Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Garden Day!

I'm so excited to post this!! Last summer I decided to start a garden, but it was a little too late and I had no clue what I was doing. So I started by making a compost bin and getting the soil ready. We've been composting since then and it's working well. The bins are now behind the fence because they can get pretty stinky. They're also very heavy. I'm not sure what to do when I actually need to move it to the garden.

In April I planted some seeds and waited, waited, waited. I planted lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, green beans, radishes, zinnias (flowers), carrots and sugar peas. About a month ago we started getting some bean sprouts, a bunch of radishes, some spinach, sugar peas, and a bit of lettuce. And lots and lots and lots of weeds. There were so many weeds it looked more like a weed garden. Every few days I'd spend a while outside picking weeds, but it was taking forever. Bill would also yell, "How's your weed garden coming along?" (I didn't take any pictures of the garden 'o weeds because it was really embarassing!)

But today my mother-in-law, the greatest of them all, visited and went to town pulling the weeds. We also transplanted some of the spinach sprouts and she gave me some onion sprouts. She also built a lattice for the sugar peas. Now the garden looks ship-shape and I can't wait to reap the fruits, I mean vegetables, of my/our labor. I even got a first crop of radishes for a salad! Woohoo!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I've been meaning to blog about Caley's first ballet "recital"! Read about it on the "Caley's Classroom" blog.

Caley's Daddy Date

Bill was able to take some time off this week and last. One afternoon he and Caley went on a date and had a great time! Here are some super cute pictures.
They visited our townhouse that was Caley's first home. Look at the shiny siding!!
This is at Emery's Garden, a nursery in Lynnwood. Actually it's more like a nursery/farm with free roaming peacocks and chickens in coops.

They visited a park on 164th st in Lynnwood and Caley tried her hand at taking pictures of Daddy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Tea Party

You may remember reading about our tea party from last year. This year it was an extravaganza. My friends and I invited several moms with young kids and had a great time visiting in the sun, drinking tea (or apple juice for the kidlets), eating yummy snacks, and watching our kids run and play. I hope this becomes a Mother's Day tradition. The weather cooperated beautifully and so many people helped pull it off, from lending tables and chairs, to sharing teacups, saucers, and decorations. Thank you friends! 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Book Review: Lord Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room

This is an embarassing confession, but I rarely read books. Not counting reading books to the kids, I really haven't read anything since it was required reading in college, and even then I probably skimmed most of the material. And I was an English major. Doubly embarassing. I read blogs and things online, and have read a few books in bible study, but it's been a long time since I read something just for fun and just for me.

I regularly read the Mommy Life blog by Barbara Curtis and in January she assigned her readers to read the classic Animal Farm and she would lead a discussion. I thought I'd try it, since we have a copy of Animal Farm and it's a very short book. I loved it. All I wanted to do was read Animal Farm and all I could think of was the pigs and the old dog and the hardworking horse. Of course it's satire and many parallels can be drawn between what Orwell was satirising and the current American government. After that, I felt a love of reading I hadn't felt in a long time.
So I read Barbara Curtis' book Lord, Please Meet Me in the Laundry Room and I'm glad I did. It's another short read, and very relevant to someone in my position as a mom to young kids. Among the big ideas in this book, one is that in a mother's life there may not be a lot of time alone doing bible study, there are always interruptions like a screaming baby, a needy toddler, laundry, dishes or dinner to be made. It's a good thing the Lord meets us where we are and sometimes it might be in the laundry room while doing the 18th load of laundry. From page 24, "When I turn my thoughts to God, loading the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, getting up to nurse the baby at night, even changing a diaper can be a prayer. And as I turn my thoughts to Him, I pray for all the mommies like me who are too busy wiping peanut butter and jelly off little faces and kissing owies to maintain the practice of what the less encumbered call quiet time." Since reading this, it's made me look at my daily tasks different and thank God for them. I am thankful I have loads and loads of laundry to do, because it means my house has growing children who have the energy to get dirty while they're playing. This doesn't mean I have an excuse for not doing "quiet time." I spend way too much wasted time on the computer and watching TV, when I should be deepening my relationship with Jesus. 

Barbara also tells her story of how Jesus worked in her life, through her wild young adulthood as a political leftist, to a single mom with two daughters, to a recovering alcoholic. She married her husband Tripp and together they came to Jesus and she learned how to be a good mother (in her words, page 42). Later they had 7 children together, one with Down Syndrome, and adopted three more with DS. She discusses a bit about having so many children and how it's very similar to being a CEO, running a small company and being organized. She also relates the blessing of having a large family. From page 66-67, "Sometimes the amazement [of people upon finding out their family size] is respectful, but sometimes it hurts, as when people say things like, 'I don't know how you do it. My two are enough to drive me crazy.' It's embrassing to hear another mother say this in front of her children--and mine. I was to grab her hand and say, 'Stop! Think! That's not the way it's supposed to be! These children are our treasures!" She then references Psalm 127 which calls children a heritage from the Lord. 

Upon reading this, I was quite convicted about my comments about Caley and Amelia. Life with these girls is difficult at times, but probably more because I am stubborn, selfish, and don't want to be inconvenienced by their legitimate needs as children. I need to be more cautious with what I say, especially when they are around. Actually, I need to be more cautious about everything I say, whether or not it's about my children! I too often speak without thinking. 

The last chapter of the book is about her child with a "little extra," Jonny. Jonny has Down Syndrome. She writes that among the difficulties associated with having a child with Down syndrome, there are many unexpected joys and rewards! After having Jonny, Barbara birthed her last child, Maddy, and years later adopted three more boys with Down Syndrome. Wow! This is a huge reason why I admire Barbara as a mother, Christian, author, and advocate. On page 124 she writes, "What will be your little extra? It might not be a baby with Down syndrome, but surely as you continue your spiritual journey, God will drop something in your lap or whisper something in your heart that will give you the opportunity to grow and change, to enlarge your capacity to love, to teach you compassion, and to depend on Him and love Him more. "

What will be my/our little extra? When I am 90 and look back on my life, what will I see that helped me learn more about God's love for me and plan for my life? I'm guessing it'll be something I can't fathom right now, because as much as I'd like to be in control, I'm not. God is.

I highly recommend this book and Barbara's blog in general. Thank you!

It's been a while since our last post, but I'm working on some good ones. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of life recently!