Friday, October 10, 2014


6:54pm is one of my very favorite times of day. I'm usually snuggling my sweet little boy, smelling his clean, wet hair, and giving him gentle kisses as I repeat these words to him: God is always with you. I quote Joshua 1:9 and Hebrews 13:5b-6 to him, and hope he internalizes it. We rock. I pat his back. Sometimes he lifts his head from my shoulder and gives me little baby boy kisses. He is precious.

By that time, we have already prayed and thanked God for all the important things in his day. At the forefront these days are friends, dirt, and tractors. And ROCKS! and Daddy. And Daddy's guitar, mandolin, and bass. And any other relatives he can remember to list. I have sung him a bedtime hymn, and he has had a wonderfully fun bathtime.

Most of the stress has begun to melt by 6:54. I remember how much I love my son, how thankful I am to be his mommy, and how blessed we are. I feel tired, and sometimes I still have yet to cry the tears I held back all day. There's still dinner to make for when my husband gets home, and I have just a few minutes to tidy the house and do something for me. Like blogging. Or reading a magazine. Or eating a chocolate chip cookie without sharing.

But 6:54? That's a moment of peace. A moment of all-is-well. An embodiment of my love for my family and for the God who allowed it to be like this, today. And yesterday. And so many bed times before.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

little things

Cultivating a spirit of gratefulness:

1. Zestar apples. So delicious. I love the tastes of fall in this area of the country.
2. A sunny, highs in the 70's day to play outside with my little boy
3. The delight on said little boy's face when he realized the tractors were outside our house (they're fixing the city gas lines)
4. Having a few neighborhood boys my son's age that enjoy playing and sharing with him, and their sweet grandmother who is so generous and kind to me
5. The rhythmic, soothing normal-ness of knitting
6. Snuggling with my husband
7. A cozy meal in the oven
8. Feeling my active baby girl kick me and make my belly bounce
9. Friends who love the "me" I already am
10. The promise of a visit from family this weekend.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

little boy wall art

I have been meaning to do this for a very long time. Thank you to an artistic and musical acquaintance at church whose word art and writing have been so inspirational! This woman does some amazing chalkboard art, not to mention crafting some incredibly moving and transparent blog posts. Her book is going to be a must-read. My attempt at word art is far from as polished and professional as hers, but, alas, here it is.

When Joshua was born, I wanted to be sure that I chose some meaningful scriptures for him to internalize as he grew. Some that stood out were Joshua 1:9 and Hebrews 13:5-6. I have been repeating parts of the Hebrews verse to him each night as I put him down to sleep; it seems soothing to him to hear again and again that God is always with him, that we can trust Him, that we don't need to be afraid.

Ever since I knew I was pregnant with Joshua, I had been praying that my baby might be a leader, a difference-maker in this world, someone who would bring glory to God and do it with humility. The name "Joshua" is perfect for my little guy - someone that God will certainly use to lead others. And boy, is that leadership potential apparent in toddlerhood. AmIright, parents? I have a little Director on my hands who is learning and being disciplined each day to become a self-sufficient, example-setting, people-loving leader. This is a messy process, friends.

His room is loosely decorated in a nautical theme, with a pretty Monet poster, navy grommet top curtains, a vintage U. S. navy towel in light blue and white, a blue and silver banner that I made, and some Nautica kids bedding - all with white walls and a wood floor - so that I can change his room theme easily, later.  This word art completes the theme, I think, adding just the right amount of red. Someday soon, I hope to make him an oversized letter "J" pillow to toss on his soon-to-be-a-toddler-bed.

Without further ado:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

our life right now

Our life is changing, along with the seasons. Joshua can say more words clearly, my belly grows larger, and my husband continues to excel at his job, too. We found, or rather, a car fell into our laps, and we were able to purchase it. We somehow, suddenly, have a second vehicle, a second car seat, and I can take Joshua out for the day. The little guy started showing an interest in toilet training, so he's doing that, too. And to top it all off? Our little tiny baby is not a second son, but a daughter. A girl!

Talk about a change! Bring on the glitter, flowers, frills, tea parties, and dollies. This momma is so excited.

And I am embracing every solo moment with my sweet, kind little boy. Exploring outside, learning about dirt, rocks, and tractors, playing with his little friends. Even when he has an accident on the floor or an untimely tantrum. No, those are not fun moments, but they pass so quickly. And he needs me to be invested in him, not in what he does. I am trying. I wake each day and pray for strength and wisdom to meet the challenges of the day. This song comes to mind, and sometimes I sing it to Joshie at bedtime for his lullaby:

Day by day, and with each passing moment, 
Strength I find to meet my trials here.
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, it's part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour.
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Power.

The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on himself He laid.
As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure -
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me, then, in every tribulation,
So to trust thy promises, O Lord.
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within thy holy word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a Father's hand.
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
'Till I reach the promised land.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

little things: a long time coming

The last time I published was in May. There are many excuses. But here I am, anyway, with good news!

There will be another little one added to our family in mid-January! We got to see our tiny baby just last week via ultrasound, and six weeks earlier saw his or her strong, beating heart. What a blessing and an answer to our prayers. God is good to us!

The baby will be about 25 months younger than Joshua, which I think sounds just about perfect. They'll get to grow up together, play together, and have each other to lean on as they go through life.

I'm praying for strength, peace, and grace to be a good mommy to the two little blessings that we've been given!

I do think I could now do a list of the little things, don't you? 

1. Our tiny baby with wiggly hands and feet, and a strong heartbeat
2. My Joshua giving me kisses and picking flowers for me when we're outside
3. Having the opportunity this past June to teach at summer music school again
4. Being able to be there for a friend as she adjusts to her newest little one
5. Sharing maternity clothes with friends
6. Already being past the nausea and food aversions, and feeling more energetic
7. The blessing of peace in place of my fear for this pregnancy
8. The conversations Brad and I have already had about possible names for our littlest
9. Quiet evenings and nights of unbroken sleep, thanks to a certain newly sleeping-through-the-night toddler
10. Being blessed in so many ways because God is good. He is holy, sovereign, and in control. That he has his glory and his purpose in mind, even in the most difficult of times. That he hears our hearts' cries and holds us in every moment.

I may someday share about the depth of pain and struggle that we've been through, but for now, it's enough to know that God is faithful, that he is present, and that we are held in his hands no matter the circumstance.

I am so thankful!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A children's song

I sing to my son all day long. Sometimes they're songs I know from my childhood, sometimes hymns, sometimes songs I make up. We listen to so much music. Classical plays in his bedroom. Anything on Daddy's iPod in the living room. Pandora everywhere else. I like to think that he's constantly in his own personal music education classroom.

That said, some of these songs I learned in my childhood have lyrics that I'm not sure I want my son to internalize.

One little, two little, three little...Indians? Um... I replace that with "children" or something similar, but it doesn't quite work at the end of the song. Sing it through. You'll know what I mean. "Ten little happy boys" might work as the last line.

Anyway, the song that stands out in my mind is a classic - "Jesus Loves the Little Children."All the children of the world. So far, so good. It's the third line that bugs me. "Red and yellow, black and white" just doesn't work anymore, if it ever did. People take offense to being labeled with a color. Besides, I'm not white. My skin is light peach. Or tan. With freckles. And blue veins and red-flushed cheeks.

So I changed the words. Here's the original if you want to reference it. The first verse here is not entirely mine - I'm pretty sure it shows up in the blue Covenant Hymnal, but Hymnary doesn't have that information. However, I did make up a second verse.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Every color, every race
They are covered by his grace
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Every country, everywhere
Jesus hears their every prayer
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

I'm working on coming up with a third verse, but it might be a while before I get it just right. I'll just keep singing to my baby. He doesn't mind.

What do you think? Any songs you know from childhood that should be revamped for today's kids?

Friday, May 2, 2014

short sleeves for spring

My mother-in-law loves to dote on her grandson. This makes me a happy momma, indeed!

Last week, we stopped in at a local children's resale shop, and she picked up a haul of great deals for Joshua to enjoy this spring and summer! A couple pairs of shorts, a Fisher Price bubble mower, and their everyday 10 onesies for $10 deal.

Four of the onesies happened to be long sleeved, and that's not so suitable for spring, right? But I had an idea...

...and I made them into short sleeved onesies!

You may remember that I wrote a silly little lament for my sewing machine. The machine is still out of commission, but a good friend of mine let me borrow her (new in the box!) machine for my little project. So generous! It was a dream to sew on such an easy-to-use, smooth machine. Everything went so perfectly. Thank you, Dena!

I cut off the sleeve at the length I wanted the finished sleeve to be. I used an existing short sleeved shirt of Joshua's to be sure it was a good length.

Then, I cut off the original shirt sleeve cuffs, turned them inside out, and fitted them over the newly-shortened sleeve so that the raw edges lined up.

Lastly, I stretched the fabric out and sewed straight-line stitches to reattach the "new" sleeve cuffs. Turned them back to the right side, trimmed threads, and there we go!
Cute? I think so! I'm pleased and happy to have some "new" play clothes for my little boy! Thanks, "Grandma!"