be posting what we have done in the past week without the need of a TV, share some ideas for what I have planned for the following week and will share some general thoughts on how I feel we are doing since going back to TV free. Feel free to join in and share your thoughts and ideas, links, and even gripes!
Have a happy day!
Monday, November 22, 2010
*gotta love a farm girl dancing with a goat!*
Oh Garth Brooks, you used to light up my heart like the combined flames of a campground full of fires. *rolling eyes and laughing* I did love that song though. . . on to the real reason for today's post:
Dancing. I love to dance. Willow LIVES to dance. Daddy Oak doesn't dance. And Cedar, well, he dances like a superhero. Rock it little man. Rock it.
I am currently near obsession with the idea of organizing a flash mob. Watching Modern Family's last episode didn't help any. In college before I even knew what a flash mob was, a few friends and I thought it would be awesome to walk in front of Warriner Mall, drop our back packs and start singing and dancing. How awesome would that be?
I've been thinking about dancing as a metaphorical term lately. The seasons and how they dance, trees swaying in the wind, the balance of relationships, the limbo between being eco-friendly one day and wanting to eat a cheeseburger from Mickey D's the next.
According to the dictionary "to dance" is to 'move rhythmically'. Rhythm is key. The breathing in and breathing out of a day, the ups and downs of life's adventures. Two other def. were also offered:
-To perform- isn't that true? some days I feel like all I'm doing is performing for someone else.
-To skip or leap as in joy - oh how I loved this one! Psalm 149:3 says, "Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp".
I want to set my life to a Godly rhythm, the only one I want to perform for is Him, and joy, oh joy! I have it all in Him. I want to embrace the up and downs of life, being swayed by the winds of life, all of it by dancing! So get up! Make a joyful noise! and DANCE!
I LOVE this. LOVE it.
I also want to share an awesome blog I've found. I love what she's doing and wish my excitement about it would spread like wildfire to the rest of the family.
Friday, November 19, 2010
No more! I declared. No more will I open my heart to have it so viciously (showing just a *little* of my flair for the dramatic here) ripped out. So I rolled a stone in front of it and became a cynic of friendship for over a year and a half. Done. Done I say!
But as we all know God is so funny. Ha. Ha. and here I am again. But not. My heart has recovered and through His Grace has found a new stance on friendship. I will never find The One. Because He was there all along. I was desparately searching and begging for something that only He can provide. He humored me. Loved me and brought me through the pit of despair I put myself in due to my impossible standards and state of oblivion. He is my One. He is the only one that will probably care about what I'm doing fifty years from now. He is the only one who will never shy away from my ugly stuff. He knows my ugly stuff. He LOVES my ugly stuff.
And you know what. . . through this realization He has also put many amazing people in my life. So today after an encounter yesterday with someone who two years ago I would have proclaimed as "The One", and after a night out with two friends who I will probably still be staying up late talking into the wee hours when we are in our 60's, and an instance of realizing the love of a mentor who has come into my life right at the right time: I know that I have Him and I am thankful for His love for me and His perect timing. And above all I know that He is My One. My One.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
- I cannot get over how moved I am by this piece.
- I have been drooling over their work for some time. I LOVE everything in their portfolio. Wouldn't one of the kids look great in my living room ;D
- This is on my current to-make-for-Christmas llist. EEEK!! Only 41 more days!
- Reminds me of a certain someone. If I ever do learn how to play the piano, this is the first song I want to learn to play.
-Thanks to Dana all I can think about is pumpkin pancakes! With lemon cream!
-And this is for my sister. I spent way too much time online this morning looking for a video from this. Fun flashback :D
Have a happy weekend! I get to enjoy it with Daddy Oak who was granted a three day weekend thanks to St. Anter's Day. Whoo hoo!!!
She lifted her hands up shouting for joy over going to the "smell good store" (candle shoppe). I bent down to secure Cedar in the stroller. When I looked back up I saw it coming and began to shout a shout that all at once embodied the roar of a bear and the scream of a baby. He braked. She ran to me. I cried. Cedar was still asleep.
