Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Warm Day...Long Hike...and His Gifts

Today dawned sunny and crisp and was proving to be a beautiful day. So after all the cold or rainy weather we decided to take the time for a short walk in the pasture before lunch. We set out ten minutes before lunch and was only planning on a short stroll. We ended up walking out to the edge of the woods and telling the boys that at the bottom of the steep hill in the woods was a creek. The boys immediately wanted to see it. So Chris said there used to be a fairly clear path at the back of the pasture along the power lines. We headed for the power lines and found the path overgrown. We decided to make our way down anyway and through small pines, vines, and a steep rock embankment. We found the creek, full and flowing because of the recent rain.

We decided to walk the creek and climb the hill into the pasture later instead of climbing back up the rocky embankment. The woods were cool, the sun was peeking through the trees and the creek was making music over the rocks. It was a beautiful time to enjoy one another and God's creation.

Our short stroll turned into a 3 1/2 hour hike with no lunch, water and an interrupted nap time. The little ones were amazing. They hardly missed lunch and my nursling took a nap laying on mommy in the shade of a tree while the boys played in the creek.

When we finally got home our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were like a feast. The ice cold water was wonderful and the warm bath to relax was so refreshing. The boys are napping now. Little legs exhausted.

a newborn calf...black as midnight...mother's love protecting

turtle shell...white with age...under the flowing water...God's geometric designs

little one...eye's heavy with sleep...snuggling close to mama...her body warming mine in the shade of the giant trees

watching boys and their daddy...play at the edge of water...then rest in the shade

Bo...such a little man...hiking hungry with hardly a complaint

the warm sun peeking through the trees...shimmering on the water as it rolls down the rocks

Boo...a much improved hiker since last March...quickly becoming a little man

Daddy...so patient and loving with the our new inexperienced hikers

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Brokenness over sin...

Since I have been a mommy, God has continually used my children to bring me to my knees and to teach me more about his love, grace and character than anyone else. Today was no exception.

Bo aggravated his brother this morning with a warning from me that he was not to do that specific thing again. A couple of hours later...it happens...again. In this home we use The 21 Rules of Our Home. These rules have become the foundation of the order we expect in this home. The rules are based on scripture. I reference a scripture for each rule we memorize. Rule 21 is In this home, when we forget or disobey any of the 21 rules of our home, we accept discipline and instruction. So Bo had to be corrected.

After the correction, I went out to help Boo close the chicken coop. I came back in and Bo was weeping uncontrollably on the couch. I picked him up and just held him asking him what was wrong. He said, I thought something I should not have thought. I rocked him and sang to him. I asked him to tell mommy what he had said. After about 20 minutes he finally told me he thought a mean thought about Boo. I should not have done that mommy and I am sorry. We prayed, I told him that:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9
He prayed..he asked for forgiveness...he began to clam down and return to the happy little boy I know. But, I will never forget that brokenness. I have never seen him so convicted...so uncomfortable..and I thought I need some of that.
After years of dealing with sin, I guess I've become a little hardened to it. When was the last time I sat down and wept because I has a harsh thought about someone? When have been so broken over my own sin that I couldn't get it out of my mind until it was dealt with. I pray for a brokenness like my sweet Bo. A heart so tender to wrong...a heart knowing he had disobeyed God...a heart out of fellowship longing to return.
Give me a heart like a child...
Still Learning,

December Gifts

cold blustery day..boys red-cheeked from the cold...steaming mug of hot chocolate...warming hands and hearts...talking at the table together...brown mustaches over mouths...

two boys and their dog...walking...running...exploring...enjoying life together

brothers...walking up the drive...mommy watching from the porch...arms around one another...heads together talking

sweet little girl...practicing mommy gentleness...rocking and singing to the kitty

Boo offering his help with lots of chores today...getting ready to be that provider God has called him to be

fire in the fireplace...crackling logs...flames dancing off the walls...warming our hands...drawing us together.

hiding advent reminders...boys excitement...using the flashlights to find the box

Christmas stories...basket full under the tree...snuggling on the couch reading one after another.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Celebrating Advent 2008

This year I did not make a plan of our advent activities like last year. With the move, advent time seemed to arrive a lot sooner than I had anticipated. Last year I had planned to many activities for the ages of my little ones. So this year we are using the proclamation ornaments that we used last year.

There are 25 ornaments that we hang on the tree. One each night counting down until Christmas. Each ornament contains a prophecy about Christ in the old testament and its fulfillment in the new. We started this tradition on Bo's second Christmas and the little ones look forward to hanging a new ornament each night.

The most exciting advent countdown we do with the children is hiding the small items each night that they then look for with their flashlights. Each item has a corresponding bible passage to go with it and the boys love to find the box containing the item with their flashlights.

This year I am ordering some of the Samaritan's Purse charity gifts and wrapping a picture of the gift and placing it under the tree with "To: Jesus" written on it. We will open the gift on Christmas and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. This verse will be written on the card:

...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

Monday, December 1, 2008

Big Change

Well, we have moved. We rented to own our house and we are back in the little farm house on the mountain where I have really wanted to be for a long time.

Moving was stressful, but I am so glad to be back on the dirt road and farm. We are almost completely unpacked and we have gotten rid of a lot of extra stuff.

The boys share a room and are using bunk beds. It seems to be going really well so far.

Lora sleeps in her crib in the room with Chris and I. I guess we will be investing in a king size bed when the baby arrives.

I am still a little disorganized, but I am looking forward to getting back on our schedule soon.

I made a job chart for the boys today, they were really excited about moving the clothes pins to the completed jobs. I really hope the excitement continues.