A Day in the Life {with Three}

From a Friday in January:

3:30 AM – feed baby.

5AM – put two year old back in bed with a cracker

6AM – I may have put her back in bed again? I don’t remember.

6:55 AM – let screamingly awake children out of their room with their promise to be quiet(er)

7AM – gather a bowl of cereal for everyone, eat and then doze on the couch while the big kids watch too much Word World (Because sesame street is no longer on netflix. boo.)

8ish – set out clothes for kids to dress themselves.

8:15ish – baby wakes up and needs to nurse.

8:25 – cut off the kids tv time. They start pulling all the letters out of the abc mat and start ‘building words’. At least they are learning something. *feels momentarily smug for one well-chosen christmas present and semi-educational TV*

8:58 – Oldest announces he pooped himself. *smug feelings gone*

8:59 – I shut oldest in the bathroom sans bath mat with an order to strip and put the poop in the potty.

9:05 – Oldest has successfully stripped and is attempting to rinse underpants in toilet (which sounds gross, but is about all you can do)

9:1o – I start load of laundry and install oldest in shower. Go think about other things for a few minutes…or try, while checking in periodically.

9:20 – Daddy goes to work. I realize we missed the trash because MLK day is not that kind of holiday. Apparently. ah well.

9:25 – change a diaper.

9:40 – oldest is finally clean and out with orders to redress himself.

10:00 – I get it into my head it’d be a good day to go to the library.

10:43 – finally all out the door and in the car.

11:00 – load baby into carrier, make Ranger carry our book, and hold both their hands as we walk into the library hitting the handicapped automatic door buttons on the way in for ease and the fun of button pushing.

11:40 – pick up my books from hold shelf, pick out about 10 kid books, put three books on space on hold while the kids play with toys/people watch, lose each of the big kids once, and straggle out holding our heap of winnings.

12:00 – Wrastle everyone into the car, have a discussion on whiny car-loading behaviour and are soon home with our books where I send kids to potty (they stayed dry!). The baby is asleep momentarily so, while the kids read, I make food.

12:40 PM – kids read… I forget what I did.

1:00 – read one book for each kid, felt pleased with self for being such a great mom.

1:20 – I employ the most recently successful nap strategy and put Ali in bed. hoping for sleep, while Ranger reads.

1:50 – Bring Ranger into their room… Ali is not alseep yet. Hope for the best, bribe them with candy and go out.

2:20 – Put a hold on the sleep trials and send them outside with their bikes.

2:40 – Ali comes in and choosing to look at books over playing outside. Reads out loud while sitting adorably on the edge of her bed. Baby is resisting sleep as well so she is in the walker watching Ranger play outside.

3:10 – Ranger in bed doing something halfway loud. Ali reading quietly in the living room. Meg attempting to go to sleep in the swing. Maybe we’ll get this.

3:35 – Admit failure, send kids to bedrooms to play quiet-ish, nurse meg to sleep.

3:55 – Put meg down in my bed after finding out the kids had broken one leaf of their train table in half…somehow. #toowildtohavenicethings #onebrokentablefreetoanyhome

4:10 – All exhausted kids crying at once. I’m feeling amused that I didn’t cause any of it. Self destruction. Tuck big kids in, help baby find bink.

4:20 – Read online things, decide this day has been amusing but also fairly average. decide to write day in life post and begin.

4:58 – give up on big kids nap as loud thumps and crying begin. Turn on Peg and Cat.

5:04 – post up to date…two year old begging for goldfish, offer saltines. She takes crackers while sobbing about how she doesn’t want them and needs food. Crackers are not food. Overly tired children are so much fun. I’m just thanking my lucky stars that dinner is already ready (#crockpotsarewinningful) and that my sister is coming over in a bit to watch the big kids so Israel and I can go get coffee or something alone-ish. you know, alone as can be with a four month old and in public.

5:09 – Two year old is happily munching on her ‘yunch’ and unwanted crackers. :) success. Baby still asleep. Three year old ideally learning things from the screen.

5:20 – Get ready to go out for a couple hours. Decide it is time to wear a skirt because then I can wear cozy leggings.

5:35 – My sis gets here and I serve soup for everyone. She takes over older kid wrangling. hurray.