Time is measurable. They say. But those split seconds seem to last forever in my memory maybe because I came 'this close' to losing her 'that fast'.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I haven't written here for a while. . . ok. . . a looong while. This hiatis was the result of a personal blogging crisis. Don't be alarmed, no straight-jackets were involved. But I did find myself wanting to be who I am not. And that is not something the real me who was lost in the blogging thought craziness is ok with. I found myself wanting to fit in some niche of the blogging world. Montessori. Not really. Waldorf. . . um. . . not quite (my kids do love their Dora). Ok, well then I'm a Waldorf and Montessori inspired wannabe unschooling mom who likes to craft. Actually pretty true, but is that all I want to blog about?. A frugal family trying to live a self sustained life (picturing Daddy Oak in overalls with a pitchfork in hand). Definitely not. A wanna be minimalist.. . . maybe mama, but if I let Willow take over this house anymore than I already do American Pickers would be knocking on our door. A. . . . you get the picture.
At the end of my 6 month long personal blogging crisis (during which I'm certain thoughts of committing me were entertained by a certain someone) I came up with this conclusion:
I am not going to change your life with my insightful words of wisdom. I am not going to blow your mind away with my amazing crafting/sewing skills. You won't find breathtakingly creative photos or clearly thought out deep posts on this here page. However what you will find is just me. I'm not an expert by any means in anything. I am definitely not one of those people who "has it all together" and who will be wealth of knowledge for you in your quest for the same. In real life nor in that of the cyberworld am I a well-articulated person. I haven't ever done anything super exciting that will make you envy me and follow my blog in order to remind yourself of who you wish you could be like. But by golly I love my ordinary life and that's enough for me. So if ordinary strikes your fancy, hold on to your skibbies and be sure to tune in because that is just what you'll find.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Is it really that simple? All week I've been feeling like I could pull my hair out. The kids are beating each other with sticks, my head feels like it's going to explode, and we feel so. . . distant. This isn't a normal feeling that I have towards my relationship with the kids. This morning as I stood amidst the chaos in a pile of raisins on the kitchen floor (Willow's "seeds", apparently I have a future member of FFA on my hands) holding a child covered in his own poop that my one clean shirt was now also smeared with (it's all in the details, right?, I wanted to run away. But where? I took a step back and knew exactly where I was going to run, a place I have been running away from lately, because "I could do it all myself". As seen by the evidence before me I realized that what I was telling myself was a lie and I needed Him. I asked the kids for forgiveness, said a prayer for peace and patience, and turned up some worship music (well, after cleaning up the poopy child and changing my shirt). If a random stranger stopped by our house and peaked through the window 10 minutes later he would have seen us. Us. Crazy, dancing up and down, hollering, laughing, happy lovers of Jesus.
A clean house won't make my life better. Obedient and cultured children won't make my life better. Unless I have Jesus. It's that simple.
Friday, April 16, 2010
- Cannot stop listening to this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skUJ-B6oVDQ Have always loved Coldplay even through the years when I was so very confused by the lyric "should I blow off my head", haha, to later come to the realization that he was actually saying "shoot an apple off my head". Hearing aids may be in my future.
-This family http://www.familyonbikes.org/ I so badly want to sell everything and jump on a bike and hit the road with my family. Daddy Oak isn't feeling it so much, he'd much rather jump onto the couch and watch yet another Arnold movie.
-I haven't broadcasted it, but I've been dabbling in the raw diet for the last two weeks. I'm on a quest to try and heal some health issues I have. I am glad to say I am feeling great but constantly crave donuts. Not just a donut, but a cherry and cream cheese danish pastry. It's all I fantasize about. Really. Currently loving this yummy flat bread http://www.rawmazing.com/recipes/raw-food-recipe-tomato-flat-bread/ especially when smothered in the green deliciousness of an organic avocado, slices of cool cukes, and some Willow made alfalfa sprouts. Pair that with some mama-made kombucha and a powerbar (http://www.elanaspantry.com/power-bars/), you've got a winner and the formula for a meal that's been pretty much sustaining me and filling me with joy!
-Other than fantasizing about donuts I spend my *free time* dreaming about making Willow and Cedar some new duds from these patterns http://www.oliverands.com/ with some of her fabulous material http://heatherross.squarespace.com/
-I am so doing this someday http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/kitchen-hardware/kitchen-lighting-made-from-weck-canning-jars-113779 I have been fairly enamored with the idea of using mason jars for kitchen lights for a while, but this just knocks my socks off. Love. It.
Apparently that's all Cedar thinks I should post since he's doing the most pathetic (and adorable) cry for mama loving right now. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend!