Saturday, July 31, 2010

Adventuring




Dear friends, won't you pardon my absence? We have been adventuring in a place where magic and wonder abound, and I am sitting at home after a long journey savoring every last memory. I will be here in this space in the coming days doing more of the same, and I do hope you will join me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Summer To-Do List

-plant and enjoy a vegetable garden
-take children out to play in the rain
(thanks, Ben)
-buy a beautiful night gown and wear it
-go swimming in a creek
-make and eat many popsicles (thanks, Em)
-get tan lines
-oh wait, get rid of tan lines

-plant flowers in window boxes
-eat a lot of ice cream
-go to the 4-H fair
-buy as many peaches as possible and freeze them
-take a break at least once an hour to delight in my children (this is one of my favorites!)
-put up a clothes line

-dress Selma up in outrageous bandannas
-keep flowers alive in window boxes
-make pesto with our basil once a week

And my, here we find ourselves on the cusp of August. I've got to get busy! How are your summer to-do lists progressing?

Unveiled


With our faces unveiled, all of us, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed from splendor to splendor.

-2 Corinthians 3:18

Monday, July 19, 2010

Unexpected Beauty

I gave her a handful of flowers, hoping it would keep her busy while I unloaded the dishes. She disappeared, quiet, entertained. I assumed I would sweep the petals off of her bedroom floor later in the morning.

I found her flowers on my way to her bedroom. I stood there for a moment, totally still, realizing that even such small hands are looking for beauty.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Fresh Figs

Soft, tender, sweet, and a little gritty, fresh figs never cease to amaze me. I still remember the first one I tried: a lone ripe fig in the garden of a family that took in and cared for pregnant teens. "Would you like to try one?" I was stunned, expecting the cloying sweetness of a dried fig and instead receiving subtle perfection. I had never tasted something as magnificent.

When we were hoping to get pregnant before Zosia was born, I held superstitious beliefs about fresh figs. All those tiny seeds, so gracefully conveyed in a single fruit. Could there be a more suited symbol of fertility? I devoured them straight from the store, my hopes and dreams for a child growing with each delicate bite.

I still eat figs with caution, nervous about the power they contain. And now, awe. Creating, sustaining such life. It takes such steadfast energy and commitment, but the fig does this with grace, imagination, charm.

I spend the year scanning the produce aisles of the grocery store, hoping for that perfect month when figs will arrive; unlike so many other fruits, there's just a tiny window that fresh figs can be purchased-- a magical midnight bloom. And yesterday was this day. And oh, I am happy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cleanup

I don't know which was more fun... allowing the kids to draw all over the sliding door all morning, or watching my eager Zosia spend the afternoon cleaning it up. I'm glad to know there's at least one person in this household maintaining order. There clearly is a divine purpose to different temperaments.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homemade Bread Machine Buns



Routines have a way of soothing the spirit, and there is no routine that is more therapeutic for me than baking. The problem is, with a wee one on my hip for most of the day, baking bread has been on the back burner (no pun intended) for a while now. It was a friend of mine who reminded me of the existence of the bread machine. And wait... don't we have one in the basement, a hand-me-down from my mom who purchased it for cheap at a yard sale? And just like that, our home is filled with the aroma and taste of homemade bread, and I am reminded that often, technology is quite a nice thing.

I took a queue from my friend: throw the ingredients in the machine every day or two while the girls are eating breakfast, turn on the switch, and bread will be ready by lunch. And if you're feeling ambitious, you can even make a second batch in the afternoon, which yesterday meant homemade hamburger buns for dinner (use the dough cycle). You might even score bonus points with the husband, especially if you treat him to white flour.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Scarcity, Abundance


It has been a time of scarcity and abundance.
scarcity: sickness, fussiness (mine or my childrens', I don't know) impatience, weakness, questioning the merit, the purpose of this whole motherhood thing

and, thank God, abundance: a prayerful husband who is my foundation, clear and wise voices, a new day, a stronger commitment than ever to living the Gospel in this family of mine, and endless forgiveness

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23,25)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Peace to this household

"Into whatever house you enter, first say,
'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you. "
Luke 10: 5-6

*Photo credit my mother-in-law

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hiking


My heart still longs for the beautiful potential of a hike: the miles under my feet, the many views in my memories, the discovery of beauty. So we snuck away, us two delinquent parents, and made a morning of it, going to our favorite hiking spot in the area, one we walked on many times as teenagers, sneaking away for kisses behind trees.

And it was all still there, just as I remembered it: the muddy path that emerges onto a beautiful stream, the big rocks that are perfect for hopping, the swimming hole, the surprising opening to the Potomac River. We spent the morning chasing each other up hills (note to self: Ben always wins), dipping our feet in cold water, and eating what could only be described as a peanut butter and jelly ball. And the trees are still just fine for sneaking kisses.

A Friday to Celebrate

We have a lot to celebrate around here: a birthday (71st!), the return of our beloved Aunt Elisabeth to the area, and some exciting changes coming up for our little family, too (don't worry! I'll fill you in as soon as I'm at liberty).

And we celebrated together on the deck with peach fizz, rosemary roasted potatoes, thinly sliced steak strips, strawberry salad, green beans, carrot cake, and sparkling wine. Ooh, what a feast! Only to be beat by the good company.