5:50 – text Israel to remind him of our intent to go out, feed baby.

6:20 – Head out for brief date at chic-fil-a, because Israel didn’t get to eat yet. Waffle fries, milkshakes and uninterrupted conversation for the win!

8:20 – come home to a clean kitchen and kids in bed.

9ish – baby is asleep, we close out the evening with a movie, Good Will Hunting, and are asleep by 10:30 or 11. I fell asleep before it was over, as per usual. Every now and then I’ll just catch myself up on the ends of movies, going back to only watch the end-ish 20-40 minutes of two or three different movies just because I hardly get to see that part.

*Insert various moments for changing diapers, sneaking chocolate chips, drinking a couple cups of coffee, reading in between moments, nursing, and telling toddlers to go potty and you’ll have a mostly functional approximation of my day.*

—–

Find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Goodreads!

CAM01600

 

 

 

Settle in for the Long Haul {#wholemama}

IMG_5622

It used to be that settling was a bad thing. Settle for second best, settle for a B on a test, settle for the right area to live in. It was an acquiescing of my desires to possibility, ability, or chance.

Last time I “settled” I settled for leaning into writing instead of going to grad school or something of that nature. Because I love to gain knowledge and being dissatisfied in life is easy but solving things in a real way is harder.

I planned to take a class and move forward with my education a little bit last spring. I was reaching for meaning and self-wholeness wherever I could find it. But then I found out I was pregnant, and decided to get off the crazy bus for a while to just find out what works in the now of things.

So I settled for writing and made it more of a practice and less of a hobby.

But instead of settling for second best I have found myself gradually settling into my skin.

Sort of a best I didn’t know before. And didn’t think I needed.

Writing has brought a means of coming to terms and more wholly realizing who I am in the grand scheme of things and just who I am in general.

It has invited me to dwell in the hard to explain places. And find words, even if they don’t explain it fully. It has invited me more fully into my experience of motherhood, marriage, and life in general as I learn the words to express the tension and the joys. I notice more. Finding the words for things has allowed me to find meaning in my own experiences instead of searching for meaning elsewhere.

It’s a setting into my own skin.

settling into my motherhood.

my personhood.

and my womanhood.

and my agency.

I am settling in with my people for the long haul making changes as I go.

I find myself moving the pieces around, adjusting the size, tweaking the color, and just throwing out the things that don’t work.

I’m not settling for something that doesn’t work.

I am rewriting roles and adjusting character summaries.

I’m reclaiming the whole story as good and meant to be.

I’m settling into the uniqueness of a given life and my ability to change the landscape to meet the needs of my family and myself.

 

I am practicing settling into my life, instead of just settling for it.

—–

Where have you settled recently?

—–

wholemama

Want to join in on our weekly prompt? Write on the word ‘settle’ and link up with us! Or simply read along!

We also have our #wholemama facebook group where you can access the prompts early and get to know us in person(ish) :)

(week 32)

What I’m Into | January 2016

My kids are ridiculously adorable and that is mainly what I’ve been into and that results in instagram being fun too. We have spent the month getting back into a routine after Christmas mayhem and also just creating a winter routine that doesn’t make mommy crazy.

I added a quiet reading time before naptime and this seems to be helping them calm down enough to actually have a good rest or sleep. For best results Ali goes down about a half hour before Ranger so as not to make each other crazy wild. :)

We’ve had a lot of mud and wet weather, some snow, but not too much, and surprising number of sunny and warm (comparatively, ya know) days. Luxury.

FullSizeRenderThe snow in the mountains is apparently great this year. So Israel is having a grand time this winter backcountry skiing with some new friends who just happen to live very near us. Which is cool. And convenient.

IMG_5660

I have begun finding a routine for running. sort of. So far I have one set evening with a running friend who lives a few blocks away (I am glad for my local Moms Run This Town chapter so I can find people to run with!), whenever Israel is home at naptime or after dinner, and then once a week when my sister, Z, is here babysitting.

So that works. And I am glad to actually feel like going running again :) Yay! I picked out a few races to hopefully enter and have started to get my speed back a little. a little. :)

What I Read:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 12.51.46 PM

I read quite a lot this month. 5 fiction, 3 non-fiction.

I reread the Divergent Series so I’ll be prepared to watch the last movie when it comes out in March. The end was almost as devastating the second time around, but I still love the series. I also see why they made the second divergent movie like they did. I thought they had messed it up really bad, but it makes sense for what is possible in the context of a movie vs. in a book. Also, surprisingly, Tris comes across as a much happier character in the movie. Not a bad thing.

Gone with the Wind was excellent. Beautiful, thought provoking and an interesting look at a little bit of the white southern experience of the Civil War. I am glad I read it. Though the end of it disappointed me. Ah well. Still worth the read. And 1000 page books are oddly gratifying in that the story takes so long to tell you get really attached to all the characters.

I’ll write more formal reviews in the next couple months for Grit to Great (fun, easy read) and Girl Meets Change (I honestly slogged through it but I think that is because I found it challenging).

The second book in The Stormlight Archive was just as good as the first and now I really can’t wait for the author to write the rest of the series. Seriously. I love books that are too complicated to easily remake as movies and this series definitely fits that bill.

What I’m Reading:

Other Random Bits

  • Cake sprinkles on breakfast oatmeal just for fun and added interest.
  • Rangerisms -”
    • Ranger *whiny voice* : “My leg is sleeping… I think we have to talk quietly when my leg is sleeping.””We have to take a nap when we get home. Mommy’s tired so we have to sleep.”
    • “When my foot gets bigger, I’ll get to wear my stocking.”
    • “Mom, is it not Cloud-day”? First time: “I don’t know what you mean.” Second time: “It’s sunday.” “Oh, Ali, It’s Sun-day.”
    • “The Dino-room”
  • The Return of the Sunshine!
  • baking. I’ve made some excellent cookies, good banana bread, and decidedly mediocre (but still chocolate!) brownies.
  • Getting into the swing of cooking again. Ish. I am enjoying the crockpot.
  • Rotating toys again. It is a relief and much easier to cleanup. At the moment we have the legos, a few cars, and stuffed animals out.

On the Internet:

It’s time to honor the hard work of raising children – “Caretaking is difficult. It’s an invisible, often monotonous job that requires tremendous fortitude and discipline.[…]What you’re doing is countercultural.”

Confessions of the Older Brother by Micah J. Murray – A challenging rendition of the parable of the prodigal son.

Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels by Rachel Held Evans- Because I never expected Trump to be taken seriously by anyone, especially Christians.

The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older – Especially the thoughts on regret and living in the past.

The Desperation to be Free by Heather Caliri- “The older I get, and the more I feel Jesus’ power working in my life, the more I yearn after a deeper spiritual discipline–a hungry desperation to be free. I’m done using my faith as a spit-shine finish on sickness.”

And just for fun: these LED shoelaces for night running

On my blog:

Goals for 2016, Favorite Posts from 2015, book reviews for Making it Home and The Rhyme Bible, and a 4 Month Update on Meg.

Wholemama: we wrote posts on the words ‘envision‘ (anchor by Esther Emery), ‘winter‘, ‘question’ and ‘change’ (anchor by Shawna Scafe).

And a few more pictures from Israel’s phone… :)

—–

How was your January?

Find me on FacebookInstagram, and Goodreads!

—–

What I'm Into

 

Fun Things To Do in 2016

These aren’t really resolutions, and some of them aren’t even goals, but some are. It’s simply a list of fun, at least what I consider fun, for the new year. Because that is what New Year’s Resolutions are for me: just fun.

It’s not that I have to do them.

It’s not that I need to. It may be that I need to or possibly should, but that’s not why I undertake such a thing. New Year’s Lists are a favorite winter activity for me, so here’s mine. A way to imagine new, and fun, and make intentional goals in a piece of the year that is gray and slightly listless. So I make lists to fill the listlessness and enjoy life a little more.

2016 (ish) – 

Adventures and Family:

Be more adventuresome – get away with my husband (he is my adventuresome inspiration and challenge) to do fun things more, try things he enjoys that I am uncertain of more, camp more, spend more time in the mountains, go more fun places, do more fun things. Just live outside the box I put myself a little more. Embrace the endorphins of not living predictably or the easy way, instead of avoiding them altogether.

Play more games with my kids! – I have been teaching Ranger and Ali to play Uno and Dominoes and I would love to keep that up. Because I really like playing games and it would be fun to have my own little cohort of go-to game players eventually. :)

Teach the kids to play soccer and to skate and work on swimming skills! Because I really like to do those things and why not have my gang of people know how to do the same things. :)

Running:

Run a Marathon sometime when I’m 26. Because 26 miles of course. So sometime after April 18th, 2016 and before April 18, 2017.  I also want to run a few other race distances and work on getting fast/fit again. Probably at least two 5ks, a 10k, and a half marathon.

Writing and Reading:

Write a couple short stories in Spanish for practice with my friend, Beth. We’re attempting a round robin style telling right now. We just began, but it should be fun. And good for my Spanish. And my first exercise in fiction since about 2011? It’s time.

Try to post on my blog two times per week. Just to stay regular and keep my writing muscles active, but without being overly demanding. I have really enjoyed/been challenged by posting every tuesday for the last few months and want to add one other day this year. Aiming for Tuesday/Thursday. Other days if lucky or motivated. But just #wholemama and one other post most of the time.

Read and Reread fiction – I want to many new-to-me books and reread several series. I’m thinking The Hunger Games 1-3 (because I still haven’t seen the last movie and I like to compare), Divergent 1-3 (same reason), Harry Potter (because it was such an enjoyable experience the first time), and Lord of the Rings (because maybe I’ll like it this time – I didn’t when I was…12(ish?) years old). I’ll also reread and read some non-fiction, of course. Aiming for 60ish books again this year.

Around the Edges:

And the all the rest exists only in an urge or sentence: have dinner with friends more, gather and host people more, practice the piano more, challenge myself to try new things more, jump into learning a little French and Swahili, try to learn some hand-lettering, take the kids swimming outside more, be outside more, etc.

I also chose one word for my year… I’ll tell you about that a little later… It will help me to balance, pull together, focus, and prioritize my fun things a little bit. Just a reminder for when I’m wondering about my motives and focus for the year. Anyway. Later.

Life goes on.

image

I also really want to see these mountains closer. :) The Sawtooths are oddly reminiscent of the Andes and Los Torres del Paine.

What fun things do you have on the menu for this year?

—–

Come find me on FacebookInstagram, and Goodreads to follow along with my fun this year!

I Wish He Was A Little More. . . . {Shawna Scafe for #wholemama}

IMG_9092By Shawna Scafe

—–

I’ve read that we start parenting our children before they are yet born. We give them little nicknames – usually based around produce type and fetal size. We joke about them kicking us like soccer players and essentially put into life little ideas we have of their soon-to-be revealed persona.

Then your kid comes and they are nothing like you expected.

I mean, of course your baby will cry more than you wished they would and then your toddler will have tantrums over all the things. But lining the momheart are fading layers of the family she envisioned before she was ever a mom.

For me, I envisioned a daughter who was empathetic, patient and laidback. I imagined sons who were outgoing, compassionate and inquisitive. Of course they are all of these things at different points and in unique ways, but that golden-hued projector image I had of my kids doesn’t carbon copy into my real life.

And thank the Lord for that!

It had taken me a better part of two and half decades to be struck with the holy notion that the way we’re made is not a mistake. All of our strengths, our weaknesses, our coping strategies, our outlook, our personality. They are all on purpose and we often expend a lot of fruitless effort to be someone we aren’t, constantly struggling to shove our rough edges into this mould we think all admirable persons must fit to be accepted and loved.

My oldest son has been in speech therapy for a couple years. At one point his therapist spent time with him at his preschool. The next week, we sat cross legged on my living room floor for a therapy sessions. At the end of the games and lesson, she told me her school observations were that my son was very reserved, almost disengaged at times. I wasn’t really shocked at this, but I was surprised. Surprised because it hit me how much I had wanted him to be that outgoing boy I had envisioned.

Over the year we would spend a lot of time trying new outings and new places to help him feel confident and safe in social settings. Sometimes he would surprise us and be more than outgoing. Yet, so often he would snug up to our legs. He would tell us how he was feeling shy and we would tell him that’s ok, but he should try and be brave too. We would watch as his little sister ran into random crowds of kids like she was reunited with her besties. We would watch as he held back and missed out on something that would be so fun for him.

I remember the first time we said it out loud to each other, ‘we wished he was a little more brave’. We struggled with pushing him to change but still honour who he is, and was made to be.

But then we started noticing something….
He’s not always the type of child who will run up to anyone at anytime and ask them to play. He might be ready to jump into something or he might feel shy. New social settings are hard for him. He hates being the center of attention. He’s not outgoing, but he was made brave in a very special way that many people aren’t.

He is brave through his desire to help. He is always the first to offer help. He will step up for someone being hurt and tell off a bully. He will protect his siblings. He will ask us to help him figure out a way to help someone else. He will try and solve any problems that someone else has, and make a pirate treasure map to go along with it.

He isn’t brave like we thought he ought to be. He’s braver. He will put himself out there in ways that are hard for even most adults. He may not give you an instant smile but he will give you his cautious heart and hands.

Next month he will be five. He is the lanky, tall kind of preschooler that looks older than he his. But sometimes he curls up giant legs onto mine and I wrap my arms all the way around him and tell him that God made him just who he is for a very special reason. I tell him that God made him to be a great helper who is brave and kind and super fast. And we hope that never changes.


 

image1

Shawna is a LadyNerd and stay at home mom of three toddlers. She writes at Simple on Purpose, a site about succeeding and failing at minimalism and intentional living.


wholemama

Want to join in on our weekly prompt? Write on the word ‘change’ and link up with us! Or simply read along!

We also have our #wholemama facebook group where you can access the prompts early and get to know us in person(ish) :)

Making It Home by Emily T. Weirenga {book review}

CAM02313

“What if home is more about who you are than what you do?

Formerly subversive Emily T. Weirenga takes you on an unconventional journey through marriage, miscarriage, foster parenting, and the daily struggle of longing to be known. In this soul-stirring quest for identity in the midst of life’s daily interruptions, she shows us that homemaking is much more than old-fashioned tradition; rather, it’s a timeless and essential art requiring mind, body, and spirit.”

(Excerpt from back cover copy)

Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose by Emily T. Weirenga

This book is beautiful and wise, relatable and dreadfully honest.

I loved the descriptions that told simple things in an almost hauntingly magical way.

 “The trees prematurely balding with their hair flung colorfast on asphalt, the clouds frozen to blue, and the birds flocking in dozens past our house in perfect Vs, their honking enough to wake winter.” p. 33

But I found myself in those pages, too.

I found myself in the discontent, the tension, the requirements, and the longings of this home life of mothering and still being a person instead of an angel.

 

“Every day, we as mothers put ourselves last for our families, until one day we snap because we’re feeling so loveless.” p. 35

I appreciated her brutal-beautiful honesty about everything. Her stories are told in an almost melancholy way, but that touch of coming to peace with things drew me through the book with little trouble.

“Because home is not the house we live in but the people whose pictures line the walls. Whose clothes sit piled on the dryer. Whose dishes sit waiting to be washed. And making a home is a daily sacrifice of creating and holding and being.” p. 49.

Emily faithfully points us back to love and people with stories that are personal and true, and then to the Jesus-freedom of refocusing this art of making a home. Making a life.

” I don’t need to do anything. I don’t need to prove anything, anymore. I don’t need to heart that I am beautiful or smart or powerful, because Abba’s very presence says I am perfect, accepted, loved, redeemed, cherished, delighted in, and sung over. God wants to spend time with me. That is enough.” p.155

Emily’s writing reminded me of Amber C. Haines (whose Wild in the Hollow I reviewed recently). I would recommend this book for any woman who enjoyed Wild in the Hollow, is coming to terms with who she is and her place in the world, especially if she happens to be a mom.

—–

Have you read this book?

—–

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads!

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Baker Books blogging program in exchange for an honest review.)

Meg Ylva – 4 months

Time is flying by a little bit too quickly.

Meg is the sort of baby you just want to put on pause and thoroughly enjoy before moving on.

Alas, there is no pause button.

So we are stuck enjoying at the normal rate.

She is four months old today.

And so so sweet.

So far she seems mostly interested in smiling, talking, laughing, and playing with her people.

She hasn’t rolled any direction yet, though she will roll to the side to look at things if she is feeling especially active. :)

 

I have not weighed her recently…but I would guess she’s 16 lbs. at least?

She grabs toys and plays with them when they are handed to her.

She seems to like the johnny jump up and happily watches us do things while she spins to follow us from room to room.  She sleeps like a champ though she seems to be having some sort of growth spurt right now so has been waking up a little more and eating all the time. Her bink and her swing are wonderful tools to help everyone rest and accomplish things.

She likes to play in the tub, look at books when I read to the kids, and loves her siblings when they are not squashing her.

Meg and Ali:

First Christmas Jammies Pictures (with the obligatory “one too many” shot):

Megy and Daddy:

Anyway. I shouldn’t overload you with adorable, you might get stuck searching to fill in the gap (and failing) with cat videos on youtube.

;)

Happy Thursday!

—–

Find me on FacebookInstagram, and Goodreads!

 

Questions. Or not. {#wholemama}

I want to have all the answers.

I love certainty. And I love plans.

Whenever I had a Spanish presentation in college I would prepare every slide and write down every word I wanted to say. Even when we weren’t supposed to do that. I wanted to know what I was going to say so I wouldn’t be caught stuttering for words in front of 20 classmates. But at the end of every presentation I had to ask “tienen preguntas” and solicit questions in Spanish which I would then have to answer. In Spanish. No diccionarios. (On the bright side this made presenting in English five times easier since I didn’t have to worry about missing vocabulary and impossible conjugations, because “hey, I’m fluent! Why are you guys so worried? This is easy!”)

Somehow I graduated with a degree in Spanish so I guess I managed ok, but I still like to have control of situations. I like to know how to speak. I like to know the answers. And I like to learn the answers if I don’t know them.

College aside… life isn’t so much about having the answers anymore.

I can search in books all day long for how to best deal with my tantrumming toddler and still not find the answer. And even if I did one right guaranteed-to-work answer, I’d still have to live it out. Somehow.

Which becomes less of an answer and more just one more expectation to place on my head.

And as a mom, I have so many questions.

What I am supposed to do with my spare time? work? stay at home? write? only gaze in awe at my children? Who am I kidding? Who am I? How do I deal with this [stage, step, setback, issue]?  Why? What world am I raising this kid in? What in the world happened here? WHO. MADE. THIS. BIG. MESS?? How do we build our marriage even after the intervening small things arrive? Where does my peace come from?

The answers are sometimes linear change, sometimes non-linear change, every now and then something easier.

But often it’s just admitting I don’t have the answers.

And maybe it’s not about having all the answers.

Maybe it’s more leaning into the questions.

More seeing in shades rather than absolutes.

More waiting and seeing.

More guessing and praying.

More hoping and trusting.

More trying again.

Less getting it right the first time.

Less relying on my own brain.

Less focus on me.

Less and more and more and less.

The nitty gritty details of living well questions are so much harder than the big picture (what school do I go to, who should I hang out with, what should I major in) questions.

In the beginning I knew this is where I wanted to be, this stay at home motherhood… I just didn’t know how many questions I’d still have.

And how normal those questions are.

So I’m just telling myself:

It’s ok to have questions.

It’s ok not to have all the answers.

It’s ok to change your mind.

It’s ok to live with a choice you made and still not be sure it’s the right one.

It’s ok to have questions.

And to just live in questions instead of answering the questions.

And then it’s ok to ignore the questions altogether.

Mainly, It’s ok.

Questions or not. Answers or no.

Just live.

And that is all I have today, complete or not.

I hope it gives a little peace from the foreverness of questions.  I can’t wait to see what you write this week.


 

wholemamaWrite on the word “question” this week and see where it takes you! Link up here:

If you’re curious about #wholemama, go here!

You can also join our #wholemama Facebook group to be on the insider’s loop. :)

The Rhyme Bible: Storybook for Little Ones {Book Review}

The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Little Ones by  L. J. Sattgast and illustrated by Laurence Cleyet-Merle

CAM02310

This little book is so much fun. I love that it has durable board book pages, bright engaging pictures and rhyming text to pull us all through the story. It will definitely be a lovely help in teaching my little ones some of the most tellable stories in the Bible.

The writing of The Rhyme Bible feels more appropriate for the attention spans of  young toddlers (1-4ish). Perfect for my kids. I feel like it will be a good prequel of sorts to the Jesus Storybook Bible – which I also love, but tends to be too wordy for my small munchkins.

After I received it in the mail I also realized it is a newer version of a book my younger brothers had when they were toddlers. It is fun to find out I still remember the rhymes 15 years later (they were 3-5, I was 10-12).  And reassuring to have a book with that kind of staying power. :)

I am looking forward to reading this book with my munchkins. They have both gotten stuck with interested faces on the Jonah pages when looking through it on their own.

CAM02312

We may have to read that story next!

—–

What Bible literacy resources have you used with your young kids? When do you start Bible  memory work?

—–

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads!

((I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book from Booklookbloggers.com in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way.))

(Post contains Amazon Affiliate Link.)

 

10 Blog Favorites from 2015

wpid-img_20150622_125135.jpg

I like to look over what I’ve written every now and then. Just review, see where my writing is going, what I liked best, what other people liked best, and how I can keep writing what speaks.

And the beginning of the year is such a logical time for it.

Stats

Only posts written this year, ranked most views to least. It is pretty easy to see the theme here: Baby news and #wholemama. Be sure to read #3 if you haven’t.

  1. Meg Ylva Hazel Shirk – First pictures of Meg
  2. A Secret of the Growing Kind – Baby announcement and hashing my need to write and pursue things outside of motherhood.
  3. Refugees aren’t Safe. Neither is Jesus – Ashley Hales for #wholemama on the refugee crisis  after the Paris attacks, our desire to be safe in our homes, and our God whose upside-down kingdom challenges our senses. <— Read this one!
  4. Whole in this Season {#wholemama} – My first whole mama post on the word Shalom.
  5. Celebratory Pause and Baby Countdown {#wholemama} (Baby was in the title…notice a theme? :) )

Personal Favorites

My favorites tended to be around things I’ve been learning and wrestling with. Things that have fought back and I’ve had to work to tame and grasp in a way that is meaningful.

1. A Holy Mosaic {#wholemama} – On the brokenness of birth and how I can find God piecing it all together in a more beautiful and whole way. This post was hard, guys. But there is a little more freedom there now.

“I cannot know how it will go and I have no control when it begins. And when it does I can only ask to be met here in my loud unspoken and spoken need.

Birth frees me from control and wrests it from my grasp when I might wish to know.

Powerless in an act that is powerful.”

2. Hopefully Churching {a guest post} – I guest posted at Circling the Story on how changing churches has brought to light different layers of what might be important as we are attending church. I missed out on one thing only to find another unexpected gift, and somehow it is ok.

“Because when we end up somewhere we thought we wouldn’t, maybe God is simply preparing to teach us something we didn’t think we needed to know.”

3. Fighting for Ordinary {#wholemama} : I voiced my struggle with the tension between my everyday ordinary and a desire to live a bigger more heroic life, but heroes fight for ordinary. So who is really to say where the line between ordinary and extraordinary really lies.

“We get to choose what is in our ordinary. Is it hate, distrust, and scarcity? Or is it love, abundance, and grace?  We fight for ordinary and then are again left in the ordinary. We find the fingerprints of God in the dust of our lives. And the dust of our pianos. And we claim back ordinary.”

4. Space to be Whole {#Wholemama} – On the importance of being my whole self even when my kids are rapidly growing up and only little once. It’s the realization there are more layers to motherhood than just this motherhood.

“I want to mother as me in our now. Not some other lady in the future in perfect circumstances.

I want a full and whole soul to feed my outer life and loving.”

5. What Shines Through – On following God and how the big steps are sometimes so much easier than the smaller day-by-day pieces.

“Living into each moment of following makes more sense when it’s something you can measure instead of just tension you feel. The leaving and doing more quickly appeal to our own intution of how following our big God should look, but when what feels big to us seems small and scared and “why on earth are you doing that?” to other people it’s harder to explain. People might wonder what you’re really following.”

<<<

I am looking forward to another year of writing and sharing with you all!

Thank you so much for reading here and encouraging me in this pursuit. :)

<<<

Find me on FacebookInstagram, and Goodreads!